Google celebrates late Arab soprano Ratiba Al-Hefny with doodle

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Google Doodle marked the 86th birthday of Ratiba El-Hefny.
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Ratiba El-Hefny
Updated 03 December 2017
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Google celebrates late Arab soprano Ratiba Al-Hefny with doodle

JEDDAH: Search giant Google marked what would have been the 86th birthday of late Egyptian opera singer Ratiba El-Hefny on Saturday with a Google Doodle featuring the famed artist.
The doodle showcases famed Arab soprano’s “love for the piano, her encouragement of young musical talent, and her excellence in Arabic and classical music,” Google said.
In 1961, Cairo’s Khedivial Opera House opened its doors to the general public for a special performance — Franz Lehár’s “The Merry Widow,” translated into Arabic and performed by El-Hefny.
The performance opened the world of opera up to every Egyptian and was the launching pad for a career that saw El-Hefny complete more than 500 operatic performances, winning fame and recognition at home and abroad.
El-Hefny learned to play piano at a very young age, achieving professional proficiency.
She was also adept at traditional folkloric instruments including the qanun and oud. Her fluency in classical and Arabic music led to operatic performances in Egypt and across Europe.
German lieds were another of her specialties. She was one of those rare artists to have mastered both Arabic and Western music.
She was the first chairperson of the new Cairo Opera House when it began its activities in 1988, a position she held until 1990.
El-Hefny died on Sept. 16, 2013.


Sumatran elephant found dead with missing tusks in Indonesia

Updated 17 November 2018
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Sumatran elephant found dead with missing tusks in Indonesia

  • The cause of death was not immediately clear because the body was badly decomposed
  • At least 11 wild elephants died in Aceh last year, most of them killed by humans

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia: A Sumatran elephant has been found dead with its tusks removed in an apparent poaching case targeting the critically endangered animal, an Indonesian conservation official said Friday.
The 10-year-old male’s rotting corpse was found in Blang Awe village in Aceh province earlier this week.
“His tusks were missing and there were traces of blood in the location where he was found,” Aceh conservation center head Sapto Aji Prabowo told AFP.
Officials estimated the animal had been dead for at least a week when the carcass was discovered.
The cause of death was not immediately clear because the body was badly decomposed, Prabowo said.
Tissue samples will be analyzed for signs of poisoning.
Rampant deforestation has reduced the species’ natural habitat and brought them into conflict with humans, while their tusks are prized in the illegal wildlife trade.
At least 11 wild elephants died in Aceh last year, most of them killed by humans.
In July, a Sumatran elephant was found dead from apparent poisoning in a palm oil plantation.
The environment ministry estimates only around 500 Sumatran elephants remain in Aceh.