The reigning king of primetime TV series and the star of Al Thamam, Syrian actor Bassel Khaiat fronts Vogue Man Arabia’s Spring/Summer 2023 issue. This month, Khaiat offers a rare glimpse into his life of stardom, love for family, and nostalgia for his life in Syria.
In his most personal interview to date, Khaiat opens up about his vulnerable state as he fled his beloved country almost 10 years ago for the sake of his loved ones. “I couldn’t bear standing in front of the camera. I can’t explain why but I lost my strength, although I desperately needed to protect my son Shams, and my family,” he says. “Moving from one country to another, my extreme sensitivity, and my feeling of an uncertain future all turned me into a helpless person. I didn’t know what to do. I was present in my body, but my spirit was absent, and I wanted someone to remind me of my existence.”
Today, Khaiat is one of the region’s most in-demand actors and reflects on his illustrious career of two decades with Vogue Man Arabia, revealing that it was his love for the cinema life behind the scenes that started it all. The Al Thamam star hopes to take up that role in the future to help the world see Syria through his lens. “When I close my eyes, I still see the beautiful neighborhood of Diwaniyah as a tale described in novels with all its details, big and small. It is rich in culture, characters, and unique stories, if not in money. One day, I will write a story about this spot,” he says. “And I will translate that into a movie where I will be behind the camera.”
On having the actor star on Vogue Man Arabia’s latest issue, editor-in-chief Manuel Arnaut says, “Bassel Khaiat is a brilliant actor and an inspiring professional. It was with great excitement that we photographed the star in Dubai, and we learned more about his career—from not being interested in acting, to being the leading face of Arab TV.”
The issue also broaches topics that incite crucial conversations, such as the moral, ethical, and legal repercussions of Artificial Intelligence taking over our lives. From firms creating a digital twin of a departed person like Re;memory, to hyper-realistic art generators such as Dall-E and Midjourney, and even essay-writing bots like ChatGPT—Vogue Man Arabia takes a deep dive into where this technology is headed, as well as the positives that may make it beneficial for humanity.
Elsewhere, we explore the exciting world of one of the oldest sports on earth—camel racing—via the AlUla Camel Cup, and with Grammy award-winning record producer Swizz Beatz. Born Kasseem Daoud Dean and married to singer Alicia Keys, he is the proud owner of a team named Saudi Bronx, and was invited to compete at the pinnacle event with the highest combined prize pool for camel racing at over US $21 million. “From the beginning of time, the camel has been the most important form of transportation,” says Dean. “This thing has gone global now.”
Other notable personalities highlighted this month include Syrian artist and Art d’Égypte exhibitor Jwan Yosef, and Saudi golfer Faisal Salhab. While Yosef offers a tour of his new Los Angeles atelier marking a new chapter in his life, Salhab showcases the best of the season’s powered-up fashion with a relaxed edge.
All this, and much more in the Spring/Summer 2023 edition of Vogue Man Arabia; on stands soon with the April 2023 issue of Vogue Arabia.