One of the highlights of my time in Bordeaux was the chance to learn Arabic calligraphy at a weekly atelier. The Algerian teacher and the other students took me in with open arms. We displayed our work at a couple of campus exhibition and gathered at other events hosted either by the club or by the Algerian consulate. It was a convivial group of people who were surprised and delighted by an American girl who spoke both French and Arabic.
Even though I was still a definite amateur when I left, I felt confident enough to start a calligraphy club through the Arabic Flagship program this semester. I was delighted by the enthusiasm and dedication of my students, who progressed rapidly through the alphabet. I found that I thoroughly enjoyed the teaching as well as the calligraphy, and not just because I got to do calligraphy in chalk on the blackboard. Hopefully my students enjoyed the background music I chose and the odd vocabulary I used for practice. I am very glad that I could fulfill my promise to my calligraphy teacher back in France and pass on the lessons on the other side of the Atlantic.