International glitterati gather in Dubai for awards ceremony

International glitterati gather in Dubai for awards ceremony
Karen Wazen wearing Kayat at the 2020 DIAFA. Instagram
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Updated 30 November 2020

International glitterati gather in Dubai for awards ceremony

International glitterati gather in Dubai for awards ceremony

DUBAI: The fourth Distinctive International Arab Festivals Awards (DIAFA) took place at Dubai’s The Pointe, The Palm Jumeriah on Sunday, with a glittering array of stars taking to Instagram to celebrate their wins and show off their gowns at the star-studded, socially-distanced ceremony, which was hosted by Egyptian presenter Engy Kiwan. 

Lebanese fashion blogger and eyewear designer Karen Wazen showed up to the event arm-in-arm with her husband, Elias Bakhazi. Wazen, who presented the International Artist Award to French-Congolese singer Gims, wore a strapless, burgundy-colored gown by Kayat. The womenswear label is helmed by Dutch-Moroccan designer — and one of the evening’s honorees — Laila Aziz.

The dress boasted a high slit and Wazen accessorized the look with gold Dior bangles, an Alaia purse and nude platforms from her sister Andrea Wazen’s footwear label.

“#diafa2020 first red carpet event in 2020! Always with my better half @eliasbakhazi,” wrote Wazen on Instagram. 

Dubai-based Iraqi influencer Deema Al-Asadi was also at the event on Sunday. For the occasion, the television host chose a blush-pink creation by Dubai-based label Zeena Zaki to present Egyptian singer and actor Mohamed Ramadan with an award. The gown featured lace details and crystal embellishments on the straps. 

Meanwhile for her part, Lebanese-British influencer Carol Hannoun stunned in a smokey, ballgown by Egyptian label Marmar Halim. 

However, the Best Dress Award went to Saudi TV presenter and influencer Eleen Suliman, who turned heads in a sparkling, eggshell blue Michael Cinco creation plucked from the Dubai-based designer’s Spring 2020 couture collection. The dress boasted a beaded bodice that was cinched at the waist and a voluminous, tea-length skirt. She elevated the look with a pair of dazzling sandals and jewelry by Yessayan. 

DIAFA, which is held annually in Dubai, honors international and Arab figures for their annual achievements and for their contributions toward various communities.

International stars honored at the event include Lebanese singer Yara, Tunisian calligraffiti artist eL Seed, Pakistani actress Sajal Ali and Sudanese film director Amjad Abu Ala. 

There were also performances by Gims, Yara and Tunisian singer Latifa.


Egypt announces ‘major discoveries’ at Saqqara archaeological site

Egypt announces ‘major discoveries’ at Saqqara archaeological site
Updated 17 January 2021

Egypt announces ‘major discoveries’ at Saqqara archaeological site

Egypt announces ‘major discoveries’ at Saqqara archaeological site
  • Egyptian archaeologist says discoveries will rewrite history of region

CAIRO: An Egyptian archaeological mission working in the Saqqara area near the pyramids of Giza in Egypt has discovered dozens of archeological finds, including a Pharaonic funerary temple.

The Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities announced that the discoveries —  made by the joint mission between the council and the Zahi Hawass Center of Egyptology — include wooden wells and coffins from the New Kingdom, dating back to 3000 B.C.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the council, said that the discoveries are located at the Saqqara necropolis, near the pyramid where King Teti, the first king of the Sixth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom, who ruled Egypt between 2323 and 2291 B.C., is buried.

Zahi Hawass, Egyptian archaeologist and head of the mission, said that these discoveries will rewrite the history of the region, especially during the 18th and 19th Dynasties of the New Kingdom, during which time King Teti was worshiped.

Hawass said that the mission found the funerary temple of Queen Nearit, wife of King Teti, part of which was uncovered in the years prior to the mission, as well as three mud-brick warehouses on the southeastern side, used to store offerings and tools that were involved in a revival of the queen’s creed.

The mission also discovered 52 wells, ranging in depths between 10 to 12 meters and containing more than 50 wooden coffins from the New Kingdom era. This is the first time that coffins dating back to 3000 B.C. have been found in the Saqqara area.

The surfaces of the coffins depict various scenes involving the gods who were worshipped during this period, in addition to texts from the Book of the Dead that help the deceased pass on to the other world.

Inside the wells, the mission found numerous artifacts, such as statues of the deity Ptah, as well as a four-meter-long papyrus, representing chapter 17 from the Book of the Dead, with the name of its owner recorded on it. The same name was found on four statues.

Other finds included a set of wooden masks; games for the deceased to play in the other world, one of which is similar to chess; and statues and a shrine of Anubis, the god of death.

The mission also discovered a bronze ax, indicating that its owner was one of the leaders of the army in the New Kingdom era, and paintings inscribed with scenes of the deceased and his wife and hieroglyphic writings.

A large amount of pottery dating back to the New Kingdom was found, including pottery establishing trade relations between Egypt and Crete, as well as Syria and Palestine.

Hawass explained that this discovery confirms that the Saqqara antiquities area was not used for burial during the Late Period only, but also in the New Kingdom.

The mission studied the mummy of a woman who was found to be suffering from a disease known as Mediterranean fever or swine fever, which comes from direct contact with an animal and leads to a liver abscess.

Hawass asserted that the archeological discovery is one of the most significant ones of this year and will make Saqqara an important tourist and cultural destination. It will rewrite the history of Saqqara in the era of the New Kingdom and will confirm the importance of the worship of King Teti during the 19th Dynasty.