Arab Social Media Influencer Summit kicks off in Dubai with star-studded lineup

The Kattan sisters founded popular beauty brand Huda Beauty and spoke at Monday's event. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 10 December 2018
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Arab Social Media Influencer Summit kicks off in Dubai with star-studded lineup

DUBAI: The glittering who’s who of the Middle East’s social media world gathered in Dubai Monday for a day of talks at the Arab Social Media Influencers Summit (ASMIS), organized by the Dubai Press Club.

This was the third edition of the summit, and also its biggest yet. The event featured a star-studded guest list, with Saudi TV personality Lojain Omran, fashion blogger Ola Farahat, Emirati singer Hussain Al-Jasmi and Saudi fashion blogger and designer Tamara Al-Gabbani participating, according to event organizers.

The event included talks given by high-profile influencers. Huda and Mona Kattan, known for their hugely-popular makeup brand Huda Beauty, spoke about their experience of building a beauty brand that has gone on to hit shelves around the world. Meanwhile, Murad and Nataly Osmann, creators of the much-copied “#followmeto” project that went viral on Instagram, also discussed their influences and inspirations and talked about their ascent to fame.

Social media influencers from all over the Arab region gathered together for networking opportunities, panels and discussions at the World Trade Center in the heart of the city and the day was topped off with a keynote address by Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan.

 “We are delighted to welcome an iconic Arab figure such as Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, who is also a well-known character in the field of humanitarian and charitable work with an emphasis on issues related to education and youth development,” said Mona Ghanem Al-Marri, president of Dubai Press Club and chairperson of the ASMIS Organizing Committee, in her speech to the crowd.

Other speakers included Roaya Saleh; Bahraini restaurateur and founder of the Villa Mamas restaurant, Egyptian comedy star Mohamed Henedy and Max of Arabia, the half-British, half-American social media star who lives in the UAE and speaks Arabic like a pro.


Iranian women protest US arrest of state TV journalist

Updated 20 January 2019
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Iranian women protest US arrest of state TV journalist

  • The journalist’s family and friends say she was arrested in Louis Lambert International Airport on Jan. 13
  • Iran’s Foreign Minister says the arrest stands in the way of free speech

TEHRAN: Dozens of women staged a protest in in Tehran on Sunday calling for the release of an Iranian state TV journalist arrested in the United States.
The demonstrators waved pictures of Marzieh Hashemi at the rally in front of the Swiss Embassy which handles US interests in the Islamic republic.
US-born Hashemi, who works for Iran’s English-language Press TV, was held on arrival at St. Louis Lambert International Airport on January 13, according to family and friends cited by Press TV.
Hashemi, a Muslim convert who changed her name from Melanie Franklin, had reportedly been visiting her ill brother and other family members.
A US court on Friday confirmed the arrest, saying her testimony is required over an unspecified case but that she is not accused of a crime.
At a hearing in Washington, a judge ordered the partial unsealing of an order on Hashemi.
It said that Hashemi was arrested on “a material arrest warrant” and would be let go after she gave testimony to a grand jury investigating unspecified “violations of US criminal law.”
The protesters in Tehran, including students and female members of the paramilitary Basij militia, shouted slogans such as “we are all Marzieh” and carried posters with the hashtag #FreeMarziehHashemi.
“We demand that she is immediately released and returned to her family in full health,” demonstrator Minaeepour told AFP.
Iran’s FM Javad Zarif on Thursday described the detention as a “political action” by the United States that “tramples on freedom of speech” and demanded she be set free.
Zarif said that since Hashemi was married to an Iranian she is considered as an Iranian national and “it is our duty to defend our citizens.”