She is revered for her work behind the camera, but this month we’re putting Nadine Labaki in front of the lens. The award-winning Lebanese director, actor, and writer is Vogue Arabia’s cover star for October, headlining an issue dedicated to the bold and ambitious women of the Arab world.
Labaki, who made her directorial debut with 2007’s critically acclaimed Caramel (in which she also played the lead role), has seen her star rise in the last decade. The Baabdat-born creative, whose childhood years were spent in a war-torn Lebanon, is poised to enter the Oscars race with her new movie, the widely celebrated Capharnaüm, picked as Lebanon’s submission for best foreign language film at the 2019 ceremony. The selection comes as little surprise to those who followed the politically charged drama’s journey at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where Capharnaüm scooped the prestigious Jury Prize, making Labaki the first female Arab film director and fifth woman to claim the coveted award.
The film – which tells the story of a neglected 12-year-old boy in Beirut, who takes his parents to court for giving him life in a world of pain and suffering – also received a 15-minute standing ovation following its premiere at the French festival. However, as Labaki reveals in our exclusive interview, she certainly didn’t make the film for glory. “I wanted the movie to trigger public policy debates that lead to legislation affecting the lives of marginalized children,” she says.
It was a “brave and honest” choice for the director, as editor-in-chief Manuel Arnaut notes in his editor’s letter. “When we were on our way to the airport following two days of shooting the cover story in Paris, I finally had the opportunity to properly chat with the director. She was candid about her movie, not wanting to present an embellished version of Lebanon even thought she knew that not everyone would be happy with it.”
Alongside Labaki’s thought-provoking interview, we also bring you an exclusive first-person piece penned by Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi, the teenage symbol of resistance who was released from prison in July after striking an Israeli soldier. Interviews with Egyptian architect and actor Shahira Fahmy and 75-year-old Magda Saleh, Egypt’s first prima ballerina – who is photographed in the Egyptian Galleries at The Metropolitan Museum of Art – also make October’s issue a must-read. Rounding out the edition, which will hit shelves next week, is an in-depth report on the latest creatives heading up major heritage houses, as well as an interview with Sheikha Majda Al Sabah, the niece of the Emir of Kuwait, who is on a mission to spread awareness surrounding mental health, after her own battle with depression.
Our October issue also features a fashion tribute to the powerful woman, featuring everything from the pieces that command serious attention to the jewels that mean business. Strong suits, head-turning boots, and smart makeup fill our trend pages, creating the ultimate uniform for the modern-day woman.
Cover shoot credits:
Editor in Chief: Manuel Arnaut
Photography: Drew Jarrett
Style: Katie Trotter
Makeup: Tiziana Raimondo at The Wall Group
Hair: Franco Argento at The Wall Group
Set designer: Kaduri Elyashar
Photography assistant: Corinne Mutrelle
Style assistant: Clotilde Franceschi
Producer: Carole Cieutat at Onirim
Fashion coordinator: Danica Zivkovic
Shot on location at Hôtel de Crillon, Paris