The Bagri Foundation has been supporting The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts since 2015 and are pleased to announce our Bagri Scholar for 2019. The Bagri Scholarships are aimed at supporting outstanding artists who would not have been able to study without financial support.
For 2019, we have awarded the calligrapher Ubaydullah Ahmad with support toward his studies in the second year of his MA.
Alka Bagri, Trustee says “To find someone at such a young age to have mastered all the seven scripts in the Arabic language is rare. We are pleased to recognise Ubaydullah’s dedication, talent and skill. His creativity is evident in his work where he uses flourishes of contemporary style within the traditional technique. We hope with this prize money he will be able to broaden his understanding of the art form even further.”
Ubaydullah says “I am so honoured and thankful for this award. I want to thank Dr Alka Bagri and the Bagri Foundation for choosing me for this auspicious award. I would also like to thank my parents for their moral support throughout my journey,my teachers in Calligraphy during my time in Cairo, Egypt for helping me find my true passion in life, the tutors, staff and everyone at the PFSTA for helping me discover many other mediums that I could now use with Calligraphy.”
Ubaydullah Ahmad (b. 1990) is a British Master Calligrapher trained in many of the Ottoman, Kufic and Maghribi Arabic scripts. His work encompasses all the different scripts he has mastered showing that they are alive and relevant in today’s world. His aim is to judiciously introduce his own ideas whilst at the same time maintaining the detail and precision of the classical compositions and honouring the timeless tradition of the ancient, yet living, Master-Apprenticeship system. His aim is to judiciously introduce his own ideas whilst at the same time maintaining the detail and precision of the classical compositions and honouring the timeless tradition of the ancient, yet living, Master-Apprenticeship system.
He is presently entering his second year of his MA in the traditional arts at The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts.
Ubaydullah was born and raised in London and travelled to Cairo at the age of 19 to learn the Arabic Language and Calligraphy. In Cairo, Ubaydullah went through the rigour and grind of the Master-Apprenticeship discipline, learning from many Master Calligraphers and experiencing the thorough teaching of the traditional system passed down from master to apprentice for centuries. Ubaydullah was assistant to his teacher Hassanein Mokhtar who was running calligraphy workshops with Azhar University and Cairo University students.
Since his return to the UK, he has held calligraphy workshops with children and adults as well as with staff who teach Arabic at various Institutions. Ubaydullah has been awarded his Ijazaat (authoritative calligraphy licenses) in many scripts including the Maghribi, Kufic, Farsi (Persian) as well as the Ottoman scripts Ruq’ah, Dewani and Jaly Dewani. Currently, he is the only Briton to have received his Ijazaat in all of these scripts.
Ubaydullah has also participated in many exhibitions worldwide including: The Calligraphy Exhibition with the theme “She” at the Goethe Institute- German Cultural Center, Cairo 2017, The third Annual Cairo International Calligraphy Exhibition, 2017, The International Art and Calligraphy Festival, Jaipur, India, 2018.
He teaches Arabic Language and Calligraphy in his spare time in both group classes and privately.