The Arabic alphabet have intrigued Sameh Ismail for the most part of his artistic career and consequently shaped his painting practice: the form of the letter, the symbol, the meaning and the phonetic.
Sameh Ismail's dual practice as a professional painter by rigorous formal fine art education--and musician/percussionist feed into each other. The sounds produced by music have led him to try to transcend the simple visual aesthetics of standard abstract painting; and as such he introduced visual elements that could be linked to sound. Arabic letters have entered his paintings as a recognized cultural form; visual element that could be pronounced or sung. As elements, Arabic letters moved with his brush strokes and further enhanced his abstract painterly techniques. The versatility of form of the Arabic letter- its 1500 years of vocalized and painted history, as well as the centuries-old visual culture of Khatt or Arabic Calligraphy- all worked to inspire Ismail as a painter.