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Biota: The Safe Haven You longed for it to Reopen

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A while ago, Cairo residents lost one of their favorite places when both Seqouia and Left Bank shut down, which housed most our memories and was a safe haven to many. We then waited eagerly for another place to take over and replace our memories with new ones and a few months back, our patience was rewarded when we were greeted with the replacement, Biota. It was after all, the location itself that we held very dearly and Biota certainly didn’t disappoint and met our high expectations.


After visiting the place, we had several questions spiraling through our minds and luckily we got the chance of interviewing the man behind it all and getting to know how he managed , at a young age, to replace a beautiful place with an even more mesmerizing one.

Here is what Omar Salem, the managing director, had to say about his success!
We started by asking the obvious which is how he was able to start off such a successful business, turns out it’s a family business that he was part of since 2015 when they started off with a branch in North Sahel and then started their expansion in Cairo. Explains his wide knowledge and experience in managing such a huge FMCG entity!


We have all wondered how he was able to attain the complex from Seqouia and Left Bank, to which he explained that one day while passing by the place, he saw that the place is going up for an auction following the end of their contact and that’s when he decided, ‘why not.’
At the time, he didn’t have a plan on what he was going to do with the place if he gets it but one thing he knew for sure was that he wanted to create a complex, which turned out to quite nice.

We were also lucky to have had an exclusive tour of the kitchen, let me tell you it wasn’t easy being around all these mouthwatering plates, Salem escorted us himself and told us that everything even the meat is done there to be under their watch and supervision.
When we asked him about his vision of the place, Salem told us: ‘I wanted the resemblance of having a good location along with the proper hospitality and this is what we try to do here.’


We then asked him about the concept of Biota and how he sees the place, ‘I want the people to come to Biota and have the chance to spend a full day, that’s why we also have fitness, beauty, art and fashion.’ Yes people, Biota just opened a beauty salon and they still have a lot in store for you in terms of delivering you with a full service complex that keeps up with your lifestyle.
‘These are the other elements added on to Biota that makes it something else, and not just a restaurant, but a full complex where people can find everything they need.’ Amen to that!


In terms of how he manages the complex, Salem further tells us that he aspires to make people feel like home, in any place that he runs, he makes sure to hire the friendliest staff, give them proper training, invest in them, all of which will eventually result in making everyone happy.
Biota certainly made it up for us and I, personally, can’t wait to create brand new memories in a place that already feels familiar and warm.

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Oscar Nominated Movie ‘Poisonous Roses’ Receives its 16th Award

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The Egyptian film, Ward Masmoum has succeeded in winning the award for Best Film at Morocco’s City and Cinema Festival, which now brings the total awards to 16 since its world premiere in last year’s international Film Festival Rotterdam.

The Oscar nominated movie Ward Masmoom (Poisonous Roses) is a story about a cleaning lady named Ta7eya who lives in poverty and in constant fear that her brother would one day abandon her for a better life abroad.

The film has already been awarded a number of local and international awards, including 4 at the Cairo Film Festival.

Adapted from a novel by Ahmed Zaghloul El Sheity, the film stars Mahmoud Hemeida, Safaa El Tokhy, Ibrahim El-Nagari, Merihan Magdi, and Mohamed Berakaa. 

 

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The Iconic Lamis Al Hadid Returns to Present a New Media Era

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As of October 20, ‘Al Arabiya’ group will reach out to a wider scale of audience in Egypt and the region with a one of a kind program in the Arab world presented by the Iconic TV presenter ‘Lamis Al-Hadidi‘ through a program that will cater to all the different segments and especially the youth.

The program, entitled “Cairo Now“, represents a distinguished return of Al-Hadidi to her first press home that witnessed her start, represented by Al Arabiya Group, a place that witnessed her winning several awards and saw her become one of the most prominent TV presenters in the region.

The program will reflect the new innovative ways of Al-Arabiya in reaching out to the younger segment, as the program will air the first hour on TV and then the second hour on social media via live streaming. This marks a new milestone in Arab broadcasting, as this technique is the first format of its kind.

Al-Arabiya Group chose the channel ‘Al Hadath’ to present the new program in its innovative style, seeing how the the channel has been distinguished since its launch in 2012 with its unique regional editorial style, which is based on the intensity of direct transmission of regional and global events with an in-depth analytical studio that hosts high-profile figures.

“I am delighted to be returning to my first home, Al Arabiya, which I worked in for years at the beginning of my media career as an economic reporter from Cairo,” commented Lamis Al-Hadidi, one of the most influential TV presenters in the Arab world.

“I am even prouder to have my new launch on the screen of Al-Hadath, a channel that has proved in recent years its credibility and efficient work which thus earned the respect of Arab viewers.” Al-Hadidi added.

From his part, General Manager of Al Arabiya Group, Nabil Al Khatib said, : “We are always keen on adopting new innovative methods and on reaching a wider segments of viewers, that’s why we have chosen Lamis Hadidi for this beginning of a new media era that redefines ‘Al-Hadath‘ channel and allow it to reach a wider audience.”

“The viewer is no longer just a recipient, but rather an interactive viewer who has the right to be reached out to through platforms of his liking, whether that platform is a TV or a digital device. This is what the program ‘Cairo Now’ promises, it is keen on delivering a new media experience for the younger age. The program will be broadcast on Sunday and Monday every week between 9 and 11 pm Cairo time.” Al-Khatib added.

 

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First Arabic Series ‘Jinn’ Causing Controversy in Jordan

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Jinn, the first Arabic series on Netflix has caused wide controversy in Jordan due to some of the inappropriate scenes of the show, that caused them to be charged of being immoral.

The Jordanian general prosecutor has issued a decision to stop the screening of Jinn. Netflix MENA response which they have tweeted through their official account is that they stand strongly against all abusive acts that the cast has been facing.

They further explained that their intention was to spread variety in the shows screened and to provide a safe environment for movie lovers.

 

On the other hand, the Royal Film Commission in Jordan released a statement concerning the allegations, explaning that its role is to encourage local production as well as freedom of speech and that it has no control over the script or the content of the show.

The statement also highlighted that people are always demanding to have more freedom and personal choices, but when faced with a situation like this one, they automatically go insane and forget about their previous demands.

Opinions regarding the show still vary but one thing that shouldn’t be denied is that the show is indeed impressive, so far I have watched a couple of episodes and allow me to say this, the quality and production of the series is undeniably good.

Here is what some people had to say about nevertheless…

While there are some angry tweets, other teenagers are spiraling through social media saying that they are actually proud to be witnessing such a show actually portraying real life. Others are impressed with the girl power shown on the show, and that they would rather watch a controversial show than watch others that portray women as weak and abused.

It’s yet to be seen if there will be a formal reaction from the government but so far Netflix is standing behind the writers and the cast.

 

 

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