Museum of Illusions has Saudis going topsy-turvy

The Museum of Illusions features several interactive optical illusions, along with explanations as to how they work and why our minds get tricked by them. (AN Photo by Thamer Alfuraiji)
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The Museum of Illusions features several interactive optical illusions, along with explanations as to how they work and why our minds get tricked by them. (AN Photo by Thamer Alfuraiji)
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The "kaleidoscope" exhibit offers a stunning look at how simple mirrors and light can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. (AN Photo by Thamer Alfuraiji)
Several of the museum's exhibits show how a simple change of perspective and the correct angle can manipulate the mind into seeing things that aren't there. (AN Photo by Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Several of the museum's exhibits show how a simple change of perspective and the correct angle can manipulate the mind into seeing things that aren't there. (AN Photo by Thamer Alfuraiji)
The museum gift shop allows you to take some of the magic home, with several Dilemma puzzles available for purchase, along with other types of merchandise. (AN Photo by Thamer Alfuraiji)
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The museum gift shop allows you to take some of the magic home, with several Dilemma puzzles available for purchase, along with other types of merchandise. (AN Photo by Thamer Alfuraiji)
Museum of Illusions has Saudis going topsy-turvy
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The "Vortex Tunnel", a dizzying, but fascinating exhibit that makes you feel like you're spinning around in space. (AN Photo by Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Updated 21 January 2021

Museum of Illusions has Saudis going topsy-turvy

The Museum of Illusions features several interactive optical illusions, along with explanations as to how they work and why our minds get tricked by them. (AN Photo by Thamer Alfuraiji)

RIYADH: The world-renowned Museum of Illusions has made its debut in the Kingdom, offering Saudis a look into the wacky and wonderful world of optical illusions and other forms of mind-bending trickery.

The museum, located in Riyadh Park Mall, invites visitors to take part in interactive exhibits designed to show how optical illusions can trick the mind, proving both entertaining and educational.

One of the most popular exhibits at the museum is an Ames room, a room that appears to be cuboid when viewed through a peephole but that is actually skewed to allow two people to stand in the room and appear to be at different heights and sizes — perfect for kids who will delight in appearing bigger and taller than their parents for a moment!




The "Vortex Tunnel", a dizzying, but fascinating exhibit that makes you feel like you're spinning around in space. (AN Photo by Thamer Alfuraiji)

Another is the classic “head-on-the-table” illusion, in which a secret compartment and a cleverly disguised table allow visitors to look as though their heads are being served on a platter.

Several other interactive illusions — including a “true mirror” that allows visitors to see what they look like to other people and an “inverted room” that allows them to look like they are standing on the ceiling — are also on offer at the museum, with detailed captions and explanations provided on the side of each exhibit explaining its history, inventor or discoverer, and how it works.

Perhaps the most scintillating of all the exhibits is the “Vortex Tunnel,” the main means of exiting the museum. Visitors walk through a dark tunnel surrounded by a spinning backdrop of colorful neon stars against a black background. The effect makes it seem as though the viewer, and not the tunnel, is spinning, creating a magnificent, albeit dizzying, feeling of going around in a circle despite being firmly on the ground.

Toward the end of the tour, visitors can take home a piece of the magic with several thought-provoking puzzles and games, posters, T-shirts, and other memorabilia.




Located in Riyadh Park, the museum is open every day of the week, until midnight. (AN Photo by Thamer Alfuraiji)

The museum also accommodates group tours and even has a birthday party room available. It also provides an illusionist for performances and a photographer to help capture the memories.

Tickets to the museum are available via its website, https://museumofillusions.sa/, or can be bought directly at the museum itself. Tickets cost SR80 ($21) for adults and SR60 for children, with a family ticket that admits two adults and two children also available for SR250.

The museum is open Saturday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to midnight and Friday from 1 p.m. to midnight.


US actress Tracee Ellis Ross sparkles in Ana Khouri earrings

US actress Tracee Ellis Ross sparkles in Ana Khouri earrings
Tracee Ellis Ross wearing Ana Khouri earrings. Instagram
Updated 43 min 30 sec ago

US actress Tracee Ellis Ross sparkles in Ana Khouri earrings

US actress Tracee Ellis Ross sparkles in Ana Khouri earrings

DUBAI: US actress Tracee Ellis Ross was spotted wearing a pair of gold earrings from Brazilian-Lebanese fine jewelry label Ana Khouri this week. 

Ross, who is known for her role in sitcom “Black-ish,” posted a photo on Instagram on Wednesday championing the Lebanese brand, beloved by A-listers Angelina Jolie, Jessica Alba and Charlize Theron. 

In the photo, the 48-year-old can be seen wearing a mustard-colored Valentino skirt with cut-out floral motifs, a sleeveless, sequined turtleneck, rose pointed-toe pumps and Ana Khouri’s thick gold hoops. 

It’s not her first time championing the part-Arab jeweler’s designs either. The actress and producer also donned a pair of Ana Khouri earrings to complement her black Schiaparelli gown at the 2020 NAACP Image Awards. 


London Fashion Week: Designer Dahlia Razzook hones in on dresses for Fall 2021

London Fashion Week: Designer Dahlia Razzook hones in on dresses for Fall 2021
Dahlia Razzook Fall 2021 ready-to-wear. Supplied
Updated 16 June 2021

London Fashion Week: Designer Dahlia Razzook hones in on dresses for Fall 2021

London Fashion Week: Designer Dahlia Razzook hones in on dresses for Fall 2021

DUBAI: Dahlia Razzook is an US-Lebanese luxury womenswear designer who was born and raised in Houston, Texas, before moving to London to pursue her studies in fashion design.

During her first year at the London College of Fashion, she was offered an internship at Alexander McQueen. She would go on to cut her teeth at prestigious labels such as Ralph & Russo and Marchesa.

After honing her skills at other design houses, she decided it was time to launch her own namesake contemporary ready-to-wear label shortly after obtaining  her Bachelor’s in “Fashion Design Technology: Surface Textiles.” Thus the label Dahlia Razzook was born.

Dahlia Razzook Fall 2021 ready-to-wear. Supplied

For her Fall 2021 collection, which she showcased digitally during London Fashion Week — which took place between June 12-14 — the designer decided to churn out a perfectly timed lineup of dresses as COVID-19 restrictions ease and we’re able to enjoy a night out again.

Featuring just five pieces, Razzook focuses on stylish, fashion-forward pieces that can transition from day to night with ease. 

The babydoll looks are relatively pared back, sans any kind of embellishment or intricate handiwork, save for a sleeveless black dress with a lace bodice. 

Dahlia Razzook Fall 2021 ready-to-wear. Supplied

The designer relied on comfortable, luxurious materials such as satin and silk as well as feminine colors like red and peach to uplift the offering.

In addition to these ready-to-wear pieces, the designer also offers custom haute couture pieces tailored specifically for her clients.

Razzook first made a name for herself with her Spring 2018 ready-to-wear collection, which was inspired by the Epic of Gilgamesh – a poem from ancient Mesopotamia.

Dahlia Razzook Fall 2021 ready-to-wear. Supplied

According to the designer, the collection was also a tribute to her Arab roots: “It’s also the same place where my ancestors are from,” she said.

The made-in-England collection featured trousers, tops, dresses, cocktail and evening dresses, scarves and accessories that were all either digitally printed and/or exquisitely hand-embroidered from silk, down to the lining.

She showcased the collection during New York Fashion Week, and received praise from prestigious fashion publications such as British Vogue.


Part-Tunisian star Sonia Ben Ammar poised to make her Hollywood debut sooner than you think

Part-Tunisian star Sonia Ben Ammar poised to make her Hollywood debut sooner than you think
Sonia Ben Ammar is almost ready to make her Hollywood debut in 'Scream 5.' File/ Getty Images
Updated 16 June 2021

Part-Tunisian star Sonia Ben Ammar poised to make her Hollywood debut sooner than you think

Part-Tunisian star Sonia Ben Ammar poised to make her Hollywood debut sooner than you think

DUBAI:  It appears that Sonia Ben Ammar is almost ready to make her Hollywood debut. “Scream 5,” starring the part-Tunisian actress, model and singer, has completely finished production, meaning that the hotly-anticipated sequel in the beloved horror franchise is one step closer to hitting the big screen.

This week, co-director Tyler Gillett took to Instagram to reveal that the film is “picture locked.” To the film uninitiated, this means that the edit of the movie is now set as it moves into other stages of post-production. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by tylergillett (@tylergillett)

The post included a photo of Fox’s famed Newman Scoring Stage, where the movie’s score was being recorded, prompting Ben Ammar to comment: “All the feeeels right now (sic),” alongside the pleading face emoji.

In a similar post, the film’s other co-director, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, announced that the score is also complete, showing a closeup of sheet music.

“Picture is locked and we just finished scoring on the Newman Stage! Thank you so much to all of the amazing artists who have worked so tirelessly on this movie,” the filmmaker captioned the post.

The posts offer a rare glimpse behind the scenes of a project whose details have been kept under lock and key. In fact, the co-directors worked on multiple cuts of the film simultaneously to prevent leaks.

The plot details of the film have also been kept completely under wraps, so it is not yet known what role Ben Ammar will be taking on in the upcoming relaunch of the horror film franchise set to debut on Jan. 14, 2022. 

Paris-born Ben Ammar, along with other young franchise newcomers, joined returning cast members David Arquette, Courteney Cox and Neve Campbell, who are reprising their iconic roles as Dewey Riley, Gale Weathers and Sidney Prescott in the new film. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sonia Ammar (@itsnotsonia)

It will be Ben Ammar’s first high-profile Hollywood gig as an actress — however, it’s not the multi-hyphenate model’s first foray into the film industry.

Ben Ammar, who is the daughter of Tunisian film director Tarek Ben Ammar and actress Beata, previously starred in Guillaume Canet’s French-language film “Jappeloup,” as well as the stage musical “1789: Les Amants de la Bastille.”


Morocco’s Casablanca to stage physical show at Paris Fashion Week 

Morocco’s Casablanca to stage physical show at Paris Fashion Week 
Updated 15 June 2021

Morocco’s Casablanca to stage physical show at Paris Fashion Week 

Morocco’s Casablanca to stage physical show at Paris Fashion Week 

DUBAI: Moroccan-helmed label Casablanca is among six other fashion houses set to present a physical show during Paris Men’s Fashion Week, the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode – which organizes Paris Fashion Weeks – announced on Monday.

After two seasons of digital presentations, the hybrid event will return with a selected number of brands showcasing their Spring 2022 collections in person and others presenting digitally from June 22-27.

Casablanca was founded by Charaf Tajer. The menswear, Paris-based label is known for its ultra-wearable clothing made out of luxe silks and cashmeres that is inspired by Tajer’s Moroccan roots. 

His debut runway during Paris Men’s Fashion Week in 2018 was a love letter to his parents who met while working side by side in a clothing atelier in the fashion district of Casablanca.

Besides Casablanca, Dior, Hermès, Bluemarable, LGN Louis-Gabriel Nouchi and Officine Générale are also listed to present physical shows. 

Digital presentations will feature runways for Louis Vuitton, Rick Owens, Dries Van Noten, Loewe, Dunhill, and more. 

Just last week, the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode announced that Lebanese designer Zuhair Murad will present his Autumn/ Winter 2021 couture collection in person at Paris Fashion Week, among seven other renowned labels including Dior, Azzaro Couture, Chanel, Giorgio Armani Privé, Balenciaga, Jean Paul Gaultier and Vaishali S. 

A limited number of guests will be allowed to attend the physical shows to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Algerian director Mounia Meddour joins Cannes’ Un Certain Regard jury

Algerian director Mounia Meddour joins Cannes’ Un Certain Regard jury
Updated 15 June 2021

Algerian director Mounia Meddour joins Cannes’ Un Certain Regard jury

Algerian director Mounia Meddour joins Cannes’ Un Certain Regard jury

DUBAI: The Cannes Film Festival announced this week that Algerian director Mounia Meddour will be part of the Un Certain Regard jury at the 74th edition of the event set to take place from July 6-17.

The other jury members are UK director Andrea Arnold – the president, French actress Elsa Zylberstein, Argentinian director, producer and screenwriter Daniel Burman and US writer, director, producer and actor Michael Covino.

After making several documentaries — “Elementary Particles” (2007), “La Cuisine en héritage” (2009) and “Algerian Cinema: A New Breath” — Meddour directed her first short fiction film “Edwige” in 2011, which received a special mention at the Journées Cinématographiques in Algiers. 

In 2019, she created a sensation with her first feature film “Papicha.”