Professor’s Arabic calligraphy inspires Turkish university’s sculpture

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This statue that greets visitors to the Istanbul Technical University was inspired by the artwork of Detroit Mercy professor of Mechanical Engineering Nihad Dukhan.

Nihad Dukhan, professor of Mechanical Engineering, has left a lasting mark on Istanbul Technical University (ITU) in Istanbul, Turkey, with his artistic Arabic calligraphy.

pen3Dukhan’s figure of  “pen” (at right) inspired the ITU’s 250th anniversary sculpture that greets campus visitors on ITU’s Ayazaga campus.

His interest in Arabic calligraphy began when he was in the sixth grade.

He studied with noted grand master calligrapher Hasan Celebi and received his master scribe degree after 11 years of study.  Dukhan also studied with master calligrapher Mohamed Zakariya for 6 years and received a second master scribe degree in 2013.

His work has been exhibited in major US cities and sold in the US, Europe, the Middle East and Japan.  His commissioned designs include company logos, book covers, CD jackets, wedding invitations and others.

The sculptor describes his work of a globe in the form of circles representing the continents, 250 figures of people passing through the center, topped with Dukhan’s signature pencil representing academic writing and research.

It is not a coincidence that Dukhan’s work inspired the sculpture.

He spent a year at ITU as a Fulbright scholar conducting research and teaching at the prestigious Turkish university.

“I left my mark,” says Dukhan.  “It is a big honor to have inspired a sculpture celebrating 250 years of this institution in this major city.  This is a dream come true.”

Dukhan is active in promoting Arabic/Islamic calligraphy and increasing people’s awareness of its cultural significance through exhibits, lectures and workshops. To see more of his work, click here.

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