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Saudi Arabia’s highest ranking Cleric warns of depravity of Cinemas and Musical concerts in the Country

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Crowd enjoying a concert, Wikimedia

New Delhi, Jan 15, 2017: Grand Mufti Abdulaziz al-sheikh, in an interview warned of the depravity of cinemas and musical concerts. Saudi Arabia’s highest ranking cleric, Grand Mufti Abdulaziz al-sheikh while responding to a question about the plans of the kingdom’s General Authority for Entertainment to license concerts and study opening cinemas, gave a statement saying, “Cinemas and music concerts would corrupt morals if allowed in the ultra-conservative kingdom.”

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The head of the Saudi supreme council of clerics said, “Cinemas might show movies that are libertine, lewd, immoral and atheist, because they rely on films imported to change our culture.”

Al-sheikh gave many statements opposing music concerts saying the concerts don’t really promote good music and are not at all a medium to connect with music. He insisted that music entertainment and opening cinemas represent a call for mixing between sexes. Al-sheikh said, “At the beginning they would assign areas for women, but then both men and women will end up in one area. This corrupts morals and destroys values.”

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Recently a show by American stand-up comedian and actor Mike Epps at a university campus in western Saudi Arabia was cancelled last month. However, he also said that entertainment through cultural and scientific media is okay. He urged the authorities, “not to open the doors for the evil.”

– prepared by Shambhavi Sinha of NewsGram. Twitter:  @shambhavispeaks

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Aarushi Talwar Murder Mystery : Vishal Bhardwaj Calls the Verdict a ‘Victory of Cinema’

Vishal Bhardwaj had written and co-produced the Konkona Sharma starer "Talvar" on the murder of the teenage girl from Noida

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Film Director Vishal Bhardwaj. Wikimedia

Mumbai, October 13, 2017 : Vishal Bhardwaj says because of “Talvar”, which he wrote and co-produced, the Aarushi Talwar murder case and its various investigation theories came to limelight once again. On the acquittal of the teenage girl’s parents in the case, the filmmaker says it’s a victory of cinema.

The Allahabad High Court on Thursday acquitted Rajesh and Nupur Talwar.

 “I think there is no better victory of cinema than this as it has made impact like this and that exactly what we wanted. It is amazing news and we are so happy for the family, and especially the parents, but the saddest part is that we can’t bring back their nine years in which they struggled to get justice. It’s also a big victory of the Indian judicial system,” Vishal Bhardwaj said.
Asked if the film generated any kind of awareness among the audience, Bhardwaj said: “I think because of our film, their case came to limelight at least for some period of time because earlier things which were under surface came into public eye with our film. In the investigation, there were many aspects which were doubtful and in our film, we took neutral stance and we didn’t take anyone’s side.

“We showed what happened in investigation and what proceedings were carried out by both investigating agencies that was Delhi Police and CBI in the film. So in the outcome, it made things pretty clear”

Vishal Bhardwaj was present for the opening ceremony of the Jio MAMI 19th Mumbai Film Festival here along with actress Konkona Sen Sharma, who acted in the 2015 movie directed by Meghna Gulzar.

Konkona said: “Its fantastic news. It’s really a shame that it took us nine years for their innocence that has been proven. Its tragedy is also that we still don’t know who the killers of Hemraj (house help) and Aarushi are but I am very happy for Talwars.”

Actor Sohum Shah, who also featured in the movie, said in a statement: “Before commencing the shoot, I was very confused and curious about this case. I wanted to know the truth but I didn’t want to create an opinion sitting at home. We tend to make an opinion by seeing the TV or believe loose talk. I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to know the truth.

“I am very happy because somewhere or the other they are saved from injustice. I hope that the crimals are caught as soon as possible and the law gives them a harsh punishment.” (IANS)

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Just in! Kalki has a crush on this Bollywood actor!

Currently, Kalki is looking forward to her upcoming film "Ribbon", also featuring Sumeet Vyas.

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Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin. Wikimedia

Mumbai, October 13, 2017 : Actress Kalki Koechlin says she wishes to work on screen with all the Khans of Bollywood, but she has a softer corner for Shah Rukh Khan.

Asked if she wants to work with any of the top Khans of the industry, Kalki told IANS: “I want to work with all three Khans, but if you ask me my favourite, it has to be Shah Rukh Khan.

“Shah Rukh is my childhood crush. I met him few times in real life as well and he is very charming.”

When it comes to a new bunch of actors, she thinks she “will look nice” with Ranbir Kapoor.

“We worked in ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ and I really liked him as co-star. He is a natural actor and spontaneous. It would be interesting to work with him,” she added.

The actress is trying to balance her career between mainstream and indie films by working with directors like Zoya Akhtar and Ayan Mukerji in films like “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” and “Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani”, along with movies like “Margarita, With a Straw” and “A Death in the Gunj” which were popular in festival circuits.

Sharing her wish-list of directors, Kalki said: “I would like to work with an artiste like Vishal Bhardwaj. His cinema is a piece of art, he writes the story, he makes the music of the film and it’s amazing. I think it would be interesting to work with Vikramaditya Motwane as well.”

Currently, Kalki is looking forward to her upcoming film “Ribbon”, also featuring Sumeet Vyas. It is releasing on November 3. (IANS)

 

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Coffee Museum: The First of its Kind in Dubai

The Coffee Museum opened its doors to public in October 2014

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coffee beans. Pixabay

Dubai, Sep 20, 2017: A popular beverage in most parts of the world, coffee is much more than just a drink in the Middle East. It is an integral part of the region’s heritage, a celebration of its culture and a dedicated coffee museum in Dubai — the first of its kind in the Middle East — stands as testimony to the region’s longstanding tryst with the drink.

Just like the traditional value that most Indians associate with “chai”, coffee is the customary drink served to visitors in most homes in the Middle East.

“It is a part of our heritage. The way we have been brought up, coffee has always occupied a vital space in our culture. So even the poor, those who cannot afford anything, will serve coffee to their guests and welcome them,” museum owner Khalid Al Mulla, a noted coffee trader and collector, told this visiting IANS correspondent.

But even before Mulla elaborated on the history of coffee and its particular significance in the Middle Eastern context, the museum was already a feast for our eyes. In a city of skyscrapers that revels in pomp and gaiety, this museum comes as some sort of relief to the souls of wanderers. It tells not only the regional but also the global history of coffee.

Also Read: A Pilgrim Smuggled Coffee Beans To India: The Intriguing History of the Development of Coffee Culture 

The museum’s shop is the first thing that catches the eye on entering this villa. Here one finds coffee mugs from several countries, personal hand grinders and other similar stuff to carry home.

Enter the museum and your are spellbound at the sight of a beautiful lady, dressed in traditional Egyptian attire serving traditional coffee and popcorn to visitors. Along with a cup of coffee prepared in authentic African style, she also told us a fable. “Marriages are not made by gods. They are made by coffee,” she proclaimed, before bursting into loud laughter.

She explained that in Turkey, marriages are often decided over coffee. When a proposal comes to the family, the girl approves it by preparing a good cup of coffee. But when she has to reject the proposal, she adds a pinch of salt.

The ground floor includes a room for Western antiques, and another for Orientalism. A dedicated corner is designed to showcase various types of coffee. There is also an Egyptian corner, which shows the history of coffee since the days of the Ottoman Empire. One of the most rare treasures in the basement, which transports you to back into time, is the “Swedish roast” dating to 1840.

Then, there is the German grinder from the World War II era and many mills that were collected from Britain, dating as far back as 1860. The museum also contains ancient toasters and old paintings that tell the history of coffee and its methods of manufacture and preparation. There is also a literature room, which displays texts related to coffee, from the eighteenth century to the present day.

The upper floor lounge includes a small coffee shop, offering coffee and snacks to visitors. What strikes you is that even the sweets offered here have a distinctive coffee flavour.

As we stroll through the museum and its distinctive rooms, Mulla, who is a mobile information bank about the cultivation of coffee and the ways of transporting and making it, elaborated on the history of what is one of the most popular drinks in the world today.

He said that the origin of coffee can be traced to the Ethiopian highlands many centuries ago. As the Legend of Kaldi has it, he said, coffee was discovered accidentally when a goat ate some unknown berries from a tree and remained alert for the rest of the night.

A drink was prepared from these berries by worshippers in the local monasteries and it helped them stay awake during the long hours of prayers. The message spread rapidly until it reached the Arabian peninsula, from where the Arabs took this newly found drink to other parts of the world.

The Coffee Museum opened its doors to public in October 2014.

(Saket Suman’s visit to Dubai was at the invitation of Dubai Tourism. He can be contacted at saket.s@ians.in)

(IANS)