Lebanese icon hits right notes in Saudi debut

Wael Kfoury croons his way to the hearts of his Saudi fans on Sunday night. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 16 July 2019

Lebanese icon hits right notes in Saudi debut

  • Wael Kfoury has the audience enthralled during the show

JEDDAH: Lebanese singer-songwriter Wael Kfoury, dubbed “the king of romance,” charmed his Saudi audience on Sunday in his first concert in the Kingdom, which was held at King Abdullah Sports City as part of the Jeddah Season festival.

Kfoury, who has been active for more than 25 years and has 17 albums, won Best Arabic Male Singer at the Arab Nation Music Awards in 2017.

He gained popularity in 1996 after releasing the song “Min Habibi Ana,” a duet with Lebanese pop singer Nawal Al-Zoghbi.

At Sunday’s concert, Kfoury modified his song “Yis’id Sabahak” to pay tribute to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Kingdom’s people.

The audience was extremely enthusiastic, chanting Kfoury’s name, cheering with excitement and singing along to every song.

Fans said they were very happy to have the Lebanese icon perform in the Kingdom for the first time, and thanked the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) for its efforts to provide high-quality entertainment in Saudi Arabia.

FASTFACT

Wael Kfoury won Best Arabic Male Singer at the Arab Nation Music Awards in 2017.

“We’re so happy to have him here. I’m one of his biggest fans. Many thanks to the GEA, which brought us events that we really wanted in Jeddah,” said Dima Rasheed.

Abdullah Qabel said: “We were raised listening to Kfoury’s songs when were younger. We’re very happy to be here and attend his concert in our country. Many thanks to the GEA for making all these events available for us. I look forward to more.”

Ebraheem Moawad said: “It was an amazing experience. I’d like to thank the GEA because I never thought I could see these artists in Saudi Arabia. I always thought I should travel to see them, but seeing them in my country is amazing.”

Mona Abdullah said: “I never thought I’d attend a Kfoury concert in Saudi Arabia. I’d always imagined I had to travel to attend his concerts. I was very excited to attend. Kfoury has been one of my favorite artists since I was 10 years old.”

Lamya Ajaj said: “Kfoury is one of the most significant artists to me, and he has so many fans here. I was so happy he came to Saudi Arabia. 

“Jeddah Season’s efforts are unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, from the various exciting shows and organizing, to the professional and helpful volunteers.”


Emirati- Palestinian Lana Hattab’s modern take on modest fashion

Lana Hattab shows off various looks around the UAE. (Supplied)
Updated 4 sec ago

Emirati- Palestinian Lana Hattab’s modern take on modest fashion

DUBAI: To many, modest wear is an expression of their religious beliefs, but to Lana Hattab, modesty defines who she really is. “It is part of me,” she said in an interview with Arab News.

The Emirati-Palestinian blogger, who is based in the UAE, hopes to provide inspiration to young women who may find it challenging to dress conservatively yet still look fashionable.

Lana Hattab said her dual culture has helped shape her style. (Supplied)

According to the 22-year-old, “it is very important for modest-wear influencers to have a strong presence on social media because such women inspire young girls to stick to their culture and religious beliefs.”

While many women struggle to see a representation of themselves on the internet, Hattab said she hopes to constantly remind women that they have the choice of being who they want to be. “Optionality is key,” she said.  

Lana Hattab was raised in the UAE. (Supplied)

“International brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Max Mara, Gucci, Nike and Adidas have adapted to the Middle Eastern culture and are aware of the modest market, which makes it easier for women to relate more to these international brands now,” she added.

When speaking about the pressure that social media has on women, Hattab said that people are much wiser than they might appear on Instagram. “It is not always about dressing modestly, but rather about dressing confidently. A lot of women think of the hijab as a restriction, but I believe you can look very modern, very friendly and very classy while being comfortable to the extent of how much each person wants to cover up,” she added.

The 22-year-old studied accounting. (Supplied) 

The blogger, who has 44,000 followers on Instagram, said “even though my platform is mainly about fashion and beauty, I also like to share with my followers what I do on a daily basis. It reflects my daily life and portrays how a hijabi is just like everyone else.”

Hattab, who has a degree in accounting, is busy establishing a Dubai-based business with her partners that is yet to be announced. She is also collaborating with international and regional brands on upcoming projects.