TWITTER POLL: Readers split over effect of coronavirus pandemic on spending 

Shoppers, some wearing PPE (personal protective equipment), of a face mask or covering as a precautionary measure against spreading COVID-19, carry their purchases in shopping bags in Edinburgh on June 29, 2020. (File/AFP)
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Updated 09 July 2020

TWITTER POLL: Readers split over effect of coronavirus pandemic on spending 

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home and lockdown restrictions have left many to be confined at home with little to spend on. 
But in an Arab News Twitter poll that asked whether people have managed to save, the answers were divided. 
Out of 609 votes, only 34 percent said their savings have increased since the start of the pandemic, while 22.5 percent said they were still spending. 
However, 33.5 percent said they couldn’t afford to save as many lost their jobs due to business closure. 

According to a UN Economic Commission for Western Asia report, the coronavirus pandemic threatens to wipe out more than 1.7 million jobs across the Arab world this year.
Arab nations’ gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to shrink by at least $42 billion in 2020, hit by plunging oil prices and virus-linked shutdowns, the report said.
“More than 1.7 million jobs could be lost in 2020, with the unemployment rate increasing by 1.2 percentage points,” it claimed.

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Egyptian icon Bahiga Hafez gets Google Doodle tribute

Updated 38 min 16 sec ago

Egyptian icon Bahiga Hafez gets Google Doodle tribute

  • Hafez was widely known for her extensive contribution in the early days of Egyptian cinema
  • Her work has “helped pave the way for the start of what is widely considered Egyptian cinema’s golden age in the 1940s”

DUBAI: Google honored one of Egypt’s cinema icons Bahiga Hafez with a doodle on Tuesday, in what would have been the star’s 112th birthday.

The doodle, which shows a young Hafez with a pearl-embellished head dress, was illustrated by Cairo-based artist Marian El-Reweny.

Hafez was widely known for her extensive contribution in the early days of Egyptian cinema – both as an on-screen talent and behind the scenes where she would work as a producer, director, editor, costume designer or composer.

The Alexandria-born pioneering icon earned a degree in music composition in Paris in 1930. She moved back to Egypt to work with record companies until she was cast as the female lead in the silent film “Zeinab” for her debut onscreen performance.

Hafez and her husband, Mahmoud Hamdi, established Fanar Film Company two years later, which further demonstrated her talent in filmmaking. The company released “Al-Dahaya” in 1932, and Hafez played a crucial role in its production.

The groundbreaking star went on to produce more films, and her work has “helped pave the way for the start of what is widely considered Egyptian cinema’s golden age in the 1940s,” Google said.

She died in Cairo in December 1983 at the age of 75.