Arab designers reign supreme as Diddy celebrates birthday with star-studded bash

Diddy's birthday bash brought out the whos-who of Hollywood. (AFP)
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Updated 16 December 2019

Arab designers reign supreme as Diddy celebrates birthday with star-studded bash

  • Diddy celebrated his milestone 50th birthday on Saturday with an extravagant star-studded bash
  • A number of stars looked to regional designers to help them nail their looks for the occasion

DUBAI: There’s birthdays, there’s 50th birthdays, and then there’s Diddy’s 50th birthday.

Born Sean Combs, the artist formerly known as P. Diddy celebrated his milestone half-a-century on Saturday with an extravagant star-studded bash that brought the who’s-who of Hollywood to his Beverly Hills mansion.

Music stars, actors, models and entrepreneurs were invited by Naomi Campbell. Well, sort of. The invitation was set to a voiceover in which the British supermodel proclaimed, “There ain’t no party like a Diddy party,” before laying out the three ground rules: Dance or don’t come, black tie means black tie and project good vibrations.  

When it came to rule number two, the superstar guest-list certainly did not disappoint, turning up wearing their glittering best. A number of stars looked to regional designers to help them nail their looks, including Mary J. Blige, who opted for a striking, form-fitting design from Kuwaiti couturier Yousef  Al-Jasmi to perform for the A-list guests.

The embellished look boasted a high neck and was paired with equally sparkling David Webb diamonds.

British actress Kate Beckinsale turned heads wearing a black, plunging creation from Lebanese designer Georges Chakra, while Canadian singer Deborah Cox chose a sequin-embellished Elie Madi design.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

All ready for amazing @diddy’s amazing #diddy50 party

A post shared by Kate Beckinsale (@katebeckinsale) on

Other guests in attendance included Jay-Z and Beyonce, who wore a jaw-dropping creation custom-designed by Albanian fashion house Kujta & Meri.

 Several members of the Kardashian-Jenner clan were in attendance, including Khloe in Bryan Hearns and Kim wearing Vivienne Westwood.

The youngest sibling, Kylie Jenner, opted for a black, plunging Balmain creation that she previewed on Instagram ahead of the Los Angeles party. The self-made billionaire uploaded a photograph of herself with her older sister Kendall’s close friend, Palestinian DJ Fai Khadra, coyly tagging her in the post and prompting her to comment: “Are we fighting?”  

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

@kendalljenner

A post shared by Kylie ✨ (@kyliejenner) on

Along with Combs’ children, music stars Usher and Lil’ Kim took the stage to fete the host.

Kanye West, Leonardo DiCaprio, Pharrell, Jimmy Iovine, Naomi Osaka, Cardi B, Offset, Lizzo, Janelle Monáe, Nelly, Snoop Dogg, Reed Hastings, Queen Latifah, Post Malone, Regina King, Lauren London, Jaden Smith and Jack Dorsey were also all in attendance. 


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 www.safarfilmfestival.co.uk.