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Who Wore What! Stunning Gowns and Royalty were the highlights of the MFAH Islamic World Gala – Beyond Boundaries

Who Wore What! Stunning Gowns and Royalty were the highlights of the MFAH Islamic World Gala – Beyond Boundaries

It was a magical evening as more than 400 guests in gorgeous gowns and tuxedos arrived at the Museum of Fine Arts biennial black-tie gala celebrating culture and the Islamic collection. Special to this year’s gala was the premiere of the museum’s new permanent gallery spaces dedicated to the arts of the Islamic world and the al-Sabah Collection on-loan from Kuwait. Over $447,960 was raised from ticket sales at this year’s ball.

Sabiha Rehmatulla

Along with a seated three course dinner by City Kitchen, guests started the evening with a lavish cocktail hour in the North Foyer featuring a signature pomegranate cocktail stemming from the evening’s underlying pomegranate theme and design on the invitation. In the mix were hors d’oeuvre such as: spiced duck in Phyllo with butternut squash, pomegranate and caramelized onion marmalade; Persian “Green Bites” with herbs, and rose petal jam and chopped pistachio and Kohlrabi soup “Shooters” with tamarind, mustard seeds and coriander were some of the highlights.

While our palates were being satisfied, the entertainment during the dinner was Fire of the Phoenix (Atash-e Ghogh-noos) by dancers Miriam Peretz, Fanny Ara, Hannah Laura Romanowsky and Holly Shaw. Musicians Ostad Mohammad Nejad and Amir E. Etemadzadeh complemented the performance with lively music.

Installation of the museum’s permanent collection has been generously underwritten by Aramco Services Company in recognition of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s commitment to Arts of the Islamic World.

Pershant and Nidhika Mehta

The event was made possible with the generous underwriters like Jaleh and Bruce Sallee, Franci and Jim Crane, Rania and Jamal Daniel, Nijad and Zeina Fares, Sabiha and Omar Rehmatulla. The evening honored Sheikha Hussah Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah.

Arts of Islamic Lands: Selections from The al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait marks an exciting new partnership with the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah (DAI), a cultural organization based on the Kuwaiti private art collection of Sheikh Nasser Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, founder of The al-Sabah Collection, and his wife, DAI director general and co-founder Sheikha Hussah Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah. The MFAH will be the exclusive American partner for the display of the many treasures from the al-Sabah collection. This collection, unveiled for the first time at the gala on January 25, opened to the public on January 26.

The evening came to an end with guests dancing the night away to music provided by DJ Hector of Houston Memorable Events. Spotted in stunning gowns and exquisite jewelery were: Diane Lokey Farb, Sue Smith in Naeem Khan, Gracie Cavnar in a Kaftan from Morocco, Susie Criner in a stunning red with gold jewels. Red gowns were quite popular at the party along with gold jewelry. However Sabiha Rehmatulla‘s gold choker and Nidhika Mehta‘s custom made necklace were show stoppers. Lights Camera Action’s vote for the best gowns at the MFAH World Gala were: Sue Smith in Naeem Khan, Gracie Cavnar, Elizabeth Petersen, and Martha Katherine Long.

Photographs By Wilson Parish and Jenny Antill

About The Author


Ruchi Mukherjee, Editor/Founder of LCAHouston, started her career in journalism and reporting with The Times of India, her stories have journeyed from India’s notorious red light districts, to NASA breaking news, to interviews with Hollywood royalty. Along with her stint in journalism and reporting, Ruchi takes active initiative to volunteer for various nonprofit organizations that involve women and children.

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