REVIEW: Nektaria Anastasiadou’s ‘A Recipe for Daphne’

REVIEW: Nektaria Anastasiadou’s ‘A Recipe for Daphne’
“A Recipe for Daphne” is Nektaria Anastasiadou’s debut novel. (Supplied)
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Updated 19 February 2021

REVIEW: Nektaria Anastasiadou’s ‘A Recipe for Daphne’

REVIEW: Nektaria Anastasiadou’s ‘A Recipe for Daphne’

CHICAGO: From Istanbul, a 3,000-year-old city that is home to one of the oldest communities in Turkey, comes Nektaria Anastasiadou’s debut novel, “A Recipe for Daphne.” In an extraordinary examination of identity and belonging, Anastasiadou introduces the Rum community, Greek Orthodox Christians with roots in Istanbul established before the Byzantine Empire, but whose dwindling numbers have their older generation worried that they may disappear.

In a tour of the five senses, with picturesque cobblestoned streets in the Pera Distrcit, wafting cinnamon and rosewater, pastries and coffee to savor, chatter of politics and the past, and a faithful depiction of a sprawling city and its layers of history, Anastasiadou introduces Fanourios Paleologos, or Fanis — an older member of the Rum Community who is as feisty as he is stubborn. At 76, Fanis is looking for love in a city which has broken his heart and mended it several times. As a descendent of the natives that lived in the city millennia ago, Fanis feels a duty to preserve his community, one that he takes seriously enough to find a new wife.

Among his friends are those who stayed in the city despite the Istanbul riots in 1955 which were directed at the Greek community after misinformation about a bombing at the Turkish consulate in Thessaloniki began to spread. With people dead, and stores and homes destroyed, many among the community left out of fear. But those who stayed are determined to rebuild. So, they are all excited when the American niece of a friend shows up and is interested in moving back to Istanbul from Miami. Between Fanis and a young pastry-chef named Kosmas, Daphne’s hand is up for grabs.

Anastasiadou’s characters’ lives intersect and merge in Istanbul. There is a depth to their interactions as they conjure discussions of identity and roots, breaking down genetics to bring people together rather than tear them apart. Among the older generation there is distrust, but the youth embrace similarities more than differences, navigating a different city in a different time. This is a story about intersections, the entanglement of people, cultures, and languages meeting and evolving. There are lines that divide, but there is life in between those lines where we find Anastasiadou’s enchanting characters.


Saudi Ministry to launch fashion promotion’s third phase

Saudi Ministry to launch fashion promotion’s third phase
The exhibit is intended to explore the ways in which Muslim women embrace and express style. (AFP)
Updated 08 March 2021

Saudi Ministry to launch fashion promotion’s third phase

Saudi Ministry to launch fashion promotion’s third phase
  • The ministry aims to attract and encourage talent in the emerging Saudi fashion industry to promote local brands on the local and international levels

RIYADH: The third phase of the Saudi Ministry of Culture’s fashion incubation program will kick off on April 11 in an effort to promote the fashion sector and cultural entrepreneurship in the Kingdom.

Startups wishing to participate in the third phase can register on  https://engage.moc.gov.sa/fashion_bootcamp between March 7 and 15.

For five months, the selected startups will work together with the help and support of experts and specialists to develop their ideas and projects, and qualify them to compete in the market.

The ministry aims to attract and encourage talent in the emerging Saudi fashion industry to promote local brands on the local and international levels. It also seeks to establish an integrated and comprehensive fashion system that relies on exchanging expertise among specialists, young entrepreneurs and startups.

The fashion incubation program is divided into three phases: Fashion Hackathon, Fashion Bootcamp, and Incubator, providing participants with an intensive training and fashion-related concepts.


Elie Saab presents glamorous Fall 2021 ready-to-wear collection

Elie Saab Fall 2021 Couture collection. Supplied
Elie Saab Fall 2021 Couture collection. Supplied
Updated 07 March 2021

Elie Saab presents glamorous Fall 2021 ready-to-wear collection

Elie Saab Fall 2021 Couture collection. Supplied

DUBAI: Lebanese couturier Elie Saab presented his eponymous label’s Fall 2021 ready-to-wear collection on Saturday. 

A celebration of strong women, the over-80-piece offering boasted both daytime and evening options and was punctuated with glamorous, heavily-embellished gowns, pleated maxi skirts, expertly-tailored separates and flared jumpsuits. Some of the looks were paired with bold, over-the-knee leather boots and opera gloves or dangling crystal-embellished earrings.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by ELIE SAAB (@eliesaabworld)

The color palette was largely monochromatic, with bursts of blush pink and lime. Meanwhile, lashings of marabou feathers, tiny sequins, beads and ruffles added an extra dose of glamour. 

With a global pandemic that rendered virtually every red carpet event redundant and prompted many to cancel special occasions like weddings in addition to the Aug. 4 explosion in Beirut, it’s safe to say that 2020 was a difficult year for the Lebanon-born designer. 

“I think that what the Lebanese people have suffered since the fourth of August and onwards is by far worse than war,” Saab told Arab News. “It has been a very difficult time for all of the Lebanese people. I do not know if sometimes the Lebanese forgot about COVID-19 only to come out of the terrible disaster of the 4th.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by ELIE SAAB (@eliesaabworld)

However, the designer assured Arab News that the couture collection was not severely impacted by this difficult period.

“People were not interested (in couture) and those who had events postponed them,” he said. “But afterwards, the machine started working again all by itself, as it should,” the designer added.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by ELIE SAAB (@eliesaabworld)

“Thankfully, we’re doing very well in couture. We did not feel a difference in numbers

between this year and the previous one,” he shared.

The couturier has been keeping quite busy. He recently debuted Elie Saab Maison, an elegant lineup of furniture, lighting, rugs and home accessories, and only last month he launched  a 28-piece collection of watches comprising stainless steel and diamonds.


Priyanka Chopra teams up with chef behind popular Dubai restaurant

Priyanka Chopra is launching a restaurant called Sona in New York. File/AFP
Priyanka Chopra is launching a restaurant called Sona in New York. File/AFP
Updated 07 March 2021

Priyanka Chopra teams up with chef behind popular Dubai restaurant

Priyanka Chopra is launching a restaurant called Sona in New York. File/AFP

DUBAI: Actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas has teamed up with chef Hari Nayak, the culinary talent behind Dubai’s Masti eatery, to launch an Indian restaurant called Sona in New York, she announced on Instagram on Saturday.

“I’m thrilled to present to you SONA, a new restaurant in NYC that I poured my love for Indian food into. SONA is the very embodiment of timeless India and the flavors I grew up with,” Chopra poste d on Instagram.

“The kitchen is helmed by the incredible Chef @harinayak, a masterful talent, who has created the most delicious and innovative menu, taking you on a food journey through my amazing country. SONA is opening later this month, and I can’t wait to see you there! This endeavor would not have been possible without the leadership of my friends Maneesh Goyal and David Rabin. Thank you to our designer Melissa Bowers and the rest of the team for realizing this vision so clearly,” she added.

The new outlet is a collaboration with restauranteur David Rabin and entrepreneur Maneesh Goyal.

In January, Chopra kickstarted her own hair care line. Named Anomaly, the brand is vegan, eco-friendly and in the affordable price bracket.


Britney Spears’ Mideast-born beau Sam Asghari reveals how the couple met

Britney Spears and Sam Asghari met in 2016. File/AFP
Britney Spears and Sam Asghari met in 2016. File/AFP
Updated 07 March 2021

Britney Spears’ Mideast-born beau Sam Asghari reveals how the couple met

Britney Spears and Sam Asghari met in 2016. File/AFP

DUBAI: In a new interview with Forbes, US-Iranian actor and fitness enthusiast Sam Asghari opened up about the beginnings of his relationship with US popstar Britney Spears.

The 27-year-old met the “Baby, One More Time” singer in 2016 during a music video shoot for “Slumber Party,” but he admitted that he was hesitant about being in the clip.

“I wanted to do TV, I wanted to do film,” he told the publication. “I didn’t want to… be known as a music video actor, but a good friend of mine was working on a project and they referred me to the team that was picking out the leading role for ‘Slumber Party.’”

"My girlfriend now, at the time, personally picked my picture and she wanted me to be cast in the music video," he continued, referring to Spears.


Actress Jameela Jamil interviews Jane Fonda in Women’s Day video

Jane Fonda and Jameela Jamil got candid in a video for the ‘Pomellato for Women’ series. Supplied
Jane Fonda and Jameela Jamil got candid in a video for the ‘Pomellato for Women’ series. Supplied
Updated 07 March 2021

Actress Jameela Jamil interviews Jane Fonda in Women’s Day video

Jane Fonda and Jameela Jamil got candid in a video for the ‘Pomellato for Women’ series. Supplied

DUBAI: Actress, model and body positivity advocate Jameela Jamil has interviewed US actress and activist Jane Fonda in a video in celebration of International Women’s Day by jewelry brand Pomellato.

In the video that is part of the “Pomellato for Women” series, the two women discussed hard-hitting topics such as inequality, privilege, climate emergency and gender inequality, among other subjects.

Fonda returned as a contributor for the fourth consecutive year for the Italian jewelry label’s “Pomellato for Women” campaign, a project launched in 2017 that aims to highlight the importance of female leadership and a more authentic idea of natural beauty. 

The model, actress and body activist gained prominence for her role in “The Good Place.” Supplied

It was established by a cross-section of women from various disciplines.

Fonda was among the first vocal feminists and activists in Hollywood dating back to the Vietnam War, and is one of the original “Pomellato for Women” ambassadors.

During the heart-to-heart, Jamil and Fonda found that they shared many values, including a love for activism. 

“Activism made my life, my first 30 years were hedonist, with not much purpose,” admitted the Academy Award winner, who was the first recipient of the Women in Motion Award and was just bestowed the Cecil B. DeMille award for lifetime achievement at the 2021 Golden Globes. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jane Fonda (@janefonda)

“People need meaning in their lives. Activism is joyful,” added the 83-year-old actress.

The powerful new video will air on International Women’s Day on March 8 and the complete interview will be broadcast as part of Kering’s “Women in Motion” series.