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Halima Khattak from a traditional family whose paintings are now sold online all over the world.

Bilal Ahmed

BBC Urdu

2 hours ago

Before Arab Art, I used to make different paintings with markers and upload them. When I made a final assignment painting and uploaded it on social media, people started contacting me. Now my paintings sell for lakhs of rupees and I do it all online.

Halima Khattak, who made her hobby her pride, was telling us the story of this journey. Halima Khattak is not only making a name for herself by sending her artworks to America, Europe, Sweden and other countries, but also sells her paintings made of sweat at exorbitant prices.

Halima Khattak of Nowshera district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa belongs to a religious family.

She received her early education from a madrassa and after graduating in Islamic studies now sells calligraphy pennings in Arabic online.

The journey of selling paintings started with just two thousand rupees

Halima says, “When I was in school, my handwriting was good, so I used to write my friends’ names on their books.”

Then one day the school teacher said that Halima your writing is good, you should learn painting or calligraphy. That was the only thing in my mind.

According to Halima Khattak, ‘Every time I looked at the Kaaba, I thought about this cover, how can I learn to write it. Then I started taking information about calligraphy in Arabic online but unfortunately there is no platform for classes about art in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. So I took online classes.

“When I decided to move to another city to pursue my passion for painting, my family strongly opposed it because I belong to a family where girls are not allowed to stay in the hostel.”

But Halimah says that her passion remained in place.

Then I resorted to new technology and social media. For this I started learning calligraphy online. I was using social media for a long time.

Halima says that the first picture I made of Arabic art was for an assignment whose pictures I uploaded on my social media page.

After seeing these pictures, people started contacting him. Until now, Halimah has created more than 200 different paintings, including about fifty paintings of the Kaaba cover.

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‘Social media can also benefit you’

According to Halimah Khattak, every time she looked at the Kaaba, she thought about the cover, “How can I learn to write this?” Then I started getting information about Arabic calligraphy online.

After about 15 classes, he understood this work and it became his hobby.

Apart from Arabic calligraphy, Halima also has knowledge of Turkish and Roman art.

Halimah says that ‘since our family has more religious tendencies, when I asked to learn Arabic art, everyone supported me and whenever my uncle or other relatives see my paintings, they praise me. They also reward me.’

“When I send the painting somewhere, my father and brother help me pack the painting and also take it to post.”

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Halima believes that women can pursue their passion through social media.

It is not necessary to misuse social media. Social media can be used within Islamic boundaries.

In his opinion, ‘The way I have benefited, you can also benefit.’


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