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Date

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India: oldest handwritten Urdu-language paper Musulman continues to publish

India: oldest handwritten Urdu-language paper Musulman continues to publish

Even as technology becomes more and more available in India, the oldest handwritten Urdu-language newspaper Musalman preserves its "old-school look" and continues to employ an Islamic calligraphy style, reports WSJ.com. The paper's four-page issues include coverage of local and international news, editorials and a weekly Urdu poetry feature.

10 part-time reporters, writing in English, fax the stories to Syed Arifullah, Musalman's leader, who takes up to half an hour to translate the stories into Urdu. The content is then written by calligraphers, called katibs. Finally, negatives of the handwritten pages are made and are then pressed on printing plates.

Although the paper may not gather a lot of revenue, Arifullah decided to keep it operating as it is a "family heirloom" that was established by his grandfather more than 80 years ago. The paper's Urdu language may restrict advertisers and the ads that are present come from local clothing and jewelry stores.

The paper's 23,000 subscribers pay under US$10 per year.

Source: WSJ.com, The Guardian

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Author

Alisa Zykova

Date

2008-09-16 11:12

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