Religion and risk drive Islamic finance boom

24/11/2014 (The Peninsula – Qatar): KUWAIT CITY: When a Muslim cleric told Ahmad Salim that Shariah law forbids paying interest, he returned his days-old loan to the bank and turned to the fast-growing industry of Islamic finance.It is a market that has doubled in size over the past four years and is now worth more than $2 trillion (¤1.6 trillion), with demand forecast to soar to new heights.Salim returned a $35,000 loan just two days after he received it from a conventional bank in Kuwait. “A cleric told me it is not permissible under Islam to take loans from a non-Islamic bank because they charge interest,” the white-collar worker said.A few days later, he arranged for a loan from an Islamic bank after paying a $700 service charge.As well as the religious aspect, customers are attracted to Islamic finance by its flexibility, link to real economic activity and its ban on transactions involving speculation or uncertainty, experts say.To meet ever-increasing demand, Islamic finance has developed numerous products compliant with Shariah law, from loans for cars and houses to funding for major infrastructure projects…


Birth control emphasized

40367646905592292.jpg24/11/2014 (Arab News – KSA): Experts have emphasized the need for population control to preserve the economic resources and urged the Council of Senior Islamic Scholars and the Shoura Council to express their opinion on the sensitive issue.“People are afraid of talking about birth control in the Kingdom because of sensitivity and ignore the educational, economic and organizational dimensions of the issue,” said Fadhel Al-Bouainain, an economist.“Families have to apply birth control in order to reduce expenses and provide better education and facilities to their children,” he said while describing the Kingdom’s population growth as the highest in the world.He said birth control was essential to reduce pressure on the country’s infrastructure facilities, especially for health, education and housing. “Birth control should be a strategic objective,” he said…


British-Iranian woman released on $30,000 bail

24/11/2014 (Al Arabya News – UAE): Iranian-British Ghoncheh Ghavami, arrested and charged after attending a men-only volleyball game in Tehran, was released on an almost $30,000 bail Sunday, her mother said.“My daughter has insisted in the initial court that she is not guilty,” Sousan Moshtaghian was quoted as saying by the semi-official ISNA news agency, according to the Associated Press.”We are hopeful that she will be acquitted in the appeal court,” she added. Ghavami was detained in June after she defied strict gender-segregation regulations banning women from attending men’s sports matches.Ghavami will remain free until an appeals court rules on an initial decision that sentenced her to a year in prison for “propagating against the ruling system.”..


Music festival celebrating world cultures in Dubai is postponed

meydan_124/11/2014 (7Days  -UAE): The ASDAA World Cultures Music Festival which was due to take place in Dubai tomorrow, has been postponed.It was organised with the aim of celebrating Arabic music and traditions while promoting cultural collaborations between the Middle East, Asia and Western Countries.But the organisers posted a message on their Facebook page that the six-day festival at the Meydan Hotel, has been postponed.The message said: “Dear followers, we are sorry to announce you that due to administrative reasons out of our hands the festival will be postponed in a few weeks. We will inform you very soon about the new dates. Thanking you for your patience. The ASDAA team.”One user said: “Was really looking forward to this, am returning home on Thursday though…


Libya, economy likely to top Egypt’s visit to Italy, France: Experts

Sisi24/11/2014 (Ahram Online – Egypt): Developments in Egypt’s western neighbour Libya and economic relations are likely to top the agenda of a visit by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to Italy and France this week, say former diplomats.What is going on in Libya is possibly the most important issue Egypt will tackle in its visit, said former Egyptian envoy to Libya Hany Khallaf.”Since Italy is the European country most directly involved in Libyan affairs, Egypt is very likely to discuss future political arrangements in its visit, as the precarious security situation in its western neighbor greatly worries it.”After the ouster of long-time Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, political instability in the country has resulted in a fight for power, as an internationally recognised government in the country’s east which Egypt backs is fighting Islamist-backed factions which took over the capital earlier this year…

HMC holds expo for varsity students


16/11/2014 (The Peninsula – Qatar): DOHA: In an effort to encourage and attract more university students to the healthcare profession, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) recently held an exhibition for female students.‘Third Health Exhibition’ was organised by the Health Profession Awareness Committee (HAC) and Volunteers Program at HMC, in collaboration with Qatar University’s Medical Clinic.It was inaugurated by Balqees Al Khazraji, Head of HAC and the Volunteer Programs at HMC, Dr Khalid Al Ali, Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs at Qatar University, Dr Omar Zaghmout, Deputy Director of HMC’s Department of Medical Education and Dr Hessa Hashad, Head of Medical Clinic at Qatar University.Dr Al Khazraji said the exhibition was held as part of an ongoing collaboration between HMC and Qatar University to reinforce to students the importance of working in the public health field and to encourage them to follow a healthy lifestyle…



Obama and Davutoğlu agree that to defeat ISIS, Assad must be toppled16/11/2014 (Sabah – Turkey): ISTANBUL — Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has discussed the crisis in Syria and Iraq with U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday, according to the Turkish Prime Ministry.On the sidelines of the ninth meeting of the 2014 G20 summit in Australia’s eastern coastal city of Brisbane, the leaders discussed the recent developments in Syria and Iraq in view of the threat from the militant group ISIS. Davutoğlu had welcomed, in his Friday remarks in Brisbane, the media reports that U.S. President Barack Obama was asking his advisers to review their strategy Syria strategy.As the both leaders discussed the recent developments in Syria and Iraq, Obama and Davutoğlu agreed on the fact that the ISIS could not be defeated unless Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was toppled.The Turkish premier stressed that Turkey has long argued that an integrated strategy was needed to solve the Syrian crisis rather than a “point and selective strategy” like the airstrikes being conducted by the U.S.-led coalition in the Syrian town of Kobani, and throughout Syria and Iraq…

Mohammed meets Mena Forum participants

16/11/2014 (Emirates 24/7 – UAE): His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai met with a group of CEOs taking part in the Middle East & North Africa Forum (Mena 2014) which is being held in Atlantis Hotel and attended by over 300 entrepreneurs from 125 countries.Sheikh Mohammed welcomed the participants and wished them success for their forum and a pleasant stay in the UAE. He engaged in talks with them about topics on the forum’s agenda, covering educational, economic and investment issues, as well as workshops by international business leaders and CEOs.Present were Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai,  Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gargawi, Minister for Cabinet Affairs and Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman, Director General of Dubai Protocol and Hospitality Department…