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13 Jun, 2016

Turkish tourism praises extension of Eid al-Fitr holiday to nine days

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 13 June 2016 (08 Ramadan 1437). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story.




The Government of Malaysia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on co-operation in the field of tourism. Malaysia was represented by Minister of Tourism and Culture, YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz while KSA was represented by HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, President and Chairman of the Board of the Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage. Both parties agreed to collaborate in research and development as well as joint training pertaining to tourism-related programmes, exchange of promotional publicity materials on tourism and tourism statistics, joint organization of meetings, conventions and travel mart/trade fairs on tourism, developing handcrafts industry by sharing their unique experiences and encouragement of economic activities through tourism including tourism investment and other areas in tourism sector. Through its agency, Tourism Malaysia, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia is promoting Malaysia in the Middle East market through roadshows and participations in various travel marts/fairs. As of February 2016, 127 participants from the KSA have been approved for the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) Programme. Malaysia was also voted the 2nd Best Shopping Destination 2015 for Muslims in the OIC Destination based on Crescent Rating and MasterCard Muslim Travel Shopping Index.

For more information about what makes Malaysia one of the most popular destinations in the Islamic world, as well as on planning your next holiday or MICE event in Malaysia, please click: http://www.malaysia.travel.

facebook: http://www.facebook.com/friendofmalaysia

twitter: http://twitter.com/tourismmalaysia

Blog: http://blog.tourism.gov.my


Three Muslim-friendly Hotels participated in the Thailand Travel Mart 2016 Plus Amazing Gateway to the Greater Mekong Subregion (TTM+ 2016) held in Chiang Mai, North Thailand between 8-10 June 2016. They are the Al Meroz Hotel Bangkok http://www.almerozhotel.com, the Nouvo City Hotel, Bangkok http://www.nouvocityhotel.com and the Aonang Silver Orchid Resort, located in Krabi province, South Thailand http://www.aonangsilverorchidresort.com. All are 100% Muslim-friendly hotels, alcohol-free and serving a variety of Thai and International halal food. They are amongst a growing range of accommodation, products and services emerging in Thailand as it forges ahead with a strategy to better position itself as a Muslim-friendly tourist destination. The country is already popular with thousands of Muslims from the ASEAN countries, Asia, the Middle East and the Central Asian Republics. A special app has been created by the Tourism Authority of Thailand to help Muslim visitors find the appropriate facilities and services. It can be downloaded by clicking here: http://www.tourismthailand.org/muslimfriendly


Watch Islamic Travel Newswire Executive Editor Imtiaz Muqbil’s landmark TEDx lecture on “Peace through Tourism” on YouTube — the first travel industry journalist in Bangkok invited to speak at this prestigious forum. CLICK HERE.




Malaysian Startup bags Asian Entrepreneurship Award 2016

TOKYO, June 9 (Bernama) — A Malaysian startup, BorderPass emerged as the champion in the final competition of Asian Entrepreneurship Award (AEA) 2016 held on June 7th, 2016 in Tokyo, Japan. The international competition, now in its fifth year, featured 27 startups from 14 countries. BorderPass’ unique ‘cloud passport’ idea impressed the panelists and brought home 1 million JPY and received two years of free office space at 31 Ventures by Mitsui Fudosan.

The event was hosted by Future Design Centre Incorporate Association while the co-hosts were Division of University Corporate Relations – The University of Tokyo, Keidanren, Mitsui Fudosan Co., Litd., and TX Entrepreneur Partners General Incorporated Association (TEP).

Malaysia was among the first nations globally to use biometric passports and automated gates at the airport. With the figure of 38 percent Southeast Asian airports are over capacity, BorderPass pitched for the first ‘cloud passport’ idea. The technology covers 3D facial and iris recognition, touchless ten-finger fingerprint and thermo scanner, and other biometric systems. The system is aimed to be an opt-in system to the traditional paper immigration form at the airport.

BorderPass is one of the two startups nominated by Putra Business School (PBS), a TX Entrepreneur Partners General Incorporated Association (TEP) / Kashiwa Open Innovation Lab (KOIL) Global Partner for the last 3 years. Dr Ahmed Razman Abdul Latiff, Manager of Community Development and Impact in PBS and the Nominating Committee Member for Malaysia together with BorderPass CEO, Faisal Ariff received the award at the event.

PBS’ postgraduate programmes are based on Eastern traditions with global relevance. Its approach is in line with Shift 1 of the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education) on Holistic, Entrepreneurial and Balanced Graduates. The academic staffs at PBS are well exposed and experienced in entrepreneurship related activities.

The students are encouraged to establish a startup and exposure in entrepreneurship are given in class as well as through the Networking Day which is a programme that involve industries key players sharing their experience and achievement in through a dialogue.

Detail information about the Asian Entrepreneurship Award (AEA) 2016 are available at http://tepweb.jp/english/event/aea2016/.

Detail information about PBS and its programmes are available at www.putrabusinessschool.edu.my.

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Malaysian Embassy In Bangkok Gives Orphans A Treat

BANGKOK, June 13 (Bernama) — A total of 17 orphans from the Abdulla Nusarn Mosque in Yuwarat Rama 6, joined in the breaking of fast organised by the Malaysian Embassy here, last night.

They were welcomed at the event by Malaysian Ambassador to Thailand, Datuk Nazirah Hussain as well as about 100 Muslim staff at the embassy and their families.

The orphans were also treated to a variety of Malaysian dishes, and performed the Maghrib, Isha and Tarawih prayers together with embassy staff.

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Malaysia To Empower SMEs In Kuala Kangsar

KUALA KANGSAR, June 12 (Bernama) — The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) plans to implement various programmes to empower small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Kuala Kangsar.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said MITI’s agencies would help the SMEs grow their business and market their products to the international market.

“We will promote their business, including labu (clay vase) Sayong. We want to ensure that their business flourish and be able to penetrate overseas markets.

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ADB Approves First US$100mln Cofinancing with AIIB for a Pakistan Road Project

MANILA, PHILIPPINES, 10 June 2016 — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today approved a $100 million loan for a highway project in Pakistan that will mark its first cofinancing with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). AIIB will provide a $100 million loan subject to its board approval later this month. The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) has also committed a $34 million grant for the project. ADB as the lead financier will administer both the AIIB loan and the DFID grant.

“This is a historic milestone for ADB and AIIB as we jointly aim to meet the pressing infrastructure needs in Asia and the Pacific region,” said ADB President Takehiko Nakao. “The project has strategic value to Pakistan as it supports north-south connectivity, new trade, and business opportunities, which will boost jobs and cut poverty.” The project is also an integral part of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) corridors.

ADB and AIIB have been preparing projects for cofinancing since last year. A memorandum of understanding for collaboration was signed by Mr. Nakao and AIIB President Liqun Jin at the time of ADB’s Annual Meeting in Frankfurt, Germany in early May.

This project will fund the remaining 64-kilometer (km) long four-lane section of the M-4 National Motorway connecting Shorkot and Khanewal in Punjab province. The project constitutes a key part of a 1,800 km CAREC transport corridor linking the port city of Karachi in the south, to major primary production and population centers including Lahore, Faisalabad, Islamabad and Peshawar, and on to Torkham on the northern border with Afghanistan.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totaled $27.2 billion, including cofinancing of $10.7 billion.

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LEAD STORY: Turkish tourism praises extension of Eid al-Fitr holiday to nine days

ISTANBUL Anadolu Agency – Struggling tourism players have gotten some relief after Turkish authorities declared a nine-day public holiday starting from July 2 for Eid al-Fitr, hoping to lure more local tourists amid a significant drop in foreign arrivals.

The holiday was planned to officially start on July 5 and end on July 7. However, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım recently signed a circular declaring that July 4 (a Monday) and July 8 (a Friday) would also be a holiday, effectively creating a nine-day public holiday including the two weekends.

Hoteliers Federation of Turkey (TÜROFED) head Osman Ayık said the extension of the public holiday to nine days would bring a significant rise in the number of local tourists.

“We hope that our tourism facilities will reach the desired occupancy rates over the nine-day public holiday, as local tourists will now have enough time to plan their vacations,” Ayık said, as quoted by Anadolu Agency.

Sector representatives hope to earn around 500 million Turkish Liras over the course of the extended holiday.

“Although the public holiday for Eid al-Fitr was just four days last year, our sector earned revenue of around 200-250 million liras. While 180,000 people opted to take a vacation in Turkey, 20,000 went abroad. With the extension of the public holiday this year to nine days, we expect around 500 million liras in revenue,” said Tourism Investors Association of Turkey (TYD) head Murat Ersoy in a written statement.

The Turkish Travel Agencies Association (TÜRSAB) expects a total of 250,000 locals to holiday during the extended break this year.

During Eid al-Fitr last year, the most popular domestic destinations for airplanes that took off or landed at Istanbul’s Atatürk and Sabiha Gökçen airports were the Aegean province of İzmir, the Mediterranean coast of Antalya and the capital city of Ankara. They were followed by Bodrum and Dalaman on the west coast, Adana in the south and Trabzon in the Black Sea region. The most popular foreign destinations were London, Tel Aviv, Paris, North Cyprus, Frankfurt, Moscow, Munich and New York.

The change to this year’s holiday comes amid woes in Turkey’s tourism sector. The number of foreign tourists visiting Turkey saw a 17-year plunge in April with a 28 percent decrease compared to the same month of 2015, as rising security concerns and the jet crisis with Russia hit the country’s tourism sector.

A total of 5.8 million foreigners visited Turkey in the first four months of the year, according to official data. The losses in the sector are expected to have hit $15 billion, according to sector players.

Turkey lured the highest number of foreign people from Germany in the first four months of the year with around 730,000 visitors, taking a share of around 13 percent in total visitors. Germany was followed by Georgia with around 615,000 arrivals and a 10.5 percent share in the total, and Iran, which sent 561,560 people to Turkey, taking a 9.6 percent of share in the total.

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Turkey to inaugurate largest mosque on July 1

Istanbul, (IINA), 12 Jun 2016 – The largest mosque in Turkey, which is being constructed on the top of Istanbul’s Camlica Hill, is expected to be inaugurated for worshipers on the night of Ramadan 27 (June 1), in which Laylat al-Qadr (Night of Power) most likely to fall this year.

An iftar event organized by Istanbul’s municipality will take place for more than 30,000 people. The construction of the largest mosque in Turkish history was launched on August 6, 2013, by then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The mosque can accommodate more than 37,000 worshippers, and it is equipped with several children’s playgrounds, seating areas, and a promenade area.

A conference hall, art gallery, museum and a library will be built in the mosque compound, which has a total of 30,000 square kilometer area.

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Around two million faithful throng Harams on first Friday of Ramadan

Makkah (IINA) – Nearly two million worshipers thronged the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, as well as their courtyards and adjacent streets to attend the first Friday prayers during the holy month of Ramadan.

The expanded huge Grand Mosque complex, which can accommodate over 1.5 million at a time, overflowed with faithful as hundreds of thousands of Umrah pilgrims from within the Kingdom and abroad flocked to perform the rituals in the annual peak Umrah season. In an unparalleled air of spirituality, the faithful performed Umrah and engaged in supplications, seeking the blessing and forgiveness from Almighty Allah.

In his Friday sermon at the Grand Mosque, Sheikh Abdurahman Al-Sudais, head of the Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, urged believers to seize the golden opportunity to occupy the permanent abode in paradise through righteous deeds and increasingly glorifying God, recitation of Qur’an, seeking repentance and forgiveness, besides becoming generous in giving charity in the holy month of Ramadan.

He called on the believers to embrace the true spirit of Ramadan in all walks of life and refrain from everything forbidden. “There are some people who observe fast with regard to eating and drinking but they do not observe fast with regard to watching immoral programs on television channels or attending gatherings for gossips and slandering,” he said

Sheikh Al-Sudais lamented the fate of those believers who spoil the virtues of fasting through evil doing. “Members of our Ummah are still not fully aware of the trickeries of the enemies, who spread lies and rumors. Don’t get carried away with these rumors, unleashed especially by those who work round-the-clock to spread terrorism and sectarianism in the Islamic Ummah, as well as to exploit religious symbols to realize their political ambitions and ulterior designs,” he said.

Sheikh Al-Sudais urged parents to fear God in raising their children through inculcating in them values of religion, Islamic culture and morals, and Prophetic Tradition so as to safeguard them against wasting their precious time in roaming about streets and souks, and spending sleepless nights surfing TV channels.

While recalling that Ramadan is a month of victory, glory and capacity, Sheikh Al-Sudais said it is high time to act to stop the escalating Zionist aggression on the holy city of Jerusalem and Palestine, which continue to remain agonies for the Ummah. He also called for restoring peace and security in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. At the Prophet’s Mosque, Sheikh Salah Al-Budair urged the believers to reap boundless lofty rewards from Allah during this holy month.

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Ramadan provides a unique religious experience for Muslims in Brazil

Brasilia (IINA) 12 Jun 2016 – The Muslim community in Brazil observes the holy month of Ramadan with joy and piety with engaging in supplications and recitation of the Holy Qur’an after gathering in their mosques. It is an opportunity for the members of the community to achieve spiritual salvation through participation in congregational prayers, giving donations and volunteer in charity projects.

There are 120 mosques and prayer rooms throughout Brazil. Members of the community are keen to frequenting these mosques to perform prayers, especially the Taraweeh and Night prayers, where some mosques revive the sunnah of i’tikaaf (seclusion in the mosque) and Laylat al-Qadr, which has special program in all Brazilian mosques.

In an exclusive interview with the International Islamic News Agency (IINA), Sheikh Khalid Taqi Al-Din, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Imams and Islamic Affairs in Brazil, said that the Muslim community in Brazil has a deep emotional state of nostalgia and longing for the lands of Islam. Any of the immigrants to this country holds in his mind the memories and pictures of Ramadan in the country of his origin. So, Ramadan is colored up with all the cultures that show the intermingling among different peoples who have settled in Brazil and maintained their cultures.

Sheikh Taqi Al-Din pointed out that historical accounts show that the first congregational prayer of Taraweeh in Brazil was performed in 1867 in the city of Salvador, in the state of Bahia. He added that Sheikh Abdul Rahman al-Baghdadi led the worshipers in that Taraweeh prayer when he visited the Latin American country. Sheikh al-Baghdadi stated in his manuscript, entitled “Amusement of a Strange of all that is Amazing”, that he prayed 10 rak’ahs to make it easier for the Muslims at that time.

Activities and events

Ramadan in Brazil has a particular whiff and a special scent, represented in many Islamic manifestations. In this regard, Sheikh Khalid Taqi Al-Din said Brazil’s Supreme Council of Imams and Islamic Affairs – the supreme legal reference for the Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamaah – carries out during this holy month, in collaboration with other associations, several activities and events including charitable projects, such as mass iftars, arrangements for alms distribution, visiting mosques to educate people and assign sheikhs and preachers to the mosques in need, and honoring reciters, especially those who come from Islamic countries, in addition to holding cultural competitions.

He noted that the Council, which comprises scholars, sheikhs and preachers from the local community or those dispatched from Islamic countries to care for Brazil’s Muslim community, carried out a dawa convoy before Ramadan, in coordination with the Islamic Charity Society in Rio de Janeiro. The convoy was attended by representatives of all religions.

During the convoy, a press conference was held to send a message of peace to the world before the start of the Olympics, to be held in Rio de Janeiro this summer. President of the Council Dr. Abdul Hameed Metwally highlighted, at the press conference, that Islam is a religion of peace and love, and that it has nothing to do with those who seek to associate terrorism with Islam.

Initiatives to consolidate the values ​​of tolerance and coexistence.

In the endeavor to consolidate the values of tolerance and coexistence among the Brazilian people, the Council’s Secretary-General said the religious institutions have launched some positive initiatives, such as extending invitation to Brazilian political and social leaders to take part in mass iftars and learn more about Islam, as well as undertaking social activities each weekend during the month of Ramadan to serve the poor and middle classes. These include offering free health care, covering free tests of eye, teeth and blood pressure, in addition to recreational activities for kids.

Sheikh Taqi Al-Din added that thousands of local residents respond to these activities, and the other activities to introduce Islam through distribution of books and pamphlets and responses to various inquiries about the religion of Islam. This project is one of the best ways for advocating to the tolerance of Islam and eliminating the phenomenon of Islamophobia, according to the Secretary General.

Challenges facing the community

Sheikh Taqi al-Din stated that the main problems facing the Muslim community in Brazil is the fear of their children being involved in delinquency, as well as self-indulgence in the waves of materialism and lusts. Therefore, he added, members of the Muslim community are keen to accompany their children to mosques.

He identified among the obstacles of preaching that the preachers are not full-time employees, and some of them lack understanding of the reality of the society in which they live, a matter which leads to conflict with the community and resignation of the preacher or limitations in his role.


It may be mentioned here that the Supreme Council of Imams and Islamic Affairs was established in Brazil on 3 June 2005, and it is based in Sao Paulo city located in the country’s southeast region.

The Council’s primary objective is the dawa work, away from partisanship and delving into political issues. It works for convergence among the imams of Islamic institutions in Brazil and helping them to overcome challenges they face, besides defending their rights.

It also aims to unify the jurisprudence views between the sheikhs and preachers, disseminate legal research and studies that address emerging issues, validate the sighting of Ramadan crescent moon, establish a uniform system for celebrating the two Islamic religious festivals (Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha) and make available of Islamic religious instruction for Brazilian Muslims in general and youths in particular.

The Council further takes care of making available of slamic books and translation matters and gives the legal ratification to them, in addition to developing dawa plans and programs in line with the concept of moderation in Islam, and establishing the Zakat Fund.

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New Commercial Registrations Through Invest East Portal Grow in April

Muscat, Jun 11 (ONA) – The Ministry of Commerce and Industry said that the number of new commercial registrations registered through “Invest Easy” portal during April 2016 increased by 30% compared to April 2015. The number of registrations through investor services declined by 70% during April 2016 compared to April 2015.

The Ministry pointed out that investors now tend to use the e-services and benefit from the 65 e-government services available on the “Invest Easy” portal 24/7.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry affirmed that it has completed the links with several public organizations involved in commercial registration in a bid to simplify and facilitate the procedures for investors, especially e-services are known for being high quality and user-friendly.

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Expat Managers in Oman Private Sector down 3%

Muscat, Jun 11 (ONA) – The number of expat managers in the private sector in 2016 fell about 3 percent to 37, 966 managers as at the end of last April compared to 39,130 managers last December.

This decline comes to give way to the national workforce to get the best job opportunities in the private sector. According to data released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), the number of male managers retreated from about 37,000 to 35,835 managers while the numbers of female managers remained at the level of 2,130.

Expat managers constitute 2.2 percent of the total number of expatriate labour force in the private sector, which rose by the end of April to 1.7 million, an increase by 66,000 workers from their level at the end of 2015.

The number of expat managers in the private sector in 2015 recorded a decline of 807 workers to fall by the end of December 2015 to 39,130 workers, a decline of 2 percent.

Expatriate labour force is concentrated in construction related professions and services, basic and assisting engineering professions while the number of expat specialists in the scientific, technical and humanitarian fields stands at 78,000.

The latest statistics released by NCSI stated that the number of Omanis working in occupations associated with managers of public administration and business stood at 10,000 workers as at the end of last April, forming 4.8 percent of the total number of Omanis in the private sector, totaling 210,000 workers.

The number of Omanis in the private sector recorded in the first four months of 2016 a slight increase of 454 workers.

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Pakistan’s only cricket museum — Guarding the wicket for the Gentleman’s Game

By Aown Ali — Dawn.com

I’ve always believed Lahore is the cultural capital of Pakistan. Famed for its architecture, one of its lesser-known marvels is the Lahore Gymkhana Cricket Ground, the second oldest cricket ground in the South Asian subcontinent.

The cricket ground is nestled in the Bagh-e-Jinnah. Because I live near the garden, it was my morning routine to walk through the park. Sometimes I approached the boundary of the ground and watched the golden hours of the morning illuminate the lofty colonial architecture. But it had just never occurred to me to cross inside and enter the building.

Until one pleasant spring day, I relented to my curiosity and crossed the boundary with a camera in hand.

I discovered a vast ground and a magnificent pavilion. The pavilion is in log-house style and built of imported oak. It was designed by G. Stone and Bahi Ram Singh, a great architect reputed for his designs in the British Raj.

In its style, the pavilion closely resembles the Punjab Exhibition Hall (Tollinton Market) on the Mall Road next to Anarkali Bazaar. Established in 1880, Lahore Gymkhana Cricket Ground is the second oldest cricket ground in the Indian subcontinent.

Read the rest: http://www.dawn.com/news/1262276/pakistans-only-cricket-museum-guarding-the-wicket-for-the-gentlemans-game

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Indonesian students invent future protein source

Malang, East Java (ANTARA News), 10 Juni 2016 – Four students of Agricultural Technology at the Brawijaya University, Malang, have invented foodstuff that has the potential to become a future source of protein. They have named it Nanno Healthy Powder.

These foodstuff is a combination of a microalgae Nannochloropsis sp and tofu waste, the leader of the invention team, Ahfad Ulfa, said here on Friday.

“This protein source is a powder supplement made from Nannocloropsis sp composed of 52.11 percent protein, 16 percent carbohydrate, 27.64 percent fat and 0.89 chlorophyl,” Ulfa explained.

Ahfad added that tofu waste is abundantly available and wasted, even though “the waste still has a lot of nutrition content.”

Among important substances contained in tofu waste are ammonium, phosphate and nitrate.

“Based on our research, the microalgae’s cells will rapidly grow after being fed by tofu waste. Therefore, the nutrition content will also increase,” Ahfad said.

The Nannochloropsis sp produced from the feeding process will be processed further by using nanotechnology to convert it into health supplement.

The highest nutrition content in Nannochloropsis sp cells is protein. “The laboratory experiment shows that the protein content in the microalgae is higher than that in animals and plant,” Ulfa remarked.

The Nanno Healthy Powder can be produced at any time without relying on climate, seasons or weather. Also, because it is produced from tofu waste, it is relatively cheap.

“This study aims at preserving the environment. Another good quality of Nanno Healthy Powder is that it can be used as a protein source in a supplement or can be added to vegetarian foodstuffs,” Ulfa said.

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Bukit Bintang City Centre Project To Start In Sept 2016

PORT DICKSON, 12 Jun (Bernama) — The development of the Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC), the country’s new iconic project in Kuala Lumpur, is expected to begin in September, UDA Holdings Bhd chairman Datuk Mohd Shafei Abdullah said.

He said the project would be completed in stages, of which the first phase expected to be completed in four years’ time.

The first phase, with a gross development value (GDV) of RM4.7 billion, comprises a hotel, the bazaar people, offices, a condominium, a Mitsui Shopping Centre, a 2.43-hectare green park and a concert hall, he added.

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Indonesian ministry prioritizes Timika Airport construction

Timika, 11 Juni 2016, (ANTARA News) – The Ministry of Transportation through the Directorate General of Air Transportation has prioritized the construction of the passenger terminal facilities at Mozes Kilangin airport in Timika, Papua province.

In 2017, the ministry will build 37 airports throughout Indonesia, Head of Transportation, Communication and Information office of Mimika John Rettob said here Friday.

Of the 37 airports, Mozes Kilangin is the top priority to be resolved, he added.

“If there are no obstacles, the central government will provide substantial funds to build and complete a terminal at the Timika airport. We proposed around Rp198 billion,” Rettob pointed out.

The terminal is located on the south side of Mozes Kilangin with an area of 21 thousand square meters.

Mimika district will also build connectivity for passengers to travel between the public terminal and the VIP terminal.

Rettob hoped the Mimika district administration would allocate a budget in 2017 to complete the construction so that the connection between the two terminals can be completed within 1.5 years.

“The overall capacity will be 42 thousand square meters (excluding the VIP terminal), so the terminal and the connection could accommodate two million people. The facilities will have six aerobridges,” he said.

The passenger terminal and other facilities in Mozes Kilangin (on the north side) were built by PT Freeport Indonesia and managed by PT AVCO.

In the future, the management of Mozes Kilangin airport will be handled directly by the Ministry of Transport through the Airport Operator Unit (PUBU) after the airports status has changed from a special airport-owned by PT Freeport to a public airport.

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Tunisia Tourism indicators turn to green, says Afif Kchouk

by AfricanManager – Jun 10, 2016 – Minister of Tourism, Salma Elloumi, recently, announced that a slight recovery of tourism in Tunisia is expected in summer, saying positive indicators were recorded in the current tourist season.

For his part, President of the International Tourism Market (MIT), Afif Kchouk told African Manager “for the first time, indicators of European markets have improved during the last ten days: the Maltese market posted an increase of 17.4%, Turkey + 1.4%, + 700% Russia, Algeria + 17.5% and the Chinese market + 181.9%.

The President of MIT also added that signs of recovery have also been recorded throughout the month of May, saying that the Ukrainian market has risen (130.7%), same for Greece (+ 7.3%), Algeria (+ 7.9%), China (+ 54.4%) and Tunisians living abroad (+ 3.4%).

He said in this regard: “We believe that the indicators for the months of July and August will be positive, especially with the achievement of good figures in these markets.

We are called to make diligent efforts to save the summer season and reach at least the 2015 figures in the period of July and August 2016. From September, we have prepared a special program to improve the sector’s performance and reach the figures of 2014.”

The Ministry of Tourism, in collaboration with the Tunisian National Tourist Office (ONTT) has announced the establishment of a comprehensive roadmap aimed to get the Tunisian tourism out of the rut, through the launch of several campaigns abroad for the promotion of the Tunisian destination.

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Tunisia tops Arab countries in “Good Country” Index

by AfricanManager – Jun 10, 2016 – Tunisia has topped Arab countries and held the 48th position worldwide in the “Good Country” Index, according to statistics published on the Good Country website.

The index was launched by Simon Anholt, given his experience in the field of diplomacy. It is based on a set of indicators, including technological science, culture, peace and climate.

Egypt has held the second place on the Arab level, followed by Qatar, Jordan, Lebanon and then Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain.

Sweden is at the top of the report, followed by Denmark. The United States was ranked 12th. Libya occupied the last place, i.e. the 163rd rank in the report.

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Tajikistan’s TV channel launches its office in U.S.

Bishkek (AKIpress) – culture-tv-broadcast Jahonnamo, a Tajikistan’s 24-hour news TV channel, intends to open its correspondent office in the United States in the near future.

“Work on getting consent of the United States is underway. Most likely, Jahonnamo… will be located in Washington, D.C.,” according to a TV channel’s source.

He added Jahonnamo is set to broadcast political, economic, cultural and sports shows of the United States, as well as to cover activities of the Tajik expat community.

Jahonnamo began broadcasting on November 5, 2008. Broadcasting is in Tajik but some news programs are issued in Russian and English.

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Paper-bag maker women happy in Rajshahi city

RAJSHAHI, June 12, 2016 (BSS) – More than 10,000 women have become happy over many income-generating activities including paper-bag making thwarting their long-lasting poverty and financial uncertainty in the city.

Currently, all of them have become money-makers through the activities and they attained knowledge on how to become self-reliant and to contribute to the society to some extent.

“Now a days, our work pressure has been mounted to a greater extent ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr as there is no shop and service-delivery center where the paper-bags aren’t being used at present,” said Radha Rani Halder, a housewife of Jelepara fishermen community.

Like Radha Rani Halder, many of her neighborhood women are now passing their sleepless night as the extent of works were enhanced remarkably ahead of the forthcoming Eid-ul-Fitr.

Taking advantage of the situation, most of the housewives of the community are making paper-bags along with their family members for some extra income to rotate their family wheels.

According to demand of the owners, they make bags of all sizes with much sincerity and eagerness but their earning is very scanty. “We got Taka 25/30 after making every 100 bags and we hardly make 300 bags per day,” said Basanti Rani Halder.

“First of all, I got a grant of Taka 4500 from an anti-poverty scheme in Rajshahi City Corporation around two years back and since then I have been doing the work with assistance”, she added.

In addition to uplifting her skills, she has learnt the means of eradicating poverty and hunger in the days ahead.

Rajshahi City Corporation has implemented scheme’ aimed at improving the living and livelihood condition of around three lakh poor and extreme poor people, especially women and girls, of the metropolis.

Razen Mardee, a community organizer, said various measures of extending supports were adopted to free the disadvantaged community from the vicious circle of poverty under the project.

“We have formed 173 Community Development Committees (CDCs) with 33,000 people of the poverty-stricken families and most of them are women in a bid to mainstreaming them,” he stated.

They, so far, saved around Taka 10.5 crore from their daily incomes, disbursed Taka 11 crore as loan among 15,000 small business women and the recovery rate is satisfactory.

Grants were disbursed among the target women for operating small-business while grants were disbursed among students to facilitate their academic activities under the socio economic fund.

Urban food production inputs and some other necessary supports were extended to families to ensure their food security.

In addition to commissioning two deep tube wells, community latrines were constructed for ensuring their safe drinking water and hygienic sanitation under the settlement improvement fund.

While visiting some of the communities this reporter found that some of the best practices and working atmosphere are prevailing there.

“We have earned some successes in different livelihood aspects like safe drinking water, sanitation, education, health, reduction of violence against women and reduction of early marriage with the financial and infrastructural support,” said Anita Rani Halder, Secretary of the CDC.

“Many of the government and non-government organizations should do more welfare for uplifting the living condition of the poverty-prone communities,” said Samar Halder, a prominent figure of the community.

He, however, said the community people including the women and children are now doing many income-generation activities for their survival.

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Kyrgyzstan getting ready for Second World Nomad Games

Bishkek, June 8 / Kabar /- The preparations for the Second World Nomad Games are in full swing in Kyrgyzstan. The spectacular and entertaining grand event will be held on the shores of the Issyk-Kul Lake from September 3 to 8. In an interview with The Peninsula, Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic to the State of Qatar Nuran Niyazaliev provides the details.

In an interview with The Peninsula, Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic to the State of Qatar Nuran Niyazaliev talks about the preparations for the Second World Nomad Games to be held on the shores of the Issyk-Kul Lake from September 3 to 8. It is expected that more than 2,000 athletes and competitors from 40 countries will participate in the Games.

Could you please tell us about the World Nomad Games?

There are many nations on the planet that practiced nomadic style of life in their past. Some of them, in fact, still continue the same lifestyle with minor adaptation to contemporary world. Undoubtedly, they have very rich and unique traditions, customs, culture, and of course — national games. It is important to introduce the richness and uniqueness of nomadic civilisation to the international community.

That is why H E Almazbek Atambaev, President of the Kyrgyz Republic, has initiated the World Nomad Games in 2012 as an analogue of Olympic, Winter, Asian and Paralympic Games. The main idea behind the initiative is to show the history of nomad nations, their traditions, lifestyles and culture. This idea was supported by many countries and the First World Nomad Games took place on the shores of beautiful Lake Issyk-Kul in September 2014, with a participation of over 400 athletes from 19 countries. It was very successful and unforgettable event.

What kind of games or disciplines were in the programme of the World Nomad Games?

At the First World Nomad Games, athletes competed in wrestling, archery, Kok Boru, At Chabysh, Salbuurun, Er Enish, Ordo, Kyz Kuumai and others. The title of the games may sound unfamiliar, but they have very simple, easy understanding rules and well-known to many nomadic nations.

For example, At Chabysh means horse race, Salbuurun based on falcon hunting, dog hunting, archery on horseback, Kok Boru also known as Buzkashi, where riders fight for a goat carcass. Er Enish is a horseback wrestling; Ordo is played by a collection of sheep knuckles. The most beautiful, emotional and romantic game is Kyz Kuumai when a man chases woman both on horseback and if he catches up with her rewarded by a chance to kiss on cheek.

When will the Second World Nomad Games be held?

The preparations for the Second World Nomad Games are in full swing now. This spectacular and entertaining grand event again will be held on the shores of the Issyk-Kul Lake from the 3rd to the 8th of September 2016. It is expected that this time more than 2,000 athletes and competitors from 40 countries will participate in the Games. We hope it will give powerful impetus to rebirth of original national sports, spiritual self-awareness and historical memory of nomad nations of the world.

The programme will include more than 20 sport competitions of horsemanship, strength, and endurance; Ethnic Cultural Festival and Yurt Village “Universe of Nomads”; Scientific Conference “The Civilization of Nomads: Origins, Heritage and Progress; national games of participating countries, and many fun games and activities.

Can the Qatari people participate or attend the Second World Nomad Games?

Yes, of course. One of similarities of the Kyrgyz and Qatari people is that both are belong to the nomadic civilisation. The Kyrgyz people as Bedouins used to move from one place to another according to the season of year and migration of livestock. We have also similar traditions, like horse race, falcon hunting, dog hunting or salooki, camel racing, etc.

I met with Al-Gannas Society of Qatar and invited their representatives to show their traditions and games during the World Nomad Games. We also invite the Qatari sports authorities and athletes to attend the Games in September. By the way, citizens of the State of Qatar can visit the Kyrgyz Republic without visa, since we introduced a visa free regime for them.

I should mention that during the Second World Nomad Games a special village of nomad nations will be set up in picturesque valley deep in magnificent mountains of Kyrgyzstan. Many countries can construct their temporary yurts or tents and display national traditions, art, folklore, cuisine, songs and dances as well as tourism opportunities. That is why we have invited Qatar Tourism Authority to establish a Bedouin Tent to attract more tourists from Central Asia to Qatar.

The World Nomad Games is a unique event that will thrill audiences with its beauty, entertainment and inimitability. It will demonstrate also a significant contribution of nomadic civilisations to the development of culture around the world and to promote the preservation of cultural diversity. In this regard the Kyrgyz Republic invites the State of Qatar to participate in the Second World Nomad Games.

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Kyrgyz President pushing for de-dollarization of economy

Bishkek, June 8 / Kabar /. President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev received chairman of the National Bank Tolkunbek Abdygulov, the Kyrgyz President’s press service reports.

During the meeting the head of state was informed about the main macroeconomic indicators, the measures taken to maintain price stability and promote economic growth, including through an increase in lending to the country’s entrepreneurs and farmers.

Abdygulov also spoke about reducing the level of inflation in the country.

President Almazbek Atambayev and chairman of the National Bank Tolkunbek Abdygulov also discussed the implementation of the State program to increase the proportion of non-cash payments and calculations in the country, designed for 2012-2017.

President Atambayev noted that in order to reduce risks for the country and the economic security the National Bank should actively pursue measures for the implementation of this program, which aims to reduce the level of dollarization of the economy due to the increase of non-cash payments in national currency.

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Kyrgyzstan, UNWTO sign agreement on cooperation

Bishkek, June 7 / Kabar /. Kyrgyzstan and the World Tourism Organization of the United Nations signed an agreement on cooperation, the press service of the Ministry of Culture, Information and Tourism of the Kyrgyz Republic reports.

Today the third meeting of Tourism Ministers of the Cooperation Council of the Turkic-Speaking states held in Kyrgyzstan’s resort town Cholpon-Ata (Issyk-Kul).

It was attended by Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan Nazim Samadov, Deputy Minister for Development of the Investments of Kazakhstan Zamir Saginov, Deputy Minister of the Turkish Culture and Tourismof Turkey Guseyin Yayman, president of the International Academy of Turkey Darkhan Kydyrali, representative of TURKSOY in Kyrgyzstan Kozhogeldi Kuluev, as well as Secretary General of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States Ramil Hasanov. Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization Taleb Rifai also attended the meeting as a special guest.

At the Council the participants took important decisions on the implementation of the joint modern Silk Road. At the end of the meeting they signed a bilateral agreement on cooperation between Kyrgyzstan and the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

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Greater Cairo development project’s document signed

Cairo, 11 June 2016 – Several UN agencies and Egyptian authorities on Friday 10/06/2016 signed a document to launch a new project to implement solutions for the key challenges facing Greater Cairo, including burdens on all public utilities, infrastructure, traffic congestion, environment hazards and urbanization.

The project was signed by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat), Egypt’s General Organization for Physical Planning (GOPP), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA).

The project’s main objective is to develop a vision for Cairo till 2050. It also aims at supporting the development of Greater Cairo in achieving social justice and economic competitiveness and providing public services in an environment-friendly manner through the development of priority development projects.

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Indian embassy organizes 1st yoga championship in Egypt

6 June 2016 – The Indian Embassy in Cairo on Sunday 5/6/2016 organized the first Yoga championship in Egypt.

Another photography competition entitled “Yoga in Egypt” is staged on the occasion of the International Day of Yoga 2016. A celebration on the same occasion will be staged on Cairo’s Azhar Park on June 21.

Similar events will be organized in Alexandria and Ismailia, Indian Ambassador in Cairo Sanjay Bhattacharyya said.

The International Day of Yoga is celebrated annually on June 21 and was declared to be internationally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on December 11, 2014.

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Pakistan-China Chamber of Commerce to promote ‘Made in Pakistan’ tag

LAHORE, June 6 (APP): Pak-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI), President Shah Faisal Afridi on Monday said that ‘Made in Pakistan’ tag should be promoted while going for international market. He expressed these views here in a discussion session with a delegation from Pakistan Footwear Manufacturers Association (PFMA).

During discussion, the prime issue under debate was the quality and value addition of footwear and leather related products including their marketing and placement in the international market.

Shah Faisal Afridi maintained that initiatives should be taken by the footwear industry stakeholders to compete the international footwear brands. Modernization in designs and new production techniques should be practiced by avoiding conventional ways, he added.

He stated that in today’s modern world, people were more conscious about their appearance compared to earlier times. “Gone are the days when clothing and shoes were just basic needs. Now-a-days people like positive change in their life style, and this positive change gives manufacturers an opportunity to win the consumer market just by creating something new and innovative for the customers,” he remarked.

He said that it is the time for Pakistan to market only one brand that is “Made in Pakistan”. He was of the view that Business should be totally based on the customer needs, and marketers have to be customer oriented rather than being producer oriented. He suggested to create a dynamic footwear industry, which cannot be possible without knowing the international market needs, aesthetics and comfort.

Adding to the discussion, the PFMA Secretary General Liaqat Ali Qamar asked about the opportunities available in China and how Pak-China Joint Chamber could be helpful in expanding exports of footwear in Chinese market. He said that seeking the demand of something unique and different in market, Pakistani traditional footwear designs could be modified and exported to China and other potent markets.

He said that Pakistani Tanning Industry is well established and produces high quality finished leather from hides as well as skins. He informed that the footwear industry in Pakistan spares no efforts to maintain highest quality in its production which has helped retain consumer confidence. All raw materials, ingredients and chemicals undergo analysis and physical tests in accredited laboratories, he said.

PFMA Executive Committee member Javed Iqbal Siddiqui suggested that government should increase export of leather products by rationalizing tariffs and import of eco-friendly chemicals. He said that high cost of various inputs, especially utilities and taxes, make the country’s products uncompetitive in the international market.

Both the parties jointly agreed that combined efforts should be made towards the value-added finished goods of leather rather than exporting resources in raw form and urged the government to ban export of hides and semi-tanned leather or levy a 25 per cent duty on export of semi-finished and finished leather.

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Turkish companies take part in Greek shipping fair

ATHENS, 11.06.2016, Anadolu Agency – An international shipping fair took place in Athens this week with the participation of 45 Turkish companies.

The international shipping show, Posidonia 2016, held every two years in Athens ended Friday. Greece holds the second largest commercial fleet in the European Union and one of the largest in the world.

The unfavorable conditions of the Greek economy as of late have reportedly not been an obstacle for Turkish businessmen in the shipping Industry.

Pamir Ozer and Kassapi Anna Maria, manager at the newly established office in Athens of the Istanbul Ship Supplier Marketing and Trading CO. Ltd, told Anadolu Agency: “We see this as a big opportunity; the Greek market is promising we think and this is why decided to open up a branch of our mother company in Athens.”

Nikolaos Syrios, a Greek national living and working in Istanbul, sees Greek-Turkish cooperation in the shipping industry as promising.

“The common ‘lake’ we have, which is the Aegean Sea, helps the two countries to come even closer when it comes to the shipping industry.

“The crisis has somehow helped the two countries to come closer as several Turkish companies have shown interest in Greek marinas,” he says. “Turkish shipping companies’ employ several Greeks because of their long experience in the market and their know-how of the industry.”

“It is estimated that around 120 Greek ships visit the Turkish shipyards per year. Something that is positive for the Turkish market but unfortunate for the Greek. However, the circumstances have forced the Greek ship-owners to do so.”

According to the event organizers, participation in Posidonia 2016 increased 14 percent from two years ago. The event recorded a total 22,000 visiting professionals and 1,800 exhibitors from 90 countries.

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Turkish Airlines to start new route to Romania

ANKARA, 10.06.2016 Anadolu Agency – Turkish Airlines, Turkey’s flag carrier, next month will add a new destination in Romania to its direct service from Istanbul, the airline said in a statement on Friday. Service to Cluj, a city in Romania’s northwest, will run four times a week from Tuesday, July 12.

The new destination brings the airline’s total number of destinations in Romania to three, the statement said.

“With existing services to Bucharest and Constanta, Turkish Airlines adds flights to Cluj, one of the most important academic, cultural, and industrial cities in Romania, as its third destination,” the statement said.

Introductory fares will start at $129 from Istanbul to Cluj and 129 euros, including taxes and fees, for travelers heading to Turkey.

“Additionally, for the first 6 months of operation to the new destinations, there is a special offer for Turkish Airlines frequent flyer program Miles&Smiles members, with a 25 percent reduction in the miles needed to redeem either award tickets or upgrades,” the statement said.

The flag carrier flies to more countries than any other airline, with 323 aircraft flying to 289 destinations worldwide, 240 international and 49 domestic, the statement added.

Harvard Business School recently conducted a study of Turkish Airlines’ transformation from a regional actor to a global powerhouse in the international aviation industry and its fast and profitable growth in the sector.

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Islamic Relief launches Iftar project in Pakistan

Islamabad (IINA), 06 Jun 2016 – Pakistan’s Regional Office of the International Islamic Relief Organization-Saudi Arabia (IIROSA) inaugurated its annual iftar (breakfast) project through the distribution of Ramadan food baskets to tens of thousands of needy people across Pakistan.

This came at a ceremony held Sunday at the Regional Office of IIROSA and the Muslim World League (MWL) in Islamabad, in the attendance of Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Abdullah bin Marzouq Al-Zahrani and Deputy Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, as well as a number of officials in the government of Pakistan and relief organizations operating in the country.

Ambassador Al-Zahrani explained that the iftar program is one of the annual projects implemented by IIROSA every year with the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan to help the needy Pakistanis, according to Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

“These programs and the other humanitarian activities come from the country of goodness and in the month of goodness, where charity work remains at the forefront of the works provided by Saudi Arabia,” Al-Zahrani said.

He thanked IIROSA for its efforts in Pakistan and the implementation of several programs for relief and providing care for orphans and needy families.

The ambassador stressed that what is provided by Saudi Arabia’s relief organizations comes as a continuation of the Kingdom’s position in support for the government and people of Pakistan, and it comes out of sensing the religious, moral and humanitarian duty, to which the Kingdom is committed in helping countries and peoples in need.

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Tunisia wins $500 million loan guarantees to boost economy

Tunis (IINA), 04 Jun 2016 – Tunisia has reached a deal with the United States for $500 million in loan guarantees to boost the North African country’s struggling economy, the Associated Press reported.

Tunisian Finance Minister Slim Chaker signed the deal Friday with US Ambassador Daniel Rubinstein. It will allow Tunisia to borrow at interest rates of 2 percent instead of 6 or 7 percent, Chaker told reporters. It’s the third such accord with the US in recent years and comes after meetings between US President Barack Obama and Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi aimed at encouraging economic reforms and investment in Tunisia. Tunisia is the only country to have emerged from Arab Spring uprisings with a vibrant democracy but is struggling with high youth unemployment and a stagnant economy.

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Bahrain Chamber of Commerce participates in Moscow Halal Forum

Manama (IINA), 07 Jun 2016 – The Food and Agriculture Sector Committee of Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), headed by board member Khalid Al Amin, participated in the Islamic Business Forum/Moscow Halal Expo held in the Russian capital of Moscow.

Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported that the forum was attended by representatives of Islamic banks and halal food from over 30 countries, and shed light on a number of key topics including the unified halal standard, means of improving the quality of halal food, facilitating halal food access to all Islamic states, in addition to enhancing export and import of halal food.

Al Amin stressed on the prominent standing of the event, which constitutes an invaluable opportunity to promote the Kingdom of Bahrain as an investment destination, and highlight its unique business environment.

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OIC, Turkish foundation implement Ramadan projects in Gaza

Gaza Strip, (IINA), 09 Jun 2016 – The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in cooperation with Turkey, organized a collective iftar meal on the first day of Ramadan for 1,000 orphans in the Gaza Strip.

The OIC oversaw the distribution of food parcels as well as the opening of a water well in Al-Mughraqa town in Gaza Strip, which will serve around 7,000 beneficiaries. Turkiye Diyanet Foundation funded the projects.

Moreover, the organization’s office in Gaza received an 18-member delegation from the Foundation, headed by Mustafa Tutkun, where they reviewed a special film on the humanitarian situation in the region.

The OIC office praised Tutkun and his accompanying delegation for their efforts, and it expressed hopes to increase cooperation between the two organizations.

On its part, the Turkish delegation thanked the OIC office for the well-organized and professional handling of the iftar initiative.

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Saudi Arabia bans work under sun during summer

Jeddah, (IINA), 01 Jun 2016 – Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labor and Social Development has announced that employers must ensure that their workers stay out of sun between 12 pm and 3 pm starting from June 15 to September 15, Arab News reported.

Fahad bin Abdullah Al-Awaidi, the undersecretary for inspections and improvement of work environment at the ministry, said that only oil and gas workers are exempted, but measures must be taken to protect them.

He said that the ministry was trying to make the work environment safe, and prevent injuries and accidents that can affect productivity.

Some areas that experience low temperatures would also be exempted. There would be coordination with the secretariats of various regions to check on weather conditions, he said.

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Qatar-based agency donates $4.6 million for Gaza school generators

Gaza Strip, (IINA) – Forty-three UNRWA schools across the Gaza Strip will install new electric generators after receiving a contribution of a $4.6 million from the Qatar-based Al-Fakhoora, a program of the ‘Education Above All’ foundation, WAM reported Monday.

“The old generators at these schools were overused to provide power to the schools during education activities and during the 2014 summer hostilities, when schools were turned into designated collective shelters”, explained UNRWA Electronic Engineer Emad Abu Marasa.

The installation of these generators will enhance and support the educational environment for 44,377 Palestinian refugee students at these schools.

The generators are expected to mitigate the impact of frequent power outages, which in April lasted up to 20 hours a day.

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Bandung Institute to hold Indonesia cyber camp 2016

Bandung, W. Java (ANTARA News), 10 June 2016 – The Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) will be holding the Indonesia Cyberkids Camp (ICC) 2016 in Sumedang, West Java, on July 2016.

“The program will be held in three phases. The ICC will select the best kids to be in the Indonesian delegation in the ASEAN Cyberkids Camp (ACC) that will be held from July 29-31, 2016,” the Chairman of ICC 2016, Yusep Rosmansyah, said here on Thursday.

In the ICC, the participants will learn animation, games and computer application programs independently, based on certain themes using Scrath 1.4 programming software for kids.

According to Yusep, the program emphasizes the importance of studying and applying the 21st Century Skills for kids and will also prevent them from falling a prey to cyber crimes.

The 21st Century Skills are aimed at building creativity and innovation, critical thinking and ability to solve problems, he pointed out.

Yusep added that communication and collaboration are the important skills and participants will compete in these in the ASEAN Cyberkids Camp 2016. “The works should have original voice, music and words,” he noted.

“We are now heading to global citizenship world. Integrity and honesty is very important capital to face the era. We have to instill these attitudes to the kids as early as possible,” Yusep stated.

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Papua provincial government to host international conference on ecotourism

Jayapura (ANTARA News) 07 June 2016 – The Papua provincial government will host an international conference on biodiversity, ecotourism and the creative economy from September 7 to September 10, 2016 in Papua, which is well-known as the home of the Bird of Paradise.

Head of Papua Provinces Environmental Management Agency Noak Kapisa said on Tuesday that the conference is aimed at evaluating the potential of biodiversity and ecotourism in Papua.

“In addition, the conference is also aimed at promoting ecosystem services and culture as assets of ecotourism, as well as driving the creative economy based upon biodiversity and ecotourism to support the welfare of the indigenous people of Papua,” he stated here.

According to Noak, through the conference Papua will display its advances in promoting a sustainable economy.

“The potential of biodiversity and ecosystem services in Papua is the basis for the development of increased prosperity for Papua natives (OAP),” he emphasized.

He added that Papuas potential needs to be assessed, managed and packaged in order to be promoted through creative economic development and ecotourism to maintain the dignity and quality of life for the local people.

“It is also meant to eradicate poverty, ignorance, backwardness, isolation, marginalization, injustice and death,” he said.

He added that the right policy is required for the development of Papua, so that there will be no missteps in the development process of Papua, which would be detrimental in the future.

The international conference of biodiversity and ecotourism was planned to be carried out with seminars and exhibitions which would be located at the office of Papuas governor and Cenderawasih Gymnasium.

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AirAsia Offers 3 Mln Promo Seats To All Destinations

KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 (NNN-Bernama) — AirAsia is giving away up to three million promotional seats in its latest Free Seats campaign across its entire short- and long-haul network.

Starting from a base fare of RM0, excluding taxes and fees, guests can fly to any of the more than 120 destinations in 24 countries served by AirAsia and AirAsia X, the low-cost carrier said in a statement.

The promotional seats are available for booking from June 13-19, 2016 for the travel period Jan 4 to Aug 21, 2017 on AirAsia.com and mobile app.

AirAsia Group Chief Commercial Officer Siegtraund Teh said it was the perfect opportunity to explore its extensive network, which has been made all the more exciting with the addition of Shantou, Auckland, Mauritius and Tehran.

“We have also connected Johor Baharu to Guangzhou and Hat Yai, as well as Penang to Yangon, in addition to increased flights from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Osaka, Sapporo, Beijing, Shanghai, and Taipei,” he said.

In addition, guests on AirAsia X flights can enjoy a discount on its award-winning Premium Flatbed product, with prices starting from only RM799 one way.

For AirAsia’s latest promotions and activities, visit Twitter (twitter.com/AirAsia) and Facebook (facebook.com/AirAsia).

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People Need To Unite To Ensure Malaysia Shines In Global Economy – Rafidah

KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 (NNN-Bernama) –- Former international trade and industry minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz has called on the people to unite and work together towards ensuring that the country casts a bright light on the global economic radar screen.

She said the country had come thus far upon its journey as a developing nation, hence maintaining great credibility and integrity was crucial going forward.

“We’d planned to become a developed nation by 2020, (but) we have issues that (still) have to be resolved.

“We came from a state of very low development. We’ve advanced so far. Let’s not spoil this by having extraneous matters creep in,” she said on Astro Awani’s ‘Obviously Harith Iskander’ Saturday night.

Rafidah, who is also AirAsia X Bhd chairman, said the people should not politicise religious, racial and educational matters as it could lead to anxiety, divisiveness and fractious relationship.

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AirAsia To Promote KLIA2 As Asian Low-Cost Hub

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia June 9 (NNN-Bernama) — AirAsia has launched a branding campaign to promote KLIA2 as the Asian Low-Cost Hub, a one-stop centre to anywhere in

Asia, Group Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes said today.

“We are also going to start calling KLIA2 as LCCT2 (Low Cost Carrier Terminal). So, the world will know the best value fares are in LCCT2, to connect you globally,” he said on micro-blogging site, twitter.

AirAsia and AirAsia X are the biggest airline operators at KLIA2. Other airlines that have a presence there are Cebu Pacific Air of the Philippines, Singapore’s Tiger Air, Lion Air (Indonesia) and JetStar (Australia).

KLIA2 was built to cater for the explosive growth in the low-cost travel industry and can accommodate 45 million passengers annually.

The KLIA2 is designed and built with a bigger capacity and superior facilities, replacing the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT), which had capacity constraints and growth limitations.

Yesterday, Fernandes also announced that AirAsia has started its roadshow, “First roadshow for the year. Starting in Malaysia.”

He said the next destination was the United Kingdom.

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MENA ICT Forum To Be Held In Jordan November

AMMAN, June 12 (NNN-Petra)–The Middle East and North Africa Information and Communications Technology (MENA ICT) will be held at the King Hussein Business Part during November 9-10.

The Information Technology Association of Jordan – Intaj said in press release that this year’s forum will be held under the theme “Digitizing the Economy”, adding that the Forum focuses on the various aspects of how disruptive technologies impact numerous industries and sectors that are vital in the MENA region’s economies.

The forum is the ideal platform for c-suit business executives, governments, policy makers, non-profit executives, investors and financers, entrepreneurs, ICT professionals, enthusiasts, and hobbyists to lean, experience, participate, engage, and establish vision about the latest developments in their industries and how they can benefit their business conduct.

The event has been hosted by the Information and Communications Technology Association – Jordan (int@j) each other year since 2002, and transformed from a local conference Jordan ICT Forum) into the MENA region’s most significant gathering of ICT experts, decision makers, and industry players.

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Bangladesh’s Largest-Ever ICT Project Connects 20,000 Govt Offices

DHAKA, Bangladesh June 9 (NNN-Xinhua) — The Bangladeshi government in collaboration with China Machinery Engineering Corporation ( CMEC) has implemented the country’s largest-ever ICT project which brought nearly 20,000 government offices across the country under a nationwide connectivity.

Bangladesh’s highest economic policy-making body on July 3, 2013 approved the China-financed 13.33 billion taka project titled “National ICT Infra-Network for Bangladesh Government Phase-II (Info-Sarker)”.

After the meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladeshi Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal had then said the Chinese government will provide 10.87 billion taka as a loan for the project and the remaining expenditure would be borne by the government.

Project Director of Info-Sarkar Saiful Islam told Xinhua Tuesday that “the Info Sarker project is the main project for the building of digital Bangladesh. And this is the largest project of the ICT division as well as for the digital Bangladesh building.”

“We’ve done it in collaboration with CMEC,” he said, adding the Chinese government has extended all-out support in implementing the project.

“And we have successfully completed our project. As I mention it earlier that this the largest project of Bangladesh,” he said on the sidelines of the closing ceremony of the Info Sarker Project and inauguration of the Nation Wide Connectivity” held in Dhaka’s Pan Pacific Sonargaon hotel where, among others, ministers, senior government officials and representatives of the local and foreign companies including Huawei Technologies Bangladesh Limited, local Summit Communications, Fiber@Home and state-owned BTCL took part.

At the end of the project closing ceremony, Bangladeshi State Minister for Finance Abdul Mannan and State Minister for ICT Division Junaid Ahmed Palak handed over crests to companies including Huawei and China Machinery Engineering Corporation which supported to make the project a success.

They expressed the hope that China will continue its support to Bangladesh’s ICT infrastructure development initiatives and thanked specially China Machinery Engineering Corporation for its leading role in implementing the project.

“It’s a matter of immense pleasure for us to have the opportunity to work for such an important Bangladesh project,” said Xing Yunfei, general project manager of China Machinery Engineering Corporation.

“Hope in future we’ll have more opportunities to contribute to Bangladesh’s efforts to make a digital Bangladesh.”

Under the project, Islam said, 18,130 government offices at the district and sub-district levels have been brought under an ICT network, paving the way for the prime minister’s office and other ministries and departments in Dhaka to establish direct communications around the country.

Apart from this, he said, 800 video conferencing systems have also been installed at different offices, including the ministries, government departments and training centers.

“We have established a digital recovery center as well as huge things for this project. So it is a successful completion for the project,” Islam said.

“We are proceeding ahead to the digital Bangladesh. This is the dream of our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. And this is basically the dream of our father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He (Mujib) had a dream that he will build a Sonar Bangla (Golden Bengal). And this the final product of Sonar Bangla.” (1 U.S. dollar equals to 79 taka) — NNN-XINHUA

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Qatar’s 4th Ajyal Youth Film Festival To Be Held In Nov

DOHA, Qatar, June 8 (NNN-QNA) – The fourth edition of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival will be held from Nov 30 to Dec 5, here, the Doha Film Institute announced.

Ajyal, Arabic word for generations, brings people of all ages together, through screenings and events that inspire creative interaction and stimulate cinematic dialogue.

Youth participation is at the heart of the Festival and its jury programme, which provides young people between the ages of 8 and 21, with an opportunity to watch analyses and discuss films from all over the world, developing critical thinking, self-expression, and an appreciation of cinema.

The Cultural Village Foundation-Katara, continues as the Cultural Partner to the Festival for the fourth year running.

Occidental Petroleum Corporation will serve as a Principal Partner, marking its fourth year of partnership with the Institute, further building on its commitment to the local community by playing an active role in nurturing talent and strengthening Qatar’s cultural landscape.

Fatma Al Remaihi, Chief Executive Officer of the Doha Film Institute and Director of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, said, “We look forward to building on the successes of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival that proved that films can do more than just entertain; it can educate, inspire and bring communities together.”

He also said that, one of the key initiatives of the Doha Film Institute, in developing Arab voices, is fostering an understanding and appreciation of positive cinema among children and youth.

“This is reflected in the Ajyal Jurors, whereby youth from across the world, celebrate world cinema through dialogue and discussion, challenging their thought process and helping shape perceptions about issues affecting today’s youth.”– NNN-QNA

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Iran Not To Quit Until Removal Of All Banking, Financial Obstacles

TEHRAN, June 11, (NNN-IRNA) – Foreign Ministry Director General for political and international affairs Hamid Baeidinejad said that Iran will not quit until full implementation of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and removal of all banking and financial obstacles.

He wrote in his telegram channel on Friday that Iran has enough tools to impose pressure on the other side.

However, he urged to avoid ignoring the facts about very important achievements of continuation of enrichment and other important nuclear programs and to reduce goals of JCPOA just to economic interests and third that by devaluation of important economic and trade moves in the post-JCPOA era, which led to big opportunities and removal of tens of sanctions in the fields of transportation, shipping, insurance, airline , oil and petrochemicals export, manufacturing spare parts to say that outcomes of JCPOA was ‘ Nothing.’

Baeidinejad reminded that Iranians for many years in their rally and demonstrations to commemorate the anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution on day of February 10 had underlined their inalienable nuclear rights, so Iran did not accept resolutions issued by the UN Security Council and emphasized on continuation of resistance until restoring their inalienable rights.

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Afghanistan To Reach Power Self-Sufficiency In Five Years, Ministry

Kabul (BNA),June 12, 2016 – Signing great economic projects, including CASA-1000, TAPI, Chabahar, Salma Dam and Kajaki Dam would help bolster economy of the country.

The projects could also be called an effective step in this field and provide better economic ground for the Afghans and pave wide ground for economic development in the country, said the Ministry of Water and Energy, adding the projects would help have a self-sufficient country in power field in the next five years. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the technical extension of Kajaki dam was among other infrastructural projects inaugurated in the presence of the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Water and Energy said technical studies would be started in the next three months on the dam following which the projects’ practical works would be started soon. The company will install four turbines with the capacity of producing over 100 megawatt power on the dam with the capacity of 1.1 billion cubic meters, said the ministry. The dam, which is expected to be built on the Helmand River and its foundation had been set in 1332, would not only provide the Helmand and Kandahar province with enough electricity, but would tackle power need of the adjacent provinces, according to the ministry.

Afghanistan can produce 310,000 megawatt electricity from its internal sources, but it now only use an insufficient power of only 14 megawatts, 75 percent of which imported from other countries, the ministry added.

The Ministry of Water and Energy is focusing on the internal water sources to help the country gain self-sufficiency in the next five years, as the government of Afghanistan is making effort to develop the country’s economy. Experts also believed the government should fully invest on Afghanistan water source in order to help the country reach the apex of economic growth.

If the country could secure its needed power from its internal water sources, then the national incomes, investments and saving millions of dollar in power bill would also be secured. Since 2001, the government’s focus was on only controlling war and security of the country, and less had been for revitalization of the infrastructural projects, but the people of Afghanistan look optimistic, when see these projects are going towards activation, a move would help millions of unemployed, particularly the youth access to employment and prevented of leaving to country.

Hundreds of Afghans drowned in the Greece waters, while planning to reach European countries.

Economic projects would help anti-government fighters give up war and violence and join peace process, as the long lasting war have fatigued Afghanistan, particularly, the youth who are sometime easily recruited by the insurgents to take arm and involve in violence and insurgency.

Whenever, a tranquil life was secured in the country, the whole Afghans who are really interested in a developed situation, would never resort to violence but, go ahead towards further reconstruction of the country and taking part in the economic development.

Salma Dam – Afghan-Indian Friendship Dam, located in Chasht-e-Sharif district of Herat province and installed on the Harirod River, has recently been inaugurated by the two countries leaders and expected to provide some 42,000 households with power energy and irrigate an estimated 75,000 hectares of lands in the province.

The project as the president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said, has helped the Afghans reach their desire after long waiting. Under the government of national unity (UNG), the primary work of some 29 projects have so far been completed and expected to be inaugurated in the next two months, with the ministry of finance had been tasked by the president in personal to provide the budget.

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Baku, Istanbul will be linked by train at end of 2016

ANKARA, Anadolu Agency – By the end of 2016 Baku and Istanbul will be linked by a train line, Transportation, Maritime and Communication Minister Ahmet Arslan has vowed.

“Our goal is to finish the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad project by the end of this year. This project and the Marmaray (linking the two sides of Istanbul) has a big importance to our country. This project will be our primary focus,” Arslan told daily Hürriyet in an interview on June 9, underlining that Turkey’s railroad transportation capacity will be doubled with the completion of ongoing projects.

“If we finish it, hopefully railroad transportation will increase to 50 million tons annually. Currently it is around 27-28 million tons. That means it will increase twofold,” he added.

Arslan was appointed as the transport minister after his predecessor Binali Yıldırım was elected as the new leader of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and therefore as the new prime minister.

Renewing roads in the southeast

In his first interview, Arslan said one of the first issues his ministry will deal with will be undertaking road construction in six cities in southeastern Anatolia, where military operations have been ongoing against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), causing severe and widespread destruction.

Arslan said roads where the PKK has dug trenches and set up barricades will be re-constructed by the ministry, rather than local municipalities run by the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

“Bidding for the roads to be reconstructed with asphalt (with the help of the General Directorate of Highway) in the districts where trenches were dug and operations were staged has been completed and the work has begun. The work on Şırnak’s bidding is continuing,” he added.

Arslan stated that in total there are around 200 km of roads to be reconstructed, including in clash-hit districts such as Sur, Nusaybin, İdil, Cizre, Silopi, followed by Şırnak province.

‘Channel Istanbul’ project to commence

Vowing that preparatory work on the “Channel Istanbul” megaproject is ongoing, he said it would formally commence in the 65th government term. The controversial project involves building a Bosphorus-like channel across Istanbul for naval traffic from the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea, effectively turning the European side of Istanbul into an island.

“This is a big project and we have to start it in the 65th government term. The work on routing has reached the last phase and we will finalize it. The most important thing is to realize the financial support for these kinds of projects, which are considered to be built using the build-operate form,” Arslan said.

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Turkish Chief Rabbi attends iftar organised by Edirne Synagogue

EDİRNE – Anadolu Agency – The newly renovated Grand Synagogue in the northwestern province of Edirne hosted a public fast-breaking iftar meal, attended by Turkish Jews’ Chief Rabbi Rav İsak Haleva, on the evening of June 9.

The meal was hosted as an expression of solidarity between Muslims and Jews in Turkey.

Haleva told journalists before the meal that he had prayed in the historic synagogue, which recently underwent a renovation by the Edirne Directorate General of Foundations and reopened for service.

“Praying in this gorgeous building is an indicator showing how peacefully the Jewish community lives in Turkey,” he said.

“When one comes here, one feels at peace and feels joy. People feel the remnants of the Ottoman Empire … The state gave the Jewish community a right and this temple is the evidence of this (right),” added Haleva, who is a native of Edirne.

Last month, a Jewish wedding ceremony of Güneş Mitrani, 30, and Harun Esentürk, 34 was held at the synagogue, the first such ceremony in 41 years.

Built for Sephardic Jews taking refuge in the Ottoman Empire at the end of the 15th century, the newly renovated synagogue is thought to be Europe’s biggest and the world’s third biggest synagogue.

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Bird sanctuary in Turkey’s north enters World Heritage Provisional List

SAMSUN – Doğan News Agency – The Kızılırmak Delta Bird Sanctuary, one of Turkey’s most important wetlands, was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage Provisional List on June 9, a municipal official in the Black Sea province of Samsun has announced.

Samsun Assistant Secretary General Zennube Albayrak said they have made progress in their application for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List and were accepted to the provisional list after completing the first step of the process.

“Usually applicants are first taken to the provisional list. The knowledge of (the application’s) acceptance (to the provisional list) has come to us. There was first a process of file preparing for the application. We sent our files to the Environment and Urban Planning Ministry. After the preparation process, it was forwarded through the Foreign Affairs Ministry. About a month ago, we received the information that it was included in the provisional list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Now, it needs to be published. It takes a while for updates. Now the process has begun to take a place in the World Heritage List. In the following stages, the Kızılırmak Delta will be on the UNESCO World Heritage List,” Albayrak said.

Albayrak added that UNESCO was a worldwide constitution and the Kızılırmak Delta Bird Sanctuary was now on the agenda of worldwide maintainability and publicity.

“Processes regarding the protection of this site will be developed in time. There are poaching activities and illegal buildings within this site. Bird species are negatively affected by poaching activities. People can even cause fires while hunting. Now, we are creating a management plan. We have a committee and from now on entry and exit (to the sanctuary) will be under a scheme. Everyone will not be able go in and out with their vehicles freely. Only vehicles used by local people will have a transition right in a certain order. We have been preparing the plan as necessary, but together with UNESCO we will gain strength on this issue. UNESCO will support us and help our efforts on maintainability,” Albayrak said.

Under protection of the Ramsar Convention

The Kızılırmak Delta Bird Sanctuary has 21,700 hectares of wetland, 5,174 hectares of which is under protection as a Wildlife Development Area under the International Ramsar Convention. The delta is home to 20 lakes with large swampy and marshy areas. The Kızılırmak Delta Bird Sanctuary meets three of four criteria for the Inventory of Important Bird Areas, while 478 registered bird species have been recorded in the sanctuary, 350 of which are seen in the site and 140 of which have been found to reproduce there. Out of 24 endangered bird species in the world, 15 of them are seen and recorded in the Kızılırmak delta.

One of the most important features of the Kızılırmak Delta Bird Sanctuary is its different bird species which can be seen each month of the year.

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Algeria to facilitate visas to promote tourism

ALGIERS, Thursday, 09 June 2016 – Minister of National Planning, Tourism and Craft Industry Amar Ghoul announced Thursday in Algiers that the government has provided a series of new incentives with a view to attracting foreign tourists and promoting Algeria destination including visa granting facilitations.

“These facilities and measures include the organization of transport and accommodation, as well as visa granting facilitations so that to promote the Algeria destination and revive the sector as non-hydrocarbon resource,” Ghoul said in an inspection visit to several projects in Algiers, where he was accompanied by the Governor of Algiers Abdelkader Zoukh.

He said that his services recorded “positive indicators” including the increase in the number of foreign tourists, mainly in southern regions like Ghardaia, Biskra, El Oued and Bechar, in addition to interior and coastal towns, stressing that all these factors have encouraged the government to provide incentives to promote the Algeria destination internationally.

Besides, Ghoul affirmed that services of his sector “witnessed an important increase” in the number of foreigners who visited Algeria at the beginning of the year, which represents “a positive indicator” that encourage authorities to take the necessary measure to make Algeria “a tourist hub.”

In this regard, he recalled the cooperation between the Ministries of National Planning, Tourism and Craft Industry and Foreign Affairs to implement the plan set by public authorities to promote Algeria’s tourism potentials abroad through its embassies.

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Bouchouareb lays first stone of Africa’s largest textile complex in Relizane

RELIZANE, Algeria Press Service, 09 June 2016 –Minister of Industry and Mines Abdeslam Bouchouareb on Thursday laid the foundation stone of Africa’s largest textile complex, located at the industrial park of Sidi el Khettab (Relizane, 300 km west of Algiers). This project is part of Algerian-Turkish partnership.

The Minister said that this mega-complex is an achievement in the field of textile industry, not only for Relizane but for the whole country. “Relizane became an industrial center of excellence,” he added.

Bouchouareb has also said that once operational, this complex will produce variety of fabrics and 60% of production will be exported.

This project is part of President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika economic programme intended to reduce imports, diversify the national economy and contribute to the training local workforce.

This Africa’s largest project has been launched last year as part of a deal according to the rule 49/51 between the Algerian Industrial Clothing Group and Turkish Group “Taipa” specialized in weaving.

The mega-complex will be constructed in two phases by the Turkish company “Astay”. The first, spanning from 2015 to 2018, focuses on the building of eight units of weaving and dressmaking g and a business center.

A training school in weaving and sewing which can receive 400 trainees is also planned.

The second phase, which will be launched before the end of the first one from 2016 to 2020 will include the building of 10 other production plants for ready-to-wear clothing, accessories and synthetic fibers.

This DZD58 billion complex which completion time is set at 36 months will generate 25,000 jobs.

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Algeria to host World Conference On Good Governance In Sport

ALGER, 08 June 2016, Algeria Press Service – The world conference on” integrity, good governance and responsible sponsorship in sport,” will be held in Algeria in November, said Wednesday the secretary general of the International Federation of Sport Anticorruption (FIACS), Daly Ndiaye.

“It would be another opportunity for Algeria to show how a major world sporting event could be a showcase for the host country,” he added.

During its ordinary assembly on Wednesday, FIACS executive bureau choose Algeria owing to many factors (infrastructures, equipment, accommodations, transport and security).

“The Federation congratulates Police Chief, Major General Abdelghani Hamel for the quality of the organization of the ceremony of 15 May 2016 and invites him to be the president of the Conference,” added Daly Ndiaye.

“FIACS has also taken into consideration Algeria’s long-term commitments, under the leadership of President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika for the promotion of integrity in sport around the world,” he concluded.

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Development plans of three new Algerian cities adopted

ALGIERS Algeria Press Service, 11 June 2016- The development plans of the new cities of Bouinan (Blida), Boughezoul (Medea) and of Hassi Messaoud (Ouargla) have been adopted, according to the Official Journal N°31.

The adoption of these plans was the subject of three executive decrees, signed in May by Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal, in accordance with the provisions of the decree of February 2011 determining the conditions and methods of initiation, elaboration and adoption of the new city’s development plan.

In the new city of Hassi Messaoud, which will host 45,000 inhabitants in a first phase, all the development works have already been launched, including earthworks, road works and servicing of the city’s sites.

This future city, located in the zone of Oued El-Maraâ, will be constructed over a total surface area of 4,483 hectares in four residential districts, in addition to administrative, commercial, sporting and cultural facilities.

For the new city of Bouinan, located 35km south of Algiers, it stretches over Bouinan and its suburbs Amroussa, Mellaha and Hassainia over a surface area of 2,175 hectares.

The city, which is designed to include more than 52,000 housing units and five investment poles devoted to the commercial, health, leisure, industrial and service fields, is divided into two sectors of seven districts.

Concerning the new city of Boughezoul, it is the largest in terms of area as it stretches over 6,000 hectares.

Designed to host 350,000 inhabitants by 2030, the city is also destined to the promotion of scientific and technological activities and industrial productions, notably in ICTs, communication, biotechnologies and renewable energies.

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Bangladesh: Muslin industry to be revived

Dhaka, (BSS) 12 Jun 2016, State Minister for Textiles and Jute Mirza Azam Sunday said Bangladesh Handloom Board (BHB) has undertaken a programme to revive Muslin industry.

The programme will increase handloom productions and income of the weavers and improve their living standard as well, he said speaking at a meeting at Bangladesh Secretariat in the city.

Secretary of Textiles and Jute Ministry M.A. Quader Sarkar, BHB Chairman Jasim Uddin Ahmed and senior officials were present at the meeting.

The meeting was held to find out ways to revive muslin industry, said an official release.

The state minister also said that Tk 11.4 million was distributed among 371 weavers on June 2 to rehabilitate them, according to a news agency. – IH

echnology to weave famous muslin to be revived: Mirza Azam

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Postal cash card service to be launched in all Bangladesh post offices

SANGSAD BHABAN, June 12, 2016 (BSS) – The government has so far brought 1,374 post offices under postal cash card service and financial transactions are now taking place under the service, which will be extended to all post offices in phases.

“The postal cash card service has been expanded to 1,374 post offices throughout the country including district/upazila and divisional important sub-post offices,” State Minister of Post and Telecommunications Begum Tarana Halim said, while replying to a question from treasury bench member Kamal Ahmed Majumder in the Jatiya Sangsad today.

She said that the government has introduced mobile money order service in 2,750 post offices out of the total 9,886 offices for swift money transferring to clients across the country. Besides, the government has transformed the single-room rural post offices into two-room offices under the project “Construction of Rural Post Office on ICT Based,” she told the House.

“One room of the post offices would be used for regular work, while the other as E-centre (Electronic Centre), Tarana added.

She, however, said that the E-centre would provide Internet services and facilities, including remittance transfer, phone call by web camp, exams results and information about education, agriculture and health affairs.

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Astana Opera house gives charity concert for children

11.06.2016, Khabar Agency – Charity concert for special children was held at the Astana Opera House. More than 200 young people enjoyed the masterpieces of famous French composer Camille Saint-Saëns performed by the theater’s chamber orchestra conducted by Ruslan Baimurzin. The repertoire was compiled from the most striking works of classical music.

Tolegen Nazarbekov, Music Editor, Astana Opera House: “The aim was to familiarize children with symphonic music to instill love for classical music in them through the world of animals. They learn to listen to the music and visualize animals. There will be a video installation of animals on the wall to make it visually more interesting, it is shown through pictures. This is the fourth charity concert for children organized by the theatre. Some 750 children with limited abilities and children from large families were invited.

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QSTec Wins Best GCC Integrated Solar Company at London Stock Exchange

Doha, June 11 (QNA) – Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTec), a member of Qatar Foundation, was awarded the Best GCC Integrated Solar Company Award in recognition for its advancement along the solar value chain by World Finance magazine, a highly prestigious bi-monthly publication that comprehensively covers and analyzes the global financial industry, international business arena and the world economy. Dr. Khalid Klefeekh Al Hajri, Chairman and CEO, QSTec, was invited to attend the award ceremony, which was held at the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in London, United Kingdom.

“We would like to thank Qatar Foundation, SolarWorld, Qatar Development Bank, Centrotherm and our staff for the instrumental role they have played in all of our successes. This award serves as an affirmation that QSTec is realizing its vision to become a world leading integrated solar company through a strategy that has seen it expand from Doha right across the world,” said Dr. Al Hajri. “The consortium between QSTec, SolarWorld and Centrotherm was developed to share knowledge, utilize each other’s key strengths and improve costs and efficiencies.

To win this award based on our strategic direction for advancement is very encouraging for QSTec and the region’s solar industry.” In the post-award interviews held at the LSE, Dr. Al Hajri stated that the two greatest challenges for the renewable energy sector was the need to continually drive down costs to make renewables even more cost competitive with other forms of electricity production, and the need to make energy storage solutions more available, scalable and at a lower cost.

However, Dr. Al Hajri emphasized that the solution involved stakeholders uniting, in the interest of development, to overcome the fragmentation prevalent in the renewable energy industry and join together to address these key issues. “Our consortium has come together to address these issues head on and we urge others in the industry to collaborate together so we can progress much faster,” said Al Hajri.

Furthermore, Dr. Al Hajri explained that the success of QSTec in constructing the first of its kind polysilicon production facility in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, coupled with QSTec strategic investments, will play a major role in shaping the MENA regions’ solar industry. The facility will produce 8,000 metric tons of polysilicon and can expand along the value chain to produce over 45,000 tons of polysilicon a year. This development will enable the future production of 6.5 gigawatts of solar technologies each year.

World Finance has celebrated the successes of businesses, from a wide range of industries, in their yearly awards since 2007. Supported by a dedicated team of researchers in respective fields, judges, with over 230 collective years of financial and business journalism experience, determine winners amongst both smaller market participants, as well as larger firms, operating across the globe annually.

This is the second award won by QSTec in quick succession who, just a few weeks ago, picked up a Ta’atheer Award for Best CSR Integrated Business for its Shams Generation solar learning initiative.(QNA)

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Exhibition on modern nomadic life kicks off in Astana

Khabar Agency 10.06.2016 – Astana artists tried to find the answer for question of who the modern nomads are. Exhibition of art group ‘KADMIIQYZYL’ opened in Astana. This is their debut exhibition. Seven artists showed their photographs and quite unusual installations. This nest, according to the authors, symbolizes the home that people often leave in search of a happy life. Such people are called artists and modern nomads or neo-nomads.

Beibit Asemkul, Member Of Art Group ‘Kadmiiqyzyl’: “People always come from somewhere. This is the kind of migration. Many people came in Astana or moved to another country, this is global migration. This ‘Nest’ is our common home. This fabric, which brings together – they are different people, different cultures. We must take care of it, because we have to think about future generations. In works, the art group uses a variety of materials – fabric, coins, dry twigs, straw and even a wardrobe items.”

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UAE Ambassador to Canada hosts Iftar Banquet

OTTAWA, 11th June, 2016 (WAM) — Mohammed Saif Hilal Al Shehhi, UAE Ambassador to Canada, has hosted an Iftar banquet in honour of the Cabinet Office’s delegation currently visiting Canada.

A number of top officials of the Canadian Foreign Ministry were also present.

The delegation from the Prime Minister Office will hold meetings with Canadian officials to familiarise itself with the Canadian experience in the science and technology fields.

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UAE Embassy in Dhaka supervises distribution of dates in Bangladesh

DHAKA, 12th June, 2016 (WAM) — The UAE Embassy in Bangladesh has supervised the distribution of dates provided by the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, KF, on the occasion of the Holy Month of Ramadan.

The aid was distributed to charitable organisations, orphanages, poor areas, villages and mosques. Representatives of the charitable organisations and beneficiaries expressed thanks and appreciation to the UAE for this annual gesture, wishing further development for the UAE’s leadership and people.

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Emirates repays two bonds worth US$1.1 billion

DUBAI, 9th June, 2016 (WAM)–Emirates Airline announced today that it has repaid a bullet bond in full for the value of US$1 billion (AED 3.673 billion) on its maturity date of 8 June 2016.

The US$1 billion bullet bond was raised in 2011 to address Emirates’ working capital requirements. Emirates will also be repaying a bond totalling SGD 150 million later this month, which was originally raised in 2006. The airline is repaying both bonds from its own cash resources, reflecting its robust financial position.

H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group commented, “The repayment of these bonds illustrates Emirates’ continued ability to access international funding and garner support from financial markets and institutions. Emirates has a solid track record of meeting its financial commitments, underpinned by the airline’s overall financial strength. Tapping into our own cash reserves to repay these bonds is reflective of our strong financial position and prudent approach to liquidity.”

By the end of June 2016, Emirates will have repaid six bonds/sukuks (Islamic bonds) in full over the course of the last five years, totalling US$ 2.84 billion (AED 10.4 billion).

Sheikh Ahmed continued, “We will continue to work with the international financial community to deliver diverse, innovative sources of funding within an evenly spread financing portfolio for our business needs. Our strong business model and long-term financing strategy will position Emirates to unlock further growth with the delivery of 36 aircraft this financial year. ”

In 2015-16, Emirates raised US$7.3 billion (AED 26.9 billion) for aircraft financing. The airline has already received committed offers to finance deliveries for the current 2016-17 financial year.

Emirates closed the 2015-16 financial year with a healthy US$3.8 billion (AED 14.1 billion) cash flow from operating activities

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