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On the cover: The new Mercedes AMG SLS, which is now available from Nasser Bin Khaled Automobiles on Salwa Road, Doha

sur la terre foreword

Sur La Terre – Doha

Regional Managing Editor: James McCarthy Senior Editor: Steve Paugh

Deputy Editors: Mina Kavcar, Reem Shaddad Regional Sales Director: Julia Toon

Creative Director: Roula Zinati Ayoub

Art and Design: Rena Chehayber, Lara Nakhlé, Michael Logaring, Rana Cheikha, Charbel Najem, Hadeer Omar Photographer: Herbert Villadelrey

Editorial Contributors: Kevin Hackett

Distribution and Subscription: Azqa Haroon, Dan Louie Javier Printed by: Raidy Printing Press

Published by: Firefly Communications

P.O. Box 11596, Doha - Qatar, Tel: +974 44340360, Fax: +974 44340359

For Videos and More Pictures, visit us on



>>> “As the present now will later be past, the order is rapidly fadin’. And the first one now will later be last, for the times they are a-changin’...” While Bob Dylan’s words were forged amidst the flames of a socio-political revolution way back in 1964 America, it has remained an anthem for change ever since. As the inexorable march of time brings 2010 to a close and we find ourselves on the brink of a shiny new year, I find myself humming the song and welcoming a revolution of a different kind. Firstly, because of the huge changes we will witness across our exquisite Emirate in the coming years following the success of our 2022 FIFA World Cup bid.  However, while we all bask in the glory of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa AlThani and his bid team’s achievement, Sur la Terreans can also, to borrow a phrase, “expect amazing.” As 2011 dawns across the Middle East, not only will you get even more of your beloved SLT as we move to a bi-monthly frequency, but as you read this, the editors and creative team members are putting the garnish on a whole new recipe for elite lifestyle reporting in the region.  We will be saying goodbye to certain sections, and welcoming new ones into the fold, as your favourite magazine makes a new year’s resolution to carry on bringing the bling and lavishing you with luxury, but with a bold, yet beautiful, new twist.  However, while the times may be a-changin’ soon, there is still the matter of our Winter 2010 edition to resolve. Rounding off the year in the style to which you have become accustomed and, on the eve of our magnificent metamorphosis, we look at all things Arabesque - bringing us back to what makes this region, and our roots therein, so special. Steve Paugh tickles your tastebuds with tales of his luscious Levantine dining experience at Liza on the Pearl, while Mina Kavcar takes a cultural cruise through the intricacies of Arab architecture with author and expert in the field, Ibrahim Jaidah. We also look at Islamic calligraphy as a modern art form and the best in Arab movie making from the Doha Tribeca Film Festival.  Among the regulars, Reem Shaddad takes us In Town and In Vogue with a trip through what’s hot this season, while I jet off to Spain for an exclusive test drive of the most Unique Ride we have ever had, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, and a Gourmet Traveller’s tour of Catalonia’s coastal gem, Barcelona.  Beauty and Accessories add some international flavour to our home-brewed winter warmer, along with contributing editor, Kevin Hackett, who steers us stylishly down motoring’s memory lane with a Brand History of Mercedes-Benz. So, with all of that to see you through the cooler days of December and into the new year, it is time for this two-and-half year old caterpillar of class to climb into its pupae of perfection, because in February 2011, Sur la Terre will emerge reborn and ready, once again, to turn a whole new page on luxury in the Gulf.  James McCarthy Regional Managing Editor

Sur la Terre is published quarterly. © 2010 Firefly Communications. All material strictly copyright and all rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of Firefly Communications, is strictly forbidden.


sur la terre content



08 in town

Fresh and new, the latest exciting luxury products, launches and accessories to hit the city

16 going global

SLT has a special one-to-one with Miss USA, Rima Fakih

20 tribeca roundup

Steve Paugh gives his verdict on the best of Arab cinema

27 showcase

SLT uncovers some local architectural gems with the help of author Ibrahim Jaidah

32 unique rides

Exclusive: James McCarthy drives the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport in Spain and Steve Paugh goes for a run with the latest Bentley Continental in Abu Dhabi

46 spotlight

... on critically acclaimed Palestinian actress Yasmine Al Massri

52 good tastes

We dine on lip-smacking Levanitine cuisine at Liza on The Pearl

58 brand history

Contributing Editor, Kevin Hackett, drives us through a potted history of Mercedes-Benz

sur la terre content


64 gourmet travel

SLT jets off to beautiful Barcelona to take in Catalonia’s coastal charm

70 star-crossed Sur la Terre shines through the night with a little Arabian Lite

77 artopia

Sticking to the script, Mina Kavcar looks at the Calligraphy collection going under the hammer at Sotheby’s

82 haute property

We get to the minds behind the designs at the W Hotel Design Awards

85 fashion

We show you the best of the Arabesque in United Arab Elegance

92 out of the box

James McCarthy tries to make “scents” of Amouage’s lastest olfactory creation

96 in vogue special

Meet the Emirati sisters who are starting a fashion revolution with their DAS brand of Abayas

99 in vogue

Your guide to the latest trends in fashion and shopping available today

104 beauty in the eyes of the beholder

108 accessories

As always, the devil is in the Brilliant Details

112 special society

Join Sur la Terre on the red carpet and cover yourself in the stardust of the Doha Tribeca Film Festival

116 society

Evenings out, parties, openings and happenings around town

123 entertainment

The best in chapters, tunes, flicks, clicks and joysticks

128 snapshot

A photograph to inspire and admire

I the agenda


sur la terre society

sur la terre society

Rocking the Red Carpet At the end of October 2010, it wasn’t just the Doha skyline that saw shooting stars, as the capital city played host to the second annual Doha Tribeca Film Festival, turning the brand new Katara (aka, Cultural Village) into a veritable starfield of celebrity. Red carpet events took place throughout the entirety of the DTFF’s five days and Sur la Terre was there to capture the captivating cavalcade... >>> Everyone from film’s cinescape seemed to be in attendance at the events, from local legends like The Traveller’s gorgeous Basma Hassan to incomparable Egyptian acting legend Adel Imam. Other attendees, like famed directors Julian Schnabel and Rachid Bouchareb, may be better known for their visionary essences than their visual presences, but that didn’t stop them from leading the casts from their respective films down the red carpet.

murmurs rippled throughout the crowd as onlookers tried to decide who was more ravishing between one of India’s up-and-coming stars, Mallika Sherawat, and the more established blockbusting beauty, Salma Hayek. Of course, both were contending with others on the international “screen scene,” like the stunning Selina Lo. Despite your own personal tastes, DTFF’s red carpet march of stardom was a buffet of the beautiful people, and we, as well as everyone else in attendance, ate it up!

Bollywood and Hollywood may not often rub elbows, but when they do, the livewire vibe becomes even more electric. At the DTFF opening event,

We could continue on with the name dropping, but we’d rather show you the pictures rather than write a thousand words!

< Actress Raja Al Jiddawi >

< Director Chadi Zeneddine, Programmer Hania Mroue, Director and Head of Education at DFI, Scandar Copti >

< Actress Salma Hayek >

< Stand-up comedian Won Ho Chung >

Cultural events around the region

V directory

Your local and regional guide


< Artist, Shirin Neshat >

< DFI Executive Director Amanda Palmer >

< Grandma, A Thousand Times director Mahmoud Kaabour and star, Teta >


sur la terre in town

Like what you see in our In Town section? To find details about where to find these great products and who to contact about them, flip to our Directory section at the end of this issue!

Tous Les Enfants

The way we see it, everyone should smell good. Age, gender, dress sense are all irrelevant when it comes to smell. With the thousands of advantageous olfactory options on hand - musky wooden scents, intense florals, whimsically fruity concoctions - it is no surprise that scents for your baby are now also available. Presented in the most darling of bottles, shaped like a teddy bear, Baby Tous encompasses the essence of innocence in the simplest of ways. A sweet, yet fresh aroma, captured with hints of mandarin, musk and orange blossom, Baby Tous’s adorable look is the perfect interpretation of baby chic. What really sets this little treat apart from others who have attempted the tricky business of infant perfumery, is the story with which it presents its mini users. Within each box, a little story book is awaiting to be read to an angelic child, doused in the fragrance that embodies their very being.

Crazy in Love with Heat

She is a visionary to inspire visionaries, the most successful member of Destiny’s Child, wife to a music mogul and entrepreneur extraordinaire and one of the most original fashion trendsetters in the world today. Beyoncé always seems to have her finger on the pulse of her fans’ desires, so it was only natural that she eventually release her own signature scent. Her appropriately named Heat is already causing a red-hot stir across the scented strata. As you would expect from someone with the superstar’s confidence, energy and appeal, Heat is a combination of intense florals, both vibrant and rare in their sensuality and spirit. Embodying the essence of the independent woman that Beyoncé is always quick to support, this new fragrance is no sweet dream, but a delicious reality. We are definitely crazy in love with Heat.


sur la terre in town

Bo’ Selecta BoConcept

At the end of an old year, we always feel the need to put a spring into our step and make the ensuing new year our own. What better way to do it than with a makeover? No, not for yourself, but for your home. BoConcept’s 2011 collection is THE way to help your year take off in style. Inspired by timeless 60s and 70s classics, presented in a clean, modern way, BoConcept merges the best of tradition with the ultimate in contemporary design for a fresh look. A mixed palette of colours and materials means choices are abundant for a mix and match feel. Using

Channelling Chanel

Let the festivities begin! This year, Chanel has brought a different offering to the quintessential red & black festive season makeup palette. In its usual avant garde style, the legendary fashion house has released its Christmas Collection, boasting a range of subtle, unobtrusive and delicate tones to grace celebrating lips, cheeks and eyes alike. The trademark Rouge Coco makes an appearance in shimmery patchouli and ultra feminine magnolia for an oh-so-sexy, girly sprucing for your lips. For an extra shine, the ultra-luminous range of lip glosses come in three different shades, including Pleasing, Charming and our personal favourite, the vibrant Pink Pulsion, in an intense shade of fuchsia. Also in its trademark two-by-two set, the eyeshadow palette boasts two light and two darker hues, allowing for multiple usage during both day and more sultry night-time endeavours. A gorgeous luminous bronze mascara, Splash, and a hot pink mirage nail colour will have you reminiscing about summer. Our absolute must-have though is the Tweed Fuchsia compact colour that doubles as both eyeshadow and blush. Sheer, delicate and sensual all at once, specks of gold will have you feeling like the belle of the ball. Channel the Chanel this season.

soft, comfortable leathers, matte brushed steel and the warming tone of different woods, a sophisticated, mature look is given to the pieces within the 2011 collection. While quintessential colours like black, white and grey dominate the pieces and accessories, these are accentuated by splashes of seasonal vintage hues, such as vibrant aquas, bright corals and calming blues. If you’re not after a complete facelift in 2011, make sure you pop down to BoConcept for a sparkly new addition to your home, and kick start the new year the right way.


sur la terre in town

Totally Dior

With the continuing success of Dior’s Capture Totale since its founding in 2006, women have flocked to the legendary brand for the utmost in skincare. Effectively and noticeably reducing the worst signs of aging, Capture Totale was a heaven-send for those on the lookout for an extreme makeover without the extreme measures. The cream’s success was further enhanced by its ongoing development and improvement via the latest technologies and enrichments, with a trio of exclusive active ingredients, like Centuline. Boasting restorative powers of radiance and luminousity to the skin, Capture Totale simultaneously stimulates longevity proteins, correcting the signs of aging. Along with Capture Totale, there is Capture Totale Nuit, which ensures that you benefit from sleep by activating its night time repair. For skincare, it’s got to be Dior.

It All Started With a Big Bang

Where do we even start with Marc Jacobs? The ladies at the SLT offices are simply lusting over his Fall/Winter offerings for 2010/11, with a range of handbags, coats and shoes. The undeniable star of Marc Jacobs right now, however, is the new Bang collection of products for the forward thinking, skin-savvy guy. Bang can only be described as the contemporary man’s magic elixir, rendered with an edgy sophistication and youthful, carefree abandon. With a series of advertisement campaigns featuring the man himself (which we’re sure the ladies will enjoy), Bang exudes confidence and sex appeal before you begin to spritz. A bouquet of delicious aromas waft, with notes such as black, white and pink pepper. This liquid gold is further enriched with masculine woody notes, while its base includes elemi resin, aromatic benzoin, vetiver, white moss and patchouli. The fragrance arrives in a metal flacon, accompanied by an aftershave balm, body and hair bath and stick deodorant. Need a special gift for your guy this season? We assure you this will go up in a Bang.

The Proposal

Natuzzi is Italy’s largest furniture manufacturer and undeniably, one of the country’s leading leather upholsterers. This season, the homemaker favourite is offering you the chance to re-evaluate, remake and refurbish your home with its total living proposal. The concept encompasses not only major furnishings within the home but all accompanying accessories, too. These carefully thought-out and immaculately designed pieces include lamps, rugs and ottomans, alongside a wide range of sofas, armchairs, tables and wall units. With a seasonally themed collection, Natuzzi introduces soft, clean and classic features to its autumn and winter arrangement, with welcoming shapes and ultra-thick Cassidy leather. Contrast stitching boasts the best of the handmade craftsmanship and finesse of the artisans responsible for the masterpieces on show at Natuzzi. Versatility in style is also a defining feature of the collection, with many designs available in mix and match sofas, armchairs and convertible sofa beds.







sur la terre in town

Samurai S.T. Dupont

We’ve all seen the Tom Cruise flick The Last Samurai, and were all in awe of the passion, commitment and sheer power of the Samurai warrior. Representing that concept of honour, strength and presence is the limited edition Samurai from S.T. Dupont, which combines exceptional precious metal and lacquer artistry, intimately linking the refinement of the brand with the celebrated past of the Samurai. The objects, engraved with a braided motif from the hilt of a Katana, are finished with a brilliant midnight blue lacquer. A lighter and pen of exceptional and rare quality are also available, and combine an engraved red gold set with sparkling white diamonds, matte black leather marked with scales and a deep black band. The lighter is set with 126 diamonds, and the fountain pen with 131 diamonds. With these two items limited to 20 copies each, we can only imagine the ruckus they will cause!

This is THE One

THE One has once again come through as the leader in furnishings and accessories for the winter. Showcasing both a brand new limited edition range and its Christmas offerings, the elite home-ware station is on point this season. Although it really is a challenge trying to pick out our favourites from these collections, there are a few stand out items that we have labelled as “must haves.” In true royal style, the traditionally inspired Regent candelabra has to be the crowning glory for any feast-worthy dining table. Another lighting fixture has also made our list, with the aptly named Mosaic tea light holder making a rustic appearance. Adorned with beautiful copper-toned square pieces of glass and shaped in a traditional orb-like manner, delicate tea lights can be placed in a water-filled bowl, throwing reflections off of the beautiful mosaic-like shapes encrusted on the exterior. For that extra bit of jungle, look no further than the luscious Zebra coffee table. This soft, gold studded marvel is a wonderful addition to any muted living area, proving that a single piece can lift the mood of an entire room.


sur la terre going global

American Dream In October, Salam Stores pulled off the advertising coup of the year when, out of the blue, the store announced that Rima Fakih, the first Arab-born Muslim to be crowned Miss USA, would be the new face of Salam. Needless to say, Sur la Terre was there to meet the pageant princess during her whistle-stop, flashbulbpopping visit to Qatar.

sur la terre going global

>>> Born in Srifa, a small city in southern Lebanon, to a Shi’a Muslim family, it is fair to say that Rima Fakih is very much one of the home team. After moving to New York with her parents to escape the Lebanese civil war, she became a US citizen and, years later, after graduating from the University of Michigan with degrees in Business and Economics, Fakih shot to fame after beating off some stiff competition to become the first ArabAmerican and first Muslim to wear the crown of Miss USA. While the Arab world celebrated its latest standard bearer, Salam Stores struck while the iron was hot, and little more than three months into her reign, Miss USA was adorning posters and adverts bearing the Salam logo. In a small office, midway through the photoshoot that will make her a household name in the GCC as the face of one of the leading luxury goods retailers in the region, the very amiable 25-year old sat with Sur la Terre .

Obviously, Salam Stores brought you to Qatar, how has that experience been? Salam has been by far the best sponsor I have worked with and my organisation is very pleased with the way things have turned out. Salam was able to make my trip to Qatar possible and they have treated me like a princess during my visit. There were so many wonderful clothes I got to wear. I loved the Tahari, Roberto Cavalli and Versace. This is the kind of place where I would love to shop. And Salam gave me some wonderful gifts, like dresses that I was admiring during the photoshoot. It really was like I was a kid in a candy shop.

So Rima, welcome to Qatar, do you consider it far away, or a bit of a homecoming? I love Doha, it’s a wonderful, clean and very respectful city, so I am very glad I got to come here for the first time. Until now I have only been to Lebanon and I was just in Egypt.

How do you feel about being the face of Salam Stores for the next few months? Of course I am thrilled. It has been a great experience. If I am very lucky, I can come back and be the face of Salam again in the future. In fact, I would love to come back again, if not as Miss USA, then as Rima Fakih, just to see The Gate, the new mall that they are building.

Was Egypt business or pleasure? I was there as Miss USA who, traditionally, never leaves the US, but I have been to Africa, China, Egypt and France. Now I am in Qatar. I am getting requests to go everywhere.

Let’s talk a bit about how you got here. You have degrees in Business and Economics, and you plan to study Law, so why did you opt to start out as a beauty queen? What was your motivation to compete for Miss USA?


Being a beauty queen is much more than just being beautiful. Miss USA is a title that allows you to become a humanitarian, a public speaker, a model and it offers so many more opportunities to do things for good causes. My main platform is cancer awareness, so I get to do so much with that. It opens a lot of doors. My mother was a huge motivation as well, she was the reason I got into modelling and acting. You are clearly a very intelligent woman, but do you find that people underestimate you, just because you are a beauty queen? I think it is a stereotype, but I haven’t experienced any of that. I think it is the media, who always like to put a negative spin on things. In reality, it is wonderful and I enjoy all of the great feedback I get from everyone. How do you see the Miss USA title helping you in the future? It has already. I have grown so much as a person in the last few months, more so than in the last few years. As for my dream to be an actress and to graduate from law school, these were the first things the organisation initiated. They sat me down and asked, “What do you want to do, because you won’t be miss USA for the rest of your life. Where do you see yourself?” I told them and they made sure that was the direction I took. For example, getting applications for law school and getting me my recommendations.


sur la terre going global

Did you experience any hurdles on your road to becoming Miss USA because of your background? Of course. Though, surprisingly, most of it didn’t come from anyone but my own community, which is largely Middle Eastern. Before I won, I would get friends, family and people who were Lebanese and Arab telling me I was wasting my time. I was living in Dearborn, Michigan, which was just like little Lebanon. There is a huge population of Arab Muslims who have this fear implanted, since 9/11 especially, where they are scared to admit to being Arab or Muslim. Then I come along, trying to become Miss USA, and they thought I was foolish to draw attention to the community. I found it very hard to get sponsorship, I worked three part-time jobs to get Miss USA, no-one believed in me.

As far as the acting is concerned, on the back of my being Miss USA, I got a scholarship to attend the New York Film Academy. There has been a lot of extensive media coverage, and it caught the attention of a lot of people, especially after they heard that I wanted to be an actress. In fact, I just finished a movie with Hugh Jackman, directed by Steven Spielberg, and they requested me and I played me, Rima Fakih. They loved it and the second day on set I got two more offers, but I couldn’t take them because I was too busy. What do you think the legacy will be for your tenure as Miss USA? I am always going to be known as Miss USA. It is something that never leaves you. I meet women who were Miss USA in the 1960s and when someone introduces them, they always say, “This is whomever, she was Miss USA in 1962,” or something like that, and you know, she still looks like Miss USA in the way that she carries herself and her posture. [Donald] Trump looked at me and said, “You are the most famous pageant girl we have ever had.” When I won, there were 220 new articles about me printed in the first week - and many more since. It was such an “oh my gosh” moment for everyone. I didn’t expect that, but really it has been a blessing.

Of course, when I won, everyone jumped on the bandwagon, claiming they all had faith in me to do it. Except my mother and father, my best friend and my boss, I can’t say that anyone else supported the fact that I would be Miss USA. What was your experience of the competition? Is it as catty as it is made out to be in the movies and on TV? Well, I am not a natural born pageant girl, and if you have seen the film Miss Congeniality, that was me. The Hollywood view of Miss USA is not true, and to my mind it is a much tougher competition than Miss Universe, because all the girls are smart; they are law students or medical students and they all look hot. Not one of them has an ounce of fat, they are toned, clever and beautiful. But there is also a great sense of camaraderie, so it is not true what they say.


sur la terre tribeca round-up

Tribeca Round-Up:

The Arab Film Competition

Just as we were in 2009, Sur la Terre was there, front row centre, to soak in the celluloid of the 2010 Doha Tribeca Film Festival. Of course, unlike its first year, the 2010 DTFF was a bit more, if you’ll pardon the unintended cinematic pun, “focused” in its cultivation and celebration of modern Arab film. Promising a cross-section of regional talent, a $100,000 award, a star-studded jury panel (which included Egyptian acting legend Yosra and the incomparably beautiful and talented Salma Hayek Pinault), and of course, a most unique cinematic experience, we approached the competition with relish! From 10 (worst) to 1 (best), here is what we thought of the 2010 crop of Arab films.

sur la terre tribeca round-up


Itto Titrit


Hawi (Best Arab Film)

The Vision: Using a cast of unpaid and untrained locals, director/ screenwriter/producer Ibrahim El Batout uses Hawi to paint an obviously love-struck picture of a fractured Egyptian existence. Playing itself out on the sordid streets of Alexandria, the film follows the intersecting stories of a group of characters. At its centre is a former prisoner who tries to reconnect with his family and redeem himself with his “employers,” a has-been juggler who desperately tries to care for his ailing horse, an optimistic but culturally-scorned belly dancer as she rallies against social norms and a host of dirty dealers and lowlifes as they try to get what they want in a city where you can’t have it all. The Verdict: While Hawi was thematically the most ambitious project in the competition, it was also its least engaging. Ignoring things like its cheap, daytime drama production quality (yes, we know the director doesn’t like big budgets - this is still no excuse), its lazily haphazard editing and its painful lack of acting talent, the plot itself failed to inspire the intended multifaceted interconnectivity of its characters. Even when Hawi did brush up against real issues like paternal responsibility and self expression within a strict social construct, the film failed to make any discernible statement, be it bold, subtle or otherwise. It may have won top honours in Doha and been chosen as the first Egyptian film to receive the Hubert Bals Post Production Fund from the Rotterdam International Film Festival, but we fail to see how Hawi’s Ham-fisted acting, cheesy dialogue and ghastly production quality was enough to impress the Tribeca judges, or anyone else for that matter.

The Vision: This Moroccan film explores the indigenous North African tribal society (Amazigh) in its battles against French oppression and within its own quickly-evolving culture. One of the first films to use the original Amazigh language, known as Tamazight, Itto Titrit uses many different perspectives from village life to tell its story, particularly the young girl named Itto, who simply does not want to be limited by the archaic controls that her society builds around her (i.e., literacy, freedom of choice, etc.). This central theme is put within the framework of Moroccan sovereignty (or lack thereof), from civil disobedience and revolution to hard-fought independence and finally a commitment to build society anew. The Verdict: Surprisingly, given the Tribeca literature about the film, Itto Titrit actually explores very little about the titular female character. Her struggle for literacy and equality, while addressed, is largely sacrificed in favour of an overarching treatise on pre- and post-independence in mid-20th century Morocco. Still, once you realise this, the film is easily appreciated as an exploration of the infinitely interesting Amazigh culture. While still rife with often trite focus and pacing problems, Itto Titrit still manages to approach its subject microcosm with interest, showing how the people therein favour a shared national identity over the elements that divide it, such as religion (especially highlighted in the relationship between the Koranic teacher of the village and his Jewish associate). Unlike Hawi, Itto Titrit’s cast, which is also locally farmed, is engaging and, while not being absolutely professional, drives the story into an entirely memorable experience.



sur la terre tribeca round-up

The Mountain

The Vision: Shot in black and white and using achingly long, introspective shots, The Mountain is exactly what comes to mind when you think “independent art house film.” It tells the story of a self-described singer in Lebanon who escapes city life to retreat into his writing (and into himself) in a remote mountain hotel. As the folks at Tribeca have stated, it’s a bit like The Shining ... but without the ghosts and axes. Car accidents, bizarre blizzards, sudden tree attacks, evolving states of moral and physical duress and ambiguous deaths abound as the film nears its unclear, yet jarringly unnerving end. The Verdict: Ghassan Salhab’s fifth film has a plodding pace, near complete absence of dialogue or coherence and perplexingly lugubrious cinematography, all of which was enough to set aquiver the cackles of even our collective cinematic appreciation. As the main character progressively finds himself in greater states of both duress and undress, it becomes clearer (sort of) that he is being subjected to his baser elements, first by eschewing anything morally “good” (see the film’s car crash) in favour of an introspective ambiguity, and then by forcing himself to sift through the inevitability of his own ash. It’s an interesting decline (often visually expressed by symbols, like a rotting pine cone), although not one that is easy to decipher or even appreciate at the time of viewing. In the end, you will probably fall asleep for a few moments during The Mountain, but in the days that follow, thinking about its meaning just might keep you up at night.



The Quarter of Scarecrows

The Vision: Using as the cornerstone of his vision the eight year war between Iran and Iraq, first-time Iraqi director Hassan Ali Mahmood paints a vivid visual of maddening occupation and fearsome death. The story follows an infestation of crows on a wealthy landowner’s farming fields. After failing to frighten them off with traditional scarecrows or with the help of his bumbling assistant, Hama, Mr. Miran hatches a plan to use the local children to do his bidding and rid him of the crows. However, their assault continues unabated, and as Miran’s frustration grows, the children become more like tools and less like humans, empty as the lifeless husks that they are being paid to imitate. As they begin to disappear, either from running away or getting lost and killed within the farm’s surrounding minefields, one man’s war against nature takes on a much more frightening face. The Verdict: The Quarter of Scarecrows is all about imagery. Don’t get us wrong, the acting’s not bad at all, and the musical score from Wedad-Qardash Turklar successfully achieves the ends of its haunting purpose, but the imagery in this film is the reason to see it. Long shots of mangy, black-beaked crows cawing with agape insatiability shift into the billowing impotence of shoddy and ineffectual scarecrows and the vacant stares of wasted youth. The focus of direction sometimes gets lost when the story veers towards pointless subplots, like the ridiculously meaningless courtship of Hama and his wife Zare, and some of the so-called “comedy” could have been taken out altogether. However, when the film takes hold the nature of its own war-torn allegory, it is truly gripping to watch.

sur la terre tribeca round-up


The Mosque

The Vision: Although not a direct sequel, The Mosque is something of a follow-up to director Daoud Aoulad-Syad’s 2007 Moroccan film, Waiting for Pasolini, which won the big prize for Best Arabic Film in Cairo in 2007. Since then, all of the set pieces have come down in the village where Aoulad-Siyad’s shot his film, except for one ... a mosque. While not an actual place of worship, the townspeople have begun using it as if it were the real deal, much to the irate frustration of Moha, an extra in Waiting for Pasolini and local farmer on whose land the mosque is built. Fighting to save his livelihood, Moha goes on a quest to bring the fake mosque down, but is continually thwarted by his faith-filled fellow villagers, the mosque’s opportunistic (and also fake) imam and the pointless bureaucracy of the town’s local government. The Verdict: Using his new film as a framework of his previous undertaking, Aoulad-Syad deftly wrings out a highly comedic, and otherwise emotive, response from his cast and thus, from his audience. Lead actor Abdelhadi Touhrach may not be a pro, but he especially has the impressive ability to convey a great number of expressions, each of which you will feel as he runs the gamut between pleading hope, panicked frustration, ruthless anger and hopeless acceptance. For some reason, we didn’t expect much from The Mosque, which may be why we enjoyed it. Simple and cute, yet addressing serious issues like the politics of perception, the politics of religion and, of course, the politics of politics, The Mosque was a surprise gem that, while not exempt from fleeting problems, we thoroughly enjoyed.



Once Upon Our Time

The Vision: In this touching documentary, Tunisian director Hichem Ben Ammar follows ten year old violin prodigy Anas Romdhani and his family over a two year period and throughout many countries (England, Tunisia, France, Belgium) as they establish the foundations of his professional career. Charting the further advancement of his skill and education, Once Upon Our Time shows how Anas excels as a musician, but perhaps more importantly, how he grows as a young man. The main perspective of the film comes in the form of Anas’ father, whose own failed musical ambitions, as well as his acute love for, support of and obsession over his son, provides guidance for the sometimes aimless Anas and forces the story into a parable for taking chances and beating odds. The Verdict: Whilst always engaging, there are certain points in Once Upon Our Time where things get a little bit uncomfortable; of course, this isn’t such a bad thing. Anas very quickly becomes more a motivating force rather than his own character, so that, instead, the focal point of the film is his father. Rather than taking away from the story, however, this actually adds to its intrigue, as you watch a man trying to recreate himself through his son - which says something about that particular relationship paradigm. Nevertheless, there shortly follows a truly endearing scene of genuine familial love and truly selfless pride that wrenches the emotive response of the audience back into heartfelt appreciation. If there was one feel-good documentary during the entire festival, with just enough nuance to keep it from outright glowing praise, it was Once Upon Our Time.


sur la terre tribeca round-up


My Name is Ahlam

The Vision: In My Name is Ahlam, one of the competition’s few documentaries, we get a rare glimpse into the difficult life of devoted mother Aisha as she cares for her daughter Ahlam, who suffers from leukemia. Making things that much more difficult and tragic, the story of Ahlam takes place in the occupied West Bank. Aisha and her simple Palestinian family must sacrifice much of their time and money by going through checkpoints and across great distances to get Ahlam to the closest hospital for treatment. Of course, this treatment is, much of the time, not available and neither are the medicines that she needs. The harrowing story of this documentary not only explores the insurmountable oppression of chronic disease, but also of nationalism and racism. The Verdict: Inarguably the most heart-wrenching film during the entire competition, My Name is Ahlam takes you through the relief of remission and the terror of relapse, but it never does so by treading into melodrama. Director Rima Essa is very careful to set herself apart from the body of the film, easily retreating into her role as its eye. Ahlam, from the first moment she gets too close to the camera, staring bright-eyed into the lens whilst chomping away at a carrot, is one of this competition’s most endearing characters. Essa relies on this rather than setting scenes or forcing the situation, allowing for a much more “real” experience than you might get in similar documentaries. The last 30 minutes of the film oscillate between jolly to melancholy in a powerfully steady thrum, making you almost feel that it is too hard to watch, but simultaneously too important to miss.

Man Without a Cellphone

The Vision: Taking place in a Palestinian village within Israel, Man Without a Cellphone takes as its hero the young Jawdat, a simple sort of guy who loves and cares about only three things in life: women, wine and a good time. Wanting absolutely nothing to do with the politics or paranoia of the older generation, Jawdat eschews his father’s schemes to destroy an Israeli cellphone tower that has been built on a neighbor’s land. He isn’t concerned with the supposed radiation that may be harming the townsfolk or even that he continues to fail a very important test to get into university and is stuck in a menial job as a cement mixer. However, as his prospects dwindle, even Jawdat is forced to grow up and face the personal, professional and political crises in his life. The Verdict: Man Without a Cellphone starts out cute and ends up saying something, even if what it says is in a quiet whisper. There are some truly funny scenes in the film, usually driven by Jawdat’s highly suspicious father and the growing number of friends that rally behind his cause. Unlike some of the other films in the selection, nothing here feels wasted; there are no extraneous elements in the plot that don’t later fit into the framework or assist the movement of the story. Even when the feeling of the film shifts from happy-go-lucky negligence on the part of Jawdat to a more resigned and mature focus on what is really important in life, director Sameh Zoabi doesn’t allow the record to skip. He and the cast are able to change gears, without much grinding, into a political discussion (be it ever so light), allowing the film to form a fulcrum and speak to its audience on a surprising amount of different levels.


sur la terre tribeca round-up


Grandma, A Thousand Times (Best Documentary)

The Vision: Lebanese director Mahmoud Kaabour really loves his grandma. This cinematic love letter to her, shot in a pseudodocumentary style, was intended, as the director himself says, to capture her life while she is living it and before it is too late. Using a more set-up style than the classic documentary (he places Teta, his grandmother, into recreations and created situations for effect), and using much more (what we would call) “photoshop surrealism,” Grandma shows an aging woman coming to grips with the loss of her past, the absence of her family and her growing resignation that her time is almost finished. The Verdict: Teta Fatima, the semi-eponymous Grandma in the film, is an absolute delight to watch on screen. Where the director sometimes falters in forcing certain situations by implementing undue melodrama and kitschy special effects, she more than makes up for by showing off her effervescent, ground-level, “tell it like it is” nature. Often forgetting that the camera is there, Teta tends to let loose with torrents of stories, gossip and advice, all of which together succeeds in painting a vibrant picture of a life long and well-lived. Everything she said and did had the theatre either in stitches or tears, respectively. A joy to watch, Grandma: A Thousand Times may trip a bit under the weight of the director’s ambition, but watching Teta do her thing is more than enough to give it a watch.


Balls (Best Arab Filmmaker)

The Vision: The appropriately named Balls is all about being a man. A Lebanese immigrant to Scandinavia, the slightly-past Middle Age Aziz (played by Jan Fares, real father of director Josef Fares) is happy in his little life. Despite the fact that his wife died 10 years ago, he is content with his small job at a local bike repair shop and being involved with his son and daughter-inlaw, who are expecting a child. Still, something is missing in his life, and it takes his son to tell him what exactly that might be: a woman. While trudging through his riotous yet touching quest for companionship, Aziz helps his boss become more of a tough guy for his wife, helps a friend grieve a dying dog, tries to get back into the dating scene with pathetic results, learns that his son and daughter-in-law’s pregnancy is a sham, bests a kung fu gangster in battle and, of course, finally learns the true meaning of what it takes to be a real man in today’s world. The Verdict: We love Balls. This is the movie that should have won Best Arab Film, but not for the reason you might think. Don’t get us wrong, this film is well-written and perfectly crafted to be hilarious yet gripping, joyous yet tender. It is superbly performed by literally every single actor in the cast (including the dog). Jan Fares in particular plays Aziz with inescapable charm. Balls is sublime and it is wonderful. However, when you watch it, you don’t think, “This is an Arab film,” and perhaps that’s why we liked it so much. This isn’t a movie about the Palestinian conflict or what’s going on politically in the Middle East. It’s a simple story with great acting and production. It’s universal, and that’s what makes it important. Not every film needs to address a hot-button issue in the Arab world for it to be deemed a successful Arab film. Balls proves that by taking a different, more introspective look at Arab culture by placing it outside of itself. It is a brilliant success and an absolute treat of a movie, Arab or not.


Cultural Foundations Tradition is making a comeback as the revival of Arabesque architecture sees glass and steel being rivalled by time-honoured Islamic carvings and methods.

< Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE >


sur la terre showcase

>>> The style and design of living quarters often reflect the societal values of those who reside within them. Large, open spaces may point toward an open, easily accessible society, while smaller, more intimate spaces may belong to those who seek more privacy in their daily lives. Often, the architectural design of a particular property will also tell the onlooker much about its cultural and geographic location. With modern tastes encroaching on even the most traditional of societies, many of these architecturally unique gems are lost and are replaced with sleek modern buildings, which seem to reflect the same frigid demeanour no matter where the onlooker may stand. In line with this contemporary philosophy, Parisian wrought iron gives way to polished steel. Thai pointed eccentricity is swapped for perpendicular angles and Middle Eastern geometric designs and carvings are abandoned for shiny glass exteriors. While many onlookers appreciate these structures, a movement toward the revival of classical regional styles has sprung up in an effort to save and rediscover what once was tradition. Ibrahim Jaidah, Managing Director of the Arab Engineering Bureau and author of The History of Qatari Architecture 1800 – 1950, referred to this very matter as an identity issue. In his view, architecture has to belong to its surroundings. “A lot of buildings did not have an identity whatsoever,” he says. “Many times, you could take the building, put it anywhere else in the world and it could fit there. A building that has an identity is one that belongs - functionally, if not necessarily aesthetically - to its surroundings.” Prior to the oil and natural gas boom in Qatar, mud-structures and narrow streets, or “siqqas,” dominated the Qatari architectural landscape. To prove the point, Jaidah took the opportunity to introduce us to a Souq Waqif we had never seen.

< The History of Qatari Architecture 1800 – 1950 >

< Illustration from The History of Qatari Architecture 1800 – 1950 >

“You had all these narrow ‘siqqas,’ the roads and so on. It was different; it was older. It had been there for a long time and of course a lot of it was corrupted or ruined in the seventies. Fortunately, the heart of it remained intact,” he said. Once the cash came flowing in, locals wanted out of the mud and into the vast, expansive villas they had seen abroad. “New architects came and did these villas with verandas that we never used because you didn’t even have privacy when you sat on them,” Jaidah said. As the villas, with or without verandas, came, much of what was once customary disappeared, leaving Doha with an “emptiness,” according to Jaidah. However, within the last few years, the government has been commissioning architects to erect buildings that belong to their Middle Eastern backdrop. The Museum of Islamic Art is a prime example of a structure that is modern, but at the same time draws on local and regional style. “When you look at the museum’s plan, there is this rectangular sort of perimeter. The abstract dome is in one corner and the courtyard in the other. It is the exact layout of a thousand year old mosque – whether it’s in Isfahan or in Damascus,” Jaidah noted. Qatar is merely one of many examples in classic and contemporary Arab architecture. The Arab world being a vast one, styles differ greatly from one corner to the next. As such, you can find exquisitely ornate mosques in Morocco and Iran, and more subtle styles on the Arabian Peninsula. Islamic art and architecture are not confined to Muslim artisans and authorities, but are based on universal talent and design. As Jaidah put it, “I was visiting Spain and I went to this ancient synagogue. All the carvings were Islamic in origin and when I asked about them, the simple explanation of it was that these guys were the best, and you employ the best. It wasn’t as much a religious movement as it was

an artistic one. Art was thriving during that era, and it influenced many different areas.” Islamic art spread to the far reaches of the world thanks to several empires that continued and encouraged it. Cultures would pick up what was brought to them and contribute to that which was already there. “The Islamic Empire expanded north, south, east and west,” said Jaidah, “And it brought back knowledge, technologies and even craftsmanship from all over the world. A typical Islamic house would have influences from places like Greece, Iran and North Africa. These ingredients have created its identity. When you look at Islamic carvings during the Abbasside periods, they were all geometric and the typical patterns included mathematics. When the Sufis from Iran entered into Islam, they created these gorgeous floral patterns which were then adopted and used by the Mughals.” However, there are a select few features that bring pieces dubbed “Islamic art” together. The use of carvings to beautify inner and outer spaces, and the intimate flow of buildings and homes (which, according to Jaidah, could have been used against invasion) are all specifically stylistic to the Islamic art form, but they may also have happened organically, with things like the natural growth of a family. When stepping into an Arabesque home, visitors will notice just how private and intimate it feels as the hallways and rooms are kept small and enclosed. The heart of each home was the courtyard that would be tucked away on the inside and open to a very select few people. Jaidah recalled a favourite quote of his, which he attributed to the late Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy, who said, “Our garden is only carvings in the daytime and stars in the sky at night.” While modern conveniences are often taken for granted, we tend to imagine a past free

sur la terre showcase


of advancement; however, it will surprise and amaze even the most steadfast of us to find out that architects of old frequently found ingenious ways to circumvent and solve regional dilemmas. Residents of the Middle East know all too well that summers can be unbearably hot, but Jaidah revealed quite a few inventive ways where architectural problem-solving helped beat the heat. Innovations like wind towers, which trapped wind on a structure’s roof and redistributed it as a breeze through the building’s inner workings, allowed a literal breath of fresh air in the region’s hotter months. Modern wind towers can still be found from Cairo to Dubai. Another example of electricity-free cooling, was the cleverly-placed wall recess, which allowed for natural breezes to not only clear the air, but chill it as well. Doha became regionally well-known and regarded for innovations like this, and it seems that these cool blasts from the past are starting to breeze through local life again. While freezing malls continue to yank up the A/C, newfound interest in wind towers has seen them being built on newer houses and private farms. In fact, Jaidah called the current climate a new renaissance of traditional techniques. His hope for what he refers to as “contemporary gulf architecture” would have architects base designs on their cultural roots, but use materials and techniques from around the world. “In Qatar we are living a renaissance period,” says Jaidah. “The government is doing a good job of bringing the best and most famous architects from all over the world, while encouraging local architects to create structures that have an identity.”

< Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey >

< Columns in the Court of the Lion, Alhambra, Granada, Spain >

< Kempinski Residences & Suites, Doha >

< Doha’s Diplomatic Club pool view >

< Doha’s Diplomatic Club, exterior View >

The ups and downs of artistic movements can be the most interesting part of culture, and Qatar is experiencing what may be the beginning of something quite wonderful. Here is to progress, in all of its mind-altering, shifting and at times revolutionary, glory.


sur la terre showcase

< Wind Tower, Dubai, UAE > < Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar >

Ibrahim Jaidah: Man With A Mission

Currently the Managing Director of the Arab Engineering Bureau (AEB), Ibrahim Jaidah earned his degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1988. He followed his academic career with his role as the Head of Architectural Section for Qatar’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Agriculture. He has continued to signify Islamic architecture by combining the old and new to form an architectural identity, with some of his most recent work including the Kempinski Residence in Doha’s West Bay and the nearly-completed Qatar State Mosque. His efforts have earned him the State of Qatar Appreciation Award, a place amongst the Distinguished Leaders in Professional Engineering, three Arab Towns Organization Awards Islamic Cities Awards, and three nominations for the Agha Khan Awards. Well-versed in the world of Islamic and contemporary architecture, Ibrahim Jaidah, is the author of The History of Qatari Architecture 1800 – 1950, a book published in 2009 and widely regarded as an authority on Arabesque building styles.

< Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar >

< Inside Domes, Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey >

Pictures: Herbert Villadelrey

Widely considered to be the peak of automotive engineering, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport is the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fastest production car and, somewhere high up in the southern Spanish mountains, Regional Managing Editor, James McCarthy, prepares to play his own little part in this blockbusting final act of the Veyron saga...

sur la terre unique rides

>>> It is five o’clock in the morning and I am awake. All I can hear are the assorted sounds of rural Spanish wildlife outside my hotel window. Somewhere in the distance a cockrel crows its early morning greeting to the sun as its first rays spread over the vineyards of Andaluçia. My mind is racing, for today is no ordinary day. As the sun rises over Jerez de la Frontera, the curtain is about to fall on one of the greatest chapters in automotive history. After five years and more than 250 cars built and sold, I am on the Iberian peninsula to experience the last huarrah of the Bugatti Veyron. However, it isn’t going out without a fight, because the final act in this record-smashing saga is to be played out by the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport - a car so powerful that it destroyed the speed record for a production car earlier this year in Wolfsburg, East Germany and, under the stewardship of Bugatti’s Pilote Officiel, Pierre-Henri Raphanel, clocked up an average speed of no less than 431km/h. And today it is all mine... A Legend Reborn What is left to say about the Veyron? Apart from the obvious urge to wax lyrical about the frankly freakish statistics of the car, all that myself and respected FHM Motors Editor, Kevin Hackett, could muster was an in-depth discussion about what would happen if it were to mate with an Aston Martin DBS, the disturbing conclusion of which shall forever remain unpublished. But this is not just a Veyron. This is a Veyron Super Sport; a car which, quite unbelievably, is better than its predecessor. Yes, you read that right. Somehow, the boffins at Molsheim have managed to (and I say this at the risk of yet another Six Million Dollar Man reference in this issue) make the perfect car better, stronger and very much faster. It was not a task that Bugatti undertook lightly and, if the company is to be believed, not in response to the loss of the Veyron’s crown as the fastest and most powerful production car to US-based hobbyist car maker, Shelby Supercars’ SSC Ultimate Aero.

has slimmed down by around 200kg through the implementation of an all-new carbon fibre monocoque and extensive use of the super-light material for the body shell. To improve the aerodynamics of the car, the signature bulging airscoops that fed the mammoth engine have been replaced with an engine cover featuring two “NACA” airducts. While a functional necessity, they give the car its new aesthetically sleek fastback look that, coupled with a sportier double diffuser and centrally arranged exhaust system, means the Super Sport looks its best at the angle from which most people will only ever see it - the rear end, screaming away from them in a cloud of dust. Similarly, the expanded and reshaped air intakes at the snout of the car deliver a more aggressive and menacing “come on if you think you are man enough” stance, suggesting to those looking at the car in a rear view mirror that they will be arriving home to find the family pet mangled into a bubbling pot on the stove if they don’t move aside and let it pass. Under the newly designed hood, the 16-cylinder monster engine remains outwardly familiar, but inside beats a heart reinforced with four newly enlarged turbochargers, each one working in concert to squeeze an extra 199 brake horsepower out of the redesigned engine - bringing the Super Sport’s total to 1,200 galloping stallions. All of that, however, was just speed farming. It was down to the men with the Apple Macs and white coats to create the ultimate driving machine by embarking on such nitty-gritty work as slightly raising the main-spring, developing stronger stabilisers and new shock absorbers, as well as re-mapping the various electronic control systems. Vaya, Veyron, Vaya My ride wasn’t to be the psychotic-looking black and orange beast that catapulted itself into the record books in June (that one had already been bagged by Hackett, through the virtue of his arriving

According to Florian Umbach, our on-hand technician, it was, in fact, a response to customer feedback - requests from owners who wanted a more raw and less cosseted supercar experience. When your customers are shelling out in excess of one million Euros a motor, you listen to what they have to say. The engineers set about their task with aplomb. However, they didn’t take the oft-travelled route along with Porsche and Bentley and just start ripping out rear seats and stereo systems. Approaching the problem pragmatically, the re-engineering of the Veyron took on a much more holistic approach. Firstly, weight had to be shed, and even though the car is still a hefty 1.8 tonnes, the Super Sport


< Four newly enlarged turbo-chargers have helped squeeze 1,200hp out the legendary W16 engine >


sur la terre unique rides

earlier than us), but a less ostentatious twotone variation in clear blue lacquered carbon and aluminium. However, even without the extreme paint job, the car exuded an air of barely-veiled malevolence, chiding the onlooker to step inside and set the monster free. It is a car that, when seen in the metal, has a presence... I was contemplating this as veteran supercar test driver, Loris Bicocchi, cheerfully shook me from my reverie by explaining that he had mapped out some roads that would give the car a full workout and leave me giggling like a schoolgirl, at the same time dropping the Bugatti logo-emblazoned key into my eager paw and gesturing to the driving seat.

Nothing can prepare you for the feeling you get when you first sit in the cockpit of a Bugatti Veyron. I am glad to report that the heady buzz, created by the smell of fine leather and the sense of power you feel sat behind the wheel, does not diminish the second time you do it either. While no different in layout to the standard car, the Super Sport, offers an abundance of carbon fibre trim, crafted stitching of the Super Sport moniker in the headrests and the addition of Alcantara to the steering wheel, making the moment an even more tactile experience. However, this concerto of sight, smell and touch reaches its crashing crescendo when you turn the leather-bound key and press the smooth, round and inviting â&#x20AC;&#x153;Startâ&#x20AC;? button that

< The Super Sport is much more responsive in the corners than its predecessor >

< The Super Sport moniker is expertly stitched into the headrests >

sur la terre unique rides


< The Veyron Super Sport exudes an air of barely-veiled malevolence - even when parked >

injects life into the behemoth of an engine. The initial growl, with its rumbling bass note, is complimented by the top note harmonics of the high pitched jet-fighter whine as the W16 powerplant starts sucking in life-giving air through the massive intakes in the roof. With this wonderfully dramatic overture playing out in the background, I pull the car away from the curb (or lackthereof, as every road in the area seemingly has a carbon fibre bodywork crunching four-inch, rough-edged step into the gravel) and onto the open Spanish country roads. If the opening credits promise a great deal, equally, the main feature does not disappoint, with the Super Sport offering noticeably more precise control of the wheels

through a greater interaction between the tyres (which, incidentally, cost 500,000 Euros a set) and the all-wheel drive system. The result of which is more responsive steering and a rather epiphanic driving experience. The ride is undoubtedly harder, but when careering into tight corners, there is no pitch or roll and very little understeer. It is like a Space Invader moving from one lane to the next and is as tight in the bends as an eighties rock starâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s trousers. Even though you can really feel the 1.4g of lateral acceleration as you enter the corner, and the 1,500 Newton metres of tourque as you exit, at no point do you ever feel that you are not fully in control. Driving through scenery reminiscent of a Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Western, the route took

in sweeping mountain vistas and, with a 1,100 metre climb up narrow roads littered with hairpin bends, the Super Sport was no mule. With its awesome acceleration into the apex of each turn, coupled with the gargantuan stopping power of the ultra responsive carbon ceramic brakes, the Bugatti stuck to the road with seemingly little effort. Dropping down the other side of the mountains, small whitewashed Andaluçian villages were treated to lingering views of the Super Sport, as once again, the Veyron proved that it is a supercar for the everyman, coping as well with manoeuvrability at lowspeeds, as it does at the high end of the readout. The only noticeable problem with the car, when driving slowly in built-up areas, is its propensity to attract attention.


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< There is no joy greater than that of driving a Veyron at full tilt >

Unlike most supercars, though, it attracts not jealousy and spite, but admiration and joyous recognition that people are in the presence of greatness. Every time the Veyron came to a halt, it was like a scene from The Hills Have Eyes, as hordes of onlookers would descend out of nowhere, and from all directions, camera phones in hand, to gawp and take pictures. With the air of someone clearly used to the attention, Loris would affably chat away with the admirers, while Florian would look on with paternal pride.

< The Alcantara steering wheel adds even more tactility to a superbly-crafted cabin >

Once clear of the village, the road opened up, skirting a huge lake. The placid, glass-like surface of the water was disturbed only by ducks taking to the air to escape the bawling of the Super Sportâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s engine as I finally got the opportunity to plant my foot in the carpet and experience the sheer joy that is a Bugatti in full flight. Admittedly, I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t open the taps quite as much as I managed to in the Grand Sport earlier this year in Doha, but even the force of accelerating to 220km/h before braking slightly and swinging into a long sweeping turn at speed had me weeping with pleasure.

< The Super Sport smashed the speed record for a production car, registering a top speed of 431km/h >

For this was not an exercise in speed. The face-melting acceleration of the car is welldocumented, and I am one of those lucky enough to have had the opportunity to experience the brutal forces at work in a Veyron

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doing in excess of 300km/h. No, for me it was about how the Super Sport drives: It was about the handling of this awesome car, and what it feels like to give it the beans into a hairpin and come out screaming with joy on the other side. Fortunately, I got just that, and while I am still a little hazy on the details, somehow the guys at Bugatti, who five years ago set the acme of automotive engineering very high indeed, have managed, for one last heroic push of an eradefining supercar, to raise the peak higher still.


It is up to you to keep the legend alive; it is your duty to drive them as they were meant to be driven and let the world around you revel in the sound and sight of the world’s fastest production car bearing down in the rear-view mirror, opening the heavens as it roars past and leaving elation trailing in its wake as it speeds off, finally, into the sunset.

Long Live The King As I turn the key for the last time and listen to the jet engine whine die out behind me, I realise that this is the end of not just my day with the Super Sport, but of the Veyron ethos as a whole. They say that a star always burns brightest before it finally blinks out of existence and the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport is the earthbound embodiment of that theory. The reality of all of this suddenly hits me and my joyous mood is tinged with a poignant touch of sadness. Part of it is because, in this cost-defined era of eco-responsibility, this is probably the last time we will ever see the likes of the Bugatti Veyron. Yes, there will always be faster cars, there will always be extreme cars - that’s what Lamborghini is for - but there will never be another Veyron: A dream chased so relentlessly with such demanding criteria, designed to be the most perfect automobile you can buy for your one million-plus Euros and built with a love and affection rarely seen in this mass-produced, quantity-over-quality age of manufacturing.

< The car even looks stunning from the back...which is good as it the only view most people will ever get >

What’s more, Bugatti didn’t just do it once and rest on its laurels, as the Super Sport will forever attest. My melancholy is also because I know that, personally, I will never own one of these amazing cars. Not least because of the 1.6 million Euro price tag (the World Record Edition is 1.9 million Euro), but also for the fact that bar the last 10 cars or so, they have all been sold. No doubt there are a few of you out there reading this that own one, or perhaps more, of these spectacular automobiles, and the only thing I can urge you to do is not to lock them away in a garage to collect dust or to treat them as assets to accrue in value. Don’t leave it to us lucky few journalists to keep the Veyron alive for the masses through the words and pictures on a page.

< Carbon fibre is abundantly used throughout the car, especially in the trim >

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sur la terre unique rides


Senior Editor Steve Paugh challenges Bentleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s newest rogues gallery, but our hero soon discovers that the sinister swiftness of the Continental Supersports is not a speed force to be trifled with...

< We know what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re thinking - The Flash has really let himself go >


sur la terre unique rides

“While working hard one night in his laboratory during an electrical storm, police scientist Barry Allen is suddenly struck by a stray bolt of wild lightning! Somehow mixing with the mysterious chemicals that spilled out from a nearby cabinet, the lightning causes a startling metamorphosis to occur, instantly transforming the kindhearted sluggard into... The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive!” As impressive as the above introduction may be, and with all due respect to Barry Allen and those others who have battled comic book crookedness using the Flash moniker, there’s a new scarlet speedster in town! My heroic origins may not sizzle with chemical cocktails, pseudo super-science or well-timed lightning bolts, and I may not wear a skintight red unitard with a golden belt and bright yellow boots (in public). However, what I do have makes the so-called “fastest man alive” look like an inert ignoramus! Observe...

“While hardly working one night at the Yas Marina F1 Circuit in Abu Dhabi, electric magazine editor Steve Paugh is suddenly struck by a wild urge to pilot the lightning fast Continental Supersports. Somehow mixing with his own mysterious chemistry, Bentley’s instant classic causes a startling metamorphosis to occur, instantly transforming this lionhearted lothario into... The ‘Tache: The Flashest Man Alive!” Now THAT’S a secret origin! You can argue that my powers as The ‘Tache are slightly less inherent, since I need a machine to put the zip in my zoom; but hey, even The Flash had to use the Cosmic Treadmill! Yup, the Cosmic Treadmill. Google it.

< Face the future of Bentley with the Continental Supersports >

Look, you’re just going to have to excuse these fits of fantastic fancy, because when you’re dealing with Bentley’s fastest ever supercar, it’s hard not to get lost in impure thoughts of the super-powered. For instance, even though the Supersports is the fleetest feat in Bentley’s fleet, thus evoking the breakneck bravery of The Flash, the designers of this particular model must have also channelled yet another mythic hero in Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man! “Gentlemen!” booms an authoritative, yet disembodied, voice (possibly that of Dr. FranzJosef Paefgen, recently retired Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors... possibly that of Lee Majors). “We can rebuild it. We have the technology. We can make it better. Stronger. Faster.” Cue that angry cyborgcicada sound that happened every time the Bionic Man jumped, ran or participated in any other state of general frolic. I’d try to spell it out here but... well... no.

sur la terre unique rides


easily tell the difference between this and its bigger brother, the GT Speed. Bentley does all this without sacrificing the interior comfort of the Supersports, which is much roomier than other cars in its class. Implementing a combination of soft-grip leather and Alcantara - a first for Bentley - I felt as snug as a vixen in a skintight cat suit! Enjoy that mental image.

< With bentley, it’s always a driving experience >

Much like the TV doctors that rebuilt the afflicted astronaut mentioned above, the Supersports designers spared no expense (as is evident in the near US$270,000 asking price) in making this the final answer in Bentley butt-kickery. Simply put, the W12 engine in the Supersports is, bar none, the most powerful thing that the folks at Bentley have ever implemented in their cars. Incidentally, it’s also the most efficient, reducing CO2 emissions by 70 percent and is the first Bentley to run on either petrol or bioethanol fuel, which is great. Go planet. Now, back to the power...

called “smoked steel,” which not only uses technology that has, until now, only been applied in jewellery making, but also sounds like an amazing 1970s blacksploitation movie starring somebody with a name like “Thaddeus Diamond.” With all of these changes, plus switching the cockpit to a two-seater with carbonfibre framed seats and no back seat, the Supersports saved about 110kg (243 lb) in weight. Granted, that doesn’t seem like much, but in its handling and power, you can

As you can see, “super” doesn’t seem to adequately sum up what it feels like to drive this Bentley, and to be completely honest, if my heart didn’t beat with such unflinching pluck, I’d almost call the experience a bit ... daunting. However, just like any arch-villain worth his weight in adimantium death-bots, it was up to me to truly test the power and responsibility of the Supersports, which is exactly why Bentley invited Sur la Terre to the Yas Marina F1 Circuit in the first place. As The Fantastic ‘Tache (which is what I now call myself), I was definitely put through my paces that day, and was forced to partake in things like speeding around tightly cordoned corners and performing emergency evasive maneuvers, like dodging imaginary lorry accidents and slaloming through narrow lanes of pylons. These ventures would have been Herculean (even for someone like The Flash), if it wasn’t for the aforementioned control that the engine provides, not to mention the Continuous

At its core, this vitriolic 621 brake horespower, twin-turbocharged, 12-cylinder, 6-litre power unit allows a nigh-unfathomable 800 Newton metres of torque; more than enough to make even the most hardened haste-based hero blush. Just like The Flash, whose reflexes are as sharp and lightning-quick as his analytical mind, the unbridled potency of the Supersports is similarly tempered through the new Quickshift transmission, which reduces shift time by 50 percent and allows the car to silkily hit 60 from zero in 3.7 seconds (0100km/h in 3.9 seconds), and makes the climb to its top speed of 204mph (329km/h) almost unnervingly smooth. Of course, to help facilitate its fastidiousness to being fast, Bentley stripped off any chrome or detailing on the Supersports. Instead of impressing with needless bulk (on an already bulky family), designers used a lighter finish

< The 1930s Bentley Blower, still looking good for its age >


sur la terre unique rides

Damping Control (CDC), the Electronic Stability Control system (ESC) and the carbon fibrereinforced Silicon Carbide disc brakes, which, of course, are the largest and most powerful brakes ever fitted to a production car.

< Putting the “Super” into Supersports >

Now, some people might say that driving at speed through the hairpin turns of an F1 circuit in the middle of a desert makes for an unrealistic driving experience that could (or should) never be translated to the road. These people, of course, have never driven in the Gulf. Even with all of the perils and near-death experiences that the Bentley driving team thrust before me, I felt calm, cool and collected, and I only made my co-pilot panic once! The Supersports was never out of my control, never shaky in braking and always as responsive as I needed it to be, given the situation. The Continental Supersports is evidence that Bentley has come a long way since the days of the 1930s Blower, both in technology and appearance. The slick way the curvaceous lines pour over the car and into its juicily plump bonnet is a thing of very sexy beauty. Saying that, neither the classic look, nor the nothingto-sneeze-at power of the Blower should be overlooked. One of only 50 supercharged Bentley Blowers ever built, this curmudgeonly old bloke proved it could still hold its own amongst the younger generation, much like Jay Garrick, the original “Golden Age” Flash, amongst his more youthful contemporaries.

< Slimmer, trimmer this Bentley’s a winner >

< The marque of excellence >

Balk if you will at its 4,398 cc engine, its return of 175 bhp and its ability to push the car to a top speed of a now paltry/then shocking 160 km/h (99.42 mph), but just like grandpa during a ‘Nam flashback, it can still give you a solid jolt. These figures were almost unheard of in its day, and to be fair, the Blower still impressed the faithful throng at the Yas Marina Circuit in late 2010, about 80 years after it was built. If nothing else, its current $1.6 million price tag should inspire some genuine regard. With respect to the Blower and the past it rode in on, this was without doubt the Supersports’ show. I have had the opportunity to drive the entirety of the Continental range and have put them all through the veritable wringer, but only one has truly shot to my heart, if you’ll pardon the thematic pun, “in a flash.” This, of course, is the Continental Supersport: The Classiest Car to Drive!

HO 2

sur la terre


sur la terre spotlight

. . . N O T H G I L T SPO

Actress, Dancer, Singer ... and Real The first thing you notice about Yasmine Al Massri is the way she steals a scene. She did it in her breakout role in 2007’s Caramel and again in last year’s Pomegranates and Myrrh. In her new movie, Miral, a film directed by the legendary Julian Schnabel and co-starring Frieda Pinto, that trend looks likely to continue. Even offscreen, she is addictive and effervescent, and able to qualify her staggering beauty with a graceful, yet careless abandon and a passionate commitment to her craft. Everything with her is larger than life, and yet somehow, simultaneously, ground level. In one moment, she is answering questions about the art of movement or the history of film, and in the next, she is grabbing your recorder and interviewing you, demanding to know your favourite colour. She leaves you feeling giddy and true. By the time we finally settle in, I don’t even know where to begin. Luckily, Yasmine does. >>> Yasmine Al Massri: I don’t electronic music. I think I must have a very old soul. I like real, rough music that comes from original, authentic places. It’s organic, you know? I like to eat things that have no chemical products, and I like to listen to music that has no “chemicals” in it. It’s a way of living. I want the real thing. Try to eat as true as you are and be as true as you are.

sur la terre spotlight

Sur La Terre: So, who are you listening to at the moment? Yasime Al Masri: The stuff I’m listening to right now? Well, there’s Le Trio Jibran, which is a band of three Palestinian brothers who all play the oud. They made some of the music for Miral. I’m also listening to my friend, Yasmine Hamdan [an avant-garde Arab musician whose sensually visceral voice has credited bands like Soap Kills and now Y.A.S.]. Now, she uses technology, but without the chemicals! She reproduces the words that our grandmothers used, but uses them in a way that is so modern, so new, so different, that it makes you step back and say, “WOW!” She brings back the old and authentic and gives it to us in a new way. She recently worked on Elia Suleiman’s movie, The Time That Remains. She’s wonderful! Here, listen...

[Yasmine excitedly whips out her iPod Touch, and with a few swift swipes and jabs, we’re listening to Y.A.S. She holds the music in her hands, looks over to me and smiles. We listen for several minutes as thick, heavy beats and wrenching vocals wash over us. She stops, smiles again and waits for me to continue.] Since you travel in the same circles as artists like Yasmine Hamdan, you must live within that kind of collective. Do you discover them as artists first or as your friends first? We’re friends first. When you live abroad, you meet people who share your interests. Paris is a capital European city with a lot of Arab artists. When we meet, we click. We’re here for the same reason, and the wonderful thing about seeing them and knowing them is that not only do I get to see them doing their work, but before that, I get to see them dreaming their work. It’s a wonderful thing to see these people achieving their projects, and it’s even better being a part of them. You feel like you’re part of a community that is trying to change the world in its own way. Tell me more about this community. Many people are talking about this new Arab renaissance in the arts. Would you say there is such a thing, and if so, what has led it to this point and how would you say it is going? Well, art doesn’t happen from nothing. Art is not a fashion. Culture is not a fashion. You go somewhere because there is a natural evolution of many elements coming together. I think today, in the Arab world, there has been an economic evolution, which has led to a social evolution and progress. That is what leads our generation today. We are not a closed society that lives inside the house. We want to know what is happening on the other side of the world and we want to show what we’ve got. I think now is the time and here is the place and ours is the generation to do this.



sur la terre spotlight

So you would say it’s your duty to... No no no! It’s not a “duty!” “Duty” is a boring word! [laughs] Words like “duty” and “responsibility” have become cliche, because politicians have used them too much. I try to avoid the vocabulary that politicians use! [laughs] I try to use my own words because I want to be true to myself and I want to be true to people. That’s why I prefer to say that I am PART of this big change. It’s me. It’s you. It’s us. I don’t have to dream it and I don’t have to plan it. It’s natural. Of course, it also takes a lot of work and a lot of discipline. It takes lot of respect for the values you have; a lot of thinking and learning about “The Other.” Working in groups is important, and educating yourself is important. There are some hard working people in the Arab world, some really talented people that are starting to get together to create this community. Because of that, I think that the Arab world is an attractive place to hold cultural events in all forms, whether it’s cinema or music or TV, sculpture or painting or video art. From Lebanon to Jordan, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Doha to Cairo or Syria, a lot is going on. Things are happening here. You mentioned this might be a generational thing, referencing people like Elia Suleiman. Do you think that this movement is specific to your generation? Is it based on what the previous one went through? Absolutely! When Elia Suleiman made Divine Intervention and went to Cannes, he was the first Palestinian to do so! He opened the door for a lot of people. After him, we saw Tawfik Abu Wael (director, Thirst). We saw Najwa Najjar (director, Pomegranates and Myrrh). We

saw Scandar Copti (Oscar-nominated director, Ajami). We saw Hani Abu-Assad (Oscar-nominated director, Paradise Now). Every young Palestinian boy and girl watching them was happy, because if these people made it, we could make it, too! Hiam Abbas, as an actress, has done so much for us (Paradise Now, Munich, Pomegranates and Myrrh, Miral)! She is part of that first generation, and today it is easier for a young Palestinian girl to say, “I want to be an actress.” I mean, look, almost all of the Palestinian people have cameras today! We are people who love cinema and make it every day. For us, it has become a language that allows us to communicate, to fight, to be free. Let’s talk about Miral, your movie that appeared at Tribeca. Firstly, before we get into the movie itself, let’s talk about the film’s director. Legendary, controversial and Oscar-nominated (for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) are just a few words that describe Julian Schnabel. What was it like to work with him? When I first met with Julian Schnabel, I didn’t know what to expect. Was this going to be the artist I studied? I mean, this guy is a school! He’s a painter, a musician, a director. He has this sense of detail, this ability to transform something very complicated into something very simple. On the set, he looks around and builds from the elements around him. He knows what to take from you without “vampiring” you. Julian didn’t audition me in a way that made me feel that I was selling myself or in a way that I felt myself to be a product. He looks into your eyes. He talks to you. He eats with you. He goes and sees painting exhibitions with you. He shows you how to be true, without being aggressive. Working with a person like that makes you more mature, but at the same time, it makes you lighter, more pure. This is Julian Schnabel.

sur la terre spotlight

Let’s talk specifically about your role in the film. You play Nadia, Rula’s mother. What was it like to play someone with that much influence on the writer? Would you say it was the most challenging role in your career? Yes, definitely, and it was also one of the most important. This is a woman who was raped as a child and who went to jail. This is also a woman who was a dancer, who got married to a man 30 years older than her, but who loved her in spite of her not loving him. Then, she became a mother. To think that this story was real and to imagine how Nadia must have felt, it created a very strong relationship with me and her daughter. Today, Rula is a very important person, as a friend and someone with whom I share values. Nadia, though, is a very important human experience for me and a very big artistic challenge. She pushed me to learn a lot about who I am and who I want to be as an actress. What was it like working with acclaimed actor, Alexander Siddig, who portrays Rula’s father? He’s a wonderful actor! He is also a reason why I was able to do what I think is a good job in interpreting Nadia. He took everything I had and gave everything back. We met twice before we started shooting, just to talk. We have very tragic and important scenes, but we didn’t want to just read the script. We needed another way to get the magic out. So I looked at him and said, “Do you like tango?’’ And he said, “Yes,


of course! That’s it! Let’s tango!” [laughs] That’s how we found that magic. It became a human conversation and connection, we didn’t try to act, we just “were,” but we were also aware of the responsibility in that place and in that moment. We agreed this would be our relationship. This would be tango. What about the film itself? What was it about the story or the characters that drew you to the project? What made you decide to be be a part of it? Well, I didn’t decide to be a part of it. Miral is that kind of miracle that happens to you. On the human level, this role is very important to me, mostly because it is a Palestinian story. It tells the history of Palestine from 1948 until the agreement in Oslo. It was originally a book by Rula Jebreal, a Palestinian journalist and writer; but, and I think this is important, Miral is a wonderful human story. Everyone is sick of knowing about what’s going on in Palestine through the News At Eight. People have started to see us as a subject or as a theme. We became a conflict! People forget we are human beings. Palestinians fall in love every day. We have kids, and we are worried for them. We are only human. The way Rula tells this part of our history is the strength of this story and this film for me. Like I just told you, I like to find my own vocabulary, because the language of others becomes overused. Miral uses the human language, and whether you’re Palestinian or not, it will speak to you.


sur la terre spotlight

Are there any other differences between Miral and some of the other Palestinian film biopics we have seen?

Miral is an autobiography of Rulaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life, but it is told through the perspective of four women. Each one is a very different person, and it made the movie so rich, especially in its use of women at the centre of the story. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what makes this film different, I think. For the first time, you are getting to know the story of Palestine through the eyes of its women. We are used to seeing men dying or going to jail in Palestine, but when you take the camera and put it on this fragile, vulnerable human being - this girl, who just needs to go to school, who needs to dream, to play, to fall in love. This is different. In the end, it becomes real ... and I like real.


sur la terre good tastes

Take It Lebaneasy

< Liza - The Levantine Dream >

Senior Editor (and Lebanese lookalike), Steve Paugh, digs in to contemporary Levantine cuisine at The Pearlâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s newest restaurant, Liza, and rediscovers the bearable lightness of being Lebanese...

sur la terre good tastes

>>> I am not Lebanese. This is a simple fact that many of my associates in Qatar, the Arab world and the universe at large refuse to believe, despite any protests to the contrary. Now look, I can understand the confusion. I have dark features, after all. I also wear a quite striking moustache / beard combo, and thus ooze a red-blooded masculinity often found within the Arab gentleman. Coupled with the ponytail I use to tame my voluminous mane, there is also my penchant for wearing tight, open-collared shirts as I fist-pump and lasciviously gyrate my way through a night of clubbing. Although I am sadly missing the requisite, medallion-crowned man-pelt, my natural machismo has become both internationally known and locally respected. It just isn’t Lebanese. I have tried to explain my inherent “lack of Lebanon” to co-workers, friends, random taxi drivers, the American government and my parents (still steadfastly holding onto the hope that I’m not actually theirs), but even my most ardent of arguments have had little effect. I also get the feeling that my sister-in-law, Zeina, and her family, who ARE Lebanese, are going to suddenly come after me chanting, “ONE OF US! ONE OF US!” Saying that, it’s in no small part to Zeina and her family that I have become better associated with Lebanese culture. This is especially true when it comes to meal time, which I have, on several occasions, had the opportunity to observe first hand. Indeed, much like British naturalist and accomplished BBC institution, Sir David Attenborough, I have learned to utilise my natural camouflage to infiltrate and study the dining rituals of my quasifamily-in-law. From what I have been able to discern, the ingredients that make a successful dining experience consist of more than just impossibly copious amounts of meat, bread, oil and za’atar. Other necessary elements to this process, which must be devoured with equal relish, are things like wild, mid-dinner hand gesticulations while discussing the superiority of Beirut and the subtle dance around being forcefully made to eat more than is humanly possible. Being uncomfortably full is the Lebanese way, right? It’s tradition! Not anymore. In fact, I have come to learn that one of the biggest traditions of being Lebanese in general is to break tradition. I learned this lesson especially well from a girl named Liza.

< Liza’s mixed grill remix >


Okay, Liza isn’t a real girl, but then, neither were most of my girlfriends. Moving swiftly along, Liza is actually the name of the latest member in The Pearl’s growing retinue of world-class restaurants, and it stands poised to redefine the way you will come to appreciate Levantine cuisine. This is not your stereotypically overfilled plate of mixed mystery kebab meat, or the greasy, minced milieu of heavily fried felafel. Established a few years ago in Paris by Lebanese entrepreneurs to cater to a more European flavour, and thus a slightly healthier type of taste, Liza tempers the often weighty richness of provincial Lebanese fare with a lighter attention to taste, presentation and portioning. Like every other Doha denizen, I am well-versed in the particulars of the local Lebanese eatery, seeing as how you can’t swing a dead cat by the tail without hitting one in this town. Add that to the experiences with my sister-in-law, plus the fact that I may not be Lebanese, but I could play one on TV, and it’s fair to say that I was a bit dubious as to how Liza would be able to raise the Lebanese bar.

< Mouthwatering moutabal >

The Liza branch at The Pearl was designed by Hubert Fatal, architect of the original restaurant in Paris, and it is meant to reflect the ethos of the now international franchise, which, according to co-founder Ziad Asseily, showcases, “the talents of a Lebanon that is in perpetual motion.” Its decorative dynamism is indeed dizzying with motion as bulbous lanterns decant from the ceiling, drizzling themselves over a simple, yet colourful layout. Playing up its Arabesque...ness, the intricate elements that rain down the walls in an almost chain-mail flurry will remind diners of the sometimes off-putting ornate tastes of the Middle East. Thankfully, these are softened by a European minimalism in light, flow and a contemporary funkiness that permeates everything from the tabletops to the upholstery. Impressed by the interior decor though I was, as I sank into the table’s oversized chair and flicked through an equally enormous, granite slab-heavy menu, I started to doubt what The Pearl’s Corporate Executive Chef, Vincenzo Perez, had told me when I first met him for dinner. He said that the menu at Liza was aimed at achieving a lightness of being, but I was still afraid that, after drinking in the impressive, yet somewhat heavy atmosphere, the food would buckle under the weight of the restauranteurs’ ambition. My fears, as it turns out, were unfounded.


sur la terre good tastes

< Bright lights meet 1,001 Nights >

Chef Vincenzo decided to start us off with two Levantine classics: hummus (mashed chickpeas with tahini) and moutabal (mashed eggplant). These, and all subsequent appetisers, come to the table mezze style (the Middle Eastern tapas equivalent), and while this presentation was expected, the bright, colourful serving dishes offered a welcome alternative to the drab browns that sometimes adorn Middle East crockery. The colour wasn’t the only surprise of our first course, as I was absolutely blown away by the hummus. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d write. Light and fluffy, this was not the dense hummus I was used to from restaurants and kitchen counters. Vibrant, with a rich yet not overly oily or too tahini taste, this was my first foray into understanding the Liza spirit: traditional ingredients, classic flavours, completely new experiences. Liza’s tabboule (parsley, tomato and bulgar salad) has already gained notoriety around town for being a bit of a unique hit. This is thanks

< Same type of fish with a brand new twist >

sur la terre good tastes

< Watch Arabesque spill into European “chill” >

to the sweet crunch of the green apples that are cast atop the dish, giving its flavour a simply achieved, yet completely unexpected new element. The unquestioned star of the show, however, was Liza’s take on grilled halloumi cheese. Personally, halloumi is one of the best parts of Levantine (and Mediterranean) cooking. Salty and immensely textural in its toothsome squeak, I never thought it could get better; but, of course, Chef Vincenzo was out to prove me wrong. The tomato jam and sesame seed mixture served alongside the thick slices of halloumi was nothing short of inspired, forcing as it did the sweet and savoury nature of each ingredient to engage the other in an unadulterated delicious donnybrook, where none was more a winner than my taste buds. Following these scrumptious salvos, the sum of which surprisingly did not fill me up, there followed a further charge of hot appetisers. These included pumpkin kebbe (a spiced and breaded mince meat ball) with

< Light and frothy, Liza’s hummus is anything but heavy >



sur la terre good tastes

pumpkin sauce, spinach sumac rolls with pine nuts and spring onion, and falafel balls (fried chick peas) with spicy tahina. Any one of these dishes could have faltered into fastfood cliché, but by avoiding excessive grease, each remained light, crispy and far superior to their buffet equivalents, which usually bask under the sickening crimson hum of industrial heat lamps. Needless to say, Liza was beginning to win me over with its fresh perspective and pluck.

< Take in the air on the outside >

< Liza’s green apple tabboule, already the talk of the town >

< Where flavour meets colour and texture meets taste >

Next up were the mains, and as the dishes hit the table, I was interested by how unLebanese each one looked. The closest in appearance was a form of fatteh, or as it is listed on the menu, “aromatised aubergine with crispy Arabic bread, meat and yogurt.” Another traditional dish, it still surprised me how its flavour was in no way hampered by its newfound lightness. The sea bass (chosen as a substitute for the red mullet at the insistence of the chef), was served with Swiss chard, fava beans and a tahini sauce. Instead of a whole lemon to squeeze over the the fish, small wedges of lime were served on top to be enjoyed as morsels with each bite. To finish everything off was a bowl of cracked wheat and fennel, topped ceremoniously with immense king prawns. Sometimes shellfish, particularly prawns, can be overly seasoned, shamefully negating their natural flavour. Luckily, this was not the case at Liza, and while they were lightly spiced, it was not to the detriment of the prawns’ taste. Dessert, as is its wont, came at the end of the meal. While I was expecting more traditional (read: heavier) pudding like kanafeh, baklava and nut-butter-based halva, what the chef ordered for me was something truly exceptional. A speciality of Liza, the three individual scoops of rose, almond and pistachio ice cream were sigh-inducingly delicious. Paired with the pain perdu with cinnamon ice cream, there was no better way to end the evening. Unlike me, Liza does not look or immediately seem Lebanese. However, at its core, there is a deep commitment to its home country’s traditions and tastes, with a contemporary willingness to be as fun-loving and unorthodox as its people. I’ll still frequent the heartburn haunts of old when I’m looking to put my guts through a good ol’ gastric fracas, but if I want truly good Levantine food, then my decision just got very Lebaneasy.


sur la terre brand history

Benz Me, Shake Me FHM UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Motoring Editor, Kevin Hackett, swings by SLT Towers to offer up a potted history of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s oldest Automobile marque - a name as synonymous with luxury and quality as it is with engineering prowess - Mercedes-Benz.

sur la terre brand history

< Gottlieb Daimler >

< Karl Benz >

>>> When it comes to bragging rights – the kind that nobody else will ever be able to top while you’re enjoying the occasional game of one-upmanship – being able to say you invented the automobile must rank as the ultimate conversation stopper. The fact that the car’s inventor’s name still appears on some of the finest vehicles in the world is one almighty accolade.

By 1901, the name Mercedes was coined, after the daughter of another business partner, Emil Jellinek and the first “modern” car, the Mercedes 35 PS was unveiled. By 1926 the merger was complete: Mercedes-Benz was the name and it has never gone away. As for Daimler? Who do you think is the parent company of Mercedes-Benz? None other than Daimler AG.

In 1886, when America was still the Wild West, German engineer Karl Benz applied for a patent covering the design of his “vehicle with gas engine operation” and, as Alexander Graham Bell would testify if he was alive today, a watertight patent is the one thing that allows you to call an invention your own. Karl Benz, then, officially started the motor industry.

Innovation has always been a hallmark of Mercedes-Benz. The company has been responsible for a huge number of technological breakthroughs, many of which have saved countless lives. Rigid safety cell with front and rear crumple zones? They got there first in 1959. Electronic anti-lock brakes appeared first on Mercedes cars in 1978, seatbelt pre-tensioners in 1981, traction control in 1986 and the Electronic Stability Program made its debut in 1995. You’d think that would be enough but no, the pursuit of engineering purity continues, as does the pursuit of inimitable style, itself a defining attribute of the brand.

Inspired by the humble bicycle, Benz’s three-wheeled vehicle was a piece of purist engineering that looked quite unlike anything else on the road. Because on the road in 1886, the only other vehicles were pulled by horses or powered by steam. What quickly followed for Benz was a business partnership with one Gottlieb Daimler who, just seven months after that patent for the automobile was filed, fitted his own engine to a four-wheeled coach, in effect creating the world’s first horseless carriage. The car was born and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.


Just consider some of the company’s most famous and iconic cars and you’ll get a sense of rich history, of passionate design and, best of all for petrolheads the world over, a need for speed. For instance, in 1909 the “Blitzen Benz” brought aerodynamics into play with

motor racing. While road vehicles were still as slippery as your average skyscraper, this car was streamlined and extremely quick. In fact it set a number of world land speed records and, in 1911, recorded a speed of 228.1 km/h (or 141.7 mph). It was faster than any plane, train or automobile – it was the Bugatti Veyron of its day. The 500K and 540K of 1934 showed that elegant, sweeping, perfect beauty could be extended to a car’s body design. Art deco masterpieces, these models are truly breathtaking to behold and if you thought Bugattis and Talbot Lagos had the monopoly on outrageous, indecently beautiful coupé designs in the 1930s, think again. In 1954, one of the most important and iconic sports cars of all time set the world alight: the 300SL “gullwing”. This car, even 56 years on, is enough to cause jaws to hit floors and onlookers to risk drowning in pools of their own drool – it’s sensationally good looking and its design cues are still being used in Mercedes’ sports cars today. It had, as the name suggests, verticallyopening doors, an opulent leather interior and, for the first time, a horizontal radiator grille that afforded it those sleek lines. Every SL model since has followed the same design mantra.


sur la terre brand history

< Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (W 198) >

The 600 “Pullman” became the car of choice for state politicians and the rock star hierarchy in 1963. Even today it provides peerless style, individuality and total luxury. It’s a truly vast car and so heavy that the most powerful engine Mercedes produced (the six-cylinder 300) was totally inadequate for it. Instead, a new 6.3-litre, fuel-injected V8 was fitted. The 600 had adjustable air suspension and a complex hydraulic system that powered everything from the automatic door closers to the windows, sun roof, the boot-lid, even the seats.

Of course, the pure sports car has never really gone away for Mercedes-Benz and its successes in motorsport have been as remarkable as those on the world’s highways. Since before the First World War, their cars have been winning Grands Prix with household names behind the wheels, such as Stirling Moss and Fangio.

It had class by the truck load and, essentially, no rivals, staying in low volume production up to 1981. Distinguished owners included Hugh Hefner, Coco Chanel, Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis Presley, John Lennon, George Harrison, Jack Nicholson, the Pope, Aristotle Onassis, Brezhnev and, err, Jeremy Clarkson and Saddam Hussein. There has never been another car quite like it and, although today’s Maybach range might offer the same sort of cosseting luxury and physical size, the 600’s sheer panache hasn’t been replicated. Yet.

As for power, just consider for a moment that, in 1937, the supercharged W125 race car produced a staggering 646 horsepower – a figure not exceeded in Formula 1 until the 1980s. Top speed? Try over 400 km/h, a figure familiar to any owner of a Bugatti Veyron. It’s absolutely mind bending stuff and Mercedes continued to dominate, not only Formula One but Le Mans, WTCC and road races such as the Mille Miglia. In 1955, however, the company was hammered when the 300SLR driven by Pierre Levegh crashed at Le Mans, killing not only him but 83 spectators. A further 120 were injured and it remains the most catastrophic accident in racing history.

The groundbreaking succession of Mercedes models has continued right through to the present day with a bewildering array of brilliantly designed and engineered cars, and practically every corner of the market has been stitched up, from mud plugging, off-road four-wheel drives to people-carriers and city runabouts. The CLS of 2003 created a brand new niche: the four-door coupé, and has sold consistently well, with 90 percent of all owners saying they chose it for its stylish looks above all else.

Mercedes-Benz bowed out from sponsored motorsport following the disaster but returned to the scene in 1993 as an engine supplier to the Sauber F1 team, followed by McLaren. In 2009, newcomers Brawn GP swept to victory with Jenson Button winning the world championship. Mercedes jumped to Brawn, becoming Mercedes GP, Button jumped to McLaren and Merc brought Michael Schumacher back to F1. It’s been a busy few years.

< Driving the “Blitzen-Benz”, Victor Hémery became the very first person to break through the 200km/h barrier in 1909 >

< The “Blitzen” Benz >

< Karl Benz at the wheel of the 1839 Benz Victoria, next to his daughter Clara >

< The Type 600 Pullman became the statesman’s choice >

sur la terre brand history

< An early Mercedes Benz advert >


Mercedes’ involvement in motor racing also solidified the relationship between it and tuning company AMG. Already a successful racing outfit in the 1960s and 70s, in the 1980s AMG made a name for itself by tuning and modifying Mercedes road cars with extraordinary results. They squeezed a 5.6-litre V8 into an E-Class in 1986 and The Hammer, as it became known, was the world’s fastest saloon car. AMG was hired to prepare Mercedes’ own race cars and the relationship blossomed to such an extent that, in 1999, it was bought out and became an integral arm of the Mercedes-Benz empire. See an AMG badge on the rump of a Merc and you can be sure that it’s brutally powerful and very, very fast. They’re the ultimate stealth cars but perhaps the ultimate manifestation of the marriage between Mercedes and AMG is the new SLS AMG.

< The Mercedes 35 hp, the first modern automobile, 1901 >

< Mercedes-Benz SS sports car of 1928 >

A shameless homage to the 300SL of 1954, the SLS features gullwing doors, that famous horizontal radiator grille and fins along its bonnet and flanks. It could have been a disaster but it’s actually a triumph of retro-modern design and hairy-chested, properly scary performance. It’s light; at 1620kg it’s lighter than an Aston DBS and that, when you mix in a hand-built 6.2-litre V8 engine, gives it performance that calls for clean underwear after every spirited drive. It’s electronically limited to 197mph but nobody is sure why. Perhaps, after that speed, the doors open and the car becomes airborne, such is the ferocity of its power delivery. And the sound – oh yes, the sound…


sur la terre brand history

< Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class created a new market segment in 2003 >

With a borderline anti-social exhaust bellow, even at a standstill, there’s no escaping it – it just gets louder the more you sink that accelerator pedal towards the floor. Lift off the throttle and it sounds like there are firecrackers going off in the exhaust – it’s worth the asking price for this alone. With 563hp going to the rear wheels it can swing like Tiger Woods yet, given that the SLS is such a fearsome performance car, it’s also incredibly comfortable and refined. Take it to the South of France on your hols, take it to the Nürburgring and scare the hell out of yourself – the SLS AMG will cope with anything you throw at it. A brilliant machine that Mercedes-Benz is rightly proud of, it’s spearheading the company into new territory and perfectly encapsulates all the things that have made the oldest name in motoring also one of the most exciting. Here’s to the next 125 years – somehow we think Mercedes-Benz will still be around.

< The new Mercedes AMG SLS draws heavily on the design cues of the 300SL of the 1960s >

Kevin Hackett is a UK-based motoring journalist who has been obsessing over anything with four wheels since he was eight years old, when his father bought a Triumph TR6 to use as the family car. After years of being driven around, squashed onto the rear parcel shelf of a two-seater sports car between his two younger brothers, he finally got his own driving licence and now makes a living by trotting the globe to test the world’s most exciting automobiles. He regularly writes for, among others, FHM UK, The Times newspaper in London and The National newspaper in the UAE.


sur la terre gourmet travel

James McCarthy gets the Qatar Airways fivestar treatment on an Iberian excursion to the Catalonian capital of Barcelona.

>>> It seems that in 2010 all roads (literally) have led to Spain for Sur la Terre Middle East, with no less than three visits to the Iberian Peninsula in the last twelve months. In March, we found ourselves near Seville to play with the Lamborghini Superleggera, and then in Jerez de la Frontera for this issue’s exclusive Bugatti Veyron Super Sport test drive. In our June edition we included the country’s colours as one of our special edition World Cup covers - and we all know how that eventually turned out. So when Qatar Airways offered us the chance in late September to join them on a familiarisation trip to Barcelona, to celebrate the opening of their latest European destination, our first response was naturally “¡Claro que si!” (we have picked up a little bit of the lingo along the way). Life’s A Journey With bags in hand, yours truly was up with the lark and relaxing in the Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport, waiting for the Airline’s daily flight to Madrid. “Madrid?” I hear you say. “Didn’t you tell us you were heading to Barcelona?” Indeed, Barcelona was my final destination; however, before we got to enjoy the hospitality of the coastal Catalonian city, there was a little celebration to be had in Madrid first, as Qatar Airways celebrated the fifth anniversary of its first direct flights to the sunny Spanish capital with a glitzy gala dinner in the atrium of Madrid’s city hall. Anyone who was anyone in the city’s high society was there, managers mingling with football players and of course, Sur la Terre mingling with the cream of GCC journalism.

< The ‘Casa Batllo’ (Batllo House) in Barcelona >

As the champagne glasses sparkled and the flamenco show tappitytapped its way into the wee hours, QA CEO, Akbar Al Baker, gave a stirring speech about the Oryx-shaped future of international aviation and everyone retired to their hotels, in our case the stunning Intercontinental, happy and full of expectation for Barcelona.

sur la terre gourmet travel

The following day, we were escorted to the Atocha Railway Station, a stunning early twentieth century structure on the cusp of Madrid’s old town and the conurbation that is the city’s modern development. Atocha was one of the first buildings in the city to draw from industrial Europe’s architectural revolution, through extensive use of red brick, glass and iron. These materials create a huge glass and iron lattice-work atrium, which houses a wonderfully inviting hall filled with palm trees and other such flora and fauna. It is more reminiscent of a botanical garden than a national railway hub. After a quick tour of the imposing building, we boarded one of Spain’s high-tech, highspeed trains to the Catalan coast. Comfortably seated in “club class,” I soon found Renfe’s most modern trains evoking a thrill in me I had not felt for track-based travel since I was a boy with my first train set. In fact, I could have been back in my bedroom, toot-tooting away as the Spanish countryside flew past, especially when our Renfe hostess offered me the chance to ride up front with the driver. You get a whole new perspective of rail travel when you are in the driving seat, so to speak.

While our affable driver wasn’t allowed to let me take control of the train, which was whipping past stations at 200km/h, because of the necessity to hit the “dead man’s handle” every 30 seconds, he did allow me the childlike thrill of disturbing the Spanish twilight with 250 decibels of compressed air, offering me the button that operated the train’s claxon. Giggling like a 10-year-old, I let fly with three loud shrill blasts of the horn before surrendering control back to the smiling driver. With another childhood dream finally ticked off my list, I returned to my beautifully appointed and spacious leather-covered seat to recline in luxury and enjoy the remaining hour of my journey. There is something to be said about the romance of rail travel. Old steam trains like the Orient Express and the still futuristic Eurostar (which crosses the channel between Britain and France), continue to capture the imagination of travellers across the world. In an equally emotive way, Renfe offers a wonderfully comfortable, enjoyable and efficient way to cross Spain without leaving terra firma. With on-board meeting rooms and a cafeteria, as well as three tiers of travel, the midpriced club class is enough to rival even Qatar Airways’ business class in terms of comfort and service; it’s just much closer to the ground.


Cata-tonic In the hazy warmth of a late summer evening, the train pulled into Barcelona’s main railway station. Barcelona is the capital and the most populous city of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain, after Madrid. The first thing you notice is that while the national language, Spanish, is widely spoken and understood, 95 percent of the population speak Catalan, a regional language, and the official tongue of Catalonia. While there are some similarities with Catalan and Spanish, there are a vast number of differences and it is not uncommon to meet people that only speak and understand the former. However, a majority of the population are multilingual, speaking Spanish, Catalan and English, so getting around is never a problem. This is also because the inhabitants of Barcelona are so incredibly proud of their city that they will often go out of their way to help tourists. To ensure that our experience of Barcelona got off to the best possible start, Qatar Airways had booked us into the stunning W Hotel Barcelona. Situated right on the beach and jutting out into the sparkling Mediterranean on its own purpose-built peninsula, the sailshaped structure is one of the tallest buildings in the city, imposing itself majestically on the coastal skyline. With a passing resemblance to Dubai’s Burj Al Arab, the hotel was originally conceptualised in the late 1960s by renowned Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill. The hotel is a modernist masterpiece of avant-garde architecture and is everything that GCC residents have come to expect from the W Brand, and more. With sweeping vistas of the coastline and city from every stylishly designed room, the W Barcelona offers great dining at its Wave and Bravo restaurants, and has become a beacon for the city’s well-heeled socialites by night with its poolside bar and Eclipse nightclub.

< Another stunning Gaudi landmark, La Pedrera >

We were lucky enough to arrive at the same time as the LA Lakers basketball team, who had just lost to FC Barcelona’s hoopsters in a friendly pre-NBA season tour. When you are sharing a lift to the 22nd floor with Kobe Bryant, you know you are sleeping in style.


sur la terre gourmet travel

< Park Guell, designed by Antoni Gaudi in the early 1900s, is another famous landmark in Barcelona >

< The W Hotel Barcelona is THE place to stay >

The W proved a perfect base of operations for our tour of the city, as we took in the main shopping district and the famous La Rambla, a 1.2 kilometre-long, tree-lined pedestrian mall between Barri Gòtic and El Raval, which acts as an artery through the city from the centre to the port. The boutiques are heavily geared towards the tourists, as are the street artists, performers and “living statues” that populate the promenade. In our estimation, though, one of the main reasons to visit Barcelona is The Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter in Catalan) in the centre of the old city. Many of the buildings date from medieval times, some from as far back as the Roman settlement of Barcelona. Catalan modernisme architecture (often known as Art Nouveau in the rest of Europe), which developed between 1885 and 1950, has also left an important legacy in Barcelona. A great number of these buildings are World Heritage Sites. The acme of all this, though, is the work of architect Antoni Gaudí, numerous fine examples of which can be seen throughout the city. Perhaps the most imposing building in Barcelona, if not the whole of Spain, is also one of Gaudí’s most famous projects; the immense but still unfinished Church of the Sagrada Família. As remarkable in its design as it is in its origins, the building itself is a huge stone canvas, covered with sculptures depicting the life of Christ.

< Atocha Railway Station in Madrid is a beautiful industrial-era building of brick, Iron and glass >

sur la terre gourmet travel


< The Gaudi designed Sagrada Familia dominates the Barcelona skyline >

Construction of the Sagrada Familia began in 1882 and has since continued with an anticipated completion date of 2026, the centennial of Gaudí’s death; although the likelihood of meeting this date is disputed. Initially, the construction work was expected to last for several hundred years, based on building techniques available in the early 20th century. However, computer-aided design technology and improvements in building techniques have been able to speed up the construction. One example of this is in the many newer sculptures added to the façade in recent years that have been shaped off-site, whereas in the 20th century, the stone was carved by hand. With the budget for 2009 reaching 18 million Euros, work on the church is not supported by any government and funding comes solely from the donations of private patrons and ticket sales to tourists.

For more iconic examples of Gaudí’s work, take an hour or two to wander around the Park Güell, where you will see his famous mosaic dragon and long bench, featured in the Woody Allen film Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Campo de sueños No trip to this football-mad part of the world would be complete without a visit to one of the globe’s greatest sporting arenas, the Camp Nou. Home of FC Barcelona, the most successful European club side in the 2009/2010 season, the Camp Nou hosts a comprehensive museum and tour of the legendary claret and blue team’s facilities. Perhaps the most impressive part of the experience is the trophy room, which boasts more silver than Queen Elizabeth’s cutlery drawer. Whether you are a football fan or not, it is well worth the visit, if only to see some of the most famous trophies in the world. Among them is the awesome six-cup haul of the 2009/10 seasons, consisting of the Champions League Trophy, The UEFA Super Cup, the FIFA Club World Cup, The Spanish Super Cup, The Spanish Championship and the Spanish Cup. As well as many interactive displays and some spectacular memorabilia dating from the origin of the club 111 years ago to the present day, you get to lift the European Cup, give your commentary in the press box, run out of the tunnel onto the pitch (complete with chanting crowd), hold your own press conference and get snapped with your arm around World Cup-winning captain, David Villa (you can even learn the club song in Arabic).

< FC Barcelona’s Basketball team beat the LA Lakers in an NBA pre season friendly >

FC Barcelona is not just about the football, it is also home to the FC Barcelona Handball Team and the FC Barcelona basketball side, which a few nights earlier sent the LA Lakers packing. There is a section of the museum dedicated to their efforts on the courts of Europe and the world.


sur la terre gourmet travel

< FC Barcelona is a focal point for the people of the football-mad region >

Exit Through The Gift Shop Of course, as with any great sports franchise, you get to exit through the massive two-storey gift shop, where you can pick up everything from specially printed shirts, to FC Barça shower caps. While the prices are high, the bragging rights for being the only one of your mates to have a Barça shirt with the official FIFA World Club Cup Winners badge stitched onto it, is probably worth the 112 Euros. The same could be said about the Barcelona lingerie, but we won’t go there.... Sadly, though there is not enough space to write about everything on offer in this magnificent metropolis, but if we did we would leave nothing for you to discover by yourself, like the great little restaurants, the fine local wines, the museums and art galleries or the wonderful Catalonian mountain attractions that sit at the foot of the mighty Pyrenees. With daily flights to Madrid, and now Barcelona, Qatar Airways has really opened up the Iberian peninsula, offering Gulf residents the opportunity to reign in Spain whenever, or wherever, they like.

<The Camp Nou stadium and museum are a must-visit attraction - even if you are not a sports fan >

sur la terre star-crossed



sur la terre starcrossed

sur la terre starcrossed


Production Firefly Communications, Art direction Roula Zinati Ayoub Photography Peter Richweisz, Models Vanessa and Mirjana Fashion Stylist Arwa AbdelHadi Hair Lee Bennett Make-Up Tonee Roberio

Dress ANDRE Necklace JANIS Headpiece Jewelry and Bracelets RANDOUSHKA Ring PANACHE Shoes Aennis Eunis

Outfits & Accessories TASAMEEM: Aennis Eunis shoes and stockings S*uce for: KOOKOO, Jewels by Sogol, Les Caprices De Vanina, Andre, Shourouk, Deepa Gurnani, Sarah’s bag, Janis, Essa, Wafa Saifi, Panache Symphony for: Willow Chocolate & Pickles for: Poupee Couture bags, Saraya by Sara Mostafa DAS boutique: CYKAS “Can you keep a secret” Turbans Exclusive Fazza3 Poetry Jewelry by Randoushka Cugini: Pearl Qatar; KOOKOO


sur la terre starcrossed

Top LES CAPRICES DE VININA Belt WILLOW Turban “CYKAS” CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET Bracelets and Earrings RANDOUSHKA Shoes and Stockings Aennis Eunis

sur la terre starcrossed


Top SARAYA Belt JANIS Turban “CYKAS” CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET Bag SARAH’S BAG Bracelets and Earrings JEWELS BY SOGOL Shoes and Stockings Aennis Eunis


sur la terre starcrossed

Top KOOKOO Belt WAFA SAFI Headband DEEPA GURNANI Necklace SHOUROUK Rings JEWELS BY SOGOL Bag SARAYA Shoes and Stockings Aennis Eunis

sur la terre starcrossed


Top KOOKOO Turban Essa Necklace RANDOUSHKA Bracelets and Earrings JEWELS BY SOGOL Bag POUPEE COUTURE

sur la terre artopia

Different Strokes


< Ahmed Moustafa, Interior in the Exterior >

Mina Kavcar comes face to face with the written word as it loops, twirls and fascinates the masses. Calligraphy - giving the art of lettering a profound and symmetrical meaning.


sur la terre artopia

>>> Islamic art brings together talent spanning over several centuries and continents, making it somewhat tricky, yet oddly convenient, to categorise under one roof. With heavy use of calligraphy through tile work, textiles and paintings, the movement took on several intricate forms in various parts of the Islamic world. Beginning with the rise of Islam in the 7th century through to the 19th century, Islamic art has been a uniting factor, representing artistic cultures from North Africa, the Middle East, Turkey and Islamic Spain all the way to South Asia. While artists didn’t completely shy away from depicting humans and animals

< Ali Omar Ermes, The Fourth Ode >

in their works, they did choose to beautify ornaments through the use of aesthetically pleasing geometric and calligraphic designs rather than representations of life. As such, the world-renowned Museum of Islamic Art right here in Doha has gone through great effort to pay homage to the writers, sculptors and artists that represent the 1,400 years of Islamic culture. Art lovers and curious museum-goers alike have delighted in the vast collection of paintings, tiles, carpets, pottery and other adorned items gracing the stone halls of the MIA, all the while becoming mesmerised by the beauty that is calligraphic script.

Human nature being what it is, intense pleasure derived by art usually summons the art lover to attempt purchase of said piece or others like it. Sadly, museums don’t exactly cater to such materialistic urges, begging the question of where one is able to get one’s calligraphic fix. Thankfully, Sotheby’s, the international auction house, has come to the rescue of hopeful shoppers of Islamic works. In the words of Daniela Maschetti, Senior Director, “I love how within the auction house, everything has a price tag and you can touch it. At my previous job, it was very academic and everything had to be behind glass and

sur la terre artopia


the Islamic World auctions in 2005 generated QR40 million, and this year, auctions in this category garnered QR239.6 million. This increase of almost 500% in five years is remarkable, particularly given that this field represents a proportion of the entire Middle East art market.”

< Ahmed Moustafa, The night Journey and Ascension >

was so valuable that it had no price. I love the concept of touching art and making sure that art moves from one hand to another.” One might say that this sums up the entire concept of art and luxury being sold at auction. While experienced Middle Eastern collectors have surely found themselves in the midst of more than one or two paddles swinging about in a busy auction room, they now have the luxury of a Sotheby’s outpost right in their own backyard. According to Dalya Islam, Deputy Director of the Middle East Department, “Sotheby’s has actively provided services to clients in the Gulf for the last 20 years. Over the course of that time, we have steadily expanded our presence in the MENA region to include regular exhibitions of artworks, educational lectures, the opening of an office and a major auction series. We will undertake a comprehensive schedule of pan-regional activities during the upcoming autumn and winter seasons, ending with our Doha Sale event in December called, ‘Hurouf: The Art of the Word’ – the first ever international auction entirely devoted to calligraphy.”

As for the region and its tastes, Islam continued by saying that each area of the art market has its own set of dynamics, but a clear indictor of the huge upward trajectory that the Middle East art market is experiencing is the fact that Sotheby’s Arts of

< Work by Farhad Moshiri >

Hurouf: The Art of the Word, held on the 16th of December 2010 at the Ritz-Carlton in Doha, features Early Islamic, Ottoman and Modern/Contemporary Calligraphic Art Works. Auction attendees can bid on pieces of Arabic, Farsi and Ottoman Turkish origin. To make sure all bases are covered, Sotheby’s has included everything from very early Islamic calligraphy to Ottoman art from the 18th and 19th century. Arguably some of the most beautiful pieces in the Islamic art category are those that include, or display prominently, the different forms of calligraphy or focus on the harmony of shapes and patterns making them very pleasing to the eye thanks to a synchronised stroke of the brush. “We wanted to do something that would unite borders and build identity in the region, using our network and expertise. This is the first ever sale held by an international auction house dedicated entirely to calligraphy. In


sur la terre artopia

< Mohammad El Baz, The conference of the birds >

selecting some of the most talented, revered and innovative calligraphers working with the Arabic script from Japan to the United Sates, through Turkey, the Middle East, China and the Indian Sub-Continent, the auction aims to represent the development of an art form that has entered its second millennium,” Islam said. As for the auction’s highlights, Islam named Ahmed Moustafa in particular as, “possibly the most famous living calligrapher,” and definitely the biggest named artist to have works showcased at the event. His work, The Night Journey and Ascension, 2008-2010 currently stands at the highest value lot in the sale with an estimated value of QR2.5 3.2 million. In Islam’s words, “it strives to give expression to a heavenly, angelic celebration.” Taking cues from the juxtaposition of modernity and traditionalism in contemporary Iran, famed Iranian artist Farhad Moshiri’s developed works draw on both the modern, fundamentally western aesthetic of Abstract Expressionism, yet still include the essentially Islamic concept of numerology. Ali Omar Ermes’s The Fourth Ode (est. QR910,0001.2 million) takes the lead as his largest art piece ever to be offered at public auction. His fascination with Arabic script is stunningly evident in reverent verse to the fourte ode

< Mohammad El Baz, The conference of the birds >

of the Mu’allaqat al Saba’a, the famed Prize Poems. Sadequain, one of Pakistan’s most famed exports, is represented through his Surah Al Rahman (est. QR 218,000-291,000), which Islam describes as, “an outstanding example of his work that illustrates his radical departure from established calligraphic norms.” She assures us that, “even for those who cannot comprehend the inscription, the power and majesty of the words is evident.” Distinctive calligraphic styles will be on sale including kufic leaves dating from the 8th century and highly sought-after works on canvas, including bronze and neon by important artists such as Ahmad Moustafa, Parviz Tanavoli and Mohammad El Baz. Hurouf: The Art of the Word includes these and many more pieces of broad significance and fundamental value, making it one of the cornerstones of regional artistic flair. Items are sourced from various private collections relating to individuals from the region and abroad. When asked about the rather serious aspect of accountability of art and its sourcing from war-torn countries, Islam assured us of Sotheby’s continuing efforts to combat such practices by explaining that Sotheby’s has always been, and continues to be, particularly vigilant with respect to provenance issues on all items for sale. “It is

< Mohammad El Baz, The conference of the birds >

our policy not to sell property, for instance, of Iraqi origin, unless certain legal requirements are satisfied, such as the various sanctions programmes. To assist us in avoiding selling any stolen cultural property, we ask all consignors to provide all available provenance information on the items we sell. “Our Islamic catalogues are distributed not only to clients, but also to many parties who have an interest in tracking down lost or stolen property,” she adds. “These include certain law enforcement bodies, the Art Loss Register and certain embassies, museum curators, scholars and academics in the field. In this way, we make every effort to publicise the sales and to provide those charged with the duty of recovering stolen property with the opportunity to make claims on pieces they believe to have been stolen.” Such transparency, she notes, lessens the chance that stolen property will be offered through the company’s auctions, taking at least one bit of uncertainty out of the equation. After several Islamic Art sales, Sotheby’s Hurouf: The Art of the Word will conclude Doha’s year as the Arab Capital of Culture and will most certainly bring revered Islamic Art pieces to the region.


sur la terre haute property

Lights, Spikes, Pipes = Design Making a rather decisive creative splash, three outstanding designers prove that the W Hotel has more than one stylish card up its sleeve...

>>> Living in Doha, one cannot help but attest to the W Hotel’s lasting power as one of the premier entertainment and leisure venues for both visitors and residents alike. In line with that concept, the West Bay flagship hotel has mesmerised attendees on numerous occasions with both creativity and concept. Whatever/Whenever has never been truer, as all members of the W staff continually go to great lengths in an effort to amaze and satisfy all who walk through the intimate yet posh lobby, otherwise known as the Living Room. The W ethos doesn’t simply cease at service and accoutrements, but goes a step further into the inner and outer workings of the entire hotel. When walking through the glass doors into the bright, white yet dim and effortlessly sultry lobby, one will immediately be somewhat awestruck with a design that can quite easily be called anything but ordinary. The inner workings of this particular accommodation and entertainment complex certainly weren’t left up to chance. As such, it should come as no surprise that W designers and their respective inspirations have raked in praise and awards around the globe, cementing their unique position in the world of hotel design. Three such artists were invited to the W hotel Doha in late October to exhibit their pieces and explain their motivations. The W Hotel Designers of the Future Award presented by W hotels and Design Miami was given to those few designers who, according to Safak Guvenc, General Manager of the W Hotel Doha, “truly push the boundaries and make us question what a hotel really is; those who work in innovative ways, whether it is with new materials, new processes, or entirely new approaches.”

< Graham Hudson’s DJ booth poolside at the W Hotel Doha >

sur la terre haute property

< Jamie Zigelbaum explains his lighting fixture in the W Hotel Doha Living Room >

Hailing from the technically advanced labs of MIT, Zigelbaum said, “We wanted to take some of the super high-tech things that we played with in research but had never really built in a way that humans can interact with them. We wanted to do it in a design context, so we took some of that magic from technology and tried to integrate it into a design that could be interactive.”

First of the bunch was Jamie Zigelbaum, of Zigelbaum & Coelho, who took a few minutes to intricately explain his rather unusual lighting installation on display in the lobby. What could simply be dubbed a clustered wall of colourful lights may also be described as a new way of thinking about the power and ambiance of light in our daily lives. As Zigelbaum put it, “Each one of these tiles is an interactive modular computer that’s battery powered and functions on its own.” What is most striking about the tiles is their ability to work individually as well as in unison. Zigelbaum went on to demonstrate that the tiles not only change colour as you touch them, but may also pulsate if touched long enough. With use of a handy remote control, one is able to manage not only the colour palate (cool to warm) and animation of each tile, but also a customisable lighting symphony, as blinking, swerving tiles transition glowingly from purple to green via all points in between. “But the coolest thing is that they can talk to each other,” Zigelbaum explained. Talk to each other? Surely this was a line from a W-themed sci-fi flick we hadn’t seen yet! On the contrary, what he said was true! When a tile is touched and changed, it can transmit information to other tiles on the same metal sheet. For example, if you were to decide that green was the colour du jour, you would touch the green tile and as it started to pulsate it would send hued information to its brethren once you touched them, which would then change colour themselves. “Amazing! It is scary! After I heard this, I stopped talking to him,” Guvenc noted. Since the digital information is actually sent right through the conductor’s body and escapes through his/her fingertips, “scary” does seem to be the right word to use.


< Beta Tank taxation chairs in the W Hotel Doha Living Room >


sur la terre haute property

Human interaction was at the centre of this particular design and Zigelbaum continued to explain his team’s rationale, saying,“We interact with computers all the time. The digital world is huge and vast and has so much of what we do as human beings right now. Yet, it’s always on screens. All of that information is not spatial, the pixels that represent it are not part of our world and we can’t touch them. So, we tried to take those pixels and put them into a form where we could interact with them with our bodies. It’s a type of lighting that you can pick up and move around. It’s a new way to think about lighting an environment.” Amazed and impressed, we walked over to Eyal Burstein of Beta Tank, a Berlin and London-based design practice, whose pieces took centre stage in the W hotel lobby. As colourful and attention-grabbing as they were, we would soon find out that their every aspect had been carefully thought-out in line with Beta Tank’s inspiration: German tax law. Wait. What?

< Graham Hudson explaining his artistic process poolside at the W Hotel Doha >

Germany’s tax laws allow for art to be sold at a lower tax rate than other “usable” items. After careful inspection, officials realised that individuals started selling everything they made as art. As such, the authorities decided that only impractical objects could qualify as art, making functional pieces, such as furniture, relatively un-artistic. “Paradoxical rules,” as Burstein called them, helped him create a framework for design. “I use design as a way of talking about social issues,” he explained. His first piece was a yellow dining room table that featured rotating wooden squares, which could be turned to reveal pointy pyramids or a flat surface on which to place plates and utensils. Hence, his table could be considered functional if all squares were turned to the flat surface, but would qualify as art if said pieces had their spiky side turned upwards. Next to the serviceable yet artistic table were three “chairs.” One of which was, for all intents and purposes, a practical piece of furniture to sit on, hence the higher tax rate. The second, however, had its seat raised by roughly 45 degrees, making it rather uncomfortable, yet still somewhat functional. The last of the three finally deserved the coveted title of “art,” in the German tax-law kind of way, since it did not allow for any purposeful use. When asked about Germany’s influence on his design, Burstein noted that, “It is really restrictive but it allowed me to do this. So, yeah I am thankful, I am happy. I wasn’t as creative in London.”

< Beta Tank taxation table in the W Hotel Doha Living Room >

Speaking of London, the last but by no means least of the three designers on site was Graham Hudson, a London-based designer whose designs feature sculpture and architecture in an array of media installations. As part of his ongoing project, “The End of The End,” Hudson’s focus was the demise of London’s 90’s club scene. “To me, this is just a sculpture that you can happen to use,” Hudson said. His DJ booth was constructed using old scaffolding, painted black tape and metal poles. “It’s the design of hedonism, it’s the architecture of a brief moment,” Hudson continued. “It’s not supposed to be looked at when the lights are on,” he said, but most architectural additions these days are made to look good during night or day. The 90’s era of grunge has been abandoned and replaced with a sense of polished luxury that is always composed and well behaved. As Hudson noted, “I’m interested in the reality of the world we live in and how it’s not like a picture post card. I’m really interested in that fractured temporal state of design.” Each of the design award winners created pieces that meant something, pieces that told a story and were a sign of the future as well as the past. The W brand has managed to stay on the cutting edge of innovation and functionality, and it is only a matter of time before we see similar art/design pieces illuminate our minds and surroundings again soon. Be sure to turn on the switch.

< Graham Hudson stands next to his DJ booth poolside at the W Hotel Doha >

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Production Firefly Communications Art direction Roula Zinati Ayoub Photography Peter Richweisz; Model Mirjana Fashion Stylist Arwa AbdelHadi Hair Lee Bennett Make-Up Tonee Roberio Outfits & Accessories TASAMEEM: Aennis Eunis shoes S*uce for: Jewels by Sogol, Peroto, Second Issue, CC skye, The Next Episode, Panache, Janis, Lavish Symphony for: Bodyamr, Rupert Sanderson, Van + Ello Chocolate & Pickles for: Poupee Couture bags, Saraya by Sara Mostafa DAS boutique: DAS collection & CYKAS “Can you keep a secret” Turbans Ayesha Depala: Ayesha Depala Salam Stores: Noir Jewelry, Palestyle bags, Lavish



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sur la terre fashion




sur la terre fashion

Abaya DAS Bracelets, Earrings and Rings NOIR

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sur la terre fashion


sur la terre fashion




sur la terre out of the box

< Omani perfumer, Amouage’s latest olfactory masterpiece, Memoir >

Scents of Culture Sur la Terre enters the fragrant world of Omani perfumer, the House of Amouage, and marvels at the Memoir of its Creative Director, Christopher Chong.

>>> If there is one thing in Arabic culture that truly allows one to express his or her individuality, it is the use of scent. The potent, yet alluring, waft of Arabian Oud as a well-groomed Khaleeji man strides into a meeting, or a beautiful khol-eyed woman glides by in a shopping mall, is a defining characteristic of living in the Gulf. The perfume choice of locals, who tend to shun many mainstream brands, is quintessential to the Arab identity. It is a way of expressing both culture and individuality. In some cases, with rare and valuable ingredients, it is a way of subconsciously establishing the person’s social standing, allowing you to know you are in the presence of importance without the other party saying a word, leaving it to your sense of smell to draw the obvious conclusion. While many of these scents are rooted in tradition, there is one company, based in Oman, that is not afraid to push the boundaries of accepted Arabic olfactory expectations, and is always willing to experiment with bold, often obscure, yet always exclusive ingredients. Enter the House of Amouage.

Amouage’s latest masterpiece, Memoir, took its regional bow at Dubai’s Opera Gallery in September, under the stewardship of charismatic creative director, Christopher Chong. Bringing to bear his undeniably creative touch, Chong unveiled Memoir Woman and Memoir Man, two opposing fragrances that are both, in their own ways, spicy and seductive, but each containing its own definitive scent. “When I was creating Memoir, I was inspired by 19th century French Philosophy, poetry movements by Baudelaire and the German philosophy of the Doppelgänger,” Chong explained to Sur la Terre. “I see so many fragrances that play on sensuality, but in my view that is just dumbing down, so I decided to take up the challenge. I thought, ‘Why can’t I intellectualise perfume?’” With the remit to explore the fragmentation of a person, and similarly complicated themes, Chong believes his newest fragrance will enable the wearer to find his or her own identity in the bold choice of ingredients. Memoir Woman employs base notes of leather, fenugreek

sur la terre out of the box

< Making scents of it: Amouage Creative Director, Christopher Chong >

and musk, blended expertly with powerful heart notes of jasmine and frankincense, to create a powerful, hypnotic platform for the top notes of cardamom, absinthe and pink pepper. Memoir Man delivers both earthiness and spice in equal measure, also daring to be different through the inclusion of absinthe as a top note, infused with wormwood, basil and mint. Tobacco, sandalwood and leather make up some of the solid, masculine base notes, while the heart of the fragrance is carried by rose, frankincense and lavender. “I love discord,” Chong explains. “In music, discord is when two musical sounds oppose each other, but mutually create a harmony, and I think Memoir achieves this.” “I planned Memoir for four years, but last year, my gut feeling told me that the market was finally ready for it. It was now or never; it was now time to be groundbreaking or never do it. It was time to do something different - something bold.” As much as the inspiration for the fragrance is based in Western intellectual culture, Chong draws as much inspiration from the Middle East market, which, he suggests, allows him to be more creatively expressive when producing fragrances for Amouage. “For the Middle East, perfume is not so much about vanity, it is so ingrained in the culture, it has become more of a spiritual thing. They wear it for themselves, as a personal statement. Perfume is such a huge part of the heritage; they learn about fragrances and perfumes from the time they are babies, so they are much more receptive. The market here wants something new. They want something


< The House of Amouage in Dubai Mall >

groundbreaking, like some of the ingredients we have introduced in Memoir, such as Absinthe and Wormwood. It is a daring selection of ingredients anywhere in the world, but here they will love it, because it is different.” Chong says that his objective is to create perfumes that are thought provoking, and scents that will enable people to engage themselves. Memoir is no different. Speaking about the creative process behind the new fragrance, he explains that, because it is impossible to write down or draw a smell, he has to create a backstory in his head in order to express his ideas for the scent to his team. For him, the Memoir fragrances explore the inseparable nature of beauty and depravity. Memoir Woman is represented in Chong’s presentation as a Black Swan, who is the past, present and future; man and woman, separated and reunited through the discordant notes of the perfume. Memoir Man, explains Chong, is more... sinister, suggesting an undercurrent of vice and anguish, of trying to find a personal identity through the strong olfactory blend of tobacco, wormwood and absinthe. In the story, he comes face to face with the Black Swan, his alter-ego, represented perhaps in the lighter notes of Rose and Vanilla. “I wanted to philosophise about complicated themes in order to start a dialogue with my customers, as well as enabling them to find their own identity,” he notes. “I like to think that I don’t impose my vision on them, that I leave it open for their own interpretation. I ask them, ‘What do you see in it?’ I find that is much more interesting.” Amouage Memoir is available now at 51 East and Pari Gallery.



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sur la terre in vogue special

DAS the Stuff!

Emirati sisters Reem and Hind Beljafla have been turning heads with their national dressbased fashion, launching their award-winning DAS fashion brand with great aplomb a few years ago. Sur la Terre recently caught up with them at the 2010 WHOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S NEXT and PREMIERE CLASSE fashion events in Dubai to discuss the success of DAS and what it is like to be a part of what many are calling a new renaissance in Arab fashion.

sur la terre in vogue special


What were the biggest challenges for DAS when you first started, and how have those challenges changed since you have become more established within the community? When we first launched our collection, many young Emirati women immediately embraced our concept and what we were trying to do. Like with anything, though, you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t please everyone. There were people who misunderstood our intentions and felt that we were venturing too far from our traditions and culture. After constant communication and persistence, we believe the message is now clear: we are trying to create Abayas that are modern and stylish. They still adhere to our customs but are updated. What gave you the drive to do this in the first place? How did you get started? From a young age, we would accompany our mother to fashion shows and events internationally. As we grew up and began attending events in Dubai, we realised that despite loving fashion and accessories, there was a lack of Abayas on the market that were to our tastes, or that matched the accessories we bought on trips to London and Paris. We initially just started making Abayas for ourselves, but soon enough our family and friends all wanted one. And so, DAS was born. Do you see yourselves as part of a new homegrown Gulf movement in fashion? If so, what does it mean to be a part of this emerging community? We didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t set out to start a movement in fashion in the region, but many people tell us that they feel like we have started one. It is very rewarding to feel like we have made a change and given women the opportunity to express themselves through their fashion while still adhering to their traditional values. With the right support and perseverance, which we have received from both our family and His


sur la terre in vogue

of thinner chiffon that allow you to see the evening dress beneath it. We also do resort collections once per year that are ready-to-wear pieces, but still respect our culture. With these collections we can play with colour a little more, but even with our Abayas, we still find that there is a lot to be done, and a lot more that we are looking forward to achieving!

Highness, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid, who has also always been a supporter of women and their ability to make a change, there is a lot of potential in this region. One day it will be recognised as a significant hub for fashion. It feels like we are already on the way. With events like Dubai Fashion week, the Middle East region is getting more attention for its fashion sense and style these days. Are there any other labels like DAS that are changing things or pushing the envelope to open international eyes to the creativity here? Another UAE-based brand that we support is House of Glamo, which was started by Mohammed Al Habtoor and Tamara Al Gabbani. Their collection is very creative and tonguein-cheek; showing the world that we can have a sense of humour too! We also love what Salama Alabbar is doing with her new boutique, Symphony, in the Dubai Mall. In previous interviews, you have described the Abaya as an extension of your culture, history and national identity, referring to it also as the ideal canvas on which to create. What precisely is it about the abaya that you find beautiful and easily adaptable for your personal creations? It might appear limiting to have to work with such a specific garment, but to be honest it just means that you have to be more creative and look more closely at details such as cut and silhouette. Tailoring is extremely important, as is embellishment. We look at the Abaya as an elegant and regal item of clothing rather than a restrictive one, and we feel that more people are starting to understand that. After our show at Middle East Fashion Days, we had many guests from Europe who told us that their view of the Abaya is now completely different and thought what they saw was beautiful. We now have many European clients as well who are looking for evening dresses that are not too revealing and feel like they have found this at DAS. Would you agree that there are significant limitations with the abaya in terms of how far you can push its limits or boundaries as a garment? In other words, do you find that there is sometimes a clash with what you want to do in terms of design and the respect you obviously have in terms of cultural sensitivity? Not really. We do have Abayas that are meant for ladies-only events; these might be made

You mentioned your exclusive line at Harrod’s in London. How have your styles resonated with the western audience? What do you think appeals or would appeal to western women about your styles? Our collection at Harrods has done extremely well so far. There is a large Muslim community in London, and so we seem to have a lot of customers there already. We hope to attract Muslim women who are looking for stylish options and even Western women looking for a conservative option for evening-wear, and there’s no reason why that shouldn’t happen, as there are Muslim women (and women who like to dress conservatively) all over the world, not just in this region. Is there any celebrity at home or abroad that you could see sporting your styles on the red carpet or at some high profile function? If so, who? HH Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, as she is a symbol of elegant Arab women. We have seen what you can do with the abaya, but what other parts of your culture have you adapted into your styles? We have always loved our traditional fashion and have always been curious enough to ask about it and explore it. That’s what made us start a traditional line called Burqa. For more information, visit It’s basically a souvenir line, that we came up with while studying abroad. Many of our friends where asking about our tradition, so we decided to come up with this product, which we have actually won awards for. What is next for DAS, and where do you each see the company and you personally in five years? Ten years? We have plans to develop internationally but at this stage there is nothing we can give away! Watch this space!

sur la terre in vogue


Getting in the mood for the festive season can be a little challenging for some of our fellow Sur la Terreans, considering we live in a steady 35 degree climate. We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see leaves transform from luscious green to lustrous gold and fall gracefully to the ground. We hardly get to run down sidewalks in search of the crunchiest looking leaf for a satisfactory stomp. We definitely do not see the skies open up and, like a pepper shaker, bestow layers of pearly white snow amidst our skyscrapers and homes. Cheer up, though, Vogue-sters, this is no pity party, because we get the BEST of winter! Forget wet shoes, damp hair, ruined cashmere and reclusive snow-ins; we are here to show you how to get (and remain) in style, all season long. In this edition of In Vogue, we bring to you something a little different, with a special focus on the SLT Man and what we expect our army of fashion forward followers to be decked out in during the holidays. Legendary brand Lanvin and eclectic Brit Paul Smith show you how to look less James May and more James Bond with their slick and suave collections, while lust-worthy Italian shoemaker Berluti shows us how the icing on the cake gets laced. With a little detour through Michael Korsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s latest ready-to-wear options, we guarantee that our In Vogue fashionistas have ample choices to rival their male counterparts. Let the games begin!


sur la terre in vogue

Absolutely Berluti-ful

Since 1895, each generation of the legendary Berluti family has strived to achieve exceptional levels of mastery in the shaping and creation of leather footwear. The family has since conquered the luxury footwear market, with the likes of Arabian royalty, international businessmen and other elite clients walking through Berlutiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s doors daily for an experience that excels beyond any other within the industry. With a great love of their shoes, a burgeoning respect for their artisanal craftsmanship and a flair for the rare and exquisite, Berluti has gone from strength to strength in the region. Pushing the limits of artistic

creation, the masters at work behind the state-of-the-art products demonstrate the true meaning of passion. For Berluti, the foot is seen as the foundation of the human body. Berluti prides itself on its ability to provide the most suitable shape and the utmost in comfort for each individual client through unparalleled professionalism and knowledge. Despite a strict adherence to the true origins and traditions of shoe-making, the brand also implements the newest technologies and innovative materials, ensuring that each boot-maker has all the tools necessary to produce the best possible end result.

sur la terre in vogue


The Lanvin Legend

With the legendary houseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recent collaboration, bringing haute couture to the masses via ready-to-wear items designed specially for high street giant H&M, Lanvin has set tongueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wagging all over the globe with its avant garde attitude to fashion. The brandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new 2010-2011 Autumn/Winter collection for the daring Lanvin man is the very definition of fashion forward, with a walk on the wild side luring all men into challenging the harsher, cooler weather in the months to come. Highlighting the very element that made Lanvin the catwalk staple that it is today - and has been for years - the Autumn / Winter extravaganza is an ode to technical prowess and cutting-edge finesse. Finishing items have been largely created from large, single pieces of fabric, which are then cut, folded, clipped and twirled to create the unique overcoats, trench coats, parkas and jackets on offer. Sophisticated yet untamed, military-esque yet with an edge of quintessential cheek, the aforementioned pieces make way for more adventurous attire, with ribbed leggings, oversized sweaters with off-centre necklines and hi-tech fabric peeking through random slits of otherwise cleancut trousers. A smorgasbord of material has been used to emphasise the eclectic nature of the collection, with wool and polyester set off by extravagant use of light chiffons, buttery soft calfskin and even python skin shoes for that added dash of foreigner chic. This fashion legend is officially a reality.


sur la terre in vogue

Michael Kors, Of Course

Whether it’s his all-American wholesome yet edgy stylings, his eclectic choice of models (including long running face of the brand, Carmen Kass), or his continuous triumphs at the New York and Paris fashion weeks year after year, Michael Kors never fails to impress. This season’s collection is no different, with pieces designed to fit any wardrobe straight from MICHAEL - the Michael Kors Ready to Wear line. The collection features reinvented classics with a nod to the icons of Kors’s runway. The timeless little black dress, a fresh take on the trench in preparation for the cooler months and travelready tunics all highlight the easy, chic style that is Michael Kors. A lounge/ sports wear collection is also on hand, where pieces are complemented by quirky bags and matching footwear for a witty take on the American classics. As always, matching accessories are the jewels in the Michael Kors crown. This season’s stand out stars are leather goods, such as the belts and the stunning, supple leather handbags on offer. Although the “Hamilton” is making waves as the latest “it” bag on the Hollywood scene, here at SLT headquarters, we are still lusting after the item totes classic. Large enough to fit all your little bits and bobs, showcasing some incredible architectural styling and available in hot-to-trot metallics or python prints, this is the product we’re treating ourselves to this season.

sur la terre in vogue


The Name is Smith, Paul Smith

Well, look who’s outgrown his stripes and is looking dashing as a 007 agent. Watch out ladies, Paul Smith swoops into men’s wardrobes this winter with a collection bound to set hearts aflutter. Moving away from the kooky city stripes and into a more demure collection of checks, tweeds and plains, Paul Smith offers a cleaner, sharper and more distinguished finish to the traditional British look. With an edge of modernity to the sleek suits, combining a sophisticated dark colour palette with luxury wools, silks and cashmeres, there is simply no excuse for any man not to look the part for the season’s festivities. With evening wear an apparent focus this collection, we notice the ingenious mix and match of what may seem to be opposing materials. Tweeds are combined with dark moleskins and velvet with contrasting trims and linings, maintaining a classic yet edgy look. Trimmed down collars on shirts provide a pop of colour for those after a little “oomph” in their quintessentially proper, James Bond-esque wardrobes. Classic shaped knitwear is also available in a range of hues to satisfy both the demure and more attention-seeking man, with a variety of patterns adorning sweaters and cardigans. Smith also hasn’t forgotten your fashion needs on the rainier days either, with not one, but two classy looks up for grabs. Alongside the classic raincoat sits a new waxed and heavenly quilted over-jacket for extra warmth. Remember, “you only live twice,” so head down to Paul Smith, pronto!


sur la terre beauty

Look Out Photographer: Francesco Chiappetta Stylist: Roberto Ciapani, Gloria Storchi e Federico Toretti Hair and Make up: Jabe@mks Milano

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Opposite page Eyeshadow Opera Trio, SHISEIDO Volumising Mascara, SHISEIDO Lipstick, SHISEIDO Concealer, SHISEIDO Cape with gold embroidery, ANTONIO MARRAS THIS page Lipstick Barocco Rouge Prodige, CLARINS Compact Powder Poudre dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Or Scintillante, SHISEIDO Stud dress, GAETANO NAVARRA



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Two in One: Eyeshadow, CHRISTIAN DIOR Lipstick, CHRISTIAN DIOR Lace dress with pink chiffon shoulder pads, CHRISTIAN DIOR

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Eyeshadow Les 4 Ombres Enigma, CHANEL Kohl Pencil, CHANEL Lipstick Rose Dilemma, CHANEL Dress embroidered with pearls and faux leather, CHANEL



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Brilliant Details

Photographer: Fabrizio Nannini Stylist: Roberto Ciapani, Gloria Storchi and Federico Toretti Hair and make up: Marco Minunno @ Mks Milano

Lace-up shoes with embroidery, LOUIS VUITTON Leather belt, SALVATORE FERRAGAMO Red and grey tie, HERMES Black Label cravats, RALPH LAUREN

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Snakeskin belt with gold-plated buckle, ROBERTO CAVALLI Black Swarovski clutch with gold detailing, RENĂ&#x2030; CAOVILLA Sparkling shoulder bag and clutch, TRUSSARDI 1911 Black and green python armband, SERGIO ROSSI


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Silver shoulder with logo buckle and pleated foulard, HERMES Fur rollneck, LOUIS VUITTON Ball-shaped bag, ROBERTO CAVALLI

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Shirt and cuff-links, Salvatore Ferragamo White silk necktie and braces, BRIONI Loafers with stud soles, TODâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S



sur la terre special society

Rocking the Red Carpet At the end of October 2010, it wasn’t just the Doha skyline that saw shooting stars, as the capital city played host to the second annual Doha Tribeca Film Festival, turning the brand new Katara (aka, Cultural Village) into a veritable starfield of celebrity. Red carpet events took place throughout the entirety of the DTFF’s five days and Sur la Terre was there to capture the captivating cavalcade... >>> Everyone from film’s cinescape seemed to be in attendance at the events, from local legends like The Traveller’s gorgeous Basma Hassan to incomparable Egyptian acting legend Adel Imam. Other attendees, like famed directors Julian Schnabel and Rachid Bouchareb, may be better known for their visionary essences than their visual presences, but that didn’t stop them from leading the casts from their respective films down the red carpet. 

murmurs rippled throughout the crowd as onlookers tried to decide who was more ravishing between one of India’s up-and-coming stars, Mallika Sherawat, and the more established blockbusting beauty, Salma Hayek. Of course, both were contending with others on the international “screen scene,” like the stunning Selina Lo. Despite your own personal tastes, DTFF’s red carpet march of stardom was a buffet of the beautiful people, and we, as well as everyone else in attendance, ate it up! 

Bollywood and Hollywood may not often rub elbows, but when they do, the livewire vibe becomes even more electric. At the DTFF opening event,

We could continue on with the name dropping, but we’d rather show you the pictures rather than write a thousand words!

< Artist, Shirin Neshat >

< DFI Executive Director Amanda Palmer >

< Grandma, A Thousand Times director Mahmoud Kaabour and star, Teta >

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< Actress Raja Al Jiddawi >

< Director Chadi Zeneddine, Programmer Hania Mroue, Director and Head of Education at DFI, Scandar Copti >

< Actress Salma Hayek >

< Stand-up comedian Won Ho Chung >


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< Actress Carmen Lebbos >

< Actress Yosra and Fashion Designer Stephane Rolland >

< Comedian filmmaker Ahmed Ahmed >

< Actress Selina Lo >

< Palestinian journalist and screenwriter Rula Jebreal, Director Julian Schnabel and Lebanese-Palestinian actress Yasmine al Massri >

sur la terre special society

< Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat >

< CCO of Tribeca, Geoff Gilmore >

< Director Mira Nair >

< Actress Basma Hassam >

< Egyptian Actress Lebleba >

< Actor Alex Siddig >



sur la terre society

If The Shoe Fits...

Once again the The Pearl played host to one of the fashion greats, as Salvatore Ferragamo’s latest outlet flung open its doors for the first time in November. To celebrate the inauguration of the brand’s latest boutique, a sparkling event took place on Porto Arabia. All of the city’s fashionistas were in attendance to meet the man himself, who personally opened the new store, as well as to browse the shelves of fine shoes and bags. There was even an opportunity for the guests to treat themselves to an exclusive, hand-made Ferragamo handbag, produced right in front of them, against a backdrop of canapés and Frank Sinatra’s swing jazz, by one of the company’s master craftsmen. Needless to say, they were all snapped up by the well-heeled attendees before the night was through. It really was an Italian Job well done.

Top left to bottom right: The Japanese Ambasador, HE Kenjiro Monji, and his wife Pervin Elavia, Havovi Rabadi, and Ellan Thompson Jhaenam Nami Jeff and Sharifah Jones Gregg Shuman, Shelly-jo Shuman, and Leah Martin Lucie Desmaretz Tavares Theo Swart and Jean Nakhle Miriam Gilroy and Massimo Ferragamo

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España Por Favor


The Spanish Tourism Board, Turespaña, in collaboration with Qatar Airways hosted a delightful event at the glitzy Ritz Carlton hotel in October, celebrating their burgeoning partnership. The magical night was an overwhelming success, tantalising all senses and had even the coolest of businessmen rushing to their travel agents to book a one-way pass to fiery España. As guests descended the regal staircases, down towards the elegant front garden patio of the hotel, traditional Spanish tapas were on circulation. Delicately skewered delicacies from the sea, spiced variations of traditional favourites and fruity concoctions for beverages were all reminiscent of the Iberian flavours we all love. The cream of Doha’s society mingled with Mr. Enrique Ruiz de Lera, Deputy Director of International Promotion of Turespaña and other members of Turespaña and Qatar Airways in the balmy summer air. Exquisitely dressed flamenco dancers, poised and beautiful, conversed with all those present as camera flashes captured the evening’s events. A glorious gala dinner followed, accompanied by a passionate flamenco show, ending the wonderful night with a successful bang.

Top left to bottom right: Orna Ballout and friend Can Gonzales Perez, Alejandro Bataller, Tomas Ramirez, Juan Ortiguela Talleria, and Jose M. Macia Alvarez Suranga Jayarathne, Asiri de Silva, Dushantha Fernando, and Rekan Fazly Terry Sutcliffe and Hilary Bainbridge S. Rizan Moulana, Dyan Andrado, Amila Samith, and Gajanan Joshi Natalia Boveda, Nuria Pizarro, Jesus Arce Fernandez, Nuria Pizarro and friends Natalia Boveda, Nuria Pizarro, Jesus Arce Fernandez, and Nuria Pizarro Lorie Anne Vengco, Joel Bonifacio, and Mia Montoya Nasrin, Gilberthe, and Anna Jack, Helen, and Walid Abu Jassar


sur la terre society

A Top Ten

Doha’s glitterati were out in force to celebrate the big birthday bash of a Qatar institution, as the Intercontinental Hotel celebrated its 10th anniversary. As the band played swing over the “ching” of clinking champagne glasses and hundreds of guests paid tribute to one of the city’s great hotels. Of course, over the past decade, the Intercontinental has seen huge changes in our great city, watching sagely from its once remote location in West Bay.

Top left to bottom right: Mr. and Mrs. Beeckaert, Mrs. and Mr. Gentil, and Mrs. and Mr. Devos Locals enjoying the festivities Mrs. and Mr. Koriaty Jassim Ibrahim Obaidan and Friend

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Now, of course, with its Lava nightclub, Mykonos restaurant and the newly opened Belgian Café, it is at the heart of the happening end of town. With fine dining on the hotel’s private beach, cuban cigars and great music, the huge turnout truly was a testament to the longevity of the hotel’s popularity in the city’s social circle.

Top left to bottom right: Edd Brookes, Capt. Michael R.B. Lawton, and Asela Jayaweera James Brennan, Capt. Michael R.B. Lawton, Heather, Keith Galvin, and Martin van Kan Elie, Maria Teresa, Najah, and Ahmad Mahdi, Riad, Amel, and Karima Mrs. and Mr. Ounnas, Hussam Saad Shaaban, and Dr. Jailan Selim Rina Modi, Natalie Box, and Habib Hadddad Veronique Hauacker Doug Hamilton, Marie Claire Noonan Ph.D., Darina and Martin Walsh, Marty Schweers


sur la terre society

Hola Señor! Doha’s revellers chilled out to the famous sounds of Café Del Mar last month, when the W Hotel’s Wahm bar played host to special guest DJ Señor Lobo. In town promoting his latest collection of summer sounds and chilled out grooves, the DJ could be seen spinning the decks during a special jam session in Virgin Megastore at Villaggio before bringing the bounce of Balearics and an intimate Ibiza vibe to Wahm. Sur la Terre was there to capture the crowds on camera as they danced the night away and the sounds of a Spanish summer sailed high above the West Bay skyline long into the night.

Top left to bottom right: Kata, Helene, Katie and her friends Celi, Marge, and Vone T.J. and Nadine Jasil, Sneha, Diyya, Hashif and Insaf

sur la terre society

Top left to bottom right: Francesca, Isabella and Jenny DJ Karl Jefferson and DJ Se単orlobo Michael, Abel, Roby Lauren Edward and Ricardo Stella Milla, Greta Kapogianni and Nick Cheliotis Nisrine Boutros, Sarkis Mekhtfi, Elias Rawya and Taleb Francisco Cerdora, Diego Suares, Marco Passos and Gilberto Farja


sur la terre joysticks

WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2011

Call of Duty: Black Ops The second in the Call of Duty series to be developed by Treyarch after their CoD: World at War title, Black Ops is the first to take place during the Cold War and it is by far the best (and most anticipated) weapon in the CoD armory. The single player game is engaging to say the least, and apart from the bugs we experienced (mostly annoying frame rate issues and donkey-dumb AI), it provides a complex if not psychotic romp through one of history’s most paranoid eras. Add to that the vocal talents of huge Hollywood heavyweights Sam Worthington, Ed Harris and the incomparable Gary Oldman, and it’s no wonder this thing had a worldwide redcarpet launch of such epic proportions. Of course, you’re really interested in multiplayer, which has been tweaked enough to make the now classic series feel young again. The biggest difference is a new, monetaryesque system, which replaces character and equipment enhancement based solely on levelling with the accrual of CoD Points. Another new feature is the CoD Theatre, which expands on the Killcam function in games of old and allows you to record and edit your best campaigns to upload on for bragging rights. Of all these developments, however, our personal favourite is the return of the Nazi Zombie mini-campaign, which, as the name implies, takes you back to killin’ the despotic undead. A special variation even puts you in the shoes of John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and Fidel Castro as gun-toting, trash-talking zombie killers. Yes!

Although we have kicked our unhealthy addiction to professional wrestling after its heyday in the late 90s, we have to admit that the games are still somehow able to grasp us like a Ric Flair figure-four leg lock. Of these, the Smackdown VS. Raw series has become the undisputed champion of graphics, ingame physics, character customisation and overall replayability. In Smackdown VS. Raw 2011, developers Yuke’s (still publishing with THQ) nears ever closer to perfection. Visually, the game is pretty much the same as the 2010 edition, which is to say, stunning. The blood, sweat and tears of fake combat truly shine in 2011. You now have a stable of 70+ WWE superstars to choose from, with the ever-popular Create-a-Wrestler continuing to impress with almost thousands of moves and appearances from which to create your own dealer of destruction. Road to Wrestlemania is still there to offer a linear system of play (although, disappointingly, you can’t travel the road with a created character), while WWE Universe, the newest element to the game and the most innovative we’ve seen to the genre in a very long time, allows you to build your own evolving story by intuitively collecting statistics like feuds, win/loss records and standings from regular battles. There is also another great option that sees you attempting to end The Undertaker’s Wrestlemania undefeated streak, which, if you win, would prove to your parents that you CAN actually achieve something in life. Just kidding, we all know better than that.


Disney’s Aladdin

After conducting extensive research on the subject, Sur la Terre has discovered that the Sega Genesis video game based on Disney’s Aladdin is generally held to be the best thing on planet Earth in the year 1993. In fact, it was widely believed that it would replace air as the thing we would breathe in the future, and it’s not hard to see why. Implementing revolutionary graphics and an incredibly fluid style of animation, Aladdin quickly established itself as a wish come true for gamers at every level. Not only did it have a vast array of technical developments, it was also one of the first games to weaponise apples! Placing you in the curved-up shoes of the groundbreaking movie’s titular hero, you were charged with carpet flying, canyon diving, sword fighting and, as mentioned previously, apple-chucking your way through beautifully rendered levels on your way to dashing the evil schemes of vizier-turnedsorcerer-turned-big red genie, Jafar. Whether you were swinging and ducking through the streets of Agrabah, dodging molten lava through the Cave of Wonders or literally tripping your way through the magical realm of the genie, this was one of those rare great titles of the period. We picked up the game again not too long ago in a fit of nostalgia and had just as much fun now as we did then, proving that it, much like the phenomenal cosmic genie, is a timeless power with which to be reckoned.


sur la terre flicks

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1)

Megamind What if Lex Luthor finally defeated Superman? What if the Joker finally got the “last laugh” on Batman? In short, what if the highway of Good finally came to a screeching halt at the cul-de-sac of EVIL? Such is the premise of DreamWorks Animation’s newest 3D masterpiece, Megamind. The film follows the eponymous alien main character’s arrival on earth, his first tentative steps into delinquency and finally, his lifelong rivalry with archenemy, Metro Man. Like most megalomaniacs attempting to conquer the world via superscience, Megamind is continually defeated, until one day, when our blue-skinned baddie defeats his nemesis and finally sups from the cup of victory! Unfortunately for Megamind, however, basking in the aftermath of triumph proves a bittersweet and hollow experience. As his meticulous machinations to reignite the fires of the “good ol’ days” go awry, he is left instead being forced to do the one thing he has always sworn never to do... save Metro City! With voices provided by some of the biggest names in the business (Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey), Megamind is one of the most satisfying animated movies we’ve seen in some time. There are some truly stomping superhero action scenes (made all the prettier with 3D), great bits of comedy (some for grown-ups, most for kids) and surprisingly good character development. Megamind may not be as groundbreaking as, say, The Incredibles, but it does provide a great look into a fun, previously unexplored “what-if” scenario. Where it sometimes trips up in the well-worn tracks of similar stories of superherodom, it more than makes up for by providing, in the words of Megamind, the exact thing that makes a villain “super” PRESENTATION!

“The end begins,” pitches the ominous tagline of the first part of the last instalment of the epic Harry Potter film series. Returning again under the measured care of director David Yates is almost the entire cast of the previous films, save a few obvious omissions. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was always going to be a dense, heavy beast to transmogrify from print to celluloid, but the cast and crew have returned with gusto this time around, making this the darkest, eeriest and, for our money, best Harry Potter flick yet. Hallows follows “The Boy Who Lived” and his friends, Ron and Hermione, as they search out and destroy the last remaining soul-receptacles (or Horcruxes, as they are known on the street) of He-Who-Shall-NotBe-Named (Voldemort to his death-eating friends), in a bid to finally destroy the pale, nonosed evil wizard for good! Of course, there is a lot of action, adventure and spell casting on the way, but be warned, because in this Harry Potter, there will be blood. Just as in the books, Deathly Hallows does not hold back the darkness, and save for a few instances to break tension, the film expertly conveys the dark despair and hopelessness of the book in its pacing, amazingly atmospheric settings and most importantly of all, the acting talent of its cast. Being that this is the first of two parts, you know it will end on something of a cliffhanger and on a definite downer, but we can guarantee you that this penultimate instalment of the franchise will have you literally gasping for one last breath before the series swansong in Part 2, which is set to come out on July 15th, 2011.

Lawrence of Arabia Lawrence of Arabia is a labour of love, both in what it took to stage the epic 1962 cinematic classic, and also in what it takes to watch it. Although arduously slow at points, the film is, in a word, breathtaking and it is really no wonder it won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Set over 3.5 hours and across two acts, it tells the historic story of Thomas Edward Lawrence, cocky oddball Welsh officer in the British Army during the first World War. In an effort to defeat the Ottoman Empire, which at the time occupied much of what is now Syria and Jordan, Lawrence is ordered to learn more about the efforts of the Arabs and see where the British can help. Although ordered to be an unspoken recorder in this process, Lawrence’s outspoken nature gets him thrust into the forefront of the confrontation. He soon finds himself assuming the role of leader, uniting the local bedouin population and galvanising them against the Turkish threat. Played with a subtle, if not smarmy nuance by a young Peter O’Toole, the character of Lawrence is one that is larger than life, possibly even more so than his real-life namesake, and impossible not to watch. The rest of the cast was made up by other A-listers of the time, including Anthony Quinn, Alec Guinness and Omar Sharif. While you can tell in their collective acting style that this is an old film, it definitely takes you back to a time when Hollywood was still able to inspire the mythic wonder of grand storytelling. The sweeping shots of the Jordanian/Moroccan deserts prove equally as captivating, and while it may take you a few sittings to get through, Lawrence of Arabia is simply one of those films you cannot die without watching at least once.

sur la terre tunes


Fairuz, Eh Fi Amal

Bare Bones, Bryan Adams Where do we begin with Bryan Adams? He provided the soundtrack to not only our formative musical years, with both 80s and aging kids rocking out to all time classics like “Summer of ‘69” and “Everywhere I go, the kids wanna rock. ” His ballad and title theme for the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves “(Everything I do) I Do it For You” still holds the record for being the longestrunning number one hit in UK Chart history (a total run of 16 weeks in 1991), and the pop/ rock crooner has also written some of the most covered tunes in music history, such as “Heaven.” His new album, Bare Bones, is a reworking of Adams’s own greatest hits. Recorded in the spring of this year during his “Bare Bones Tour,” the album’s tracks feature a simplistic makeover, with an acoustic vibe throughout, featuring just Adams’s distinctive, husky voice and his trusty guitar, with keyboardist Gary Breit featuring on a select number of songs. The Canadian rocker is bringing his live act to Doha in December, and with this collection he has proven himself ready to serenade us with his greatest hits all year round. The track listing sways from soulful ballads to bawdy rock, with songs like “The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me (is you),” “18 ‘till I Die” and of course the aforementioned hit, “Summer of ’69,” so we can seriously rock out with Bry. One thing we can say is, Bryan, you’re still beautiful to us.

Flamingo, Brandon Flowers There is no arguing the sheer talent of Vegasbased rock band The Killers, and there is even less arguing that much of their success spurred from the incredible vocals of frontman Brandon Flowers. Who can forget Flowers’s hair-raising rendition of “When You Were Young” on the band’s 2006 hit album, Sam’s Town? Similarly unforgettable were his addictively smooth, electro-accompanied melodies on last year’s hit single, “Human.” It came as no surprise, then, that Flowers decided to launch a solo career earlier this year, announcing his decision on the official Killers website. Echoing his flawless performances with the band, Flowers has put together a debut album worthy of the attention of any Killers fan. Charting in the UK at number one, Flamingo features brilliant single “Crossfire,” which marks Charlize Theron’s music video acting debut, as Flowers’s heroine. “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” is our personal favourite rock steady track from this promising solo songster. We can’t wait to see Flowers’s career bloom. See what we did there? Flowers? Bloom?

To anyone even remotely familiar with the Arabic music scene, this lady needs no introduction. Often called the “neighbour to the moon and ambassador to the stars,” Fairuz is the very embodiment of Arab culture, tradition, beauty, elegance and class, all encompassed within a voice magical enough to bring audiences to tears. Acclaimed by millions as an eternal star in the cosmic belt of Arabic music, Fairuz has forever been an icon for peace, harmony and music. The legend’s association with the genius Rahbani family has also put her at the forefront of musical collaborations in the region, with many of her lyrics and compositions reflecting the work of husband Assi and his brother Mansour. Her incredibly talented son, Ziad, would also go on to compose for her, with many of Fairuz’s best known works a product of this mother and son team. A cultural phenomenon and a music school in her own right, Fairuz, with the Rahbanis in tow, has gone from strength to strength, conserving her loyal fans’ love for her for decades on end. Her new album Eh Fi Amal demonstrates just that, with a collection of 12 songs, all composed by Ziad. Released a whopping 11 years after her last masterpiece, Mesh Kayen Hayk Tkoun, Fairuz continues to set trends rather than follow them.


sur la terre chapters

Between Two Worlds by Roxana Saberi

Not only is she a journalist, a presenter and a researcher, Roxana Saberi is also a brilliant author, and one that had us captivated from first word to sign-off in her heart-wrenching book, Between Two Worlds. Based on her life and captivity in her native Iran, Saberi takes us through a very personal journey of inner turmoil and strength, heavily conflicted by external influences. Whilst Iran remains one of the most naturally beautiful nations worldwide, Saberi tempers overly-flowery descriptions of her much-loved former home with the darker depiction of a harder, more complicated way of life, particularly for those within her profession. We have to be careful not to give too much away here, especially considering the fact that many readers would have seen Saberi’s face plastered all over the news mid last year. However, we urge you to grab a copy of Between Two Worlds and educate yourself on some of the homeland truths and most heartfelt confessions we have ever read. If nothing else, Saberi is a superb storyteller and we look forward to more of her work.

The Arabian Nights: Tales from 1,001 Nights Life by Keith Richards No book recommendation is complete without listing at least one rock star autobiography, and when we say rock star, we mean ROCK STAR. Noone lives true to the “rock star” label like Rolling Stones lead guitarist, Keith Richards; a man who is the living (albeit, barely) embodiment of rock ‘n’ roll. No-one has been the subject of as many top ten lists and dead pools as “Keef”. Throughout his, perhaps surprisingly, long career, Richards has co-written a plethora of songs, fourteen of which appear on Rolling Stone magazine’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” He has also ranked within the top ten of Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time,” and most deservingly so, if we may say so ourselves. However, Richards’s most coveted listing has to be the number-one spot he retained for the whole of the 1970s, as The New Musical Express’s “rock star least likely to be seen the following year” due to his hard living, constant partying and penchant for pharmaceutical products. Life details the best... or the worst, really... of Keith’s illustrious career at the forefront of the rock ‘n’ roll revolution and his leading role in the world’s most famous rock band. A surprisingly quick (and quick-witted) read, Richards doesn’t fail on the author front, which proves that he has more power to him than just the power of song... and his seeming ability to cheat death.

If you haven’t already read this, boy do we have a treat for you. With tales dating back as far as the ninth century, the collection of stories originally titled One Thousand and One Nights has been available in English for almost 300 years. Telling the story of Persian royal, King Shahryar and the newest of his virgin brides, Scheherezade, the book, which has become known simply The Arabian Nights, promises a magical experience even for the most serious of readers. The book begins by explaining the king’s state of rage at women in general, after an unfaithful wife lets him down. His revenge is to marry virgins night after night, having them executed the morning after. All goes seemingly well, until he meets his match. Every evening, Scheherezade uses her storytelling prowess to prolong her ill fate, with descriptions of black magic, ogres, genies and beautiful sirens embedded in each. This masterpiece will whisk you away to a fantasy land beyond your wildest imagination and have you hanging onto Scheherezade’s every last word, just like King Shahryar.

sur la terre clicks


FiveFiveFabulous Sukar Have you ever wanted to be part of an incredibly exclusive club? Don’t worry, we’re not dragging you into any basements or asking you to remember any rules; this is an entirely different class of club, ladies. Welcome to, your one-stopshop for the elite in lifestyle products at a fraction of the price. The way this little gem works is different to any Gulf-based site we’ve come across before. With limited daily membership vacancies and an invite-only / member-referral system implemented annually, Sukar ensures the select nature of all fashions on offer. A three day rotation system for each brand is instigated for a continuously renewed outlook on the hottest fashions on the market, with prices slashed up to 90% of the original retail price! There’s no membership fee to speak of, nor is there an obligation to purchase. Sukar provides you with the ultimate shopping experience with the freedom of selection and time span, with new sales daily. The only catch here is ensuring you don’t miss out on any of the sales due to the three day countdowns. Any items held on reserve are also given a hold deadline, giving all shoppers the opportunity to have a fair chance at the products. What are you waiting for? Get applying now!

What really impresses us here at SLT Towers, is the dedication we have recently seen in the localisation of some of the hottest global trends to hit runways this year. By localisation, we are referring to the Gulf-based designers and their luscious sites, which we have continuously stumbled upon of late. You see, it’s all well and good to lust after material noted in the likes of Vogue and Cosmo, and the fashion blogs out there are endless, but do they know what this particular niche market is after? We don’t know the answer to that, but we do know two girls who do. Enter Natalya and Reem Kanj, entrepreneurs extraordinaire and the new “IT” girls on the Dubai/London fashion scene. Graduates of the best fashion schools in the UK, the jet-setting sisters are not only hot to trot, but have their heads screwed on tight, with some business savvy that has launched their brilliant blog and their booming fashion label, House of Rena, to new heights. Five Five Fabulous is an up to date site, detailing the girls’ latest interviews, shows, inspirations and the like, with links to their line and behind the scenes videos with the creme de la creme of the fashion crop. This site is the definition of fabulous, dahling.

Arabian Nights If you have visited or lived in the Gulf or Levant region, then you know the importance of the hookah, or shisha. An institution in its own right, smoking shisha is more than just a tobacco fix. In fact, dear Clickers, the shisha is an ages-old item of social gathering and conduct, where friends and families alike join one another for hours of aromatic enjoyment and chatter. To help you better understand the importance of the shisha in Arabic and south Asian culture, has come through with a comprehensive guide to this bubbling water pipe. With information on the history of the shisha, how to put one together, the different tobacco flavours and even a “make your own” signature flavour option, this site educates, sells and even connects you with an online hookah community (hookammunity?), so you can really feel like part of this traditional activity. However, that’s not all Arabian Nights has to offer, with a range of enchanting ethnic fragrances on sale and a new spa line also in the works, which will be launched on the website soon. A newsletter is the icing on the cake, with promotional offers, contests and tips on how to best enjoy your hookah flowing in from around the globe. This site is definitely not blowing smoke.


sur la terre snapshot

Fadi El Benni is a Lebanese-born, locally-based photographer whom Sur la Terre has admired since our first collaboration way back in 2008. His photographic contributions, not only to our pages, but to the entire graphic fabric of the regional photographic scene, run the gamut of exposure from commercial exploits to in-depth, piercing and often harrowing reports for international institutions like the Al Jazeera network. This photo was taken from the 20th floor of The Hilton Hotel in Saudi Arabia, overlooking the Holy Kaaba in Mecca. Benni, who was covering his 2010 Hajj pilgrimage for Al Jazeera English, took this photo just after Maghreb prayer at sunset to show the simultaneous state of the Hajj, both in its fluidity of movement and its stillness of being. According to Benni, some people leave the Al-Masjid al-Harãm Mosque (the largest in the world) just after the sunset call to prayer, while others like to stay until final Ishaa’ prayer. Some members of the faithful have even been known to wait in excess of two hours to secure a space to pray.  In order to capture this wonderful, undulating image, Benni used a tripod-mounted Nikon D300s with a 70-200mm lens, using an f:11 aperture with a shutter speed of two seconds. 


sur la terre cultural agenda

THE AGENDAf the biggest A detailed directory o events and coolest activities in the region !

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sur la terre the agenda - Doha

Asia Live! January 7 - 29, 2011

For the second time in 23 years, the Asian Football Confederation Cup will be hosted in Qatar. Among the qualified teams are Australia, Japan and South Korea, Bahrain, China, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Syria, UAE and Uzbekistan. Qatar kicks off the tournament on January 7th at Khalifa Stadium against Uzbekistan. On January 12th, they face China. Four days later, it becomes a local derby, as the Qatari boys go up against Kuwait in their final group match. While Qatarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s highest finish in the competition was a Quarterfinal spot during the 2000 event in Lebanon, Maroons fans the length and breadth of the country will be hoping that the team can turn recent good performances into results and lift the trophy, thus showing the world that not only can we put on a winning tournament, we also have a winning team to do it!


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sursur la la terre terre the agenda - Doha mode

Mathaf: The Arab Museum of Modern Art December 30, 2010 onward

Not since the molten-hot 2008 opening of the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha has the cultural world been so abuzz with anticipation. Finally, after much breath bated, the Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art will finally be opened to the public on December 30th. To celebrate this landmark occasion, the impressive 5,500-squaremetre museum will be kicking off its substantial collection of more than 6,000 pieces by launching its inaugural exhibition, Sajjil: A Century of Modern Art. Named after the Arabic word for the act of recording, Sajjil explores the contemporary Arab world’s place within modern art in all of its varying media. Two other exhibitions, Interventions (honouring the lives of established Arab artists Dia Azzawi, Farid Belkahia, Ahmed Nawar, Ibrahim el-Salahi and Hassan Sharif) and Told / Untold / Retold (exploring the “inbetweener” state of 23 up-and-coming artists in the Arab world), will be on view from December 30, 2010 to May 28, 2011.

Watch & Jewellery Exhibition February 15 - 20, 2011

The time has once again come for the Doha elite to gape in wonder at the best that local, regional and international jewellers and watchmakers have to offer. The 8th annual Doha Jewellery & Watches Exhibition is set to take place next year from the 15th to the 20th of February, 2011 and will feature an even bigger retinue of world class exhibitors. Under the expert patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Jassem Bin Jabor Al-Thani and organised by the Qatar Tourism Authority, this economic showcase of the finer, shinier things in life has grown exponentially to become the only exhibition of its kind in the region, and one of the finest in the world. This winter, the twinkling lights in Doha will not reside in the sky, but in the diamonds, gems and precious metals on display at the Doha International Exhibition Centre. For further information about the event, contact the QTA at +974 4499 7499 or visit their website at

sur la terre the agenda - Manama


Volvo Tournament of Champions January 27 - 30, 2011

The Royal Golf Club in Riffa will be welcoming some of the biggest names in golf to its greens when it hosts the inaugural Volvo Tournament of Champions at the end of January. The Tournament is open to players from the European Tour and, with a prize fund of about US $2.2 million, is expected to put Bahrain well and truly on the golfing map. The course was designed by golfing legend and 2010 European Ryder Cup Captain Colin Montgomerie, and was chosen from a number of possible options around the region. The Tournament will see European Tour tournament winners competing with leading amateurs on one of the days, and this year’s event has been expanded to include a full field of up to 126 players, bringing together winners of both current and past Tour winners, including champions of past major events. For more information and for ticket enquiries, visit or call +973 17 750 777.

F1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix March 11 - 13, 2011

Quite possibly the most anticipated day in the Formula 1 calendar as the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix takes the Pole Position by kicking off the 2011 season in Middle Eastern style. In March, the F1 circus will be back in town to rev up all of our engines. After last year’s experimental dalliance with the extended “endurance track” to mark the Formula 1 World Championship’s 60th anniversary season, the 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix will see a return to the original track layout. The experimental circuit used in 2010 allowed spectators to see the drivers navigate several new challenges and turns. The original course had been used since Bahrain International Circuit’s inaugural race in 2004, when it was awarded the prestigious Best Organised Grand Prix trophy. For tickets for the opening race of the F1 2011 calendar, visit or call +973 17 450 000.

Spring of Culture Spring 2011

This annual cultural institution returns for its sixth incarnation in spring 2011 and, while the exact dates and acts were yet to be confirmed at the time of going to print, you can guarantee a fantastic blend of music, dance, art, poetry and performance art, along with plenty of things the kids will love, too. Highlights from last year’s March-long extravaganza included Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Diana Krall, Brazilian dance troupe Bale du Rua, Iraqi musician Omar Bashir and Afro Moses, Ghanaian reggae and world music star. See national press for details.

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sur la terre the agenda - UAE

HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship 2011 20 - 23 January, 2011

Ever since 2006, the HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship has been feeding the increasingly insatiable appetite for golf in the Gulf. If previous years are any indication, the 2011 edition of the tournament is set to raise the bar, not only in the star power of the event, but also the purse’s price tag. It has been announced that amongst those vying for the staggering US$2.7 million prize (an amazing increase from $500,000) will be world number two, England’s Lee Westwood, world number three and two-time ADHGC winner, German Martin Kaymer and world number seven

and two-time ADHGC winner, England’s Paul Casey. As quite possibly the most anticipated golf tournament in the region, this event has proven to be the lynchpin in the European PGA Tour’s Middle East-based “Desert Swing” trio. With an estimated global audience of over 400 million and with attendance numbers set to break last year’s 30,000-strong high, it has never been a better time to swing over to the HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship. For more information, visit, or follow the tournament on Facebook.

Big Boys Toys March 16 - 19, 2011

In the semi-paraphrased words of Deniece Williams, from her hit single that appeared on the Footloose soundtrack, “Let’s hear it for the boys!” With all of the shopping sprees, fashion shows and other more feminine festivals out there, it’s easy to forget about catering to a more masculine motivation. That is why we are ecstatic to hear that the Big Boys Toys exhibition, which began in 2009 at the Abu Dhabi Media Center, will be coming back to the UAE capital for a second round in 2011. Showcasing the best, most powerful and downright coolest stuff from the worlds of driving, off-roading, boating, digital technology, aviation, sport, fashion and of course, adventure, the 2011 exhibition is speculated to bring in over 60,000 gawking and gutturally grunting guys! Of course, being a luxury lifestyle lothario isn’t cheap, so this one is just for the big boys with the big bucks, but there will still be plenty of entertainment and exhibitions for everyone to look at. To find out more about the expo, including info about how to become an exhibitor, visit, and get ready to get manly.

Dubai International Boat Show March 1 - 5, 2011

Now in its 19th year, The Dubai International Boat Show has established itself as a lynchpin event in the global leisure boating calendar, uniting high-end buyers and world-class suppliers from the most lucrative regions in the world. Attracting tens of thousands of visitors each year, the multi-award winning event is among the top five leading international boat shows in the world. The show incorporates the exclusive Superyacht Pavilion, Superyacht Boulevard and Luxury Supplies and Services sectors of the industry, with the world’s leading brands in attendance. As the show has grown over the past two decades, so has the number of marine enthusiasts who make the pilgrimage to Dubai Marina, with more than 25,000 international and local visitors expected to attend this year’s event. Equally, the exhibitors turn out in force with an armada of more than 700 companies represented across the berths and booths of the event. Guaranteed to make another splash in 2011, The Dubai International Boat Show hoists anchor in early march and Sur la Terre will be on deck, ship-shape and Bristol fashion, waiting to welcome you aboard.

sur la terre cultural agenda


HOTELS < Al Raha Beach Hotel Al Raha Corniche Tel: +971 2 508 0555 < Beach Rotana Hotel and Tower Tourist Club Area 2 Tel: +971 2 697 9000 < Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Sheikh Hamdan St. Tel: +971 2 621 0000 < Emirates Palace Hotel Corniche Road Tel: +971 2 690 9000 < Hilton Baynunah Corniche Road Tel: +971 2 632 7777 < Intercontinental 4171 Bainuna Street near Zayet Tel: +971 2 666 6888 < Le Royal Meridien Khalifa Street Tel: +971 2 674 2020 < Millenium Hotel Khalifa Street Tel: +971 2 614 6000 < Oryx Hotel Corniche Road Tel: +971 2 681 0001 < Sands Hotel Electra Street Tel: +971 2 615 6666 < Shangri-La Hotel Qaryat Al Beri 308th Road Tel: +971 2 509 8888 < Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort Corniche Road & Salam Street Tel: +971 2 677 3333 RESTAURANTS < Al Birkeh Le Meridien Abu Dhabi Tel: +971 2 644 6666 Cuisine: Arabic < Al Fanar Le Royal Meridien Tel: +971 2 674 2020 Cuisine: International

< Al Mawal Abu Dhabi Hilton Hotel, Al Khubeirah Tel: +971 2 681 1900 Cuisine: Arabian < Bam Bu! Marina & Yacht Club, Al Meena Tel: +971 2 645 6373 Cuisine: Chinese < Benihana Beach Rotana Hotel & Towers Tel: +971 2 644 3000 Cuisine: Japanese < Flavours Sheraton Abu Dhabi, Corniche Rd East Tel: +971 2 677 3333 Cuisine: International < Fish Market Intercontinental Abu Dhabi Tel: +971 2 666 6888 Cuisine: Seafood < Palm Court Le Royal Meridien Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Street Tel: +971 2 674 2020 Cuisine: International < Peppino Intercontinental Hotel Al Markaziyah Tel: +971 2 626 2200 Cuisine: Italian < Riviera Marina Al Bateen Resort Tel: +971 2 665 0144 Cuisine: Italian < Shuja Yacht Le Royal Meridien Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Street Tel: +971 2 695 0539 Cuisine: International < The Wok Crowne Plaza, Sheikh Hamdan St Tel: +971 2 621 0000 Cuisine: Asian < Zaitoun Danat Resort, Jebel Dhanna Al Ruwais Tel: +971 2 801 2222 Cuisine: Arabian cafés < Al Majlis Emirates Palace Hotel Tel: +971 2 690 7999 < Zyara Café Near Hilton Residence, Corniche Tel: +971 2 627 5006


Hotels < Al Sultan Beach Resort Al Khor Tel: +974 4472 2666 < Four Seasons Al Corniche Street Tel: +974 4494 8888 < Grand Hyatt West Bay Area Tel: +974 4448 1234 < Grand Regency Near Sports R/A Al Sadd Tel: +974 4434 3333

< Intercontinental West Bay Lagoon Tel: +974 4484 4444 < La Cigale Suhaim Bin Hamad Street Tel: +974 4428 8888 < Marriott Ras Abu Aboud Street Tel: +974 4429 8888 < Millennium Jawaan Street, Al Sadd Doha Marriott Tel: +974 4424 7777 < Movenpick Tower & Suites Tel: +974 4496 6600 < Ritz Carlton West Bay Area Tel: +974 4484 8000 < Sharq Village Spa Tel: +974 4425 6666 < Sheraton Tel: +974 4485 4444 < W Hotel West Bay Area Tel: +974 4499 6530\doha Restaurants < Al Borj The Diplomatic Club Tel: +974 4484 7444 Cuisine: Pool Snacks & A La Carte < Al Buhayra Al Sultan Beach Resort

Tel: +974 4472 2666 Cuisine: International < Admiral Club Ritz Carlton Hotel Tel: +974 4484 8000 Cuisine: International < Al Dana Sharq Village and Spa Tel: +974 4425 6666 Cuisine: International < Al Dente Seafood Al Sultan Beach Resort Tel: +974 4472 2666 Cuisine: Seafood with Italian < Al Liwan Sharq Village and Spa Tel: +974 4425 6666 Cuisine: Arabian and Persian < Asia Live! Marriot Hotel Tel: +974 4429 8888 Cuisine: Asian < Bistro Bistro Ramada Plaza Tel: +974 4428 1428 Cuisine: European < Bombay Balti Ramada Plaza Tel: +974 4428 1428 Cuisine: Indian < Brasserie on the Beach Four Seasons Hotel Tel: +974 4494 8888 Cuisine: Italian < Chopsticks Grand Regency Hotel Tel: +974 4434 3333 Cuisine: International < Fauchon Salwa Road Tel: +974 4432 4888 Cuisine: French < Fish Market Intercontinental Hotel Tel: +974 4484 4444 Cuisine: Seafood < Grand Gourmet Grand Regency Hotel Tel: +974 4434 3333 Cuisine: Contemporary Global



sur la terre mode

< Greens Ramada Plaza Tel: +974 4428 1428 Cuisine: Vegetarian < Il Teatro Four Seasons Hotel Tel: +974 4494 8888 Cuisine: Italian < JW’s Steakhouse Marriot Hotel Tel: +974 4429 8888 Cuisine: Steakhouse < La Cigale Traiteur La Cigale Hotel Tel: +974 4428 8888 Cuisine: International < La Veranda Sheraton Hotel Tel: +974 4485 4444 Cuisine: Italian < Laffan Sheraton Hotel Tel: +974 4485 4444 Cuisine: International < Layali & Neo Salwa Road Tel: +974 4431 0005 Cuisine: Arabian < Le Cigalon La Cigale Hotel Tel: +974 4428 8888 Cuisine: Modern Mediterranean < Le Gourmet Al Sadd and Old Souq Tel: +974 4436 1789 Cuisine: Arabian & French < Le Grill The Diplomatic Club Tel: +974 4484 7444 Cuisine: International < Le Notre Salwa Road Tel: +974 4455 2111 Cuisine: International < Lina’s Salwa Road Tel: +974 4436 5488 Cuisine: French < Maze by Gordon Ramsay The Pearl Tel: +974 7717 1212 Cuisine: International < Pool Grill Four Seasons Hotel

Tel: +974 4494 8888 Cuisine: International < Porcini Ritz Carlton Hotel Tel: +974 4484 8000 Cuisine: Italian < Privates Cove Sheraton Hotel Tel: +974 4485 4444 Cuisine: Seafood’s and Barbeque < Ruby Wu’s Ramada Plaza Tel: +974 4428 1428 Cuisine: Chinese < Sakura Ramada Plaza Tel: +974 4428 1428 Cuisine: Japanese < Seasons Movenpick Hotel Tel: +974 4429 1111 Cuisine: International < Shisha Diwan Ritz Carlton Hotel Tel: +974 4484 8000 Cuisine: International < The Lobby Marriot Hotel Tel: +974 4429 8888 Cuisine: International < Za Moda Intercontinental Hotel Tel: +974 4484 4444 Cuisine: Italian Cafés < Alkut Lounge Grand Regency Hotel Tel: +974 4434 3333 < Atrium Millennium Hotel Tel: +974 4424 7777 < Atrium Lounge Sheraton Hotel Tel: +974 4485 4444 < Café Batteel Salwa Road Tel: +974 4444 1414 < Lime Café Movenpick Tower and Suites Tel: +974 4496 6600 < Silver Cafe Al Sadd Tel: +974 4413 1773


Hotels < Al Murooj Rotana Hotel And Suites Al Saffa Street, Sheikh Zayed Road Tel: +971 4 705 4277 < Al Qasr Madinat Resort Jumeirah Intersection Al Sufouh Road Tel: +971 4 366 8888 < Arabian Court Al Soufoh Road, In Front Of Media City Tel: +971 4 399 9999 < Burj Al Arab Jumeirah Beach area Tel: +971 4 301 7777 < Crown Plaza Hotel Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan Road Tel: +971 4 701 2222 < Dubai Creek Hilton Beniyas Road Tel: +971 4 227 1111 < Dubai Marine Beach Resort and Spa Jumierah Beach Road Tel: +971 4 346 1111 < Dusit Dubai 133 Sheikh Zayed Road Tel: +971 4 343 3333 < Grand Hyatt Al Qutaeyat Road Tel: +971 4 317 1234 < Habtoor Grand Resort and Spa Al Sufouh Road, The Dubai Marina Tel: +971 4 399 5000 < Hyatt Regency Dubai Deira Tel: +971 4 209 1234 < Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Next to Endurance Village Tel: +971 4 809 6100 < Jumeirah Beach Club Jumeirah Beach Road Tel: +971 4 348 0000 < Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Barsha Tel: +971 4 341 0000 < Le Meridien Dubai Airport Road Dubai Tel: +971 4 217 0000

< Mina A Salam Madinat Jumeirah Jumeirah Road Tel: +971 4 366 8888 < Moevenpick Hotel Bur Dubai 19th Street Opposite American Hospital Tel: +971 4 336 6000 < Palace At One And Only Royal Mirage Al Sufouh Road, Almina Siyah Tel: +971 4 399 9999 < Park Hyatt Adjacent to Dubai Creek Tel: +971 4 602 1234 < Ras Al Khaimah Hilton Al Muntaser Road Tel: +971 7 228 8888 < Renaissance Dubai Salah Al Din Street, Deira Tel: +971 4 262 5555 < Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel and Towers Baniyas Street Tel: +971 4 228 1111 < Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort & Towers Al Sufouh Road Tel: +971 4 399 5533 < Taj Palace Dubai Dubai Creek north bank Deira Tel: +971 4 223 2222 < The Fairmont Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road Tel: +971 4 332 5555 < The Ritz-Carlton Jumeirah Beach Tel: +971 4 399 4000 Restaurants < Antique Bazaar Four Points Sheraton, Bur Dubai Tel: +971 4 397 7444 Cuisine: Indian < Asado The Palace Hotel, (Sofitel), Sheikh Zayed Road Tel: +971 4 428 7888 Cuisine: Argentinean Grill < Bistro Madelain Intercontinental Dubai Festival City Tel: +971 4 701 1128 Cuisine: French

sur la terre mode < Chinese Treasure Oud Metha, Dubai Tel: +971 4 336 3525 Cuisine: Chinese < Choices Al Bustan Rotana Hotel, Garhoud Tel: +971 4 282 0000 Cuisine: International < Dias Le Meridien Dubai, Garhoud Tel: +971 4 283 2832 Cuisine: Greek < Exchange Grill Fairmont Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road Tel: +971 4 311 5999 Cuisine: Intenational < Hunters Room & Grill The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi, The Dubai Marina Tel: +971 4 399 3333 Cuisine: Contemporary < Jambase Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah Tel: +971 4 366 8888 Cuisine: American < Malecon Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa, Jumeirah Tel: +971 4 346 1111 Cuisine: Cuban < Mango Tree The Palace Hotel, (Sofitel) Sheikh Zayed Road Tel: +971 4 426 7313 Cuisine: Thai < Nezesaussi Al Manzil Hotel, Burj Dubai Boulevard Off Doha Street Tel: +971 4 428 5888 Cuisine: Australian / Bar Food < Sapphire Lounge Century Village, Garhoud Tel: +971 4 286 8520 Cuisine: Thai < Shahjahan Metropolitan Hotel Sheikh Zayed Road Tel: +971 4 343 0000 Cuisine: India < Spice Emporium Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi, The Dubai Marina Tel: +971 4 399 4141 Cuisine: Asian < Teatro Towers Rotana Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road Tel: +971 4 343 8000 Cuisine: International

< Verre By Gordon Ramsay Hilton Dubai Creek Tel: +971 4 227 1111 Cuisine: French


Hotels < Banyan Tree Desert Spa & Resort Sakhir Tel: +973 17 845 000 < Crowne Plaza Bahrain Manama Tel: +973 17 531 122 < Gulf Hotel Adliya Tel: +973 17 713 000 < InterContinental Regency Hotel Manama Tel: +973 17 227 777 < Mövenpick Hotel Muharraq Tel: +973 17 460 000 < Sheraton Bahrain Manama Tel: +973 17 533 533 < The Diplomat Radisson SAS Manama Tel: +973 17 531 666 < The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Seef District Tel: +973 17 580 000 Restaurants < Al Berdaouni Intercontinental Regency Hotel Tel: +973 17 227 777 Cuisine: Lebanese < Al Fanar Superr Club Diplomat Radisson SAS Hotel Tel: +973 17 531 666 Cuisine: Arabian < Al Raouché Sheraton Bahrain Hotel Tel: +973 17 533 533 Cuisine: Moroccan < Al Waha Gulf Hotel Tel: +973 17 713 000 Cuisine: International < Brazil! Adliya Tel: +973 17 826 686 Cuisine: Brazilian

< China Garden Gulf Hotel Tel: +973 17 746 423 Cuisine: Chinese < Fire of Brazil Seef Mall Tel: +973 17 583 776 Cuisine: Brazilian < Fusions Gulf Hotel Tel: +973 17 746 427 Cuisine: International < Golestan Sheraton Bahrain Hotel Tel: +973 17 533 533 Cuisine: Iranian < La Fontaine La Fontaine for Contemporary Art Tel: +973 17 230 123 Cuisine: French < La Mosaique Crowne Plaza Bahrain Tel: +973 17 531 122 Cuisine: International < La Pergola Gulf Hotel Tel: +973 17 713 000 Cuisine: Italian < La Perle Novotel Al Dana Resort Tel: +973 17 298 008 Cuisine: Seafood < Le Bistro InterContinental Regency Hotel Tel: +973 17 227 777 Cuisine: International < Mirai Adliya Tel: +973 17 713 113 Cuisine: Japanese < Mondo Diplomat Radisson SAS Hotel Tel: +973 17 531 666 Cuisine: Italian < Nirvana The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Tel: +973 17 580 000 Cuisine: Indian < Olivo’s Brasserie Diplomat Radisson SAS Hotel Tel: +973 17 531 666 Cuisine: International < Plums The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Tel: +973 17 580 000

7 Cuisine: Steakhouse < Primavera The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Tel: +973 17 580 000 Cuisine: European < Rimal Banyan Tree Desert Spa & Resort Tel: +973 17 845 000 Cuisine: International < Saffron Banyan Tree Desert Spa & Resort Tel: +973 17 845 000 Cuisine: Thai and Asian < Sato Gulf Hotel Tel: +973 17 746 429 Cuisine: Japanese < Soie Sheraton Bahrain Hotel Tel: +973 17 533 533 Cuisine: Chinese < Silk Mövenpick Hotel Tel: +973 17 460 000 Cuisine: International < Takht-e-Jamsheed Gulf Hotel Tel: +973 17 746 431 Cuisine: Exotic Persian < Tamarind Banyan Tree Desert Spa & Resort Tel: +973 17 845 000 Cuisine: International < The Meat Co. Mövenpick Hotel Tel: +973 17 460 000 Cuisine: Steakhouse < Versailles Intercontinental Regency Hotel Tel: +973 17 227 777 Cuisine: French < Zahle Gulf Hotel Tel: +973 17 746 417 Cuisine: Lebanese Cafés < Al Andalus Lounge Gulf Hotel Tel: +973 17 713 000 < Camille’s Sidewalk Café Diplomatic Area Tel: +973 17 533 808


sur la terre mode

LOCAL PRODUCTS & SERVICES DOHA < AMG Nasser Bin Khaled Automobiles Tel: +974 4469 9665

< DAS Villa 16, Umm Al Sheif Road Jumeirah 3 - Dubai Tel: +971 4330 8050

< Amouage 51 East - Al Maha Center Tel: +974 4425 7777

< De Beers Salam plaza 63 Maysaloun Street Tel: + 974 448 5555

< Arab Engineering Bureau PO Box 1148 Tel: +974 4406 8888 < Baby Tous 51 East Al Maha Center Tel: +974 4425 7777 < Bentley Dana Motors Al Sadd Street Tel: +974 4444 5112 < Berluti Villaggio Mall Al Wa’ab Street Tel: +974 4413 5623 < Beyoncé Heat 51 East - Al Maha Center Tel: +974 4425 7777 < BoConcept City Center Mall West Bay Tel: +974 4411 5054 < Bugatti Dana Motors Al Sadd Street Tel: +974 4444 5112

< La Coste Villaggio Mall Al Wa’ab Street Tel: +974 4450 7191

< Dior Villaggio Mall Al Wa’ab Street Tel: +974 4413 4665

< Lambourghini Dana Motors Al Saad Street Tel: +974 4444 5112

< Doha Tribeca Film Festival

< Lanvin NBK Fashion Group Salwa Road Al Wa’ab City Tel: +974 4409 2600

< Dunhill Ali Bin Ali Watches & Jewellery Sadd Street Tel: +974 4442 9900 < Fendi Villaggio Mall Al Wa’ab Street Tel: +974 4460 0945 < Ferrari Alfardan Sports Motors Porto Arabia The Pearl Tel: +974 4432 2577 < Gucci Villaggio Mall Al Wa’ab Street Tel: +974 4413 4612 < Hermes Porto Arabia - The Pearl Tel: +974 6601 1892

< Cartier Villaggio Mall Via Domo Tel: +974 4450 7798

< Jaguar Alfardan Premier Motors Al Saad Street Tel: +974 447 7566

< Chanel 51 East Al Maha Center Tel: +974 4425 7777

< Karen Millen Villaggio Mall Al Wa’ab Street Tel: +974 4413 4503

< D&G Villaggio Mall Al Wa’ab Street Tel: +974 460 4279

< Kenzo Salam plaza 63 Maysaloun Street Tel: +974 4448 5555

< Kempinski Residences and Suites West Bay Across from W Hotel Tel: +974 4450 3333

< Louis Vuitton Villaggio Mall Al Wa’ab Street Tel: +974 4413 4931 < Liza The Pearl Porto Arabia Tel: +974 4495 3876 < Marc Jacobs Villaggio Mall Al Wa’ab Street Tel: +974 4413 4767 < Mercedes-Benz Nasser Bin Khaled Automobiles Salwa Road Tel: +974 4462 4444 < Michael Kors Prime Labels Salwa Road Souk Al Rawda Human Rights Committee Building. Tel: +974 4435 6906 < Montblanc Ali Bin Ali Watches & Jewellery Sadd Street Tel: +974 4442 9900 < Museum of Islamic Art Al Corniche Tel: +974 4422 4444 Natuzzi Al Mana Towers Suhaim bin Hamad Street Tel: +974 4421 4440

< Officine Panerai Ali Bin Ali Watches & Jewellery Al Sadd street, Royal plaza Tel: +974 4413 1391 < Paul Smith NBK Fashion Group - Salwa Road Al Wa’ab City +974 4409 2600 < Qatar 2022 Bid Christian Fianco - Media Manager Tel: +974 5566 9340 < Qatar Airways Qatar Airways Tower Tel: +974 4449 6000 < S.T. Dupont Salam Plaza - 63 Maysaloun Street Tel: + 974 4448 5555 < Salam Stores 63 Maysaloun Street Tel: +974 4448 5555 < Salvatore Ferragamo Ritz Carlton - West Bay +974 484 8000 < Sotheby’s Art Auction House Level 14, Commercialbank Plaza, Al-Markhiya Street # 60 Tel: +974 4452 8333 < THE One Villaggio Mall - Al Wa’ab Street Tel: +974 4450 7778 Landmark Mall Tel: +974 4488 8669 < Tom Ford Villaggio Mall - Al Wa’ab Street Tel: +974 4460 0945 < Virgin Megastore Villaggio Mall - Al Wa’ab Street Tel: +974 4413 5823 < W Hotel & Residences West Bay, across from City Center Mall Tel: +974 4453 5353 < Watch and Jewellery Exhibition Qatar Tourism & Exhibitions Authority Tel: +974 4499 7499

Sur La Terre - Issue 11 Doha (Dec10)  

Sur La Terre - Issue 11 Doha (Dec10)

Sur La Terre - Issue 11 Doha (Dec10)  

Sur La Terre - Issue 11 Doha (Dec10)