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Mother Daughter Brand, SemSem Welcomes Albino Riganello

Fashion is what makes the world go round. It sets the tone for how people feel about themselves and gives them the confidence they need to succeed. The famous fashion house SemSem has taken the industry to a new level of luxury that has never been reached before.

Creative Directions
The SemSem line has become an iconic figure within the industry because of the dedication of its founder Abeer Al Otaiba. Her vision is directed towards:

  1. Quality
  2. Functionality
  3. Attention to detail

Married to political figure, Yousef Al Otaiba, Abeer is inspired to make clothing that represents who the person is and who they want to become.

Branding
Abeer Al Otaiba uses the iconic Egyptian symbol of a triangle and lotus flower to represent the brand. Her experience and knowledge has helped create a line of clothing that combines elegance and comfort for women around the world. The SemSem name has a direct tie to her daughter Samia, who has the nick name of SemSem.

Mothers and Daughters
There is a special bond that is unique to mothers and daughters. The goal of the SemSem line is to bring them closer together through fashions that play off each other. They are not direct copies, but use the same concepts.

Renowned Design Director
Albino Riganello is the new design director for SemSem. His illustrious career has taken him around the world, working for some of the top fashion companies. Riganello was intrigued by the offer to join the team and was excited to make the move.

Experience Counts
A long list of credentials follows Albino Riganello to SemSem. He has been linked to Dolce & Gabbana, Alessandro Dell’Acqua, Elie Tahari, St. John, Zuhair Murad, and Givenchy. Abeer Al Otaiba appreciated the glamorous designs of Albino and wanted him to help her already famous fashion house move into its next phase.


Above and Beyond

Giving back is a top priority of Abeer Al Otaiba. She is a philanthropist who is active with women’s and children’s issues. Abeer is an avid supporter of charities that encourage the growth and empowerment of females. SemSem promotes literacy, legal awareness, education, and gender equality.


A Team Effort

It takes a team to become successful. When Abeer Al Otaiba and Albino Riganello joined forces, the brand SemSem became unstoppable. The clean sophisticated lines are designed for women who want to look as good as they feel. Any woman and their daughters can wear SemSem and feel more confident.

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Artists in Joplin Thank the United Arab Emirates

In 2011, the city of Joplin was rocked to its core by the intense power of a tornado that touched down and caused massive damage. The schools in Joplin were damaged by this tornado greatly. This is something that caused a major upset for teachers, parents, and students all over Joplin. The school district was at a loss for how they were going to repair the schools after this natural disaster happened. An unlikely call was received one afternoon at the Joplin school district offices. On the other end of the phone was a representative of the United Arab Emirates.

A representative of the UAE embassy had contacted the school district to reach out and lend a helping hand. Seeing as how 6 schools were destroyed during the tornado, the UAE were looking for ways to help the 2,200 students affected by this tragedy. The UAE asked the school district to dream big. This is just what the school district did. There was no way that they could afford to replace all of the laptops lost in this tragedy, so the school district asked for 2,200 hundred laptops from the UAE. They responded by supplying the school district with 2,200 brand new MacBooks for the students affected by this tragedy.

The UAE didn’t just stop there. They also donated $5 million dollars to help rebuild the destroyed hospital in Joplin. A neonatal care unit was crucial to this hospital which was not a part of the reconstruction plans. The $5 million that was donated by the UAE to help reconstruct the hospital was used for the addition of a neonatal care unit.

Artists Rebecca Perry and Jo Meuller have worked together to create two incredible sculptures as a thank you to the UAE. These sculptures have been taken to the UAE Ambassador to the United States, Yousef Al Otaiba as a token of gratitude for the amazing help that was given to Joplin during its time of need. The largest of the two sculptures represents a tree and is 2 feet tall. With colors of both the UAE flag and US flag, this sculpture represents the unity between these two nations during this time of need.

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New York’s Chocolate Havens

If you’re in the Big Apple, there’s a lot you can take a bite out of. For a city that doesn’t sleep, the variety is an endless stream of triggers on your taste buds you could explore an entire lifetime before you have experienced it all.

Right now though, we’ll cover some of the best chocolatiers that compete with Mast Brothers Chocolate Bars in New York City.

Kee’s Chocolates

This chocolate outlet has a special variety. Their presentation is very similar to the Bonbon configuration we tend to know: small, round and bite size. The owner, Kee Ling Ton, is notorious for taking the tempered morsels of hand-dipped masterpieces that have a crunchy hard shell of cocoa and putting them on display in appeasing ways.

Expect the items to be filled with the best things on Earth. Imagine créme brulée, mousse, ganache and even blood orange or key lime fillings.

Liddabit Sweets

This shop is an all-out candy maker, so if you’re not just satisfied with a chocolate fix, you can find other options here. But then again, why not test their variety to expand your sense of New York chocolate?

At Liddatbit Sweets, you’ll find a few options that won’t disappoint. They consist of items dipped with chocolate like bacon, pretzels, corn, beer and caramels.

Madelaine Chocolate Company

The shop for this manufacturer can be found on Beach 95th Street, NYC., if you’re looking for the widest variety of odd chocolate treats.

Consider things like chocolate cigars, artistic butterflies and malt balls. But be sure to locate the 95th street access point because the bulk of the chocolatier operates as a pretty decent sized factory.

Hurricane Sandy even threatened the operation of Madelaine Chocolate Company and in a devastating way, but $13.2 million was raised to support its recovery and by none other than the beloved, Mayor de Blasio.

Aigner Chocolates

Aigner has been a around for over 80 years and hasn’t stopped pleasing the cocoa appetite of New Yorkers. It also continues to be operated by the family name, Aigner. The shop can be considered New York’s own German or Austrian boutique giving you choices from truffles to marzipan; dipped gummies to sugar-free flavors.

The next time you’re in the Big Apple, try taking a bite out of something sweet like the chocolate products we just mentioned above. Visit the shops and learn more about their owners. We’re sure they won’t stop you from a free sample here and there; and a great conversation.

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He Named Me Malala NY Premiere

In the fall of last year, New York City hosted a premiere for He Named Me Malala, a documentary film which chronicles the life of Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai. The movie title refers to the Afghani folk hero Malala Maiwand of after whom her father named her. Prominent figures attending the premiere included United Arab Emirates ambassador, Yousef Al Otaiba, Scarlett Johanssen, Ivanka Trump, Zosia Mamet, Elizabeth and Andrew Shue, and Hope Solo.

This film enumerates how fortunate she was to have survived after being gunned down as she was on her way home in a school bus, by a Taliban gunman who belonged to the organization that violently opposes girls’ education. The film also depicts certain events that led to this senseless act of violence short of a tragedy, and expresses her poignant attitude in pursuance of her relentless crusade. The film further explores the close bond with her father who stimulated her and supported her devotion to education, and her ardent speeches at the United Nations stressing universal education.

Malala was born in Pakistan July 12,1997 and is the youngest Nobel Prize Laureate known for human rights activism and struggles against cruel oppression for young girls and women of all ages, in her innate Swat Valley in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa domain of northwest Pakistan, where regional Taliban continuously prohibited girls for going to school.
Her outrage and fervent cry against this injustice had elevated into an international awareness movement.

In 2009, she wrote a blog under an alias for the BBC describing in segments her livelihood under Taliban control and their implacable intent to seize the entire domain, as well as voicing her opinions and encouragement for education for girls in Swat Valley.
South African activist Desmond Tutu elected her for the International Children’s Peace Prize. Malala rose in eminence giving interviews to the press and the media. Later that year journalist Adam B. Ellick wrote a New York Times documentary regarding her life as a Pakistani when militants infiltrated that sector.

In 2013, 2014, and 2015, issues of Time Magazine presented her as The 100 Most Influential People in The World. In 2013 she received Pakistan’s First National Youth Peace Prize along with the Sakharov prize. In 2014, she was bestowed the World Children’s Prize in Sweden, and later that year she acquired an Honorary Doctorate by the University of King’s College in Halifax. Malala is the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize along with Kailash Satyarthi for her struggle against suppression.

View photos from the New York premiere.

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