Egypt places colossus of Ramses II at new museum's entrance

The 3,200-year-old colossal statue of King Ramses II is seen during its transfer to the main entrance of the Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo's twin city Giza on Jan. 25, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 25 January 2018
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Egypt places colossus of Ramses II at new museum's entrance

CAIRO: Egypt's Antiquities Ministry says it has placed the ancient colossus of famed pharaoh Ramses II at the entrance of a museum under construction near the country's famed pyramids outside the capital Cairo.
Saturday's placement of the colossus, which weighs over 80 tons and is some 12 meters (13 yards) high, occurred amid a great deal of fanfare and in the presence of Western and Egyptian officials.
The colossus, which dates back some 3,300 years, will be on display at the entrance of the Grand Egyptian Museum, which will house some of Egypt's most unique and precious ancient artefacts, including some belonging to famed boy King Tutankhamun.
Another 87 artifacts will be placed at the museum's entrance, Antiquities Minister Khaled Al-Anani said. The first phase of the museum will be inaugurated later this year.


Jeddah university alumna’s film selected for Tribeca festival

Updated 11 June 2024
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Jeddah university alumna’s film selected for Tribeca festival

  • ‘Kum Kum,’ directed by Dur Jamjoom, has been chosen for the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival in New York
  • Jamjoom completed the film as her graduation project at Effat University in 2022

JEDDAH: Dur Jamjoom’s graduation film from Effat University, “Kum Kum,” has been chosen for the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

Founded by actor Robert De Niro, Tribeca is one of North America’s most important festivals. This year’s event began on June 5 and runs until June 16.

Jamjoom completed the film as her graduation project at Effat University in 2022. She said: “I’m incredibly honored and blessed to be the first Saudi female as part of the shorts program at the Tribeca Festival. This opportunity wouldn’t have been possible without my incredible team.”

The autobiographical film is deeply personal, centering on the untimely passing of Jamjoom’s best friend in 2012. Just 12 years old at the time, the tragic event introduced her to a range of unfamiliar emotions.

As the story unfolds, each person recounts the event from their own perspective. Jamjoom brings these diverse narratives together to form a cohesive story, highlighting the profound impact of one person’s suffering on the lives of others.

She said: “I was hesitant to delve into the memory of my friend who is no longer with us, fearing disrespect. But I realized I’m actually honoring my friend, who made me into the person I am today.”

During production, Jamjoom faced numerous challenges. “We shot the movie in the sea, but the waves were uncooperative, and many people were getting seasick,” she said.

“The underwater housing case for the camera posed unique challenges I had never encountered before. I had to trust my team and stay focused on directing.”

She hopes the film inspires audiences to see the light after darkness, emphasizing that “where there is grief, there can also be healing, and the transformative power of overcoming life’s challenges.”

Speaking about the film’s deeper meanings, she said: “In the movie, ‘Kum Kum’ serves as a traditional Saudi game that holds symbolic significance. The game metaphorically represents how life presents unexpected moments, and individuals must adapt to the changes. ‘Kum Kum’ explores the intricate connections between faith, suffering, resilience, and personal growth.”

Mohamed Ghazala, chair of the Cinematic Arts School at Effat University, expressed his pride and joy in celebrating this incredible achievement. He said: “Jamjoom, one of our finest graduates, has dedicated countless hours to honing her craft at our campus, passionately writing, filming, animating, directing, and documenting real stories.

“The selection of her graduation film for the esteemed Tribeca Film Festival is a tremendous honor for us and for Saudi Arabia as a whole. To be shortlisted from a pool of 8,000 submissions is a remarkable feat that showcases the incredible talent being nurtured within our institution. We are filled with optimism and enthusiasm as we look forward to witnessing more groundbreaking achievements from our talented students in the future.”

He added: “This remarkable accomplishment is a true testament to the impactful teaching at Effat University, empowering students with the strong tools necessary to bring their stories to life, captivating not only local audiences but also international viewers.”


Dates revealed for second Islamic Arts Biennale in Jeddah

Updated 09 June 2024
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Dates revealed for second Islamic Arts Biennale in Jeddah

DUBAI: The Diriyah Biennale Foundation’s second Islamic Arts Biennale is scheduled to take place from January 25 to May 25, 2025, at the Western Hajj Terminal at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah.

The event is the first and only biennial dedicated to the arts of Islamic civilization.

The first biennale was titled “Awwal Bait” and attracted more than 600,000 visitors. The second event in 2025 will continue its exploration of themes by showcasing historical artifacts alongside contemporary art, including site-specific installations.

The directors of the second event are Amin Jaffer, Julian Raby, Abdulrahman Azzam and Muhannad Shono.

Jaffer, whose academic and curatorial work is focused on the meeting of European and Asian cultures, will return to his role as director of the Al-Thani Collection.

Raby, a scholar and former lecturer in Islamic art and architecture at the University of Oxford, also served on the curatorial team of the first Islamic Arts Biennale.

Azzam, an author and historian, served as senior adviser to the Al-Madar exhibition and forum during the first biennale. 

Saudi artist Shono, whose work deals with questions of spirituality and the role of imagination in shaping reality, will serve as contemporary art curator.

The expanded curatorial team includes Masa Al-Kutoubi, Rizwan Ahmad, Heather Ecker, Marika Sardar, Joanna Chevalier, Amina Diab, Sarah Al-Abdali, Bilal Badat, Faye Behbehani and Wen Wen.

With a total area of more than a 110,000 square meters, with 12,000 square meters of dedicated exhibition space, the biennale takes visitors on a journey through the objects, rituals, ideas and aesthetics that constitute Islamic arts in all its forms.

The Western Hajj Terminal has been repurposed as a cultural venue by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture.

The site holds deep significance for Muslims around the world, as millions of travelers pass through the airport each year to make the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages to Makkah.


Emirati winners of ADMAF x Dolce & Gabbana Design Award unveil ambitious future plans in fashion, jewelry

Updated 08 June 2024
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Emirati winners of ADMAF x Dolce & Gabbana Design Award unveil ambitious future plans in fashion, jewelry

DUBAI: After winning the ADMAF x Dolce & Gabbana Design Award 2024, Emirati designers Sarah Al-Mansoori and Azza Al-Tawila are set to embark on a six-moth paid internship program at the Italian luxury label’s headquarters in Milan before they showcase their final products at the Abu Dhabi Festival in 2025.

Sarah Al-Mansoori claimed the inaugural prize in the jewelry creations category, while Azza Al-Tawila secured the top spot in the fashion category. The award is a partnership between the Abu Dhabi Music and Art Foundation and the luxury fashion brand.

Both winners will refine their work through the internship.

For Al-Mansoori, the upcoming internship “feels like the start of an exciting journey.”

Sarah Al-Mansoori claimed the inaugural prize in the jewelry creations category. (Supplied)

“Each day, I’ll be surrounded by industry professionals who will help me grow my skills. I’m excited to be in the heart of the fashion world, where creativity and innovation are everywhere,” she told Arab News. “I see myself not only improving my technical abilities but also making valuable connections in the fashion and jewelry production industry.”

Meanwhile, Al-Tawila said: “Having such an opportunity to work with industry professionals at Dolce & Gabbana will heavily influence my ambitions, propelling me to a higher level of designfor the future of fashion design.”

Al-Tawila is looking forward to experiencing the fashion house’s work culture and learning new techniques.

“Exploring and expanding my creativity in a unique environment that is culturally and artistically varied to my own, it fuels my curiosity towards innovative garment production and how to utilize my experience to actualize contemporary, forward-thinking design,” she explained.

During her time in Milan, Al-Mansoori hopes to learn about micro-mosaics, a special technique that uses unusually small glass mosaic pieces to create intricate images. She also seeks to gain experience in filigree work, a jewelry-making technique involving intricate metalwork.

“I plan to integrate these techniques into my own design process, adding intricate details and a touch of luxury to my creations,” she said.

Al-Tawila said integrating Emirati heritage has always been a focal point for her.

“Emirati garments have always inspired and motivated me to develop a unique sense of fashion aesthetics and my overall attitude towards design,” she said. “Hybridizing my own culture with the experience gained during the internship will create a distinct reconstruction of what Emirati identity could transform into.” 

For the Abu Dhabi Festival 2025, Al-Tawila stated that her fashion pieces will be inspired by the unique traditional clothing of her culture.

“Taking inspiration from my experiences and environment is one that I intend to pay homage to as its cultural significance is what I, as a designer, want to represent in my design. Through textile patterns, geometric forms, and the utilization of native techniques, I intend to consider and integrate those aspects in my design process for the fashion pieces,” she said. 

Meanwhile, Al-Mansoori is inspired to create jewelry pieces that celebrate Emirati heritage. “Pearls will be a central theme, symbolizing elegance and grace,” she said. “I also want to incorporate elements of Al-Sadu, a traditional Emirati craft known for its vibrant colors and intricate patterns. My goal is to blend tradition with modernity, creating pieces that tell a story of Emirati culture while appealing to contemporary tastes.”


George Clooney reportedly called White House to criticize Biden’s remarks on ICC

Updated 07 June 2024
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George Clooney reportedly called White House to criticize Biden’s remarks on ICC

  • Oscar winner defends lawyer wife’s role in arrest warrant being issued for Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu
  • US leader condemned court action as ‘outrageous’ and hinted at possible sanctions

DUBAI: Hollywood star George Clooney reportedly called the White House to complain about US President Joe Biden’s criticism of the International Criminal Court over its actions against Israeli leaders, according to The Washington Post.

The Oscar-winning actor’s wife, Lebanese British human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, was involved in the case, which resulted in the court seeking an arrest warrant for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Clooney is believed to have called Steve Ricchetti, a senior aide to the president, to voice his concern over Biden’s condemnation of the ICC’s chief prosecutor, Karim Khan.

The US leader labeled the ICC’s issuing of arrest warrants “outrageous” and suggested possible sanctions against the court.

On May 20, Khan announced his intention to charge Netanyahu, along with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Hamas leader Yehiya Sinwar, and two other top Hamas figures, with war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Amal Clooney later said that the prosecutor’s office had enlisted her to assist with the investigation by reviewing evidence of suspected war crimes and providing legal analysis.

A statement issued by the Clooney Foundation for Justice, a human rights organization she launched with her husband, said the team’s legal findings were “unanimous.”

“I do not accept that any conflict should be beyond the reach of the law, nor that any perpetrator should be above the law,” Amal wrote. “So I support the historic step that the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has taken to bring justice to victims of atrocities in Israel and Palestine.”

After the warrant announcement, Biden said: “The ICC prosecutor’s application for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders is outrageous.

“And let me be clear: Whatever this prosecutor might imply, there is no equivalence — none — between Israel and Hamas. We will always stand with Israel against threats to its security.” 

According to The Washington Post, Clooney was also disheartened by the administration’s initial willingness to impose sanctions on the ICC, with his wife likely to be affected by any penalties.


Dubai’s Tresind Studio on World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024 list

Updated 07 June 2024
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Dubai’s Tresind Studio on World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024 list

DUBAI: Dubai’s Tresind Studio has secured a spot on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024 list announced in Las Vegas on Thursday.

The restaurant — which also holds two Michelin stars — was named the Best Restaurant in Middle East and Africa and was placed 13th on the overall list. 

Tresind Studio is helmed by Indian chef Himanshu Saini and is located at St. Regis Gardens on Palm Jumeirah.

The restaurant was also included in last year’s list, where it ranked 11th.

The awards ceremony honors restaurants from 24 territories across five continents.