Syrian singer Faia Younan to perform with John Legend in Dubai

Syrian singer Faia Younan is set to perform alongside US superstar John Legend at his concert in Dubai. (File/AFP)
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Updated 26 January 2020

Syrian singer Faia Younan to perform with John Legend in Dubai

DUBAI: Syrian singer Faia Younan is set to perform alongside US superstar John Legend at his concert in Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena on Jan. 31.

“Friends in Dubai and UAE, I cannot wait until we meet and sing together,” the crooner wrote on Instagram, sharing the exciting news with her 1.1 million followers.

The 27-year-old, who now splits her time between Lebanon and Sweden, first rose to fame after her single “To Our Countries” became a viral sensation. She went on to release her debut single “Ohebbou Yadayka” and feature on electro-pop group Gorillaz’s 2016 album “Humanz.”

Meanwhile, Legend is to perform in the UAE as part of the Dubai Shopping Festival’s closing celebrations.

The 41-year-old artist will take to the stage at Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena for what will be his second appearance in the city.

Legend headlined the 16th Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival in 2018, playing alongside singing star Ricky Martin and British pop band Duran Duran.

The start of Dubai Shopping Festival was marked with two outdoor concerts in Burj Park, which saw performances from British crooners Liam Payne and Jorja Smith, Algerian musician Cheb Khaled and Emirati singer Hussain Al-Jassmi.


COVID-19 lockdown brings out hidden kitchen talents of Saudi men

Updated 10 April 2020

COVID-19 lockdown brings out hidden kitchen talents of Saudi men

  • Curfews have provided opportunity for men to show off their kitchen catering abilities by cooking up some tasty meals

RIYADH: The famed home cooking skills of Saudi women have found a surprise challenger during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown — with men revealing their hidden culinary talents.

Curfews set up to help stop the spread of the virus have provided the opportunity for men to show off their kitchen catering abilities by cooking up some tasty family meals.

Quality auditor Ahmed bin Ibrahim has been staying at his family’s house during quarantine, and told Arab News that he had enjoyed pitching in on kitchen duties.

“I like to help my mother while she is cooking by cutting some vegetables, but I learned how to cook years ago when I was a student in the US,” he said.

His mom and YouTube became his culinary instructors during his time in America and his favorite dishes are kabsah, steaks and quesadillas.

“Lately, my dad has been cooking a lot and grilling in our back yard, so I’ve been helping him,” he added.

Ammar Albarakati, owner of Ammar Restaurant and TV presenter on Sabahcom on SBC. (Supplied)

Faris Al-Harbi, a college student from Tabuk, has been putting lockdown time to good use in the kitchen trying to create new recipes for his family to lighten the mood.

“Since home isolation started, I have cooked five dishes — mandi (a traditional meal with meat and rice), broasted chicken, pizza, grilled dishes, and pasta with pesto sauce.”

He said that it was only since the COVID-19 restriction measures had been put in place that his talent for cooking healthy food had emerged.

“My family really admires my cooking and loves the taste of my dishes.”

Al-Harbi added that he intended to continue cooking once the COVID-19 health crisis was over, but in the meantime had introduced a kitchen challenge for his cousins and family.

“Every day, a member of the family has to cook a dish and is evaluated by experts — my mother and father. This creates a bit of a competition which is nice. Everyone wants to cook something that is delicious and creative, which makes us excited to cook again.”

Abdulrahman bin Kasem, Saudi chef and food blogger. (Supplied)

He pointed out that under the current situation it was sometimes hard to find an alternative for some ingredients not available in the home. “It is also difficult to estimate the right amount of ingredients for the family. Preparing the dough and forming it is also hard.”

Al-Harbi’s brother Abdulrahman, an architect, had been challenged to cook madghout — pressure-cooked chicken and rice — for the first time for his family.

“It was the first time I had cooked, so I couldn’t say whether I was talented or not, but it definitely needed some focus,” he said, adding that his creation was well-received. “YouTube has a lot of cool Saudi chefs and their videos are so simple and easy to execute. It helps anyone who wants to try to cook.”

Al-Harbi’s sister Shahad told Arab News that she was surprised to see her brothers’ talent in the kitchen and would struggle to compete with them.

Speaking about her younger brother Khalid, who is currently studying in the US, she said: “He likes to try international foods and he uses fresh ingredients and different spices. He likes to make avocado toast, steaks, cheesecakes, exotic juices, and risotto.

Although a mess is inevitable in some kitchens as male family members go through a trial-and-error phase, most mothers will undoubtedly be proud and happy with the help they are receiving under the current difficult circumstances.