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
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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.


Mike Pompeo lands in Jeddah for talks with Saudi officials on Aramco attacks

Updated 12 min 50 sec ago

Mike Pompeo lands in Jeddah for talks with Saudi officials on Aramco attacks

  • Pompeo described the drone and cruise missile strikes on Saturday as an 'Iranian attack'
  • Pompeo was met at Jeddah airport by Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf. 

JEDDAH: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Wednesday described strikes on key Saudi oil installations as an “act of war” as he landed in Jeddah.

Pompeo described the drone and cruise missile strikes on Saturday as an “Iranian attack”.

He said it had not come from Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militants and that there was no evidence the attacks had been launched from Iraq.

Pompeo was met at Jeddah airport by Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf. 

Earlier on Wednesday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he had spoken with US President Donald Trump about the Aramco attack, and agreed that Iran must not be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon.