Damascus is a city of roses. It’s not just my fond memories of the Syrian capital, the birthplace of my father and the where I spent most of childhood summers.
In the Middle Ages, a particularly beautiful rose was brought over from Damascus to Europe. It was named the Damask Rose and was known for its elegant fragrance that is harvested for rose oil.
This Damask Rose design is arabic calligraphy blocks of the word “Damascus” in Arabic. (دمشق pronounced dee-m-sh-q). The word in Arabic has been used for centuries to represents the greater Levant area of Palestine, Jordon, and Israel, which used to be one territorial area. دمشق is a cultural identity that goes beyond nation-states. That is how the Damask Rose feels to me.
The calligraphy is Arabic in the Kufi style, which is based on geometric harmony. The design is on the larger scale but is worth the time you put into it. It is a beautiful addition to any home and makes a gorgeous gift.
It looks best on tan 18 ct. Aida cloth. I don’t recommend using linen as it the block design needs straight gridlines. The pattern uses several shades of pink in stitches and back stitches in order to make the rose a flawless 3-D transformation.