31/12/2014 (Sabah – Turkey): The exhibition of the Arts of the Book and Calligraphy at Sakıp Sabancı Museum (SSM), which features over 200 works of well-known calligraphers and book artists from the 14th to the 20th century, consists of illuminated Qurans, prayer books, calligraphic compositions, albums and panels written by well-known calligraphers, illuminated official documents bearing the imperial cipher of the Ottoman sultans, as well as calligraphers’ tools. As the collections and archives of SSM have been transferred onto a digital platform, the rare manuscripts of Turkish and Islamic arts can be studied page by page. Visitors are able to access these applications with iPads given to them for use by the museum. SSM, which intends to bring the traditional arts into the present, includes original works of contemporary artists in its collections. In the new presentation of the collection, a calligraphic composition from 2005-2006, which makes a reference to Ahmet Oran’s writing exercises, welcomes the visitors. The 2009 production video by a renowned contemporary artists of Turkey, Kutluğ Ataman, which he created with a contemporary perspective, resembles symmetrical writing compositions of calligraphy called “aynalı.”…
31/12/2014 (Arab News – KSA): On behalf of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, Deputy Crown Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz presented the Princess Seetah Excellence Award for Social Work to the Ministry of Justice for its efforts in women’s empowerment.The award was received by the Minister of Justice Dr. Mohammed Al-Issa from Prince MuqrIn at a presentation in Riyadh this week at the second session of the award dubbed the “Empowerment of divorcees and widows: Socially and economically.” The ministry was recognized for its efforts in providing high-quality social services to relevant segments of women in society that would help them find solutions to social and family issues…
31/12/2014 (Anadolu Agency – Turkey): Ibrahim Caglar, the head of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce said that Turkish businesses expanded at reasonably healthy pace in 2014, in spite of geopolitical and economic hurdles.“The conflict between Ukraine and Russia, tensions in Iraq and Syria, both Turkey’s neighbors, are also affecting economic agenda. Despite these risks, Turkey has reduced its trade deficit. Besides, the similar picture is waiting for Turkey in 2015; the export-oriented manufacturing and diversity in foreign markets will strengthen our hand.” A look at Turkish mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in 2014 confirms Caglar’s observation. M&A targeting Turkish companies was valued at $9.6 billion up to the end of the third quarter of the year, according to statistics from MergerMarket released in September. There were 125 transactions, with eight more deals than in the same period in 2013. Deal value decreased, however, by 28.9 percent. The consumer sector showed a very high level of activity with 31 deals through the third quarter in 2014, exceeding every other annual total on Mergermarket record. Turkish companies have been energetically engaging in cross-border transaction this year, both inbound, for $39.9 billion and outbound for $71.4 billion. It is the fifth consecutive year that M&A has increased, Mergermarket said…
31/12/2014 (Alarabiya News – UAE): Tunisia’s 88-year-old Beji Caid Essebsi has been sworn in as president after landmark polls in the country.Essebsi won the race in December with 55.7% of the vote, against interim President Moncef Marzouki’s 44.3%.Unlike in previous presidential elections where ousted President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali persecuted his rivals, Tunisians this year were able to choose their favorite from a pool of 27 candidates.“This is the first time we reach a second round,” political analyst Noureddine Mbarki told Al Arabiya News. “The margin was little in the first round, and even the second round, 10% is the margin that we see in developed democratic countries.”Essebsi won 39.46% of the votes on the Nov. 23 election, followed by Marzouki with 33.43 %…
31/12/2014 (Ahram Online – Egypt): Egypt will begin work on phase two of the buffer zone on the Rafah-Gaza border next week, state news agency MENA reported Tuesday.North Sinai governor Abdel-Fattah Harhour said in a meeting with locals that eviction operations for the additional 500 metres to be added to the buffer zone will take place next week. He asked residents to report to the local council to file for compensation.Last week Harhour said that the government paid LE234 million in compensation to families in the 595 homes impacted by phase one of the buffer zone.He explained to Ahram Online that total compensation expenditures will reach as much as LE500 million after they compensate the remaining homes affected by the project…
21/12/2014 (Emirates 24/7 – UAE): The Arab Union of Electronic Media (AUEM) has honoured Director General of the Government of Dubai Media Office and Chairperson of Dubai Press Club, Mona Ghanem Al Marri, as the ‘Most Influential Arab Media Personality in 2014,’ in recognition of her contributions for the industry, including the Arab Media Forum.The AMF is organised annually by Dubai Press Club since 1999.The honouring ceremony was part of the Electronic Media Awards held on Saturday in Cairo, Egypt, wrapping up the 4th Arab Electronic Media Forum. The event attracted host of Egyptian and Arab media figures, writers and intellectuals.Mona Al Marri expressed her appreciation and gratitude for the Arab Union of Electronic Media and organisers of the Electronic Media Forum for electing her among Arab media icons. She said: “I am honoured to gain this appreciation in Cairo, the capital of Arab media. I would like to avail myself on this opportunity to convey to you greetings of UAE media community wishing this promising forum all the success”…
21/12/2014 (Arab News – KSA): ABU DHABI: Gulf countries on Sunday blamed “irresponsible” non-OPEC producers for a plunge in global crude prices, but voiced confidence that markets would rebound.World prices have fallen almost 50 percent since June, mainly due to a supply glut, the weak global economy and a strong US dollar.UAE energy minister Suhail Al-Mazrouei, in a clear reference to shale and sand oil output from North America and other emerging energy markets, attributed the price dive to “newcomers.”“One of the main causes is irresponsible production by some producers from outside the (OPEC) organization,” he told an energy forum in Abu Dhabi.The global oil market has become increasingly competitive in recent years with the surge in shale and sand oil production from countries outside the decades-old OPEC alliance…
21/12/2014 (Anadolu Agency – Turkey): At least 40 militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant were killed in airstrikes on Sunday by US-led international coalition forces in the western Iraqi province of Anbar.The commander responsible for operations in Anbar’s Al-Jazeera and Al-Badiyah regions, Major General Zia Kazim, told Anadolu Agency: “The strike was conducted on Sunday morning 220 kilometers west of Ramadi in the province of Anbar. The attack left 40 ISIL militants dead; 20 vehicles carrying heavy weapons were also destroyed.”Meanwhile, at least five civilians were killed and 21 others were wounded in two seperate bomb atacks in capital Baghdad.Kazim said the offensive against ISIL militants in Anbar came after “we received valuable information from the intelligence services.”Anbar police chief Kazim Mohammed al-Fahdawi said: “During the airstrike, ISIL militants tried to fight and the operations took approximately 2 hours and four ISIL militants were killed.”..