Fake news watch: Books and bankruptcies

Updated 08 January 2019
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Fake news watch: Books and bankruptcies

LONDON: Arab News examines a weekly round-up of fake news doing the rounds.

1 Jordan’s media response unit said it has quelled 22 rumors in 36 hours

The head of Jordan’s media response unit at the National Center for Security and Crisis Management said the center has intecepted and quelled 22 fake stories over the past 36 hours. 

In an interview with Jordanian TV channel Roya, Ahmad Naimat said several social media accounts were guilty of spreading these stories, adding that he personally does not rule out the theory that this was a “systematic and organized” effort to spread fake news and was no coincidence. He added that the rumors involved stories of people going bankrupt and the owners of investments (and others involved in financial scandals) fleeing the country. 

2 Music body denies questioning Egyptian singer over NYE remarks 

The Egyptian Music Syndicate has denied reports claiming that it has referred singer Sherine Abdel Wahab for investigation over allegedly insulting her country during her latest New Year’s Eve concert. The syndicate, headed by Egyptian singer Hani Shaker said they have not received any complaint against the famous singer. They also said they have not received any recordings of the NYE concert, during which the singer is claimed to have insulted Egypt, and therefore the syndicate did not take any action against her.

Sherine became the talk of the town following a remark she had made that was deemed “offensive to Egypt.” In her latest concert, the singer “jokingly” told the audience “I’m too good for Egypt” when the mic cut off during one of her performances. 

3 Egypt publishers’ union denies ‘confiscation’ of books at Jeddah book fair 

Saeed Abdu, head of the Egyptian Publishers’ Union, has denied that some books were removed from the Jeddah International Book Exhibition, which was held from Dec. 26 to Jan. 6. 

In statements quoted by Al-Bawaba News, Saeed denied allegations that Egyptian publishers prevented the circulation of certain books at the Jeddah exhibition.

The news comes after one Egyptian writer took to his personal social media account to tell followers that some of his books were removed from the exhibition although he had acquired government permits to showcase them at the event. 


Google Doodle serves up falafel in quirky animation

Updated 18 June 2019
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Google Doodle serves up falafel in quirky animation

  • It is believed falafels originated in Egypt, where they were called ta’ameya and made of fava beans
  • The popularity of falafel then moved towards the Levant area, where the use of chickpea became a staple

DUBAI: One of the Middle East’s favorite dishes has been featured in a Google Doodle as the site apparently took a break from the Women’s World Cup.

Google had been running a series of doodles about the major sporting event, but on Tuesday – apparently randomly - focused on what the search giant described as the “best thing that ever happened to chickpeas.”

We don’t know why they chose Tuesday to run the Doodle – June 12 having been International Falafel Day.  

But the Middle East’s claim to these mouthwatering balls of chickpeas, onions, herbs and spices is undeniable.

Here's a simple step-by-step guide to making falafels, posted by food blog Food Wishes:

It is believed falafels originated in Egypt, where they were called ta’ameya and made of fava beans, about a thousand years ago, by Coptic Christians who ate them during lent as a meat substitute.

Another version of the story suggests that it goes further back to Pharaonic times – traces of fava beans were said to be found in the tombs of the Pharaohs, according to website Egyptian Streets, and that there were paintings from ancient Egypt showing people making the food.

The popularity of falafel then moved towards the Levant area, where the use of chickpea became a staple.

Over the years, many variations of falafel were invented, with global fast food chain McDonalds joining in the falafel craze with its McFalafel.

Popular Iraqi-American comedian Remy Munasifi, attracted more than 1.5 million views for a song about falafels he posted on his YouTube account “GoRemy.’