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Story of an anti-colonial graffiti artist who became calligrapher of Kaaba curtain

Khudair Al Borsaidi is an Egyptian artist who has become famous for his Quranic calligraphies on the curtain of the Holy Kaaba.

According to Rahyafte(the missionaries and converts website) He was born in Egypt’s Port Said in 1947 at a time when Egyptians were fighting against the British occupation and colonialism. Despite being a child, he was among the first to write different slogans against the Britain on the walls of the city and this was beginning of this passion to the art of Arabic calligraphy.

When he was six, Khudair entered primary school and started to show his art on the black board using chalks while he had not received any official lessons for the calligraphy.

Al-Borsaidi is one of the pioneers of Arabic calligraphy in the modern era and is known as ‘sheikh of Egyptian calligraphers’ in his country.

He learnt the first instructions from his brother, Mohmmed, at around the age of five and then started writing slogans on walls, buildings, and asphalt against the British colonialism.

At the age of ten, he started writing bulletins and names of businesses at front of stores. At the time he had gained the ability to write with both hands. He obtained a diploma in Arabic calligraphy from Tanta School, and a special diploma from Khalil Agha School in Cairo.

Khudair is mainly famous for his calligraphy paintings and also his calligraphies used on the curtain of Kaaba. His writing of Quran has also been shown on TV programs.

He received a top award from the Egyptian government in 1984 and was also honored in the 6th Arab Music Festival in 1997. Also, the Egyptian Ministry of Culture honored Khudair in 2000 in an Arabic calligraphy festival.

He has obtained numerous other awards from different countries including Kuwait, China, and the UAE.

In last August, Khudair offered as a gift a valuable and rare collection of his calligraphy paintings to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

The package included 30 paintings and displays the top level of Al-Borsaidi’s art as he uses different Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman motifs to decorate the calligraphies as well.


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