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Saturday, July 4, 2009

IV International Calligraphy & Calligraph-Art. Exhibition & Competition Pakistan - 2004. (2004-15)

1. Importance of the Occasion: Three Internationals were previously held in Pakistan in 1998, 1999 & 2000. The President of Pakistan inaugurated the 2nd and 3rd Internationals. About 170 calligraphers including Masters of the art from China, Egypt, France, Iran, Jordan, United Kingdom and Uzbekistan participated. The 2nd International in 1999 was taken to Karachi after its inauguration in Lahore. The 4th International is scheduled for inauguration on October 1, 2004 at Lahore. A large number of delegates is expected. Work from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Iran, Kuwait, Morocco, Mongolia, Oatar, Syria, Turkey, United Kingdom and Uzbekistan has been received and more work from other countries is expected.

2. Background: Calligraphy is the foundation of all Arts of the Muslim world. It has its origin in the Divine Message. Yet this important tradition of human endeavour is under serious threat because of the current technological emphasis. As such this great traditional Islamic skill needs to the revived, preserved, promoted and propagated through international exhibitions, workshops, conferences, seminars, competitions and publications. The Pakistan Calligraph-artists' Guild has dedicated itself to doing this since 1997, the Golden Jubilee year of Pakistan. Its pioneering work has been acknowledged at international fora. Practitioners of Calligraphy and its modern metamorphosis, Calligraph-art span the entire Muslim world and China. It has developed into a major movement. Queen Elizabeth II on a State visit in 1997 presented a work of Calligraph-art to the people of Pakistan, a superb work by a British Calligraph-artist. The West is beginning to acknowledge this wholly Muslim contemporary movement. It is time we owned our own asset and treasure.

3. Design: The design of commemorative stamp depicts the calligraphic shape of a dove with an olive branch to signify peace and well-being for all peoples of the world. The stamp is designed especially for the occasion, by a top designer Syed Ayyaz Ali, a distinguished graduate of the National College of Arts, Lahore. This design depicts Pakistan not only as the "Land of the Pure" but also as "Land of Peace and the Peace- loving".

4. Need to Cornmemorate: The 4th International is the largest event of its kind in the country and South Asia and of great importance in the cultural calendar of the Muslim World. As such the event needs to be commemorated in a manner that would project Pakistan as an enlightened, moderate and progressive country. It is imperative that it is perceived as a nation that is fully aware of its rich heritage, its historical and cultural links and cooperation with Muslim nations and peoples. In view of the current global political climate, there is an urgent need to celebrate the great common heritage, the outstanding contributions of the people and the finest manifestation of the creative spirit of Pakistanis and other Muslims in this field.

The request was prompted by the President of Pakistan's desire to project the "soft face" of our nation at the international level. Date of Issue (October 1, 2004)