British female stars say ‘Time’s Up’ ahead of Baftas

Actresses Kate Winslet and Emma Watson (pictured) joined around 200 British stars in demanding an end to sexual harassment and abuse. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 18 February 2018
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British female stars say ‘Time’s Up’ ahead of Baftas

LONDON: Actresses Kate Winslet and Emma Watson joined around 200 British stars in demanding an end to sexual harassment and abuse, in an open letter published Sunday before the Bafta film awards.
Signatories including Emma Thompson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Keira Knightley and Saoirse Ronan, expressed solidarity with the Time’s Up movement in the United States and called for donations to a new “justice and equality fund” for victims.
The letter to The Observer newspaper is addressed to “dear sisters,” as was a similar statement by US actresses last month, and calls for an international movement to stamp out a culture of abuse exposed by the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
“In the very near past, we lived in a world where sexual harassment was an uncomfortable joke; an unavoidable, awkward part of being a girl or a woman. It was certainly not to be discussed, let alone addressed,” they say.
“In 2018, we seem to have woken up in a world ripe for change. If we truly embrace this moment, a line in the sand will turn to stone.”
The letter was published ahead of the British Academy Film Awards on Sunday night, when some stars are expected to repeat the protest staged at last month’s Golden Globes and wear black in a show of solidarity with victims.
“As we approach the Baftas, our industry’s time for celebration and acknowledgement, we hope we can celebrate this tremendous moment of solidarity and unity across borders by coming together and making this movement international,” the letter says.
It emphasizes that revelations about abuse in Hollywood have now spread across the world, saying the movement is about more than just the entertainment industry.
It highlights problems in Britain such as the gender pay gap and the changes to work that make it more insecure.
“This movement is intersectional, with conversations across race, class, community, ability and work environment, to talk about the imbalance of power,” the letter states.
Around 160 activists and academics have signed a sister letter pledging support for the new fund, which aims to make workplaces safe and support victims of abuse.
The signatories thank the high-profile stars for helping “push issues such as sexual harassment and rape into the public consciousness in an unprecedented way.”
“We believe that this is a moment in time when we can harness our collective energies to dismantle the wall of silence that surrounds violence against women and girls,” they say.


Mashrou’ Leila to headline Apple’s first-ever Balcony Music Sessions in Dubai

Mashrou’ Leila will perform in Dubai on Dec.14.(Supplied)
Updated 13 December 2018
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Mashrou’ Leila to headline Apple’s first-ever Balcony Music Sessions in Dubai

  • Mashrou’ Leila will headline the Apple Music’s first-ever Balcony Music Sessions in Dubai
  • Other regional artists will be performing at the Apple event as well

DUBAI: Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila will headline the Apple Music’s first-ever Balcony Music Sessions in Dubai on Dec. 14.

The popular band will perform on the balcony of the brand’s flagship retail space in The Dubai Mall and will be joined by a host of other artists from the region.

Saudi singer Hamza Hawsawi will perform his singles “Find You,” “Frame of Mind,” and “Somewhere in Between,” while Jordanian singer-songwriter Hana Malhas will take to the balcony with her songs “Nasi,” “Code,” and “How We Love.”

Syrian-born singer Ghaliaa, known for her original style of acoustic storytelling, and Emirati singer-songwriter Hamdan Al-Abri, lead vocalist for the band ABRI who are known for their sharp lyrics and suave soul-funk sound as well as their performances alongside musical greats Kanye West and Quincy Jones, will also perform at the event, which kicks off at 2 p.m. local time.

After the performances, fans will have to chance to ask each of the indie artists about their musical inspirations and will also be treated to short talks by the musicians.

“We are excited to see the launch of The Balcony Series this week. Support from major brands is rare in the region and to have a forward-thinking and daring brand like Apple initiate a project like this is strongly needed. We can’t wait to be back in Dubai and see everyone there,” Mashrou Leila’s composer and multi-instrumentalist Firas Abou Fakher said in a released statement.

“This is a one of a kind opportunity. I’m so thankful for the insane love, support, and motivation I have been receiving since day one from the community. We, as artists in the Arab world, are very thrilled to have a platform such as Apple Music which features our creative work with the world and helps us gain exposure and resonance,” Ghaliaa added in a released statement.