DUBAI: Author Mohammed Alnaas, 31, is the youngest author and first Libyan to win the International Prize for Arabic Fiction for his book “Bread on Uncle Milad’s Table.”
The winner was announced on Sunday and Alnaas will be given a $50,000 prize in addition to funding for an English translation of the book.
The Libyan author delves into gender roles and ideas of masculinity in a faraway village of his native country for the book. After getting engaged, Milad’s family life becomes the talk of the village as he indulges in his passion for bread-making while his fiancé works to support the house.
Milad learns of the gossip by the neighborhood and publicly questions traditional gender roles.
Alnaas’s novel won out of six shortlisted novels, and was praised for its complexity and literary flair.
The book was written in just six months during the lockdown, while Tripoli was under bombardment.
Alnaas revealed that writing “Bread on the Table of Uncle Milad” was his “refuge from insanity” amidst the news of COVID-19 and war.
“The winning novel is written in the form of confessions of personal experience. Its plethora of detail is deftly unified by a gripping narrative,” said Tunisian novelist and previous IPAF winner Shukri Mabkhout, chair of the 2022 judges. This offers a deep and meticulous critique of prevailing concepts of masculinity and femininity and the division of work between men and women, and the effect of these on both a psychological and social level. It falls into the category of novels which question cultural norms about gender. However, it is embedded in its local Arab context and steers away from any ideological treatment of the issues, as such a treatment would be contrary to the way in which fiction can present multiple points of view,” he added.
Born in 1991, Alnaas obtained a BA in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tripoli in 2014 before publishing his short story collection “Blue Blood” in 2020.
“Having Georgina walk into a boutique and pick our abaya off the rack and wear it for such an important event means that we have managed to reach that goal in making the abaya versatile and wearable. She picked one of our signature abayas the palm sage green,” she said.
Rodriguez wore the design with a figure-hugging black dress, silver heels, and a white Chanel bag.
1309 Studios is grounded in a contemporary bohemian aesthetic. At the heart of the brand is a minimalist, feminine look that merges seasonal trends with traditional Qatari elements.
Clean silhouettes, bold colors, artful prints, and carefully considered details are hallmarks of the brand. The designer draws inspiration from art, nature, and global culture to create pieces with a contemporary edge.
“When I was a teenager, I found myself exploring fabrics and creating styles that weren’t available in Qatar at the time. I began designing kaftans for family and friends during college and that’s where it all started,” Al-Subaey added.
Before she launched her brand in 2015, she ran her small business from home and relied on word of mouth to increase the hype around her designs.
She said: “That was when I conceptualized and worked on launching my own brand. I saw that there was a gap, there was a need to create a community in Qatar where women can turn to take care of their emotional wellbeing and leave no stone unturned to make it into a reality.”
The brand name 1309 is a nod to Al-Subaey’s mother.
“13/09 is my mother’s birthday. The name is dedicated to my mother, as I got my fashion sense from her. I used to watch her stitch and cut when I was younger, I learned all about fabrics and stitching from my mother,” she added.
Al-Subaey’s designs, which are shipped worldwide and are available in stores in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, and Qatar, are tailored in Qatar. She uses sustainable, natural, and vegan fabrics, as well as biodegradable packaging.
She said: “We also recycle scrap fabric and turn it into furniture. We rely on human skills and avoid the use of machinery as much as possible.”
And her designs are not just sketches that she brings to life, she puts thought into the design process to understand how the pieces she is creating will emotionally affect the person wearing it.
“I want people to feel relaxed and most like themselves while wearing a 1309 piece of clothing. A lot of times when people are not comfortable in their clothes, they are not themselves.
“The idea behind the 1309 studio woman is to create a safe place for women. A place where women come together to empower and uplift each other professionally and otherwise; to develop a platform where women feel free to speak up and support and take a moment to heal from the daily challenges of life in today’s fast-paced technological world.
“The clothes they wear should not be a restraint. The fabrics, colors, and cuts that I choose make the girls feel fun and alive. It should feel like an outfit, rather than a covering for an outfit.
“The fabric we use at 1309 is meant to complement various body types and shapes,” she added.
Al-Subaey is working to grow her brand globally.
She said: “I want to change this stigma around abayas. I want abayas to become as respected globally as kimonos and to see everyone around the world wearing them; not necessarily to cover the body, but instead as a fashion statement.
“I would love for my ideas and inspiration to create change. Whether it is about applying sustainable approaches in our work or utilizing environmentally friendly packaging, I want the brand to continue to make a positive impact toward the community.
“I would like to expand globally and represent the Arab world in a global fashion space,” she added.
Model Ubah Hassan shows off a custom-made gown at New York event
Updated 07 February 2023
DUBAI: Somali Canadian model Ubah Hassan took to Instagram on Tuesday morning to show off her head-turning gown from an event that took place in New York.
The TV star, who is set to star in season 14 of “The Real Housewives of New York,” posted a video of her form-fitting lilac dress with cut out detailing around the chest that she wore to the 15 Percent Pledge gala. The gown featured voluminous sleeves that were attached to a cape with a long train.
“THANK YOU for having us at @15percentpledge gala. You guys are doing amazing work supporting black business, black designers (sic),” she captioned her first post.
The 15 Percent Pledge is an American non-profit organization that encourages retailers to pledge at least 15 percent of their shelf-space to Black-owned businesses. The foundation conducts audits, shares its database of Black-owned businesses, and offers business development strategies to participating companies.
Dutch Moroccan Egyptian model Imaan Hammam was also in attendance. She wore a black gown with a long train by Italian brand Maximilian and had her hair tied in hip-grazing braids.
“Thank you @aurorajames and the entire @15percentpledge team for such a well-curated event and for bringing everyone together for such a great cause,” she wrote on Instagram.
The gala dinner was also attended by Ashley Graham, Lori Harvey, Ryan Destiny and more.
To celebrate the achievements of Black entrepreneurs, the Fifteen Percent Pledge awarded three founders with grants. The first-place winner, beauty brand 54 Thrones, received the first-ever Achievement Award, a $200,000 grant presented by Shop with Google. The second runner-up, Sergio Hudson, received $35,000, and the third runner-up, Puzzles of Color, received $20,000.
The winners all received a physical award created by designer Jameel Mohammed, founder and director of Khiry, the luxury brand best known for its afro-futurist jewelry.
Bollywood comes to the UAE at Louvre Abu Dhabi exhibit
Updated 07 February 2023
ABU DHABI: Bollywood has come to the UAE as the Louvre Abu Dhabi unveiled its newest art exhibition, on the history of Indian cinema.
Home to one of the world’s largest film industries, India reportedly releases more than 1,500 genre-varying movies in 20 languages per year.
Running until June 4, “Bollywood Superstars” features a wide selection of paintings, photographs, costumes, tapestries and photographic objects. A significant number of the displayed items are on loan from the Musee du Quai Branly — Jacques Chirac in Paris, which specializes in indigenous art.
Indian cinema was developed in the 20th century, but as the exhibition demonstrates, narration and moving images have been present long before the modern era. In a way, the nation’s vibrant visual culture, folk performing arts, shadow puppetry, ancient epics and mythologies — dating back to 2,000 years — led to the birth of Bollywood. Some of the displayed objects represent the celebration and revival of religious, cultural figures, and heroes.
In the early days, traveling story-tellers roamed around, narrating scenes of important epics. A showcased mid-20th century wooden altar, resembling a toy box, shows on its detailed panels painted characters and scenes from the battle-themed “Ramayana” epic. It almost looks like a contemporary film set, where movement, costume, and staging are in action.
Other objects reveal deities, taking them out of their temples and closer to worshippers. There is a colorful wooden bioscope that projects with light images of a deity. “Like a music box, a hand crank slides images for viewers to see peering through small peepholes,” reads a label next to the device.
Movies arrived in India via the revolutionary French Lumiere brothers, who invented photographic equipment, in 1896. As the years advanced, filmmaking became a weapon against colonial rule, asserting identity. Modern pioneering directors, such as the late Dadasaheb Phalke (dubbed “the Father of Indian Cinema”), were inspired by their own literature and culture, manifesting in their creations.
The exhibition ends with a presentation of popular Hindi cinema today, witnessing a boom from the 1970s onwards with luminaries Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, and Shah Rukh Khan on the rise. Whether in old or modern times, “Bollywood Superstars” is a reminder of a human need to tell stories.
American multinational bank JPMorgan recommends Grand Egyptian Museum in its annual brochure
The bank’s annual brochure lists suggested recreational, artistic, and cultural activities to enjoy during holidays
The brochure mentions that the museum of ancient Egyptian civilization will display the complete collection of the boy king Tutankhamun
Updated 06 February 2023
CAIRO: JPMorgan Bank is directing its clients toward the Grand Egyptian Museum in its annual brochure.
The publication is distributed to the organization’s distinguished clients around the world.
It lists suggested recreational, artistic, and cultural activities to enjoy during holidays, while highlighting the most important attractions and places around the world.
This year’s brochure includes many locations, and among them is a picture of the soon-to-be-opened Grand Egyptian Museum, accompanied by some information about the attraction.
It says that the museum of ancient Egyptian civilization will display the complete collection of the boy king Tutankhamun.
Ahmed Issa, Egyptian minister of tourism and antiquities, appreciated the bank’s gesture in recommending the museum to its clients.
The museum’s opening is eagerly awaited and it will be considered one of the most important establishments of its kind in the world.
The minister said that its opening date will be decided as soon as possible, adding that kings, presidents, and senior officials from around the world will attend its inauguration.
Soha Ali, CEO of JPMorgan Bank in Egypt and North Africa, held a meeting with Issa recently, and thanked the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities for its cooperation, and for providing information on the museum, as well as photographs.
JPMorgan Bank, the largest in the US and one of the biggest in the world, issues its booklet on an annual basis.
Among the attendees were his oldest friends Miguel Paixao and Jose Semedo. Ronaldo also invited Madrid-based reporter Edu Aguirre and wife Julia Salmean, along with his new personal manager and agent Ricky Regufe and personal wealth manager Miguel Marques.
Ronaldo took to Instagram to share a few snapshots from the day, captioning the post: “Thank you everyone for all the birthday messages. Grateful to have spent the day with my family and friends.”
In the photos, the football superstar can be seen posing in front of a table laden with multiple birthday cakes. Another photo shared in the carousel of images shows Ronaldo taking advantage of the winter weather on what appears to be a trip to the desert, complete with a roaring bonfire and traditional tents.