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Applauding the best of Saudi Entertainment
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 21 - 01 - 2013

Mariam Nihal
Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH – Saudi Arabia has reached a crucial milestone in the country's bid to reach its full potential.
At a time when women are involved in shaping up the future of the country, social media has been a catalyst for change in social dynamics as the country has the highest per capita YouTube users than any other country in the world.
Time for a quick recap. The entertainment industry played a crucial role in shaping up social and cultural dynamics in 2012.
Saudi Arabia gained a lot of praiseworthy attention from the world through hard work and set records for the nation through art, cinema, music and youth participation.
According to YouTube, 90 million views originate from Saudi Arabia.
According to Google KSA statistics, 44 percent of Saudis use YouTube on a daily basis, divided almost equally between men and women, and 80 percent of Saudi YouTube users use social media tools at least once a week.
2012 was a booming year that witnessed a series of top achievers in every field; and here it is paying a tribute to all of them.
Saudi Arabia found its first film female director in the name of Haifa Al Mansour.
Her film “Wadjda,” which made its world premiere at the 2012 Venice Film Festival, won the Dubai Film Festival's Best Arab Film award in 2012.
“Wadjda” also written by Al Mansour tells the story of an 11-year old girl who grew up in the suburbs of Riyadh and dreamt of owning and riding a green bicycle.
Saudi movie producer Mohammed Al Turki is now working in Hollywood. Al Turki turned Saudi's love for Hollywood and real time cinema into reality with his Hollywood production “Arbitrage” starring Richard Gere.
His movie “The Imperialists Are Still Alive!” was a great success, and it went on to win the Best Film at Washington Film Festival, the Best Film at the Asian American Film Festival and was chosen as part of Sundance's Official Selection in 2010.
Omar Basaad became the first official Saudi EDM producer to represent Saudi Arabia internationally.
Best DJ and producer Basaad performed at Sandance festival in the UAE and has participated in international and local events in 2012.
Basaad is hugely popular for official remixes of songs by Abdil Fatah Al Gereni and Rashed Al Majed. His EP ‘Vega' was released in 2012 internationally on itunes and Beatport.
He is the first and so far the only one to bring EDM artists like Axwell, Afrojack, Ian Carey, Nadia Ali among others to his radio show on ‘Panorama fm'.
“Eysh Elly” leads as the most popular Saudi Youtube comedy show with approximately 723,117 subscribers and 135,634,187 video views.
It is hosted by Saudi's favorite comedian Bader Saleh and started in 2011.
“Laish Hip Hop” hosted by Big Hass is a two-year-old show responsible for bringing hip hop music and artists on Saudi radio.
He has brought Russell Simons (Co-Founder of Def Jam Records), Sami Yusuf, The Narcicyst among many other international artists to the show and remains to be a supportive anchor and hip hop activist.
MBC fm remains undefeated as the number one radio station in the Kingdom.
It is the first “private free-to-air satellite broadcasting company” in the Arab World.
Panorama fm follows as the most popular channel as Mix fm takes a close spot one of the most entertaining radio stations in the Kingdom.

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