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SHEIKH RASHID AL KHALIFA

AL RIWAQ ART SPACE

ROLLS ROYCE


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ON THE COVER:

As Al Riwaq Art Space shut its doors for a final time at the end of March, its’ walls were once again adorned with the artworks of various artists who left their mark - a special message for the gallery. Artists came together to say goodbye in a spectacular manner, showing their love for the gallery in their signature styles and left the gallery walls laden with unique artwork one last time. On the cover, artist Adnan’s piece is used, which is an ode to his signature style of creating portrait using acrylic paint and his distinct paint style to create his work.

Welcome to the new Perle! For Perle Magazine, the year 2018 brings about a series of changes for the publication. From becoming a quarterly magazine, to placing heavier focus on our digital media platforms, to adding minute but necessary changes to our aesthetic. After a short hiatus in the first quarter of the year, we return with interesting happenings and events around Bahrain and share the stories of the inspirational people that make up the cultural and social fabric of Bahrain, and make it the treasured and homely country that it is. 2018 also marked the 20-year anniversary of Al Riwaq Art Space, the gallery that not only helped revive the everpopular of Block 338, Adliya, but also made an immense impact on the art scene in Bahrain. From displaying the works of renowned artists in the gallery, to giving the budding creatives a chance to showcase their work in and out of the art space, spilling onto the streets of the Adliya. All of this was possible due to the efforts of Bayan Kanoo. With a heavy heart, we say goodbye to the gallery, as after its 20 years of success, as it closed its doors a final time, leaving behind an artistic legacy that will continue on in the streets of Adliya. However, the art scene in Bahrain is very much part of it’s identity and artists in Bahrain are unequivocally masters of their craft, which not only makes their work noteworthy regionally, but also internationally, like that of renowned artist Sheikh Rashid Al Khalifa, whose latest exhibit of Les Roses de Bagatelle is a spectacular series inspired by the Parc de Bagatelle in France. The beautiful series captures the essence of the

ANAAM IKRAM, MANAGING EDITOR @perlemagazine perlemagazine @perle_magazine perle-magazine.com

lush gardens of Château Bagatelle, and is an ode to the Guerlain scent which was inspired by the flora. As the summer approaches, we once again prepare ourselves for the Holy Month of Ramadan, when the island succumbs to the lull and heat of the summer haze during the day, and awakens in the evening and truly comes to life as the night progresses on as the iftars and ghabgas bring together family and friends as part of observance of the Holy month. Following Ramadan, the Summer season turns one of celebration as start of the wedding season, and Bahrain-based company Farahii helps brides plan and execute their dream wedding effortlessly. To ensure the bride also has the most perfect trinkets to take with her as she embarks on a new journey in her life, Trousseau in Al Aali Mall has the most precious items such as the Grossmith perfumes, one of England’s oldest and most treasured parfumerie, that encapsulate the essence of beauty and luxury through their scents. As we at Perle Magazine, continues its journey, we hope that we receive the same support and appreciation as we have from our readers since our inception. In our fourth year as a luxury lifestyle magazine, Perle has had an immense amount of love from the readers, contributors, and everyone who has joined hands with us so far, and we look forward to gaining more supporters as we continue to grow and evolve as a publication that dedicates itself to showcassing the culture and heritage of this beautiful island of Bahrain that we so endearingly call home.


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12 Les Roses de Bagatelle Showcasing his artistic interpretation of Guerlain’s scent, Les Jardins de Bagatelle, Rashid Al Khalifa’s latest exhibition showcases the beautiful harmony between fashion and art

CONTENTS

SPRING 2018

22 The Artistic Legacy of Adliya As the renowned Al Riwaq Art gallery closed its doors for the final time at the end of March 2018, it leaves behind a legacy of the birth of the modern art scene in Bahrain

54 Rolls Royce

An image of opulence and sophistication, the Rolls Royce Wraith is the epitome of an ultra luxe motor vehicle


blackink.me

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CONTENTS

34 THARB

Beautifully crafting products that create a dialogue between the brand the customers

28 From Seville to Bahrain The beautiful art of calligraphy forms an encapsulating artistic bridge between the Kingdom of Bahrain and Spain

82 The Treasure

Trove of Culture The annual festival held in its 13th edition, Spring of Culture brought to life once again the rich heritage and all the elements that make the island so precious

74 The Scented Reverie

Regal and historical notes produce an aromatic harmony that are the foundations of one of England’s oldest and most luxurious perfume houses, Grossmith


64 Maha AlMannai

A painter extraordinaire whose acute understanding of the world around her and people in it transform into beautiful pieces of art

40 Naseem Al Andalos

Traditional craftwork and modern designs come together to create luxury and elegance

96 My CafĂŠ

A serene combination of handpicked art and a carefully crafted eclectic menu make for an excellent visit to the fine dining restaurant in the bustling food district of Adliya

88 A membership to luxury Bringing guests closer to living the full Four Seasons Bahrain Bay experience and making them a part of the family, the luxury hotel opens its doors for its members in more than one way


Les Roses de Bagatelle By Anaam Ikram

Showcasing his artistic interpretation of Guerlain’s scent, Les Jardins de Bagatelle, Rashid Al Khalifa’s latest exhibition showcases the beautiful harmony between fashion and art

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Baron Henri Estramant, Guerlain’s Artistic Director Ann-Caroline Prazan, artist Rashid Al Khalifa and Princess Esther Kamatari, Guerlain’s Brand Ambassador

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t is hard to imagine the culture of Bahrain without a strong artistic presence. From seeing the modern Bahraini art movement as early as the 1950’s and the first ever art exhibition taking place in 1956, the beauty of art and its unmissable impact on the culture of Bahrain is visible throughout the country, and Bahraini artists are lauded regionally and internationally for shaping the way art is perceived. The art community is comprised of many talented persons, and one name that stands out prominently is that of Rashid Al Khalifa. One of Bahrain’s most renowned artists, Rashid Al Khalifa is inarguably a visionary when it comes to delivering on the canvas. Holding many notable positions within the art society in Bahrain - such as the honorary President of Bahrain Arts Society - and earning numerous accolades throughout the years for his mastery of the arts, Rashid Al Khalifa’s noteworthy works have been showcased throughout the world and effortlessly capture the beauty and essence of his artistic era. Inspired by the captivating floral scent of Guerlain, aptly named Les Jardins de Bagatelle, which was, in turn, inspired by Parc de Bagatelle gardens in Château de Bagatelle, Rashid Al Khalifa produced his latest series of works. Titled Les Roses de Bagatelle, the series showcases Rashid Al Khalifa’s interpretation of the garden reverie, and is reminiscent of the lush flora that envelopes the visitors like a dream from its garden scents, romantic scenery, as well as the dreamy pastel pink colors of the Château’s walls. A precious and romantic harmony that Guerlain himself captured in his infamous scent, and described as “an irresistible melody for a fulfilled and spontaneous woman in love.” Perle Magazine spoke to Rashid Al Khalifa about his collaboration with Guerlain and how it resulted in the floral, dream-like series of Les Roses de Bagatelle. The exhibit was displayed in Gallery 21 in Adliya, bringing the essence of Le Parc de Bagatelle to Bahrain, and will open in Maison Guerlain in May 6 till June 8, in Paris, France.

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Art is subjective and inspiration varies from one artist to another, what would you say are some the key elements that inspire you when you create your artwork? Colours envisage from the beauty of form and the shadows and the illusion of movement produced by light inspires me to create art. Tell us about your latest exhibition and collaboration with Guerlain? The beginning of the 21st century has seen premier luxury brands and fashion houses closing the gap with the art world through exhibitions or collaborations blurring the lines between lifestyle, fashion, history, and art. I was invited by Guerlain to create artworks that would relate to their product. Hence, I created Les Roses de Bagatelle series. It is my interpretation of Guerlain’s Les Jardins de Bagatelle fragrance, inspired by Parc de Bagatelle’s beds of flowers created by Jean Paul Guerlain and presented in 1983. How long have you been working on this project? And what motivated you to work with the brand? The project was proposed to me last year by Princess Esther Kamatari of Burundi, Guerlain’s brand ambassador, when she came to Bahrain to launch Les Jardins de Bagatelle in Gallery 21, followed by a visit to my studio by Guerlain’s top executive. Guerlain founded in 1828, is one of the oldest luxury brands in the world. As it balances between the conventional and the innovative, Guerlain joins forces with the arts to convey powerful brand message and the artistic ideas behind the collection. And it is my pleasure to participate in this new experimental collaboration.

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The exhibition in Gallery 21 was also akin to that of a garden, what was your process when you envision the display? And the addition of a vintage Fiat, what was the mindset behind that? I had to create a scenography that was garden-like and at the same time display the artwork as the highlight of the well-decorated space within the gallery. The vintage Fiat was a prop to give the notion of a romantic drive in the garden. How would you describe the aesthetic of your work? Would you say it is minimalistic? My work is not minimalistic. It is a combination of geometric abstraction (with the exception of Les Roses de Bagatelle), minimalistic palette on the convex service. It is a cross between sculpture and painting, it is a Hybrid. I wouldn’t not say Minimalistic is my signature style, its a period, my Hybrid period. How would you say your art has evolved throughout the years? My early work work was influenced by the traditional representational renditions of the physical world with the Fauvist emphasis on colour. Then, I gradually moved towards representational abstract to non-objective art. Then, I began experimenting on how to translate the language of painting from its traditional form into three-dimensional art. During the late 1990s, after several experiments, I stumbled across the shape of convex and turned into a convex-shape surface. The convex structure as part of the composition of the painting evolved from the canvas covered surface with the abstract mark marking and color fields minimalist palette on high gloss lacquered enamel on aluminum to be chrome plated stainless steel with geometric shapes of square and circle.

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As the convex matured, it presented me with new challenged. My paintings entered a new phase. The circle became a motif, one that is clearly open to further elaboration. Hence in 2014, the circle has become a hole in the curved metallic and matte surface. It was the beginning of a new dimension, the Hybrids. What would you say are some of the challenges when creating your Hybrids within the series of Les Roses de Bagatelle? Every work from any series had to be perfectly balanced, carefully produced and self-contained The same goes with the Bagatelle series, although I have to source a variety of rose blossoms in different stages of bloom and ensure that are accurately reproduced. Who are some of the artists whose work inspires or has inspired you in the past the most? There are many great artists throughout the history of art that I admire. From the Renaissance to the Impressionist, from the modernist to the contemporary - each period has produced significant artists.

For more information: May 6 - June 8 Maison Guerlain, 68 Champs-Elysees, Paris, France www.rashidalkhalifa.me @rashid_khalifa

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WOMEN POWER SUMMIT PARTNERS WITH KEY CORPORATIONS IN THE KINGDOM Prominent entities join together in support of the MENA region’s first-ever Women Power Summit in the Kingdom of Bahrain

Obai and Hill proudly announced its official partners for the Women Power Summit powered by Imtiaz by Her. The summit took place on Sunday, May 6th and on Monday, May 7th, 2018 at the Isa Cultural Centre. It was the largest congregation of women leaders across various walks of life and received up to 500 guests on both days. Bahrain’s leading corporations and institutions extended their support to this landmark summit. Bahrain Commercial Facilities Company (Bahrain Credit) powered the summit through Imtiaz for Her, the country’s first-ever specialized ladies credit financing facility. The key strategic partners of the summit were Tamkeen and the Bahrain Economic Development Board. KPMG Fakhro as the Strategic Consulting Partner, The Domain Hotel and Spa as the official Hotel Partner, Al Ayam Media Group as the Strategic Media Partner; Woman 20

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This Month as the official Preview Media Partner; Ohlala Magazine as the official Women Empowerment Publication Partner. The summit also received support from Partners that span across a diverse range of companies and startups from different industries such as Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism; Boost Bahrain; Startup MGZN; Gud Juju; Brinc; SME Society; Careem, Powerup Magazine; Perle Magazine; C5; Majra; PayTabs; Space 340; Manama Hub; Biz Bahrain; Gulf Daily News; Destination Riyadh; Khaleejesque amongst several others. The summit focused on three important pillars: Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The speakers lined up for the summit included influential women leaders from the Kingdom, the region and from different countries around the globe. Leena Al Olaimy, Co-Founder &

Managing Director of 3BL Associates; Dr. Fatima Al Balooshi, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Ex-Minister of Social Development, Health, Human Rights; Suzy Kanoo, President of Khalil bin Ebrahim Kanoo Company; Roaya Saleh, Chef and Owner of Villa Mamas International; are set to make an appearance at the summit as speakers in addition to an exciting lineup of influential women speakers. Obai and Hill CEO, Wafa AlObaidat stated “I am honored and grateful with the overwhelmingly positive and encouraging support that the Women Power Summit powered by Imtiaz by Her has received. It is a proud and important focus to note that a lot of the key institutions and decision making bodies in the country aligned and were ready to invest in such initiatives for growth that directly impacts the contributions made towards the growth of the national economy.”


About Women Power Summit powered by Imtiaz for Her: The Women Power Summit powered by Imtiaz for Her aims to showcase new opportunities for investments, partnerships and collaborations created by inspiring female entrepreneurs and investors. Our vision is to connect and empower women by providing them with access to a network and knowledge that can allow them to be innovative and succeed, as well as to unleash their power to create positive change. Wide-ranging programming has been designed to inspire action and fuel creative fires, which will span three core pillars: Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Innovation. For Media inquiries, please contact: Obai & Hill Design and PR Agency Shreya Rammohan (00973) 1753 6092 clients@obaiandhill.com www.obaiandhill.com SPRING 2018

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The Artistic Legacy of Adliya As the renowned Al Riwaq Art gallery closed its doors for the final time at the end of March 2018, it leaves behind a legacy of the birth of the modern art scene in Bahrain By Anaam Ikram 22

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1990s. Block 338 was only known as Adliya at the time, and a handful of restaurants surrounded the previously residential area. Adliya’s scenery was comprised mostly of houses from Bahrain’s Contemporary Era during the 1950’s and 1960s, reminiscent of the development Bahrain had seen throughout the years from the Classical Era, and started to move towards a more modern living style where the houses were designed using international influences. An important part of Bahrain’s history as well, art has always played an eminent role in shaping Bahrain’s

image, and seeing its importance, a group of 84 artists approached the government to form the Bahrain Arts Society in 1983, and renowned artists of Bahrain have elevated Bahrain’s art presence across the globe. Art is one of the main components that has literally defined Bahrain’s cultural image from the beginning of time, from the pottery that stems all the way to the Dilmun era, to the unique architecture, and fine arts ranging over a wide artistic spectrum. Today Bahrain - Adliya in particular - is recognized for not only showcasing the works of existing famous artists, but also

provides platforms for budding artists to display their creativity. Not just within the confines of an art gallery, but throughout the entirety of the area, making the area a prominent hub for the beautiful amalgam of art, food, and culture - a reputation predominantly set by the efforts of Bayan Kanoo and Al Riwaq Art Space. As the gallery celebrated 20 years in 2018, it also bid adieu to its loving family, leaving behind a rich legacy of art in all its form, that truly helped transform Adliya into its modern-day version, ‘Block 338’.

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Moving to Bahrain 20 years ago from Iraq, Bayan was brought up in a world of art, as at the time artists from around the world would travel to Iraq to study Arts. As the situations in Iraq became difficult, Bayan’s friends and family would send her the art pieces to retail in Bahrain in order to assist them. This lead to Bayan’s friends asking her to acquire more pieces to bring to Bahrain as they were so unique and beautiful, and resulted in the opening of Al Riwaq Art Space in 1998. “I’ve always wanted to do something like that. And there was the initial fear of course, but then I took the first step and it was beautiful”, she says. Inviting artists of different backgrounds such as Bahraini artists and artists of the Arab Diaspora to have talks and discussions about themselves and their art. “I felt art is the best way to connect with different cultures, I come from a very expressive background myself, and so I feel art is the simplest way to reveal your emotions or feelings without having to say it.” Over time, students were also invited to visit the gallery and have them start an honest dialogue about the way art spoke to them. The gallery was not just for exhibits of fine art, but also opened the floor for video installations, making it one of the first galleries in Bahrain to do so, as well as introducing other forms of art such as music, poetry, and even cooking. “There is no limit to creativity, and that is why we have called it Al Riwaq Art Space. It is a space where we can meet with like-minded creative people, and it encourages further creativity, and that is when we started to go out in the streets.” Almost revolutionizing the way art is perceived in Bahrain, Bayan quite literally was able to pour art out in the streets of Adliya in 2011. The exhibition, titled Manamatina, was done in 2011, and comprised of art that showed Bahrain was a place for everyone and allowed artists to reflect on through their art what Bahrain meant to them. The art started from within the gallery, and spilled onto the streets with an open-air cinema that showed famous Egyptian movie, Antar and Abla, and Indian movie, Mother of India. The public exhibit had projection on the walls, making people feel comfortable with the otherwise dark alleys in the area. The success of the exhibit encouraged the neighboring restaurants to participate in this initiative, and gave rise to a unique collaborative image that has shaped the artistic and social culture of Adliya. Growing organically out of a need for a social and cultural scene that 24

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brought together various elements of creativity, the evolution of this concept saw the birth of The Nest in 2014, where creatives from different industries would come together and showcase their product, art, food, music, and other talents. Everything, she says, was born out of an organic need for such a culture to arise, where different disciplines of art collaborate and encourage the creatives to be at the forefront of the budding contemporary image of Bahrain. Through events such as Market 338, the predecessor of The Nest, entrepreneurs who did not

otherwise have platforms to showcase their talents were given the space to bring their ideas to the public. That resulted in many home businesses becoming popular and soon turning into established brands. Essentially setting the foundations for the entrepreneurial culture in Bahrain. Bayan says it was important for her to choose the original ideas that revealed the individuality and uniqueness of the creative person. This was also a way Bahrain and its talent was celebrated, Bayan says. Whether it was a neglected building, or alleys, walls of buildings, and even the floor, Bayan SPRING 2018

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explains nothing happened by accident, but rather was a curated effort to bring together artists from various backgrounds to make Adliya a walking art zone. Bayan details that when the first time Al Riwaq had gone under refurbishment, even the front-elevation scaffolding was used as a creative platform, as Bayan called on artists to paint it - with a different artist coming in each week to do so. That also allowed graffiti artists in Bahrain to step into the light for the first time and showcase their skills. Al Riwaq Art Space’s walls have seen the works of many artists throughout the 20 years, from professionals to individuals finding their beginnings in the world of art. Bayan explained, initially she would only approach established artists, but soon opened the doors for the budding artists 26

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to allow them a space to grow as artists. Al Riwaq launched a residency program where two artists were hosted and were educated and developed as artists. Bayan partnered with various institutions to not only educate the artists locally, but also send them abroad to places such as the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo, Delfina Foundation in London, CitĂŠ Des Arts in Paris, and also to an art foundation in New York, as well as working on collaborative efforts with the Sharjah Art Foundation. From there Bayan also borrowed art works and recommended artists to be showcased there, leading to 2017 being the most collaborative year with around 70 artists displaying their work. Bayan notes these collaborative efforts have definitely help change the art scene and artistic outcomes in Bahrain, as Al RIwaq served as a platform of exposure,


and adding that is not just Al Riwaq that has made this possible, its also the era and with the assistance of social media that has made all of this possible. “We have managed to evolve. And that is the most important thing. And maybe I was the most courageous person to try new things and because of that many other people tried, and many groups came out of Al Riwaq, and we did a lot of charity work - we used art for a good reason”, Bayan says. She adds that with everyone project or event they held, there was always a concept they worked with and developed to try and bring people together under one umbrella. As Al Riwaq closed its doors in March, the gallery held an goodbye event in true Al Riwaq manner, where various artists and visitors were invited to paint on the walls of Al Riwaq one last time, as live music played outside and once again the streets of Block 338 were brought to life through means of art and creativity. As for the future, “the sky is the limit”, Bayan says and adds that she would like to continue working with young artists through collaborative efforts to provide another platform for their work. “I feel very proud and happy of all the work done, it was genuine towards Bahrain and it was genuine towards creativity and we have managed to put traces into many people’s life and thats fair enough. And I am very thankful to God for that.” Though Al Riwaq may no longer be a part of Block 338’s scenery, it will always be a part of the memory of the place and will always be remembered as the place where the creativity in all its forms was brought together under one roof, and artists and visitors alike were active part responsible for the ever evolving image of today’s Block 338.

For more information: www.alriwaqartspace.com @alriwaq

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From Seville to Bahrain The beautiful art of calligraphy forms an encapsulating artistic bridge between the Kingdom of Bahrain and Spain By Anaam Ikram

D

efined as “the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious, and skillful manner”, calligraphy is the distinctive writing manner that has been part of both art, culture, and religion for centuries. From Biblical to Islamic scripture, to being used as a specialized style of writing that serve as a decorative way of sending a special message, calligraphy and its various forms are a spectacular art form that has seen a beautiful evolution over time. For some, the traditional calligraphy in its purest form is a masterpiece, and for others the more contemporary calligraphic style of writing represents a modern take on a traditional art. For those of us within the region who have been exposed to mostly the beauty and special nature of Islamic Calligraphy, the writing style holds a truly special meaning. Highlighting the importance and unique beauty of Islamic calligraphy through their combined exhibit, celebrated Orientalist artist, Elisabeth Bolza, and renowned Bahraini, artist Ebrahim Busa’ad, carefully curated a stunning exhibition, “Bolza Busaad - From Seville to Muharraq”, and explore the connection between the East and the West through a series

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of collage works. Opening to a great reception, their exhibit came at a perfect time, as Muharraq is marked as the Capital of Islamic Culture 2018. Islamic Calligraphy - also known as Arabic Calligraphy - is originally based on Arabic letters, but the term ‘Islamic Calligraphy’ also refers to the collective works of calligraphy by the Muslim calligraphers from Andalusia in modern Spain to China. The signature design of Islamic calligraphy is the geometric Islamic art, or ‘arabesque’, patterns on the walls and ceilings of mosques as well on paper. For the Muslim world, calligraphy has always represented the visual expression, with almost a spiritual connotation, as it is somehow a link between the language of Islam and its practitioners. The combined exhibit by Elisabeth and Ebrahim is a fine example of the influence of Arabic calligraphy, as it showcases their artwork that draws inspiration from the Islamic legacy, heritage, and architecture of Islam, from different viewpoints, but sharing the common denominator - the illuminated manuscript - portrayed in both a traditional and contemporary form.


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Working independently towards the exhibit, both Ebrahim and Elisabeth say they kept their works apart from the other so as to not to have a cross influence, yet their art pieces still beautifully merged together to create an extraordinary exhibit. Elisabeth’s pieces are part of a body of work created over the past five years but were chosen especially for the exhibit, as they reference different societies between Al Andalus, Morocco, poetry, and then going via the Middle East and this part of the region. Elisabeth worked with different poems from different times, such as Labid bin Rabiah’s Mu’allaqa, also known as ‘The Golden Ode’. She then produced 8 more works that were inspired by different aspects and different elements of the history and cultural heritage of Bahrain, the Pearling being her most important piece. For Ebrahim, though he is recognised for his visual paintings which have calligraphy as an aesthetic addition, his mastery and focus on classic calligraphy comes as 30

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somewhat of a surprise to the audience. Working with the classic academical Arabic calligraphy which is based on a point system, the works produced by Ebrahim are very precise, and an art that is perfected through many years. Producing geometric patterns using carefully selected Islamic scripture, the idea behind Ebrahim’s work was to send out a message to the audiences to be kind to one another, while simultaneously maintaining the value and art of Islamic calligraphy, in contrast to Elizabeth’s freestyle calligraphy style and collage pieces. Her pieces, she explains, are designed in that manner due to her artistic studies in Florence combined with her multilingual talent, which allowed her to use Arabic expression as her choice of style in her work. Yet, despite the difference between the techniques, it was indeed the calligraphy which was a common denominator and was the binding element between their respective bodies of work.


Ebrahim, a Bahraini native from Muharraq, renowned worldwide for his art, was fond of art from the young age of 6 years old and went onto study Fine Arts at the University of Baghdad, alongside various courses in design and direction of books in Cyprus and Logman, London. He started participating in the annual fine arts exhibition when he was just 16 years old, and followed his vision of “with art we excel�. His passion, ingenuity, and mastery of fine arts has not only allowed him to work as an artist, but Ebrahim was also a founding member of the Bahrain Arts Society, as well as working with the Ministry of Education as a calligraphist, among many other coveted roles within the Ministry. Experimenting with how he portrays his love for calligraphy, Ebrahim has explored various media such as drawing, watercolour, acrylic paint, oil on canvass, etching silk screen, collages, and instillations amongst other methods to create his pieces. Similarly, Elisabeth too delved into the world of art from an early

age as her father was a publisher of art books, and she was constantly surrounded by art with a family background of artists, painters, and architects in the family. A master in the art of language, Elisabeth is fluent in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, and is on her way into perfecting Arabic. Elisabeth has been nominated for the V&A Jameel Prize 2017 and has showcased her work in various locations across the globe. Their collaborative exhibit showcases a commonality - calligraphy - between their independent works and is an ode to Islamic art and culture, and serves as a means to deliver a positive message through the selected passages and pieces displayed, and has also, in turn, served as a bridge that bettered the understanding between the East and the West. Proposed by Sheikha Hala Mohamed Al Khalifa, Arts & Culture Director, the Bolza-Busaad exhibition is a representation of how the East and West are connected through a thread, even in the abstract sense. SPRING 2018

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I have lived and worked in Andalusia for over 20 years and now divide my time between Europe and the Middle East. My artistic expression evolved from my multicultural background, my visual art and interior design studies in Florence, my diverse linguistic studies, and the heritage of the places I have lived in. The legacy of the ancient trade routes, the cultural sub layering between East and West, and the enormous contribution to humanity of Al-Andalus inspired me to reference its inclusive values as a way to work against stereotypes and violence. Deeply troubled by the tragedy of September 11th, I decided to study Arabic. This brought me to develop a new artistic concept in which I pay tribute and appropriate the Arabic language and Islamic aesthetic traditions — not to supplant but rather to complement my own cultural and religious background. In my search for connecting to ‘the Middle Eastern soul’ I reach out from one media into another to recapture the dignity and balance of Islamic culture, and explore how the universal values of poetry

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can be used to resolve conflict and address collective memories. In my work process I meld the traditions of both East and West: I reclaim the illuminated manuscript for its association with the notions of transience and permanence and I attempt a new way of looking at the connective powers of old Islamic art forms and how they can relate to contemporary communication in the age of social networking. I reference my themes by borrowing from architecture, archaeology, geography and astronomy. The undercurrent of my work is an appeal to our common humanity and shared universal human values. Through my symbiotic artistic expression of two entwined cultures, I hope to reach beyond the socio-political divisions of fundamentalism and islamophobia and motivate a positive change in the conception of ‘the other’ as culturally or spiritually impermeable. In my works I aim to appeal to the universal soul of our human condition, that which is within each of us and that transcends time and geographical space. - Elisabeth Bolza


Though both have drawn inspiration by Islamic calligraphy, an art form that has been around for centuries, as well as by various cultural and heritage elements of Bahrain, Ebrahim and Elisabeth believe that it is important to ensure you understand the history yet not let it confine you as artists. “Everybody interprets it and deals with it in their own way”, says Elisabeth about how historical elements can be used as inspiration for artists, but adds that it is important to have a firm understanding and knowledge of history to work towards a better future. “This is where art, I think, is extremely important, via historical understanding to figure out where we are going”, she says. Ebrahim says he feels if artists are too attached to their history they might not be able to evolve and produce works that are creative and innovative. “We can use heritage, but in a more contemporary way”, he concludes. Amazed by the overwhelming response to their exhibit, both Ebrahim and Elisabeth give praise to Sheikha Hala for not only understanding them as artists and understanding the nature of their works, but by giving them the platform to present together and create the beautiful exhibit which opened to a great reception. Due to its great success the exhibition had been extended until April 20, and was a part of the Spring of Culture host of events and exhibits across the Kingdom. SPRING 2018

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By Ali Al Bana

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Fashion in it’s many forms, often revolves around dialogue, or is stirred by it. Every single piece that we occasionally put onto our bare body articulates who we are as individuals, and how we’d like to be perceived. These particular pieces serve a purpose, emotion, or form an aesthetic.

As cliché as this may sound, shopping is a form of dialogue. You, a customer, often create dialect with the article of clothing, or accessory that you’re about to obtain. When referring to that, the Emirati brand “Tharb” which’s based in Abu Dhabi, comes to mind. Focused on creating products that evoke the sense of elegance, and practicality, founder and Creative Director Eisa Al Subousi aims to prove that his generation is able to design and execute products that can compete on a global scale. Perle magazine had the opportunity to interview Al Subousi, and furthermore discuss matters about Tharb, and himself. 36

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From studying mass communications, to later on pursuing your interest in product design, and launching a brand, how did you get from point A to B? It was definitely a big leap, at least on paper. But throughout my life, I’ve always had an interest in art and design. I was always drawing landscapes and portraits. On the other hand, I also had an interest and appreciation in acquiring leather goods for my personal use. After realizing that I’ve found a new passion for leather goods that came with an intensive amount of practice, I decided to drop my government job in the communications field and start Tharb. Why the name “Tharb”? Tharb, in local Emirati dialect, refers to a person whose well spoken, and who generally has noble characteristics. After much research for the name, I decided to look for inspiration by reading the poems of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan. That’s when I came across the verse mentioning the word “tharb” and the rest was history. Do the products have a literal representation, derived from the meaning of the word? I believe that there is an overarching representation of the name in our products. The products are designed to be minimal yet practical and we try to stay away from over designing just for the sake of aesthetics alone. So in a way, the products are very “well behaved” design wise, which relates back to the name.

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From genuine leather, suede, to marble, what further materials do you think Tharb could work with in the near future? I work with the belief that we should showcase the beauty of these natural materials with minimal interruptions. Therefore, I naturally gravitate towards materials such as leather and marble. For the future, I’m looking forward to using sustainable woods and mother of pearl. Your products follow a minimal approach, which evoke the sense of practicality, yet still hold a luxe aspect. How has the general feedback been towards that? To be honest, I was concerned in the beginning about the reception of the public towards our modern, and minimal approach, considering that the regional market tends to favor brands that have a more classical design sense. What I found was a really good reception to our style, especially from the younger generation who are more exposed to fashion from places such as Scandinavia and Japan, rather than the typical Italian and French aesthetic. What can we expect from Tharb in the future? The goal right now is to cover more of the main product categories under leather goods. We’re working on introducing smaller bags for men and women, such as satchels and clutches. Another product that I’m looking forward to producing is a weekender bag that is large enough for a person’s needs yet with some new functionalities that will elevate it from what is typically found in the market.

For more information about Tharb & their products (00971) 5658 35806 www.tharb.ae contact@bytharb.com SPRING 2018

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DCSS18 C O L L E C T I O N By Ali Al Bana

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It’s quite baffling to me how people view fashion, and the industry as a whole. I often hear that it’s frivolous, superficial; a waste of time, and any individual partaking a role within the industry is minuscule. It’s fair to say that I’ve eliminated such individuals from my life; therefore I hear none of that anymore. What I hear now, involves the amount of effort put into a muslin draft of a dress, the way the French curve alternates, and compliments a female figure, and the endless amount of fabric used to form a drape through a bias cut. It’s enriching, and calming – call it a form of meditation if you’d like (at least just until the buyer orders come in). I was enlightened by all of that through Haya Khalifa, and her mother Nabila Al Aissaoui, a mother daughter duo that run the Bahrain based brand “Naseem Al Andalos”.

Photo by Paul Tomasini Fashion Studio

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The designers embrace traditional handwork, and apply it on modern and sophisticated silhouettes. Through that, they produce a new breed of luxurious caftans and evening gowns that are influenced by the Moroccan, and Arabian heritage. After spending around three months within the walls of their atelier as a fashion design assistant, I’ve truly learned more about the process of production, tailoring, and of course, the 70 hours that get put into creating a single couture garment – trust me, it’s a one step forward, and two steps back situation, until the final garment’s ready. Picking up on that, the brand recently released their spring summer 2018 demi couture collection, and it’s nothing but a pastel toned, kaleidoscopic bliss of bias cut pieces, adorned with rich floral embroidery, beaded lace, and jacquard fabric accents. Staying true to the brands aesthetics, all of the embroidery was based on rich Moroccan techniques such as the Randa, which is similar to crotchet, but also Tursan, and Sfeefa, which are all created by hand using gold, silver, and silk thread.

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Mint pastel colored, floor length dress, with multi colored floral lace, a high neck collar, and layered bishop sleeves. The look has Moroccan work accents, and silk lining. Mint pastel colored, floor length dress, with, a high neck collar, and tiered sleeves gathered at the waistline. The look has Moroccan work accents, with a hand made belt, and silk lining.

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Do you see what I mean when I elaborately talked about effort, enrichment, and a sense of calmness? It truly is a form of art, or in this context, an applied form. Besides that, it’s informative and broadens your cultural scope when it comes to understanding garments, and the history, or complexities behind them. That’s fashion for me, and I’ll leave the rest for you to decide.

For more information about Naseem Al Andlos (00971) 33111940 www.naseemalandalos.com info@naseemalandalos.com SPRING 2018

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Illustration by Hans-Jørgen Løken

Illustration by Farida Zaman

SIDENOTE

llustration by Bonnie Dain

THE FASHION REFORM By Ali Al Bana

If the fall 2018 seasonal shows in New York, Milan, and Paris didn’t portray it, nor prove that it’s an established fact, then this article will; The inevitably changing fashion industry, is being changed, and altered yet again. However this time, it’s being done by a younger demographic, who’re individuals that are aware, educated, and have a stance about current political, economical, and mental situations where the aftermath of all of those factors, is like a ripple effect.

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Although 2018 just started, the ongoing monopoly game of shifting designers from one fashion house to another, in hopes of change, reform, and better profit, is on full throttle. Partaking another round on the monopoly board are magazine editors, and contributors; we’ve all witnessed the shift of how Edward Enniful was given Alexandra Shulman’s Editor in Chief position at British Vogue. What does that mean? Well, the pressure is definitely on as we’re currently in a digital sphere scope

at the moment. However, the past several issues, videos, and social media tactics have proven that there’s nothing he can’t overcome. Picking up on such matters from a western perspective, here’s how it’s applied to both our local, and regional sphere. On the forefront lines, you have fashion-infatuated millennials who are embracing their identity, beliefs, and various opinions through garments that defy what once was, and embracing what now is.

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Fashion design, and the way we in the Middle East perceive garments have shifted completely. From influencer, designer collaborations, to designers breaking the boundaries with unconventional dress forms, and bold statements. For example, lets talk about the recent Fall 2018 collection by Hussein Bazaza titled “Lili”, initially the title seemed obscure, and only when he disclosed the idea behind his inspiration, or lack there of, did you appreciate it. Bazaza’s lack of inspiration

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was the root of his creative process for the collection. Having found a starting point in demotivation, the pieces showcased geometric cuts, rough leather, and constructed stitching. The looks are glitched, blurred with hazy effects as embroidery, beading, prints and motifs. Apart from Bazaza’s motifs, comes the minimalistic approach of Kuwaiti blogger Ascia Al Faraj’s modest, yet contemporary Ramadan pieces that she co-created with HAA designs for Thouqi.com – sticking to her aesthetics

of traditional wear, and utilitarian style, that pieces are practical, structured, and are made using light weight fabric, in neutral palette’s. From a dice of 6, to a dice of 4, the local fashion monopoly game will continue it’s uproar, be it through dress forms, touching upon topics that once were set a blind eye on, or standing up for those who are undermined, and neglected in the industry, the movement will continue.


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Beautiful Spectre An image of opulence and sophistication, the Rolls Royce Wraith is the epitome of an ultra luxe motor vehicle.

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t is hard to peer away from the beauty that captivates the eyes of onlookers as the car glides along the streets and their signature emblem The Spirit of Ecstasy, perched atop the bonnet, leads the way. Rolls Royce may not particularly be parked in every garage, but it is a widely recognized name, one that is almost always synonymous with grandeur and luxury. No doubt, each of the Rolls Royce cars be it the Ghost, Phantom, Dawn - holds its own place amongst the hearts of enthusiasts, powerfully so, but the Rolls Royce Wraith stands in a league of its own. Launched in 2013, and named after the original Wraith that was built by the original Rolls Royce Limited from 1938-1939, the newer version of the car is a luxury coupe version of the Ghost. With an unmissable elegant design of the long bonnet and sleek rooftop, the Wraith is more than a stunning automotive from the outside; powered with a V12 engine, it is the most powerful model produced by the car company to date.

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Chloe cape effect, cotton lace maxi dress, paired with darsey gold-tone pearl pendant earring by Chloe Available at Saks Fifth Avenue Bahrain

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Erdem tamaryn colored, floral print, silk chiffon amaryn dress, paired with Kenneth Jay Lane polished gold disc earrings. Available at Saks Fifth Avenue Bahrain

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Meticulously crafting every detail of the car, from the emblazoned headrests to the majestic Starlight Headliner, the 2018 Wraith exudes magnificence and stands as a true automotive maestro. The spacious four-person cabin, with leather interiors and a full-display dashboard make it a comfortable drive. The car is fitted with a Bespoke Audio system, which took over two years to develop to ensure it was perfectly tuned to the cabin, and the rotary controller with the Spirit of Ecstasy emblem in the centre, always within the view of the driver, makes it easier for the driver to navigate the infotainment system. A spectacular special feature the Wraith has is that of night-vision - one of the very few vehicles that offers it - that also has a pedestrian warning that allows drive to steer clear of any roadside walking individuals.

Chloe lace jersey T-shirt Available at Saks Fifth Avenue Bahrain

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The powerful automobile is a beautiful weld of elegance and authority, and its energy can be felt from the moment the engine starts and the car comes to life. Even dormant, the presence of the Wraith is domineering and commands attention, and it is hard not to give it, as the glossy body of the Wraith is nothing short of magnificent and an image of mastery over crafting an impressive automobile. Available at Euro Motors in Sitra Bahrain, Rolls Royce is part of their collection of luxury cars that have truly elevated Bahrain’s automotive industry, and host a wide range of Rolls Royce cars under their roof. Euro Motors has successfully been working in partnership with Rolls Royce and has been able to establish Rolls Royce as one of the leading automobiles in the country through their passion for the brand and has allowed them to establish a loyal customer base within the country and the region. For those interested in investing in the car can contact Euro Motors to visit the venue, and can also schedule a test-drive in order to get a first-hand experience of the Rolls Royce and truly understand the inexplainable and unique experience of what it feels like to get in the driving seat, behind the wheel of a Rolls Royce Wraith 2018.

For more information: Euro Motors, Sitra (00973) 1775 0649 www.euromotors.com.bh @euromotors_bh | @rollsroycebahrain Photoshoot venue: Shot on location at the luxury seaside Villas and private island of The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain

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Floral embroidered dress by Red Valentino Available at Saks Fifth Avenue Bahrain

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MAHA ALMANNAI A painter extraordinaire whose acute understanding of the world around her and people in it transform into beautiful pieces of art.

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or anyone who is passionate about art in any shape of form, they will tell you it is a means of expression. Emotions, feelings, expressions, or even a message that cannot be conveyed through words, artists in their respective industries, use their creativity to expel their inner most secretive thoughts and speak volumes through a canvas, without needing to say a word. Using painting as her expressive medium, artist and Psychologist, Maha AlMannai spoke to Perle Magazine about the freeing power of abstract artmeans to her - more than just paintings on a defined canvas.

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MALACHITE 100 cm x 150 cm Mixed Media On Canvas

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Malachite personifies the deep healing green of nature and represents the innate beauty of flowers, trees, roots and plants. In this painting, I blended the background with soft earthy colours that reflect hues of sunset and sunrise to convey the passage of time, as these precious stones develop layer by layer over millennia. Every corner of earth is pregnant with beautiful gemstones waiting to be discovered and delivered to us by travelers, jewelers, collectors, and geologists.


If you could please introduce yourself to us? My name is Maha AlMannai, a licensed Clinical Psychologist and an Abstract Expressionist Artist from Bahrain. My Art education started far before I was introduced to the science of behavior and mind, Psychology. I never viewed Art as a subject I had to study in school; instead, it was a lifestyle which continued after graduating, up to this day. I continued to learn and experiment in the field of Art with or without guidance, with or without an Art book. I am sometimes the experimenter, sometimes the student, and many times an artist in dialogue. At the age of 16, at a crossroads between two topics I am passionate about, Science and Art, I had to select Psychology, because you cannot be a self-taught

psychologist, yet, with much research, practice and dedication, you can become a self-taught artist. After completing my Masters and my training in the field of Psychology, I applied for an intensive international course of Art Therapy in Spain, in the hope that I can finally make a connection between the two sciences I am passionate about, the human mind and Art as an expressive medium for creative therapy, not just for my patients but also for myself. How long have you been an artist? and how did you being an abstract painter come about? I can count the amount of years I have studied to become the psychologist I am today, but I cannot count the years of Art for it started as a passion in childhood and

grew into a habit, a necessity, and now an identity. I do not live two separate lives whereby I am a psychologist by day, and artist by night; instead, I feel that these two parts often overlap, creating the most magnificent personal insights and artistic expressions. Before becoming an Abstract Artist, I was mainly painting portraits and botanical paintings. I was skilled with details and many of my previous art teachers had recommended that I stick to this type of Art, but my hands and my heart were determined otherwise. Being an Abstract Expressionist artist allows me the freedom to explore new ways of creating art, reinvigorating and reinventing the medium. The techniques to apply paint are not constrained to specific traditional methods; rather, I am free to move the canvas SPRING 2018

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from the easel to the floor and work on un-stretched and unprimed canvas, seeking new forms of self-expression and personal freedom in gestural forms of painting. What art medium do you use? The mediums I use depend largely on the artwork I am creating. Some of my paintings are highly textured and some remain softer, more urban and raw, shifting the focus from texture and form to the calming effect of subtle luminosity. I am comfortable using mixed media, however. For a tint of luxury, I like to use Oil Paint for its richness of pigments, its velvety texture, and for its flexibility in blending and transforming colours into countless subtle shades, some of which night be unique to a particular painting. I am a patient person and so the drying time of oil paint does not interfere with my selection of medium. I like to allow an artwork to dry and form, the same way I allow a feeling, a vision, or a passion to form in my mind and heart as I work on expressing it mindfully and wholeheartedly on the canvas. What artists are you inspired by? On an international scope, I am admirer of Artists such as French Impressionist Claude Monet, Abstract Expressionist Joan Mitchell, and Reidar Särestöniemi the greatest Finland-Lappish artist in the history of Finland. I have not only read about these artists and watched numerous documentaries about them but I have also had the delicious pleasure of viewing their art in person, to stand so close or sit so far and watch their paintings change with distance applied or subtracted. I had the pleasure to wander through their art studios and to study the condition of their brushes, the paint drips that never washed off the floors, the tubes of oil paint squeezed to the end, and the solvents stored in glass jars. Monet’s paintings, for instance, capture impressions of nature and time, such as sunrise and sunset, focusing on the character of lighting, mood, and atmosphere of an environment. I am an admirer of Monet’s palette and his technique of balancing composition of colours and forms, and I am fascinated by his connection with nature. This is an artist who, instead of traveling the world to find inspiration from nature, created a garden of Eden in Giverny, France. I think the way he built and bent nature to his will on his land, witnessing his subject of inspiration bloom in spring and wither in winter right 68

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BLUE MINERALS Diptych Painting 95 cm x 75 cm Mixed Media On Canvas


under his nose, is both intelligent and noble. Noble, because this garden exists for many creatures to wander through till this day, from humans to birds to insects, all finding joy in the source that once helped him create some of the most magnificent paintings of the Impressionism movement. You cannot look at a painting by Joan Mitchell and not feel the energy of her gestural paintings through confident, big brush strokes. Her ability to reflect the flow of her consciousness using paint is empowering to anyone looking at her art. Her work of nobility was not just the art she left behind, but also the personal support to many young artists who came to stay with her at Vétheuil, France. As for Reidar, the Finnish Artist, I admire his translation to the natural world in forms of multiple layers of thick oil paint. Elements from Arctic nature were often motifs of his artwork, in an Impressionist style depicting time and season.

A client commissioned a diptych artwork consisting of carefully selected shades of blue and a variation of textures, to complement the character of her new home. I drew my inspiration from the structure of Blue Agate Geodes, whose exterior surfaces resemble rocks, yet when they are sliced open they reveal layers of precious gemstones and crystals. This painting’s materials and form suggest the textures of the geodes themselves, with a matte and rough exterior texture and smoothly varnished center.

What sort of elements do you look for as inspiration when you are creating your art? My primary inspiration is the transformative power of the natural world— the ways experiences of nature change us and the ways we change the natural world. Nature is so fleeting, always changing and transforming, colors and lights moving in ways that can never fully be captured yet toy with the imagination. I try to abstractly capture the sense of awe that engulfs me when I am surrounded by pine forests, swelling ocean waves far out at sea, or a silent snowscapes stretching to an endless horizon of icy blue and white: images drawn from memories of my own travels in remote areas of the world. More recently, my work has focused on my interior landscape, guided by intuition and emotion. My work explores the dichotomy between nature and the physical and emotional response to it. I paint my emotional reaction to nature and translate the energy of my environment onto canvas, panel, or paper. Nature was not created merely to look breathtakingly beautiful— it serves as a sanctuary and a home to all living things, including you and me. It serves as a school for those who attend its daily classes mindfully and reflectively. The conditions of nature can be compared to human qualities. Nature can teach you lessons of physics, chemistry, geology, gemology, biology, mathematics, psychology, even encourage language to describe, reflect and express its qualities. SPRING 2018

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HARMONY 100 x 100 cm Oil Paint

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This painting is inspired by the fragrance of earth and its texture when it rains. The aromatic reaction between soil, rocks, wood and moisture in the air creates a refreshing earthy essence. When it rains, there is a sense of harmony between earth and all living things, celebrating the element that bonds our existence, water.

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How do you feel when you are painting? As I paint, my role as an artist shifts and alternates in subtle yet dramatic ways. When painting a botanical scene, I shift from a botanist to an architect, studying how petals layer thickly over one another to create a beautiful canopy gathered on top of a thin stem, balanced gracefully. You have to know the origin of a plant to fully appreciate its beauty and the more you learn about it, the easier your hands move to reproduce its natural expressions on canvas, since representing nature in paintings comes partly from understanding how flowers and plants develop in their surroundings and what they are trying to accomplish by growing or blooming just so. I become a kind of gemologist when I study the colour, form, and texture of precious stones, which have also been a source of inspiration to my paintings; or I can become a marine biologist, reading about the depth of an ocean, the structure of corals, and the formation of sand dunes and ripples underwater. My passion for beauty and Art is what compels me to read, study, create, and travel. Appreciation is what makes us move around the world with a sense of love and purpose. What is your Artistic Technique & Style? I value the spontaneity and improvisation of the Abstract technique. The immediacy and freshness of this style, as well as its complexity and boldness, have always intrigued me. My personal achievement is employing radically different techniques to express different ideas, adapting form to fit expression. Selections of my artwork could be described as an amalgamation of painting, layering, and sculpting. I consider the aspects of each inseparable and interdependent—the process of building and carving being one. It is important for me to use techniques of great artists but not necessarily to emulate their paintings or approaches specifically— rather, to create a unique identity and style from the whole breadth of possibilities.

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CORAL REEF Diptych Painting 90 cm x 80 cm Mixed Media On Canvas

Tell us about your most recent exhibition? The title of the exhibition, ‘Metamorphosis,’ describes the natural process of transformation from an immature form to an adult form in one or more stages, such as the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly. This process is similar to what one may experience after spending time in nature, a sense of growth and transformation. The exhibition was uniquely designed to be delightfully interactive. Every artwork in the exhibition was displayed with a little story neatly tucked below the painting, like a gentle whisper depicting an impression of nature. On display, you would also find a small collection of photographs I have taken during travels, places that had left a lasting impression on my mind and soul. Images of forests, snowtrees, coral reefs, and mountains, creatively organized for viewers to glimpse a little of the natural world of the 72

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Coral reefs, the only living structures underwater that can be seen from space are often compared with tropical rainforests for the diversity and wealth of wildlife and plants that live in and around them. This painting is highly textured, as corals come in different forms and textures. As beautiful as they are, they are also very vulnerable, easily damaged even by touch. As I paint the jewels of the ocean, I both celebrate their beauty and mourn their rapid extinction.

paintings. Through this exhibition, I wanted to extend a petition to those viewing my paintings to develop their own reflections with nature. Tell us about the unique gift buyers get when they purchase your art? Some paintings begin with a vision that becomes a story, and some begin with a story that ends in an impression. I often work with private clients who commission paintings for particular areas of their homes, and these paintings become unique collaborations between me and the buyer, so that a shared vision emerges from their ideas and mine, from the interactions of their interior spaces with my imagination, from their most passionate ideas about life with my fondest memories of nature. These works are truly collaborative, allowing the buyer’s ideas to materialize in their homes through unique art that captures something

personal about them and something divined from my experiences of the natural world. This process can take time—and it’s how I spend a lot of my time creating art— and the time rewards the client with a gift from their own hearts through my hands. Either way—whether they buy already completed work or commission original paintings—every client receives a personal, handwritten letter sealed with wax and stamped with my logo, along with a letter of authenticity documenting the originality of the artwork. What advice would you give artists who are just starting out? First, be genuine and authentic to yourself, and don’t think you have to adopt someone else’s approach or style just because you admire it or because a certain artist is considered a great master. Paint what you want to paint the way you want to


paint it. Second, allow yourself the time to develop a style and a method of painting that expresses your vision. Personally, I had to develop an understanding of the chemistry of paints and pigments, the raw materials of creating paint, so that I would know how different paints might work together, how paints will change differently over time, so that I could understand not just how a painting will look when I create it but also how it will look fifty or a hundred years from now, which is an important consideration even in the moment of creation. Third, practice art every day— don’t wait for inspiration to come but rather experiment with sketching, painting, or drawing every day, try new techniques, even just study paintings, read about art, or watch technical videos online. Every day should be a day for art. Finally, even when you’re painting a work for someone else,

enjoy painting it for your own pleasure. As challenging as it can sometimes be to make something from your imagination real, always remember and revel in your pleasure in creating art, and that pleasure will come through the canvas to the viewer.

For more information: Maha.Almannai@gmail.com @Maha.Almannai

What are your future plans when it comes to art? any more exhibitions on the horizon? I am close to completing a collection I have been working on for the past year and a half. The first six months were the most frustrating for me, as they were days and nights of trial and error. As soon as I began to understand the chemistry of the colours I was using—the way a chef understands the ingredients and the ways they interact with each other— I carefully began creating artwork inspired by the colours of the ocean. SPRING 2018

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The Scented Reverie Regal and historical notes produce an aromatic harmony that are the foundations of one of England’s oldest and most luxurious perfume houses, Grossmith. By Anaam Ikram

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erfume, for many, is considered more than a fragrant mist they spray upon themselves before stepping out. Scents invoke feelings they can identify with, and wearers use perfumes to awaken their senses. They personalize and identify with certain fragrances and claim them as their ‘signature’. Perfume, for many, is almost like a second skin they cannot leave their homes without. Whether it is the powdery scented veil or a strong musk that fills the air, each scent carries with it a personality that the wearer adopts and, in turn, giving that scent a bit of their own personality too, forming a beautifully complex and close relationship with their chosen fragrance. Understanding the importance of having such a scent for each person, the London-based, family-owned perfumery, Grossmith, has worked tirelessly for almost two centuries to create perfumes that serve as a part of the wearer’s identity and, in some way, represents a segment of their persona. Bringing the luxe perfumes to the region through her elegant multi-brand gift store, Trousseau, Nancy Al Zain works closely with the Brooke family to bring the unique story and scent of Grossmith to Bahrain.

Simon, Amanda, Kate, and Eleanor

Founding the business in 1835, John Grossmith created the perfumery out of his passion for elegant and luxurious scents inspired from his travels across the world. The carefully curated perfume formulae were designed in a manner that were able to bottle the spirit of the Victorian Era and soon were renowned for their redolence of quintessential England. The business was run successfully for three generations and headed by the second generation John Lipscomb Grossmith who, in his time, was not only a perfumer, but a designer, innovator, and a great marketeer. His passion towards the business evolved the Grossmith enterprise into something that not only produced perfumes, toothpaste and soaps, but was also a major importer of raw materials from around the world, which were then converted into oils and essences and sold to other perfume

houses in London - becoming one of the largest perfume, toiletries, raw materials businesses operating in the world. The business was then taken over by his son Stanley Grossmith, who like his father, was also a greatly trained perfumer, and throughout their leadership the business saw great prosperity as they were awarded many accolades, such as being awarded a prize medal in 1851 for perfumery and essential oils at the Great Exhibition. They were one of a very few English companies to compete successfully with the French perfume houses who were considered the leaders of the industry at the time. Their achievements also included Royal Warrants in the early 1900s by Queen Alexandra and Royal Courts of Greece and Spain, before ultimately seeing a decline during WW1 and WW2 when the materials required to produce perfumes became unavailable. SPRING 2018

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Simon, Kate, Amanda, and Nancy Al Zain at the event hosted by Trousseau at The Orangery

The legacy of Grossmith perfumes may have been buried at the time, but did not die, as years later, it was revived by Simon Brooke who came across his family history due to his interest in genealogy. His findings led him to the path that allowed him to trace back his family’s history to their Grossmith roots and managed to acquire the rights to bring the company back into his family once again in 2007, with the support of his wife Amanda and daughters Kate and Eleanor. Working previously in real estate, Simon says it was the magnetism of the perfume industry, but also realizing the colossal effort and dedication it would require to once again bring to life Grossmith perfumery. Working diligently to do just that, Grossmith perfumes were once again introduced to the market, with the same values, regal and historical luxurious elements that drove them to success in the past, but with a contemporary touch. “We have made a few changes over the years. But we are made in England, that is a hallmark of our brand. We are an English

perfume house, and we are very proud of our heritage and history and almost feel empowered by the success of our forefathers to bring it forward with the same passion and enthusiasm that they had when they building the brand 180 years ago.” Delving deep into the crevices of the Grossmith history and heritage, it was important to maintain the authenticity of the brand, which is derived from its beautiful scents, the chic exterior of the bottles, and it’s deep rooted past, and the Brooke family mastered the aesthetic of the brand and ensured that the Grossmith signature remained. Simon was fortunate to have come across a book for formulae which contained hundreds of original recipes, and used those to bring back the signature scents of Shem-el-Nessim (inspired by Egypt), Phul-Nana (inspired from India), and Hasu-no-Hana, and Betrothal which celebrated the engagement of Princess May of Teck and the Duke of York in 1893. The power and nature of the originally created scents is

so strong, that when the family opened a bottle of perfume from 120 years ago to try and replicate the scent, the perfume smelled just as good, in particular the base notes. Working with the older and more famous scents initially, Simon refers to what his great great uncle said in 1897, “the creation of a new fragrance is a rarity and should be linked to an astronomer finding a new planet. It is that rare, and that special.” Working in a parallel fashion to the great perfumer John Grossmith, who took great delight and passion in sampling new smells from all over the world, Simon says that though they took different paths into the world of perfumers, they share the same passion for creating scents. As the older scents were revived, they still carry modern elements, as today they are designed for the modern wearer. The beauty, however, of each of these scents is that they have a story of their own and as the wearers use these scents, they develop that story and make it theirs. SPRING 2018

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Staying true to their idea of reviving only select scents, Grossmith currently has 9 perfumes in 3 collections: The Classic Collection (Phul-Nana, Hasu-no-Hana, and Shem-el-Nessim) and their modern fragrances in The Royal Collection (Betrothal and Diamond Jubilee Bouquet) and The Black Label Collection. Each perfume in each collection holds a story of its own as to why it was created and it was that story that drew Nancy Al Zain to the Grossmith perfumes on one of her trips to the United Kingdom. “I actually heard the end of a story about one of the perfumes. The salesman was talking to a customer and I asked him to tell me the story again”, Nancy says and adds the story behind why each perfume was created is so important and upon smelling the fragrance, its story made sense. Nancy explains that each of the ingredient added to the perfume has a reason and it’s those special combinations that give the perfumes each of their independent identities. Perfumes such as Saffron Rose have a velvety scent, whereas Shem-el-Nessim carries a more powdery touch to it, and Floral Veil is aptly named as it is akin to wearing a light veil netted veil.

As each perfume carries its own unique persona, it is easy for the wearers to choose between them to use a scent that best fits with their own, or multiple fragrances across the various collections that they can resonate with. Customers can layer the perfumes, or wear them individually and as the day progresses, the oils of the perfume mix with the body and create a completely new fragrance exclusive to the wearer. The wide range also offers a scent for each occasion, so whether it is a day time affair, or an evening soiree, Grossmith caters to each occasion independently. Keeping in mind even the small details, which is one of the trademark of luxury of Grossmith, the perfumes are poured in a chic bottle that pays homage to the heritage bottles with subtle hints on the caps. Carefully choosing the look, Amanda says the packaging was created keeping in mind art and history and are reminiscent of the Art-Deco period with an understated and classic design. With packaging designed by Eleanor, Grossmith perfumes come in a sleek bottle, which is available in two different sizes as well, making it convenient for the customers to carry the smaller size with them. 78

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A savant of the perfume market in Bahrain, Nancy says she notices even the male customers are drawn to the scent of Hasu-no-Hana, Golden Chypre, which is part of the Black Label collection, and even the Saffron Rose as it has hints of oud in it, a truly precious scent for those within the region. Having being placed in 32 countries, Nancy and the Brooke family note that it is interesting to see how certain regions react more to certain scents compared to others, such as in Bahrain where customers prefer the powdery scents of Shem-el-Nessim and Amelia. The perfumes, which are retailed exclusively at Trousseau in Bahrain, have quick found a loyal customer base who understand the importance of having a novelty scent they can call their own.”Both parties have the same values of handpicking the

products and have a beautiful story to tell, as they are both family owned businesses. I don’t work with anything that I have not tried myself or believe in, and Grossmith perfumes are what I look for when I seek a scent for myself”, Nancy says of their close relationship. Much like the Grossmith perfumes, the elegant aesthetic of Trousseau is also carefully curated by Nancy herself, where she personally selects the items to be placed in her plush boutique. “Trousseau” itself meaning the presents a bride takes with her before she gets married, defines the precious nature of the items that are retailed at the shop, and it comes as no surprise that Grossmith perfumes are part of that beautiful gesture and tradition that has been carried on for centuries.

For more information: Trousseau, Shop No. 1104, Second Floor, Al Aali Mall, Seef District (00973) 1754 1041 trousseau.bh@gmail.com info@trousseauco.com inquiries@grossmithlondon.com www.trousseauco.com www.grossmithlondon.com @trousseaubahrain @grossmithlondon

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Farahii Giving the bride-to-be the happiness she deserves on her very special occasion

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eddings are a truly magical time for the bride and groom and their families. More than a couple coming together and making the vow to spend their lives together, it’s also the union of two families, and is truly a celebratory moment for all. Friends and family come together in ceremonies and parties to rejoice, whether they are grand occasions or a more intimate affair, a wedding ceremony marks the beginning of a new lifetime together. While guests only partake in the festivities, what no one sees is the mayhem that unfolds behind the scenes to ensure everything happens without a hitch. For the bride and her family, planning a wedding can be a trying moment at times, where certain things just dont seem to fall in place, or aren’t available to add the finishing touches. In the hopes to make it a little easier for the future bride, Dina Shabib set up her online store, Farahii, to try and ensure the bride gets the memorable and magical wedding party of her dreams.

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What is Farahii and what can customers expect from it? Farahii is a one stop resource for the Khaleeji bride. On the Farahii website you can expect to find a collection of curated essentials and resources that cater to every bride. Whether you want to buy a personalized bridal robe, a bridal gift box for your friend or are looking for the best make-up artist in Riyadh, we will have our brides covered. Where did the idea for the name of Farahii come about? We were trying to find a name that is simple, easy to remember, but means wedding in some way. We started with a completely different name, and a few weeks before launch we came up with Farahii, which means ‘happiness’ and ‘wedding’ in Arabic.

How did the idea of Farahii come about? In the Fall of 2016, I was helping my brother plan his wedding in Bahrain, and I realized how many inefficiencies there was to this process. There seemed to be a lack of transparency and convenience. Then one day while I was jogging I thought- ‘wouldn’t it be amazing if there was one reliable, easy, fun resource to go to for all the Khaleeji bride’s needs?’ And the idea of Farahii was born. And from there it took about 9 months to set the whole business up.

What are some of the items/categories on the website that customers can order? We provide products under a variety of categories that customers can order from including: • Bride (Bridal accessories): including hair accessories, shoes, veils, gloves, robes and a style emergency kit. • Wedding Favors: including boxes and bags to put your wedding favors in as well as items like cupcake towels. • Decorations: including signs & banners, cake toppers, table scatters & confetti, lights and hanging decorations, photo booth props and balloons.

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Bridal Shower: including bridal shower accessories and bridal shower games for the bride and her guests. Honeymoon: including passport covers, travel bags, travel shoe bags, and wallets. Stationary: including cards, guest books, stickers, and sign-in sheets. Boxes and Sets: including bridal gift boxes, bridal shower box, and bachelorette party sets. In addition, we’ve also started to introduce personalized products such as a personalized white satin robe and a personalized cake topper.

Do you customize products as well for customers? Yes we customize robes and cake toppers. Where do you source your products from? We source our products from all over the world like the US, China, Turkey, and some from the middle east; but we also design our own products and produce them locally. What are some of your future plans with Farahii? We are working on developing and enhancing our vendor section so that our customers can have a better and more comprehensive experience. What special feature do you have that caters to the busy brides? To cater to our bride’s busy schedules, we’ve come up with the Personal Shopper value added service. We ask the bride a few questions based on her wedding and preferences and then put together a list of products from Farahii that she can purchase and have shipped to her doorstep, hassle-free.

For more information: (00966) 055 157 156 (whatsapp) hello@farahii.com www.farahii.com @farahiishop

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The Treasure Trove of Culture The annual festival held in its 13th edition, Spring of Culture brought to life once again the rich heritage and all the elements that make the island so precious

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wo months of festivities, events, exhibitions, performances, and more that highlight the rich culture, history, and heritage of the Kingdom of Bahrain that signify and define its identity as the gem of the Gulf, Spring of Culture once again brought to the forefront the diverse nature of the Bahraini people. This year, the Spring of Culture also celebrated Muharraq becoming the Capital of Islamic Culture in 2018, and looked at the deep-rooted heritage and traditional of the beautiful island, from looking at the history of pearl - the foundations upon which the Kingdom built its infrastructure to various exhibits around the country that detail life in Bahrain during the ancient era to its contemporary image today. Bahrain, though a small country, is built upon layers of interesting history that has shaped the society, its values, and beliefs. Spring of Culture also included international exhibitions and artists that were brought into Bahrain to showcase a wide spectrum of arts from various disciplines to appeal to the different communities that make up the social fabric of Bahrain, and bring them together throughout this season of celebrating Bahrain. Perle Magazine spoke with Sheikha Hala Mohammed Al Khalifa, the Director of Culture and Arts at the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities about the happenings of Spring of Culture 2018 and what makes this year’s festival truly unique.

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Working hand in hand with entities such as Economic and Development Board (EBD), and various galleries around Bahrain to preserve and showcase the essence of Bahrain throughout the years, reach out to a wider audience, and build the bridge of cultural communication between Bahrain and the rest of the world, Spring of Culture 2018 had an incredibly diverse program of activities, programs, and events. The program was curated by BACA especially keeping in mind the prominence of Muharraq and its prestigious title of Capital of Islamic Culture in 2018, but at the same time utilizing historic sites throughout Bahrain to highlight their importance contributing to the Kingdom’s culture and history, and also displaying international exhibits and events to create a unity between the Bahrainis and ever-expanding expatriate community, both of which play an important part in forming Bahrain’s eclectic community. BACA focused more on traditional events which highlighted one aspect of the importance of the Muslim community and the festivities were organized keeping that in mind, whereas EBD not only highlighted Bahraini talent, such as bringing in Majid Jordan, the Canadian Duo of which one half is Bahraini singer Majid Maskati, and Bahrain-based band Likwid, as well as bringing to Bahrain international musical stars such as English

singers Rita Ora and James Arthur. The exciting mix of events attracted large crowds of all nationalities that came together to celebrate Bahrain. Prior to the festival being officially launched, BACA marked the significance of Muharraq by opening the annual art exhibition, which was in its 44th edition this year, and Sheikha Hala says it was important to start with big exhibitions such as the Al Fann Exhibit and Between Muharraq and Seville by Ebrahim Busaad and Elisabeth Bolza, both in the Bahrain National Museum. The Al Fann exhibit is the Al Sabah Collection, which showcases Islamic objects from different eras. “For us to this collection traveling from a very prestigious institution like the Sabah Collection, Dar Al Islamiyya in Kuwait to Bahrain, it has a huge significance for us and for our cultural collaborations with the region”, says Sheikha Hala. Also having personally worked on the Bolza-Busaad exhibition, she says it was important to have that collaborative exhibit was because their independent works highlighted calligraphy, Arabic writing, and Arabic language is for Bahrain and the identity of its people. SPRING 2018

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As part of highlighting the elements that comprise the Islamic culture, calligraphy is one of the main parts as it is the written one and is most commonly associated with the Qur’an, the holy scriptures, and has been used widely throughout Islamic art. Busaad, who is a master of traditional and modern calligraphy, and Elisabeth who is well versed in Islamic culture and uses Arabic calligraphy as part of her art pieces, came together to produce a stunning exhibit, beautifully capturing the beauty and power of the Arabic language and its significance within the Islamic culture. Among the myriad of traditional events that BACA was responsible for working on, the Epic of Gilgamesh was held at the Bahrain National Theatre to commemorate the Arab Tourism Day as it is one of the most celebrated work from Ancient Mesopotamia that flourished for

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more than a millennium in Babylonia and Assyria and was transmitted throughout the Middle East. The festival also greatly highlighted Palestine and its people, their achievements, and their struggles and honored the country that is considered the permanent capital of Islamic culture, through the exhibit of renowned Palestinian cartoonist Naji Al Ali recognized for creating the widely recognized refugee-figure, Handala, which has become a potent symbol in midst of the Palestinian struggle. The exhibit was curated with the help of his son, a resident of Bahrain over the past 14 years, who offered his late father’s drawings to be showcased in Bahrain for the first time. The Jerusalem Arabic Music Ensemble also delighted the crowds with their patriotic and Arab songs making the significance and splendor of the Arab culture. And the third event

that marked the celebration of Palestine, was the powerful, one-woman theatrical performance of the play 36 Abbas Street, Haifa (a city in Palestine). Each of the events designed by BACA were organized carefully to ensure their significance was understood by the audience such as the opening the exhibit Scenamadre, which was curated by the Academia Albertina Di Bella Arte in Italy and was showcased in Bahrain on the 27th of March, which is also International Day of Theatre. The 10-day exhibit showcased theatre set designs from times till present day, and highlights scenography, theatre, cinematography, and set design. Throughout the festival, the music of Bahrain was also heavily featured as there were music concerts and various stage plays that took place in the Mohamed Bin Faris Music Hall in Muharraq, and weekly


concerts by the Mohamed Bin Faris band that highlighted the the musical heritage of pearl diving, wedding seasons, and Bahrain’s culture. Additionally, singers from across the globe travelled to the festival, from Morocco, to Korea, and the Whirling Dervishes from Turkey that enlivened the festival spirit, among many other international acts and performers that were a part of the Spring of Culture in 2018. Continuing the spirit of celebrating Bahrain, BACA put together an impressive program for a book fair, launching the 28th of March. The 10-day book fair, taking place on Arad Fort, was organized to teach and instill in the younger generation the importance of the written word. Bringing together 400 publishing houses from around the world, the bi-yearly fair also has book signings, film screenings, and activities for the families and kids. “I

think it is the main source of knowledge and development for any society. And in a day and age where publications are being cancelled and turned into a digital format, it is important to highlight and support publishing houses” says Sheikha Hala. Following that, BACA will also open the Heritage Festival, and Sheikha Hala explains that as an institution that works on certain pillars that continue year after year, the Heritage Festival is particularly important as it highlights the history, crafts, art, food, music, and culture. Ensuring majority of their events are taking place in Muharraq, Sheikha Hala notes it was vital that Muharraq is the epicenter of the cultural activities and festivities taking place to continuously commemorate its selection as the Capital of Islamic Culture in 2018, and even spoke about how the opening of the Pearling Path at the end of the

year - the second world heritage site to be inscribed into the UNESCO list - is the jewel in the crown of Muharraq as it relays the relationship of Bahrain and its people with the sea, and would further highlight the significance of Muharraq, not only within Bahrain, but within the GCC - even though it is a project BACA has not worked on. Bahrain’s list of cultural achievements only seems to be growing in 2018, as the the annual UNESCO meeting will also be hosted by the island Kingdom in collaboration with BACA. The delegation which will include around 1500 specialists from all the world to select world heritage sites will be held over the course of 10 days in the Kingdom, and Sheikha Hala adds it is a huge privilege to host a delegation of such a grandiose nature, and is an important step in cementing Bahrain’s status as a culturally rich and diverse nation.

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Taking Bahrain across the globe as well, Sheikha Hala mentions there are numerous exhibits that travel from Bahrain to various Museums and institutions across the world, such as at Dilmun Civilisation exhibit being showcased at the Armitage in St Petersburg in Russia, and even working with the Smithsonian in 2017 for their Illuminate Asia exhibit. In 2019, BACA will be a part of two important events in an art academy in Torino, Italy, and the Music Conservatoire. Additionally, BACA will also be a part of the a film festival in France, where local-made films will be highlighted. “Our contributions to exhibitions outside of Bahrain may not be a lot, but they are key ones”, says Sheikha Hala and adds that they carefully select where they showcase their exhibitions. Though Bahrain may seem like a small dot on the map next to the major GCC countries that surround it, but without a doubt, the island is a true gem of the Gulf, with ample culture, and multi-layered history that is fascinating in each era, and the timeline of Bahrain’s progression economically, culturally, and historically has given the Kingdom its truly unique image. The various events, historical sites, cultural festivities, architecture, and heritage that is prominent throughout the country and amplified by the efforts of BACA only goes to show how much Bahrain has to offer, and continues to evolve as a country yet keeping true to the core of the country’s culture and historical identity.

For more information: (00973) 1729 8777 info@culture.gov.bh www.culture.gov.bh

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A membership to luxury Bringing guests closer to living the full Four Seasons Bahrain Bay experience and making them a part of the family, the luxury hotel opens its doors for its members in more than one way

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Khalid Zoukari, Director of Rooms

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s the sunlight spills across the terrace, through the glass wall, and into the lobby, Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay offers a picturesque view of Bahrain Bay, the busy area of Manama and its neighboring Diplomat Area, all the way to Adliya and Juffair. The liveliness of the hotel can constantly be felt as guests make their way from one area of the hotel to the other, often convening in the lobby as a focal point, taking in the view, before making their way to their rooms, the spa, the restaurants, or the outdoor area where they can walk and relax to the lulling sounds of the water in the Bay, watch over the Bahrain skyline and wonder over the thriving metropolis Bahrain has become. Perle Magazine spoke to Director of Rooms Khalid Zoukari and Spa Manager Steve Fernandez about the quality experience guests can become a part of when they apply for a membership

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at Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay. The hotel, which has been a prominent part of Bahrain Bay’s scenic view for the past four years, has undoubtedly built a very loyal customer base within the country and the region. Guests from all over the GCC visit and stay at The Four Seasons for its exemplary services and amenities, delicious dining options, and stunning views of the Manama skyline, The Avenues Mall, and the sights of Bahrain as far as their eyes can see. When the guests come to stay in the hotel, they are provided with the best amenities and services to ensure their stay is comfortable and memorable, but for those who do not have the opportunity to stay at the hotel, but wish to enjoy the same facilities, the Spa Membership offers members to enjoy a wide range of services, also making them part of the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay family. “Instead of a spa membership, it is a lifestyle membership”,

says Khalid, and adds that it is not just about members coming in and using the facilities and leaving, but the membership encompasses all elements that cater to offering a wholesome lifestyle. From offering discount on dining, to renting cars, booking tickets, laundry, access to Spa and gym, and discount on retail within the hotel. Members are looked after with the utmost care and their needs are catered to as requested. Offering different price packages for singles, couples, and families, Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay also allows members 12 passes to bring for their non-member family and friends to enjoy the facilities, as well as allowing members to halt their membership status for a month and can resume it after that duration. The family membership also allows them to use the Kids Club, where children can enjoy educational activities and Summer Camp, without any additional cost.


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Understandably, initially customers are reluctant when changing their membership to a new place, they soon find the wide range of benefits from Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay spa membership not only brings them closer to the property, but also bring to them a holistic lifestyle they can immerse in. The members especially enjoy The Spa, a truly magnificent facility that is the biggest spa within the Four Seasons portfolio. It is divided into male and female sections, boasting a wide range of treatments, and services to accommodate the independent relaxation and healing needs of each guest - members have the special privilege of being eligible for discount on their treatments. An expert on treatments in the Spa, Steve says he notices members have always been drawn to the relaxing massages after a long day at work or in between the work day for 1 hour 92

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traditional massages, or visit the Hammam to wind down at the end of a taxing day to give the body the nurture it requires. He explains that members or guests can even benefit from the expert therapists in The Spa who can help with injury recovery and can direct the customers to which treatments are better and beneficial to heal the body in various ways. The 17 treatment rooms (10 in the female side ad 7 in the male side), a Hammam in both male and female section, and a salt inhalation room made of blocks from Himalayan salt designed specifically to detoxify the body, The Spa and its treatments have been designed in a unique way that complement each other. Steve explains that though there are treatments within Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay spa that are unanimous throughout spa family within the other Four Seasons hotels,

many treatments are unique to the region, working in collaboration with the vendors and the spa. The Spa has a predominantly holistic ambiance, and works with brands such as Ila from the UK and Sodashi from Australia. “They are customized or created to bring out the experience, especially for people coming from outside and want to experience that authentic Bahrain-esque style of treatment, and we provide that here in our spa�, explains Steve. The Ila treatment is based on the different Chakra energies, and the products are very potent not only due to the ingredients used to prepare them, but also in the manner in which they are produced. From the different symbolism used, to the chants, and frequency with how everything is produced is set, and there is very little external elements used in the treatment, leading the guests into a state of total bliss throughout


Steve Fernandez, Spa Manager

the treatments - long and short treatments are available for each of the different Chakras. Ila has also created a special music that complements the treatments to allow the guests to enter a relaxed state of mind as soon as the process starts, ensuring all elements of a single treatment come together harmoniously to make it a truly comforting experience. Sodashi, on the other hand, uses ayurvedic principles, acquiring their ingredients from India and using them in their natural form for an ayurvedic healing of the body. Sodashi has created a special Oud oil just for the hotel in Bahrain, and when guests are indulging in a Sodashi treatment, they can add that oil in. Steve explains that is what makes these experiences at The Spa so remarkable, not only are these treatment designed for the specific clientele of the Four Seasons Hotel

Bahrain Bay, but they tend to exceed the expectations of the guests. The team at The Spa also guides the guests through their choices and treatments to ensure they are receiving the best option for their needs. In addition to the holistic element of The Spa, there are also clinical treatments that are available such as, the Ice Clinical, which is a resurfacing facial and is very popular with the guests. There is also the signature Fire and Ice facial, used by many in Hollywood as well, and is a simple and natural treatment method using heat and cool masks to rejuvenate the skin. The peeling masks are used one after the other and take about three days to completely heal the skin, revealing a beautiful natural glow. The Spa also offers MCCM, a skin-lifting treatment from Portugal, that revives the skin making it healthier. “We understand that you need to have

a balance because not everyone wants a holistic approach. Some people want an instant kind of results from treatments such as a facial, and I see that as a progression. It needs to be body, mind, and soul, and we will be introducing wellness aspects�, Steve adds. The Spa will also offer a Moroccan treatment, Maroc Maroc, which will be based on the traditional Moroccan Hammam experience, ceremonial massage inclusive of heat packs, exfoliation using natural ingredients. Working diligently towards offering more than just standard treatments, The Spa team ensures members and guests can partake in the entire Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay experience, which is a refreshing harmony of various types of yoga, gym access, and a carefully looked after nutritional aspect that brings to life their vision of a wholesome lifestyle brought SPRING 2018

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to the members by the hotel. Guests feel that ambiance and serenity as soon as they set foot in the rotunda of The Spa and are welcomed by the minimalist interiors of cream tiles, white walls, high ceilings, and big windows that allow in natural light, almost giving the place a spiritual vibe. The entrance of The Spa to male and female sides is decorated by a water fountain in the centre, and the soothing sounds of the flowing water already set the mind at ease combined with the ambient music, setting the mood for a tranquil affair. As the guests walk through the doors, they step onto the terra-cotta flooring, and face the muted and calming tones of the cream coloured walls, the friendly and welcoming staff of The Spa ensure the guests have a pleasant 94

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experience from the moment they walk in. Moroccan and Turkish influences can be seen throughout The Spa, and windows within the vicinity make the venue spacious, and guests can roam freely in between their treatments to the waiting area, the small lobby, or can relax in the Jacuzzi, or any of the hot and cold rooms. The Spa brings to members and visiting guests alike a special experience with each visit. Offering a carefully curated lifestyle and access to Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, membership at the hotel is more than just the access to the vicinity, but brings to members a beautiful holistic package that caters to and takes care of each and every aspect of the their life.

For more information: (00973) 1711 5000 steve.fernandez@fourseasons.com www.fourseasons.com/bahrain


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My CafĂŠ A serene combination of handpicked art and a carefully crafted eclectic menu make for an excellent visit to the fine dining restaurant in the bustling food district of Adliya

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elebrating three successful years as one of Bahrain’s most popular dining locations situated in the ever-popular Block 338 Adliya, My Café is a stylish fine dining restaurant with a diverse menu that satisfies every palate. Surrounded by a myriad of restaurants and dining options, My Café has a special vibe that attracts customers to walk through the wooden doors into an a fashionable two-story setting. The brainchild of Sawsan Baluch, My Café is a reflection of Sawsan’s own aesthetic relayed into the interiors of the restaurant beautifully and allows the diners to feel as though they are truly dining in Sawsan’s own home.

An interior designer by profession, Sawsan’s passion always lied within the world of gastronomy. Working within the world of design for many years, Sawsan’s dream was to eventually open her own restaurant where she would combine her expertise in design with her ardor for food, serving customers a uniquely chic gastronomic experience. Curating the aesthetic of the restaurant as a fine dining bistro, My Café’s offers its customers a delicious assorted menu for breakfast, pizzas, mains, salads and pasta, sandwiches, and desserts. The menu offers a scrumptious mix of Arabic, Indian, Western, healthy options, meat and plant-based dishes that satisfy the diverse palate that comprises the gastronomy of Bahrain. The kitchen is headed by by Executive Chef Herve Prozanto, whose expertise has garnered him a worldwide reputation having worked at award-winning restaurants such as Joel Robuchon Paris and SpondiAthens. His team consists of Chef Kostas and Pastry Chef Jolyon, who ensure My Café culinary vision and styled are delivered effortlessly with each dish, and guests experience an incredible and unique dish each time. Always reviving the menu to keep it fresh and bringing exciting dishes to the table, My Café is introducing a new breakfast menu for the early risers who wish to start their day on a mouth-watering and hearty note. Using only the freshest of ingredients and preparing everything in-house, everything from the kitchen has a different and unique taste. 98

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From preparing the pizza from scratch to homemade mayonnaise, the My Café kitchen delivers a fresh and wholesome taste in each dish, and has established a long list of customer favourites, such as the Mediterranean Veal Cheek, the date salad, and Signature Risotto. For those who enjoy a light meal, the variety of filling starters is the perfect choice, or the salads and pastas, which are all served in generous flavorous portions. A treat for the meat-lovers, the Kobe meat selection is ideal and can be perfectly paired with a variety of side dishes and sauces, as per the customers’ personal preferences 100

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and tastes. The best part of every meal, the dessert at My Café can be a meal on its own, especially for those with a sweet tooth. Diners can choose from the A La Carte gourmet dessert menu that boasts the likes of Raspberry Soufflé, the all-time favorite Hot Chocolate Fondant, Churros which are served with two different sweet sauces, and chocolate lovers can indulge in the Chocolate Platter and satisfy their sweet tooth. Always looking to provide the customers with the best when it comes to dining, the My Café team continues to be innovative and creative when It comes to their menu.


As the FnB world, tastes of people in Bahrain, and dietary preferences continue to change rapidly, My Café also continues to develop and evolve their menu as well. From introducing new options for breakfast, to slowly adding new dishes to the menu throughout the year. Making sure throughout the menu, it is important to use only fresh ingredients, or best quality products which are imported if not found in Bahrain. Also incorporating seasonal dishes on the menu, My Café serves customers food items that bring out the spirit of the season, allowing diners to enjoy the

changing weather paired with the perfect ingredients just for the warm spring that leads into a summer, or the cool breezes that eventually turn into the chilly winters of Bahrain. What truly makes going to My Café a memorable experience is the interiors that complement the hearty food. The walls are laden with handpicked Contemporary Art pieces, and striking wall decals that add a slight arabesque hint. The furniture as well maintains a very minimal chic yet plush aesthetic with neutral colours, which pairs well with the wooden elements inside the

restaurant. Large glass windows allow in ample natural light, and throughout the restaurant ornaments and decorative pieces can be seen that enliven the place. Guests can enjoy their food or relax in the My Café garden, where guests can soak up the sun or enjoy the cool breeze as they relish in their food or take a sip of their tea, coffee, or a cooling drink from their wide selection of refreshing mocktails. Undeniably the work of an artist, Sawsan designed the restaurant that replicates her own house, ensuring guests feel at home when they walk into the restaurant. SPRING 2018

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Working relentlessly for about 3 years before her idea came to life, Sawsan took her time to carefully analyze and understand the FnB industry in Bahrain as well as making sure her vision was perfectly transferred into the restaurant she wanted, and delivering an experience customers would appreciate and come back for. Her handwork and passion towards her dream resulted in the birth of My Café in 2015 and since then it is undoubtedly one of Bahrain’s most visited dining venue. Mirroring the interiors of her own home and comfort zone, the idea behind My Café’s design was always to make it a place of comfort for the diners as they savor delicious food in a comforting ambiance. The restaurant closes down for the month of Ramadan as everyone takes a break for the summer, but springs back into life from the first day of Eid, and is one of the busiest venues. My Café is a truly precious restaurant that brings to its customers a notable experience that keeps them going back for more. An exceptional addition to Adliya’s budding culinary scene, My Café is a dining haven for the residents of Bahrain. 102

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For more information: Block 338, Adliya, Bahrain (00973) 1744 1900 www.mycafebh.com @mycafebh

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Iris Bahrain The swankiest new venue in Bahrain for a fun, exciting, open-air evening

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inding down in a cool and casual setting with friends or close ones is the ideal situation after long day at work. Situated in the centre of Adliya, Iris has quick become one of Block 338’s most favored place in the short time since its opening. Providing a beautiful view of the vibrant area, Iris Bahrain is a beautiful rooftop venue which caters to the outgoing and lively crowd, that likes to sway into a melodious evening with some bites to snack on a refreshing or soothing drink. Beirut, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and now Bahrain, Iris is renowned for being the go-to venue for outgoing, classy, elegant clientele of who enjoy a bit of post-work downtime to relax. Designed in a way from the actual location to the ambiance, Iris exudes an air of modish yet unconventional with a relaxed vibe. Maintaining their signature rooftop aesthetic throughout all of their venues, Iris Bahrain offers customers a stunning view of the sunset to the sounds of international DJs that bring in the evening with their lively and funky sounds amongst the company of like-spirited individuals. Falling under the My CafÊ group, bringing Iris to Bahrain was a project of Sawsan Balush who fell in love with the venue when she had visited the flagship venue in Beirut, Lebanon. Seeing a gap in the market for such a location that offers customers a happening place to rid themselves of their worries for a while and listen to the soothing beats with delicious accompanying bites, Sawsan decided to bring Iris to Bahrain and place it in the ever-popular Block 338. With a minimal chic aesthetic and accents of greenery around the venue, Iris mimics an outdoorsy natural setting.

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The drinks station is located to one side of the venue, and the what truly brightens the place is the mirror wall that reflects off natural sunlight till sunset, spilling a picturesque blend of rust and vanilla sky over the entire rooftop, and then dims down to a deep blue and eventually dark reflection setting the mood for the evening. Customers can sit on comfortable couches or high-chairs, or walk around the place and sway to the eclectic music that plays all night. In addition to the exciting venue, Iris offers a great menu which guests can indulge in. From refreshing beverages to wholesome food, Iris brings its guests an entire culinary experience as well, carefully put together by Sawsan. Preparing everything fresh, guests can enjoy sushi, prawn bites, salads, grilled meats, tartare, sliders, and even sweets, to accompany their night out. The bite-sized portions

allow the guests to enjoy various items off the menu, yet still have new options for their next visit. Accommodating the ever-changing social scene in Bahrain, Iris has become part of Adliya’s image as the ‘happening’ place in Bahrain. Wherein a few years ago, Block 338 was regarded as mainly a food district with select dining options, the launch of Iris adds a new dynamic into the socializing scene in Bahrain, and allows for a more open and unassuming way to enjoy and evening, whether it is during the week or on the weekend. Ensuring guests always have a memorable and exciting time, Iris Bahrain brings in international DJs every Wednesday such Mahmut Orhan, Deepjack, and Adam Balush, to keep the vibe fresh and lively throughout the week leading into the weekend, where the resident DJ entertains guests. SPRING 2018

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Cooling down for the summer, the venue takes a break from May-October to allow for the management to also find some time to unwind, before picking up again and opening the doors for eager customers to once again revitalize their evenings with the fun ambiance of Iris, picking up right where they left off. Iris Bahrain coordinates with Iris Beirut - which is open during the Summer - and brings talent from Lebanon to Bahrain and vice versa for guests to truly immerse themselves in an international musical and soirĂŠe experience, no matter what Iris they are visiting. From Lebanon to Bahrain, no matter what location Iris is at, the same excitement and zeal can be felt, making Iris a genuinely unique and ecstatic experience. 112

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For more information: Block 338, Adliya, Bahrain 8pm - 2am weekdays 4pm - 2am weekends (00973) 1721 2223 fb.com/bahrainiris @iris.bahrain

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400 Gradi Home to the authentic flavors of Naples in Bahrain

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s the wood-fire ovens heat up to 400 degrees, the freshly made pizzas are placed on the peels and put into the oven for between 60 to 90 seconds, resulting in an aromatic and delicious signature dish that serves as a true ode to the rich flavors of Naples. The brainchild of award-winning Australian Chef Johnny De Francesco, 400 Gradi opened its first branch outside Australia, at The Avenues Bahrain in 2017, and is a haven for delicious Italian cuisine, with their speciality being the authentic Neapolitan pizza.

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Starting off as a dream to open up a high-end pizzeria inspired by the richness of food found within Italy, and remaining true to his Italian heritage, Johnny’s journey into the culinary industry started from a young age when his desire to buy a pair of shoes led him to taking up his first job in a restaurant. From then, his interest in the industry grew further and allowed him to pave the way for himself as the owner of his first dining establishment at the age of 19. By 23, Johnny’s perseverance resulted in seven outlets under his command, serving freshly made pizzas. Born to Italian parents, Johnny was raised in a household where elements of his Italian heritage and roots were always eminent, and drew him using those as an inspiration to perfect his cuisine. He travelled to the home of the “world’s best pizza”, Naples, Italy, and was introduced to and received

training from Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN) - an organisation dedicated to preserving the tradition of making the Neapolitan pizza the right way. “I spent some time with them and worked in a few restaurants in Naples and got to understand the culture, and learn why it is so special” he says. Bringing his heritage back to Australia, Johnny focused on opening a place that concentrated on serving really high-end pizzas, resulting in the launch of the first ever branch of 400 Gradi in Melbourne. Across the outlets in Australia, the restaurant has a handcrafted eclectic menu that takes the diners through a journey of Neapolitan gastronomy, and the one in Bahrain is no different. 400 Gradi is widely recognised for its pizzas that are made using fresh ingredients imported from Italy from carefully handpicked regions known

for their specialty ingredients and brought to the restaurants. Mozzarella from Casate, San Marzano tomatoes from Campania, homemade dough, combined with the years of training and perfecting techniques to create their signature dishes, each dish is a true representation of Italian culture. For those who want to relish in dining options other than their famed pizza, 400 Gradi’s menu boasts a wide variety of dishes that satisfy every palate. Dishes such as gnocchi, lamb and pistachio cutlets, and even their ever-famous traditional gelato ice cream, are have quick become favorites of the diners. Creating everything from scratch, from the sauces to the finished product, every dish at 400 Gradi is crafted with the utmost care to ensure each dish delivers on its promise on being authentic Italian cuisine. SPRING 2018

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Passers by are drawn in by the mouthwatering aroma of exquisite Italian cuisine that invites them in for a unique dining experience that allows them to navigate through the diverse Italian culture through the different dishes. Once inside, diners are welcomed into a vast dining area with alfresco seating option, overlooking the beautiful Bahrain Bay. The modest interior of the restaurant is highlighted as the glass windows allow in generous amounts of sunlight, and as the sun sets, the dim lighting sets demure mood, yet both settings allow diners to feel at complete ease while enjoying their meals. “We have created this beautiful restaurant so you can as many times as you want, and you can try different things and not have to worry about this only being a pizzeria�, Johnny adds.

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Along with the 400 Gradi restaurant branches under his belt, and years of experience, it comes as no surprise as one of the accolades Johnny has earned is that of World’s Best Pizza Maker in 2014. Additionally, Johnny’s training at the AVPN not only made him the first Australian to receive the training, but also garnered him the title of the President of AVPN Australia. Truly a master of his art and keen on sharing his knowledge with those who too, like him, are passionate about Italian cuisine, Johnny also offers Masterclasses during which he teaches his techniques on how to create the perfect Neapolitan pizza, and has also released a book in which he has shared

50 of his own recipes, as well as his dough making technique for the best pizza base. “I believe if I dont continue the tradition, or if I dont educate people on how to make an authentic Neapolitan pizza, I’m afraid the tradition may die some day”, Johnny says, and adds that he finds it his duty to keep his cooking as close to the original recipes as possible to ensure the true tastes are never forgotten. Keeping true to his promise of always serving traditional and genuine Italian food, Johnny De Francesco’s 400 Gradi is a tribute to his rich culture, that he carries strongly with him and shares with his customers one authentic dish at a time.

For more information: The Avenues Bahrain, Bahrain Bay Saturday-Wednesday 11am-11pm Thursday-Friday 11am-12pm (00973) 1711 0618 400gradi.com.au @400gradime

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Rooftop Requiescence A place thats hard to miss, Hazel Rooftop Lounge is the island’s newest happening location with an unmatched ambiance, great food, drinks, and entertainment

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uzzing with residents and visitors alike at any given time of day, Block 338 in Adliya has cemented its status as the food, enjoyment, and art centrum in Bahrain. No matter where the tour starts, Block 338 is the go-to location for gastronomical journey, an exciting night out, or to become immersed in the musical and art scene in Bahrain. Combining all of those elements, in a sophisticated yet relaxed package, Hazel Rooftop Lounge is the newest venue to enliven Adliya, and has quick become a crowd favourite. Perle Magazine spoke to Jean-Marc Ducasse, who is the GBL Operations Manager, about the venue and what makes it one of the most attractive venues on the island. Drawing in customers when doors open at 5pm daily, Hazel is a trendy mix of industrial and delicate, from the exposed overhead AC ducts, to the live plant features around the venue. The project, which took a year of meticulous planning, designing, and delivery, finally opened its doors in January 2018. The tall building with Hazel’s impressive signature logo against a black backdrop captures the attention of passers by, and opened windows spill out the eclectic sounds that liven up the place, attracting a diverse customer-base and making it an enjoyable visit for all. As the sliding doors open at the entrance, and the hostess leads the way to the elevator, the cool yet relaxed vibe of Hazel can immediately be felt. The elevator doors open to a chic combination of urban and industrial interiors, which are inspired by the merging of different personalities involved in the design process, resulting in a cool yet relaxed, understated yet beautiful, complex yet simple design. Windows on one side of the bar allow in the last rays of natural light as the sun starts to set, melting into the evening as guests enjoy the smooth of the resident DJ or live musicians that come in and set the scene. “Our open windows, high ceilings, and colorful decor create a really different feel�, says Jean-Marc, a seasoned hospitality and restaurant operations expert with a love for food and people. Taking into account all the factors that create for a memorable venue to be at, Jean-Marc explains that their venue caters not only to customers, but also serves as a platform for the local musical talent in Bahrain and invites them on stage to showcase their skills. Alongside resident DJ Eric on the decks, Hazel has also hosted the likes of Ala Ghawas, Mohammed Rashid, Ahmed Ghawas, Mo Zawayed, The ReLocators, Ahmed Al Qassim, and even SPRING 2018

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Ali Sleeq from Kuwait, and Jean-Marc says they want to bring the talent in Bahrain to the forefront and have them become a part of the budding music and art scene in the Kingdom. Spacing the musicians throughout the month to keep things fresh, various local musicians showcase their musical talents on Hazel’s stage. In addition to that, a collection of theme nights electrify the lounge during week days, from Retro nights, and Monday Blues every Monday which have Blues and Soul music playing. The different music nights, create a different ambiance and customers can pick and choose what kind of theme they wish to enjoy or they can visit all the different themes and get an experience only found at Hazel. This not only means the talent in Bahrain are being exposed, but also lets the customers have a fun, different, and exciting evening out with their friends and loved one, creating a win-win situation for all. The idea of ensuring that guests are comfortable and having a good time allows for them to build relationships with their customers and makes them want to keep coming back, Jean-Marc aims to create a unique experience for each guest at Hazel. From entering the venue and being greeted, to being seated, being served the food and drinks, the ambiance, everything is carefully put together and taken into consideration to deliver the utmost notable experience for their customers. Boasting a delightfully delicious menu as well, Hazel serves a wide range of gourmet international bite-sized favorites from the mini beef tacos, to homemade lamb kofta and sliders, Norwegian grilled salmon, homemade pesto pastas, and Jean-Marc’s favorite and highly recommended fillet mignon. The healthy folks can indulge in the wide selection of salads that come in a sizable portion, or their hearty signature appetizers. Hazel also offers a rich selection of cold and hot tapas, and sharing platters which includes sushi, sashimi, hummus, prawns, chili cheese fries, panko oysters and so much more customers can choose from to add a little flavor to their evening. All-around favourite, French fries also get a makeover on the menu and the dish is served with three differently prepared options and their complementary sauces. Hazel’s main course options are delectable and fulfilling as it includes options such as fillet mignon, pesto linguini, mushroom risotto, Szechwan Chili chicken, and a hearty Sausages and Mash. Finally for dessert, Hazel guests can satisfy their sweet tooth by indulging in the Salted Caramel Creme Brûlée, or the Banana Apple Custard trifle, or keep it simple with ice cream options such as Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, or Cotton Candy. The freshly prepared food is 120

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paired perfectly with house beverages and mocktails customers can drink. The servers can also custom make a drink for the guests if they wish to relish in an option they dont see on the menu. The creative mixologists at Hazel are constantly innovating traditional drinks to bring to customers a rich selection of refreshing and new beverages every time they visit. Giving back to the community that has helped them establish their success in such a short amount of time, Hazel is also supportive of the Women’s Crisis Care International charity and held an event on International Women’s Day to promote their activities, raise funds, and even donated a certain amount to their cause. “I have seen first-hand the tremendous work this organization does for our community and we are proud to associate ourselves with the protection and promotion of women’s rights and the issues in the Kingdom”, Jean-Marc says. Undoubtedly, the event was a huge success. Additionally, also thinking about the planet as a whole, Hazel also plans to ‘go green’, and by investing in recyclable products such as paper straws, and would like to move towards many more changes that would allow for Hazel to become environmentally friendly. “Our musical entertainment is very selective and specific with a wide genre of music styles, and artists who perform. And when it comes to the food, we produce everything in house from our sauces to the marinades as opposed to buying them from suppliers”, Jean-Marc notes about what sets Hazel apart and makes it a unique venue to visit. Bringing together great food, drinks, and a vibrant ambiance under one venue, Hazel Rooftop Lounge brings to Bahrain an extraordinary experience any day of the week.

For more information: Block 338, Adliya, Bahrain 5pm - 2am Monday-Saturday (00973) 1723 1231 | 3373 7224 info@hazel.bh www.hazel.bh @hazelbahrain

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The Social Space Quick becoming Adliya’s favorite hangout spot, 55 Old St is definitely a venue which serves as more than just a restaurant

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dliya has long picked up popularity over the wide variety of dining options it has to offer. Gone are the days when there were only a select number of popular places reservations had to be made for to dine in; now as people explore block 338, they are open to experiencing an eclectic mix of restaurants literally with each passing step. From the restaurants that have remained a part of the area’s ever-changing fabric and look, to the new ones that are forming Adliya’s culinary identity in present-day Bahrain, Block 338 has seen a major transformation and has become the hub of experiencing Bahrain’s culinary boom. One of the latest additions to the budding food-district is the multifaceted 55 Old St, the brainchild of Maryam Al Khalifa, along with her partners, who brought to life her dream of opening an atypical cafe and restaurant in Bahrain. Identifying as a “café, kitchen, terrace, and social space”, 55 Old St was inspired by Maryam’s time spent in London, where in the multi-cultural area of Shoreditch she

was introduced to different gastronomical cultures from across the globe. Starting off as a quest to find the best coffee after her classes in Le Cordon Bleu - where she trained as a cuisine and pastry chef - Maryam found herself surrounded by a fascinating mix of cuisines. “Its a different community there than in, say, Central London. You don’t hear people there speaking English on the streets, you have Spanish, Portuguese, and different people from all over the world.” Delving in their food, Maryam took particular note of how the various ways their spices were used, and how each ingredient cooked brought to life flavors different than those back home in Bahrain. Maryam notes that complementing the food, were the organic interiors of the restaurants, which created a modest and inviting ambiance for the customers. With her culinary background and surroundings as her muse, Maryam returned to Bahrain with a quirky restaurant idea and an ambition to bring it to fruition. SPRING 2018

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The carefully designed menu boasts an interesting mix of ingredients to create dishes that truly are unique to Bahrain. Diving the menu into dishes “from the Kitchen” and dishes “from the Café”, 55 Old St caters to the different clientele that have now become regulars - from the younger generation that find it a relaxing hang-out spot to spend time at with their friends, to those who have made 55 Old St their mobile office, the restaurant has a dish that serves the palate of each and every customer. Camembert cheese paired with caramelized pear, a mix of skinny and chunky fries, truffle mac’n’cheese, crispy plantain with pomegranate guacamole drizzled with honey and a splash of caramelised lemon are some of the most 126

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popular dishes of 55 Old St. All the recipes are created by the kitchen and delectable in every bite. The menu from “the Kitchen” is also divided into ‘bites’, ‘small dishes’, ‘medium dishes’, and ‘large’, to satisfy a hunger of every size. Throughout the menu, touches of Bahraini cuisine are also evident, such as in the use of daqoos in the Buttermilk Chicken Burger, or tahini dressing in the Farmer’s tray. For those who prefer dishes without meat, there are ample delicious options as well (which can be enjoyed by the meat eaters too!) such as the Zoodles made from zucchini with halloumi and cherry tomatoes, or the Apple Felafel sandwich, which has a delicious avocado hummus, spinach, tzatziki, and roasted capsicum. Going above and

beyond to creating dishes that cannot experienced elsewhere, 55 Old St’s menu is curated to pique the intrigue of diners in the uniquely delicious combination of ingredients. Much like the restaurants that served as her inspiration, 55 Old St’s design aesthetic is a combination of modern and raw interiors. As you walk up to the restaurant, wooden benches placed outdoors and a great wooden door greets you to the interior that is reminiscent of an unfinished location, yet still maintains a welcoming and cosy ambiance for the diners to spend an ample about of time comfortably. Truly setting itself apart with the quirky interior, 55 Old St has large influences of metal and woods, from its furniture to its flooring,


but in understated manner that still allows the place with a feeling of comfort as they walk in. The glass facade one side of the restaurant, and alfresco dining area as well allows the diners to feel as though they are having an outdoorsy dining experience, while still being within the vicinity. A swing hangs along one of the walls to, while a spiral metal staircase takes the diners upstairs to a more urbane space as the striking neon purple “Drama in Manama� sign lights up the place. Perhaps one of the most photographed signs in Bahrain, the installation is a piece by one of the partners and artist, Ahmed Taleb, and is part of the aesthetic Maryam says she hopes to promote about the place: a place where local talent can showcase their work. From food, to poetry, art, music, and other various forms of creativity that people wish to display, Maryam says she encourages the artists and creatives to use her space. Also hosting a myriad of successful events like open mic-nights, and tv-show screenings, she says the idea is to blend in with the artistic nature that the area has, she says. Food, art, comfort - the true definition of a social space, 55 Old St has established its own identity within Block 338 as definitely more than just a restaurant, but a captivating space that allows and inspires the visitors to be just as creative and different as the place itself.

For more information: Block 338 Adliya, MRC Building Saturday - Wednesday 9am-11pm Thursday - Friday 9am-12am (00973) 1744 1900 social@oldst.com www.55oldst.com @55oldst

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A Tented Jewel of Opulence Rises at The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain to Celebrate Ramadan 2018 Guests will experience the luxurious “Masaya” Ramadan tent designed by Ammar Basheir and complemented with traditional Iftar and Ghabgha dining nightly.

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s the holy month of Ramadan descends onto the Kingdom of Bahrain, The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain invites traveling families, dignitaries, government officials, corporate groups and couples alike to experience a month-long celebration at the 5-star luxury beach resort like never before. Pulling out all the ‘bells and whistles’ and the customs to complement, the resort unveils a new tradition this season: that one of the Kingdom’s largest and most elegantly designed Ramadan tents to date in collaboration with renowned designer and scenographer, Ammar Basheir. “This year’s celebrations will be a luxurious affair as the resort prepares for one of the most celebrated traditions of the year, says Jean-Paul Dantil, General Manager. “Outdoing years past, our Ramadan tent will be a most magnificent display here in the Kingdom of Bahrain complemented with succulent fare for a most joyous occasion for all.”

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Ammar Basheir


Bridging elements of traditional Islamic architecture with modern design, the expansive 40 x 40 meter tent, entitled Masaya, will amass into a kingdom of opulence and grandeur as it takes its place amongst the resort’s seaside Villas on the Villa Gazebo lawn. Inside the heptagon-shaped tent, thirty-nine modern wooden archways, with the highest point at 9 meters, open up to grand seating areas and lounges that feature deep, emerald-green marble dining tables and warm leather and velvet finishes. Overhead, 400 large hanging, embellished lanterns, hand-crafted in Morocco, will light the way to grand buffets featuring displays of customized chaffing dishes from Turkey as well as local earthen ceramics from A’ali Pottery. “This year’s tent reveals a feast of the senses…an uber chic tent designed to create a sense of connectivity and enjoyment during the most celebrated holy months of the year. With twisting, modern

arches that resemble that of a double spiral helix DNA module, juxtaposed against classic interiors, the tent will unveil a truly all-encompassing and total sensory experience…,” says designer Ammar Basheir. As the sun descends each evening onto the Arabian Gulf and the traditions of Ramadan begin, guests are welcomed to join for two variant seating’s, including the breaking of the fast Iftar, from sunset to 8 p.m., for BHD 25++, and the Ghabgha dinner from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m, for BHD 27++. Guests can also book one of the Pergola seating areas for private dining up to eight guests (limited to 7 Pergola seating’s at a time). During the evening feasts, guests will enjoy nightly entertainment while indulging in the splendors of a culinary journey through the resort’s 11 award-winning restaurants as succulent buffets are set up with aromatic menus encompassing flavors of traditional Arabian cuisine,

along with modern fare from the Eastern Mediterranean, Asia and Mexico regions. Live cooking stations and fresh Egyptian breads and crêpes will also abound, while traditional Ramadan desserts and gourmet sweet delicacies satisfy the most discerning of palates. A traditional ghawa Arabic coffee station will also be set at the entrance with dressed attendant welcoming guests to the festivities of the night. Shisha-service will be available nightly from sunset to 2 a.m. Follow the hotel on Facebook and join the conversation using #RCMemories.

For more information: Al Seef district in Manama, Bahrain (00973) 1758 6499 rc.bahrz.restaurant.reservations@ ritzcarlton.com SPRING 2018

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The Perle team would like to wish everyone a very blessed holy month of Ramadan!

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Perle Magazine - Spring 2018  
Perle Magazine - Spring 2018