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Compass03/2012

News and Views from around the World

Doha hosts Sports Security event The International Centre for Sports Security will bring together more than 300 key figures in the world of sport in Doha between 14-15 March to discuss, under the chairmanship of its president Mohammed Hanzab, methods of enhancing security and safety at major international sporting events. The 2012 conference will focus on opportunities for growth through sport, the trend for more new and emerging nations to host major sporting events, and the many and diverse benefits a successful event can bring. Details of the opening ceremony, which will be live streamed on 14 March, can be found at: www.theicss.org

First Muslim model agency opens in New York The founder of the Underwraps agency, Nailah Lymus, is a born-and-bred New York Muslim with a love of fashion and a mission to prove Islam’s worth and tolerance to a city still shaken by 9/11. The launch of the world’s first Muslim model agency, in New York’s fashionable Tribeca district, offered an interesting alternative to the options presented at New York Fashion Week. Much of the fashion that was shown for autumn/winter 2012 would be perfectly at home on a Muslim model, with hats, high necks and long sleeves, all crucial trends.

First African film festival in Luxor The Luxor African Film Festival (LAFF) a week-long festival, from 21-28 February, showed 40 films from 31 countries. To host the festival, organisers built temporary screening houses in Luxor’s ancient Pharaonic temple and adapted the city’s newly opened cultural palace, a community centre and museums for showings. In all, the festival will have five venues. By bringing African filmmakers from Gabon and Burkina Faso to Egypt, and offering workshops and collaborative opportunities, the LAFF organisers say they hope to jump-start the creative connection with the rest of the continent.

8  The Middle East March 2012 Qatari Diar exhibits at top international real estate fair The Middle East’s most influential and innovative real estate investment company, Qatari Diar, will be participating and exhibiting at the MIPIM Conference in Cannes, France, from 6-9 March 2012. Qatari Diar will feature its Qatar and UK projects at the Qatar Pavilion, alongside Msheireb Properties. The company is currently developing or planning 49 projects in 29 countries around the world. In 2011, there were 19,000 property leaders in attendance at MIPIM, representing 90 countries.

Traditional camel racing Alongside the sky-rise buildings, some traditions still endure. Jockeys enjoyed competing in a traditional camel race during the Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Camel Festival, held at the Shweihan racecourse, in the outskirts of Abu Dhabi on 16 February. Arab writers take centre stage at Colombian literary festival In Colombia (South America) at the seventh annual Hay Festival Cartagena, held in February, Joumana Haddad, the Lebanese poet, author and magazine publisher, talked about women’s rights, love, politics and revolution in the Arab world to the delight of her international audience. She was presenting her most recent book IKilledScheherazade:Confessionsofan AngryArabWoman.The event also provided a platform for Khaled Al Berry, the Egyptian author of LifeisMore BeautifulThanParadise:AJihadist’sOwnStory, who lived in London for a dozen years but returned to Cairo to be part of the new movement. He says: “I think it’s important for Egyptians to tell their story to the world.”

March 2012 The Middle East  9