What’s on across the so­cial sphere

Join us as we re­visit se­lect trend­ing sto­ries and pop­u­lar hash­tags that cap­tured our at­ten­tion over the past cou­ple months in our joint sum­mer is­sue spe­cial.



Qatar be­came the top trend­ing Twit­ter hash­tag both in the re­gion and world­wide af­ter a num­ber of Arab Coun­tries, namely Saudi Ara­bia, United Arab Emi­rates, Egypt and Bahrain cut off diplo­matic re­la­tions with the Gulf state, cit­ing its al­leged sup­port for ter­ror­ism as the main rea­son be­hind their dra­matic de­ci­sion. Qatar’s abrupt diplo­matic cri­sis was met with strict measures from the afore­men­tioned coun­tries in­clud­ing var­i­ous sanc­tions, trade/travel bans and the with­draw­ing of am­bas­sadors and re­ceived in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion from the world’s lead­ing po­lit­i­cal lead­ers, re­sult­ing in an ex­tended on­line de­bate on the un­der­ly­ing mo­tives and po­ten­tial po­lit­i­cal/prac­ti­cal reper­cus­sions of the cri­sis.


Af­ter a pro­longed hia­tus, Le­banese leg­end Fairuz marked a lon­gawaited comeback by re­leas­ing ‘Lameen’, the first sin­gle from her up­com­ing al­bum ti­tled ‘Be­balee’ on June 21. Based on French singer/com­poser Gilbert Be­caud’s ‘Pour Qui Veille L'etoile’ and adapted to Ara­bic by none but the singer’s daugh­ter Reema, the sin­gle be­came the most talked about topic on Twit­ter just min­utes af­ter its re­lease on Ang­hami and ap­ple Mu­sic. And while a ma­jor­ity of the pub­lic was ex­hil­a­rated to hear new mu­sic from Le­banon’s in­con­testable leg­end, other mem­bers of the au­di­ence ex­pressed mixed feel­ings about the new re­lease, claim­ing that it did not live up to their high ex­pec­ta­tions, which re­sulted in a na­tion­wide on­line de­bate over the is­sue. On July 13, Fairuz re­leased a se­cond sin­gle from her al­bum, a cover of John Len­non’s Imag­ine ti­tled ‘Yemken’, spark­ing equally com­pelling re­ac­tions from so­cial media users. The full al­bum is set to be out on Septem­ber 22.


The veil con­tin­ues to be the fo­cal point of Muslim women. Re­cently, women in Saudi Ara­bia sup­ported by women world­wide have taken a stance against forced veil­ing and niqab (full faced­vei), launch­ing a hash­tag Al­niqab la yu­masilouni --'Niqab doesn't rep­re­sent me.' The hash­tag has been a hot topic of dis­cus­sion on so­cial media trend­ing first on Twit­ter in the KSA but not only. The hash­tag has quickly gained trac­tion, be­com­ing the third world­wide trend­ing hash­tag on July 20.

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