Friends react after British singer found dead in Qatar hotel room

The mother-of-one performed under the stage name Devi Ka. (Photo courtesy: GoFundMe.com)
Updated 10 December 2017
0

Friends react after British singer found dead in Qatar hotel room

DUBAI: Friends have reacted in shock and have organized a commemoration event after a British singer-songwriter was found dead in a Qatar hotel room.
Manchester-based performer Daniella Obeng, 32, was found dead in her hotel room at the Intercontinental Hotel in Doha on Sept. 25, six days after she landed in the country, the Manchester Evening News reported on Saturday.
The mother-of-one performed under the stage name Devi Ka and had reportedly been contracted to sing at the hotel for a period of six months.
Her boyfriend, Stefan Paunefcu, told the Manchester Evening News that “she was very talented, and very hard working. Her ambition was to send a positive message to the world through her music.”
According to the newspaper, Obeng had been living with a brain tumor and suffered from epilepsy, but was forced to find work after being declared fit to work by British authorities.
Paunefcu told the newspaper that “when she left to go to Qatar her health was probably the best it had been for years, and she had not had a seizure for six months.
“She had to go because she could not find any reliable work in England.”
In a posting on a Crowdfunding page dedicated to hosting an event in her honor in Salford, Greater Manchester, on Saturday night, friends said: “Daniella was very dear to us and holds a big place in all of our hearts, she was and is an inspiration to many due to her courage, strength and determination in the face of adversity whilst battling a brain tumour combined with epilepsy.
“Daniella was following her dream to produce an album with original songs written by her in order to bring healing and love to others in the world.
“Holding this event we aim to raise awareness, celebrate her life and promote her music. We feel aggrieved that she had to make the choice to leave the UK in order to earn some funds for the future for herself and her young son."
An inquest into Obeng’s death is set to be held at Stockport Coroner’s Court, in Greater Manchester, in January.


After shedding Daesh, Mosul embraces makeovers

An Iraqi woman gets a lip injection at an aesthetic clinic in the northern city of Mosul on November 19, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 19 December 2018
0

After shedding Daesh, Mosul embraces makeovers

  • Mosul, and Iraq more broadly, have been shaken by waves of conflict since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein and paved the way for a sectarian war
  • The city’s medical services were hit hard by Daesh’s three-year reign and the months-long battle to oust it

MOSUL, Iraq: For three years, Mosul’s women were covered in black from head to toe and its men had to keep their beards long. Salons were shut, and plastic surgery considered a crime.
But more than a year after the Daesh group’s ouster, the Iraqi city is flaunting its more fabulous side.
Need to zap away a scar or a burn? Cover up a bald spot with implants? Whiten teeth for a dazzling smile? Mosul’s plastic surgeons and beauticians are at your service.
Raji Najib, a Syrian living in Mosul, recently made use of the city’s aesthetic offerings.
The 40-year-old had long been self-conscious of his bald spots, until his Iraqi friends told him what had worked for them — hair implants at a new clinic in their hometown.
“They told me the equipment was modern, the nurses competent and the prices good,” Najib said.
In Mosul, the average hair implant procedure costs around $800, including the follow-up after the operation.
Nearly 90 kilometers (50 miles) to the east in Iraq’s Irbil, or even further north in Turkey, the same operation costs at least $1,200.
Plasma injections to prevent hair loss cost around $63 in Mosul, but at least $20 more in Irbil.
In addition to the difference in price, Najib would have had to put up money and time for travel.
“Going to a clinic in Mosul is much easier, as I don’t have time to travel outside Mosul,” he told AFP.

Decades ago, only one department in Mosul’s hospitals offered plastic surgery, and only to those who had a severe accident or were trying to eliminate a physical handicap from birth.
Mosul, and Iraq more broadly, have been shaken by waves of conflict since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein and paved the way for a sectarian war.
Religious hard-liners forced women to cover up or stay at home, and extremists in particular targeted hairdressers, many of whom closed their shops in fear.
Another shock came in 2014 when the Daesh group swept across much of Iraq’s north, with the militants making Mosul their de facto capital.
The religious police of Daesh enforced ultra-strict rules on dress for all residents, making sure women showed no skin and men wore ankle-length capris and long beards, with no moustache.
The city has since gotten a makeover.
Five beauty clinics have opened since Mosul was recaptured last summer by Iraqi security forces, and they can hardly keep up with the flow of customers, most of them men.
Muhannad Kazem told AFP he was the first to relaunch his city’s beauty business with his clinic, Razan, which offers teeth whitening services and other dental care.
His secret? “The employees came from Lebanon, and the treatments and machines were imported,” said Kazem, 40.

The city’s medical services were hit hard by Daesh’s three-year reign and the months-long battle to oust it.
The available hospital beds in Mosul dropped from 3,657 before 2014 to just 1,622 last year, according to the local human rights commission.
But the city is rebuilding, and one new commercial center houses the Diamond Dental Clinic in the bottom floor, with the Shahrazad beauty center upstairs.
A poster at the entrance advertises what’s on offer: injections of botox and other fillers, slimming surgeries, dermatological operations, and more.
Inside the glossy interior are men and women alike, an unthinkable sight under the iron-fisted rule of Daesh.
A female employee carefully injected serums to prevent hair loss into the scalp of a woman gritting her teeth, one of the dozen customers streaming in per day.
Beautician Alia Adnan said the physical and mental impact of the militants on people in Mosul has been long-lasting.
“They have hair or skin problems because of the stress and the pollution that Mosul’s residents were exposed to, both under Daesh and during the clashes,” she told AFP.