Photo fest to feature Arab News series on Saudi female success stories

Ohoud Alhaqbani with her husband, Sultan, and their twin daughters. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 18 September 2019

Photo fest to feature Arab News series on Saudi female success stories

SHARJAH: Pictures taken for Arab News featuring some of Saudi Arabia’s most successful professional women will go under the spotlight at a major photography event taking place in the UAE.

Works from the newspaper’s The Face series, shot by Saudi lensman Ziyad Alarfaj, will be on display throughout the fourth edition of the Xposure International Photography Festival which runs from Sept. 19-22 at the Expo Center in the city of Sharjah.

Titled “The Face: Portraits from the Kingdom,” the picture presentation includes striking photos that celebrate the groundbreaking accomplishments of Saudi women profiled in the regular section of Arab News.

“I want to highlight women who aren’t relatively well-known because they’re too busy working for themselves and for their countries,” said Alarfaj.

The cameraman’s main aim was to add a human element to his photographs. “I don’t want to place too much focus on their work. That’s why I capture them in their living rooms,” Alarfaj added.

 A photograph of entrepreneurs Ramah Nassief and Yasmin Kaki will be featured at the exhibition. (Arab News/Ziyad Alarfaj)

Expo visitors will be able to view shots of successful women from a variety of different careers, fields, and backgrounds. Among those featured are Sara I. Alissa, a professional organizer from Riyadh, Ahlam Alshedokhi, a medical doctor and artist, and university professor Dr. Dana Bakheet.

Established in 2015 by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau, this year’s event is set to be the biggest yet and will house an acclaimed selection of more than 1,000 images taken by 357 world-renowned photographers from the Middle East and beyond.

“What makes Xposure special, is that it’s not any regular photography festival. I’ve been to many, and Xposure is one of the best,” said Alarfaj. “The participating photographers are among the best in the world.”

In addition to works from the likes of British wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas, American cameraman Stephen Wilkes, emerging Emirati picture-taker Amer Al-Ali, and Brazilian snapper Gabriel Wickbold, Xposure has a packed program in store for photography enthusiasts.

Unveiled by Sharjah Media Council Chairman Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al-Qasimi during a press conference, the festival will also include photography workshops, talks from industry professionals, public seminars, portfolio reviews, and competitions.

Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall: ‘I was bullied for being Arab’

The singer's maternal grandfather is Yemeni and maternal grandmother Egyptian. (Getty)
Updated 05 June 2020

Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall: ‘I was bullied for being Arab’

DUBAI: Girl group Little Mix’s star Jade Thirlwall has opened up about bullying she experienced as a teenager due to her Arab roots.

Speaking on the BBC “No Country For Young Women” podcast, the 2011 “X-Factor” finalist, whose maternal grandfather is Yemeni and maternal grandmother Egyptian, said that she felt “ashamed” of her background. 


oh hey it’s me shamelessly plugging #BreakUpSong for the 1847th time via a thirst trap pic

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“When I went to secondary school, I was literally one of three people of color in the school,” the 27-year-old music sensation, whose father is British, said.

“I remember one time I got pinned down in the toilets and they put a bindi spot on my forehead; it was horrific.


look in the notebook.

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“I have constantly had this inner battle of not really knowing who I am, or where I fit in, or what community I fit into,” she said.

The singer recalled that she would put white powder on her face “to whiten” herself when performing on stage at her school.


finding a new love for my natural hair⚡️

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After joining Little Mix, she “subconsciously” did not want to talk about her heritage for fear of being disliked.

“I think because I was bullied quite badly in school because of the color of my skin and for being Arab, I wasn’t very proud of who I was,” Thirlwall explained.


category is: 80s realness @madison_phipps

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“I would hate to talk about my race and heritage and not say the right things,” she added.