GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2019 winners: From Mo Salah to Cheb Khaled
The first GQ Middle East Men Of The Year Awards is an opportunity to honour the men and women who shape the region’s cultural landscape, in a venue that reflects this coming together of Middle East and Wold culture. Recognising achievements in fashion, film, art, television, sport, social justice and literature, the depth and breadth of talent is a brilliant reflection of the Middle East. These are 2019's winners, including Mo Salah, Cheb Khaled, Mena Massou and Nadine Labaki. For more news, pictures and video from the night, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube @GQMiddleEast and check back here for the best speeches, red carpet style and photos from the night
International Man of Style
Winner: Tan France
Tan France is the winner of our GQ Men of The Year International Man of Style Award. And well he might be. As a trained fashion designer, former employee of Chanel and the fashion expert on Queer Eye, he knows more than most about the subtle art of looking sharp. From writing a memoir, performing triple bypass surgery on the wardrobes (and self-esteem) of Queer Eye’s hapless volunteers to popularising the French Tuck, this year’s easiest to adopt and most popular styling tip, Tan has made the world a more stylish place.
Winner: Cagatay Ulusoy
Every so often, a new hero emerges. One who will challenge the existing order and bring change to the status quo. In this case, that hero is Cagatay Ulusoy, star of Netflix’s first Turkish television production, The Protector, and winner of Best Television Actor at this year’s GQ Men of the Year awards. And what a year it’s been for Ulusoy. With two series down, two more in the bag and his own writing and directing projects in the pipeline, Ulusoy is a triple threat and then some.
Winner: Mariano Di Vaio
From model, to blogger, to influencer, to actor to author. You could certainly say that Mariano Di Vaio is one of the hardest working guys being honoured at the GQ Men of the Year Awards. “Hey, this is me,” he explains during the car ride home from his GQ Middle East shoot in Milan. “I’m proud of it all because it got me to this point right now.” This point right now is 6.1 million followers on Instagram, a thriving business, a book, a burgeoning acting career and a role as the face of K by Dolce & Gabbana.
Winner: Sabine Marcellis
In the Last 12 months, Dutch artist Sabine Marcelis has won awards ranging from the prestigious Design Prize 2019 in the 'Newcomer of the year' category and the Elle Deco International Design award 2019 'Young designer of the year'. And now she's GQ's International Artist 2019. Marcelis also designed and built the GQ Men of The Year awards. Fourteen interlocking individual works of art that work with light, colour, transparency and reflection. “Light is everything,” she says. “Light creates shadows and reflection, light manipulates colour… it’s the ultimate catalyst.”
Lifetime Achievement Award
Through his relationship with the world, Adunis has revolutionised Arabic poetry, not just in content but linguistically, stylistically and rhythmically too. His writing has changed the very way Arab society responds to its condition. His influence doesn’t end where people’s grasp of Arabic does though. His work has been translated into 20 languages, bringing his verse to a worldwide audience and eraning him a host of Noble Prize nominations.
Winner: Mena Massoud
Mena Massoud has had a good year. A starring role in one of the 2019s biggest pictures and more than $1 billion at the box office saw to that. But away from the big numbers and global worship, Massoud hasn’t lost site of the bigger picture when it comes to actors of Arab heritage. “I’m grateful and blessed that I booked Aladdin, but ultimately it was because they were looking for a Middle Eastern actor. I want to get to the point where me, Rami Malek, Henry Golding, all these actors are just booking roles that are written for people, for human beings – whatever Joaquin Phoenix or Tom Hardy are playing.”
Winner: Munjed Al Muderis
A thousand times over, Munjed Al Muderis’ story could have been the story of a man dehumanised to the point of radicalisation, or the story of another unassimilated refugee living in helplessness. Instead, his story is a reminder, that a person can always start – and restart – again.Now, Al Muderis travels the world, using his osseointegration procedure to operate on wheelchair-bound soldiers and at-risk communities in remote towns, giving the gift of movement.
Winner: Cheb Khaled
The infectious laugh, the twinkle in the eye and the voice unlike anything you’ve heard before – yes, yes and yes. There’s a reason Cheb Khaleb is being honoured as a legend at this year’s Men of The Year Awards. He’s sold over 80 million records worldwide, and in 2010 performed “Didi” at the opening ceremony of the World Cup in South Africa and says that the acclaim he receives from fans around the world has put extra responsibility on him to continuously innovate and pay back their support. And pay it back he does, in droves.
Editor’s Special Award
Winner: Khalid Al Qasimi
Honouring the life of the late fashion designer Khalid Al Qasimi, his twin sister Sheika Hoor has taken over the running of his eponymous brand and collects GQ Editor Adam Baidawi's Special Award on his behalf this evening. Sheika Hoor says of her brother "Khalid, simply, loved creating. His mind was always on moodboards and references, his hands always in the midst of crafting something – he even had a knack for pottery, and had a wheel and a kiln in his home."
Man of The Year
Winner: Mo Salah
Each time he steps on a pitch, Mohamed Salah balances the expectations of a nation – and one of the world’s most famous football clubs. It’s the kind of pressure that can make or break a man…but this much we know: Salah won’t be stopped. That's why he's our Man of The Year. The secret to his success? "The biggest thing that helped me throughout my career is that I always want to learn. If you want to succeed you have to be willing to learn everything.”
Winner: Alessandra Ambrosio
Even for someone as beautiful as Alessandra Ambrosio, to elevate yourself from supermodel to icon takes something special, something intangible. Whatever it is, Alessandra has it. Transcending even the most prestigious catwalks, featuring in film and television, Alessandra's name now carries with it an added significance. She is a by-word for beauty, high fashion and elegance and now she's GQ Middle East's Fashion Icon Award winner, 2019.
Woman of the Year
Winner: Nadine Labaki
One of the most successful Arab film directors of the past decade, Labaki's latest film, Capernaum, was nominated for a host of international awards including an Academy Award, a Palme D’Or and a BAFTA. It eventually won the Cannes Jury Prize. Labaki's commitment to the marginalised children in the film didn’t end when she shouted cut. Starting a foundation to keep Capernum’s child actors in school, Labaki continues to follow lead actor Zain Al-Rafeea’s life as he settles as a refugee in Norway and plans to lobby Lebanon's government over child protection laws.