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2017 / SUMMER
CONTENTS BUSINESS 18 PROFILE
Meet Irina Bokova, the first woman to lead UNESCO
PHILANTHROPY 20 The Arab world’s first venture philanthropy organisation
22 Technology comes to the aid of philanthropy
SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR 24 Financial whiz Tara Dawood is empowering women in Pakistan
32 SOCIAL IMPACT
46 DESIGN ENTREPRENEUR
PROFILE 34 Chaker Khazaal’s journey from refugee
to star author
36 Bullets won’t deter BBC
Journalist-turned-author Frank Gardner
38 FAMILY BUSINESS
Craft balsamic vinegar the traditional way in Reggio Emilia
to spur donors
Div Turakhia breaks into the billionaire’s club – at the age of 34
Kuwaiti royal Sheikh Majed Al Sabah on The Fragrance Kitchen
50 GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP
Cyprus’ citizenship by investment programme is a boon for real estate
26 Abigail Disney uses her famous surname Dev Patel on philanthropy and terrorism
Ashley Denisov creates a sustainable and ecofriendly fashion industry
Artist Christo’s The Mastaba project is 40 years in the making
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2017 / SUMMER
Summer’s must-have gadgets and gizmos Numarine’s got the only yacht you need this summer The objects from Dubai Design Days that we want in our homes now
Lotus Art de Vivre creates bespoke jewellery and art objects
Dubai’s newest hotspots From Sri Lanka and the Maldives to Monte Carlo, rest easy
The world’s finest timepieces from Baselworld A close shave at Chaps and Co
Exploring Greece’s enchanting secret isles
Menswear veers towards candy-coloured garments
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EDITOR’S LETTER GLOBAL CITIZEN EDITOR IN CHIEF Natasha Tourish - firstname.lastname@example.org DIGITAL EDITOR Varun Godinho - email@example.com LIFESTYLE EDITOR Nausheen Noor - firstname.lastname@example.org ART DIRECTOR Omid Khadem - email@example.com FINANCE MANAGER firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTORS Finbarr Toesland, Dylan Essertier, Elizabeth MacBride, Ivan Carvalho PRINTED BY Masar Printing and Publishing
t’s no secret that technology and innovation have been key to increasing charity donations. Tech has put the actions of charities under the spotlight and ensured transparency. It’s no longer enough for a charity to state that they are making a difference, they need to evidence it. Enter Silicon Valley social entrepreneurs like Alexandre Mars (p22). The Parisian turned New Yorker represents a new breed of philanthropist who are using tech to help corporations increase their social impact and are developing apps mainly targeted at millennials and individual donors to track where their money is being spent. We also feature three incredible female social entrepreneurs: Myrna Atalla (p20) runs the Arab world’s first venture philanthropy firm, Tara Dawood (p24) is Pakistan’s first woman to head up a financial institution and filmmaker Abigail Disney (p26) who may be instantly recognisably by her beloved surname, but it’s the work of this self-proclaimed feminist with Fork Films that has made her truly recognisable. I also got the chance to spend some time with our cover star, Dev Patel, this month. The British actor was in Dubai to receive a Chivas Icon award for his work with the #LionHeart campaign that supports three Indian charities which help get children off the streets and into safe homes. Patel has a penchant for acting out real-life stories and he’s particularly proud of his new movie, Hotel Mumbai, which recounts the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks. Lastly, I must take this opportunity to say goodbye as it’s the last issue of Global Citizen that I will edit. Thanks to all our readers and partners who over the past seven years have encouraged and helped me to transform the magazine into a leading publication that truly delivers an international perspective.
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REACH MEDIA FZ LLC CHAIRMAN Armand Arton CO-FOUNDER Armand Peponnet ADVERTISING firstname.lastname@example.org SUBSCRIPTION email@example.com Dubai Media City, PO Box 215381, Dubai, UAE T: +971 4 421 2770 - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright 2016 Reach Media. All rights reserved. Neither this publication nor any part of it may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the permission of Reach Media. Where opinion is expressed it is that of the author and does not necessarily reflect the editorial views of the publisher or Global Citizen. All information in Global Citizen is checked and verified to the best of the publisher’s ability, however the publisher cannot be held responsible for any mistake or omission enclosed in the publication.
Natasha Tourish Art Streiber/ AUGUST
SUMMER / 2017
2017 / SUMMER
is a London-based journalist who specialises in technology, luxury and business. Finbarr regularly writes for a range of international media outlets, including The Times, Financial Times, Africa Business and The European.
is a freelance writer based in New York City. She currently contributes to The Coveteur, WSJ Magazine, InStyle, and Tasting Table. She is Travel + Leisureâ€™s Middle East correspondent and previously served as features editor for Savoir Flair.
is a freelance journalist based in Washington DC who specialises in finance and international business. She has edited and written features for Forbes Magazine, Quartz, CNBC, HBR.com, BBC Capital, Newsweek and many others â€” and she is working on a book, recently excerpted on Atlantic.com, about what it means for women to be economically independent around the world.
is the Milan correspondent for Monocle magazine, covering a range of topics from politics to business. A native of California, he previously wrote for Wired, Domus and the International Herald Tribune. In this issue he writes about an Italian family business who are producing high-end balsamic vinegar.
SUMMER / 2017
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Despite its vast oil reserves, the South American nation has the the worldâ€™s fastest contracting economy, the second highest murder rate, inflation heading towards 1,000 per cent and shortages of food and medicine that have pushed the poorest members of its 30 million population to the edge of a humanitarian crisis.
Venezuela on the brink: a country in crisis
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GLOBETROTTER SUMMER 2017
1 3 MAY
Venice Biennale Venice, Italy
Dubai Airport Show Dubai, UAE
The Venice Biennale is the art world’s most prestigious exhibition. According to Christine Macel, the creative director of the 56th edition of the fair, the agenda this year is to highlight art that features a spiritual dimension and that steers clear of political undercurrents.
The city is already a major hub for global airlines and a transit airport that connects South Asia to the Americas and Europe. The show is a platform for aviation companies to showcase their services and products with security in aviation as a major focus subject this year.
2 1 MAY
World Economic Forum on Middle East and North Africa Amman, Jordan Business heads and the political class from around the world will descend on Amman, Jordan, to discuss several of the MENA region’s most pressing issues. These include what the Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 should look like, and the recent strengthening of trade ties between China and the Middle East.
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2 2 MAY
1 1J U N
1 8J U N
French Open Paris, France
24 Hours of Le Mans Le Mans, France
The King of Clay, Rafael Nadal, is ready to bag his 10th French Open title this year. But everyone’s attention is trained on former World No.1 Maria Sharapova, who is making her return to the court after her 15-month suspension. Her return isn’t going to be easy – she’ll go through the rounds of qualifying before proving that she’s in top condition to return to the pro tennis circuit.
The world’s oldest sports car endurance racing competition returns to France this June, and it’s last year’s winner, Porsche, that is looking the strongest to lift the trophy this year. With 23 wins under its belt since the inception of the race in 1923, Porsche is one of the most formidable, competitive and fierce teams to have ever participated in this competition.
2017 / SUMMER
LEANING IN GC meets Irina Bokova, the first woman and first Eastern European to lead the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) uring her almost decade-long tenure, 64-yearold Irina Bokova has streamlined UNESCO’s bureaucracy and simplified its mandate. The Bulgarian native is passionate about women’s rights and has combatted the financing of terrorism through illicit trafficking in cultural goods as part of her role as director-general of UNESCO, a position she has held since 2009. As her tenure nears its end, Bokova gives a rare interview and reflects on the role that has been the pinnacle of her career, which she built as an international diplomat while bringing up two children and sitting in Bulgaria’s parliament, where she helped draft the country’s constitution. UNESCO has a broad mandate, from addressing gender inequality and climate change to training journalists. Did you shape that mandate? I do not think UNESCO’s mandate is very broad. On the contrary, it is very clear, specific and unique. UNESCO is the “soft power” agency of the United Nations. We build peace and foster mutual understanding, as well as moral and intellectual solidarity to prevent mistrust, hatred and conflict. When violent
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extremists today target cultural heritage, schools and libraries, places of worship and knowledge, they seek to destroy what makes us human beings, and this is exactly what UNESCO has been created to defend. My mandate is to make UNESCO more relevant and visible. We review structures and programmes, organise them more effectively on a more focused basis and allocate resources for the largest impact. The results are effective across the board, with UNESCO taking a lead position at the heart of the United Nations system. UNESCO’s efforts to preserve and protect World Heritage sites in Iraq and Syria failed. What more could have been done to prevent these from being destroyed? State parties are responsible for the protection of the World Heritage sites on their territories. UNESCO does not intervene through military action on the ground. UNESCO cannot stop a rocket targeted towards a monument. What we can and have been doing in Syria and Iraq is to mobilise partners to document and assess damages, and protect and shelter cultural objects. Hundreds of thousands of cultural objects from Iraq and Syria
have been put in safe places. UNESCO has brought together member states to put the protection of culture at the heart of all efforts to build peace. This has been done, successfully, in Mali for instance, where the mausoleums have been rebuilt and a war criminal sentenced to nine years in prison. It is only recently that there has been a radical shift in the way people understand the social importance of heritage, and UNESCO has been instrumental in fostering this change. It’s known that ISIS is using precious artefacts to finance terrorism. What measures has UNESCO put in place to make it more difficult for terrorists to sell these on the black market? UNESCO adopted the most influential and important international convention against illicit trafficking in 1970. We work continuously for the universal ratification and full implementation of this international legal framework, together with the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention. This normative basis has recently been strengthened, with a more effective monitoring mechanism, and with the adoption in 2015 of Resolution 2199 of the Security Council, which adopts an international ban on cultural trade originating from Syria and Iraq, and recognises illicit trade of cultural property as a source of terrorism financing. In order to implement these instruments, I have brought together relevant international organisations, including INTERPOL, UNODC, WCO, UNIDROIT, the UN Sanctions Monitoring Team and ICOM, to enhance information sharing and coordination in order to disrupt the ability of terrorist groups to benefit from the smuggling of cultural property. Additionally, UNESCO works regularly with professionals from the public and private sectors (art market, judiciary, museums, academics) on emergency situations where cultural heritage is targeted (armed conflict and natural disaster). Have you considered delisting these sites in Iraq and Syria? If not, how will you work with these countries to build the sites back up? The World Heritage Convention is an instrument of international cooperation and not of sanction. Today, it is too early to consider the potential delisting of World Heritage sites that have suffered from intentional or collateral destruction. However, during the recovery phase, once a full assessment of the situation is made, it is likely that there will be a need to revise the statements of Outstanding Universal Value for these sites, and possibly their boundaries. How has UNESCO closed the gap on gender inequality in developed economies? Education and gender equality are two sides of the same coin. UNESCO works to break prejudice and stereotypes through its work in all its domains, such as education, the sciences, culture, communication and information. We highlight the accomplishments of women scientists, journalists and politicians, and acknowledge their invaluable contributions through our high-level conferences and programmes, such as the Joint
Programme on Empowering Adolescent Girls and Women through Education, the Global Partnership for Girls’ Education and the UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education. Participants and beneficiaries of all these programmes come from all corners of the world. The representation of women in decision-making levels has steadily improved in the last decade – from nine per cent in 2004 to 46 per cent in December 2016. What practical steps has UNESCO taken under your leadership to ensure that girls reach second and even third level education in developing countries? By leveraging strategic partnerships we have mobilised close to $30 million from public and private partners. It has been invested in programmes promoting girls’ and women’s education. In Senegal for example, close to 40,000 girls and women were reached using a combination of e-learning materials, educational TV programmes and mobile-based training. In Nepal, I met with rural women following literacy classes in community learning centres run by UNESCO, who shared their determination to improve their livelihoods and ensure that their daughters go to school. In Pakistan, we have launched programmes in some of the most remote districts and provinces to improve educational access and quality for girls. In Afghanistan, we run the country’s largest literacy programme, benefitting over 600,000 youth and adults, more than half of them women. Here, women beneficiaries told me how the programmes had helped them improve their children’s health, deal with shopkeepers at the market and manage money. Their request was for more classes and skills training. We are also stepping up action on combatting school-related gender-based violence, which is increasingly recognised as a major obstacle to fulfilling the right to education. UNESCO is woefully under-funded. What have you done to ensure that its programmes can secure the necessary funds? In spite of constant calls for special voluntary contributions to fill the gap created by severe budget cuts since late 2011, the financial shortfall has been a hindrance for all UNESCO’s programmes. This situation has also prompted a search for private sector funding. For instance the World Heritage Marine Programme has benefitted from funds from Jaeger-LeCoultre. We will continue to lobby for more funding and build new partnerships with the private sector going forward. What is next for you after UNESCO? This is an open question. There is an adage that UNESCO never leaves you. What I can assure you is that I shall continue to pursue causes that are among the gravest threats to peace today: youth radicalisation, violent extremism, cultural cleansing and the destruction of our cultural heritage. It takes a societal movement to change the narrative, combat impunity and unite around human rights and shared values. My personal and professional journey has always been motivated by the conviction that diplomacy and dialogue can overcome divides and promote mutual understanding. It may take patience and perseverance, but this is the only route to empowering young generations to take on the future as global citizens.
2017 / SUMMER
MERGING INTERESTS Myrna Atalla runs the first venture philanthropy organisation in the Arab world BY FINBARR TOESLAND
“I’ve been geared towards social justice my entire life,” she yrna Atalla has seen first-hand how innovative says. “I grew up in the United States, but I’m of Lebanese charitable giving is transforming lives in some of the Middle East’s most underserved communities. descent and I eventually moved to Beirut in 2004.” While in As executive director of Alfanar, the first venture philanthropy the Lebanese capital, Atalla worked for a non-profit focused on organisation working exclusively in the Arab region, Atalla election monitoring and civil development initiatives and soon focuses on projects that provide opportunities to disadvantaged discovered that Western governments fund a great number of developmental projects in the region. women and children. Along the way, Atalla has spread the message of venture “I found that many of these programmes were not financially philanthropy, which at its core applies sustainable and at some level it began to really frustrate me,” she says. “This the principles of venture capital really stuck in my mind.” (primarily long-term investment and tailored support) to philanthropic She went on to pursue a dualYounger givers are doing a master’s in public administration at giving. lot of research on projects “Since Alfanar started in 2004, LSE and Columbia, where she focused there really has been a concerted her attention on the intersection they invest in and want to effort across the continents to bring between social impact and financial know exactly where their together organisations that believe in sustainability, which eventually and support market-based solutions to brought her to social enterprise. money is going social issues,” says Atalla. “Many family A chance encounter with an Alfanar foundations are taking interest because trustee led to her current role, but it was they know what these solutions mean not a quick process. “Nine interviews to family businesses and want to apply later I was given the opportunity to that same rigour to their charitable giving. It’s such a comfortable become the executive director of Alfanar, which back then place for them to operate.” only operated in Egypt,” she says. “I was brought on to lead From investing in the Bedayaat Foundation, which teaches expansion and to build on the Egyptian experience and go street children to read and write in the Egyptian city of Minya, forward. Then the Arab Spring happened.” Although the turmoil that followed the uprisings changed to giving Syrian refugees in Lebanon jobs in the online economy Atalla’s short-term plans, Alfanar has grown to 10 employees through the funding of start-up Natakallam, Atalla is helping with offices in Cairo and London, and actively operates with turn social enterprises into financially viable organisations. For eight investments in Egypt and six investments in Lebanon. Atalla, this is far from a new passion.
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Alfanar doesn’t just provide funding to start-ups. It also plays a major role in helping those organisations grow. “They must have some goal towards financial sustainability. Equally, openness to receiving technical assistance is vital. The financing is definitely necessary, but it isn't sufficient for growth. What we have found is that the real glue to venture philanthropy is the technical assistance we can offer,” explains Atalla. Atalla tells me how proud she is of the Women’s Program Association (WPA), which Alfanar has invested in since 2013. Based in Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps, WPA educates women in food production, and recently raised the funds to buy a food truck through a successful crowdfunding campaign. Atalla and Alfanar were involved in virtually every aspect of WPA’s creation. “We seeded funds, helped with branding, secured training from another social enterprise and helped get the organisation up and running,” she says. Now that WPA is making good progress, Atalla hopes to soon exit the investment and watch the organisation flourish on its own. The idea of philanthropic organisations coupling charitable
funding with technical assistance is growing quickly in the Middle East, as institutions realise challenging social issues need to be dealt with in new and innovative ways. “Since the 2008 recession, the concept of aid and philanthropy has shifted as budgets have fallen at many charities. It’s made people think about how problems can be solved in financially sustainable ways and not allowing charities to be bound to an ever-changing aid agenda,” says Atalla. Not only are charities adapting to a new environment, but givers are also displaying signs of change, she says. Younger givers are doing a lot of research on projects they invest in and want to know exactly where their money is going. But, says Atalla, the onus is still on charities to meet the new needs of philanthropists. “Charities must be much more transparent and communicate in real time because donors want to see the unvarnished reality. When people are involved with the story, including the challenges, they really feel they have been on the journey with us.”
Alfanar supports women and children in refugee camps in Lebanon, helping them to get employment through social enterprises
2017 / SUMMER
AN EPIC FOUNDATION French tech entrepreneur Alexandre Mars is changing the trajectory of giving BY NATASHA TOURISH
he old adage that men marry their mothers couldn’t be more apt of tech entrepreneur Alexandre Mars. The Paris native, who has been described as the French Bill Gates, has the women in his life to thank not only for his success but also his desire to share it. The entrepreneur-turned-philanthropist made his fortune by creating and then selling his tech start-ups. He’s now using his wealth to fund his own non-profit, the Epic Foundation, which selects the most impactful charitable organisations around the world and connects both wealthy and non-wealthy donors to them. Mars’ philosophy is that if donors are better informed about the charity, they will give more as a result. Speaking from his office in New York where he now lives, the Parisian credits his mother for his social conscience. After his parents divorced, his mother raised him on her own. “I always knew that when I became successful I’d have to start sharing my success,” Mars recalls. “I grew up watching my mum always helping out the local community, and as an entrepreneur from the age of 17 I thought, ‘How can I scale that?’ That’s how I came up with Epic.” The 42-year-old admits that the arrogance of youth led him to believe that his success would come a lot sooner in life than it did. “At 20, I was sure I would be the next [Bill] Gates in three years. I was sure the Internet would help me and I would go to the top super quick. Then I realised it wasn’t that easy. It takes time, and luck!” Mars shouldn’t beat himself up too much, though. He
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still managed to make his fortune in tech and start his own foundation all before he turned 40. He now spends 90 per cent of his time on the foundation, and his remaining time is divided between running his family office, where he still invests in tech, and campaigning as a board member for his hometown’s Olympic bid for the 2024 games. Epic Foundation was created on the back of a four-year-long market research project designed to find organisations that are making the most impact in the fields of child and youth giving each year. “If you ask 200 people whether they gave to a charity last year, most will answer yes,” says Mars. “But if you ask them whether they thought they gave enough, most will answer no, even if they had the desire to give more.” The reason, he argues, is threefold: a lack of trust, followed by the inability to track donations, and the need for better engagement between charities and donors. “When we asked what was holding donors back from giving more, we found that they didn’t trust social organisations. They didn’t know where their money was going because they couldn’t track it.” Another contributing problem, Mars adds, is analysis paralysis. “In New York City there are 160 organisations tackling breast cancer. How do you know which one to help?” Mars believes the solution lies in technology. Epic identifies and recommends organisations, thereby simplifying the task for donors, and has developed an app to track a charity’s impact and show where the donations are going. The foundation also uses virtual reality to film those organisations, enabling donors
to feel more connected to them, and has implemented a new online donation function encouraging gifts of $25 and up. Even so, Mars and his 28-strong team (he describes them as venture capitalists who are philanthropists) believe the bigger picture is not only about making charities more transparent but also making corporations step up. “We need a change in mindset in the corporate world. We want to encourage businesses to donate 1 per cent of their profits to charity.” Mars argues that if they don’t, companies will find it increasingly difficult to recruit millennials, who he claims will make up 50 per cent of the global workforce by 2020. “Twenty per cent of this year’s Stanford grads want to work in the social sector or become social entrepreneurs rather than tech entrepreneurs,” he says. This represents a major shift in attitudes between Mars’ Generation X and the millennial Generation Y. “For my generation it was all about us. That’s why we called it Generation Me. How can I be successful? The next generation still wants to achieve success but they want to see the purpose behind the success.” Mars says his mother and his wife, whom he met in high school, taught him that you don’t have to be Bill Gates or work for UNICEF to contribute to charity. Last year, Epic Foundation received just under 2,000 applications, which was whittled down to 10 successful organisations that received funding and a place on their coveted list of recommended organisations. Charities apply online from
all over the world and a selection team headed by a former United Nations head of policy analyses their impact, leadership and finances. Once the finalists are chosen, Mars and his Epic team, which has offices in New York, San Francisco, London, Paris and Bangkok, “go where the money and the power is” to tout the charitable organisations that have been selected in a bid to get big-money donors to give. Mars says they tap three categories of philanthropists: the entrepreneurs (including the multigenerational family offices, private banks and wealth managers); the artists (the influential athletes, actors and artists); and the corporations that want to have more social impact. “We go to 15 cities around the world. We tell them, ‘Look, guys, if you want to do more and you want to give money these are the organisations that are available and they have been vetted by us.’” Mars interrupts the flow of the conversation to reiterate that he personally covers 100 per cent of the foundation’s $2 million operational costs. This means that 100 per cent of whatever his non-profit receives from donors goes directly to selected organisations. “The objective is to change the trajectories of kids around the world. If you grow up in a slum, there is a low chance you will get out of that slum. We want to help those kids who were unfortunate enough to be born somewhere like this and change their trajectory.”
“We need a change in mindset in the corporate world. We want to encourage businesses to donate 1 per cent of their profits to charity”
Mars was first introduced to charity work by his wife who volunteered in Calcutta after college; he pictured here visiting children who benefit from Epic Foundation
2017 / SUMMER
SCALING UP n 2002, Tara Dawood, a Canadian whose family moved from Pakistan to Canada in the ’70s, decided to accompany her father to Pakistan. He wanted to return to the country he was forced to flee several decades prior, and she was making the most of her vacation time. Dawood had just passed the New York Bar (after graduating from Cornell University, Oxford University and Harvard Law School), and a high-profile career awaited her back in North America. But the universe had other plans. During the visit, Dawood was offered the chance to become the chief executive of a financial institution co-founded by the Asian Development Bank, making her the first female CEO of a financial institution in Pakistan (apart from the First Women Bank incubated by Benazir Bhutto that mandated a female president). It was an offer she couldn’t turn down. She took it and shattered a rather high and reinforced glass ceiling. Pre-partition, Dawood’s parents hailed from a village in the Indian state of Gujarat. “Business is in my bloodline,” she explains from her office in Karachi. “My mother’s family owned everything in their village, and in those days my father’s family used to work for my mother’s family.” Partition meant that her parents chose to move from India to Pakistan. At the time, they were a very influential family in the newly carved nation. “There are 22 families that helped to create the nation [of Pakistan]. My family was one of them,” she claims. “When they came to Pakistan, my father’s family became one of the leaders of the nation. My grandfather was a member of parliament alongside Liaquat Ali Khan.” The high-profile family had industrial interests across all
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sectors. Dawood’s parents eventually moved to Chittagong in south-eastern Bangladesh, where they had business interests as well. Soon, war broke out and her parents had to move back to Pakistan. But the family couldn’t rest easy. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the father of Benazir Bhutto, was president of Pakistan at the time and had started a relentless campaign to take over large family businesses – the Dawoods’ included. Fed up, her father decided to immigrate to Canada. “First we became refugees from India, and then again from Bangladesh. In the late ’70s it became unsafe for my family in Pakistan, and we were forced to move to Canada. As my father says, the first two times that we moved it was for survival, the third time we moved to Canada, we could fly first class. I was a baby then.” Dawood and her brother enjoyed a privileged upbringing in Toronto with the virtues of entrepreneurship instilled in them from a young age. By the age of 14, Dawood secured her first part-time job as a Canada Youth News Representative, part of the youth wing of the Associated Press. Fast forward to 2002, when Dawood completed her formal education and took up the role of a chief executive in a financial company in Pakistan. By the following year, she had set up Dawood Capital Management Ltd, a financial and investment management firm based on the principles of Sharia finance. Dawood is also a member of YPO (the Young Presidents’ Organization), a global platform for chief executives to learn and engage, which helped her to steadily build her business into a multi-million-dollar investment management firm.
Image courtesy of Faisal Farooqui
Financial whiz Tara Dawood became one of the first women in Pakistan to become the chief executive of a financial firm. Now, she’s giving back
It wasn’t until the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007 that Dawood decided to extend the firm’s philanthropy arm. She created a pro-bono division within her firm called Ladiesfund, a financial advisory and management service for women that promotes entrepreneurship. They also pioneered Pakistan’s first annual awards for women entrepreneurs — the first edition of the awards was held on International Women’s Day in 2008. “When I was still in law school I won the Benazir Bhutto international travel scholarship in my third year. While I was doing my research, Benazir Bhutto mentored and spent time with me. The awards were created to remind the world that there was an abundance of leading women of talent in Pakistan and we’d never run short.” The Ladiesfund, which now conducts workshops, mentorships and training programmes, has impacted over 12,000 women, says Dawood. Since then, Dawood has expanded her philanthropy outreach with the Dawood Global Foundation. And in 2013 she started the Educate a Girl initiative as an offshoot of Ladiesfund. Educate a Girl is a scholarship programme that aims to train girls around the world between the ages of 18-24 in journalism. “The project is being incubated by Facebook. We’ve already had live trainings in Nigeria and Pakistan. The aim is to remind girls about the power of their voice.” Apart from creating training modules and networking sessions,
Dawood is also raising funds for the Educate a Girl programme. One source of funding is private donors, especially those whom she has managed to leverage through her speaking engagements around the world and also by way of her membership in YPO. She’s also built another innovative revenue stream to fund her philanthropy called Product Pink. “Product Pink is our version of Product Red by Bono. If something is stamped Product Pink, you know by purchasing that product you are supporting the education of girls.” Dawood’s strides in her investment advisory business haven’t been without its share of bumps. Four years ago the Securities and Exchanges Commission of Pakistan (SECP) accused the firm of insider trading and revoked Dawood Capital Management’s license. “The entire episode was politically motivated. It was a false accusation by the SECP and then they reversed it with an apology. It was completely retracted,” says Dawood. After the apology and retraction, she rebranded Dawood Capital Management as 786 Investments in order to make a fresh start. While Dawood is focusing on expanding her business further into the Middle East and Southeast Asia, she’s kept one eye firmly trained on scaling up her philanthropy projects as well. By putting women into positions of entrepreneurship, she’s also putting them into positions of power and financial independence – much like herself.
Nigerian girls train to become journalists as part of the Educate a Girl programme
2017 / SUMMER
USING HER MAGIC Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of America’s most beloved storyteller, is using her filmmaking skills not to tell fairy tales but to highlight the contributions of women as peacemakers in some of the most corrupt and violent societies in the world BY ELIZABETH MACBRIDE
bigail Disney swings open the door to her apartment overlooking Madison Square. She is wearing a faded black tank top and slouchy jeans, her curly hair is pulled back and she has no makeup on. “It doesn’t usually look like a catering hall,” she says cheerfully as she pads down the hall in bare feet toward a living area brilliantly lit by sunshine flowing through two window banks. “We had a fundraiser here last night. Meryl Streep was kind enough to come.” Disney has one of the most famous names in America – but that’s less important these days than what she’s accomplished. A Columbia, Stanford and Yale graduate who first established herself as a serious philanthropist in New York City, Disney has become an acclaimed documentary filmmaker.
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Her grandfather, Roy O. Disney, founded the famous American media company in 1923 with his brother, Walt. Abigail’s gift was to realise that she could use the privilege of her birth, with its entrée into societies of the wealthy and influential, to promote the causes she cared about. During the past decade, that has meant making a series of documentary films that have brought a radically different lens to violence and women’s roles in peace and war. “Nobody was doing these films before us,” she says. The first film she produced, Pray the Devil Back to Hell, came to the screen in 2008 and told the story of women in Liberia whose nonviolent protests forced warlords and the country’s brutal dictator, Charles Taylor, to the negotiating table. Pray won Best Documentary
Film at the Tribeca Film Festival and helped the leader of the peace movement, Leymah Gbowee, win the Nobel Peace Prize. The fundraiser that brought Meryl Streep to Disney’s apartment and raised $200,000 was for her next project, a series of films about women and peacebuilding, produced by her company, Fork Films. To Disney, peacebuilding is a muscular word that encompasses women’s traditional caregiving roles and their ability to work with and without men, and builds bridges in the space above politics. And it sometimes requires sitting down with people you think are abhorrent, the “worst of the worst,” she says. One of her new films is about an all-woman Bangladeshi peacekeepers’ unit that did earthquake recovery in Haiti. Another is about women in Northern Ireland who played a hitherto unrecognised role in the country’s peace talks. “The men shouted ‘Moo,’ whenever they took the stage. Can you imagine?” Disney asks. Yet another will tell the incedible story of the Palestinian women who worked for peace during the First Intifada. Disney uses rare archival footage to create films, which has gotten easier with the advent of social media and as news of her work spread. The hardest part has been steering clear of what we typically think of as the heart of the story, the often glamourised narrative of violence. “Ninety-nine per cent of what goes on in a war is everything else going on,” says Disney. “We made the decision early on that the camera had to go with the women.” Curled up sideways on a bright red couch with her back against an immense wall of well-worn books, Disney is warm, light hearted and unabashed about, well, everything. There is a Donald Trump dog toy on the floor of her apartment for her new dog, Forky. “Dogs all over New York are tearing into Donald Trump,” she says with a smirk. “I love it.” A self-described tomboy as a child, she once ate snails from the family’s garden after liking escargot in a restaurant. And when she describes her first visits to non-profits in New York City after she decided to become a philanthropist, it’s with a roll of her eyes. “It was like: ‘Here’s a new one. She has a chequebook,’” Disney recalls. She proved herself by sticking around, doing actual work in the offices and getting deeply involved with the charities. But she wasn’t always so certain of herself. When she first enrolled at Columbia University, she would ask the car to drop her off blocks away, so that her professors and classmates wouldn’t easily glom on to the fact of who she was. In those days, Mickey Mouse seemed a burden.
The mother of four is also an outspoken feminist, brought into the fold in the early Nineties by a group of women intellectuals in New York City, which included Gloria Steinem. Before then she’d only known academic feminists. Then she was invited to a breakfast at the New York City Women’s Foundation and walked into a sea of women. “Everybody looked great to me,” she remembers, “They were every colour, wearing every colour, no hats, hats on, everything you can imagine. There were no grey suits. I realised I’d only understood a shred of feminism up until then.” As Disney got deeper into the philanthropic world, she realised Mickey could be a gift. Her inheritance meant she could create powerful change. She found women at the head of almost every social organisation she encountered. They were the women helping the homeless that she saw others stepping over on the streets of New York. Long fascinated by war – she’d written her PhD dissertation on it – Disney wove the threads of her life together after a visit to Liberia, when she first heard the story of women in white T-shirts who had brought the horrific civil war to a close. Today she is still weaving, committed to forging new relationships that move her forward. “Filmmaker,” states her Twitter profile. “Noodge for social justice. Opinionated bitch, but with a soupcon of girl-scout-like good intentions. Happy camper.” At the same time, she is under no illusions about how hard it is to counter stories of violence with stories of peace. One of her projects, Women, War & Peace, came out just as the video game Black Ops was released. “It made me realise how puny I am,” she says. Her current film, Armor of Light, is a quiet but ferocious account of how an American evangelical pastor wrestles with his conscience and eventually begins preaching for gun violence prevention. In the United States, where gun ownership is enshrined in the Constitution, that is controversial. To reach the evangelical communities where she needed to film, she pulled out the golden Disney name again. Making the film, the first she has directed, was an important step for her personally, she says. “I didn’t think I had the courage of my own voice. I didn’t know how to hold on to myself when the world was pushing back.” What was it that helped her start and kept her going? “I thought how incredibly important an issue it is,” Disney replies. The film aims to move women in the evangelical community to action, and perhaps advocate for laws that would prevent shootings. “Our country is going in a very bad direction in terms of violence, and I’m uniquely placed to tell these stories.”
“Our country is going in a very bad direction in terms of violence, and I’m uniquely placed to tell these stories”
2017 / SUMMER
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TRUE STORY British actor Dev Patel talks to GC about his new film, Hotel Mumbai, due out later this year, and the unsung heroes who fought their way out of the Taj Hotel during the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks BY NATASHA TOURISH
one is the awkward skinny kid that got his start more than a decade ago on the British cult teen drama series Skins, and then shot to fame in 2007 playing the lead role in Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, a movie which went on to win eight Oscars. 27-year-old Dev Patel has undergone a complete Hollywood transformation, and it’s not just physical, though his look is more distinguished now. (He can thank Lion director Garth Davis for that.) “Garth told me to grow my hair and go to the gym,” says Patel about his more masculine look. We meet in Dubai, a few hours before he’s due to attend a glitzy dinner where he will be celebrated as a Chivas Icon in recognition for his work with the #LionHeart campaign, a project he got involved with while filming the 2016 movie Lion, which starred Patel opposite Nicole Kidman and Sunny Parwar. It tells the true story of Saroo Brierley, an Indian child lost many miles from his home and his decade-long struggle to return to his family. Although Patel, who is joined by his girlfriend and Hotel Mumbai co-star Tilda Cobham-Hervey on the trip, won a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor in Lion this year and received a Golden Globe and Oscar nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, he is far from the apex of his career. Yet his off-screen presence is seductive, akin to the actors he’s starred opposite, and channelled not only by his height but his habit of tousling his jet-black hair as he talks in a very British accent about his latest film Hotel Mumbai, of which he is also an executive producer. Lion was emotionally exhausting for you, having spent eight months prepping for it and riding trains across India. Was it also a journey of self-discovery for you? I tried to almost do a pilgrimage as a character. Garth [the director] had me writing a diary so I sat on the trains and travelled across the country effectively alone to feel what it would be like to have that isolation, and hear the different voices and cultures, the languages change as you go across this
very vast country. It was self-discovery and introspection, and it made those words on the page even more precious because you realise that they’re not just words on a page. It was a real conversation that was spoken between a real mother and son so it makes it more precious. Did you spend much time with the real-life characters to ensure your performance was as authentic as possible? It was important for us to capture the essence of Saroo. I sat down with John and Sue, who are is adoptive parents, and it was such a beautiful experience listening to her talk about how much she loves her children and her vision for the family and seeing that love she has for her sons. We had this big bonding BBQ with myself, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, basically the film family and the real family. Your next film, Hotel Mumbai, is about another real-life event and again it’s about the fight for survival. How sensitive were you to the fact that you were enacting a script that dealt with such a horrific incident of terrorism? This story is very dear to me. The last thing you want to do is go in and exploit a subject matter like that. My character is actually based on a couple of different people. The idea is to really show the everyday hero and show what happened at that hotel. We wanted to show the whole trifecta of society from the guys who live in the slums and come in and put on these uniforms and pour Blue Label Vodka to these rich clients. When the terrorists came in that structure was gone. Everyone became equal and you could see the true humanity of the people in that place. A lot of people that died in the Taj were the staff and you can read the accounts of them strapping on baking trays and pots and pans, and running in front of AK47 fire to save their guests and their fellowmen. It’s also a commentary on religion and radicalism, especially in a country where religion can be bold and loud and divisive, or it can be the complete opposite: it can be sacred, nurturing and about loving thy neighbour and karma.
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Do you enjoy playing roles like this where you take the stereotypical character of a turban-wearing Sikh hotel worker and develop the character so audiences see him as much more than his job or his religion? We created that. He wasn’t actually a Sikh. I pitched that idea to the director. I thought it would be interesting to make him a young Sikh man because I read lots of accounts after 9/11 in New York about lots of taxi drivers that were Sikh and they were beaten up, and had people calling them all sorts of racial slurs. I’m not allowed to give too much of the story away, but again it talks about religion.
You’ve worked with some incredible actors over the years, Nicole Kidman most recently. Is there a lesson or a technique that you’ve picked up from these more experienced actors? Everyone has their own kind of flavour or approach. The general attitude that you see with those more established, amazing actors is that there is still a real drive and a real curiosity. Especially in [The Second Best Exotic] Marigold Hotel, your surrounded by Dame Judi Dench and Dame Maggie Smith and all these great actors and they’re still asking questions and they’re still excited by the process and that was really encouraging for me to see.
This is the first movie in which you’ve tried your hand at producing. Could see yourself doing more of it in the future? It was really exciting. The material was great, but I could see that I could add to it since I’ve already shot so much in India. I was lucky that I found a collaborative director who really respected my opinion. We would be pinging casting ideas back and forth on the phone. I sat down with him and we had a seven-hour script session on the character to see how we could dig deeper and say more. It’s absolutely something I would like to do more of in the future.
You’re being celebrated as a Chivas Icon for your work with the #LionHeart campaign which supports three Indian charities, Magic bus, ChildLine India and Railway Children India. Why partner with Chivas? For me it was a way to tie in the brand with helping a cause. I’ve really wanted to push this #LionHeart campaign because the film has really changed my life personally, and it’s helped me professionally. It’s really opened my career up and my world so to be able to come here to Dubai for an amazing evening with Chivas and have that angle of raising awareness for these three charities, that’s really beautiful, and hopefully we can raise a bit of money too.
Dev Patel was in Dubai to receive the Chivas Icons award as part of their #wintherightway campaign for his philanthropy work in India 30
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“80,000 children go missing in India every year, and 11 million children are living on the streets”
The Taj Hotel in Mumbai was targeted during the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks
When you were filming Lion in India did you get a chance to work directly with any of these charities and see firsthand how they are helping these street kids? A lot of them are trying to get these kids off the streets, but it’s very difficult because of the sheer numbers that you’re dealing with. 80,000 children go missing in India every year, and 11 million children are living on the streets. Language barriers make it an even more complex situation. Then there is the different adoption laws in different countries. For the campaign, it’s about raising awareness for the people on the ground and it’s also about raising funds so they can have more manpower to go out and facilitate the very costly process of taking a child in, and doing the paperwork and trying to send out search parties to find children if they’ve been lost from their parents or abandoned. It’s a very lengthy process. I got to meet Saroj Sood, she’s now in her nineties and she was the woman who took Saroo out of this horrible orphanage where the children were being molested and beaten. She took him out of there and paired him with this Australian family and organised his adoption. She’s just an incredible woman. She works in conjunction with these charities. You’ve said before that roles like these, referring to your part in Lion, don’t come about often for a British Indian dude. As a minority, is it difficult to get meatier leading roles? For me it’s about the journey, it’s about the words, it’s about what the person is doing in the script. That’s what’s important for me when I look at a script. If I’m telling a different story every time I play a character, then it doesn’t matter. It’s been a decade since you first rose to fame in Slumdog millionaire and you’ve mentioned that one of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt since then is how to say no to certain roles. Do you turn many roles down?
That’s sounds like a very cocky thing for me to say, [laughs]. It’s just that if you’re going to do a film and do it properly, you’re really giving a part of yourself. It’s like giving a limb. You come out of that really changed as a human being. So my thought process when reading a script is to make sure that all that time spent giving my heart and soul to something is a nourishing experience, truthful, honest and organic. You’re living in LA now and had the chance to bring your mum to the Oscars this year. When you go back home to London, do you still slip back into the same family dynamic as you did before? It’s a little bit more difficult. However, when you go back home it’s always a very grounding experience and I’ve got an older sister who will quickly put me back in my place. Sadly, I don’t spend enough time with my mum and dad at home so that’s something I need to work on. I left school when I was 16, so I stepped out of there when I was young. The close friends that I’ve made have been through the film sets I’ve been on. You’ve said that when you walked the red carpet when you were younger [for Slumdog Millionaire] that you felt inferior and not worthy. Did it feel different this year? In a way, yes. I’ve had some successes and some failures in between and that’s really shaped me as a filmmaker. I’ve grown up as well. I’ve become a more conscious performer. Now I can take it all in and really relish it, because the first time it was all a blur. You started out on TV doing Skins in the UK, and then you did Newsroom in the US. Would you be interested in doing more TV? Possibly. It’s something that we were just discussing earlier at lunch [laughs] but I’m not working on anything at the moment.
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MISSING MAPS A volunteer-led revolution is helping to map uncharted areas of the developing world in a bid to better target aid efforts and prepare against potential catastrophe
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martphone users across the Western world might be used to whipping out their mobile device and hitting the maps app the second they feel remotely lost, but in much of the developing world this is not an option. With or without a phone, the maps have simply not been created. Where there’s little or no money to be made, Google sees no need to tread. When tragedy strikes, this becomes far more than a mere oversight or inconvenience. One of the greatest obstacles facing aid workers brought in following natural disasters and outbreaks of disease in the developing world is inadequate or non-existent information about where those in need are, and how to fastest reach them. Enter Missing Maps, a volunteer-led online initiative to map and share uncharted expanses of the globe, specifically targeting areas where poverty and the risk of natural disasters are rife. Inspired by the logistical difficulties in responding to recent humanitarian crises, such as Haiti’s tragic cholera outbreak following the 2010 earthquake, Missing Maps was founded by aid organisations Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the US and British Red Crosses, and the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team. Since its launch in November 2014, more than 25,000 volunteers have contributed more than 29 million map edits to Missing Maps, an achievement that has earned it the nickname, “a human genome project for cities”. Best of all, much of the mapping work can be completed remotely from anywhere in the world. Freely available satellite imagery is plugged into mapping software OpenStreetMap, and volunteers virtually colour in the contours of a city. So far they’ve drawn on 8 million buildings and more than a million kilometres of road. This work is frequently completed in caffeine-and-pizza-fuelled, all-night group mapathons, which have taken place in 47 different countries and frequently attract groups of more than 100 volunteers. This remote, philanthropic revolution has been made possible by the World Wide Web, says Pete Masters, MSF UK’s Missing Maps project coordinator. “All through my career people have asked me ‘What can I do to help [MSF]?’ But if you’re not a doctor and you don’t have vast amounts of money, the answer is normally nothing,” says Masters. “This is the first time there’s been a really simple thing you can spend a few hours of your time on and significantly help us do our jobs better.” Masters points to how mappers played a significant role in
helping save lives following the yellow fever epidemic that struck the Democratic Republic of the Congo last year, with mapped data playing a crucial logistical part in effectively vaccinating more than 700,000 people in a matter of days. As well as reactive projects, pre-emptive mapping targets areas of high risk. Last year also saw volunteers conduct a survey of more than 7,200 villages in West Africa, plotting crucial health care facilities, water points and community resources. “99.99 per cent of the work is done by volunteers. They’re the beating heart of the project,” adds Masters. “This is unique in my experience, that everyday people can have such a huge impact on what MSF does without donating millions of pounds.” The technical side of things begins with the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, an offshoot of the original OpenStreetMap, a collaborative project founded in 2004 to provide a free, editable map of the world. The latest appointee to HOT’s board is Ahasanul Hoque, a geographic information systems expert and self-confessed tech geek who helped build a mapping community in his native Bangladesh. For close to three years Hoque has hosted software tutorials, given inspirational talks and led a team of more than 40 volunteers to extensively map areas of his home country. “The important thing is I don’t want this initiative to stop and die. It needs to become sustainable,” warns the 34-year-old community organiser. “The main challenge is that’s it’s all based on volunteers, but people do not volunteer all the time. Most people get interested, come along, work on one project and it’s finished. Very few people carry on as a habit. I always say great minds made this tool, but we need to feed the tool, or it will die.” Hoque talks passionately about the work his teams did in mapping Nepal following the earthquake of April 2015, and Sri Lanka in the aftermath of widespread flooding caused by last year’s Cyclone Roanu. It is clear he possesses the crucial balance of both expertise and passion necessary to sustain his efforts. “My vision is to work for the people,” he adds. “Nobody on Mother Earth can tell if tomorrow they will survive. You can die at any moment from any cause. “I believe one thing: I’ve got a chance. I’m a very lucky man to have this education, this knowledge. I’m very grateful, but if I die tomorrow, everything I’ve learnt, all my knowledge, will perish. But the maps I create will always be there to help humanity. This is the reason for all that I do.” Find out more at www.missingmaps.org.
Where there’s little or no money to be made, Google sees no need to tread
2017 / SUMMER
WAR CHILD Chaker Khazaal shares his remarkable journey from a refugee camp in Lebanon to the podium of the United Nations haker Khazaal is acutely aware that he could have easily been reduced to a grim statistic – one of an estimated 50 million refugees in the world today that have neither an identity nor a place to call home. The 29-yearold Canadian born to second-generation Palestinian parents in Beirut’s Burj Barajneh Camp is fortunate to have both. “You can’t control the universe, but if you’re lucky you can get a grab on it,” says Khazaal. His stroke of luck came at the age of 15 when an aid worker in the camp suggested he apply for residency overseas. They helped with the application and recommendations, allowing Khazaal to successfully apply for a summer scholarship programme in Canada. Khazaal seized the opportunity for a new life, but his good fortune constantly reminds him of his responsibility to his fellow refugees. This transpired into his first book in 2013, Confessions of a War Child, which tells the story of a refugee who became president. “I want to enable and empower refugees, so I can’t victimise them in my books. I tell the story of the refugee crisis but I also give room for dreamers.”
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The following year he published the sequel to his book, Confessions of a War Child Lia, and in 2015, the final book in the trilogy, Confessions of a War Child Sahara. The books and his own experiences as a refugee meant he soon became a fixture at prestigious speaking engagements around the world, from the UN headquarters in New York to the Thomson Reuters Foundation in London and the International Youth Conference in Bahrain. Last year he was hailed as one of the year’s top 100 influential young Arabs. Khazaal says he’s not interested in depicting the reality of the suffering of refugees; instead he wants to offer inspiration and show the world that most refugees are “resilient risk-takers and daring go-getters.” When asked about the difficulty of the transition from living in a square kilometre camp packed with 20,000 people and his life in Canada, Khazaal’s answer is surprising. “They’re both lovely lives. They’re just different. In a camp you’re living with your community, your people and your family. You go play soccer in the little alleys.” But then he recalls the vast space he had in Canada to ride his bike. “I didn’t have to be careful of any sewage channels. Both lives are great.” His approach to novels was that of an accidental author with no serious literary ambitions. Now, ready for the release of his fourth book, Tale of Tala, which tells the story of a refugee from Lebanon recruited to ISIS in Syria and who becomes a prostitute in Slovenia, he’s matured as a writer, and his writing process has become fastidious and deliberate. He took two and a half years to churn out Tale of Tala, as it required him to travel to Europe to research his subject matter and also to sharpen his writing chops. “I keep learning literature rules, the technical things of writing. The more lessons you learn, the longer you take to implement them.” Khazaal has proposed some radical ideas, such as a refugee government with a formal spokesperson, to avoid what he calls the outbreak of “emotional diarrhoea”. The formation of the Refugee Olympic Team is an example that it can be achieved. He acknowledges that the idea for the moment is fantasy, but adds, “In many cases, fantasy is the seed of a reality that is going to happen. It could become a reality with the help of super powerful agencies. For example, it’s not a hard thing to fantasise about the UNHCR becoming a government. It could. It’s not impossible.” Living a gilded life between Toronto, New York and Dubai hasn’t insulated Khazaal from criticism. When asked to respond to those who criticise him for talking about a life that he has long left behind, he replies, “My story isn’t a story of a life I left behind. Instead, I’m utilising that story. Today, an eight-yearold refugee who is told by the majority of the media that he cannot be whatever he wants to be because he is not welcome
in country X or Y has already heard that too many times. He needs to hear a story of someone who was just like him 20 years ago and who today has a privileged life. I want more refugees to be rich and have a privileged life and be powerful. That’s the point.” Lately there has been a deluge of social commentary on whether refugees, especially in the West, should be eternally grateful to their host countries for taking them in. Khazaal wades gingerly into the topic. “I tell people who have an issue with that to step back for one moment, and instead of having a conflict with the situation have a dialogue with it. You don’t have to feel inferior. That’s a choice you make as a person. Gratefulness has nothing to do with this situation. You need to realise that you have a responsibility towards a country that gave you its name to hold around the world and made your life easier in so many ways.” Although Khazaal’s literary career is kicking into high gear, he hasn’t bound himself down by committing to an endless stream of book launches in the future. “The characters in the stories are characters I meet in my life. I’m just going to write a new book whenever a new story comes in. My storytelling career is a passion.” Khazaal is clear on what he wants the characters in his books to portray: empowered refugees who thrive on hope. “A dreamer who stops dreaming is a major issue. I’d rather starve than live a hopeless life, and many refugees will tell you the same thing.”
“I want more refugees to be rich and have a privileged life and be powerful”
Palestinian refugee camp, Burj Barajneh, in Lebanon where Chaker Khazaal spent most of his childhood 2017 / SUMMER
BEING FRANK GC meets Frank Gardner, the international journalist and best-selling author who refuses to let his wheelchair be his crutch BY VARUN GODINHO
n June 6, 2004, BBC’s Security Correspondent Frank Gardner and cameraman Simon Cumbers were moments away from wrapping up filming in the Al-Suwaidi neighbourhood of Riyadh in Saudi Arabia when they were brutally attacked by Al Qaeda militants. It was a random and opportunistic attack, fuelled by hatred and motivated by an impulse to murder Western journalists. The assailant pumped a bullet into Gardner’s shoulder and another one into his thigh. By the time he was on the ground, the attacker had fired four more 9mm bullets smashing his abdomen, pelvic bone and spine. His injuries paralysed him from the waist down. Gardner survived, Cumbers didn’t make it. In the journalist’s year-long recovery that began on a surgery
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table in Saudi Arabia and continued in Whitechapel Hospital in London, a silver lining did emerge: the beginning of his literary career. “I never expected to write a book until I was 60,” says Gardner backstage at the Emirates Literature festival. “But as soon as the bullet wound in my shoulder had healed, I asked my wife to bring the laptop and I started writing everything I could remember.” In 2006, Gardner published his first non-fiction book, Blood and Sand, an autobiography about his experiences in the Middle East. Gardner is a veteran in the region. During his formative years, he took up Islamic studies and learnt Arabic at Exeter University, not least because it would make him employable in 22 oil-rich countries in the late ’80s and early ’90s. He took up
a plum private investment banking role in Bahrain and the redblooded perks that came along with it: a villa with a swimming pool, Savile Row suits and a Mustang convertible. He was one of the few Western bankers at the time who knew the local language and was familiar with the traditional customs. “Most Western bankers would avoid Saudi Arabia during Ramadan; I would go to the kingdom and spend two weeks in Jeddah. I’d switch over to their lifestyle, fast during the day, go to their iftar and then have midnight meetings, sometimes till two in the morning before the suhur. You really make great friends that way,” says Gardner. Nine years later, the bank got proper accountants rather than relationship managers to handle the financial portfolios and fired Gardner. In 1995, he joined BBC as a producer and reporter, and by 1998 he became the organisation’s first full-time Gulf correspondent, setting up a base in Dubai. By 2000, Gardner had climbed a few rungs up the ladder to settle in as the bureau chief for Cairo. Much of the material gathered for Blood and Sand was cultivated during this time when Gardner travelled extensively across the region as a reporter. “I hope I can get Blood and Sands translated into Arabic because I’d like people in this region to know what it’s like for a foreigner to have lived and loved living with the Bedouin in Jordan, or to live in the backstreets of Gamaliya, which is a poor quarter of Cairo,” he says. The itinerant reporter has visited 96 countries, and it was those experiences that led him to write his second non-fiction book, Far Horizons, in 2009. Both the books and many of his public appearances are Gardner’s attempt to lift the veil cast across the Middle East in the eyes of some parts of the Western world. “I did a TED Talk a few months ago on misunderstanding the Middle East, and my message was that despite the bad things happening in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Libya, most of the Middle East is a far more peaceful and stable place than is portrayed in the media. I encourage younger people in the West to come here with an open mind and experience it.” The most satisfying accolades he receives from his work are when students tell him
that after they’ve read his book, they’ve either learnt Arabic or chosen to study at a Middle Eastern university or even moved to Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Gardner has a deep insight into the problems of the region. Quiz him on any geopolitical subject concerning the Middle East and he switches to journalist mode with a highly perceptive response at the tip of his tongue. On Trump’s travel ban he says, “It’s counter-productive in winning the ideological battle against extremism. It allows people to say, ‘Look at what’s being done in America. This shows that they don’t like us.’ ” With regards to Western military intervention in the region he says, “In Iraq in 2003, they intervened with a full-scale invasion. It’s been a disaster. In Libya, the international community led by the West half-intervened, and that resulted in regime change and that’s been a disaster. In Syria, they didn’t intervene and that’s been a disaster.” On Syria, he adds, “Ultimately this will be a grand bargain that will have to be settled between Syria, Iran, Turkey, Russia and frankly to a lesser extent the US.” On the question of the need for the Middle East economies to diversify their portfolios he says, “The UAE was already thinking ahead. Now, Dubai is ahead of the game. In 200 years this will be seen as a period of extraordinary growth for the GCC and particularly for the emirates.” The 55-year-old part-time writer and full-time journalist, who received an OBE in 2005 for services to journalism, isn’t going to let his wheelchair dampen his sense of adventure. He is the president of the ski club of Great Britain, loves going quad-biking in the desert and goes trekking in the jungle as often as he can. “I’m going to be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. I can’t change that. The wheelchair is just a platform for getting me around. It doesn’t stop me from being happy.” Gardner is working on the sequel to his first novel, Crisis. “It focuses on a crisis that is not impossible and very much up-todate. It includes the Trump administration, certain countries around this region, and a military operation.” It is Fiction for the moment that will hopefully never become the subject of the journalist’s reportage.
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(L-R) Sisters Cristina and Silvia Crotti
ITALY’S NECTAR For the Crotti family in the province of Reggio Emilia, crafting traditional balsamic vinegar is a family affair he Italian region of Emilia-Romagna is home to some of the country’s most well-loved foods. Think of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, the popular prosciutto cured meat and, of course, balsamic vinegar. While diners associate Parma with its specialty hams and cheese, Modena is the city that comes to mind when balsamic vinegar is brought up in conversation. Yet this prized condiment’s origins are actually linked to another place in Italy, the next-door province of Reggio Emilia, and one family is determined to spread the word. For Cristina Crotti, who runs vinegar producer Il Borgo del Balsamico with her sister, the campaign to give the Reggio Emilia area its fair share of the spotlight is an uphill struggle. Rival Modena draws more attention given it is home to Maserati and Ferrari, while in gastronomic circles it has attracted interest thanks to Osteria Francescana, the three-starred Michelin restaurant run by Massimo Bottura, who also produces a line of aged balsamic vinegars. Still, the Crottis are confident that once enough gourmands get a taste of the black elixir concocted at their family’s estate in the countryside of Reggio Emilia, the monopoly Modena holds
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over balsamic vinegar will be broken. On a tour of the 18thcentury manor house that Crottis calls home, she brings up the story of Matilde of Canossa, a local countess whose family in 1046 gifted a bottle of special vinegar that “flowed in a perfect manner” to visiting Holy Roman Emperor Henry III, an event that marks the first ever reference to the black-brown dressing. In the ensuing millennium, locals regularly produced the vinegar for their own consumption. In Modena nobles from the House of Este began raising awareness in the 16th century by serving the condiment at court. Producers in Reggio Emilia have been playing catch up ever since and only recently formed a consortium thanks to Crotti’s father, Renzo, who in 1971 sold the family’s high-end fashion business to dedicate his energies to making top-quality balsamic vinegar. “It’s a passion he passed down to us from an early age,” explains Crotti. The process of crafting this coveted vinegar rewards those who are patient: the liquid must be aged a minimum of 12 years to be declared balsamic vinegar. Other guidelines include using only locally harvested grapes. Much of Crotti’s production relies on the trebbiano varietal. Grapes are harvested late to
give them enough time to naturally produce a high amount of sugar. They are then processed into a must by de-stemming and crushing the grapes to release the juice and sugars. Once the skins and pulp have been filtered out, the must is slowly cooked down in vats over low heat for several hours. Then the process of fermentation, acetification and aging begins. Whereas wine ages in a dark cellar at a constant cool temperature, balsamic vinegar requires the opposite. Sticking to tradition, Crotti stores vinegar in wooden barrels in her attic so the vinegar is influenced by the seasons. “In summer, the heat is ideal for the microorganisms to spawn and convert the sugars to acid, and it helps the product breathe,” she explains. “In winter, the acetification and evaporation slows and the balsamic is given a chance to collect the flavours from the different wooden barrels. One has to remember that the product is alive and every day it changes its composition.” A key component is the wood used to store the aging vinegar. Rules stipulate that only certain types of wood may be used, which include chestnut, cherry and juniper. Each type of wood imparts special notes: tannin-rich chestnut enhances the vinegar’s dark colour; cherry wood sweetens its flavour; and juniper intensifies its aroma. “The rule is that older wooden
barrels – we have some that date back a few centuries – yield better-tasting vinegars.” Crotti ages her vinegar using the solera method, which means the liquid is moved from a large barrel into smaller casks after a designated amount of time. Finally, balsamic vinegar from recent harvests is blended with older vinegar. The end result is a delicious, syrupy liquid with a complex character. Crotti bottles the vinegar, which costs around $150 a pop, only after a minimum of 25 years. “I describe it as a tailoring process,” she says. “Each bottle will have a distinctive flavour.” To differentiate themselves from other artisanal producers and supermarket balsamic vinegar, which is made after only a few months and with added colouring, the Crottis use attractive packaging that draws inspiration from the world of perfume. In addition to selling at gourmet delis and food halls across Europe, they work with chefs in Italy and the UAE to find recipes to pair foods, such as foie gras, sushi and gelato, with their aged varieties. What’s more, this spring they opened a small bed and breakfast on their property to host those eager to learn more about their precious nectar. The investment, Crotti says, was a no-brainer. “We need to get the message out. After all, we have a long tradition to uphold.”
The Crotti family produces Il Borgo del Balsamico high-end balsamic vinegar on their estate in Reggio Emilia, Italy 2017 / SUMMER
FLYING HIGH Divyank Turakhia is one of the world’s most successful serial tech entrepreneurs. Last year, he broke into the billionaires’ club before his 35th birthday – and he’s far from done BY VARUN GODINHO
ndia ranks fifth in the world for its number of billionaires, and the country’s newest addition to the big money club is only in his mid-thirties. Tech entrepreneur Divyank Turakhia became India’s 84th billionaire last summer after he signed a $900 million all-cash deal to sell his contextual advertising business, Media.net, to a Chinese consortium. Turakhia, along with his older brother, Bhavin, bootstrapped the tech company from the beginning, meaning the pair pocketed nearly all of their fortune, catapulting Turakhia into the league of billionaires. By all accounts Turakhia was a child prodigy. He grew up in the Mumbai suburb of Andheri in a family whose cumulative income was no more than $10,000 annually. Like most young boys, he and his brother dwindled away hours playing video games, but thanks to their father they made those hours count. “My father asked us if we wanted to get better at playing video games. And I said, ‘Sure!’ So he told me that if I knew video game programming, I would understand how this game
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functions and become better at it. And that was his brilliant way of getting me to learn programing,” Turakhia explains. “He bought me a bunch of books and we kept learning. We had computers in school, and I spent 100 per cent of my time on them – all my lunch breaks, my after-school hours when my friends were playing cricket, I would spend at a computer.” By the age of nine, he says, he began coding. Four years later, the brothers had co-created the world's largest game and computer program written in GWBasic. In 1998 at the age of 16, Turakhia borrowed $600 from his father to co-found Directi, a web hosting and domain registration business, together with his brother. It took a month for them to break even and repay their father, and in the budding tech landscape of India back then, business was booming. The breakthrough moment came the following year in 1999, when NASSCOM, India’s foremost software industry association, was organising a cyber city event in Delhi. They approached the two teenagers to help get the communication
network set up for the event. Their work quickly gained international recognition and the boys started bagging contracts from tech multinationals around the world. By his 18th birthday, Turakhia had made his first million. “Any tech company understands it’s not your age that matters, it’s your knowledge. At that time, we knew more about hosting, securing and scaling server infrastructure than anyone else, and we could demonstrate that we did, which is why we won more contracts,” Turakhia explains. This was the secret to his success he says. “We’ve always been hungry for knowledge. That’s been our core focus and advantage. You may not start with knowing everything, but the goal is always to know as much as possible, and then some more. You will never know everything. But the more you know, the better you will be at winning.” And winning was what he consistently did. Turakhia scaled Directi over the following decade and a half to a $1.4 billion multi-tentacled business and sold part of it in 2014 to Endurance International Group for approximately $160 million. That money afforded the bachelor a lavish lifestyle: he purchased a cherry-red Ferrari 458, a Rolls Royce Phantom, as well as homes in San Francisco, Vancouver, Dubai and Mumbai, and of course, private jets. Turakhia admits he’s a thrill-seeker, which explains why he’s also a trained pilot, has flown an F-16 fighter jet in Israel, enjoys wing walking and has even gone cage diving with sharks in South Africa. But like any astute entrepreneur, he says the risk is always managed. “I have a plan if things go wrong, and when that plans fails I have another plan. In thrill-seeking, the reward is adrenalin,” he says. However, that adrenalin addiction never makes its way into his workspace. In fact, he insists, his approach to business has always been to be risk-averse. “If you want to build and grow businesses consistently, it’s important to be more risk-averse and manage that risk in a better way.” We meet in Dubai on the side lines of a Harvard Business School Club event for the GCC where he is a guest speaker. His jet-black hair is messy with gelled curls hanging low in his face. He’s wearing a $2,000 Gucci jacket and white skinny pants, not the stereotypical uniform for a Silicon Valley type, but that doesn’t bother him. He says he’s not interested in what his Silicon Valley peers think of his lavish lifestyle. “You do whatever makes you happy, right? I like doing what I do and
the way that I do it.” And with results like his, why change? The 35-year-old launched Media.net in 2010. In many ways its business model is similar to Google’s AdSense. By 2011 Yahoo! became its ad partner and the relationship was so successful that the Internet search giant tried to buy Media.net thrice. Towards the end of 2015, another US-listed company made a move on Media.net, which is when Turakhia enlisted a few bankers to put out feelers for a sale and received bids from seven companies around the world – three of which were from China. By 2016 Media.net managed more than $450 million of annual advertising revenue and made a handsome profit of $232 million the year before. It grew to open seven offices worldwide, including a global headquarters in Dubai with more than 800 employees across the globe. At that point, having achieved a considerable market share, Turakhia sold the business to the consortium led by Zhiyong Zhang, the chairman of Beijing Miteno Communication Technology. The deal moved remarkably fast, but that’s normal for Turakhia. “When I decide something, I say that my decision is valid for the next 90 days, because in 90 days you have to look at the data you have available to you – you may have more data, you may have less data – and this industry moves very quickly.” Make no mistake, the young entrepreneur didn’t rush the deal because he wanted to bank his first billion. He did it because it gave him access to one of the most lucrative ad tech markets in the world: China. “China is the second-largest ad tech market after the US. Last year [the ad tech sector for the Chinese market] was a $40 billion industry. This year it’s expected to be a $50 billion industry. So not only is it a large business in China, it’s also fast-growing.” When it comes to his own long-term plans, Turakhia says he will give back some of the wealth that he has amassed but in his own time. “I love the idea of figuring out how to maximise the social value for every dollar spent. There are more efficient ways to do that in the future by using more tech and innovation.” For now, though, he will continue to head the business at Media.net. “Once I stop running Media.net, I’ll figure out what to do next.” While he won’t reveal what those specific plans are, the in-roads Turakhia has made into the Chinese market means that he’s got all the traction he needs to make his next billion dollars. Place your bet.
“When I decide something, I say that my decision is valid for the next 90 days”
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BUILDING HIS MASTERPIECE Legendary artist Christo Javacheff talks about his long-awaited project in the UAE desert that has been 40 years in the making BY NATASHA TOURISH
The Mastaba is Christo's long-awaited project to be built in the UAE desert 42
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You have to read our work like a book,” says Christo, the artist known for his venerable sculptures of scale that are equal parts complex and controversial. Christo Vladimirov Javacheff is in Dubai to attend the city’s annual art fair, Art Dubai, but mostly he’s here to work on his long-awaited project in the UAE desert, The Mastaba. Christo’s projects around the world, such as the wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin, the Umbrellas project in Japan and the Gates project in New York’s Central Park were, for the most part, designed as temporary installations. His most recent installation, Floating Piers, a three-kilometre stretch of fabric-covered pontoons between an island and the shore of Lake Iseo in Italy, was the world’s most visited work of art in 2016, attracting 1.2 million people over 16 days last summer. When asked about the complexity of his work, the 82-yearold, who fled his native Bulgaria in the ’50s for Paris, where he met his late wife and collaborator, Jeanne-Claude, before later settling in New York, explains that his works have many elements beyond any sculpture or painting. “They have similarities to architecture and urban planning, like building airports or streets. If you start to read the projects that way, you understand them beyond the traditional idea and object of art.” He added, “My projects are about real things. You need to walk three kilometres on the floating pier, or two and a half
kilometres on a pedestrian street. Feel the real wind. The real wet. Not photographs or films but the real thing, things galleries do not have.” Christo is unapologetic to his critics who point out that it’s difficult to experience or fully comprehend his work if it no longer exists. He points to the Reichstag as an example of his most impactful temporary work. “There were millions of people walking around the Reichstag touching the fabric and pulling the fabric and watching it moving in the wind. You don’t see anybody walking in the streets of Dubai touching the buildings. That is the story of this project. My works are very sensual and involve so many things that are beyond the normal object of art. This is why that fragility and that fleeting dimension are there; nobody can own them or buy them. They are examples of freedom.” Christo and his late wife, Jeanne-Claude, who passed away in 2009, self-financed their own projects and have always marched to their own beat. And while most of their work is temporary, each project has been years, sometimes decades, in the making. For example, last year’s Floating Piers project, Christo’s first outdoor installation since 2005, invited the public to walk on water on a lake in Italy. It was originally conceived in 1970 and was supposed to be realised in Argentina and subsequently in Tokyo.
Christo during a scale model test at the proposed site of The Mastaba 2017 / SUMMER
Christo and his late wife Jeanne-Claude scouting locations for the site of The Mastaba
“We were working on the Valley Curtain project in Colorado in 1970 when we had a visit from an Argentinean art professor. He invited us to do some work there. This is when I first got the idea to do a project where you can walk on the water,” says Christo. As the project was in its early stages, Christo says he only presented drawings and it wasn’t until the wrapping up of the Reichstag in 1995 that the couple started to think again about the idea of doing a floating pier, but this time in Tokyo Bay. “We needed tranquil water like a lake, and we already spent a lot of time in Japan with the Umbrellas project, so we thought it would be a good place to do it.” However, Jeanne-Claude and Christo were refused permission and after “a fight with the city of Tokyo” they walked away from it. That is, until Christo found Lake Iseo near Brescia in Italy, which is the biggest island and salt water lake in Europe. Despite the false starts over the years, the Floating Piers turned out to be one of Christo’s fastest projects to come to fruition. “It was realised in less than two years. We have never had a project realised so fast, but again that is luck,” he says. “And for the first time, over 16 days, the people of the island were walking on the water.” Time is something that the elderly artist doesn’t rush. He’s probably had more rejection in his career than most; over the past 50 years, Jeanne-Claude and Christo have realised 23 projects and had another 36 projects rejected due to planning permissions. Yet the couple persevered, juggling multiple projects at any one time but never being afraid to shelve something that they’d fallen out of love with. “The projects that we failed to realise are the 44
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ones that we lost interest in,” Christo says. “We lost passion, like a normal artist in his studio who has a big canvas that he fills with colour and at some moment fills it with too much colour; he lost interest in the work. That is all.” Once the art fair wrapped up, Christo was leaving for the UAE desert, where his 40-year project, The Mastaba, is ongoing. He’s there to work on his preparatory sketches and drawings of the project, which are rumoured to fetch millions of dollars. Once realised, it will be the largest sculpture in the world, comprising 410,000 multi-coloured aluminium barrels reflecting Islamic geometric patterns that will stand 150 metres tall, 225 metres deep and 300 metres wide at the vertical walls. “It will resemble a speculator pyramid set in an ascending form reaching a plateau of 126.8 metres wide,” he says. While the project has been a long time in the making, the artist says that once the engineering work is completed, the mammoth structure can be elevated in a matter of weeks. “Engineering-wise we are ready to go. Nothing in the world will be built like this again. You cannot believe how we will build this. It will be innovation in less than two weeks. On a very flat surface it will rise to 150 metres in ten days.” In terms of cost, it’s unlikely that this project will top Christo’s 1991 Umbrellas project (a simultaneous project in California and Japan), his most expensive project to date, that cost $36 million. However, unlike the Umbrellas, The Mastaba will live on as a permanent structure in the empty quarter, deep in the UAE desert on the border with Oman and Saudi Arabia and is likely to be Christo’s legacy piece.
Christo in his studio in New York working on a preparatory drawing for the Floating Piers
A birdâ€™s-eye-view of the Floating Piers
The artist standing on the Floating Piers in Lake Iseo, Italy
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SLOW FASHION American entrepreneur Ashley Denisov wants the fashion industry to change its wasteful ways
ashion is a capricious industry. It is innately wasteful; trends come and go and then are swiftly disposed of. “This is the business model of the fast fashion industry,” says entrepreneur Ashley Denisov. “Today, big companies are putting out over 52 releases per year. With a business operating on the idea of putting out low-quality clothing at high volume, the goal of fast fashion is for consumers to buy as many garments as possible, as quickly as possible. And with designers creating new looks on a weekly basis, the fashion calendar for these companies is set up to deliberately make the customer feel offtrend after the first wear.” Denisov seeks to change that cycle with her sustainable fashion label, 1x1, a collection of office-wear and basics for women sold online. The brand’s philosophy is to adhere to “slow fashion,” releasing products “one by one” with a completely transparent process. With a background in tech, Denisov was well-equipped to launch her new e-commerce venture. “Working in the tech industry, I observed a way of conducting business that highly values its employees and pushes you to think about building a product with the user in mind,” she explains. “I built my business wanting to work with the best talent, keeping a strong focus on technology and customer service, and always evaluating and re-evaluating the product we offer based on customer feedback.” Denisov’s first task was to find sustainable sources of fabric, the first of which she located at a wool ranch in the state of
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Oregon. “When I visited, I was incredibly impressed by their commitment to sustainable farming practices and care for their sheep. It felt only natural to see the land and animals and understand where the fiber was coming from.” The Imperial Stock Ranch employs sustainable farming practices that reduce erosion and fossil fuels and improve stream water quality, benefiting local fish and wildlife populations. “I knew I wanted to keep working with sources like this as the brand moved forward,” says Denisov. She also keeps a close-eye on manufacturing. Her factory is close to her LA home, allowing frequent visits and close supervision over the production process from start to finish. “More and more, consumers are becoming aware of the truth behind fast fashion: unfair wages and conditions for workers, and the excessive waste this trend produces,” she says. “We are committed to partnering with local manufacturers in an effort to maintain greater transparency, quality control and to support the local economy.” The result is a timeless wardrobe that competes with the high street without the negative impacts. “We don’t follow the traditional fashion calendar, releasing autumn in the summer and spring in the winter. Instead, we create items when inspiration strikes, hand in hand with local manufacturers. This allows us to have fast turnaround times and create timeless fashions that are relevant all year round.” Currently there are two collections available. 01 is a collection of sweaters, some unisex, made from
the aforementioned wool. The second collection, 02, comprises shirts and shirtdresses, a perfect modernist look for the office. There is no menswear at the moment but the interest in one is growing, “Many people have asked for menswear after seeing our unisex Diagonal Stitch Crewneck Sweater. I believe there’s a market for it particularly if the designs are fresh and a little unexpected from your average basic.” Denisov hopes that in the future other designers will follow
suit, changing the course of fashion as we know it. “I hope to see more designers choosing to focus on sustainability and making it a priority,” she says wistfully. “Each unique voice helps bring a new style to the market that people can connect with. If sustainable fashion is to become the norm in the industry, upcoming designers must insist on it. Otherwise, we won’t see the change that must happen to bring in a sustainable future.” www.1x1.la
Sustainable fashion: Denisov sources her wool from a ranch in Oregon 2017 / SUMMER
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THE PERFUME SHEIKH Sheikh Majed Al Sabah talks to GC about his passion project, The Fragrance Kitchen TFK was established in 2012. The Sheikh mixes his scents or Sheikh Majed Al Sabah, a member of Kuwait’s by hand at home then sends the winning formulas to Grasse, royal family, fragrance is a family affair. His beloved France, where they are reproduced by perfumers. His three grandmother showed him how to blend precious oils daughters and many nieces and nephews help coin catchy names purchased at Kuwait City’s old Souk Al-Mubarakiya using for his creations, such as the best-selling War of the Roses and recipes passed down through the generations. “My grandmother Arab Spring. TFK itself consists of four collections: Exclusive, had a great nose,” recalls Al Sabah . “I lived with her and picked the core of the line; My Collection, Al Sabah’s personal scent up her love of blending fragrances.” wardrobe; Tribute, an ode to his favourite cities; and Modern Al Sabah is a pioneer in the field of Middle Eastern fashion and Heritage, an olfactory celebration of the Arab world today. beauty. In 1992 he founded Villa Moda, a luxury department store in Kuwait City. He was the first to Al Sabah is also a veritable fashion influencer. With over 352,000 Instagram bring Western designers like Donna Karan, followers and nearly 2 million on Snapchat, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren to the “We want to he can certainly draw a crowd. When his region. He later rolled out his designercommunicate the young, fragrances launched in April of last year bazaar concept to other Middle Eastern fun face of the Middle at the iconic New York department store countries before leaving the company in East to the world” Bergdorf Goodman, Al Sabah was in the 2009. But despite being a formidable fashion centre of a mob of over a thousand fans taking selfies and kissing babies. entrepreneur, it was following a lunch with The line is also carried in other prestigious global department long-time friend Tom Ford that Al Sabah truly felt the selfstores, such as Selfridges and Neiman Marcus. Al Sabah sees assurance to start his own fragrance line. And it was Al Sabah his line as a something of an ambassador for the Middle East. who recommended that Ford break into the Middle Eastern “We want to communicate the young, fun face of the Middle market with his fragrance first. “I developed Arabian Wood East to the world,” he explains. “In the Middle East people love for his private collection, and it became one of his best sellers. This fragrance gave me the confidence to start The Fragrance newness. They love diversity and change. We want that aspect Kitchen,” he explains. to be known worldwide, that young, fun, approachable face.”
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INVEST IN CYPRUS Cyprusâ€™ popular citizenship by investment programme is creating a real estate boom on the island
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ince 2013 the Mediterranean island of Cyprus has offered a citizenship by investment programme aimed at attracting foreign direct investment and restoring the country to financial security. It’s the only such programme to offer citizenship in Europe (the UK and Portugal programmes offer permanent residency first), and as a result has created a real estate boom in the country. “It’s also considered the safest country in the world among countries with a population of less than 5 million,” says Akis Kyradjis, vice president of Arton Capital Cyprus, a global advisory firm that specialises in immigrant investment programmes. “This coupled with the year-round pleasant climate and a legal and business system based on the Anglo-Saxon model are all contributing factors to the rise in foreign investment in recent years.” Known by its official title as the Scheme for Naturalisation of Investors in Cyprus by Exception, it offers several investment options starting from €2 million. Applicants can invest in real estate or land development, a Cypriot business, or a combination of both. Applications are processed within three months, making the program the fastest route to EU citizenship. But as with property investments anywhere else in the world, navigating the ins and outs of Cypriot real estate requires a professional to help with the finer points. “Unfortunately, many investors have found themselves in less than ideal situations after taking the advice of a friend of a friend who knows someone who can get them a good deal,” says Kyradjis. But rest assured that the right citizenship by investment service provider will help you cross the bridge between dreams and reality seamlessly. Global Citizen sat down with Kyradjis to learn some of the tips and tricks that have made him one of the most well respected real estate specialists in the country. Here is his advice: Responsibility & Trust The right citizenship by investment service provider will take responsibility for leading you through the application process from start to finish. This means preparing your file and documentation for submission, advising you on the appropriate investment and least costly route for your needs, and serving as your representative throughout the process. Independence & Choice Your service provider must be independent. It is the only way to ensure that they have your best interests at heart rather than the interests of, for example, a property developer. In addition, an independent service provider will expose you to a variety of development projects and work with you to hone in on the right one for your needs. We work with many developers and with a higher volume of new clients, we are able to secure more competitive pricing. These savings are then passed on to our clients.
Knowledge & Guidance This may go without saying, but the service provider must be able to answer questions about the programme and investments, the required documentation, tax and legal issues, the state of the Cypriot real estate market, the suitability of an investment to your needs, and more. Beware of anyone who doesn’t have the answers to basic questions and who makes promises they can’t keep. Cyprus is an ideal destination for a second citizenship. With a visa-free score of 147, its passport offers worldwide global mobility and opportunity.
The Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Programme, launched in May 2013 to raise funds after the local banking crisis, is one of the quickest ways to get residency or citizenship in the EU. Cost: • Applicants must invest a minimum of €2 million in residential property of which €1.5 million can be liquidated after three years. Higher investment thresholds apply for investment in shares, bonds, financial products and other types of property. • A residential property with a contract price of €500,000 must be kept by the main applicant for life. • The programme now allows parents of the main applicant and/or the spouse to secure citizenship as well by accompanying the application of the main applicant and by making an additional property investment of €500,000. Criteria: This is a flexible plan with no need to live in Cyprus, provided you arrange your investments correctly. Benefits: Citizenship gives you a Cypriot passport and the freedom to work, travel, and live anywhere within the EU. Investors also secure visa-free travel to more than 150 countries, although Cyprus doesn’t belong to Schengen.
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All prices approximate
ESSENCE E-RAW ELECTRIC MOTORCYCLE
The laminated wooden seat is the showstopper of this electric bike. But rivalling its appeal is the 100 horsepower electric motor beneath it that moves this 167-kilogram machine from 0-100 in just 3.5 seconds. Just keep in mind that opening up the throttle wide means you wonâ€™t get very near the approximate 160kilometre range of the 101.1 kilowatt-hour battery. Incredibly, a fast-charging mechanism means that the bike can charge up in just 30 minutes. In a clever twist, the speedometer and other gauges from the handlebar have been replaced with a smartphone that displays all of the bikeâ€™s vital stats, including range and speed. It may be time to kick that fuel-guzzling V-Twin to the curb. $60,000; www.essencemotorcycles.com
FOCAL UTOPIA BY TOURNAIRE
French audio specialist Focal unveiled the world’s most expensive pair of headphones earlier this year. At $120,000 you’d expect unmatched sound quality, which Focal says took them 35 years to perfect, but also a fair bit of bling. This headset delivers on both fronts. Maison Tournaire, a French family-run jewellery house, collaborated with Focal to kit this pair of headphones with 18-carat gold and six-carat diamonds. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to an 8-year-old boy named Louis Biscini, who is suffering from a rare spinal disease. $120,000; www.focal.com
PORSCHE DESIGN BOOK ONE
Porsche Design, not entirely unrelated to Porsche’s automotive division, has debuted this laptop/tablet hybrid. The slick, aluminium-bodied 15.9 mm-thick machine has a precision touchpad that responds to gestures and a 13.3 inch-high-res touch display. To avoid fingerprints all over, an aluminium pen comes bundled with the laptop. The ventilation grilles on the side are modelled after a car grille, and the hinges connecting the screen to the keyboard are inspired by a gearbox. They allow the screen to rotate backwards 360 degrees as well as detach completely. $2,500; www.porsche-design.com
IMPERIALI GENÈVE EMPERADOR HUMIDOR
One of the world’s most expensive cigar humidors made by the Geneva-based firm borrows on another tradition steeped within the Alpine country’s veins: watchmaking. The piece features a tourbillon timepiece with 323 moving parts designed specifically for the humidor. Then there’s the built-in cigar-cutting mechanism guided by a laser, a lighter that burns the cigar uniformly and an automatic ashtray that opens when it senses a cigar nearby. The chest has space for 24 cigars and comes shipped with an equal number of gold leaf-wrapped Cuban smokes that have been aged for four years. $1 million; www.imperiali-geneve.com
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Numarine’s new 62 Hardtop model is the perfect cruising partner this summer he Turkish shipyard Numarine has recently launched its 62 Hardtop yacht, which it describes as a boundarybreaking boat that uses “freshness, comfort and cheer”as the guidelines for its design. Measuring in at 19.16 metres with a 5.15-metre beam, the Numarine 62 Hardtop features the same bold styling common to the entire shipyard’s family line of products, with a sportive design that respects the exceptional on-board space available to the owner. Ample open areas and brightly lit interiors define Numarine’s traditional and characteristic layout. While the vessel is certainly eye-catching, the 62 Hardtop also supports contemporary European design lines with some practicality. The yacht features a large cockpit, wide walk-around decks and an especially accommodating sunken bow seating area.
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The three guest cabins are well-fitted with plenty of storage space and each has its own bathroom. The rooms are much larger than one would expect on a boat of this size. The full-beam owner’s suite, with its large picture windows at water level that fill the cabin full of light, offers a breath-taking view for those lazing in bed (165 cm wide). The décor of the interior is clean and warmly minimalist, relying heavily on the use of glass, leather and stainless steel to give it a contemporary feel. The leather-covered interior hand and holding rails are pleasing to touch and provide a firm grip when the sea is choppy. Additionally, the yacht allows fresh air to circulate throughout the boat thanks to hatches in the windows and the option to electrically lower the forward side windows in the main saloon, a welcome feature for those wanting to escape air-conditioned interiors.
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BEST OF DESIGN DAYS DESIGN
The annual design fair showcases the most innovative regional and international design
Nader Gammas, “Tower Tall”
Erin Sullivan, “Bronze Alligator,” Todd Merrill Studio
All prices approximate
Philip Michael Wolfson, “Gold Origami Chair”
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Molly Hatch, “Crescere,” Todd Merrill Studio
Rand Abdul Jabbar, “Loop,” 1971 Design Space
Kas Oosterhuis, “Body Chair,” Dutch Creative
Nisreen & Nermeen Abu Dail, “Botticino,” Naqsh Collective
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THE ART OF LIFE
Lotus Arts de Vivre simultaneously preserves and modernises ancient crafts otus Arts de Vivre was established by Rolf and Helen von Bueren over 30 years ago. It started as a hobby for Helen; she always had an eye for beautiful things. Rolf, too, soon left his career as an industrialist to join her, moving from the world of business to that of aesthetics. “It was a long process. It was a steep climb. Even if someone has a talent for designing, it’s not easy,” recalls Rolf. But a childhood spent observing some of the great aristocratic homes in his native Germany prepared him for the task. “When I was younger I was taken to many important houses, so I could see how people lived, and what they did to have things done the way that they wanted them.” Over the years, the brand has become known for its bold Asian and animal-themed creations made with opulent raw materials. Creations borrow heavily from Asian culture and mythology, making use of rare and auspicious materials, such as seeds, nuts, coconut shells, sting ray leather, ostrich and emu eggs, scarab wings, ebony and precious woods, sea shells and bamboo. Expert artisans are sourced from far flung corners of the globe – India for gem-cutting, Indonesia for wood carving, Thailand for niello work, Japan for makie lacquer and China for cinnabar lacquer. Each item in their portfolio is hand-crafted, whether it’s jewellery, home décor or a statement piece.
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It’s not always easy to guide artisans, who have been practising the same techniques for generations, to modify or modernise their craft. “They really don’t want to change their designs. But once they see the final product, they follow,” says Rolf. The process takes some time. First Rolf and his team sketch the ideas (this occupies the majority of his time now). He then creates 3D models of the products and shares them with craftsmen. Depending on the complexity of the item he aims to create, the final products can take anywhere from a few months to a year to produce. The resulting creations have more elegance and refinement than traditional handicrafts. The company’s mission is not just about creating beautiful things; it is their respect for ancient traditions and the preservation of such that drives Rolf. He explains, “Our cultural heritage is disappearing at an incredible speed. While we cannot fight progress, it is essential that we preserve the knowledge of traditional crafts that play a vital role in any culture and identity.” Rolf still travels about 200 days a year to find new crafts and objects. “I like to go to odd places just for inspiration,” he says. Lotus Arts de Vivre pieces are sold in over 15 countries, making it one of Asia's leading luxury brands. It has recently opened its first Middle East store in City Walk, Dubai.
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These new restaurants in Dubai please all palates
FOLLY BY NICK AND SCOTT British chefs Nick Alvis and Scott Price have been big names in Dubai’s culinary scene for the past seven years. The pair is known mostly for their association with Gordon Ramsay and his restaurant Verre, which they renamed Table 9 by Nick and Scott when they took it over. Now it’s time for their own concept. Folly by Nick and Scott, which they created from scratch, is in the Madinat Jumeirah. The food is modern and innovative without being overly complicated, and all dishes are served in small portions to
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encourage guests to try as much as possible. Favourites are the sage eggy bread; crispy dough coated in an aromatic infusion of herbs with a tangy onion confit; and tender monkfish cheeks spiced with paprika and salted lemon. For something even meatier try the lamb saddle with whipped pine nuts and salsa. The cocktails are equally as impressive, and it doesn’t get any better than Folly’s rooftop terrace with views of the Burj Al Arab to enjoy them. Madinat Jumeirah; +971 4 430 8535
PUBLIQUE From the team that brought us Bistro Des Arts comes the longtime vision of friends and colleagues Jonathan Vercoutere and Julien Pilard: an Alpine ski lodge in the middle of the desert. The interior evokes the warm and rustic splendour of a mountain lodge, from the traditional wooden bar and eye-catching ski lift DJ booth to the chalet-style terrace. The only feature that gives away its location? The outdoor patio with pristine views of the Arabian
Gulf. Itâ€™s the perfect place to catch up over a bubbling cauldron of fondue or pierrade, a style of hot stone cooking during which guests prepare their own choice of meats and vegetables at the table. The Alpinist burger made with raclette cheese is something to keep coming back for. Madinat Jumeirah; +971 4 430 8550
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MOLECULE We knew the French fine-dining bistro was bold before we visited based on its artsy Dubai Design District location, but its renegade streak went up a notch when we saw it traded stuffy white table cloths and stem candles for a more relaxed experience with electro-pop background music. It also breaks away in terms of pricing — nearly a third of what the others charge – yet quality is maintained with a menu curated by Chef Udo Moreau. Start with the charcuterie selection of knife-edge thin salted bresaola and beef prosciutto. For mains, the roasted lamb rack has
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an interesting juxtaposition of flavours with raisins and unpeeled pieces of garlic tossed into the platter. If there’s just one dessert you must order, let it be the Mysterious Arabica that’s Instagramfriendly with its theatrical melting of the chocolate wafer as the waiter pours hot chocolate ganache over it to reveal ice cream mixed with confit pear below. If you’re on a cheat day, order the crème brulée as well. Either way, Molecule won’t judge you. Building 6, Dubai Design District; +971 4 245 4700
EL CHIRINGUITO El Chiringuito brings a taste of Ibiza to Palm Jumeirah. While Fridays cater to a younger party crowd, Saturdays are all about unwinding with the La Familia brunch. Expect jugs of sangria overflowing with fresh fruit, traditional seafood paella and soulful tunes from the in-house DJ. The Spanish-inspired brunch is designed for large groups to graze the afternoon away. Choose to sit more formally at one of the restaurantâ€™s whiteclothed tables or lounge on a sofa shaded by the bougainvillea drapes. In typical Spanish style, the set menu comprises a series of small dishes. However, portions are much bigger than traditional tapas. Classics like burrata and San Marzano tomatoes, soy- and ginger-marinated tuna tartare with smooth coriander-infused avocado and quinoa salad feature before the more substantial dishes of spicy pasta and sliced Black Angus ribeye with creamy mashed potato and stems of broccoli. Rixos, Palm Jumeirah; +971 54 449 6464
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UNWIND AND RESET These luxury hotels have been designed for optimal relaxation. From the glamourous streets of Monaco to the wilds of Sri Lanka, these resorts guarantee peace and contentment
CAPE WELIGAMA SRI LANKA Cape Weligama is one of Sri Lanka’s most stylish hotels. Its clifftop location overlooking the Indian Ocean affords an air of calm that is often missing in modern resorts. The secluded nature of the stand-alone villas also adds to the sense of tranquillity. Onebedroom villas are generously proportioned with a bed that could fit a small family and a bathroom that features a free-standing bath, steam room, shower and a sizeable walk-in wardrobe. The real highlight is the sliding glass doors that open the entire villa to the garden and shaded veranda, perfect for a quiet breakfast that can be ordered until 11 a.m. from the in-room à la carte menu. In keeping with its English heritage, the hotel offers complimentary afternoon tea in the Cape Colony Club, showcasing the best of the Ceylon tea region, where its sister property, Ceylon Tea Trials, is located. It also offers a well-stocked minibar included in the room rate. While guests have a semi-private pool attached to their villa (shared between every three villas), most opt to spend time at the 64
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adults-only infinity pool overlooking the rugged Weligama coast, a haven for surfers. And whether it’s for a dollop of sun cream or a cold towel, the pool staff is always on-hand. Dining is usually accompanied by a cool ocean breeze and an impressive star-lit sky, regardless of which of the hotel’s three restaurants guests choose to eat at. The Ocean Terrace is the most popular, offering grilled lobster and pasta dishes, and the pola (the Sinhalese word for market) plays to its strengths with its daily seafood catch and traditional Sri Lankan fare on offer. There is also a more intimate cliff-side teppanyaki restaurant. Wellness activities include an indoor spa, dive centre, gym and guided cycling tours, which are the best way for guests to experience the local culture, from the rice paddy fields to the Buddhist temple. Rates from $710 per room per night on a fully inclusive basis; www.capeweligama.com
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TRI LANKA KOGGALA LAKE, SRI LANKA This sustainable luxury hotel on Sri Lanka’s Koggala Lake showcases local culture and natural beauty in its inspiring junglelike landscape. With a focus on wellness, the hotel boasts a firstclass yoga shala, a soothing spa, and a healthy fusion dining menu with an emphasis on local Sri Lankan dishes. Expect a well-to-do eco-crowd looking to de-stress and immerse themselves in all things indigenous. This isn’t the place to catch up on a box set; there are no TVs or in-room minibars. Guests tend to hang around the main swimming pool and lounge area, which doubles as the hotel restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Tri was designed by architect Raefer Wallis, a pioneer of sustainable landscapes, to have minimal distress on its surroundings. While the resort feels expansive due to the abundance of flora and fauna, it’s actually rather compact with only eight villas and three small rooms housed in a central water tower that offers stunning sunset views from its rooftop terrace. Guests
are encouraged to visit the terrace for an obligatory sundowner from the honesty bar. Yoga and Ayurveda treatments energise the mind and soul at this Zen hideaway, and Lara Drummond, co-owner of Tri and founder of the Quantum Yoga method, teaches daily classes at the hotel. There is also no shortage of outdoor activities to get the pulse climbing during your stay. Guests can learn to scale a coconut tree like the locals (well almost, they will have the help of a rope), or follow a holistic parkour circuit around the lake. Kayaks sit poised for guests who wish to explore and photograph the hotel’s wildlife-filled location. If that seems too strenuous, take the hotel’s private boat for a tour of nearby Cinnamon Island; wind away the afternoon watching the locals harvest cinnamon sticks and enjoy the pleasant wafts of the sweet-smelling spice as it’s peeled under your nose. Water tower rooms from $375; www.trilanka.com
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ST. REGIS VOMMULI MALDIVES It won’t be long before St. Regis Vommuli is knocked off its newcomer perch by another equally stunning property, but for now its elegance is unsurpassed in the archipelago. The resort opened in November last year and is competing with only a handful of top-tier resorts in the Maldives in terms of prestige. With 77 private villas, it’s by no means an intimate spot, yet, like most cleverly designed resorts, it feels uncrowded and serene. St. Regis is the pioneer of butler service, so as expected the guest experience starts with one whisking you away in a luxury 4x4 to the hotel’s lounge the moment the plane touches down in Male. The butler then takes care of everything in between, from the seaplane check-in to the baggage handling, until he hands his duty of care over to a fellow butler in the resort after the 45-minute journey. Life beats at a slower pace here. Rush hour is navigated on the resort’s white bicycles and is usually 10 minutes before the restaurant closes its Mimosa and Bloody Mary cart at breakfast. If
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you partake, it can make the ride back to your villa a little trickier, unless you opt to have breakfast in-room. Each villa has its own pool and offers privacy, whether it’s an overwater villa or beach villa shaded by lush landscape. Reigning supreme is the John Jacob Astor Estate, the largest three-bedroom overwater villa in the Maldives, costing around $21,000 per night. It features a two-storey main villa and two connecting lagoon villas, perfect for large Middle Eastern families who travel with their support staff. The suite also includes a 1,000-square-foot infinity pool, private fitness centre, mini theatre, private spa suite and custom-made Bentley golf cart. What sets this newcomer apart is its spa, which features a hydrotherapy pool and wellness activities. While the usual diving, snorkelling, jet skiing and fishing is on offer, it’s the only resort in the Maldives to offer zero-gravity yoga. A must try for all guests. Villas start from $1,982 per night; www.starwoodhotels.com
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HÔTEL HERMITAGE MONTE-CARLO The well-heeled have been staying at Hôtel Hermitage for generations, and the tradition continues at one of Monaco’s most glamourous hotels. Embracing its elite heritage, the stunning fivestar hotel has been welcoming travellers since the 18th century and continues to wow with its art deco décor, Michelin-star dining, personalised service and sheer elegance. This is a hotel with an impeccable pedigree that has long been a favourite stop for royalty, film stars and supermodels. Overlooking the Mediterranean, and just a stone’s throw away from the MonteCarlo Casino and Café de Paris, the hotel exudes an effortless air of refinement and focuses on relaxation and comfort at every turn. For the guest who truly wants to unwind, Thermes Marins MonteCarlo (the sea baths of Monte-Carlo) is one of Europe’s most beloved spas. Spread across four floors, spa experiences range from day packages focusing on body treatments (massages, scrubs, facials and wraps) to anti-aging and slimming technology treatments, cryotherapy and personalised health programmes. A heated seawater pool opens onto a solarium with a hammam and sauna, while the outdoor Jacuzzi overlooks Monaco’s famous harbour and its multi-million-dollar yachts. Rooms start from $300 per night; www.hotelhermitagemontecarlo.com
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Images courtesy of Getty Images
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UNTRODDEN PATHS GC explores Greece’s most spectacular secret isles BY DYLAN ESSERTIER
he Cyclades, a group of Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, are consistently one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world; with the blue domes of Santorini and the windmills of Mykonos serving as the perennial motifs for this cluster of paradise. But there’s a diverse range of smaller, more remote islands in the group just waiting to be discovered. These outposts offer the same postcard beauty as Santorini and Mykonos, but also provide refuge from the swells of selfie-stick-carrying tourists that tend to swarm the more popular islands during the sun-drenched summer months. Escape the crowds by heading to Antiparos, a short ferry ride from its popular sister island, Paros. Indulge in fresh octopus at one of the island’s best seafood spots, Captain Pipinos, before heading off to explore its impressive natural wonders, such as the 45 million-year-old stalagmites found in Greece’s oldest cave. The secluded setting of Antiparos’ gorgeous beaches is the stuff of vacation fantasies, which explains why Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, Sean Connery and Madonna are among this tiny island’s fans. In fact, it’s rumoured that Tom Hanks owns a property on this Cyclades isle. Mother Nature worked her magic on the island of Pano Koufonissi, one of the three isles of Koufonisia. Island-hop here for the silky sands and eye-searingly blue waters of Pori Beach,
considered to be one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in all the Aegean Sea. Be sure to spend the afternoon sitting under one of the Tamarisk trees at Kalofego, a sophisticated beach bar perched on Pori’s golden sands. Back in town enjoy pita piled high with feta and fresh tomato from legendary eatery Neo Remenzo. After satisfying those midday hunger pangs, a stroll will be in order. Luckily there’s no better way to soak up the charm of Greece than meandering through the blue shutter-lined streets found in this quaint village, which is often compared to a miniature Mykonos. Continue the off-the-beaten-beach crawl to the island of Milos, where the famous Venus de Milo, now a centrepiece at the Louvre in Paris, was discovered in 1870. With over 70 beaches to its name, Milos offers a surplus of magnificent options to sprawl out on, though Sarakiniko, Firiplaka, Paleochori and Tsigrado are unanimously considered the most beautiful on the island. Beyond the beach, Milos’ volcanic background also makes it a great place to rent a boat to tour the dramatic rock formations along its coast, take a dip in its thermal hot springs and enjoy a volcanic cooking class. The island’s mélange of landscapes, from its catacombs, which date back to Roman times, to its dramatic sea caves, which once served as a base for pirates, offers endless adventures for those seeking a rawer experience of Greece’s beauty.
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WHAT TO DO
CAVE OF ANTIPAROS
PISCINA BEACH ON PANO KOUFONISI
THERMAL SPRINGS ON MILOS
KIVOTOS TON GEFSEON ON MILOS
Forget man-made pools, Pano’s Piscina Beach offers something far more extraordinary. Located on the eastern tip of the island, this naturally carved rock swimming pool is arguably one of the coolest places in the world to take a dip. Post-swim be sure to take a walk to the blissfully beautiful Pori Beach just down the road.
Images courtesy of Getty Images
Descend 400 steps into Greece’s oldest cave and come face to face with stalactites and stalagmites, the oldest of which are said to be 45 million years old. Once inside, keep your eyes peeled for the ancient graffiti, some of which dates back to 1776. During the visit don’t skip the audio tour, which is filled with information on the ancient myths and legends that surround this storied natural wonder.
Milos has several pockets of hot springs, which were first popularised during ancient times due to their presumed healing properties.The best places to enjoy these natural hot baths are Lakos at Adamos and Alyki Beach.
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Foodies shouldn’t hesitate to head to this bake shop to taste an array of Greek pastries. Milos’ signature dish is watermelon pie. This delicious, tart dessert with a unique deep pink colour originated in Milos but has quickly become beloved throughout the Cyclades. Also worth noting: The owners of Kivotos ton Gefseon own Restaurant Sirocco, which is worth a visit for its unique volcanic cooking concept.
WHERE TO STAY MELIAN BOUTIQUE HOTEL & SPA MILOS
YRIA ISLAND BOUTIQUE HOTEL & SPA PAROS
Pollonia, Milos From $250 per night; www.melian.gr
Parasporos Bay, Paros From $200 per night; www.yriahotel.gr
With tours of the island, sea kayaking, boat excursions and a luxe spa, Melian Boutique Hotel & Spa offers equal parts adventure and relaxation. Donâ€™t miss the signature lava shell massage, which uses heated lava shells collected from the island that are said to enhance blood flow and relax tension.
With limited accommodation options on Antiparos, consider a stay at this gorgeous, environmentally friendly property located a 10-minute ferry ride from Paros. The boutique hotel even offers a private boat cruise for those looking to explore the hidden beaches of Antiparos.
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SUMMER SORBET As the weather warms up, menswear veers towards candy-coloured garments
Francesco sunglasses, Sama Eyewear, $565
Blazer, Corneliani, $975
Ferragamo, S/S 2017
Sweater, Berluti, $1,182
Shorts, Polo Ralph Lauren, $103
Slip-on shoes, Tod's, $265
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Loafers, Ermenegildo Zegna, $680
All prices approximate
Sunglasses, Cutler And Gross, $342
Sunglasses, Prada, $213
Striped tee, Margaret Howell, $75
Suede Loafers, Ermenegildo Zegna, $435
Ombre cashmere sweater, The Elder Statesman, $1,266
Paul and Joe, S/S 2017
Shorts, Thom Browne, $650
Short sleeve tee, Thom Browne, $1,294
Button down shirt, Richard James, $192
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DISPATCH FROM BASEL
Baselworld 2017, the world’s largest high-end annual watch exhibition, delivered massive hits. These are the watches far ahead of the competition
PATEK PHILIPPE 5320G This perpetual calendar from Patek Philippe is pure vintage down to its cream lacquer dial that looks as though it has already aged. The syringe hands, recalling chronographs from the ’50s and ’60s, are filled with SuperLuminova in order to make them visible under poor lighting conditions. In addition to indicating the day of the week, the date and the month, the watch features a day-night indicator, a moonphase and a leap year indicator worked into the design. It was Patek Philippe that made the first wrist-bound perpetual calendar back in 1925. They’ve been at it for longer than anyone else – and it shows in the 5320G. $83,000
OMEGA SPEEDMASTER 38 MM Omega debuted 14 new models within the Speedmaster collection this year at Basel, and one of our favourites was this 38 mm timepiece with a green and yellow gold dual-tone bezel. The dress watch is powered by the Calibre 3330 movement, which is a certified chronometer. (Roughly 2 per cent of all Swiss watches qualify as chronometers.) Additionally, it packs in a chronograph and a tachymeter, backed up by the automatic winding movement with a 54-hour power reserve. Bond called. He’d like his watch back. $6,000
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All prices approximate
BREGUET CLASSIQUE 7147 Breguet does elegant, effortless and classic better than most other watchmakers, and its Parisian roots are in no small way responsible for that. A grand feu enamel dial, black-painted numerals and an offcentred small seconds hand at 5 o’clock shows that Breguet can keep things achingly simple, yet very appealing. The ultra-thin automatic movement with a power reserve of 45 hours shows that this over 250-year-old watchmaker has a technical side to it that is very 21st century. $21,000
HUBLOT TECHFRAME FERRARI TOURBILLON CHRONOGRAPH This year the prancing horse celebrates its 70th anniversary. To mark the occasion, Hublot, which has partnered with the carmaker for the last five years, unveiled this timepiece. The 45 mm case, which comes in options of titanium, king gold and peek carbon (that’s extra-durable carbon) – each limited to 70 pieces – features an aggressive skeletonised architecture that was designed in the carmaker’s HQ in Maranello. With a flying tourbillon added to the mix, this one costs nearly as much as the starting price for a base model of a Ferrari. From $127,000 to $158,000
ROLEX CELLINI MOONPHASE It’s been a long time since Rolex debuted a watch with a moonphase – the last time it did so was back in the early ’50s. The Cellini collection was revived in 2014 with the intent to reintroduce proper dress watches into the watchmaker’s portfolio, and Rolex rightly decided to reintroduce its moonphase within this collection. The complication is represented by a full moon and a new moon (the empty ring) visible on a starry sky at 6 o’clock. The railway minute track bisects the applied gold markers, and the date is indicated along a concentric circle beyond it. $36,000
BELL & ROSS BR-X1 TOURBILLON RS17 FORMULA 1 As the official partner of F1 team Renault, Bell & Ross decided to introduce a trilogy of watches to mark the partnership. The flagship model is this 60-second tourbillon timepiece with bright pops of colour on the skeletonised dial. The mono-pusher column wheel chronograph is activated by the flick of a paddle-style pusher, much like how an F1 driver shifts gears during a race, on the handsome square case. $170,000
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Stay handsome with Chaps & Co
haps & Co is a traditional British-style barbershop where a man can sit down, get an ice cold drink, and have a chat during a haircut and straight razor. In 45 minutes barbers will tend to the twist of your crown, style a trendy sweep across your forehead, shave your neck, and finish with a refreshing face and head massage. There's nothing like a hot towel and the manly fragrance of shaving cream to sap the stress right out of your body. With locations in Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai Marina and a soon-to-open flagship in D3, the brand is spreading its mission to transform a regular chore into a pleasurable experience and, of course, to #KeepItHandsome. www.chapsandco.ae
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YOU HAVEN'T SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS YET...
RIGA JULY 1-2
WARSAW JULY 2
BUDAPEST JULY 3
DUBROVNIK JULY 4
PORTO MONTENEGRO JULY 5 + TIVAT
GLOBAL CITIZEN PIT STOP
TIRANA JULY 5
ATHENS JULY 6
MYKONOS JULY 7-8
A high end coastal destination, Porto Montenegro is a site to behold. All drivers will have their supercars on public display whilst they relax in the sun by the pool during this checkpoint stop!
EMPOWERING GLOBAL CITIZENSHIPÂ®
Global Citizen Pit Stop is graciously sponsored by Arton Capital and the Global Citizen racing team.
PORTOMONTENEGRO.COM 2017 / SUMMER
Big Bang Ferrari King Gold. King Gold case inspired by the brandsâ€™ iconic lines. In-house UNICO chronograph. Interchangeable strap with a patented attachment. Limited edition of 500 pieces.
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Our summer edition features social entrepreneur Alexandre Mars (p22) who is using technology to ensure transparency in charities and change...
Published on May 1, 2017
Our summer edition features social entrepreneur Alexandre Mars (p22) who is using technology to ensure transparency in charities and change...