At Jeddah's CreativeMornings — magic is in the air
At Jeddah's CreativeMornings — magic is in the air
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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Baghdad gun shops thrive after Iraqi rethink on arms control
- Shop owner sees increasing demand from women, says self-defence is main reason for buying
- Customer says legalized gun sales will act as crime deterrent
BAGHDAD: In the middle of Baghdad’s busy commercial neighborhood of Karrada, where most retail outlets sell home appliances, shoppers can now also buy handguns and semi-automatic rifles legally for the first time in decades.
After the toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003, illegal weapons trade flourished across the country. Looted guns from ransacked police stations and military bases were sold in streets and public areas to residents seeking to protect themselves in a state that was largely lawless.
The authorities have since been battling to curb illegal weapon sales and the government has stepped up efforts to control gun ownership through regulation.
The latest initiative came into force this summer and allows citizens to own and carry handguns, semi-automatic rifles and other assault weapons after obtaining official authorization and an identity card that also details the individual’s weapons.
Previously, gun sales were restricted to firearms for hunting and sport.
Hamza Maher opened his new gun shop in Karrada after receiving official approval from the Interior Ministry and says there has been growing demand for his wares.
“Customers are mainly men, but the number of women buyers is growing,” said Maher inside his shop, where a variety of pistols and assault rifles are on display.
“The reason for buying is self-defense, and it’s safer for citizens to buy a weapon from an authorized store instead of from an unknown source.”
Pistol prices in Maher’s shop range from $1,000 to $4,000, while Kalashnikov assault rifles can be had from as little as $400 up to $2,000, depending on the brand and manufacturing origin, he said.
Haider Al-Suhail, a tribal sheikh from Baghdad, welcomed the legalization of gun stores.
“Yes, it will decrease crime,” he said on a visit to Maher’s shop to buy assault rifles for his ranch guards. “The criminal who plans to attack others will understand that he will pay heavy price.”