Calligraphy Qalam: An Introduction to Arabic, Persian and Ottoman Calligraphy uses interactive tools to interest new audiences in Arabic, Ottoman and Persian calligraphy.

Hasan Celebi

Full name:

Hasan Celebi

What he did:

  • Contemporary master calligrapher in the Ottoman tradition
  • Restored the inscriptions in Istanbul’s Blue Mosque
  • His work can be found in mosques around the world, including South Africa, Kazakhstan, Belgium, Germany and Turkey


  • Internationally-recognized calligraphy artist in the Ottoman tradition
  • Served as an imam until 1987
  • Teaches hundreds of students, 30 of whom have received a certificate or license (ijaza)

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Hasan Celebi

Calligrapher Hasan Celebi

Image of the calligrapher at work, by Bwana Seeru.

Calligraphy by Hasan Celebi

Calligraphy by Hasan Celebi

Quote on calligraphy

"The first requirement is to love the art. Love comes before skill. If someone doesn't desire khatt [calligraphy] they will not succeed. Today, I can't write the Latin alphabet as my hand shakes too much. When I try to read a book, I can't read more than 15 pages without falling asleep. But with khatt, my hand stays steady and there are times when I can study the art ten hours or more without lifting my head. Because I love it. It is also necessary to have patience, a good teaching and a good working environment. It is important to be writing everyday, especially when you're a beginner. I tell my students they must put in 30 hours a day!" ~ Hasan Celebi