Saudi-Canadian YouTube couple celebrate National Day with new cooking series

Saudi-Canadian YouTube couple celebrate National Day with new cooking series
The couple shared their personal take on traditional meals like the shrimp biryani, saleeg and laham margoog. (Instagram)
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Updated 23 September 2021

Saudi-Canadian YouTube couple celebrate National Day with new cooking series

Saudi-Canadian YouTube couple celebrate National Day with new cooking series

DUBAI: In honor of the 91st Saudi National Day, celebrated on Sept. 23, food and lifestyle TV channel Fatafeat has partnered with Dubai-based social media couple Ali Almeshaal and his wife Jacquelyn to cook some of the Kingdom’s most-loved dishes.

In the five-episode series, available on YouTube, the couple, who have over 750,000 subscribers on the site, shared their personal take on traditional meals like the shrimp biryani, saleeg and laham margoog.

The show was not the Canadian wife’s first time cooking Saudi food since the pair got married a year-and-a-half ago.

In an interview with Arab News, Almeshaal, who is from the Kingdom, said that when they tied the knot, his wife surprised him by cooking Kabsa, a hearty rice dish made with lamb, chicken, fish or seafood. “It was a very, very nice Kabsa,” he said.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jacquelyn (@jacquelynnmayy)

“It was a healthy Kabsa kind of recipe,” Jacquelyn explained. “It’s our spin, because there is not a right or wrong way to make any dish, but attune it to how your family or your friends or how you like it.”

Her video of the famous dish, which is their favorite, got over 600,000 views on Twitter, Almeshaal said, and fans demanded more tutorials.

The couple said they enjoyed shooting the Fatafeat series together. “Ali isn’t usually in the kitchen with me helping me too much, so it was nice to actually have him in the kitchen conversing with him and having him help me out,” she said.

This is Almeshaal’s second time shooting for Fatafeat. “This year was way nicer than last year, taking into consideration that my beautiful wife was with me. I really enjoyed it.”

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jacquelyn (@jacquelynnmayy)

“We cooked some of my favorite dishes and we were celebrating one of the nicest days for me as a Saudi, which is the National Day,” he added.

Before the pair tied the knot, Jacquelyn said she did not know much about the Arab world.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jacquelyn (@jacquelynnmayy)

“I never really grew up knowing anything about Arab or Muslim culture,” she said.

But when she met her husband, she started to “attune” to the culture, which she now “loves.”

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jacquelyn (@jacquelynnmayy)

Her first time visiting Saudi Arabia was in 2019.

“I think that the media in the west portrays the Middle Eastern culture in a very strict and rigid way. There are a lot of misconceptions,” said the 29-year-old, who is expecting a baby girl. “I would just suggest anybody who has ever been afraid or curious or ever wanted to explore the Middle East but was afraid of anything they heard in the media that it’s wrong.”

“They are some of the most amazing, nice, humble, welcoming people I have ever met in my entire life,” added Jacquelyn, who — besides her social media presence — currently works in real estate.

Almeshaal was a former TV presenter at MBC Group. He now owns a communications firm in Dubai, where he is based. He has been creating content on social media for the past 11 years.

Diriyah, past, present and future
On Saudi Arabia’s 91st National Day, the birthplace of the Kingdom continues to make history

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SALT set to delight foodies in Saudi Arabia for Riyadh Season

SALT set to delight foodies in Saudi Arabia for Riyadh Season
SALT was established in 2014. Instagram
Updated 25 October 2021

SALT set to delight foodies in Saudi Arabia for Riyadh Season

SALT set to delight foodies in Saudi Arabia for Riyadh Season

DUBAI: SALT, the popular food truck, is opening its doors in Saudi Arabia’s capital for 2021 Riyadh Season, taking place from October 2021 to March 2022.

The metallic food truck illustrated with burgers, ice cream cones and a saltshaker is the brainchild of two entrepreneurs, Emirati Amal Al-Marri and Saudi Deem Albassam. Established in 2014, SALT revolutionized and legalized the concepts of food trucks in the region — the two women single-handedly propelled Dubai’s food truck movement with their forward-thinking eatery.

The founders spoke to Arab News about their latest foray into Saudi Arabia, just in time for Riyadh Season.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by S A L T (@findsalt)

“SALT being a lifestyle movement, we always aim to stay away from locations that will only serve food and target a destination that delivers an experience. Therefore, we have chosen to be part of 1st Golf in Riyadh Boulevard — a new type of sport that we are excited to be part of and serve our salters.

“We are very excited to celebrate and enjoy the season with our salters,” the founders added, referring to Riyadh Season’s jam-packed schedule of events.

The Gulf-born eatery reinvented how people experience food while filling a major hole in the dining landscape and attracting tourists from around the globe.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by S A L T (@findsalt)

Before setting up permanent locations in Dubai, Ajman and Abu Dhabi, SALT was always on the move. It initially launched as a social media campaign — social media users looking to fuel up had to follow @FindSalt on Instagram to get the inside scoop on where the truck would be parked, rush to the undisclosed location and enjoy the dining project’s fresh, premium food, sourced locally where possible, to go.

The eatery has delighted Saudi fans in the past by bringing a popup concept to the capital and Dammam, with SALT Camp and SALT Island respectively.

A SALT diner is also located in Riyadh Park Mall.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by S A L T (@findsalt)

“We have a very strong (base of) loyal Saudi followers that appreciate our concept of enjoying the simple things and are always curious to find where the next SALT is,” the founders said.

SALT celebrates casual but delicious street food. Think succulent beef and chicken sliders, refreshing lemonade and mouth-watering ice cream cones to satisfy any sweet tooth, with the owners adding they “always adapt the experience to the destination we are in.” 


Lebanese stars Nancy Ajram, Ragheb Alama to headline Expo 2020 concert in November

Lebanese superstars Nancy Ajram (pictured) and Ragheb Alama will co-headline the second Infinite Nights show on Nov. 12. (AFP)
Lebanese superstars Nancy Ajram (pictured) and Ragheb Alama will co-headline the second Infinite Nights show on Nov. 12. (AFP)
Updated 25 October 2021

Lebanese stars Nancy Ajram, Ragheb Alama to headline Expo 2020 concert in November

Lebanese superstars Nancy Ajram (pictured) and Ragheb Alama will co-headline the second Infinite Nights show on Nov. 12. (AFP)

DUBAI: Hot on the heels of Iraqi singer Kadim Al-Sahir’s performance that launched Expo 2020’s Infinite Night series, Lebanese superstars Nancy Ajram and Ragheb Alama will co-headline the second Infinite Nights show on Nov. 12.

Alama will perform hits from his 30-year career in a performance that will highlight how music connects humans, from all corners of the world, in line with Expo’s Mobility subtheme.

 Alama said: “I want to mix cultures together. I want their audience to hear me, and I want my audience to hear them. I have always liked opening doors, and Expo’s Infinite Night Series is the perfect platform to make this happen.”

 Singer, actor and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Ajram will perform her biggest hits in a performance under the dome of Al Wasl Plaza.

 “When we all work together and collaborate, we can learn to live in harmony with each other and the world around us. I cannot wait to be part of Expo 2020’s incredible journey – I hope my show will inspire positivity amongst young people around the globe to cherish the world we live in,” she said.

A stellar line-up of global and regional performers will headline the six-month Infinite Nights series, with both physical and virtual shows.


‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ breathes new life into deadly franchise

Credit is due to lead actress Madison Iseman for elevating her character to more than just a simple scream queen. (Supplied)
Updated 25 October 2021

‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ breathes new life into deadly franchise

Credit is due to lead actress Madison Iseman for elevating her character to more than just a simple scream queen. (Supplied)

LONDON: Amazon Prime’s latest reimagining of a tried-and-tested franchise sees Lois Duncan’s 1973 Young Adult novel turned into a 10-part horror series (a change in format from the 1997 movie adaptation starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jennifer Love Hewitt) that, much like its new platform, feels tailored for a 21st century audience. This time around, “I Know What You Did Last Summer” features a fresh roster of teenagers with questionable morals — only now they have cellphones, Instagram followers and frequently reference memes.  

One year after the group of unfeasibly attractive teenagers agree to cover up a tragic car accident, they begin to be picked off, one at a time, by a mysterious killer. Frightened to go to the police and admit what they’ve done, the group begin to suspect everyone around them (and, increasingly, each other) of taking revenge for the sins of last summer.

So far, so familiar. Show creator Sara Goodman has a narrative ace up her sleeve, however, though it’s difficult to say much without erring into spoiler territory. Credit is due to lead actress Madison Iseman for elevating her character to more than just a simple scream queen.

Plaudits should also go to whoever choreographed some of the more grizzly set pieces — there is a certain macabre enjoyment in watching the characters meet their untimely end with such flamboyance. Plus, many of the main characters are written to be so unlikable that it is hard to have much sympathy for them as they are stalked by the killer.

After a flurry of initial episodes, Amazon Prime is releasing new instalments weekly, so there is a little wait before the murderer is finally unmasked — and “I Know What You Did Last Summer” plays with that, offering up multiple dead ends and bait-and-switches to ratchet up the tension. Thankfully, there are plenty of overly entitled and unpleasant teenagers left to be put through the wringer.


Drake serenaded by Palestinian-Canadian dabke group for his birthday

Drake serenaded by Palestinian-Canadian dabke group for his birthday
Drake poses with the Al-Asala Dabke Group. Instagram
Updated 25 October 2021

Drake serenaded by Palestinian-Canadian dabke group for his birthday

Drake serenaded by Palestinian-Canadian dabke group for his birthday

RIYADH: Drake turned 35 on Sunday and celebrated the special occasion with a star-studded costume party in Los Angeles — for which he dressed up as a cowboy — that was attended by his famous friends such as French Montana, Future, Jack Harlow and Kawhi Leonard, among others. However, ahead of the birthday bash, the Grammy award-winning artist was surprised with a more intimate celebration.

A video of the “God’s Plan” rapper being serenaded with an Arabic “zeffe” by the Al-Asala Dabke Group, a group of Palestinian-Canadian dabke performers, went viral online yesterday, resulting in a series of memes on social media.

One user on Twitter even coined a new nickname for the rapper, calling him “Abu Adonis,” which translates to “the father of Adonis” in Arabic.

“Will only be referring to Drake as ‘Abu Adonis’ from now on,” said one user on Twitter.

“Who sent Drake a dabke group for his birthday lol,” probed another.

While it’s uncertain who decided to hire the Al-Asala Dabke Group, who are usually booked to perform at Arab weddings, engagements and graduations, it’s no secret that some of the closest people in the rapper’s circle are of Arab descent.

In fact, the OVO record label is co-owned by Drake, his manager Oliver El-Khatib and his producer Noah “40” Shebib, who are both Lebanese-Canadian.

Recently, rapper Lil Uzi Vert also went viral online after footage of him doing the dabke at a Palestinian wedding surfaced on social media. 


Designer Giorgio Armani receives UAE golden visa

 Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani received a UAE golden visa on Sunday. (File/ AFP)
Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani received a UAE golden visa on Sunday. (File/ AFP)
Updated 25 October 2021

Designer Giorgio Armani receives UAE golden visa

 Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani received a UAE golden visa on Sunday. (File/ AFP)

DUBAI: Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani received a UAE golden visa on Sunday, giving him 10-year residency in recognition of his contribution to the international fashion scene.

Armani was given the UAE golden visa by Major General Mohamed Ahmed Al-Marri, Director General of General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.

The golden visa scheme began in 2019 and grants a 10-year residency in recognition of special contributions to the country.

Dubai is home to the Armani hotel, which is housed in the Burj Khalifa.

In another show of his close relationship with the city, the designer is staging an exclusive fashion show at the hotel on Oct. 26, which will mark the 10th anniversary of the hotel and the 40th anniversary of the Armani brand.