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Issa Benyamin

Posted: Tuesday, July 03, 2001 at 04:51 PM CT

Issa Benyamin, son of Mirza Benyamin Kaldani of Salamas, was born in 1924 in Tabriz, Iran. He learned to read and write the Assyrian language under his father's guidance and was taught artistic writing for two summers by Mar Zaya Havil, the Bishop of Urmia and Salamas, who was famous for the beauty of his Assyrian handwriting.

Issa Benyamin has been very active in Assyrian national and civic organizations, and his focus has been mainly on Assyrian literature. Among his activities, in 1948 he published an Assyrian calendar and was one of the founders of the Assyrian Youth and Cultural Society in Tehran, which published a large number of books in Assyrian.

He published a booklet in Persian on the life of Louis Ashurian, the Assyrian director of a well-regarded girls' school in Tehran in 1950. In 1962, Mr. Benyamin published "Booklet I," a self-study guide for learning proper writing methods of Assyrian letters.

He was editor of "The Bright Future," a weekly bilingual magazine in Assyrian and Persian published in Tehran, and he has been a member of the executive committee of the Assyrian Association for a number of years and an honorary member of the Assyrian University graduates Association in Tehran. He recently has been serving as editor of "Ishtar," a weekly Assyrian and Persian magazine published in Tehran.

Issa's main contribution has been his work in the field of Assyrian calligraphy. He is a pioneer in this field and his mastery of this art form has elevated Assyrian calligraphy to a world class level. During 40 years of labor, he has created 50 different styles for the Assyrian alphabet and produced 170 calligraphic works which will be published in three volumes in the near future. His works, all done on leather, have been put on display in a number of exhibitions in Tehran.

In 1933, two of his works were featured in "L'Esprit de la Lettre," a collective volume of calligraphy from around the world published by the French magazine "Voix d'Encre."

 Official Calligram website

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