THE ROUNDUP — Regional pop-culture highlights for February

Lebanese band 'Mashrou’ Leila.' (Supplied)
Updated 25 February 2019

THE ROUNDUP — Regional pop-culture highlights for February

Dubai: The regions pop culture highlights for the month of February 2019.


Mashrou’ Leila

The leading lights of the region’s alternative music scene return with their first new track in some time. “Cavalry” is the first release from the Lebanese band’s upcoming fifth studio album “The Beirut Story” and a continuation of the glossier, electro-pop sound the band mined so successfully on 2015’s “Ibn El Leil.” It is, the band explain, “an ode to putting up a fight, even when the odds are stacked against us.”



Another of the region’s big-hitters on the indie scene, Egyptian hip-hop duo Sharmoofers, dropped a new track this month. “Enfesam” has a typically infectious chorus to go with the upbeat instrumentation. The video features a few famous faces, including actor Fathy Abdel Wahab, vlogger Marwan Younis, and actress Hend Abdelhalim, and has already racked up close to 1 million views on YouTube.


Jimi & The Saint ft. Hana Malhas

The Cairo-based electro-rockers (Jimi Elgohary and Rami Sidky) collaborated with Jordanian singer-songwriter Hana Malhas on this melancholy but uplifting mid-tempo track about love in a troubled world. “We can’t run away together,” the vocalists lament over reverb-heavy guitar and a pounding drumbeat. The track is dedicated to Sidky, who was jailed last year under confusing circumstances.


Hoda Barakat wins Arab Booker for ‘The Night Mail’

Updated 24 April 2019

Hoda Barakat wins Arab Booker for ‘The Night Mail’

  • The author will receive a prize of $50,000 for her winning novel “The Night Mail”
  • The book includes a series of letters from individuals who are facing social and personal issues

ABU DHABI: Lebanese author Hoda Barakat has won the Booker international prize for Arabic fiction for her novel “The Night Mail.”
She will receive $50,000 and the five other authors who reached the final short-list will each receive $10,000, the organizers revealed late Tuesday.
Conceived in Abu Dhabi in 2007, the prize is supported by the Booker Prize Foundation in London and financed by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism.
Born in Beirut, Hoda Barakat lives in Paris and has published several novels including “The Stone of Laughter” and “My Master and My Lover.”
“The Night Mail” is her sixth novel and has been translated into French.
Alongside the prize money, funds will also be provided for translating the book into English.
The novel consists of a series of letters by individuals “facing social misery and their own demons,” according to publisher Actes Sud.
Abu Dhabi, capital of the emirate of the same name, has become an increasingly significant cultural hub.
The city hosts the Louvre Abu Dhabi — the first museum to take the name “Louvre” outside France — which houses nearly 600 works in a futuristic building designed by French architect Jean Nouvel.