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A recent trip to Marrakech highlighted the importance placed on the art of calligraphy in Arabic culture.

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How common would it be, when visiting a guest house in UK , to find a framed reproduction of an illuminated manuscript  on the wall of your bedroom and a calligram of a tiger and an antique inscribed wooden tablet on display in the lounge ?  This is what I found  in the small Riad I stayed in . I  saw further examples in cafes and restaurants.

How often, when shopping in a small coastal town in UK,  would you come across a number of small independent shops dedicated solely to selling and demonstrating calligraphy ? This is what I found, to my delight, in Essaouira . The scribes were proud to show me they could turn their hand to Western scripts too.

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Some fine examples of  lettering  could be found on architecture, as expected . This one, from the Bahai Palace, shows two styles. Beneath the carved lettering on the pillar is an embellished. less formal script.

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