The 3rd phase of “I belong to” initiative held in Parma, Italy

I belong Logo26/06/2016 (Sana – Syria): Warsaw, SANA_ The third phase of “I Belong to” initiative was held Saturday in the Italian city of Parma, for the restoration of Syrian heritage sites that has been destroyed by terrorist organizations and their supporters namely the US and its agents in the region. In 2015, Tourism ministry launched the initiative to invest its national, cultural and religious icons through designing Syrian-themed tokens with historical and cultural indications and placing them in a number of foreign countries in coordination with the Syrian and friendly embassies, communities and organizations, while the revenues of the initiative will be used to support tourism sector and heritage sites in the country. Syrian Community, National Union of Syrian Students in Italy, European Front to Defend Syria, Italian SOLID organization and the Italian Right political Party participated in the forum where a Syrian tourism ministry-produced movie, on Syrian ruins, its humanitarian heritage and the destruction caused to them by terrorists of ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra, was screened at the forum…

The 3rd phase of “I belong to” initiative held in Parma, Italy



Festival to jazz up Istanbul

Laura Mvula26/06/2016 (Sabah – Turkey): Organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and sponsored by Garanti Bank for the past 19 years, the 23rd edition of the Istanbul Jazz Festival takes place between June 27 and July 25, hosting leading names from the world of jazz and stars of contemporary music in different venues around Istanbul. The festival welcomes over 200 Turkish and international musicians and gives music lovers in Istanbul the chance to see jazz legends in more than 50 concerts in 26 venues. The festival includes a wide range of jazz, funk, world music, blues and rock performances, with highlights such as the legendary Nile Rodgers and his group CHIC, as well as Damon Albarn, Joss Stone, Branford Marsalis, Kurt Elling, Kamasi Washington, Ernest Ranglin, Laura Mvula and Roy Hargrove…


US businessmen looking to invest in Saudi SMEs

26/06/2016 (Saudi Gazette – KSA): US businessmen are looking to invest in the Kingdom in accordance with Vision 2030, especially in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Vice President Business Development at US-Saudi Arabian Business Council David Callahan said at an interactive session with Saudi ministers here on Friday. He said that the US was interested in increasing the volume of investment in the Kingdom. US businessmen now want to fully engage in the Saudi market thanks to Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program 2020, added Callahan. Minister of Commerce and Investment Majid Al-Qassabi highlighted various aspects of Vision 2030, which focuses on partnership opportunities between the Saudi public and private sectors and corporate America…

US businessmen looking to invest in Saudi SMEs


Car bombing near Benghazi hospital kills 5

26/06/2016 (Arab News – KSA): BENGHAZI: A car bomb has gone off outside a hospital in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, killing five people and wounding 14, security and hospital officials said. Senior military official Brig-Gen. Abdul-Salam Al-Hassi blamed the late Friday attack outside the Jalaa hospital on militants. Mohammed Al-Zawy, an official at the hospital, confirmed that five people were killed and 14 wounded in the blast. He said the explosives-laden car was parked near the hospital’s outpatient entrance door. The car was parked in front of the entrance of the Al-Jalaa hospital, one of the two biggest in the city and where troops get treatment for injuries battling armed groups, including Daesh. A military source in Benghazi told AFP the explosion “was caused by a sticky bomb planted under a car parked in front of the hospital”. Friday’s attack was a grim reminder of the wave of car bombings and assassinations that wracked Benghazi after the nation’s 2011 civil war and the chaos and bloodletting that followed. Some 200 people were killed during the violence in Benghazi in 2012 alone…


Between holding elections and a referendum

26/06/2016 (Al Arabiya – UAE by Abdulrahman al-Rashed*): The difference between voting for an individual, such as a president, and holding a referendum is that the latter gives citizens the right to vote on major issues. Most democracies do not hold referendums because they think the public is not fully aware of the details and is thus not supposed to take decisions. This is why indirect democracies exist, i.e. people choose their leaders who decide what’s best on their behalf. When the rivals of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher confronted her and demanded her to take the people’s opinion regarding tax law – which stirred controversy and ignited protests – she angrily responded that people only vote once and not every day. This is the case in most countries as they rarely hold referendums unless in cases such as approving a new constitution. Germany only did it twice and so did Britain. In Switzerland, it’s enough for 50,000 people to sign a petition to demand holding a popular vote or a referendum and the parliament will be obliged to hold either within three months…

* Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the former General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel.


Egypt parliament gives go-ahead to Saudi King’s Sinai development programme

Salman 26/06/2016 (Ahram Online – Egypt): Egypt MPs approved in a plenary session on Sunday a presidential decree on a Saudi-Egyptian loan agreement – the King Salman Programme for the Development of Sinai – that targets development in the peninsula.The agreement, which was signed in Riyadh in March, provides Egypt with a $1.5 billion soft-term loan to help develop Sinai and buy Saudi oil products.”Half-a-million dollars from the loan will be allocated to developing Sinai in the form of building the King Salman University in El-Tor, funding agricultural and irrigation projects and upgrading North Sinai’s road network,” said a report by parliament’s Economic Affairs Committee. The remaining $1 billion will be earmarked for buying Saudi oil products, which “Egypt needs for development purposes.”The loan agreement was provisionally approved by parliament in the first week of June…


Zarif and Kerry to meet on sidelines of Oslo Forum 2016

12/06/2016 (Tehran Times – Iran): TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will be meeting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on the sidelines of Oslo Forum 2016. A possible discussion theme will be the banking challenge Iran has been dealing with after the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, formally known as the JCPOA. Tehran was expecting to reap economic benefits from the removal of sanctions. But foreign banks have given the country the cold shoulder, citing fears over falling foul of the U.S. fines over transactions with Iranian banks.Iran has accused the U.S. of getting in the way of trade with the country, saying Americans are paying lip service to ending the banking row.“Banks evidently view the risk of violating U.S. sanctions as too great,” Arnold Wallraff, head of the German government’s Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control, said in an interview.Also, Zarif is expected to object to the U.S. State Department’s annual report on global terrorist activity which put Iran on the list of countries supporting terrorism…


Yaşar Kemal’s novel adapted to theater

12/06/2016 (Hurriyet – Turkey): The 44th Istanbul Music Festival, organized by the Istanbul Foundation (IKSV), will on June 11 present the world premiere of “The Sea-Crossed Fisherman” by composer Michael Ellison. Celebrating Istanbul, its seas, and marine life, “The Sea-Crossed Fisherman,” adapted from Yaşar Kemal’s 1978 novel of the same name (Deniz Küstü), is a powerful lyrical and dramatic music theater that weaves Turkish traditional instruments into a contemporary musical and theatrical setting. Choreographed by Zeynep Tanbay, it will be on stage free-of-charge at Istanbul’s Süreyya Opera House on June 11 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. The pre-concert talk will be made by writer and poet Cevat Çapan on Kemal and “The Sea-Crossed Fisherman” novel. For the second free-of-charge event in the series, the Brassolist emsemble will be atFenerbahçe Park on June 11, performing a lively and colorful repertoire spanning jazz and folk music. On June 12, Zorlu PSM will host the musical “The Witch and The Maestro,” which opens the doors to the magical realm of music for children and takes them on a musical journey through an exciting and mischievous fairy tale, introducing them to a wide range of musical instruments…


Dubai’s residential market is still headed for oversupply

12/06/2016 (Gulf News – UAE): Dubai: Despite Dubai’s developers spreading out their new off-plan launches, work on their ongoing projects “remains steady” and will ensure the residential market is oversupplied until 2019 or so, according to a new report from Phidar Advisory. So much so, launched projects and those announced for completion within the next 10 years could add a further 120,000 units to the existing supply. “The benefit of this potential supply injection is more affordable and stable housing costs, a factor that can stabilise/reduce labor costs and support general business and economic growth,” the report adds. “Based on active construction projects, the three- and five-year demand CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) outpaces the supply CAGR, which will bring the market back to equilibrium.” (These projections do not include launched and announced projects for which construction has not commenced.)..