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The alphabet project: a cultural bridge.

Hidden within the Arabic alphabet is a dialogue just waiting for you and your friend, the Arab world. Learning the 28 letters and their shapes, even without forming them into words or sounds, can open you up to the culture, religion, philosophy and people of Islam.

The Alphabet Project has reduced his simple approach even further. We begin by learning the Alif, the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. With simple changes to the straight line of the Alif we can draw the rest of the Arabic letters. So when you know the Alif, you've opened the door to the entire alphabet.

So what is this Alif? It is a straight up-and-down line written exactly the way you write the number I. Next time you write the number I, think of the Alif and you will enter the Islamic world.

Another meaning of the Alif is "the Pen". The straight line looks like a pen, and letters are written with a pen. All Arabic letters come from the Alif just as all letters are written with a pen. The next time you write with a pen think of it as an Alif and see all the letters come out of it.

Writing is the beginning of the great art of calligraphy, which is beautifying the writing of the alphabet. In the Alphabet project, we can reduce back all art and architecture to the letter forms. Remember that a letters can be reduced back to the Alif, which looks like the number 1. By learn just the 1, you have opened your eye to all art and architecture as well.

Now you know the Alif in its shape of the number 1, its meaning as the Pen, and its being at the root of art and architecture. Think of this Alif the next time you see a Muslim. A Muslim is someone who believes in the holy text of Islam, the Qur'an, which is written in Arabic. You will immediately see you have much in common. The Alphabet Project believes that you open yourself up to the people of another culture by learning their alphabet. There is so much power veiled within these letters. As you unveil them you see that your new friend's face is a mirror of your own. She may have a different culture but she smiles back when you smile at her.

At the essence level, people are able to communicate. The Alif is a bridge over a cultural gap that grows smaller the more we learn.

To learn more about the Alphabet Project contact Steven Turner at TheAlphabetProject@hotmail.com or at 1 -917-676-7740.
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Title Annotation:Talking Pictures
Author:Turner, Steven
Publication:ChildArt
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2005
Words:438
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