Most social media platforms have already been flooded with recaps of what people have been up to these past 12 months. Whether via carefully-curated Instagram photo dumps or through quickly edited TikTok videos, December is the month when everyone reflects on their achievements, the progress they have made, and in our case, which content seemed to get our readers talking the most.
The beginning of a new year marks the end of a chapter and the inception of a new one — which means that it’s finally time for us to take you on a trip down memory lane to visit, or revisit, some of our most popular reads before 2023 kicks in. Below, our 10 top-read articles of the year.
Do We Really Want To Listen to Andrew Tate Speak in Dubai?
Often referred to as the ultimate “King of Toxic Masculinity,” earlier this year, controversial Internet personality Andrew Tate announced he was heading to Dubai to host a talk event. Titled “41 Tenets of Tate, the event was described as an “evening of meaningful discussion” — but do we really want to listen to him speak?
The Reactions to Messi Wearing a ‘Bisht’ Reveal How Deeply Ingrained Islamophobia Is
Yes, it’s true that there are many things Qatar could, and most importantly should, have done better, before organizing a World Cup on the region’s soil. However, it seems that was a semi-obsession at pointing fingers towards Qatar for its wrongdoings when previous iterations of the tournament followed similar paths without receiving as much criticism or backlash. As much as many of the adverse reactions seen so far do indeed stand and are undeniably legitimate, many others felt like hidden xenophobia, disguised Orientalism, and camouflaged bigotry and the scandal surrounding Messi wearing the bisht further confirmed that.
To No One’s Surprise, the Metaverse Is a Total Flop
Despite several declarations from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claiming that the Metaverse would require years before reaching its ultimate purpose and potential, based on recent internal reports, the conclusion is clear: it has flopped. But why? We listed five reasons why the platform is a total failure.
15 Thoughts I Had Binge-Watching ‘Dubai Bling’
There’s no better way to spend a Sunday than by curling up on your sofa in front of your television. Our Netflix series of choice? Dubai Bling, the streaming platform’s new Arabic docu-soap that follows the glamorous lives of the city’s ultra-rich. Below, all the thoughts deputy editor Khaoula had while binge-watching the first season of the eight-episode reality series.
Meet Bayou, the Egyptian Singer Reviving RnB in the Middle East
We sat down with Bayou, a Saudi-born Egyptian artist to shoot the breeze and ask him all of our burning questions on his career, his inspirations, and aspirations in the industry.
As a Gen-Zer, This is Why I Hate TikTok
Staff writer Yassine hardly has the words to stress how little time and energy he has to allocate to TikTok. The more everyone grows obsessed with it, the more he realizes that it really doesn’t hit the spot for him. Here’s everything he has to say about one of the world’s most popular apps.
The Underground Music Scene in Saudi Arabia Is Getting Louder
In 2019, the country hosted its first-ever electronic music festival, a three-day-long techno extravaganza launched by MDLBEAST, that featured performances on the outskirts of Riyadh from some of the world’s most top-rated artists, including Steve Aoki, DJ Snake, Tiesto, and Swedish House Mafia, among others. Meanwhile, a generation of new culturally attuned party organizers and -goers are helping a new nightlife take shape in the Kingdom, one rife with makeshift parties and underground raves that attract those “in-the-know.” Everything you need to know, below.
On Music and Palestine: A Conversation with Saint Levant, the Region’s Rising Star
Far from being an unfamiliar face on social media, Saint Levant is on a stellar mission to put Palestine on the map and make the country’s culture shine past its geographic borders. Think of it as a self-assigned task that the young creative is closely following to the letter—and he’s making it happen through music. Below, a transcript of our conversation with one of the region’s rising stars.
Sniping the Region’s Culture Vultures: 5 Times Arab Artists Were Sampled Without Any Credit
For centuries, whatever trend the Arab World set would be rapidly copied, duplicated, and explicitly emulated by our fairer Western counterparts — music included. In an era where sampling has become the new main currency, producers from all four corners of the globe have tapped into the region’s sonic past to reimagine sections of our classics to give birth to some of the bangers we know today. But did they ask for permission? Not always. Here’s a quick round-up of some of the tracks that take their roots in the Arab World without ever being credited.
Moroccan Multi-Hyphenate Nora Achmaoui Is on a Mission To Change the Lives of a Million Girls
Spirited and relentless, we caught up with the young, self-proclaimed workaholic Nora Achmaoui to learn more about how she keeps moving forward, how she stays determined, and how to use social media in the right way.