Yemeni-Emirati singer Balqees named in Forbes’ Arab 30 under 30 list

Balqees Fathi has been selected as one of the region’s most influential personalities under the age of 30. (@balqeesfathi)
Updated 07 March 2018
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Yemeni-Emirati singer Balqees named in Forbes’ Arab 30 under 30 list

CAIRO: Yemeni-Emirati musician Balqees Fathi has been selected as one of the region’s most influential personalities in the “Arab 30 under 30” list, recently revealed by Forbes Middle East.
The singer was chosen as the most influential personality in the music category.
Forbes credits her participation in the first female-only concert in Saudi Arabia last December as part of the reason she made the list. She also headlined the Sharjah World Music Festival in the same month.
The 29-year-old star was also a brand ambassador for Pantene in 2016 and for L’azurde, a jewelry brand, in 2017.
Forbes Middle East has issued its first list of Arab movers and shakers under the age of 30, who are revolutionizing their respective fields through innovative ideas.
“With over 60 percent of the population under the age of 30, the very first class of Arab 30 under 30 is a dynamic mix of social entrepreneurs, artists, celebrities and intellectuals,” reads Forbes Middle East’s website.
The list features Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf, 29, who was awarded a recording contract and gained a legion of adoring fans when he won Arab Idol in 2013.
Another high achiever is the UAE’s new Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence Omar bin Sultan Al-Olama, who at 29 is responsible for selecting the learning tools for the country’s smart government services.
Egyptian footballer and Liverpool striker Mohammad Salah was also featured on the list. The 25-year-old is currently the second highest goal scorer in the English Premier League.
In October last year, he led Egypt to its first football World Cup finals since 1990, after having scored five goals in the qualifiers.


Startup of the Week: Purple Brain to raise media standards

Updated 25 September 2018
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Startup of the Week: Purple Brain to raise media standards

  • Purple Brain is mainly focused into the commercial world, which is tough and competitive, not only here but worldwide

JEDDAH: Purple Brain in Jeddah is a production and content house whose services range from illustration and animation to writing and producing films and commercials.
It was founded in March, 2017 by Otbah Rayess and cofounder Maria Mahdaly after the success of a campaign they have created together, and won awards on “Try Local”, films made in collaboration with Destination KSA. The two realized that there is a high demand for content in the region, and more so now in Saudi Arabia.
Rayess said that Purple Brain was born in line with Saudi Vision 2030. “Purple Brain works closely with a lot of entities to develop beautiful and unique content from Saudi Arabia to the world, which is perfectly aligned with the vision to improve and change the image of the country into a better, more advanced one.
“The company always aims to produce local content with international standards, as we truly believe that this country has so much to offer and so many stories to tell, and we are just here to bridge and connect with the world through stories and visual content,” he told Arab News.
What makes Purple Brain stand out from other media production companies in commercials is their storytelling style.
“Purple Brain is mainly focused into the commercial world, which is tough and competitive, not only here but worldwide. We aim to be known and recognized for our unique storytelling style in commercials. Therefore, we try to always produce content that is story-driven and treated like short narratives. Even if it’s presented in just a picture.”
Purple Brain have participated in the “Colors of Saudi Arabia Forum,” a photo and video contest organized by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), and won first place two years in a row for the campaign “Try Local” in 2016 and 2017. “The two winning films highlighted stories of foreigners experiencing both Jeddah and Riyadh through a beautiful, rich and very local journey,” Rayess said.
They have produced a couple of short films. One, “About Her,” is a 15-minute narrative that tells the story of a 60-year-old writer lost between his real world and his fictional world. The film was screened at Warner Bros. Studios in Los Angeles, and also in Jeddah.
Rayess and Mahdaly have also worked on other campaigns for SCTH, and for the Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Nahdi Medical Co. and other clients.
Purple Brain aims to revolutionize and raise standards in media and content in the region.
“We are aiming to produce long narratives and features with very high standards in the near future. Hopefully that would not only get us recognized globally but also have a huge impact on so many lives. We believe that we have a strong, very powerful, tool, and we have to make sure to use it well and help make this world a better place,” Rayess said.
Purple Brain content can been seen at www.purplebrain.co.