Six iconic Arab nuptials to rival Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding

Brides all over the world can gain inspiration from these lavish Arab weddings. (Shutterstock)
Updated 19 May 2018
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Six iconic Arab nuptials to rival Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding

DUBAI: The world is celebrating the wedding of the year as Meghan Markle and Price Harry tie the knot today. In celebration, we take a look at some of the Arab world’s most talked about nuptials.

Ruaa Al-Sabban and Hamoud Al-Fayez
TV personalities Hamoud Al-Fayez and Ruaa Al-Sabban had a huge ceremony in 2018 at the Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Center. It was a headline-grabbing sensation in the Arab world due to its scale and elegance.

طلة رؤى يا ليل عـــادي إذا نور القمر مــا بان والشمس غـابت ولا بانت لحـــد الآن يا ليل ما لك ومال الشمس والقمره يكفيك طلة رؤى اللي تبهر الأعيان طـلة (رؤى) كنها طـــلة صـــباح النور والبدر لو غـــاب لا مخطي ولا مشكور لا يمكن يكون في ليلة (رؤى) بـــدرين معذور لو ما حــضر بدر السما معذور الله عـــلى حـــسنها الـــراقي ورقـــتها الله على قـــدهـــا الفارع وخـــطوتها ثـــلاثـــة اربـــاعـــها تـــرفـــه ودلــوعه واللي بـــقى منـــها يـــروي عـــذوبتها نحكي عـــن الثــغر أو غـــمازة البسمه والا عـــن الخـــد ياللي تجـــرحه نسمه مـــن راسها للقدم كـــل الحـــلا ضافي لوحه على الأرض تمشي ما هي برسمه لا شــك كـــل الحـــلا بايـــن ولـه معنى واللي حــضى به سخي الطبع والمعنى هـــذا (حمود) الوفـــا طيبه يماري به واحـــساس قلبه بـ كـل الحـب يجمعنا الله يـــهـــنيه بالـــحـــب ويـــهـــنيــها والـــفـــرح يـغـــمـــر ليالـــيه ولياليها واحـــلامهم بالـــموده دايــم تـــغـــني مـــن أول ايـــام فـــرحتـــهم لتـــاليها زفتي كانت احلى من اللي توقعته من ابداع المغني @mohamdalmazrouei وكلمات الشاعر سلطان المجلي Wedding planer : @4everevents

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Balqees Fathi and Sultan Bin Abdullatif
Emirati-Yemeni singer Balqees Fathi tied the knot with Saudi businessman Sultan Bin Abdullatif on December 29, 2016, at the Armani Hotel in the Burj Khalifa, Dubai. The star wore a wedding dress by designer Tima Abid and singers Hussein Al-Jasmi, Majid Al-Muhandis and Waad performed at the reception.

فاصل ونواصل

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Sheikha Sarah Khaled Abdullah Al-Sabah and Sheikh Mubarak Fawaz Al-Sabah
The pair got married in a luxurious wedding in Kuwait in 2015. A wedding hall was built especially for the royal wedding. The bride wore a gown by Krikor Jabotian and the extravagant wedding cake was created by Opéra Patisserie.

Lana El-Sahely and Ali Awada
Lebanese fashionista Lana El-Sahely married Lebanese businessman Ali Awada in 2014. The wedding was held in one of the largest halls in Lebanon and a whopping 1060 guests attended. She wore a dazzling dress by Elie Saab and had her hair done by the much-celebrated Tony El Mendelek.

Melhem Zein and Tamani Al-Beidh
The Lebanese singer married Yemen’s former President Salim Al-Beidh’s daughter, Tamani Al-Beidh, in a fairytale ceremony in Beirut in 2008.

Queen Rania and King Abdullah II of Jordan
Queen Rania married King Abdullah bin Al-Hussein in 1993, just five months after they met. The wedding took place at the Royal Palace in Amman, which is where the power couple now reside. She wore a poufy dress by English designer Bruce Oldfield.


Egyptian start-up teaches artists ways to monetize their work

Updated 16 June 2019
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Egyptian start-up teaches artists ways to monetize their work

  • More Of was started by Sara Seif and Hania Seif partly to change society's attitude towards a career as an artist
  • While the company is still at an early stage, the two founders have no plans of slowing down

Art is for the soul what food is for the body. Yet it’s a fact that artists all over the world struggle to make a living out of their creations.

This is especially so in the Middle East, where it’s rare to find a family willing to support their child’s artistic endeavors, since more academic careers tend to take priority.

But two sisters in Egypt are aiming to change that particular mindset. Enter More Of, a startup focusing on the arts, helping those in relevant fields make a living out of it.

“It all started three years ago. My sister and I used to study theater and marketing, so we both had artistic and entrepreneurial sides,” said Sara Seif, co-founder and CEO of the startup.

“We were always surrounded by artists, and we always saw the struggle they faced, with so many talents out there and so little revenue. The artists can’t monetize their art, and it’s not because they’re not good. It’s because they don’t have the business skill set.”

Sara and Hania Seif want to introduce a entrepreneurial mentality into the world of art. (Supplied)

It wasn’t until Sara stumbled on an Injaz Egypt startup competition — just 12 hours before the deadline — that the idea started to take shape. She scrambled to put her ideas into words and called her sister and business partner Hania to help.

Invited to attend a pre-incubation program, where they learned how to turn their idea into a business model, they ended up winning the competition, receiving EGP 100,000 ($6,000) in seed funding, as well as a trip to Silicon Valley.

For More Of, there was a very specific problem they were trying to solve, said Sara: “There was this gap between the talents and the marketplaces; people didn’t know where or how to look for opportunities.”

The company works in two ways; the first is geared towards people who have creative end products.

“Creative artists have something you can actually buy, like wall paintings, fashion, jewelry, and so on. We offer them a talent management platform; we’re like a talent incubator for them,” Sara said. “What we do in this incubator is try to build capacities on the business side.”

They started doing so by conducting a series of workshops with topics including how to turn art into a business, sales for creative artists, and personal branding.

“Our part is to teach you the business side. If you’ve got the talent, now let’s sell your art,” said fellow co-founder Hania, who serves as More Of’s chief creative officer.

The second area they are facilitating is the performing arts.

Sara elaborated: “We’re going to build an online platform for performing artists — theater, dance, and music — and it’s going to work like an online casting agency, where there’ll be a lot of opportunities posted for the artists.”

The two plan on making the platform free so that any artist could use it, but there will also be a premium option.

“Premium users will have an edge, where we’ll be their own consultants and manage their talent. We’ll basically be an agent for the artist,” Hania said.

“Our part is to teach you the business side. If you’ve got the talent, now let’s sell your art,”

Hania Seif

While the startup is still at an early stage, they have no intention of slowing down.

“We want to collaborate with as many people as possible, to create as many initiatives as possible, and pull all resources out there so that the artists and art community could come together and establish an ecosystem,” Sara said. “We see ourselves becoming the leading talent-management platform in the MENA region and then internationally.”

Their plans to expand on an international level mean they could potentially land local artists opportunities on the global stage.

“People want to reach talent in Egypt and they want figures to address, and we plan on becoming that figure,” Hania said.

Making money out of being an artist might have seemed like a long shot at some point, but with initiatives such as More Of, it is changing.

“It’s no longer a hopeless case for artists to turn their art into an everyday career,” Sara said.

Hania added: “We want to empower artists to do ‘more of’ what they love. And that’s how we (came up with) our name.”

 

•  This report is part of a series being published by Arab News as a partner of the Middle East Exchange, which was launched by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to reflect the vision of the UAE prime minister and ruler of Dubai to explore the possibility of changing the status of the Arab region