‘Nida’a’ to give Arab woman a voice

Updated 12 July 2015
0

‘Nida’a’ to give Arab woman a voice

CAIRO: The TLC network is launching its first program in MENA, a chat show aimed at Arab women, Variety reports.
Award-winning founder of ‘Women for Women International’, Zainab Salbi, will host ‘Nida’a’ (the calling) which is set to hit the MENA screens in October on OSN.
The Iraqi-born host was nominated by Bill Clinton as a “21st century heroine,” and the former US president is in the line-up as guests on the show. Other personalities that are scheduled to appear are Arab idol winner Mohammed Assaf, fashion designer Donna Karan and Egyptian actress Yusra.
“Nida’a” is being touted as giving Arab women “a voice and platform in a way that has never been done before, as diverse topics such as women’s issues, current events, pop culture, entertainment, food and fashion are all covered in front of a studio audience,” TLC said in a statement.
“The ‘Nida’a’ show aims at inspiring, supporting and empowering young Muslim and Arab women to achieve their full potential in society,” Salbi said. “It provides high quality entertainment and current affairs content with a fresh, engaging and intelligent tone, reflective of young women in the Middle East today,” she added.
“The Nida’a show is a groundbreaking programming concept within the region and will focus on the empowerment of women and celebration of their contribution both regionally and internationally,” Emad Morcos, OSN senior VP of media partners and digital, told World Screen.
“The show will highlight and address topics relevant to women globally. The guests featured on the show will be world renowned and high-profile figures, sharing their thoughts and experiences.”


No politics please for Baghdad bikers aiming to unite Iraq

Updated 21 January 2019
0

No politics please for Baghdad bikers aiming to unite Iraq

  • The Iraq Bikers — who now number 380 — are men of all ages, social classes and various faiths
  • With his black bandana and goatee, the leader of the Baghdad pack, known as “Captain,” looks the epitome of the American biker-outlaw

BAGHDAD: Roaring along Baghdad’s highways, the “Iraq Bikers” are doing more than showing off their love of outsized motorcycles and black leather: they want their shared enthusiasm to help heal Iraq’s deep sectarian rifts.
Weaving in and out of traffic, only the lucky few ride Harley Davidsons — a rare and expensive brand in Iraq — while others make do with bikes pimped-up to look something like the “Easy Rider” dream machines.
“Our goal is to build a brotherhood,” said Bilal Al-Bayati, 42, a government employee who founded the club in 2012 with the aim of improving the image of biker gangs and to promote unity after years of sectarian conflict.
That is why the first rule of his bikers club is: you do not talk about politics.
“It is absolutely prohibited to talk politics among members,” Bayati told Reuters as he sat with fellow bikers in a shisha cafe, a regular hangout for members.
“Whenever politics is mentioned, the members are warned once or twice and then expelled. We no longer have the strength to endure these tragedies or to repeat them,” he said, referring to sectarian violence.
With his black bandana and goatee, the leader of the Baghdad pack, known as “Captain,” looks the epitome of the American biker-outlaw.
But while their style is unmistakably US-inspired — at least one of Bayati’s cohorts wears a helmet emblazoned with the stars and stripes — these bikers fly the Iraqi flag from the panniers of their machines.
The Iraq Bikers — who now number 380 — are men of all ages, social classes and various faiths. One of their most recent events was taking part in Army Day celebrations.
Some are in the military, the police and even the Popular Mobilization Forces, a grouping of mostly Shiite militias which have taken part in the fight to oust Islamic State from Iraq in the last three years.
“It is a miniature Iraq,” said member Ahmed Haidar, 36, who works with an international relief agency.
But riding a chopper through Baghdad is quite different from Route 101. The bikers have to slow down at the many military checkpoints set up around the city to deter suicide and car bomb attacks.
And very few can afford a top bike.
“We don’t have a Harley Davidson franchise here,” said Kadhim Naji, a mechanic who specializes in turning ordinary motorbikes into something special.
“So what we do is we alter the motorbike, so it looks similar ... and it is cheaper.”