As Drake sets streaming record, Arab fans go wild over ‘habibi’ lyric

Drake ended Ed Sheeran’s two-week reign atop the Billboard 200 album chart on Monday. (File photo: Reuters)
Updated 29 March 2017
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As Drake sets streaming record, Arab fans go wild over ‘habibi’ lyric

DUBAI: Canadian rapper Drake recently dropped his latest album “More Life” and fans around the world went wild but Arab admirers took to social media to explain why they, in particular, were so excited about the album which has set a new record.
In a song called “Portland,” the Canadian artist referencing a Toronto-based shisha bar called Habibiz, saying “it’s all habibiz ting, ya?”
Arab social media users picked up on his use of the Arabic language and some took to Twitter to celebrate while others were just very, very confused.
“Arabs on twitter acting like Drake invented the word Habibi,” one user tweeted.

“lmao at drake saying “habibi ting” in portland my guy u confusing me,” another said.

Meanwhile, some got down to celebrating Drake’s use of the word.

Laptops were pushed aside.

Some just couldn’t understand what was going on.

Drake ended Ed Sheeran’s two-week reign atop the Billboard 200 album chart on Monday, selling a monster 505,000 copies of his new album “More Life,” according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan.
The rapper, the world’s best-selling artist of 2016, took the No. 1 spot, setting a new streaming record and bringing home the biggest US sales week for any album since his 2016 release “Views.”
Nielsen said 257,000 units were earned from streaming, beating Drake’s previous record-setting 163,000 streaming units for “Views.”
The Billboard 200 album chart tallies units from album sales, song sales (10 songs equal one album) and streaming activity (1,500 streams equal one album).
Drake’s new release pushed British singer-songwriter Sheeran’s “Divide” into second place on the Billboard 200 with some 118,000 units sold.

(With Reuters)


International Hay Festival set to arrive in the UAE

UAE’s Ministry of Tolerance announced Wednesday that the event will start on Feb. 24. (Supplied)
Updated 18 September 2019

International Hay Festival set to arrive in the UAE

DUBAI: For its first edition in the Arab World, the international Hay Festival will arrive in the UAE on Feb. 24, at Abu Dhabi’s Manarat Al-Saadiyat and other venues across the city, UAE’s Ministry of Tolerance announced Wednesday. 

The four-day event will host workshops, artistic performances, new technology discovery, storytelling and many more art and literature-related activities.

The festival will take place at Abu Dhabi’s Manarat Al-Saadiyat and other venues across the city. (Supplied)

Since 1987, the Hay Festival has launched 125 events globally, attracting more than 4.5 million people to events in 30 locations. 

The festival, originally based in Whales, will bring together writers and thinkers from different cultures and backgrounds to discuss ideas, share knowledge and host conversations. 

The festival aims to spark imagination and curiosity, from children and young literature enthusiasts to seasoned readers.

The Minster of Tolerance Sheikh Nahyan Mabarak Al-Nahyan said: “Hay Festival Abu Dhabi will be an important initiative of our Year of Tolerance, which celebrates the legacy of our nation’s founder, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, whose tolerance enabled the success we enjoy as a country today.”

Minster of Tolerance Sheikh Nahyan Mabarak Al-Nahyan announced the news in a press conference in Abu Dhabi. (Supplied) 

 “(The event) is not only about bringing the festival to Abu Dhabi, but taking Abu Dhabi to the world,” the international director of the Hay Festival, Cristina La Roche, told Arab News.

Cristina La Roche is the international director of the Hay Festival. (Supplied)

The award-winning Syrian poet Adonis is said to be attending the festival and will celebrate his 90th birthday with the participants. “He is one of the world’s greatest poets. He is unquestionably influential not only in Arabic but to poets all around the globe,” Peter Florence, director of Hay Festival, told Arab News.   

Peter Florence is the director of Hay Festival. (Supplied) 

Other award-winning novelists like the Saudi Muhammed Hasan Alwan and the Omani Jokha Alharthi will also attend the event. 

Conversations will take place in multiple languages and all sessions will be live translated into Arabic and English. Tickets to all sessions will be free for those in full time education.