Model Imaan Hammam sends 'kiss for a cause' on Valentine's Day – Arab News

DUBAI: Forget the predictable box of chocolates and flowers on Valentine’s Day — renowned fashion photographer duo Inez and Vinoodh unveiled a virtual kissing booth  for Feb. 14, and all in a good cause.
The legendary image-makers launched the campaign as part of their Double Dutch initiative, which promotes sustainable and charitable gifting.
After learning that some $16 billion worth of holiday gifts are thrown out in a year in the US alone, the pair launched a charitable platform in collaboration with savings platform Kidfund at the end of 2020 to create digital “cards” that people can exchange instead of physical gifts.
In celebration of Valentine’s Day, the photographers called on a number of supermodels and stars, including Moroccan-Egyptian-Dutch beauty Imaan Hammam, to kiss a piece of paper that was turned into a digital kiss that people could gift to their loved ones, along with a charity of their choice.
A post shared by Inezandvinoodh (@inezandvinoodh)
Hammam supports She’s the First, a grassroots organization that helps empower young women through education around the world, and which the catwalk star is an ambassador for.
“Another kiss by a fierce woman to send to another fierce woman!! Proud to have this beautiful @imaanhammam #valentinesdaycard now on @doubledutchcash so you can send her kiss to your loves! Use it wisely: we suggest to do this with a donation to @shesthefirst! Kisses iv,” wrote the photographers on Instagram.
This is just one of the many charitable organizations that customers can choose to support.
After selecting their digital card and artwork, customers can select an amount to give to one of the site’s other listed charities, which currently include the Honnold Foundation, Wildlife Conservation Network, Parley for the Oceans and the WHO COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
The 25-year-old has been joined by model and writer Emily Ratajkowski, “Squid Games” actress HoYeon Jung and Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen.
ROME: Some 180 Italian food and beverage companies are taking part in Gulfood 2022, considered the largest food fair in the Middle East.
Its 27th edition was opened in Dubai on Sunday by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman of the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority, and will continue until Feb. 17. Over 4,000 companies from 120 countries are taking part.
“Italy intends to bring Italian innovation, especially in products, to Arab markets,” Nicola Lener, ambassador to the UAE, said at a news conference attended by Arab News.
Most of the Italian exhibitors at Gulfood 2022 specialize in organic food and beverage production. “Organic food has a close connection with health, sustainability and long-term value creation for the sector,” said Lener.
“Italian companies have adapted to this new trend, making it an important part of the value of the food industry as a whole. This will make Italian food even more appreciated.”
The global organic food sector was worth $200 billion worldwide in 2020. Italy’s production rose 11 percent in 2021 from the previous year, making it one of the leading countries in the world in terms of organic food.
Exports of Italian organic food have increased 156 percent in the last decade, making the country the second-top exporter of such products.
“I believe our presence in this international exhibition presence will bear fruit for our national food system, and will also be a showcase for possible innovation in this sector,” said Lener, adding that Italy is among the countries with the largest number of exhibitors at the fair.
“The Arab world is expressing growing demand for organic products, and all the importers we’ve been in touch with tell us they’re looking for more Italian companies that produce this type of food. We already have so many of them, even more than the 180 presently exhibiting at Gulfood 2022.”
ROME: The world premier of “Siciliens d’Afrique. Tunisie Terre Promise,” a film about the history of Sicilian emigration to Tunisia in the 19th and 20th centuries, will take place in the North African country on Thursday.
It will be presented by the Italian Cultural Institute at the cinema Mad’Art of Carthage. Sicilians make up the largest component of the Italian community in Tunisia, and have been integrated in society for centuries.
An Italian-Tunisian co-production, the movie also highlights the language spoken by the Sicilian community in Tunisia, called Siculo-Tounsi. It is a mixture of Sicilian, Tunisian Arabic, French and Maltese.
Director Marcello Bivona, a Sicilian from Tunisia, left the country at the age of 3 in 1956 after its independence from France. He settled in the Italian city of Milan with his family, but remained attached to his country of origin.
“I wanted this movie to be testimony to aspects of Italian emigration to Tunisia, some of which are still neglected,” said Bivona. “I tried to tell a history common of Tunisia, Italy and France, which deserves to be known.”
In the 1950s, 90 percent of the Italian community in Tunisia were Sicilian, such as the great Italian actress Claudia Cardinale, who was born in Tunis in 1938.
She starred in several acclaimed European films in the 1960s and 1970s. She acted in Italian, French and English-language movies, including “The Pink Panther.” Her daughter Claudia Cardinale Squitieri stars in “Siciliens d’Afrique. Tunisie Terre Promise.”
MALAWI: Omar Mouallem’s new book paints a diverse and surprising picture of Muslims in the Americas whose history stretches back hundreds of years.
This publication has the more relaxed pace of a book rather than a reported piece, and the Canadian author goes deeper than a lot of reporting on the topic that doesn’t look deeper than the mid-century Black Muslim community of civil rights leaders such as Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali. 
With the opening of both Canada and the US to immigration after World War II, Muslim communities in North America began to expand and diversify. Often schisms formed, leading to new mosques and new communities.
In his own search for deeper roots, Mouallem travels beyond his native Canada and the US. He visits Mexico, Brazil, as well as Trinidad and Tobago — and Salvador, Brazil where Muslim slaves, inspired in part by the Haitian Revolution, rose up against their overlords in 1835. Of course in North America, too many Muslims were brought to the US as slaves and likely established small communities, none of which survive to the present.
Brazil abolished slavery in 1885 and by some estimates as late as 1910 the country was home to a Muslim population of some 100,000 people. The reportage in the book is bolstered by a strong review of academic sources.                                
The book also addresses the tricky question of what was the “first mosque” in the US. Mouallem visits the state of North Dakota where the first mosque opened to serve Levantine farmers in 1929. It is often considered the first mosque but Mouallem admits there are other claimants.
Mouallem’s book discusses the founding of the Highland Park Mosque in Detroit in 1921, though it unraveled a year later. There are other claimants as well; a group of Albanian Muslims working in the timber industry in Maine in 1915 used an accounting office for communal prayer. A group of Polish Tatar Muslims founded the American Mohammedan Society in 1907, and that community, which has used a number of prayer spaces over the years, still exists today.
As diverse and pluralistic as the US is, it should be no surprise that there are many “first mosques.”   
DUBAI: Comedian Russell Peters is set to make a return to Saudi Arabia with a show at AlUla’s majestic Maraya concert hall on Feb. 18.
It will be the Canadian funnyman’s first appearance in the Kingdom’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, although he performed in the country in 2017.
The stand-up show is part of the comic’s Act Your Age World Tour, which launched in Cairo in December and has sold out in Abu Dhabi, Amman, Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., and Houston.
The mirrored Maraya venue has recently played host to a number of international stars such as Italian operatic tenor Andrea Bocelli, and US songstress Alicia Keys, and is due to welcome British singer Seal on Feb. 17.
The shows are part of the two-month AlUla Moments festival, similar to Riyadh Season, which is in its third edition.
Tickets for Peters’ show can be purchased online at experiencealula.com.
JEDDAH: Red roses, amazing gift wraps, treats, surprises, love confessions and more. Valentine’s Day is here again, and couples all around the world, and in Saudi Arabia too, are looking for something special to express their love for their significant other.
They may be buying them a gift, taking them to the restaurant of their choosing or doing some kind of an activity together.
One perfume maker in Riyadh is inviting couples to enjoy an immersive Valentine’s Day experience with a difference.
Reem Saleh, who has nine years’ experience in perfume making, told Arab News that she considers perfumes a great way to express love. So she has decided to dedicate a full perfume-making session for Riyadh couples, so they can live the day to the fullest.
“The world of perfume is full of memories and romance. The special part of the brain is responsible for smell. It is called the limbic system and is responsible for memories, places and people. When you tune into a smell, your memory may bring you a flashback of beautiful days, people, places, or even countries you have visited.”
“When we think of romance in any relationship, immediately our brains recall related perfumes,” she added. “The heart note of romantic perfumes often falls under the category of floral notes such as orchid, violet, jasmine and citrusy, combined with a little powdery and musk note.”
The experience she offers is called “Create your special perfume with the love of your life.” It includes a Rolls-Royce pickup to drive couples from their home to all the locations they will visit throughout the day.
She has a selection of 60 quality fragrances, notes, and oily perfumes to help the couples to make their special perfume blends.
They receive a Valentine-themed apron and at the end of the session take home the blends they have made together with their names engraved on each bottle.
The experience includes a meal at Mizo, a fine dining restaurant that offers an international menu. During the dinner, couples will be offered the chance to choose their favorite playlist.
Maha Abukhalil, happily married for 27 years, enjoys celebrating Valentine’s Day with her husband every year. She told Arab News that she is a perfume admirer.
“Nina Ricci Love in Paris that was launched in 2004 and Diva for Women by Emanuel Ungaro, Eau de Parfum Spray that was launched in 1983 are my best two perfumes. Notes in these two perfumes really take me back to our first amazing, unforgettable moments together. I use them every day, and my husband makes sure to bring them to me always.”
Abdullah Shaheen, a 31-year-old married Saudi engineer, is in love with perfumes and perfume-related gifts. He told Arab News, “I like perfume blends made in Riyadh in Souq Al Zel. My wife makes sure to surprise me with one of my favorite perfumes there. It is a very generous, affectionate gesture, and I wish her and all couples in Saudi Arabia a pleasant Valentine’s Day.”


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