Thursday, May 26, 2011

So many projects…So little blogging

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for all the positive feedback these last few weeks.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I don’t post regularly.

I have been MIA working on various projects, including a new article for a publication which I will share with you in the near future.

I’ve also teamed up with one of the Middle East’s foremost style icons (and a good friend) to launch a new project in the region and internationally. We’ve been working hard for the past six months and more will be revealed in time. It is an exciting and ambitious project that has been a dream of ours. So if you don’t see too many posts over the next few months you will know why.

In the meantime please continue to explore past stories on the site and I look forward to your comments.

The Polyglot

Damascus Chic: A Guide worth the Read

When the first travel guides were originally conceived around the 18th century, roaming the world was a luxury only the very wealthy could afford. Instead, they were mostly destined for home-bound individuals with a desire to experience exotic lands from the comfort of an armchair. Written in often flowery descriptive prose and accompanied by equally exotic illustrations, they were the equivalent of a hand-held cabinet of curiosities.

Today such books are rare to find; but if there was ever a chic travel guide this is it:
Damascus: A Travel Guide
(Editions de la Revue Phenicienne)

My dear friend Carole Corm (a talented writer and fellow polyglot) recently sent me a copy of her latest project in the mail. Teaming up with May Mamarbachi (the name behind Damascus’s first boutique hotel, Beit Al Mamlouka), the two set out to create a guide that merges old-world allure with 21st century characters.

Within this beautifully bound guide, Damascus’ hidden gems are revealed through the eyes of its worldly inhabitants (including architects, boutique owners, artists and filmmakers).

What’s fascinating about this guide is how it captures a city where history rubs shoulders with the 21st century. A 15th century Jewish merchant’s house now a boutique hotel or an Art Deco building now home to an artist’s studio. In a sense it’s a homage to a city with a long history of cultural co-mingling.

Merci Carole pour ce beau cadeau!

From the Vogue Archives: Stella in Damascus

British Vogue, May 2009
Back in 2009 British Vogue sent Stella Tennant to Damascus for a fashion story shot by Tom Craig. The result was an atmospheric spread of images that capture the allure of this ancient and cosmopolitan city. During her trip the aristo-model also kept a diary in which she noted her impressions:

“I’ve travelled all over the world as a model, I have never felt so much of a foreigner as I have here; and this trip has introduced me to this fascinating city and its people. In short, it has been the assignment of a lifetime.”

My Latest Article in Brownbook Magazine:

For those of you who were unable to pick up the latest issue of Brown Book magazine, (the Dubai-based publication which serves as an urban guide to the region), I’ve attached my piece on Mona Khazindar, the Saudi Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Arab World Institute in Paris.

A fascinating and polyglot individual, Khazindar will co-curate the first Saudi Pavilion at the Venice Biennale this year.