Dubai YouTubers host baby gender reveal on Burj Khalifa 

The couple hosted their gender reveal party at Dubai’s iconic Burj Khalifa. (Instagram)
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Updated 11 September 2020

Dubai YouTubers host baby gender reveal on Burj Khalifa 

DUBAI: Dubai influencers Anas and Asala Marwah are expecting their second child together, and this week, the couple hosted their gender reveal party at Dubai’s iconic Burj Khalifa. 

Gender reveals are not a new phenomenon, however, the trend saw an increase in its popularity in recent years. Instead of finding out whether their bundle of joy is going to be a girl or a boy at an ultrasound appointment, many parents opt to host parties to celebrate the special surprise.

Anas and Asala, who have a family YouTube channel called Anasala Family, did not do the typical balloon pop or smoke canon surprise, however, they took their reveal a step further. They had the tallest tower in the world light up blue, to unveil that they were having a baby boy after an animated countdown. 

The couple, who welcomed their first child, Mila, in 2018, was surrounded by a few members of their family and friends during the reveal. 

In a YouTube video that has so far reached over 10 million views, the family shared behind-the-scenes clips with their 7.54 million subscribers. 

They said they’ve been working on this project for over a month and a half. 

“We wanted to do something unique and memorable so that we can all look at it in the future and remember what we built as a family,” Asala told the viewers. 

Anas added: “I ask Asala every day, ‘Who are we to be (reflected) on the Burj Khalifa? Why us and not anyone else?’”

The couple then thanked their supporters saying: “Without you, none of this would have been made possible.” 

UK to return looted Sumerian artifact to Iraq

Updated 28 September 2020

UK to return looted Sumerian artifact to Iraq

  • Temple plaque found in online auction spotted by experts at British Museum
  • Thought to have been stolen from Tello in southern Iraq, site of ancient city of Girsu

LONDON: An ancient artifact that may have been looted before being smuggled to the UK is set to return to Iraq.

The item is a Sumerian temple plaque featuring the seated figure of a high priest or ruler, carved from limestone and dating from around 2400 BC.

It will be sent to Iraq, where it is thought to have originated, after it was spotted for sale and seized by police in 2019 following a tip off by experts at the British Museum in London.

The plaque will be put on display to the public for the next two months at the museum before its repatriation.

Prior to its discovery, no record of the plaque was found in any official record or museum inventory, lending credence to the theory that it may have been looted.

It bears physical resemblances to other Sumerian artifacts discovered at Girsu, one of the world’s oldest known settlements, at modern-day Tello in southern Iraq.

Girsu, originally excavated by French archaeologists from the late 19th century, has also been the focus of researchers from the British Museum in recent years. Even now, only a small part of the site has been successfully excavated.

The trade in stolen and smuggled items of huge value from the Middle East is lucrative, and a constant source of dialogue between the British Museum and international police forces hunting stolen goods.

“We’re used to coming across tablets, pots, metalwork, seals and figurines on the art market or in seizures that have been trafficked. But it’s really exceptional to see something of this quality,” said Dr. St. John Simpson, the museum’s senior curator.

“There are only about 50 examples of these known from ancient Mesopotamia. So that immediately places it on the high-rarity scale,” he added.

“We can be fairly sure that this object comes from the Sumerian heartland. That is the area that got very badly looted between the 1990s and 2003.”

Christopher Wren of TimeLine Auctions, where the plaque was spotted for sale by Simpson’s colleague Sebastien Rey, admitted that it was possible that it had been looted from Iraq. 

“The vendor, who had casually and innocently acquired it from a German arts fair some years ago, was horrified to hear this and immediately volunteered to renounce any claim to ownership and expressed the wish that it be returned to its place of origin,” Wren said.

“The piece is not documented as having been looted and is not listed on any database, so it did not show on the checks undertaken by us.”

Mohammad Jaafar Al-Sadr, Iraq’s ambassador to the UK, said: “We extend our gratitude to the British Museum staff for their efforts and cooperation with us.”