Art Jameel launches competition to design a cinema in Jeddah

A digital rendering of the Hayy: Creative Hub. (Art Jameel/ibda design)
Updated 06 February 2019
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Art Jameel launches competition to design a cinema in Jeddah

  • The cinema will be part of a three-story art complex in northern Jeddah
  • Interested professional architects, designers, or cinema specialists should register online by March 22

DUBAI: A competition inviting architects and designers to submit design proposals for a new movie house in Saudi Arabia has been launched by creative organization, Art Jameel.

Art Jameel, an independent organization that supports arts, education and heritage in the Middle East, is calling for design proposals for a new cinema in Jeddah, which will be part of a 17,000-square-meter art complex called Hayy: Creative Club.

Interested professional architects, designers, or cinema specialists should register online by March 22 – successful registrants will be given a month to create their proposals.

“We are delighted today to announce this unique opportunity for architects and designers from the Gulf and around the world to take part in imagining a picture house cinema for Saudi Arabia,” Antonia Carver, director of Art Jameel, said in a released statement.

According to Art Jameel, which has offices in Dubai and Jeddah, “The competition challenges applicants from around the world to deliver turnkey design proposals for a completely fitted cinema space.”

Entrants will also have to consider “benchmarks for sustainability and technological efficiency” in their turnkey design proposals.

A panel of judges will evaluate the proposals, including architects and cinema specialists, to pick a winner and two runner ups by the end of June 2019.

The winning team will then be awarded a contract for the development of the project, and they will be in charge of supervising its construction, according to the organization’s website. In addition, they will be given $15,000.

Throughout the deliberation process, a public series of lectures will be hosted for budding Saudi Arabia-based architects and designers.

Derived from the Arabic word for neighborhood, the Hayy: Creative Club is a three-story art complex due for completion in 2020 in northern Jeddah.

“Hayy: Creative Hub aims to contribute to the Kingdom’s 2030 vision and its mandate in nurturing a thriving, diversified cultural scene and creative economy,” Carver said.

According to Art Jameel’s website, the center “will act as an incubator for creatives and entrepreneurs — it will bring together and nurture Saudi Arabian artists, playwrights, photographers, filmmakers” and more.  


Book Review: Rebuilding shattered Aleppo armed with faith and hope

Philip Mansel’s book “Aleppo: The Rise and Fall of Syria’s great Merchant city,” has been updated and is also available in paperback. (Shutterstock)
Updated 21 February 2019
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Book Review: Rebuilding shattered Aleppo armed with faith and hope

BEIRUT: Aleppo, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and once a model of coexistence, is now a mesh of rubble and shattered lives. 
Philip Mansel’s book “Aleppo: The Rise and Fall of Syria’s great Merchant city,” has been updated and is also available in paperback.
An eminent specialist of the Levant, Mansel attempts in the first part of his book to explain how harmony gave way to an implacable cataclysm. In the second part, the author has carefully selected a collection of travel writings on Aleppo from the 16th century to the 21st century. 
The ruthless and pitiless destruction of Aleppo shows the vulnerability of cities. Mansel believes that cosmopolitanism, literally meaning cosmos (world) in a city (polis), is an elusive concept. When politics and economics go wrong, rules are broken, and anything can happen even in a city like Aleppo. 

The author focuses on Aleppo’s history since the Ottoman Empire. The people of Aleppo, angered by the Mamluk excessive taxation, welcomed their defeat by the Ottoman army. Aleppo remained loyal to the Ottoman rule for 400 years and became one of the most important trading centers in the Levant. 
Caravans from India, Iran, the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula passed through the city on their way to Iskenderun, Smyrna, and Constantinople. Already, in 1550, a French diplomat claimed that Aleppo was the most important commercial center of the Levant.
A century later, Aleppo was still trading with the Ottoman Empire and although its external trade with foreign countries was diminishing, its multiracial and multireligious population lived peacefully. Even during the French Mandate (1923-1946), the cosmopolitan population of Aleppo was united against the French.
Syria’s independence granted by France on Jan. 1, 1944, was followed by the proclamation of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948, triggering the departure of Aleppo’s Jewish population.
The subsequent establishment of the Assad regime caused a political and economic rift in the country, and particularly in Aleppo, with the affluent west and the impoverished east brutally attacked and decimated by Syrian and Russian armed forces with the help of Iranian soldiers, Lebanese and Kurdish militias.
While emigrants are preserving the memory of Aleppo in cities around the world, some inhabitants of East Aleppo are returning.
Destroyed but alive, destitute but armed with faith and hope, they embody the quality of those who have contributed to make Aleppo one of the most beautiful cities in the world. They are determined to rebuild knowing that their shattered lives remain the hardest to repair.