‘Girls of Riyadh’ author honored in US for stem cell research

Updated 29 January 2014
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‘Girls of Riyadh’ author honored in US for stem cell research

Rajaa Al-Sanea, the Saudi author of “Girls of Riyadh,” or “Banat Al-Riyadh,” which sparked controversy in 2005 for its frank depiction of Saudi women’s lives, has been honored for her research in stem cell science in the US.
Al-Sanea, 31, is an assistant professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago. The university honored her last week for significant achievements. She received the award for distinctive research in stem cells and her work in neurology. The university also recognized her literary efforts, singling out “Girls of Riyadh,” which had sold 3 million copies and was translated into 40 languages.
Al-Sanea could not be reached for comment late Monday.
The honor follows Al-Sanea’s rocky start as a novelist. In 2005, two men named the Ministry of Information and Al-Sanea in a lawsuit alleging that the ministry gave permission to Al-Sanea to publish a book that “tarnished” the image of Saudi women. Literary critics, however, considered the novel as the Saudi version of the American television show “Sex in the City.”
The Saudi Court of Grievances rejected the lawsuit in October 2006.
The novel was published in Lebanon in 2005. The US-based Penguin Group published an English version in 2007. It is sold in Saudi Arabia and has also earned positive reviews in the United States.
Al-Sanea earned her bachelor’s degree in dentistry in 2005 at King Saud University. She performed her residency at the National Guard, King Khalid University and King Faisal Specialist hospitals.


Bollywood stars Padukone, Singh wed in Italy

Updated 15 November 2018
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Bollywood stars Padukone, Singh wed in Italy

  • The celebrity couple got married in a private ceremony at Lake Como on Wednesday
  • The pair have yet to comment or release pictures from the event which was closed to the media

MUMBAI: Bollywood superstars Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh have tied the knot in Italy, Indian media reported Thursday.
The celebrity couple got married in a private ceremony at Lake Como on Wednesday, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.
The pair have yet to comment or release pictures from the event which was closed to the media.
Padukone is arguably Indian cinema’s biggest female star currently, and she has also broken into Hollywood, starring in “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” opposite Vin Diesel.
Padukone, 32, and Singh 33, announced in a joint statement last month that their wedding would take place on November 14 and 15.
The couple reportedly started dating in 2013 but have kept details of their relationship largely out of the public eye.
Hindi film director Karan Johar, a friend of the couple, tweeted his congratulations.
“Such a stunning gorgeous and beautiful couple!!!! Nazar utar lo! (Keep the evil eye away) !! Badhai ho (Congratulations) !!! Love you both!!! Here’s to a lifetime of love and joy!” he wrote on Wednesday.
The newlyweds have shared the silver screen together, including a controversial Bollywood epic earlier this year that sparked violent protests in northern India.
Padukone played a legendary Hindu queen and Singh a medieval Muslim ruler in the flick, which angered hard-liners, some of whom burned down film sets and made threats toward the two stars.
Indian superstar Priyanka Chopra and American singer Nick Jonas are due to get married in India early next month.