Saudi author takes an intimate look at facing death in lauded novel 

Saudi author takes an intimate look at facing death in lauded novel 
“The Critical Case of a Man Called K” is by Saudi author Aziz Mohammed. (Supplied)
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Updated 17 May 2021

Saudi author takes an intimate look at facing death in lauded novel 

Saudi author takes an intimate look at facing death in lauded novel 

CHICAGO: The youngest writer —and the first debut author — to be shortlisted in the history of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction is Saudi Arabia’s very own Aziz Mohammed for “The Critical Case of a Man Called K.” Hailing from AlKhobar, Mohammed’s novel follows a young man named K whose is hyper-aware of the monotony of his life. Everything, up until now, has been predictable, but when fatigue sends him to the hospital, K learns that he has leukemia. Translated into English by the award-winning Humphrey Davies, the story of K is a tale that takes an intimate look at a young man’s life when he is faced with illness and death.

K is introspective almost to the point of exhausting himself. He has a mother who has always taken care of him but equates reading books to being as harmful as smoking, a father who dies before he finishes high school and a sister and brother who do everything they are asked to do. K, on the other hand, fights the tedium while attempting to be a good son. Pulling references from his favorite authors, such as Kafka, Hemingway, and Tanizaki, he feels his life as an IT graduate, which was the chosen career path for financial reasons, is not what he wants to do, and he longs for something different.

Through K, Mohammed has created a character who is sensitive to how his presence affects everyone around him, as if he can see his sound waves rippling through people and altering them. He longs for inspiration to write a novel, but the environment does not concede to exploration or anything out of the ordinary.

Mohammed’s debut novel is a darkly humorous look into the life of a man who desires more in life when he is diagnosed with leukemia. The journey into illness is intimate and distressing, watching someone’s world turn upside down while at the same time offering an alternative to the mundane and predictable. There is rawness to life when faced with death, duty bound mothers, sons, and daughters, the tension and love between children and parents, and the fragility of the system when love and tradition don’t always move parallel to one another.

 


Actress Jameela Jamil is set to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Actress Jameela Jamil is set to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe
She is set to play Titania, who is the longterm arch nemesis of She-Hulk. Instagram
Updated 9 min 13 sec ago

Actress Jameela Jamil is set to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Actress Jameela Jamil is set to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe

DUBAI: Jameela Jamil is set to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s been announced that the British-Indian-Pakistani actress and body positivity activist will be joining the cast of streaming service Disney+’s new MCU series, “She-Hulk,” premiering in 2022.

Jamil, who gained prominence for her role as Tahani Jamil on NBC’s “The Good Place,”  is set to play Titania, who is the longterm arch nemesis of She-Hulk.

As reported by Cinema Blend, Jamil’s villainous character will have the superpowers of super strength and super stamina.

Meanwhile, She-Hulk will be played by “Orphan Black” star Tatiana Maslany.

The series is premiering in 2022. Supplied

The actresses will star alongside Renee Elise Goldsberry, Ginger Gonzaga and Tim Roth.

Deadline reports that Mark Ruffalo will make an appearance at one point as the Hulk. 

“She-Hulk” was written by Jim Shooter and Matt Zeck in 1984.

The plot revolves around Maslany's character Jennifer Walters, who gets a blood transfusion from her cousin, Bruce Banner –better known as the Hulk. After the transfusion, Walters gains super strength and her skin turns green.

Jessica Gao from “Rick and Morty” is the lead writer, while Kat Coiro and Anu Valia are co-directing. 

Jamil, who was born to a Pakistani mother and an Indian father in London, also stars in a new Disney Junior series, “Mira Royal Detective,” in which she voices the aunt of a headstrong young investigator.

Outside of acting, the star is also known for her activism and her I Weigh body positivity movement that she founded in 2018.

Jamil, who started her career as a model and a BBC Radio 1 presenter, is also an MC and a judge on the HBO Max series “Legendary.”


The ‘Quaranteen’ Project: Dubai photographer unites teenagers during the pandemic 

The ‘Quaranteen’ Project: Dubai photographer unites teenagers during the pandemic 
Updated 31 min 48 sec ago

The ‘Quaranteen’ Project: Dubai photographer unites teenagers during the pandemic 

The ‘Quaranteen’ Project: Dubai photographer unites teenagers during the pandemic 

DUBAI: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has sparked new ideas for many entrepreneurs, creatives and artists. One such creative is Dubai-based photographer Tanya Rex.

The South African lenswoman launched The Quaranteen Project, which is ongoing to this date, when lockdowns began last year.   

She sent 30 disposable cameras to 30 teenagers across the world and asked them to document their quarantine experience. The results are unedited and moving realities of the pandemic as seen through the eyes of teenagers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Belarus, Afghanistan, Latvia, South Africa, India, the US, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan and more. 

“I wanted it to be as raw as possible and capture the simplicity of what people see every day,” she said in an interview with Arab News.

This image was taken by a teenager in the United States. (Supplied)

“I didn’t really know what to expect. I remember speaking to my husband, and he said: ‘You don’t know these people. They aren’t photographers, and you really don’t know what you are going to get back. Maybe you could use pictures from five of the cameras that come back.’ And I accepted that,” Rex added.

She has so far received 24 rolls of film back, with around 300-400 images. 

Not all rolls of film came back as properly exposed pictures. “Some of them came back with very little effort put in, and some of them came back absolutely exceptional,” she said. 

“It didn’t really matter if I got one photo or 20. Each time, it was like receiving a gift,” Rex added. 

When enough cameras came back to the photographer, she sent the films to South Africa so they could be developed and scanned. 

This image was taken by a teenager in Latvia. (Supplied)

According to Rex, who came to the UAE 17 years ago, it was not easy to deliver the cameras to the teenagers. 

She lost some cameras due to theft, while others took time to be delivered due to the COVID-19 restrictions in some countries.

When discussing the inception of her idea, Rex said that lockdown was exciting for her when it first started.

“I remember seeing an initiative called ‘Together at Home,’ where celebrities invited you into their homes for their private concerts. I thought the idea was incredible. It meant the world was stepping up and we were all uniting,” she said.  

“After two weeks, though, the novelty wore off, and we all settled into the reality of what COVID-19 was,” she added.

This image was taken by a teenager for The ‘Quaranteen’ Project. (Supplied)

The photographer said she went from being enthusiastic at the prospect of having time off to realizing that all her work had been canceled and that there was nothing to look forward to for an indefinite amount of time. It was then that she had the idea to start The Quaranteen Project.

Rex is currently looking into turning her project into a coffee table book. “I think it would be a great way to show these teenagers’ stories in a simple format,” she said. 

Rex has worked for campaigns with international brands including fast-food company McDonald’s and makeup brands Maybelline, Bourjois and Max Factor, among others.   

Her latest campaign was with Adidas — a shoot for the German sportswear giant’s “Run for the Oceans” campaign. 

“It was a great project because, firstly, I got to shoot underwater again, which I haven’t done for a very long time,” she said. “It was also empowering because we were shooting women who have perceived disabilities and differences. They are all proud, strong women who are moving forward with their lives.” 


DJ Khaled, Salma Hayek to receive stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

DJ Khaled, Salma Hayek to receive stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
DJ Khaled is among 38 celebrities to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. File/AFP
Updated 22 June 2021

DJ Khaled, Salma Hayek to receive stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

DJ Khaled, Salma Hayek to receive stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

DUBAI: DJ Khaled and Salma Hayek are among 38 celebrities to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a famous stretch of sidewalk along the Hollywood Boulevard that celebrates some of the most successful entertainers in the industry via a brass star bearing the name of producers, actors, musicians and directors.

Taking to Instagram this week, the US-Palestinian producer who gave us “Wild Thoughts” expressed his gratitude for receiving the Hollywood Walk of Fame star.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by DJ KHALED (@djkhaled)

His family also celebrated the music producer by presenting him with a star-shaped cake on Father’s Day.

“Thank you so much! I love my queen, my boys, I love my family! So much! GRATEFUL! Amazing Father’s Day!” he captioned a video shared with his 24.9 million Instagram followers.

US-Mexican actress Hayek, whose father is part-Lebanese, is also set to nab a star on the historic boulevard.

Hayek posted a throwback picture of herself on Instagram with a surprised expression and captioned it: “Today I am combining a #tbt picture with very recent news, because this image represents how surprised and happy I was a few minutes ago when my team showed me the announcement that I am getting the star in the Hollywood walk of fame! Thank you to the fans for their support through the years.”

The Hollywood Walk of Fame comprises more than 2,690 stars embedded in the sidewalks along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard. 

The selection panel, made up of fellow Walk of Famers, handpicks a group of honorees each year that represent various genres of the entertainment world.

Other artists picked to be honored with a star alongside DJ Khaled include the late Nipsey Hussle, Avril Lavigne, Michael B. Jordan and Ashanti.

Nipsey Hussle isn’t the only late entertainer who was selected posthumously. Carrie Fisher, who died of cardiac arrest in December 2016 at age 60, was also picked in the motion picture category.

Honorees have two years to schedule a star ceremony from the date of their selection.


Kylie Jenner flaunts custom-made ‘Kylie’ heels by Lebanon’s Andrea Wazen 

Kylie Jenner flaunts custom-made ‘Kylie’ heels by Lebanon’s Andrea Wazen 
Updated 22 June 2021

Kylie Jenner flaunts custom-made ‘Kylie’ heels by Lebanon’s Andrea Wazen 

Kylie Jenner flaunts custom-made ‘Kylie’ heels by Lebanon’s Andrea Wazen 

DUBAI: Kylie Jenner championed yet another Arab designer this month. 

The reality TV star and entrepreneur stepped out last week in a pair of heels by Lebanese footwear designer Andrea Wazen. 

Jenner wore the ‘Kylie’ pumps by Andrea Wazen to the 72nd Annual Parsons’s Benefit in New York City. The pumps featured a 10.5cm heel, PVC translucent upper and pointed-sole, with a shimmering olive green leather at the heel matching Jenner’s forest green dress. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kylie (@kyliejenner)

These shoes were created for the mother-of-one as a custom-style, and will be available to the public from August 2021 in a variety of colors on andreawazen.com.

The Kylie Cosmetics founder’s picture in Wazen’s design went viral because she posed alongside her on and off partner rapper Travis Scott and their three-year-old daughter Stormi. 

The pumps featured a 10.5cm heel, PVC translucent upper and pointed-sole, with a shimmering olive green leather at the heel matching Jenner’s forest green dress. (AFP)

Just last week, one of Jordanian-Romanian designer Amina Muaddi’s Instagram posts showed Jenner — carrying Stormi — stepping out in a pair of white boots by Muaddi called “the Pernille bootie.” 

The businesswoman also accessorized her look with the brand’s Pernille handbag from the designer’s newly launched line.  


Arab fans react to first poster of K-Pop supergroup Blackpink’s ‘The Movie’ 

Arab fans react to first poster of K-Pop supergroup Blackpink’s ‘The Movie’ 
Updated 22 June 2021

Arab fans react to first poster of K-Pop supergroup Blackpink’s ‘The Movie’ 

Arab fans react to first poster of K-Pop supergroup Blackpink’s ‘The Movie’ 

DUBAI: Popular K-pop girl group Blackpink unveiled the first poster of their film “The Movie” and Arab fans are over the moon. 

The production, set to premier in August, will mark the band’s fifth anniversary in the music industry.  

After the announcement was made, Arab fans quickly took to Twitter to express their excitement. 

“Another movie, and in the cinema?!” wrote one user. “The film’s poster is amazinggg,” another user wrote. 

Other fans made humorous comments about the name of the film. One tweet read: “The name of the movie is ‘The Movie,’” with a clip of an Arab man saying: “Wow, amazing. This surprised me.”

 

Last week, the production company YG Entertainment announced that this film will be part of the group’s 5th-anniversary project, titled “4+1 PROJECT,” and will drop in August to coincide with band members Jisoo, Jennie, Rose, and Lisa’s debut date, August 8.