Stylized Arabic script is painted blue on the Minaret of Jam, an historic building in Shahrak, Afghanistan. (A minaret is a mosque's narrow tower, used to call worshippers to prayer.) The Minaret of Jam includes chapters of the Quran written in two distinct styles of calligraphy (kufic and naskhi).

Photograph by Thomas J. Abercrombie

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Moorish architecture, like all Islamic architecture, has distinctive motifs: rounded arches, Arabic calligraphy, vegetative design, and decorative tiles.