Arabic Calligraphy Artists You Need to Follow on Instagram

arabic calligraphy artists

By Norah Al Eisa

Arabic calligraphy artists is an old art form; these artists put their own twists on Arabic calligraphy in exciting and innovative ways. If you’re a fan of calligraphy, you’ll wanna see their impeccable work on your timeline.

Sarah Maiman



Mawadah Muhtasib

Screen Shot 1437-11-29 at 2


read also :Seeking Connection Through Art

Jasem AlNasrallah

Jasem Collage


Mohammed Firwana

firwana Collage


Mohamad Ghulman



read also : Aces of Arts





Awesome Twosome: Jovia

Find out how these family units rock the business world A strong family relationship provides a building block for a home.  Imagine what that can do in a business?

Relation: Spouses
Names: Hasibah Alaskandarani & Mohammed Dossary
Business: Jovia

Hasibah Alaskandarani and Mohammed Dossary, are linked together by marriage and entrepreneurship. The couple co-founded their business, Jovia, back in July 2018, the first licensed coworking space, a business incubator, and accelerator by Monshaat in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia, in the city of Khobar. Jovia is about building and maintaining a strong community in a productive and fun environment.

The couple chose this career path together after realizing their passion for entrepreneurship and innovation. “We understood the needs and challenges that entrepreneurs and startups face. That’s why we took it upon ourselves to help them by providing an energetic, inspirational, and fun environment to motivate them to have their first step in the entrepreneurship journey.”

When asked about the challenges of working together, the couple mentioned decision-making. “We have different views and opinions. Nonetheless, we try avoiding any tension by dividing responsibilities and taking the time to listen and understand each other’s points. After all, both of us are working towards the same goal.”

As the couple mentioned, the secret to their success as a pair has been through organization and communication. They have three main priorities and reminders that keep them focused and on the right track. The first is assigning and delegating tasks based on each of their strengths and weaknesses. The second is remembering they are both passionate about the field and genuinely enjoy the work they do. The third is open communication and learning to separate their work from family.

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” Hasibah and Mohammed referred to this quote because they both understand that without each other they would not succeed in this endeavor. They work well together and believe that each one has an important role to play in their space. “We are like salt and pepper.”

Instagram: jovia_coworking


Compound Living At Its Best

Secure contemporary living at Retal Residence.

A self-contained oasis for individuals and families, Retal Residence is designed to provide a lifestyle of convenient community living. Boasting a spectacular 120,000 m2 of property space a few minutes drive from the Al Khobar Corniche, the compound comprises 416 modern and lavish residences – villas, town villas, and apartments – nestled amongst landscaped gardens, walking paths, and state-of-the-art health and wellness, entertainment, and lifestyle amenities. design-6-copy

Each residence has its own individual style, yet all share the same ethos and levels of service – fully furnished and equipped units with electricity, water, IP TV, Wi-Fi, and 24/7 security. design-7-copy

Retal Residence excels in offering a smart property with an excellent facility management system, and its residents benefit from a private app with advanced services at their fingertips. The app offers everything from reporting damages, maintenance, requesting internet upgrades, submitting documents to the management, booking appointments at the Club House Spa, and viewing and paying bills, all the way to ordering in-house pizza

Encouraging a life of health and vitality, the residential compound is designed to embrace an active life for the whole family, with its beautifully landscaped communal outdoor sport spaces – a tennis court, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, gym, spacious walking paths, and more. Residents also have easy access to all the entertainment facilities, from a Dolby Atmos  and a 4-lane bowling alley, to restaurants and various cafes. design-3-copy

Discover this modern sanctuary where the quality of service is a way of life. Retal Residence welcomes you to a life you’ve always dreamed of!

Location: Salma Bin Suliman St., As Sadafah, Dammam
Instagram: retalresidence


Ithra’s Creativity Season

New ideas discovered, industries disrupted, and dialogues started.

Tanween by Ithra is the first and largest Creativity Season ever held in Saudi Arabia. Over 17 days, the initiative has spread creative thinking and enabled an environment for talented and creative minds. Attendance has been overwhelming and the fantastic programs of talks, workshops and exhibitions have been running full house. ‘Disruption’ was the main theme of the inaugural edition and was visible across the various discussions.

The annual event explored creativity in art, music, film, theater, science, literature, cultural heritage, and entrepreneurship, in line with this season’s theme of encouraging people to understand and employ positive disruption not only in their own lives, but in the lives of others as well. This year, the focus was on our main topics: Science, Manufacturing, Communication, and Fashion.

A full schedule was designed to showcase workshops and talks throughout the 17-day period, bringing together diverse talents and audiences to establish and develop the local creative sector, promote the Kingdom’s creative industry through Ithra, and support Vision 2030’s cultural and creative mandate.

The Crazy Science Show garnered over 1,700 attendees.

The Crazy Science Show garnered over 1,700 attendees.

Tanween Highlights

Introducing the speakers of the Season were social artist and actress Fatima Al Banawi, and filmmaker and actor Hakeem Jomah, both of them apt hosts for their diverse – and disruptive – professional backgrounds.

American special effects designer and TV personality (of MythBusters fame) Adam Savage shared his passion for and experiences in creating objects, and gave a talk on how this helps us understand the world around us.

Other speakers included, designer Tarek Atrissi, founders of Tamashee (a high-end footwear brand) Muneera Al Tamimi and Mohammed Kazim, and Raha Moharrak, the first Saudi woman to summit Everest. Also a crowd favorite was a talk given by Greg Foot, a science communicator, BBC TV Presenter, and YouTuber.

Interactive workshops were held at the Ithra building as well, on topics including design thinking, manufacturing, retail and technology disruptions, inventions, Arabic typography, and Islamic Geometry. Special art installations were displayed, featuring the talent of artists Abdullah Al Othman, Stuart Campbelle, Dana Awartani, and Majed Angawi.

Panel discussions were another highlight of Tanween. The Made in KSA Panel discussed how technology and new material can help in leapfrogging global fashion capitals, projecting the Kingdom to the next stage. The panel comprised of Hatem Alakeel, founder of Toby; HRH Nourah Al Faisal, founder of NUUN Jewels; Cyrille Fabre; Partner and Director of Bain & Co; Reem AlKanhal, Designer, and moderated by Julien  Hawari, Co-Ceo of Mediaquest.

The Creativity Season attracted artists, creatives, and tech enthusiasts from all fields and of all ages, and they also got to enjoy different experiences at Ithra – watching films at the theatre, visiting a state-of-the-art library, and museums as well as the Energy Exhibit. Event-goers are already looking forward to what next year’s Creativity Season will bring!

Location: King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, 8386 Ring Rd., Dhahran
Instagram: ithra


The Librarian Of Qati

Take a leaf out of Ali Al Herz’s book.

“I would have never guessed that it would get this much attention, to be honest.” Ali Al Herz says humbly, referring to his 30,000 collection of books
that he has assembled in his very own household.

Al Herz, from the city of Qatif, identifies himself as a bibliomaniac, which is defined as love of possessing and collecting books. It is honestly the most beautiful addiction, according to him. He doesn’t only collect books, but also currencies, stamps, ancient documents, newspapers, and magazines.

Before his gathering books era, Al Herz grew up in a farming family. His mom was an avid reader, yet his dad was illiterate. His mother, thus, became his first school. Unfortunately, Al Herz’s father passed away so he had to drop out of school to help his mother. Despite being out of school, Al Herz’s love for books grew as he enjoyed reading books of myths and mysteries. Fast forward to the future, a library grew from a seed. He had 3 halls each named after a Greek philosopher, illustrating his love of philosophy. They are Socrates, Plato, Aristotle; home to thousands of notable and obscure names in the literary world. ali-alhirz-qatif-2018-ab-10

Although he never thought it would develop this fast, he believes it aligns with Sharqiya’s development and its growing interest in knowledge and books.
“Everything starts small then gets bigger. Except for misfortunes, they start big and then get smaller.” Al Herz says, speaking about his library. While he was mentioning the development of his magnificent “garden of curiosity”, I could not help but ask him about the future he sees for his library from now and onwards. Nonetheless, he said that he wants the library to be a back support for future generations and the youth of our beloved country.

“I believe my life consists of many stations. Interests can be interchangeable, from literature to history to religions topolitics to novels to anthropology philosophy.” Al Herz enjoys completing collections and being up to date with leaders in the community. He emphasizes on that by saying, “Usually, for example, if there’s a specific author, I would get all of his books and organize them. Hassan Hanfi for example, and add all his books. Especially if the authors are influential individuals in society.” Nevertheless, he added up his library up to approximately 30,000 books and 100,000 newspapers and magazines, especially ones from previous centuries and with historical value.

Like me, you are probably wondering what kind of genre the book expert recommends to the public. “Every person has a personal interest when it comes to reading books, like, a favorite author, but when it comes to me, I find interest in Russian literature and Philosophy.” But he believes in diversifying interests, of course each individual has their favorite genre, but that should not stop them from exploring new fields. Al Herz speaks of this matter and says, “I have a lot of visitors. Delegations from the country and outside of it. Students. Cultural/knowledge events and forums. Europe. Different countries. India and Africa. I do not want my library to be just a personal one, but also a public one where different people can benefit from it and share the knowledge. As I have been named before as a cultural/knowledge guide.”ali-alhirz-qatif-2018-ab-4

Did Al Herz read all of his books? He answers this question with, “No, unfortunately, there is no way for one human to read this many books in a lifetime. Also, my library includes some dictionaries. And with novels, you have to read it from beginning (suspense) to (problem) end (solution).” So it would be a disgrace to put a book down when you are not even done with it yet. He read almost no less than 70% he has read or went over. Especially when he was 14, he ended up memorizing Arabic literature. He read not less than 8 to 10 hours.

Al Herz’s advice to those interested in reading is that, “Reading is a wide sea, every individual must practice this exercise. It is like working out, but for the brain. You need to work out physically just as much as you need to do so mentally.” Also, a way to make this new generation more knowledgeable.

Al Herz indicates that, “This generation is in fact fond of reading. I recommend students to visit libraries and bookstores more, because it’d plant a seed of love and curiosity for reading when you’resurrounded by books. A lot of book lovers started off that way.”


Fashion 101

When Maha Al Qassab met Abdullah Al Zamil.

With a strong passion for fashion, designer Maha Al Qassab struggled to find any training material or fashion courses in Bahrain. So, to pursue her dream she quit her job and earned a master’s degree in collection design from Florence, Italy. She currently owns a boutique in Bahrain called Maw Collection, specializing mostly in abayas and jalabiyas.

Former Lanvin designer, Maria Fors, showcasing her student’s designs.

Former Lanvin designer, Maria Fors, showcasing her student’s designs.

After returning to Bahrain, she wanted to develop a fashion workshop. There were many designers in the area, but there was also a gap in the market. Al Qassab’s goal was to help these designers by creating fashion courses and implementing a European process while utilizing materials that fit within the Arabian culture.

Al Qassab met Al Zamil in Florence, and, to turn her dream into a reality, joined forces with him as a strategic partner.gbntc_source_2017_1

A former designer from Lanvin and a faculty member at a top fashion university in Paris taught the first fashion course in Khobar and it ended up being a huge success. “The fashion training program was an eye-opening experience for us,” said Al Qassab. “People in Saudi really wanted to learn about fashion!”

The goal of the course is to develop your creative process, create or work on your brand and follow the trends. By the end of the third day, attendees created their own portfolios and designed and made three dresses. After finishing seven fashion training courses, they can get certified as fashion designers who can give courses.gbntc_source_2017_2

This fashion training program will be done every week for two months periodically and will expand to Riyadh and Jeddah as well.

Tel: 920017217
Instagram: gbntc
Twitter: gbntc
Facebook: GBNTraningCentre


Original Threads

Celebrating traditional fashion across the Kingdom.

Traditional clothing is an important aspect of Saudi Arabia’s cultural heritage. Yet, in a drive towards modernity, this facet of our heritage is not as celebrated as it should, despite its unquestionable beauty.

In this issue, we pay tribute to the “Original Threads” that have been worn by women of different regions, honor their eclectic fashion sense and celebrate the beautiful diversity of the Kingdom.

Eastern Province “Sharqiya”

original-threads-sharqiya_khobar_2017_aaThe thawb nashal is a familiar piece of the Eastern Province and is made up of a semi-transparent material that can be used through multiple colors of base-clothing fabrics with a differentiation in metal threads and silk embroideries. The translucent style itself is typical of the hot interiors of the Gulf lands and is said to be derived from Najidi origins due to the share of the basic pattern with the age-old cotton thawb.

The festive finery of the traditional garment comprises a sheer overdress accompanied by lavish sleeve openings and a head cloak. Its sequined embroidery holds representational motifs of flowers and birds and includes accent-pattern segments like panels and gussets.

Southern Province “Janoub”

original-threads-janoub_khobar_2017_aa-2The Bayt al Fakih is a southern-Arabian cotton-dress piece originating from Northern Yemen. It holds a societal viewpoint as one of the earliest and the most authentic of pieces in Arabia. The traditional garment itself is seemingly distinct in design due to the astounding elements used through the application of colored braids and silver metal threads that are set to warmly complement the indigo-based cloth. Additionally, the thread used on the nomadic apparel showcases the popular form of the decorative elements used in design within the southern region.original-threads-janoub_khobar_2017_aa

The garment itself is normally slim-fitting in order to enhance the components of the materials used in design. The enrichment of décor applied embodies the traditional and modernized design segments of regional influences ranging from the Sarawat mountains in Asir to the desert terrains in Oman.

Northern Province “Shamaal”

original-threads-shamal-hail_khobar_2017_aaThe traditional thawb styles of the northern region differ from the mainstream portrayal of Bedouin dressing styles as it’s fashioned by the use of hand-loomed wool needed to tailor the deep-red and, at rare occurrences, green materials. The tribal dress of the north holds the finest of subtleties in design with the use of geometrically botanical motifs and embroidery against the ruby-colored fabric.

The thawb itself is beltless and holds grand proportions to ensure loose-fitting features when in wear, similar to an abaya. No waist belts are worn to unveil one’s figures as the conditions within the region are extremely hot and such fastenings wouldn’t ensure comfort when attached. Overall, the fabrication of such a style presents the primary influences of the temperature, terrain and topography of the respective region relative to design.

Central Province “Najd”

original-threads-najd_khobar_2017_aaThe Najdi Bedouin women’s traditional thawb is a unique black garment tailored through the use of fine linen, soft cotton or lightweight wool. The Central Arabian attire is derived from the kaftan, a loose clothing item which holds variance to the robe and tunic, and is worn as an over-garment to one’s clothes in respect to the ruling of the Kingdom upon modest dressing standards, though it was once worn to ease the endurance towards Saudi’s heat through its flair in cool wear.original-threads-najd_khobar_2017_aa-2

Moreover, this conventional piece expresses gracefulness and comfort through the looks of its loose-fitting features and is suited to make the perfect maternity dress. This spectacular gown also provides reminiscence to the romantic tales of the Arabian desert life long ago.

Western Province “Hijaz”

original-threads-hijaz_khobar_2017_aa1The Hijazi women’s traditional thawb is a semi-transparent, capacious gown made up of cotton gauze and is used in the design of multicolored fabrics. Its unique and customary style holds layered clothing items and presents beautiful embroidery components from head to toe. Though the Hijazi thawb is designed using small-scale sizing proportions, it’s cut in a similar manner to the Najdi thawb.

The thawb styles of the western region design their cultural attire in an ideal manner with the intent of initiating one’s attention to the custom-made blouse when worn with the gown. A unique addition to this is the zabun and the mudawwarah – a zabun is a traditional, princess-styled frock that is fashioned in the manner of a collar and is mainly worn by the townswomen of Hijaz while the mudawwarah is a complementary headgear to the outfit with elaborate edging and a diamond broach.


Amina Al Jassim
We would like to express our deep gratitude and appreciation to Saudi Fashion Designer Amina Al Jassim for providing us with traditional clothing from her own designs, through her brand Dar Breesem, for Sharqiya, Janoub, Shamal and Najd clothing and accessories.

Instagram: amina_aljassim

Nadia Halabi
A special thank you to Nadia Halabi for her assistance, and for providing the Hijazi traditional attire.

We wish to also extend our thanks to Shuaa Al Duhailan for hair and makeup through Shuaa Center.

Instagram: shuaa.beautycenter


Organizational Oasis

Your desk deserves the best.

From colorful highlighters and Post-it notes to fancy journals and calendars, we’re obsessed with stationery. Whether your objective is organization and practicality or simply enhanced aesthetics, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite brands and stores to brighten up your day.

seendesign_source_2017_1Seen Design
Instagram: seendesign

Instagram: qurtsyah

%d9%8a%d8%a8%d8%b3%d9%8a%d8%a8Light Line
Instagram: light_line_shop
Specialized in customizing your stationery!

Instagram: Patterns_sa

%d9%8a%d8%a8%d8%b3%d9%8aThe Stationery
Instagram: the_stationery

Instagram: Khuzama_store

ihaveadream_source_2017_1I Have a Dream
Instagram: ihaveadream_2015

rawans-stationeryRawan’s Stationery
Instagram: rawans_stationery

Instagram: Gheeras

: 20ayar


Hole in the Wall

By Alzahra Al Dawood and Noura Al Joaib

We all know they serve the best food in town.

When we decided to do a feature on the best bufiyah sandwiches in town, we got weird looks from the rest of the team. For those who don’t know what a bufiyah is, it’s colloquial for cafeteria. Derived from Buffet (we assume), they are tiny food counters scattered everywhere and open around the clock.

Admittedly, like any “hole in the wall”, they get a bad rep. Usually located near gas stations or in dingy back allies, this is clearly one of those “there’s more than meets the eye” situations. So sit back, relax, take our word for it and try these super yummy budget-friendly sandwiches:

Omar Bufiyah

Order: Chicken Sandwich
Price: SR 4

Verdict: How can something so small be packed with so much flavor? The sesame bun is lightly toasted and stuffed with succulent pieces of seasoned chicken and green peppers. The chicken is so tender you could almost swear it’s slow cooked.

Location: Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz Rd., Dammam 32247

Aziz Bufiyah

azizbuffet_dammam_2017_aa-3Order: Cheese Burger Aziz with Eggs
Price: SR 5

Verdict: Move over Five Guys, this burger is everything you’d want in one. (Okay, we’re exaggerating a little but this burger is so good.) The patty not too thick, the fried eggs thick enough, topped with mayonnaise, cheese, lettuce and, wait for it, FRIES! Make sure you also order their fresh Melon juice.

Location: 4 St., Al Badiyah, Dammam

Station Bufiyah

stationbuffet_khobar_2017_aa-1Order: Camel Liver Sandwich
Price: SR 5

Verdict: This, dear readers, is the king of bufiyah sandwiches. Poetically situated at a gas station, like filling a car with gas, this sandwich is the gastronomical equivalent. Sizzled to perfection then wrapped in soft Lebanese bread, this high on iron goodness is the fuel you need to kickstart your day.

Location: 8274 Bakr Ibn Hizam St., Abdullah Fuad, Dammam

Banks Bufiyah

Order: Mixed Cheese Sandwich
Price: SR 3

Verdict: After taking a bite of the stuffed bread roll, I had to pause. Beneath the taste of eggs and cheese, you are in for a surprise: the sweet and tangy taste of mixed fruit jam. Hey, it works! Order this with their karak tea. You’ll thank us.

Location: King Saud St., Al Khobar Al Shamalia, Khobar

Happiness Bufiyah

Order: Egg-Cheese Sandwich
Price: SR 3

Verdict: By sheer coincidence, we unknowingly kept the best for last. The combination of melted cheese and eggs is the original bufiyah sandwich filling. Bonus point for the grilled bread. We definitely left happy.

Location: Meshaab St., Al Khobar Al Janubiyah, Khobar


Save Your Summer!

Believe it or not, there’s a lot to do.

Listen, we just came back from two months in the future and you (yes, you) sent us back with a warning specifically for you:

“I know what you’re doing right now. You’re sitting on the couch all day (and night), watching Netflix, gaming, hanging out, eating junk food and going to bed late. It’s been two months of that and we never got around to any of the cool stuff we wanted to accomplish. So, heed my next words very carefully:

STOP what you’re doing right now and read Destination Sharqiya’s summer guide article, pick out a few options and save yourself. Save yourself from becoming me!”

Wow, deep and strong advice that we think you should definitely heed and we’re here to help. Check out our cool guide below of fun things to do this summer.

Travel Adventures


Ox Adventure

For those seeking a life-altering experience or simply want to quench the thirst of the adventure-seeker in us all, we have you covered. These groups will have you scaling mountains and exploring ocean depths, all the while discovering and pushing your limits. Duration of the trips range from weekend trips to as long as 10 days.

  • Ox Adventure

Designing experiences around the world!
Instagram: oxadventure

  • Husaak Adventures

The change is forever.
Instagram: husaak
Web: husaak.comoxadventures_nepal_source_2

  • Arabian Treks

Explore, Dream, Discover.
Instagram: arabiantreks
Twitter: arabiantreks

  • Qimmam Club

Reaching new heights!
Instagram: qimmamclub

Arts and Languages

alex-jones-6798Creativity, in any form, is one of humanity’s most timeless and priceless endeavors. Art in particular has even been shown to be quite therapeutic. Meanwhile, nothing beats the feeling of spending months learning a new language and then actually having a full conversation with someone you previously could never talk to.

Expand your horizons this summer by creating something new or speaking a whole new language. Listed below are local institutes and groups that could help you achieve these dreams.

  • Pottery and ceramics classes

Check out these two accounts for upcoming pottery and ceramics classes.
Instagram: qatari.huda
Instagram: torab_ceramics

  • Little Picassos

With a mission to renaissance the art.

  • Culture and Arts Association in Dammam

Be on the lookout for upcoming classes and workshops from this Saudi art association.

  • Al Bassam Institute

Proving both business and conversational English courses.

  • Al Khaleej institute

The home for training and development in Sharqiya!

  • Saudi-Chinese Institute

Ever wanted to learn Mandarin? Now’s your chance.

  • Alliance Française  

They say French is the language of love. It’s also the official language of over 29 countries. Need we entice you further?

Indoor & Outdoor Activities

mishalextremeoutdoors_sharqiya_2017_aa-2Whether you’re looking for indoors activities for you and a group of friends, or you’re more of an outdoors type with a hunger for an adrenaline rush, the following places and groups will be right up your alley. Don’t be a lonely couch potato this summer. Get active!

  • Sky Zone

Instagram: skyzoneksa
Location: Al Shati Dist., Dammam  

  • Paint Ball

Instagram: paintballbattle1overboard_source_2

  • Mishal Extreme Outdoors

With Mishal Extreme Outdoors, you won’t know what boredom is.
Instagram: mishalextremeoutdoors

  • Overboard

Activities that will help you discover the great outdoors.
Instagram: overboard_sa

Summer Camps

gymboreeplayandlearn_khobar_2016_aa-3The thing about summer breaks is that they’re long. A little too long, especially for kids (and parents). But, that can be turned into a great thing thanks to the growing number of summer camps in the area, each one specializing on their own unique focus. Take a look at the list of camps and classes we have picked and find the best one for your children this summer.

Orchid Kids

Orchid Kids

  • Orchid Kids

Specializing in culinary classes and storytelling for kids.
Instagram: orchidkids

  • Pequeno

Your kid’s center for fitness and art!
Instagram: pequeno_ksa

  • The Kids Castle

Providing programs for infants up to preschoolers.
Instagram: thekidscastle

  • Kinder Valley

This summer camp hosts kids from the ages of two till 9! Great for siblings within that age range.
Instagram: Kindervally

  • Gymboree

Play and learn!
Instagram: gymboreekhobar

  • Sport-x  

All things sports.
Instagram: sportxclub

  • Arsenal Soccer School

Play the Arsenal way!

  • Fekr Training

A wide range of programs for older kids (some for teens up to the age of 15) in varying developmental focuses such as critical thinking and problem solving.
Instagram: fekrtraining

  • Little Kickers

The home of pre-school football.
Instagram: littlekickers.ksa