By Staff writer
Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Supermanâ€™s(Henry Cavill) selfless act at the end of the last movie Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, Bruce Wayne(Ben Affleck) enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince(Gal Gadot), to face an even greater enemy.
Together, Batman and Wonder Woman recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroesâ€”Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flashâ€”it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.
Also starring Jason Momoa, Amy Adams and Ezra Miller, the movie is set to release in theatres on November 17, 2017.
The new show from the acclaimed creator of Family Guy, Seth McFarlane, is not your average Sci-Fi show. The Orvilleâ€™ is a live-action, one-hour, ensemble comedic drama set 400 years in the future that follows the adventures of The Orville, a mid-level exploratory spaceship, as its crew, both human and alien, face the wonders and dangers of outer space, while also dealing with the familiar, often humorous problems of everyday life. With McFarlane playing the lead role of Captain Ed Mercer, whose first officer also happens to be the ex-wife who cheated on him with a blue alien, the jokes just write themselves.
â€”By Yaa Gyasi
Homegoing is an astonishing and heartrending debut novel written by the undeniably talented Yaa Gyasi. Truly epic in scope, the book covers a span of about three hundred years from the eighteenth century straight into the twentieth century. Alternating between Ghana and America, Gyasi weaves a masterful account of the lives of two sisters, Effia and Esi, and their descendants.
We follow Esi as she is sold into slavery and then we are introduced to her descendants as they struggle as slaves and then as free black people in racist America. On the other side, Effia is married to an English slave merchant and moves with him to Cape Coast Castle. Her descendants struggle with their legacy as slavers, their identity as tribe members and the fight for a free Ghana. This one is definitely worth the read.
|1||Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)||Cardi B|
|2||Rockstar||Post Malone Featuring 21 Savage|
|3||Look What You Made Me Do||Taylor Swift|
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We are all familiar with the passionate but doomed 2000 year old love story of the Egyptian Queen of the Nile Cleopatra and the Roman General Marcus Antonius who committed tragic double suicide. The story has been passed down by generations of story tellers from Plutarch in Parallel Lives to early Muslim historians, and from Shakespeare in his play Antony and Cleopatra to Hollywood in one of the most expensive epic films of all times Cleopatra (1963) starring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Rex Harrison. Here is their intensely dramatic true story based on not just a sensual love but cold, hard and pragmatic politics
By Mahlia Lone
Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator (Cleopatra the Father-Loving Goddess), born in Egypt in 69 BC,Â belonged to the Ptolemy dynasty founded by one of Alexander the Greatâ€™s Macedonian generals,Â Ptolemy I Soter, who took over the reign of Egypt after Alexanderâ€™s death in 323 BC. The dynasty of Greek-speaking rulers lasted for nearly three centuries and incestuous marriages became the rule to preserve the purity of their Macedonian bloodline. Many of Cleopatraâ€™s ancestors married their cousins or worse, siblings. Her own parents were probably brother and sister. Despite this interbreeding, long before Cleopatra was born, the Ptolemyâ€™s Greek blood had become mixed with Egyptian.
Her father Ptolemy XII Auletes (player of pipes) was an alcoholic music lover whose reign was marred by a great rebellion during which the royal family had to go into exile. The Ptolemy dynasty was in the last days of a long decline when she inherited the throne upon his death in 51 bc with her younger brother/husband/co-regent Ptolemy XIII (reign 51â€“47 BC). Ten years older than her brother/husband, eighteen year old Cleopatra became the dominant ruler of the two, embraced many of her countryâ€™s ancient customs and was the first member of the Ptolemaic rulers to learn Egyptian.
Cleopatra was renowned more for her intellect, charm, conversation and political acumen than her physical appearance. She spoke as many as a dozen languages and was educated in mathematics, philosophy, oratory and astronomy, and was a ruler â€œwho elevated the ranks of scholars and enjoyed their company.â€ Muslim scholars dating from after the Arab conquest of Egypt in 640 AD recorded that Cleopatra had been a first rate scholar, scientist, chemist and gifted philosopher, in direct contrast to the history penned by her enemies, the Romans who portrayed her as a scheming seductress who used men to further her own ends.
In fact, strong evidence suggests that Cleopatra was not beautiful at all. Ancient Greek biographer Plutarch who lived just a century after her death wrote that Cleopatraâ€™s beauty was â€œnot altogether incomparable,â€ and that it was instead her mellifluous speaking voice and â€œirresistible charmâ€ that made her so desirable.
Egyptian coins with her portrait from her era display a lively countenance with a sensitive mouth, firm chin, liquid eyes, broad forehead, and prominent nose. Some historians argue that Cleopatra managed herÂ public image just as celebrities do today changing her image to suit her political need. Her manly features, fatherâ€™s strong jaw and large, hooked nose on the coins were a display of strength and emphasized her inherited right to rule. At ceremonial events, she would appear dressed as the goddess Isis, showing that she too was semi-divine.
The murder of immediate family members and power plots were rife in the Ptolemaic royal house. In 50 BC, her brother/husband/co-regent Ptolemyâ€™s name preceded Cleopatraâ€™s and soon after he forced his sister/wife who was trying to take sole possession of the throne to flee Egypt for Syria. Not to be daunted by a younger sibling, she raised an army and in 48 BC returned to face her brother in a civil war.
The arrival of Roman Consul and General Julius Caesar brought a temporary peace between the warring siblings. Cleopatra realized that she needed Caesarâ€™s support, if she were to regain her throne. In his turn, Caesar wanted repayment of the massive loan incurred by Cleopatraâ€™s father, Auletes, which he had taken on to fight against rebel forces and regain his throne.
Knowing Ptolemy XIIIâ€™s forces would thwart her attempts to meet with the powerful Caesar, Cleopatra had herself famously wrapped in a carpet and smuggled into his personal quarters. Dazzled by her audaciousness and originality, the two soon struck up a bargain that was sealed in love.
The exotic Egyptian female pharaoh with her infamous femme fatale reputation, elaborate hairdo and makeup as well as fabulous pearl studded gold jewellery made the Roman women swoon and scramble to emulate her glamorous style. Cleopatra had the most powerful man in Rome wrapped around her little finger. Who wouldn’t want that? According to the historian Joann Fletcher, “so many Roman women adopted the ‘Cleopatra look’â€ thereby setting off a fashion trend.
Caesar and Cleopatra spent that winter holed up together in besieged Alexandria till Roman reinforcements arrived the following spring and defeated Ptolemy XIIIâ€™s forces. After his defeat, the Egyptian Pharoah drowned in the Nile. Cleopatra married her youngest brother Ptolemy XIV (later also murdered by her order) and regained the throne.
In June 47 BC, Cleopatra gave birth to Ptolemy Caesar (known as Caesarion, or Little Caesar). This was Julius Caesarâ€™s only son, though he had been married three times, including to his current wife the honourable Calpurnia. The most powerful Roman had produced an Egyptian heir named after him. Powerful Romans sat up and took notice.
When Caesar returned to Rome, in 46 bc, he celebrated a four-day triumph, his victory over a foreign enemy, in which Arsinoe, Cleopatraâ€™s youngerÂ sister who had sided with her brother Ptolemy was paraded in chains, a fate that she bore with such dignity that she impressed the watching Romans. Cleopatra had her killed too.
Julius came back full of plans to change Rome. He not only made plans to distribute land to about 15,000 war veterans that had aided his campaigns and were loyal to him, but also replaced the traditional Roman calendar regulated by the movement of the moon (like the Muslim calendar) with the Egyptian calendar regulated by the sun with 365.25 days, same as the modern western calendar today.
To add insult to injury, Caesarâ€™s foreign mistress Cleopatra accompanied by their son and her latest co-regent, youngest brother and new husband Ptolemy XIV visited him in Rome in 46 BC and stayed at his private villa beyond the Tiber River. In honour of his royal mistress, Caesar erected a golden statue in Cleopatraâ€™s likeness in the temple of Venus Genetrix, his Julian family ancestress.
Having made himself the most powerful man in Rome with the Army, Senate, Roman citizens and even foreign powers behind him, Julius Caesar had himself proclaimed dictator for a year. Afraid that he would make himself a ruler for life and then pass on his throne to his Egyptian born son, 60 Senators led by Brutus and Cassius successfully plotted and assassinated the great Caesar who thought himself untouchable in 44 BC in the Senate building on the Ides of March.
Cleopatra was in fact in Rome at the time and fearing for her and her sonâ€™s lives she disguised her group and escaped in secrecy to the safety of Alexandria. Soon after, Ptolemy XIV died prematurely under mysterious circumstances., perhaps having been killed at the order of his sister. Cleopatra now ruled with her infant son, Ptolemy XV Caesar.
Marcus Antonius was born in 83 BC, nine years after Cleopatraâ€™s birth, to a noble Roman family. Plutarch wrote that Antony gave brilliant promise in his youth until his friendship with the wastrel Curio fell upon him like a pest. Curio himself was aimless and unrestrained in his pleasures, encouraging Antony in drinking bouts, with women, and incurring extravagant expenditures. His carousing involved Antony in a heavy debt before he turned twenty of two hundred and fifty talents (the equivalent of five million dollars today).
Deep in gambling debt and pursued by creditors, Antony fled to Greece in 58 BC and took part as a cavalry officer in military campaigns in Judea (called Syria Palaestina by the Romans), where he performed exceptionally well. He was sent to Gaul and was promoted to the personal staff of Julius Caesar. Antony played a key figure in helping bring the province under Romeâ€™s control. Though a brilliant commander, his appetite for indolence, drink and sexual excesses marred his military discipline much to the dislike of Caesar and the other officers. The common soldiers all naturally rallied to Antonyâ€™s side though and followed his lead. As a reward for his military conquests, Antony was appointed tribune back in Rome and represented the interests of the people. His popularity with the common man helped him gain support for Caesar, whose imperiousness was being challenged in the Roman Senate.
Plutarch wrote: “What might seem to some very insupportable, his vaunting, his raillery, his drinking in public, sitting down by the men as they were taking their food, and eating, as he stood, off the common soldiers’ tables, made him the delight and pleasure of the army. In love affairs, also, he was very agreeable: he gained many friends by the assistance he gave them in theirs, and took other people’s raillery upon his own with good-humour. And his generous ways, his open and lavish hand in gifts and favours to his friends and fellow-soldiers, did a great deal for him in his first advance to power.”
With further victories under his belt, his growing popularity and his unquestionable loyalty to Caesar, Antony was appointed his second in command.
â€œIn spite of his (Antonyâ€™s) hedonism,â€ Plutarch added, â€œAfter taking Rome without a fight, when Caesar turned his attention to Pompeyâ€™s forces in Spain, he left Antony in charge of the city. Though an effective military leader, Antony had little skill as a politician. He was too lazy to pay attention to the complaints of persons who were injured; he listened impatiently to petitions; and he had an ill name for familiarity with other peopleâ€™s wives.â€ A not too competent administrator, Antony managed keep the all important supply lines open to Caesarâ€™s forces and to send reinforcements in a timely fashion.
In 45 BC, Antony with his ear to the ground heard rumors of a plot against Caesar but was unable to warn his mentor in time. On the Ides of March (notable for the Romans as a deadline for settling debts) when Julius Caesar was stabbed to death in a very public assassination, Antony fled Rome dressed as a slave. He returned with soldiers and took charge of Caesarâ€™s will, handed over to him by Calpurnia, gave a stirring eulogy for the fallen leader, turning the tide of popular opinion against the conspirators, and drove them from Rome.
In his will, Caesar had bequeathed his wealth and title to his nephew and teenage posthumouslyÂ adopted son Gaius Octavius Thurinus (Octavian) who promptly appeared to claim his inheritance. But Antony was reluctant to hand over the reins of power to a â€œboyâ€ as he often referred to him. He felt as Caesarâ€™s second in command he was the natural successor. As Mark Antony pursued Caesarâ€™s killers in Gaul, army legions supporting Octavianâ€™s claim to the leadership scored a series of victories against Antony, forcing him to retreat to southern Gaul. Caesarâ€™s assassins, Brutus and Cassis, were preparing to descend on Rome with their troops when Octavian, Antony and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus (a Roman patrician statesman and close ally of Julius) hastily called a truce and formed the Second Triumvirate, jointly defeating the traitors in the battle of Philippi in October 42 BC.
The three victors divided Romeâ€™s territories between them. Lepidus got Africa to rule, Octavian the west, and Antony the east. In 41 BC, Antony firmly in charge in the east summoned Cleopatra to appear before him on a charge of sedition against Rome. He planned on fining her a substantial sum in gold to help pay his army. She received several letters, both from Antony and from his friends, to summon her, but she took no account of these orders only setting sail when she was good and ready. She set out for Tarsus in Asia Minor loaded with gifts. By this time, Antony was agog with curiosity to see her. She stage managed her entrance, fashionably late of course, in such a way that Antony was instantly spell bound and smitten.
Plutarch described the scene as: “And at last, as if in mockery of them, she came sailing up the river Cydnus, in a barge with gilded stern and outspread sails of purple, while oars of silver beat time to the music of flutes and fifes and harps. She herself lay all along under a canopy of cloth of gold, dressed as Venus in a picture, and beautiful young boys, like painted Cupids, stood on each side to fan her. Her maids were dressed like sea nymphs and graces, some steering at the rudder, some working at the ropesâ€¦.On her arrival, Antony sent to invite her to supper. She thought it fitter he should come to her; so, willing to show his good-humour and courtesy, he complied, and went. He found the preparations to receive him magnificent beyond expression, but nothing so admirable as the great number of lights; for on a sudden there was let down altogether so great a number of branches with lights in them so ingeniously disposed, some in squares, and some in circles, that the whole thing was a spectacle that has seldom been equaled for beauty.”
Cleopatra had promised Antony the most expensive feast he had ever attended and when Antony took in the entire splendor he said, he had seen never seen anything to equal it, but doubted that it was the worldâ€™s most expensive feast. Cleopatra, always one to create dramatic moments, took off one of her earrings with a huge dangling pearl and dropped the pearl in a gold goblet of wine. The pearl rapidly dissolved in the liquid, she downed the glass and said that now it was certainly the most lavish banquet ever. Antony was stunned.
Antony liked to think of himself as an embodiment of Dionysus (the god of wine, festivity and fertility) so when Cleopatra appeared before him dressed as Venus (the goddess of (love, beauty, desire, procreation and prosperity), they seemed to be the ideal fit for each other. Instantly forgetting his faithful wife Fulvia who in Italy was working hard to maintain her husbandâ€™s affairs against young Octavian, Antony returned to Alexandria with Cleopatra, treating her not as a â€œprotectedâ€ ruler but as an independent sovereign.
Cleopatra needed Antony to help her maintain her crown and Egyptâ€™s sovereignty, while Antony needed to access Egyptâ€™s riches and resources to maintain the precarious balance of power in Rome.
Cleverly, Cleopatra studied the generalâ€™s likes and dislikes and participated in all his excesses, not leaving his side for a minute, even when he participated in military exercises she would stand by and watch. They spent a raucous winter together in 41-40 BC steeped in hedonism even by Ancient Egyptian and Roman royal standards. They formed their own bacchanalian drinking society known as the â€œInimitable Livers.â€ The group engaged in nightly feasts and wine-binges, and its members participated in elaborate games and contests, such as wandering the streets of Alexandria in disguise and playing pranks on its residents. The citizens would recognize Cleopatra and Antony but wisely forbore any comment and patiently played along.
Plutarch described: (Antony was) â€œ…carried away by her (Cleopatra) to Alexandria, there to keep holiday, like a boy, in play and diversion, squandering and fooling away in enjoyment that most costly of all valuables, timeâ€¦.She had faith in her own attractions, which, having formerly recommended her to Caesar and the young Pompey, she did not doubt might prove yet more successful with Antony. Their acquaintance was with her when a girl, young, and ignorant of the world, but she was to meet Antony in the time of life when womenâ€™s beauty is most splendid, and their intellects are in full maturity. She made great preparations for her journey, of money, gifts, and ornaments of value, such as so wealthy a kingdom might afford, but she brought with her surest hopes in her own magic arts and charms.
…she came sailing up the river Cydnus in a barge with gilded stern and outspread sails of purple, while oars of silver beat time to the music of flutes and fifes and harps. She herself lay all along, under a canopy of cloth of gold, dressed as Venus in a picture, and beautiful young boys, like painted Cupids, stood on each side to fan her. Her maids were dressed like Sea Nymphs and Graces, some steering at the rudder, some working at the ropes.
…perfumes diffused themselves from the vessel to the shore, which was covered with multitudes, part following the galley up the river on either bank, part running out of the city to see the sight. The market place was quite emptied, and Antony at last was left alone sitting upon the tribunal; while the word went .through all the multitude, that Venus was come to feast with Bacchus for the common good of Asia.
On her arrival, Antony sent to invite her to supper. She thought it fitter he should come to her; so, willing to show his good humor and courtesy, he complied, and went. He found the preparations to receive him magnificent beyond expression, but nothing so admirable as the great number of lights; for on a sudden there was let down altogether so great a number of branches with lights in them so ingeniously disposed, some in squares, and some in circles, that the whole thing was a spectacle that has seldom been equaled for beauty.
The next day, Antony invited her to supper, and was very desirous to outdo her as well in magnificence as contrivance; but he found he was altogether beaten in both, and was so well convinced of it, that he was himself the first to jest and mock at his poverty of wit, and his rustic awkwardness. She, perceiving that his raillery was broad and gross, and savored more of the soldier than the courtier, rejoined in the same taste, and fell into it at once, without any sort of reluctance or reserve.
For her actual beauty, it is said, was not in itself so remarkable that none could be compared with her, or that no one could see her without being struck by it, but the contact of her presence, if you lived with her, was irresistible; the attraction of her person, joining with the charm of her conversation, and the character that attended all she said or did, was something bewitching. It was a pleasure merely to hear the sound of her voice, with which, like an instrument of many strings, she could pass from one language to another; so that there were few of the barbarian nations that she answered by an interpreter.
Antony was so captivated by her, that while Fulvia his wife maintained his quarrels in Rome against Caesar by actual force of arms, and the Parthian troops…were assembled in Mesopotamia, and ready to enter Syria, he could yet suffer himself to be carried away by her to Alexandria, there to keep holiday, like a boy, in play and diversion, squandering and fooling away in enjoyment that most costly, as Antiphon says, of all valuables, time.
Were Antony serious or disposed to mirth, she had at any moment some new delight or charm to meet his wishes; at every turn she was upon him, and let him escape her neither by day nor by night. She played at dice with him, drank with him, hunted with him; and when he exercised in arms, she was there to see.
At night she would go rambling with him to disturb and torment people at their doors and windows, dressed like a servant woman for Antony also went in servantâ€™s disguise, and from these expeditions he often came home very scurvily answered, and sometimes even beaten severely, though most people guessed who it was. However, the Alexandrians in general liked it all well enough, and joined good humouredly and kindly in his frolic and play, saying they were much obliged to Antony for acting his tragic parts at Rome, and keeping his comedy for them.â€
In 40 bc, Cleopatra gave birth to twins, Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene, fathered by the general. During her pregnancy, Antony had already left Alexandria to return to Rome to conclude a temporary settlement with Octavian. As Fulvia had passed away, he sealed the deal by marrying Octavianâ€™s sister, Octavia. For three years, Antony tried to make his marriage and the settlement work but was finally convinced beyond a doubt that he and Octavian could never come to terms.
Discarding Octavia, he returned to waiting Cleopatraâ€™s arms. Once again, Antony needed Cleopatraâ€™s financial support for his Parthian campaign, while in her turn she requested the return of Egyptâ€™s former eastern empire of Syria, Lebanon and the rich balsam groves of Jericho (Palestine).
Regardless, due to political expediency, the Triumvirate was renewed in 37 BC. Meanwhile, Antony fathered another son with Cleopatra, Ptolemy Philadelphus. The couple became bolder and made their relationship more official, participating in deification ceremonies where they took the roles of the Greco-Egyptian gods Dionysus-Osiris and Venus-Isis. More crucially, their three children along with Caesarion were shown off publicly in Alexandria as legitimate royal heirs. But in Rome laws barred the acknowledgment of marriage with outsiders or foreign heirs.
To make matters worse, the Parthian campaign was a costly failure. In 34 BC, egotistical Antony celebrated a triumphal return to Alexandria despite this. â€œThe Donations of Alexandriaâ€ was a public ceremony held in the cityâ€™s Gymnasium in which Cleopatra and Antony were seated on grand golden thrones on a silver platform with their children perched on lower thrones beside them. They may have even gotten married in an Egyptian ceremony. Antony proclaimed Caesarion to be Caesarâ€™s son, foolhardily proclaiming Octavian to be the illegitimate heir. Doubtless he was encouraged by the wily Cleopatra in this. She had Caesarion, represented on the temple wall at Dendera alongside her, as sharing her rule. She herself was hailed as queen of kings, Caesarion as king of kings. Alexander Helios was awarded Armenia and modern day Iraq, the infant Ptolemy the lands to the west of the Euphrates. Cleopatra Selene was bequeathed Cyrene (Libya).
Octavian watched from Rome as Antony thumbed his nose at him, parceling off Roman territories. A clever tactician, Octavian tried to turn the common manâ€™s bias away from the more popular Antony by taking his will (or a forgery) from the temple of the Vestal Virgins and revealing to the Romans that not only had Antony bestowed Roman possessions on a foreign woman but intended to be buried beside her in Egypt. A rumour spread like wild fire that Antony had abandoned his own people and intended to transfer the capital from Rome to Alexandria. Antony was seen as a traitor duped by a scheming seductress.
Antony reacted by divorcing Octavia, a public disgrace for her brother. Meanwhile Octavian strengthened his grip on power in Rome by eliminating Lepidus from the triumvirate on a pretext of rebellion. While Antony and Cleopatra wintered in Greece in 32â€“31 BC, as a result of Octavianâ€™s intense propaganda campaign, the Roman Senate deprived Antony of his prospective consulate the following year, and declared war against Cleopatra, but not Antony who still had support back home.
Much of the fighting took place in western Greece, where Antony had a large force. However, Octavianâ€™s general Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, who later became his brother in law as well as son in law, outmaneuvered Antonyâ€™s men in a series of brilliant naval attacks. The conflict reached its climax in the naval battle at Actium on 2nd September, 31 BC. Cleopatra personally led dozens of heavily armed Egyptian warships alongside Antonyâ€™s fleet, but they were no match for Octavianâ€™s navy. Cleopatra and Antonyâ€™s remaining ships were forced to flee to Egypt, pursued by Agrippa.
Cleopatra retreated to her mausoleum as Antony took a last stand. It was do or die for him. Octavianâ€™s forces had followed them to Alexandria.
While fighting a losing battle, Antony received word that Cleopatra had died. All was lost to him and he threw himself on his sword, piercing himself in the stomach. A mortally wounded Antony had himself carried to Cleopatraâ€™s retreat and there died in her arms, after bidding her to make her peace with Octavian and save herself and her children. But Cleopatra did not want to be paraded in the streets of Rome as her sister before her had been. She knew hers would be an ignominious life of lifelong imprisonment, degradation and humiliation.
After burying Antony, Cleopatra famously committed suicide by means of an asp, a symbol of divine royalty, probably a viper or Egyptian cobra that bit her on her arm. An alternative theory is that she pricked herself with a pin dipped in snake venom that she carried on her person at all times. According to Plutarch, we shall never know for sure as the suicide occurred behind locked doors in her mausoleum. At the time of death, the legendary queen aged only 39 had ruled Egypt for 22 years and had been Antonyâ€™s partner for 11. She had her priests bury her besides her lover as per their joint wish.
Egypt was finally annexed by Rome in 30 BC. Octavian had to make do with parading the effigies of Antony and Cleopatra through the streets of Rome instead. All the honours Antony had been rewarded in his lifetime for his bravery and service to Rome were revoked and his statues were destroyed. His rival in the Senate, Cicero went so far as to decree that no one in the dead generalâ€™s family would ever bear the name Marcus Antonius again.
There was a seismic shift in the civilized world three years later when Octavian was crowned as the Roman Emperor Augustus, rendering Rome no longer a Republic. In fact, when Augustus was given the choice of naming a month in his honour, instead of choosing his birth month September, he chose the eighth month in which Cleopatra and Antony died to create a yearly reminder of their defeat.
To consolidate his position, Augustus lured teenage Caesarion back with promises of power, but had him put to death upon arrival. Augustus expertly ruled Rome as Emperor for the next four decades, becoming one of Romeâ€™s more successful emperors. Octavia rescued Antonyâ€™s children by Cleopatra, the twins aged 10 and Ptolemy six, and brought them up in her own household in Rome. In time, Cleopatra Selene was married to King Juba of Mauretania (Algeria and Morocco) and had a son, also named Ptolemy, named for his Egyptian heritage. Cleopatraâ€™s only known grandchild, he was killed in adulthood by order of the Roman emperor Caligula.
In Egypt, the dynastic rule ended and hieroglyphic script was slowly lost, buried under Egyptâ€™s shifting sands of time. But, to this day, the legendary love story of Antony and Cleopatra lives on.
Navaid Hussain is a professional certified fitness coach for the past seven years. With an ever growing list of celebrity clients, Navaid certainly knows a thing or two about keeping trim. His highly effective fitness training exercises have led him to become one of Karachi’s most in-demand personal trainers. Highly respected in the fitness industry, he has transformed the lives of many. His targeted Fitness Workouts and Diet Plans have motivated a lot of people under his guidance and expertise to bring a positive change in their lifestyle. Navaid gives Sana Zehra some inside tips on how to lose belly fat with some excellent abdominal moves
Fat gain on the abdomen is one of the biggest problem areas of Pakistanis, which could be due to sedentary lifestyle, poor nutrition and inadequate sleep. Most people also donâ€™t have the time to go to a gym or a workout studio for their workout with their busy daily schedules. Due to these factors, the majority of people end up gaining fat all around their bodies, especially that stubborn abdominal fat.
So keeping the time constraint in mind, Navaid has planned this workout circuit in a way that people of all ages can do at their own pace. This workout needs minimal space and can be done in your living room or even your bedroom. If followed exactly as designed, the entire circuit can be done in just under 8 minutes.
This circuit consists of 4 exercises, each one to be done for 30 seconds. Once all 4 exercises are done, take a 30 seconds break and then repeat the entire circuit 3 times. All exercises are to be performed lying down using a yoga mat or a carpet underneath. Make sure your body is warmed up before you start with the workout circuit. A suggested warm up is a stationary jog or walking up and down the staircase for a minute. Also, make sure your breathing is in check while attempting each repetition of the exercises.
The first exercise of the circuit is Reaching Oblique Crunches. Contrary to traditional crunches, reach towards your opposite obliques every time you crunch. Make sure to keep the core tight and look straight up towards the ceiling while doing this exercise.
Second exercise of the circuit is Side Plank. Come on to your elbow and your legs in a controlled position, slowly exhaling as you raise your hips up and inhaling as you bring your hips back to the staring position. This will be done for 15 seconds on each side.
Third exercise is the Russian Twists. Keep your back at roughly a 120 degree angle along with your knees slightly bent in front of you. Hold on to your hands together and start moving from side to side making sure to exhale on each side.
Fourth exercise is the Leg Raise Hold. Lie on your back, hands on to the floor and hold your legs up in a way as if you were seated on a chair.
It is without a doubt that girls and the city of Paris go hand in hand, but this little frisky trip to the city of light and love was taken by Mustafa Sheikh, a student at University of Buckingham completing his last semester. He narrates his travel tale to Fatima Sheikh.
Why did you choose Paris?
I chose Paris because of its rich history, beautiful architecture and of course the Eiffel Tower, which intrigued me a lot. They say Paris is the city of romance so I was hoping to get lucky.
When is the best time to go?
Honestly the best time is anytime. Just grab a ticket and go if you want to have fun.
Where did you stay?
I stayed at Sofitel Le Faubourg, an excellent 5 star hotel defining true luxury. Itâ€™s in the heart of Paris, between the highly elegant Faubourg Saint-HonorÃ© and the mythical Champs-ElysÃ©es avenue. The street has all the brands you can imagine.
Theyâ€™re many good restaurants, but my favorite was George V CafÃ© on Champs-ElysÃ©es. They have the best escargots Iâ€™ve ever had. I donâ€™t remember the name of the accompanying cocktail, it was extremely good.
Five essentials you cannot live without when travelling?
- Black coffee
- Homemade parathay
- Credit card
- Iâ€™m still thinking of the fifth one because Paris is essential free so just enjoy while you are there.
How to get around?
Honestly the best way to get around is the tube. Unlike Londonâ€™s subway itâ€™s not that confusing and all the central locations were just a few minutes away. Driving there was also fun but it took me a while to figure out where I was and where I was going.
What did you get up to during the day?
I got up to the amazing feeling that croissants and coffee are waiting for me downstairs at breakfast along with a beautiful view and the freshness that Paris has to offer in the morning.
What to see?
From the heights of Eiffel Tower watching the whole city with a glass of champagne in hand, to the depths of catacombs with the remains of 6 million people, everything is worth seeing. The cathedrals are beautiful, especially Notre Dame. I almost saw all the prime locations as I had done my research before my trip (having googled top places in Paris).
Whether youâ€™re going with your fiancÃ©e for romance or with your childhood buddies for bromance, Paris will not disappoint you at all.
Dua Abbas is an award-winning visual artist and writer based in Lahore. She graduated from the National College of Arts in 2009 with a Distinction in Painting, and was awarded the Shakir Ali Award and Sir Percy Brown Prize for excellence in Fine Art and History of Art. Her work has been exhibited across Pakistan and in group shows in Dubai and India. Notable shows include Elegies, Effigies (Taseer Art Gallery, Lahore), Within and Without (Full Circle Gallery, Karachi), Body of Work and Conch Curve Creation (The Drawing Room Gallery, Lahore), Young Blood (Canvas Gallery, Karachi),Art â€“ A New Approach (Ejaz Art Gallery, Lahore) and Vast Narratives (Rohtas Gallery, Islamabad). Some of her paintings are in private collections in France, USA, India and Canada. The young artistâ€™s vision is highly reflective, charged with a beatific melancholia, that leaves one spellbound. Dua speaks to Afshan Shafi about all aspects of her craft.
What was the theme for your latest exhibit?
Briefly it was about restoring feminine agency to stories from familial, cross-cultural, and religious sources.
Which artists, local or international, have influenced or informed your point of view the most?
- M. Naeem, Quddus Mirza and Anwar Saeed
What has been a seminal, life changing experience in terms of your art?
That would be my first visual arts residency at Vermont Studio Centre. The conversations I had with the artists and writers, and being mentored by such accomplished artists such as Amy Cutler and David Humphrey helped me develop my processes in ways I couldnâ€™t have imagined.
Which of your creations are you most attached to and why?
This little work from 2013 I made in pastels and coloured pencils for my solo exhibition at theTaseer Art Gallery. It was titled Orpheus was on the Line and remains very special to me because I was able to reinterpret a beautiful Greek myth through it, from a feminist viewpoint. It had, I felt, the quality of childrenâ€™s storybook illustrations, which made it very intimate.
â€œThe conversations I had with the artists and writers, and being mentored by such accomplished artists as Amy Cutler and David Humphrey at my visual arts residency at the Vermont Studio Centre helped me develop my processes in ways I couldn’t have imaginedâ€
What themes do you find yourself drawn towards most often in your art?
Feminist retellings of stories from various cultures; women and their interaction with spaces; familial lore and memory.
Name something you love, and why?
The thrill of getting a book that Iâ€™ve wanted to read. All the new things you get to learn, the countless delightful ways words can be put together, the romance of an idea or a faraway place â€“ it all makes me genuinely happy.
Name something you donâ€™t love, and why?
Not being able to walk around freely in my own city. I love walking, a big part of the charm of travelling to foreign places is feeling fully mobile, but it breaks my heart to see street harassment in Lahore getting worse with time.
If you could travel back in time to an era in art history which period would you choose and why?
Iâ€™m torn between the European Renaissance (its Italian chapter, in particular) â€“ the art produced during it will always be my first love, really, and Iâ€™d love to see Botticelli and Da Vinci at work â€“ and Art Nouveau. Fin-de-siÃ¨cle Paris must have been so exciting.
What is your dream project?
Producing as an illustrated book or animated featureofÂ a series of stories Iâ€™m writing.
What work of art do you wish you owned?
So many of them! But off the top of my head, a haunting central panel of a triptych by Remedios Varo from 1961. I wouldnâ€™t mind the whole thing, of course, but itâ€™s this central painting â€“ Embroidering the Earthâ€™s Mantle â€“ that resonates so much with me.
Whose portrait would you love to make?
Angela Carterâ€™s. I wish I could have met and painted her.
Which artists living or dead would you have loved to collaborate with?
Paula Rego, Cindy Sherman, Amy Cutler, and Sara Khan.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
My family always responds very zealously to any new work that I make (my father has a custom of printing images of my works and putting them in little frames all over the house). But just last month, in Karachi, I was so moved by how Marjorie Husain responded to a display of my work at Canvas Gallery â€“ she held my hand and gazed lovingly at two of the big portraits and told me she was completely enraptured by the faces and the wistfulness on them. I was over the moon!
What are you working on as a future project?
A series of mixed media works that will explore the portrayal of women in local, popular culture.
Gifted and complex, Humaima Malik burns with a fierce magnetism. She remains both an enigma and the talk of the town. Humaima spends the day with Afshan Shafi and Saleha Shah as artist extraordinaire Abdullah Haris photographs her with his unerring aesthetic in Marina Qureshi’s beautiful designs
Clothing: Marina Qureshi London
Makeup & hair: Toni and Guy
Styling: Abdullah Haris
Jewelry: Gold by Reama Malik
Coordination: Afshan Shafi
Shot by Abdullah Haris
Do you have any special nicknames?
Yes (laughs) Mehma. I love it when my niece calls me that!
What is your most annoying habit?
I confessâ€¦I bite my nails.
Your favourite toy growing up was?
Dolls, of course
Movie youâ€™ve watched more than five times?
Hum Aapke Hain Kaun probably.
Character you wish you had played?
The lipstick shade you wear the most
The one thing you would want to change about yourself?
Plain or patterned
Lipstick or lip gloss?
Cats or dogs?
Whoâ€™s your biggest inspiration?
Whatâ€™s the best bargain you ever got on a designer item?
What does it feel like to be Humaima Malik?
It feels like me. (Laughs)
Favourite vacation spot
Whatâ€™s your biggest fear?
Losing my parents
Which future project are you most excited about? Maula Jutt or Arth?
How would you describe your character in Maula Jutt?
As strong as I am
What was it like working with Sanjay Dutt in your most recent Bollywood movie?
Amazing! Heâ€™s great, has real charisma
What kind of roles would you like to work on in the future?
Something I havenâ€™t done before. Something different and crazy!
Who? Khuban Omer
Why? HerÂ neon Valentino Rockstud pointed toe flats take the casual outfit up a notch
Why? We donâ€™t usually go for matchy matchy, but sheâ€™s pretty as a picture in her pink and white outfit topped with a happy smile
Why? Her bell sleeves are on trend, updating a classic kameeze
Who? Sara Irfan
Why? This fashinista always accessorises her outfits perfectly. We love her Chanel tweed bag
Why? Another simple yet effective outfit that stands out for all the right reasons
Who? Sidra Akram
Why? This stylish ensemble consisting of a fringe kimono jacket worn over jeans and a simple T, and accessorised with embroidered mules is a study in effortless elegance
Junaid Khan has been the lead vocalist of the band Call since 2003, a group known for its hard core, metal and rock music. Junaid has stood out with his strong vocals with songs like Sub Bhula Ke, Shayad and Hojanay De. Junaid has won several awards and to prove his talent even more he is also a successful actor and has worked in promising projects such as Tumhari Maryam, Jalti Rayt Par, Natak, Mujhey Rootney na Denay, Mata e Jaan, Nikkah and many more. Junaid chats with Sana Zehra
What are you doing right now?
Iâ€™m shooting with the awesome GT peeps along with the stylist Ethesham Ansari.
Favourite place on earth?
Paaye and naan
Denim or Pants?
Slim fit pants
Collar or T-shirt?
One thing you canâ€™t live without?
What is love?
Love is heaven.
Whatâ€™s on your IPod right now?
Ironically, I donâ€™t have an IPod.
Favourite song to play on the guitar?
With Arms Wide Open by Creed.
Your go-to song to sing while getting ready for a night out isâ€¦
Summer of 69 by Bryan Adams
Song for a romantic night in?
Wicked by Chris Isaak
While in the shower you singâ€¦
Itâ€™s My life by Bon Jovi
While walking down the street I humâ€¦
Any song by Bryan Adams.
If Adele came up to you right now what would you say to her?
There is a lot of controversy surrounding her weight. Iâ€™d just tell her you are a great looking woman and you will look even more beautiful after losing a bit but Iâ€™m happy to see how proud you are of yourself. Positive body image all the way!
What is the closest you ever came to death?
I was going back from work and I was really tired and just as I was about to doze off at the wheel when all of a sudden for a brief second I closed my eyes and woke up again. Glad to be safe and alive!
Life in general.There is not one thing and not a single person, there are lot of things in this world like nature, people and events, which inspire me and I just collect the best out of all of them.
If you werenâ€™t a singer youâ€™d be?
Iâ€™m an engineer by profession with an MBA. I was doing a 9 to 5 before this, so most probably the same routine.
Favourite perk of your job?
Doing what I love and pursuing my passion I think thatâ€™s the best part of what I do.
How did you make your first buck?
I was working at a call centre right after I graduated. Wonâ€™t forget that ever!
Last thing you binge watched?
South Park Season 16.
Song youâ€™d listen to back to back?
Sun Yara title track of my play
First album you ever bought?
Junoon first album Talash.
One thing you are really bad at?
Iâ€™m bad at saying no at times.
Superhero power youâ€™d want to have?
Flying! I wonâ€™t need visas anymore.
Favourite fan moment?
There was this lady who came up to me right after my concert and asked me where I got the surgery done from? I was a bit taken back and asked which surgery? She answered surgery that makes you look so good. (Laughs)
Three Qualities youâ€™d want in your partner?
Advice to men with a broken heart?
Move onâ€”-if your heart has just been broken, trust me there is someone else for you somewhere. It is absolutely that true couples are made in heaven. If you are single right now there must be someone somewhere for you for sure.
Relationship advice to a 15 years old Junaid?
Stress less. People come and go, such is life.
Craziest thing youâ€™ve ever done for a woman?
I am not that crazy but yeah took a pirate boat ride and regretted it afterwards.
How many donuts can you eat in one sitting?
I absolutely love sweets! So 3 to 4.
Agree or disagree? Harry Potter was selfish as some people claim?
Thankfully Iâ€™ve never seen any of the films.
What do you do when a baby stares at you?
Favourite kind of cookie?
Whatâ€™s best done slowly?
Best dressed man in the industry?
What do you think when you are alone?
Relax and unwind
Song which would describe your work ethic?
Tough one never thought about that one before. Here I am by Bryan Adams.
â€œI was going
back from work and I was really tired and just as
I was about to doze off at the wheel when all of a sudden for a brief second I closed my eyes and woke up again. Glad to be safe and alive!â€
If we came to your house for dinner what would you make us?
Any type of eggs
What is at the edge of the universe?
The world is round. Yee haw!
If you leave the galaxy what will you find?
What would be your dj name?
Would you rather be a giant or a microscopic?
One word for marriage?
One word for awards?
Only for the famous
On screen romance?
One word on being human?
One word: Fahad Mustafa?
Very good performer
Advice: Sanam Saeed?
More onscreen presence please
She can learn a lot more dance moves other than just belly dancing.
Why is your band named Call?
Long story but basically it means a message.
Interview by Sana Zehra
Hair by Clippers for men
Stylist Ehtesham Ansari
Photography by Arsalan Bilgrami of a.bilgrami studio
Location: HSY Mansion
Outfits: Humayun Alamgir, Deepak & Fahad, Splash and Naushemian
Shoes by HushPuppies
Mahlia S. Lone
October through March is the height of our wedding/social season. Super duper glamorous events are heading our way, all of which weâ€™ll be bringing you in case you missed one or as a recap. Who was wearing what, who was underground, who is schmoozing whom all becomes clear when you look at the pictures. In fact, when you actually turn up at an event, you â€œspotâ€ all the celebrities lined up posing for the many waiting photographers, while non-celebs are busy taking selfies. So many a times itâ€™s actually easier to just go through the pages of GT for your fortnightly fill than getting rigged out and turning up at the event. We had the armchair radicals already, now we also have the sofa socialites, and their number is growing. Itâ€™s those who like to be in the know but only from the comfort of their own homes. They employ a fashionable been there, done that attitude but with entertaining tittle tattle thrown in.
We have two exclusive shoots with candid interviews for you in this issue: controversial star Humaima Malik and rocker Junaid Khan. Additionally, weâ€™ve covered a young gifted artist who you can start collecting as her painting prices will appreciate, a traditional George V infused Parisian trip, exercise moves that target stubborn belly blubber and a 2000 year old much loved Memorable Romance. Thought you knew all there was to know about Antony and Cleopatraâ€™s forbidden love after having read the play and watched the movie? Think again. Because only at GT do we research our stories so well that we reach for ancient literary classics to dig up the details. Intrigued? Continue readingâ€¦