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Mohammed bin Rashid chairs UAE delegation at 37th GCC Summit

posted on 07/12/2016

MANAMA: Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chaired the UAE delegation during the 37th Summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council for Arab States (GCC), which started here on Tuesday afternoon. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


GCC leaders look forward to better future, security and development

posted on 07/12/2016

MANAMA: Their Majesties and Highnesses the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council for the Arab States (GCC), have stressed the importance of countering all forms of threats and terrorism to safeguard the safety and security of the GCC states as well as protect their achievements.

They also underlined - at the start of the 37th Summit, which is being held in Manama, and chaired by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of the Kingdom of Bahrain, tackling of crises in the region with shared spirit of responsibility, determination, and stepping up efforts to consolidate the foundations of security, stability, development and prosperity.

UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is attending the summit.

His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa chaired the inaugural the 37th GCC Summit, which opened on Tuesday evening at Al-Sakhir Palace, in the presence of the Gulf leaders and the GCC Secretary-General.

King Hamad declared the session open and welcomed the GCC leaders, stressing deep-rooted fraternal relations binding member states and peoples. He paid tribute to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, lauding the dedicated efforts he exerted during his rotation presidency of the previous session.

He hailed the Saudi leader's farsighted vision which contributed to a large extent to elaborating the work orientations of the coming period, commending the GCC leaders' strenuous efforts to strengthen the pillars of the historic six-member milestone, shared interests and promising future.

"Our meeting convenes in the backdrop of unprecedented political and economic circumstances which affect all countries in the world", he said, urging highest level of cooperation so that the GCC can pursue its successful march and influential role on the international arena."

He hailed the landmark strides of the council, which is not just a tool to consolidate achievements, as it gained leverage and morphed into a regional milestone that takes the initiative to maintain security and peace in the region and the world.

King Hamad highlighted the GCC pivotal and active role in seeking political solutions and initiatives to the crises facing countries in the region and staving off foreign interference in their internal affairs. He commended the GCC member states' dedicated efforts to achieve economic development, hailing landmark strides, which contribute to citizens' prosperity and well-being and strengthen joint march.

He saluted the establishment of the economic development commission which, he said, serves as a viable mechanism to bolster member states and turn them into a global economic actor, on the basis of productivity, competiveness and steady growth towards enhancing the level of sustainable development.

King Hamad hailed projects, initiatives and economic agreements sealed between member countries, citing the GCC Common Market, the power and water grid as well as the planned customs union, modern telecommunications and transportation network towards comprehensive integration which features on the summit priorities.

While describing security and development as being interrelated, he urged the GCC countries to upgrade and activate defence and security pacts so as to confront threats and the scourge of terrorism, protect Gulf nations and peoples and preserve achievements.

He praised the Arab Security 1, which was held in Bahrain last month, and described the drill "as an essential quantum leap towards strengthening security cooperation," commending the efficient organisation and the alertness to security dangers surrounding the GCC countries.

King Hamad saluted the success of the GCC member states in confronting the chaos resulting from extremism and terrorism and preserving their development, progress and prosperity, which inspired many other countries that aspire to stability and peace.

He commended GCC Secretary-General Dr. Adbullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, assistants and General-Secretariat staff to consolidate the standing of the council, follow-up the implementation of resolutions and upgrade its performance.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud expressed his appreciation to King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the government and people of the Kingdom of Bahrain for the warm hospitality and good reception.

He also expressed satisfaction for what has been achieved by the competent agencies of the GCC council over the past year in accordance with mechanisms adopted by the council, which aim to raise the level of cooperation and coordination, including the decision of establishing the Economic and Development Affairs Commission which began its work recently to promote joint action in the economic and development fields.

"The current highly complicated circumstances in our region are obvious to everyone as well as the crises. These requires all of us to work together to confront and deal with them in a spirit of responsibility, determination and intensify efforts in order to consolidate the foundations of security and stability of our region as well as development and prosperity for our countries and peoples, King Salman said.

He referred to the sad situation being suffered by some Arab countries, characterised by terrorism, domestic struggle and bloodshed. These were triggered the alliance of terrorism, sectarianism and flagrant interference, leading to destabilisation and breach of security, he said.

As for the situation in Yemen, King Salman continued, "efforts are being exerted to end the conflict in a manner that restores the security and stability under the leadership of Yemen's legitimate government and according to the GCC initiative, resolutions of the national dialogue and UN Security Council Resolution No. 2216, thanks to the endeavours of the UN special envoy to Yemen."

Regarding Syria, he said, "We are all saddened to see what is happening there, including killings, displacement and suffering of the Syrian people. International community should intensify efforts to stop bloodshed and find a political solution to restore the security and stability as well as preserving the unity and territorial integrity of Syria."

Despite the important achievements implemented by the GCC, King Salman said, "We look forward to better future that guarantees the aspirations of the GCC citizens towards more prosperity and dignified living, and enhances the GCC status at the regional and international arenas through active foreign policies to achieve security and stability in the region."

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah of Kuwait the GCC summit comes amid rapid international changes and critical conditions that necessitate continuing consultations and joint coordination to consider and preclude relevant reflections on the GCC countries.

Addressing the 37th GCC summit held in Manama, he said that the region is currently facing grave challenges, citing dwindling oil prices as a major concern. He spoke of notable achievements brought about by joint GCC work, which includes economic gains that represent the aspirations of GCC citizens.

The Amir highlighted the need for increased strategies to bolster GCC cooperation in efforts to amass further accomplishments that will reinforce solidarity among the Gulf nations.

On the scourge of terrorism, he said, "It poses a threat to regional security and stability,' calling for concerted efforts to eliminate this mounting threat.

On Yemen, the Amir of Kuwait said that Kuwait had hosted peace talks that aimed to restore peace in the war-torn nation, lamenting that the efforts were in vain.

On Syria, he said that the GCC backs the people of Syria, underscoring firm support for a political solution to a conflict that has continued unabated.

Speaking on developments in Iraq, the Amir of Kuwait expressed satisfaction over the progress made in the fight against the so-called Daesh, wishing Iraq a prosperous and bright future.

Regarding the Palestinian conflict, he regretted that efforts to achieve peace remain at an impasse, noting that the international community is preoccupied with other issues.

Speaking on ties with Iran, the Amir of Kuwait said there needs to be constructive dialogue between the GCC and the Islamic Republic of Iran, noting that the talks should focus on international law principles, including sovereign rights and non-interference in internal affairs of other states.

Addressing the meeting, GCC Secretary General Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani thanked the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for his chairmanship of the previous session of the council, lauding his great efforts and wisdom.

The GCC Secretary General highlighted the importance of deepening integration in all fields of joint action, pointing out that the ministerial council has submitted to the summit all recommendations aiming to enhance the GCC joint march in all fields.

He commended the presidency of King Salman of the 36th GCC Summit. GCC Secretary General also greeted the UAE, Sultanate of Oman and State of Qatar on their national day anniversaries.

Then King Hamad chaired the closed session during which the GCC leaders discussed issues on the agenda. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE VP receives British Prime Minister in Bahrain

posted on 07/12/2016

MANAMA: Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has received British Prime Minister Theresa May, in Manama, Bahrain.

H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, and H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation were also present at the meeting.

The two sides discussed several issues related to the historic friendship between the UAE and the UK and ways to enhance them, especially in renewable energy, tourism and banking.

They further reviewed a number of regional and international issues related to terrorism and ways to fight it to eliminate its resources at various levels, and also discussed promoting security, stability and peace in the region and the world.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid hailed the historic ties between the two friendly people. He also stressed the importance of boosting the relations as both countries are keen to pursue mutual interests and objectives.

The UAE is the fourth strategic trade partner of the UK and about 1.5 million British tourists visit the country.

May confirmed the UK's participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, pointing out her government's support for the international event, hosted by the UAE, as well as the participation of the British public and private sectors in the event. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE-based Sawab Centre promotes 'National Pride'

posted on 07/12/2016

The Abu Dhabi-based Sawab Centre, a joint UAE-US initiative to combat Daesh's online propaganda and promote positive alternatives to extremism, on Tuesday announced the launch of a social media campaign to celebrate the shared heritage as well as the unique characteristics of countries of the Arab world.

The three-day campaign will be conducted in Arabic on Sawab Centre's Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram platforms and will employ an Arabic hashtag meaning "National Pride", the centre said.

The Sawab Centre campaign will highlight aspects of the countries of the Arab World- from culture, archaeology, and ethnic and religious diversity - that distinguish them and bring richness and texture to the region as a whole. The motivation behind this campaign is to challenge Daesh's aim of obliterating national identities.

In actuality, Daesh discriminates among its fighters according to their citizenship.

One of the first questions asked of any Daesh newcomer is his or her citizenship. Fighters are often divided between nationalities, even if they speak the same language, and preferential treatment is shown to certain nationalities over others through unequal pay and treatment.

In reaffirming the positive message of pride in one's national identity, the Sawab Centre is supporting the efforts of the Global Coalition Against Daesh to limit the terrorist group's ability to recruit new fighters into its ranks.

Whereas Daesh was recruiting up to 1,000 new foreign fighters per month in 2014, that inflow had dropped to 500 by 2015, and today the number is negligible.

The Sawab Centre campaign will help to further dim whatever allure Daesh once held for vulnerable individuals and increase their attachment to their home countries, making it increasingly difficult for the terrorist group to find new recruits.

During the campaign, the Sawab Centre will deploy original videos and graphics developed by its in-house creative team, reaching nearly a million fans on the three Sawab platforms, and millions more through repost and other expressions of support.

Since its launch in July 2015, the Sawab Centre has actively sought to encourage governments, communities, and individual voices to engage proactively to counteract online extremism. Over this time, the Centre has given voice to the millions of people around the world who oppose Daesh and support the Centre's efforts to expose the terrorist group's brutality and criminal nature. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE pre-empted warnings on repercussions of climate change by taming the desert: Al Zeyoudi

posted on 07/12/2016

The UAE, which was founded 45 years ago, preceded warnings of environmental experts on repercussions of the climate change, global warming and pollution in all its forms, by taming the desert and cultivating green spaces as well as protecting water and animal resources, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, has said.

He attributed this feat to the mutual relationship between man and nature in the UAE, describing it as a sentimental relationship governed by conscience and spontaneous commitment to respecting resources.

In an article entitled: "Towards the Globalisation of Sustainable Environmental Behaviour, carried by Arabic language local daily, Al Ittihad, the UAE minister said, "The uniqueness of the UAE and its leadership in building more sustainable world, is worth meditating."

"The UAE conscience that loves nature and respects its harmonious rhythm, earlier caught the attention of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who had sought throughout his life to combat the desertification and adapt the desert's climate harsh conditions through reforestation, protection of livestock, investment in agriculture and innovation in advanced irrigation techniques," Dr. Al Zeyoudi wrote.

He noted that the Knight of the Desert, the late Sheikh Zayed, given his intuition, was well ahead of the environmentalists who warned about the risks that face the planet. Dr. Al Zeyoudi said Sheikh Zayed was keen that the urbanisation in the oil-rich country, should go along with the anti-pollution plans.

"Before the growing global concern over the effects of the climate change in 1970s, the UAE planted trees around and in the cities to protect them from the desert sands and reduce the humidity. In addition, enacting of the regulations and legislation began to take shape to protect the environment from the effects of urbanisation and economic boom," he added.

Those efforts laid the foundations for professional cultural life that protects human life and land to be inherited by future generations, Dr. Al Zeyoudi wrote.

"I belong to the generation that imbued the Zayed culture and now witnessing the sustainability of his development of the environmental approach by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan," he added.

All Emirati youth are proud about the state's sustainable development plans that take into account the environment protection, Dr. Al Zeyoudi said. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Joint Incidents Assessment Team on Yemen issues statement

posted on 07/12/2016

RIYADH: The official media spokesman of Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT), Legal Adviser Mansour Ahmad Al-Mansour, legal adviser, said the Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) verified facts and circumstances of the incidents in Yemen based on confirmed intelligence about existence of a gathering of Houthi armed leaders in the north of the city of Abs.

"The coalition forces targeted the location of that gathering. As a result, the air crew monitored a moving vehicle from the same targeted site heading southwards, pursued and shelled it immediately. The vehicle was next to the building which had no signs of a hospital before the bombing. Later, it was proved that it was Abs Hospital," he explained.

The remarks follow the report issued by Doctors Without Borders on its official website over the alleged bombing carried out by the coalition forces on Abs Hospital in the Yemeni city of Abs in the province of Hjjah on 15/08/2016, which resulted in killing of seven people and injuring of 13 others, At a press conference held on Tuesday at King Salman Airbase for Middle Sector, Al-Mansour said, "In light of facts regarding the incident, the team found that damages of the originally-untargeted building were due to targeting of the vehicle, a legitimate military target, which was next to the building, disclosing that the joint team confirmed that the coalition forces are to apologise for the unintentional error, provide appropriate assistance to those affected, and launch investigation with the persons in charge of the incident to look into whether they have violated the accredited rules of engagement and take appropriate action as regards the incident."

Refuting allegations by the Amnesty International that Asmaa school, located in the city of Al-Mansouriya in the Yemeni province of Al-Hodeida, was shelled on August 24, 2015, the spokesman said that the coalition forces have targeted the above-mentioned site based on surveillance information that the armed Houthi militias and forces loyal to former president were using the site as a headquarters, storage and logistics post for weapons smuggled via Al-Hodeida port, classifying it as a militarily legal target of high value that achieves certified military advantage.

Accordingly, and based on the rules of the international humanitarian law, he continued, the legal protection supposed to be enjoyed by civilian sites is dropped off this site due to its being used as a tool within the military effort, taking into consideration that the classes of the school have gone at the time on an open vacation in view of the surrounding circumstances in addition to that investigations have not revealed the occurrence of any human losses or injuries, with the building sustaining partial damage estimated at no more than 25%. T "The joint assessment team has, accordingly, reached the result that the procedures followed by the Coalition Forces targeting the questionable site were intact and correct," he added.

With regard to the allegation by the Sweden Embassy that a food factory owned by Abdullah Ahmad Al-Agel, Honorary Swedish Consul, in Sana'a was raided on August 09,2016, which resulted in killing 16 workers, the spokesman said that JIAT investigated circumstances of the incident, and found out that the coalition forces bombed two sites on the same day, the first is an antennae connection used for military purposes in the (Ayban Mount) located west of Sana'a, and distanced 7 km away from the mentioned factory, the second is: a cave (Eastern Altahedan Mount) located south of Sana'a, used for military purposes, and distanced 10 km away from the factory.

Al Mansour noted that the two above-mentioned sites were military targets, in accordance to the rules of engagement and international humanitarian law, explaining that the JIAT did not find a proof that the coalition forces bombed the mentioned plant, and therefore there is no proof to the allegation of Swedish Embassy.

Refuting allegations by the Amnesty International that cattle market at Fayyoh village in Lahaj province that the coalition forces shelling on July 06, 2015, resulted in killing 40 people and injuring dozens, the spokesman confirmed that the JIAT has investigated the incident, and found out that the mentioned market was not bombed, and that the coalition forces bombed two sites on the same referred date, the first is: gathering of militia armed Houthi, distanced 7 km northwest away from the market, and the second is: a command building of the militia of al-Houthi, distanced 10 km north away from the market, noting that the above-mentioned sites are military goals, in accordance to the rules of engagement and international humanitarian law.

JIAT found that the cattle market was not bombed by coalition forces, and was not affected by the accidental bombing of targets in the region, he added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE embassy takes part in FAO’s 155th session

posted on 07/12/2016

ROME: Mohanad Sulaiman Al Naqbi, Deputy Chief of the UAE embassy in Rome, attended here on Monday the opening of the 155th session of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Council.

The event, being held from 5th to 9th December, will see discussions on programmes to combat hunger, poverty and malnutrition, within the framework of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE technical team attends workshop on refugees

posted on 07/12/2016

A high-level technical team from the UAE, headed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, last month took part in a joint training workshop on the best practices in hosting and protecting refugees.

Organised in collaboration the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the three-day joint workshop was held from 23th to 25th November at Citizenship and Immigration Canada's headquarters in Ottawa, to initiate exchange of experiences, expertise and best practices in hosting and protecting refugees.

Attending the workshop is part of the UAE's efforts to host 15,000 Syrian refugees in the next five years, as announced during the Leaders' Summit on Refugees in September this year at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

The UAE team included representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and Prevention, the Emirates Red Crescent and the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation.

The Canadian side provided all necessary information at the workshop and praised the initiative taken by the UAE, hoping that other states in the region would follow its example and also welcome Syrian refugees.

During the workshop, a number of issues and topics related to hosting the refugees were discussed, with a focus on legal and political frameworks for protecting them. These included contribution of immigrants towards Canada's economic prosperity and building of Canadian society, refugee re-settlement, the role of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR or the UN Refugee Agency, Canada's co-operation with the agency, the role and services of the International Organisation for Migration, security screening procedures, admission of refugees, law enforcement, deportation, and post-landing programmes and procedures.

The UAE has received more than 120,000 Syrians since 2011, and more than 30,000 Syrian students have been admitted to public and private schools, colleges and universities in the country. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE following up investigation into death of Emirati citizen in Ohio

posted on 07/12/2016

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, in co-ordination with the UAE Embassy in Washington, D.C., is following up the investigation into the painful incident that led to the death of an Emirati student in Ohio, Mohammed Mer Al Raisi, Under-Secretary at the Ministry, said in a statement on Tuesday.

"In light of this follow-up, and after details of the painful incident are clarified by the authorities, the Ministry will issue a more comprehensive statement at a later time," Al Raisi said. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Cultural property centre backs UAE-French initiative to save world’s heritage

posted on 07/12/2016

Organisations, countries, and established networks across the Middle East must work together to protect cultural heritage during armed conflicts, according to a leading member of the International Centre for the Study of Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property, ICCROM.

Zaki Aslan, Director of ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah, said the preservation of heritage sites requires a multi stakeholder approach.

"It is almost preposterous to think that any single agency might have all the solutions to existing problems relates to preserving cultural heritage during times of conflict. That is why the overall approach has to be multi-sectoral and people-centred. We should not limit ourselves to institutional mechanisms but also foster links with established networks and communities in order to engage them in transition and peace building through cultural heritage protection and recovery," Aslan said last during the "Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage Conference, an initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and French President Francois Hollande.

The two-day "Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage" conference was held on Friday under the patronage of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO), and bought together international experts and representatives of the International Criminal Police Organisation, Interpol, and other organisations.

The recent establishment of a regional ICCROM office in Sharjah, supported by H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has helped tackle these problems throughout the Middle East and North Africa, said Aslan.

ICCROM, the only institution of its kind with a worldwide mandate to promote the conservation of all types of cultural heritage, has initiated several dedicated programmes in the Middle East.

In 2014, it hosted the Sharjah Initiative, to create national policies and guidelines for risk preparedness and mitigation, which were formerly recognised at the Arab League's conference of Ministers of Culture in Riyadh last year. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Board of trustees appointed for 'Rubu’ Qarn | For Creating Future Leaders'

posted on 07/12/2016

Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chair of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs of Sharjah, and wife of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, on Tuesday an administrative order appointing a board of trustees for the ‘Rubu' Qarn | For Creating Future Leaders', an umbrella organisation of government entities that was established in September 2016 to prepare a generation of Emirati leaders and innovators who will be able to inspire and build a better future for the UAE and the region.

The decision aims to compile all relevant strategic plans for the four Sharjah-based entities, Sharjah Children Centres, Sharjah Youth Centres, Sajaya Young Ladies of Sharjah and Sharjah Tatweer Forum, so that they can support and empower the youth for the benefit of the UAE and beyond.

The board consists of successful leaders who have had experience in working for children and youngsters throughout their professional careers, including Colonel Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman Al Noman, Noura Al Noman, Erum Mazher Alvie, Jassem Mohammed Al Baloushi, Reem BinKaram and Aisha Khalid Al Qasimi.

Colonel Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman Al Noman, Secretary-General of Sharjah Sports Club, SSC, is one of the youngest sports managers who had worked with many sports institutions. He is a Colonel at Sharjah Police Headquarters and gained his Bachelor's Degree in Law in Police Sciences in 2005, and his Master's Degree in Police Sciences - Crisis and Disasters Management in 2005.

Noura Al Noman, Chairperson of the Executive Office of Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi, graduated from the UAE University with a degree in English Literature in 1986, and got a Master's Degree in Translation from the American University of Sharjah in 2004. She worked as an Assistant Manager at the Sharjah Ladies Club, SLC, and was a Founding Member of the Sharjah Tatweer Forum.

Erum Mazher Alvie has served in different capacities at SLC, including her appointment as SLC Manager. She moved to the Executive Office of Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi in 2010, where she launched a number of initiatives that followed the vision of Sheikha Jawaher's organisations. She served on the Board of Children's Centres and oversaw the creation and development of Sajaya in its new avatar. Alvie graduated from Smith College, USA, with honours, earning a Bachelor's Degree in Art.

Jassem Mohammed Al Baloushi, Member of the Sharjah Consultative Council, Chairman of the Sharjah Tatweer Forum and Head of the Retail Banking Group at Sharjah Islamic Bank, encouraged young men to work in the private sector. He contributed to spreading a culture of Islamic and knowledge-based economies, based on targeted research and development. Al Baloushi is a Member of the Board of Directors at Sharjah Youth Centres and is tasked with discovering and developing young talents.

Reem BinKaram graduated from the American University of Sharjah with a degree in Interior Design in 2002. She started her career in the civil aviation sector, and worked with Dubai Airports as well as the BinKaram Group. She is a Member of the Sharjah Tatweer Forum and Head of the Pink Caravan Event Committee. BinKaram has been a Board Member of the Sharjah Children Centres since 2013, and was appointed its Director due to her outstanding management skills.

Throughout her career, Aisha Khalid Al Qasimi, Director of Sajaya Young Ladies of Sharjah, developed the talent of Emirati girls, honed their skills and prepared them for the future. She contributed to the development of Sajaya in its new avatar, helping with its new headquarters and emblem in February 2015, under the patronage and in the presence of the Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi.

Aisha Khalid Al Qasimi is an English Literature graduate from the University of Sharjah, College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. She was appointed as Assistant Director of Sajaya Young Ladies of Sharjah - formerly Sharjah Girls Centres - in March 2013, and became the organisation's Director in March 2015. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Government launches Masarrah privilege card for elderly Emiratis

posted on 07/12/2016

The UAE Ministry of Community Development has launched 'Masarrah', a community card for Emirati citizens 60 years old and above, which offers them a variety of services and exclusive privileges.

Masarrah – meaning ‘happiness' in Arabic – has been issued in co-operation with several federal and local government entities as well as private sector agencies to provide card holders with healthcare and household services, and easy access to government services as well as transport and municipal services.

The new card embodies the partnership and collaboration between the government and private sector agencies, which have extended total support in offering a variety of services and facilities to meet the needs of the elderly, said Najla bint Mohammad Al Awar, Minister of Community Development.

The Ministry of Community Development will work in co-operation with the Ministry of Health and Prevention to provide comfort, stability, healthcare and intensive care to the holders, and will meet their medical needs, in line with government's continual efforts to provide the best necessary levels of care to the elderly.

Masarrah will also ensure that holders can make appointments on a priority basis as the ministry co-operates with Mediclinic, Noor Hospitals, Dubai Dental Hospital, RAK Private Hospital, Live Pharmacy, and Gillies Healthcare.

Card holders will also be exempt from certain requirements for sponsoring housemaids from the Ministry of Interior to ensure home-based care. It will help in mobile registration services for the elderly at the centres of the Emirates Identity Authority, as well as ensure private parking, priority in processing applications, and the provision of wheelchairs at all government service centres.

The cardholders will receive discounts while using public transport vehicles and taxis, in collaboration with the Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport in Abu Dhabi, RTA of Sharjah, the Public Transport Corporation in Ajman Transport Corporation, and Ras al-Khaimah Transport Authority.

Holders will also receive municipal services relating to agricultural maintenance, temporary work permits, certificate of infrastructure completion, applications for land settlement, road service and discount on parking.

Other services that Masarrah cards offer include discounts on shipping services provided by Aramex, as well as social support services from a large number of federal and local authorities and government bodies in the various emirates such as the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, the Ministry of Interior, Fujairah Municipality, Family Development Foundation (Abu Dhabi), and the Social Services Department in Sharjah.

The initiative contributes towards strengthening integration among all stakeholders to create a strong infrastructure that enables the elderly to access all the facilities and benefits ranging from healthcare to social services. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Tanzanian Health Minister receives delegation from Zayed Giving initiative

posted on 07/12/2016

DAR ES SALAM: Ummy Mwalimu, Tanzanian Minister of Health, received here today a delegation from the "Zayed Giving" initiative, in the presence of Abdullah Ibrahim Al Suwaidi, the UAE Ambassador to Dar es Salam. The delegation was led by Dr. Adel Al Shamri.

The Tanzanian Minister praised her country's strong ties with the UAE and underlined the latter's efforts in humanitarian medical fields.

She also applauded the Zayed Giving initiative's efforts to alleviate the suffering of poor patients from around the world through its diagnostic, curative and preventive programmes. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Dubai Cares announces new programme in Nepal in support of post-earthquake recovery efforts

posted on 07/12/2016

As part of its Education in Emergencies strategy, which consists of providing children the opportunity to learn and cope during and after crises, Dubai Cares has officially announced a 3-year programme known as ‘Post-Earthquake Recovery Efforts for Education in Nepal' in partnership with Room to Read.

The AED9,183,750 (US$ 2,500,000) programme, which was launched during a field visit conducted in late November by a Dubai Cares delegation led by Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer, includes a two-phase recovery intervention. The first one focuses on infrastructure and learning environments including the reconstruction and renovation of 10 schools, which include 115 classrooms, in the Nuwakot district, and the second one consists of implementing a holistic literacy programme targeting children between the ages of 4 and 10 in 100 schools.

In April 2015, a massive 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit a vast, mountainous region between Kathmandu, the country's capital, and the city of Pokhara. A severe aftershock followed a few days later, bringing the death toll to more than 8,800, of which 2,300 were children. More than 875,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, as well as schools, medical facilities and other infrastructural services. About 1 million students were left without access to school, 32,000 classrooms were destroyed, and an additional 15,000 were damaged. It was the worst earthquake to hit Nepal in the past 80 years.

Speaking from the field during his visit to schools set to benefit from the reconstruction efforts, Tariq Al Gurg said, "Natural disasters such as Nepal's devastating earthquake are in the international headlines for a few weeks, but after that the real work of rebuilding the fractured communities must begin. In line with our commitment to supporting Education in Emergencies, Dubai Cares intends to help children go back to school to minimise disruption of their education and exposure to risks of neglect, exploitation and trafficking. Dubai Cares is well placed to offer a helping hand that will make a hugely positive contribution to children's community that has suffered unimaginable trauma."

Welcoming Dubai Cares' significant contribution to the post-earthquake rebuilding efforts and more specifically the education landscape in Nepal, Saeed Hamdan, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Nepal said, "Dubai Cares' efforts in Nepal, as well as the humanitarian interventions led by the UAE, reflect the principles of the UAE leadership and people's commitment to supporting countries make progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. This has helped the UAE be at the forefront in the field of philanthropic and charity work."

Dubai Cares' programme in Nepal also aims to support the long-term response in favour of children who experienced psychological distress following the earthquake that disrupted their ability to learn. Ten schools, which consist of 115 classrooms, covering pre-school, primary and secondary levels, will benefit from reconstruction projects in line with the Nepali government's new building standards, thus creating child-friendly and safe learning environments. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Dubai Education hits new heights with North London Collegiate School

posted on 07/12/2016

Dubai is now able to bring in the world's best schools to the city based not only on academic success, but by "the ethos of how they educate children", the Director General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, KHDA, has said.

Speaking about the opening of the North London Collegiate School Dubai, Dr. Abdulla Al Karam said, "When we look at a school it is not only the academic results it achieves but the ethos of how they educate."

"I went to North London Collegiate School and saw for myself they are not just driven by academic results, it is very much about everything the students experience. In Dubai we are now able to look at these schools and make sure that when they come here those same principles are applied. It is a very strong time for Dubai education and the new standards that are being set each year."

North London Collegiate School has a history dating back to 1850 and is recognised as the most successful school ever in England. It will open in Dubai in September 2017, with the principal Daniel Lewis currently meeting with prospective parents and children.

He said, "On a personal level, my time in Dubai so far has shown me what a truly multi-cultural and fascinating place it really is. There is a very exciting challenge ahead for us as we look to bring here the academic standards and also integrate with Dubai life."

North London Collegiate School Dubai is located at Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum City, in close proximity to the Burj Khalifa and Downtown Dubai. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE's National Pavilion closes after successful 6-month showing at Venice Biennale

posted on 07/12/2016

‘Transformations: The Emirati National House', the exhibition presented by the National Pavilion United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia (Venice Biennale), has closed after a successful 6-month showing in Venice.

The 2016 edition of the Venice Biennale brought together 63 National Pavilions from around the world and was attended by over 260,000 visitors over 6 months.

The National Pavilion UAE is commissioned by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, and supported by the UAE Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development.

"In line with our mission to invest in the future of the UAE by investing in its people, the Foundation supports the National Pavilion UAE to develop thoughtfully curated and thoroughly researched exhibitions to present on the prestigious international platform of the Venice Biennale," says Khulood Al Atiyat, Manager of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation.

"'Transformations: The Emirati National House' marked the UAE's second participation in the Architecture Exhibition and told the story of an often-overlooked yet unique and interesting element of the UAE's architectural landscape. We are pleased that the UAE's exhibition has once again seen such a positive reception at this prominent cultural moment."

"Through a range of archival materials, photography, architectural diagrams and scale models, as well images by Emirati photographer Reem Falaknaz, ‘Transformations: The Emirati National House' has formed a comprehensive overview of the lively and continuing history of the sha‘bi house," says Yasser Elsheshtawy, Associate Professor of Architecture at the UAE University and the exhibition's curator.

"Through the curation of this exhibition we aimed to shift the focus away from attention-grabbing skyscrapers and international stereotypes of the UAE's architecture, to highlight a more humble project which has nevertheless become a fundamental aspect of architectural discourse in the Emirates.

The sha‘bi housing project was an interesting architectural experiment which, through the active engagement of the residents, has transformed into a series of thriving neighbourhoods defined by unique personal touches which have been added to the houses' basic design over the years."

The exhibition explores the transformative aspect of the housing model of Emirati national houses, also known as sha‘bi (folk) houses, introduced across the UAE from the 1970s to offer homes and modern amenities to a fairly transient population. National houses are found in residential neighbourhoods of most cities in the UAE; they were initially designed as a standard model, but over the years, resident families made various architectural modifications to the basic structure, reflecting their changing lifestyles.

2017 will mark the UAE's fifth participation in the International Art Exhibition, which runs from May 13th to November 26th, 2017 (vernissage May 10th to 12th). Hammad Nasar, curator, writer and currently Head of Research and Programmes at Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong, has been appointed to curate the UAE's exhibition for 2017, which will explore aspects of play in contemporary art practice in the Emirates. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -