It’s a wonderful painting, by Iranian artist Nasrollah Afjehei. I really like; called The Wave, it should be even more impressive in ‘real life’, also because of its relatively large size (2×2 m). Visually striking, it is evokes interesting thoughts and allusions: of verbal waters, of words as waves, and of the might of the language in general. Yet it somehow rings a bell about a potential danger of the words too: this ‘wave’ doesn’t look particularly peaceful to me, I see a tsunami here (*shivering*).

The word ‘danger’ also triggers another train of thoughts, about the painting itself. Is it really safe? I mean, is it safe to paint these words? I don’t know Arabic (tried to study it years ago, but did’t go far), so I can’t decode the meaning. I know that calligraphy is very widely used in the Arabic world, including the calligraphic depiction of the Qur’an scripts. But I also know that everything related to Islam (and I think, by extension, to the Arabic language too) is a subject of very strict rules, by the religious authorities who usually don’t care about ‘just beauty’, but care very much about punishment of the disobedience. May be this painting is ‘blasphemous’? May be not? Or may be it is in fact a glorification of Islam? No clue 😦

Such cluelessness is a worrying fact. I have a feeling that it will be only growing with time (not only in my case, but with the whole world around too). And it’s not only related to Islam, but to the growing complexity of multicultural thickets in general – see also a polycentric world).

How to navigate in this turbulent world is an interesting, and troubling question; as suggested by this another lovely painting (The Ship, by Ahmed Moustafa from Egypt), to navigate the verbal water we need to build new verbal vessels. New language nomads are in demands.

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