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sur la terre foreword

» foreword

Sur La Terre – Manama

Regional Managing Editor: James McCarthy Senior Editor: Steve Paugh

Area Manager - Manama: Chirine Halabi

PR, Sales & Marketing Director: Julia Toon Creative Director: Roula Zinati Ayoub

Art and Design: Rena Chehayber, Lara Nakhleh, Michael Logaring, Rana Cheikha

Editorial Contributors: Reem Shaddad, Patricia Donohue, Francesca Serra, Lucie Bayle Distribution and Subscription: Med Mac Distribution Samples Printed by: Raidy Printing Press

Published by: Firefly Communications

P.O. Box 11596, Doha - Qatar, Tel: +974 4340360, Fax: +974 4340359

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>>> Dearest Manamartists, In a quote perhaps more famous than the man who said it, 19th century English naturalist John Lubbock, Sr. once stated: “Art is unquestionably one of the purest and highest elements in human happiness. It trains the mind through the eye, and the eye through the mind. As the sun colours flowers, so does art colour life.” Even in my sometimes (okay, often) overly-verbose style, I couldn’t have said it better. In this, our Winter issue, the Sur la Terre team dips its brush into the creative palette of a flourishing Middle East arts scene to see just how colourful the desert can get. Our first brush with greatness comes from the realm of Arabian fashion, as we examine the thread of artistry that forms the tapestry of local Gulf talent. Qatar-based Lama Al Moatassem’s newest homemade label, Toujouri, is already known for Going Global by turning heads at Paris Fashion Week, and we’re sure that Lama’s unique styles will prove to be the “hautest” ticket in town. The collision of colour crashes even closer to home in Artopia, as we conduct a very special Sur la Tête-à-tête with amazingly gifted Bahraini artist, Hala Al Khalifa, experiencing as we do her heartwarming smile and abstractionist style. In our high-profile Spotlight feature, we focus our attention on renowned Palestinian director Elia Suleiman, whose newest picture, The Time That Remains, is gaining worldwide film festival acclaim. In an illuminating interview, we get in touch with his special brand of humour and cinematic artistry. This season’s Showcase offers another type of introspective look, this one peering into the world of “ManamART.” We highlight four of the finest art institutions in the Kingdom that make its scene the place to be seen in the GCC. Taking a completely different track, Regional Managing Editor James McCarthy and I discover the art of motion; he in a Lamborghini Gallardo, and I in a 2010 Chevy Camaro. From there, we jump ship to navigate waters of creativity that are decidedly more Out of the Box, weighing anchor and filling canvas with Sail Bahrain and savouring a mouthful of the culinary arts at The Capital Club. Whether you’re perusing the above pieces in our temporary collection or admiring the works in our permanent gallery, like In Town, In Vogue or Starcrossed, we are certain that this very special issue of Sur la Terre will inspire you to enjoy the art of creativity in this otherwise paint-bynumbers life. So what are you waiting for? Get stARTed! STEVE PAUGH Senior Editor

Sur La Terre is published quarterly. © 2009 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.


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sur la terre content

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content

06 in town

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

13 going global

We follow local designer, Lama Al Moatassem, to Paris and back

20 showcase

ManamART: An introspective look at Bahrain’s local arts scene

28 artopia

A retrospective and one-on-one with Bahraini artist, Hala Al Khalifa

32 star-crossed

Art and fashion come together in our very vogue Art à la Mode

38 unique rides

James McCarthy rages with the bull, while Steve Paugh comes face to face with ‘Bumbleblue’

44 objects

Practical Elegance: beautiful gadgets that make everyday easier

46 gourmet travel

James McCarthy visits Italy’s ‘Cradle of Culture’: Florence


sur la terre content

50 spotlight

Sur la Terre sits down with triumphant Tribeca filmmaker, Elia Suleiman

54 beauty

Cause a party stir this winter in Shivering Splendour

57 good tastes

Steve Paugh takes on the Italian Scallion at Porcini

62 fashion

The newest fashion trends to grace the catwalks

73 in vogue

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

78 out of the box

Get ready to think a bit differently with cool local products and activities

82 accessories

The latest accessories and trends

86 haute property

Your guide to Manama’s most perfect pads and luxury living spaces

88 society

Evenings out, parties, openings happening around town

91 entertainment

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

96 snapshot

A photograph to inspire and admire

I the agenda

Cultural events around the region

V directory

Your local and regional guide

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sur la terre in town

In Town est exciting Fresh and new, the lat hes and luxury products, launc city e th hit accessories to

Televisionary

Ever since we experienced for ourselves the audio and visual wizardry that Bang & Olufsen summons in its products at a media event last year, we have been fiercely loyal to the brand. Being the TV devotees that we are, we thus became very excited when we heard that the good folks at B&O were coming out with the new BeoVision 7-55 home entertainment system. With a direct-type LED backlit, 55” LCD screen and a state-of-the-art B&O video engine, this testament to television’s might sets the new standard in TV video technology. On the sound score, the tried-and-true Active Loudspeaker sound system, which uses Adaptive Bass Linearisation (or ABL to its friends), provides crystal-

Skin Tight Just like our publications, we here at Sur la Terre want our skin to be flawless. After all, we deal daily with precious materials and products, so it’s a given that we would want our skin to shine like the diamonds we often write about. Situated as we are in the Middle East, an area renowned for its tradition of luxurious skincare, we love being able to tap into the latest and greatest in terms of techniques and ingredients. One of the newest international brands to be based out of our little part of the world is Shiffa, founded by the renowned Doctor Lamees Hamdan. Meaning “healing” in Arabic, Shiffa takes its philosophic cues from the holistic customs of the Arab world, with 100% organic ingredients like Moroccan argan oil, Egyptian jasmine and Lebanese orange blossom, and mixes them with other international elements like Iranian rose, South East Asian tamanu, Indian amber and African shea butter. Conjured into products like their flagship “Soothing, Sensual and Energising” body oils, as well as their healing balms, body scrubs and polishes, the natural chemistry of Shiffa’s luxurious ingredients from the Arabian peninsula and other areas imbue your skin with a decadent radiance that is usually reached only through extensive spa treatments. We highly recommend Shiffa to anyone who wishes to smoothen his or her skin into sultry sleekness. You have read about the gleaming Arabian jewels in Sur la Terre, now it’s time to do yourself a favour, and, with Shiffa’s help, become one.

clear quality without distortion, even when you’re blasting the newest Beyonce music video to eardrum shattering levels. Oh sure, you may go deaf, but at least you’ll do it in style and clarity! Being a Bang & Olufsen, not only does this TV look good, it also “looks” good, with a sleek, minimalist style that transforms it from mere black box into a work of contemporary art, transforming the living room of your home into a permanent exhibition space of modern multimedia. The humble television used to be at the centre of a brain-dead couch potato lifestyle, but thanks to Bang & Olufsen and the new BeoVision 7-55, that channel of thinking has officially been changed.


sur la terre in town

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Haute Water

Davidoff doesn’t do things by halves, particularly when it comes to perfume. Their Cool Water scent has been dressing the impressive in aromatic redolence since its inception in 1988, and its sequel-of-sorts, the deliciously dubbed Hot Water, is set to continue that fragrant lineage even further. Described in its literature as “erotically masculine,” Hot Water contains a cornucopia of downright unusual scents. The literally intoxicating absinthe top note may sound like a strange participant in a gentleman’s perfume, but when grounded in the simmering heat of red basil and pimento, it is a decidedly delightful nostril-singing experience. Tempered in class by wormwood and patchouli, Hot Water truly reaches its crescendo in masculinity with a peppery dry-down in styrax and benzoin siam. The spiced scent of Hot Water is given a gravely gravitas of volcanic testosterone, making your skin pulsate with a sinuous virile heat. Erotically masculine, indeed! We would be surprised if any woman would be able to stave off the temptation that this potion stirs into a frenzy. Never before has being “in hot water” been so very irresistible.

The Idylle Scent

Idylle is the newest scent to pour forth from the fragrant imagination of Guerlain’s head odiferous oligarch, Thierry Wasser. Initially, we were a bit dubious as to whether Guerlain’s in-house perfumer would ever impress since his 2008 appointment to the brand, but any questions we had in regard to his credit have been calmed since experiencing Idylle. We can see how this aroma was inspired by the growing passion of a new love affair. In your first whiff, the top notes offer a buoyant bouquet in the floral aroma of the fruitily earthen Bulgarian rose. Mingled with chypre and just a wafting hint of patchouli and white musk are end notes of peony, jasmine, freesia, lilac and lily-of-the-valley, all of which take you on a heady traipse through a garden of blossoming beauty. Amidst its musky influence, it’s impossible not to ruminate in the scent memory of sauntering in a European field of flowers after a Summer rain. Perhaps we’re giving in a bit to melodramatic sentimentality, but if it’s one thing that modern perfume is meant to evoke, it is surely this. In Idylle, Guerlain has created something of true delicacy. Almost incorporeal in its lightness, yet grounded in a woody afterthought, the presence of Idylle is unmistakable and is indeed “ideal” for a truly impassioned response.

Coupe d’état

The word “icon” is used a bit ubiquitously these days, but really it only applies to a certain set of subjects. As we indeed are the elite icon of iconoclasm, we also have the ability to smell our own. That’s why we, along with a growing number of discerning drivers, similarly recognise the 2010 Nissan 370Z sports car as an icon of the automotive industry. Building on the first and last generation of models to bear the Z name (the 240Z and the 350Z), the 370Z, as the folks at Nissan say, “lives in the sweet spot of performance, style and value.” Now that is one impressive turn of phrase! Immediately recognisable for its fluidly aggressive style, the 370Z ripples with the taut musculature of a compact shark closing in on its kill. Like the shark, this beast hunts with slipstream speed powered by its new 328hp V6 3.7-litre engine and shaped by the retooled aerodynamics of the already immensely popular Zero Lift design. Coupled with a new, more driver-oriented cockpit, an acute focus on performance by reducing weight and waste, and an enhanced attention to redistributing power and efficiency, the 370Z is the sort of monster that drives us into feverish night tremors. Why, it’s positively terrifying how much we love it.


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sur la terre in town

Forever Rings True The Forever Ring. The name alone sounds like the type of treasure that would send Indiana Jones hurtling off into another globetrotting adventure. For those of us not willing to don the rugged explorer’s famous fedora, De Beers brings this particular treasure directly to you. Featuring diamonds that range up to 0.70 carats, the Forever Ring guarantees that your engagement or impending nuptials will sparkle with the very best colour and clarity. Not only do these diamonds contain a peerless quality, but also a natural, untreated and ethically sound heart. De Beers only sources diamonds that are both conflict and child labour-free. On top of that, the ring, just like every stone from the De Beers Marque comes with the microscopic etching that allows each to be catalogued in the brand’s diamond registry for extra security. So, if you’re ready to “pop the question,” there is no better treasure that more beautifully spells out forever.

Healing Hands

Yet again, one of the shinning stars in the Chopard booth at this year’s Jewellery Arabia was the Elton John Watch Collection. Co-designed by Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele and Sir Elton himself, the collection was initially created to celebrate Chopard’s 10 years of support for the Elton John AIDS Foundation. In owning one of these beautifully ornate pieces of luxurious timekeeping, not only are you associating yourself with true artistic brilliance and one of the biggest names in the history of entertainment, you are also supporting the fight against AIDS, as a percentage of all profits goes to the Foundation. Stylistically, these watches are as flamboyant, extravagant, loud and bold as the ever impressive Sir Elton. Diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds dance to a chic cadence over white or grey-rose mother-of-pearl. The chronograph is also similarly as fine-tuned as the satiny voice of the vocal virtuoso, thanks mostly to the impressive technical abilities of the Swiss-Made self-winding movement that beats the heart of these beautiful watches. Whether you are a fan of his music or simply an appreciator of haute horology, the Elton John Watch Collection by Chopard perfectly and seamlessly marries the two worlds of daring entertainment and peerless aesthetic so vigorously voiced by both the crooning of Sir Elton and the craftsmanship of Chopard.

Here’s Looking at You, Ingrid

Ingrid Bergman is, to this day, remembered as one of Hollywood’s finest and most accomplished film actresses. Best remembered for her starring role in Casablanca, Ingrid is still seen as the face of a time when Hollywood was truly great, shinning like a gilded cinematic beacon under swirling spotlights and twinkling marquees. Beautiful, talented and renowned for her passions, it is really no surprise that Bergman was recently honoured by Montblanc with the newest limited edition luxury pen from their wildly popular “Diva” line. Inspired by her three Academy Awards, Montblanc has created a trio of sumptuously stylised pens all of which write a testament to her stately stature and international stardom. Coming in both fountain and ball-point models, all three versions of the Limited Edition Ingrid Bergman pen (La Donna, L’Attrice and La Diva) feature the classic Montblanc 18 carat red gold nib and are adorned with amethyst. Our favourite style, however, has to be “La Diva,” which is covered in hand-engraved red gold and adorned with garlands of brilliant-cut diamonds. The La Diva is saturated with Bergman’s timehonoured, award-winning sparkle, and is truly the crowning achievement in the celebration of a divine acting talent.


sur la terre in town

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Madame Peugeot

This one’s for the ladies! Recently named the “Women’s Car of 2009” by a Slovenian daily newspaper, Peugeot’s newest Coupé Cabriolet, the 308 CC, is proving to be quite the talk of the town. Even though it sashays with a decidedly more feminine style, that doesn’t mean that the 308 CC doesn’t dabble its demureness in a dash of masculinity. The Vti 120 Sport, 1,598cc, in-line four-cylinder petrol engine reaches a top speed of 121mph, and is able to go from 0-62mph in 13.1 seconds. There are also other engine types, like the THP 150, which can reach 134 mph. Of course, it’s also a convertible, which means that the wind can whip through the hair or either sex, with the roof opening and closing as it does in about 20 seconds while rolling gently at 7.5mph. With the top up, the 308 CC is actually pretty solid and does not groan or complain, even when set upon by the wind-swept, sandy conditions of our lovely Gulfi Winters. Even with the top down, this little lady is able to offer a pretty stellar ride without much unwanted buffeting.

We agree with other reviews, which say that while the traction is fairly decent, the ride feels a little stiff, but when aren’t there “control issues” in a healthy relationship? Its interior is definitely designed with the petite in mind, so hulking masses of humanity need not apply. Still, we like Puegot’s latest, which fixes a lot of issues we had with the 307 models and firmly reestablishes the marque as the innovator in its class.

Officially Panerai

While some purveyors of luxury lifestyle were showcasing the sumptuously glittering side of the good life at the Jewellery Arabia exhibition this past year, Officine Panerai, in their classic Italian fine watchmaking way, were going for something a bit more subtle, yet no less grand. The models on show at the W&J expo were the Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT 47mm Titanium and the Radiomir Tourbillon GMT 48mm in Pink Gold, both of which feature the intricacy of sophisticated horological craftsmanship in the P.2005 with tourbillon. Each of these fine examples of the Panerai name have already been “winding up” interest in the Gulf and are sought after for their unfettered, refined appearance and impressively handcrafted movements and techniques. Rounding out the trio of stardom was the Luminor 1950 Ceramic 8 Days Chrono Monopulsante GMT, a diver’s/ sports watch that we’ve had our eye on for quite some time thanks to its many functions and 8-day power reserve. Even though this is the only submersible of the three, all of them made quite the splash with the visitors, as they regularly do every day here in Manama.

Pucker Potion There’s just something about the word “serum” that get us all giddy inside. It makes us think of some kind of white-bearded, wizened wizard mixing up an alchemical cure-all or powerful potion. Of course, it also makes us think of Captain America’s super-soldier serum and inspires us to jump into the nearest skin-tight outfit and do battle with crime, but that’s probably beside the point. OR IS IT! You see, Dior’s new Sérum de Rouge conjures in the mind the same magical / super-powered brilliance that lingers in our youthful imagination, especially because the Sérum seems to have preternatural properties itself. Saturated in rich active ingredients and further enhanced with pure pigment power, the formula also uses something called hyaluronic acid microspheres, which succeed in plumping up your lippy volume (by 25% no less), while smoothing over tiny wrinkles and other flaws to leave your pucker pure. Infused with other delicious ingredients like mango butter (for softening) and the exotic centella asiatica plant (for healing and collagen synthesis), it’s really no wonder that this Sérum sends the mind reeling with both natural and miraculous possibilities. Pucker up, Doha, and get ready to kiss colour and class the likes of which you’ve never tasted, all thanks to Dior.


sur la terre going global

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Toujouri du Jour Steve Paugh charts the rise of Qatar-based fashion designer Lama Al Moatassem’s Toujouri fashion brand and explores its bright future on the international sphere.


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sur la terre going global

>>> Fashion designers are supposed to be unapproachable. They are meant to walk around in impeccably odd clothes and look down on the world through violet, crescent moon-shaped glasses, whilst puffing away on one of those long cigarette holders from the 1920’s. Wait, maybe I’m thinking of wizards. The two groups are very similar. In any event, my exploration within international design direction has been one filled with a genius and beauty often tainted with vapidity, aloofness and self-importance. After several disappointments, I was willing to acquiesce and resign myself to a new jaded acceptance of the fashion world’s status quo. That’s when I met Lama Al Moatassem and everything changed. I first met Lama at Paris Fashion Week in October of 2009. After being inundated by not only the taciturn temperament of the fashion elite, but also the rich offerings of haute couture over the week, I was beginning to turn a bit jaded. When I wearily approached Lama’s floor space at the event, however, I was instantly invigorated by what I can only describe as a very humble, enticingly “real” energy, not only in this amazing young woman’s inspirational styles, but also in her disarming demeanor. It is hard to find an untarnished jewel within the heaving sea of sensenumbing sparkle that is Paris Fashion Week, but both Lama and her new brand, Toujouri, are testaments to the fact that there are still glimmers of hope within an international scene that has glossed over its own lustre.


sur la terre going global

Lama, a Palestinian who grew up in Qatar, often gets chided for being “too young” in a field of aging plasticine giants. “Personally,” she tells me through a hint of a smile, “that’s the biggest challenge for me: people taking you seriously for your age.” And yet, to do so would be a fallacy, given her impressive education and already vast experience within almost every major aspect of the creative design. After studying at Central St. Martins College of Art & Design in London, where she learned to focus her creativity, but soon felt stifled and wanted to spread her wings, in a bold move, she made the switch to London College of Fashion, where she garnered experience in a variety of different elements, such as working with prints and embroidery, and admits to benefiting from a better all-around education. At the same time that she was attending classes, she scored an internship with wellestablished French fashion house, Chloé, to whom she attributes her first experience in getting her hands dirty in the daily grind of fashion. In her final year, she was granted another high-profile internship, this time at Matthew Williamson, where she was eventually offered a job in international wholesale, networking with top buyers in both the Middle East and Europe. In her relatively short time in the business, she was able to gather a wealth of experience. Added to her own innate drive and determination, these new skills developed abroad would allow her to build up the

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professional confidence to move forward in her career. It wouldn’t be long before she tore away from the big names with which she was already associated and create something all her own. “Not doing my own thing wasn’t even an option,” she admits with an infectious nonchalance. “Working for another designer is something I would encourage EVERYONE to do, but I wasn’t just satisfied to have a cheque in the bank at the end of each month. I’d always really wanted to start something by myself, and I’ve always known that I would.” Her explanation is confident without being cocky, exuberant without being excessive and palpable in the designs of her new brand, Toujouri. Meaning “treasure box” in Arabic, Toujouri is the creative culmination of a life lived within varying realms. Its name is well chosen, representing an instantly recognisable, preciousness based partly on the richly sensual heritage of the Middle East and partly on the trendsetting designs of the modern Western world. Lama seamlessly meshes her own interwoven background throughout, thereby creating something that swirls from a tapestry of tradition into a worldwide appeal. “I was looking at ways of combining my own identity and background with my lifestyle,” she told me, lightly combing her hand across dresses that flow like the liquid veil of a waterfall face. “I started looking at Vogue archives from the 1970s, particularly in the way they referenced Middle Eastern fashion into the European market.


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“Everything in the collection is intended to be a mix,” she continued. “For example, I’ve combined the inspiration of tradition with the geometric optical illusions and colours of the 70’s era, while at the same time referencing the same elements of the Hattah (aka Keffiyeh, or the traditional Arabic headdress). I wanted to have that free spirit of hippie elegance and create something that had a traditional resemblance with a luxury feeling.” During Paris Fashion Week, Lama recorded interest from nearly every conceivable market, including Europe, Africa and, of course, the Middle East. This amazing response has already put the collections of Toujouri at the vanguard of a modern Arab allure on the worldwide scene, not to mention back home in Qatar. The new Toujouri boutique, which has been designed by multi-award winning celebrity architect Peter Marino, is set to open in March 2010 as the only local brand on Doha’s own manmade island, The Pearl. More than anything, she is showing her home town that with persistence and passion, the archaic ideas that some people in the international community still hold about the Middle East can be changed. “I’m proud of my culture, traditions and religion. At the same time, I think it’s important to be part of an emerging international standard. Being part of Paris Fashion Week is very important because it helps to change people’s perception of what Middle Eastern fashion is about. Yes, we have the traditional pieces, but we can also be modern and innovative. People from all over the world were able to come to Toujouri and appreciate the styles, craftsmanship and aesthetic of the product.”

The Toujouri concept has more depth than just a marriage of styles, incorporating other facets that allow it to shine brightly on the international scene. Like many others in the region, the brand offers couture, made-to-measure services, but unlike any of its Qatar-based counterparts, Lama is particularly focused on creating a viable ready-towear line. Not only does she believe that having a ready-to-wear base is more sustainable and essential in creating a true brand identity with an interested client base, she also hopes that it will create a grander scope for the company, both creatively and economically. A ready-to-wear line also succeeds in shifting ideas about what designers in the Middle East can truly achieve. “Made-to-measure is what people are used to here, but I hope more people from the region will feel confident enough to get out into the international environment and do something with high quality. It’s been done in Dubai and Kuwait, and there is definitely potential for up and coming talent here in Qatar.” Lama and Toujouri are, without doubt, at the forefront of tapping into a homegrown potential of local artistic fashion design. The growth that her company and her name have seen at home with a boutique on The Pearl, and abroad as a presence at the premiere fashion show in the world, is not ignorable. We are firm believers in the old Dylan adage, “the times they are a’changin,” particularly within the modern Arab fashion world. We are certain that when the times do change, it will be to slip into something from Toujouri.


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Exclusive interview with Lama Al-Moatassem What separates Toujouri as its own unique luxury brand? Where do the fundamentals of your identity lie and from where do you draw your inspirations? The main feature of our identity is a strong emphasis on the prints, colour and textiles. I actually re-dye the colours for our brand and design the prints myself - it’s a very important part of the process to be specific to the brand. Even though our fashions are embellished, we haven’t gone for head-to-toe bling. The luxury in the garment comes from the quality of fabric, the quality of finishing and the materials we use. We tend to finish everything more than a normal ready-to-wear finishing, hence our prices might be higher, but you get a completely different product. From which side do you draw most of your inspiration – is it your Middle Eastern heritage or your Western influences? I think it’s a combination of both. I do have a bit of that traditional mindset, but at the same time, I look to renew it rather than just keep repeating what’s been done. It’s really important for me to represent the Arabic spirit, whether it’s in the colours or other details. At the same time, I feel like many of the Arab designers are either becoming very much the same or they’re developing a low quality product. That’s why, generally, I like to mix both worlds.


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sur la terre going global

“I don’t do things without a background or a purpose, I don’t look at things just on the surface. Of course I am very into vintage fashion; especially late 60’s, early 70’s stuff because I like the energy and fantasy of these periods. ”

What is one of the most difficult things about launching a brand, especially here in Qatar? Who would you say is the typical Toujouri clientele? I think that what most people need to recognise and understand is the creative process. My background is fine arts, so I paint and I sculpt, which is really part of my character and I think it shows in the way I design my collections. There are elements of painting and graphics as well as fashion design. Because of that, our styles are for a very particular client. Some people don’t understand the subtlety of fusion concepts or the artistic process that goes into them; they think, “For that price, I should be getting a dress embroidered from head to toe.” But that’s not what I do. That’s not how I work. Our clients, no matter where they are from, are well-travelled, cultured and matured in fashion. In what other ways did fashion and culture meet in your first collection, and how do you keep from remaining static to one particular type of presentation as many regional luxury brands sometimes do? Well, for example, another big part of our culture is the kaftan. Now, some people might say a kaftan is for the beach over a swimsuit, or other people might go to a party in it. We offer both of the choices, but we want to give off the spirit of everyday elegance. I started by looking at a person’s shape and manipulated the kaftan in ways that allow you to have a more structured garment. It’s almost like deconstructing the main shape of the rectangular garment and finding different ways it can be worn and presented. All of the clothes have a lot of fabric and they move very freely, which is important as an element to the design and the culture. There are different groups in the collection that are defined by different fabrics and embroideries. Each group of styles has three different variations, so that we create a range of different offerings for our different buyers; someone from the Middle East will tend to go for the conservative look, while someone from the West may not. We also have evening offerings and more casual tops that are very versatile when mixing with jeans or leggings. We call the different looks “stories,” because each one gives a different feeling but at the same time works with the rest of the collection. Where do you get your materials from and how much of your styles are influenced by international craftsmanship? I go to the textile tradeshows every year in Paris, but I also print myself on Italian chiffon or kaftan, and other textiles I get dyed from India. For

one group of the collection, I worked initially with Moroccan artisans to develop the technique because the design is traditionally Moroccan, but at the same time, they’re only used to working it on very heavy costume textiles, and not sheer fabric. I wanted to experiment with the technique on something that was more fun, more wearable and appealing. The problem there is that there is no idea or concept of finishing, so we trained people in India to get everything together and produce a higher quality than what we have in Morocco. Are you doing any shows with your new collection at the moment? Not right now, no. Since this was the first collection, it was designed with selling in mind. We only have a few things that are for show, which are heavy, expensive and a bit more embellished. We’re starting off with certain pieces that would work well as concepts rather than a commercial standpoint. What are the biggest highlights of your job and what are the biggest challenges? Professionally, my biggest challenge is resources. There isn’t a structure or organisation for creative talent, or a pool you can dive into to get whatever you need. Still, I’ve worked to build a high-quality product and it has been appreciated. Another challenge is to get people in here to see that this is an amazing product and that we believe in what we’re doing, and that we’re taking it seriously. I really enjoy the process of designing a collection and developing it before finally sending off the whole message. I also like working with clients because you understand and cater towards them, learning their personalities as you do. I love the process of research and creation. There is so much that goes into the process – which is part of the challenge, but it’s also part of the fun. Once you see people wearing your clothing, that’s just amazing! What are your biggest influences? Everything. It could be the simplest thing, but I believe anything can trigger your inspiration. I don’t do things without a background or a purpose, I don’t look at things just on the surface. Of course I am very into vintage fashion; especially late 60’s, early 70’s stuff because I like the energy and fantasy of these periods.


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sur la terre showcase

ManamART A flame to melt - a wind to freeze; Sad patience - joyous energies; Instinct and study; love and hate; Audacity - reverence. These must mate, And fuse with Jacob’s mystic heart, To wrestle with the angel - Art. - “Art” by Herman Melville -

>>> When the classic American novelist Herman Melville penned the above words about the creative process, he was most likely not thinking about the Arabian Gulf and its surrounding States. In fact, that is pretty much a given. However, in his words there is a truth that resonates even here, between the dunes that writhe around us like undulating brushstrokes on an ever dynamic textured canvas. Art is not simple. It is it not static. Ever growing, ever spreading, its reach cannot be confined to one region or culture, nor can its temerity to self-ignite be overshadowed by the smothering clouds of industry. Encapsulating a great many emotions and inspirations, often in combat, Art’s contrastive nature keeps it relevant, even in a world where oil is royal. Many of the unenlightened would look to Bahrain and see only its commercial progress (yes, even in these tough times), believing that the only motivations of the Kingdom are to cultivate gas, oil and industry. In so doing, these individuals would miss a kaleidoscope of culture, a spectrum of aesthetic sophistication and a burgeoning arts scene that has been around for longer than most people imagine. To this day, the ManamART scene is strong and resilient, supported as it is through a passionate community and a small yet dedicated network of individuals and institutions.

< Archipelago with Reflection, on display at La Fontaine >


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< An example of the PaperCuts exhibition held at La Fontaine >

The Bahrain Arts Society Perhaps the oldest organisation to cultivate, nurture and foster the arts scene in Bahrain is the appropriately named Bahrain Arts Society. The first vestige of the Society came to life in the 1930s, when an already rich tradition of Bahraini art was given further fuel by the influx of likeminded parties from many points around the globe. The rudimentary collective of discriminating collectors that came together under the shared ideals of art appreciation began building the foundations for a more structured frame around the sketches that were, like palpitating grooves in the sand, without protection from the ravages of time and the apathy of an otherwise disinterested population. The next evolution of the Society came years later, in 1982, when the local community of Bahraini artists asked the ruling government to develop a haven wherein they could create with freedom, and without worry of insufficient funding or protection. This dream was officially realised in 1983 with the blessing of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister of Bahrain, and has since maintained its position as one of the leading institutions for the arts in Bahrain. With a firm and steadfast mission to “participate in the cultural promotion and development of fine arts in Bahrain and the surrounding region, and to take the artists into a new dimension throughout the world by participating intensively in local and international arts events,” the Bahrain Arts Society has developed multiple means and mediums by which to foster a truly exemplary atmosphere of artistry. The artworks on display not only feature the celebrated painting talents of locals, such as Sheikh Rashid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa and A. Rahim Sharif, but also the nimbly rendered works of sculptors Khalil Alhashimi and Ali Al Mahmeed. The society’s Photo Club was the first of its kind in the region when it was conceived back in 1985, and was the same year admitted into the International Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP), a first amongst all other Arab nations. It has kept its enviable place at the top by hosting or participating in a number of successful national and international photography competitions and exhibitions. The resident art school is also of note, proving that the Society is not just consumed with celebrating its present generation of artists, but facilitating the creativity of its future, with classes in painting, etching, sculpture, interior design, photography and calligraphy. Get in contact with the Bahrain Arts Society via its website at www.bahrainartssociety.com The Bahrain Arts Society was perhaps the first of its kind, but in its visionary development, it has proven not to be a standalone sentinel in a scene devoid of growth, but rather as the creative catalyst which spawned an unstoppable movement.

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La Fontaine One of the largest, most visible and breathtakingly arresting testaments to the creative chorus thundering between the shores of Bahrain is La Fontaine Centre for Contemporary Art. Focusing to a greater degree on the beauty of authentic Islamic architecture in the Gulf, the 5,000 square meters of its impeccably artistic grounds positively sing a mortar and stone song of colourful creation. Belonging to the Alireza family, the once private home has been transformed into a sweeping complex that proudly showcases a 19th century building at its centre. Encapsulating the four traditional features of Gulf Islamic construction (a wind tower, double enclosure, timber louvers at the balconies and the portico), the Centre, which has just recently gone under renovation overseen by French artist Jean Marc Sinan, boasts a unique marriage of European and Arab heritage. This fusion of international and local styles runs not only in a thematic vein throughout the architectural structure of the Centre, it also threads itself in the diverse programmes, events and art exhibitions regularly on offer. The on-site art gallery and other exhibition spaces have recently hosted such stellar events as the photographic exhibition of multi-award winning local photojournalist, Ghanda Khunji. Running in tandem with the introspective, entitled “Hindustan: A Journey through the Soul of India,” was a traditional Northern Indian Kathak dance staged by renowned performers Rashmi Uppal and Gauri Diwakar, and accompanied by musicians Yogesh Gangani, Mahaveer Gangani and Sami Ullah Khan. Also held was a performance by accomplished violinist Dmitri Torchinsky and pianist Sonja Park, which was a special showcase of international music presented by Gulf Chamber Philharmonia. Yet another exhibition that proves the varied talents associated with the Centre was the original display called “Dreamtime,” an Aboriginal art exhibition offering an exclusive look into the techniques of a culture to which even the most studied art aficionado may not be privy. Peppered as these impressive artistic shows are with the regular schedule of activities and programmes at the resident Spa, as well as the Dance and Pilates Studios, La Fontaine proves itself adept at injecting culture and well-being into an absorbent Bahraini atmosphere. To see what other events and programmes are being held at La Fontaine, go to www.lafontaineartcentre.net The Centre’s contributions to the scene are as vast as they are varied, and while we are proud to have it as one of the Kingdom’s main artistic entities, it is by no means the only place to experience the blossoming arts scene in Manama.

< An example of the PaperCuts exhibition held at La Fontaine >


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Al Riwaq Gallery Since 1998, Al Riwaq Art and Culture Centre has promoted young and enterprising artists from Bahrain by providing them with a platform to share with the world the distinctive voice of their talents. Showcasing both local and international works, the chic modern digs of the gallery house within their minimalist arrangement multitudinous exhibitions and film screenings, not to mention the workshops and programmes hosted by residency artists that assist interested members of the community to spread their own imaginative wings. In a seemingly common theme with the other galleries and art institutions around the Kingdom, Al Riwaq not only shows the homegrown talent, but also spices things up with an international flair. Such global talents include grippingly abstract Italian photographer Angela Larotonda, avant-garde, Russian “Plastic Artist”, Nastia Bolchakova, and Egyptian artist and jewellery designer, Mohamed H. Khafagy. Because of the multi-tiered and far reaching level of interest that the gallery has received within Manama, Al Riwaq has significantly grown, and was recently blessed with renovation. While this might completely shut down another gallery, Al Riwaq instead offered the artistic minds at the gallery with a unique opportunity to continue the creative process in a way that has not been seen before in Bahrain.

< Amin Al-Arrayed, GM of First Bahrain and Bayan Kanoo, Director of Al Riwaq >

< Painting by Jaffar Al Oraibi during First Bahrain & Al Riwaq Street Art 2009 >

Thanks to the inspirational support from First Bahrain Real Estate Development Company, Al Riwaq recently facilitated the Kingdom’s very first Street Art exhibition. While the facade of the gallery was undergoing reconstructive architectural surgery, a giant 7m X 17m canvas was erected so that each week a different Bahraini artist could visit the site and apply their skills to create art that was as experimental as it was experiential for those lucky enough to see it. These artists included Waheeda Mulullah, Yasmine Rasool, Sara Al Aradi, Sayed Hassan Al Saari, Layla Al Rayes and Maha Al Sahaf. The abstract styles of these budding and accomplished artists were shown throughout a week and succeeded in weaving the public space into a rich and dynamic tapestry of unbridled and unchained art. Conceived by founder and director of Al Riwaq, Bayan Kanoo, and driven by First Bahrain, Street Art 2009 was a massive success, and shows the level of ingenuity possible within the Kingdom’s art scene, even during times of rebuilding. To get a firmer flavour of what Al Riwaq has in store, go to www.alriwaqgallery.org As one of the smaller non-profit independent art houses, Al Riwaq faces its own set of challenges such as exposure, which the Street Art event sought to overcome, and recognition within an evolving artistic world. However, it is not alone in the Kingdom, and shares the success of other galleries with corresponding visions.


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< The “in” crowd: Purveyors and Practicioners of art at Albareh Art Gallery >

Albareh Art Gallery For over 10 years, Albareh Art Gallery has been held in high esteem amongst the independent arts community for its commitment to fostering and celebrating the different perspectives, styles and inspirations of local art trends. The somewhat homely exterior of the gallery, while admittedly understated, is in actual fact quite inviting, particularly in the way that its somewhat subtle facade belies the potent power of creativity held captive within its interior. The permanent gallery holds quite possibly the most diversified collection of different art forms in the entirety of Manama, including sculptures, paintings, ceramics, photographs, drawings, calligraphy, textiles and carpets. In fact, the sundry nature of the gallery’s body of artwork is rivaled only by its ethnically mixed company of artists, with talents hailing from Turkey, Palestine, Qatar, Zimbabwe, Iran, Sudan, Morocco and of course, Bahrain. That impressive mishmash of artistry from both established and up-and-coming artists alike has created a widening gyre of intrigue from the general public that truly puts Albareh at the forefront of the scene. On top of the exhibitions and shows, Albareh holds regular workshops, lectures and meetings concerning all aspects of study in the humanities within its two studios. Entertaining and educating both children and adults, the depth of these special programmes are highlights that set the

gallery apart from its contemporaries. Yet another stroke of genius that adds a brush with greatness to Albareh is Gallery Owner and Curator Hayfa Aljishi’s unique business idea of accommodating interested parties by providing assistance and advice to both individual clients and companies when purchasing pieces of art in order to build collections. As one of the only universally agreed-upon “sound investments” in this tumultuous financial environment, Art and its purchase offers a great way to stay ahead of the curve. Hayfa and Albareh facilitate the means and expertise to do just that. Working with, or visiting, Albareh Art Gallery is a concentrated way for anyone wishing to glean a worthwhile artistic zest from the aura of artistry that surrounds Manama like an ethereal halo. Art is alive in the Gulf, surging with the “joyous energies” that Melville spoke about so poetically in verse. The artistic vibes that emanate from the aforementioned institutions boom kinetically through the Kingdom of Bahrain with a volume that reaches and impresses other points in the Gulf and, to a larger extent, the world. If it is anything that places like the Bahrain Arts Society, Al Riwaq Gallery, La Fontaine and Albareh have proven, it is that the volcanic flow of igneous imagination that erupted many years ago still continues to spread with molten heat throughout the Kingdom and shall continue to do so well into the future.


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Sur la Terre speaks to the Managing Director and Curator of Albareh Art Gallery, Hayfa Aljishi, to learn more about Albareh specifically and the Bahrain arts scene as a whole.

The Bigger Picture What would you say is the most important thing that Albareh does for the local arts community here in bahrain? In your own words, what is the gallery’s mission and vision? For more than a decade in Bahrain, Albareh Art Gallery has been an art space dedicated to the promotion of emerging, as well as confirmed, local artists and Middle-East talents, continuously promoting local artists and introducing the gallery’s international artists to Bahrain art amateurs and collectors. Albareh Art Gallery collaborates for its program with international institutions and non-profit organisations and offers a series of high-level events. Albareh Art Gallery also participates in international art fairs in the region and beyond, such as Art Paris Abu Dhabi and Dubai Art Fair, carrying along its gallery artists and offering them a wide exposure. Albareh always seeks to promote local artists and art by organising exhibitions for confirmed local artists such as Mohammad al-Mahdi and Ebrahim Bou Saad; in addition to this, we host a large panel of activities in the Art Café on a regular basis. Young painters, art organisations, poets, musicians and designers can showcase their works and present their performances. Albareh has also hosted, many times, the artists’ organisation, Elham. It also actively supports the Oriental jazz band, The 13th Note.

What is the local Bahraini art scene like going into 2010? What are the highlights of your dealings within the arts community and what are some of the challenges? What is Albareh’s role in that world today? Bahrain is starting to align itself in the art and culture field with other countries of the region. It has been interesting to see the Bahraini art scene evolve over the years. The Ministry of Culture has been doing a great job in promoting culture. It’s mainly tangible with the Spring of Culture Festival, which has been gaining importance over the years. This event usually takes place in March and gathers international artists (singers, painters, and performers) under the Ministry of Culture umbrella. On an international scale, Albareh has proven its position in the region with its acceptance into many major art fairs. We intend to carry on by always moving one step ahead. One of the most difficult challenges is finding art patrons who are committed to art and who are willing to nurture the institutions that promote art. It is very difficult to find sponsors, which creates the challenge for the private galleries to sustain themselves. It’s also difficult to bring artists to Bahrain, to organise interactive workshops and to commission their projects. Residency programs, for example, are integral


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< The Attending Throng: guests and greeters enjoy the displays at Albareh>

to exchanging ideas, producing contextual and site-specific work, and finding peers with whom to work. There seems to be a great imbalance in mobility. There is a great deal of movement East, but very little West. The government supports art but, as in all the other countries, it doesn’t cover all the artistic practices. Private sponsors should start to get involved in helping these institutions in developing their artist’s talents. Not only is Albareh an art gallery, it is also a studio and a place of artistic learning. Do you think that is integral in fostering a local arts scene here in Bahrain? If so, why? Since its inception, Albareh Art Gallery has positioned itself as an open platform for all artistic practices. Lectures have been held on its premises as well as workshops, residencies and art performances in order to aliment, in one hand, interaction between artists and, in the other hand, with art amateurs and connoisseurs. Bahrain is rich in its culture and has a long history with the art movement and societies that have been established almost over 60 years ago. Throughout the years, the gallery has witnessed and nurtured the emergence of many upcoming artists and has given the chance to many to exhibit abroad in major art venues. Many up-and-coming artists have benefitted from the numerous workshops that were conducted by the important artists that have exhibited at Albareh. I also find it pleasing to see that we have helped to nurture young collectors and hopefully future patrons of Arab art. That’s why we believe that, through our activities, we have contributed positively to the local artistic scene. Albareh is admittedly an international gallery, but would you say that you focus more on Arab art, Western art or a fusion between the two? We remain an open platform for all artistic practices, but we promote

above all artists from the Arab world. Although art has no boundaries, I still feel that it is our duty to showcase all forms of the arts that originate from this area. It is limitless, rich, unique and so full of traditions and culture, something that can never bore you and continues to surprise, in my opinion. We are currently representing a couple of Middle Eastern artists that are also internationally known such as Mohammed Omen Khalil, Hakim Ghazali, Khalid Hafez and Faisal Samra, amongst others. What can we look forward to from Albareh in the future? Are there any big events coming soon? Albareh Art Gallery is in continuous renewal of ideas and concepts, always seeking to present to its public modern and unique events and shows. Starting in 2010, we have plans to host two separate programmes in both the Albareh Art Gallery and the Albareh Art Cafe. The theme in the cafe will cover exhibitions that are solely related to design in all its aspects. We will start the year with an exhibition at the cafe for 12 Middle Eastern artists titled “A Chair and a Painting”. The Art gallery will host a one of a kind exhibition from two Iraqi artists: the London-based Faisal Laibi and the Sweden-based Nobel Prize winner, Modhir Ahmed. Other exceptional shows will follow, like the solo exhibition of Mohammad Omar Khalil. A collective design exhibition will take place during the Spring of Culture festival in March, where Albareh will present, for the first time in Bahrain, the works of 10 international Arab designers such as, Ahem Albahrani, Hassan Hajjaj and Dia Batal. In March, we will then showcase the works of Faisal Samra. There will also be a couple of residency programmes, whereby we have invited international artists and designers to visit Bahrain and host workshops with the local community, as well as local up-and-coming talent. Finally, Mohammed Alb will be conducting an interesting workshop in January.


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Hala of Fame

Sur La Terre gets captivated by Bahraini artist Hala Al Khalifa. In a retrospective of her life and work, including a recent exhibition in Qatar’s Al Markhiya Gallery, and an exclusive interview, we learn more about what makes this incredible local artist tick.

>>> Three misaligned red brushstrokes drip menacingly in thin air against an indiscernible backdrop of fading metallic purples and a sunset of soft pinks. In the middle ground, there rests a lone chair that is not entirely “all there,” shifting in its own seat as if unable to decide whether it is finally given solid form or, conversely, dissolving from existence. A barely perceptible Arabic script scrawls itself in a delirium of free verse madness across any available space, subtly implying that indeed the writing is on the wall, but perhaps nobody is there to see it. Welcome to the fragmented headspace in the land of forgetting. Welcome to the world of Hala Al Khalifa.

< Distance by Hala Al Khalifa >

Despite the deep gravitas of her body of work, Hala Al Khalifa is a cheery individual with a million-dollar smile and a vivacious personality, both of which immediately put you at ease and irresistibly invites you to like her. It is a contradiction in terms, then, that her work is so grippingly haunting, begging the question of where this talented local artist originated, as well as the motivations that drive her. Born in London and raised in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Hala’s initial inspiration came from a very diverse mix of styles. She attributes her early art appreciation to the many pieces from a variety of Arab and Western artists that hung


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in her childhood home. Driven to pursue this innate passion in art both internally and by her family, to whom she admits she “owes a lot,” Hala began painting at the tender age of ten, when her gift was given an outlet and instruction by a family friend, who just happened to be an accomplished Spanish artist. After high school, Hala moved to America, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree with a joint programme between Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) in Boston, Massachusetts. She then returned to the place of her birth to attend Slade School of Fine Arts in London, where she received her MFA. After graduating in 2002, Hala has been a whirlwind of uncompromising artistry and vigorous production. Of course, that’s the way it has always been. Since 1992, she has participated in multiple group shows and has been invited to showcase her work to almost as many solo exhibitions in places like Bahrain, Egypt and Tunisia. One of her latest shows, entitled Windows of Separation, was even shown at Fiumano Fine Art in London’s trendy West End. Over the years, her growing experience and confidence has allowed her to evolve a style that is at the same time somber and arousing. More than anything, it is one that is difficult to define in words. In her new show at Al Markhiya Gallery, a quiet, hunkered-down refuge in the bustling cultural centre that heaves daily in Qatar’s Souk Waqif, Hala has launched a brand new temporary show called Fragments of Memory. In it, she showcases her strengths, manipulating and disturbing the still-life physical structure and static colour of chairs. In fact, much of her work uses the humble chair at its center, and while this may sound odd in print, it is truly something to behold in practice. The very fabric

< My Second Half by Hala Al Khalifa >

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of both the chair and reality unravel in dripping strands that seem to cry themselves down the canvas in loss-filled tears of sorrow, twisting as they do in sprains and slashes of bright colour. Hala herself admits that the focus in these paintings is not the chairs at all, but instead the absence of a subject entirely. With this interpretation considered, the subject becomes an invisible elephant in the room; you cannot see it, but it is impossible not to feel its tauntingly gaping nonexistence.

Fragments is not simply about chairs, however, as Hala also shows her somewhat newer penchant for painting figures. Faceless and nighformless, these figures offer you only a glimpse of their existence, never looking you directly in the eye and mostly snubbing you over a hastily turned shoulder. The effect of withdrawal succeeds, not in shunning the viewer, but instead seducing him or her to end the frustrating silence by engaging its subjects further. The name for the show is well chosen, as it all comes together in ambiguous incompleteness that resounds in a hazily fractured sense of withering memory and weathered emotion. In a way, Hala’s technique brings to mind what might happen if the impressionist paintings of Claude Monet or Mary Cassat were drowned in oil and brought to boil. Hala Al Khalifa presents a conundrum, but a beautiful one. She is modest, kind and self deprecating as an artist, yet her art itself is cutting and acute in a way that confounds the relationship between creator and creation. In every respect, she is a clear talent in a region now prospering with a deluge of artistry. Qatar, where she currently works and lives with her family, as well as the entire Gulf region should proud to have her here.


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Interview with Hala Al Khalifa We know you often use abstraction and a wide range of colour in your work - used alternatively in sparing doses to define, or liberally to lighten or even deconstruct. Your work on figures and objects is similarly diverse in its treatment of dysmorphic angularity, alternating between heavy, misaligned strokes and barely perceptible sketches. You’ve employed these to great effect in harrowing emotive responses such as in your Separation exhibition. In your own words, how would you describe your style and from what human connection (or lack thereof) do you draw the most inspiration? The figures are really, really important to me. They represent a lot, I think because certain figures, like family members, play such a strong role in my life. In this life, there are so many people and so many faces. Of course, it’s not only figures. In my latest group of work (Fragments of Memory, on show at Al Markhiya gallery), there are a couple of paintings of chairs. These chairs represent the absence of the figure. They’re big, bold and half-completed, but the subject of the painting is actually missing. I enjoy showing that absence. That has a lot to do with my paintings being what I would call “heavy” on me. They have a lot of sadness, grief and separation, and I think these chairs are powerful in my heart because they are empty and unstable. They are my hallmark. In my work and in my life, there’s always this sense of an incomplete puzzle. I’m always looking for the missing piece. In my daily struggle as a mother, as an artist and as a working woman, I’m not seeking perfection, but I’m looking for a sense of completion, not that I think I will ever finish or find what it is I’m looking for. That’s part of why I call this show Fragments of Memory, painting bits of what I remember because I want to close this particular chapter in life. At the same time, it keeps me going. The subject matter is heavy, but when a painting is finished, it is intensely satisfying.

< My Small Circle by Hala Al Khalifa >

< Hala Al Khalifa >

We have noticed that in many of your works, including Words on Skin and After a Storm, you use lightly-etched Arabic verse to fill in spaces. While many of the themes can be seen as literally painting an Arab culture picture themselves, is this a conscious effort to make your work more identifiable as “Arab”? How much of your work is influenced by your heritage and in what way is it influenced? I am an Arab Muslim woman artist, first and foremost, and let me just say that the Arabic language in literature and poetry and as a visual is very important to me. Now, I’m not a calligrapher or a poet, but representing a word or sentence in art? That is important to who I am and what I do. I don’t go into a blank canvas and think that this painting will have Arabic verse on it and this one will not. Those paintings you mentioned were “asking” to have writing on them. Of course Arabic is part of my language and heritage and my mind thinks in Arabic first, so that affects me a lot as well. Would you say you’re more influenced by the culture you were raised in and in which you had your first experience with art, or by the Western culture in which you studied academically? Well, both. The childhood that I have come from and the house I grew up in was filled with contemporary Arab art. I grew up with paintings that were done by art pioneers who were Iraqi, Syrian and Bahraini. I also have a mother who has a huge appreciation for this type of art. If you grow up with these big names all around you, it will influence you as an artist. As a child and then a student, I loved and studied classical Arab cultural scenery like the desert and dhows, but I told my instructor that I didn’t just want to do those things, I wanted to paint women and fashion. She let me try those things, so that’s a part of me as well. Then I went to study in America and it was a totally new thing. It was my first time in university and I was blown away by the talent that surrounded me and the differences between the other students and me. That first year was a struggle, especially because everyone was so confident and different. It was an eye-opener, and it made me a sponge for other things. I had a strong base from my mother, but art school gave me something else entirely, and it’s still an ongoing learning process.


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You are originally from Bahrain. What does it mean to be a modern artist in today’s Middle East art scene? What are the benefits of creating here and now, and what are some of the challenges? I didn’t choose to be a modern Arab female artist. It just happened! [laughs] But as for the scene, I think there is a lot of support at the moment from exhibitions, galleries and fairs. There are some challenges, but overall the arts scene in the Gulf is blossoming. Everything has opened up in this region, everyone is more aware and there seems to be a greater understanding about art. There are more galleries opening and the scene is expanding; it’s amazing! Before, people would struggle to go to art school and they would struggle to become artists. A lot of people in the Gulf would be artists with another job on the side, but I think that might be changing now. The one thing I think we lack in this area is a proper art school. I know that Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is in Qatar now, but I think that’s more of a design approach. We need to give the young generation of artists the support they need, and in order to do that, we need an art school. I’m pretty lucky because of the support I receive from my family, but there are others that maybe lack that kind of help. It’s the galleries’ role to look into what’s going on and support everyone from the big names to the new generation of artists. Al Markhiya gallery, for example, provides their 40 Minus programme, which is fantastic because they are putting a spotlight on young Qatari artists and young Arab artists who want, and need, exposure to get established. Having that kind of support is great, and we need more of it. These prominent schools of fine art with strong teaching methods have been in Iraq and Syria for ages and it would be great to have them here in the Gulf. There are things like the Jameel Prize at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, which are really good because it brings young, contemporary Muslim artists together under the umbrella of Islamic culture and makes something new and cutting edge with great exposure. Having a prize would be another great avenue to raise awareness and exposure to the art scene here in the Middle East.

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< The Anxiety of the Place by Hala Al Khalifa >

For me personally, sometimes people look at me, seeing the way I dress in the traditional style, and see that I paint things like pregnancies, nudes and torsos, but I don’t feel any judgements. I’m comfortable in my skin and I know who I am, so I cannot be labelled or judged. I’m allowed to do whatever I want. There is no limit. Where do you see Modern Arab Art going into the future? Do you think it has grown into a viable international entity of the arts and do you envisage yourself as a part of a geo-artistic movement? I think so, yes. It puts contemporary Arab art on the map and there is now this growing exposure, especially with interest from auction houses like Christie’s and Sotheby’s. More and more, these organisations are coming and offering huge opportunities to the well-established artists in the area, to be known abroad and to sell. Where do I fit in that? Well, I always have this fear of being categorised. Will Hala Al-Khalifa change something in the art movement? I don’t know! It’s as simple as this: I am painting from my heart, because I want to and because there is this urge and passion for it. I cannot answer if I have a place in the movement, because it is up to whomever comes and interacts with the pieces to decide that. I would be really happy to know only that my work is reaching out to people. Right now, I’m just being honest to my art and to myself.


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Art à la Mode Production Firefly Communications Art Direction Roula Zinati Ayoub Photography George Khoury www.georges-khoury.com Stylist Chantal Mossess Accessories and Jewellery from AL FARDAN Jewellery for Maria Gaspari, Gorgolione villa moda - Doha - for Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Valentino, D&G, Marni Remza for Coccinelle and BCBG Max Azaria Leonardo Da Vinci Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, (April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519) was an Italian polymath, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, painter, anatomist, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician and writer. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance man, a man whose unquenchable curiosity was equalled only by his powers of invention. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived.

Green & white earrings & necklace Maria Gaspari Large, wide bracelet (with gold) Gorgolione Yellow set (ring, bracelet & necklace) Maria Gaspari Scarf (men’s) Dolce & Gabbana Bracelet Marni Bag (black & gold) Dolce & Gabbana Scarf (gold) Valentino Belt Coccinelle


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Sunglasses Marni Belt (red), Tie (blue) & Bracelet Gucci Shoes (ladies) Marni Bag Coccinelle Tie (grey), Belt (black) & Gloves D&G Necklace Dolce & Gabbana Bag (clutch) Valentino

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Piet Mondrian Pieter Cornelis “Piet” Mondriaan, after 1912 Mondrian (March 7, 1872 – February 1, 1944), was a Dutch painter and an important contributor to the De Stijl art movement and group, which was founded by Theo van Doesburg. He evolved a non-representational form which he termed Neo-Plasticism. This consisted of white ground, upon which was painted a grid of vertical and horizontal black lines and the three primary colours.


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Shoes (ladies) D&G Shoes (men’s) Gucci Purse Marni Tie Gucci Watch Coccinelle Bracelet (crystal) Valentino Bracelet Marni Sunglasses Dolce & Gabbana Necklace Marni

Roy Lichtenstein Roy Lichtenstein (October 27, 1923 – September 29, 1997) was a prominent American pop artist, his work heavily influenced by both popular advertising and the comic book style. His first work to feature the large-scale use of hard-edged figures and Benday Dots was Look Mickey. The piece came from a challenge from one of his sons, who pointed to a Mickey Mouse comic book and said; “I bet you can’t paint as good as that, eh, Dad?”


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SALVADOR DALI Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, 1st Marquis of Púbol (May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989) was a Spanish Catalan surrealist painter born in Figueres. Dalí was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters.

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Bag Valentino Tie Dolce & Gabbana Boots Coccinelle Watches Coccinelle Watch Ring Dolce & Gabbana Watch Keyring Dolce & Gabbana Belt Coccinelle


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sur la terre mode star-crossed

Andy Warhol Andrew Warhol (August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987) was a leading figure in the Pop Art movement. After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became famous worldwide for his work as a painter. Warhol has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions, books, and feature and documentary films and it was he who coined the widely used expression “15 minutes of fame.”

Shoes Valentino Bag Valentino Tie Gucci Belt Valentino Watch Coccinelle Earrings BCBG Belt Valentino


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sur la terre unique rides

Raging Bullet

Sur la Terre is a magazine that sells dreams. Not only for you, dear reader, but for the editorial staff too. Last time around, you might recall that Editor, Steve Paugh, got to fulfil his childhood ambition to ghost around Goodwood in the new Rolls Royce. At the grand old age of 33, and after a 24-year wait, Managing Editor, James McCarthy, finally gets to ride the Raging Bull.


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< Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 courtesy of Dana Motors. Testing facilities provided by Qatar Racing Club >

>>> As the quarter-mile long tarmac spreads out before me, I focus on the horizon, where the black bitumen shimmers and dances in the Doha summer heat. The Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 hums around me. My hands firmly clasp the small racing-grip steering wheel as I sit and savour the anticipation of what is to come.

shrieks to such a crescendo, it would be inhumane to restrain them any longer. I flip the traction control off, press the big round button that says “Corsa” (which roughly translated from Italian, and I am sure with no touch of irony, means “Quickly”), push the revs to 4,000...BAM! The “Thrust Control” kicks in and we are flying, and I mean flying, down the tarmac.

I repeat the mantra in my head; “Build the revs, conduct that V10 concerto through to four thousand RPM and wait for the “Thrust Control” to kick in….” Or not. Snapped from my reverie, I turn to my co-pilot, Steve, and grumpily ask: “How do you put this damned thing in first!? Why are we not moving??” “You have to take the traction control off,” he notes with amusement. “Where the hell is that?” I cry, further frustrated by the fact that instead of blistering, face melting acceleration, all I am feeling is the heat and dust flowing in through the electric window I have just opened by accident. “Stop Laughing!!!” I plead, as Steve sits beside me creased with mirth.

The needle continues to rise on the speedometer, while Steve laughs maniacally in the seat next to me. I am not even in third gear and we are well over 140kmh. And then it’s time to stop. I hit the brakes. The car screeches to a halt in less time than it took to hit 100kph. I realise I am breathing hard, there is a trickle of sweat on my brow and my face hurts from the huge grin that now adorns it. That must have been the best 30 seconds of my life….

Take Two

Ever since my first encounter with the ear-splitting, visceral growl of the supreme supercar god, known as the Countach 5000QV to mere mortals like you and me, I have always stopped, stared and wished whenever a Lamborghini menacingly stalked past. Pictures of these Italian masterpieces adorned the walls of my bedroom.

*Ahem* As the quarter-mile long tarmac spreads out before me, I focus on the horizon, where the black bitumen shimmers and dances in the Doha summer heat. The new Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 hums around me. My hands firmly grip the small racing steering wheel and I shift slightly in my seat, savouring the anticipation of what is to come. My foot touches the accelerator and the sound of 552 Italian horses, straining at their reins,

So when the opportunity arose to take the new Gallardo for a test drive, naturally, Steve leapt at the chance. Sadly for him, so did I, and, insisting on going along to spoil his fun, we both made the trek across Doha to the bowels of the Industrial Area. First stop was the Dana Motors service centre to collect the car. Then, after handing the keys to Steve, we tentatively picked our way around the potholes to the Qatar Racing Club to let the Raging Bull run wild.


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sur la terre unique rides

Now, there are those that suggest the Gallardo is just an Audi R8 with a fancy body kit and a much higher price tag. Not anymore. The new, 5.2 litre V10 powertrain that sits right behind the driver, pushes forward with the immutable force of the Space Shuttle Challenger. Also, after shaving 20kgs off the weight, it means that the latest car to carry the Gallardo name is faster than both the special edition Gallardo Superlagerra and the Ferrari 430 Scuderia. But, behind the shouty, “get out of my way”, Italian loutishness that makes the Gallardo quintessentially Lamborghini, beats the sedate heart of a big, cuddly, four-wheel-drive Volkswagen. By that, I don’t mean that the pant-wetting excitement that is synonymous with the patently

mischievous stable of mentalist machines we call Lamborghinis is gone. No, what I am referring to is the comfort and driveability of the beast. In the past, the cars that rolled off the production line (or should I say “unleashed from their cage”) in Sant’Agata Bolognese, were not only renowned for their performance and engineering brilliance, but equally for their hot, uncomfortable, cramped cockpits, difficult handling and incredibly hard ride. The new Gallardo, however, is a polar opposite. The performance and engineering remain intact (if just a teensy bit more sensible under the stewardship of VW), but you can comfortably sit in the bucket-style racing seats all day long, the driving position is ergonomic, your spine doesn’t snap every time you drive over a stone in the road and the air conditioning no longer feels like an asthmatic mouse coughing in your face. What you get is a goose-bump-inducing arctic blizzard - ideal for driving around Doha in the height of summer.  Most importantly, however, is the handling. It is a supercar that, literally, anyone could step into and drive fast. I was expecting the steering to be all over the place, as if the axle was made of spaghetti. To my surprise, the steering was firm but responsive, and the handling sharper and more controlled than Gordon Ramsey chopping onions. Tempered lunacy, then, is essentially what Lamborghini has delivered in the LP560-4. An asylum that has a comfortable, well ventilated, padded cell interior and a Museum of Islamic Art-style, architecturally stunning, exterior. I will admit to a pang of disappointment that Lamborghini did not add their trademark scissor doors to the latest Gallardo, but when you weigh that up against what else this streak of Italian White Lightening brings to the road, what are a set of cool-looking doors in the grand scheme of things? It will always be considered a phenomenally good drive, as well as one of the all-time best looking cars, but, perhaps most importantly, it will always have the Sur la Terre seal of approval.


Bumbleblue,

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TRANSFORM! Sur la Terre Editor Steve Paugh joins forces with the forgotten Autobot, Bumbleblue (in the guise of the new 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS), to defeat the dastardly doldrums of your daily commute.

< Bumblebee image courtesy of Hasbro. 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS courtesy of Jaidah Automotive >


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sur la terre unique rides

>>> Bumblebee was always my favourite Transformer. Okay, that’s a lie, it was Starscream; but come on, you have to respect a traitorous automaton that can transform into an F-15 fighter jet, while at the same time using cunning, guile and subterfuge to flummox and vanquish his enemies. Plus, his shrill wail made for one heck of a battle-cry. Still, as far as do-gooders go, Bumblebee was pretty solid. In my youth, I spent quite a few cereal stained, crusty-eyed Saturday mornings gripped by the heroic exploits of the laser pistol packin’ diminutive Autobot, whose devastating abilities included turning into a VW Beetle and ... well ... complaining a lot. Thankfully, in the 2007 live-action Transformers movie, Bumblebee’s clout in a bot bout and a roundabout significantly increased thanks to his re-imagining at first as a 1976 Chevrolet Camaro, and then as its modern fifth-generation successor. Suddenly, the Camaro version of Bumblebee became the chick-magnetising muscle car with which all of us boys wanted to be associated. How else were we supposed to get a girl like Transformers actress Megan Fox: with “wit” and “charm”? Yeah, that’s not gonna happen; we need the car. So it was that, last November, Jaidah Motors in Qatar made my every dream a reality, by letting me test drive the 2010 Chevy Camaro SS, which only a few months prior roared into the Gulf.

Any slight disappointment that my Camaro SS for the day wasn’t a lurid yellow (like Bumblebee), but rather a bold imperial metallic blue, quickly subsided when the distinctly beefy sound of its 6.2 litre, V8 engine growled into a roid-raged revelry. I’m still a little miffed, however, that instead of bathing in Megan Fox’s beaming smile from the passenger seat, I was instead met with the giddy (yet no-less glamorous) grin of SLT Regional Managing Editor, James McCarthy. Still, as the thunderous bellow of “Bumbleblue’s” ignition settled into the classic “lub-lub-lub” vibratory rumble for which this muscle-bound American motormouth is well-known, I felt compelled to return James’ smile and forget about anything other than this car. The guttural, disgruntled jungle-cat snarl that hums out of the 2010 Camaro SS is a thing of beauty, as is the way this pavement panther prowls across its own concrete jungle.


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The Camaro SS is not like any car we have test driven here at SLT. First of all, this coupe is a big, bad “hoss”, even though it has been shortened. We would not use our regular verbal repertoire of “sleek” or “lithe” to describe it. The way you feel the visceral vivacity of its 426 horses surging into your toes, through your leg and into your spine as you easily hit 100kph (60mph) in 4.6 seconds, is a pleasantly unnerving experience. Immediately after pressing down the accelerator, you understand the true “thrust” of the Camaro SS experience. Saying that, you never feel out of control thanks to its stiff yet safe sports suspension and its inherent Stabilitrack electronic stability control system. Even when you’re not attempting to escape a dastardly Decepticon ambush and quite simply want to go for a nice, laser cannon-less Sunday drive, the Camaro is less than intimidating. Oh sure, we rocketed ahead from a still position with the merest press of a pedal, but cautiously weaving in and out of Gulf traffic was never nerve-racking. Bumbleblue doesn’t just have a wide base, he also tips the scales at 1,745kg (3,849lbs or 1.7tonnes), making him quite a bit heavier than his fourth-generation predecessor. I found, however, that the size and weight of the Camaro SS was more of a boon than a hinderance. It doesn’t appreciably slow the car down with drag, nor does it lessen the fun factor. It also doesn’t hamper the four-piston Brembo calipers on all four wheels that bring you to rest without the jarringly jittery judder that you might expect. The only thing about the Camaro SS that impresses as much as its drivability is its look. Its wide, alternatively round and angular face is angry and aggressive. If you look at it straight on, it’s easy to see how moviemakers would be inspired to transform this car into a giant robot. The headlights that stare at you beneath the furrowed brow of its front bonnet are nothing if not mechanically menacing. Thank goodness our boy Bumbleblue is a good guy. The interior takes its influence not from the intricacy of the future, but rather the simplicity of the past. The gauge cluster in the dash is fairly sparse, with only two speedometers (one digital, one analogue) and a tachometer. Just behind the gear shift, there lurk more retroflavoured, semi-squared off dials and meters for things like battery voltage and oil pressure, all of which combine to tell its story of speed internally. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the transform button, or the switch that launches photon torpedoes; Chevrolet might want to think about making those a bit more visible. In the end, the 2010 Camaro SS is fast, fun and most of all, ferocious. In reality, it may not be able to transform into an intergalactic robot, but that doesn’t mean that the experience of driving it isn’t out of this world.


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sur la terre objects

PRACTICAL ELEGANCE

WORDS: Lucie Bayle PICTURES: All rights reserved

Elegant, smart, and practical, today’s objects exist for pleasure and comfort. Sur la Terre discovers the new designs that make our lives easier.

TAG Heuer’s Meridiist Automobili Lamborghini

Inspired by the power and grace of the mythic Lamborghini Murciélago LP 640, TAG Heuer has teamed up with the famous Italian super sports car manufacturer to create the limited edition Meridiist Automobili Lamborghini communication instrument. This very sophisticated phone is hand assembled and composed of more than 400 mechanical components, many derived from legendary TAG Heuer chronographs. It also has such distinctive features as a dual time display for discreet at-a-glance time monitoring and the TAG Heuer dual function control switch to track incoming calls. The Meridiist Automobili Lamborghini is luxuriously crafted and detailed, marrying the most prestigious materials and advanced components in the watchmaking and automotive worlds. www.tagheuer.com/meridiist

Golden touch/ Golden images

Owing to the highly competent aluminium finishing, the designers of Bang & Olufsen were able to finalise the unique golden shade that will be added to the present range of colours. Nevertheless, to preserve the exclusive golden shade, only a few products (including some of Bang & Olufsen’s most emblematic audio and video products, as well as an additional range of loudspeakers) may be ordered in their new golden version. The golden shade will only be supplied to order and for a higher price. www.bang-olufsen.com


sur la terre objects

Enter the light

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With the 3 new Wake-up Light models, let the sun wake you up even in the dead of winter. From now onward, the iPod will also contribute to the wake-up ceremony thanks to an integrated station. Half an hour before the desired wake-up time, the Wake-up Light is set in motion and the lightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s intensity increases gradually. Moreover, four natural ringtones are offered: bird twittering, African jungle, chimes in the wind or soft sound. You will, thus, be able to select your favourite station to wriggle out of the arms of Morpheus thanks to an integrated digital radio, or opt for your song with the HF3490 design equipped with a station for iPod or iPhone. As for those among you who love to read in bed, you will be able to enjoy the optimal light intensity of the Wake-up Light to plunge you deep into your favourite novel . www.philips.com

Maximum comfort

Who has never experienced the unpleasant sensation of having their legs burnt by their laptop? To remedy this problem, the new HeatProtectâ&#x201E;˘ PC Covers, with their three protective layers shield you and your computer from any excess heat. The plain surface ensures sufficient ventilation and constitutes a solid supporting surface for the PC. An integrated handle makes transportation particularly easy. www.philips.com

Precision and lightness

Lumix DMC-GF1: the latest of the Lumix G marks a real breakthrough in the world of digital photography. The DMC-GF1 is a real, lightweight and easy-to-use compact that offers all the creative potential of a reflex without its drawbacks. Designed for photographers seeking a precise, highperformance and designer camera, the GF1 unquestionably delivers spontaneous photographs and frees us from the restraints of the reflex universe without compromising on quality. The new Limux also offers High Definition video, a number of manual modes and PASM photo and video. It is available in white, black and silver. www.panasonic.com


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sur la terre gourmet travel

Florence

The Fount of Fine Art

< Florence is known as “The Cradle of the Renaissance” >

In keeping with the all encompassing theme of “art”, James McCarthy visits the “cradle of the European Renaissance”, and arguably the cultural capital of Italy. Come with us on our Tuscan trek to Florence. >>> Above the dome of The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, the winter sun languishes low in the sky as a flock of pigeons takes flight in to the crispy December air, startled by a group of stylishly coiffured Italian women making their way across the Piazza della Signoria. As Sur la Terre sits, al fresco, in one of the many cafes to line the sides of the L-shaped Piazza, taking in a perfectly prepared cappuccino, we reflect on the rich, cultural history of this beautiful city.

< Machiavelli was one of Florence’s famous sons >

Florence has a legendary artistic heritage. Cimabue and Giotto, the fathers of Italian painting, lived here as well as Arnolfo and Andrea Pisano, renewers of architecture and sculpture. The world can also thank this stunning, eternal conurbation for raising the forefathers of the Renaissance; Brunelleschi, Donatello, Masaccio, Ghiberti, Angelico, Botticelli, Paolo Uccello and, of course, the most famous sons of all, the universal genius of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Built on such a solid cultural foundation, it is no surprise that physical shrines, in Renaissance, gothic and baroque architecture, have been created to house their works. Florence, quite rightly, marks its global cultural importance

with several museums and galleries, each of which is home to one or more works of the afore mentioned artistic heavyweights, as well many other generations of great Italian creatives of lesser renown, but no little importance. No visit to Florence is complete without a tour of these houses of artistic worship: the Uffizi Gallery, the Palatina gallery, The Bargello Tower with the sculptures of the Renaissance, the museum of San Marco with Angelico’s works, the Academy, the chapels of the Medicis, and Buonarroti’ s house with the sculptures of Michelangelo. The Bardini, Horne, Stibbert, Romano and Corsini museums, The Gallery of Modern Art and The museum of the Opera del Duomo are also must visit locations. Florence itself is one huge canvas, upon which some of the world’s most beautiful buildings and architecture combine to make the Tuscan capital one of Italy’s finest works of art. Florentine artistic culture resonates from every cobble and every brick: the Florence Baptistery with its mosaics; the Cathedral with its sculptures, the medieval churches with bands


sur la terre gourmet travel

of frescoes; public as well as private palaces such as Palazzo Vecchio, Palazzo Pitti, Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Palazzo Davanzati through to monasteries, cloisters and refectories. In fact, the city is so rich in art, that Stendhal syndrome, a psychosomatic illness that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, confusion, and even hallucinations, when an individual is exposed to art (usually when the art is particularly beautiful or a large amount of art is in a single place), is often referred to in laymans terms as â&#x20AC;&#x153;Florence Syndromeâ&#x20AC;?.

< Elegant and luxurious renaissance interiors adorn The Grand Hotel >

In his book, Naples and Florence: A journey from Milan to Reggio, the famous 19th century French author, Stendhal, writes that he first experienced the phenomenon, now named after him, during his visit to the city in 1817. Republic and Renaissance This bohemian character belies the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s militaristic heritage, however. Florence was established in 59BC by none other than the great Roman general, Julius Caesar, as a settlement for his veteran soldiers. It was built in the style of an army camp in the fertile valley of the vast Arno river. It soon became an important commercial centre, famed for its food and wine. Tuscany is one of the great wine-growing regions in the world. The Chianti region is just south of Florence, and its Sangiovese grapes

< The dome and architecture of Florence Cathedral are considered masterpieces >

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The city’s Great Council elected Niccolò Machiavelli as Secretary to the second Chancery of the Republic of Florence. Machiavelli, like Da Vinci, is considered a typical example of the Renaissance Man whose creative gifts went far beyond just the scope of his civil service role. His name has also become synonymous with the use of cunning and deceitful tactics in politics. His prescriptions for Florence’s regeneration under strong leadership have often been seen as a legitimisation of political expediency and even malpractice. This led to the second period of Medici rule. Florentines drove out the Medici for a second time and re-established a republic in 1527. Restored twice with the support of both Emperor and Pope, in 1537, the Medici became hereditary dukes of Florence, and in 1569 Grand Dukes of Tuscany, ruling for two centuries. Crossing Ponte Spanning the lazy ebb of the Arno river is the Ponte Vecchio, one of the city’s most famous landmarks and a must see during any trip to the city. Meaning “Old Bridge” in Italian, the Ponte Vecchio was built in 1345 at the river’s narrowest point and is noted for still having shops built along it, as was once common. In order to connect the Palazzo Vecchio (Florence’s town hall) with the Palazzo Pitti, in 1565 Cosimo de Medici had Giorgio Vasari build a covered corridor to run above the shops of the bridge. The famous Vasari Corridor is the result. < A replica of Michaelangelo’s David stands outside the Palazzo Vecchio >

figure prominently not only in its Chianti Classico wines but also in many of the more recently developed Supertuscan blends. The celebrated Chianti Rufina district, geographically and historically separated from the main Chianti region, is also few miles east of Florence. However, while it might not seem so now, the city was often troubled by warfare between the Ostrogoths and the Byzantines, and Florence was conquered by Charlemagne in 774 and became part of the Duchy of Tuscany, with Lucca as capital. It was around 1000AD that the Golden Age of Florentine art began.

Butchers initially occupied the shops, but, the present tenants are jewellers, art dealers and souvenir sellers. It has been described as Europe’s oldest wholly-stone, closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge, and while there are older examples, none are set against a more beautiful urban backdrop. It is also widely believed that the economic concept of bankruptcy originated on the bridge. When a merchant could not pay his debts, the table on which he sold his wares (the “banco”) was physically broken (“rotto”) by soldiers, and this practice was called “bancorotto” Not having a table anymore, the merchant was unable to continue trading.

By 1348, the Black Death was sweeping across Europe, and there was further strife in the Tuscan air, as Florence became the scene of an attempted strike by wool combers (ciompi) bringing the city’s wool trade, which employed around a quarter of the local population, to a halt. Unhappy with the oligarchic rule, problems continued and in 1378 resulted in a brief uprising known as the Revolt of the Ciompi. After their suppression, Florence came under the sway of the Albizzi family. However, this dynasty was not to last long, and through various political machinations and, for want of a better word, Wasta, Cosimo Medici (the Medici family were bankers to the, then, all-powerful Vatican, which more than eased their way to power) slowly but surely took control of the running of Florence. This was to become the catalyst for the great Renaissance. Cosimo’s Medici’s grandson Lorenzo took control of the city in 1469, and became a great patron of the arts, commissioning works by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli. Lorenzo was also an accomplished musician and brought some of the most famous composers and singers of the day to Florence, including Alexander Agricola, Johannes Ghiselin and Heinrich Isaac. He became known by contemporary Florentines, and remains referred to today, as “ Lorenzo il Magnifico” (Lorenzo the Magnificent). The first period of Medici rule came to an abrupt end with Lorenzo’s son, Piero II, in 1494.

< The Via de Tornabuoni is home to most of fashion’s stellar names >


sur la terre gourmet travel

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< The Ponte Vecchio from above with the Vasari Corridor >

Florentine Fashionistas Back to our coffee and stylishly coiffured trio of ladies, we finish up our last Biscotti and drain our cup as they go, laughing and clip-clopping past. It is unsurprising that these Florentine sirens take great pride, like most Italians, in the way they turn out in public. The city is, historically, the first home of Italian fashion. Since the early 1950s, when Giovanni Battista Giorgini established the Italian school, a fashion principle to compete with French haute couture, the city has since become home to the legendary Italian fashion establishment Salvatore Ferragamo, notable as one of the oldest and most famous Italian fashion houses.

< La Piazza della signoria >

< The entrance hall to the Grand Hotel is a work of art in itself >

Many others, most of them now located in Milan, were founded in Florence. You will find all of the stellar names of Italian fashion domiciled in the city, with Gucci, Prada and Roberto Cavalli running large offices and stores in Florence or its outskirts. Florence’s main upscale shopping street is Via de’ Tornabuoni, where just about every major luxury fashion house and jewellery label from Chanel, Armani, Ferragamo and Bulgari, have their elegant boutiques and ply their trade on this very real street of dreams. To really immerse yourself in the luxury and culture that Florence has to offer, live like a patrician during your stay. The Grand Hotel was once the formal residence of, among others, the aforementioned Medici family, which as we know, ran the city as an vindependent state for more than three centuries and played a major part in the birth of the Renaissance. Located on Piazza Ognissanti overlooking the river Arno, the hotel stands in the heart of the the historic centre of the city and just walking distance from the most famous works of art and the Via de’ Tornabuoni. The hotel’s design encapsulates the typical elements of Renaissance Florentine Architecture, with fine decor, precious marble and stained glass, and is the perfect place to rest your head when the Stendhal syndrome hits.


Elia Suleiman

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sur la terre spotlight

< Elia Suleiman with the Best Middle Eastern Narrative Film award at the 2009 Middle East International Film Festival >

Multiple award-winning Palestinian director Elia Suleiman has been turning heads with his tragically comedic style since he first burst on the scene in 1990 with his film Introduction to the End of an Argument. His newest film, The Time That Remains, was Sur la Terreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first choice at both the Middle East International Film Festival and Doha Tribeca Film Festival. In an interview with the coy conductor, SLT gets to the root of his motivations and machinations.


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< Suleiman speaks about his work to an audience at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival >

Many filmmakers in the region believe that you cannot make a political film while at the same time being aesthetically pleasing as a form of art. Do you think it’s important for Arab filmmakers to be politically engaged? What is political and what is not political? Let’s say you’re living in the North of Sweden, and the water that used to be crisp and beautiful becomes dirty and polluted, and the fish die. Is this political? Extremely. I don’t think we live a moment in our life that isn’t political because we have a story behind everything, a story that we should know. I think if we want to be politically conscious of what’s going on in the world, we need to acquire some knowledge of what we use in everyday life, whether that is an object, a product or a thought. I don’t think we should take anything for granted in terms of what we’ve been told. When you’re watching television, it’s a political act by itself, and you should always reserve a certain distance to keep from being brainwashed. For example, in my case, I did not put a tank in the movie (The Time That Remains) as decor. I didn’t fantasise that there was a tank - there WAS a tank. This is part of the everyday reality of Palestinians who have to go through checkpoints. Take into consideration that I am not exactly one living under occupation, or even the experience back and forth. I sponged a reality that has this kind of violence in it. This metamorphosed into some kind of aesthetic image, so I think it’s unavoidable to live the everyday and not encounter politics. A man who has no work is a political experience; someone who is not getting good medical care is another political reality; it’s just that in certain cases, the representation varies. In my films, the representations are made of steel, so I managed to blow up a couple of them.

Do you think that filmmaking can be an act of resistance or is that a word you would never use? I’ve used it at least ten times today. Of course, ambivalence is also a good stance in resistance. The term “resistance” has maybe been overused into redundancy that confuses its meaning, and I think that when we are using it, we should give it a new definition. For example, I have talked about silence [in my films] as a tool of resistance. The word doesn’t mean today what it meant in the 60’s; it had a heavier weight on it back then, and I think it has expanded to include the way we are conscious of the world in which we live. If we manage in our speech and our construction of a language to always give it that redefinition, then I think it is a valid term, especially today. If we are just going to use it as a cliche for a nationalistic cause, then I think we are just in a deja-vu situation. I don’t intend to do that, and I have no affiliation with a time that existed for its own historic context with that kind of terminology. I think the word resistance is a very touching and even tender word because it tries to deter that which is already in our living rooms. I think the fight has become a lot harsher, but the means to resist appear in different strategies. In my case, it’s in the aesthetic, but I don’t come carrying silence in the same way that somebody carries a gun. It is something that is imbedded in my films. I think that this is something we have to include in the redefinition of resistance; it should not be a tact, and neither should it be an institution. It should never be a term used in any kind of tribal fashion, because then it starts in its own way to exclude, attack and aggress a certain other tribe. One always has to bring a redefinition and the second it becomes static, break it and redefine it again. I think there is an infinity of constant motion in the way we look at these kind of definitions.


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sur la terre spotlight

< Amanda Palmer speaks to Elia Suleiman on Al Jazeera’s Fabulous Picture Show >

Since September 11th, do you see any difference in the way Hollywood portrays Arab culture? Well, I used to think that it used to be dumb, but now I think that it has become ... well, still dumb, but a different kind of dumb. After September 11th, you saw where the shift of the genre started, by shooting here in the Gulf and using another kind of stereotype of Gulfi figures. It used to be that they were just Ferrari owners and now they are not just driving Ferraris, but are also CEOs in conspiracies against the world. The stereotyping has become more sophisticated, and the narrative itself has become more embedded and, in fact, more mischievous. It used to be obvious, you know, with Ali Babba, from Lawrence of Arabia to the animations that they used to do about Arabs. I made a film about this actually, called Introduction to the End of an Argument that used a lot of these images.

that people who are usually doing these films are in a financial power position to continue producing these stereotypes.

Lately I’ve been sent scripts from writers, including those from Hollywood, that decided to shift their position a bit more liberally and send me a script rather than a Hollywood director. They thought, “Hey this is interesting. Why doesn’t a Palestinian direct this fabulous script?” I’ve read a few of them and they are as nauseating as you can imagine from the beginning to the end, but they wanted another twist, which is for a native to conduct the technical directing. The problem is

What are your thoughts on young, up-and-coming filmmakers in the region that may not have access to local film funds? As we talk now, the earth is turning. That means, there is or will be a shift. The fact that they are establishing funds here is a good intention, so even if they censor movies, we should always look for that non-rhetoric of why they decided to establish a fund in the first place. I am not a sellout, as you can see, to any power structure. I am a “taboo” filmmaker. I

I have lived in New York for much of my life, and the energy that exists there is like nothing I have ever seen in the world. I have an everyday nostalgia for the energy that people in New York have, which I don’t experience in Europe. There is a kind of jargon in terms of the liberalism, which I sometimes found to be dishonest in a certain European cultures, for example, sympathy toward the Arab world or the Palestinian cause, that I don’t find in the States. Unfortunately, not a lot of them can break through the “checkpoint” of who controls film financing. I am drawn to these pockets of culture because there is something fascinating about what goes on in the US, especially in the exchange and diversity you see, including philosophy and critical writing.


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< Suleiman in his newest film, The Time That Remains >

mean, I’ve had fatwas put on me and I’m not exactly a kiss-up, but I also don’t think that one has to simply stand statically as a critic. That’s why I came here; I can say that I shifted, and I will never play into the hands of anyone because it will kill what it is I’m doing. If somebody comes to me in Doha and says, “Here is 10 million Euros, BUT ...” well, it’s not going to work. You’re playing into the hands of the devil all your life, even when you get funding from Europe. One of the most poignant points in The Time That Remains was the scene of your father’s reaction to President Nasser of Egypt’s death. What is the direction of the framework you are employing in this story? Were the political ramifications driving the cultural ones or vice versa? Were they intertwined? Yes, you just answered it. They are intertwined. For example, you don’t see headings of history in the film. The year 1948 is mentioned by a character, 1967 is never mentioned and Day of the Land is mentioned only on the radio. I did not try to make an epic with headings. What I did try to do is put on the screen the strong memory of my father at that moment. I always remember my father when Nasser died; it was such a grave sadness in the house. When you’re a kid and you see such a volume of sadness in your mother and father ... it is a moment that really affected me for a long time. All that I did was to go to this emotional moment and try to portray it. As you said, you truly span the decades during your films. Stylistically, how did you differentiate between these greatly contrastive eras? What I did for the scenes in the 70’s was try and remember how the sky was. You know, in the 70’s, there was no pollution like there was later on, so I tried to put it in a different light. I did the same thing in Divine Intervention; it was not at all consistent. In Nazareth, there was a harsh, colourful and more expressionistic light at the checkpoint,

which I did to produce a drama from ambiance. In 1948 in The Time That Remains, the choice was how to make the exterior a place of violence and the interior a place of coziness. So, you will notice that whenever a door opens, there is nothing to be seen outside. In fact, trucks were brought in to “burn” the outside in order for it to become an extreme, because these houses were soon to be lost. Every single piece of furniture, even the paintings on the wall, were made with precise research by a great Palestinian production designer. Our budget was mostly infused in the 1948 scenes in order to produce the same houses. The house in the film is actually my grandfather’s house. I needed to see what they saw and what they did, so a lot of work went into making that effect. The rest is fiction. You trust what you call the potential truth, and the rest is cinema. Did that moment signal some semblance of loss of a pan-Arab unity through the death of Nasser? Can there be a modern recapturing of that unity through art, and particularly film art in what you are doing right now? No, I don’t think that this is necessary or historically viable. I wouldn’t become part of this movement if there was one. I think the world is more obvious now in regard to the definition of unity. It is not a question of identity, but one of identification. I think wherever you are or whoever you are, it’s not a question of Arabs vs. non-Arabs. For me, this idea is only used when there is something made exotic in a positive sense, or when I come here and am seduced by calligraphy for example. That’s when I say, “this is Arab,” and it’s my privilege to be a bit pretentious and be proud of being Arab when I see some aesthetics that appeal to me. I could be pompous to you and say, “Hey, this is us,” but it’s only for that moment, and someone else can say that this is her more than it is me for whatever reason. The only unity we have is to have friendship, and that’s the only thing we need.


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sur la terre beauty

Shivering

Splend ur

Photographs by Angelika Buettner Make-up: Eny Whitehead Hair: Lucie Musci Production: Muriel Quoix Assistant: Marta Rodriguez Model: Lisa Wallert @ New Madison Paris Black Strass n.10 MAKEUP FOR EVER Diorshow iconic extreme mascara, Black 090 DIOR Transluscent loose powder SHISEIDO Advanced Hydro-Liquid Compact foundation SHISEIDO Sparkling Touch for Lips, Gold Shimmer 2 YVES SAINT LAURENT Clutch SWAROVSKI Ring SWAROVSKI


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Shadow X4 pure grey MAC Moisturizing bronzing powder n°2 GUERLAIN Rouge Allure Luminous Satin Lip Colour 59 Nude CHANEL Black Strass n.10 MAKEUP FOR EVER Eye Magic VELD’S Treizeor Bowtie by ALEXIS MABILLE


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sur la terre beauty

Anti-ageing fresh compact foundation DIOR Diorshow iconic mascara,Black 090 DIOR Shadows - Quatuor Boutons de Chanel, in Les Folies Noires CHANEL Waterproof eyeliner, Black eyes CHANEL Nails - nocturnelle MAC Headbands SWAROVSKI Necklace with large stones SWAROVSKI Golden choker FRANCOISE MONTAGUE Silver sautior necklace with stones SWAROVSKI Silver choker with black sequins FRANCOISE MONTAGUE Necklace with large gold and silver stones FRANCOISE MONTAGUE Earrings FRANCOISE MONTAGUE Bracelet SWAROVSKI


sur la terre good tastes

A Capital Idea Sur la Terre Editor Steve Paugh and Manama Area Manager Chirine Halabi take lunch at the top of the world in Bahrainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first exclusive business-society hangout: The Capital Club.

>>> As we approached the imposing East Tower of the Bahrain Financial Harbour to attend the exclusive media lunch at The Capital Club, the Sur la Terre team was suddenly hit with quite a few sensations. The first was the sheer magnificence of the BFH Towers themselves, glinting as they did in an aqua-marine flourish under a surprisingly cerulean sky, made all the more dynamic by an unexpected thin veil of cloud. Much like the shadow that these two titans of industry draped us in, the exclusivity of the dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s events was the next thing to cover us. As our ears popped during the steady ascent in the lift to the top of the tower and after we stepped out onto the 52nd floor, taking in as we did the already noticeable rich surroundings, we realised that there are rare occasions where something so perfectly matched the luxurious nature of the Sur la Terre lifestyle. It was then that we truly understood that The Capital Club, much like its distinguished clientele, is a truly rare breed.

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Officially opened on June 17, 2009 by His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed Bin Essa Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Board of Governors, The Capital Club offers its discerning, selectively-chosen members a combination of the most elite dining, relaxing and business experiences in the entire country. While taking a tour of the Club, we were immediately stunned by the breathtaking panoramic views through windows that bask the Club’s interior in either sunshine or starlight. At ground level, Manama may seem at some parts to be shrouded in dust and complicated by a heaving sea of humanity, but from above, its petite sprawl is truly inspiring. These views, however spectacular, still take a decidedly second place to the grandeur that glows inside the Club. The waiting area to the left of the lifts and the bar to the right are the first forays into the refined marriage of natural beauty and manmade cultivation. Meeting us at this focal point of finesse were the establishment’s General Manager, David Williamson, and Guy Guillemard, Chief Executive of Signature Clubs International, the parent company of the Capital Club. After a quick chat and a refreshing, freshly-squeezed orange juice later, we were whisked away from our seats by Membership Director Sonali Thadani and taken on a comprehensive tour that spanned both of the Club’s floors. Our journey began at the top, with the Signature Grill, where we would later be taking lunch. Serving cuisine with a classic-cum-contemporary European twist, Signature reminded us of one of those traditional supper lounges that found popularity in the early 20th century, and have once again become all the rage. Plush, leather cushions rest amidst robust

woods and rich granite, and under modern chandeliers. Whether set in an intimate alcove or an open dining space, meals are relaxed and made all the more delicious by the succulent surroundings. Around the Signature Grill, we received our first look at the multiple private meeting rooms, all of which are equipped with flat-screen televisions and mostly include business tools, such as whiteboards and telecommunications functions. Most of us should be so lucky to hold business meetings in such rich environs. Walking downstairs, past the intricate chandelier that hangs like a crystal carpet vertically between both floors, we immediately entered what will prove to be the favourite for the gentlemen members of the club. As Ron Burgundy once attested, true masculinity can only be reached via a verve rife with “rich mahogany and many leather-bound books,” and the library lounge on the lower floor has both in spades. The Club’s second restaurant, Anan, is closer to the cultural cuisine of the Middle East region. Focusing mainly on Lebanese fare, Anan is only slightly less ceremonial, but is no less sumptuous. One of the most uniquely arresting features of the Club comes in perhaps the strangest place of all: the bathroom. With sweeping vistas of Manama spreading out before you through windows similarly grand as those surrounding the interior restaurants and meeting rooms, never has the simple restroom been so freeing. The one constant in all of this diversity is the element of class and poise, which is exactly what Guy Guillemard was looking to create in the Capital Club in Bahrain. Having worked to create and facilitate similar lifestyles in


sur la terre good tastes

other regions in the world, including places like Dubai and Hong Kong, Guy was divested in bringing “club couture” to our little slice of the Gulf. As we sat down at the long table in the Signature Grill, Guy continued to tell us how the Capital Club would create an opportunity for like-minded individuals to foster a community with a greater sense of sophistication. After sating our curiosity by feasting on lively and enlightening conversation while perusing the special menu, we were finally ready for the main course. The menu for lunch was as varied as the atmosphere we had just experienced; in fact, the only difficult thing for us was making a decision of what to try. While the smoked salmon and hammour leek gratin with lemon beurre blanc and the crispy beef bacon with blue stilton cheese and organic poached egg salad both looked irresistibly enticing, I went for the chilled plum tomato consomme nicoise for a much lighter appetiser. Served chilled, the piquant soup that was peppered with diced vegetables and olives filled my mouth with a refreshingly lip-smacking lusciousness and proved to be the perfect palate pleaser to whet my appetite. As I sipped at the last spoonful, we discussed the varying flavours that the other dinner guests had experienced, all of which ranged from “amazing” to “excellent.” Continuing on with my light-lunch theme, I chose the cannelloni of organic Scottish salmon served with artichoke compote and saffron sauce over the grilled Angus minute steak and the mixed grilled Mediterranean vegetable risotto. Not that the other offerings were not similarly mouthwatering, but I personally believe I

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made the best decision. Light, creamy and decadent, the small rolls were expertly prepared into a presentation that was as delectable as it was exquisite. In any other establishment, the dish may have paled under its own delicacy; luckily, this particular repast was in the capable hands of the Capital Club’s culinary team. Dessert, as it tends to do, capped everything off with a welcomingly sweet finish. I went for the seasonal fruit pavlova with Chantilly cream and vanilla ice cream, and again felt justified in my choice. Oftentimes, the consistency and taste of pavlova can induce a dry, sandy mouth texture that is made worse by excessively sweet overtones. The Club’s pavlova, however, was light while maintaining its substance, and textured without being chalky. Marinated as it was under the cream and fresh fruits, its finish was, dare we say it, ambrosial. Utterly satisfied without being stuffed, all diners walked back into the cool Bahrain afternoon doused in sunlight and delight, always a winning combination. The Capital Club that sits atop the BFH East Tower like an eagle’s nest of the country’s social elite well deserves its cultured reputation of impeccable class, and is a must for any sophisticate who wants to both achieve and devour the fastidious upper crust of Manama’s society. To learn more about what it takes and how it pays to be a member of the Capital Club, call +973 17 100100 or go to the website at www.capitalclubbahrain.com


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sur la terre fashion

EQUUS Production: Juliette Blondel @ Le Dressing @ www.julietteblondel.fr Stylist assistant: Ayako Lijima Photographs by: Ian Abela @ Visionairs in Art www.ianabela.com Models: Olga Cerpita & Thomas Aouste @ Studio KLRP Paris Hair: Delphine Delain @ Sybille Kleber Make-up: Delphine Delain @ Sybille Kleber Hair: David Martinez @ Sybille Kleber Special thanks to: Centre Equestre La Lisiere - Poigny-la-Forêt. France

Him White cotton shirt MELINDA GLOSS Tuxedo jacket CELIO CLUB Satin bowtie HUGO BOSS Trousers HUGO - HUGO BOSS Cummerbund Z. Zegna Silk scarf BURBERRY Slush boots AIGLE “Saumur” lamb nubuck gloves GUIBERT


sur la terre fashion

The horse “Bredies” bridle reins Leather and neoprene fetlocks H front bridle in chevron canvas Pair of leather gaiters Felt saddle pad “Brasilia” buffalo close contact jumping saddle All HERMES

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Her Silk dress BOTTEGA VENETA Leather boots AIGLE Leather and wool gloves AGNELLE “Collier de chasse” leather belt GUIBERT


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sur la terre fashion

Wool Prince of Wales jacket RALPH LAUREN Silk and cotton blouse BURBERRY Wool vest RALPH LAUREN Jodhpurs in leather and suede KENZO défilé Wool cap RALPH LAUREN Gold “Eon” watch with leather strap VERSACE Leather and metal bracelet HERMES Silk scarf RALPH LAUREN Leather belt NEW-MAN Silver horseshoe brooch GUIBERT


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Velour and leather jodhpurs RALPH LAUREN Turtleneck sweater in cashmere and wool BOTTEGA VENETA Wool cardigan PAUL SMITH Wool cardigan with leather yoke POLO RALPH LAUREN Large pure wool vest KENZO défilé Felt hat Z. ZEGNA Leather boots ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA “Brasilia” buffalo close contact jumping saddle HERMES


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sur la terre fashion

Wool coat with silk and leather MARITHE ET FRANCOIS GIRBAUD Egyptian cotton blouse HUGO -HUGO BOSS Jodhpurs in stretch cotton Ralph Lauren Leather tie CELIO CLUB “Mors” necklace in solid silver GUIBERT “Constance Mini” lizard bag HERMES Tailored dressage hat GUIBERT


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Cotton trench with leather piping MELINDA GLOSS Flannel trousers PAUL SMITH “Etriviere” leather belt GUIBERT Wool gabardine vest PAUL SMITH Cotton shirt FALKE “Tudor IV” crocodile boots JOHN LOBB Dip Dyed “Brides de Gala” silk scarf HERMES Leather gloves AGNELLE 100% silk riding helmet by Charles Owen for GUIBERT


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sur la terre fashion

Cotton blouse PAUL SMITH Black Label Long acetate silk skirt MAX MARA Velour jacket with silk and satin TAE ASHIDA Leather boots AIGLE Satin cummerbund CERRUTI


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Cotton jodhpurs HERMES Cotton shirt CHARVET Chevron wool vest RALPH LAUREN Bowtie RALPH LAUREN Slush boots AIGLE Leather belt JOHN LOBB Leather gloves AIGLE 100% silk riding helmet by Charles Owen for GUIBERT Self-winding “Giro” watch with 18K pink gold and leather band BERTOLUCCI


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sur la terre fashion

Velour jacket THIERRY MUGLER Slim, virgin wool pants HUGO-HUGO BOSS Leather gloves AGNELLE Wool hat by Antony Peto for THIERRY MUGLER Cotton shirt HERMES Metal tie pin THIERRY MUGLER Slush boots AIGLE


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Virgin wool cape-coat HUGO-HUGO BOSS Cashmere sweater LACOSTE Jodhpurs in cotton, leather and sheepskin HERMES “Triomphe” goat leather boots HERMES Braided goat leather tie HERMES “Harnais” pocket watch with leather cord HERMES Barenia Leather gloves AGNELLE “Mors” necklace in solid silver GUIBERT


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sur la terre fashion

Wool gabardine Spencer CERRUTI Chiffon blouse MARELLA Cotton pants AIGLE “Etriviere” leather belt GUIBERT 100% silk riding helmet by Charles Owen for GUIBERT


sur la terre in vogue

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In Vogue at to look Where to shop and wh ive trends in for – the latest exclus ilable the fashion world, ava y all to you loc

Fending for Fendi If the world was at war (a war of the fashion houses, that is), Fendi’s 2009 ready-to-wear winter line is exactly what we would wear for battle. In the true style of a Mongolian warrior princess who defies the surge of midfinancial crisis fear against luxury, Fendi proves you can be tough and strong, yet whimsically elegant all at once. Featuring the strong presence of earthy colours and what looks like a burned-out selection of luxurious fabrics like cashmere and chiffon, the collection boasts something for all tastes. From structured military jackets in metallic sheen, bolero-like wraps and Kylie Minogue-esque draping on evening dresses and shorter tunic tops, to hard leather corsets enveloping soft velvet cocktail dress inspirations, this really has to be one of our favourite collaborations between legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld and the ultra glamorous Silvia Venturini Fendi. At first glance, there did seem to be an overpowering presence of the inexcusable 80s shoulder pad, but after a closer look, this is softened by the endless feminine accents that ooze the trademark Lagerfeld opulence. Surprisingly, and unlike many of the other collections this season, the ready-to-wear label is very much in its place considering the array of soft leather cigarette pants, flirty lace-trimmed party dresses

and biker jackets on offer. All this comes with a burst of daring colour in the form of lime green handbags, crimson frocks and the oh-so-sexy gladiator-enthused leg guards, extending as they do from platform Mary Jane’s or slouchy ankle boots. The final spark of genius comes from the gold-clasped ode to the fabulous Elizabeth Taylor: the Fendi headband. If there’s anything we’re coveting this season, it’s everything Fendi.

One Chanel of a Collection In its usual gutsy, one in a million, classic yet fashion-forward style, Chanel delivers yet another stellar line; its new winter eyewear collection. Classic lines, timeless shapes and primary, basic colours with an androgynous twist in the form of distressed denim arms create a spectacular assortment of accessories for us to indulge in and beat the winter blues. The sunglasses from the range feature the Nicole Richie trademark oversized rounded-square format in tones that appeal to the senses and to the eyes. Graduating cherry-reds easing into rock ‘n’ roll chic denim arms are topped off with the fait de complete – the discreet yet always comforting metal studded double C logo that on its own spells out the legendary history of a fashion house built to weather the worst economic storms. Other designs feature sharper shapes rather than the soft slopes of the aforementioned masterpiece and boast earthier, easy to wear hues like chocolate brown, luscious plum and the instantly glamorous tortoiseshell. The aqua tinted, St. Tropez-inspired look is definitely our withstanding favourite. It would definitely be a shame not to treat yourselves to an all-seasons pair from the optical eyewear numbers too, and what a treat they are. Once again, the pure genius of the ageless Chanel concept has taken a detour off the lavish Chanel Atelier runway and straight into the

creative imaginings of the Classic Line. Sophisticated acetate frames in icy whites and look-at-me reds have been warped into a meshed template making for an intriguing and solid companion. As always, we are spoilt for choice with a duo of glossy and more roughly textured finishings. We’re definitely going for glam with a dash of grunge and denim clad optics.


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sur la terre in vogue

Lovin’ LV Louis Vuitton has a habit of making us mindlessly crave, whine and lust over anything the voracious fashion house offers. The latest men’s line is definitely no exception as we sit in our office cubicles dreaming of a holiday transporting us to the same world as the effortlessly cool LV man. Labelled the ‘Casual Escapade’, a collection of weightless, luxurious yet deliciously convenient pieces are thrown together for a look plucked right off the docks of Corsica. Cargo shorts in easy linens and comforting cottons are teamed with matching t-shirts in calming hues. These are then kicked up a notch on the glamour scale in typical LV style and bedecked with calf and alligator leather touches in the form of double-sided (yes, we said doublesided) chocolate belts and a glam take on the Eastport sandal. The line incorporates all the standout trends of the season, yet with a significant LV twist making two-minute crazes a lasting imprint on our inner fashion gurus. Denim is transformed into flexi-friendly, faux cotton shirts, which are then topped off with the signature LV monogrammed silk scarf for a look that oozes poolside chic. For the man who wants the whole LV experience a treat is at hand with classic acetate sunglasses, practical yet gorgeous canvas totes, an impressive array of footwear and even velvety beach towels making an appearance to make even a simple beach trip an haute couture experience. Louis Vuitton makes looking good easy.

The Aviator Lacoste Style In the cheeky style of Catch Me If You Can and other Leo Di Caprio flicks celebrating man’s ability to zoom around from one continent to the other in no time, Lacoste has come through with one of its most comfortable and laid back collections to date. The label has always been one for relaxation and convenience versus the usual fuss of couture, and this latest collection does not fail the concept. The brand’s sophisticated take on the jumpsuit is an easy-on-the-eye palette of creamy whites, soft textured greys, baby blues and toned down browns, creating an easy wardrobe for the high society gal on the go. In another charming yet masculine take on the 1960s is a look inspired by the legendary and adorable Diane Keaton, as cut-offs are paired with business shirts in the lightest of checks and layered with soft knits and coats. The classic gentleman’s tie is once again reinvented by

severing its pointy finish into a straight line. If you were wondering where on earth the little crocodile logo went, look no further than the two toned glory of the warm wools completed with the cap-cum-scarf trademarked by Lacoste. The Milano jersey makes an incredible appearance in the show finale with the headto-toe monochrome styling of the unisex suiting, taking an ordinary office day into the power ride of your life. Retro, edging on mod and literally out of this world, Lacoste has taken the simplicity of the everyday boot and channeled its inner Princess Leia to create the cherry on top of the fashion sundae in nudes that would leave even her majesty hankering for a dose of pure, unadulterated opulence. If we were on the run from the law alongside the dashing Mr. Di Caprio, our Lacoste gear might make for easy spotting, but they’re still gonna have to catch us... if they can.


sur la terre in vogue

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Van Cleef and Arpels is Forever Immortalising the ethereal beauty of the majestic and mysterious Bird of Paradise, or “Oiseaux de Paradis,” Van Cleef and Arpels has supplied the lovers of high jewellery with yet another collection to cherish forevermore. Inspired by this creature of legendary mythical tales, the diamonds, sapphires and emeralds offer a dazzling multi-coloured sparkle with a range that will have you standing out from the crowd. Much like the flamboyant Bird of Paradise, you too will finally be able to showcase your breathtaking plumage. Slender curves and curls twist and turn from asymmetrical lines into movements so refined they must be from another world. White gold necklaces, bracelets, rings and a return to the classic pin create interlaced detail all in the form of the heavenly bird perching ever so gently on the neck, wrist

KENZO does the Kremlin With an army of blushing, milkmaid-like strawberry blondes walking down the runway, half the designer’s work is almost done anyway, as was the case for Antonio Marras and the 2009/10 Autumn-Winter Kenzo collection. With a brilliant seasonal look boasts bare, sleepy eyes and cheeks that look stung by the cruel Moscow winter chill. Coupled with wispy, romantic updos nestled under fur and sheepskin variations of the traditional Russian Ushanka, the scene was perfectly set. Think of this collection as a 21st century Anna Karenina, dressed for comfort while roving the majestic charm of Moscow and the vast expanse of the golden Russian countryside, frosted in glistening snow. If Anna had been as fashion savvy as they are at Kenzo, we are certain her story would have ended up somewhere other than the tracks of an oncoming train. A range of military-inspired pieces are incorporated into a largely floral theme, giving what could have been a knockoff from any summer collection a major

edge. Dainty prints in a soft palette of pinks and beiges with delicate undercurrents of ultrafeminine fuchsia ingeniously drape over loosefitting tunics and knits. Particularly when paired with leggings or even denim, this collection becomes something for even the finickiest shopper. Slashes of wine-toned burgundy, creamy mustard and deep blue hues ensure the liveliness of a ‘little Russian house on the prairie’ feel. There are more than enough accessories to keep all of you House of Harlow fans satisfied. Instead of the rockin’ 60’s, Marras has drawn upon the romantic allure of Doctor Zhivago, with a backdrop embedded in the Russian Revolution. Cow print totes, studs, tassels and a glamorised version of the waist pouch all make standout appearances. The best news is, we can easily delayer and mix ’n’ match to adapt the styles to our more moderate winter, leaving us with no excuses but to rush out to the nearest Kenzo store. As the Russians say, udachi shoppers!

and ears for a sensuous feeling of pure magic. Like a waterfall, rippling in the sunshine and graduating in tone, are the arabesque styled earrings and matching set with droplets of precious stone being extended from one beak to the other in a meeting of the hearts. The inbetween-the-finger ring is a particularly unique offering, extending across three fingers for a more luminous effect. Our absolute favourite piece has to be the antique-inspired emerald white gold ring, with a respectably sized stone nestled amidst two innocent birds that seem to be laying the gem ever so gently upon your finger. The bronzed colouring of the birds, inset with diamonds and pink sapphires is what gives this particular ring a different flavour, and one we very much want for keeps. A standing ovation is in order.


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sur la terre mode in vogue

Dolce’s Sicilian Swing In its new Spring/Summer 2010 collection Dolce&Gabbana stirs together in a giant Sicilian cauldron an eye-popping potpourri of masculine power and feminine posh. Merging together the sometimes bitterly polarised gender-specific fashion world can be difficult; but, as always, Dolce&Gabbana somehow manages to barter an impressive truce in this sensational war of the sexes. Implementing decidedly feminine shapes, the likes of which naturally contour to the paradoxically curvaceous yet stringent female form, this collection threads itself with a ghostly transparency through its use of lace and crochets, preventing these very 90s styles from resting in the laurels of archaic tropes. Contrast is used liberally in the collection, not only in its salt and pepper approach to moonlight whites and midnight blacks, but in the varying floral and leopard prints. In any other attempt, this playful smattering of colour would cause the styles to pale in each others’ shadow, but they instead work in tandem to create a bright jungle of dresses, skirts, camisoles and shoes. Slinking into the stoic side of the spectrum are the tightly tailored power suits. With angular shoulders and razor-sharp silhouettes, these sartorial suits allow the fairer sex to retort through thin, luscious red lips against misogynist power grabs by saying, “Two can play at that game.” A bit bohemian brash with a swanky boardroom dash, the S/S 2010 collection by Dolce&Gabbana successfully kneads a sensual Sicilian past into an airily hedonistic timelessness. Some people might complain about having “too many cooks in the kitchen,” but with this collection, we’re just hungry for more.

Dior in Queens?! All you die hard fashionistas may want to avert your eyes for the following comments; what was John Galliano thinking? Instead of conjuring images of the power-hungry, Alfred Hitchcock-esque alpha female that supposedly inspired this pre-fall line, an irritating memory from my not so distant past was aroused – remember Fran Drescher as The Nanny? We are not being cruel but seriously, the last time leopard print trimmings on a lilac power suit was ever a good idea was… well, never! The sharp styling of the models also failed to do for us what we’re sure Dior intended it to. Instead of the Jean Harlow or Grace Kelly ‘blonde-effect’, evoking imagery of a superior almost ethereal being, we found ourselves squirming in distaste over the super-plucked, tightly drawn, almost face-lifted Edith Piaf result. In all fairness though, Dior has never been known for its conventional nor traditional sense of style. In effect, it would have to take someone entirely oblivious to the world of Haute Couture to deny the genius of some of the other pieces incorporated in the same collection. The racy take on the ‘first lady of France’ look circa 1960s Jackie O eyewear boasts the timeless edgy elegance for which we have come to love Galliano. A simple three-quarter sleeve leopard pullover, complemented by a deceivingly conservative black leather pencil skirt and fierce booties makes this one of the hottest looks of the season. The animalistic theme features through much of the collection but true homage is paid only to the original Dior muse, Mitzah Bricard, as luxury incarnate is incorporated in the form of bow endowed belts, strings of pearls, cinched waists, big hair and even bigger turban-like headwear, accentuating what would otherwise feel like a classic canvas. All in all, we think Mitzah would be proud and we still love Galliano, in all his wacky glory.


sur la terre in vogue

Fresh Off the Bottega We here at Sur la Terre don’t just like to live in the moment, we also like to look into the future. Now, we might not have a crystal ball or be able to tap into the clairvoyance of Nostradamus - nor do we have a time travelling device (that we’re willing to tell you about, anyway) - but we can confidently say that the new Bottega Veneta Spring/Summer 2010 collection is soon going to sizzle with white hot intensity. Maybe that’s why the colour white is used so liberally throughout the line, making us rethink of the once tepid tone as tantalisingly tenacious! Particularly when punctuated by deftlyused slashes of other colour, like buoyant violets and yolky yellows, white becomes itself a beautifully glowing canvas of possibility in both piquant brightness and the untapped imagination of shape. The cuts and juts of the collection pierce the air with a sharpness not usually implemented for such soft seasons, but along with the creative use of draping and pleating, transform it into something that is at once geometrically jaw dropping and fun. Softening the looks further into a cloud-like calm are materials like plain-weave cotton canvas, cotton batiste, silk and viscose. Ironically capping everything off are the shoes, which alternatively use handcrafted raffia, leather and lizard to stir everything into a frenzied fashion fiasco of fantastic dimensions. Of course, with this maelstrom of magnificence swirling around, the only thing that could settle the Spring/Summer collection into sultriness is the softness of the female form. Fortunately, that’s YOUR job!

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sur la terre out of the box

I’m Sailing Away >>> Sur la Terre is named as such for a good reason. Somewhat loosely translating to “on the earth,” it’s pretty much a given that we tend to shy away from the salty-dogs that so enjoy skirting across the surface of the sea. Landlubbers we may be, and while we’re not willing to trade in our designer shoes for a peg leg or our pure-bred Persian cat for a talking parrot named Captain Pete, there is something afloat in the waters around Bahrain to make us think again about donning a tricorne hat and an eyepatch. Thanks to the Bahrain Maritime Sports Association (BMSA) and Andrew Pindar’s (OBE) Team Pindar, one of the world’s leading independent sailing teams, sailing hasn’t been this appealing since we watched Captain Ron! On November 19, 2009, Andrew Pindar, with the help and patronage of HE Sheikh Daij bin Salman bin Daij Al Khalifa, Chairman of the General Organisation of Sea Ports, officially brought to the ports of Manama two beautiful 60 foot Volvo ocean-racing yachts. Having sailed from Southampton in the UK, the two boats serve as the newest recruits in what has been dubbed Sail Bahrain, a special initiative that will foster the somewhat lost art of sailing. As beautifully made as these stunning schooners are, they are not simply moored to be only visually adored. It is the hope of the BMSA and Team Pindar that the two Volvo 60s will inspire in the local populace a renewed love of ocean-sprayed adventure by offering unique sailing experiences from proper training to corporate hospitality, team-building and yacht charter initiatives.


sur la terre out of the box

Bringing over the ships is also the first move in the maiden voyage of what everyone involved hopes will be a long, storied journey into building a sustainable best-in-class sailing and water sports academy. Sail Bahrain is also a great initiative for locals and expats to connect with the rich tradition of sailing in Bahrain. In the words of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa, Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board: “We are delighted to welcome the launch of Sail Bahrain. Bahrain’s 5,000 year history and culture has always been closely linked to the sea and that tradition is very much alive today with the new Khalifa bin Salman Port and the growth of our maritime tourism infrastructure. Sail Bahrain will create a training school for young Bahrainis to help develop our sailing champions of the future, be it Olympians or round-the-world adventurers.” Not only does Sail Bahrain have its roots firmly imbedded in traditional culture, it is also uniquely placed at the future of progress for Bahrain and promises much more than even the most seasoned sailor could expect. Andrew Pindar, Chairman of the Pindar Group and founder of Sail Bahrain, echoed the earlier sentiments of HH Sheikh Mohammed by saying, “Sail Bahrain aims to create a new and exciting future for sailing and water sports in the Kingdom which will create many jobs and opportunities for the people of Bahrain. Having the Volvo 60’s here is the first step, with future plans including an intention to develop an iconic yacht club along with a youth education programme giving Bahrainis the chance to compete on the global sailing stage.” Based as it is in the 60,000 square metre Amwaj Marina at Amwaj Islands, Sail Bahrain takes particular advantage of the Kingdom’s natural oceanic allure and ideal Arabian Gulf sailing conditions, as well as the breathtaking modern amenities of Amwaj Islands which are set to be completely developed by 2014. Maintaining the incomparable beauty and elegance of the natural world has been at the forefront of development in Bahrain for some time now, making the union with Team Pindar that much more appropriate, as the latter has taken significant steps to rebrand itself as Team Pindar Earthwatch in an effort raise awareness and funding for the benefit of Sustainable Oceans Programmes, which seek to continue the unparalleled adventures of braving the high seas, while at the same time trying to protect and preserve the environment. We may have initially been a bit wary of sea travel thanks to things like sudden squalls, shark attack and any number of the harrowing misadventures that befell the hapless castaways on Gilligan’s Island, but after seeing what Sail Bahrain has in store for our Kingdom, we are more willing than ever to haul anchor and hit the high seas. To get the latest updates from Team Pindar and Sail Bahrain, check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Team-Pindar-SailBahrain, or visit Team Pindar’s website at www.pindar.com

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sur la terre out of the box

The Regency Health Club

>>> One of the very first things you notice about the InterContinental Regency Bahrain when you set foot inside the atrium is its unmistakably Arabian character. Unlike many other luxurious lodgings in and around the Gulf, the InterContinental Regency does not strive to be a homogeneous clone of every other international hotel. It may not be as new or as modern as some of its competitors, but in our opinion, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a good thing. Everything, from the dark woods that frame the domepeppered, sky-painted ceilings to the polished marble floors that lead to the traditional souk-like hotel shops, just seems to smoke in this heady haze of luxurious days past. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one of those few places in this region that succeeds in exuding a sort of old-world charm and refinement,

without being dusty and parched. You simply do not get that in many modern hotels, particularly in the Gulf, and we hope that the hotel will never exorcise that amazingly unique spirit. Still, as impressive as the classic charisma of the InterContinental Regency is at its heart, that is not to say it is without its new developments and modern amenities. Take, for example, the Regency Health Club, which offers the very best in the range of the traditional treatments that spaaddicts love, with all of the modern conveniences and techniques that they demand. Located on the 10th floor of the Regency Plaza Building, adjacent to the hotel itself, the Health Club overlooks both the growing


sur la terre out of the box

metropolis of the Bahrain Financial Harbour and the twinkling treasure that is the Arabian Gulf. In fact, the sweeping view was the first thing shown to us by our guide for the day, Ryan Advincula, the cheerful Public Relations Manager. “Early in the morning,” he tells me, leaning on a window overlooking the waterfront and pointing to an inlet with an armada of anchored dhows, “all of those boats there go out to sea. It looks like a giant train chugging to the ocean. It really is something.” Filled with an unexpected sense of serenity thanks to that description, I was even more attuned to what the Health Club had to offer. After appreciating the exterior view, we turned our eyes inward and were met by the relaxing white and light caramel interior colour scheme, which glows in the soft, woody lightness of an ancient Orient-meets-Modern Middle-East verve, the likes of which may sound confusing in print, but in reality offers a robust holistic vibe. Another pleasant paradox is the collection of glass-encased bamboo stalks, which is a recurring feature that runs throughout the spa, creating a secluded hideaway feel without sacrificing the luxurious nature of metropolitan modernity. The rooms themselves are secluded hermitages of tranquility, each one being its own self-contained suite with a private shower and bathroom, as well as its own closet. Minimalism is key to the Regency’s approach, as the rooms are not cluttered with unnecessary kitsch, but instead contain only a small water feature and a few bamboo shoots each. The repose that comes from such an environment is enough in itself to draw the high tension of the daily grind away from your aching bones, but it is not just the atmosphere that the Regency Health Club has to offer. The comprehensive treatment menu at the spa is varied enough to offer a broad selection, but focused enough to let you know that the spa is not overextending its reach. The retinue of 60 to 90 minute Swedish, Shiatsu and Balinese massage treatments is just the beginning to your well-guided amble through relaxation. The Health Club also offers aromatherapy to balance equilibrium and Ancient Royal Thai treatments that use “passive yoga” to enhance and harmonise the flow of your body’s natural energy. The international journey doesn’t end in Thailand however, as the trained professionals at the Regency also offer a Hilot

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Traditional Treatment, an ancient Filipino technique using banana leaves and virgin coconut oil to find and focus your body’s energy flow while massaging your nerves into their natural, stressless state. The Spa also offers special packages that fuse together these treatments with body scrubs, wraps and facials to tenderise your temple into a blissful torpor. After seeing the spa, I was taken around the other facilities of the Health Club, including the two incredibly inviting infinity pools, the fullyequipped gym, the steam room and sauna, the indoor squash court, the large dojo-like activity centre and the Cafe Terrace, which serves the very best healthy and hearty nibbles. With all of these features, anyone lucky enough to become a member of the Regency Health Club would be hard pressed to want to leave it. I, myself, was more than a little tempted to cancel the day’s meetings and stay, but unfortunately, duty called. As Ryan led me out of the spa and into the waiting arms of the hotel foyer, I was again amazed by the colliding old-world meets new-world spirit of the Intercontinental Regency Bahrain, and promised myself that I would soon return for a bite, a bask and a body scrub very soon. For more details about the Regency Health Club, please visit www.regencyhealthclub.info, or call +973 172 08355.


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sur la terre accessories

CMYK

Photographer: Luc Frey www.lucfrey.com Fashion editor: Nicolas Chicanot Make-up: Jacques Uzzardi @ SLR using M.A.C. Cosmetics Hair: Jacques Uzzardi @ SLR using Bumble & Bumble Manicure: Sandrine Bo using OPI products Model: Florence Eugene @ Ford Models Paris Special thanks: Studio Daguerre, Paris Leather perfecto jacket JEAN CLAUDE JITROIS Silk draped dress and leather belt PHILOSOPHY DI ALBERTA FERRETTI Patent leather strappy sandals BOTTEGA VENETA “Cocoon bag” and quilted bag “Paris Venice” collection CHANEL “Camelia Tweed” necklace in white gold, white pearls, black and white diamonds “San Marco” multicolor sapphire brooch worn on the belt All CHANEL JEWELLERY Black gold ring with 223 carat ruby cabochon JEAN BOGGIO


sur la terre accessories

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Pleated jersey dress ALEXANDRE VAUTHIER Yellow leather gloves AGNELLE Leather clutch EMANUEL UNGARO “Celeste” necklace in white gold, fancy yellow and white diamonds with matching earrings “Pythie” ring in black gold with an oval aquamarine, paved with rubies and emerald eyes “Reflet” watch in white gold and white diamonds All BOUCHERON


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sur la terre accessories

Wool perfecto EMANUEL UNGARO Chiffon dress and chain plastron, “Paris Venice” collection CHANEL White gold cuff paved with white diamonds, white gold ring with a sapphire and paved with diamonds All HARRY WINSTON “Pan di Zucchero” bracelet in pink gold, imperial jade and rock crystal “Pan di Zucchero” bracelet in pink gold, sugilite and rock crystal “Pan di Zucchero” bracelet in pink gold, turquoise and rock crystal “Pan di Zucchero” ring in pink gold, imperial jade and rock crystal “Pan di Zucchero” ring in pink gold, sugilite and rock crystal “Onda” ring in pink gold, turquoise, nacre and rock crystal All VHERNIER


sur la terre accessories

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Jersey dress ESCADA Leather gloves AGNELLE Earrings in white gold and diamonds, necklace in yellow gold, diamonds, emeralds, quartz and pearls All ERIK SCHAIX Snake skin belt and rock crystal buckle THOMAS DEAMBROSIS


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sur la terre haute mode property

DILMUNIA: Bahrain’s Health Island

>>> By now, most of us have become a bit jaded to all of the new developments popping up around town. There seems to be a new site being reclaimed, razed and then built upon on a weekly basis throughout the Gulf, with little or no discernible difference between any of them. However, there are a few paragons of hope amidst the rabble of rubble that truly do make the developmental property sphere actually exciting. Perhaps the most visionary of these new “Haute Properties” is Ithmaar Development Company’s 125-hectare purpose-built island, Dilmunia@ Bahrain, aka Health Island. As the development arm of the Ithmaar banking group, the IDC is dedicated to making this winning venture a promising one that you can take to the bank! The US$1.6 billion island, with a total built up area of around two million square metres, is being developed just off the northeast coast of Bahrain and was designed, from the ground up, for mixed-


sur la terre mode haute property

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use development that will include residences, themed hotels, retail and commercial districts - all built around a wellness and health cluster - in a luxurious retreat. In fact, perhaps the most novel development at Dilmunia is the unique “Lifestyle Strip,” which will include organic, gourmet and health markets, as well as a range of cafes and restaurants, from the casual diner to the star-rated restaurant. The Lifestyle strips and pods will offer everything an urban dweller has come to expect, in a refreshed, renewed and balanced environment. In terms of healthcare and medical services, Dilmunia@Bahrain will include a wide range of specialist offerings including a wellness hospital and diagnostic centre, an aesthetic centre for aesthetic surgery and treatment, an alternative medicine centre, a women and children’s hospital and specialised sports and diabetes facilities. IDC is also looking at Wellness and Motivational Programs, mainly through the wellness hospital and a nutrition centre. “Dilmunia@Bahrain is a health island dedicated entirely to improving the quality of life - and that, I believe, is what makes it so exciting,” said IDC Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board, Mohammed Khalil Alsayed. “The project focuses on building a sustainable, livable and unique development which, when completed, promises to herald in a new, more tranquil way of life where the emphasis is on peace, serenity and well being,” he said. Of course, going hand-in-hand with this focus on health and care, Dilmunia@Bahrain is also dedicated to providing an international luxurious experience. When completed, it will be home to three luxury boutique hotels. The Chinese, Thai and French inspired hotels will function in line with the wellness centre by providing alternative treatments and spas drawn from those respective healing philosophies. The theme-driven services will extend to the cuisine and retail environments on offer on the island. An additional 4-star business hotel will complete the guest-accommodation line-up. Dilmunia@Bahrain will also offer residential units catering to as many tastes and budgets as possible, including exclusive villas with more than 500m2 of space, high-end town houses of around 350m2; apartments from studios to four bedrooms, and condominiums. The shape of the island is another distinguishing trait thanks to its “shield-like” profile, which forces the island to a seven metre height at its centre right where the medical cluster is strategically placed. Not only does this manmade precipice allow for impressive views, but it will also help to alleviate the stresses of stowing your car, thanks to an underground parking lot. We can already feel our traffic-addled headache subsiding! The Island is located on the north east coast of Muharraq, close to Amwaj Island, 500 metres south of it, and 500 metres away from the Muharraq ring road. It will be accessible by a bridge taking off from the ring road, 500 to 600 metres before reaching the Amwaj Island access road. More important than its geographical location, however, is its ideological placement, which establishes it as the Gulf’s first manmade property that seeks to actually make Man better. For more information about Ithmaar bank and the IDC, as well as the IDC and the new Dilmunia@Bahrain, go to www.ithmaarbank.com


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sur la terre society mode

Jewellery Arabia 2009

Despite global financial evidence to the contrary, the climate was just right in November 2009 to hold one of Bahrain’s most eagerly expected expos: Jewellery Arabia. Once again held at the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre under the patronage of His Highness the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa. Over 600 exhibitors of the world’s most renowned purveyors of luxury filled the 18,000 square metre space of the Centre to show the Kingdom’s VIPs and visiting dignitaries the very best in decadence that the world had to offer. Taking place from the 17th to the 21st of November, the exhibition saw thousands of visitors pass through the event. The expo was flanked by special events, like the Middle East Watches, Jewellery and Pen Awards, held for its fifth consecutive year and hosted by the Ritz Carlton Hotel Bahrain and patronised by the Minister of Industry and Commerce, His Excellency Dr. Hassan Fakhro.

Top left to bottom right: Sur la Terre Area Manager Chirine Halabi showing Sur la Terre to HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al Khalifa His Highness the Prime Minister cutting the ribbon and inaugurating Jewellery Arabia 2009 Joe Nahhas of Montblanc receiving an award at The Middle East Watches, Jewellery and Pen Awards His Highness the Prime Minister visiting the Al Zain Jewellery showcase


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Over 30 countries were represented at the event, including exhibitors from Brazil, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey, Lebanon and of course, Bahrain itself. The gliteratti in attendence were the crème de la crème of watches and gems, and included local talents like Al Zain, Bahrain Jewellery Centre, and Asia Jewellers as well as more global names such as Cartier, Chopard, Montblanc, Harry Winston, Patek Phillipe and Van Cleef & Arpels, all vying for bids from the audience, which came faster and with more fury than most would expect. In fact, this year’s Jewellery Arabia was so successful, that over 85 percent of next year’s exhibition space has already been booked. If next year is anything like this year, it is a show to not be missed!

Top left to bottom right: Guests at Jewellery Arabia enjoying the prized pieces at Montblanc Hugues Jucker of Montblanc receiving an award at The Middle East Watches, Jewellery and Pen Awards His Highness the Prime Minister conversing with exhibitors and guests near the Asia Jeweller exhibition Hugues Jucker from Chopard with a fellow exhibitor Visitors perusing the collection at Al Zain The bustling visitor traffic in the Link Area at the 2009 Jewellery Arabia


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sur la terre clicks

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Jackson Pollock

Secret Technology

Museum of Bad Art

When most people think of the most inspired expressionist abstract modern art of the 20th century, they think of Jackson Pollock. On the other hand, when most people think of haphazard, pseudo-artistic hackery ... they think of Jackson Pollock. Both widely lauded and fiercely detested for his “drip technique” of throwing household paint on canvas in a kaleidoscope of colour and form, Pollock used the movement of his body and the genius of his mind to concurrently impress and anger an entire generation of so-called art critics. We respect that. That’s why, when we heard about www.jacksonpollock.org, we had to check it out. The site is, just as the painter’s style was purported to be, very simplistic. Of course, it’s also just as arresting. Essentially, the user enters the website and finds before him or her a blank, white page. The first move of the mouse launches onto the screen a burst of random color in the same paint blots that made Pollock so famous. Clicking the left mouse button changes the hue being thrown, allowing you to mix up the colour scheme to recreate digitally what defined an arts movement. We initially thought that the site had a fairly short shelf life, but hours later, we were still working on our own “masterpieces.”

Jason Nelson is a weird guy; luckily, we like weird. Known in certain circles as an influential, modern multimedia poet, this American-born lecturer on Cyberstudies at the Griffith University in Queensland, Australia is one nutty little neuron necromancer. Mixing avante-garde imagery and animations with live film, poetry and simple internet applications and games, Nelson allows visitors to his website, www.secrettechnology.com to create oddball digital works of “art.” His creations range from the reasonably normal, random poetry maker in “Poem Cube,” to the downright flummoxing, yet morbidly addictive slot machine game, “This Is How You Will Die.” Other games like the scrawlingly sketchedout “Game, Game Game and Again Game” turns a harshly satirical, infinitely perplexing and overly surreal light on mass consumerism and reliance on information technology... we think. The site would be frustrating if it wasn’t so insanely addictive and strange. Staying on it too long made our collective brains melt, but that’s the price you pay for an existential existence; and in the words of Zaphod Beeblebrox from Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, we’ll do “anything for a weird life.”

Since 1992, the curatorial team at the Museum of Bad Art, or MOBA, have dedicated their lives to “bringing the worst of art to the widest of audiences.” Originally exhibiting their rare pieces from the basement of a private home in Boston, the growing gallery of grotesque taste has since spread its wings, hosting its first permanent collection outside a men’s restroom inside of a local community movie theatre that apparently was built in 1927. Its legacy of lameness continued to spread into yet another basement of yet another theatre shortly thereafter. With a dedicated staff, including a Permanent Acting Interim Executive Director, MOBA has, to hilarious effect, finally gifted to the world a space for no-talent artistic whack-jobs, which is the scientific term for the disorder. Now available on their website, the permanent collection’s perplexingly purile pieces will simultaneously make you smile from the ridiculousness of it all and cry for the state of the human condition. To assist in the art “disappreciation,” the helpful members of MOBA analyse each piece with a discerning eye. To get a glimpse of art that is “too bad to be ignored,” there is literally no better place to patronise ... in every sense of the word.

www.jacksonpollock.org

www.secrettechnology.com

www.museumofbadart.org


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sur la terre chapters

Wall and Piece, Banksy

Ok, so we don’t know much about graffiti. We can’t even draw a straight line, and have handwriting that is “good from far, but far from good.” Still, this one grabbed our attention. Wall and Piece is a book by the notoriously ubiquitous and evasive British street artist Banksy, and is an excellent way of getting the “down low” on what graffiti culture is all about. Nobody really knows the true identity of this Bansky character, which is kind of the point. Graffiti isn’t supposed to be just about the artist. It’s supposed to be about the art and graffiti is art that is truly free and easily accessible. You get a really good sense of that with Banksy. His art is politically, socially and ethically motivated. One person may see a bunch of monkeys stenciled on the side of a train, while someone else may see a statement. Unfortunately, because it’s received such a bad reputation of vandalism, people ignore its subversive and much deeper nature. In Banksy’s Wall and Piece, you get a view of graffiti’s flexibility and evolution, from his famous sea view on the wall in Palestine, to satire art that is actually hung in the Louvre. Banksy shows that art can transcend all boundaries...even if it’s done by a guy in a hoodie in the middle of the night.

Palestine, Joe Sacco

Comics are a combination of art and literature. Yeah...pretty bold statement right? Comics are just another way to tell a story, plain and simple. It’s the writers/artists that know how to use space to tell a story that put comics on a higher plane. Enter Joe Sacco; a journalist who puts himself in danger to show the world the truth about important issues. He’s also a comic artist, creating such works as Safe Area Gorazde, a COMIC BOOK about the Bosnian War. In 1996, he created Palestine, an epic graphic novel that covers a two month period where Sacco went to Palestine to learn what it was really like for Palestinians to live in an occupied land. The graphic novel shows his experience as an American journalist, so hungry for a story that he went to a place he knew nothing about to see for himself what was happening. His words are friendly and his art is unique and a bit funny looking, but a treat to view. He personalises the conflict and he does it all with pictures and word balloons. It’s commendable, really, to take something so heavy and complicated as the Palestinian conflict and to put it in the simple form of what comic nerds like to call “sequential art.” It’s just a brilliant, refreshing way to tell such an important story.

The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde

This gothic horror classic, and Oscar Wilde’s only novel, explores the uncanny power of art. Set forever ago, the story follows Dorian Gray, a ridiculously attractive socialite, who goes from hobnobbing with friends into downward spiral of sin and decadence. It all starts with a portrait his friend Basil Hallward paints of him. When Gray sees just how darn pretty he looks on canvas, he makes a wish that he can always look that way. In true gothic horror style, his wish comes true. Instead of aging in real life, the portrait version of Dorian bears the brunt of time. Combine this eternal youth card with a charming, sarcastic and devious little accelerant called Lord Henry Wotton (the most interesting character in the book) and you’ve got the makings of some excellent discussions on morality. He’s the kind of bad guy you love to love, always pushing to see just how far Gray will go and of what he and others are really capable. The novel has a fair amount of exposition in it, which is a good thing when it comes to Oscar Wilde. He’s smart, funny, sharp and one of the most quotable writers in history. He uses these talents to show what living a life devoted solely to pleasure really looks like.


sur la terre tunes

The Blueprint 3, Jay-Z

The old king is dead, long live the new king. This is the chant that has been resounding from Jay-Z fans when the famed New York rapper’s 11th record, The Blueprint 3, also became his 11th number one album in the charts, thus toppling the previous benchmark set by the former king, Elvis Presley. With the utmost credit to Elvis, we can see why Jay’s latest has received such a popular reception and critical acclaim. The Blueprint 3 sees Jay truly on top of his game, even though that ship should have sailed a while ago. As always, his lyrics are as solid as a gold brick and his smooth yet articulate flow, peerless. Bumpy yet melodious tracks like “We Made History” merge effortlessly with slightly more rock & roll tracks like the ode to his home town, “Empire State of Mind” with Alicia Keys. Of course, we also love the other singles that have dropped on the radio from the album, like “Run This Town,” with Rihanna and Kanye “Yo, Taylor, I’m gonna let you finish ...” West, and especially “D.O.A.” (Death of Auto-Tune), not only because it’s a great song, but because it points the finger at every artist who has recently relied on autotune technology to be better. Honestly, we didn’t think that Jay-Z could do it; that he had another great album in him. Thankfully, we were wrong.

Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, Mariah Carey

We’re going to call it like it is: the 90s belonged to Mariah Carey. When her first, self-titled album dropped in 1990, the superstar soprano captivated fans with a vocal range that could shatter glass or rumble the bass-line of any out-of-fashion ghetto blaster boombox. Now even we’ve been turned into Carey cronies, befriending her modernised, yet still classic, R’n’B style. In her 12th studio album, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, Carey runs through the emotions one might expect from a musical megastar, from the self-important (and apparently Eminem-targeted) poppy single “Obsessed,” to more classical, ballady tracks like “Betcha Gon’ Know,” and “Inseperable,” though the latter sounds like she might be evoking a bit of Beyonce, ironically enough. We admit that the R’n’B sound has become largely saturated in the “same old, same old,” and Memoirs... hits an early crescendo midway through the album, but Carey’s distinctive voice still allows its listener to remember why she became so popular in the first place and forces you to keep listening, which is made all the more easier by the short running times of each song.

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Into Battle with The Art of Noise, The Art of Noise

Trying to decide who we should review in this issue’s “Classic” music section was actually fairly difficult, especially because we wanted to relate it to our “Art” theme. After going a round for seemingly endless minutes, we finally decided, quite logically in the end, on The Art of Noise. The British group’s 1983 synergetic debut album, Into Battle with The Art of Noise, was, particularly for its day, quite revolutionary. Utilising, or arguably creating, a growing synthetic industrialpop fad of the time, the band was one of the first to extensively sample the thudding drum beats of previously recorded songs to make something entirely new and refreshingly strange. The most successful track, “Beat Box,” which is a tinny, almost entirely “instrumental” number that sounds like the heavy soundtrack of an earlyeighties automotive assembly line, could still be played and enjoyed today. This led to other famous tracks like the Tom Jones-centric cover of Prince’s “Kiss,” which is just ... amazing in so many ways; not all of them necessarily “good.” SLT highly suggests that you dip back into the palette of your past and take another stroke with The Art of Noise. You won’t be disappointed.


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sur la terre flicks: Tribecca Special

Racing Dreams

Driving is a huge rite of passage for teenagers all over the world. A license means freedom. It means you don’t have to show up to parties anymore in the back seat of your mom’s car. You finally feel like a grown up, but when it comes down to it, you just want to go fast. Imagine getting to do this when you’re eleven. Welcome to Racing Dreams, the world of preteen NASCAR. Award-winning Marshall Curry’s latest documentary follows three kids (aged 11 to 13) down the fast lane of the World Karting Association’s National Pavement Series. For those of you who know nothing about the sport, it’s kids in really, really fast go-karts that race their way through puberty to the highspeed world of NASCAR. This life is no stroll in the park. The kids spend almost every weekend of their young lives travelling around the country, competing while their parents spend almost every penny on the cars. The races are intense, but it is the kids that are the most compelling part of the film. Curry puts you in the passenger seat and lets you get to know them, their parents, their everyday lives and what drives them to immerse themselves in such a hectic and expensive lifestyle. It’s 80 mph of temper tantrums and puppy love, but in the end, it’s one heck of a ride.

The Time That Remains Russian filmmaker Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky always said that you can’t make a really powerful story about something unless you’ve experienced it yourself. It doesn’t have to be literal, but every filmmaker should know what they’re talking about. Palestinian director Elia Suleiman does just this in his newest film. The Time That Remains is another semiautobiographical movie about Suleiman’s life, the occupation of Palestine and what it’s like to feel lost in your own home. Starting with the creation of Israel in 1948, Suleiman creates a series of vignettes from the journals of his father, the letters of his mother and his own experiences, to present day when he returns to Palestine after years of exile. In his signature way, he creates a whole picture out of small parts using very little dialogue, very little facial expression and a whole lot of humour. What you get is a deeply moving, wickedly smart, sometimes surreal and always witty portrayal of the Palestinian identity crisis. This film was hands down the best of Doha Tribeca Film Festival. It’s got everything ... censorship jokes, tanks, inappropriate neighbours. It’s even got a great Hitchcock reference, and who doesn’t like a good Hitchcock reference?

Team Qatar

We didn’t see Team Qatar coming. First of all, we are novices at best in the art of debate, and secondly, Doha very sparingly comes out with new things. Team Qatar, however, was an absolutely refreshing delight. Documentary filmmaker Liz Mermin follows five multicultural teenagers from Doha to England and the US as they train and prepare for the World Championships in Washington DC. This competition is the first time these kids have debated against anyone other than each other. Their very colourful, witty coach Alex hilariously attempts to transform them from awkward, nerdy teenagers to master debaters in an impossibly short crash course. What makes the movie is the people in it. You get a handful of funny, unassuming, eager-to-learn kids with strong opinions who want to show the world what Qatar can really do, willing to debate and discuss any subject along the way no matter how controversial or ridiculous. From starting the film perfectly on a light note, to hanging out in the debaters homes, to reasons why you can’t use Hitler against the German team, to all the arguments in between, the tone is set for one of the most charming documentaries we’ve seen in a long time.


sur la terre joysticks

Batman: Arkham Asylum The Caped Crusader. The Dark Knight. The ... guy who inexplicably wears black underwear on the outside of skintight spandex. Actually, that last one is our Uncle Larry. He also wears a medallion! Back to the point, despite what you want to call him, while Batman has successfully transcended the lone medium of his creation - comic books - into other areas such as TV, radio and fillm, the one area that Bats has always come up short, for one reason or another, is in the art of the video game. Fortunately for our hero, there is finally a light at the end of his batcave. Batman: Arkham Asylum comes from a rare understanding of how Batman pitches his war on crime; that is to say, covertly and in the shadows. Crouching, hiding, lurking, stealth and surprise are all your friends in this impressive third-person action title. Arkham Asylum does see its fair share of cape-draped, button mashing melee mayhem, while an extra element of excellence is the game’s use of detective work to move along the well written plot. An evolutionary, easy-topick up gameplay combines with interactive environments and breathtaking graphics to make this game one of our current favourites. So much, in fact, that some of the editorial team are starting to dress like Uncle Larry...

Guitar Hero 5

Guitar Hero is one of those rare video game franchises that aids in elevating you social stature to a higher level. Are you a geeky, notalent weirdo with clumsy fingers and tone deafness, but can manipulate four to five video controllers simultaneously without batting an eyelash? If so, Guitar Hero is your hook up to hardcore bragging rights and hard rockin’ beat downs. Ever since the title was launched in 2005, it has given pale gamers a reason to leave their parents’ basement; almost ironically, it has also allowed a recently untapped segment of gamers to be reached: GIRLS! If you’ve never played before, it’s fairly simple to understand. Basically, you are given a plastic guitar-shaped controller and, as you watch the screen, you must match the corresponding colour prompts by “playing” your chosen song. GH’s partystyle gameplay has been turned up even more in its fifth iteration. Not only are you able to incorporate the singing and drumming features made popular by the title’s predecessor, Guitar Hero World Tour, but now the gameplay is that much more group-oriented, with a much more robust career mode, a more intuitive rating system (including whether or not you can manipulate the crowd well) and an ampedup music studio, where you can throw down tracks inspired by your own inner demons, and not just those of Ozzy Osborne.

Mario Paint

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What’s the only thing better than creativity? Why, creativity inspired by an adventurous digital Italian plumber, of course! The Super Mario Brothers name is pretty much a seal of excellence when it comes to video games. Mario Paint, which came out in 1992 on the amazingly versatile Super Nintendo console was one such game. Shifting gears from the usual jumping action side-scroller, this title allowed gamers to paint freehand pictures (ala, Microsoft Paint), compose original instrumental songs, create animations and play cute, little mini games - mostly involving a fly swatter - to wile away the time until the wee hours of the morning. One of the coolest features is that it came with a mouse pad instead of the classic controller to give its user more maneuverability and easier control. Mario Paint spawned a slew of semisequels and lacklustre, unrelated titles that were inspired by it, but none of them came even remotely close to the cool kitsch value of the original. In fact, the legendary status of this instant classic still resounds today, as many creations can be seen on YouTube. Mario Paint was a forerunner in terms of 8 megabit creativity, and for that, we shall always be thankful. Now, enough fun and games, Mario. Fix our leaking toilet already!


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sur la terre snapshot

Continuing our “art” theme to the very last page, we here at Sur la Terre are pleased to introduce upcoming local photographer, Esra Abduliawad, the Qatar winner of the International Heritage Photography Exhibition. Twenty-year-old Esra is a student at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Qatar. The image is of Al-Zubarah Fort, which inspired Esra with its symbolism as pillar of strength, stability and honour. AlZubarah fort is an iconic artifact of Qatari history and heritage and is located on the emirate’s north-west coast. You can see Esra’s work, and that of all the exhibition’s winners, at VCU Qatar until January 16th 2010. Photographer: Esra Abduliawad


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sur la terre cultural agenda

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


Subscription form

2009 / 2010

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sur la terre the agenda

Commercialbank Qatar Masters Golf Tournament January 8th - 10th, 2010

Doha Golf Club will once again play host to the world’s top golfers as the prestigious 2010 Commercialbank Qatar Masters tournament tees off in January. Yes, the best fairway flyers will be batting their balls around our very own Championship course for the 12th year running as they compete for honours as part of the PGA European Tour – one of the biggest golf tours in the world. While the course might seem like an oasis of calm in the dusty desert of Doha, it is renowned, and feared in equal measure, for its tough par 3 holes and numerous water hazards. In 2009, Swashbuckling Spaniard, Alvaro Quiros, comfortably won the competition thanks to a final round of 69 securing a place in the world’s top 30 and the winner’s cheque for $416,660. Who will take the crown in 2010? Will Quiros defend his title or will in-form Lee Westwood beat him to it. Maybe Ireland’s Padraig Harrington will make a surge for desert glory, or perhaps we will see Kiwi Geoff Ogilvy take the trophy south. To find out, swing over to www.qatar-masters.com to secure your tickets.

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sur la terre the agenda - Doha

Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra January 6th, 2010

After celebrating its first year of entertaining Doha’s musical culture-vultures with a spectacular gala event in November, the Qatar Philharmonic is well into its second season of concerts and performances. The first evening of music planned for the new year will be on January 6th, when the QPO will present an evening of wonderful Italian Opera Arias which

are sure to warm the chilly Doha winter with their well rounded melodies and full, hearty rhythms. This will be the first in a series of events, yet to be finalised by the QPO, that will take the orchestra right through to the summer. If it is anything like the last season, every show is sure to be a hit. In 2009 the QPO thrilled with famous film themes, rocked with Rachmininov

and cheered up the children with Peter and the Wolf, among other great shows. With that in mind, 2010’s programme is set to be spectacular. If you want more information or to be kept up to date with upcoming shows, contact the organisation directly at qpopr@qf.org.qa, and chat to the orchestra’s new marketing and PR manager, Christina Chammas.

Doha Jewellery And Watches Exhibition 2010 February 16th - 22nd, 2010

The Qatar International Exhibition Centre will once again fling open its doors on one of the region’s, quite literally, glittering events. The Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition is one of the Gulf’s premier jewellery events, attracting thousands from around the region and beyond. Among the sparkling superstars on show will be Cartier, Graff, Van Cleef & Arpels, Rolex, Raymond Weil, Richard Mille and many more top tier brands and products. In fact, this is just the tip of the “ice”

burg, as there will be 500 world renowned brands, and 26 local companies, covering more than 12,000 square metres of floorspace at the six-day event. In its 7th year, the event, which is organised by Qatar Tourism and Exhibitions Authority, is sure to be an even bigger success than last year. Of course, Sur la Terre will be there, bathing in luxury and swimming in shimmering stones, from the stellar opening night through to the show’s lustrous conclusion. www.dohajewels.com


sur la terre cultural agenda

III

F1 Kicks off at BIC Horse Racing & Showjumping March 14th, 2010

October 1st, 2009 - March 31st, 2010

Get ready, race fans, because once again the art of motion is coming to Bahrain. The Formula One Championship race that will take place on March 14th will be the first of a 19-round season. To those few of you who are still not fans or haven’t before attended an F1 race, the fact that it is called a “friendly” may make it seem as worn out as an old tyre, but rest assured oh ye of little fuelled-up faith, this first race of the 2010 season is actually “treading” new ground. Not only will there be present 28 cars from over 14 of the very best F1 teams, all peeling around curvaceous tracks at speed, but there will also be a bigger, better festival atmosphere around the event offering everyone present to find more than one way to have some fun. All of the big names are set to take part in the race, and if the 2009 event is any indication, the buzz surrounding it will be absolutely turbocharged. With every passing year, the annual race has attracted thousands more spectators, and the 2010 edition will leave all of its predecessors eating a healthy dose of dust. Thanks to a few different factors, the entire sport of F1 racing has been made all the more intriguing by big returns and even bigger controversies. Along with a retooled set of rules and a renewed focus on fierce competition, this F1 season is looking to be one of the very best; and it all starts in Bahrain. www.bahraingp.com

Bahrain’s love of all things equestrian is evident in its splendid Sakhir Race Course, which has a grandstand for 3,000 spectators. During the racing season, which runs from October to April, you can see beautiful Arabian purebreds and thoroughbreds hurdle and flat race each Friday. Experts from the UK were employed to design and construct the race track in 1981. It consists of two 2.4km grass tracks with a straight of 1.2km, one sand track, and stables for 300 horses. Normally there are six races each day, with an average field of eight runners, five races for thoroughbreds and one for purebreds. Bahrain’s racing industry is largely thriving thanks to the Emir of Bahrain, who has been importing quality bloodstock to improve the local thoroughbred stock, with the aim of racing with locally-bred thoroughbreds in larger numbers. The Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation is the sole authority

for organising all the equestrian activities, games and events in the country and more information can be found at the Federation’s website: www.equestrianbahrain.com

Blooming Great February 25th - 28th, 2010

As February comes around and thoughts turn to spring, The Bahrain International Garden Show (BIGS) blooms into life at the Bahrain International Convention & Exhibition Centre under the banner ‘Seeds For Our Future’. This much-awaited annual garden show will carry a strong message to sow the seeds for future food security and prosperity. This critical world issue will be highlighted in a comprehensive display covering the latest information relating to this topic. There will be more plants and flowers galore, along with new garden technology and equipment, garden accessories and designs, publications, expert advice and consultations plus a whole panorama of new ideas for gardens. This year, the organisers are expecting more participation from the business sector from various countries as the show paves the way to establish more business partnerships in the field, while non-commercial visitors can focus on fragrant gardens and beautiful landscapes

filled with different kinds of aromatic plants that are suitable to grow in climates similar to Bahrain. www.bigs.com.bh


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sur la terre cultural agenda

A Brush With The Orient

The Big Chill-out

Gallery 76 at Dubai International Art Centre presents an exhibition of traditional Chinese Brush and Japanese Sumi-e Ink paintings by a multinational group of artists this December. The paintings are produced by keen students from various international backgrounds, who until attending classes at the Centre had not even held a Chinese Brush before. Now this group has mastered the techniques to achieve successfully ‘A Brush with the Orient’, the centre is equally keen to exhibit their work. The beauty of flowers and the everlasting bamboo are traditional subjects in the art of Chinese brush paintings. The pureness and simplicity in this ancient form of art from China and Japan are expressed on rice papers, using handmade brushes, Chinese ink and watercolours. Each stroke of the brush blends the essence of colours and nature on delicate rice paper. The final composition is outstanding, reflecting both simplicity and total harmony. The artist uses expressive and lively brushstrokes to create a wide range of effects and the pure beauty of each painting is often reinforced by

The Dubai International Jazz Festival, held annually at Media City, is back as some of the best artists in the world take over the emirate, sending it into a swinging frenzy. The line up for the 2010 event has yet to be finalised, but in 2009, Dubai got smooth to the sounds of the Sarah Mitchell, James Blunt, John Legend and Mike Stern, among many others. Hosted by Chillout Productions, the event has garnered several acclaimed awards “What’s On” award for “The Best Festival” 2006, 2007 & 2009 and the EVENT 360 “Best Public Entertainment Event in The Middle East” for 2008. More than 100,000 music fans have flocked to the event since its inception in 2002, with people attending from across the UAE, GCC and around the world. With 120 artists every year, the Jazz Festival’s list of legendary musicians, Grammy award-winning artists, critically-acclaimed jazz and contemporary groups, and pop sensations covers over 40 years of music history. Bands hit the stage from the 10th of February next year to heat up the winter with some cool jazz, for more information visit: www.dubaijazzfest.com

December 5th - 19th, 2009

the traditions of Chinese philosophies and Zen Buddhism. This exhibition ‘A Brush with the Orient’ demonstrates how cultural understanding is enhanced between the many different nationalities living in Dubai through the creation of Chinese art. www.artdubai.com

Art Dubai 2010 March 17th - 20th, 2010

Over the last three years Art Dubai has created a defining platform for current art practice in the Middle East, setting the business of art within a context that is intelligent, stimulating and relevant. Earlier this year, Art Dubai’s third edition attracted an audience of over 14,000 visitors from across the Middle East, South Asia and beyond, including leading curators, museum directors, artists, 80 museum groups and over 300 international press. Now in its fourth year, Art Dubai has become a defining platform for contemporary art practice across the Middle East region. Highlights of Art Dubai 2010 will include the return of the acclaimed Global Art Forum, the second annual Abraaj Capital Art Prize; “The Poetry of Time”, a prestigious watch exhibition curated by Van Cleef & Arpels; Art Park and Contemparabia 2010. In addition, Art Dubai has invited not-for-

profit arts organisation Bidoun Projects to curate its programme of special projects highlighting the importance of collaboration in the region. Based at the stunning beachside Madinat Jumeirah Resort, Art Dubai 2010 offers visitors the most extensive programme of contemporary art exhibitions and events to date. www.artdubai.ae

February 10th - 19th, 2010


sur la terre cultural agenda

REGIONAL HOTELS, RESTAURANTS AND CAFÉS GUIDE ABU DHABI

HOTELS < Al Raha Beach Hotel Al Raha Corniche Tel: +971 2 508 0555 www.danathotelgroup.com 5 Star < Beach Rotana Hotel and Tower Tourist Club Area 2 Tel: +971 2 697 9000 www.rotana.com/property-4 5 Star < Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Sheikh Hamdan St. Tel: +971 2 621 0000 www.crowneplaza.com 5 Star < Emirates Palace Hotel Corniche Road Tel: +971 2 690 9000 www.emiratespalace.com 5 Star < Hilton Baynunah Corniche Road Tel: +971 2 632 7777 www.hilton.com 5 Star < Intercontinental 4171 Bainuna Street near Zayet Tel: +971 2 666 6888 www.ichotelsgroup.com 5 Star < Le Royal Meridien Khalifa Street Tel: +971 2 674 2020 www.Starwoodhotels.com/lemeridien 5 Star < Millenium Hotel Khalifa Street Tel: +971 2 614 6000 www.milleniumhotels.com/ae 5 Star < Oryx Hotel Corniche Road Tel: +971 2 681 0001 www.oryxhotel.ae 5 Star < Sands Hotel Electra Street Tel: +971 2 615 6666 5 Star < Shangri-La Hotel Qaryat Al Beri 308th Road Tel: +971 2 509 8888 www.shangri-la.com 5 Star < Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort Corniche Road & Salam Street Tel: +971 2 677 3333 www.Starwoodhotels.com/sheraton 5 Star RESTAURANTS < Al Birkeh Le Meridien Abu Dhabi Tel: +971 2 644 6666 www.abudhabi.lemeridien.com 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 www.rotana.com Cuisine: Japanese < Flavours Sheraton Abu Dhabi, Corniche Rd East Tel: +971 2 677 3333 www.sheraton.com Cuisine: International < Fish Market Intercontinental Abu Dhabi Tel: +971 2 666 6888 Cuisine: Seafood < Il Palazzo Al Ain Palace Hotel Tel: +971 2 679 4777 www.alainpalacehotel.com/ restaurants.htm Cuisine: Italian < Marakesh Millenium Hotel Tel: +971 2 626 2700 Cuisine: Arabian < Palm Court Le Royal Meridien Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Street Tel: +971 2 674 2020 www.lemeridien-abudhabi.com 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 < Shamyat Al Salam St, Markaziyah Tel: +971 2 671 2600 Cuisine: Arabian < Shuja Yacht Le Royal Meridien Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Street Tel: +971 2 695 0539 www.lemeridien.com Cuisine: International < The Wok Crowne Plaza, Sheikh Hamdan St Tel: +971 2 621 0000 www.abu-dhabi.crowneplaza.com 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 www.emiratespalace.com Café < Zyara Café Near Hilton Residence, Corniche Tel: +971 2 627 5006 Café

DOHA

Hotels < Al Sultan Beach Resort Al Khor Tel: +974 472 2666 www.alsultanbeachresort.com 5 Star < Four Seasons Al Corniche Street Tel: +974 494 8888 www.fourseasons.com/doha 5 Star < Grand Hyatt West Bay Area Tel: +974 448 1234 www.doha.grand.hyatt.com 5 Star < Grand Regency Near Sports R/A Al Sadd Tel: +974 434 3333 www.grand-regency.com 5 Star < Intercontinental West Bay Lagoon Tel: +974 484 4444 www.ichotelsgroup.com 5 Star < La Cigale Suhaim Bin Hamad Street Tel: +974 428 8888 www.lacigalehotel.com 5 Star < Marriott Ras Abu Aboud Street Tel: +974 429 8888 www.marriott.com 5 Star < Millennium Jawaan Street, Al Sadd Doha Marriott Tel: +974 424 7777 www.millenniumhotels.com 5 Star < Movenpick Tower & Suites West Bay Area Tel: +974 496 6600 www.moevenpick-hotels.com 5 Star < Ritz Carlton West Bay Area Tel: +974 484 8000 www.ritzcarlton.com 5 Star < Sharq Village Spa Ras Abu Aboud Tel: +974 425 6666 www.sharqvillage.com 5 Star < Sheraton Al Corniche Street Tel: +974 485 4444 www.sheraton-doha.com 5 Star < W Hotel West Bay Area Tel: +974 499 6530 whotels.com\doha 5 Star Restaurants < Al Borj The Diplomatic Club Tel: +974 484 7444 www.thediplomaticclub.com Cuisine: Pool Snacks & A La Carte

< Al Buhayra Al Sultan Beach Resort Tel: +974 472 2666 www.alsultanbeachresort.com Cuisine: International < Admiral Club Ritz Carlton Hotel Tel: +974 484 8000 www.ritzcarlton.com Cuisine: International < Al Dana Sharq Village and Spa Tel: +974 425 6666 www.sharqvillage.com Cuisine: International < Al Dente Seafood Al Sultan Beach Resort Tel: +974 472 2666 www.alsultanbeachresort.com Cuisine: Seafood with Italian < Al Ghazal Sheraton Hotel Tel: +974 485 4444 www.sheraton-doha.com Cuisine: Arabian < Al Liwan Sharq Village and Spa Tel: +974 425 6666 www.sharqvillage.com Cuisine: Arabian and Persian < Asia Live! Marriot Hotel Tel: +974 429 8888 www.marriott.com Cuisine: Asian < Bistro Bistro Ramada Plaza Tel: +974 428 1428 www.ramadaplazadoha.com Cuisine: European < Bombay Balti Ramada Plaza Tel: +974 428 1428 www.ramadaplazadoha.com Cuisine: Indian < Brasserie on the Beach Four Seasons Hotel Tel: +974 494 8888 www.fourseasons.com/doha Cuisine: Italian < Chopsticks Grand Regency Hotel Tel: +974 434 3333 www.grand-regency.com Cuisine: International < Fauchon Salwa Road Tel: +974 432 4888 www.fauchon.com Cuisine: French < Fish Market Intercontinental Hotel Tel: +974 484 4444 www.ichotelsgroup.com Cuisine: Seafood < Flamingos Ritz Carlton Hotel Tel: +974 484 8000 www.ritzcarlton.com Cuisine: International < Grand Gourmet Grand Regency Hotel Tel: +974 434 3333 www.grand-regency.com Cuisine: Contemporary Global

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< Greens Ramada Plaza Tel: +974 428 1428 www.ramadaplazadoha.com Cuisine: Vegetarian < Il Teatro Four Seasons Hotel Tel: +974 494 8888 www.fourseasons.com/doha Cuisine: Italian < JW’s Steakhouse Marriot Hotel Tel: +974 429 8888 www.marriott.com Cuisine: Steakhouse < La Cigale Traiteur La Cigale Hotel Tel: +974 428 8888 www.lacigalehotel.com Cuisine: International < La Mer Ritz Carlton Hotel Tel: +974 484 8000 www.ritzcarlton.com Cuisine: French < La Veranda Sheraton Hotel Tel: +974 485 4444 www.sheraton-doha.com Cuisine: Italian < Laffan Sheraton Hotel Tel: +974 485 4444 www.sheraton-doha.com Cuisine: International < Layali & Neo Salwa Road Tel: +974 431 0005 www.alayanqatar.com Cuisine: Arabian < Le Central La Cigale Hotel Tel: +974 428 8888 www.lacigalehotel.com Cuisine: International < Le Cigalon La Cigale Hotel Tel: +974 428 8888 www.lacigalehotel.com Cuisine: Modern Mediterranean < Le Gourmet Al Sadd and Old Souq Tel: +974 436 1789 www.legourmetrestaurant.com Cuisine: Arabian & French < Le Grill The Diplomatic Club Tel: +974 484 7444 www.thediplomaticclub.com Cuisine: International < Le Notre Salwa Road Tel: +974 455 2111 www.lenotre.fr Cuisine: International < Lina’s Salwa Road, Tel: +974 436 5488 Cuisine: French < Pier 12 Ramada Plaza Tel: +974 428 1428 www.ramadaplazadoha.com Cuisine: Seafood < Pool Grill Four Seasons Hotel Tel: +974 494 8888 www.fourseasons.com/doha Cuisine: International

< Porcini Ritz Carlton Hotel Tel: +974 484 8000 www.ritzcarlton.com Cuisine: Italian < Privates Cove Sheraton Hotel Tel: +974 485 4444 www.sheraton-doha.com Cuisine: Seafood’s and Barbeque < Ruby Wu’s Ramada Plaza Tel: +974 428 1428 www.ramadaplazadoha.com Cuisine: Chinese < Sakura Ramada Plaza Tel: +974 428 1428 www.ramadaplazadoha.com Cuisine: Japanese < Seasons Movenpick Hotel Tel: +974 429 1111 www.moevenpick-hotels.com Cuisine: International < Shisha Diwan Ritz Carlton Hotel Tel: +974 484 8000 www.ritzcarlton.com Cuisine: International < The Lobby Marriot Hotel Tel: +974 429 8888 www.marriott.com Cuisine: International < Za Moda Intercontinental Hotel Tel: +974 484 4444 www.ichotelsgroup.com Cuisine: Italian Cafés < Alkut Lounge Grand Regency Hotel Tel: +974 434 3333 www.grand-regency.com Café and Pastries < Atrium Millennium Hotel Tel: +974 424 7777 www.millenniumhotels.com Café and Pastries < Atrium Lounge Sheraton Hotel Tel: +974 485 4444 Café < Café Batteel Salwa Road Tel: +974 444 1414 Café < Cafe Ceramic The Mall Tel: +974 467 1100 www.cafe-ceramique.com Café < Lime Café Movenpick Tower and Suites Tel: +974 496 6600 www.moevenpick-hotels.com Café < Ristretto Villaggio Mall Tel: +974 450 7208 Café < Silver Cafe Al Sadd Tel: +974 413 1773 www.nbks.com Café

DUBAI

Hotels < Al Murooj Rotana Hotel And Suites Al Saffa Street, Sheikh Zayed Road Tel: +971 4 705 4277 www.rotana.com 5 Star < Al Qasr Madinat Resort Jumeirah Intersection Al Sufouh Road Tel: +971 4 366 8888 www.jumeirah.com 5 Star < Arabian Court Al Soufoh Road, ,In Front Of Media City Tel: +971 4 399 9999 www.arabiancourtyard.com 5 Star < Burj Al Arab Jumeirah Beach area Tel: +971 4 301 7777 www.jumeirah.com 7 Star < Coral Deira Al Muraqqabat Street Deira Tel: +971 4 224 8587 www.coral-international.com/deira 5 Star < Crown Plaza Hotel Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan Road Tel: +971 4 701 2222 www.crowneplaza.com 5 Star < Dhow Palace Kuwait Street Bur Dubai Tel: +971 4 359 9992 www.dhowpalacedubai.com 5 Star < Dubai Creek Hilton Beniyas Road Tel: +971 4 227 1111 www1.hilton.com 5 Star < Dubai Marine Beach Resort and Spa Jumierah Beach Road Tel: +971 4 346 1111 www.dxbmarine.com 5 Star < Dusit Dubai 133 Sheikh Zayed Road Tel: +971 4 343 3333 www.dusit.com 5 Star < Grand Hyatt Al Qutaeyat Road Tel: +971 4 317 1234 www.dubai.grand.hyatt.com 5 Star < Habtoor Grand Resort and Spa Al Sufouh Road, The Dubai Marina Tel: +971 4 399 5000 www.grandjumeirah.habtoorhotels.com 5 Star < Hyatt Regency Dubai Deira Tel: +971 4 209 1234 www.dubai.regency.hyatt.com 5 Star < Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Next to Endurance Village Tel: +971 4 809 6100 www.jumeirah.com 5 Star < Jumeirah Beach Club Jumeirah Beach Road Tel: +971 4 348 0000 www.jumeirah.com 5 Star

< Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Barsha Tel: +971 4 341 0000 www.kempinski-dubai.com 5 Star < Le Meridien Dubai Airport Road Dubai Tel: +971 4 217 0000 www.starwoodhotels.com/lemeridien 5 Star < Mina A Salam Madinat Jumeirah Jumeirah Road Tel: +971 4 366 8888 www.jumeirah.com 5 Star < Moevenpick Hotel Bur Dubai 19th Street Opposite American Hospital Tel: +971 4 336 6000 www.moevenpick-hotels.com 5 Star < Palace At One And Only Royal Mirage Al Sufouh Road, Almina Siyah Tel: +971 4 399 9999 www.oneandonlyresorts.com 5 Star < Park Hyatt Adjacent to Dubai Creek Tel: +971 4 602 1234 www.dubai.park.hyatt.com 5 Star < Ras Al Khaimah Hilton Al Muntaser Road Tel: +971 7 228 8888 www1.hilton.com 5 Star < Renaissance Dubai Salah Al Din Street, Deira Tel: +971 4 262 5555 www.marriott.com 5 Star < Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel and Towers Baniyas Street Tel: +971 4 228 1111 www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton 5 Star < Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort & Towers Al Sufouh Road Tel: +971 4 399 5533 www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton 5 Star < Taj Palace Dubai Dubai Creek north bank Deira Tel: +971 4 223 2222 www.tajhotels.com 5 Star < The Fairmont Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road Tel: +971 4 332 5555 www.fairmont.com/Dubai 5 Star < The Ritz-Carlton Jumeirah Beach Tel: +971 4 399 4000 www.ritzcarlton.com 5 Star Restaurants < Antique Bazaar Four Points Sheraton, Bur Dubai Tel: +971 4 397 7444 www.fourpoints.com Cuisine: Indian < Asado The Palace Hotel, (Sofitel), Sheikh Zayed Road Tel: +971 4 428 7888 www.sofitel.com Cuisine: Argentinean Grill


sur la terre mode < Bistro Madelain Intercontinental Dubai Festival City Tel: +971 4 701 1128 www.intercontinental.com/dubai Cuisine: French < Cactus Cantina Rydges Plaza Dubai, Satwa Tel: +971 4 398 2274 www.cactuscantinadubai.com Cuisine: Latin < Chinese Treasure Oud Metha, Dubai Tel: +971 4 336 3525 Cuisine: Chinese < Choices Al Bustan Rotana Hotel, Garhoud Tel: +971 4 282 0000 www.rotana.com 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 www.fairmont.com 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 www.madinatjumeirah.com Cuisine: American < Malecon Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa, Jumeirah Tel: +971 4 346 1111 www.dxbmarine.com Cuisine: Cuban < Mango Tree The Palace Hotel, (Sofitel) Sheikh Zayed Road Tel: +971 4 426 7313 www.sofitel.com 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 www.thesapphiredubai.com 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 www.rotana.com Cuisine: International

< Trader Vic’s Crowne Plaza Dubai Tel: +971 4 331 1111 www.ichotelsgroup,com Cuisine: International

MANAMA

Hotels < Banyan Tree Desert Spa & Resort Sakhir Tel: +973 17 845 000 www.banyantree.com 5 star < Crowne Plaza Bahrain Manama Tel: +973 17 531 122 www.cp-bahrain.com 5 star < Gulf Hotel Adliya Tel: +973 17 713 000 www.gulfhotelbahrain.com 5 star < InterContinental Regency Hotel Manama Tel: +973 17 227 777 www.interconti.com/manama 5 star < Mövenpick Hotel Muharraq Tel: +973 17 460 000 www.movenpick-bahrain.com 5 star < Sheraton Bahrain Manama Tel: +973 17 533 533 www.sheraton.com/bahrain 5 star < The Diplomat Radisson SAS Manama Tel: +973 17 531 666 www.manama.radissonsas.com 5 star < The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Seef District Tel: +973 17 580 000 www.ritzcarlton.com 5 star Restaurants < Al Arisha Um Al Hassam Tel: +973 17 725 414 Cuisine: Lebanese < Al Berdaouni Intercontinental Regency Hotel Tel: +973 17 227 777 www.interconti.com/manama Cuisine: Lebanese < Al Fanar Superr Club Diplomat Radisson SAS Hotel Tel: +973 17 531 666 www.manama.radissonsas.com Cuisine: Arabian < Al Raouché Sheraton Bahrain Hotel Tel: +973 17 533 533 www.sheraton.com/bahrain Cuisine: Moroccan < Al Waha Gulf Hotel Tel: +973 17 713 000 www.gulfhotelbahrain.com Cuisine: International < Brazil! Adliya Tel: +973 17 826 686 Cuisine: Brazilian

< China Garden Gulf Hotel Tel: +973 17 746 423 www.gulfhotelbahrain.com Cuisine: Chinese < Fire of Brazil Seef Mall Tel: +973 17 583 776 www.fireofbrazil.com Cuisine: Brazilian < Fish Market Al Bander Hotel & Resort Tel: +973 17 701 201 Cuisine: Seafood < Fusions Gulf Hotel Tel: +973 17 746 427 www.gulfhotelbahrain.com Cuisine: International < Golestan Sheraton Bahrain Hotel Tel: +973 17 533 533 www.sheraton.com/bahrain Cuisine: Iranian < La Fontaine La Fontaine for Contemporary Art Tel: +973 17 230 123 www.lafontaineartcentre.com Cuisine: French < La Mosaique Crowne Plaza Bahrain Tel: +973 17 531 122 Cuisine: International < La Pergola Gulf Hotel Tel: +973 17 713 000 www.gulfhotelbahrain.com 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 www.interconti.com/manama Cuisine: International < Mirai Adliya Tel: +973 17 713 113 www.mirai-restaurant.com Cuisine: Japanese < Mondo Diplomat Radisson SAS Hotel Tel: +973 17 531 666 www.manama.radissonsas.com Cuisine: Italian < Nirvana The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Tel: +973 17 580 000 www.ritzcarlton.com Cuisine: Indian < Olivo’s Brasserie Diplomat Radisson SAS Hotel Tel: +973 17 531 666 www.manama.radissonsas.com Cuisine: International < Plums The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Tel: +973 17 580 000 www.ritzcarlton.com Cuisine: Steakhouse < Primavera The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Tel: +973 17 580 000 www.ritzcarlton.com Cuisine: European < Rimal Banyan Tree Desert Spa & Resort

7

Tel: +973 17 845 000 www.banyantree.com Cuisine: International < Saffron Banyan Tree Desert Spa & Resort Tel: +973 17 845 000 www.banyantree.com Cuisine: Thai and Asian < Sato Gulf Hotel Tel: +973 17 746 429 www.gulfhotelbahrain.com Cuisine: Japanese < Soie Sheraton Bahrain Hotel Tel: +973 17 533 533 www.sheraton.com/bahrain Cuisine: Chinese < Silk Mövenpick Hotel Tel: +973 17 460 000 www.movenpick-bahrain.com Cuisine: International < Takht-e-Jamsheed Gulf Hotel Tel: +973 17 746 431 www.gulfhotelbahrain.com Cuisine: Exotic Persian < Tamarind Banyan Tree Desert Spa & Resort Tel: +973 17 845 000 www.banyantree.com Cuisine: International < The Meat Co. Mövenpick Hotel Tel: +973 17 460 000 www.movenpick-bahrain.com Cuisine: Steakhouse < Versailles Intercontinental Regency Hotel Tel: +973 17 227 777 www.interconti.com/manama Cuisine: French < Zahle Gulf Hotel Tel: +973 17 746 417 www.gulfhotelbahrain.com Cuisine: Lebanese Cafés < Al Andalus Lounge Gulf Hotel Tel: +973 17 713 000 Café < Al Nour Lounge Al A’ali Complex Tel: +973 17 227 777 Café < Café Lilou Adliya Tel: +973 17 714 440 Café < Camille’s Sidewalk Café Diplomatic Area Tel: +973 17 533 808 Café < Casa Blu Adliya Tel: +973 17 710 424 Café < Overlook Café The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Tel: +973 17 810 180 Café < The Atrium Café Gulf Hotel Tel: +973 17 713 000 Café


8

sur la terre mode

LOCAL PRODUCTS & SERVICES MANAMA

< Albareh Art Gallery P.O. Box 26282 Adliya Tel:   +973 17 717 707 www.albareh.com < Al Riwaq Gallery Al Aali Shopping Complex, 2nd floor Tel: +973 17 581 176 www.alriwaqgallery.org < Al Zain Sheraton Complex - Seef Mall City Centre Tel: +973 17 212 444 www.alzainjewellery.com < Amwaj Marina Amwaj Islands Tel: +973 16 034 492 info@Amwaj-Marina.com www.amwaj-marina.com < Amwaj Waves Lona Real Estate Tel: +973 16 030 001 www.lonabahrain.com www.amwajwaves.com < Bahrain Arts Society P.O. Box 26264 Tel: +973 17 590 551 www.bahrainartssociety.com < Bahrain International Circuit Sakhir Tel: +973 17 450 000 www.bahraingp.com < Bang & Olufsen Bahrain Commercial Complex Sheraton Tower Shop 121 Tel: +973 17 533 855 www.bang-olufsen.com < Banyan Tree Al Areen Tel: +973 17 845 000 www.banyantree.com < BCBG Max Azria Seef Mall Tel: +973 17 587 875 www.bcbg.com < Bexair Muharraq Tel: +973 17 325 900 www.bexair.com < Bottega Veneta Moda Mall - World Trade Center Tel: + 973 17 535 140 www.bottegaveneta.com < Cartier Asia Jewellers - Al Aali Branch Tel: +973 17 581 444 asia@asiajewellers.com www.cartier.com

< Class Cavalli Al Ali Mall Tel: +973 17 582 756 http://www.robertocavalli.com

< Fendi Moda Mall - World Trade Center Tel: +973 17 131 083 www.fendi.com

< Chanel Glasses Solaris, BCC Tel: +973 17 179 725 Sunglass Hut, BCC Tel: +973 17179063 www.chanel.com

< Guerlain Faces - Seef Mall Tel: +973 17 582 226 Sephora - BCC Tel: +973 17 179 521 www.guerlain.com

< Chanel Makeup Sephora - Faces Tel: +973 17 582 226 Sephora - BCC Tel: +973 17 179521 www.chanel.com

< Intercontinental Regency Health Spa King Faisal Highway Tel: +973 17 227 777 www.ichotelsgroup.com

< Chevrolet National Motor Company W.L.L. She. Jaber Al Ahmed Al Subah Highway Tel: +973 17 457 211 www.chevrolet.com < Chopard Bahrain Jewellery Centre Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Hotel & Spa Tel: +973 17 580 667 www.chopard.com < Coccinelle Seef Mall - Seef District Tel: +973 17 151 4310 www.cocinelle.com < Davidoff Faces Tel: +973 17 225 577 Sephora - BCC Tel: +973 17 179 521 www.davidoff.com < De Beers Moda Mall - World Trade Center Tel: +973 17 535 140 www.debeers.com < Dilmunia Ithmaar Development Company (IDC) 8th, Addax Tower Seef District Tel: +973 17 584 600 www.dilmunia.com < Dior Moda Mall Bahrain World Trade Center Tel: +973 17 178 310 www.dior.com < Diyar Al Muharraq W.L.L World Trade Center P.O. Box 75777  Tel: +973 77 155 555 www.diyar.bh < Dolce & Gabbana Moda Mal - World Trade Center Tel: +973 17 535 140 www.dolcegabbana.com

< Jewellery Arabia Fawzi Al Shehabi Tel: +973 17 550 033 www.aeminfo.com.bh < Karen Millen Seef Mall - Seef District Tel: +973 17 583 335 www.karenmillen.com < Kenzo Moda Mall Shop, 79 World Trade Center Tel: +973 13 320 550 www.kenzo.com < Kuwait Finance House Bahrain World Trade Center Tel: +973 77 777 777 www.kfh.com < Lacoste Bahrain City Centre Tel: +973 17 179 530 www.lacoste.com < La Fontaine Center of Contemporary Art 92 Hoora Avenue Tel: +973 17 230 123 www.lafontaineartcentre.net < Lamborghini Euro Motors W.L.L Sh. Jaber al Ahmed al Subah Highway Al Hamrya 611 Tel: +973 17 750 750 www.euromotors.com.bh/ < L’Hotel Seef District Tel: +973 17 567 222 www.lhotelbahrain.com < Liu Jo Seef Mall Tel: +973 17 582 890 BCBF Girls : Seef Mall Tel: +973 17 582 860 www.liujo.it < Louis Vuitton Moda Mall Bahrain World Trade Center Tel: +973 175 37543 www.louisvuitton.com

< Mercedes Al Haddad Motors Tel: +973 17785454 sales@alhaddad-mercedesbenz.com www.alhaddad-mercedesbenz.com < Mitsubishi Zayani Motors Building 4, Road 15 Block 635 Al Ma’ameer Tel: +973 17 270 055 www.mitsubishi-motors.com.bh < Montblanc Seef Mall Tel: +973 17 581 999 City Centre Tel: +973 17 179 696 www.montblanc.com < Nissan Y.K. Almoayyed & Sons Tel: +973 17 732 732 www.nissanbahrain.com < Officine Panerai Asia Jewellers Sheraton Complex Tel: +973 17 534 444 asia@asiajewellers.com www.panerai.com < Princess Yachts Dubai Marina Motor Yacht Club Dubai Marina Tel: +971 50 645 9193 www.princessyachts-me.com < Porsche Centre Bahrain Behbehani Bros. W.L.L. Sitra Showroom Tel:  +973 17 459 971 www.porschebahrain.com < Riffa Views Tel: +973 17 757 999 www.riffaviews.com < Shiffa Sephora Seef Mall Ground Floor Tel: +973 17 581 915 www.shiffa.com < Van Cleef & Arpels Moda Mall World Trade Center Tel: +973 17 535 344 www.vancleef-arpels.com < Valentino Moda Mall World Trade Center Tel: +973 17 131 085 www.valentino.com < Villa Moda Moda Mall World Trade Center Tel: +973 17 530 330


Sur La Terre - Issue 07 Manama (Dec09)  

STEVE PAUGH Senior Editor So what are you waiting for? Get stARTed! Sur La Terre – Manama &gt;&gt;&gt; Dearest Manamartists, Sur La Terre is...

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