Berlin opening new addition to its museum home to Babylon’s Ishtar Gate , Egyptian Nefertiti

In this Monday, July 1, 2019 photo, architect David Chipperfield poses outside of the James-Simon-Galerie at the Museumsinsel, Museums Island, in Berlin, Germany. The building, designed by David Chipperfield, is the new central entrance building for the museums at the Museumsinsel of the German capital. (AP)
Updated 10 July 2019

Berlin opening new addition to its museum home to Babylon’s Ishtar Gate , Egyptian Nefertiti

  • The building includes exhibition space but is meant largely to make the museums more user-friendly

BERLIN: Berlin is opening a new addition to its Museum Island complex, a stylish entrance building described by officials as a milestone in a long-term effort to renovate the neoclassical ensemble that is home to treasures such as Babylon’s Ishtar Gate and a famous bust of Egyptian Queen Nefertiti.
Designed by British architect David Chipperfield, the James Simon Gallery was presented to reporters Wednesday and opens to the public Saturday. Built on a narrow riverside site with a colonnade stretching along the bank, it provides an imposing entrance to the five-museum UNESCO world heritage site.
The building includes exhibition space but is meant largely to make the museums more user-friendly, providing facilities such as a cafe, shop and auditorium that are lacking in buildings such as the Pergamon Museum and Neues Museum.
The new 134 million-euro ($150 million) building is a key part of a “master plan” drawn up 20 years ago to renovate the Museum Island, which was built between 1830 and 1930.
Parts of it were badly damaged during World War II, and cash-strapped communist East Germany never fully restored it. Work on three museums has now been completed — including the Neues Museum, home to Nefertiti, which was half-ruined before being restored by Chipperfield. Renovation is underway at the Pergamon Museum, home to the Ishtar Gate and the Pergamon Altar, the latter currently closed to visitors.
“Even if we still have a long road before us to complete the Museum Island, the opening of this building is still a historic moment” as it is the only new addition, said Hermann Parzinger, the head of the foundation that oversees Berlin’s public museums.
The building is named after Jewish collector and benefactor James Simon, who died in 1932 and donated some 10,000 objects to Berlin museums over the years, including the Nefertiti bust.
Officials said the museums wouldn’t be what they are without Simon, and Parzinger said the name is also a tribute to “the many other, mostly Jewish, patrons of the late kaiser era and the Weimar era who did an infinite amount for culture in (...) Germany, in Berlin.”


Meet Fai Khadra, the US-Palestinian multi-hyphenate doing it all

Who is Fai Khadra? Meet the US-Palestinian social media star who is doing it all. Supplied
Updated 11 December 2019

Meet Fai Khadra, the US-Palestinian multi-hyphenate doing it all

  • Fai Khadra wears many hats. In addition to being a musician, he also dabbles in modeling, sculptures, DJ’ing and most recently set design
  • Next, he plans to roll out his own label focusing on everyday basics that are organic and reasonably priced

DUBAI: "I’m a textbook Virgo," is one of the first admissions from Fai Khadra when we meet at the Farfetch pop-up at the Sole DXB festival.

For the astrology uninitiated, those born between late August and mid-September are defined as meticulous, conscientious and perfectionist, which Khadra, who jetted to Dubai to DJ at the two-day streetwear event, most certainly is.

But one need not know his star sign to come to that conclusion. Just one glimpse at him — he was wearing cropped jeans and classic white Jordans offset by a bright orange, collared jumper and bleached locks — reveals someone who is obviously down to earth but straight-to-business.

Fai Khadra wears many hats. In addition to being a musician, he also dabbles in modeling, sculptures, DJ’ing and most recently set design. Supplied

While a quick Google search of the 28-year-old, affectionately known as @yourboyfai to his 742,000 Instagram followers, will show hundreds of headlines revolving around his close friendship with international supermodel Kendall Jenner, there is a lot more to the US-Palestinian talent than simply the people he surrounds himself with.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

we don’t date he’s just my date

A post shared by Kendall (@kendalljenner) on

Khadra wears many hats. In addition to being a musician — he is currently working on a debut musical project — he also dabbles in modeling, sculptures, DJ’ing and most recently set design.

He dreamed up the sleek, eye-catching sets for Summer Walker’s “First and Last” tour as well as The Internet’s 2019 Camp Flog Gnaw performance.

For Khadra, set design was a natural transition since it combined both his passions for music and architectonics.

And in addition to his fastidious attention to detail, he holds a degree in architecture, which he obtained shortly after completing his last two years of high school at the American School of Dubai.

One would think that dreaming up spectacular sets, working on new music and installations, and jetting off to far-flung locations for DJ’ing and modeling gigs would be enough to keep someone occupied.

However, the older brother of DJ twins Simi and Haze reveals that he is just getting started, as he has plans to roll out his very own concept soon.

“I find that it’s really hard to find good basics, whether that’s in apparel, beauty or homeware,” Khadra said.

He plans to launch his own label focusing on everyday basics that are super comfortable, expertly tailored and reasonably priced.

At the core of his concept is a commitment to crafting each product from sustainable, organically sourced materials.

Indeed, sustainability holds a very special meaning to the environmentally conscious Khadra, who reveals that for every trip he makes, including his most recent visit to Dubai, he takes steps to offset his carbon footprint by donating to initiatives that plant trees, a gesture also practiced by model Bella Hadid.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thank you @farfetch for having me @soledxb !!! Was a quick but fun one #withFarfetch

A post shared by @ yourboyfai on

A release date has yet to be announced for the new concept, likely because Khadra is also occupied with exploring various creative avenues. But how does he balance it all? 

“For me, it’s really just all the same creative process,” he noted.

Khadra shares that in addition to exhibitions, music and traveling, his Palestinian roots also inspire his art, despite the fact that he has never had the chance to visit.

“I’m super inspired by the strength and resilience of the Palestinian people,” he muses. “I think they (Palestinians) show so much love and humanity, and I’d love to go. It’s probably one of my top destinations to visit,” he revealed.

As for what is next for the multifaceted creative? “I’m just super blessed that I get to wake up every day and do what I love,” he said. “I hope that I can continue to find interesting ways to be more creative and enlighten the world in some way if I can.”