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Amal Alharbi Shares a Peek at Her Upcoming Recital at Hai Vogue

On February 8-9, Vogue Arabia will take over the neighborhood of Al Balad with Hai Vogue, its first large-scale event in Saudi Arabia — and it’s open to the public! As we gear up for the big festival, which brings together fashion, music, culture, food and celebrities, we chat with Saudi author Amal Alharbi, who will be treating a selection of VIP, invite-only guests to a special recital at the opening ceremony of the festival. Read on to get to know the creative better, and find out everything about Hai Vogue — from how to get tickets, to the line-up of musical performances coming your way — here.


Photo: Naif Al Quba

Get to know Amal Alharbi

At just 46 years old, Saudi Arabia’s Amal Alharbi has more than just a handful of accomplishments to her name. The author has received several awards and accolades for her novel “Indeed”, and also featured in the short film Mamsous at the 2016 edition of the Dubai International Film Festival. Alharbi was most recently seen in the Netflix original film Naga, starring Saudi actor Adwa Bader and directed by Meshal Aljaser. And that’s not all. In 2018, Amal Alharbi also took part in the play The Straight Circle, which was performed in Al Balad.

Now, six years later, Amal Alharbi is all set to return to Jeddah’s most-loved neighborhood once again, on occasion of the opening ceremony of Hai Vogue. On the evening of February 8, 2024, Alharbi will take the stage for a selection of invite-only guests for a special recital, where she will enchant the audience with her poetically scripted words.

As we gear up to see Amal Alharbi at the festival, we sit down with the creative to discuss her journey so far, what keeps her inspired, and what we can expect from her at Hai Vogue.

Vogue Arabia: You’re best known for your incredible writing. What inspired you to walk down this path?

Amal Alharbi: You see, writing is way more than just putting words on paper. To me, it’s like this lifeline that kicks in when every other way of expressing myself falls short.

In the world of creativity, writing becomes my go-to mode when everything else falters. Picture my pen and paper as trusty confidantes, quietly soaking up the feelings and thoughts that slip through the cracks of spoken words. In the calm company of paper, my words find a safe haven, holding onto those fragments of pain that don’t easily come out in conversation. Writing, for me, isn’t just a skill; it’s a survival instinct, a pledge to remember, and a testament to how resilient we can be.

This question might seem simple, but it peels back layers, pushing me to really think about the true worth of my words. In my world, I turn to writing when it feels like my only option is that pen and paper. The paper stands there, unwavering, faithfully keeping my thoughts intact. My pen becomes this vessel for the pain that’s hard to put into words. I write not just to get by, but to make sure I never forget.

I write to survive, I write to never forget.

We can’t wait to see you at Hai Vogue. Can you share a little bit about what you hope to present at the festival? 

The anticipation for Hai Vogue is mutual, and I’m eager for the audience to witness the culmination of our collective efforts. While I won’t divulge every detail just yet, the essence of my presentation revolves around breathing life into history, allowing it to walk among us, to dance with us. It’s about more than revealing truths; it’s about inviting everyone to witness the vibrant tapestry of our shared past. The theme is a celebration of history, and I can’t wait for everyone to be a part of it.

As a Saudi creative, what is the one thing that you’re most proud about when you look at the youth of your country?

As a Saudi creative, my sentiments extend beyond mere pride when contemplating the youth of my country. We stand at a juncture of impact and abundance, a testament to our collective strength and empowerment. What I’m most proud of is the unity that propels us forward, a force that extends a helping hand to those who stumble. We are not just talking; our actions resonate louder than words. We are a formidable reality that refuses to crumble.

Are you excited about Hai Vogue? What are you most looking forward to?

I’m always thrilled about any step forward, and what excites me the most is witnessing the revival and celebration of history. I’m eager to breathe life into the past, allowing it to showcase all its splendor among us.

Hai Vogue is taking place in Al Balad. How special is this neighborhood to you?

Al Balad holds a special place in my heart—it’s a wonderland that captivates all who set foot in its enchanting streets. To uncover the tales and anecdotes of this historic neighborhood is to feel a sense of belonging that transcends individuality. Al Balad welcomes all, and once it captures your heart, the yearning to return becomes a perpetual echo. It is a place where history and modernity intertwine, creating a tapestry of experiences that leave an indelible mark.

Vogue Arabia is taking over Jeddah’s Al Balad for a one-of-a-kind block party at the UNESCO World Heritage Site. On February 8 and 9, 2024, join us at Hai Vogue, where we will turn the spotlight on Saudi’s spirited youth and creative community, framed by the unique architecture and spirit of this historical neighborhood. Buy your tickets here

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