Melania Trump in glitzy Tokyo pearl visit

US First Lady Melania Trump and her Japanese counterpart Akie Abe visit a pearl jewelry maker, in Tokyo on Sunday. (AP)
Updated 05 November 2017
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Melania Trump in glitzy Tokyo pearl visit

TOKYO: While her husband hit the greens, First Lady Melania Trump got a glimpse on Sunday of Japanese cultured pearls at Tokyo’s glitzy Ginza shopping district on the first day of their Asia tour.
Melania was welcomed by Akie Abe, the wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, at Mikimoto’s flagship pearl shop as part of her cultural programs, while dozens of security guards kept close watch.
The two greeted and kissed each other on the cheek instead of shaking hands or bowing.
Then they went upstairs to a “hidden floor” of the building, reserved for VIPs, to talk over tea and coffee. No details of their discussions were released.
Mikimoto brought in two “ama” divers who traditionally harvest pearls, clad in typical white costumes with big goggles and wooden buckets, to explain pearl farming to the US first lady.
Japan is known for producing especially high-quality pearls.
“Wonderful visit w/ Mrs. Abe today! Enjoyed conversation over tea & the cultural presentation on the history of pearls,” Melania tweeted after the meeting.
One of the divers, 57-year-old Miaki Okumura, told reporters after the two VIPs left the shop: “I was asked how deep the waters we dive are, and how long I can hold my breath.” “I answered that the depth was about five-six meters and I can hold my breath for about 40-50 seconds,” she said, adding that Melania seemed impressed at her endurance.
“She looked like a very kind person and was also very beautiful. Her hands were beautiful and warm when we shook hands.”
The other diver Saki Satonaka, 22, said Melania “congratulated me for my debut as a professional ama diver a month ago.”
“I’ll keep the wonderful memory of today’s event throughout my life,” Satonaka said.


Khaleeji music enthralls Saudi audience

Updated 22 April 2018
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Khaleeji music enthralls Saudi audience

  • Saudi singer Abadi Al-Johar has composed around 50 albums since he began his musical career in 1968
  • Waleed Al- Shami, from Iraq, has been awarded the Best Khaleeji Musician Award from Egypt and the Golden Oud from Rotana

JEDDAH: Singers Abadi Al-Johar, from Saudi Arabia, and Waleed Al- Shami, from Iraq, were a hit at their first concerts in front of families at King Abdullah Economic City on Friday.
Al-Johar, 64, is a musician, singer and composer. One of the most popular Khaleeji singers in the Gulf, he has composed around 50 albums since he began his musical career in 1968. He earned the title Ikhtabout Al-Oud (Octopus of the Oud) from the late Talal Maddah because of his unmatchable Oud playing.
The Saudi singer is also a member of the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts. He won a number of awards including an honorary doctorate from the Academy of Arts in Egypt, Best Khaleeji Musician Award from Egypt and the Golden Oud from Rotana.
Al-Shami, 46, is an Iraqi singer and composer who began his musical career in 1999 and has composed four albums.
His career took off after the success of his first album “Musiba” in 2008.
First to perform at the venue was Al-Shami. He sang hit songs such as “Sadmah,” “Eshtaqt Lak,” “Majnouni,” “Ahebah Kolesh” and his most popular song “Hala Hala.”
On stage, he thanked the General Entertainment Authority and BluePlan Media for providing the concert to the public.
“I hope it is not the last time we meet. We must repeat this, here, Riyadh and the Eastern Province. That is a promise,” he said.
Following Al-Shami’s performance, Al-Johar sang hit songs such as “Khalas Erjaa,” “El Mazhareya,” “Khayarteni,” “Daqayeq” and “Hobbak Samaa.”
During his performance, the Saudi legend said: “I am delighted by your presence, I will sing any song you want me to.”
Television presenter Kholud Alnimer attended the concert. “It is very crowded, that means there is a lot of love for these singers,” he told Arab News.
The audience was overjoyed with the music of Waled Al Shami and Abadi Al-Johar.
“It is great to see a Khaleeji concert for the first time in front of families, and it has been done very professionally — looking forward to more.” Nadeem bin Talal, a fan, told Arab News