New exhibition in Manchester explores nature through British-Arab eyes

English-Moroccan creator Jessica El-Mal, lead artist and one of the co-producers of the installation, said her inspiration for the project came when the UK was still in lockdown. (Supplied)
English-Moroccan creator Jessica El-Mal, lead artist and one of the co-producers of the installation, said her inspiration for the project came when the UK was still in lockdown. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 24 July 2021

New exhibition in Manchester explores nature through British-Arab eyes

English-Moroccan creator Jessica El-Mal, lead artist and one of the co-producers of the installation, said her inspiration for the project came when the UK was still in lockdown. (Supplied)
  • Manchester-based installation highlights stories of migration, diaspora
  • Lead artist: ‘After the year we’ve just had, this project and exhibition is the lightness we all need’

LONDON: A new mixed-media exhibition exploring the history, achievements and experiences of Arabs in Britain through the lens of people’s relationship with nature and green space has launched in the north of England.

Free to visitors and run by the Arab British Centre, the Manchester-based installation highlights stories of migration, diaspora, and the intricacies of the Arab-British experience in all its intersections and diversity. 

Themed around the idea of nature and named “Jarda” — “garden” in Moroccan Arabic — artists will give audiences a chance to “walk in nature through Arab eyes.”

English-Moroccan creator Jessica El-Mal, lead artist and one of the co-producers of the installation, said her inspiration for the project came when the UK was still in lockdown and when parks, fields and forests became people’s only outing.

The women-led exhibition encourages visitors to appreciate the green spaces available to them, while also exposing audiences to the Arab experience in modern Britain.

“Working with this group of amazing women has made me appreciate Manchester, myself and my femininity in a whole new way. After the year we’ve just had, this project and exhibition is the lightness we all need,” El-Mal said.

Amani Hassan, program director at the Arab British Centre, said: “Since it was first launched in 2019, our Arab Britain theme has set out to explore the history, achievements and experiences of Arabs in Britain.”

The program aims to overturn preconceptions, challenge prejudices, retrace the ways the Arab world has influenced and shaped British culture and society, and celebrate the contributions of Arabs in the country, past and present. 

“Jarda highlights the universal comfort and connection we can all find in nature through intimate and personal reflections on home, belonging and the power of community,” Hassan said.

“We hope that visitors to the museum enjoy their walk in nature through Arab British eyes and are encouraged to reflect on their own connections to it.”

The physical exhibition will be accompanied by a digital offering that will give people free access to a host of creative activities that aim to encourage people to reflect on their own connections with green spaces.

“Jarda” is open now, and will run until Oct. 10 in Manchester’s People’s History Museum.


Egyptian actress Rosaline Elbay to star in Netflix drama 

Egyptian actress Rosaline Elbay to star in Netflix drama 
Updated 7 sec ago

Egyptian actress Rosaline Elbay to star in Netflix drama 

Egyptian actress Rosaline Elbay to star in Netflix drama 

DUBAI: Egyptian actress Rosaline Elbay is set to star in Netflix’s upcoming heist action drama “Jigsaw” alongside US actor Giancarlo Esposito, she revealed this week. 

The series centers around a large heist that is loosely based on the $70 billion in bonds that went missing in New York’s downtown Manhattan when Hurricane Sandy struck the city in 2012.

Elbay, who is also a writer, will play the role of Judy Goodwin, the crew’s demolitions specialist who is clever, talented and independent.

The eight-episode series, which ranges from 24 years before the heist to one year after, also casts Spanish actress Paz Vega, British star Rufus Sewell, US actors Tati Gabrielle and Peter Mark Kendall, Australian talent Jai Courtney and Iranian actress Niousha Noor.

Elbay is famous for her role as Amani in Hulu’s award-winning series “Ramy,” which stars US-Egyptian Golden Globe winner Ramy Youssef. 


Director Mounia Akl’s ‘Costa Brava, Lebanon’ wins award at Toronto Film Festival

Director Mounia Akl’s ‘Costa Brava, Lebanon’ wins award at Toronto Film Festival
Updated 4 min 37 sec ago

Director Mounia Akl’s ‘Costa Brava, Lebanon’ wins award at Toronto Film Festival

Director Mounia Akl’s ‘Costa Brava, Lebanon’ wins award at Toronto Film Festival

 

DUBAI: Lebanese director Mounia Akl this week won the Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema (NETPAC) award at the 46th Toronto International Film Festival for her feature “Costa Brava, Lebanon.”

Her impassioned debut is an eerie family drama set amid a raging climate crisis in near-future Lebanon.

The film stars actors Saleh Bakri and Nadine Labaki. 

Palestinian actor Saleh Bakri plays Walid and Lebanese star Nadine Labaki plays his wife, Souraya. (Supplied)

“Costa Brava, Lebanon – an exquisite intergenerational family story – is an ode to sustainable futures by visionary new talent, Mounia Akl from her precious and troubled country,” said the NETPAC jury, that included Spanish filmmaker Gemma Cubero del Barrio, Beijing based film producer Isabelle Glachant and BAFTA-nominated producer Elhum Shakerifar, in a statement published in Deadline.

The 32-year-old filmmaker’s haunting and upsetting feature was originally meant to depict a dystopian Lebanon in 2030 at its worst.

“I tried to imagine this dystopian future where none of our problems had been solved and the country was an extreme version of itself,” she told Arab News at the festival.

“It was somehow a way for me to imagine the worst for myself in the same way you sometimes want to explore your trauma in a cathartic way. It was a way for me to imagine the worst in my mind as a way of avoiding the worst happening in my mind and in life.”

The film follows a family who move out of Beirut. (Supplied)

But Lebanon’s crisis deepened as Akl and her team got closer to shooting the movie. “The reality of Lebanon became more tragic and more dystopian than even the dystopia that I imagined in 2030,” she said.

In the film, the now trash-filled surroundings of Lebanon’s “Costa Brava” had meant to be the free-spirited Badri family’s getaway utopia from the pollution and social unrest of Beirut. But their dreams were trashed when construction of a landfill site started next door to the family’s home.

Costa Brava is an actual landfill in Lebanon that opened in April 2016 as one of two sites advertised by the Lebanese government as a solution to the eight-month trash crisis the country had experienced the year before. However, within two weeks of its opening, residents and activists launched protests at the site demanding its closure.


Fashion highs from the Emmys: From Dior to Zuhair Murad, TV's finest go all out

Fashion highs from the Emmys: From Dior to Zuhair Murad, TV's finest go all out
Updated 20 September 2021

Fashion highs from the Emmys: From Dior to Zuhair Murad, TV's finest go all out

Fashion highs from the Emmys: From Dior to Zuhair Murad, TV's finest go all out

DUBAI: From actress Yara Shahidi stunning in a forest green Dior look, to plenty of gowns from Middle Eastern designers, Sunday’s 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles was a night to remember.

US-Iranian Shahidi, who currently serves as a global ambassador for Dior’s fashion and beauty segments, showed off an off-the-shoulder, tea-length dress by the storied French fashion house.

Yara Shahidi wore an off-the-shoulder, tea-length dress. (AFP)

With a thin belt at the waist and gentle tulle gathered on the bodice, it was a standout look on the red carpet. The actress and Harvard student was dressed by celebrity stylist Jason Bolden, who finished off his client’s look with chunky Cartier jewelry.

There was no shortage of glamour from the Middle East at the awards ceremony, with a number of stars opting for Arab designs.

US athlete Allyson Felix chose a simple look by Lebanese designer Reem Acra. (AFP)

“Kate” actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead showed off an evening gown by Lebanese couturier Zuhair Murad, complete with dramatic floor-grazing epaulettes. For her part, US athlete Allyson Felix chose a simple look by Lebanese designer Reem Acra, with a peek-a-boo cutout on the waist.

Dancer Kylie Marie Jefferson wore a structured grey ensemble by Beirut-based Azzi & Osta. (AFP)

Other standout outfits included TV actress Nicolette Robinson in a deep blue gown by Lebanon’s Tony Ward, which featured a sheer skirt and ruffled neckline; dancer Kylie Marie Jefferson in a structured grey ensemble by Beirut-based Azzi & Osta and actress Allison Janney in yet another structured look by the same duo, this time an all-white gown from their Fall/Winter 2019 collection.

Other standout outfits included TV actress Nicolette Robinson in a deep blue gown by Lebanon’s Tony Ward. (AFP)

Special mention should go to Lebanon’s Rani Zakhem, who is a relative newcomer to Hollywood red carpets. Zakhem’s gowns adorned not one but two celebrities at the Emmys, with the executive producer of hit show “WandaVision” Jac Schaeffer opting for a dark and moody floral gown, and TV news personality Zuri Hall showing off an icy grey jumpsuit with a plunging neckline and split legs.

On to the international looks and Anya Taylor-Joy, the star of acclaimed chess drama “The Queen’s Gambit,” stunned in a backless slinky butter-colored Dior gown paired with a dramatic bright yellow shawl that descended in a long train.

“The Crown” star Emma Corrin also wore butter yellow — she attended the London satellite watch party in a strapless floor-length Miu Miu gown, long fingerless gloves and bonnet, according to AFP.



Meanwhile, Kate Winslet, the Emmy winner for best actress in a limited series for “Mare of Easttown,” went for basic black, donning an Armani gown with a plunging neckline and airy sheer sleeves.


Emmys 2021: Who won what on TV’s biggest night

Evan Peters, left, and Julianne Nicholson pose for a photo with the awards for outstanding supporting actor and actress in a limited or anthology series or movie for
Evan Peters, left, and Julianne Nicholson pose for a photo with the awards for outstanding supporting actor and actress in a limited or anthology series or movie for "Mare of Easttown" on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP)
Updated 20 September 2021

Emmys 2021: Who won what on TV’s biggest night

Evan Peters, left, and Julianne Nicholson pose for a photo with the awards for outstanding supporting actor and actress in a limited or anthology series or movie for "Mare of Easttown" on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP)
  • “The Crown” looked set for its first best drama series Emmy after a season that focused on the unhappy marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana

LOS ANGELES: TV comedy “Ted Lasso” and the drama “The Crown” clinched multiple Emmy Awards on Sunday for the heart-warming tale of a struggling English soccer team and the lavish saga of the British royal family.
Jason Sudeikis, the star and co-creator of “Ted Lasso,” was named best comedy actor and the show also brought statuettes for Britons Hannah Waddingham and Brett Goldstein for their supporting roles as the club owner and aging star player.
“This show is about family. This show’s about mentors and teachers and this show’s about teammates. And I wouldn’t be here without those three things in my life,” Sudeikis said on accepting the award.

In this video grab issued Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, by the Television Academy, Kate Winslet accepts the award for outstanding lead actress in a limited or anthology series or movie for "Mare of Easttown" during the Primetime Emmy Awards. (AP)

But it wasn’t all plain sailing. “Ted Lasso” lost the comedy writing and directing awards to “Hacks,” about a fading stand-up female comedian played by Jean Smart, who got a standing ovation when she was named best comedy actress.
The early wins poised “Ted Lasso” to take one of the top prizes — best comedy series — at the end of the ceremony after winning over audiences with its optimism and folksy humor during the dark days of the coronavirus pandemic.

John Oliver poses for a photo with the awards for outstanding writing for a variety series and outstanding variety talk series for "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, at L.A. Live in Los Angeles. (AP)

“The Crown” also looked set for its first best drama series Emmy after a season that focused on the unhappy marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. “The Crown” brought wins for supporting actors Gillian Anderson (as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher) and Tobias Menzies (the late Prince Philip), as well as for writing and directing.
“We’re all thrilled. I am very proud. I’m very grateful. We’re going to party,” said Peter Morgan, creator of “The Crown,” at a gathering in London for the cast and crew.
A best drama series win for “The Crown” would mark a milestone for Netflix, while Apple TV+ would enter streaming’s big league with a comedy series win for “Ted Lasso.”
Emmys host Cedric the Entertainer got Sunday’s ceremony off to a rousing start with a musical rap, helped by the likes of Billy Porter, LL Cool J and Billy Porter on the theme of “TV — you got what I need.”

Brett Goldstein, left, and Hannah Waddingham, winners of the awards for outstanding supporting actor and actress in a comedy series for "Ted Lasso" pose at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, at L.A. Live in Los Angeles. (AP)

Concerns over the Delta variant of the coronavirus forced Sunday’s ceremony to move to an outdoor tent in downtown Los Angeles, with a reduced guest list and mandatory vaccinations and testing.
But the Los Angeles red carpet looked much like pre-pandemic days, with stars posing maskless in plunging gowns and bold colors.
In the closely contested limited series category, Julianne Nicholson and Evan Peters won for supporting roles as a housewife and detective in “Mare of Easttown” about a murder in a small Philadelphia town.
“Mare of Easttown” is also nominated for best limited series in a closely contested category that includes harrowing British rape drama “I May Destroy You,” innovative superhero dramedy “WandaVision,” and chess drama “The Queen’s Gambit.”

Gillian Anderson poses with her Emmy award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, backstage at the Netflix UK Primetime Emmy for "The Crown", in London, Britain, September 20, 2021. (REUTERS)

The popular and satirical “Saturday Night Live” won for best variety sketch series
One of television’s most popular shows — 1990s comedy “Friends” — could make an Emmys comeback. The “Friends” reunion special that saw the six main actors reminisce earlier this year about their days playing 20Something New Yorkers is competing against the filmed version of Broadway musical “Hamilton” for best variety special.
******************************************

The Latest on The Emmy Awards in Los Angeles (all times local):
6:50 p.m.
Ted Lasso has roped himself an Emmy.
Jason Sudeikis, who plays the title character in the Apple TV+ show about a happy-go-lucky American football coach hired to head a British soccer team, won the Emmy Award for best actor in a comedy series on Sunday night.
It’s the first career acting Emmy for Sudeikis, and the third Emmy of the night for “Ted Lasso.”
The former “Saturday Night Live” actor tried to thank that show’s mastermind Lorne Michaels, but found he was missing from his seat.
“I want to thank Lorne, who went to go take a dump, now, perfect.” Sudeikis joked.
___
MORE ON THE EMMYS:
— MJ Rodriguez wore teal, Billy Porter winged black at Emmys
— List of Emmy winners includes ‘Ted Lasso,’ ‘Mare of Easttown’ actors
— Emmys vow a ‘good time’ after bleak year; ‘Crown’ may rule
See AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/emmy-awards
___
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
6:40 p.m.
Jean Smart has an Emmy to mark a remarkable career renaissance.
Smart won best actress in a comedy series Sunday night for her role in HBO Max’s “Hacks.”
It’s her fourth career Emmy and her first in 12 years. She got a standing ovation from the Emmy audience.
She teared up as she thanked her husband of more than 30 years, actor Richard Gilliland, who died six months ago yesterday.
“I would not be here without him, and without his kind of putting his career on the back burner so that I could take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities that I’ve had,” Smart said.
The 70-year-old actor, previously best known for her role on “Designing Women,” has been a staple of elite TV the past few years, with nominated roles on “Fargo,” “Watchmen” and “Mare of Easttown.”
___
6:15 p.m.
Last week, tonight, or for half-a-dozen years, John Oliver can’t stop winning Emmys.
“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” won the Emmy Award for best variety talk series for the sixth straight year on Sunday night.
It was the second award the show won Sunday. It also won for best writing.
From the stage, Oliver praised fellow nominee Conan O’Brien, whose show recently ended its late-night run on TBS.
“Like many of us in this room, I was kind of rooting for ‘Conan,’ so this is bittersweet. Thank you so much, Conan, for inspiring 30 years of comedy writers,” Oliver said.
He also paid tribute to comic Norm Macdonald, who died on Tuesday.
Oliver said “no one was funnier in the last 20 years than Norm Macdonald on late-night comedy, so if you have any time in the next week, just do what I did and just spend time YouTubing clips of Norm and Conan, because it just doesn’t get better than that.” ___
5: 55 p.m.
The Emmy for best supporting actor in a drama series goes to Tobias Menzies for “The Crown.”
Menzies won for playing Prince Phillip opposite Olivia Colman’s Queen Elizabeth in the fourth season of the Netflix series, which has already taken four Emmys on Sunday night.
Menzies, a 47-year-old London-born actor, is also known for his roles on “Outlander” and “Game of Thrones.”
He beat out fellow nominees Giancarlo Esposito, O-T Fagbenle, John Lithgow, Max Minghella, Chris Sullivan, Bradley Whitford and Michael K. Williams.
___
5: 50 p.m.
Gillian Anderson has turned the Iron Lady into Emmy gold.
Anderson won best supporting actress in a drama series on Sunday night for playing British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in the fourth season of “The Crown.”
It was already the third Emmy of the night for the Netflix show, whose winners are accepting their awards at a viewing party in London.
And it was the second career Emmy for Anderson, who won her first 24 years ago for “The X-Files.”
She beat out her “The Crown” castmates Helena Bonham Carter and Emerald Fennell, along with Madeline Brewer, Ann Dowd, Aunjanue Ellis, Yvonne Strahovski and Samira Wiley.
___
5:30 p.m.
The sidekick and best friend of Easttown have each won an Emmy.
Evan Peters won best supporting actor in a limited series or TV movie for HBO’s “Mare of Easttown” on Sunday night, and Julianne Nicholson won best supporting actress for the show.
Nicholson won for playing the best friend of Kate Winslet’s title character, a Pennsylvania detective trying to solve a murder amid struggles with family and friends.
Peters won for playing Winslet’s partner.
Both praised the show’s star from the stage.
“Man, you’re good at acting,” Nicholson said to Winslet.
It was the first Emmy, and first nomination, for both Peters and Nicholson.
___
5:20 p.m.
Brett Goldstein topped his teammates at the Emmys.
Goldstein won best supporting actor in a comedy series for his role in “Ted Lasso,” which had four nominees in the category.
“This cast made me sick they’re so good,” Goldstein said.
With his win, “Ted Lasso” took the first two Emmys of the night, with Hannah Waddingham taking best supporting actress in a comedy.
It’s the first Emmy for Goldstein, and comes for his first nomination.
He beat out castmates Brendan Hunt, Nick Mohammed and Jeremy Swift along with Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Bowen Yang, Kenan Thompson and Paul Reiser.
___
5:15 p.m.
Hannah Waddingham, and “Ted Lasso,” have won the first Emmy of the night.
Waddingham won best supporting actress in a comedy series Sunday for the Apple TV+ series, which could be in for a big night.
Waddingham screamed with delight when she reached the stage.
“Jason, you’ve changed my life with this,” she said to the show’s star and co-creator Jason Sudeikis.
Waddingham plays the owner of an English soccer team who hires the American title character to run it into the ground on “Ted Lasso.”
She beat her castmate Juno Temple, along with Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant, Hannah Einbinder and Rosie Perez.
___
5: 10 p.m.
Host Cedric the Entertainer, LL Cool J, and a bunch of audience members opened the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards with a hip-hop tribute to television.
Cedric introduced the CBS telecast Sunday night by saying it would be anything but subdued, and began a rollicking declaration of his love for TV to the tune of Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend.”
“TV, you got what I need, would you say he’s just a friend,” the host sang.
The show looks a lot more like a traditional awards ceremony than last year’s audience-free “Pandemmies,” but is still seriously scaled back, held in a tent in downtown Los Angeles.
The night’s favorites include Netflix’s drama “The Crown” and Apple TV+ comedy “Ted Lasso.”
___
1 p.m.
Emmy Awards host Cedric the Entertainer and the show’s producers promise it will be a celebration for all. But it could be much more rewarding, even historic, for some.
That includes Netflix’s drama “The Crown” and Apple TV+ comedy “Ted Lasso.” Each is considered a frontrunner Sunday for top series honors in their respective categories, and their casts received armloads of nominations.
More than the shows would benefit. Victories in both the best drama and comedy series categories would mark a first for streaming services and reinforce their growing dominance, to the dismay of competitors.

 


Famed opera star Andrea Bocelli among line-up slated for Expo 2020 opening ceremony

Famed opera star Andrea Bocelli is among the line-up slated for Expo 2020 opening ceremony. (AFP)
Famed opera star Andrea Bocelli is among the line-up slated for Expo 2020 opening ceremony. (AFP)
Updated 19 September 2021

Famed opera star Andrea Bocelli among line-up slated for Expo 2020 opening ceremony

Famed opera star Andrea Bocelli is among the line-up slated for Expo 2020 opening ceremony. (AFP)

DUBAI: A stellar lineup of regional talent is set to perform at Expo 2020’s Opening Ceremony on Sept. 30, organizers have announced.

Among those slated to perform are world-famous tenor Andrea Bocelli; Grammy-nominated, Golden Globe-winning actress, singer and songwriter Andra Day; platinum selling British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding; famed pianist Lang Lang; and four-time Grammy winner Angelique Kidjo.

From the region, Saudi singing sensation Mohamed Abdo, as well as Emirati stars Ahlam Alshamsi and Hussain Al-Jassmi, will perform. Grammy-nominated Lebanese-American singer Mayssa Karaa will also hit the stage, among other talents. 

Tareq Ghosheh, Chief Event and Entertainment Officer of Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “As the global spotlight shines on the UAE, this incredible, unforgettable evening will celebrate the collaborative, creative and optimistic spirit of Expo 2020, demonstrating our commitment to hosting a mega-event that will delight the world.

“Combining some of the most sought-after names in the world of music, live events and entertainment with the awe-inspiring, world-first technologies of the iconic Al Wasl Plaza, this is the ‘big bang’ that sets the scene for 182 days of visually striking and emotionally inspiring experiences, as we invite visitors from across the planet to join the making of a new world.”