Egypt Dominates Arab Games

December 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

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Tunisia’s Nour Bo al-Eyuin hits Morocco’s Fatima Alzahraelahqr during their Kumite (sparring) Karate match at the Pan Arab Games in Cairo.

Egypt was once again dominant in the Arab Games as it accumulated a grand total of 233 medals in the 2011 edition of the games. They recently concluded in Qatari capital of Doha. The final tally for Egypt included 90 gold medals, 76 silvers, and 67 bronzes. For Egypt this extended their run to four consecutive Arab Games victories, having been the dominant force in 1999 (0man), 2004 (Algeria) and 2007 (Cairo).

Fellow North African country Tunisia finished as runners up with a total of 138 medals, including 54 gold, while Morocco came third with 113 medals, including 35 gold. The hosts, Qatar, finished fourth with a total of 110  medals, including 32 golds.

Egypt’s gold-medal wins included a 26-21 win over Qatar in the men’s Handball finals, as well as a 3-0 victory over their same Qatari hosts in the Volleyball finals. In the women’s Volleyball competition, Egypt also prevailed with a 3-1 win over Algeria in the finals.

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Haute Muse

October 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Sumayyah Meehan, TMO

bonnie-wright-haute-muse-cover-twoThat’s the name of the recently launched, one and only, fashion magazine published in the Middle East. The creators of Haute Muse, which is based in Qatar, are Fatma and Noor Al-Thanis. The duo started off blogging about fashion and designer trends on the Internet. Before they knew it, both of their blogs had acquired a cult following. What was unique about the pair’s respective blog’s, “Fatma’s Haute Couturista” and “Noor’s Noorziestyle”, is that both included fashions from both the East and the West. Visitors were treated to the latest abaya creations to sweep through the Gulf region and the latest creations taking Hollywood by storm. According to the mission statement posted on the Haute Muse blog the pair reveal, “HauteMuse is aiming at bringing together all the young generations of fashion writers, photographers, designers, and stylists to bring a new unique look into fashion from a different angle than the usual perspective.”

Making the move to a glossy and stylish print publication was the savviest decision the business partners ever made. The best part about Haute Muse is that it recognizes the Middle Eastern traditions, which are absent from similar fashion magazines published in the West. Special features highlighting Islamic holidays and events is what makes the magazine so exceptional and appealing to both Muslim and non-Muslim readers alike. Homage is paid to established fashion designers in Europe and the US, such as Dolce and Gabbana and Calvin Klein. Local Qatari fashion designers and artists are also featured in the pages of Haute Muse. Qatari jewelry designer Noor Alfardan is just one of the countless artisans to be showcased within the pages of the magazine.

Proving that it has what it takes to compete with the larger than life fashion magazines, such as Vogue, Haute Muse will continue to offer celebrity photo spreads and exclusive interviews. In the second issue of the quarterly publication, Bonnie Wright (the actress who played Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter movies) graced the cover. Celebrities, both local and international, are expected to grace the covers of Haute Muse as it continues its stratospheric ascent to becoming one of the most widely read fashion magazines in the world.

The future looks very bright for Fatma and Noor. The pair has just signed international distribution deals with some heavy contenders in the publishing industry. As for what comes next, the duo plan to expand their horizons by opening up an event planning and service company in Qatar called Haute Concierge which is being touted as “the first service of its kind in the Middle East”. The service aims to make just about anyone’s dreams come true. “Whether you’re coveting afternoon tea with your favorite designer or a customized Hermes handbag, our bespoke lifestyle management company can make your dreams a reality.”

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Head of Arab Broadcaster Al Jazeera Resigns

September 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

DUBAI (Reuters) – The head of Arab TV channel Al Jazeera said on Tuesday he was leaving the network, but gave no reason for his departure at a time when the station’s coverage has played an important role in unprecedented protest movements rocking the Arab world.

“I have decided to move on,” the network’s director-general Waddah Khanfar said in a resignation note emailed to Al Jazeera staff and also publicized on social media site Twitter.

“For some time I have been discussing my desire to step down with the chairman of the board. He has kindly expressed understanding and has accepted my decision.”

Since it was launched in 1996, Al Jazeera has become the highest-profile satellite news broadcaster in the Middle East. It has frequently had difficulties with Western and Arab governments in a region where governments have traditionally kept tight control over state media.

Al Jazeera, owned by the Qatari government, aired round-the-clock coverage of uprisings that brought down veteran rulers in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya this year, and the station promotes itself as a democratic voice in the region.

Critics say it is more timid in covering events closer to its Gulf home, and the cameras of its main Arabic channel were notably absent during a month of similar protests in the Gulf Arab state of Bahrain which the government crushed in mid-March.

Al Jazeera’s bureau chief in Lebanon, Ghassan Bin Jiddo, resigned in April, apparently in disagreement over its coverage of the revolts, which have also engulfed Syria and Yemen.

Leaked US diplomatic cables described the channel as a tool in Qatari diplomacy. The channel has played an important role in raising the prestige of the small, wealthy Gulf Arab state.

(Reporting by Nour Merza, Editing by Andrew Hammond)

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