Syria – The Garden of History: Calligrapher Khaled Al Saai

Khaled Al Saai has been working on a commissioned work for an exhibition from 21.09.2018 to 11.10.2018 in the Mschatta Hall of the Museum of Islamic Art, Pergamon Museum in Berlin.

From February 2019 onwards Khaled Al Saai’s painting “Syria – The Garden of History” will be exhibited in a major exhibition entitled “Cultural Landscape of Syria – Preservation and Archiving in Times of War”.


Khaled Al Saai uses Arabic calligraphy to express feelings and thoughts. He works in an astonishing range of styles, from subtle classical forms that he often uses for quotes from poetry, to radically inventive compositions in which lettering is fragmented into fantastical, almost pictorial, compositions. On his travels he was inspired by cities, landscapes and architecture, the hustle and bustle of people on the streets and the changing seasons. The letters and words of his works are not arranged in straight lines, but flow densely, detached from one-another, in the imaginary space of the canvas. The interwoven letters follow their own rhythm and combine with breathtaking beauty.

Khaled Al Saai, born in 1970 in Homs, Syria, grew up with painting, music and calligraphy. At eighteen, he had already made a name for himself as a calligrapher. After graduating from the University of Damascus, he became an internationally recognized master of Arabic calligraphy. Khaled Al Saai has participated in many international art competitions and has had numerous solo exhibitions in Europe and Middle Eastern countries.


More about the calligraphic artwork by Khaled Al Saai:

“Syria – The Garden of History” tells the story of Syria in different ways. Khaled Al Saai used photographs of the country of Syria and involved art of calligraphy, as the main structure of the painting. There are words or/and lines of poetry around each city to add another level to the paining.

An example: the story starts from the right with Damascus city, the name of the city is written in that space, surrounded with major key marks of this city, but the main structure of the city is based on one letter, which is (sh, ش ) that this letter has many metaphorical interpretations, which represents sun or orient and light, then the lines or surrounding words are a poem about Damascus, in the same space of Damascus there are over than 40 photos collaged, to give the whole dimensions of the city.

So Damascus is an example, but the main structure of the painting are letters and words for the 14 major Syrian cities, and each one has its unique story, as Hasaka حسكة (the city of early watering system, the city of old civilisations, etc), Latakia لاذقية (the city of methodology and early alphabet, the sailing center etc), Aleppo, حلب (the capital of Alhamdaneen state ,the city of Almutanabbi the greatest Arab poet ever, the sense of Arabic music etc).

Further information at

Bucharest Art Week 2017 – Artists Fight Against the Syrian War

War Correspondence

Bucharest Art Week 2017 was this year one of the few major international events from Romania. The “War Correspondence” exhibition was organised by APAC(Romania) in partnership with SYRIA.ART in the framework of the BucharestArtWeek2017, and was co-curated by Humam Alsalim and Nona Șerbănescu.

Venue: Palatul Stirbei, Calea Victoriei, 107, 010069 Bucharest, Romania
Dates: October 14 – October 22, 2017
Curators: Humam Alsalim & Nona Șerbănescu

Syrian and Romanian art was exhibited. Among the featured artists, the exhibition hosted 6 Syrian artists.

Fadi Al-Hamwi | Syria
Humam Alsalim | Syria
Khaled Youssef | Syria
Manhal Issa | Syria
Nizar Ali Badr | Syria
Yaser Safi | Syria
Angela Bontas | Romania
Liviu Coman | Romania
Cristina Iacob | Romania
Mugur Grosu | Romania

Bucharest Art Week 2017 revolved around a deeply sensitive subject: the war in Syria and its consequences. The theme, “War correspondence”, arouse from a series of questions regarding the role of the artist and the meaning of contemporary art in the present context of war ravaging the Middle East and affecting the whole continent on political, administrative, social and cultural levels.

The theme was suggested by Nona Serbanescu, the founder and director of the festival, an artist who is emotionally tied to Syria, through her heritage. This year’s edition will bring together various fields of artistic expression, like theatre, music and visual arts, with guest artists both Syrian and Romanian, for example Yaser Safi, Fadi Al-Hamwi, Khaled Youssef and Humam Alsalim who is the co-curator of the central exhibition of the week together with Nona Șerbănescu.