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Mirza Mohammad Seifi Qazwini, also known as Emadolkottab (1861-1936), was a master calligrapher of Nasta’liq in the late Qajar period. Because of his membership in a terrorist group “Komiteye Mojazat – punishment committee” and writing the group’s unsigned leaflets, he was arrested and spent five years of his life in prison.

His calligraphy writing exercises during his imprisonment encompasses a wide variety of subjects, from Saadi Shirazi’s social and moral thoughts to Imam Ali’s letter to Malik Ashtar; from quotes from Tolstoy to writing down his own dreams. Emadolkottab was released from prison in 1921 at age 60.

Emadolkottab writes about his dream

Emadolkottab writes about his dream

A description of his feelings in prison

A description of his feelings in prison

“…Praise to god who made the creatures of this land so stupid and ignorant…”

“…Praise to god who made the creatures of this land so stupid and ignorant…”

Quotations from Leo Tolstoy

Quotations from Leo Tolstoy

Imam Ali’s letter to his governor Malek Ashtar

Imam Ali’s letter to his governor Malek Ashtar

Emadolkottab’s story of his imprisonment

Emadolkottab’s story of his imprisonment

Part of Emadolkottab’s daily notes in prison

Part of Emadolkottab’s daily notes in prison

Description of life in prison

Description of life in prison

Emadolkottab asks for help from the spirits of the legendary calligraphers Mir-Emad and Kalhor

Emadolkottab asks for help from the spirits of the legendary calligraphers Mir-Emad and Kalhor

Description of prison life in the 23rd month

Description of prison life in the 23rd month

Description of prison life after one year and seven days

Description of prison life after one year and seven days

Description of prison life in one of the earlier pieces

Description of prison life in one of the earlier pieces

Notes to the fellow Iranians

Notes to the fellow Iranians

✤ Also available in: Persian

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