Sofia Essaïdi to play Umm Kulthum in biopic

Updated 15 September 2015
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Sofia Essaïdi to play Umm Kulthum in biopic

BEIRUT: Iconic Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum is getting her own biopic, and Sofia Essaïdi has been chosen to play the role of one of the most memorable singers in the Arab world.
The French-Moroccan singer-actress was deemed to bear the most resemblance to Umm Kulthum. But that’s not all, this hottie can sing too.
As a former contestant on the talent competition Star Academy, the Moroccan singer of a French mother is the ideal artist to star in this film, fittingly titled “The Voice.”
“It’s a huge challenge,” the singer said. “I grew up in Morocco in a more Europeanized family because my mother is French, but despite that, we couldn’t miss Umm Kulthum’s songs,” she said.
“My mother always told me stories about her. Thanks to Umm Kulthum, she learned Arabic phonetics.”


French football fans queue for shirt carrying second star

Updated 17 August 2018
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French football fans queue for shirt carrying second star

  • National team’s new shirts carry a second star to mark Les Bleus’ World Cup win in Russia
  • The Nike-branded strips are huge money-spinners costing €85 euros each

PARIS: Scores of French football fans queued on Friday to snap up the first of the national team’s new shirts carrying a second star to mark Les Bleus’ World Cup win in Russia.
The crowning of France as world champions unleashed a wave of euphoria across the country, helping foster a brief sense of national unity after years of tension and self-examination in the wake of attacks by militants since 2015.
“I’ll keep it all my life. It’s the second star! They made our dreams come true on the pitch,” said fan Brice Chevalier as he queued to enter the French Football Federation’s store in Paris.
France first won the World Cup, earning its first star, in 1998 with Zinedine Zidane its talisman and playmaker in an era when the team was referred to as Black-Blanc-Beur (Black-White-Arab), a reference to its diverse ethnic make up.
In Russia, they beat Croatia 4-2, with President Emmanuel Macron leaping for joy in the stands.
“I’m chuffed, I’ve been waiting a month for this moment,” said another life-long supporter, Jerome Cornec.
The Nike-branded strips are huge money-spinners. France’s official shirt costs €85 euros ($97).