Arab News Saudi National Day video scoops top WAN-IFRA prize

Updated 07 March 2019
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Arab News Saudi National Day video scoops top WAN-IFRA prize

  • The video was commissioned to mark the start of Arab News' coverage of Vision 2030
  • Arab News has one several awards for its design

DUBAI: A video produced for Saudi National Day by Arab News has scooped the top prize in an international media award ceremony held in Dubai on Wednesday.

The video was commissioned to launch the newspaper's 'Road to 2030' section which encompasses a series of reports focusing on tracking the progress and reforms happening in the kingdom, such as allowing women to drive and reopening cinemas.

The online video category at the WAN-IFRA Middle East Awards is the latest award given to the Saudi Arabian English language daily since its relaunch in April 2018, after picking up silver in the “redesigned product category” at the WAN-IFRA Print Innovation Awards, held in Berlin on Oct. 9.

Arab News scooped another international design award last month, this time recogniz in the international design awards run by “HOW” magazine for its iconic Women Drivers cover of a special souvenir edition on June 24 of last year.

Simon Khalil, global creative director at Arab News, said: “Saudi Arabia is such an exciting country full of rich history and amazing people.

“The video reflects that history and focusses on the incredibly bright future Saudi Arabia has thanks to the Road to 2030 initiative, these really are exciting times for the Kingdom and for any designers and content creators it is an absolute joy to work with such exciting and positive stories.

“Since our redesign and relaunch last April we have done amazing things and always look for innovative and exiting ways to engage with our readers. Long may that continue,” he added.

The video was produced to highlight Saudi Arabia’s past, present and future.

WAN-IFRA, a global association of newspapers and news publishers, recognizes publishers that have adopted digital media and mobile strategies as part of their total product offering to “meet the changes in how people consume news and information.”


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.’