Teaching Khatam Name Tile Art {Outing}

Today I had the pleasure of teaching Arab art to middle school students at a local school. I wanted to introduce them to the artwork of Iraqi Hassan Mousssady and then have them create khatam name tiles.  A khatam is the Arabic word for eight point star, so their tiles will also have eight points, while using their name in a radial symmetrical pattern.

I started the class by giving the kids a little history of Arab art and how it compares to Middle East/North African (MENA) art vs Islamic art. I showcased the contributions made from the Arab world in architecture, calligraphy, ceramics, fiber arts, metalwork, mosaics, oriental rug and painting.

We spent a little time talking about the khatam mosaic tile, how it is not just exclusive to the MENA region, also highly regarded in Buddhist symbolism. We looked at a few examples of the 8 point star in MENA architecture.

We talked about famous Arab Americas, including local celebrity Seahawk Oday Aboushi, and also talked about Muslim Americans. I quizzed them on Islamic countries worldwide and gave them a crossword puzzle on Arabic words that are in the English language.

I then introduced them to Iraqi calligrapher Hassan Massoudy, born in 1944 and later studied at the Beaux-Art in France. His earlier work was figurative and landscapes before he started concentrating on calligraphy. He loves to collect poems and quotes and carries notebooks to amass them. Once he finds one that speaks to him, he takes his time, dissecting the collection of words and playing around with the composition.  Once he settles on one word in the quote, he enlarges it with beautiful sweeping flows of paint, making it the highlight of the canvas.

 

I told the students this gives power to the word and we are going to give power to their names.

 

I showed them how Hassan Massoudy uses an ancient calligraphy practice of moving letters around to make an image. Here is his drawing of a dove, made up of the letters for the Arab word for peace: السلام.

 

It’s a little hard to see the word because the letters have been manipulated to create the image. Now see if you can see the letters if each one is colored in a different way.

We looked at a few more slides, including one from local hero, Chief Seattle and I pointed out the use of color.  Traditionally, calligraphy is known as a black ink art, but Hassan Massoudy introduced colors.

I explained the khatam name tiles we would be making, and encouraged them to use colors on their letters.

Since we were using their English names, they were allowed to use block letters. The goal is to create 8 points with their letters by moving them around, enlarging them, or finding some creative way to make 8 points.

The final step was adding color to the letters to achieve the look of tile.

We began by folding a 12 x 12 piece of paper into 8 parts and started the process of duplicating their names in each part.

 

To replicate their names in each section, they each got creative in how their names were reproduced, some used the windows, some used the overhead lights.  I have taught this class to younger students and have taken in carbon paper but I enjoy challenging the older students to be innovative in how they reproduce their name.

I knew that it was a good project, when I also noticed my teaching assistant, provided by the school, was also doing her name on the front door.

The class was three hours long and many were not able to finish. However, this is such a portable project, they simply folded their name tiles into triangles and tucked them into backpacks and pockets, to be pulled out later to finish at their own time.

I enjoyed the students and introducing a new artist to them. If you live in Washington State and would like me to come teach Arab art to your K-12 classroom, please contact me.

 

Visit these other classroom projects

Startalk 2013 Arabic Camp {Outing}

Search Teaching String Art {Outing} Fall 2017 Women’s Wellness Weekend

Please stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see other classroom projects.

Pins for Puerto Rico at the 2018 Women’s March {Outing}

This morning I participated in the 2018 Women’s March in Seattle.

 

My daughter and I are going to Puerto Rico and are trying to raise funds to take with us.  We will be working on rebuilding.  We also hope to be able to purchase items from the local economy and donate it to local churches. We will be traveling with a non profit that has contacts with churches and will provide us with their wish lists.

 

According to the 2010 US Census the population of Puerto Ricans who identified as having Arabic speaking ancestry is approximately 8%, or around seven thousand people.  Our family traveled to this beautiful island a few years ago and enjoyed it’s beaches, the the only tropical rain forest in the United States, the food and especially the hospitality. We have been devastated by the images we witnessed last year after Hurricane Maria and have felt a call to action.

 

We are trying to raise $400 to buy school supplies and I recently started a funny Kickstarter campaign to try to fund the wish lists.

 

I also made Women’s March pins and took them to the event this morning in hopes of adding to the fundraiser. I am so happy to report that I sold all the pins that I made and actually went over my goal.

Shukran (Arabic for thank you) Seattle for such a great march and supporting Pins for Puerto Rico.  Below is a photo taken by a crane operator, can you find me and my sign?

If you are local to Seattle and know of any other events where I can sell pins for Puerto Rico, please contact me via my contact form or twitter. If you are from far away and want to support the wish lists, please visit the Kickstarter campaign to help.

 

Stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinerest to see more posts about outings!

A Crafty Arab at the Muslimah Bloggers Summit {Outing}

I am excited to be speaking at the first ever Muslimah Bloggers Summit, from January 8th-January 12th.

 

I will be talking about how I use Pinterest. It is my top social media platfrom that best reachs my audience to let them know about the DIY craft tutorials, free downloads and book activities to teach about the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

 

Please register for free for the summit here.

 

According to the website, it will be full of useful information:

The first ever one of its kind summit for Muslimah Bloggers. With talks from bloggers from the Muslimah Bloggers Community sharing their tips and advice to you. So whether you are a new blogger, or even a more established blogger, you are sure to find the talks beneficial. You don’t want to miss this FREE summit, with topics from SEO to social media being covered! What are you waiting for? Hit the register button!

Stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to visit some of the other bloggers that will be presenting:

Aisha Idris
AYEINA
Between Sisters
Fatima Hachem
Iman Said
Janet Kozak
Jeddah Mom
Kind Parenting
Muslim Housewife
Naptime is Sacred
Our Muslim Homeschool
Step Inside My Handbag
The Imperfect Muslimah