DUBAI: Egyptian actress Mai Omar has been announced as the first judge for the Miss Universe Bahrain 2022 contest. The superstar announced the news in an Instagram post, along with the official Miss Universe Bahrain account.
“I am so thrilled to be a part of this historical project and I believe in this platform that empowers women, encourages young individuals to voice out their advocacies and at the same time have an amazing experience sharing their wonderful and inspirational stories with the world,” Omar said.
The new Miss Universe Bahrain will be revealed to the public during the show’s broadcast on Sept. 11, two weeks after she is crowned on Aug. 26.
Nadeem Deyani, who made history last year by being the first woman from the country to participate in the global pageant, will crown her successor at a gala event, the location for which has not yet been revealed.
DUBAI: Celebrating the historic win of Lebanese dance troupe Mayyas on the “America’s Got Talent” stage, founder and choreographer Nadim Cherfan appeared at a special question-and-answer session at the US embassy in Beirut.
“I never thought. I never planned. I never dreamed. I just went for it,” said Cherfan about the group’s meteoric rise over the past year.
The 45-minute Q&A session was broadcast on YouTube as part of the US Embassy’s Meet the Artist series. The broadcast also featured a special performance by the Mayyas — their first since winning the US talent show.
“I promise the girls I will be with them forever, that’s how I say it,” Cherfan said. “The girls will be changing over the years, some of them will be following their own dreams, but the Mayyas should live on, it’s not anymore about any of us — it’s a national pride. So we have to keep on sending this message.”
About being a group from Lebanon and his early inspiration to become a dancer, Cherfan said: “When you live in a country that has some struggles, you have to go deep to the heart to escape reality. I used to travel all around the world and experience a beautiful sensation that I can speak an international language and I can express myself whether I am angry or sad in this way, so I think dancing saved my life in a way.”
“As soon as I opened my eyes to this world and I started realizing that there’s something called theater and dance and music, I was completely taken away from the first second,” he said.
The Lebanese dance company Mayyas won “America’s Got Talent” season 17, taking home the $1 million prize and the chance to headline a Las Vegas show.
In June, the group made their “America’s Got Talent” debut and impressed judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Sofia Vergara so much that they received a golden buzzer and fast track to the live shows.
Lebanese designer Elie Saab unveils summer 2023 collection in Paris
Updated 02 October 2022
DUBAI: Lebanese designer Elie Saab unveiled his spring/summer 2023 collection at Paris Fashion Week over the weekend.
The line featured stylistic call-backs to the 1960s with its babydoll dresses, miniskirts, crop-tops and jabot collars. However, the designer managed to retain he floaty, contemporary Saab touch he has become famous for.
The first look from Saab at his Paris fashion show fused a 1960s angelic-white crop top and a maxi skirt with an ethnic look, thanks to a construction of interlocking motifs. This fusion of different eras continued throughout the show, which sent out 68 items, The Associated Press reported.
Lace detailing was a big theme and became the front of a baggy pale tracksuit top. In an anachronism that defined this Saab spring aesthetic, it was worn alongside a sheer 1990s' tulle skirt. It had a great swag and could have very well been seen at a music festival in that decade.
Flashes of Barbie pink and citrus contrasted with psychedelic stripes on column silhouettes, sometimes making it feel like Saab was trying to put too much in the mix.
However, the fresh white broderie anglaise, delicate crochet work and crisp cottons played into the summer theme that Saab sought to pull off, with the designer telling Vogue US that he “was just in the mood for something easy to wear, airy like a summer breeze.”
That sentiment was echoed on the fashion house’s social media accounts.
“The Elie Saab Woman drifts onto the scene in gentle warmth and movement. Her colorful confidence is embodied in the ready-to-wear spring/summer 2023 collection, exuding a timeless chic with a touch of garden freshness. Soft and sumptuous textures overlap into free-flowing expressions that carry her carefree assuredness throughout the day,” the label posted on Instagram alongside a video clip of the show.
The star-studded front row at the show featured the likes of Italian actress Monica Bellucci, US actress Eva Longoria, US influencer Olivia Palermo and Mohammed Al-Turki, the CEO of Jeddah’s Red Sea International Film Festival.
“Congrats to the Saab family for another beautiful show,” Al-Turki, who attended the event in an ensemble from Saab’s Haute Couture Men’s collection, posted on Instagram.
DUBAI: Lebanese human rights lawyer Amal Clooney and her actor husband George Clooney this week hosted the first-ever Albie Awards, an event created by the celebrity couple to honor individuals who, at great personal risk, have devoted their lives to justice.
The awards ceremony, which took place in New York City, is named after South African lawyer, activist, writer and former judge Justice Albie Sachs, who spent much of his life “defending people charged under racist statutes and repressive security laws.”
Amal was spotted on the red carpet wearing a silver and gold beaded Atelier Versace column gown and strappy silver Aquazzura sandals, while George wore a black tuxedo.
The event was attended by A-list celebrities including Oscar Isaac, Dua Lipa, John Oliver, Julia Roberts, Drew Barrymore, Ethan Hawke and Meryl Streep.
New Lonely Planet guide shines a light on Britain’s hidden Muslim heritage
‘Experience Great Britain’ is part of publisher’s range of ‘anti-guidebooks’
It offers ‘really diverse experiences for visitors,’ contributor Tharik Hussain says
Updated 01 October 2022
LONDON: A new Lonely Planet guide to Great Britain features an entire chapter on the country’s little-known Islamic heritage, which stretches back more than 1,200 years.
Published this month, “Experience Great Britain” is part of the publisher’s range of “anti-guidebooks,” so-called because of the unique local perspectives they offer travelers.
The guide to Britain has sections and essays titled “Legacies of Empire,” “Bristol’s Black History,” “An Other London” and “Hidden Muslim Britain,” all of which seek to shine a light on the nation’s marginalized cultures and their stories.
Tharik Hussain, the Muslim author of “Minarets in the Mountains: A Journey Into Muslim Europe,” which explores the continent’s indigenous Muslim cultures, contributed to the new travel guide.
Less than an hour before I'm on @Islamchannel discussing the first popular guidebook (@lonelyplanet) to Britain to feature a whole section on OUR country's Muslim heritage .... taking it from the margins into the mainstream!
“I think it is wonderful to see mainstream guidebooks like this finally going out of their way to include such really diverse experiences for visitors,” he said.
“So often, writers like me are brought onto such projects to tick a box and create the impression there are diverse perspectives in it, but actually we’re often asked to just write about the same things covered by the previous writers. What’s diverse about that?
“To achieve truly diverse perspectives commissioning editors must select writers from different backgrounds and then be brave and empower writers to come back with what they find interesting, even if that goes against the editor’s expectations.”
Hussain, who developed one of the UK’s first Muslim heritage trails, wrote the “Hidden Muslim Britain” chapter, which focuses on Woking — home to the UK’s first purpose-built mosque, the Shah Jahan — Liverpool and Brighton, where some of the country’s most visible Islamic legacies can be found.
These include Britain’s first Muslim cemetery — the final resting place of convert lords, ladies and Muslim royalty — and Brighton Pavilion, where injured Muslim (as well as Sikh and Hindu) soldiers fighting for Britain in World War I were treated.
“The guide also reveals where to visit spectacular ‘oriental rooms’ modeled on famous Muslim palaces like the Alhambra in Spain and the Topkapi in Turkey,” Hussain said.
“This is supported by an essay called Anglo Islam that reveals how Islam came to the island as early as the 8th century, when an Anglo-Saxon king called Offa minted a gold coin featuring part of the Muslim declaration of faith in Arabic.”
The essay also tells of how Britain’s first real Muslim community “were a group of white, convert Victorians who worshipped at the country’s first mosque in Liverpool, founded by a solicitor called Henry William Quilliam, later Abdullah Quilliam,” he added.
The section on empire tells visitors where they can go to learn about “the horrors of British imperial rule,” and how to experience more positive post-colonial legacies like the stunning Neasden Temple in northwest London, built by immigrants who moved to Britain after the collapse of the empire, Hussain said.
The guide also tells of the cultural institutes set up by the Turkish, Palestinian, Bangladeshi and Black communities in London, like the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton, and offers alternatives to the usual tourist attractions, such as the Muslim History Tours and the Open City walking tours that explore London’s forgotten Chinese heritage.
Earlier this month, the group took home the $1 million grand prize after winning the show.
“We can’t believe what’s happening,” group member Marcel Assal told Arab News after the show. “We can’t believe what we’ve achieved — giving so much energy, leaving our work and education, dedicating our time to training every day to be here to represent our country, and this is what we were looking for.
“We were very stressed out by the fact that we had to (prepare the dance) in two to three days, but when we went up on stage and heard the cheers, the audience gave us a push and an adrenaline rush that wasn’t there and we did it,” added Assal.
Cherfan said: “This win gave me an opportunity to dream again. When you have a dream and you achieve it, you start to look for another dream. So I’m very happy that there is something to look forward to now — something to dream of, something to fight for.”