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LONDON: After two years of anticipation, Netflix has premiered its fifth season of “The Crown,” in which a new cast portrays the British royal family in the 1990s.
Viewers are shown a more vulnerable side of the late Queen Elizabeth II (Imelda Staunton), a monarch worn down through arguably the worst era of her reign.
However, the highly publicized breakdown of the fairytale marriage of Prince Charles (Dominic West) and Princess Diana (Elizabeth Debicki) overshadows the queen’s issues.
And one of stars of the new season has been Palestinian actor Salim Daw, who plays Egyptian billionaire Mohammed Al-Fayed whose son Dodi (Khalid Abdalla) later becomes romantically involved with Diana.
His storyline emerges in episode three, titled “Mou Mou,” which follows him from humble beginnings as a street vendor in Alexandria in 1940. Catching sight of King Edward VIII, the young Al-Fayed (Amir El-Masry) develops a life-long fascination with British royalty hoping one day to rise to its level.
It is often difficult to find a Western depiction of the region that hits close to home. Yet, for Arab viewers, many of the scenes could have come from an old photo album, from Samira Khashoggi’s pinned-back curls to the scorching heat that seeps through the film’s warm hues.
Daw’s best performance comes when his character acquires the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Paris and switches to Arabic to call Madame Ritz out on her discrimination. While Dodi is translating for the room, it is Daw’s tone, dramatic pauses, and expressions that capture the force of his words.
As “The Crown” draws closer to the present day, forgiveness and repentance emerge as important themes in season five.
Princess Margaret forgives Queen Elizabeth after years of resenting her sister for forbidding her to marry the love of her life.
The newly divorced Charles and Diana also lay the groundwork for amends in the finale, before returning to blows.
The theme, however, plays out on a larger scale, exploring the painful relationship between Britain and the countries it had colonized.
In episode three, Al-Fayed’s father shares his contempt for the British but most of all the Egyptians who worshipped them as royalty.
Al-Fayed’s ability to rise above hatred, on the other hand, is the result of a distorted post-colonial Stockholm syndrome rather than forgiveness.
He has clearly internalized an attitude of ethnic inferiority, displaying racist sentiment toward a black waiter at the Ritz.
It will be interesting to witness his character development in season six, which is set to feature the deaths of his son Dodi, and Princess Diana.
 
ABU DHABI: Around 900 works by more than 300 artists from around the world will be on show at this year’s Abu Dhabi Art fair.
The 14th edition of the event, that opened on Wednesday, will be the largest and most diverse to date with at least 80 galleries from 28 countries representing the exhibiting artists.

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

 
 

A post shared by Abu Dhabi Art (@abudhabiart)

A post shared by Abu Dhabi Art (@abudhabiart)
Rita Aoun, executive director of culture at the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi, said: “The Department of Culture and Tourism is more than ever working to cultivate a cultural ecosystem and embrace culture as a lived experience, advancing it as a public good, and protecting and promoting the diversity of cultural expressions to achieve sustainable goals.”
This year’s edition will feature 33 new galleries including from Colombia, France, Tunisia, Italy, Nigeria, South Korea, Morocco, Turkiye, and the UAE.
Abu Dhabi Art director, Dyala Nusseibeh, noted that the diversification of this year’s fair was very much down to its three guest curators, Tunisian art historian Rachida Triki, Turkish gallerist Jade Yesim Turanli, and arts journalist Riccarda Mandrini.

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

 
 

A post shared by Abu Dhabi Art (@abudhabiart)

A post shared by Abu Dhabi Art (@abudhabiart)
Turanli, who has curated galleries and artists from Turkiye for the art fair described it as an honor to be taking part alongside the other women.
She said: “It’s really empowering to see how female art people are present, and so many in Abu Dhabi — I have seen this over a decade now and I’m really happy to be a part of it.”

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

 
 

A post shared by Abu Dhabi Art (@abudhabiart)

A post shared by Abu Dhabi Art (@abudhabiart)
The gallerist highlighted first-time exhibitors Dirimart, and Galeri Nev Istanbul, both of which will be showcasing their works at the fair that will be open free to the public at Manarat Al-Saadiyat until Nov. 20.
Triki has acted as curator for the exhibition’s Focus section, running under the title “New Tomorrows,” that spotlights galleries and artists from North Africa and explores the artistic evolution of the region.
Welcoming visitors to the fair will be Italian visual artist Marinella Senatore’s “Bodies in Alliance,” a large metal and LED installation inspired by Italy’s traditional light structures created for outdoor public celebrations.
“Beyond: Emerging Artists,” features the works of up-and-coming UAE-based artists Majd Alloush, Sarah Al-Mehairi, and Mohammed Khalid, who explore themes such as consumerism, borders, and man-made territories.
The fair also includes a retrospective tribute to the late Iranian artist Farideh Lashai, known for her abstract contemporary paintings, and a display titled “Afloat Over Undulations” will showcase artworks via six video installations.
Meanwhile, Egyptian-born artist, curator, writer, and editor Dr. Omar Kholeif, whose curatorial practice focuses on art that intersects with the internet, has curated “My Life in the Metaverse,” an eclectic multi-media exhibit featuring international artists and guided by his alter-ego Dr. O.
The artists on display include Sophia Al-Maria, Cory Arcangel, Cream Projects, Simon Denny, Celia Hempton, Paul Heyer, Haroon Mirza, Farhad Moshiri, Trevor Paglen, Nam June Paik, Heather Phillipson, and Andy Warhol.
DUBAI: Brazilian supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio is the latest star to step out in an Arab design.  
This week, the model wore a lime-draped jersey gown with cut-out detailing at the waist by Lebanese couturier Zuhair Murad to a holiday brunch in Mexico.  
The thigh-skimming dress, from the designer’s Resort 2023 collection, is asymmetric and features a longer train on one side. 

A post shared by Alessandra Ambrosio (@alessandraambrosio)
The Victoria’s Secret model accessorized her look with gold chain earrings and matching rings. Her hair was tied up in a messy yet chic bun.  
For her shoes, she opted for a pair of transparent mules with a silver strap by Italian luxury footwear label Alevì Milano.  
Ambrosio has been having a busy month hopping from one event to the other. The model also attended the Baby2Baby Gala 2022 earlier this week.  

A post shared by Alessandra Ambrosio (@alessandraambrosio)
It was a celebrity-filled event that helps raise funds for the Baby2Baby non-profit organization, which provides resources for children who are living in poverty.  
For the gala, the Brazilian beauty wore a fully sequined rose gold dress by Filipino French fashion designer Monique Lhuillier.  
“What a beautiful and inspirational night!! Congratulations @baby2baby for all the hard work you do for children in need around the country and in our community,” she wrote after the gala.  

A post shared by Alessandra Ambrosio (@alessandraambrosio)
Mexico’s event was not the first time Ambrosio has championed an Arab designer, however.   
Earlier this year, she attended the Women in Cinema event, hosted by the Red Sea International Film Festival at the 75th Cannes Film Festival, wearing a gown by Lebanese designer Elie Saab.  
The supermodel wore a sweeping fairy tale-worthy nude mesh gown adorned with organza bougainvillea and silver embellished straps as she walked the black carpet. 
The floral-embellished creation was plucked from Saab’s spring 2022 couture collection, which he showcased in Paris in January at his first physical show in two-years. 
Ambrosio also previously showed her support for Murad and for Beirut in 2020, when she joined the designer’s initiative to help people in Lebanon after the Aug. 4 explosion that ripped through Beirut’s port area, killing hundreds and leaving 300,000 people homeless.  
DUBAI: US Palestinian producer DJ Khaled is gunning for Grammy success in 2023 with a total of six nominations. 
The six nods, including Song of the Year where he competes against the likes of Beyonce, Adele, Taylor Swift and Harry Styles, have come thanks to his 13th studio album, “God Did,” released in August this year. 

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

 
 

A post shared by DJ KHALED (@djkhaled)

A post shared by DJ KHALED (@djkhaled)
The musician has been nominated in the categories of Best Rap Album, Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song, Best Melodic Performance and Song of the Year. 
He has also been nominated in the Album of the Year category, due to Mary J. Blige’s “Good Morning Gorgeous (Deluxe),” on which he features. 

A post shared by ibrahim maalouf (@ibrahimmaaloufofficial)
In the Arab world, Lebanese-French trumpeter and composer Ibrahim Maalouf has also been nominated in the Best Global Music Album category for his collaborative album “Queen of Sheba” with award-winning Beninese singer-songwriter and actress Angelique Kidjo.
Meanwhile, singing sensation Beyonce netted the greatest number of nominations, setting up a musical showdown with Adele, Harry Styles, Kendrick Lamar and others for the top prize of album of the year. 

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

 
 

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce)

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce)
Beyonce leads the pack with nine nominations overall — including nods in the dance and R&B categories. She is now tied with husband Jay-Z as the most-nominated artist in Grammy history, with a total of 88, overtaking Sir Paul McCartney and Quincy Jones. 
Beyonce’s “Renaissance” will compete for album of the year with Adele’s “30,” “Harry’s House” from Styles, “Special” from Lizzo, as well as albums from ABBA, Bad Bunny, Mary J. Blige, Brandi Carlile and Coldplay. 
Rapper Kendrick Lamar, also in the running for album of the year for “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers,” received eight nominations overall, followed by Adele and Carlile with seven each. 
 
DUBAI: The Grand Egyptian Museum announced on Tuesday that it will host events and tours in the complex to test the visitor experience ahead of the site opening.  
 
The complex will be partially open for a limited number of visitors. During this phase, guests will be able to experience parts of the museum like the Hanging Obelix Square in front of the museum, the grand hall, the children’s museum, the immersive hall, the outdoor areas and retail and food and beverage outlets.  
Entry to the grand hall will give visitors access to a selection of remarkable artefacts, including the Statue of Ramesses II, the 10 Statues of Senusret, the Sakkara Cannon, the victory column of Mr-N-Ptah, in addition to the Ptolemaic King and Queen statues. 
Located two kilometers from the Pyramids of Giza, the new museum complex is home to the world’s largest archaeological collection.  
It occupies a total land area of 500,000 square meters and is situated between the Great Pyramids and the modern city of Cairo.  
All other museum interior spaces, including access to main galleries and the two Tutankhamun galleries, will remain closed in preparation for the full site opening. 
ABU DHABI: This month marks the five-year anniversary since the Louvre Abu Dhabi opened its doors. The museum, which opened on Nov. 11, 2017 with an aerial show, fireworks and an extravaganza of music and light under Jean Nouvel’s futuristic dome, is celebrating its milestone birthday with similar fanfare. It is the first museum to open on Saadiyat Island where Frank Gerry’s Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Norman Foster’s Zayed Nation Museum are still awaiting completion.
The fifth anniversary, which is being celebrated under the theme “The Grand Story,” continues offering new acquisitions, cultural events, educational activities and global entertainment.
“Celebrating a major milestone such as our fifth anniversary is a clear reflection of the sustained growth and progress in the region’s arts and culture landscape,” Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi Manuel Rabaté told Arab News. “As the first universal museum in the Arab World, Louvre Abu Dhabi has connected the region’s artistic ecosystem with the global cultural scene.”
Among the new acquisitions and loans from around the world is the arrival of Leonardo da Vinci’s renowned masterpiece, “Saint John the Baptist,” the first in a series of four major loans from the Louvre Museum in Paris. Loans from other partner museums include an ivory comb dating to 2300 B.C. from the Sharjah Archaeological Museum, a copy of “The Travels of Marco Polo” dating to the second half of the 14th century from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, and the painting “Woman in Blue” by Pablo Picasso, completed in 1944 from the Centre Pompidou.
These loans are displayed alongside several new acquisitions by the museum, including those recently acquired by Louvre Abu Dhabi for its permanent collection such as the painting “Thurifer Angel in a Yellow Tunic” (c. 1520) by Bernhard Strigel, “The Cup of Chocolate” (1877 – 1878) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (currently on display in the museum’s “Impressionism” exhibition), and a Chinese ritual tripod food vessel from the late Shang Dynasty (12th – 11th century B.C.).
Among the new contemporary installations are 11 mirrors from Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto’s series “Mirror Paintings,” on display until February 2023, comprising panels of stainless steel polished to a mirror finish, onto which the artist applies an image made by tracing a photograph blown up to life-size proportions on delicate paper.
Also on view is British artist Jenny Holzer’s “BIRTHDAY” in the form of a large-scale light projection on the museum’s impressive architecture.
The line-up of events staged to mark the museum’s five-year anniversary includes workshops, curatorial talks and performances by regional and international stars John Legend, Majid Al-Muhandis and Omar Khairat.
The anniversary events are supported by Cartier and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Louvre Abu Dhabi’s fifth-anniversary partners.
The celebratory month of programming emphasizes the importance of the cultural institution’s place within the UAE, the greater Middle East and the world.
“The development of cultural institutions such as Louvre Abu Dhabi also reinforces the local artistic landscape and supports artists from surrounding countries and regions,” Rabaté said. “Since its inception, Louvre Abu Dhabi has been a testing ground for new ideas in a globalized world, championing a new generation of cultural leaders. Regional cooperation remains a top priority for Louvre Abu Dhabi, and I am looking forward to working with our key partners and stakeholders across the region to deliver value for all our audiences.”
The museum reflects the idea of cultural transformation for the UAE and the greater Gulf region as well as the ability to offer, in Rabaté’s words, “endless moments of cultural connections.”

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