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Jordan’s ‘Fierce Savage’ kicks down martial arts gender constraints

Kuwait Times - Ven, 20/05/2022 - 11:29am

It’s no mystery why Jordanian Lina Fayyad has been nicknamed “Fierce Savage” — watching as she lands successive blows in the cage, it’s clear she is poised to take mixed martial arts by storm. With her long maroon hair and small frame, she cuts an unusual figure in the world of MMA, and perhaps even more so within the country and region from which she hails, where women are virtual strangers to the sport.

“At the beginning, I heard a lot of criticism that continues until today,” the 33-year-old told AFP from the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, where she is undergoing and overseeing training boot camps.”When someone sets their sights on a goal, nothing will stop them from achieving it.”

In a region where social and cultural restrictions often bar women from pursuing sports professionally, Fayyad’s journey has not been straightforward.
“There were a lot of obstacles that stood in my way: injuries, criticism — I would get kicked out of sports clubs because I’m a girl and men refused to participate in training with me,” she said. “It used to bother me at first but now I don’t care.”

Jordan’s only female fighter

Encouraged by her father, a boxer, Fayyad entered the world of martial arts at the tender age of 10, then practised taekwondo starting at 12, before moving on to a roster of other sports. “I earned three gold medals in kickboxing in the Arab championships and a gold medal in Muay Thai world championships,” she said. She shifted to MMA in 2017, and has since won two of the three fights she has taken part in.

But aside from her drive for competition — which is high — Fayyad is compelled by the need to send a message to her fellow countrywomen. “I am the only woman who practises MMA in Jordan,” she said. “I get a lot of nice comments from women and they are really encouraged when they see me. “I feel like I am somehow responsible because I want to prove that Arab women can reach their goals,” she continued.

“If I had listened to criticism and become a housewife, I would not be happy. I want to make use of the advantages God gave me to achieve more.”
In a training hall in the Cypriot capital Nicosia, Fayyad prepares for her next fight in June — provided she recovers from recent fractures in both her feet.
But as with other obstacles, she doesn’t let her injuries get in the way.

“I will stop when I get old,” she said — but by “stop”, she means she will simply shift to a more age-appropriate sport, like jiujitsu. “I often hear that I’m a ‘fierce savage’ in the cage, and it’s true, I’m not afraid. The nickname represents me.” — AFP

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Categorie: Kuwait

Kuwait Times Friday, May 20, 2022

Kuwait Times - Gio, 19/05/2022 - 9:00pm

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Categorie: Kuwait

Another dusty weekend; ‘severe duststorm’ on Monday in Kuwait

Kuwait Times - Gio, 19/05/2022 - 7:13pm

KUWAIT: Dusty weather is predicted for the weekend yet again in Kuwait. Strong winds of up to 50 km/h in speed that cause rising dust and drop in visibility may hit Kuwait by Friday evening and continue through the weekend, said Yasser Al-Bloushi, meteorologist at Kuwait Meteorological Center. He further warned of a “severe duststorm” that is expected to hit Kuwait on Monday. The weekend’s weather is also expected to be hot with the temperatures ranging between 41 and 46 degrees Celsius, according to Bloushi. Meanwhile, the strong winds could cause high waves of up to six feet on Friday and Saturday, Bloushi warned.

A massive dust storm coming from Iraq affected large areas of Kuwait on Monday, dropping visibility to less than 1,000 km and suspending flights from and to the country. Kuwait Meteorological Center said the dust storm was accompanied with strong winds exceeding 50 km/h in speed, while sea waves would reach as high as six feet. The bad weather conditions, described as “severe” in the meteorological center’s weather warning, disrupted flights at Kuwait International Airport and navigation at Kuwait ports.

Motorists were urged to avoid driving unless necessary and take extreme caution while on the road as visibility dropped to as low as 100 meters especially in open areas. The health ministry also warned people with breathing difficulties to exert extra caution, while the education ministry also closed schools on Tuesday as a precautionary measure.

Kuwait has been hit by frequent dust storms this year well ahead of their usual season. Most of the dust is carried from Iraq to Kuwait by northwesterly winds brought by the Indian monsoon depression affecting the region. Another massive dust storm hit Iraq yesterday; the eighth since mid-April. Iraq has been battered by soil degradation, intense droughts and low rainfall linked to climate change.



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Categorie: Kuwait

Jordan king says half-brother to remain under house arrest

Kuwait Times - Gio, 19/05/2022 - 7:12pm

AMMAN: Jordan’s King Abdullah II said Thursday his half-brother Prince Hamzah, accused of involvement in a coup plot last year, is in a state of “delusion” and will remain under house arrest. Authorities in Jordan announced in April last year that they had foiled a bid to destabilize the Western-allied kingdom, marking a rare crisis in a nation seen as a pillar of regional stability. Two former officials were sentenced to 15 years in jail in July after they were found guilty of conspiring to topple the king in favor of Prince Hamzah, who escaped prosecution but was ordered into house arrest.

The king said in a statement released on Thursday that his half-brother would remain under house arrest, and that further restrictions would be imposed upon him. “A Royal Decree was issued, approving the recommendation of the council formed in accordance with the Royal Family Law, to restrict the communications, place of residence, and movement of Prince Hamzah,” the statement from the royal palace said.

Hamzah had last month announced he was “renouncing the title of prince”, a month after a royal court statement said he had apologized to the king for the attempted coup. But Abdullah II said on Thursday that Hamzah had during the past year or so “exhausted all opportunities to restore himself on the right path”. “The delusion he lives in is not new,” the king said. “Not long after vowing to renounce his erroneous ways, he goes back on his promises and returns to the path he chose years ago, putting his interests before the nation.”

The king appointed Hamzah as crown prince in 1999, at the request of his late father, King Hussein, but removed him from the post in 2004, later naming his son, Prince Hussein, as next in line to the Hashemite throne. Hamzah’s mother, American-born Queen Noor, said on Twitter shortly after the king’s announcement that “some truly bizarre and stranger than fiction stuff (is) circulating right now,” without elaborating.-AFP


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Categorie: Kuwait

Zionists arrest pallbearer of slain journalist

Kuwait Times - Gio, 19/05/2022 - 7:10pm

JERUSALEM:  Zionist entity has arrested one of the pallbearers of slain Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, police said Thursday, but rejected his lawyer’s claim that the detention was linked to his role at the funeral.  In a raid that has sparked international outrage, baton-wielding  Zionist entity’s police beat several pallbearers as they carried the journalist’s coffin out of a hospital in  Zionist-annexed east Jerusalem. Abu Akleh was shot dead during a Zionist army raid in the West Bank last week.

Palestinians and the TV network said Zionist troops killed her, while  Zionist entity said she may have been killed by Palestinian gunfire or a stray shot from a  Zionist entity sniper. A lawyer for pallbearer Amro Abu Khudeir told AFP that his client had been arrested and questioned over his role at the funeral. According to the lawyer, Khaldoun Najm,  Zionist entity also claimed to have “a secret file on (Khudeir’s) membership of a terrorist organization”.

“I think they will arrest more young men who participated in the funeral,” Najm said. “For them, the subject of the funeral and the coffin was scandalous.” Police dismissed any link between the funeral and Khudeir’s arrest. “We are witnessing an attempt to produce a conspiracy that is fundamentally incorrect,” a statement said. “The suspect was arrested as part of an ongoing investigation which contrary to allegations had nothing to do with his participation in the funeral procession.”

Police justifications for the raid at St Joseph’s hospital have varied. They have cited the need to stamp out “nationalistic” chants and also said that “rioters” among the mourners hurled projectiles at officers.  Zionist forces frequently crack down on displays of Palestinian identity, including the national flag, one of which was draped over Abu Akleh’s coffin. Police have vowed to investigate the controversial incident.

Meanwhile, a left-wing Arab  lawmaker in Zionist entity quit the governing coalition on Thursday, citing among other factors police aggression at an Al Jazeera reporter’s funeral, rendering the government a minority in parliament. The decision by Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi of the dovish Meretz party leaves the coalition headed by right-wing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett with just 59 out of 120 seats in Zionist entity’s parliament, the Knesset.

The development does not, however, necessarily indicate that the coalition-an alliance of parties ranging from the Jewish right and  Zionist entity doves to an Arab Muslim party-is set to collapse. Approving a motion to dissolve parliament and call new elections requires 61 votes. – AFP

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Categorie: Kuwait

Independents celebrate in Lebanon

Kuwait Times - Gio, 19/05/2022 - 7:09pm

BEIRUT: When Firas Hamdan was injured at a protest near Lebanon’s parliament two years ago, the then activist never imagined he would one day return as a lawmaker. Hamdan, one of 13 independent politicians who emerged from a mass anti-government protest movement in 2019, made it to parliament on a reformist platform at elections on Sunday.

The 35-year-old lawyer and another independent, Elias Jarade, both snatched seats from allies of the powerful Shiite group Hezbollah in one of its south Lebanon strongholds-a first in three decades. It was a breakthrough at the first election since the Mediterranean country was plunged into a deep economic crisis that has stoked popular fury with the hereditary and graft-tainted ruling class.

“To those who protested and clashed with authorities, those who were beaten by security forces, I say: ‘Today one of those victims is in parliament’,” Hamdan told AFP. Speaking at his family home in the village of Kfeir, he vowed to fight for the rights of ordinary Lebanese who have been left behind.

Hamdan was hit in the chest by a lead pellet in 2020 during a demonstration near parliament, days after a deadly explosion struck Beirut’s port. At the time, rights groups said security forces and men dressed in civilian clothing fired rubber-tipped bullets and tear gas canisters into the crowd.

But on Tuesday after the election results came in, jubilation was in the air as exhausted friends gathered in his backyard to celebrate. Youths aspiring for change in Lebanon have rejoiced at the victories of Hamdan and Jarade. Hamdan won against unpopular banker Marwan Kheireddine, while Jarade nabbed a seat held since 1992 by pro-Syrian regime politician Assaad Hardan.

Political lineage

In 2019 Hamdan was among hundreds of thousands of Lebanese who protested against the entrenched ruling class, widely blamed for the country’s economic collapse. “We fought against an alliance of banks and the political class… to show there is an opposition in the south, to break the political hegemony imposed on us, and we succeeded,” he said.

A dashing young man and an eloquent speaker, Hamdan hopes he will be able to pave the way for a new style of politics in Lebanon. But the road ahead is strewn with difficulties in a country where the system favors sectarian allegiances and power is often inherited. “We want to build a nation where there is rule of law… to restore people’s confidence in the country so that it does not remain a place of death and migration,” he said. An economic meltdown has pushed many middle-class Lebanese to emigrate in search of a better future.

Some of Lebanon’s most disadvantaged people have tried to reach Europe on rickety boats-a treacherous and often deadly route. Hamdan’s father Ismael, a former brigadier general, said he was proud of his “self-made” son. “Officials must understand that change has begun,” he said, standing in front of a large portrait of himself in military uniform. A few kilometers (miles) away in the village of Ibl Al-Saqi, Jarade’s family welcomed well-wishers who filled the house with bouquets of flowers and cheerful chatter. But the newly elected MP, also an eye surgeon, was busy tending to patients in Beirut.


Jarade’s friends and family who gathered in his living room lavished him with praise. “We voted (for independents) like we were clinging to a piece of wood to keep us from drowning,” said retired teacher Ibrahim Rizk, as he sipped on his coffee. A Harvard university graduate with a passion for farming, Jarade is well-liked in his community because he is seen as humble.

When he is not working the land and raising poultry and fish in his farm, the surgeon spends time tending to patients between Lebanon and Dubai. “Many people asked me: ‘You’re a famous doctor and an honest man, what are you doing?’ as if decent professionals had no place in politics.” The soft-spoken surgeon said he hoped to break that stereotype.

In a country rife with nepotism and corruption, he said “officials should make a decent living from their hard work.” The father-of-two intends to pursue his political career with the same passion he has for farming and medicine. “We are a dynamic movement, we are a revolution… We tell everyone: ‘liberate yourselves’,” he said. Jarade said he is aware that he will face challenges. “We may not be a life raft, but we will create a glimmer of hope for the future… to build the Lebanon that we dream of.” – AFP

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Categorie: Kuwait

Mishref labor testing center open soon: Minister

Kuwait Times - Gio, 19/05/2022 - 6:05pm

KUWAIT: Health Minister Dr Khaled Al-Saeed inaugurated on Thursday a branch for the General Medical Council in Funaitees to serve citizens in Ahmadi and Mubarak Al-Kabeer Governorates. During the event, Dr Saeed revealed also that the ministry is finalizing the Mishref labor testing center, which can finalize around 500 transactions today, raising the ministry’s total capacity to 4,000 daily transactions. – KUNA

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Categorie: Kuwait

PAM participates in college career fair

Kuwait Times - Gio, 19/05/2022 - 6:04pm

By Yousuf Al-Mutairi

KUWAIT: The Public Authority for Manpower participated in the job opportunities exhibition that was held at the science college of Kuwait University, Shadadiya campus. The event was held under the title ‘Science Expo’ on May 18th and 19th.

As PAM is keen to reform the marketplace in Kuwait, and to contribute to extending all types of services to universities in order to support graduates from various colleges, it participated in the ‘Science Expo’ for science college graduates to open opportunities for students training and give consultations in all fields as well as provide high skills and support the human development process.

In addition, its participation came to qualify graduates through training programs and guidance sessions in order to improve their skills and guide them to work in the private sector according to their majors. PAM thanked the college of science for its effective role in encouraging graduates to work in the private sector.

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Categorie: Kuwait

Dr Suad Al-Sabah eulogizes Palestinian journalist Abu Akleh

Kuwait Times - Gio, 19/05/2022 - 6:01pm

KUWAIT: Sheikha Dr Suad Mohammad Al-Sabah said the Palestinian cause will remain in the free hearts that believe rights must go back to their owners, and the presence of the occupier remains temporary no matter how long it stays. Dr Suad conveyed her condolences to the Palestinian embassy on the death of Shireen Abu Akleh.

She was represented by Director of Suad Al-Sabah Cultural House Ali Al-Masoudi. He was received by Palestinian Ambassador to Kuwait Rami Tahboub, who reminded of Dr Suad’s status in the Arab culture and human action, and he valued her long-time efforts in the support of the Palestinian cause. Tahboub also appreciated Dr Suad’s initiative of launching a media award in the name of Shireen Abu Akleh.

Director of Suad Al-Sabah Cultural House Ali Al-Masoudi writes in the book of condolences.

Dr Suad wrote in the condolences book that Shireen Abu Akleh will remain alive in the hearts, streets and trees just like the Palestinian cause. Masoudi said he was happy to represent Dr Suad Al-Sabah to convey her condolences, adding that Suad Al-Sabah will remain committed to her causes as ever since she founded the Arab Organization for Human Rights in the 1980s with a number of intellectuals, continues her hard work in helping the human being and his right in a dignified life, and rejects all types of oppression and occupation. Masoudi thanked the Ambassador for the good reception and hospitality.

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Categorie: Kuwait

Kuwait takes part in Arab Civil Aviation Organization meeting

Kuwait Times - Gio, 19/05/2022 - 5:59pm

RABAT: Kuwait is taking part in the 27th meeting of the Arab Civil Aviation Organization’s (ACAO) Executive Council, held in Rabat, Morocco. Deputy Director-General for Aviation Safety, Air-Transport and Aviation Security Duaij Al-Otaibi said in a statement that this participation comes from our keenness on contributing to Arab joint mechanism, especially in the civil aviation sector.

“Kuwait’s participation in the event is part of its executive membership in ACAO, to help contribute to promoting the civil aviation sector in Arab countries,” he said. “This meeting in particular will discuss several topics concerning civil aviation industries and the repercussions of COVID-19 on aerial transportation and its effects on the Arab region,” he added. Kuwait participates in this meeting with an official delegation headed by the President of Kuwait’s Civil Aviation Sheikh Abdullah Ali Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah. – KUNA

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Categorie: Kuwait

Kuwait Times Thursday, May 19, 2022

Kuwait Times - Mer, 18/05/2022 - 9:00pm

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Curbs on meats, oils leaving Kuwait; wheat supply stable

Kuwait Times - Mer, 18/05/2022 - 7:42pm

KUWAIT: The General Administration of Customs sent orders to all border posts to ban sedans carrying frozen chicken, vegetable oils and meats from leaving Kuwait, as food prices soar around the world. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and international economic sanctions on Moscow have disrupted supplies of wheat and other food supplies from both countries and pushed up fuel and diesel prices, especially in developing nations. And India over the weekend banned wheat exports, which sent prices of the grain soaring.

The Center of Government Communications said Kuwait’s strategic supply of wheat is stable as the country’s imports are sourced from other countries. The imported wheat is of high quality, clean and suitable for storage in Kuwait’s hot weather conditions, it added in a statement Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the World Bank on Wednesday announced an additional $12 billion in funding for projects to address the global food security crisis, bringing the total to $30 billion. Amid the growing shortages exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a key grain producer, the new funding will finance projects over the next 15 months to boost food and fertilizer production, facilitate greater trade and support vulnerable households and producers, the World Bank said.

“Food price increases are having devastating effects on the poorest and most vulnerable,” World Bank President David Malpass said in a statement. “It is critical that countries make clear statements now of future output increases in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.” The bank previously announced $18.7 billion in funding for projects to be implemented over the next 15 months in Africa and the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and South Asia.

“Countries should make concerted efforts to increase the supply of energy and fertilizer, help farmers increase plantings and crop yields, and remove policies that block exports and imports, divert food to biofuel, or encourage unnecessary storage,” Malpass said. Washington welcomed the decision, which is part of a joint action plan by multilateral lenders and regional development banks to address the food crisis.

“The Russian war against Ukraine is the latest global shock that is exacerbating the sharp increase in both acute and chronic food insecurity in recent years driven by conflict, climate change and economic downturns, such as those associated with the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Treasury Department said, applauding the institutions for working swiftly to address the issues. – Agencies


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Categorie: Kuwait

Lebanon faces tense times after elections

Kuwait Times - Mer, 18/05/2022 - 7:40pm

BEIRUT: Hezbollah’s opponents might rejoice at their loss of majority in parliament but Lebanon’s packed political calendar now sets the stage for protracted deadlocks at best or violence at worst. Sunday’s polls passed without any major incident, in itself an achievement in a country which has a history of political violence and is suffering its worst crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.

Iran-backed Hezbollah is a major political and military force, described by its supporters a bulwark against enemy Zionist entity and by its detractors as a state within a state whose continued existence prevents any kind of democratic change in Lebanon. Hezbollah and its allies lost the clear majority they had in the outgoing parliament, despite a flurry of televised addresses by the Shiite group’s leader Hassan Nasrallah in the week running up to the vote.

The biggest winners were the Christian Lebanese Forces party and new faces born of a 2019 secular protest movement, all of whom have a clear stance against Hezbollah. “Old guard parties will seek to assert their political dominance in the face of the reformists who have entered parliament for the first time,” said analyst Lina Khatib, head of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Chatham House.

As of May 22, after the current assembly’s mandate expires, the new lawmakers will have 15 days to pick a speaker, a position Nabih Berri has held since 1992 and is not intent on leaving despite reaching the age of 84. By convention, Lebanon’s prime minister position is reserved for a Sunni Muslim, the presidency goes to a Maronite Christian and the post of speaker to a Shiite Muslim.

Berri is a deeply polarizing figure but all Shiite seats in parliament were won by Hezbollah and the veteran speaker’s own Amal party, which rules out the emergence of a consensual candidacy. The election will be a first test of how willing Hezbollah’s opponents are to challenge the Shiite tandem. The leader of the Tehran-backed movement’s parliamentary group set the tone as early as Monday when he warned rivals against becoming “shields for the (Zionists)”.

His words were a reply to Samir Geagea, whose Lebanese Forces have championed the case for disarming Hezbollah, and had laid down the gauntlet by vowing never to support Berri’s re-election or join a unity government. The new polarization of Lebanese politics raises fears of a repeat of deadly violence that broke out in Beirut last year between Hezbollah-aligned fighters and FL supporters. The L’Orient-Le Jour daily stressed in an analysis that Hezbollah’s parliament majority in recent years had enabled it “not to resort to terror to impose its decisions and preserve its red lines”.

“The risk of a total stalemate is real, deadlocks are a Lebanese specialty,” said Daniel Meier, a France-based researcher. In Lebanon’s unique and chaotic brand of sectarian consensus politics, forming a government can take months, even when the country faces multiple emergencies. Between the two latest elections, two out of four years were spent under a caretaker government with limited powers as the country’s political barons haggled over cabinet lineups.

The latest government, led by billionaire Najib Mikati, has only been in place since Sept 2021 after a 13-month vacuum. It was billed a mostly technocratic government tasked with guiding Lebanon to recovery, but each minister was endorsed by one of Lebanon’s perennial heavyweights. Whether any of the 13 MPs labelled as representing the interests of the 2019 anti-establishment uprising would consider joining a coalition government with that same establishment is doubtful.

“There is change in the balance of power but this will not translate in a program for change because despite everything Hezbollah keeps its veto power,” analyst Sami Nader said. A quick fix would be to keep the Mikati government in a caretaker capacity until the presidential election.

That is the last but not the least of the major hurdles in the institutional calendar. Due by the end of the year, the new parliament’s pick for a president to succeed Michel Aoun, who will be 89 by then, was further complicated by the latest election. He groomed his son-in-law Gebran Bassil for years but the electoral surge of the Lebanese Forces, the Christian rivals of Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement, is a spanner in the family works.

Army chief Joseph Aoun has already been tipped as an alternative but talks could drag on. “Probably we will have a long period of stalemate in the parliament,” said Joseph Bahout, a professor at the American University of Beirut. He predicted a tunnel of institutional deadlocks could delay reforms requested by the International Monetary Fund for a critically needed rescue package until the spring of 2023. – AFP

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Categorie: Kuwait

Burj Khalifa engulfed by sandstorm

Kuwait Times - Mer, 18/05/2022 - 7:35pm

DUBAI: The world’s tallest building disappeared behind a grey layer of dust on Wednesday as sandstorms that have swept the Middle East hit the United Arab Emirates, prompting weather and traffic warnings. The 828-metre Burj Khalifa, which towers over Dubai and is usually visible across the busy financial hub, retreated behind a curtain of airborne dirt that shrouded much of the country.

The UAE is just the latest country in the path of sandstorms that have smothered Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iran and others in recent days, closing airports and schools and sending thousands to hospital with breathing problems. Capital city Abu Dhabi’s air quality index (AQI) soared into the “hazardous” zone overnight, according to and the Plume pollution app.

The Middle East’s sandstorms are becoming more frequent and intense, a trend associated with overgrazing and deforestation, overuse of river water and more dams. Experts say the phenomenon could worsen as climate change warps regional weather patterns and drives desertification. Emirati authorities issued a nationwide warning urging residents to remain vigilant.

“Abu Dhabi Police urges drivers to be cautious due to low visibility during high winds and dust,” the police force tweeted, as residents took to social media to publish photos and videos. “Please do not be distracted by taking any videos or using your phone,” it added.

A National Center for Meteorology graphic showed nearly all the country covered by the storm, with the warning: “Be on the alert: hazardous weather events are expected.” Winds with speeds up to 40 km per hour are blowing the dust, it said, reducing visibility in some areas to less than 2,000 m. However, a Dubai airports spokesman said there was no impact on air traffic. Weather conditions were expected to remain the same for the next few days.

In neighbouring Saudi Arabia, badly hit on Tuesday, conditions eased in the capital Riyadh on Wednesday but continued to restrict visibility in the city center. Emergency rooms in Riyadh hospitals received some 1,285 people suffering from respiratory problems over 24 hours from the sandstorm, the state-run Al-Ekhbariya channel reported late on Tuesday.

The Saudi national weather centre reported that dust was also affecting visibility in the west and south, specifically in Assir, Najran, Hael and Madinah provinces. Madinah is home to Madinah city, the second-holiest city in Islam. The center predicted another sandstorm would arrive in the kingdom by Sunday. – AFP

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Categorie: Kuwait

Fluctuating oil prices requires measures to enhance Kuwaiti economy: Commerce Minister

Kuwait Times - Mer, 18/05/2022 - 6:56pm

KUWAIT: Minster of Commerce and Industry Fahad Al-Shuraian said on Wednesday that the political and economic changes that the world was going through amidst the sharp fluctuating oil prices required some serious measures to enhance the economy through economic restoration programs and initiatives to privatize a number of public sector institutions. This came in an economic forum organized by the Arab Planning Institute entitled ‘towards more privatization in the GCC’ with the participation of several economic experts and officials.

Shuraian added that economic restoration programs aim to improve the level of competition, which reflects positively on the country and lifts the load on the government, and creates new job opportunities. “It requires new measures in order to achieve Kuwait’s vision, measures that correspond to the international requirements, the application of transparency and equality standards, these are the main characteristics for the transformation into a financial center,” he pointed out.

Former commerce minister Amani Bouresly addresses the forum.

Amani Bouresly, former Minster of Commerce and Industry, and head of the organizing committee of the forum, said meanwhile that privatization is one of the solutions to reduce the continuous inflation in the public sector’s institutions and the rise costs and expenses. “Privatization has great benefits on the economic level, the most important of which is raising productivity and improving the level and efficiency of public services, but this file is still facing many organizational, legislative and social obstacles,” she added. She pointed out that the process of reconstructing the economy and downsizing the public sector that has more than 400,000 employees is considered one of the main pillars of Kuwait vision 2035, as for the private sector can create more job opportunities for upcoming workers to the market.

Meanwhile, Arab Planning Institute consultant Dr Fahad Al-Fadhala said that the forum’s main goal is to shed the light on the efforts of the privatization programs in the GCC and its role in repairing the economy. Furthermore, Head of the Kuwait technical agency for privatization program Sheikh Fahad Salim Al-Sabah said that the biggest challenge that faces privatization in Kuwait is the large increase of national labors in the governmental sectors, which leads to a larger cost on the country. The legislators offer employees the chance to choose between staying in the institute to be privatized, to move to another governmental job or retirement.

“The number of Kuwaiti employees in the telecommunications sector before privatization did not exceed 500 employees and there was only one company, while privatization allowed competition in the market, bringing the number of companies to three, creating more than 2,500 job opportunities for Kuwaitis, and this is evidence that proper privatization brings positive results on the Kuwaiti economy,” he added. This second economic forum, organized by the Arab Planning Institute, which is held over two days, represents an opportunity to gather all the concerned parties related to the privatization program, to display the different viewpoints and successful regional and international experiences and the possibility of benefiting from them at the Gulf level. – KUNA

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Categorie: Kuwait

stc takes part in AUM career fair

Kuwait Times - Mer, 18/05/2022 - 6:55pm

KUWAIT: Kuwait Telecommunications Company – stc, a world-class digital leader providing innovative services and platforms to customers, enabling the digital transformation in Kuwait, participated in the American University of the Middle East’s (AUM) annual career fair. stc’s participation falls in line with the various initiatives the Company has organized and pursued to empower the younger generation, while attracting aspiring candidates that fit into stc’s dynamic culture.

During the AUM career fair, members from stc’s recruitment team welcomed students and graduates at the Company’s dedicated booth. Those visiting stc’s booth got a chance to learn more about how the pioneering telecom company operates, as well as the different fields and professions currently available. Members of the recruitment team also held on the spot interviews and provided graduates with the necessary steps required to submit their resumes for a chance to start their career journeys at stc.

stc indicated in a statement that its participation in the career fair strongly supports its ongoing commitment to attract and recruit Kuwaiti talent. This initiative aligns with the Kuwaitiziation initiative and stc’s strive to empower the younger generation through various aspects of their lives within the community. stc has implemented various strategies to achieve these objectives, including participating in career fairs, organizing internships, and sponsoring initiatives that aim to educate and prepare the younger generation for their future careers.

As part of stc’s commitment to support the Kuwaiti employment program ‘Kuwaitization’ aimed at increasing the indigenous participation rate in the private sector, we have placed the Kuwaiti employment replacement program as one of the main pillars of our human resources strategy. Whereby, the Kuwaiti employees at stc reached 63 percent of company’s total employees by the end of 2021.

Following its participation in the AUM career fair, stc was recognized by the university for its active role in the private sector, especially when it comes to supporting students and graduates. The steps taken by stc to assist individuals in starting or developing their careers in the telecom industry have well positioned the Company to become one of the employers of choice within the community.

stc expressed that it is proud to participate in AUM’s career fair once again, especially following the pandemic where such initiatives were placed on hold. The Company also thanked AUM for recognizing stc’s role within the private sector, and for organizing the career fair which serves as a platform to connect employers with aspiring candidates and recent graduates. Through its role as an active member within the community, and a pioneer within the private sector, stc will continue to participate and organize initiatives that support the community across various aspects including empowering and supporting the younger generation.

As part of its ongoing initiatives to recruit aspiring talents, stc has an open internship program to all students and recent graduates who wish to learn more about the telecom sector. The internship programs are carried out in collaboration with local universities such as AUM, where students can effectively apply what they have studied, as well as their personal knowledge throughout the experience.

The internship programs have been designed to measure each candidate on their ability to grasp new concepts and apply their knowledge to achieve positive results that can possibly lead to a job opportunity at stc. This scenario has played out several times in the past, in which stc recruited graduates from AUM based on their merits and ability to work well within stc’s dynamic culture.

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Categorie: Kuwait

NBK gold sponsor of AUM career fair

Kuwait Times - Mer, 18/05/2022 - 6:52pm

KUWAIT: In line with its continuous support of fresh graduates as they make the first step in their professional career, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) participated as the Gold Sponsor of the American University of the Middle East (AUM) Career Fair 2022 held during May with a view to encourage students to navigate the labor market and get directly in touch with employers.

NBK’s participation in AUM Career Fair reflects its belief in the importance of supporting the young students and fresh graduates and providing them with suitable job opportunities in an important sector like the banking and financial sector, as NBK is an active participant in the events aiming to support promising national talent in Kuwait.

On this occasion, Emad Al-Ablani, GM – Group Human Resources at National Bank of Kuwait, said: “NBK continues to cement its leading role among private sector institutions in soliciting, training, upskilling national talent and qualifying them for working in the banking sector.” Ablani pointed out that NBK has the highest employee retention rates and is the employer of choice for national talents in the private sector, adding that the bank is the largest employer of national labor in the private sector.

“Group Human Resources strategy is based on soliciting high-caliber national talent, serving the goals of New Kuwait Vision 2035 by increasing national labor ratio in the banking sector, and supporting the national economy by recruiting local talent,” he elaborated.

He explained that graduates are an important source for the bank to solicit talent, which contribute to its change agenda and the remarkable transformation, thanks to their high potential that require the proper guidance. On the other hand, the Bank provides a unique training and development environment to enhance the skills of its employees and build their professional career.

Gadeer Al-Kooheji, Recruitment Manager, Group Human Resources at National Bank of Kuwait said: “Career fairs offer NBK a great opportunity to spread its work culture among students and fresh graduates, and encourage them to join the private sector.” “NBK’s booth witnessed a noticeable turnout from the fair visitors, as Group Human Resources staff provided answers to all inquiries raised by the students who filled out the job applications for available vacancies,” she added.

NBK is committed to provide training programs for young Kuwaiti fresh graduates and students, to equip them with the expertise, professional knowledge, and on-job training, as professional preparation for them to navigate their way into the labor market, reflecting its role as one of the key supporters of the youth among local private sector institutions.

NBK’s efforts in soliciting national talents go in line with its development and training plans aimed to invest in national cadres and prepare a promising banking generation. The bank also offers a number of training courses and professional academic programs, being one of the leading banking institutions in Kuwait in organizing training programs for the youth.

During the fair, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the American University of the Middle East (AUM), Dr Fahad Ibrahim Al-Othman, presented an honorary shield to Emad Al-Ablani, GM – Group Human Resources, in appreciation of NBK’s role in supporting and nurturing fresh graduates.

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Categorie: Kuwait

ABK participates in AUM career fair

Kuwait Times - Mer, 18/05/2022 - 6:49pm

KUWAIT: Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait (ABK) successfully concluded its participation in the American University of the Middle East’s (AUM) hybrid career fair, which was launched last week. As the event’s gold sponsor, ABK is reinforcing its commitment to investing in local talent and providing opportunities to students who aspire a career in the banking sector.

Students and alumni visited the ABK booth, where they were provided with networking opportunities and career advice from the Bank. Visitors were also introduced to the processes within the banking sector and were provided with access to an array of in-person and online courses to enrich their learning experience.

Afrah Al-Arbash

Commenting on the Bank’s participation at the AUM career fair, Afrah Al-Arbash, Acting General Manager for Human Resources said, “We are pleased to be participating in the AUM career fair, consistent with our ongoing commitment to empower the ambitious youth in Kuwait. In line with our ‘Transformation and Growth’ strategy, the Bank will continue to invest heavily in inspiring, guiding and preparing the future generation, for an appropriate career in the banking sector. We look forward to participating in the upcoming annual fairs, remaining steadfast in our commitment to attracting national workforce, and enhancing our capabilities at the Bank.”

ABK Human Resources employees at the AUM career fair provided a view into the financial services sector, while also highlighting the most coveted skills in the banking sector. Students were also presented the opportunities for growth and development within ABK. Namely, ABK’s Retail Banking Division (RBD) Academy, designed to give trainees the opportunity to be fully immersed in the working environment of various departments within the Bank and get familiar with the day-to-day operations, providing them with a more hands-on experience.

Afrah Al-Arbash concluded by saying, “ABK has been and will continue to be very active in local career fairs.  We are always energized by the enthusiasm of student and fresh graduates who are interesting in working in banking and finance.  We will continue to reach out young talents and participate in career fairs, as we are always looking for quality candidates to join the ABK team.”

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Categorie: Kuwait

Photo of the Day

Kuwait Times - Mer, 18/05/2022 - 6:45pm

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Categorie: Kuwait

Finland, Sweden apply to join NATO

Kuwait Times - Mer, 18/05/2022 - 6:43pm

BRUSSELS: Finland and Sweden on Wednesday submitted a joint application to join NATO as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine forces a dramatic reappraisal of security in Europe. The reversal of the Nordic countries’ longstanding policy of non-alignment came as Ukraine opened the first war crimes trial of a Russian soldier since the invasion began.

Vadim Shishimarin, 21, from Irkutsk in Siberia, pleaded guilty to killing an unarmed 62-year-old man in Ukraine’s Sumy region on February 28 — four days into the invasion. “By this first trial, we are sending a clear signal that every perpetrator, every person who ordered or assisted in the commission of crimes in Ukraine shall not avoid responsibility,” prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova said.

Russia’s government has no information on Shishimarin, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, adding that many such cases reported by Ukraine are “simply fake or staged”. Peskov further accused Kyiv of a “complete lack of will” towards peace talks, after Ukrainian negotiator Mykhaylo Podolyak said stop-start dialogue was “on hold”, having failed to yield any breakthroughs.

The Kremlin also intensified a tit-for-tat round of diplomatic expulsions against European countries, ordering out dozens of personnel from France, Italy and Spain. At NATO headquarters in Brussels, alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg formally received the applications from the Finnish and Swedish ambassadors, calling them “an historic step”.

“All allies agree on the importance of NATO enlargement. We all agree that we must stand together and we all agree that this is an historic moment which we must seize,” he said. The membership push could represent the most significant expansion of NATO in decades, doubling its border with Russia, and President Vladimir Putin has warned it may trigger a response from Moscow.

But the applications face resistance from NATO member Turkey, which accuses the Nordic neighbours of harbouring anti-Turkish extremists. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded “respect” from NATO over his government’s concerns.

Western allies remain optimistic they can overcome Turkey’s objections and for now, several including Britain have offered security guarantees to Finland and Sweden to guard against any Russian aggression. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the Nordic applications would not have been expected a short time ago, “but Putin’s appalling ambitions have transformed the geopolitical contours of our continent”.

Mediators for Azovstal

On the ground, in Ukraine’s ruined port city of Mariupol, a unit of soldiers had been holding out in the Azovstal steelworks, but Moscow said Wednesday that 959 of the troops had surrendered this week. Kyiv’s defence ministry said it would do “everything necessary” to rescue the undisclosed number of personnel still in the plant’s tunnels, but admitted there was no military option available.

“The evacuation mission continues, it is overseen by our military and intelligence,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly address. “The most influential international mediators are involved.” Those who have left Azovstal were taken into Russian captivity, including 80 who were heavily wounded, the Russian defence ministry said. The ministry, which published images showing soldiers on stretchers, said the injured were transported to a hospital in the eastern Donetsk region controlled by pro-Kremlin rebels.

The defence ministry in Kyiv said it was hoping for an “exchange procedure… to repatriate these Ukrainian heroes as quickly as possible”. But their fate was unclear, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov refusing to say whether they would be treated as criminals or prisoners of war. Putin had “guaranteed that they would be treated according to the relevant international laws”, Peskov said.

‘My war is not over’

Despite their last-ditch resistance in places such as Mariupol, and their successful defence of Kyiv, Ukrainian forces are retreating across swathes of the eastern front. White smoke from burning fields marks the pace of Russia’s advance around the village of Sydorove, on the approaches to the militarily important city of Slovyansk and Ukraine’s eastern administrative centre in Kramatorsk.

Army volunteer Yaroslava, 51, sat on a slab of concrete jutting out from the remains of a school in Sydorove where her husband’s unit had set up camp before it was hit by a Russian strike. She stared at a spot where rescuers and de-miners had spotted a motionless hand reaching out from the rubble. “We had settled in London before the war but felt like we had no choice but to come back,” Yaroslava said. “My two sons have just signed three-year contracts with the army. We will fight. We will still fight,” she said without moving her eyes.

“My war is not over.”

The war crimes trial in Kyiv, expected to be followed by several others, posed a test of the Ukrainian justice system at a time when international bodies are also conducting their own investigations. Shishimarin faces a possible life sentence. Prosecutors said the sergeant was commanding a unit in a tank division when his convoy came under attack.

He and four other soldiers stole a car and encountered the man on a bicycle, shooting him in cold blood, according to the prosecutors. The International Criminal Court said Tuesday it was deploying its largest-ever field team to Ukraine, with 42 investigators, forensic experts and support staff being sent into the field to gather evidence of alleged atrocities. The US State Department also announced it was creating a special unit to research, document and publicize Russian war crimes. – AFP



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