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WASHINGTON, July 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a trip which culminated in a concert at the Bahrain Cultural Hall in Manama on 16th June, Chau-Giang Thi Nguyen, Maribel Lieberman and Selima Salaun visited the island state last week at the invitation of developmental Bahraini NGO, Visionaries, as part of a programme of youth engagement and talent promotion.
The Vietnamese pianist and artist joined internationally-acclaimed businesswomen and designers, Maribel Lieberman and Selima Salaun in a panel discussion open to the public on 14th June which focused on their journeys towards success and the importance of the creative economy for prosperity. Attended by local youth as well as female entrepreneurs and members of the Bahrain Businesswomen Society, the discussion reflected on the challenges faced by the different artists in their upbringing and youth and how, despite the odds, they managed to carve a place for themselves and their brands in the international halls of fame.
Celebrated pianist and composer, Chau-Giang Thi Nguyen has performed in some of the world's most prestigious concert halls and opera houses amongst which is Carnegie Hall in New York. She has also displayed her paintings in numerous art galleries and exhibitions around the world including the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. Accompanying her was world-famous chocolatier Maribel Lieberman, proud owner of MarieBelle – a boutique chocolate salon concept with branches as far afield as Tokyo. A passionate chef and designer, Maribel rose to prominence through her unique culinary art and counts Oprah Winfrey amongst her clients. Finally, behind the luxury eyewear brand Selima Optique is Selima Salaun, the much applauded fashion designer who serves on the Board of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). Selima's stores span three continents and countless celebrities wear her fashionable sunglasses.
'When I got to New York, I realised that to stand out I had to work very, very hard. There is no substitute for effort; talent isn't enough,' commented Chau-Giang during the panel.
The artists displayed samples of their work in an exhibition at the Capital Club in which guests were encouraged to examine the influences on their products – from Chau-Giang's abstract paintings to MarieBelle chocolate art and Selima Optique handmade glass frames.
Born and raised in Hondurus, Maribel Lieberman, emphasised the importance of cultural influences on her flavours and designs. 'You've got to always stand out in order to keep your position and prominence,' she explained.
'Foreign influences add to the tastes and smells I develop as well as the unique presentations. Even when experiments seem to fail, you have to keep going and experiment more until you achieve your desired outcome,' she advised.
In a separate meeting with the Minister of Culture, HE Shaikha Mai Al Khalifa, the artists and businesswomen discussed ways in which further cultural exchange programmes could be executed and reinforced.
'Although this has been our first visit to the island, I think I speak for all of us, in saying that the incredibly warm welcome by Visionaries and everyone we've met during this short visit made us feel very much at home,' said Selima Salaun.
'By inspiring today's youth wherever they may be, we hope to set up links for training opportunities and international partnerships. We all leave with a real impetus for longer term exchange and learning engagements,' she added.
Established in 2013, Visionaries is a youth-oriented developmental nonprofit organization based in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Since the opening of its doors, Visionaries has organized several large-scale events revolving around themes which concern contemporary youth and the future. Thus, taking on sustainable development as the theme for 2014, in order to help raise awareness of the importance of sustainability and development, Visionaries collaborated with the office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Bahrain amongst other local initiatives. Most recently, Visionaries was chosen as the first organization in the GCC region to host Global Youth Service Day. Visionaries has also represented Bahrain in several international events including the inaugural ceremony of MARITAGE International in New York.
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