Arab News launches ‘The Mayman Show’ podcast

Arab News launches ‘The Mayman Show’ podcast
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The first episode of “The Mayman Show” features American online sensation and content creator Paris Verra, who is based in Saudi Arabia. (AN Photo)
Arab News launches ‘The Mayman Show’ podcast
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Updated 18 February 2022

Arab News launches ‘The Mayman Show’ podcast

Arab News launches ‘The Mayman Show’ podcast
  • Host Hussam Al-Mayman looks at the cultural, social and entertainment renaissance happening in the Kingdom
  • Show is latest edition to Arab News’ multimedia offering

RIYADH: Arab News, the leading English-language Middle East daily, has launched a new podcast to bolster its growing range of multimedia products.

“The Mayman Show” is a weekly podcast hosted by reporter Hussam Al-Mayman and recorded at the company’s headquarters in Riyadh. In his many years in media and communications, Al-Mayman has covered major sporting, entertainment and culture events for the newspaper and other media outlets.

The show will revolve around personal and relatable conversations between the host and his celebrity guests, who will include actors, comedians, models, athletes and more.

 

“With ‘The Mayman Show’ adding to our growing list of media products, Arab News is ensuring it maintains its stature as the voice of a changing region by catering to several audiences and interests,” Arab News’ Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas said.

“The podcast will focus mainly on the current renaissance happening in the Kingdom’s cultural, social and tourism and entertainment scene through the insights of both the creative Saudis who are making it happen and the visitors and expats who are witnessing history unfold,” he added.

Al-Mayman described the show as “a milestone for Saudi talent such as myself. Similar content like this is available via independent platforms and not a premier news outlet such as Arab News.”

He continued: “I think what makes it different is the fact that it’s an informal conversation on an official platform. As the slogan goes: ‘I like stories, what’s yours?’”

 

The first episode features American online sensation and content creator Paris Verra, who is based in Saudi Arabia. She discusses her experience making a video for the Saudi pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020, her life in the Kingdom and her travels around the world.

“No matter how many times I visit each place in Saudi, each experience is very different from the other. And one of the things that makes those adventures, our experiences, so different and unique from each other are, honestly, the people,” Verra said on the podcast.

“It’s the people who you’re with and also the ones that you meet,” she said.

 

 

The first episode of the new podcast runs for 30 minutes and will be released on Thursday. Other Arab News specials include “Frankly Speaking,” “The Ray Hanania Show” and “The Briefing Room.”

Established in 1975, Arab News is part of the Saudi Research and Media Group and has editions in Pakistan, Japan, France as well as the main English-language version.


US sportswriter Grant Wahl dies after ‘acute distress’ covering World Cup

US sportswriter Grant Wahl dies after ‘acute distress’ covering World Cup
Updated 32 min 31 sec ago

US sportswriter Grant Wahl dies after ‘acute distress’ covering World Cup

US sportswriter Grant Wahl dies after ‘acute distress’ covering World Cup
  • Former Sports Illustrated sportswriter had been tweeting about the Netherlands-Argentina match earlier
  • Attempts were made to revive Wahl in the press box before he was taken to a local hospital

WASHINGTON/DOHA: Well-known US football journalist Grant Wahl died on Friday after suffering “acute distress” while covering a match at the World Cup in Qatar, his agent said.
US Soccer said it was “heartbroken to learn” of Wahl’s death. His wife responded to the US Soccer statement on Twitter, saying she was “in complete shock.”
Qatar’s World Cup organizers, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), paid tribute to Wahl’s “enormous love of football” and offered condolences to his family, friends and media colleagues.
Wahl, a former Sports Illustrated sportswriter who moved to the Substack online publishing platform, had been tweeting about the Netherlands-Argentina match earlier on Friday.
His agent, Tim Scanlan, said that Wahl had “appeared to suffer some kind of acute distress in the start of extra time” at the quarter-final match.
Scanlan said attempts were made to revive Wahl in the press box before he was taken to a local hospital, where he was confirmed dead.
“We are in touch with the US Embassy and relevant local authorities to ensure the process of repatriating the body is in accordance with the family’s wishes,” the SC spokesperson said.
FIFA, football’s world governing body, and Qatar’s international media office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
“Everyone’s emotional and it’s really traumatic,” Scanlan said. “He was a true advocate for both the men’s and women’s games and really just cared deeply about the sport. He was empathetic and just truly a brilliant writer.”
Wahl said in late November he was briefly detained when he tried to enter a World Cup stadium in Qatar while wearing a rainbow shirt in support of the LGBTQ community in a country where same-sex relations are illegal.
He said World Cup security denied him entry to the United States’ opener against Wales at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan and asked him to take his shirt off.
Wahl wrote on Monday that he had visited a hospital while in Qatar.
“I didn’t have COVID (I test regularly here), but I went into the medical clinic at the main media center today, and they said I probably have bronchitis,” he posted on Substack.


Hong Kong jails pro-democracy media tycoon over fraud

Hong Kong jails pro-democracy media tycoon over fraud
Updated 10 December 2022

Hong Kong jails pro-democracy media tycoon over fraud

Hong Kong jails pro-democracy media tycoon over fraud
  • Jimmy Lai was arrested during a crackdown on the city’s pro-democracy movement following widespread protests in 2019
  • His media company, Next Digital, published the now-defunct pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily

HONG KONG: A Hong Kong court sentenced a pro-democracy media tycoon to five years and nine months in prison on Saturday over two fraud charges linked to lease violations, the latest of a series of cases against prominent activists that critics say are aimed at crushing dissent in the city.
Jimmy Lai, who was arrested during a crackdown on the city’s pro-democracy movement following widespread protests in 2019 and under the National Security Law imposed by Beijing, was also fined 2 million Hong Kong dollars ($257,000).
His media company, Next Digital, published the now-defunct pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily. The publication was forced to close following the arrests of its top executives, editors and journalists last year.
In October, Lai was found guilty of fraud for subletting part of the office space to a secretarial firm, which was also controlled by him, between 2016 and 2020. The second fraud count was for letting the same firm use the media outlet’s office space in an alleged breach of lease agreements from 1998 to 2015.
The court at that time ruled the moves had violated lease agreements with the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corp. and that Lai had hidden the fact that the company was occupying space in the building.
Handing down the sentences on Saturday, Judge Stanley Chan said the violations, which he called “organized and planned,” occurred over two decades and that Lai had used his media organization as “an umbrella of protection.”
He said Lai did not feel guilty about the moves, so there was no basis for the court to reduce his jail term.
Lai’s former colleague Wong Wai-keung, who was convicted on a single charge of fraud over the case, must serve 21 months in jail, Chan added.
Lai’s legal team earlier asked the United Nations to investigate his imprisonment and multiple criminal charges as “legal harassment” to punish him for speaking out. The tycoon was previously sentenced to 20 months in jail for his role in unauthorized assemblies.
His national security trial, initially scheduled to begin on Dec. 1, was postponed after Hong Kong leader John Lee asked China to effectively block him from hiring a British defense lawyer. If convicted, Lai faces up to life imprisonment.
The enactment of the security law has led to the arrests of many prominent democracy activists in the semi-autonomous Chinese city. Hong Kong, a former British colony, returned to China’s rule in 1997.
It has also damaged faith in the future of the international financial hub, with increasing numbers of young professionals responding to the shrinking freedoms by moving abroad.


Studio 1932, Pressman Film team up for film production in Saudi Arabia

Studio 1932, Pressman Film team up for film production in Saudi Arabia
Updated 09 December 2022

Studio 1932, Pressman Film team up for film production in Saudi Arabia

Studio 1932, Pressman Film team up for film production in Saudi Arabia
  • Companies sign a deal to create drama feature film set in ancient Arabia

LONDON: Saudi Arabia’s Studio 1932 and Hollywood’s Pressman Film announced on Friday a new partnership that will see the creation of a feature film shot in the Kingdom.

The American production house said it has signed a deal with Studio 1932 to film an action-drama feature based in ancient Arabia.

“We’re excited to be partnering with Studio 1932 on the development of films and tv to be made in Saudi Arabia for global audiences. Saudi Arabia’s commitment to cinema is one of the most interesting developments in the global marketplace for media today,” commented Edward Pressman, producer.

“We are proud to bring 50-plus years of industry experience as well as to share our relationships in the creative and technical spheres of production with the evolving landscape of Saudi media.”

The new partnership is the latest contribution to a flourishing film sector in the country and will be an opportunity to showcase not only the savoir-faire of the Saudi film industry but highlight the Kingdom’s diverse landscapes, regions, history and traditions through the camera lens.

The collaboration of cultural and creative value was made possible by the support of the Saudi Film Commission and the commitment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, the companies also highlighted.

Founded in 1969, Pressman Film has produced over 80 world-class motion pictures that have kickstarted the careers of several of the most prominent figures in the movie industry.

Pressman’s classic productions include “Conan the Barbarian,” “American Psycho,” “The Crow,” “Thank You for Smoking” and “Wall Street,” directed by Oliver Stone, president of the International Jury of the 2022 Rea Sea Film Festival.


Saudi Film Commission announces new fund for local productions

Saudi Film Commission announces new fund for local productions
Updated 09 December 2022

Saudi Film Commission announces new fund for local productions

Saudi Film Commission announces new fund for local productions
  • Daw aims to provide additional support to fast-growing industry
  • Applications open from December 11

LONDON: 

The Saudi Film Commission has launched a grant scheme dedicated to supporting local productions and talent.

The Daw funding program was announced during the Red Sea International Film Festival, which is taking place from Dec. 1 to Dec. 10 in Jeddah. It is designed to stimulate the growth of the Saudi film sector and support private investment in industry.

“Daw is part of our continued efforts to encourage Saudi filmmakers and production companies to express their creativity and help us grow the Saudi film industry,” Saudi Film Commission CEO Abdullah Al-Eyaf said.

“The commission launched several initiatives over the past few years to develop the sector’s infrastructure and invest in our local talent, because we truly believe in the potential of Saudi filmmakers and production houses and strive to help them show their productions on the global stage.”

The new grant is built upon the success of last year’s Daw Film Competition, which saw 30 winners across five film categories.

Daw offers financial grants for Saudi-based production companies looking to produce short films or feature films.

The program is open from December 11 and will be available for three types of film: fiction, documentaries, and animation.

Applications will go through a rigorous four-step evaluation and will be assessed by a committee of leading experts.

Earlier this year the commission, a Saudi government body affiliated with the Ministry of Culture, unveiled a cash rebate program that is open for local and international production companies, which will stimulate Saudi filmmaking.

The film industry is “one of the most prominent and as well as fastest growing cultural sectors in Saudi Arabia,” said Najla Al-Nomair, chief strategy and business development officer at the Cultural Development Fund.

The film commission aims to develop the sector in the country, creating jobs and increasing the industry’s contribution to the economy.


Iranian women named ‘Heroes of the Year 2022’ by Time magazine

Iranian women named ‘Heroes of the Year 2022’ by Time magazine
Updated 09 December 2022

Iranian women named ‘Heroes of the Year 2022’ by Time magazine

Iranian women named ‘Heroes of the Year 2022’ by Time magazine
  • ‘Educated, secular, liberal’ Iranian women have been the backbone of the protests

LONDON: The women of Iran have been named Time magazine’s Heroes of the Year 2022 for their pivotal role in widespread protests against the Islamic Republic.

Iranian women, who were described by the New York-based magazine as “educated, secular, liberal,” took to the streets in mid-September following the death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of morality police.

Protesters demanded changes to the strict rules imposed by the Tehran regime.

The cover of the magazine, which is due to be published on Dec. 26, will feature an image of three unveiled Iranian women locking arms in defiance of the country’s rulers.

 

 

Iranian-American writer and former Time columnist Azadeh Moaveni has also written an accompanying piece lauding the actions of Iranian women and highlighting their importance in protests that have swept the country.

“These younger women are now in the streets. The movement they’re leading is educated, liberal, secular, raised on higher expectations, and desperate for normality — college and foreign travel, decent jobs, rule of law, access to the Apple Store, a meaningful role in politics, the freedom to say and wear whatever,” Moaveni wrote.

“I can only conclude that when a generation’s aspirations for freedom appear tantalizingly within reach, the more humiliating the remaining restrictions seem and the less daunting the final stretch of resistance feels.” 

Moaveni also wrote that what might appear to be a feminist revolt in fact carried the grievances of an entire society.