Saudi makeup artist brings historical characters back to life

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Malak Al-Qana’a at work.
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Makeup artist Malak Al-Qana’a on the right.
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Makeup artist Malak Al-Qana’a’s interpretation of mathematician Al-Battani.
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Saudi actor Mohammed Al-Zahrani playing late singer Talal Maddah and Ibn Al-Haitham.
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Saudi actor Osaid Al-Shami as Ibn Al-Khateeb. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 05 September 2019

Saudi makeup artist brings historical characters back to life

  • The General Entertainment Authority (GEA) has offered young Saudis a chance to shine with GEA Challenges, a national program to discover talent in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: A rising Saudi makeup artist’s passion for bringing historical characters back to life through her brushes has taken her to prestigious national platforms, to display her talent and explore promising opportunities.
Malak Al-Qana’a says she loves makeup, and that when someone likes something, it becomes easier to master.
Al-Qana’a told Arab News that her break came at Jeddah Season when she worked on the makeup for Mohammed Al-Zahrani, a Saudi actor who played the character of the late Saudi singer, Talal Maddah.
“That character was the first personality I worked on, and it was a real challenge. It was a success and that gave me an encouraging push forward,” she said.
Al-Qana’a says when she is tasked to do makeup for a certain character, she immediately goes to books to collect information about the real person’s life and how they looked.
“You can know more about someone through reading books about their works and contributions, how other people described them or what distinguishing body or facial characteristics are known about them.
All these things can help a makeup artist,” she said. She added that it used to take her some 25 minutes to finish work on a specific character, but now she can finish a maquillage session in around 15 minutes. Al-Qana’a practiced the art of makeup on more than 10 actors at Souk Okaz during the recently concluded Taif Season. Among these was Al-Zahrani, who played the character of the Arab mathematician, astronomer and physicist Ibn Al-Haitham. Al-Zahrani told Arab News that Al-Qana’a had helped him portray the characters of both Maddah and Al-Haitham. “She is such an amazing makeup artist. Her contributions at Souk Okaz exceeded our expectations. So, I will not hesitate to cooperate with her in my future works,” Al-Zahrani said.
He added that of the four female makeup artists in the Kingdom, Al-Qana’a stood out for her unique skills.
Al-Qana’a received ovations for her work creating the face of the Arab poet and philosopher Ibn Al-Khateeb, who was played during the Okaz festival by the Saudi actor Osaid Al-Shami. She succeeded in changing the innocent complexion of the young man to make it appear more like that of the philosopher. Her work on the Muslim mathematician Al-Battani, played by actor Sultan Al-Baloushi, was also applauded.
The General Entertainment Authority (GEA) has offered young Saudis a chance to shine with GEA Challenges, a national program to discover talent in Saudi Arabia.
The program, which finished accepting applicants at the end of July, will grant winners shares of SR20 million ($5.3 million), and provide training opportunities to the Kingdom’s rising stars to develop them into global artists.
GEA Challenges covered 20 entertainment categories, including musical instruments and singing, comedy writing, graffiti, animation, films, acting, prosthetic makeup, on-screen fashion, culinary arts, and circus and acrobatic performance.


Saudi foreign minister calls for ‘transparent and independent’ Beirut explosion investigation

Updated 09 August 2020

Saudi foreign minister calls for ‘transparent and independent’ Beirut explosion investigation

  • Prince Faisal bin Farhan told an emergency donors conference that Saudi Arabia stands with Lebanon
  • Minister condemns 'destructive hegemony' of Hezbollah, which has history of storing explosive materials among civilians

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia called for a transparent and independent investigation into the Beirut explosion, the Kingdom’s foreign minister said on Sunday.
Prince Faisal bin Farhan told an emergency donors conference that Saudi Arabia stands with Lebanon. He described the explosion that killed more than 150 people as “horrific.”

Prince Faisal said strong state institutions that work for the interests of the Lebanese people are vital to the reform required to guarantee Lebanon's political and economic future.
“The continued destructive hegemony of the terrorist organization Hezbollah worries us all, and we all know this organization’s history of using explosive materials and storing them among civilians in several Arab and European countries and in north and south America.”
“Lebanon is in dire need of comprehensive and urgent political and economic reform to ensure that this terrible disaster will not occur again,” he said.

He added that four planes carrying Saudi aid have arrived in Beirut.
The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) has provided 290 tons of medical equipment, food supplies and housing materials.

The conference was hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron.