First contestant to wear head covering on ‘The Voice France’ wows judges

Mennel wore a colorful turban on the show instead of the more-traditional hijab.
Updated 06 February 2018
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First contestant to wear head covering on ‘The Voice France’ wows judges

JEDDAH: French-Syrian singer Mennel has become the subject of huge media and online attention following her appearance in the blind auditions of the French version of popular talent show “The Voice.”
Mennel, 22, is the first contestant to wear a headscarf for religious reasons on “The Voice France,” and she astonished audience and judges alike with her English- and Arabic-language rendition of talent-show staple, Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
Mennel is a master’s degree student who hopes to become a professor of English. She said singing is a liberating experience for her and she finds music offers her an emotional release.
Mennel dedicated Saturday’s performance to her parents.
Although all judges expressed an interest in coaching her, she chose Lebanese-born English singer and songwriter, Mika, as her coach.
In an interview with “Le Figaro,” Mennel defended her choice of wearing a colorful turban on the show instead of the more-traditional hijab, calling it her “signature style.”
“I am a Muslim so we can say that it is a way of wearing a veil in a more modern way,” she said. “But that’s mostly part of my look. You will never see me without it.”
Mennel has a Syrian-Turkish father and a Moroccan-Algerian mother and lives in Besançon, in the east of France.
“For me, ‘The Voice’ is an opportunity to express myself and discover who I really am. I have watched the show for several years and each time, I would say to myself, ‘One day, it will be me. Maybe.’ Then I was spotted and now I’m living my dream,” she said.
Mennel had 26,700 followers on Instagram before her audition. That number has almost doubled, with 51,500 fans at the time of writing.


Karl Marx memorial vandalized in London for second time

Updated 1 min 3 sec ago
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Karl Marx memorial vandalized in London for second time

  • German revolutionary philosopher Marx moved to London in 1849 and lived in the city for the rest of his life
LONDON: The memorial of German philosopher Karl Marx has been vandalized in London for the second time in two weeks, the cemetery that manages the site said on Saturday.
The words “architect of genocide,” “terror and oppression” and “mass murder” were written in red paint on the grave in the capital’s Highgate cemetery.
“Doctrine of hate” was also scrawled on the memorial, among other slogans.
The grave of Marx, who developed the theory of international communism, was also attacked on February 4 when it was seemingly struck several times with a blunt metal instrument.
A marble plaque with the names of Marx and his family — the monument’s oldest and most fragile part — was repeatedly hit.
“Vandals back at Marx Memorial, Highgate Cemetery. Red paint this time, plus the marble tablet smashed up,” tweeted Highgate Cemetery on Saturday alongside photos of the memorial covered in red paint.
“Senseless. Stupid. Ignorant. Whatever you think about Marx’s legacy, this is not the way to make the point,” it said.
German revolutionary philosopher Marx moved to London in 1849 and lived in the city for the rest of his life.
His theories became the basis for communism. He died on March 14, 1883, aged 64.
The granite slab monument in north London, 12 feet (3.7 meters) tall and topped with a bronze bust of Marx, was funded in 1956 by the Communist Party of Great Britain.