Far from Brooklyn, Iraq’s hipsters are a hit on Instagram

Members of Mr Erbil, a group consisting of young fashionable Kurdish men, pose in Erbil, Iraq. (Reuters)
Updated 23 February 2017
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Far from Brooklyn, Iraq’s hipsters are a hit on Instagram

ERBIL, Iraq: With their waxed moustaches, precision-clipped beards and dapper clothes, members of the Mr. Erbil gentleman’s club look like the smarter residents of Brooklyn or Shoreditch.
But rather than the hipster neighborhoods of New York or London, this is Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdish region — just 100 km from the grim battle to drive Daesh fighters from their last bastion in the country.
“When we started we were in a bad situation, economic crisis and then an expected war against Daesh,” said Goran Pshtiwan, 26, wearing a three-piece suit and custom-made moccasins decorated with the club’s logo — without socks, naturally.
“There was no business activity so we started with the idea to gather and make something different and unique and change the look of the people and the way that they are thinking.”
As well as regular meetings where they dress in different styles, from smart casual to black tie and traditional Ottoman-time attire, the club aims to support local tailors and craftsmen who help make their outfits.
Accessorized with purple-trimmed handkerchiefs, pocket watch chains and selfie-sticks, the men, in their 20s and 30s, hold photoshoots at local beauty spots, posting the results on Instagram where they have more than 60,000 followers.
The buzz has surprised co-founder Omer Nihad, a 28-year-old former stock trader, who said Star Trek actor George Takei, who has more than 2 million Twitter followers, had mentioned the club.
A recent video they shot received 5 million views, he said.
While a boy’s only club, Mr. Erbil uses its Internet platform to promote women who are working to improve rights and opportunities for girls.
Nihad said the club aimed to launch its own clothing brand, set up a shop and collaborate with fashion houses. And he would love to see Mr. Erbil featured in a high fashion magazine.
“Of course, we don’t want to be on the front page,” he said. “It is okay if we were in the middle!”


Boxing legend Floyd Mayweather tours Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ula

Updated 19 January 2019
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Boxing legend Floyd Mayweather tours Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ula

During his visit to Saudi Arabia, former boxing champion Floyd Mayweather toured the historic site of Al-Ula.

Mayweather was in Saudi Arabia to watch Juventus beat AC Milan 1-0 in Italian Super Cup.

A video posted on the Twitter account of Winter at Tantora music festival showed the undefeated champ get a helicopter ride over the ancient site in the city of Madain Saleh.

Famous for its golden sandstones, Madain Saleh is in the Northwestern region of Saudi Arabia. Over 5000 years old, it is home to Nabateans’ second-largest city after Petra and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.