Electricity crisis disrupts livelihood in Gaza Strip

EPA Photo28/05/2017 (Sabah – Turkey): The power authority in the Gaza Strip warned that the ongoing electricity shortages in the blockaded Palestinian territory would have grave consequences. “The crisis is affecting all aspects of livelihood in Gaza,” Fathi al-Sheikh Khalil, the authority’s deputy head, said during a press conference Sunday. He stated that the cuts obstruct water supplies, sewage pumps and disrupt health services to patients. “Israel is fully responsible for the ongoing electricity crisis in Gaza,” he said, calling on Israel to fulfill the strip’s electric needs. According to Khalil, Gaza’s power authority agreed to all conditions set by the Ramallah-based government to resupply the fuel needed to operate the strip’s power plant…



Arab TV series showcases untold stories of ISIL women

28/05/2017 (Hurriyet – Turkey): They are mothers, daughters, wives and suicide bombers: an Arab television drama timed for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan tells the untold stories of women and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Inspired by true events, “Black Crows” airs over Ramadan, prime time for television viewers in the Arab world and it is the first television series depicting life under ISIL rule in Syria and Iraq. Produced by Saudi Arabia’s MBC Group, the series focuses on the stories of the women who volunteer with or are forced to join the jihadist group and “the fear that shapes” their relationships.  “We wanted to tell real stories that would both touch people and reflect the ugly reality of terrorism,” MBC spokesman Mazen Hayek said at the network’s Dubai headquarters…



Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque wins Traveller’s Choice Award for second year in a row

28/05/2017 (Emirates 24/7 – UAE): Once again, the UAE adds another outstanding achievement to its vast array of exceptional accomplishments following the announcement of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque ranking as the world’s second favourite landmark, winning Trip Advisors Traveller’s Choice Award of 2017. Trip Advisor, the world’s largest travel site, bases the ranking of its Traveller’s Choice Award on the opinions, ratings and comments of millions of travellers and visitors of architectural, and historic sites around the world, and is regarded as one of the most prestigious awards in the world. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre’s administration attributed this achievement to several reasons, the most significant of which was the support of the nation’s wise leadership, which led to the mosque becoming one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the UAE. The magnificence of its architecture and the exquisiteness of its ornamentation further enhances its splendour, so does its religious, and tolerant role in consolidating the notions of coexistence and cross-cultural communication, making it one of the most preferred global destinations throughout the year…



Has Trump brought a peace deal any closer?

28/05/2017 (Arab News – KSA by Yossi Mekelberg*): In tenuous Israeli-Palestinian relations, the only thing worse than not reaching a peace deal is prompting false expectations of bringing about a peaceful end to this never-ending conflict. Palestinians and Israelis are so accustomed to failures in peace efforts that they are almost immune to expectations. At best they are ready to be nicely surprised, while resigning themselves to the fact that in the absence of courageous and capable leadership or genuine drive by the international community, Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and blockade of Gaza will continue. Enter US President Donald Trump, and the confusion is reaching epic proportions. Before he took office, it was anticipated that the Israeli-Palestinian issue would be low on his agenda. After all, what would convince him that he could succeed where so many before him failed miserably? But for whatever reason, in his unique and over-simplistic way, he convinces himself that his alleged business acumen of deal-making can do the trick on this occasion too…


*Yossi Mekelberg is professor of international relations at Regent’s University London


Qatar’s Emir Tamim calls Iran’s President Rouhani seeking ‘deepening of ties’

28/05/2017 (Al Arabiya news – UAE): In a phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and that was initiated by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani described the ties between both countries as historic and firm, according to the official website of the Iranian presidency. He added “we are willing to strengthen these relations”. From his part, Rouhani stressed that “there are ample grounds and potentials for developing Iran-Qatar cooperation in political and economic fields and we should make the best use of them to promote relations”. Sheikh Tamim also said: “We believe that there is no obstacle on the way of deepening Iran-Qatar relations”. Al-Thani’s recent controversial statements, which Doha tried to refute by saying the statements were published by hackers on Qatar News Agency (QNA)’s website, have raised questions in recent days…



Egyptian army kills three militants in central Sinai raid: military spokesman

Army28/05/2017 (Ahram Online – Egypt): Egyptian soldiers have killed three “highly dangerous” militants in a raid in the central part of the Sinai Peninsula, the Egyptian military said in a statement on Sunday. The operation targeted the militants as they were about to carry out an attack on security forces, according to the statement published online by Egyptian military spokesman Colonel Tamer El-Refai. Another suspected militant was arrested in possession of a large sum of money that was to be sent to terrorists, the statement said. The Egyptian army is fighting an Islamist insurgency based in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula that has gained pace since the 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, who emerged from the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood organisation…



Saudi-US trade volume exceeds SR2 Trillion in 10 years

Saudi-US trade volume exceeds SR2 Trillion in 10 years20/05/2017 (Saudi Gazette – KSA): RIYADH – The Ministry of Commerce and Investment said the volume of trade exchange between the Kingdom and the US in 2016 reached SR142 billion. Of this, the Saudi exports to the US reached SR65.6 billion while American exports reached SR75.8 billion. It added that the Saudi-US volume of trade has exceeded SR2 trillion during the last decade. The balance of trade is in favor of the US by SR10.1 billion and the US stands second among the top ten countries importing from the Kingdom and the first place among the top ten countries exporting to the Kingdom during 2016. Crude oil and its products and fertilizers (urea) top the list of the most important Saudi commodities exported to the US, apart from raw aluminum blends and ethylene glycol. Meanwhile, the list of commodities imported from the US includes spare parts, aircraft engines and vehicles of all kinds…



Dubai Brings Strong Business Events Presence

20/05/2017 (Emirates 24/7 – UAE): Dubai Business Events (DBE), the city’s official convention bureau and a division of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), has been showcasing Dubai’s dynamic business events offering at IMEX, which has been taking place this week in Frankfurt. DBE has brought a total of 27 stakeholders and partners to the global events industry exhibition, which has been running 16-18 May, including Emirates, Dubai World Trade Centre and Jumeirah Hotels. Expo 2020 Dubai has been co-exhibiting with DBE for the first time, introducing planners to the mega-event and explaining the opportunities it will afford them. Along with its co-exhibitors, DBE has been showcasing significant developments in Dubai’s business events offerings, further reinforcing the city’s status as a major business events destination. Emphasis also remains on the growing role that business events are playing in transforming Dubai into a global knowledge hub, as well as the emirate’s state-of-the-art facilities, world-class infrastructure and renowned hospitality sector that support the industry…



New discovery of stone block dates back to 30th Dynasty King Nectanebo II in Sohag

20/05/2017 (Egypt Indipendent – Egypt): The Egyptian archaeological committee from Al-Belinna inspectorate in Abydos town in Sohag governorate has stumbled upon a stone block engraved with the cartouche of the 30th Dynasty King Nectanebo II, during the inspection of an old house in Beni Mansour area, whose owner had illegally excavated. The Tourism and Antiquities Police caught the criminals red-handed and put the house under their jurisdiction, according to a press statement issued by the Ministry of Antiquities. Hani Abul Azm, Head of the Central Administration for Antiquities of Upper Egypt announced that the discovered block may be a part of King Nectanebo II’s royal shrine or an extension of a wall of a temple that the king built there. Nectanebo II is well known for his construction activities in Abydos…