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LEBANON . UAE . QATAR . KUWAIT

Burj el Murr (12 pieces) by Ginane Makki Bacho, mixed steel welding, 2012-2013

June-July > 2014


Burj el Murr (12 pieces) by Ginane Makki Bacho, mixed steel welding, 2012-2013

Architectural Legacies Words: India Stoughton

Impressionist paintings by Fathallah Zamroud and a stunning installation by Ginane Makki Bacho explore the aftermath of conflict at Ayyam Gallery

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reminiscent of the diffusion of bombs and o matter the context, conflict shares bullets.” She worked on them for over a year certain characteristics. In Material from her terrace. Remains, veteran Lebanese artist Accompanying this steel city are six Ginane Makki Bacho and Syrianimpressionist paintings by Zamroud, a Lebanese newcomer Fathallah jewelry designer and architect who is Zamroud explore the ramifications and exhibiting his fine legacies of war, and art for the first time. the architectural Up close, his large traces it inscribes on paintings break the landscape. Makki down into a series of Bacho’s installation, abstract, almost cubist Burj el Murr, captures geometric forms, but the imaginative pull from a distance they that the skeletal resolve themselves concrete tower exerts into representations of over Beirut. A series Syrian refugee camps. of 12 steel sculptures Zamroud, who has in varying sizes each dual Syrian nationality, convey an impression was inspired by the of the building, born Untitled by Fathi Zamroud, acrylic on canvas, 2013 drama of media images of fire and molten of Syrian camps, and metal. Unlike many says painting the misery of the sites allowed contemporary artists, Makki Bacho did him to express his own sentiments as a not send her designs away to a fabricator, helpless witness to events. Together, the instead she welded the towers herself. “Sparks two artists communicate the devastation created during the welding process bring to of destruction through unfinished mind flashes of thunder and lighting,” she constructions, war’s material remains. writes in her artist’s statement, “or may be


LE JOURNAL / lebanon / NEWS & REVIEWS

URBACRAFT LAUNCH Words: Kasia Maciejowska

NEW ARCHITECTURAL TOY OPENS WITH EXHIBITION AT BEIRUT ART CENTER

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hen curator Sabine de Maussion and designer Ayssar Arida moved to Beirut from Paris, it dawned upon them that all the building toys their young daughters were playing with were almost irrelevant to the new urban landscape in which they found themselves. Inspired by the Modernist history of design toys as tools to help designers visualise buildings and cities, they came up with Urbacraft, a hackable modular citycrafting system for developing visions of future cities. The product launched in May at Beirut Art Center with an exhibition called Infinite Spaces of Beirut. The show enlists

leading local architects, designers, filmmakers, and innovators to play with the system and build their own architectural models. Just some of the many names taking part include Raed Abillama, Rabih Kayrouz, Nadim Karam, Ana Corbero, Johnny Farah, Nabil Gholam, Bernard Khoury, Nadine Labaki, Marwan Rechmaoui, Sharif Sehnaoui, and Najla El Zein. The opening at BAC proved that Urbacraft is as appealing to children as it is to professional designers, as spontaneous roadways appeared across the gallery floor throughout the evening and miniature suburbs popped up in the corners. The exhibition continues until 5th July.

Unstable Foundations Words: John Ovans

French artist Val brings her aluminium canvases to Beirut

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ur origins are printed inside cities,” reads the dramatic introductory exposition of Cannes-born artist Val’s T/OWN Project, a selection of acrylics on aluminium ‘canvases’ currently hanging in Galerie Les Plumes in Achrafieh, Beirut. The context of the calm, leafy Furn El Hayek space seems at odds with the mad patchworks of urban life: representations of modernity via Babel-esque skyscrapers, metros, black lines and grey blocks see the artist questioning the relationships between the geometric complexity of a city and the base instincts of the figures that inhabit them. Aluminium,

a material prolific in urban architecture, is the starting point for some admittedly voracious philosophising on a broad spectrum of inspiration, from Godzilla to Freud’s SuperEgo (we’re provided with an ample amount of explanatory literature). The main thrust of the exhibition, though, is the reconciliation of mankind with the civilisation it has created, with patterns becoming smudges, and colours erupting in a manner that suggests a perpetually unnerving instability. Man’s primitive nature, according to Val, seems at odds with the sophistication of aluminium; satire violently evinced by the affronting figures in Les 5 Visiteurs.

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LE JOURNAL / lebanon / NEWS & REVIEWS

Outline 4 One chair by Karina Sukar

RUBELLI AT WARDE

SUKAR'S INTERIORS

Words: John Ovans

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enetian fabric manufacturer Rubelli celebrates a biggie this year – 125 years in the business, more than 35 of which have been spent in partnership with Lebanese textile emporium Warde. Export Sales Manager Fabrizio Paolini credited a ‘new spirit’ in the previous three years’ offerings thanks to their French creative director Sophie Lattes, with sumptuous-looking fabrics for upholstery and home furnishings inspired by 18thcentury sketches, watercolour shading and worn-out velvets, reflecting romantic, often abstract dichotomies such as ‘fantasy and logic’. Paolini spoke particularly enthusiastically of Rubelli’s

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Words: John Ovans

new capsule collection of wallcoverings, saying, "We are very proud of them. We’ve transformed fabrics into something else, which for example with a silk damask, can be very difficult to achieve." Rubelli also continue their successful collaboration with Armani Casa, with a range of prints that range from earthy and animalistic, to floral and plant-inspired, across cottons, silks, and viscose mixes, in the traditional Armani colour palette of metallic, silver, gold, cream and ivory. Elsewhere, contemporary manifestations of ancient techniques – with resulting fabrics all consistently handmade in Italy – validate Rubelli as masters of their trade.

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arina Sukar has a bone to pick with the world of design. The Lebanese interior architect and designer wants to know why a table should only ever have four legs – or if it even should have legs at all. This kind of interrogation typifies her wish to challenge prescriptive notions about interiors, one which has driven her design process and become her signature throughout her -15year-long career. Originally working solely as an interior architect, Sukar began to notice gaps in design lines when researching for her clients – and so from hollow seat ‘outlines’ to construction

steel cabinets, she began to create the things she couldn’t find herself. From here, her concept store in Gemmayzeh was born, filled with a series of loose and fixed furniture, lighting elements, and home accessories. All manufactured in Lebanon, the products make use of a mix of materials and wide array of finishes, a collection bound together by the desire to question beauty in its traditional form. The concept store, found in the pink-brick streets of Saifi, continues to attract those looking for something different, and for 2014, finds itself in collaboration with New York City’s Mondo Gallery.


LE JOURNAL / lebanon / NEWS & REVIEWS

Floral notes Words: John Ovans Rose gold earrings with diamond and ruby details from the Oceanic Collection by Yvan Tufenkjian

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ebanon-based jeweller Yvan Tufenkijan returns for Spring/ Summer with a pair of appealing, natureinspired collections that typify his elegant, regal aesthetic. Through the consistent use of topend diamonds, gems and precious metals, the label continues to display the kind of craftsmanship that’s made it a favourite in the Pan-Arab

STARCH FOUNDATION Words: John Ovans

region. Featuring interlocking rose and white gold, dotted with the likes of sapphires, rubies and diamonds, ‘The Vines’ collection is comprised of earrings, rings and bracelets; organic shapes and refined curves dominate the design signature, with delicate twists, kinks and coils earning it its evocative name. The accompanying collection is ‘The Bouquet’, and given the designs are

floral-inspired with precision, right down to diamonds mimicking morning dew on petals, it seems an appropriately literal umbrella term. The strengths of Tufenkijan’s work derive from their sculptural, heavily dimensional qualities, and combined with colour and texture, as with this collection, we’re offered a strikingly distinctive way to accessorise this Summer.

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fter a slight delay which saw it debut at Fashion Forward in Dubai rather than Beirut, Starch is back at its familiar home in Saifi’s Les Quartier des Artes. At its opening, be-sneakered, neon-clad hipsters swarmed en masse to see the work of the four young designers currently under the wing

Rose gold ring with diamond, ruby, tsavorite and sapphire details from the Bouquet Collection by Yvan Tufenkjian

of Rabih Kayrouz’s nonprofit organisation, which include two architects – who designed the pop-up exhibition space – and two fashion designers, both graduates of London’s Central St. Martins. Timi Hayek’s collection, in a monochrome colour palette, was sweet and girlish, with dreamy illustrations inspired by dance, mythology and forests, swirling onto cropped silk shirts with pleated collars. This was countered by Jo Baaklani’s jolly slot machine-esque prints of watermelons and

bananas on pants and shirts for both genders. The space itself, according to architect Ghaith Abi Ghanem, was conceived as something changing and adaptable in reference to the Foundation’s yearly changing roster of designers. The boutique featured a spatial installation of 27 brass poles that slide along one another, and 186 attached wall and ceiling hooks, on which the garments were hung. As a backdrop, a moonlike spherical light source was held by two balancing, concrete counterweights.

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Chanel IN Dubai Words: Kasia Maciejowska

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arl Lagerfeld has always believed in Dubai. When plans were announced to show his Chanel Cruise Collection 2014 on The Island it served as confirmation that the glittering desert playground had lost none of its appeal for the Parisian house’s German designer. The manmade island, privately owned by Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, was decorated with Bedouin tents and guests sat in traditional

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Arabian style on low-set cushions to watch the catwalk. After the show, guests, models, and celebrities, including Tilda Swinton and Freida Pinto, mingled in the tents to enjoy smoking some shisha as buried lanterns lit up the sands. Guests were informed that the dress code was Island Chic, but Lagerfeld sent his models down the runway in distinctly Arabesque get-ups of loose jackets and flared skirts over pants, Keffiyeh-inspired tunics, and flowing full-

length gowns that spoke of the Orient with their colourful floral prints and sparkling beadwork. The beauty accents at the show were retro and glamorous; models, including Lindsay Wixon and Charlotte Free, wore their hair in big bouncing curls or coiffed into bouffants reminiscent of the French Riviera in days gone by; eyes were heavily rimmed in kohl, and accessories included Bedouinstyle head chains, giant cuffs, pointed slippers, and transparent jelly shoes.


LE JOURNAL / uae / News

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LE JOURNAL / uae / NEWS & REVIEWS

GUGGENHEIM PROTEST

A NATIVE DESIGN Words: Alberto Mucci

TASHKEEL PARTNERS WITH PAL LABS

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s visitors entered New York’s Guggenheim museum last February, they expected everything but to find members of the activist group Gulf Ultra Luxury Faction (G.U.L.F.) protesting against the working conditions of the museum’s new opening in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. According to the demonstrators the migrant workers building the new Guggenheim museum are treated in violation of all human rights standards, with little pay, terrible working conditions and inhumanely long working hours. Although sadly far from unique in the Gulf, this situation is considered even less acceptable as it is being perpetrated under the banner of an institution – the Guggenheim - claiming a progressive and positive cultural role. “Is this the future of art? Why are these workers having their human rights violated? In the name of art we should ask this question?” – such were the slogans the

Words: Alberto Mucci

group repetitively chanted using the mic-check technique of the Occupy Wall Street movement. During the Guggenheim protest, demonstrators also threw fake dollars down the museum’s famous long white spiral staircase in a bid to highlight how the museum’s management was thriving by exploiting those less fortunate than themselves. The same claim was reiterated via a projection of the 1 per cent sign on the museum’s façade and a “Manifesto for the Future of Art” on the Guggenheim’s wall. The museum’s director, Richard Armstrong, rejected all accusations claiming that construction works of the museum are yet to start and that the issue of migrant workers has already been raised at meetings with Abu Dhabi’s authorities. Protestors also set up a fake competition for new designs for the Abu Dhabi Guggenheim building to be submitted, suggesting that the project should be re-written from scratch.

strong and vibrant cultural ecosystem is something difficult to create from scratch, and as such the UAE and Dubai in particular has been investing in stimulating a vernacular cultural seen in the last few years. The latest effort in this direction is a new collaboration between Tashkeel, the Dubai based space for creators and makers, and Pal Lab, one of the UK’s leading organizations for hosting lab-based creative development. The programme aims to cultivate a design identity that is genuinely native to the UAE today. Access to the new initiative will be by open-call, so every aspiring designer who is resident in Dubai (and over the age of 21) will have the chance to apply. A jury made up of respected designers such as Tim Simpson and Sarah van Gameren, the founders of London-based Studio Glithero, and Royal College of Art curator Amanda Game, will be in charge of the final selection. Then, for nine straight months, until the start of Design Days Dubai 2015, candidates can benefit from workshops and talks by international speakers while simultaneously focusing on the development of their personal projects. Braided by Latifa Saeed for the Tashkeel Design Programme

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LE JOURNAL / uae / NEWS & REVIEWS

TRAVELLING LIGHT Words: Anya Stafford

NEW FASHION LABEL BEDOUIN

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edouin is the new womenswear label by Central Saint Martins graduate Andraya Farrag. “Taking the Bedouin reference in this context is about taking something traditional and making it apply to the new world we live in, which is still nomadic but in a different way”, says Farrag, who divides her time and design work between Dubai and London. She says she creates garments for women with, “Independent style, who live life without borders.” The label’s signature is sports luxe, with Arabic patterns brought in to the present via relaxed draping, two-tone palettes and cutting-edge materials. “For Spring/ Summer I wanted to take something that was traditional and ornate and transform it into something bold, monochromatic and contemporary.” Her palette for this season is ice blue, silver, scarlet, white - and of course black. Standout pieces include the black and white Ava tunic dress featuring those geometric prints, and a Croc bomber jacket in white and silver pearl jacquard. Both Spring/ Summer 2014 and Autumn/Winter 2014 campaigns were shot in Alserkal Avenue, Dubai’s buzzy new art district. The current collection is available to purchase at bedouinstudios.com but is limited edition, so some pieces have already sold out. You can look ahead to Autumn/Winter on the site too - dresses, jackets, pants, and tops get the metallic treatment and take striking forms; these will be available to buy online from August.

TALKING WITH THE SPHINX Words: Anya Stafford

THE FINAL ART FORUM HOSTED BY LOUVRE DIRECTOR LOOKS AT CULTURAL UNIVERSALITY

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resident-Director of Musée du Louvre, JeanLuc Martinez hosted the finale of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s third Talking Art Series on 21st May in Manarat Al Saadiyat. He spoke with scholar and novelist Waciny Laredj about ‘Universal Museums: From Enlightenment to Abu Dhabi,’ and took a look at Humanism through the narrative of the Greek Archaic Sphinx, a new addition to Louvre Abu Dhabi’s collection. Singer Jahida Wehbe performed afterwards, with classic Arabic songs and poetry from India, Persia and Europe.

To date, Talking Art has covered themes like the nature of the collector and photography’s place between documentation and art, with the most recent event

focusing on Picasso’s Portrait of a Lady, another acquisition. Those providing all this background information for

Louvre Abu Dhabi’s growing art audience have included Kishwar Rizvi, professor of Islamic Art and Architecture at Yale University, Laurent Le Bon, Director of the Centre Pompidou-Metz, and Saudi Arabian artist Ahmed Mater. The original Louvre, in Paris, is currently showing Birth of a Museum, comprising 150 of the masterpieces already acquired by Louvre Abu Dhabi. Once the show ends on 28th July, the next time this collection will be seen will be in its new home on Saadiyat Island, where Louvre Abu Dhabi opens in December 2015.

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LE JOURNAL / uae / NEWS & REVIEWS

FROM A TIME THAT NO LONGER EXISTS Words: Anya Stafford

A Vintage collection of watches and memorabilia from Al Seddiqi family archives on show

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hmed Seddiqi & Sons set up a museum-style display in the Mall of the Emirates this April to show some of the family’s private collection of watches and artefacts dating back to the birth of their timepiece empire in 1950. Carefully curated to reflect late founder Ahmed Qasim Seddiqi’s vision, the exhibition delineated pieces of artistry and provenance in glass cabinets, including personal belongings, antique travel cases and thick detailed

ledgers from the vaults. Luxury creations from the likes of Patek Philippe, Rolex, Chopard, Piaget and Bovet were presented, crafted with gold, diamonds, onyx and lapis lazuli and combined meticulous craftsmanship and opulent glamour – with several boasting Arabic inscriptions and backstories linking them to Middle Eastern leaders and dignitaries. Most desirable and decorative were the braided white gold and silver Rolex with red and black oval dial, and the IWC wristwatch

with turquoise and tiger's eye bracelet with Omani ‘Khanjar’ crested dial. Mr. Seddiqi’s belongings documenting his affinity with horology were also on show, with his typewriter, cane, spectacles and tools arranged just like his workspace would have been throughout much of the 20th century. ‘Memorabilia from a time that no longer exists,’ said the museum’s chairman Abdulmagied Seddiqi, who today watches over 57 Seddiqi and Sons retailers in the UAE.

tailor and a mini-mart were paired up with local graphic designers who will re-work each shop and put redecorate the shop fronts accordingly later in the year. “We specifically chose shops in the oldest area of Dubai, which is Bastakiya,” says Riem Hassan, one of

the studio founders. “The chose them for the shops themselves, rather than favouring particular owners over others. One of them had been there for 20 years.” Mobius and the designers met with the owners to hear their personal stories so they could build their

design projects up around each individual narrative. “I think once implemented it will create a wave of knowledge,” says Hassan. “It will be interesting to see the consequences and maybe we can venture into other concepts of social intervention.”

DIVERSITY THROUGH DESIGN Words: Lucy Knight

Some of Dubai’s oldest shop fronts are given the graphic design treatment

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Social Intervention project at this year’s SIKKA art fair from Dubai based Mobius Studio was a testament to the city’s ever growing design community wanting to prevent the metropolis from becoming relentlessly homogenous.

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Taking its starting point from the Wajha project in Jordan, which helps the local community to rebrand its small businesses for free, Mobius Studio has taken four small independent shops and re-designed their front windows. A laundrette, a cobbler, a


LE JOURNAL / kuwait / NEWS & REVIEWS

The Bamboo Stalk by Kuwaiti author Saud Alsanousi, translated into English by Jonathan Wright, tells a tale of mixed identities Words: John Ovans

LEGACY IN PRINT Words: John Ovans

A retrospective at CAP Kuwait into the work of printmaker Mohammed Omar Khalil reveals a man always hungry for the new

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ohammed Omar Khalil is a legend in the world of print-making: and during a period when the Gulf is seeking to define its own lineage in the art world, it seems apt timing for this retrospective of his career, currently on show at Kuwait’s Contemporary Art Platform. The works comprise many that have yet to be exhibited, meaning that it offers what might be termed an alternative historicisation of Khalil’s career. Beginning

in Khalil’s student days and then taking a leap into his extensive travels, the exhibition is organised into a narrative sequence that spans five decades of investigations into different types of art which informed all of his later successes. Born in Burri, Sudan, in 1936, going on to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, the artist became known for pioneering not just printmaking but also conceptual drawing and different styles in painting, acquiring traditional early European

techniques – often folkloric elements and handicraft – and weaving them into the Arab consciousness. His later work became concerned with the meaning of visual culture, particularly post-modernity, using unexpected collisions and colours to reinterpret it, and generating an altogether different syntax than was in use at the time. Today, working in New York, Khalil is still seeking out these ground-breaking artstic pathways.

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slew of identitycentric fiction hits the shelves this month, this one by Kuwaiti author Saud Alsanousi - the lens shifting from the Arab world to a more peripheral Other, specifically, the foreign worker in an Arab country. Alsanousi sketches out a backstory about Josephine, a Filipino maid who has come to Kuwait to work as a household servant, where she embarks on a love affair with Rashid, the family’s spoilt only child. She subsequently falls pregnant, giving birth to José – before Rashid abandons them, with the baby exiled to the Philippines. Growing up – the starting

point of the story –José experiences struggles that extend far beyond the poverty he is subjected to in the land he can only half call home. He wishes to return to the (thanks to his mother) much-mythologised Kuwait to confront his father and understand his dual heritage. Brushed with themes of displacement and mixed roots, the work is an emotionally compelling one, yet simultaneously light-of-touch, written with a deftness that ensured its victory in last year’s International Prize for Arab Fiction. This is the first English edition of the book, courtesy of award-winning translator Jonathan Wright.

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LE JOURNAL / qatar / NEWS & REVIEWS

ALAIN DUCASSE Words: John Ovans

'GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT AT IDAM'

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ontemplating art can be a cerebral, appetite-building business, and with the patrons of Doha’s Museum of Islamic Art in mind, bespectacled Monégasque chef Alain Ducasse has opened IDAM,

his very first restaurant in the Middle East. Perched at the top of the iconic Qatar landmark, the restaurant was designed by Philippe Starck, and is awash with the likes of monochrome furnishings, grey marble and Baccarat crystal art pieces,

while tables are set with handcrafted porcelain, fine silverware and top-drawer linen – available to just 60 diners at a time. The menu, a year and a half in development, proves the mettle of the ‘good things come to those who wait’ policy, showing (in some

dishes, quite literally) the fruits of long-haul labours: make sure to try the restaurant’s signature dish, tender, braised camel, duck foie gras, black truffle, and souffléed potatoes, which in itself takes six days to prepare. There are even ten types of daily made bread.

Across the board, the cuisine is billed as contemporary French-Mediterranean with an Arabic twist, and food is perfectly matched by the local spices, fruits and flavours thrown together by ever-beavering barmen who work alongside the chefs to optimise palates all round.

British designer behind the brand, Katharine Pooley says of the changeover, “Having been in Doha for a year now it is lovely to understand more about Qatari taste. The team and I have now incorporated more colour with a diversified twist of classical and contemporary that we hope will find

favour with all our clients.” The new look features products from the store’s latest brand collaborations, some of which are by labels appearing in the Middle East for the first time. Brands such as Arca, Vittorio Frigero, and DK Home are all represented exclusively at Katherine Pooley in the

region. Particular highlights from the pieces on show are designs by Lotus Arts De Vivre. Originally working in jewellery design, this Thai studio now creates furniture, carpets and luxury lifestyle accessories, from chess sets, shoes, and humidors, to objects d’art, and works by private commission.

Katherine Pooley Words: Nour Harb

ESTEEMED Interior designer celebrates Doha anniversary with store revamp

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uper chic interiors brand Katherine Pooley celebrated one year in Doha in May with a party at their Gate Mall boutique. The store was redecorated in time for the occasion in a colour scheme of orange, gold, navy, pewter and nickel, mixed with bright blues, white and creams. The

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LE JOURNAL / qatar / NEWS & REVIEWS

The Arch and the Butterfly by Mohammed Achaari, translated by Aida Bamia, is published by Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing Words: John Ovans

Toot toot, pip pip Words: John Ovans

The inaugural British Festival sought to strengthen the British-Qatari bond

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hile it won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) back in 2011, Mohammed Achaari’s The Arch and the Butterfly has only just been published in Qatar. Left-wing Moroccan writer Acharri – originally a political journalist and Morocco’s former Minister of Culture, who was jailed during the ‘80s due to partisan activity – is obviously roused by turmoil, his novel an emotional story of identity, extremism, culture and generational change. Set in Achaari’s home country, the plot follows Youssef, the book’s liberal, free-thinking narrator, whose young son Yassin studies architecture in Paris. The foundation of the secular family unit is rocked when a letter arrives revealing to Youssef that his son ‘died as a martyr in Afghanistan.’ What follows addresses notions of beliefs and values, asking whether a tragedy of such calibre can rip deep enough to reassemble us. Doubt becomes the central theme as Youssef attempts to re-understand the world around him, having lost what he perceives as his identity – as a particularly visceral metaphor the text has him lose his sense of smell. Running parallel, Acharri explores the story of a generation of Arab left-wing activists who spent their youth in jail, attempting to find a compromise with the political system within which they find themselves. The novel was described by IPAF judging panel was a novel that dealt with, ‘Important and realistic problems in the Middle East, problems which have been reflected on banners during the protests that have shaken the Arab world, demanding change.’

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hat ho, old chap: the British Council celebrated its 80th anniversary this year, a grand old age that deserved a party. The inaugural British Festival took place in Qatar, intended to strengthen the relationship between the two nations by celebrating all things British across a month of festivities. The cultural spectrum was broad, with musical gigs and a performance from Brit parkour wunderkinds The Urban Playground sharing the bill with techy innovations, including an exhibition of supersonic cars all the way from the University of West England. Educational institutions, in fact, were at the forefront, due to the presence of 21 leading UK

universities, an opportunity for aspiring students to network. On the frothier side, the festival also showed its appreciation of British shopping, teaming up with shops such as Jo Malone, Debenhams, Molton Brown and Hackett for in-store events and promotions. The festival’s roaring success, continuing the momentum of the Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture, has ensured that it will be repeated as an annual event – and in the meantime, Qatari residents have the chance to win two tickets to the big smoke of London, by entering a competition on the British Embassy Facebook page or on Fashion Rocks Qatar. The winner will be announced in June.

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Sparkling Chandeliers and Glittering Rooftops Words: Roman Sinclair

Neon-lit walkways and fountain showers into the pool make La Cigale one of Doha’s best sleeping spots

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LE JOURNAL / qatar / NEWS & REVIEWS

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owering 20 stories above Doha, La Cigale’s façade hides an ornate and elegant interior. Located in the heart of the Gulf, it is the perfect stop off point for an overnight business trip, family holiday or romantic weekend getaway. The soaring lobbing follows the grandiose style of the Gulf, with gigantic chandeliers, towering columns, and sleek-looking furniture. Blue-lit design details are one of the playful signatures of the hotel; the walkways between the hotel’s different towers pass through futuristic neonlit glass tunnels, a hypnotic aquarium traverses one of the restaurants, and the glowing swimming pool is bordered by water-feature showers than flow into the expansive turquoise tub. Every room and suite provides an experience steeped in luxury, with a daily delivery of flowers and chocolates, soft towels and robes, and plush

carpets on warming cherry wood floors. State-of-theart technology is set expertly within comfort; recline in front of 40-inch plasma screens, or be productive with lightning-fast internet and in-room control panel that allow you to customise the lighting, temperature, and even the curtains at the slightest push of a button. The culinary experience is in keeping with the high standard of the rooms. Breakfast is no less than a lavish feast, a pleasure as much to the eye as to the palette. Later in the day guests can savour a rich variety of cuisines; from Arabic specialties to Mediterranean delicacies to sushi, freshly prepared with fish flown in from all over the world. Eleven restaurants, three bars, and a well-equipped gym, plus a spa offering traditional hamam and spa treatments, all contribute to making La Cigale one of the finest hotel properties in the Arabian Gulf.

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FZ4 Fathi Zamroud 'Untitled' 180 X 180 cm. Acrylic on Canvas 2013

June-July > 2014

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