Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbø added to Emirates Literature Fest lineup

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Updated 12 January 2020

Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbø added to Emirates Literature Fest lineup

DUBAI: The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature has announced its latest panel speaker — world-renowned Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbø.

The mind behind the internationally popular Harry Hole detective crime novels will be on hand at the event, which runs from Feb. 4-9.

His latest novel, “Knife,” sees the detective given a chance for a new start with the Oslo Police in the cold case office. Hole is keen to investigate a serial rapist and murderer who he helped put behind bars, Svein Finne. Finne is free after a decade-plus in prison and, Harry is certain, unreformed and ready to take up where he left off. When the detective wakes up with blood on his hands, it’s only the beginning of what will be a waking nightmare.

Ahlam Bolooki, festival director for Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, said: “If you google Nordic noir authors, Jo Nesbø is one of the first names you’ll see. Over the past 20 years, Jo has quietly been conquering the world with his wonderfully flawed, complex characters and dark, chilling tales of unspeakable crimes. I can’t wait to hear him speak at the Festival, and to get a small insight into the brilliant mind that has captivated and frightened millions of readers all around the world.” 


Lebanese teen Nour Ardakani is global pop group Now United’s first Arab member

Updated 21 September 2020

Lebanese teen Nour Ardakani is global pop group Now United’s first Arab member

DUBAI: The search for global music group Now United’s newest member is finally over. Enter Nour Ardakani, the 18-year-old singer from Lebanon, who is set to become the band’s 16th member – and first Arab – after an extensive, months-long search for talent across the Middle East and North Africa.

Ardakani was hand-picked by Simon Fuller, the man who founded popular British girl band The Spice Girls and created “American Idol.”

“I think you are absolutely wonderful, and I think you would be perfect to join the group. And I would like to invite you to be the next member of Now United,” Fuller told the singer and dancer in a video call.

“Seriously, it’s me? You picked me?” asked Ardakani, to which Fuller replied: “You got it.”

The singer, who currently resides in Beirut with her family, joins fellow group for the band’s latest single “Feel It Now.”

Founded in 2017, the multinational music group announced in November last year that they were looking for a new member from the MENA region.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Nour Ardakani (@noursmusicdiary) on

Out of thousands of hopefuls in the Middle East and North Africa, 13 were shortlisted and invited to participate in a virtual audition last week in front of Fuller. Eventually, it came down to Ardakani and a 15-year-old Emirati singer, Alya Al-Ali.

Fuller picked Ardakani after hearing her recording of Now United’s song “Habibi.”