Mariah Carey to perform in Saudi Arabia on January 31

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Mariah Carey will perform in Saudi Arabia on Jan. 31. (AFP)
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Carey performing in Shanghai last year. (AFP)
Updated 27 January 2019
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Mariah Carey to perform in Saudi Arabia on January 31

  • The American singer will play a show as part of the first international golf tournament to be played in the Kingdom
  • Other performers include Dutch DJ Tiesto and Jamaican rapper Sean Paul

JEDDAH: Mariah Carey is to perform in Saudi Arabia for the first time next week.

The American singer will play a show as part of the first international golf tournament to be played in the Kingdom.

The concert will take place on Thursday, Jan 31, at King Abdullah Economic City. 

Other performers during the course of the tournament include Dutch DJ Tiesto, Yemeni-Emirati singer Balqees Fathi and Jamaican rapper Sean Paul.

Part of the European Tour, the inaugural Saudi International, powered by SBIA, takes place between Jan 31 and Feb 3 at the Royal Greens G&CC. 

Carey performing in Shanghai last year. (AFP)

Carey is the latest major international artist to perform in the Kingdom. 

A string of live entertainment performances have been held in Saudi Arabia over the last couple of years, following a lull in the Kingdom hosting such events. 

In October 2016, the New York-based theatrical group iLuminate took to the stage in Riyadh in a rare public performance of music and dance. 

In January 2017, prominent Saudi star Mohammed Abdu performed live in Jeddah — along with Saudi artist Rabeh Sager and the Iraqi-Saudi singer Majid Al-Muhandis — in what was the city’s first open music concert in seven years. 

And last month, A-list stars including Enrique Iglesias, the Black Eyed Peas and David Guetta took to the stage during a three-day music event held during the inaugural Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix in Riyadh.

Concert tickets for Mariah Carey and the other performers are on sale at Virgin Megastores or through the website TicketingBoxOffice.com.


Creative group in the UAE gives female artists a chance to tell their story

Jana Ghalayini’s work at Art Dubai invited visitors to draw on their responses.
Updated 25 May 2019
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Creative group in the UAE gives female artists a chance to tell their story

  • Female-led art collective wants society to rethink the way women of color are perceived
  • Banat Collective publishes artworks in print and online and hosts events to encourage debate

DUBAI: Sara bin Safwan founded the Banat Collective in 2016 to connect with other like-minded people, championing
their art through the group’s website, banatcollective.com.
The group aims to help society to rethink the way women of color are perceived by showcasing contemporary art, poetry and other writings. The collective publishes artistic works in print and online and hosts events aimed at spreading awareness and encouraging debate.
“A lot of the artists are young and emerging and never had the chance to be either exhibited or publicized, so we interview them to offer a critical, insightful look at their work,” said Safwan, 25.


Now an assistant curator at Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Safwan graduated from London’s world-famous Central Saint Martins college in 2015 with a degree in culture, criticism and curation.
It was while studying in Britain that she developed a keen interest in post-colonial theory; the Banat Collective focuses on themes relating to both womanhood and intersectionality, which is an analytic framework to identify how interlocking systems of power impact those most marginalized in society.
“The mission is not only to connect artists but open up discussions about Arab womanhood in the region, because there’s not necessarily any other place to do so. We do that through art, poetry and other writings,” Safwan said.
“I use the word ‘womanhood’ to make it a more accessible term because if I use ‘feminism,’ it’s a very politically charged word that has almost been tainted by Western ideologies. And those Western ideologies don’t necessarily fit within our context as Middle Easterners.”
“In the Middle of it All” is the collective’s debut publication. Released in 2018, the book is a 31-artist collaboration of visual art, writing and poetry. Our book is a means to help us stand out — it’s thoughtfully curated and tackles a specific issue, which is ‘coming of age’,” she says.
“It’s a notion that’s taboo in the Arab world and either unheard of or misunderstood. It was a chance for female artists to tell their own story.
“Throughout the book, we go through many topics such as puberty, identity, sexual harassment and abuse, sisterhood, motherhood, beauty standards and all these other societal expectations.”
The collective held its first exhibition as part of March’s Art Dubai fair, showcasing a short film, “Ivory Stitches & Saviors” by member Sarah Alagroobi, which she describes as an “unflinching glimpse into identity, colonialism and whitewashing.”
Says Safwan: “It’s a tribute to all women of color who have been marginalized and, all too often, erased.”
Another work by Palestinian-Canadian artist Jana Ghalayini is comprised of a 26-meter-long piece of chiffon on which visitors can draw with chalk pastels in response to questions posed by the artist including “How does your environment affect your identity?”
Safwan adds: “The themes we explored were vulnerability and community — it was a way to introduce ourselves in person because previously we only had an online presence.”
Born and raised in the UAE to Honduran and Emirati parents, Safwan is now working with Alagroobi and Ghalayini to brainstorm ideas for future projects that include a podcast series on the notion of shame. The collective is self-funded and run by volunteers.
“I hope there will be more opportunities to showcase our work and collaborate with others. This year, we will be publishing more content,” Safwan said.

This report is 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.