Art, Artist & Musicians, Arts & Music, Online Magazine

Turning Pain Into Beautiful Art

Photo by Mohamed Fawzy

Hanna Shahbar’s Journey.


Hanaa Shahbar was focused on her goals and career, holding a prominent position at an architectural engineering firm, when her life changed so abruptly in 2016 upon discovering that she had Stage 3 breast cancer. She spiraled into grief and pain, and even as her family showered her with love, she was acutely aware of being treated by everyone around her as a “sick person.”

She eventually began painting, expressing what she was going through – all the emotions that reflected her state of mind as she adjusted and tried living with her cancer. When she started attending art events and collaborating with other artists, she found that it helped her overcome the initial depression and sadness that came with having cancer.

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“I turn these feelings into visible works of art, highlighting the importance of finding happiness from within, despite what I go through,” Hanaa says.

“The first piece of work I finished, Silence of the Frightened, left me upset and confused. It expressed a combination of fear, anticipation, and a longing for silence. I ended up destroying the artwork.” Hanaa tried again soon afterwards, confronting herself and her fears, and sharing Confrontation with her family. “This time, it was all about acceptance – it’s okay to wear a wig and faux lashes, it’s okay to live for yourself. We need to love ourselves, before expecting others to,” she adds.

 

After a spate of treatments, Hanaa battled her cancer successfully. In celebration, she created Success to reflect laughter, happiness, and her gratitude. “I’m currently under treatment still, but I always remember to be grateful to God.”

 

She shares, “We all have difficulties in our lives. Cancer patients who have a positive perspective, like Shaima Eidi and Hana Iskandar, are sources of inspiration for all of us.”

She aspires to be one such person, too; she learned motion graphics to produce her full story on video and share it with others, and she created a page dedicated to supporting other survivors.

Instagram:  hanno_2018 / hanno_art_

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Business, Interview, Online Magazine

Half and Half: Dr. Layla Abu Al Saud & Eng. Ahmed Al Khabbaz

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What happens when two people find their balance and perfect mate? They become the best versions of themselves, individually and as a unit. Here are some couples we spoke to who are definitely our #RelationshipGoals.


When Layla and Ahmed first met, they didn’t expect that their career paths would one day completely shift, leading them to being genuinely happy and successful in what they do.

Layla went to Medical School at the Arabian Gulf University in Bahrain. Having always had a passion for fashion, she took on the hobby of dress designing while still studying. Upon graduating, she decided to pursue her dream and go on the journey of bridal fashion design, eventually creating her brand Chic Design Bridal.dsc09729-copy

Ahmed graduated as a Mechanical Engineer from Jubail Industrial College in 2010. Growing up, he was involved in a family business Vision House, which he later took over to fully lead, handling eyeglasses, optical frames, and sunglasses.

In 2011, Ahmed started designing his own frames and glasses under his brand Rose Du Monde, at four store branches in Sharqiya.

Layla and Ahmed admit that they’re both workaholics, and that the secret to their success is loving what they do, fueling their drive every day. However, they do make sure that, especially on stressful days, they take the time to treat themselves to a romantic dinner, watch a movie, or go on a short getaway, and just generally wind down by connecting with each other, talking about their day and what’s on their minds. As a creative couple, Layla and Ahmed both share a love for art. They believe that art is important, and that it contributes to improving the general taste of the society. They plan on opening an art gallery devoted to all kinds of art and artists.

“Marry your best friend, your intellectual match.” Dr. Layla Abu Al Saud

Instagram: chicdesignbridal
Instagram: visionhouse

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Fitness, Healthy Living, Online Magazine

Ahmed Monshi, 19

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Dominance in sport goes beyond the physical; consistent, dedicated training requires mental discipline.


Sport: Boxing
No. of years in sport: 4
Stats: 3-Time National Champion, National Youth Championship – 2016, National Elite Championship – 2017 and National Open Championship – 2018

Ahmed started on his boxing journey when, growing up in the UK without his father’s presence, he felt the need to learn skills to protect his family. He tried boxing, inspired by his older brother who was also a boxer, and he instantly fell in love with the sport.

Ahmed has successfully won the National Championship 3 times so far, and yet the achievement that means most to him is how fighting (in the ring) has helped him get over his fears and deal with issues that were impacting him negatively.

“Fighting saved me. If I don’t get punched, I don’t feel good! We fight, we shout, and then we go have a meal together while limping,” he laughs. “The boxing community is filled with so much energy, I love it.”

He admits that, because many people believe that fighting is an unnecessary sport, he didn’t get much support in the beginning. “Boxing is an aggressive sport, sure, but when I’m in the ring, the last thing I feel is aggression,” he explains. “Instead I feel passion, a burst of energy. Tough beats tough, it’s never anger beats anger.” One of the best things he has learned from the sport is self-control, and he hopes that society starts to see all these values as part of boxing, instead of its perceived violence.

Ahmed trains hard to improve his boxing technique, and his regimen is diverse; it includes dancing and yoga. He certainly feels more physically capable now than when he first started out, and he is grateful for the growing support of those around him. Training with Nettles Nasser, who participated in the previous Mohammed Ali Trophy competition, Ahmed aims to become world champion, and his journey will start in Saudi.

Instagram: ahmed_monshi

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Fitness, Healthy Living, Online Magazine

Mohammed Basheer “Crymba” Alshenqiti, 27

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Dominance in sport goes beyond the physical; consistent, dedicated training requires mental discipline.


Sport: Calisthenics
No. of years in sport: 5 years bodybuilding, 3 years calisthenics
Stats: 1st Place at GACC and 2nd Place at ACCS

27-year-old Mohammed had been involved in the world of bodybuilding for five straight years when he decided to change gears and pursue pure calisthenics 3 years ago, a sport featuring a variety of movements that include jumping, bending, grasping, pushing, and pulling, while focusing mostly on the athlete’s body weight. Calisthenics, which nurtures health, flexibility, and body strength, is the “street” version of gymnastics, with which it shares similarities.

Mohammed’s journey began in November 2015 when he attended The Calisthenics World Cup in Bahrain. Seeing how involved, enthusiastic, and euphoric the competitors were, especially when completing, so inspired Mohammed that he decided to pursue it and reach their level. “I thought, if they could do it, so could I; it’s all about discipline,” he says.

In 2017, he achieved his ultimate goal of participating in the GACC (Gulf Amateur Calisthenics Championship) Kuwait, in which he succeeded and won 1st place. The following year, won 2nd place in Australia at the ACCS (Australian Calisthenics Championship).

Also a physiotherapist, Mohammed aspires to find a lifestyle he truly enjoys, and it includes doing calisthenics, improving himself day by day and working out mostly on weekdays. “My weekends are my days off, which I admit is sometimes the reason I dislike weekends!” On the weekends that he does decide to work out, he keeps it moderate and gives his body some time to recover. “Resting is, in itself, a big part of the training.”

Instagram: crymba
YouTube:
crymba

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Fitness, Healthy Living, Online Magazine

Dina Al Tayeb: Ironwoman

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Dina is a dentist, and an owner of a clinic. But her love for sports lead her to be Ironman Athlete of 2017 and 2018.


Dina’s love for being active started at a young age, from taking on swimming, bicycling, tennis playing, and even martial arts. Growing up, her dream was to finish medical school, and so after graduating from Dental School at Tufts University, while juggling her studies and her marriage, Dina went back to her hometown Jeddah to open her clinic Dentalia with 3 other partners. She’s a consultant periodontist – a gum specialist.

Aside from running her own dental clinic, she serves on the Dental Advisory Board and as a trustee at Tufts University. Yet her passion for sports never waned. In 2002, she entered the world of triathlons, and in 2005 was invited to participate in the Ironman Marathon in Canada, what Dina calls the crème de la crème of sports.

With 14 Ironman races and 100 triathlons under her belt, she has also won the title of Ironman Athlete of the Year in 2017 and 2018.

Dina goes through serious preparations for all her Ironman triathlons, which may require up to a year, from physical, to mental, and nutritional preparations. Doing daily activities to prepare for a race while having discipline is Dina’s method and lifestyle. Her activities in include core and strength training, mobility, yoga, and meditation.

Between having short and long-term goals, a proper plan, and with the right time management skills, Dina was able to stay motivated throughout the process of having her own business, and being an athlete as well. Dina also enrolled in Ironman Coaching University, and she’s currently a certified Ironman Coach. She wants to help other athletes, to go after their dreams.

Instagram: arabiantrieagle

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Business, Interview, Online Magazine

Dania Nassief & Danya Alhamrani

Dania Nassief / Danya Alhamrani

Dania had the planning skills while Danya had the creativity. Toegther they started Eggdancer, a production company that produced their passion project, A Silent Revolution.


Dania Nassief
Film producer

After getting a degree in Math, Dania obtained her Master’s in Management Information System and then started working at Dar Al Hekma University, which led her to discover her passion for project management. As she was planning to start her own event management company, Danya reached out to her about starting a production company. The two had known each other since 10th grade.

“We complemented each other’s personalities, and it worked for us – Danya has the creativity it takes to be a director, and I had the planning skills to be a producer. It made sense to join forces,” Dania says.

While they have  accomplished a lot in the past decade, Dania admits it’s easy to be frustrated and demotivated when necessary support in their industry is lacking, especially when they strive to produce important films, such as their documentary A Silent Revolution/Rise.

Recently, they had the opportunity to screen the film for a limited time at the King Abdullah Economic City, and the feedback they received from the audience inspired Dania and reminded her of the reasons she is doing this work. “Any work that affects people positively, even adding a bit of knowledge they didn’t know about, or giving them motivation to continue what they’re doing, makes me happy,” she says. “I want the film community to come together, work as a team; we have to create our own umbrella, and support each other.”

Instagram: eggdancer

Danya Alhamrani
Film director

Danya graduated with a degree in English literature and linguistics, but has always wanted to be in the film industry from a very young age. It was a different time back then – she was told that film could be a hobby but one that doesn’t have a real future. But she pursued her Masters in Counseling Psychology at the University of San Diego, California, and then eventually got a graduate degree in filmmaking from San Diego State University in 2004.

In 2006, she started Eggdancer Productions with Dania Nassief, and together, they produced Khosh Al Matbakh, a cooking show, in the hopes of selling it to a broadcaster, but that didn’t pan out. Soon after, they started working with international companies on commission, like the BBC and The Travel Channel. They also took on corporate work, including documentaries and TV shows such as Akla W Hekaya on Saudi TV, and Fattabeouni on Iqra.

“One of our challenges with filmmaking is financing,” says Danya. “We like to do documentaries that tell authentic stories of real people, but those aren’t seen as valuable or sellable as other film genres.”

One of their passion projects was A Silent Revolution/Rise, a groundbreaking documentary film they worked on for five years, that tells the story of women pioneers in Saudi Arabia. The film not only sheds light on the plight of Saudi women in the past few decades, it is also an important historical record, especially as there isn’t much that exists in archives of Saudi women. “We have to start telling and documenting our stories now – these will be reference points for future generations,” Danya explains.

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Uncategorized

Dar Al Hekma’s Dukkan Supports Their Own!

Photo Credit: dukkandah.com

Dukkan DAH, a concept store started by Dar Al Hekma (DAH) University’s Visual Communication Department, aims to promote the startup young designers of the DAH community to get recognition in the marketplace.


At the store, graphic designers, fashion designers, interior designers, and different artists at the university have the opportunity to showcase their creations.

Instagram: Shaima Qadi

Instagram: Shaima Qadi

You can shop books, planners, fashionable pieces, jewelry, and stationery items – all created by the university’s students and alumni. Some notable designers include Dalia Chawany (owner of Hijaz), Alaa Balkhy (owner of Fyunka), and Sara Reyess (owner of Foulard).

Instagram: Lina Kurdi

Instagram: Lina Kurdi

After its successful launch at the Westbay event in February 2018, Dukkan opened its first official shop on campus along with its online store.

The concept store gives visitors more reasons to spend time shopping there, with new artistic pieces regularly added to both the online and in-person stores, from emerging designers who are just starting out, or want to build more on their careers.

Designed by Wegdan Ba Sondawah

Designed by Wegdan Ba Sondawah

The shop also aims to raise funds to help support the Dar Al Hekma University scholarship fund. This past year, Dukkan DAH managed to sponsor one student through the sales of their items.

Editor’s Pick

Instagram: N. Merve Goknil

Instagram: N. Merve Goknil

We fell in love with this beach-themed cheese/bread service platter from Dukkan Dar Al Hekma! Designed by N. Merve Goknil, Dar Al Hekma University graduate and faculty member in the Interior Design department, this plate is coated with resin and topped with micro glitter – it will definitely add a touch of glam to your gatherings.

Location: Dar Al Hekma University, Fayhaa Dist., Jeddah
Instagram: dukkan_dah
Web: dukkandah.com

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Beverage Corner

From the Heart of Paris, a limited Edition Flavors in Saudi Arabia

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Nespresso releases Parisian Gourmandise Limited Edition festive coffee collection.


As it does every year, Nespresso is celebrating the festive season with the launch of its limited edition coffee variations, Parisian Gourmandise. Designed in partnership with the renowned interior designer, India Mahdavi, and inspired by traditional Parisian sweets, the range features coffees that add a touch of European glamour to the holiday season.

Mahdavi’s influence on the Nespresso variations is evident in the range’s pastel hues and playful designs. With two unique flavored coffees and one non-flavored coffee, Mahdavi has created collection fit for the most discerning of coffee connoisseurs.

“I sought to bring a oneiric dimension to Nespresso, in which the new capsules appear as imaginary delights, floating like sweet clouds in the sky. Reminiscent of childhood memories, the capsules suggest a fantasized gourmandize; celebrating taste from sight, to touch, with subtly sweet aromas,” shared Mahdavi.

This year’s limited edition variations bring French flavors to coffee lovers around the world, transporting them to a Parisian patisserie through unique flavor creations, with an India Mahdavi designed aluminum capsule.

Each of the variations has been based on Nespresso’s Livanto coffee blend, consisting of pure Arabica from Southern and Central America, well-balanced with a roasted caramelized note, providing roundness and balance in the finished coffee. 4

Nespresso Variations, Macaroon

A harmonious combination of Livanto’s cereal notes and a subtle, sweet almond flavor, emblematic of the macaroon pastry.

Intensity: 6

Serving size: Espresso (40ml)

Nespresso Variations, Praline
A blend reminiscent of a praline dessert, pairing the roundness of Livanto’s base with a delicate roasted hazelnut flavor, and a touch of caramel sweetness.

Intensity: 6

Serving size: Espresso (40ml)

Nespresso Paris Black

An aromatic blend of Arabica’s emboldened by Robusta, with notes of cereal and nuts in a syrupy texture, combined with spicy and woody tones.

Intensity: 9

Serving size: Espresso (40ml)

It’s time to get ready to celebrate in style and add a touch of indulgence to your coffee moments.

Web: buynespresso.com


 

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Uncategorized

From the Heart of Paris, a limited Edition Flavours in Saudi Arabia

1

Nespresso releases Parisian Gourmandise Limited Edition festive coffee collection.


As it does every year, Nespresso is celebrating the festive season with the launch of its limited edition coffee variations, Parisian Gourmandise.
Designed in partnership with renowned interior designer, India Mahdavi, and inspired by traditional Parisian sweets, the range features coffees that add a touch of European glamour to the holiday season.5

Mahdavi’s influence on the Nespresso variations is evident in the range’s pastel hues and playful designs. With two unique flavoured coffees, and one non-flavoured coffee, Mahdavi has created collection fit for the most discerning of coffee connoisseurs.

“I sought to bring an oneiric dimension to Nespresso, in which the new capsules appear as imaginary delights, floating like sweet clouds in the sky. Reminiscent of childhood memories, the capsules suggest a fantasised gourmandise; celebrating taste from sight, to touch, with subtly sweet aromas” Shared Mahdavi.4

This year’s limited edition variations bring French flavours to coffee lovers around the world, transporting them to a Parisian patisserie through unique flavour creations, with an India Mahdavi designed aluminium capsule.

Each of the variations has been based on Nespresso’s Livanto coffee blend, consisting of pure Arabica from Southern and Central America, well-balanced with a roasted caramelised note, providing roundness and balance in the finished coffee.2

Nespresso Variations, Macaroon
A harmonious combination of Livanto’s cereal notes and a subtle, sweet almond flavour, emblematic of the macaroon pastry.
Intensity: 6
Serving size: Espresso (40ml)

Nespresso Variations, Praline
A blend reminiscent of a praline dessert, pairing the roundness of Livanto’s base with a delicate roasted hazelnut flavour, and a touch of caramel sweetness.
Intensity: 6
Serving size: Espresso (40ml)

Nespresso Paris Black
An aromatic blend of Arabica’s emboldened by Robusta, with notes of cereal and nuts in a syrupy texture, combined with spicy and woody tones.Intensity: 9
Serving size: Espresso (40ml)

3It’s time to get ready to celebrate in style, and add a touch of indulgence to your coffee moments.

Web: sa.buynespresso.com

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Offbeat

Gateway KSA

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Inviting the world’s best and brightest international students to experience the real Saudi Arabia.


With recent and ongoing changes in the Kingdom, and in support of Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Vision, Gateway KSA is opening up the door to the best and brightest international students, to visit Saudi Arabia, and experience the evolving global powerhouse, from a unique perspective.

Gateway KSA’s Program is an approach to learning, driven by authentic, real word experiences. In collaboration with a number of carefully selected universities and organizations across the world, such as Harvard and Yale, amongst many others, Gateway will select candidates such as influencers, policy makers and leaders of tomorrow, to be a part of this program.

On Gateways KSA’s executive team is HRH Prince Turki Al Faisal Al Saud, the chairman of the King Faisal Center; in addition to Nelleke Van Zandvoort-Quispel, CEO and founder of Gateway KSA.static1-squarespace-com

Offering a true, one-of-a-kind, intensive 9-day experience to explore the county and its cities, including Al’ula, Jeddah, Riyadh, and Dammam. From old-archaeological sites, to cutting edge science and research facilities; combining open discussions from history, to literature and scientific progress, geopolitics, Islam, and the future of energy.

Gateway KSA offers a unique opportunity for next-generation leaders to engage firsthand with Saudis, uncovering a world of both tradition and transition, and challenging each other to learn more about themselves and this vibrant country’s ambitious young population.

Organizations behind Gateway KSA are IYADINE and King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies.

Web: gatewayksa.com
Instagram: gatewayksa
Email: info@gatewayksa.com

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