The UAE hosts a pandemic-delayed Bollywood awards ceremony – Arab News

ABU DHABI: Indian celebrities and Bollywood stars walked a green carpet at the start of the International Indian Film Academy awards in Abu Dhabi.
The Friday night ceremony had been twice canceled in the last two years due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the famous of Bollywood arrived in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, excited to be a part of the ceremony.
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“Magic is going to happen because the moment I entered Abu Dhabi,” Indian singer Tanishk Bagchi said on the green carpet. “I had a vibe that what a place to perform, what a place to perform and my own songs I am singing for the first time. It is an amazing place, it is an amazing vibe.”
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Indian actress Sharvari Wagh acknowledged the links between the UAE — a nation of 9 million people where Indians represent an estimated 3.5 million — and the Bollywood scene.
“I think that this is a great opportunity to connect with a lot of people who are such big fans of Bollywood,” she said. “I think there is a huge market here that has been loving our films, so I think it is great to be here and share these moments with them.”
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That was something echoed by Andre Timmins, the co-founder of IIFA Wizcraft, which put on the awards ceremony.
“We all love Abu Dhabi because it is close to India and with similar culture and our cinema and film producers are back home (and) feel comfortable shooting in Abu Dhabi, so I am here to build better relations through cinema,” Timmins said.
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He added: “I think what we are trying to do and which we are already doing is actually bringing knowledge here so while we come and shoot here. We also use lot of local people to learn the technology of what we have been” doing.
The awards will conclude Saturday night.
DUBAI: Balenciaga has enlisted Bella Hadid for its fall 2022 campaign lensed by British artist Nadia Lee Cohen.
The part-Palestinian model stars in the first entry in the multi-part campaign series alongside a diverse cast including French musician Aya Nakamura and models Kit Butler, Zuo Chen, Abdou Diop, Inti Wang and Lina Zhang.
The brand’s Nineties-inspired fall 2022 campaign is a continuation of the short film, “The Lost Tape,” released in December 2021 just ahead of fashion week.
The stylish ensemble appear against a minimal grey backdrop wearing nearly all of the most-talked about pieces from the Balenciaga creative director Demna’s (formerly known as Demna Gvasalia) new offering — such as the Excavator rainboot and the Le Cagole bag.
Three-piece jeans that are simultaneously a miniskirt, pants and boots are also on display, as is a Crocs collab handbag that came out earlier this year.  
The Palestinian-Dutch catwalker took to Instagram to share a few behind-the-scenes images from her new modeling campaign.
Her backstage images showed her having her hair touched up by Gary Gill between posing for the flashing cameras.
Hadid made a runway appearance for the French house at its emotional fall 2022 show back in March.
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The show addressed Russia’s attacks on Ukraine and Demna’s own personal experience as a refugee from his native country of Georgia.
“The war in Ukraine has triggered the pain of a past trauma I have carried in me since 1993, when the same thing happened in my home country and I became a forever refugee,” he wrote in the show notes. “This show needs no explanation, it is a dedication to fearlessness, to resistance, and to the victory of love and peace.”
Hadid, 25, traipsed through the snow wearing a monochrome ensemble and Y2K-inspired shield-like glasses.
Balenciaga is among a wide spectrum of fashion brands to ask Hadid to front one of its campaigns.
The California-raised model has a number of high-profile advertorials under her belt, including for Swarovski, Burberry, Michael Kors and Versace.
DUBAI: The Jameel Arts Center in Dubai has surrendered itself to the creative power of the UAE’s youth in a bid to raise awareness of budding talent on the local scene.
Titled “The Youth Takeover,” the show, which wrapped up on Sunday, boasted 20 artworks by new talent that explored concepts of nostalgia and the inner child. Mediums included two- and three-dimensional illustrations, paintings, audiovisual works, performances, workshops and film screenings.
Of particular note were eight new commissions by artists and curators from the UAE, Egypt, Philippines, Pakistan, Palestine, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Chechnya.
“Art Jameel has always had a particular focus on youth and developing homegrown talent from the ground up, and in innovative ways that complements and fills gaps between and around formal education,” Antonia Carver, director at Art Jameel, told Arab News. “Before opening the Jameel Arts Centre back in 2018, we knew we wanted to have young people at the heart of the institution, and to create a program that enabled us to listen to and learn from youth, and that gave these talented and driven young creatives real agency.”
Carver said Art Jameel plans to stage a similar event at the recently opened Hayy Jameel creative hub in Jeddah in the future.
Jameel’s third annual “The Youth Takeover” was titled “Smol” and dedicated to an exploration of the trials and tribulations of growing up, ideas of nostalgia and the inner child. It was curated by eight young creatives or Youth Assembly members — Alexis Javero, Anita Shishani, Farah Fawzi Ali, Lubnah Ansari, Raheed Allaf, Rashid Almheiri, Shama Nair and Sree — all under the age of 25 from across the UAE who were selected from several hundred applications and were led by independent curator and Assembly 2020 alumnus, Daniel H. Rey.
“Metaphorically and stylistically, ‘Smol’ is an opportunity to color outside the lines, bridging dreams with reality, while confronting constricting rules and rituals,” said the Assembly members in a joint statement.
In collaboration with the Art Jameel Learning team, Rey curated and facilitated a year-long learning program with the aim of nurturing and fostering artistic youth leadership.
Young artists raised in the Gulf were encouraged to examine questions regarding ideas of home, intergenerational histories, community building, dreams, language, and mental health.
“After multiple weeks of research in non-European languages, questions about the so-called Global South and the responsibilities of curators in our shared context, the Assembly received a key question: How does the youth practice society?” Rey told Arab News. “For exploring this question treating society as subject of inquiry, the Youth Assembly moved onto having self-led sessions discussing different urgencies — pressing themes with potential for a robust exploration through an exhibition.”
The Assembly visited and researched the Art Jameel Collection as well as the Dubai-based Endjavi-Barbé Art Collection, which focuses on young artists from inside and outside Iran.
“The exposure to these collections gave a sense of direction to the thematic thinking, revealing to the Assembly that their questions, ideas and lived experiences could be grouped and explored through the lens of the inner child and the experience of feeling small,” said Rey.
“As curator-tutor of the program having worked with the Youth Assembly on this experience, it is fascinating to begin identifying that, while each human life is uncertain, we have all certainly had a childhood, regardless of how it played out. This childhood may well continue within our adult selves,” he added.
For example, artist Raheed Allaf from Saudi Arabia created “Shoofeeni,” a short experimental film installation in which she investigates a VHS tape from her third birthday prompting a conversation between the filmmaker and her younger self.
“To see myself, at three years old, proclaiming that I am a Barbie while looking at my reflection was very telling. I couldn’t help but think ‘wow, I’ve been living up to unrealistic standards since three?’” she told Arab News.
“I would think that would be too early an age to start feeling the crippling pressures of performing womanhood. So, I had the urge to dissect it, and create a work where I, in a way, have a conversation with my younger self — hoping to address self-reflection through literal reflections.”
Allaf’s film, like the theme of this year’s event, explored how the artist’s childhood and self-image building continues to affect her adulthood. The film is about the performance of womanhood but also poses questions, as media prompts us to do, about the identities of both performers and directors, and how these roles have often become interchangeable in today’s rapidly changing digital landscape.
MADRID: Lebanese-Colombian superstar Shakira and FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique said Saturday they were calling time on their relationship of more than a decade. 
The 45-year-old “Hips don’t Lie” songstress is one of the biggest names in the global music industry and has sold more than 60 million albums.
Spanish football hero Pique, 35, won the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 European Championship, and is a three-time Champions League winner with Barcelona.






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The couple share two sons and had been living together for years on the outskirts of Barcelona.
“We regret to confirm that we are separating. For the well-being of our children, who are our upmost priority, we request respect for (our) privacy,” they said in a statement.
With her mix of Latin and Arabic rhythms and rock influence, three-time Grammy winner Shakira is one of the biggest stars from Latin America, scoring major global hits with songs such as “Hips don’t Lie” and “Whenever, Wherever.”
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In 2020, she performed with Jennifer Lopez at the halftime show of the NFL’s Super Bowl championship final in Miami, typically one of the most-watched half-hours in US television.
The couple announced their separation just over a week after Spanish court documents inched Shakira closer to standing trial in Spain for tax fraud after a Barcelona court dismissed an appeal from the singer.
Spanish prosecutors accuse her of defrauding the Spanish tax office out of $15.5 million on income earned between 2012 and 2014.
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They say she moved to Spain in 2011 when her relationship with Pique became public but maintained official tax residency in the Bahamas until 2015.
Her defence lawyers say she moved to Spain full time only in 2015 and insist that her “conduct on tax matters has always been impeccable in all the countries she had to pay taxes.
In an interview with AFP in 2019, Shakira said temporarily losing her voice two years earlier had been “the darkest moment of her life” and affected her “deeply.”
She later recovered her voice naturally, without needing to undergo surgery as recommended by doctors and subsequently carried out a world tour in 2018.
DUBAI: Part-Arab actress Dina Shihabi is set to star in an upcoming noir, “Catching Dust,” alongside a stellar cast featuring US actress Erin Moriarty and Australian stars Jai Courtney and Ryan Corr. 
The production is expected to start this month in the Canary Islands. It is helmed by award-winning British writer and director Stuart Gatt, who will produce the feature alongside filmmakers Mark David, Jon Katz and Edward R. Pressman.
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Set in Texas’ Big Bend, the drama tells the story of two couples who unwillingly escape to hide in a lone trailer on an abandoned commune, according to Deadline. 
Geena, played by Moriarty, is being controlled by her criminal husband, Clyde, played by Courtney, who forces her to hide from the law and his former cohorts looking to settle old scores. 
When Geena decides to leave, a trailer arrives carrying a couple from New York, Amaya (Shihabi) and Andy (Corr), who are seeking respite from the city. Geena convinces Clyde to let the couple stay, a decision that will put them all in danger.
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Shihabi, famous for her role in Netflix’s thriller mystery “Archive 81,” took to Instagram to share the news with her supporters saying that she is “thrilled” to be part of the production. 
The actress, who spent part of her childhood in Dubai, was born in Riyadh. Her father is Saudi-Norwegian journalist Ali Shihabi, and her mother Nadia is half-Palestinian and half German-Haitian.
She moved to the US in 2007 and was the first Middle Eastern-born woman to be accepted to The Juilliard School and the New York University Graduate Acting Program. She began appearing in short films in 2010, but her big break came in 2017 with the role of Hanin in “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan.”
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She has previously spoken to Arab News to share her advice for up-and-coming actors.
“Look around to the people that are around you right now and start making things. And focus, hard work, determination, passion (are important). Those are real things,” she said. “I’m still working really hard to make the things I want happen and I don’t think it’s ever going to end. If you choose this life, you are choosing a life where you have to really work hard.”
JEDDAH: A night devoted to Bangladeshi culture attracted a sell-out crowd of more than 12,000 people to Jeddah’s Prince Majed Park on Friday, organizers said.
The evening began at 6 p.m. with a 60-minute DJ set and the entertainment continued until 12.15 a.m., featuring a number of shows, folk dancing displays and musical performances. The singers included Saleem and his band, Imran Khan and his band, Ishrat, and Jasmin Putul.
Putul told Arab News she was very grateful to the Saudi government, King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for providing this cultural platform for Bangladeshis during Jeddah Season. She thanked the authorities on behalf of all the talents who performed at the event.
Sattam Mannaa, the park’s media coordinator, confirmed that more than 12,000 had turned up to enjoy the Bangladeshi entertainment and cultural events. Some people reportedly were seen queuing outside the park, unable to get in because all the tickets had been handed out.
Visitor Mustafa Khan, a journalist from Pakistan, said the event was very good, adding: “I am very thankful to the Saudi government and authorities for providing us with this opportunity to get together and share cultures and views. We hope such events will continue in the future as well.
“And we really love (the Kingdom) the same as our own country. We love it from the bottom of our hearts. Saudi Arabia is the home of Islam. We love Saudi Arabia and always will.”
Mohammed Firoz, a Bangladeshi journalist, told Arab News that the Saudi government provides great opportunities for people from other countries who live in the Kingdom to showcase their national cultures and traditions.
“Every one today enjoyed Bangladeshi culture,” he said. “These people also enjoyed the (previous) Pakistani, Indian and Indonesian cultural programs. They will also enjoy the forthcoming Philippines cultural events. In fact, these are very successful events.”
Prince Majed Park is one of nine zones hosting events during the 2022 Jeddah Season, and the activities there are aimed at families in particular. The entertainment in the 84,000-square-meter park includes live shows, a special children’s play area, shops, a horror house experience, as well as the weekly nights focusing on the cultures of other nations.
At least 12,000 people visit the park, free of charge, every day, organizers said, but the number has exceeded 20,000 on some weekend days.
Across all its zones, this year’s Jeddah Season has attracted more than two million visitors so far, officials said, including thousands of international tourists.


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