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Letter from the editor


Reveal Here
By Rym Al-Ghazal
July 20th, 2020

The Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said: “The four pillars of happiness are: a righteous wife, a spacious dwelling, righteous neighbors and a good steed.” So at the core, good relations, a comfortable home and means of getting around are important to attaining joy and happiness. 

The Prophet and his companions often discussed the ways of attaining happiness and the importance of staying content and patient when facing problems and obstacles. 

But this pursuit of happiness is not limited to a single place or time, it has long been at the core of human goals – across cultures and civilizations.

There are many degrees of joy, and it means different things to different people. In Arabic, there are far more words than in English that capture this colorful emotion of joy. 

In this issue we pay homage to Joy and explore its creative expression and forms. With lockdowns lifted and some travel allowed, there are reasons to celebrate as the world still struggles with COVID-19. On the cover, is the exquisite exclusive calligraphic art by Abdulrhman Al-Faiz of the word ‘Falyafrehou’ [Let them rejoice] from a verse in the Holy Qur’an. He chose a rare Kufic form, an ornamental one, often found in the divider section of the Qur’an to celebrate the word and the concept of joy.

Al Balad XX

Part of a body of work merging modern-day printed digital photography on linen with the more traditional practice of hand stitched craft. Bridging the gap between the historical and the contemporary, the hand carved wooden facades that enrich the district are embellished and revived with the use of brightly colored embroider thread. The choice of color of thread is deeply rooted in Saudi Bedouin culture and encapsulates Jeddah’s soul. Courtesy Aya Haidar and Athr Gallery, Jeddah.

Al Balad XX (2012) by Aya Haidar.
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