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Netflix To Give 5 Arab Female Filmmakers A $250,000 Grant

This is AFAC’s second collaboration with Netflix, and it aligns perfectly with its mission to promote diversity of voices and narratives.



In 2021, Netflix set up its Fund for Creative Equity to create more opportunities for people from underrepresented communities. Now, the subscription streaming service and production company is partnering with the Lebanon-based Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) to offer a $250,000 grant to 5 Arab female filmmakers.

“The Fund for Creative Equity helps the industry as a whole to have a much more dynamic, interesting, multidimensional representation of women, and this is one step in the journey to enabling more women to tell their stories and have new audiences discover their work”, said Nuha El Tayeb, Director Content Acquisitions, Middle East, and Turkey at Netflix.

Also Read: Disney+ Confirms Its Middle East Launch Date

The one-off grant will go to five projects across the MENA region:

  • The Mother Of All Lies by Asmae El Moudir (Morocco): A documentary focusing on the 1981 Bread Riots in Morocco and its impact on the director’s family and contemporary society.
  • My Name Is Clara by Sarra Abidi (Tunisia): A story of a call center operator named Ayda, who is living an ordinary and repetitive life.
  • Manity by Tania El Khoury (Lebanon): An examination of the relationship between an 11-year-old son and his father as they go bird hunting.
  • The Day Vladimir Died by Jana Wehbe (Lebanon): A story of an old man who spends his time checking the obituaries page and attending funerals.
  • From The Other Shore by Diala Kachmar (Lebanon): A movie about two handicapped friends who navigate life together.

This is AFAC’s second collaboration with Netflix, and it aligns perfectly with its mission to promote diversity of voices and narratives. “More and more Arab female filmmakers are creating moving images that have the power to shed light on the realities of the region,” said Rima Mismar, AFAC’s current Executive Director.


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Initial Trials Of Dubai’s Driverless Evocargo Trucks Completed

Testing was announced on July 17, and the completion is a major milestone towards upgrading the region’s logistics infrastructure.



initial trials of dubai's driverless evocargo trucks completed
Dubai Media Office

A Dubai-based company has completed the initial trials for the UAE’s first driverless trucks. The groundbreaking achievement by Evocargo, partnering with Dubai South, took place at Dubai South Logistics District, and marked a significant step towards incorporating autonomous technologies into the region’s wider logistics infrastructure.

Announced on Wednesday, July 17th, the trials featured the Evocargo N1 unmanned electric truck navigating a predetermined route within a controlled setting. The test involved interactions with common road obstacles such as cars, trucks, and pedestrians, aiming to evaluate the vehicle’s hardware and software reliability, accident prevention systems, and overall readiness for public road use.

Officials were keen to highlight that this accomplishment aligns with the UAE’s ambitious strategy to position itself as a global leader in innovation and technology adoption. The country aims to have 25% of all transportation in Dubai autonomous by 2030, underscoring its commitment to revolutionizing the logistics sector using advanced technologies.

Mohsen Ahmad, CEO of the Logistics District at Dubai South, emphasized the importance of the collaboration with Evocargo in enhancing the region’s logistics capabilities. He noted that autonomous vehicles are set to increase efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, and establish a sustainable logistics infrastructure that will benefit both Dubai and the wider UAE.

Also Read: Riyadh Developers Reveal New 45,000-Seat Murabba Stadium

Ahmed Al-Ansi, CEO of Evocargo Autonomous Logistic Services, also expressed optimism that the trials will draw new customers and investments across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The partnership aims to lead in innovative tech solutions, further establishing the UAE as a pioneer in autonomous transportation.

The successful completion of the trials marks a crucial step towards realizing the UAE’s vision for a technologically advanced and sustainable future in which autonomous vehicles are expected to play a pivotal role in global logistics.

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