Oscar nominee Al-Mansour returns with The Wedding Singer’s Daughter

Saudi Arabian director Haifaa Al-Mansour says the storyline was a deliberate choice as ‘weddings are the actual mirror of society in Saudi Arabia.’ (AFP)
Updated 03 September 2018

Oscar nominee Al-Mansour returns with The Wedding Singer’s Daughter

  • Her film is the latest installment from Miu Miu’s ‘Women’s Tales’ series
  • It will premiere at the Venice Film Festival which ends on September 8

DUBAI: Oscar-nominated Saudi Arabian director Haifaa Al-Mansour is back with “The Wedding Singer’s Daughter” — a short film which will premiere at the ongoing Venice Film Festival ending on September 8.
Set in 1980s Riyadh, the film narrates the story of a singer and her daughter at a wedding party. Al-Mansour says the storyline was a deliberate choice as “weddings are the actual mirror of society in Saudi Arabia”, Vogue Arabia reported.
Saudi singer Rotana Tarabzouni has directed the film’s music and also stars in the film — the latest installment in Italian fashion house Miu Miu’s “Women’s Tales”.
The initiative, launched by the label in 2011, is a platform for women directors to showcase their work.
Al-Mansour, talking from Los Angeles where she is currently based, said that the Miu project is significant for her as a filmmaker as “it’s very important for women to tell their stories”.
‘Wadjda’ — about a Saudi girl who dreams of owning a bicycle — propelled Al-Mansour to the international stage by being the first Oscar entry from Saudi Arabia, directed by its first woman filmmaker.
Next up on the Saudi director’s to-do list is “The Perfect Candidate”, a feature film where she will work with the new national Saudi Film Council. The film, which will be shot in Riyadh, explores the story of a young woman physician fighting to fulfill her political ambitions in a male-dominated society.
Optimistic about the growing support of cinema in her home country, Al-Mansour said that it’s “wonderful to be part of the revolution of film in the country”.

Fans tease Kourtney Kardashian over Arabic playlist

Kourtney Kardashian shared a playlist full of Arabic songs online. (AFP)
Updated 14 October 2019

Fans tease Kourtney Kardashian over Arabic playlist

DUBAI: Twitter users poked fun at US reality television star Kourtney Kardashian’s “Armenian playlist,” which she shared on her website Poosh.com earlier this week, over its mostly Arab music.

Kourtney visited the country with her sister Kim Kardashian, who baptized her children during a visit to their ancestral homeland, Armenia.

After the visit, the reality star took to her website, and her Instagram Stories, to share a specially curated playlist titled “Armenian playlist” — except the head-bopping tunes were mostly Arabic.

While the list did include Armenian music, Kourtney, the eldest of the Kardashian sisters, also had a number of Arabic hits such as “Lolaak Habibi” by Egyptian star Tamer Hosny, “Boshret Kheir” by Emirati singer Hussain Al-Jassmi and “Ya Tabtab Wa Dallaa” by Lebanese sensation Nancy Ajram.

According to her website, “The curation includes a mix of new and classic rap, Arabic pop, and R&B songs she (listened) to on her trip.”

“To be fair she didn’t say it was an ‘Armenian Playlist.’ It’s a playlist for her trip to Armenia. Lord knows my Paris playlist isn’t exclusive to French music,” one fan shared on Twitter.

But other users chose to tease Kardashian over her choice of title.

“When a majority of Kourtney’s Armenian playlist are Arabic songs looooool (sic),” one user tweeted. 

“I laughed at it being called an Armenian playlist when 7/8 of the songs are Arabic,” another Twitter user posted.

Kardashian’s Armenian ancestors on her father’s side emigrated to the US from an area that now lies in Turkey.

The visit was the stars’ first to the nation since a 2015 trip marking the centenary of the mass killings of Armenians that saw her husband give a chaotic, impromptu concert in capital Yerevan.

The sisters were accompanied by Kim’s four children — aged four months to six-years-old. Her elder daughter, North, was baptized in 2015 in the Armenian church in Jerusalem, but joined her siblings in Armenia. Rapper Kanye West, Kim’s husband, was not present at the baptism.

“Thank you Armenia for hosting my family and I in such a memorable trip,” Kim  posted on Instagram at the time. “So blessed to have been baptized along with my babies at Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Armenia’s main cathedral which is sometimes referred to as the Vatican of the Armenian Apostolic Church. This church was built in 303 AD.”

On their visit, Kim gave a speech at the World Congress on Information Technology, where she heaped praise on Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, calling her a “brave and amazing young woman” and said she shared her concerns about climate change.

Talking about plans for her businesses, which include beauty products and shapewear, Kim said she was considering opening a factory and investing in Armenia.

“I'm excited as tonight I have a meeting and I'm gonna talk about future investments and opening up a factory here and how to really bring this (business) to Armenia (sic),” Kim said.