Monday, May 31, 2010
I love the great theme of this photo-journalist, who has captured some of the wonderful scenes of Dubai. I have never visited Dubai, but when the many faces of this part of United Arab Emirates appeared in the world media, it fascinated me a lot, and tried to present whatever interested me to my friends through my blogs.
Dubai, is indeed, one of the wonderful places on earth with a multitude of cultures, the melting pot of the most modern and the most ancient, and a perfect blend of development and business models. One can find here people dressed in the strictest ways of religious customs and most liberated styles.
The author of this photo adds, "I have been trying to capture this image for many years. It's not exactly proper to take photos of conservative female strangers. So it's a little blurred but you get the idea. It's hard to get my head around this seeming dichotomy even though I've been here awhile."
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Note from BBC World Service says, "A sprinter from Afghanistan, one of only four Afghan athletes to compete at the games. A true Olympic story ... grew up under the Taliban, was one of the first two Afghan women to compete at the Olympics (Athens 2004), has virtually no training facilities at home."
Women voters in Afghanistan: This BBC World Service photo has a description saying, "Many were fully covered, while others arrived in less than the full burqa."
Iraq 2006, Ain Qawa: With the Chaldeans, after the mass of Holy communion, young Christian women in the garden of the church (uploaded by Chris Kutschera on 22 Jul 06).
The note by the author of this photo says, "Iraqi female students, not wearing Islamic veils, walk on January 2, 2008 at the campus of Baghdad University in Baghdad, Iraq. As the security situation continues to improve in Baghdad, some of the Iraqi women have started to not dress in Islamic veils..."
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Belly dancing is not only about movement of the belly or just dancing! It is an amazing exercise too that tone up your entire body and energize your mind too. It is very good for those who fight obesity too. There are many people who started practicing Arabic belly-dance moves from videos like this and have lost weight plus they picked up some great belly dancing moves. So, it is highly recommended for any body who wants to lose weight, or learn belly-dancing for professional reasons or to just have fun.
Shoulders may tend to hurt for some beginners if they overdo. Listen to the instruction and you can do it right. For practicing the upper body movements, it doesn't matter how big your breast size is to do shoulder shimmy, or other moves. The vibrating movement of the breasts is natural during a shoulder shimmy, and you can perfect it like any trained professional belly dancer does.
Many new practitioners report that belly dancing is really not too different from your basic dance warm-up with all the isolations. It is easier and better to practice the moves with your friends rather than doing it alone, especially if the moves are found difficult or if you cannot reach perfection.
The internationally famous designer, model, actress, dancer and singer Haifa Wehbe rose to fame in the Arab world as the runner up for Miss Lebanon.
Born in Mahrouna, a small Shia farming town in Southern Lebanon, she won the title of Miss South Lebanon at the age of sixteen. Wehbe won another title at the Miss Lebanon competition that she had to relinquish when it was found that she had already been married at age 18, and had a baby girl, Zeinab.
By 1996 Wehbe had appeared on over a hundred magazine covers, and in 2002 she released her first album, Houwa El-Zaman (It Is Time), which became a commercial success, and which had her popular first single Agoul Ahwak (I Say I Love You).
In July 2005, Wehbe, along with 14 other Arab celebrities, appeared on the live pan-Arab reality series Al-Wadi (The Farm), based on the French reality show La Ferme Célébrités.
Wehbe’s second album Baddi Eesh (I Want to Live) was released in 2005 and it was a success due to the success of its lead single Ya Hayat Albi. Released after the assassination of the Lebanese politician Rafik Hariri, the title single of the album is about "freedom, considered to be among the most basic of human rights". Her follow-up single became her biggest hit to date, Ana Haifa (I Am Haifa). In 2006 she released a follow up single Bus al-Wawa (Kiss the Booboo) from her upcoming album Baby Haifa.
Wehbe was the first Arab artist to appear on Italian TV channel Rai Uno at Piazza Navona in Rome. On June 10, 2006, she became the first artist in the Arab world to perform with rapper 50 Cent when she performed for his first concert in Lebanon, at BIEL in Beirut. On July 4, 2008, Wehbe released the album Habibi Ana (My Love) which contains 15 songs.
There are a number of movie roles to her credit and she has worked as a television host. Wehbe has also designed her own selection of diamond jewelry. She has been a spokesperson for Pepsi, and worked on Pepsi ads with football star Thierry Henry which were aired on Lebanese television during the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Also Wehbe starred in the film Sea of Stars, produced by Pepsi and released in 2008, along with Carole Samaha, Brigitte Yaghi, Ahmad el Sherif, Wael Kfoury, and Ruwaida al-Mahrooqi.
Wehbe released a children's album, Baby Haifa, in March 2010 under Rotana Records. In April 2010, Wehbe was featured on French DJ David Vendetta's album Vendetta on the song Yama Layali.
On June 25, 2007, Wehbe survived an accident while filming a music video in Lebanon, in which a single engine airplane was to chase Wehbe as she drove a car. But the plane inadvertently hit her car taking off the front windshield of her car. But Wehbe suffered only minor injuries.
Wehbe is a Shia Muslim, and has three sisters, though Haifa's mother is an Egyptian Muslim. Wehbe's adopted daughter has been living with her father since her parents divorce. In 2008 Wehbe's daughter was married in a private ceremony. As of 2010, Zeinab Zaza and her father are living in Kuwait.
In 2005, Wehbe announced her engagement to a Saudi businessman Tariq Al-Jaffali, only to split after only a few weeks for personal reasons and family issues.
Wehbe married Egyptian businessman Ahmad Abu Husheima on April 24, 2009 in Beirut, and is currently living in Egypt with him.
Wehbe was ranked 49th in the 2006 Edition of the Top 99 Most Desirable Women by the website AskMen.com.
Her website www.bedouinprincess.com says, “Sadie is an International performing artist, instructor and choreographer who is recognized worldwide as one of today's most exciting Belly Dance artists”. She has visited over 20 countries teaching and performing Belly Dance and she is one of the most watched belly dancers on YouTube. For instance, this video clip alone has received with over 12 million hits at the time of this post.
With over 14 years of training in gymnastics and swimming, she began practicing Belly Dance in her late teens. In addition to Belly dance, Sadie has studied other dance forms such as, Brazilian Samba, Salsa, Tahitian, etc. Based in Denver, Colorado, when Sadie is not on tour, she can be found teaching at her bellydance classes as well as dancing at some of the city’s finest restaurants, nightclubs and events.
Visit her website www.bedouinprincess.com for SADIE'S Bellydance Newsletters, for updated tour info, performances, classes, DVD updates, etc.
The author of this Flickr photo adds: "Turkish Belly Dancer in hot pink - This performer shares her traditional Turkish belly dance interpretation during a show of the performing arts of Turkey in an Istanbul night club and restaurant. The audience this evening is a typical mix of tourists and visitors from dozens of countries around the world."
Belly dance forms currently being performed in Turkey, Greece and Cyprus is believed to have been influenced by Arabs before the Ottoman Empire as much as by the Egyptian Syrian and Lebanese belly dance forms.
It is understood that Turkish law does not impose restrictions on belly dancers, whereas in Egypt dancers are required to cover their midriffs and the dancers cannot perform some floor work and certain pelvic movements. This difference has resulted in a marked difference in style of belly dancing - ‘Egyptian belly dance is noted for its restraint and elegance, whereas Turkish belly dance is playful and uninhibited’. Costumes of Turkish belly dancers have been very revealing, but now there seems to be a move towards making the dancers wear more modest costumes similar to Egyptian-style belly dance costumes.
It has been noted that many professional belly dancers and musicians in Turkey are influenced by Romani heritage. Also styles from Kurdistan have an influence as Kurdish people too were mixed with the Ottoman Empire, because of which there is a lot of elements of fusion styles in Turkish belly dance. It is also to be noted that there is a distinct Turkish-Romani dance style which is different from Turkish oriental dance style. Turkish dancers are known for their energetic, athletic including even gymnastic styles, and their adept use of finger cymbals (zills).
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Saji - Bellydancer at The Silk Route 28/9/2008 (Copyright Dave Halley 2008), originally uploaded by Dave Halley.
The movements in belly dance involve isolating different parts of the body such as hips, shoulders, chest, stomach etc. which appear similar to the isolations used in jazz ballet but performed differently. In most belly dance styles, the focus is on the hip and pelvic area. In Shimmy movement, a shimmering vibration of the hips, a vibration is created by moving the knees past each other at high speed, although some dancers use contractions of the gluts. Dancers also put one leg to the side and then shimmy is performed by vibration of the leg which bears the weight. Shoulder shimmy is also an important element of belly dance. In ‘Swinging arms’, an important expressive move in belly dance, the move stresses on the beauty and flexibility of the dancer. In many cases hands are used to frame around the moving part of the body to stress the expression of that part. In ‘Hip punches’, a basic move, dancers alternate the weight on the legs and create impression of the swinging pelvis. And in ‘Undulation’, rotating movements of the chest forward, up, back and down, create impression of riding a camel.
Raqs Baladi is the folkloric style of Middle Eastern dance, commonly called belly dance, performed socially by men and women of all ages in some Middle East countries at festive occasions and at ceremonies such as weddings.
Belly Dance, in fact a misnomer as every part of the body is involved in the dance, is a Western-coined name for the traditional Middle East dance, especially Raqs Sharqi. It is also called Arabic Dance in the West, or by the Greco-Turkish term çiftetelli. Raqs Sharqi is more familiar to the Westerners, as it is performed in restaurants and cabarets around the world. Though usually performed by female dancers, it is also sometimes danced by men. Raqs Sharqi is a solo improvisational dance although performed as choreographed dances in a group, sometimes.
The author of this beautiful photo says, "Belly dancer in blue performs at Istanbul dinner club: For visitors and tourists to Istanbul, many dinner clubs offer an evening of performing arts. The performance of this belly dancer was a crowd favorite at this popular restaurant located in Istanbul's Sultanhamet district... Other authentic Turkish performances this evening included traditional "whirling dervish" dancing and a showcase of Turkish popular songs by a local recording artist."
Click on the photo to view more of such photos.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Karen, Ira, Paula and Corinne bring different styles of belly dance in Malta, the author of this photo says.
The American music group 'The Gossip' performs at Nouveau Casino, Paris, on September 5th 2007. The lead singer and the co-founder of 'The Gossip' Beth Ditto is seen with the guitarist Brace Paine in the photo. Gossip (formerly The Gossip), a three-piece American Indie Rock band fronted by Beth Ditto, guitarist Brace Paine and drummer Hannah Blilie is based in Portland, Oregon, USA.
The original post has this, "Poster in a German shop window showing a large breasted women wearing a bra with a football design on the cups. The caption reads, 'After the game the balls were lost!' World Cup, June 2006, Germany.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Singer Beth Ditto arrives for the screening of 'Hos la Loi' presented in competition during the 63rd Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France on May 21, 2010 - photo by Nicolas Genin.
Majestic Barriere Beach, Cannes 2010 3rd day: Velvet d'Amour during the 63rd Annual Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France on May 14, 2010 - photo by Nicolas Genin.
63rd Cannes Film Festival - Stairs of 'On Tour' - Day 2, originally uploaded by nicogenin.
American model, photographer and actress Velvet d'Amour arrives at the premiere of On Tour (Tournee) during the 63rd Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France on May 13, 2010 - Photo by Nicolas Genin
Velvet d'Amour on the Majestic Barriere's Beach during the 63rd Annual Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France on May 14, 2010 (Photo by Nicolas Genin).
Velvet d'Amour is the stage name of the USA-born woman who became popular via the worldwide media coverage she received after her appearance as a plus-size model in Jean-Paul Gaultier's 2007 Spring/Summer prêt-à-porter collection shown in Paris in October 2006. She also made a catwalk appearance in John Galliano's prêt-à-porter show 'Everybody is Beautiful' in 2006.
Miss USA 2010 contestants pose for photographers by the beautiful Garden of the God's Pool at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada on 05-05-2010.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Miss Michigan Rima Fakih reacts after being crowned Miss USA during the 2010 Miss USA pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada May 16, 2010.
Although Rima Fakih has been reported to be the second Lebanese-American, the first Arab American, the first woman of the Muslim faith and the first immigrant to win the Miss USA title, Miss USA pageant officials stated their records are not detailed enough to confirm these claims.
Rima Fakih, Miss Michigan USA 2010, of Dearborn, poses for photographers upon arriving to Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, in Las Vegas, Nevada. She won the Miss Michigan USA pageant on September 19, 2009, and the Miss USA pageant on May 16, 2010.
Rima Fakih, Miss Michigan USA 2010, from Dearborn, competes on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 in her competition swimwear by Kandy Wrappers with fashion footwear by Nina, during the Miss USA 2010 Presentation Show from the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino Theatre for the Performing Arts, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Fakih was born in Srifa, Lebanon on October 2, 1986, to a prominent Shi'a Muslim family. She moved to New York with her family in 1993, where she studied at St. John's Preparatory School, a Catholic high school. Her family moved to Dearborn, Michigan, in 2003. Fakih's family celebrates elements of both the Muslim and Christian faiths.