Chris Brown wows fans at Abu Dhabi concert 

Chris Brown wows fans at Abu Dhabi concert 
The Grammy-winning artist and renowned “King of R&B” took to the stage to treat Breezy fans to nostalgic hits such as “Forever” and “Beautiful People,” as well as his new song, “Sensational.” (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 25 November 2023
Follow

Chris Brown wows fans at Abu Dhabi concert 

Chris Brown wows fans at Abu Dhabi concert 

DUBAI: R&B singer Chris Brown wowed fans on Friday at his debut concert in Abu Dhabi at Etihad Park. 

The concert was on the second night of the Yasalam After-Race Concerts at the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Grammy-winning artist and renowned “King of R&B” took to the stage to treat Breezy fans to nostalgic hits such as “Forever” and “Beautiful People,” as well as his new song, “Sensational.” 

Brown executed his popular dance moves with his dance crew, captivating the audience with talent and energy.

Canadian singer Shania Twain will perform on Saturday and world-renowned rock band Foo Fighters will hit the stage on Sunday. 

American singer Ava Max and Dutch DJ and record producer Tiesto performed on Thursday, launching the highly anticipated four-day music event.


Centre Pompidou President Laurent Le Bon talks Saudi ties, upcoming AlUla museum

Centre Pompidou President Laurent Le Bon talks Saudi ties, upcoming AlUla museum
Updated 41 sec ago
Follow

Centre Pompidou President Laurent Le Bon talks Saudi ties, upcoming AlUla museum

Centre Pompidou President Laurent Le Bon talks Saudi ties, upcoming AlUla museum

DUBAI: The art world was set alight when Saudi Arabia’s Royal Commission for AlUla and leading French cultural institution the Centre Pompidou signed an agreement to develop a contemporary art museum in the Kingdom in 2023 — and although the opening date is yet to be announced, the president of Centre Pompidou, Laurent Le Bon, spoke to Arab News about the vision for the space.

Le Bon is no stranger to Saudi Arabia and was most recently in the Kingdom to attend the inaugural AlUla Future Culture Summit, held at the end of February. It was an experience that “was important” due to the need for experts to “discuss the challenges facing contemporary museums and their future,” he said.

Speaking on the upcoming contemporary art museum in AlUla, which was designed by award-winning Lebanese architect Lina Ghotmeh and is headed by Candida Pestana, Le Bon said: “The aim of this partnership project is to create a venue with a strong, specific identity, for which the Centre Pompidou will make its expertise available, but at the service of an institution that will operate autonomously — this will not be an outpost of the Centre Pompidou.

“This project is being driven by highly professional teams within the RCU who already have a clear artistic vision of what they want to propose for this site. The Centre Pompidou is supporting this move with its scientific and cultural expertise, particularly in the fields of artistic orientation, collections management and publishing.

“The Centre Pompidou could also provide support for the organization of cultural programming and events, in a spirit of reciprocity and exchange,” he added.

On the museum’s aims, Le Bon said: “The museum’s ambition is to make contemporary art accessible to the AlUla community as well as to the Saudi public, especially young people, while offering programming of international standard. It will showcase Saudi artists, and bring them into dialogue with regional and international artists.”

These plans are being made in the context of deepening Saudi-French cultural ties, which are being forged after years of collaboration on archaeological research in the Kingdom.

“Relations between Saudi Arabia and France have gained momentum in recent years, as the country opens up to the outside world, attracts international visitors and promotes its rich cultural heritage,” Le Bon said, adding: “French cultural expertise had already been involved in archaeological research projects for a long time, but this collaboration has been strengthened with the intergovernmental agreement between the two countries for the development of AlUla signed in 2018.”

On the AlUla Future Culture Summit, Le Bon shared his hopes for increased dialogue in the future.

“I believe that this fruitful dialogue with our Saudi colleagues will enable us to create an original, high-quality cultural offering, particularly for young national audiences, which is the ambition of our partnership,” he said.


REVIEW: Hala Gorani explores her roots in ‘But You Don’t Look Arab’

REVIEW: Hala Gorani explores her roots in ‘But You Don’t Look Arab’
Updated 05 March 2024
Follow

REVIEW: Hala Gorani explores her roots in ‘But You Don’t Look Arab’

REVIEW: Hala Gorani explores her roots in ‘But You Don’t Look Arab’
  • Award-winning media personality Hala Gorani's autobiography was released in February 2024
  • The book delves deep into the former CNN anchor's past, as she explores her family's roots and her own upbringing 

CHICAGO: From Emmy Award-winning journalist and former CNN anchor Hala Gorani comes “But You Don’t Look Arab and Other Tales of Unbelonging,” a newly released autobiography that delves deep into her career and complex family history. Blending her personal and professional life as a daughter of Syrian immigrants and a correspondent who has traveled to all corners of the globe, Gorani combs through experiences that have shaped her future and career. Centered around her journey into discovering the world through politics and her own roots, Gorani — a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, woman of Middle Eastern origin — must find her place in all the places she has felt like the “other,” such as Aleppo, Syria, her parent’s homeland; Seattle, Washington, where she was born; Paris, France, where she was raised; London, England, where she began her journalistic journey; and Atlanta and Washington, where she spent much of her career.

Gorani has been able to compile her life and career through interviewing her family, reading back through decades of notes, speaking to her colleagues, and relying on her memories. Her book begins in 2010, in Port-au-Prince after the Haiti Earthquake. At the Napoli Inn Hotel, first-response teams are attempting to rescue a man who has been trapped inside a building for eleven hours. There, Gorani finds a man who happens to be from Aleppo. “Two uprooted Syrians meeting in an unlikely place,” she writes as those are the connections that further deepen Gorani’s determination to discover herself.

Through old diaries, Gorani discovers Georgian roots in a village called Abkhazia, an Ottoman protectorate on the Black Sea. From there, the story moves to Istanbul until 1909 when her family leaves and lands in Aleppo, an Ottoman province at that time.

Gorani’s career has taught her how to observe, witness and report. As an ambitious journalist, one who wanted to move up the ladder and would sometimes whitewash her own history to blend in, she found herself decades later with a career that has seen her navigate the globe. Her recollections of the past and politics bounce between her youth and career, between jobs and positions, countries and assignments, and personal and professional events, helping her solidify her footing in the pursuit of discovering herself and the stories that make the world go round.


Nora Attal shows off two looks on Stella McCartney runway 

Nora Attal shows off two looks on Stella McCartney runway 
Updated 05 March 2024
Follow

Nora Attal shows off two looks on Stella McCartney runway 

Nora Attal shows off two looks on Stella McCartney runway 

DUBAI: British Moroccan model Nora Attal has been dominating runways since the beginning of the year, seamlessly transitioning from one fashion week to the next.

Her most recent appearance was at Stella McCartney’s ecology-minded showcase at Paris Fashion Week, where the Attal showcased two looks from the brand’s Fall/Winter 2024 ready-to-wear collection. 

The model adorned a sparkly beige mini dress with a trailing train and an elegantly draped neckline. The shoulders boasted padding, while the sleeves cascaded in a loose, oversized fashion. 

Her look was paired with matching heels and a clutch. 

She wore an olive green crepe dress. (Getty Images)

Her second ensemble featured an olive green crepe dress, boasting an elbow-length sleeve on one side and a full-length, flowing sleeve on the other, creating an asymmetrical silhouette. The look was complemented with matching olive green latex boots and a sleek black bag. 

The British American designer had star-studded endorsements — a front row with two members of The Beatles, Ringo Starr and her father, Paul McCartney, in a seldom-seen joint appearance — and the backing of the luxury conglomerate LVMH to spotlight the urgent need for the industry to reckon with its impact on the planet.

The fall collection began with an expletives-laden film voiced by Oscar winners Olivia Colman and Helen Mirren inviting the world to protect the earth. McCartney’s message was clear: Glamour need not come at the Earth’s expense.

The model adorned a sparkly beige mini dress with a trailing train and an elegantly draped neckline. (Getty Images)

Cue sequins made from recycled aluminum, sparkling faux-diamond crystal lattice details and alternative leather handbags. Mock crocodile-skin trenchcoats were fashioned from AppleSkin, a vegan leather made from apple waste.

Dramatic wool coat-dresses (one showcased by model of the minute Lila Moss, Kate Moss’s daughter) sported cascading hoops, prompting one fashion insider to christen it the “new fur coat.”

In terms of aesthetic, stiff shoulder pads offered a broad shouldered look this season with more than a whiff of the ‘80s, while a stylish, asymmetrical vegan leather stud dress provided a nice flash of punk.

Sometimes the silhouette got lost in the shaggier looks — such as one limp black jumpsuit — but to dwell on that would be to miss the point.

In a fact sheet diligently sent to guests, McCartney noted that 90% of this season’s ready-to-wear is crafted from “responsible materials.” 


Saudi art, music execs speak at Culture Summit Abu Dhabi

Saudi art, music execs speak at Culture Summit Abu Dhabi
Updated 04 March 2024
Follow

Saudi art, music execs speak at Culture Summit Abu Dhabi

Saudi art, music execs speak at Culture Summit Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI: Two women leading the conversation on culture in Saudi Arabia took to the stage on two separate panels at the Culture Summit Abu Dhabi on Monday to talk about their respective institutions.

Aya Al-Bakree, the CEO at Diriyah Biennale Foundation, and Nada Alhelabi, the strategy and XP Music Futures director at MDLBEAST, were both in the spotlight at the event.

Al-Bakree was speaking as part of the panel “Cultural Leadership in Our Complex World.” She was joined by Francesca Colombo, managing and cultural director at Biblioteca degli Alberi Milano; DooEun Choi, vice president of Artlab at Hyundai Motor Company; and Justine Simons, deputy mayor for culture and creative industries in London.

Al-Bakree said: “The purpose of the Diriyah Biennale Foundation is to craft perspectives. It does that by staging ... the Contemporary Art Biennale at Jax District and the Islamic Arts Biennale, which takes place at Jeddah Airport. This is a very special location, an Aga Khan Award-winning location, because it used to be the Hajj terminal, used by the Hajj travelers, which we basically repurposed to have art programs. And we are also developing a creative district called Jax.

“The foundation is meant to support artists full circle. I’m happy to say that the success is very much there because the art was always there. The creation of the Diriyah Foundation is a culmination rather than an overhaul. It just created a framework and an ecosystem for everything to shine.”

Al-Bakree spoke of the inaugural edition of the Islamic Arts Biennale in 2023 attracting more than 600,000 visitors, adding: “That’s a large number of people for such a young event.”

Alhelabi spoke at a later panel called “The Time to Pursue a Career in the MENA Music Industry.”

Moderated by Mayssa Karaa, a singer-songwriter and artistic director at Berklee Abu Dhabi, the panel also featured Karima Damir, A&R director for the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region at Warner Music Group.

Alhelabi said: “We are at the right time for creatives. We have a lot of opportunities.

“For us at XP, collaboration is key. And passion. For all of us in Saudi, we did not have any music education. I remember I was 7 years old and wanted to learn the piano, but there were no stores and there was no one teaching piano at the time. And look at us now.

“So, the key point is definitely passion. And if someone is starting to get into the music industry, every skill and every experience you had in your life matters.”

She stressed that there are many avenues within the music industry to explore. She also pointed to XP Music Futures’ two-week Artist Management Bootcamp as an example of the kind of exposure that individuals in the region are being exposed to when it comes to new careers in the field of music and entertainment.

She added: “Whether you want to work on your own brand and design the events; whether you want to work in production, or you want to do programming, or even artist booking, there are so many fields in the music industry you can contribute to.

“In addition to working as artists, the artists themselves need a village, a surrounding team, for them to be successful.”


Ancient astronomical device reveals ties between Muslims, Jews in medieval Europe

Ancient astronomical device reveals ties between Muslims, Jews in medieval Europe
Updated 04 March 2024
Follow

Ancient astronomical device reveals ties between Muslims, Jews in medieval Europe

Ancient astronomical device reveals ties between Muslims, Jews in medieval Europe
  • Astrolabe is believed to have been produced in 11th-century Al-Andalus
  • Historian discovers hidden Arabic, Hebrew, Western etchings after chance online encounter

London: A reappraisal of an ancient astronomical device in Italy has sparked new interest in the medieval interaction between Muslim and Jewish scientists, The Times reported on Monday.

The astrolabe, an instrument once used by astronomers to measure time and distance based on the position of stars, has been on display at a museum in Verona for decades.

But a historian’s chance online encounter with the device, long thought to be a fake, has opened new theories about social and scientific interactions between the Islamic and Jewish faiths in medieval Europe.

Federica Gigante from Cambridge University came across an image of the astrolabe in an online post, and traveled to the museum to investigate the object.

The device is believed to have been produced in Al-Andalus, the Muslim-ruled kingdom of the Iberian Peninsula that encompassed much of modern-day Spain and Portugal.

At the museum, Gigante held the astrolabe in the sunlight and discovered a series of hidden Arabic, Hebrew and modern Western etchings.

She said: “The museum didn’t know what it was and thought it might be fake. It’s now the single most important object in their collection.”

The device is said to be from 11th-century Toledo, during a period known as the Convivencia, or Coexistence, when members of all three Abrahamic faiths lived in relative harmony.

The first markings on the astrolabe are in Arabic and denote the times of Muslim prayers in Toledo and Cordoba.

A brass plate later added to the device allowed the user of the astrolabe to determine prayer times in North Africa.

Further Arabic etchings contain two Jewish names, suggesting that the device was later used by Sephardic Arabic-speaking communities in Al-Andalus.

Hebrew text is also inscribed on the astrolabe, implying that “at a certain point the object left Spain or North Africa and circulated among the Jewish diaspora in Italy,” Gigante said.

Further Hebrew etchings translate the Arabic terms for the astrological signs Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces and Aries.

Gigante believes that the astrolabe may have reached Italy in the 12th century. Once in medieval Verona, Western numerals are believed to have been added to the device by a Latin or Italian speaker.

A 17th-century Veronese nobleman, Ludovico Moscardo, is thought to have obtained the astrolabe, before it was passed to the prominent aristocratic Miniscalschi family which, in 1990, founded the museum where the device remains today.

Gigante said: “The Verona astrolabe stands out, attesting to the contacts and exchanges between Arabs, Jews and Europeans in the medieval and early modern periods.”