Google Doodle commemorates life of Arab singer Sabah

Lebanese veteran singer Sabah (in a file photo) posing on the set of a film in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria on Egypt’s northern coast. (AFP)
Updated 11 November 2017
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Google Doodle commemorates life of Arab singer Sabah

JEDDAH: Friday, Nov.10, marked the birth anniversary of renowned Lebanese singer and actress Sabah nicknamed “Empress of the Lebanese Song.”
In recognition of her talent, Google Doodle commemorated the life of the singer and showed her picture with a group of men and women doing the dabka (folk dance) behind her.
Sabah was born Jeanette Georges Feghali in November 1927. She emerged at a time when the Arab music scene was already crowded with formidable competitors.
Considered a “diva of music” in the Arab world, she released over 50 albums and acted in 98 movies, as well as over 20 Lebanese stage plays.
She had more than 3,500 songs in her repertoire, and was among the first Arab singers to perform at the Olympia in Paris, Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Royal Albert Hall in London and the Sydney Opera House.
Sabah was considered one of the four Lebanese icons along with Fairuz, Wadih El Safi and Samira Tawfiq. She also acquired several affectionate nicknames, including “Shahrourah” and “Sabbouha.”
In addition to being Lebanese, Sabah held Egyptian, Jordanian and US citizenship and continued to perform and make television appearances into her 80s.
In her last years, she did not stop singing, especially on television programs, but her illness and advanced age became an obstacle. She died in her home country, Lebanon, on Nov.26, 2014, at the age of 87.
Al-Shahrourah, a TV drama based on her life, was aired during Ramadan 2011 in which she was portrayed by actress and singer Carole Samaha.
Sabah’s reaction was mostly positive toward the series and she was happy that it was a success, though she commented about certain inaccuracies.


Instagram baby-selling bust prompts call for ‘cyber patrols’

Updated 18 October 2018
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Instagram baby-selling bust prompts call for ‘cyber patrols’

  • “We have seen sex traffickers use Facebook to recruit victims before, but this is the first time we see babies being sold through Instagram,” said the deputy head of the government-backed National Commission for Child Protection
  • Instagram said it has “zero tolerance” toward child exploitation and — along with Facebook, its parent company — it plans to increase the number of content reviewers

KUALA LUMPUR: Social media companies should step up oversight of their networks and cooperate more closely with authorities, Indonesian child rights advocates said after police busted a human trafficking ring offering babies for sale on Instagram.
Police arrested four people last week in the city of Surabaya who were connected to an account on the photo-sharing application, according to local media reports.
Anti-trafficking experts say technology is fueling modern-day slavery by enabling traffickers to ensnare more victims, expand their illicit empires and outfox law enforcement across the world.
“We have seen sex traffickers use Facebook to recruit victims before, but this is the first time we see babies being sold through Instagram,” said Rita Pranawati, deputy head of the government-backed National Commission for Child Protection.
“Social media providers have to be more responsible, have more cyber patrol, and report to the authorities anything irregular so the government can take action,” Pranawati told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Jakarta.
The Instagram account, which had over 700 followers before it was removed, shared photos of pregnant mothers and babies whose faces were blurred.
It was run under the guise of offering adoption services for mothers who had given birth to children out of wedlock, but police have said there was evidence of money transactions.
Instagram said it has “zero tolerance” toward child exploitation and — along with Facebook, its parent company — it plans to increase the number of content reviewers.
“Our policies clearly prohibit people from engaging in criminal activity and coordinating harm on our platform, which includes the sale of humans,” an Instagram spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.
Indonesia has 131 million Facebook users and 59 million Instagram users, according to the data provider Statista, making the country of 260 million people the third and fourth largest audience for the two social media giants, respectively.
“Traffickers are exploiting the popularity of social media to recruit their victims and clients,” said Patar Sihotang of the Jakarta-based non-profit Human Trafficking Watch.
“People who face economic hardship or are in debt tend to fall victims to these online traps.”
An estimated 100,000 children are trafficked each year in Indonesia, with the majority forced into sex trade, according to the UN children’s agency, UNICEF.