Salaams: Aquila Style Magazine, the Arts 2014 Issue


Discover the May 2014 Arts issue, Eternal creation – it’s in you, available on tablets and iPhone.

Get it now at the Apple Newsstand for iPad and iPhone, or Google Play for Android tablets.

Dear Readers

A wise man once said that an artist ought to seek money and power from elsewhere in order not to forsake his own work.

This pearl of wisdom comes from Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk, shares Elest Ali, who herself has a couple of pragmatic views on the role of the artist in Eternal creation. She points to a particularly effective work of literature as an example – any guesses? 

We live today in a world of immense information buzzing at breakneck speed. When we slow down, though, we are very lucky indeed to be able to appreciate a work of beauty in its innumerable forms. In this issue, we’ve gone beyond the ordinary realms of the arts in pursuit of creativity in music, fashion, photography, body art, as well as the soul and the spirit.

Let us start off with fashion – of the faithful kind. A leading fashion designer in Indonesia started her career by offering modest clothing in soothing pastels to offset mainly dark and sombre offerings in the marketplace. Today, this trendsetter’s name is synonymous with modest clothing fit for a princess. Irna Mutiara is A cut above, writes Najwa Abdullah.

If intentions are what define our truth, then Al Farabi is on a mission. Afia R Fitriati presents this Malaysian rock band that plays Metal with a message. Sharing messages of peace and furthering the teachings of Islam are the passion of two artists of Pakistani origin, too. Merium Kazmi spoke to Anila Qayyum Agha, whose Vision of vibrancy addresses issues such as the rights of women in Islam. With meditative precision, Lubna Agha created vivid depictions of faith, writes Najwa Abdullah who spoke to the late artist’s husband, Yusuf.

They say that art allows you to see the good in even the bad. Perhaps that’s what drives photographer Brian McCarty whose War-Toys project brings him to one war zone at a time. Hence, sadly, there is no completion date in sight at the rate the world is going today. Amal Awad tells us more about this interesting project that seeks to provide therapy to Children in the crossfire. Do support this cause if you can.

The subject of tattoos upsets some Islamic circles quite easily. But did you know that body art is a large cultural element of certain Muslim communities in this world? Sya Taha addresses The tattoo taboo by approaching it from various cultural points of view, the traditional and the contemporary. 

Creating a thing of beauty is a form of celebrating and honouring our God, so to immerse ourselves in it is for us to understand Him more deeply, says Yarehk Hernandez about Our Divine imagination. We couldn’t agree more.

Putting together this issue has been not just a labour of love but also a reawakening of our artistic senses. It has exposed us to all sorts of expressions of creativity out there. It has firmly grounded us, letting us take in the good and the beautiful. With this issue we wish you a wonderful experience, too.

In the next issue of Aquila Style, we pay tribute to the holy month of Ramadan.

Meanwhile, stay beautiful.


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