Arbab Al-Heraf Cafe turned into music academy in Jeddah

Arbab Al-Heraf Cafe turned into music academy in Jeddah
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Saudi Arabia aims to produce a new generation of musicians and intellectuals through the new music institutions. (Photo/Huda Bashatah)
Arbab Al-Heraf Cafe turned into music academy in Jeddah
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(AN photos by Huda Bashatah)
Arbab Al-Heraf Cafe turned into music academy in Jeddah
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(AN photos by Huda Bashatah)
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(AN photos by Huda Bashatah)
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(AN photos by Huda Bashatah)
Arbab Al-Heraf Cafe turned into music academy in Jeddah
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(AN photos by Huda Bashatah)
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(AN photos by Huda Bashatah)
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(AN photos by Huda Bashatah)
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(AN photos by Huda Bashatah)
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(AN photos by Huda Bashatah)
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(AN photos by Huda Bashatah)
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Updated 01 May 2021

Arbab Al-Heraf Cafe turned into music academy in Jeddah

Arbab Al-Heraf Cafe turned into music academy in Jeddah
  • Through his academy and several branches scattered in the city, Al-Hudaif wants to show to the world that Saudis have immense talent in art and are open-minded individuals that welcome all different people

JEDDAH: Arbab Al-Heraf, or Masters of Crafts, the visionary project of Abdullah Al-Hudaif, has been transformed into an academy for music and art connoisseurs in the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah.

Started as a small project, a café that brought artists and craftsmen together under one roof, it is now an academy offering various academic courses ranging from drawing to musical instruments and singing.

Since the establishment of the Music Commission under the Ministry of Culture in Saudi Arabia, this type of project has become increasingly popular, especially for music professionals.

Al-Hudaif aspires for his academy to be one of the accredited musical institutions in the Kingdom. They currently run their programs with Saudi music trainers and professionals, and the demand is increasing day by day, not only from music students, but also from people who yearn for a dose of culture.

Saudi Arabia aims to produce a new generation of musicians and intellectuals through the new music institutions.

HIGHLIGHT

What started as a small project, a café that brought artists and craftsmen together under one roof, it is now an academy offering various academic courses ranging from drawing to musical instruments and singing.

In addition to oriental music, new courses have been added for western musical instruments such as piano and for singing.

In Al-Hudaif’s office in Al-Zahra district, one can see his passion for art exhibited on the walls and stacked on his shelves, from artworks by Arab artists, vintage art magazines and books by world-renowned philosophers.

He told Arab News that he had 11 branches in Jeddah alone, each with a different function. “For example, we have a branch in the north of Obhur that is a museum for ancient Arabian art. There’s another branch called Bohemianhouse, a 150-year-old building for art workshops, a cafe and a studio for some of our artists.”

Another branch, called Bait Ziryab, was named after the famous musician Ziryab, from Andalusia, and is housed in a building more than 100 years old. “We’ve refurbished it, decorated it and turned it into an institute for music.”

They have trained more than 400 people in Bait Ziryab alone.

There’s also Bait Al-Hudaif, which functions as a lab for artists.

Arbab Al-Heraf runs different projects, such as the Lathrebo project, where volunteers enter ancient and abandoned houses in Madinah and turn them into art sites.

Another project launched by the academy aims to paint the walls of eight districts in Jeddah’s Old Town.

Yet another targets different segments of society, including younger audiences, with a podcast that teaches the importance of preserving the environment and recycling. “About 30 percent of our participants are made up of children, the rest is all adults.”

“We’ve had over 30,000 visitors to our different branches, and that is only the visitors. A lot of our participants have gained fame through their crafts, songs, movies or books whose inception began with us here at Arbab Al-Heraf,” he added.

Although Arbab Al-Heraf has found great success in cultivating Saudi artistic talents, it was not always an easy feat. Al-Hudaif said that Arbab’s beginnings were humble and met with many obstacles.

He said that one does not have to be a participant or a music student to visit his academy. “Art knows no culture or age or gender (barriers), it’s for everyone to be a part of.”

He said that his academy aims not only to invest in Saudi talent, but to unify people. “We all have different backgrounds and lives but under one roof we all unify for the shared passion for art, literature, music, films, etc.”

Through his academy and several branches scattered in the city, Al-Hudaif wants to show to the world that Saudis have immense talent in art and are open-minded individuals that welcome all different people.


Beauty mogul Huda Kattan condemns ‘unjust’ situation in Palestine

Beauty mogul Huda Kattan condemns ‘unjust’ situation in Palestine
Updated 18 May 2021

Beauty mogul Huda Kattan condemns ‘unjust’ situation in Palestine

Beauty mogul Huda Kattan condemns ‘unjust’ situation in Palestine

DUBAI: US-Iraqi beauty mogul Huda Kattan has become the latest celebrity to speak out on social media about the current bombardment of Gaza by Israel and the forced evictions faced by Palesntians.

A number of big names have recently expressed their support for families facing eviction from their homes in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah while also condemning Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.

In an Instagram video, Dubai-based entrepreneur and founder of the Huda Beauty brand, and skincare label Wishful, Kattan said: “I am really annoyed at some of the things that have been happening on some of the social media platforms.

“There have been very unjust things going on in Palestine right now. Hopefully, most of you have been able to experience the opportunity to buy your own home, and I just recently did. I can’t imagine somebody coming into the home that I built and telling me I have to leave and taking it away from me.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Huda Kattan (@huda)

The 37-year-old makeup artist also accused Instagram of hiding or “completely” deleting posts about Palestine. “It is really disappointing, because a lot of these outlets have outwardly said, ‘we are going to allow fake news.’ But they won’t allow us to post or protest?” she added.

“One of the gifts of social media is the equal opportunity to spread news and to spread the things of how we see them. But that’s not actual, it depends on which side you are fighting actually. Because if you are on the wrong side, it will get hidden, or deleted, or nobody is going to see it.

“I know I have a beauty brand and I am not supposed to talk about politics or whatever, but it is unjust, and I want to stand for what’s right whether or not it makes me unpopular,” Kattan said.


Saudi author takes an intimate look at facing death in lauded novel 

Saudi author takes an intimate look at facing death in lauded novel 
Updated 17 May 2021

Saudi author takes an intimate look at facing death in lauded novel 

Saudi author takes an intimate look at facing death in lauded novel 

CHICAGO: The youngest writer —and the first debut author — to be shortlisted in the history of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction is Saudi Arabia’s very own Aziz Mohammed for “The Critical Case of a Man Called K.” Hailing from AlKhobar, Mohammed’s novel follows a young man named K whose is hyper-aware of the monotony of his life. Everything, up until now, has been predictable, but when fatigue sends him to the hospital, K learns that he has leukemia. Translated into English by the award-winning Humphrey Davies, the story of K is a tale that takes an intimate look at a young man’s life when he is faced with illness and death.

K is introspective almost to the point of exhausting himself. He has a mother who has always taken care of him but equates reading books to being as harmful as smoking, a father who dies before he finishes high school and a sister and brother who do everything they are asked to do. K, on the other hand, fights the tedium while attempting to be a good son. Pulling references from his favorite authors, such as Kafka, Hemingway, and Tanizaki, he feels his life as an IT graduate, which was the chosen career path for financial reasons, is not what he wants to do, and he longs for something different.

Through K, Mohammed has created a character who is sensitive to how his presence affects everyone around him, as if he can see his sound waves rippling through people and altering them. He longs for inspiration to write a novel, but the environment does not concede to exploration or anything out of the ordinary.

Mohammed’s debut novel is a darkly humorous look into the life of a man who desires more in life when he is diagnosed with leukemia. The journey into illness is intimate and distressing, watching someone’s world turn upside down while at the same time offering an alternative to the mundane and predictable. There is rawness to life when faced with death, duty bound mothers, sons, and daughters, the tension and love between children and parents, and the fragility of the system when love and tradition don’t always move parallel to one another.

 


New York-based photographer Jinane Ennasri’s new photobook is a celebration of Morocco

New York-based photographer Jinane Ennasri’s new photobook is a celebration of Morocco
The 50-page photobook is a collection of images captured in the Northern region of Morocco. Supplied
Updated 17 May 2021

New York-based photographer Jinane Ennasri’s new photobook is a celebration of Morocco

New York-based photographer Jinane Ennasri’s new photobook is a celebration of Morocco

DUBAI: “A gift to Morocco and the rest of the world,” is  how New York-based photographer Jinane Ennasri describes her new photobook, “Live From Morocco.” 

The new photobook focuses on sharing the diverse beauty and culture of the North African country by way of grainy, pastel-tinged film photographs of people and everyday life in the Moroccan cities of Tangier, Fes, Oujda, Berkane, Al-Hoceima and the photographer’s birth city Taza.

The candid photos were shot betewen 2016 and 2019. Supplied

The candid photos, which were shot and collected between 2016 and 2019, capture the Northern region of Morocco in its rawest and purest form. “I find it beautiful that modernization and imported technology have not distorted Morocco to the extent of losing its substance or its essence,” shares Ennasri with Arab News. “Morocco has accepted these things and made a place for them, while safeguarding its sense of values and its history.”

Its 50-pages take readers on a journey through tiny villages, where older Moroccan men congregate with their bicycles, and through the turquoise Mediterannean waters where young sun-drenched men are diving from rocks. 

The candid photos depict the Northern region of Morocco in its rawest and purest form. Supplied

But the photobook does much more than depict everyday street life. By simply capturing the country how it is, Ennasri’s photo-journalistic approach encapsulates Moroccan people as complex subjects while challenging the false idea of the monolithic Arab experience. 

The author and shutterbug is in the throng of new Moroccan photographers who are redefining what it truly means to be Moroccan while pushing back against stereotypes.

“Live From Morocco” is Ennasri’s second photobook. Supplied

The 25-year-old, who first picked up a camera in 2012, reveals that “Live From Morocco” is a deeply personal project for her. “I’ve always felt obligated to make sure people knew where I came from,” says Ennasri, who identifies as a Moroccan-American-Muslim. “I keep in mind to reflect it in my work somehow.”

Ennasri immigrated with her family from Morocco to the United States in 1999. Her family settled in Queens, New York, before relocating to Jersey City.

The photobook is available online and at both 255 centre street and 185 mulberry street in Soho, New York. Supplied 

The creative attended Pace University in Lower Manhattan where she pursued a degree in Finance & Economics. Shortly after graduating, she worked at a prestigious law firm in New York before leaving the 9-5 life behind to pursue her passion, photography, as a full-time career.

“Live From Morocco” is Ennasri’s second photobook. She released “Perspective,” which consists of 60 photographs of subjects in France, Morocco and the UAE in 2017.


Mohamed Hadid, Oscar-nominated Farah Nabulsi join hands for video on Jerusalem

Mohamed Hadid took part in the video. Here, he poses with daugher Gigi Hadid. (File/ AFP)
Mohamed Hadid took part in the video. Here, he poses with daugher Gigi Hadid. (File/ AFP)
Updated 15 May 2021

Mohamed Hadid, Oscar-nominated Farah Nabulsi join hands for video on Jerusalem

Mohamed Hadid took part in the video. Here, he poses with daugher Gigi Hadid. (File/ AFP)

DUBAI: Famous Palestinians have starred in a video expressing their love for the city of Jerusalem.

“Why do I love Jerusalem?” the opening sequence of the short video reads, in a message that is . translated into English, French, Russian and Spanish.

The monochrome clip features Mohamed Hadid, real estate mogul and father of models Gigi and Bella, as well as BAFTA-winning filmmaker Farah Nabulsi, whose short film was also nominated for an Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards, mountaineer Mostafa Salameh and actors Yasmine Al Massri and Eyas Younis, among other celebrities.

From its food, to its people, diversity and “the smell of the morning,” the figures all came together to reminisce about what makes Jerusalem so special.

“O Jerusalem, we love you!  Palestinian Personalities from around the world share their message of love and solidarity for Jerusalem. A message of Unity, love and hope for justice and peace for all. Seventeen Palestinians from different backgrounds get together in a simple message of love to Jerusalem. Actors, artists, musicians, chefs, journalists, sportswomen and men, unite their voices for the love of this historic city,” the caption of the video reads.


Rare books shed light on history of the Arab world

Rare books shed light on history of the Arab world
Updated 14 May 2021

Rare books shed light on history of the Arab world

Rare books shed light on history of the Arab world
  • Regional highlights from the latest catalogue of rare book dealer Peter Harrington, which will be represented at the Abu Dhabi Book Fair later this month

A visual record of a Jeddah landmark

This “apparently unique” bespoke album contains 120 original photographs of Jeddah’s well-known Bayt Nassif, taken before its restoration in the early 1980s. The Saudi government purchased this historic landmark in 1975 and initially used as a library, but it is now a cultural center that hosts exhibitions and other events. King Faisal’s decision to rehabilitate the building “provided an enlightening and inspiring model for sustainability in historic areas,” according to a book cited in the Peter Harrington catalogue.

Located on the main street of Jeddah’s historic Al-Balad district, the house was built for the then-governor of Jeddah, Sheikh Umar Effendi Al-Nassif between 1872 and 1881 and is now, the catalogue states, “widely recognized as one of the most important surviving examples of Red Sea coralline limestone architecture.” The house was later used by King Abdulaziz bin Saud as his primary residence in the city until Khuzam Palace was constructed.

Until the 1920s, Bayt Nassif was also the site of the only tree in Jeddah’s old city — so the building is also known locally as The House of the Tree. That neem tree still survives and can be seen in images in this book.

Account of a 19th-century journey from Jeddah to Egypt

In 1819, Sir Miles Nightingall, commander-in-chief of Britain’s Bombay Army, was returning to England from India when their ship “Teignmouth” was grounded on a sandbank in the Gulf of Aden. Having got their boat moving again, Nightingall and his entourage — including Captain James Hanson, the author of this work — headed to Jeddah “where they were welcomed by the Turkish governor, newly installed following the restoration of Ottoman rule in Egypt. Having taken advice from Henry Salt, consul-general in Egypt, they decided on an overland route across the desert that would take in the ‘most interesting and marvelous ruins’ at Thebes.” Hanson’s book describes — and maps — their journey from Kosseir (now Quseer) on the Red Sea westwards inland to Kennah (Qena) on the Nile, just east of Dendera “passing ruined forts, ‘Hills having the appearance of Tombs’ and ‘Sterile Desert - not a blade of Vegetation.’”

Journals of a British naval officer in the Arabian Gulf 1928-51

This three-volume manuscript relate to Midshipman Francis Wyatt Rawson Larken’s service in the British Royal Navy in the early-to-mid 20th century, for part of which Larken was stationed in the Arabian Gulf around what the British then called the Trucial States, which later became the UAE. The books were unpublished at the time, and according to the catalogue, include “a compelling account of a visit to Dubai and an on-board reception for the Trucial Sheikhs.”  Those visitors would have included Sheikh Saeed bin Maktoum Al-Maktoum of Dubai, Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan Al-Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, and Sheikh Sultan bin Saqr Al-Qasimi of Sharjah, among others.

“There were some 8 or 10 of the higher cast (sic.) on board and these were taken round the ship by the Admiral and the Captain while their followers stayed on the Quarter Deck. … They all then congregated on the Quarter Deck where the band played. They then left in their respective barges — ornate and rather splendid motor dhows, the various Sheikhs receiving salutes — the number of guns ranging from 6 to 1 in ratio to their importance. They brought us gifts of Beef and Melon Jelly … and were sent away with Gold Flake Cigarettes and chocolate,” Larken writes. “Every man carries his broad curved belt knife — heavily set with worked silver — and the chief ones wore splendid ‘Bournous’ of gold work cloth. All were fine upstanding men very much like the Sheik of fiction.”

During his service, Larken also visited Aden, Muscat, Sohar, Sur, Khasab and Khor al-Jarama in modern Oman, as well as Dubai and the island of Sir Abu Nu’ayr in what is now the UAE.

British intelligence manual from the time of the ‘Arab Revolt’

This manual includes material from T.E. Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia) and was produced by the British Arab Bureau as a guide to the “tribal and political organization, geography and passable routes in the region” at the time of the military uprising by Arab forces against the Ottoman Empire during World War I, led by Hussein bin Ali, the sherif of Makkah, backed by the British government. One of the “passable routes” that Lawrence himself gave information on was that from Madinah to Makkah.

This copy previously belonged to William Cochrane, deputy to Colonely Cyril Wilson, the British Agent at Jeddah. Among Cochrane’s duties was the organization of the Hajj for Muslims from British India, and he reportedly “took charge of the £125,000 in gold sovereigns that was brought to Jeddah each month by the Red Sea Patrol of the Royal Navy” — Hussein’s subsidy from the British for the uprising.

Eyewitness account of a Danish expedition to Arabia in the 1760s

An English translation of a two-volume account of the 1761-7 Danish expedition to the region — “the first great scientific expedition to the Middle East” — by the surveyor Carsten Niebuhr, the only member of that expedition to survive.

“The party left Copenhagen in early 1761, travelling via Constantinople to Alexandria and spending a year in Egypt, ascending the Nile and exploring Sinai. They then crossed from Suez to Jeddah and sailed down the Arabian coast to al-Luhayyah in Yemen, making frequent landfalls, before continuing overland to Sana’a via Mocha, with two members of the party dying en route. On returning to Mocha, the remaining four collapsed with fever and were put on a ship bound for Bombay, with only Niebuhr surviving the sea voyage.”

Niebuhr’s account of the trip, the catalogue says, “has long been considered one of the classic accounts of the geography, people, antiquities and archaeology of the Arabian Peninsula and wider Middle East, with maps which remained in use for over 100 years” and is “a singularly important account of the Gulf in this still-obscure period.”

A chronicle of traditional Arab seamanship

The full title of this work from 1940 is “Sons of Sinbad. An Account of Sailing with the Arabs in their Dhows, in the Red Sea, around the Coasts of Arabia, and to Zanzibar and Tanganyika; Pearling in the Persian Gulf; and the Life of the Shipmasters, the Mariners and Merchants of Kuwait.” As it suggests, the book — written by Australian adventurer Alan Villiers — is a comprehensive account of traditional seamanship, boat building and trade in the region at a time when those traditions were coming to an end with the discovery of oil. It includes dozens of illustrations from photographs and charts too.