MIDWEST CITY — The assignment: create a painting featuring one of the 99 Muslim names of God in Arabic calligraphy.
Some of the results from the students at Oklahoma City's Muslim Mercy School are on display through Sept. 12 in the lobby of the Midwest City Library, 8143 E Reno.
The display includes English translations of the calligraphy, said Tehmina Cheema, the Mercy School art teacher who created the assignment.
Some of the paintings are by adult artists, including Cheema. Cheema's goal is to install a display of all 99 names at Mercy School, 14001 N Harvey.
The newly opened school, with students in prekindergarten through grade 10, will add two more grades later, Cheema said.
There was a bit of competition among students over which of the 99 names to paint, Cheema said. Seven or eight students wanted to paint their favorite name, "The Most Generous."
One of the largest paintings in the display is an acrylic by Farzana Jahangir, 24, who is studying at University of Central Oklahoma to be a physician's assistant.
Jahangir, whose sister, Afsana, attends Mercy School, decided to join in the project by painting the name "Giver of Justice." Jahangir painted flames and flowers in warm tones of red, yellow and white to depict "the opposite ends of justice," she said.
"It's how I interpret the meaning of that word," Jahangir said.
Cheema said library visitors have been pleased that the paintings are explained in English. One visitor told her, "I'm so happy that you have descriptions. It enlightens us more about Islam."
The library staff is dedicated to "providing information and knowledge of other cultures and traditions," said librarian Linda Temple. There have been "lots of positive reactions," she said.