It-girls gather as influencer Rania Fawaz weds in Dubai

Rania Fawaz celebrated her nuptials in the presence of family and friends. Instagram
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Updated 14 December 2019

It-girls gather as influencer Rania Fawaz weds in Dubai

  • On Friday, UAE-based influencer Rania Fawaz got married to her longtime partner Sammer Sommers in Dubai
  • The stylish guest list included everyone from Layla Kardan to Ola Farahat

DUBAI: On Friday, Dubai’s it-girls gathered at the Desert Palm Resort wearing their glittering best for Iraqi influencer Rania Fawaz’s wedding to her longtime partner Sammer Sommers.

The 24-year-old, who got married at a lavish ceremony over the weekend, celebrated her nuptials in the presence of family and friends, which included the likes of fellow it girls Dima Sheikhly and Hala Abdallah who both wore Rami Kadi gowns, Ola Farahat, who chose Aden Fashion, and Fatima Almomen who showed off a Romani design at the palm tree-lined resort.

Fawaz tied the knot wearing two different wedding gowns designed by her mother, Zeena Zaki. For the first look, the new bride looked to “Sex and the City” lead Carrie Bradshaw’s fictional Vogue couture spread for inspiration. 

She wore a strapless gown that featured a frothy, floor-trailing skirt and was paired with long, white gloves and a veil as she walked arm-in-arm with her new husband into the extravagant venue. 

The fashion influencer then switched into a second look, which comprised of a corset top paired with a billowing, tulle skirt to dance the night away with her loved ones.

“For everyone asking, both my dresses are from the greatest woman and designer ever @zeenazaki. More to come!! (sic),” Fawaz wrote on Instagram, alongside a video of her and her new husband making their grand entrance in a video post that she shared with her 818K followers. 

“Dress number one inspired by Carrie Bradshaw. couldn’t ask for a better person to design this beautiful masterpiece!! I love you @zeenazaki, you made my dream dress come true,” she captioned another series of snaps. 

As for her hair, the newly-married Instagram blogger opted for a sleek updo. Meanwhile, UAE-based makeup artist, who is of Jordanian descent, Mohammed Hindash was tasked with readying the bride for her big day. 

Also at the jam-packed nuptials was UAE-based crooner Layla Kardan, who serenaded guests with a live rendition of Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You.” 

The stylish guest list also brought out Rene Borisova, Alanoud Badr and Enjy Kiwan. 

Ahead of the wedding, Fawaz and Sommers made things official at an intimate gathering surrounded by close friends and family. For the pre-wedding celebration, the blushing bride chose a white ensemble that consisted of a white, ruffled blazer and matching skirt from Dior. 

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It’s official Mr. & Mrs. Sommers

A post shared by Rania Fawaz (@raniafawazz) on

Fawaz and Sommers got engaged a little over one year ago.

From Syria to stardom: Zain Al-Rafeea sheds light on his Hollywood highlights

Zain Al-Rafeea spoke to Arab News about his role in ‘The Eternals.’ (File/AFP)
Updated 5 min 31 sec ago

From Syria to stardom: Zain Al-Rafeea sheds light on his Hollywood highlights

LOS ANGELES: A child is forced to leave home to escape a terrible fate. Growing up in a strange land, he develops a special talent and achieves greatness.

It is a familiar story that could describe the lives of a host of superheroes. But it also applies to refugee and actor Zain Al-Rafeea, and his courageous journey from Syria to stardom.

Al-Rafeea was born in 2004. His family fled the Syrian conflict when he was eight, moving to Lebanon, where they were forced to find shelter in the slums of Beirut.

“Unfortunately, refugees face harsh conditions in Lebanon because the country has so many of them,” Al-Rafeea told Arab News. “I never thought I would be an actor or a famous person. I just dreamt of being safe with my family and that nothing bad would happen to them. I was focusing on making money to support my parents.”

In late 2017, Al-Rafeea’s life was changed by a chance encounter with Jennifer Haddad, casting director and collaborator of acclaimed Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki.

“I was in the street with a group of friends. I saw Jennifer, and she asked me if I would like to act. My first reaction was like ‘OK, I have no problem with that.’ She took a video of me, sent it to Nadine and things went on from there.”

Labaki cast Al-Rafeea as the lead in her 2018 drama “Capernaum.” The film was a hit, and the young actor’s performance was lauded by both audiences and critics.

“I did not imagine in my wildest dreams that I have such an international success,” Al-Rafeea said. “I just thought of it as an acting experience, but things went in a much better direction.”

In November, it was announced that Al-Rafeea will join the cast of Marvel’s upcoming “The Eternals.” The film tells the story of a race of immortal aliens who lived on Earth in secret, and features A-list stars such as Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek.

“The introduction happened through Nadine. Directors and producers from Hollywood talked to her and she put us in touch,” Al-Rafeea said.

The actor met his fellow cast members on the Canary Islands during the early stages of filming. “They were nice and their welcome to me was very sweet,” he said. “They invited me for lunch and we chatted for hours, I felt so happy.

“When we finished the first day’s shooting, Salma Hayek came up and hugged me. That night she gave me an iPad and iPhone, and we chatted and listened to music together.”

The teenage star couldn’t reveal much about his role in “The Eternals,” only that he joins the alien heroes as a human who can speak a mysterious 7,000-year-old language.

Life in the Beirut slums is a thing of the past for the Al-Rafeea family. With their son’s success, they were able to relocate to Norway.

“It is a perfect country, the people are so calm, and there are no fights or even traffic. Having water and electricity all the time is a great thing.” While he is excited about his new home, Al-Rafeea has not forgotten his friends, family and the home he left behind in Syria.

“Work hard for nothing is impossible — look what happened to me,” Al-Rafeea said in a message to children facing situations like the one he endured. “Simply dream big.”

“The Eternals” is due to be released in the US on Nov. 6, 2020. A Middle Eastern premiere date is yet to be announced.