Iranian, Dutch shipbuilding companies ink MOU

28/10/2016 (Teheran Times – Iran): TEHRAN – Iran Ship Building and Offshore Industries Complex Company (ISOICO) and Dutch maritime group Royal IHC signed a memorandum of understanding on engineering and knowledge transfer as well as manufacturing and supplying of equipment. The MOU was signed on Wednesday in the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas, IRNA reported on Thursday.According to Hamid Rezaeeyan, the managing director of ISOICO, as of the implementation of Iran’s nuclear deal in January 2016, Iran has been inundated with European and Asian countries’ offers who wish to expand cooperation with the country in the shipbuilding sector and the Netherlands stands among them. Expressing his company’s tendency towards utilizing Dutch companies’ expertise in this regard, the ISOICO head added that Dutch companies are welcomed in Iran to invest in the shipbuilding sector and to transfer modern know-how into the Islamic republic…

http://www.tehrantimes.com/news/407766/Iranian-Dutch-shipbuilding-companies-ink-MOU

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The black eunuchs of the Ottoman Empire

A eunuch of the Ottoman sultan. Photograph by Pascal Sebah, 1870s. 28/10/2016 (Hurriyet – Turkey): There are few more exotic subjects than the eunuchs of the Ottoman Empire. But despite being key centers of power for over three centuries, Ottoman court eunuchs remain something of an enigma. “The Black Eunuchs of the Ottoman Empire” by University of Northern Colorado professor George Junne is pioneering work that casts light on a fascinating but shady subject. It includes plenty of stomach-churning descriptions of the castration process, but also addresses broader issues of slavery, Ottoman power dynamics and cultural inheritance. Reading about this strange world of black and white eunuchs, court mutes, dwarf eunuchs, and dwarf concubine mutes is also a good reminder of what a bizarrely different world it was at the heart of Istanbul until just 100 years ago.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/the-black-eunuchs-of-the-ottoman-empire.aspx?pageID=238&nID=105388&NewsCatID=474

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Saudi exhibition allows Arab artists their own space

28/10/2016 (Arab News – KSA): JEDDAH: “New Art in the Middle East, Chapter I,” an exhibition of 11 Arab artists from the Middle East and Saudi Arabia, was opened by Princess Reem Al-Faisal at R-Gallery on Tuesday. It will run for a whole month. Princess Reem Al-Faisal the founder of R-Gallery with her co-partner Mona Abdullah Haraghi, set up the exhibition of Middle East artists with the aim of giving them space, so they do not have to follow the forced standard set by Western media. Princess Reem herself is an artist and owned a gallery in the UAE, “Empty Quarter,” only for photography. This is her second initiative to give space to Arab artists to express themselves freely. “Our project is not pretentious. We have no plans to contribute to promoting local and regional art and artists, and at the same time put on display international art in the Kingdom…

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1003476/saudi-arabia

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Saudi Arabia ‘ready’ to fight Daesh in Syria’s Raqqa

Saudi Arabia ‘ready’ to fight Daesh in Syria’s Raqqa28/10/2016 (Anadolu Agency – Turkey): Saudi Arabia is ready — if asked — to take part in a planned military operation to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa from the Daesh terrorist group, a high-ranking Saudi military officer has said. Speaking to the Al-Arabiya television channel on Thursday evening, Brigadier-General Ahmed al-Asiri noted that, since September of 2014, Saudi Arabian warplanes had carried out more than 200 airstrikes against Daesh targets — he did not specify where — as part of a U.S.-led international coalition established to fight the terrorist group. Al-Asiri went on to stress, however, that Saudi Arabia was not taking part in the ongoing military operation to retake Iraq’s northern city of Mosul. On Oct. 17, the Iraqi army — backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes — launched a wide-ranging offensive to retake Mosul, Daesh’s last stronghold in northern Iraq…

http://aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/saudi-arabia-ready-to-fight-daesh-in-syria-s-raqqa/674154

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Beginning of a ‘new era’ in Lebanon? Friday, 28 October 2016

28/10/2016 (Al Arabiya News – UAE by Nayla Tueni*): Last week, Future Movement leader and MP Saad Hariri endorsed Christian leader Michel Aoun for Lebanon’s presidency. The move has sparked reactions from various quarters. In the wake of this development, we must carefully observe the activities of Ashraf Rifi, who resigned as justice minister. We must also take into account the views of those who oppose this endorsement even though they may be few in number. It is important to do this if we seek to address the worries of some people and the rejections of others voiced through social networking websites. It’s true that these are virtual world campaigns that may not have much to do with reality on the ground. In other words, these voices of dissent may not spill on to the streets but some questions are legitimate and express the views of a wide range of people. What’s interesting is that these objections do not represent what was once called the March 14 coalition as the fiercest objection came from the other party, to what was once called the March 8 coalition…

*Nayla Tueni is one of the few elected female politicians in Lebanon and of the two youngest.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2016/10/28/Beginning-of-a-new-era-in-Lebanon-.html

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Hezbollah ally set to become president of Lebanon

Lebanon28/10/2016 (Ahram Online – Egypt): Barring any surprises, a former Lebanese general and a strong ally of the militant Hezbollah group is poised to be elected Lebanon’s president next week, formally ending a two-year vacuum in the country’s top post and a political crisis that has paralyzed the troubled Mideast nation. Michel Aoun, an 81-year-old veteran Christian leader, will likely be chosen by Parliament on Monday as part of a deal that’s expected to give not just a boost for Hezbollah but also to the Shia group’s ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad. The strong-willed Maronite Catholic general notoriously led a “war of liberation” against the Syrian army in Lebanon in 1989-90, but reconciled with the Syrian leadership in 2005 after Syria pulled out of Lebanon. He has been a strong supporter of Hezbollah’s involvement on the side of Assad in the neighboring country’s civil war, now in its sixth year…

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/246804/World/Region/Hezbollah-ally-set-to-become-president-of-Lebanon.aspx

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Rouhani: Iran is kinder than what has been said

22/10/2016 (Tehran Times): TEHRAN – President Hassan Rouhani has said Iran wants peaceful coexistence with the countries in the region and the larger world, noting Iran is “kinder” than what has been said.Addressing a ceremony on the National Exports Day on Thursday, Rouhani said Iran’s relations with the world should be based on constructive interactions.He noted that expanding relations with the world would not be successful through disputes.“Iran is shouting with a loud voice that it is kinder than has been introduced to the world,” Rouhani said. He also said that the country should be more hospitable to tourists, so that businesspeople and entrepreneurs could travel to and from Iran without difficulty. Rouhani added that the government has been attempting to remove obstacles on the way of exporters, entrepreneurs, and businessperson on their banking relations. He further said that his government puts great emphasis on combating Iranophobia. The president further underlined the country’s openness to foreign investors and businessmen. “We should prepare the conditions for economic, scientific, and technological relations with the world,” Rouhani said…

http://www.tehrantimes.com/news/407536/Rouhani-Iran-is-kinder-than-what-has-been-said

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Over 3,700 startups launched in Turkey in one month

22/10/2016 (Hurriyet – Turkey): More than 3,700 new businesses were established in September, according to a report released by the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) on Oct. 21. But the number of start-ups has declined by 29.03 percent since September 2015, falling from 5,219 to 3,704, the union said. During the same period, 832 companies went out of business, a 21.99 percent rise compared to the decline in September 2015. According to the report, the number of newly established businesses in the first nine months of 2016 fell by 3.89 percent to 48,051 over the same period last year. The report also said 259 foreign-partnered companies were established in September, of which 119 were founded directly by Syrians or with their partnership…

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/over-3700-startups-launched-in-turkey-in-one-month.aspx?pageID=238&nID=105235&NewsCatID=344

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How a young woman is helping Palestinian artists

22/10/2016 (Gulf News – UAE): Rawan Al Asaad from Palestine is a semifinalist in “The Queen”, an initiative of the Arabian Media Network (AMN) in Cairo. The new TV show aims to recognise the social responsibility and creativity of ordinary Arab women and crown “the queens” for their proactive work that benefits their communities. I meet Al Asaad at a coffee shop in Ramallah. She greets me with a charming smile, and her warm personality and bountiful energy can’t be easily missed. So how did she learn of the programme? “I came across this TV advertisement asking potential contestants to apply. I sent a video explaining my initiative in Palestine. After two weeks I was selected to represent Palestine. There were 30,000 applicants in all, and now I am a semifinalist with 30 others,” she says. “This is vital for Palestine’s culture of art which promotes peaceful existence and resistance.”..

http://gulfnews.com/culture/people/how-a-young-woman-is-helping-palestinian-artists-1.1915186

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