Looking back: The most iconic celebrity snaps of 2017

From Beyoncé to ‘Salt Bae,’ the Internet went wild for babies and eccentric chefs this year. (Photo courtesy: Instagram)
Updated 25 December 2017
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Looking back: The most iconic celebrity snaps of 2017

DUBAI: It is no secret that 2017 was the year of Beyoncé and her twins, with the superstar racking up a record-breaking 11 million likes on the photo she posted on Instagram announcing her pregnancy. However, the year was busy for celebrities across the board, many of whom took to social media to share weird and wonderful snaps of exactly what they got up to.
From births to surgeries, read on for 2017’s most iconic celebrity snaps and see if your favorite photo made the cut.
The Salt Bae sensation
In January, Turkish chef Nusret Gokce — also known as “Salt Bae” — became internationally famous thanks to his theatrical seasoning of food.
The restaurateur was hardly a nobody before: He runs the popular Nusr-Et Steakhouse chain in his native Turkey, along with two restaurants in the UAE, at the Four Seasons Resort on Jumeirah Beach Road in Dubai and a new branch at The Galleria on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi.
But it was a brief Instagram video that really saw Salt Bae become flavor of the month, and the year.
It shows the chef, with his trademark slick-back hair and dark glasses, purposefully cutting up a slab of meat, before bending his rather muscular arm and sprinkling salt down it to season the food. It became his trademark move.
The Internet went crazy — and a meme was born.

#saltbae#salt#saltlife

A post shared by Nusr_et#Saltbae (@nusr_et) on

Selena Gomez undergoes surgery
The US singer was also included in Instagram’s yearly list due to a snap she posted of her post-surgery recovery this year.

I’m very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn’t promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of. So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health. I honestly look forward to sharing with you, soon my journey through these past several months as I have always wanted to do with you. Until then I want to publicly thank my family and incredible team of doctors for everything they have done for me prior to and post-surgery. And finally, there aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa. She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis. Lupus continues to be very misunderstood but progress is being made. For more information regarding Lupus please go to the Lupus Research Alliance website: www.lupusresearch.org/ -by grace through faith

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

Huda Kattan meets Kim Kardashian
Tongues in the world of beauty were set wagging in August, when Dubai-based mogul Huda Kattan shared a snap of a lunch meeting with none other than Kim Kardashian.
It was a glorious meeting of the minds and left fashion and beauty lovers calling for a collaboration.

#BeautyBoss Brunch @jenatkinhair @kimkardashian @monakattan

A post shared by Huda Kattan (@hudabeauty) on

A model greeting
It is not commonplace for American celebrities to wish their followers Eid Mubarak, so when Gigi Hadid and British star Zayn Malik did so in November, it made headlines. Palestinian-American model Hadid and Malik revealed that they spent the Eid Al-Adha holiday with none other than their mothers, in a snap shared on Instagram.
Yolanda Hadid, Gigi’s mother, shared the photo on her Instagram account and captioned it: “Eid Mubarak to everyone celebrating.”
Malik, who hails from a British Pakistani family, has been open about his Islamic background.

Eid Mubarak to everyone celebrating.......

A post shared by YOLANDA (@yolanda.hadid) on

Miss Israel and Miss Iraq pose for a selfie
The selfie caption may have read “Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel,” but the reaction to them posing together prompted something closer to “push and shove” in November.
Beauty queens Sarah Idan and Adar Gandelsman represented their respective countries at the Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas, but Iraq’s Idan probably was not betting on the backlash to her Instagram post.
“This picture doesn’t mean I support the Israeli government or its polices toward Arab countries. I apologize to everyone who saw it as an insult to the Palestinian cause — this was not its purpose,” Idan said in a response in Arabic.
More than 3,600 “likes” greeted their picture, but it also triggered an avalanche of comments, some positive and others negative in a country that does not recognize Israel, with which it is still technically at war.


No politics please for Baghdad bikers aiming to unite Iraq

Updated 21 January 2019
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No politics please for Baghdad bikers aiming to unite Iraq

  • The Iraq Bikers — who now number 380 — are men of all ages, social classes and various faiths
  • With his black bandana and goatee, the leader of the Baghdad pack, known as “Captain,” looks the epitome of the American biker-outlaw

BAGHDAD: Roaring along Baghdad’s highways, the “Iraq Bikers” are doing more than showing off their love of outsized motorcycles and black leather: they want their shared enthusiasm to help heal Iraq’s deep sectarian rifts.
Weaving in and out of traffic, only the lucky few ride Harley Davidsons — a rare and expensive brand in Iraq — while others make do with bikes pimped-up to look something like the “Easy Rider” dream machines.
“Our goal is to build a brotherhood,” said Bilal Al-Bayati, 42, a government employee who founded the club in 2012 with the aim of improving the image of biker gangs and to promote unity after years of sectarian conflict.
That is why the first rule of his bikers club is: you do not talk about politics.
“It is absolutely prohibited to talk politics among members,” Bayati told Reuters as he sat with fellow bikers in a shisha cafe, a regular hangout for members.
“Whenever politics is mentioned, the members are warned once or twice and then expelled. We no longer have the strength to endure these tragedies or to repeat them,” he said, referring to sectarian violence.
With his black bandana and goatee, the leader of the Baghdad pack, known as “Captain,” looks the epitome of the American biker-outlaw.
But while their style is unmistakably US-inspired — at least one of Bayati’s cohorts wears a helmet emblazoned with the stars and stripes — these bikers fly the Iraqi flag from the panniers of their machines.
The Iraq Bikers — who now number 380 — are men of all ages, social classes and various faiths. One of their most recent events was taking part in Army Day celebrations.
Some are in the military, the police and even the Popular Mobilization Forces, a grouping of mostly Shiite militias which have taken part in the fight to oust Islamic State from Iraq in the last three years.
“It is a miniature Iraq,” said member Ahmed Haidar, 36, who works with an international relief agency.
But riding a chopper through Baghdad is quite different from Route 101. The bikers have to slow down at the many military checkpoints set up around the city to deter suicide and car bomb attacks.
And very few can afford a top bike.
“We don’t have a Harley Davidson franchise here,” said Kadhim Naji, a mechanic who specializes in turning ordinary motorbikes into something special.
“So what we do is we alter the motorbike, so it looks similar ... and it is cheaper.”