Lebanese singer Hiba Tawaji dazzles Riyadh with majestic voice

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Lebanese soprano Hiba Tawaji worked up her fans with beautiful songs at the all-female concert in Riyadh on Wednesday. (AN photo)
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Updated 07 December 2017
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Lebanese singer Hiba Tawaji dazzles Riyadh with majestic voice

RIYADH: For the first time in the Saudi capital, an all-female concert took place late Wednesday.
The performance by Lebanese soprano Hiba Tawaji was sold out days before she took to a Riyadh stage.
Many excited attendees of all ages attended a packed King Fahad Cultural Center. The environment was electric with enthusiasm.
Nujood Mohammed, a translator and fan of Hiba, came alone to attend the concert. “The organizing was amazing, and I just love Hiba!”
There were many groups of young ladies attending together to enjoy the concert.
Ibtisam Mohammed commented: “This is my first time to attend a concert in Riyadh.”
When entering the lobby to the music hall, the audience was greeted with the enchanting sounds of a young pianist, Eman Gusti, playing Beethoven’s “Fur Elize.”
A college-going English literature student, Gusti took up playing the piano as a hobby and now plays professionally. This was her first time to play in front of an audience, an enchanting prequel to the excitement that lay ahead.
The event was well organized by the General Entertainment Authority (GEA).
Batool Ali, a local organizer, was making sure that the guests were satisfied with their seats, taking feedback and comments from the guests on how to improve future events.
Ghala Al-Dossary was the opening act, playing a serene oud to the music of Um Kalthoum, as she had the audience entranced with her great talent.
Before the curtain was drawn, a short introduction was projected on a large screen. Everything went dark and quiet. Then Tawaji entered, and the crowds screamed; she calmed them down with a welcoming Arabic endearment, “Ya zeinkom.”
The night began with Tawaji playing famous Arabic tunes but after three songs, she dedicated a song to all the divas, mentioning Mariah Carey and Celine Dion. She then started to sing English-language songs. The crowd cheered and clapped along.
Tawaji dedicated a song to the late Italian/Egyptian singer Dalida, before singing her song “Helwa ya balidi.”


Japan heatwave threatens famed Tsukiji tuna auction

Updated 13 August 2018
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Japan heatwave threatens famed Tsukiji tuna auction

TOKYO: Fishmongers at Tokyo’s famed Tsukiji tuna auction are feeling the heat as the aging market’s air conditioners struggle to keep up with a heatwave blanketing the country.
The dilapidated market is due to close later this year, and will relocate to a new, modern site.
But in the meantime, wholesalers have been forced to take measures including keeping their pricey produce in cool trucks until moments before auction.
“We can’t replace the aging air conditioners as we’re relocating very soon, and it’s been so hot that it’s hard to get the temperature down,” an official at the market told AFP.
The auction space is usually kept at 15 degrees Celsius to keep the treasured tuna cool, but an “unprecedented” heatwave meant the mercury hit as high as 20 degrees in July, the official said.
To keep their fish fresh, wholesalers are keeping the shutters in the auction warehouse sealed, leaving tuna inside cool trucks until shortly before auction and covering fish with tarps as soon as they are sold.
“Wholesalers are doing their best to keep the tuna from thawing,” the official said.
After more than 80 years in operation, Tsukiji is scheduled to move to Toyosu, the site of a former gas plant, on October 11.
The current site is the world’s biggest fish market and a popular tourist attraction in an area packed with restaurants and shops.
Plans to move the market have been in the works for years, and the relocation was originally scheduled for 2016.
But myriad delays have set back the timeline, including the discovery of soil contamination at Toyosu.
Tsukiji opened in 1935 and is famed for its pre-dawn tuna auctions, with one fish going for more than $320,000 at the market’s final New Year’s auction last year.
Japan has been struggling with a nationwide heatwave that killed 119 people and hospitalized nearly 50,000 others last month.