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Muhammad Zaman

"I came to the USA when I was eleven years old. I went to the Islamic school and there I learn the Arabic language. I was fascinated by the elegance of the written Arabic. It wasn't easy for me to integrate myself, I was a shy kid and paper and pen was my way to escape from solitude and a chance to create my own world.

My family and I were living on the east side of Buffalo, and in that period it was a difficult neighborhood. there were train carts and I looked up to the graffiti as the unique color in the area. Very soon the graffiti began to be a source of inspiration for me, even if I never did an illegal graffiti, I have to say they inspired me so much, they were not only beautiful but a bright sign in a very gray situation. As I grew up I understood the reasons behind graffiti so I thought to try with Islamic calligraphy. At the time the media were spreading a not good image of Muslims and this pushes me to try to do something good to give back to my community and to show to the rest of the world the positive side of a misunderstood culture. At the beginning Hassan Masudi was my inspiration, then with the internet, I had the chance to explore this world of art and culture I was so interested in. In this way, I found so many artists around the globe who were doing artworks similar to the concepts I had in mind. This is how I began to do calligraphy, then paintings. I started sharing with the people I love and my community and being part of Buffalo art community. I'm thankful and almost surprised when I achieve something in the art world because I still am that shy weird kid with a pen and a notebook." 

-Muhammad Zaman