‘Artist of Arabs’ Mohammed Abdu enchants Jeddah in rare gig

Saudi singer Mohammed Abdu performs during a concert in Jeddah on Monday. (AFP)
Updated 31 January 2017
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‘Artist of Arabs’ Mohammed Abdu enchants Jeddah in rare gig

JEDDAH: Prominent Saudi singer Mohammed Abdu wowed crowds in Jeddah in a rare public concert on Monday evening. Around 6,000 music lovers attended the long-awaited show organized by Rotana at King Abdullah Sports City. Abdu, dubbed “The Artist of Arabs,” was backed by an Egyptian orchestra and performed alongside another Saudi artist, Rabeh Sager, and Iraqi-Saudi singer Majid Al-Muhandis.
As Abdu took the stage, an excited audience welcomed their star with a wave of applause. It was a performance filled with many of the singer’s masterpieces and constant audience interactions.
At one point, when Abdu sang his famous nationalistic song “Fouq Ham Al-Sahab,” the audience began to sing along with him, prompting Abdu to stop and listen to them sing.
As a show of his love and appreciation for the audience, Abdu flung his igal, a black rope-like cord used to secure the ghutra, at them.
Later, Sager and Al-Muhandis entertained the audience with the rendition of their old and new songs.
“I am very happy to sing in my homeland,” Sager said, adding, “Please don’t make me cry.” Jeddah previously featured live concerts held during summer festivals, but these were completely stopped more than seven years ago. Other events have been held in closed stadiums, Jeddah’s International Exhibition and Convention Center and private wedding halls.
Abdu launched his masterpiece “Al-Amaken” in 2005 during a memorable concert at the Jeddah Festival. He was set to perform live at the King Fahd Cultural Center in Riyadh during Eid festivities but it was later canceled.


Rare Ottoman dish to go on sale at Sotheby’s London

A rare piece of Iznik pottery is going on sale at Sotheby’s in London on Wednesday. (Shutterstock)
Updated 22 October 2018
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Rare Ottoman dish to go on sale at Sotheby’s London

LONDON: An exceptionally rare, museum-quality piece of Iznik pottery is to go on sale at Sotheby’s in London on Wednesday.

The Debbane Charger (circa 1480) is set to go on sale. Sotheby’s London

The Debbane Charger, or dish (circa 1480), one of the most important pieces of Iznik pottery held in private hands, represents a significant discovery in the field of Ottoman art.
Produced during the reign of Mehmet II, the piece belongs to the earliest group of Iznik, characterized by an intense, inky, blue-black coloring which reflects the embryonic stage of firing control two decades before a brighter cobalt blue was achieved.
The charger is a lost “sibling” to four other large dishes, all of which are held in museums, including the Louvre in Paris. They are described in Nurhan Atasoy and Julian Raby’s book “Iznik: The Pottery of Ottoman Turkey,” where it was suggested they were used in court banquets. Though not identical, they display a number of shared elements — the huge scale, central floret, and use of both Rumi and Hatayi motifs, the names given to the rigorously executed arabesque decoration and Chinoiserie floral scrolls respectively.
The charger was formerly in the collection of bibliophile and businessman Max Debbane, who patronized many leading cultural institutions in the town of his birth, Alexandria in Egypt, as well as serving as president of the Archaeological Society.
Opportunities to acquire works of Iznik pottery from this earliest period are very rare, with the most significant examples dating back to Sotheby’s sales in 1993 and 1997.
Further highlights of the Wednesday’s sale include Indian paintings from the estate of Joe and Helen Darrion and a costume album that presents a comprehensive catalogue of the costumes of Ottoman Turkey in the 19th century.

The sale also includes Indian artworks. Sotheby’s London