Hend Sabri: First Arab star to win Starlight Cinema Award

Hend Sabri was also chosen to join the jury at the Venice Film Festival. (AFP)
Updated 06 September 2019

Hend Sabri: First Arab star to win Starlight Cinema Award

DUBAI: The iconic Tunisian-Egyptian actress Hend Sabri won the Starlight Cinema Award at the 76th Venice Film Festival this week, making her the first Arab woman to get this award.

The star wrote on Wednesday to her 2.4 million Instagram followers: “Today I received the #StarlightCinemaAward awarded by The Italian Women Journalists Foundation. Proud to be the first Arab artist to win this award that started in 2014 and won by a large number of global stars, including the world star Al Pacino.”

Sabri was also chosen to join the jury of the Luigi De Laurentiis Award for a Debut Film at the film festival, that has been taking place since Aug. 28 in Italy.

“I am honored to be chosen as a jury member of the Venice International Film Festival. I hope to represent the Arab region in one of the oldest and most prestigious festivals in the world,” the star announced the news on Twitter.

During her attendance at the festival, the 39-year-old actress dazzled the red-carpet in a long-length gown. The strapless dress, designed by Italian fashion house Etro, sparkled in different shades of black and dark blue sequins.


Qantas urges rapper will.i.am to withdraw racism accusation against staffer

Updated 6 min 8 sec ago

Qantas urges rapper will.i.am to withdraw racism accusation against staffer

  • Black Eyed Peas rapper will.i.am said on Twitter he was racially targeted by a Qantas airline attendant
  • Qantas, which called the incident a ‘misunderstanding,’ has requested the rapper to retract his statement

MELBOURNE: Australia’s flagship airline, Qantas, said on Monday it stood ready to offer legal assistance to a member of its flight crew named in a racism accusation by Black Eyed Peas rapper will.i.am on social media.
The US singer had taken a flight about 1-1/2-hours long to Sydney, Australia’s most populous city, from northeastern Brisbane to play at a concert on Saturday, but was met by Australian federal police at the arrival gate.
He said on Twitter he was racially targeted by an airline attendant, whom he identified by name, after failing to put away his laptop as the flight prepared to land, because he had put on noise-canceling headphones to “make beats.”
Qantas, which called the incident a “misunderstanding,” has requested the rapper to retract his statement.
“Absent a retraction, and if the crew member wanted to take the matter further, we’d certainly be willing to provide legal support for them to do this,” a spokesman told Reuters in a statement.
Police confirmed they spoke to crew and passengers at the airport, but said no further action was required. “The Australian Federal Police considers this matter finalized,” they said in a statement.
On Saturday, will.i.am said in a post on Twitter, “Is calling the police on a passenger for not hearing (the) P.A. due to wearing noise-canceling headphones appropriate?”
He added, “If didn’t put away my laptop ‘in a rapid 2min time’ I’d understand. I did comply quickly & politely, only to be greeted by police. I think I was targeted.”
As of Monday, will.i.am had not made any retraction on social media, even as other commenters pointed out that the crew member he identified had received threats on social media as a result.
He pointed out that if he were rude to a fan or journalist, he would be publicly named.
“This is what Twitter is for...we are supposed to call out wrongdoings so we can have a safer, more compassionate world,” will.i.am said.
Reuters was not able to contact the rapper through his agency, and he did not immediately respond to a request for comment on social media.