THE ROUNDUP — Regional pop-culture highlights for February

Lebanese band 'Mashrou’ Leila.' (Supplied)
Updated 25 February 2019

THE ROUNDUP — Regional pop-culture highlights for February

Dubai: The regions pop culture highlights for the month of February 2019.


Mashrou’ Leila

The leading lights of the region’s alternative music scene return with their first new track in some time. “Cavalry” is the first release from the Lebanese band’s upcoming fifth studio album “The Beirut Story” and a continuation of the glossier, electro-pop sound the band mined so successfully on 2015’s “Ibn El Leil.” It is, the band explain, “an ode to putting up a fight, even when the odds are stacked against us.”



Another of the region’s big-hitters on the indie scene, Egyptian hip-hop duo Sharmoofers, dropped a new track this month. “Enfesam” has a typically infectious chorus to go with the upbeat instrumentation. The video features a few famous faces, including actor Fathy Abdel Wahab, vlogger Marwan Younis, and actress Hend Abdelhalim, and has already racked up close to 1 million views on YouTube.


Jimi & The Saint ft. Hana Malhas

The Cairo-based electro-rockers (Jimi Elgohary and Rami Sidky) collaborated with Jordanian singer-songwriter Hana Malhas on this melancholy but uplifting mid-tempo track about love in a troubled world. “We can’t run away together,” the vocalists lament over reverb-heavy guitar and a pounding drumbeat. The track is dedicated to Sidky, who was jailed last year under confusing circumstances.


Lebanese concept store Dikkeni gives back through art, fashion

Dikkeni aims to supports the creative industry in Lebanon. (Instagram)
Updated 19 September 2020

Lebanese concept store Dikkeni gives back through art, fashion

DUBAI: Founded in London, online concept store Dikkeni is home to a number of established and up-and-coming Lebanese artists, designers and creative talents who sell their wares through the platform, which in turn ensures all net proceeds made from consumer purchases go directly to artists, brands and local NGOs.

Launched under the Lebanese non-profit organization Impact Lebanon, Dikkeni aims to supports the creative industry in Lebanon.

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New on Dikkéni // @alexandrahakim, hand-crafted sustainable and unique jewellery. #straightfromthestudio - Alexandra Hakim’s collections give a new lease of life to found materials and objects which would otherwise go to waste. Inspirations as varied as tomato stems from Beirut’s bustling markets and spent matchsticks found at home are repurposed into striking, contemporary pieces of jewellery. Spearheading sustainability long before it became a trend, each of Alexandra Hakim’s pieces are meticulously made by hand, completely unique and naturally zero-waste. - Photography: @alexandrahakim #dikkeni #sustainable #conscious #sustainablelifestyle #sustainableliving #sustainabledesign #socialenterprise #craftsmanship #lebanon #madeinlebanon #beirut #alexandrahakim #jewellery #handcrafted

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Launched this summer, co-founder Daniella Chartouni spoke to Arab News about the aims of the website.

“Our primary interest is in supporting the designers and making sure that they can continue to produce. Our secondary interest is offering the relief to Lebanon that it needs” — something that is a key concern after the Aug. 4 explosion that ripped through Beirut.

Dikkeni launched in May after the founders felt the need to support the creative industry in their country.

A lot of designers, small businesses and artists in Lebanon have stopped producing due to inflation, Chartouni explained. “No one is buying in Lebanon so, it’s a very tough situation, and the creative industry is one of Lebanon’s best industries.” 

She also added that the street protests which occurred in Lebanon in 2019 constituted “a big time” for Lebanese artists. “They got very inspired by the change happening in the country. So, it was a great way to launch.”

The online platform recently launched their second collection. They partnered with non-profit organization Lebanon Needs, whose focus is healthcare and providing medication, products which Chartouni believes are very difficult to secure during the current situation.

Dikkeni is currently featuring eight artists and designers, who produce sustainable products in diverse art forms, like jewelry, home decor, photography, fashion and more. 

When speaking to Tina Mouheb, one of the UK-based artists who is currently working with Dikkeni, she said that this project is of great importance to her. 

“Firstly, it is my first ‘public’ art display which allows me – as a humble, uprising, socially conscious artist – to start finding my voice,” the designer and former landscape architect told Arab News. “Another reason is the timing of such initiative in the midst of (the) chaos in Lebanon. The need to help local Lebanese NGOs is imperative.”