Eight years fighting domestic violence with the power of theater28/02/2014 (Sabah – Turkey): Since 2006, the Düsevi theater group in Samsun has been using theater to draw attention to the widespread issue of violence against women in Turkey. The play is now one of the country’s longest running theater productions. The group’s play, titled “Siddetin Gerçek Yüzü: 3. Sayfa Kadın Hikayeleri” (The Real Face of Violence: 3rd Page Women’s Stories), has reached more than 40,000 people in the last eight years with performances in Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya and various south eastern provinces of Anatolia. “Unfortunately, domestic violence has been a major issue in the world and in our country as well. We wanted to contribute to this cause, and therefore we have performed the play for a long time; though I wish we didn’t have to,” the play’s director, Cem Kaynar, said…



Disney stars come alive in Abu Dhabi

28/02/2014 (Gulf News – UAE): It’s official. My three-year-old is a screamer. Just like how I imagined Justin Bieber fans exercise their lung power to show their undying love and devotion to their pop idol, my child had just two words in her mind: “Mickey and Minnie”. We were at the Disney Live! Mickey Music Festival at the du Forum at Yas Island on Thursday evening and my child was chanting their name feverishly. She wasn’t alone. Hundreds of children just had their favourite Disney cartoon characters on their mind that evening. And we know that children can often be the toughest, harshest critics. If they are bored, they will squirm in their seats and just turn their faces away. But there was no such awkward moment that evening. Every song, every fairytale and every dance move was lapped up by the young fans. The show kicked off 12 minutes after its scheduled 7pm start and began with a video projection that took us into the adrenaline-charged make-up rooms of Donald Duck, Goofy and Minnie Mouse…




Doha Fire: UAE leaders offer condolences; 9 dead, 32 injured

28/02/2014 (Emirates 24/7 – UAE): The President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent a cable of condolences to the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani over Thursday’s fire which resulted in a number of causalities. He also expressed his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and wished speedy recovery of those injured.  His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,  Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai ,and General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, have sent similar cables to the Emir of Qatar. The major fire that broke out near Landmark Mall in Doha, has been contained, according to Doha authorities…




IPO planned for 15% of NCB shares

assaf_0.jpg28/02/2014 (Arab News – KSA): The state-owned Public Investment Fund will sell its shares in the National Commercial Bank (NCB) worth 25 percent of the bank’s capital, said Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf. Higher authorities have approved the sale, which will be carried out in two phases, he said. PIF will sell 15 percent to citizens through an initial public offering in the first phase and it will allocate 10 percent to the Pension Fund in the second part, said the minister,  He said the Pension Fund’s share would become equal to that of the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI). Al-Assaf said the IPO plan would be presented to the Capital Market Authority in the third quarter of 2014. “NCB’s board of directors has implemented a comprehensive reform plan, which included restructuring, reduction of expenditures, increasing operational efficiency and strengthening the bank’s financial position,” he said…



Ministers in Egypt’s new cabinet

Ibrahim Mehleb28/02/2014 (Ahram Online – Egypt): In the process of forming a new cabinet, Egypt’s new premier Ibrahim Mehleb has been meeting on Friday candidates for ministerial posts, following the sudden resignation of ex-premier Hazem El-Beblawi on Monday. At least 18 ministers from the cabinet of outgoing prime minister Hazem El-Beblawi will retain their positions in the new cabinet. Nine new ministers have already been tentatively selected. Three positions are still undecided in the ministries of health, higher education, and justice. All ministers in the new cabinet are expected to be sworn in within a few days. The cabinet shuffle also saw 12 ministries merged to become six:  the ministries of trade and investment, planning and cooperation, youth and sports, higher education and scientific research, local and administrative development as well as transitional justice and house of representatives…




Turkish language frenzy in Afghanistan26/02/2014 (Daily Sabah – Turkey): With language courses opening all around the country, Turkish has become the most popular second language in Afghanistan. Recent Turkish investment projects and newly-established Turkish companies in Afghanistan have created employment opportunities for young professionals. Knowing Turkish is now a requirement for getting well paid, high ranking jobs at these companies. Another important reason for the rush to learn Turkish is the popularity of Turkish TV series and the desire to become acquainted with Turkish culture. The chance to win one of a number of scholarships offered by Turkish educational institutions is another important motivation for young Afghans to learn the language. According to Seyma Mubariz, who is attending a Turkish language course in the Sheberghan district, the Turkish TV series broadcast by Afghan media networks have garnered interest in Turkey and its culture…



Mesaieed Petchem Shares Soar In Qatar Debut, Far Exceed Estimates

26/02/2014 (Gulf Business – UAE): Shares in Qatar’s Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding Co soared 590 per cent on Wednesday in the country’s first stock market listing since 2010, far exceeding analysts’ estimates of fair value. The shares opened at 50.0 riyals, up from their initial public offer price of 10.0 riyals, and after half an hour of trade had climbed further to 69.00 riyals. Analysts’ valuations for the stock ranged between 18 and 21 riyals, Ahmed Shehada, head of trading at QNB Financial Services, said before the listing. Mesaieed, a unit of state-owned Qatar Petroleum (QP), raised 3.2 billion riyals ($880 million) in an IPO of about 26 per cent of its shares. The offer, which authorities said was heavily oversubscribed, was open only to Qatari investors; foreigners can buy up to 15 per cent of the firm from the market. Fund managers said Qatari retail investors who had not succeeded in buying enough of the shares during last month’s IPO were piling into the stock on Wednesday…



World’s largest flower formation unveiled at Yanbu

1393333161865779100.jpg26/02/2014 (Arab News – KSA): The world’s largest carpet formation of flowers made with a mind-boggling 15 million flowers and spread over an area of 10,712 sqm is the main attraction at the eighth Flower and Garden Festival organized by the Royal Commission for Yanbu at the Events Garden in Yanbu Industrial City.
The 12-day festival was inaugurated by the Executive President of the Royal Commission for Yanbu, Ala bin Abdullah Naseef, on Tuesday. The exhibition has on display 18 types of flowers in 26 colors.
Representative of the Guinness Book of World Records Rafi declared that the carpet formation of flowers is the largest of its kind in the world, Chairman of the festival’s Executive Committee Saleh Al-Zahrani said, adding that more than three million flowers were also distributed at the event.
Naseef went around the pavilions and was briefed by the director general of operations and maintenance of the Royal Commission Yusuf Al-Hujaili. About 70 companies from the Kingdom and abroad specializing in gardening, farming and agricultural tools are participating in the festival…