London

The wonderful Nour Festival of Arts, organised by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London, has returned this fourth year with an even more incredible array of artistic talent, events and performances than ever before, all hailing from the Middle East and North Africa region.

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The 2012 UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture

 

The Arab British Centre (ABC) has just been announced as this year’s joint-winner of the prestigious 2012 UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture with Professor Mustapha Cherif of Algeria. Both are due to receive and split the generous gift of $60,000 at a prize-giving ceremony in Paris on April 25, 2013 at UNESCO’s Headquarters.

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This November 2012 week is super special. Having been privy to the many months of complex background planning with frustrations, setback and lots of challenges, my sister Najlaa El-Ageli and her friend Nessrin Gebreel will finally see the fruits of their labour in the launch of The Libyan Art Exhibition, to be held at the Arab British Centre in London.

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Mid-February 2011 - A surprise email arrived in my Inbox from a talented and well-established British photographer, James O Jenkins, asking if I would like to sit for a photo-portrait to represent Libya's participation at the London 2012 Olympics.

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Attending Royal Ascot in 2010 was an incredible indulgent experience. So when I received another generous invitation to re-attend by Rudi and Margaret, of course I said yes.

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Why It Matters To Be British!

 

This past Jubilee weekend has brought out a little British person inside of me I never knew existed. First, I went to the Battersea Park Jubilee Festival for the River Pageant on Sunday and was super excited to be surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people all trying to get a glimpse of the lady of the hour, HM Queen Elizabeth the Second, as she celebrated her sixty years on the throne. The crowd on the day totalled over a million and I can’t think of any other world superstar who can manage even half that much.

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Lindsey Hilsum was at the Frontline Club to introduce her book "Sandstorm: Libya in the Time of Revolution". In association with BBC Arabic, she gave a brief introduction to her book and took questions from Rasha Qandeel and the floor.

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Colombian Artist Speaks About Childhood, Art and Barnardo’s

 

For the thirty-three year old Colombian artist Dairo Vargas, putting a smile on a child’s face is not just the occasional nod to charity but a lifetime personal commitment. From his early years, his mother encouraged him to give and they would visit many youngsters affected by severe poverty, homelessness, abuse and crime in the capital Bogota and other Colombian towns.

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Up until a fortnight ago, I was pretty much oblivious in relation to the grand opulent tradition of Royal Ascot and could not have imagined how spectacular the day I was invited to attend would turn out to be. I was dimly aware that it involved horses and brought royalty and celebrities to attend. Apart from this, I also knew it somehow involved an eccentric and excitable annual battle for and of the ladies’ hats.

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There is a new underground dining-movement taking London by storm and its Secret Chefs are experimenting with world cuisine in the privacy of their sacred homes. With a new post-code falling to the trend every week, nobody knows the full count of these Secret Dining Clubs. Just today, I heard that the movement has reached Turin in Italy.

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