I WISH TO BE - a painting from Hend's new collection

I WISH TO BE – a painting from Hend’s new collection

The last time I met and did a blog on Hend Al Falafly, a crazy thing happened. Someone actually thought the lady in one of her paintings was me and sent me a text saying I should cover my aura – the image I had used was not vulgar at all. What I liked about it was the element of sensuality that oozes from Hend’s work relating to women but I guess the guy was not familiar about subtly or that art is art and I certainly do not look like the kind of chick who has the patience to pose for a painting.

Earlier tonight (Well yesterday actually as it is 1am in the morning), Hend opened a new exhibition at Art Sawa. Hend was born in Cairo in 1979 and lives and works in Cairo too. I met her during her last visit and cant wait to see her new art collection sometime this week.

Meanwhile, the good people at Art Sawa give you a sneak peek about her in the Qs and As below:

Questions and Answers (interview):

How were you first exposed to art?(Through family, school, etc.)

During my childhood, my father who was an architect was drawing his architectural designs by using colors and I got influenced just watching him till I went to school. Thanks to his direct influence, my drawings become distinctive from the rest of the class. Later on and always encouraged by him, I have several times participated in painting competitions and I proudly got  always the first place over the years of study at the school first and college later.

Tell us about your educational Background, as well as your personal background (Where were you born, grew Up, lived etc.)

I was born in Cairo, and grew up in a district known for a luxurious one and rich for archeological sites .I was surrounded by a great civilization and totally influenced by its esthetics

What was your first exhibition and where?

I was 17 when I began studying art at the Faculty of Fine Arts  & in year 97, I participated for the first time at the students exhibition I was very excited to show my work in my first  group exhibition to finally  receive the feedback by the  critics and the audience.

Well received, it was the starter for many other collective shows till I got my first solo exhibition “in Cairo” in 2004, at Biskuah Hall.

What is the inspiration behind you r Work?

The common and daily life firstly inspired me, leading me to focus of the women, their situation and its expression through the body language.

What are the messages you convey through your art?

My main message is themed around the woman condition in my society using the body language, the reflection of the said and non-said depicted in a very realistic expression.

Tell us about this show.. SEVEN SINS?

In this body of works, the seven sins, the idea is to highlight human conscience and to define to my own thoughts about the human characteristics and their actions and reactions as well. I found, indeed, in the thematic “the seven sins ³a fertile material for my own creativity and the representation of the human nature & body.

How did you select the works for this exhibition?

I thought a lot about all of the attributes of the seven sins and made several sketches to the artworks after some research in the how prior have envisioned them I finally addressed my own vision in this series of works.

When you choose works for a show in Dubai, are they different from works for the shows in another country? Different than for shows elsewhere?

Not really but I have to say that each body of works is a challenge to myself for a deep exploration of an idea or a concept that I would like to translate to another level of thinking.

As you appropriate icons from local, regional, and international contexts. Do you envision these having different meanings/messages in each context?

I, for sure, believe in the meaning of the ideas and thoughts from are different in each culture, and I realize that their perceptions can be received differently.

How does you envision you future of art on? If so how will it be accomplished?

I realize that each artist’s present and future depends on his/her political, social and cultural surroundings and they are be truly effective on the artist expression.


With Hend Falafly in Dubai during her last visit

With Hend Falafly in Dubai during her last visit

Veronica Etro – Spring Summer 2014

Shereen Shabnam_ETRO_SS14

I was told by the awesome Dubai stylist, Seema Adnan earlier that I need to add some colour to my wardrobe. SO… I’m now looking into it and discovering some cool stuff. I’m looking the Spring Summer 2014 of Veronica Etro who presents her vision of deconstructed elegance, where the simplicity of dressing contrasts with the detail of handcraft. The collection is rooted in an undeniable ease and lines of formality and informality blur, allowing for a new,relaxed attitude to emerge.

While i don’t normally go for the look, I like that the clothing is showered in a rich layering of influences – from Etro’s own grandmother’s patterned book shelf and the exotic blooms of Indo-China to the precious metal work of the Ottoman Empire – that create depth and intrigue.

Etro’s unique assembly of places and times creates a voyage that is layered with exoticism, femininity and luxury, and that literally shines with summer’s optimism….looking at a few more clothes of what is in the new collection, I would say some of the pieces would work for different occasions, depending on the accessories and layers added.

Maryam Fashion Design

Shereen Shabnam

Above: one of the Maryam Fashion Design dresses

I saw some amazing dresses yesterday at the 15th Women’s Exhibition organised by a good friend of mine, Thoraya Al Awadhi at DWTC. The designer reiterates that each of her pieces are handmade with love in Dubai – Mariam Fashion Design fuses Eastern traditional wear with the latest trends in Western fashion and they were really colourful.

Each unique piece is designed for the modern, cosmopolitan woman. They design practical, yet feminine pieces that preserve the charm of the region’s old heritage. Check them out as the exhibition is open until 10pm today. There is a fashion show at 4pm as well!

Women’s Exhibition showcases exquisite products and services

Lily Valley

After a first tour of the 15th Women’s Exhibition, organised by Thoraya Al Awadhi, Founder and CEO of Thoraya Al Awadhi Group of Companies, I will be back there again with little diva for a thorough look through all the awesome stuff on sale. The event is highlighting exhibitors with interesting products and services under one roof until the 14th of December at Hall 6 of the Dubai World Trade Center.

The exhibition is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development of the United Arab Emirates.

This year’s exhibition has expanded to include fashion, jewellery, spas and wellness to travel agencies, financial services, medical supplies and health products in addition to many other sectors.

Exhibitors in fashion include Anna Mora & Brunella, a luxurious Spanish brand for women clothes since 1966 and Only Sugar, an eclectic brand with traditional clothes that stands out both in terms of looks and quality. Plus visitors can get unique pieces from the Love Style Agenda stand.

If you are looking to improve skin health, there are a number of products that would appeal to women of different ages, depending on the needs of their skin. Visitors can also watch live how a famous Italian artisan makes jewellery.

The Wellness Centre is another exhibitor speaking to women on the overall health and wellness options. If you love shoes, then visit the Gina stand or meet with Mizuki, a shoe designer from Japan to put some bling on your feet.

Media partners are supplying visitors with lifestyle magazines like Russian Emirates, Lifestyle as well as the newly launched Executive Women magazine from Neopromo.

The highly successful Women’s Exhibition serves as a platform to bring together interesting brands to showcase their products and services as well as create a networking opportunity for small and medium business from the region and abroad.

Dubai Film and TV Commission unveils white paper in partnership with Oliver Wyman

Today was a hectic day and while fluttering between work, the women’s exhibition at DWTC and Christmas cakes at Bloomsbury’s, I was not able to be part of the DIFF events. Especially one with Dubai Film and TV Commission (DFTC) and its partnership with Oliver Wyman, who today released a white paper examining key areas for growth and investment in the Middle East and North Africa media production market.

The white paper addresses recommendations on how countries in the region can build world-class media ecosystems. DFTC commissioned the white paper to help inform its strategic approach to developing a robust media industry.

The white paper, entitled Opportunities and Challenges in the Middle East and North Africa Media Production Market, revealed that Arabic content production is still below its fullest potential, and presents the biggest opportunity for growth in the Middle East media production market.  It found that although Arabic is the sixth world language in terms of GDP, there is still a significant lack of Arabic media content. Between 2005 and 2010, the Middle East contributed only 0.72% of the films produced in the world. Furthermore, Arabic film and TV production represent only 0.03% of GDP in the Middle East and North Africa – well below comparable markets elsewhere.

Several countries within the MENA region are taking the initiative to boost and strengthen their media industries, particularly in the Gulf.  The white paper revealed Dubai’s strong potential to become a global media production hub meeting the highest industry standards, thanks to its focus on building the required production infrastructure and services that are fundamental to a vibrant media ecosystem.

The case study on Dubai highlights the emirate’s achievements to date in the areas of production infrastructure, such as the state-of-the-art sound stages at Dubai Studio City and the creation of the Dubai Film and TV Commission, which provides the necessary framework to ease the production process for filmmakers. The paper also underlined the competitive advantages of Dubai’s diverse locations, city infrastructure and safety.

Among these findings, three key actions stood out which could dramatically change Dubai’s global position and help take it to the next level: improving access to talent by offering longer-term residency to production crew; developing more formalised film incentives; and improving TV audience measurement across the region. According to the paper, if Dubai develops and implements such changes, its position as an internationally renowned media production hub would strengthen and progress dramatically.

ISTANA presents elite and exquisite jewel collections from Mimí

ISTANA, a multi-brand jewellery retailer in the UAE, announces the arrival of Mimí, an Italian couture jewellery brand known for its audacious and bedazzling gem collections. Launched in 2000 in the fashion metropolis of Milan, Mimí’s collections amorously embody a woman’s venerable love for gems, alongside the expression of their self through jewellery.

Check out their new collection below:

Mimi Shereen Shabnam

15th Women’s Exhibition opens at Dubai World Trade Centre

Womens exhibition 1

The 15th Women’s Exhibition, organised by my dear friend and mentor, Thoraya Al Awadhi, Founder and CEO of Thoraya Al Awadhi Group of Companies will open at 10am today under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development of the United Arab Emirates.

The exhibition is from the 11th to the 14th of December at Hall 6 of the Dubai World Trade Center.

The highly successful Women’s Exhibition serves as a platform to bring together seasoned businesswomen and women entrepreneurs to showcase their products and services as well as create a networking opportunity for small and medium business from the region and abroad.

“We are delighted to host our exhibition, which has grown exponentially year by year at the Dubai World Trade Centre. We are commitment to our exhibitors by bringing to them a bigger venue in a strategic location with more support that helps them grow their business. We hope more entrepreneurs use this platform to create awareness of their products and services,” said Founder Thoraya.

This year’s exhibition has expanded to include fashion, jewellery, spas and wellness to travel agencies, financial services, medical supplies and health products in addition to many other sectors.


Shereen Philip Plein
I’m going to lose weight – in my own chilled out laid back way of course as one has to make exceptions when there are yummy treats coaxing my senses at Bloomsbury’s. You will know what I mean when you check out their Christmas mince pies and plum cakes. Anyway….the reason I want an hourglass figure is so that I can wear white. I look horrid wearing white when my body turns voluptuous on me so this New Year, I aim to lose weight and wear white.
For inspiration, I am now checking out the Philipp Plein SS14 collection that is now available at its flagship store in Dubai Mall (same venue as Bloomsbury’s of course hence the reason why the demons in my head are fighting).
With the spring/summer fashion hitting the stores now, Philipp Plein reveals a pure and fresh take on the New Year. The new Philipp Plein collection for next Spring/Summer 2014 plays with balance and harmony: all elements conceived to mix and match perfectly, for an impeccable aplomp. Beautiful, avant-garde, high-tech materials demolish any preconceived concepts of luxury in a melting pot without frontiers, for an astonishing dream-like effect. The selection of whites in the new collection makes a perfect start to the New Year….can someone please make a note and give me a good hiding if I don’t wear more white next year!

Impressive whale skeleton welcomes visitors to Bahrain Science Centre

Shereen Bahrain Science

Bahrain Science Centre, a part of the Ministry of Social Development, has revamped the external look of the building with a giant skeleton of a whale mounted on the top of its entrance archway.

The whale, known by the name of Bryde’s whale, had been washed up on the shore of the King Fahd causeway between Umm an nasan island and the main island about 18 years ago. Bryde’s whales reach a length of about 15 m and appear in warm seas throughout the world.

Bryde’s whales have no teeth but, like the great whales, they have two huge baleen plates in their mouths that they use to sieve small shoaling fishes, such as sardines, anchovies and pilchards. Like all whales, they are air-breathing and rise to the surface every 5-15 minutes to take a gulp of air. They can dive to depths of over 300 m and swim at speeds of 6 to 24 km/h.

Interested visitors can download the weekly programme on the website www.bahrainsciencecentre.com for more information. The Bahrain Science Centre is located in Building 334, Road 109, Block 801, Riyadh Avenue, Isa Town, Kingdom of Bahrain and can be contacted on 17686466

Ostoorah – what do you think of it?

Ostoorah by Ajmal

I am going through a fragrance phase…after a dose of musky perfumes in the last 2 weeks, I am ready for a new smell to sooth my senses and I can’t wait to try Ajmal Perfumes new Oriental fragrance, Ostoorah a Unisex concentrated perfume oil which I am told is similar to the strong scents I prefer.

Ostoorah is supposedly designed for those who are deep-rooted in tradition and appreciate fine Oudhy blends. Staying true to its meaning, The Legend – the fragrance  sends an invitation to be a part of the magnificent aura. In the opening, Rose brings a ray of light made sensual by Musk and the unexpected encounter of these two combined with Oudh and Amber and blended together with Sandalwood gives birth to a mystifying fragrance. I am told the intense fragrance engulfs you with its rich, warm, woody feel with playful hints of floral notes.

If anyone has already tried it, I would love to know your thoughts….if  I get my hands on it soon, I will let you know if it is all it touts to be.