French-Tunisian singer Sonia Ben Ammar cameos in new music video

The 21-year-old recently joined forces with DJ Petit Biscuit for his latest single. Instagram
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Updated 13 September 2020

French-Tunisian singer Sonia Ben Ammar cameos in new music video

DUBAI: French music producer DJ Petit Biscuit released the video for the lead single from his forthcoming LP, “Drivin’ Thru the Night,” this week — and Tunisian-French model and singer Sonia Ben Ammar had a pretty big role to play in it.

The 21-year-old, who stars in the clip, shared with her 728,000 Instagram followers that she was heavily involved in the creative process for the song and the video and also helped with the writing.

“@petitbiscuit “drivin’ thru the night” video out now  happy to be a part of the writing & creative process for this song & video! @jc_charavin (sic),” the model wrote on social media.

Ben Ammar serves as the female lead and the artist’s love interest in the clip, which has more than 100,000 views on YouTube.

It’s not the first time the duo has teamed up. Memorably, Ben Ammar performed live at Coachella back in 2018, joining the French DJ for a surprise set in which she sang their hit “Creation Comes Alive” to a packed crowd.

It also appears that the budding singer has been working on some new material for herself. In July, she shared with fans that she was back in the studio and working on something special after months of self-isolation. “Documentation of the (very) rare times I didn’t show up to the studio in my pajamas. I know these are old but I’m working on a new project for ya (sic),” Ben Ammar wrote on Instagram.

The singer, who splits her time between France and California, launched her first EP, a four-track project entitled “EP 1” in November 2019 with her debut single “Joyride.”

For her debut EP, Ben Ammar teamed up with Jason Quenneville, better known as “DaHeala,” the producer behind The Weeknd’s hits, “Starboy” and “Beauty Behind the Madness.”

Meanwhile, the multi-hyphenate — who moved to Los Angeles to study music business at college and to pursue her singing career — is also a rising star in the fashion industry.

She made her runway debut in 2017 for Miu Miu and quickly found herself in demand by some of the world’s most renowned labels, including Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana and Carolina Herrera.


Farm to table: Lebanese initiative ‘From the Villages’ celebrates local talent 

Updated 20 October 2020

Farm to table: Lebanese initiative ‘From the Villages’ celebrates local talent 

DUBAI: In an act of solidarity with Lebanon’s villagers, farmers and local artisans, a group of innovative Lebanese graduates are operating an online platform that provides a wide array of their homemade products and crafts to those residing mainly in Beirut, as well as other cities across the country. 

At a time when a number of businesses were closing down, “From the Villages” was born from the COVID-19 lockdown in May. It all started through a fateful conversation between a few individuals who wanted to share good quality produce and foods from their southern, fertile village of Deir Mimas with others.

“Because people in their villages don’t find markets to sell (at), we thought why don’t we sell this food online?” the e-platform’s managing partner Hani Touma told Arab News. “By using technology and having a platform, they can sell their products and reach a wider range of customers.” 

The team designed their website and launched a couple of days later, with a few available items. Today, its offerings have expanded and clients can access a variety of 25 product categories, which include herbs, dairies, jams, olives, syrups, distillates, soaps and pottery. An eco-friendly project, all of the products are minimally packaged and locally made by nearly 50 artisans and farmers, living in 20 villages, mostly from the south.  

“We’re working with real household people,” said Touma. “Some of the ladies that we work with are 60, 70 years old and this is their only job. It started as a fun project and now it’s growing. We’re helping a lot of the suppliers and they’re having regular income, although it’s going up and down because of the economic situation in Lebanon.” 

Prior to the spread of COVID-19, Lebanon was already suffering from decades-long mismanagement and a financial crisis, in which citizens couldn’t access their bank savings, unemployment and inflation spiked and the Lebanese Lira devalued exponentially. 

In addition, Lebanon stands far from its full potential when it comes to local agricultural production as it imports more than 80 percent of its food items. The efforts of Touma, his business partner Sari Hawa, along with their tightly knit team of experts, are amongst the latest aiming to cultivate a culture of homegrown food concepts through grassroots initiatives.  

“Now, even the products imported have started to be missing from the supermarkets,” explained Touma. “I think this was why ‘From the Villages’ grew very fast, because people were not able to find some of their food – like jams, for example. They were all imported from outside. But now, you have a local product available directly at your doorstep.”

Following the deadly Beirut port explosion on Aug. 4, the “From the Villages” team suspended operations for a month and is currently slowly picking up again by carrying out deliveries twice per week. “Everything is working against us,” said Touma, “but we’re trying to stay on the ground and fix everything.”