Saudi director highlights mental health struggles in ‘Lucky You Are Mine’ at RSIFF

Saudi director highlights mental health struggles in ‘Lucky You Are Mine’ at RSIFF
The film, inspired by true events, is a love story between a newlywed Saudi couple. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 04 December 2022

Saudi director highlights mental health struggles in ‘Lucky You Are Mine’ at RSIFF

Saudi director highlights mental health struggles in ‘Lucky You Are Mine’ at RSIFF

JEDDAH: Saudi director Nora Aboushousha’s film “Lucky You Are Mine,” which sheds light on mental illness in Saudi Arabia, is screening at the Red Sea International Film Festival. 

The film, inspired by true events, is a love story between a newlywed Saudi couple who are working through their struggles to keep their bond alive and thriving. 

Aboushousha chose to represent mental health in her film because of the tremendous struggle the person affected, and people around them, go through. 

“Let alone if they lack the knowledge. As I watched more people around me and loved ones suffer from mental breakdowns, depression and anxiety, I started to notice how big of an impact it has not only on the lives of those suffering but their loved ones too. I witnessed a few relationships come to an end because of mental health issues,” she said. 

“Then I saw two (people) who decided to weather the storm ... it touched me and inspired me,” she added. 

Aboushousha said that stories in general have always been a means of escape and comfort for her. She has been touched by many writers; some films and books have helped her through tough times while others have shaped her personality. “Maybe my film can do the same to others,” the director said. 




The film's poster. (Supplied)

Aboushousha said that the challenges she faced were not gender specific, and her being a woman in the field did not make a difference. “The biggest challenge we faced was filming during Ramadan when most of talent and crew were booked with bigger projects.”

While making the film, Aboushousha enjoyed the support of her cast and crew, friends and family, and even some of the professionals in the industry whom she had never worked with offered help and advice when needed. 

“Raghad Al-Faisand and Hasan Qudus were generous with their time. We rehearsed daily for almost a month, in which Hasan would travel from Makkah to do the rehearsals,” she said. 

Speaking about some of the challenges, Aboushousha said that the “editor who was going to edit the film found himself stuck in Ramadan season, and my friend Ali Al-Attas volunteered to edit.”


French Algerian actress Lyna Khoudri nominated at Cesar Awards 

French Algerian actress Lyna Khoudri nominated at Cesar Awards 
Updated 26 January 2023

French Algerian actress Lyna Khoudri nominated at Cesar Awards 

French Algerian actress Lyna Khoudri nominated at Cesar Awards 

DUBAI: French Algerian actress Lyna Khoudri has been nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category at the 48th Cesar Awards, France’s equivalent of the Oscars. 

Khoudri has been nominated for her role in filmmaker Cedric Jimenez's “Novembre,” which tells the story of the terrorist attacks in Paris on the night of Nov. 13, 2015. She plays Samia, a charitable young woman who volunteers at a homeless camp. Her flat mate is bankrolling her cousin, one of the terrorists. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by lynakhoudri (@lynakhoudri)

The actress is no stranger to starring in films based on real-life incidents. In November 2022, she premiered “Nos Frangins” or “Our Brothers.” The movie tells the harrowing true story of French Algerian student Malik Oussekine who died in police custody in 1986 following several weeks of student protests against a university reform bill. Khoudri plays the role of his sister. 

Meanwhile, Louis Garrel’s “The Innocent” and Dominik Moll’s thriller “The Night of the 12th” are leading the race at the Cesar Awards, with 11 and 10 nods, respectively. 


Saudi-helmed Ashi Studio, Syrian designer Rami Al-Ali showcase new designs in Paris 

Saudi-helmed Ashi Studio, Syrian designer Rami Al-Ali showcase new designs in Paris 
Updated 26 January 2023

Saudi-helmed Ashi Studio, Syrian designer Rami Al-Ali showcase new designs in Paris 

Saudi-helmed Ashi Studio, Syrian designer Rami Al-Ali showcase new designs in Paris 

DUBAI: Saudi designer Mohammed Ashi, founder of Beirut-based label Ashi Studio, and Syrian designer Rami Al-Ali showcased their newest collections this week in Paris.  

Ashi’s new collection is called “Moon and Dust.”  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ashi Studio (@ashistudio)

The creations include glitzy gowns that mirror the sparkling night sky. Some of his new ensembles had voluminous, structured fabric around the waist and shoulders.   

The dresses came in white, beige and black hues.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ashi Studio (@ashistudio)

He treated fans who were not able to attend the presentation to a 14-minute video of the show published on his website.   

Some of his Grecian style dresses featured draped silhouettes and others had feathers in gold. (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Al-Ali presented a pastel-colored collection that was inspired by the Golden Fleece, one of Greek mythology’s oldest fables. 

Some of his Grecian style dresses featured draped silhouettes and others had feathers in gold.


US Palestinian model Fai Khadra and Kylie Jenner spotted front row at Paris Haute Couture Week 

US Palestinian model Fai Khadra and Kylie Jenner spotted front row at Paris Haute Couture Week 
Updated 26 January 2023

US Palestinian model Fai Khadra and Kylie Jenner spotted front row at Paris Haute Couture Week 

US Palestinian model Fai Khadra and Kylie Jenner spotted front row at Paris Haute Couture Week 

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia-born Fai Khadra — a US Palestinian model and artist — has been spotted at a number of events during Paris Haute Couture Week alongside American reality TV star Kylie Jenner. 

The duo were most recently seen front row at the Jean Paul Gautier show on Wednesday. Hollywood stars Timothee Chalamet and Tilda Swinton were also present at the show. 

Khadra and Jenner were also seen together at the Maison Margiela Co-Ed Collection show on Sunday in Paris. 

The two friends were joined by “Elite” star Manu Rios on the front row, as well as singer Noah Cyrus and supermodel Naomi Campbell. 

Jenner also stepped out for the Schiaparelli Haute Couture Spring Summer 2023 show on Monday, wearing a faux taxidermy lion’s head on the front of her dress, creating quite a stir on social media. 


Lebanon’s Zuhair Murad presents latest designs at Paris Haute Couture Week  

Lebanon’s Zuhair Murad presents latest designs at Paris Haute Couture Week  
Updated 26 January 2023

Lebanon’s Zuhair Murad presents latest designs at Paris Haute Couture Week  

Lebanon’s Zuhair Murad presents latest designs at Paris Haute Couture Week  

DUBAI: Lebanese designer-to-the-stars Zuhair Murad joined the stellar line-up of Arab designers who presented their Spring/Summer 2023 collections during Paris Haute Couture Week.  

The couturier on Thursday offered up gowns that will most certainly be sported by his A-list clientele on red carpets around the world for film festivals and movie premieres this year. 

Murad presented his Spring/Summer 2023 collection during Paris Haute Couture Week. (Getty Images)

The Ras Baalbek-born designer’s new collection features form-fitting gowns, voluminous capes, high-slit dresses, asymmetric ensembles and more. Feathers, sequins, fringes, ruffles, hooded dresses and geometric patterns were all seen on the runway. 

His feminine suits featured cut-out detailing to add an elevated touch to his designs.

Zuhair’s new collections features satin scarves. (Getty Images)  

Headgear seems to be making a comeback this season. Zuhair’s new collections features oversized hats, satin scarves and beaded headpieces.  

Italian Lebanese designer Tony Ward’s collection also featured hats. Made from the same fabric and patterns as the dresses, the asymmetric, geometric and structured hats will make a statement on red carpets.  

Lebanese designers Elie Saab, Georges Chakra, Georges Hobeika and Saudi designer Mohammed Ashi, founder of Beirut-based label Ashi Studio, showcased their latest collections in Paris this week.  


Review: Shababik Restaurant — follow in Ronaldo’s footsteps at this authentic Lebanese hotspot in Saudi Arabia  

Review: Shababik Restaurant — follow in Ronaldo’s footsteps at this authentic Lebanese hotspot in Saudi Arabia  
Updated 26 January 2023

Review: Shababik Restaurant — follow in Ronaldo’s footsteps at this authentic Lebanese hotspot in Saudi Arabia  

Review: Shababik Restaurant — follow in Ronaldo’s footsteps at this authentic Lebanese hotspot in Saudi Arabia  

RIYADH: Shababik restaurant’s pop-up location in Diriyah, Riyadh, made headlines recently when Portuguese football legend Cristiano Ronaldo, who recently signed for local team Al Nassr, stopped by for dinner with Saudi Minister for Sport Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal.  

Shababik serves authentic Levantine cuisine. It launched in 2014 in Jeddah, and the pop-up will be open until Feb. 22 as part of Diriyah Nights. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Shababïk (@shababikksa)

Shababik’s outdoor terrace makes it an ideal place to visit while the weather is cool (there are heaters provided to make sure it’s not too chilly). Sitting outside gives you the opportunity to take in the surrounding palm trees and urban art, and the nearby architecture, which is inspired by the traditional Najdi style. It’s a relaxed, peaceful atmosphere — although the restaurant does occasionally host live music.   

We visited earlier this month to sample a little of the Ronaldo lifestyle.  

For starters, we selected the hummus with meat. It was fresh and tasty, but lacked the all-important final touch: a drizzle of olive oil. The Fattah — a staple dish of cooked eggplant and toasted croutons — was a great way to begin the meal, and we also enjoyed the cheese roll, which was dusted in wild thyme and served grilled rather than fried, giving it that slight crunch without the grease. 

The oriental potatoes were fine, if a little lackluster. They needed more flavor to really bring the dish to life.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Shababïk (@shababikksa)

From the seafood menu, we selected the grilled prawns in a marinade of buttery garlic and lemon sauce with chopped cilantro. The prawns were tender and beautifully cooked, and the sauce complemented them well.   

The highlight of the meal was the lamb shank oriental rice wrapped in pita bread. The cinnamon-and-pistachio aftertaste was especially interesting and really worked to enhance the flavors of the meat. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Shababïk (@shababikksa)

Throughout our visit, the staff were friendly, prompt and eager to help. 

As you might expect, given the restaurant’s recent high profile, those wishing to dine at Shababik must first reserve a table on the MyTable app and pay SR350 per person up front. 

Overall, the food was good, but it’s the Diriyah location that really makes a visit to Shababik worthwhile — giving it a vibe inspired by authentic Saudi roots.