Six iconic Arab nuptials to rival Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding

Brides all over the world can gain inspiration from these lavish Arab weddings. (Shutterstock)
Updated 19 May 2018

Six iconic Arab nuptials to rival Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding

DUBAI: The world is celebrating the wedding of the year as Meghan Markle and Price Harry tie the knot today. In celebration, we take a look at some of the Arab world’s most talked about nuptials.

Ruaa Al-Sabban and Hamoud Al-Fayez
TV personalities Hamoud Al-Fayez and Ruaa Al-Sabban had a huge ceremony in 2018 at the Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Center. It was a headline-grabbing sensation in the Arab world due to its scale and elegance.

طلة رؤى يا ليل عـــادي إذا نور القمر مــا بان والشمس غـابت ولا بانت لحـــد الآن يا ليل ما لك ومال الشمس والقمره يكفيك طلة رؤى اللي تبهر الأعيان طـلة (رؤى) كنها طـــلة صـــباح النور والبدر لو غـــاب لا مخطي ولا مشكور لا يمكن يكون في ليلة (رؤى) بـــدرين معذور لو ما حــضر بدر السما معذور الله عـــلى حـــسنها الـــراقي ورقـــتها الله على قـــدهـــا الفارع وخـــطوتها ثـــلاثـــة اربـــاعـــها تـــرفـــه ودلــوعه واللي بـــقى منـــها يـــروي عـــذوبتها نحكي عـــن الثــغر أو غـــمازة البسمه والا عـــن الخـــد ياللي تجـــرحه نسمه مـــن راسها للقدم كـــل الحـــلا ضافي لوحه على الأرض تمشي ما هي برسمه لا شــك كـــل الحـــلا بايـــن ولـه معنى واللي حــضى به سخي الطبع والمعنى هـــذا (حمود) الوفـــا طيبه يماري به واحـــساس قلبه بـ كـل الحـب يجمعنا الله يـــهـــنيه بالـــحـــب ويـــهـــنيــها والـــفـــرح يـغـــمـــر ليالـــيه ولياليها واحـــلامهم بالـــموده دايــم تـــغـــني مـــن أول ايـــام فـــرحتـــهم لتـــاليها زفتي كانت احلى من اللي توقعته من ابداع المغني @mohamdalmazrouei وكلمات الشاعر سلطان المجلي Wedding planer : @4everevents

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Balqees Fathi and Sultan Bin Abdullatif
Emirati-Yemeni singer Balqees Fathi tied the knot with Saudi businessman Sultan Bin Abdullatif on December 29, 2016, at the Armani Hotel in the Burj Khalifa, Dubai. The star wore a wedding dress by designer Tima Abid and singers Hussein Al-Jasmi, Majid Al-Muhandis and Waad performed at the reception.

فاصل ونواصل

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Sheikha Sarah Khaled Abdullah Al-Sabah and Sheikh Mubarak Fawaz Al-Sabah
The pair got married in a luxurious wedding in Kuwait in 2015. A wedding hall was built especially for the royal wedding. The bride wore a gown by Krikor Jabotian and the extravagant wedding cake was created by Opéra Patisserie.

Lana El-Sahely and Ali Awada
Lebanese fashionista Lana El-Sahely married Lebanese businessman Ali Awada in 2014. The wedding was held in one of the largest halls in Lebanon and a whopping 1060 guests attended. She wore a dazzling dress by Elie Saab and had her hair done by the much-celebrated Tony El Mendelek.

Melhem Zein and Tamani Al-Beidh
The Lebanese singer married Yemen’s former President Salim Al-Beidh’s daughter, Tamani Al-Beidh, in a fairytale ceremony in Beirut in 2008.

Queen Rania and King Abdullah II of Jordan
Queen Rania married King Abdullah bin Al-Hussein in 1993, just five months after they met. The wedding took place at the Royal Palace in Amman, which is where the power couple now reside. She wore a poufy dress by English designer Bruce Oldfield.


Maleficent, Angelina Jolie’s misunderstood sorceress, returns

‘People aren’t born hard and aggressive,’ says Jolie. ‘Something happens and you don’t feel safe.’ (Supplied)
Updated 21 October 2019

Maleficent, Angelina Jolie’s misunderstood sorceress, returns

LOS ANGELES: No one is born the villain. Not Lucifer in Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost, not Arthur Fleck in Todd Philips’ recent release “Joker,” and certainly not Maleficent, whom Angelina Jolie brought to life in 2014. Unlike “Joker,” however, “Maleficent,” a reimagining of Disney’s classic “Sleeping Beauty” (1959), was an open-hearted film, showing not only how the world can harden the pure of heart, but also how love can soften it once more.

“We think of her as evil and dark, and we asked why, and went deeper,” says Jolie of the character. “Most women — most people — aren’t born with a certain hardness and aggression; something happens in your life where you lose trust, you don’t feel safe, and you start to fight and you protect yourself in a different way.”

“Maleficent” shows not only how the world can harden the pure of heart, but also how love can soften it once more. (Supplied)

In “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” the sequel set six years later, Maleficent hardly lives up to that title, but rumor would have it otherwise. The story of the ‘sleeping beauty’ Aurora (Elle Fanning) has spread across the land, painting Maleficent as the villain, rather than the one whose love saved her. Now, as Aurora plans to marry Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson), Maleficent must meet the neighboring Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer), who wishes to destroy Maleficent and her magical world.

“When you see a leader like (Ingrith), who is so angry, so hostile, and who believes that the only way to survive is to destroy the other… we make it very clear in this film that she’s afraid, she’s weak and she’s ignorant. That’s why she’s behaving that way and that’s why she’s wrong,” Jolie says. “It’s not political, it’s not trying to be, but if you’re happy about the way the film ends, and it feels right, I think that heads you in the right direction, and for children it gives a nice guide.”

In the film, Maleficent must meet the neighboring Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer), who wishes to destroy Maleficent and her magical world. (Supplied)

While the film features a lot of violent spectacle, the inner conflict of the lead characters themselves is whether they are strong enough to resist becoming violent, rather than the inverse.

“That’s something that isn’t portrayed a lot on screen — a lot of princesses grew up and they said, ‘Well, we’re going to make her a strong princess, and we’re going to make her tough, so we’re going to make her fight!’ Is that what being a strong woman means? We’re going to have to have a sword and armor on and fight? Aurora can do that in a different way, in a pink dress. It’s beautiful that she keeps her softness and vulnerabilities as her strengths,” says Fanning.

Redefining the ‘strong woman’ character is not just about redefining strength, for Jolie. It’s about lifting women up without pushing men down.

Harris Dickinson plays Prince Phillip in Disney's live-action “Maleficent.” (Supplied)

“We show diverse types of women, but we have extraordinary men in the film,” she says. “I really want to press that point, because I think so often when a story is told of a ‘strong woman’ she has to beat the man, or she has to be like the man, or she has to somehow not need the man. We both very much need and love and learn from the men. I think that’s also an important message for young girls — to find their own power, but to learn from and respect the men around them.”

For Maleficent, those men include Conall and Borra (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor and Ed Skrein respectively), both of whom are of the same race as her, cast out from the rest of the world. The two play out the conflict at the center of the film — whether the only path to peace is conflict, or whether diplomacy and goodwill can help.

Elle Fanning plays Aurora in “Maleficent.” (Supplied)

Ejiofor, who was nominated for an Academy Award for 2013’s “12 Years a Slave” says he was captivated by the film’s themes.

“It was an interesting conversation about leadership — what self-sacrifice means in terms of leadership — and has a real engagement with optimism and positivity in terms of leadership and what is beneficial to most people, and what part leadership plays in that. I felt there was something very rich in the script,” he says.

Even Prince Philip was built to break stereotypes and challenge perspectives, according to Dickinson.

Angelina Jolie brought Maleficent to life in 2014. (Supplied)

“I saw him as this young man trying to figure out how to find his voice and challenge the perspectives of his parents and rule in a more inclusive way,” he says. “(Director Joachim Rønning) and I spoke about him as not just the archetype of a Disney prince who comes along and saves the day.”

While Skrein’s Borra at first seems to be the cliched hawkish brute, he too turns out to be more openminded than he appears.

“The love and understanding of Conall’s message really resonated more, and we do see Borra go on a real arc or journey of his moral stance,” Skrein says. “I think that comes from Conall and that’s why we have to try and preach empathy and peace over violence as much as we can.”