At her home in North Houston, Sana Naveed Mirza is going through the dozens of instruments she uses to create Islamic calligraphy. Many of the tools are slender pieces of bamboo that she dips into ink. The result is a blend of graceful lines and perfect symmetry on a canvas. This weekend, she'll be selling dozens of her prints at the Islamic Arts Festival.
"My work is mostly an expression of the traditional work," Mirza says. "I don't do much modern work – but I do like to incorporate Western ideas and the boldness of Western culture into my work, to make it more appealing to modern people as well."
The festival started with only a handful of artists last year. They'll have thirty this year, featuring everything from calligraphy to ceramics.
Khawaja Azimuddin is the chief organizer.
"We feel that these kinds of interactive activities bring people together," he says. "Bridges are built and I think it is good that we all get together and know each other's religion and each other's practices."
The Islamic Arts Festival is this Saturday and Sunday at the Masjid Al Salam mosque in Spring. It's free and open to everyone.