Will Smith visits Jordan’s Petra with ‘Aladdin’ crew

Will Smith visited Petra in Jordan with his crew on Wednesday.
Updated 09 November 2017
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Will Smith visits Jordan’s Petra with ‘Aladdin’ crew

JEDDAH: US star Will Smith has thanked the royal family and people of Jordan for taking “perfect care of us.” Smith, who arrived this week in Aqaba for shooting Disney’s “Aladdin” visited Petra with his crew on Wednesday.
“We’re shooting Aladdin in Jordan. Took my crew to see PETRA! It’s been on my Bucket List for about 20 years. IT’S CRAZY! Special ‘Thank You’ to the Royal Family & to the people of Jordan. You all took PERFECT CARE of us. We Shall Return!” the “Men in Black” star wrote on Facebook, posting a group photo of the trip.
Earlier, Al-Rai newspaper quoted Commissioner of Tourism and Commerce at the Aqaba authority’s special economy unit, Sharhabil Madi as saying that Smith’s visit was related to the filming of “Aladdin,” in which the latter plays the role of the Genie.
Madi added that attracting famous international figures to Aqaba comes within the framework of the authority’s plan to promote the region as a safe tourist and economic destination.
“The authority has to take advantage of the presence of such artistic figures who are filming global films watched by hundreds of millions around the world and bearing the name of the place where these films are produced. Aqaba today gained international fame due to these works of art,” he said.
He added: “There will be dozens of artists and international foreign and Arab stars participating in the production of Aladdin, which is being filmed in the ‘Valley of the Moon Wadi Rum’ for a period of up to two months.”
Smith was also photographed having dinner at a restaurant in Aqaba.
Many Jordanians on social media welcomed the actor and his crew to their country.
Hisham Ayyash wrote: “Jordan and Jordanians love you and we were honored to have you in Jordan. We will be waiting for your next trip to us! To everyone and on behalf of all Jordanians, please count Jordan as your 2nd home any time!”
“We are honored to host your new film Mr. Smith, hope you have a blast in Jordan and take a glimpse at the true Middle Eastern culture away from the noise of American mainstream media. Make sure to try mansaf (traditional Jordanian dish),” wrote Shadi Hawari.


Celebrities born in the Arab world

Updated 21 April 2018
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Celebrities born in the Arab world

Arabs love to boast of any famous person who was born and/or raised in our homeland (or have even visited it). To help you out at your next dinner party, here’s a list of A-listers that were born in the MENA region.
Lebanon: Keanu Reeves
The “Matrix” trilogy star was born in Lebanon’s capital of Beirut on September 2, 1964 to an English mother and Asian-American father. He barely lived in Beirut before moving around with his family until his parents’ divorce when he was just three years old, but hey, Neo was one of us for a while.
Oman: Isla Fisher
The “Confessions of a Shopaholic” star was born in Muscat, where her father worked as a banker for the United Nations, in 1976. The family moved to Scotland before heading to Australia, where Fisher spent the majority of her childhood before finding fame on Aussie soap “Home and Away.”
Morocco: Jean Reno
The “Leon: The Professional” actor was born to Spanish parents in Casablanca in 1948 and lived there until the age of 17, when he left to study acting in France. The glum-faced thesp went on to star in several blockbusters, including “Mission Impossible,” “Godzilla,” and “The Pink Panther.”
Yemen: Eddie Izzard
The British comedian, actor and writer was born to English parents in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden. Izzard rose to fame in the 1990s with his surreal, good-natured stand-up, and has gone on to appear in a number of box-office Hollywood hits, including “Ocean’s 11” and “The Lego Batman Movie.”
Kuwait: Sanjeeda Sheikh
The Indian actress (pictured here with her husband Aamir Ali) was born in Kuwait in 1984. She moved to Mumbai to help a friend open a dance academy before landing the role of Nimmo in TV show “Kyaa Hoga Nimmo Kaa” in 2005. Sheikh recently starred in the romantic drama series “Love Ka Hai Intezaar.”
Saudi Arabia: Melora Walters
The US actress, perhaps best known for her role as Wanda Henrickson in the Emmy-winning, Mormon-baiting TV show “Big Love,” was born in Dhahran in 1960. The well-respected actress is a favorite of acclaimed director Paul Thomas Anderson, appearing in several of his movies.