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Manuel Arnaut on Why It’s Vogue Arabia’s Responsibility to Share Inspiring Stories of the Region

“We are a publication that is made 100 per cent in the Arab world, for the Arab world,” proclaims Vogue Arabia’s editor-in-chief Manuel Arnaut talking about the Middle Eastern edition of the iconic 126-year-old publication he helms in conversation with Pulse 95 Radio.

Arnaut was in Sharjah this week as a special guest for the station’s Life Beats segment, an audio podcast moderated by Sally Mousa every weekday at 10am, in which he discussed a wide range of topics related to fashion in the Middle East including the rapid evolution of the industry in the region.

In his first-ever radio interview, Arnaut also provides some insight on a few of the impactful features that appeared on the print edition of Vogue Arabia, including the powerful op-ed penned by Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi and the July/August 2018 cover story that featured two plus-sized models, Ashley Graham and Paloma Elsesser. “Besides fashion content, we also create very exciting stories about violence against women or honor killings in Kuwait,” he notes, recalling some of the inspiring stories printed in the publication in the past few months. “We really make an effort. We have an incredible, powerful platform to communicate. We need to use it, it’s our responsibility,” he states.

Also during the 35-minute-long podcast, Arnaut opens up about the inaugural Ball of Arabia, a charity gala held in partnership with Tiffany & Co., and the importance of giving back in fashion. “Since we launched two years ago, we were so well-received— We were able to create a successful product so we thought it was important to give back to the community that embraced us,” he explains. “There are so many girls in Jordan that don’t go to school so we decided to work with Unicef and fundraise money for this education program that creates opportunities, provides education, allows girls to empower themselves, and hopefully creates the female leaders of the future.”

Pulse 95 Radio is a government-owned local radio station that launched in Sharjah last May as the first and currently only station operating in English in the emirate. With broadcasters pushing forward conversations about lifestyle, culture, health, while showcasing unique music that you can’t really hear anywhere else in the UAE, Pulse 95 has quickly amassed a cult following of listeners who tune in during their daily commutes.

Notably, the station’s Life Beats segment has made a name of itself for featuring a unique spectrum of guests who all hail from diverse backgrounds and industries. For instance, past guests to be invited on the local station include everyone from an award-winning filmmaker to an American actress and an Emirati parkour trainer, among many others.

Listen to the full conversation above.

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