Meet the five nominees for this year’s Arab British Centre Award for Culture

Esther Manito is one of the nominees or this year’s Arab British Centre Award for Culture. (Supplied)
Updated 08 August 2019

Meet the five nominees for this year’s Arab British Centre Award for Culture

Here are the five nominees for the Individuals category of this year’s Arab British Centre Award for Culture.

ESTHER MANITO

Lebanese-British comedian Esther Manito is recognized for her courageous, confrontational stand-up — aimed at challenging media misconceptions about Arabs — which she has performed in, among other places, a pub frequented by the right-wing English Defence League.

JULIANA YAZBECK

This Lebanese-American musician’s album “Sungod” is attracting critical acclaim around the world. Written in English and Arabic, her songs, which often feature spoken-word sections, are focused on female empowerment, “reclaiming ancestral wisdom and challenging patriarchal structures.”

OMEIMA MUDAWI ROWLING

The British-Sudanese textiles artist whose work, according to the center, “explores themes of identity and change, communication, heritage and womanhood.” Her art, which employs dyes, screen printing and Devoré technique, is influenced by Arab geometry.

SAMAR ZIADAT

A Glasgow-based freelance curator, educator and activist, Ziadat’s practice “centers on issues of decoloniality” among other things. She is the founder of Dardishi Festival, which “celebrates and showcases Arab and North African women’s contributions to contemporary art and culture.”

NADINE KAADAN

Kaadan, an writer and illustrator of children’s books, has been following her passion since she was eight. Her mission, she says, is “to spread reading culture in the Arab world, in a way that is inspired by Syria’s rich heritage.” Her inclusive take on children’s stories has been recognized with a number of awards.


Startup of the Week: Saudi baker and chef winning hearts of food lovers

Photo supplied
Updated 20 August 2019

Startup of the Week: Saudi baker and chef winning hearts of food lovers

  • Working over 15 hours a day and being self-taught was just the start; Essam is the interior and graphic designer, the marketer, the CEO and the chef at White Mountain

A Saudi bakery and restaurant business specializing in pastries is finding its way into Saudi hearts with a delectable selection of fine Italian, French, and Swiss foods.
Ahmad Essam, 28, a self-taught baker and chef, left a productive family business to create what is now one of the most prestigious bakeries in Alkhobar.
Essam set up his bakery and restaurant while working as a production engineer, selling tarts and cakes to his friends.
He was overwhelmed by the encouragement he received, and little by little Essam, his dream of running his own company emerged.
Working over 15 hours a day and being self-taught was just the start; Essam is the interior and graphic designer, the marketer, the CEO and the chef at White Mountain.
Baking French pastries such as croissants, macarons, mille-feuille, eclairs and tarts require a true artisan. Essam described the glory he feels when he bakes, saying: “Dealing with precise tips to get the real essence of French pastries and reaching a level to bake without recipes is a matter of experience and good knowledge. Being a real baker requires a lot of learning as it’s not only about mixing water and flour; its trick lies behind the process of fermentation that sometimes lasts for days.’’
Every once in a while, the young man distributes membership books to loyal customers. “On Valentine’s Day, we distributed 3,000 roses,” he added.
Essam is very passionate, and dreams of opening a cooking academy in Saudi Arabia so he can inspire other amateur bakers; he told Arab News about his future 12,000-square-meters cooking village project that he is aiming to create in Riyadh, “including a library that collects all cookbooks, a seasonal spice shop, a great lake garden, a pizzeria, glossary shop and more, all of which falls under one theme: Cooking.”
For him, business is an obsession and profession. “Chefs have their egos. They are dealing with a tricky job and they know what they are doing exactly. They do not accept comments or advice from other chefs,” he explained.
You can follow him for more information on White Mountain on Instagram: @wm.bakery.