JEDDAH: Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA), the national flag carrier of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, joined hands with the Ministry of Culture to celebrate the “Year of Arabic Calligraphy,” by adorning two of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft with a special livery marking the initiative. Presently, the two aircraft have flown to London, Madrid, Dubai, Riyadh, and Dammam with many more scheduled international destinations to come.
In addition to decorating the two Boeing aircraft with Arabic calligraphy, SAUDIA organized special events prior to their departures from the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh and King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, where calligraphers wrote the names of passengers in Arabic calligraphy on a boarding passes replica. Passengers were also treated to a live performance of traditional Arabic music and were presented with the coloring booklet Mandala Arabic Letter – one of the winning initiatives of the Ministry of Culture’s Arabic calligraphy competition held previously. Both aircraft also displayed introductory videos and designs on their screens to familiarize passengers with Arabic calligraphy.
The Year of Arabic Calligraphy initiative was launched last year by the Ministry of Culture and supported by the ‘Quality of Life’ program, one of Saudi Vision 2030 realization programs. The initiative was extended for an additional year to include more programs and projects that demonstrate Saudi Arabia’s support for the art. It aims to develop calligraphy as a distinct art that embodies the richness and aesthetics of the Arabic language besides highlighting the Kingdom’s role in promoting Arabic calligraphy.
The initiative includes various programs and projects to emphasize the diversity of Arabic calligraphy, its role as a unifying force in the cultural heritage of the Arab world, and its links to the various fields of Arab civilization including religion, art, architecture, education, and craftsmanship. It also aims to familiarize people with the various types of pens, inks, and scripts used for Arabic calligraphy including Thuluth, Naskh, Ruqʿah, Diwani, and Kufic scripts, as well as the various typographies and artistic forms it has evolved into in recent times.
By supporting the initiative SAUDIA aims to introduce the local and international community to the efforts to transform the art of Arabic calligraphy from a source of knowledge to an aesthetic icon that represents the Saudi identity.
SAUDIA’s participation in the Year of Arabic Calligraphy initiative is in line with the airline’s cultural and community commitments, in addition to fostering awareness and understanding of Arab culture within and outside the Kingdom. Earlier this year, the airline partnered with the Saudi Heritage Commission and Lifebuoy to distribute heritage-themed personal hygiene kits for passengers, creating awareness about Saudi Arabia’s geographical regions. It has also partnered with the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) for a $1 million marketing agreement to promote AlUla as an iconic destination for Saudi tourists. By participating in various initiatives which also enhance its guest experience, SAUDIA aims to deliver on its commitment to facilitate the growth of the aviation sector and support the Kingdom’s transformation into a global hub for air transport, in accordance with the objectives of Vision 2030.