British-Egyptian actor cast as Princess Diana’s beau Dodi Fayed in ‘The Crown’

Emmy-winning Netflix series “The Crown” has cast British-Egyptian actor Khalid Abdalla. (AFP)
Emmy-winning Netflix series “The Crown” has cast British-Egyptian actor Khalid Abdalla. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 25 September 2021

British-Egyptian actor cast as Princess Diana’s beau Dodi Fayed in ‘The Crown’

Emmy-winning Netflix series “The Crown” has cast British-Egyptian actor Khalid Abdalla. (AFP)

DUBAI: Emmy-winning Netflix series “The Crown” has cast British-Egyptian actor Khalid Abdalla to play Egyptian department store heir and film producer Dodi Al-Fayed, who had a brief relationship with the UK’s Princess Diana before their deaths in 1997.

Actor Salim Daw has been cast as Dodi’s father, billionaire and former Harrods owner Mohamed Al-Fayed.

Princess Diana became romantically involved with Dodi in the summer of 1997. Their brief union caused a paparazzi frenzy that ended when the pair died in a car crash just months after they started their relationship.

Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki will over the role  of Diana from Emma Corrin, who played a young version of the princess in Season 4.


Huda Beauty named top beauty brand of 2021 in Cosmetify ranking 

Huda Beauty named top beauty brand of 2021 in Cosmetify ranking 
Updated 9 sec ago

Huda Beauty named top beauty brand of 2021 in Cosmetify ranking 

Huda Beauty named top beauty brand of 2021 in Cosmetify ranking 

DUBAI: US-Iraqi entrepreneur Huda Kattan’s brand, Huda Beauty, has been named as the biggest cosmetics label in 2021, according to a recent report by Cosmetify. 

The Cosmetify Index ranks the world’s biggest beauty brands based on search volume, increase in searches, Instagram followers, hashtags and engagement.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Huda Kattan (@huda)

This is the second time Kattan’s Dubai-based label has topped Cosmetify’s list. 

MAC Cosmetics ranks second, Anastasia Beverly Hills is third, Avon is fourth and The Body Shop is fifth.

 


Nicole Scherzinger, Halima Aden head to the UAE 

Nicole Scherzinger, Halima Aden head to the UAE 
Updated 13 min 35 sec ago

Nicole Scherzinger, Halima Aden head to the UAE 

Nicole Scherzinger, Halima Aden head to the UAE 

DUBAI: US singer Nicole Scherzinger is set to head to the UAE for the Global Citizen Forum, which will take place in the emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah on Dec 12. and 13. 

And she’s not the only star slated to attend the event — US-Somali model Halima Aden landed in Dubai on Monday ahead of the forum, and promptly took to Instagram to share snaps with her 1.4 million followers. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Halima (@halima)

The two-day event invites artists, entrepreneurs, economists, changemakers and leaders to discuss “human mobility and steps towards a more sustainable future.”

Aden, 24, shared a sneak peak of her beach view at the Mandarin Oriental Jumeirah hotel in Dubai on her Instagram Story on Monday. 

Global Citizen Forum’s annual summits – previously hosted in Dubai, Toronto, Monaco and Sveti Stefan – have each welcomed more than 500 guests from more than 65 countries.

Alongside Aden and Scherzinger, there are a number of guests and speakers who will attend the event, including Grammy-nominated DJ and record producer Steve Aoki, US actress Eva Longoria, part-Saudi supermodel and philanthropist Shanina Shaik, award-winning filmmaker Craig Leeson and more. 

A fundraiser Gala will close the event on Dec. 13, where international talents are set to light up the stage, including Longoria – who has been honored with the 2021 Global Citizen Forum Award, Scherzinger, Aoki, Dutch DJ Afrojack, and Grammy award-winning artist Wyclef Jean.

The event will be hosted by British host and author June Sarpong, US journalist Richard Quest and Emirati entrepreneur Sara Al-Madani. 

Aden’s inspiring story began in a Kenyan refugee camp, where she was raised before emigrating to the US with her family at age seven.

The UNICEF ambassador went on to make headlines as the first woman to wear a hijab in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant, where she was a semi-finalist. The Muslim model was also the first contestant to wear a hijab throughout the competition and the first to favor a burkini during the contest’s swimsuit round.

Shortly afterwards, she made history as the first hijab-wearing model in New York Fashion Week after she made her runway debut in 2017 at the Yeezy Season 5 show. 

In November 2020, model made the decision to walk away from the industry, claiming that it did not align with her faith. She announced her return in May 2021, after adding a clause to her contract with IMG Models to ensure she would never have to remove her hijab.  


‘I’m living these stories,’ says Hind Al-Fahhad, one of the Saudi directors behind ‘Becoming’

‘I’m living these stories,’ says Hind Al-Fahhad, one of the Saudi directors behind ‘Becoming’
Updated 07 December 2021

‘I’m living these stories,’ says Hind Al-Fahhad, one of the Saudi directors behind ‘Becoming’

‘I’m living these stories,’ says Hind Al-Fahhad, one of the Saudi directors behind ‘Becoming’

DUBAI: Five Saudi female directors will present their new drama “Becoming” at the Red Sea International Film Festival in Jeddah.

The 70-minute, Arabic-language film features five short narratives, each reflecting on Saudi society and the changes it is undergoing. 

Produced by the festival, “Becoming” focuses on problems confronting female characters — from a divorced mother struggling with anxiety attacks to a middle-aged hairdresser considering an abortion.

The five filmmakers behind “Becoming” include Hind Al-Fahhad, whose work mostly portrays women and the psychological and physical challenges they face. 

“I feel that their stories are relevant to me,” she told Arab News. “I’m still living them and they’re all around me.”

Al-Fahhad launched a creative career as a photographer in 2006. “I’m attracted to images and the idea of expressing myself visually,” she said.

At the time, there were no opportunities to study film direction in Saudi Arabia, but the self-taught Al-Fahhad trained herself by reading, watching films and attending workshops. 

Hind Al-Fahhad’s work mostly portrays women and the psychological and physical challenges they face. (Supplied) 

Five years later, she began experimenting by directing short films, such as the award-winning “Basta” (“Peddlers”), showcasing her productions in Gulf film festivals.

“Every day, I’m discovering,” she said, explaining what she enjoys most about her artistic profession. “I experience a story, a situation in every film. I feel like I’ve entered people’s homes and their stories.” 

Like most film professionals, Al-Fahhad’s interest in movies began at an early age, watching videotapes and listening to stories of her grandmother visiting local cinemas in the 1970s.

Al-Fahhad is optimistic about the revival of cinema in the Kingdom, as well as the encouragement of aspiring independent filmmakers in her country. (Supplied)

This family story, in particular, inspired Al-Fahhad to work on her upcoming film “Sharshaf” (“Fitted Sheet”), which will be filmed in 2022.

She is optimistic about the revival of cinema in the Kingdom, as well as the encouragement of aspiring independent filmmakers in her country. 

“The situation is different now. We are living the dream,” she said.

“I believe things have gone back to the way they used to be. Saudi society is starting to look like other societies worldwide. It has its dreams, stories and experiences.”


Models pay tribute to Arab designers on Red Sea International Film Festival red carpet

Candice Swanepoel on the red carpet at the Red Sea International Film Festival. (Getty Images)
Candice Swanepoel on the red carpet at the Red Sea International Film Festival. (Getty Images)
Updated 07 December 2021

Models pay tribute to Arab designers on Red Sea International Film Festival red carpet

Candice Swanepoel on the red carpet at the Red Sea International Film Festival. (Getty Images)

DUBAI: From a stunning white Zuhair Murad gown, to daring looks by Lebanese-helmed label-of-the-moment Monot, models from around the world paid tribute to Middle Eastern designers at the Red Sea International Film Festival in Jeddah.

US-Brazilian model Alessandra Ambrosio took time out from her busy schedule to take in the winter festivities in the city, and shared snaps and video clips of the F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on Instagram before letting her 10.6 million Instagram followers in on her pre-red carpet makeup routine.

She then posted a short clip on Instagram Stories showing off her regal look — designed by none other than Lebanese icon Zuhair Murad.

Alessandra Ambrosio. (Getty Images)

The all-white look featured a peek-a-boo cut out at the waist and hip-high slit, along with gem-encrusted details on the torso and shoulder.

Meanwhile, South African model Candice Swanepoel brought her A-game to the red carpet on Monday night wearing an all-white look by Monot.

The figure-hugging gown featured a dramatic asymmetrical train.

Shanina Shaik. (Getty Images)

Portuguese model Sara Sampaio opted for a dramatic Zuhair Murad gown in black, with silver embellishments across the length of the gown, while Saudi-Pakistani-Lithuanian-Australian beauty Shanina Shaik also showed off a striking black number, this time by Monot.

Sara Sampaio. (Getty Images)

 


Director Albaqer Jafeer’s ‘Take Me to the Cinema’ is a heartfelt portrait of life in Iraq

Director Albaqer Jafeer’s ‘Take Me to the Cinema’ is a heartfelt portrait of life in Iraq
Updated 07 December 2021

Director Albaqer Jafeer’s ‘Take Me to the Cinema’ is a heartfelt portrait of life in Iraq

Director Albaqer Jafeer’s ‘Take Me to the Cinema’ is a heartfelt portrait of life in Iraq

JEDDAH: Jeddah’s Red Sea International Film Festival is treating audiences to a diverse array of films from across the Arab world and beyond, and one 27-year-old Iraqi director is the latest to have his work shown to audiences in Saudi Arabia.

Albaqer Jafeer, from Baghdad, is participating in the Arab Spectacular category alongside eight other movies with “Take me to the Cinema,” his first documentary.

In an interview with Arab News, Jafeer spoke about the catastrophic wars that Iraqis have been through and how these affected entertainment for citizens and impacted him personally as a filmmaker.

For Jafeer, the film had its own set of challenges, taking four years to complete. (Supplied)

“This documentary is a combination of drama and fiction. The idea came to me while I was reading a novel by the famous Iraqi novelist Nassif Falak, the hero of my film,” Jafeer said.

For Jafeer, the film had its own set of challenges, taking four years to complete.

“Iraq lacks cinema producers and theaters, and the industry itself is practically non-existent. Creating the film was extremely challenging as I am the director, actor, producer, photographer and more.

“When my film received support from the Red Sea International Film Festival, it was a significant boost in terms of production, especially with the help of talented Egyptian producers,” he continued.

Albaqer Jafeer is participating in the Arab Spectacular category alongside eight other movies with “Take me to the Cinema,” his first documentary. (Supplied)

The post-production stage was sponsored by the film festival, which, according to Jafeer, helped speed up the production process.

“Having my film premiere in Saudi Arabia is a golden opportunity. I am so thrilled that Saudi audiences will get to explore more about Iraq. This, for myself and other Iraqis, will create a very significant dialogue,” he said.

Inspired by Falak’s novel, the 75-minute documentary tells the story of a 65-year-old Iraqi soldier who absconded from Iraq’s mandatory military service when he was younger and found a safe haven in a cinema.

The film is viewed from Jafeer’s eyes, as he questions the future of the film industry, that of the Iraqi generation born in the 1990s, and how the cycle of life is repeated, with many of the same issues faced by different generations.

“Take me to the Cinema” will be screened on Dec. 10 and 13 at Al-Balad Vox cinemas. (Supplied)

“What happened to the dreams of the previous generation? What happened to their journey? Is it over? Or can they still achieve their goals?” Jafeer asked, relaying some of the main thematic questions dealt with in the poignant cinematic work.

“The film is full of questions. Some might be answered within the context, others might remain unanswered, but I would like to leave them to the previous Iraqi generation to answer,” he added.

“Take me to the Cinema” also highlights how Iraq was home to over 100 movie theaters during the country’s glory days before the wars began.

“There is a street called ‘Cinema Street’ located in the city of Ramadi where all the movie theaters used to be. Sadly, these buildings have now been turned into military uniform shops. This shows how our lives are merged with war,” the director said.

“Take me to the Cinema” will be screened on Dec. 10 and 13 at Al-Balad Vox cinemas.