In 1961, Ali's grandfather, who was a calligrapher, encouraged him to practice calligraphy. Ali started
practicing, and received a few lessons from his grandfather. A few months later his grandfather died and sad emotions took
over his life, causing him to stop practice and almost abandon calligraphy.
1966 Ali's high school principal encouraged him to participate in a calligraphy contest which was for Tehran high schools
students. Although he had not practiced for a long time, he entered the contest out of respect for his principal. He came
in 2nd place. This event inspired him to continue practicing calligraphy, so he went back to learn from the calligraphy master
Sadeg Zarrin Galam.
After Ali graduated from college in 1972, he started
working for an architect. Gaining familiarity with the architectural projects caused him to take a different view of calligraphy,
looking at it from a historical standpoint. He started to study Iranian history after the introduction of Islam, discovering
how the background of social, political, spiritual and cultural life affected the manuscript evolution and development. To
pursue this investigation he met with many scholars and calligraphy masters. During this time he was learning from two calligraphy
masters: Eskandari and Taheri.
Becoming a member of the Iran Calligraphers
Association in 1983 gave Ali the opportunity to meet other calligraphers and gain new insights to further his research. He
realized that Persian Calligraphy (Nastaliq style) has a larger world than just being a classic calligraphy style after observing
a new branch of Nastaliq called Khat Naqsh. He believed that Khat Naqsh will become global and could be beneficial to any
culture, regardless of language, as a strong visual element to transfer messages from profound Persian literature to viewers.
To put this belief into practice, he started to arrange exhibitions in the United States and brought Khat Naqsh calligraphy
pieces with translations of the poems. He exposed the people of America to the beauty of this mystical art form for the first
time in 1994. Responses to these shows confirmed his belief that Khat Naqsh could become global. Following these shows, he
received an invitation to exhibit his calligraphy works at the International Folk Life Festival in Seattle, Washington. The
positive outstanding interest of the American audience encouraged him to evolve his belief. During 1990-1995, Ali traveled
between Iran, Europe and the United States as he gained experience and insight in various types of art and cultures, contributing
to his research in calligraphy.
"Although I was familiar with Rumi's
poetry and have reflected upon it in the past, since 1996 I have felt a different attraction to study his poetry. After meeting
with Dr. Abdolkaim Soroush, an Iranian professor in Seattle and reading his works about Rumi, new doors opened to Rumi's poetry
for me. Observing the enthusiasm and love of many Americans for Rumi's poetry made me coordinate my calligraphy with Rumi's
poetry more and make it available for Rumi's lovers and seekers in this country”.
Starting teaching “Manuscript Reading” courses at the University of Washington in 2000 was another
progress towards presenting the value of the Islamic art to western culture and art.
Ali continues to expand this art by participating in the Kirkland Art Center Exhibitions, being an Artist In-Residence
at the Seattle Children’s Museum in Washington, and participating in the Portland Art Museum Exhibitions programs in
During 5 years more research, Ali came up with 2 new ideas:
using Persian alphabet characters to create English lettering and a form of abstract calligraphy composition.
In 2005 he exhibited his works at the Windermere gallery in Kirkland, WA on abstracts in memory
of Jalale-Al-E-Ahmad and his book “Noon-E-Val-Ghalam”. Ali presented 15 pieces of abstracts which specifically
were the phrase of “Noon-E-Val-Ghalam” in addition to other pieces. This successful show resulted absorbing interests
from young generation to calligraphy art, author Al-E-Ahmad, and the verses of Surah “Ghalam”.
2006 was an outstanding year for his work as the local news paper , Redmond Reporters,
specifies the complete cover page and 2 inside pages to Ali’s works in related to 3 pieces he created in abstract khat
naghsh with English lettering by using Farsi letters to show the same words were in Farsi. These 3 works are called: Kholoos(Purity),
Al-Adl(Justice), and Eshgh(Love). These three pieces were available to the public to view for 2 years.
Through researching, Ali has worked on the benefit and mystery of this art for mediation,
anti-anxiety, anti-stress, and how to utilize this calligraphy to live in peace, calmness, and happiness. Now he has some
limited session to present this opportunity to the public. He has experienced how the essence of this art deeply affects to
live unstress and worriless."The
more I go to the depth of calligraphy, the more I see the power of the "PEN" and how a simple bamboo pen could make
a big change in our life. Gladly the result of my latest research on the secrets of Persian calligraphy could be beneficial
to every one regardless of language and being or not being a calligrapher, a new wave to turn stress to peace and live
in happiness with strength and honor."