We get it. We can barely keep up with the onslaught of information ourselves. That being said, it’s our mission to keep readers in the know, which is why we’ve combed through it all, distilled it to its essence, and dispensed it into easily digestible tidbits. Want to be the most knowledgeable culture savant in your group of friends? Then check back every Sunday for what you’ve missed in the world of culture, celebrities, and fashion.
Johnny Depp Fired from 'Fantastic Beasts' Franchise Over Domestic Abuse Allegations
Johnny Depp took to his Instagram last week to break the news to his fans that Warner Bros. had asked him to resign from his role as Gellert Grindelwald in the popular Fantastic Beasts franchise – the prequels to the Harry Potter stories. Depp had already filmed one scene for the next film, premiering in 2022, when he lost his case in the UK against The Sun, the British media tabloid who first accused him of being a “wife beater” after allegations from Depp’s former wife, Amber Heard, became public.
In his post, Depp states he complied with Warner Bros.’ request, although it is clear he was not in agreement with the “surreal judgment” of the UK courts, and he continues to claim innocence and promises his fans he will fight and that “his life and his career will not be defined by this moment.”
Mads Mikkelson, the Danish actor largely known for playing the villain ‘Le Chiffre’ in the 2006 version of Casino Royale, is in early talks with Warner Bros. to replace Depp for the third installment of the franchise currently in production.
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What is Grief? Beloved Game Show Host, Alex Trebek, Passes Away
Alex Trebek, the American-Canadian host of the hugely popular Jeopardy! game show, passed away on November 8th from pancreatic cancer. He had been hosting the game show since 1984, and had a contract to continue to host through 2022. Memories of Trebek from fans started surfacing everywhere on the internet, but none were quite so moving as the clip of a young college student, who didn’t know the answer to the Final Jeopardy question, bet almost all of his money to let Trebek know he was loved, causing the beloved host to choke up and be moved to tears. You can watch the emotional video below.
Happy Birthday, Fazza!
The Crown Prince of Dubai, Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, commonly and affectionately called ‘Fazza’ (“the one who helps” in Arabic), celebrated his 38th birthday yesterday. On Thursday, Fazza posted some nostalgic – and incredibly adorable – throwback pictures of himself from childhood on his Instagram account, and on Saturday, the well wishes came pouring in from all around the world. The Prince started his birthday with getting in a workout for his Dubai 30×30 Challenge.
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On the Heels of 'Paranormal', Netflix Signs More Deals for Arabic Content
After the success of “Six Windows in the Desert”, the short film collection and collaboration between Netflix and Saudi Arabian digital media studio, Telfaz11, Netflix has announced a new deal and continuation of the partnership for the production of eight new feature films. This comes on the heels of last week’s launch of Paranormal, the supernatural Arabic original series that was the second-most watched on the platform this past weekend. “We hope that Telfaz’s work will offer Netflix members around the world a chance to experience Saudi culture, humor, and art,” says Nuha El Tayeb, Netflix’s director of content acquisitions for the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey.
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Air Travel Opens Between UK and UAE Without Quarantine
UAE residents wishing to travel for the holidays can now add the UK to their list of possible destinations for merry-making. Despite the UK entering its second lockdown, travelers arriving in the UK from the UAE no longer need to undergo a 14-day quarantine. Likewise, UK residents wishing to get a little sunshine and warm weather are now able to visit the UAE with no quarantine restrictions. Airline ticket prices saw a 20% hike in ticket prices due to the surge in ticket sales following the announcement this weekend. UAE ambassador to the UK, Mansoor Abulhoul, tweeted that the “UAE-UK travel corridor announced today shows the strength of the British-Emirati relationship. This will lay the foundation for when normal international travel resumes.”
AESOP Moves Online and Our Dry, Hand-Sanitized Skin Thanks Us
Lots of hand washing and hand sanitizer has gotten the better of our delicate skin this year. But we don’t need to back off the necessary health precautions. All of our favorite AESOP products have moved online — which means customers can now order their favorite products from the comfort of their own home, with same-day delivery in Dubai. But the best part would have to be the free sample sachets that the brand is including in the orders. The more you spend, the more free sachets you receive, and — since we needed the products urgently anyway — it’s a good time to be online.
Dana Hourani Drops Her Fourth Single and Dedicates It to Beirut
When Dana Hourani, a name that is synonymous with the Arab fashion scene, debuted onto the regional indie music scene last year, we never would have expected the strength, resilience, and empowering music that would come from the multi-talented artist with the release of her fourth single, ‘Enti Ana’, this year.
‘Enti Ana’ translates to “I am you” and is Hourani’s tribute to her hometown of Beirut and to the women in her life whose strength has guided her along the way. “‘Enti Ana’ celebrates all generations of Arab women and everything that they have overcome, as well as every man who appreciates, supports, and elevates the women in his life,” says Hourani.
You can watch her new music video below.