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. 

View this post on Instagram

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.

UK-based Arab film festival to go digital due to COVID-19 pandemic

Updated 13 August 2020

UK-based Arab film festival to go digital due to COVID-19 pandemic

  • ‘SAFAR From Home’ to feature films from Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia

LONDON: The SAFAR Film Festival, the only dedicated biennial pan-Arab film festival in the UK, is to take place digitally in September, the Arab British Centre has announced.

The changes come in the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, which has forced multiple cultural events in the UK and elsewhere to be cancelled or postponed.

Scheduled to take place from Sept. 13-20, this year’s edition, titled “SAFAR From Home,” will be the fifth edition of the festival and will offer five free screenings, available to UK viewers, and five live events, available worldwide, featuring leading figures from the filmmaking industry across the Arab world.

The move to take the festival digital was funded in part by the Council of Arab Ambassadors and the British Film Institute’s COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Curated by Rabih El-Khoury, the festival will explore Arab cinema through the theme of journeys (‘Safar’ is the word for journey in Arabic).

It will feature films from Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia, with additional panel discussions on topics such as migration and life in the Arab diaspora.

On Sept. 20, the Arab British Centre will also host a panel of festival guests to discuss the growth of SAFAR since 2012 and the evolution of Arab cinema over the past eight years. 

El-Khoury said: “In a year when travel became impossible, we wanted to offer viewers the chance to travel to the Arab world and beyond through their screens at home. And while this program is an invitation to imaginary journeys, the truth around the protagonists of these films is far from being a fictitious one.

“They defy their harsh realities. They question bewildering surroundings. They face unconceivable challenges. They lead quite impossible journeys. Yet through courage, resilience, but also a lot of inspiration, they give a sense of meaning to their journeys,” he added.

Amani Hassan, the program director and also the acting executive director of the Arab British Centre, said: “We are very happy to announce the ‘SAFAR From Home’ initiative today. Following the difficult decision to postpone the in-person festival until 2021, we’re marking what would have been the landmark fifth edition with this alternative, virtual edition as a way to bring our audiences together and support the industry during this unprecedented time. 

“Since quickly pivoting our programs online in March, we’ve seen the thirst of people to connect with their culture, and with culture in general, and we hope that despite the physical distance, this program will offer SAFAR’s usual, unique space to appreciate, reflect upon, and celebrate the cinema and filmmakers of the Arab world.” 

The film and events program will be announced shortly alongside the festival’s new website. Information about the program can be found by emailing the organizers at