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Khaled Al Saai


Khaled Al Saai was born in Syria in 1970. He grew up in a household surrounded by 

paintings, music and calligraphy. By the age of 18, he had already established a reputation as a calligrapher.

He graduated from the

University of Damascus in 1995 with his BA in Fine Arts, and MA in Fine Arts (honorary degree)in 1997 and went on to become an internationally recognized master of Arabic Calligraphy. He has participated in many international art competitions and held solo

exhibitions throughout Europe and several Middle Eastern countries. In 1997, at the first International Festival

of Calligraphy in Teheran, Iran, he was nominated one of the best ten international calligraphers. He then went on to obtain a Certificate of Distinction at the Festival of Music, Poetry and Calligraphy in Obernai, France.

In 2001, he obtained the Diwani Jali style prize at the Fifth International competition of Arabic Calligraphy in Istanbul,


In 2002, he went on to teach “Introduction to Arabic Calligraphy” at the University of Michigan, USA. He has conducted workshops and exhibitions in Chicago and Boston.

Al Saai works in an astonishing range of styles, from decorous classical modes which he often uses for quotations from poetry to radically inventive compositions in which lettering is fragmented into fantastical,

almost pictorial compositions. The breathtaking beauty of his work makes it immediately accessible to all.

For Khaled Al Saai, Arabic Calligraphy is a medium for expressing feelings, thoughts, and sensations without

becoming tied to the language.

He deals especially with Arabic letters, their shapes and their symbolic religious and musical origins. It is this variety of meaning as well as the formal possibilities of the various

writing styles that influence the artist’s creative processes.


On his numerous trips through Arab countries, Europe and the United States, he has been inspired by cities and countryside, landscapes and architecture, by the bustle of people in the street and by the change of seasons, always anxious to realize his impressions in

calligraphic creations.

In each case he chooses a writing style that provides the best sensorial and emotional fit to his impressions. Letters and words are not arranged on a straight or horizontal line but rather written densely or detached, superimposed or one below the other, interlaced or labyrinthine in the imaginary space of the canvas.

Letters interwoven in this way follow their own peculiar rhythm. Highly individualistic landscapes

emerge as well as pictures that depict personal feelings and sensations.

Khaled Al Saai exhausts the possibilities

of Arabic script and makes it into abstract characters.

A word from Khaled

Memories Of Cities 2017

I have been travelling around the world for over 20 years. I've seen and lived in many cities, of which each has had a different impact on me. These cities have become the map of my life, like a piece of ceramic art that combines varying aspects of the world. Yet the main role remains for Damascus, the city that has formed me and helped me build my character in many dimensions. The city of Mayadeen has also shaped my early dreams, with its unique connection to nature, it holds my childhood memories.

The north Moroccan city of Assielah influenced me at a later stage in my life. As a city of arts and history, it has compelled me to express the visual diary that I have built over the years - my intimate relationship and visions of cities. In this exhibition I am presenting four artworks; namely, Damascus, Assielah, Mayadin, and a city that exits in my imagination, as a heavenly city.

Khaled Al Saai.tiff
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