Where We Are Buying Today: Bastahh – Arab News

Where We Are Buying Today: Bastahh – Arab News

RIYADH: The mobile phone business is both highly profitable and very competitive.
There are plenty of independent stores and kiosks in the crowded marketplace selling accessories.
Abdullah Suliman is the 24-year-old Saudi entrepreneur behind online store Bastahh, which sells more than 500 products for cell phones from various international brands.
Items offered on the website include mobile and computer accessories, games, chargers, power banks, cases, covers, and headphones, all at competitive prices.
The store’s prices start from SR4 ($1.06), and Bastahh offers phone covers and cases that have been discontinued and which the company claims cannot be found elsewhere.
Suliman first started his business in 2017 but closed it down due to financial issues. He started up again two years ago, and his all-Saudi team prides itself on serving the community with a quick delivery of items.
“The market is profitable, but the competition is high. Therefore, you need someone patient to get into it,” he said.
For more information, visit www.bastahh.com
DUBAI: Dubai is set to host the first edition of PopCon Middle East (PopConME) from Nov. 10-13 at Expo City Dubai, with “Game of Thrones” star Kit Harington announced as a headlining celebrity guest.

Other confirmed celebrity guests include “House of the Dragon” breakout star Milly Alcock, “Arrow” actors Stephen Amell and Katie Cassidy, voice actor Ray Porter, “Breaking Bad’s” Giancarlo Esposito, Ross Marquand from “The Walking Dead,” and more.
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The pop-culture convention will showcase the best in movies, TV, comics, graphic novels, anime, cosplay and more. In partnership with Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), Speedy Comics and Alanza Trading, PopConME will take place at the Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo City Dubai, and will host workshops, movie screenings and Cosplay gaming competitions.

“We are excited to introduce PopConME to Dubai. I have been a fan of comic books since I was a child and have been entrenched in the community from an early age. This is a dream come true for a true geek like me. I want this convention to have everything and more my geek heart desires.” said Amer Rashed Al-Farooq, Deputy CEO of the Speedy Comics Group, in a released statement.
DUBAI: Dubai-based chef Dilip Kumara is heading to Paris this week for the eighth edition of the World Chocolate Masters, a contest known as the “World Cup” of chocolate.
The event, which starts on Oct. 29, brings together 18 world-class chocolatiers to push the limits of what is possible in design.
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Kumara, who is an assistant pastry chef at Five Hotels and Resorts, said in a released statement: “Qualifying for the world finals of the World Chocolate Masters is a dream come true for any pastry chef, and it is no different for me.”
“While it is a true honor to represent the Middle East in the finals, this is also an opportunity to meet and learn from the best talents in the world and bring back learnings from the experience to help elevate chocolate craft in the region,” added the Middle East finalist.
The contest is an initiative of French chocolate maker Cacao Barry to advance creative artisanship and put new talent on the map. The global competition provides a unique platform for artisan chocolatiers, patissiers and chefs from around the world to showcase their skills.
This year’s theme is symbolized by “TMRW,” where the chefs will be challenged to design the chocolate of tomorrow. The finalists will need to present a clear vision and delectable creations which address these shifts.
 Chef Charles Azar, president of the Academie Nationale de Cuisine Lebanon-MEA and Gulf, will represent the Middle East as a jury member, joining some of the industry’s most respected talents.
 “The World Chocolate Masters brings together the best pastry chefs from across the world under one roof to compete in a test of talent, focus and grit in creating the finest chocolate craft,” Azar said.
 “Following a very exciting Middle East final, I am now delighted to be a jury member at the world finals and look forward to witnessing a new era in chocolate where boundaries are pushed and creativity triumphs in the pursuit of excellence,” he added.
LONDON: Britain’s “Super Muslim Comedy Tour” is back in full swing, bringing together some of the world’s celebrated Muslim comedians to entertain audiences for a good cause.
The charity event, now in its seventh year, kicked off in London on Oct. 21 before heading North to perform live in 10 cities, including Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow. 
Returning to stage are Abdullah Afzal, from the BBC’s award-winning “Citizen Khan,” Prince Abdi, who has supported some of the biggest names in the game including Dave Chappelle, Trevor Noah and Chris Rock, and Azeem Muhammad and Preacher Moss from the critically acclaimed “Allah Made Me Funny.”
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The line-up also includes two exciting fresh faces of Arab origins. Performing at the touring show for the first time are Fathiya Saleh, a Londoner with Yemeni-Somali roots, and Palestinian American Atheer Yacoub, who has a half-hour special on Comedy Central Arabia.  
The tour is organized by Penny Appeal, an award-winning international humanitarian charity with projects in more than 45 countries across the Middle East, Asia and Africa. 
While the acts on tour all fall under the umbrella of “halal entertainment,” each performer presented distinctive comedy styles inspired by their ethnic background.
Arab News caught up with the comics on Saturday for their second show in the capital. 
The show opened with British-Pakistani Jeff Mirza, who defied the common perception of British dry humor with an eccentric performance filled with gestures, facial expressions and sounds. 
Mirza, the first British-Muslim comedian to perform in Saudi Arabia, caused fits of laughter as he poked fun at Muslim men who “stare.” 
“They say a smile is a form of charity,” Mirza told Arab News. He explained that the comedy tour kills two birds with one stone by making people laugh while raising money for a charitable cause.
Meanwhile, Saleh shared her experience of being an adult living in a Somali-Yemeni household.
The 24-year-old, who started doing stand-up in 2019, has appeared in several shows in London, including “Asians vs Arabs,” “Arabs Are Not Funny!”, and on BBC Asian Network Comedy. 
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Her string of punchlines earned her a big round of applause on Saturday as she captured the true essence of family-oriented cultures found in Arab and Muslim communities. 
“Everyone needs somewhere to be able to switch off and come and enjoy themselves in a fun halal way so hopefully this can be that place for Muslim audiences,” Saleh told Arab News. 
Flying in from Missouri, Azeem Muhammad gave one of the most socially-conscious comedic acts in which he opened up about his conversion to Islam and his experience as a Muslim man in the US.
Muhammad also told Arab News that halal comedy plays an important role in inspiring future generations to not only focus on scholars and academics but their spiritual essence, and their creative and cultural values as well. 
Similarly, Atheer Yacoub, who performed in London on Sunday, shared her stories of growing up as a Palestinian Muslim in Alabama and moving to New York. 
Palestinian-Americans are making it big this year on the comedy scene, with the likes of Mo Amer, Amer Zahr and Sammy Obeid finding success. 
Yacoub said that her audiences, especially women, are pleased to see female representation.
British-Moroccan actress Laila Rouass, who came to watch the show, shared her positive reactions with Arab News. 
“I loved every minute of it. How wonderful to see so many talented Muslim comedians in one place. The night was filled with laughter, diversity and, of course, fundraising for a very worthy course. 
“Bravo Penny Appeal for the pioneers that you are,” she said. 
Proceeds from this year’s show, which has reportedly sold more than 5,000 tickets, will support victims who have lost their livelihoods due to the recent Pakistan floods. 
Organizers said that the charity event annually generates about £500,000 ($564,675). 
British actor and comedian Abdullah Afzal shared his first-hand experience of witnessing the devastation of floods when visiting the crisis-hit country. 
“It’s been horrific. People are really struggling, so nights like tonight are really important in rebuilding Pakistan.” 
The “Super Muslim Comedy Tour” will run until Oct. 30, making its final stop in the city of Bradford. 
DUBAI: As a writer and painter who was equally accomplished in both disciplines, Kahlil Gibran is undoubtedly one of Middle East’s greatest cultural exports. The Lebanese-American artist, author and philosopher is best known for his 1923 book of prose poetry “The Prophet.” And while his work in English proved popular among the masses, the critical response, at the time, was less forgiving, perhaps because many of those critics didn’t yet have the tools to fairly judge a writer with strong Eastern influences.
Almost a century after the publication of “The Prophet,” however, Gibran’s popularity continues to soar from generation to generation.

“Gibran was the voice of the East that finally made it to the West and found that the West was hungry for spirituality,” Glen Kalem-Habib, a Lebanese-Australian filmmaker and research historian, and founder of the Kahlil Gibran Collective, tells Arab News. “Just take a look at the time period that he was around. There were a lot of great thinkers, poets, writers and artists and they all congregated in New York. So it was a great melting pot and Gibran had his finger on the on the pulse. He knew something great was coming; there was this industrialized nation that was being born and all this new technology coming out, there were such great innovations and thinking. So I think Gibran was kind of saying, ‘All these great technologies are going to help people. I’m going to write a book that helps people as well.’ And he did this by using his voice from the East that was Arabic in thought and process, because he was part of this incredible history of an area that dates back aeons. He was aware of that and he was in tune with that, whether it was the ‘Epic of Gilgamesh’ right through to the Bible and the Qur’an. It all happened in his backyard.”

Rare Photograph of Kahlil Gibran taken by Fred Holland Day, Boston c 1898. “Portrait of Khalil Gibran” #museosoumaya pic.twitter.com/Z5Pl622I8I
Gibran was born in 1883 in the village of Bsharri near Mount Lebanon to Khalil Sa’ad Gibran and Kamila Rahmeh, both Maronite Christians. While his mother encouraged his sensitive and artistic nature (she famously gifted him a book featuring artwork by Michelangelo, which spurred in him a lifelong love for the artist and art in general), his father was a more sporadic presence.
After years of poverty and uncertainty, Kamila packed up her four children and moved to Boston to live with her relatives, leaving Gibran’s father behind in Lebanon. Kamila and the kids settled in Boston’s South End, at the time the second-largest Syrian-Lebanese-American community in the US.
Gibran, almost a teenager at the time, went to the Josiah Quincy School, where teachers soon noticed his artistic ability and he was soon also enrolled into the nearby art school, Denison House, where he was introduced to the avant-garde Boston artist F. Holland Day.

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Gibran flourished. He quickly absorbed the works of Shakespeare, William Blake, W.B. Yeats and T.S. Eliot. “He was looking to make his mark. He was someone who lived a very sheltered life. Bsharri was so far removed, even from Beirut. So imagine, you know, 100-plus years ago, there wasn’t much (there) you could read, right? I’m pretty sure that it was very limited. So, one of the early impactful books he read was ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’ by Nietzsche. He was also inspired by Wagner’s music. His first published book was a treatise on Arabic music inspired by Wagner,” says Kalem-Habib.
Gibran was also heavily influenced by Arab literature and art, including “One Thousand and One Nights” and the ancient epic “Layla and Majnun.”
“He was sort of fusing all of these influences into (something) no one ever did before. And he really, really nailed it,” Kalem-Habib says.
Gibran continues to find new audiences. In 2014, Mexican actress Salma Hayek — whose father is of Lebanese descent — produced an animated film adapting Gibran’s work, titled “Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet.”
While Hayek’s first exposure to Gibran was through her late Lebanese grandfather, she rediscovered the book years later as a college student, an experience that she told Entertainment Weekly “was very meaningful to me, because I felt like my grandfather was teaching me about life even though he was gone.”
Discussing the film, Hayek said, “I think it’s important that people remember there’s an Arab-American writer that wrote a book that has touched so many people. It’s sold more than 120 million copies around the world and it has influenced the lives of people of all religions and creeds, ages, colors, and backgrounds. And I think that’s relevant today. I also think it’s important that we are exposed to material that reminds us of the beauty of our humanity.”






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A post shared by Nadim Naaman (@nadim.naaman)
A less high-profile but equally important adaptation came in the form of the stage musical “Broken Wings,” adapted from Gibran’s 1912 autobiographical novel.
Written by Lebanese-English West End star Nadim Naaman and Qatari composer Dana Al-Fardan, the musical is a love letter to Gibran and the Middle East. 






A post shared by Nadim Naaman (@nadim.naaman)

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“Dana and I were introduced by mutual friends back in 2016. She was in London for a concert of her own and I was performing in ‘The Phantom of The Opera’ at the time. We discovered that we both wanted to write a musical of Middle Eastern heritage which would shine a positive light on the region. Kahlil Gibran immediately stood out as an iconic Middle Eastern figure who has transcended borders and is revered in the Middle East, Europe and America,” Naaman explains. “He became a perfect focus for us: to pay tribute to him and Lebanon and also to introduce him to a wider audience and celebrate his contribution to the literary world.
“Gibran has always resonated strongly with me. His books were scattered throughout my family home as a child, his words recited at weddings, at funerals and graduations. Furthermore, as a man of Lebanese heritage who has spent his life in the West, I relate strongly to the fact that Gibran, and many other Lebanese, have spent more of their lives outside of the country than in it. As an actor, musician and writer trying to represent Lebanon internationally, there is no better role model than Gibran,” he adds.

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Since it was first published, “The Prophet” has never been out of print. It has been translated into more than 100 languages, making it among the top 10 most translated books in history. Its popularity soared in the 1960s, when American counterculture was on the rise, and later among the New Age movements. 
To celebrate the book’s centenary next year, Kalem-Habib’s collective is organizing several events across the US and possibly Middle East and will unveil a new monument in New York, a city where Gibran spent a considerable amount of time and where he took his last breath in 1931, aged 48.
“Gibran was so ahead of his time. He represents many philosophical and moral ideas that the world continues to strive towards in 2022,” says Naaman. “Here was a Middle Eastern immigrant who found a new home in the West, and was writing one century ago about gender equality and women’s rights, about harmony and tolerance between religions and nationalities, about the corruption of politicians and mistreatment of the working classes, about the ability to build a new home and find belonging if one has to leave one’s own birthplace. Essentially, these all remain mainstream narratives in the global media.”
DUBAI: Louvre Abu Dhabi has announced the 10 shortlisted artists for the 2022 The Richard Mille Art Prize, a $60,000 award launched in collaboration with the Swiss watchmaking brand of the same name. The award invited GCC nationals and residents to propose new or existing artworks that engage with the concept of “the icon.”

Afra Al-Dhaheri, Ayman Zedani, Dana Awartani, Elizabeth Dorazio, Manal Al Dowayan, Rand Abdul Jabbar, Simrin Mehra Agarwal, Shaikha Al Mazrou, Vikram Divecha, and Zeinab AlHashemi will compete for the grand prize.

The shortlisted artists will showcase their works at the museum’s Forum in the second edition of the Louvre Abu Dhabi Art “Here” exhibition, running from Nov. 18 this year to Feb. 19, 2023. The winner will be announced during a ceremony held in early 2023.

Jury members included Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, Chairman of UAE Unlimited, an art collector, and a patron of the Centre Pompidou, the British Museum and Sharjah Art Foundation; Morad Montazami, an art historian and research curator at Tate Modern, London; Hala Wardé, founding architect of HW Architecture, long-term partner of Jean Nouvel and the lead of the Louvre Abu Dhabi project; Dr. Souraya Noujaim, director of Scientific, Curatorial and Collections Management at Louvre Abu Dhabi; and Reem Fadda, director of Abu Dhabi’s Cultural Foundation and curator of Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here 2022.

On the exhibition, Fadda said in a statement, “It is an honour to curate the second edition of the Art Here exhibition and to work with a museum that continues to champion contemporary art in the UAE and wider the region. I was thrilled to see the calibre of work the shortlisted artists put forward and believe that the exhibition will be stellar in terms of quality of production and discourse; a sentiment I am sure will be shared by our visitors and the cultural community at large. The creativity of these submissions is reflective of the strong regional artistic scene.”


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