Netflix announces relief fund for Lebanon’s TV and film community

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Updated 16 October 2020

Netflix announces relief fund for Lebanon’s TV and film community

DUBAI: The world’s largest paid streaming service Netflix has collaborated with the Arab Fund of Arts & Culture (AFAC) on an emergency relief fund to help support Lebanon’s film and television industry following the deadly Beirut blast on Aug. 4 that displaced thousands.

The $500,000 fund will offer financial support to those who have been put out of work due to the explosion or due to COVID-19 with individual $2,000 grants. Those directly affected by the coronavirus pandemic or the Beirut port explosion can apply for a grant starting on Oct. 26.

To apply, members of Lebanon’s film and TV industry are required to fill out an online application and provide a list of the most recent projects they’ve worked on as well as an overview of any other emergency support received.

The Beirut Port blast rocked the Lebanese capital on Aug. 4, claiming more than 190 lives, injuring 6,500 people and leaving 300,000 homeless.

Following the explosion, many organizations, institutions and celebrities have stepped up to offer financial and humanitarian aid for those who need it most.

Last month, Dubai’s Alserkal Avenue hosted a fundraising day for Lebanon to support victims of the explosion.

Meanwhile, celebrities, including George and Amal Clooney, DJ Khaled, Drake and Madonna, among others, showed solidarity for the country.


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. 

BTS 

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.” 

Blackpink

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. 

Twice

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

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.