Growing cultural awareness in the Gulf

BAHRAIN: It is a sentimental bond that tied the Algerian-born French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent to Morocco a half century ago. In association with Pierre Berge they helped saving the Majorelle Jardin in Marrakech and turning that historic sanctuary to become a haven for Islamic arts and a time capsule for inhabitants of the region. Now it displays unique collections of Berber heritage ranging from antique jewelry to exquisite nomadic Pottery to priceless carpets and women Bedouin apparel.

National icon. The Mystique of the Berbers unfolded when Pierre Berge and Yves Saint Laurent first landed in Morocco in 1966. Apart from their passion with the magic of Los Moros of North Africa, they worked tirelessly to recreate the Majorelle Jardin as a national icon and a world heritage landmark.

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Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al-Khalifa officially opened the exhibition of the Berber Women of Morocco displayed at the National Museum of Bahrain. The six states that from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are currently experiencing a phase of growing cultural awareness regardless of the eminent threats inflicting painful world economic recession.

Guggenheim. The Gulf Renaissance epoch is felt like a gentle heat wave covering from Abu Dhabi to Manama where Dubai is occupying center stage. Last Spring I joined the Art Dubai Fair where 500 painters, sculptors and creative designers dazzled an audience of 25,000 visitors across one week of art, fashion and passion. The displayed artwork of Avant-Garde designers and contemporary art painters was sensational. This year the Art Dubai fair will cover the period of March 18-21, 2015 and will be held at Madinat Jumeirah resort. Le Louvre and Guggenheim museums will soon open doors in Abu Dhabi to show off classic Paintings and legendary artifacts. Immortal names like Picasso and Van Gogh will be household titles.

Boutique destination. Sheikha Mai Al-Khalifa, Minister of Culture in Bahrain has largely contributed to the development of art, museums, restoration of heritage sites and the revival of the Memorial Pearl Diving saga. The UNESCO is intimately collaborating with her to preserve the unique heritage of Bahrain. Tireless endeavors are being performed to salvage both tangible and intangible heritage of that cozy island now popular to world travelers and cruise ship passengers as a Boutique Destination.

Bahrain has its own charm that attracts annual visitors who love her lodging facilities ranging from chic to fantastic and the culinary fiesta that blends spicy flavors of Asia and the Gulf with trendy Nouvelle Cuisine. Over ten years ago Bahrain became the first Arab country to host the controversial Formula 1 Grand Prix Auto racing competition. A hundred years ago Cartier used to travel to Bahrain searching for the perfect pearl collections to match his fine art of design, and haute-couture fashion. What a colorful cozy island offering rare pearls, art, fashion and competitive auto-mission. Still Beauty is in the eye of the Collector!

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