At Jeddah's CreativeMornings — magic is in the air

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Balqis AlRashed during an intense side talk.
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after talk side discussions between the crowd.
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Creative morning, where creative minds meet.
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Rozana AlBanawi, Creative Morning's Jeddah chapter’s host, in the opeining speech.
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Balqis AlRashed showing creativity in her talk.
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Jeddawi creative vibes filled the crowd.
Updated 07 October 2016

At Jeddah's CreativeMornings — magic is in the air

Magic is a word used often to describe something extremely wonderful, unexpected, life-altering at times, scary, mind boggling, and even unwanted. A concept we search for in our lives not because it’s dull and boring, it’s an extra “something” that can be saved on the side for a rainy day. With all the potential meanings to “magic”, it can be more than that, it can be an inspirational push to change, to let go, to grow, to wind down and be humble, oh the options are limitless. It’s just that one weird word that we don’t understand fully yet, but bring up every now and then to inspire ourselves, to strike us down to better ourselves, to be happier, grow fonder and more acceptable of ourselves. We hear magic and think Disney princesses, fairy dust, talking teapots, underwater kingdoms and so much more. A bit too surreal, so? Why must we confine ourselves to reality and not make space for something more interesting that is magical? Life changing? Beautifying? Hindering? Something!
The monthly talk series for the creative community, aptly named CreativeMornings’ theme for the month of September was Magic. A special theme is held each month and chapters worldwide get to work in choosing the best candidate for that theme. Rozana Al-Banawi, the Jeddah chapter’s host, said: “It’s a fun way to gather with strangers and friends alike and listen to something unfamiliar maybe.”
CreativeMornings helps in creating the space many are looking for, provides the speakers that same space that will intrigue and inspire their listeners. CreativeMornings Jeddah chapter host AlBanawi and her team gather every month to plan ahead, choose the most compatible speaker and go ahead from there, September’s choice fell on the talented Balqis AlRashed. September marks Jeddah chapter’s 6th talk and the room couldn’t be anymore full than it already was.
People of different ages and different backgrounds were anxiously awaiting the arrival of the guest speaker and hear what she had to say. The Jeddah chapter team chose well. “This is my first time attending CM Jeddah,” said one young woman, “a friend of mine mentioned it to me once as she was going through her Instagram and the idea to meet for a talk was exciting and new to me. The fact that I don’t know who the artist is adds to the element of surprise and I can’t wait to see what she has in store.”
The vibe at the newly decorated rooftop closed terrace-like area was heavy with anticipation until the opening line of the artist, shifting the vibe from heavy to light, questionable, demanding and extremely inquisitive.
“I felt the crowd was receptive, welcoming and you could see how their young minds were working through the questions that were asked. I was honored to have been asked and I felt that the organizers were all on point with the arrangements and helped me out when I needed it. The venue was packed and the crowd wasn’t challenging, instead they were curious and I loved interacting with them. It’s a space where you can speak your mind and providing such a platform for this kind of intermingling is important whether it’s here in Jeddah or any other city,” said Balqis.
True, such a platform provides room to find answers to many of the questions we have in the back of our heads but in need of a certain push to blurt them out and have them answered by a stranger. It’s magical! Sorry for the pun but many of the attendees did feel that spark when Balqis the hula-hooping artist spoke of her transformation, her method of expression, her understanding of art through her eyes and her personal magical moment.
A group of young freshly graduated girls mentioned how the 20-minute-talk was actually much more beneficial than a long one hour talk. One of the girls said that one hour talks can actually be grueling and boring, unproductive and you tend to wander with your thoughts. “It’s 20 minutes, straight to the point and attention grabbing. This definitely won’t be the last time my friends and I attend and we can’t wait to see next month’s theme and what the speaker has for us,” exclaimed one of the girls.
The vibe at CreativeMornings Jeddah was fun, laughter mixed with hushed intense conversations covering the topic of the month. With a cup of coffee in one hand, many attendees engaged with the speaker, the organizers and just random strangers, all in all it was a feel good and positive atmosphere.


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Police raid K-pop agency over alleged illegal gambling

Updated 17 August 2019

Police raid K-pop agency over alleged illegal gambling

  • Yang Hyun-suk founder and ex-chief producer of YG Entertainment, resigned after drug and sex scandals rocked the company
  • Local news reports said Yang was alleged to have engaged in ‘habitual and illegal gambling’

SEOUL: South Korean police raided one of the biggest K-pop management firms on Saturday as part of an investigation into music mogul Yang Hyun-suk’s alleged illicit gambling.
Yang, founder and ex-chief producer of YG Entertainment, resigned from his post in June after drug and sex scandals rocked the company since March.
He was placed under formal investigation by police earlier this week over allegations of gambling involving illicit cash exchange along with Seungri, a former member of YG’s highly popular band BIGBANG.
“We are trying to gather evidence on how (Yang) secured funds for gambling, and how many times the alleged gambling took place,” a Seoul police officer told AFP.
Local news reports said Yang was alleged to have engaged in “habitual and illegal gambling,” in locations including Macau and Las Vegas since the early 2000s.
Yang was also separately placed under investigation by police last month for allegedly arranging sex services for foreign investors back in 2014.
A member of the popular boy band Seo Tae Ji and Boys in the 1990s, Yang developed YG into a K-pop powerhouse with the success of idol groups such as BIGBANG and BLACKPINK.
The firm is now considered one of South Korea’s top three entertainment agencies alongside SM and JYP, and was behind the 2012 mega hit “Gangnam Style” by Psy that helped raise K-pop’s global profile.
But it has been in hot water since Yang and some of its stars were implicated in a spate of scandals.
Seungri, whose real name is Lee Seung-hyun, retired in March after being accused of arranging sex services for potential investors in his business.
In June, fellow YG artist Kim Han-bin, a member of boyband iKon, left the group amid allegations he had bought illegal drugs three years ago — in a case Yang is also accused of trying to cover up.
Earlier this year, a building owned by another YG star Daesung also came under investigation over an allegation that four of its tenants were involved with illicit sex and drug businesses.