Soraya Syed




Soraya is a classically trained Islamic calligrapher who pushes the paradigm of classical calligraphy, while respecting the traditional foundations of the art.

  • Zaytuna College, Kufic script
    Zaytuna College, Kufic script
  • Say God is One
    Say God is One
  • Hajj exhibition merchandise, British Museum
    Hajj exhibition merchandise, British Museum

The art of Islamic penmanship is a bridge between the spiritual and material, the visual and the verbal. It is a living tradition that has the capacity for self-renewal enabling Soraya Syed to adopt a contemporary approach while remaining true to her artistic heritage and the many years of study, linking her to the calligraphy masters of the past.

In 2005, Soraya was awarded the sought-after icazetname (the authoritative Islamic calligraphy licence) from Istanbul, Turkey. She read Arabic and History of Art & Archaeology at The School of Oriental and African Studies, and in 2001 graduated from the Masters programme in Visual Islamic and Traditional Arts at The Prince’s School, London.

For Soraya, her practice is a process of disciplined freedom and she enjoys the constant tension between remaining true to her classical training while exploring further possibilities. She takes great pleasure in finding new solutions to unusual commissions and her client portfolio ranges from the British Museum to the Saudi Royal Family. She resides in Greater London with her husband and children.

See her website, Art of the Pen, for a full collection of her diverse work.