In recent years, Al-Qalaa has endeavored not only to present herself as an artist whose main job is to sing, but she has also taken initiatives and participated in activities that contribute to public social work. This includes visiting the Sudanese victims of floods and rains in 2015, providing them with aid, performing concerts, the revenues of which went to the victims, and singing a song about them. In 2016, Al-Qalaa organized a campaign to support female tea vendors in the country’s capital, Khartoum, and expressed her sympathy for the “dardaqat” workers [porters], who earn a living by helping buyers in the market to carry their purchases in hand-driven vehicles.
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Still, Shabayek sees some – albeit small – changes brought about by the revolution. Women are more willing to speak out and share their stories; the audience is more open to accepting them. “The revolution has left us feeling empowered when it comes to self-expression. There is a change in people at least, even if the system is the same or maybe worse.”
Omar Barghouti was greatly inspired by Nelson Mandela’s approach to mobilizing the nations of the world against the apartheid regime in South Africa. This approach was introduced in Palestine after the failure of the Camp David II peace negotiations in July 2000 and the outbreak of the second intifada (uprising) in September 2000 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, followed by a major Israeli military operation in the West Bank in 2002.
Aside from embezzlement and corruption, al-Otaiba was implicated in even more serious scandals. The Huffington Post, which was provided with another batch of the leaked emails, broke the story of al-Otaiba supporting a major effort to raise doubts about Qatar in the minds of Americans since 2014, a mission in which he has been largely unsuccessful despite the row between the Gulf state and several other countries, including the UAE, over its alleged support of terrorism that erupted in May 2017.
Bin Zayed grew up witnessing the rapid transformation of the UAE from huts to Hilton hotels and skyscrapers. Along the way, his father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, elder brother Khalifa and he learned two valuable lessons: the UAE cannot survive without outside protection and they need to remain strategically significant to keep mainly their Western allies interested and on board. Moreover, the country’s geographical location puts it between two regional powers that historically have shown an interest in controlling it.
In a historic turn of events and after the endorsement of his decade-long rivals in the 14 March alliance, army commander Samir Geagea and Future Movement leader Saad Hariri, Aoun was elected president on 31 October at the 46th electoral session of the Lebanese parliament. Now dubbed ‘the father of all’, Aoun is attempting to serve his term as a president who is at an equal distance from all.
Nada Faris made the conscious decision to write in English to reach a global audience, and to avoid risking the nuances of her work getting lost in translation. Her writings shifted her perspective on writing and empowered the audience with knowledge that would make them think, question and discuss.
As a resident of many countries and a visitor to many more, Bawab will always carry several flags, highlighting her international and fluid character. Yet one of these flags will always be Palestinian. She is a tireless advocate for peace, and hopes that through her voice and music, she will be able to shed a light on the part of the world she comes from.