Gal Gadot to star as Cleopatra in new film

The Israeli actress gained prominence for her role as Wonder Woman. File/AFP
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Updated 12 October 2020

Gal Gadot to star as Cleopatra in new film

DUBAI: Israeli actress Gal Gadot will reunite with “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins in a new historical drama based on the life of the legendary queen of Egypt, Cleopatra.

Gadot, who gained prominence for her role as Wonder Woman in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, will star as the Egyptian queen herself in Paramount Film’s forthcoming production. 

“As you might have heard I teamed up with @PattyJenks and @LKalogridis to bring the story of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, to the big screen in a way she’s never been seen before,” wrote the actress on Twitter on Sunday. “To tell her story for the first time through women's eyes, both behind and in front of the camera.”

She continued, “We are especially thrilled to be announcing this on #InternationalDayoftheGirl. We hope women and girls all around the world, who aspire to tell stories will never give up on their dreams and will make their voices heard, by and for other women.”

The news of the casting proved to be divisive on social media, with some users expressing their discontent with an Israeli actress playing the role of the legendary Egyptian queen who was of Greek and Macedonian descent. 

“The casting of Gal Gadot is just another stroke in the long history of white-washing and the legacy of colonial Egyptology that strives to sever all connections between Egyptians (widely defined) and the history of their land,” wrote one Twitter user.

Meanwhile, others on social media believe that Gadot’s casting is appropriate.

“I’m going to say this once and I'm not going to say it again, Cleopatra was Greek,” wrote one user on Twitter. “Yes, she was an Egyptian ruler but she was Greek with Persian and Syrian ancestry. The people who are reacting negatively to this are uneducated and uninformed. Gal Gadot deserves this role.”

The Egyptian queen was famously portrayed by Elizabeth Taylor in director Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s 1963 epic, “Cleopatra.”

Spotify unveils top 5 most streamed K-Pop acts in Saudi Arabia, UAE 

Updated 20 October 2020

Spotify unveils top 5 most streamed K-Pop acts in Saudi Arabia, UAE 

DUBAI: To celebrate the monumental impact of K-Pop on fans around the world, Spotify delved into its listening data for some of the genre’s best-known acts. From BTS to ATEEZ, here are the five most streamed K-Pop groups across Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt. 


Formed in 2013, BTS has spearheaded the K-Pop drive into the Middle East with catchy, upbeat music. The seven-member South Korean boy band recently notched up the first No.1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart by a South Korean group with their first all-English language single “Dynamite.” 


It’s not just the boys that are driving the K-Pop obsession. Seoul-based girl group Blackpink, who recently released their first Netflix documentary “BLACKPINK: Light Up The Sky” on Oct. 14, are also experiencing a serious surge in streaming. Their latest release “The Album” became the #1 global album on Spotify during the week of launch. 


Beside Blackpink, Twice have also established themselves in the region. This is a big month for the nine-member girl group: Oct. 20 marks five years since they hit the scene in 2015, and on Oct. 26 they are releasing their second full-length Korean album “Eyes Wide Open.”

Stray Kids 

The fourth most streamed act in the Middle East is Stray Kids. The group consists of eight male members, who are currently preparing for their Nov. 22 virtual concert on Beyond Live, the online performance platform. Their most famous hits are “Grow Up,” “Voices” and “Side Effects.” 


ATEEZ is one of the most recent K-Pop acts. Formed in October 2018, the eight-member group has already made it to the region’s top five most streamed K-Pop bands. Not just that, but as of September 2020, the group has released five Korean-language EPs, one full-length album and two Japanese albums.