Kabul-born Hamida Aman Organises a non-profit peace concert at Dubai’s Zabeel Park, under the Patronage of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Cultural Understanding
Featuring seven talented alternative music artists from the Middle East, North Africa and South Africa, “Salam Aleikum” concert was held at Dubai’s Zabeel park for the first time.
The non-profit music festival aims to promote peace and cultural tolerance amongst the youth and to present a more positive image of Muslims to the rest of the world.
The concert is organised under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Cultural Understanding, by Hamida Aman, the General Manager of Guru Production, a Dubai Media City production company.
The centre supports community events, but this was the centre’s first community music project.
Nasif Kayed, Managing Director of Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding said: “We are all for any good cause that promotes peace between mankind, we are a non-profit organisation ourselves and always count on the support of our friends out there.”
Hamida Aman, Owner of a production company and radio station in Kabul, Afghanistan has organised a similar peace concert in Afghanistan two years ago.
“In 2013, I had a concert in Kabul for peace, where artists from neighboring countries performed in Kabul. It was very successful without any security problems.”
Since 2010, Aman has been based in Dubai as the General Manager of Guru Production, but she still visits Afghanistan regularly.
Hamida thought that it was the right time to bring the project to Dubai after a recent trip to Europe. She noticed the mainly negative perception that the West had of Muslims.
“I was very shocked that they had such a bad image of the Muslims,” she said.
The festival brings together artists from different cultures and backgrounds to communicate a positive message about Muslims and encourage peace and cultural tolerance.
Hamida adds: “We are not all terrorists. We are not all aggressive. We know how to be happy as well.”
“For me Dubai is one of the best places to celebrate togetherness. Here, all communities are living together in peace and harmony.”
Aman’s personal experience as a refugee in Switzerland for half of her life strongly inspires her peace-focused projects and initiatives.
“Because I know what war is, what is destruction and what it means to be a refugee and to go in exile, it’s important that we keep fighting to avoid this for future generations,” she said.
“My generation always lived in war and exile, and I don’t want this to continue happening in other places.”
The alternative artist line-up featured musicians whose songs carry powerful messages.
Hamida plans to organise future peace concerts in other Middle-Eastern cities.
“This is the first one in Dubai, and I hope that I will manage to bring it to Jordan, Lebanon and to Cairo eventually – to make a caravan,” she said.
The non-profit initiative will continue to spread the message of peace, and will always be for the community.
“The concert is for a cause and I want to keep it like that,” Hamida says.
“I would like to keep it like that – always for free.”
YouTube Video link:
A short video recorded at the venue while Indian Reggae band, Delhi Sultanate were performing on stage at the “Salam Aleikum” music festival at Zabeel Park on Friday:
This post is another project that I did for my web news production class in University. I had the pleasure to meet Lubov Azria, wife of renowned designer Max Azria, and Chief Creative Officer for the BCBG Max Azria group. Lubov and her team are very professional and talented individuals, and I’m glad that I had the privilege of meeting them and speaking to them about the retrospective exhibition.
In the lines below, you can read my final news story which I did for the social media project for that unit.
Lubov Azria, the brand’s Chief Creative Officer opens the stylish event with an A-list crowd
On her first-ever visit to Dubai, Lubov Azria – Chief Creative Officer of the distinctive fashion retail brand BCBG Max Azria opens the retrospective “Living the Bon Chic Life” exhibition in DIFC’s Cuadro Fine Art Gallery.
The one-day exclusive exhibition was held on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 and brought together the city’s most stylish, VIP and art-loving crowd.
From 7 pm and onwards, invited guests made their way to the spacious gallery and walked through a timeline of events, advertising campaigns and cutting-edge design creations that showcase the brand’s 25 year history.
With famous quotes by the brand’s Founder and Designer – Max Azria – decorating the gallery’s spacious walls, there is no doubt that BCBG is a brand with a strong identity and vision.
Founded in 1989, BCBG was named for the French phrase ‘bon chic, bon genre’ – a Parisian expression meaning ‘good style, good attitude.’
Max Azria’s vision is simple; he aims to create a beautiful dress to make women look and feel beautiful.
Creative Director for the brand’s lifestyle products, Clifford Pershes explains BCBG’s philosophy by saying: “It’s a brand that doesn’t follow trends, it embodies style.”
The 25th anniversary retrospective exhibit takes visitors on a journey throughout the key events and achievements that shaped the company’s history.
Beginning with an events timeline that covers the brand’s entire 25- year journey, visitors get to learn more about the brand, its creators and their vision.
An adjacent space emulates a design studio which stages the evolution of a BCBG dress from idea and pattern design to detailed and careful construction.
BCBG’s design philosophy is inspired by the arts and culture. As Clifford explains: “We feel that arts and culture are part of the brand’s DNA.”
Featuring top models and talented photographers, BCBG’s ad campaigns cover the walls of the brand’s campaign history section in both print and digital platforms.
“There’s a timeless, effortless chicness that goes throughout the years.” – says Clifford of the brand’s innovative, yet timeless designs.
Upon stepping into the ‘Runway Collection’ installation space, a selection of exclusive, fashion-forward designs can be seen adorning the mannequins.
As Creative Director – Clifford Pershes states: “There are only around 200 pieces made of each piece; so it’s definitely a little more exclusive.”
From fashion week runways, to celebrities’ closets and the renowned red carpet, Max Azria’s Atelier creations are featured in a beautifully colour-curated collection aptly named ‘Max Azria Atelier’.
Launched in 2004, the brand’s most exclusive collection embodies couture eveningwear and special-event dresses for socialites, celebrities and the elite.
The one-of-a-kind dresses worn by A-list stars and royalties including Alicia Keys, Angelina Jolie and Michelle Obama, are limited edition creations.
When asked about the main concept of BCBG’s retrospective exhibition, the brand’s Chief Creative Officer and Max Azria’s wife, Lubov Azria explains: “The exhibition is really 25 years of my life; it’s called ‘The Bon Chic Living’ and it really showcases the work and my passion.”
Lubov describes the exhibit’s walkthrough design by saying: “It starts off with the history, with when the company started. Then it goes to how we make the clothes. Then it continues to the ad campaigns, to the actual clothes, and then to the one-of-a-kind dresses that we make for celebrities.”
BCBG Max Azria’s 25-year mark in fashion history showcased in its retrospective exhibition is a genuine portrayal of its founders’ passion for success and achievement.
As Lubov Azria states: “It’s really without passion, innovation and vision, there is no success.”
For more photos from BCBG’s retrospective exhibition event, click here.