About Me

My name is Omar Uddin and my journey with Arabic calligraphy started at the age of 7 when I started learning the art under the highly esteemed Ustadh Ahmed Adil in Saudi Arabia. As I grew up, I saw the art of Arabic calligraphy as no more than a mere hobby, a means to hone a skill and a means to make humble little gifts for family and friends. After all, who in their wildest dreams thinks they can make a living out of things like origami or paper mache animals, which by the way, are very different from calligraphy, but it is so easy to classify all these things under the category of hobbies. Like most other people, i envisioned my future in the corporate world, I went to university and graduated specializing in accounting, worked to get  a CPA designation, and began working at a major Canadian financial institution as a strategic sourcing manager.

It was a dream come true for any graduate, except that it wasn't and this grand illusion wasn't realized until I was sitting there behind an enclosed cubicle for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, just hoping It would be Friday night soon.

As I was sitting at work one day in 2011 and just going through my personal emails, I bumped into one that caught my eye about a distant acquaintance having seen some of my calligraphy work on someone's wall, but instead of wanting me to make them something, wanted me to direct them to resources where they can learn the art for themselves.  And so I started googling for these resources; knowing that the art is so highly admired by everyone and since it is a major highlight in the decor of any mosque, there should be countless resources available to learn the art. To my dismal surprise, I couldn't find anything worth sharing. A couple of broken pieces here and there on various websites, some brief books but in Arabic. I searched for days but besides finding beautiful galleries of Arabic calligraphy on the internet, I couldn't find a single viable resource that I could reference back to this person who had reached out to me for guidance.

It was at this point in time that I had an epiphany, a spark of inspiration, and asked myself, if there are no resources out there, well why don't I teach the art myself? And that's where it all began. I held my first Arabic calligraphy 6 week program in the Fall of 2011 and things never slowed down for me since. Since then, I've held the class every 3 months and the seats get booked out within days of the course being published.

In 2013 I published my first book, which also happens to be the first book in English that teaches the art of Arabic calligraphy in a truly comprehensive manner.

In 2014, due to popular demand, I started putting together videos that would act as supplement to my in class students. Once the videos were completed, I was introduced to Udemy by a friend and thought there's no harm in turning these videos into a full fledged online course and this way, I can spread the light across the globe and teach the art in a way it has never been taught before. The course practically caught fire the day it was published, with nearly 200 students joining in the first month alone. Today, the course has just under 3000 students from 84 different countries and boasts over 100 5 star reviews. I would've never imagined that what started as a number of supplemental videos for my in class students would in turn provide the kind of passive/recurring income it did.  I felt that this is what the world needed and that I have a much higher purpose than negotiating prices and contracts for the bank. My course got me worldwide recognition and soon I was being invited from different cities in different countries to hold workshops there.

Somewhere along the journey, I started taking on commissioned work to design some of the most iconic and beautiful mosques in North America, including Masjid Al Rahman in NYC which after my work, is being dubbed the most beautiful mosque in the city.

As the demand for my work skyrocketed, I came to the point where time became a truly scarce commodity for me, and I had to make a choice and give up either my full time job or my passion for calligraphy, because the  3rd  time consumer was not up for negotiation, family time. A lot of people advised me that it's not wise to let go of such a stable job especially in such  turbulent economic times, but I began to realize that I was beginning to do a really crappy job at both my full time work as well as not give enough time to my calligraphy students. Since both these things truly deserved my full undivided attention, it would not have been fair to go on in life keeping both hand in hand. In 2015, I took the epic leap of faith and left my full time work to pursue my passion. I am finally able to put all my efforts into spreading the beauty of Arabic calligraphy across the world.

What do I have coming up in the near future? At the time this is being documented, I am currently working on my second book, an in depth guide to the Thuluth script, a series of children's books to start learning calligraphy at an early age and in a stepwise process, and am also in process of developing further online courses. I also plan on starting a podcast, not just for calligraphy artists but fine artists in general where they can learn and share keys to success and see what works for certain folks and doesn't work for others.  I am extremely excited to have you join me on this epic journey and stay tuned!