Kismet… Is how our Editor, Olivia, described the story behind our cover this month – and I couldn’t think of a better way to coin it!
Choosing the first-ever man to be on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia was actually a very simple decision. In truth, there was only ever one choice. Back in January this year – a month before I even officially became Editor in Chief of HBA – I had already sketched out my dream cover for 2019.
First, it would feature both global and local superstars, standing on an equal platform and revolutionising an industry.
Next, it had to feature a man. And that man would not just be an A-lister who had preferably sold over 30 million albums and won seven Grammy Awards – but someone who had then used his fame and fortune to give back to the community and transcend into the world of robotics. He would be someone who had managed to be at the frontier of the next Industrial Revolution, using culture and technology in a way others had neither dreamed nor dared.
And so, welcome to the world of will.i.am, Dr. Sara Al Madani and Emon Shakoor. In our cover story this month, the Black Eyed Peas founder tells us at one point: “You have a nightmare. I have a dream. And my dream could change my nightmare into reality… A dream is the tool to change your reality.”
My dream was to create a powerful platform for women in the Arab world to share their mission and inspire more women to lead the discussion in the world of tech.
“In order for A.I. to be something we adore and not fearful of, women need to be part of the conversation. Because we want A.I. to be compassionate and nurturing,” says will.i.am. He was the first-ever musician to debut a song on another planet, titled Reach For the Stars, in celebration of NASA’s curiosity rover landing on Mars – and our three game-changing cover stars are doing nothing short of exactly that.
Salma Awwad and Iris Van Herpen
With the arrival of Expo 2020 (World Stage, page 108), taking a deep dive into Iris Van Herpen’s dance between fashion and technology (The Alchemist, page 144), a tour through our reimagined Bazaar Capsule (Flash, page 227), the rise of virtual influencers (Virtually Perfect, page 92) and a dash of cyborg couture with Sophia the Robot (Me, Myself and A.I., page 154) – we embark upon a journey of demystifying the Fourth Industrial Revolution, what it brings to us and the importance of placing our responsibility to humanity at the frontier.
Pioneering this conversation with a ground-breaking cover and an equally riveting issue, we proudly invite you into the magnanimous world of robotics.
Editor's Letter from Harper's Bazaar Arabia November 2019 Issue