Fake News Watch: Saudi airports and Egyptian rumors

Saudi Arabia’s Civil Aviation Authority has denied social media rumors that the project to establish Al-Qunfudah airport has been canceled. (Supplied)
Updated 20 May 2019
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Fake News Watch: Saudi airports and Egyptian rumors

A weekly round-up of bogus reports and phony facts in the mainstream and social media.

1. Al-Qunfudah airfield works still ongoing
Saudi Arabia’s Civil Aviation Authority has denied social media rumors that the project to establish Al-Qunfudah airport has been canceled, Sabq reported.
The authority’s spokesperson told the Saudi newspaper that the airport project “is ongoing, and is currently in the technical procedures phase, to complete the measures for appointing the project’s supervision consultant.”
Al-Qunfudah, in the Makkah region, will be Saudi Arabia’s 28th airport.

2. Egypt rumors put to rest
A security source in Egypt’s governorate of Sharqia has denied rumors of finding the body of a child “slaughtered” in what was feared to be part of an organ-trade ring.
The source, quoted in a report by news website Masrawy, said such fake news spreads fear among residents.
A number of news websites had showed a picture of a 13-year-old child, claiming he was found “slaughtered” and that “his organs were taken away.”
Measures will be taken against those who promoted such news on social media, the security source added.


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.’