Google commemorates 70th birthday of famous Saudi female singer

Updated 01 January 2018
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Google commemorates 70th birthday of famous Saudi female singer

JEDDAH: Google Doodle paid homage to iconic Saudi singer Etab on December 30 with a colorful illustration to commemorate her 70th birthday.

Etab was a Saudi Arabian musical pioneer, one of the very first female Saudi singers to perform publicly. Her talent was discovered when she was 13 years old while singing at weddings.

Etab mixed traditional and contemporary Arab songs to create a style of her own, collaborating with top poets and singers from around the region; she produced 29 famous songs, 5 singles and 20 albums. She was nicknamed “Brunette of the Arabian Song.”

She was a prominent member of the Union of Arab Artists and the Egyptian Music Syndicate.
Google’s Doodle celebrates the cultural legacy of Etab, who would’ve been 70 years old today.


Over the years, Google has also paid homage in celebrating the birthdates of many other iconic Arab celebrities such as Nizar Qabbani, Abdel Halim Hafez, Asmahan, Faten Hamama, Youssef Chahine, Umm Kalthoum, Farid Shawki, Warda Al-Jazairia, Ismail Yasin, Khalil Gibran and many others.

Etab died on August 19, 2007 in Cairo at the age of 59, after a long battle with cancer.


First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

Updated 17 July 2019
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First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

  • 4,000 to partake in this year’s pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia increased quota

COLOMBO: Nearly 180 Sri Lankan Hajj pilgrims left for Saudi Arabia on Monday night, but not before thanking the Kingdom for the comprehensive facilities offered to them.

Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Haleem, Sri Lanka’s minister of postal services and Muslim religious affairs, said that this year’s issuing of Hajj visas was smooth due to the new e-Hajj services introduced by the Saudi government. 

“We were able to process all 4,000 Hajj visas efficiently. All of them were issued well in time,” Haleem said.

He added that officials from his ministry will be available at the airport to assist the pilgrims with their departures.

The minister said the flights of pilgrims this year will be ferried by both Saudi Arabian Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines. Haleem, who intends to participate in this year’s Hajj, said that the last flight of Sri Lankan pilgrims will leave Colombo on Aug. 7.

Sajjath Mohammed, a journalist from Madawala News, praised the e-Hajj service, saying: “The biometric services for the visas were available to pilgrims in Kandy and Batticaloa in addition to Colombo, the capital of the island.”

Rizmi Reyal, president of the International Airline Ticketing Academy in Sri Lanka, said that this year the Hajj services from Colombo have been enhanced to give a better experience to the pilgrims. He thanked the Saudi government, the Muslim Religious Affairs Ministry in Colombo, the Saudi Embassy in Colombo and the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh for playing their part in these improvements.

The Sri Lankan government will also send a medical team to attend to any urgent needs of the pilgrims before they are taken to the nearest medical facilities in the two holy cities.