Ladies Track Day with Lexus

Nestled in Al Wusail, is the Lusail International Circuit, a world class motorsports track and is the only circuit in the region to be awarded the highest rating by FIA (International Automobile Federation) and the FIM (International Motorcycling Federation).

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The circuit is 5,380m long with 16 turns; 6 left and 10 right, a width of 12m and a clock-wise direction. Furthermore, floodlighting can be utilized to provide daylight conditions at night

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At the invitation of Grazia Magazine & Lexus, I attended one of their Female Track Days, an initiative by the Lusail International Circuit.

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No stranger to this venue, I immediately accepted the invitation, as it was an opportunity to be on the track instead of the usual, watching the MotoGP riders racing on this very track.

Upon arrival, I was greeted by friendly familiar faces.

“Our aim today is to provide our female guests a unique and amazing driving experience where they will push our vehicles to their limits.” Said Firas Mufti – Senior Marketing Manager Lexus

 

Picture1In the welcome area, the Lexus ES350 Hybrid was on display. a sport sedan, that doesn’t abandon luxury: The interior is fairly roomy  and the seats are comfy, offering a smooth ride and a cabin that is generally quiet and well-ventilated.

Once all the formalities were completed, we were presented with four models for testing on the track including the RC-F, GS-F, LC Hybrid and IS-F Sport. A co-driver was assigned to each car to guide and assist the driver on the safety measures of the track and the technological attributes of the vehicle.

My first test vehicle was a Lexus IS-F Sport, a fine and sporty sedan that looks good and offers a heap of driving enjoyment. It dives into corners willingly and exits them in a composed manner;  the interior of the IS, is a comfy place to be while sporting snazzy touches.

My second test drive was the Lexus RC-F. Designed for optimum high-speed stability to support outstanding performance, I definitely felt a better connection with the steering wheel, and a lot more confident when maneuvering my way through the circuit. With its superb styling, design and unprecedented power and handling capabilities,                    the RC-F opens up a new era for women on wheels.

Unfortunately due to prior engagements, I was unable to stay longer and test drive the other vehicles.

Thank you to the team of Lusail International Circuit, Grazia Magazine and Lexus for a pleasant Saturday afternoon driving experience.

 

For more information follow :

@losailcircuit

@graziaqatar

@lexusqatar

What are your thoughts on Ladies Track Day?

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Escaping from it all

A spur of the moment decision, it was just around mid-day when I decided to pursue the long overdue visit to Banana Island. With a few simple phone calls, all was confirmed. Driving to the terminal with nothing else but the clothes on my body, I called my best friend, my confidant, my partner to collect a few belongings and head over to Banana Island and meet me, for a much-needed reconnecting staycation on the island.

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As I sat at the terminal’s VIP lounge thinking when was the last time I had acted so impulsively, I suddenly felt the excitement – at the prospect of spending quality time, enjoying nature, long walks on the beach, the catchups, late breakfast – and, it all became so real.

On arrival at the island, I was greeted by the traditional sound of the drums; I stood for a few minutes taking in the sight and sounds.

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At the welcome desk, Abdul welcomed me. Check-in was seamless and soon enough, I was on my way to our room. Abdul assured me that he would facilitate my husband’s arrival.

Soon after settling in, I was taken on a tour of the island to familiarize with the awesome facilities available in the island.

No sooner, I was taken to the spa, for our first ever “couple’s massage”.

Husband: At this time of the year, it was just perfect timing to board the boat from Doha at 5 pm.  The 30 minutes boat ride meant that as I reached the island, the sun was just about to set.  And what a sight to behold!  The spectrum of the colours of the sunset reminded me of the colours of the rainbow. And, like the proverbial “pot of gold at the end of the rainbow”, our stay on the island, was simply, fabulous, to say the least.

I arrived late, having had to go for an appointment that I could not afford to miss, thereafter rushing home to collect some of our belongings as per my wife’s request. As I arrived at the Welcome Centre on the island, I was warmly greeted and quickly whizzed by Abdul, a South African who had been working on the island for the last 2 years, towards the Spa where we had booked a “Couple’s Massage”. “

We have both gone for massages before, but this was a completely different experience, having my significant other just next to me undergoing the same treatment. The room’s lighting and Zen music in the background, set the mood and the tone.  It was calming and soothing. And, before you know it, we were simply relaxing having our tensed muscles being relieved and the frenzied pace of the past weeks, slowly but surely going away with every smooth stroke being applied by the well-trained masseuse.  As in life, however, time passes by very quickly when you are enjoying something.  And so, what was supposed to be a 2-hour session seemed to be over in minutes.

While waiting for the golf buggy to take us back to our room, we were greeted by Jessica, the Spa Manager who had been on the island for just over 6 months.  She was explaining to us the variety of massages they offer (I guess, that is part of her job) and before you know it, I was signing up for the “Royal Moroccan Hammam” experience (one more off my bucket list). More of that later.

Back in our room, and what a pleasant surprise.  Obviously, the housekeeping team has been briefed of our arrival and went out of their way to decorate the room and displaying their creativity.

As for the room itself, it was very spacious; they even had the bathtub in the room for guests to soak themselves in while looking over the balcony and the sea.  The shower facilities with a rain shower was exceptional.  My only wish was that the water pressure was stronger, and it would have been perfect to get the real rain shower feeling.

After a bit of rest, we went for dinner at Al Nahham Restaurant.  The mezze platters were great especially the Muhammara and Khebez (Lebanese bread) were fresh and warm.  Suffice to say, I could just survive on the bread and mezze platters alone. In any case, we had ordered main courses and were certainly, not disappointed as well.

The staff were very attentive, ensuring our dining experience would be well remembered.

We made our way back to our room, a leisurely walk through the gardens after our indulgence during dinner.

Husband: The next morning, we woke up feeling calm and relaxed. We sat for a while on the balcony, catching up, taking in the view, the cool weather with a slight breeze provided the perfect elements to start our day.

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We then headed to Azraq Restaurant for breakfast.  They had a great selection and we were spoilt for choice.  After last night’s dinner, however, we could not do justice to the sumptuous offerings.


We opted for the outdoor seating, watching the birds helping themselves to whatever was available as guests left something behind for them.

After breakfast, we went on a Pontoon Boat ride and toured some parts of the island.  Unfortunately, the wind picked up speed, and we could not go around the whole island.  Regardless, it was an enjoyable tour with great company as little Sophie, shared more information about the island.

I headed back to the spa for my very first Royal Moroccan Hammam experience. Inspired by an ancient but integral part of Moroccan life, I was seated on a hot marble table, while the masseuse patiently explained to me about the processes involved and the products being used.

I was then shown to this beautifully created bath, where I soaked for a few minutes whilst beams of sunlight filtered through the glass ceiling.

After being doused with water, she covered my body with traditional black soap and scrubbed with a kesse mitt to sweep away dead skin cells, before I was gently cocooned in a ghassoul wrap infused with rose water, then whisked away to an overwater treatment room for a pampering back massage.

Techiques used:

  • Exfoliate:  Kessa glove scrub technique
  • Massage: Effleurage, Friction, Wringing
  • Benefits & Effect:

–        Deep cleansing the body
–        Renewal the cell regeneration
–        Release the muscle tension
–        Detoxification

It was a good hour and half well spent, being pampered from head to toe and worth every Riyal.

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Such a rejuvenating and unique experience.

And then, it was time for a light lunch at Q-Lounge, a nice pool-side restaurant just off the beach.

After a relatively short lunch, we decided to take a leisurely walk along the beach towards the jetty as it was time to go home.

How the time passes by so quickly when you are having fun, I really don’t know.  It just seemed like I was on a non-stop, whirlwind experiential trip, doing one thing after another. No regrets though, for a visit that left us both feeling relaxed and rejuvenated But, I know now that the next time I go to Banana Island, I would plan for more than just an overnight trip.  I did not manage any of the water sport activities or the golf putting course or even try my hand at scuba diving!

Banana Island, we will be back!
For more information on Banana Island Resort,
please click https://www.anantara.com/en/banana-island-doha 
For all their offers https://www.anantara.com/en/banana-island-doha/offers
Follow @bananaislandresort

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Local Designers at the Jewellery & Watch Exhibition

Wow…

The last 8 months have definitely been a rollercoaster ride. I shall not bore you with too many details, suffice to say, work amongst other activities (will be sharing them with you briefly) have kept me away from my blog.

Let’s Talk Jewellery… 

Last month, we saw the 16th edition of Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition 

 With more than 27,000 visits over the six days, an Indian Pavillions (as part of the Qatar-India Year of culture – 2019) and a charity auction (with proceeds to Education Above All Foundation) , the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE) 2019, concluded on a high note, making this year’s exhibition the largest in terms of participation, with more than 500 brands from over 10 countries covering an areas of 29,000 square metres.

The 16th edition saw the participation of the Young Qatari Designers (YQD) initiative for the third year in a row, where a special pavilion was dedicated to the 12 young Qatari designers, under the patronage of Prime Minister of Qatar and Minister of Interior H.E. Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani.

Here are some of the designers, whom I had the privilege of meeting.

Leila Issam Abuissa

“Anything Art” A motto Leila Issam has held dear to her heart at a very young age. During a time when children exhibit signs of whether they will grow into appreciators of Art or its architects, Leila clearly had the qualities of the latter.

With a Baccalaureate in French Literature and Philosophy; a combination she felt necessary in order to better understand the discipline that continues today in her thinking process of creating luxury products. She then moved to Paris to study art and design where she experimented with different fine art techniques, as well as design in all its forms be it conceptual or interior.

it was only after she moved to Florence did the Jewellery world strike her from every angle, thus began a quest for an Art form she would take on as her own.

Hissa & Jawaher Al Mannai.

It all started out as our past time when the two sisters repurposed their mother’s unwanted accessories and recreated new designs from it. Using their creativity, they went on to create fashionable necklaces and bracelets made of crystals, marbles, ropes, elastic and ribbons. They began their private collection and sometimes adding other accessories and vintage pieces, with this a dream was born, to create their own masterpieces, Their fascination and passion for jewellery saw them travelling extensively, this was necessary for them to establish Ghand – derived from the sugar crystals and how they look exactly like diamonds

“Our philosophy is to be imaginative and creative in our designs; our signature pieces are versatile”. Their personalities are so evident in their creation, a combination of Hissa’s taste for the bold and Jawaher’s preference for simplicity.

Fajr Al Attiya,

For Fajr, it all began with designing bags, however her love for beautiful aesthetics took her one step further into the world of precious metals and gems. Inspired by nature’s most beautiful creations, Fajr set out to cast the beautiful sites into eternal jewelry pieces that will be treasured. This led to the birth of Trifoglio in 2015 and the launch of her first collection in early 2016 followed by her first range of luxury leather good.

 

The popular The DJWE Forum, returned for the second year, with the participation of Qatari and international experts, designers and professors of history and arts in the jewellery and watches industry. The most prominent of these were Mr. Alex Popov, President of the Moscow Diamond Exchange, Geoffroy Ader of Artcurial, and Melvyn Kirtley, senior gemmologist at Tiffany & Co.

The sessions included discussions on Qatar’s rich heritage and the history of jewellery and pearls in Qatar. Among the distinguished academic speakers at the forum were Dr. Najla Ismail and Dr. Jochen Sokoly,

The prestigious French watchmakers Objectif Horlogerie presented free “Discover Watchmaking” workshops for all, and renowned expert Geoffroy Ader presented daily high-level educational talks, with the Qatar Watch Club in cooperation with the Turkish Watches Club. Jewellery workshops were held, dealing with precious stones, and providing advice on the evaluation of diamonds.

This was definitely an opportunity to feat your eyes on exquisite pieces of jewellery and watches.

For more information on the designers:

Follow Leila Issam Abuissa @leilaabuissa

Follow: Hissa & Jawaher @ghand_jewellery

Follow: Fajr  @trifoglio_qatar

 

What did you enjoy most about the DJWE2019?

 

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Styling on at 55

Just because someone, somewhere, decided on an age-appropriate dressing concept without your consent,don’t allow someone else’s notion of taste inhibit your own taste. Conditioning you to think that the older you get the more conservative you have to dress robbing you of your creativity; dictating that colour and vibrancy no longer form part of your interest and suggesting that appropriateness, restraint and formality should now be your objective.

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Clothing and shoes : https://www.facebook.com/PerLeiCouture.pearl/
Photography: https://withalittlegracephotography.pixieset.com/

 

At 55, I cannot fathom why this restrictive concept of age-appropriate dressing was given the nod, I for once, believe that the older you get, the more bold and playful you should become in your dress, having paid your dues you have earned the right to dress boldly and to value comfort over fashion, so don’t allow society to define you., having said that, I am not suggesting that we become distasteful, tacky;  no, on the contrary, let’s add  some fun and creativity to our own style, be willing to take risks but know your limits.

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Clothing and shoes : https://www.facebook.com/PerLeiCouture.pearl/
Photography: https://withalittlegracephotography.pixieset.com/

 

With some high street fashion stores showcasing new collections every fortnight, online flash sales, mobile apps and home deliveries, stylish clothing has never been more readily available, dare I say that multitude of options might leave you feeling slightly overwhelmed when it comes to decision making, but worry no more, chances are that you fall into one of the following 3 categories, so I propose 3 different styles which might help to reinvigorate your closet.

Bohemian

Chunky knits, distressed jeans, artfully structured dresses, embroidered caftans, turquoise chunky jewelry, leather bag and fun pair of espadrilles makes for an easy and comfortable not necessarily sloppy look is the epitome of boho chic.

 

This style is great for people over 50 as it is more forgiving than the sophisticated style, the lose cut provides comfort, the signature hand-stitched tote and a pashmina or shawl  instead of a structured coat.

Eccentric

Despite their small numbers, Eccentrics are the kind of people whose entire existence is devoted to individuality and innovation, making our world a more interesting place by challenging our preconceived notions of  beauty and taste while inspiring us all to step outside our comfort zone raising the bar on the impossible.

 

Sophisticated

Feminine and appealing, it is all about glamour sometimes bordering on allure.

 

Good fit and simplicity are the key to this style. The love for a well tailored jacket and accessories.  An unapologetic shoe addict with an obsession for handbags and impeccably groomed make up the signature of the sophisticated, always alluding to happiness, prosperity and optimism

I know that somedays all this sounds too much effort and we would much rather potter around the house, growing organic veggies or create art instead of running around makeup counters, paging through fashion magazines or retail store apps, so we opt for the boho chic style and on others days we feel inspired to express ourselves in a different way , getting all groomed up with immaculately well groomed nails and shoes on point but on the odd occasion we may feel the urge to make a statement by being somewhat eccentric in our taste, the point is that none of these are right or wrong, the most important while adjusting or up-cycling your style with creativity is to have fun and never forgetting to love the girl in the mirror.

 

 

 

 

At times you might feel that your very own style is at the far spectrum of others and that is perfectly acceptable because that is you, remember that you are beautiful, smart,wise, funny and kind.

“Ultimately great style s kindness, kindness to oneself and kindness to others” – Dee

Share your favourite fashion style and I will feature it on my blog

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Clothing and shoes : https://www.facebook.com/PerLeiCouture.pearl/

Photography: https://withalittlegracephotography.pixieset.com/

 

The reality of turning 55….

Oh so many changes, changes everywhere, understanding and accepting that at 50 you will never look 30 again.

Our face shape changes leaving many of us to discover our cheekbones for the first time in our 50’s, our skin starts to dry out, with it the growth of crow’s feet, giving us that washed out look, so our beauty routine has to be well thought through.

Moisturise, moisturise, moisturize daily

Try using organic olive oil at night as a substitute for your regular moisturizer. Apply a teaspoon of the oil to the face and neck.

Use light reflecting tinted moisturizers, take care not to go too pale,  a little foundation mixed with your moisturizer can provide you more coverage.

Makeup – avoid the bright colours preferably matte shades in neutral tones like taupe, stay clear from the shimmering stuff as these will give your lines more prominence – smokey eyes with pale lipstick is a very flattering palette on older women.

A bronzer will give any over 50s face a more youthful glow – choose one only two shades darker than your natural face colour and use it sparingly.

Use an angled eyebrow brush and dark powder make-up alternatively a shade lighter than your natural eyebrows, to thicken your brows, but don’t be tempted to get thick, black slugs tattooed on your forehead.

Oestrogen levels fall, leaving women with sprouting whiskers. Electrolysis is a permanent solution is pricey and leaves scabs in the short-term, you may wish to consider threading instead while some women swear by facial epilators.

Take care of your smile

 Your upper lip loses fullness, so use a neutral lip pencil to define your lips, soften the Cupid’s bow and prevent lip bleed. Steer clear from lip fillers

Regular dental check-ups are essential because your teeth enamel thins as you age. Also, the mouth is one of those areas where all sorts of serious medical problems can reveal themselves.

Getting your teeth whitened will knock years off. Aim for a natural finish by a professional

Look after your hands

No matter how young your body looks, your hands will always betray your age. Just keep your hands well moisturized and nails clean, and neatly square-oval shaped.

Olive oil is rich in vitamins and antioxidant. Those two substances are essential for revitalizing and invigorate your skin. That’s because vitamins A, B-1, B-2, C, D, E, K and iron that are contained in olive oil can make the skin smooth, elastic and healthy. The antioxidant itself can eliminate the free radicals that are responsible for dry and dull skin. It is understandable why people from Mediterranean called this oil as beauty oil. Olive oil contains a fatty acid. When the body’s cell incorporate with that, it will make the arteries supple and as a result, skin looks more lustrous. It is best to use the Extra Virgin olive oil for the best result.

Look after your locks

Grey hair feels coarser due to the loss of natural oils, making it also finer than pigmented hair, avoid heavy conditioners as this will make your limp, choose a hairstyle and products that will give it volume

Contrary to popular belief there is no reason to chop off your hair if it is in good condition,

Get some advice from your professional hairdresser on how best to maintain your hair.
Your Health

Your eyes are a good indication of your general health. it’s a good idea to get your eyesight checked, an experienced optician can spot anything from hypertension to glaucoma., especially after the menopause.

Don’t ignore niggly problems. This is the age when blood pressure and cholesterol levels start going up, your chances of developing further complications is quite real.

There comes a point when pedicures will  no longer suffice nor will a new coat of nail polish, shellac or gel nails cover up hard, cracking foot skin and ingrowing nails – you will need to see your chiropodist,  recurrent fungal problems need proper treatment – ask your GP for advice.

No need to put on orthopeadic shoes just yet, avoid ill-fitting stilettos  as these will give you lower back problems and bunions. With block heels and wedge heels being all the rage and so trendy, you can still look funky and have more support.

Now is the time to get moving and stay moving, sign up at your community fitness classes, or join the yoga or pilates classes.

Weight training increases bone density and protects against osteoporosis.

Stay clear from extreme dieting, especially crash diets as sudden weight loss will make you look haggard, so keep to a consistent weight

Sleep – Aim for seven to eight hours sleep every night, your body interprets lack of sleep as stress, and releases hormones that compromise your immunity and making you more susceptible to illness.

And breathe… Long, deep breathing through your nose will make you feel more in tune with your body, manage anxiety, bad moods at all costs and reduce your blood pressure.
 Managing menopause

By the age of 54, 80 per cent of women have stopped having periods.

Perimenopause –  periods are erratic,

Menopause – period has stopped for a whole year, in which case you are now officially menopausal.

Some women endure a range of symptoms albeit intermittent, they suffer from hot flushes to insomnia, while other women have no symptoms at all.

 

If you are part of the former experiment with alternatives like acupuncture or herbal supplements before taking HRT , as with any drug, HRT comes with its own range of side effects

Remember that exercise is a wonder drug with health benefits, a training regime will most definitely lessen the effects of the menopause and help you manage insomnia

Feed your body. Eat oily fish – salmon, mackerel, and sardines – for a vitamin D boost to help with menopausal symptoms; avocados, olive oil and sunflower seeds for their vitamin E anti-ageing properties. Dark green veggies will lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Talk to your friends about what you and they are going through. It’s important to understand what’s happening to your body.

Some of the products that you may wish to try:

Hands – body shop hand care range 

Hair – Herra hair care 

Face – younique hydrating day cream and instant uplift serum 

Menopause – smoothie with orange, banana, mango, coconut oil and vitamin d drops. 

Make up

younique moodstruck palette 1

Younique beachfront bronzer 

younique moodstruck brow liner

For younique products head over to : http://www.youniqueproducts.com/Quintessential

 

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What works for you at 50?  share your tips and I will share it

 

‘Pendulum’ Fashion Show Displays VCUarts Qatar’s Students’ Talent

 19th Edition of the show highlighted extraordinary designs and skills of VCUarts Qatar’s fashion design students

Doha, Qatar –Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar’s)  previewed their collection as part of its annual fashion show on May 3rd 2018

The fashion show, opened by Sandra Wilkins, VCUarts Qatar’s Chair of Fashion Design, featured collections of 25 sophomore, junior and senior fashion students.
Wilkins explained that the title of this year’s fashion show was ‘Pendulum’.

“The ‘Pendulum’ theme represents our focus in establishing a design department that meets the needs of this growing and diverse industry. The whole foundation of design is built on reimagining, re-proportioning, re-fabricating and making new again,” she said.

The students were required to submit their designs to a jury of fashion experts.

Students from the campus in Richmond, Virginia also showcased their designs during the fashion show.

Selina Farooqui, a VCUarts Qatar alumnus, was a guest designer for the show, where she showcased her Ramadan 2018 Collection.

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“Having graduated from VCUarts Qatar in 2011, it’s an honor to have been invited to be the guest designer at this year’s fashion show,” she said. “I remember when I was a student taking part in this show and showing my first collection, and now I am back here, having worked on my own fashion line.

“The constant support, motivation and knowledge VCUarts Qatar provided me with enabled me to launch  a successful fashion brand in Qatar.” said Selina

you may wish to read: my previous articles on Selina Farooqui :

https://umsuhailsblog.com/2017/01/16/meet-selina-farooqui-a-doha-based-award-winning-fashion-designer/

https://umsuhailsblog.com/2017/11/22/selina-farooqui-with-winter-velvets/

The creative concept for this year’s show placed emphasis on ready-to-wear pieces which were both wearable and marketable.

A number of  awards were given on the night. The W Doha Award went to Maryam Al-Bouanin for her children’s wear collection titled, ‘Playful Innocence’.

The Salam Fashion Award went Noor Aburish for her collection titled, ‘Lost in translation’.”

 

  • The award for Most Outstanding Sophomore (Academic) went to Roudha Al-Mazroei
  • The award for Most Outstanding Sophomore Collection went to Maha Al-Thani
  • The award for Most Outstanding Junior (Academic) went to Heidi Rashad
  • The award for Most Outstanding Junior Collection went to Heidi Rashad
  • The award for Most Outstanding Senior (Academic) went to Sreehitha Saini
  • The award for Most Outstanding Senior Collection went to Maryam Al-Bouanin
  • The Friend of Fashion 2018 awards went to Mariea Lenette Webb, Nicole Danielle Pollard, and Latasha Annetta Dunston.
  • The awards for Senior Collection Richmond went to Conner Francis Karlen, Chongwon Lee, Naradulam Batsuuri, and Anne Rae Carlson.

Five VCUarts Qatar students will have their collections shown at the home campus annual fashion show on May 10.
Sandra Wilkins by VCUarts Qatar’s Executive Dean Donald Baker praised Wilkins for her 20 years of hard work, loyalty and dedication to the university, and the fashion industry in Qatar. Wilkins retires next month after two decades in Qatar.

Dr. Donald Baker, Executive Dean, VCUarts Qatar, said: “For almost 20 years, Wilkins injected bright and imaginative ideas into the fashion design program – will miss her dearly.”

For a complete list of QF’s initiatives and projects, visit http://www.qf.org.qa

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Together for 10 Million

New York – USA, Doha – Qatar, May 2018:

The Qatari designer Nada Al-Sulaiti, founder of Hairaat Jewellery revealed the special piece ‘Together for 10 Million’ that was specifically designed for the celebrations of Education Above All foundation, recently took place in New York marking the reaching out to 10 Million out of school children.

The final design of the jewellery as created following hours of meetings, consultations and redesigns, to finally present this one of a kind piece in its current charm.

Hairaat firmly believes in EAA mission and vision that considers quality education a human right and will result in a better, prosperous and fulfilled future for alL

 

 

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The Round Brooch set in  gold  with  a  center  stone  of  specially   clear  rock  crystal specially  cut  for  this  piece, with 4.97  carat  Round  Brilliant  Diamond  and 3.82 carat   of  Alex-andrite.  It is designed as a circular brooch  that  can  be  worn  in  four  different  ways.

The jewellery embodies the values and mission of Education Above All in embracing vulnerable children and provide them with protection and support for better future. The jewellery captured the minds and hearts of the audience who praised the designer and appreciated the hard work of Hairaat in presenting a special piece that delvers noble messages.

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The final design of the jewellery as created following hours of meetings, consultations and redesigns, to finally present this one of a kind piece in its current charm.

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“HAIRAAT is extremely proud to be a part of this event, and present one of a kind jewellery that is designed especially for EAA celebration of supporting 10 million vulnerable children around the globe. We are here to support this noble cause and our country’s effort to deliver this human message to the world. This reiterates the role of art in supporting social causes, and reflects our commitments as Qataris in supporting our leadership vision”. said Nada Al-Sulaiti

“We would like to thank Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser for her wise vision, and are grateful to EAA for giving me this opportunity to present this jewellery that reflects the core values of EAA of supporting education and reaching out to all vulnerable children’, she continued

The jewellery was presented during the celebration of Education Above All celebrations in reaching out to 10 Million children and provide them with quality education through 65 projects in 50 countries. In partnership with the UNICEF, the event took place on 17th of April at New York Public Library.

Nada Bint Khamis Al-Sulaiti  is  a  Qatari  designer who is passionate for design. She established Hairaat in 2011, to bring a  new  concept  for  creative  luxury  in  the  jewellery  world.      Hairaat’s pieces radiate Qatar’s rich  culture  to  the  world  through  jewels  blending  it  with  International  appeal,  Creating  unique  statement  pieces.    Hairaat integrates  honesty,  integrity  and  ethics  into  all  aspects  of  its  business.  Hairaat, which  is  an  original  Qatari  concept,  will  grow  through  continued  creativity  and  innovation.

For more info:

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info@hairaat.com

 

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FLYING CLOUD

Flying Cloud: a light breeze, a fleeting cloud whose shadow moves across the surface of the water…

No other image could more accurately represent the fierce quest for freedom that propelled Gabrielle Chanel all throughout her life. She lived to free the body from all hindrances: to separate true desire from false pretense, relationships from the weight of convention, life from the ordinary, and to exist as if suspended where air and water meet, between sky and sea…

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Gabrielle Chanel was a person characterized by contrast: the granitic harshness of landscapes from her childhood, the stringent purity of the abbey at Aubazine, and the ruggedness of Scottish moors created sharp opposition with places one easily refers to as “resort destinations”. These places located on land’s edges that step out into the sea each seem to be linked to an encounter, a singular figure: Deauville and the Basque Coast to Boy Capel, Venice to Diaghilev and the Serts, the Riviera to the Duke of Westminster, Cocteau and Picasso… Each place adds a unique color and tone to these various moments, the successive phases of her existence. It is as if her life had to be transformed from an element in its purest state to its polar opposite: the extreme hardness of stony landscape to the soft and supple embrace of fluid water pierced by sunlight.

Flying Cloud: this is also, of course, the name of the yacht which belonged to Hugh Grosvenor, familiarly known as “Bendor”, the second Duke of Westminster, one of the men who undoubtedly counted the most in the designer’s life…

 

Flying Cloud: a four-masted yacht with a black hull and a white wooden deck which was not just a place for vacationing and, sometimes stormy, love affairs, but was also, and most importantly, the emblem of a lifestyle in which the most extravagant luxury – no less than forty crewmen were necessary to man the boat – was merely a prerequisite for the most extreme simplicity, of lunches enjoyed under the sun, charades and conversations among friends. “Luxury”, as Gabrielle Chanel used to say, “is a necessity that starts where necessity stops”.

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There is no better example of this aesthetic than this environment where everything is reduced to the essential, in which perfection in every form emerges from a tried-and-tested method. The perfect roundness of a buoy, the sharp outline of a pure white sail, and the subtle entanglement of knots in a rope whose soft yet strong design includes motifs such as the arabesque and interlacs. There is no better model of her vision of fashion than nautical striped jersey tops, flowing wide- cut trousers, loose-fitting black neckties, emblematic berets and the mandatory white watchbands worn by English sailors, which beautifully complement tanned skin. They provided a masculine counterpoint to the radiance of pearls, one of her favorite accessories, which she adored when contrasted with skin bronzed by summer sun – the sun- tanned skin which she was one of the first to flaunt in the 1920s. “A stark white earring against a deeply tanned earlobe brings me great delight”, she used to say to Paul Morand.

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Even the specific color scheme of marine life seemed to be predestined for her: a limited, subdued range that is simultaneously severe and sensual, in which black, blue, maritime white and the warm, dull sheen of polished copper brilliantly emerge against the dark, fresh background of the sea.

In this part of the Mediterranean coast, which runs from the red rocks of Estérel to the terraced lemon trees in Menton, and where the sea laps the foothills of the mountains, the air never stops moving, caught in a perpetual ebb and flow motion, which cleanses the sky of all impurities and is described by “that magnificent plenitude of light”, of which Nietzsche spoke, that «atmospheric dryness» in which he saw a “remedy for the tumult of the soul”. “Of the soul”, that is first to say, of the body, a vivacious, dry, restless body refined by exposure to the elements, by salt-water air, the sun’s bronzing effect, and the soft caress of sea foam; this light body that Gabrielle Chanel dreamed of and cultivated.

As an homage to these solar, radiant moments in the life of Mademoiselle, and in sync with the cruise season, CHANEL Fine Jewelry presents the Flying Cloud Fine Jewelry collection in two chapters.

The first chapter reinvents and showcases the most simple and necessary elements to life at sea: buoys sculpted in white gold, lapis-lazuli and cultured pearls in the Precious Float line; ropes crafted from gold and diamonds for the Sparkling Lines collection; white gold anchors, pearls and sapphires for the Yachting Day line; sails, compasses and tattoos, in white or yellow gold set with sapphires and diamonds for Sailor Tattoo… Also seen are the endless shades of broad ocean expanses, from the transparency of the Turquoise Waters line in white gold, sapphires and diamonds, to the deep, dark blue of the high seas seen in the Deep Blue set made from sapphires, white gold and diamonds

 

The second chapter presents a series of variations on the summer wardrobe, exploring freedom of movement and clothing that seems to float around the body: the Summer Cruise line features alternating bands of deep blue sapphires, white gold, cultured pearls or yellow and white diamonds; Golden Braid depicts the braids seen on marine uniforms; the Sailor Suit set showcases large yellow or white gold buttons like those seen on sailors’ jackets. These are paired with a gold bracelet and ring in the shape of knotted rope and set with diamonds from the Sunny Rope line, along with the airy sautoirs, bib necklaces and bracelets in white gold, sapphires and diamonds from the Sapphire Stripes series.

The highlights of this collection dedicated to the sun’s golden light and the freshness of the Mediterranean breeze are two unique pieces crafted by master goldsmiths: a bib necklace featuring a woven design in white gold, sapphires and cultured pearls from the Azurean Braid line, and a supple rope motif necklace in white gold and diamonds from the Endless Knot line.

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I would like to take this opportunity to thank 51east for making my daily tours possible and sharing these amazing stories with me.

 

Be sure to read the next post : CHANEL HORLOGERIE – SINCE 1987, CHANEL GIVES ALLURE TO TIME

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“How to Be an Ironman” Qatari author, Nasser Al-Mohannadi, at FNAC Store

April 2016 – Dr. Nasser Saqer Al-Mohannadi became one of the first Qataris ever to complete a full Ironman race. He swam 3.8km, biked 180km and ran 42.2km  in port Elizabeth – South Africa,  one of the most difficult Ironman courses in the world. It was the fulfillment of a childhood dream and the climax of 28 years of preparation and training.

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March 3rd, 2018 marked another milestone for Al-Mohannadi: his book detailing his life’s experiences titled, How to Be an Ironman, published by Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press), launched to a packed audience at FNAC store at Doha Festival City’s branch.

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Al-Mohannadi, who is also the adjunct professor at Texas A&M, Senior Advisor at Qatar Petroleum, board member of Qatar Science and Technology Park and Qatar Cycling and Triathlon Federation, in addition to being a renowned athlete, was inspired to write this book for many reasons.

“I wrote this book to share my experiences, my trials and tribulations,” explains Al-Mohannadi, “and to build awareness and share my knowledge on how to acquire the mental skills needed to overcome any physical or mental obstacle which ultimately supports human development.”

In How to Be an Ironman, Al-Mohannadi describes how he overcame childhood fears, cultural misunderstanding and physical injuries to reach his goal. Through careful planning, persistence and learning through mistakes, he achieved what seemed impossible.

“This book is about the journey of every individual. We all face our Ironman race, either because we want to achieve a dream or because we are confronted with difficult circumstances in our lives” – Al Mohannadi

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Not only is this book a milestone for Al-Mohannadi, but it marks another important achievement the first of many collaborations to come between HBKU Press and FNAC in an effort to engage the local population to participate in literary events as well as highlight local talents in Qatar.

Mr. Bader Abdullah Al-Darwish, Chairman and Managing Director of Darwish Holding, commented: “Supporting local talents and investing time, effort and resources in nurturing them is an ethos instilled in FNAC’s DNA. Such talents will define the future and will build upon our ancestors’ heritage and steer our country forward.

Get your copy at your nearest fnac

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“We eat watermelon, upcycle, recycle and relove” – Alleine Nadal Khalifa

A freelance Art Director at the Film House, a former Al Jazeera English Media Manager, wife and mother to two gorgeous little girls.

All the way from Cavite- Phillipines.  Alleine  has a BA in Mass Communications and a string of other qualifications in Fine Arts and Art Directing in Film , she moved to Qatar in 2006 to join Al Jazeera English where she remained for almost 10 years.

US: Do you come from an artistic family?

AK: Indeed I do, both my parents are equally artistic and my sibling is also in the news/film industry here in Qatar.

US: How has art impacted your life?

AK: Art has manifested in my life from as early as I can recall –  my parents have  contributed a big part of who and what I am today.

 

US: Who is your inspiration?

AK: My husband, a film director/producer Omar Khalifa is the greatest part of my inspiration. He’s my number one supporter.

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Their passion for the arts has led them to start their company Watermelon Ink.

US: Tell us a little bit about Watermelon Ink.

Why Watermelon?

AK: We love everything watermelon. And in the spirit of such a flexible fruit, we want to bring you just as many diverse, fun and appealing products, so, we eat watermelon, upcycle, recycle and relove.

Our eclectic brains are sprinkled with a passion for the arts. We paint and make films in our day jobs, which keeps us keen to be colourful and curious with our endeavours.

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We love to make things, repurposing by using salvaged chairs to side-road pallet wood, or empty baby milk cans to second-hand trinkets from the souq. The result is a varied range of carefully crafted products that will hopefully put a big watermelon smile on your face.

From our craft shop, you can find DIY projects to make your own spaces more creative, vibrant and memorable for the whole family.

One of our main objectives is to help and  collaborate, in particular, with other expats in Qatar from all walks of life. So know that the riyals you spend with Watermelon Ink go to the people who need it most.

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We welcome any collaboration opportunities here in Qatar and abroad.

For those of you who don’t know Alleine, she offers the following workshops:

 

For more information on Watermelon Ink.

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Website: alleinenadalkhalifa.com

Email: alleine.khalifa@gmail.com

IG: alleinenadalkhalifa

IG: watermelonink_qatar

FB: Watermelon ink.

 

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