Looking back: The changemakers we lost in 2018

Notable deaths of 2018. (AFP)
Updated 13 December 2018
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Looking back: The changemakers we lost in 2018

PARIS: From soul diva Aretha Franklin to astrophysicist Stephen Hawking and former UN chief Kofi Annan, here are some of the notable figures who passed away in 2018:
Dolores O’Riordan, singer-songwriter of Irish band The Cranberries, drowned accidentally in a hotel bath aged 46.

Ingvar Kamprad, Swedish founder of affordable flat-pack furnishing empire IKEA, passed away at home aged 91.

French fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy, famous for the “little black dress,” died in his sleep aged 91.

Physicist Stephen Hawking, Britain’s most famous modern-day scientist and known for popularising the secrets of the universe, died at home aged 76. He spent most of his life in a wheelchair and communicated via a computer speech synthesiser.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, former wife of Nelson Mandela and an anti-apartheid icon in her own right, died in hospital aged 81 and after a long illness.

Barbara Bush, the wife of US president George H.W. Bush (in office between 1989 and 1993) and mother of president George W. Bush (2001-2009), passed away aged 92.

Swedish superstar DJ Avicii, whose real name was Tim Bergling, was found dead in Muscat aged 28, reportedly after committing suicide.

American handbag designer Kate Spade committed suicide at the age of 55.

US chef and television food show host Anthony Bourdain, 61, committed suicide in Alsace, eastern France, where he was filming for his Emmy-winning CNN food and travel program “Parts Unknown.”

XXXTentacion, a 20-year-old rapper whose grim rhymes propelled him to the top of the US chart, was shot in Florida in a possible robbery attempt.

French “chef of the century” Joel Robuchon, who at one point held a record 32 Michelin stars at the same time, died aged 73 from pancreatic cancer.

Aretha Franklin, American “Queen of Soul” behind hits such as “Respect” and “Natural Woman,” died of cancer aged 76. Her nearly eight-hour funeral was attended by former presidents, stars and musical royalty.

Kofi Annan, secretary general of the United Nations between 1997 and 2006, died after a short illness at age 80. He was given a state funeral in his native Ghana.

John McCain — US Republican senator, Vietnam War hero and two-time presidential candidate — died aged 81 following a year-long battle with brain cancer.

Charles Aznavour, legendary French-Armenian crooner, passed away at the age of 94.

Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft with Bill Gates and later a billionaire and philanthropist, died from cancer aged 65.

Gilberto Benetton, one of the founders of the eponymous Italian clothes brand, died aged 77 after an illness.

American comics legend Stan Lee — co-creator of global action hero favorites including Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, X-Men and Black Panther — passed away aged 95.

Former US president George H.W. Bush died aged 94, just months after his wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush. They were the parents of president George W. Bush.

Belgium’s richest man, multi-billionaire entrepreneur Albert Frere, passed away aged 92.

 


Oscars 2019: Arab nominees at the 91st Academy Awards

Updated 23 February 2019
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Oscars 2019: Arab nominees at the 91st Academy Awards

DUBAI: The Oscars countdown is almost over - both fans and critics have already locked in their favorites over who will take home this year’s trophies.

It is a particularly exciting season for Arabs and Muslims, as a few Oscar contenders are set to make history for the region. 

Rami Malek for Best Actor

It would be a big upset if Rami Malek does not win the coveted Best Actor trophy on Feb. 24, as his epic transformation into rock legend Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody” has been recognized in every awards show preceding the 91st Academy Awards: The Golden Globes, the BAFTAs and SAG.

Born to immigrant parents, the Egyptian American is poised to make history as the first actor of Arab descent to clinch the top acting prize at the Oscars, seen as one of the highest recognitions in the field. In 2016, he scored an Emmy for his performance in the hit TV show “Mr. Robot.”

Mahershala Ali for Best Supporting Actor

A frontrunner for Best Supporting Actor, Mahershala Ali is heading strong into the Oscars with multiple wins on his resume for his role in the historical dramedy “Green Book.”

The 44-year-old made headlines in 2017 when he became the first Muslim to win Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars in its 91-year history. Ali could replicate this success this year.

Capernaum for Best Foreign Film

Oprah Winfrey, a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has said Nadine Labaki’s “Capernaum,” nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, is a must-see.

Ever since the Lebanese drama won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, more and more people, including colleagues in the film industry, have been praising Labaki’s work.

But it is going to be an uphill battle as her film competes with Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma,” which has won all foreign-language film recognitions ahead of the Oscars.

Of Father and Sons for Best Documentary Feature

Berlin-based Syrian director Talal Derki took it to a different level when he lived with a Daesh family to shoot his award-winning documentary “Of Father and Sons,” which depicts radicalization from a very personal viewpoint, and is nominated for Best Documentary Feature.

But the courageous Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner is up against a tough bunch, including fan favorite “RBG,” which documents the life of US Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, a living legend in American law.

Critics have also placed their bets on “Free Solo,” a sports documentary that depicts the athletic feat of professional rock climber Alex Hammond.