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Al Ahli Holding Group’s NOMAD drives a regional creative movement from the UAE

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NOMAD, Al Ahli Holding Group’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and community platform venture, is launching a series of initiatives to enable and grow young Arab media leaders and global talent within the creative industries.

Bringing together its partners, network of industry change makers and community ambassadors, NOMAD is sparking nation-wide dialogue around the importance of the creative economy in the region and the support required to propel UAE talent to international recognition.

Voice of NOMAD Music Panel Event

A ‘Voice of NOMAD’ music-focused panel session on whether ‘Sound is Associated to a Place?’ was held on Saturday 12th October 2019 at Dubai Outlet Mall. The discussion saw key opinion leaders and industry experts such as popular radio host Big Hass, Mike Fairburn, GM Sony Music Entertainment Middle East, singers Hamdan Al Abri and Omar Dean, homegrown producers and change-makers such as Mohammad Rayan Bailouni, Sarah Nabil and Waleed Shah, share insights on how music and cultures intertwine and what is needed to grow the local music industry.

In line with its mission to empower grassroots talent to scale to a global platform, NOMAD is running creative bootcamps during October-November with its industry-specific community ambassadors to offer youth and talent from music, film/content and gaming, the opportunity to enhance their skillsets and showcase through workshops, industry collaborations and event activations.

As part of its comprehensive infrastructure roll-out, NOMAD will launch a Phase I venue at 117 Live Arena late 2019 with co-working spaces, a recording studio, content studios, an eSports studio and event spaces. Operating as a global membership model, the NOMAD community has access to workspaces, production resources, business establishment, market access, capacity-building programs, events and group integration opportunities. NOMAD’s ecosystem is powered by partners including Dubai Future Foundation’s Area 2071, Sony Professional Solutions and SAE Institute with more to be announced soon.

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Choithrams Customer lends her voice to World Food Day in support of The United Nations World Food Programme ‘StopTheWaste’ movement

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Choithrams joins United Nations World Food Programme to reduce food waste with #StopTheWaste movement in the UAE

Choithrams, one of the UAE’s oldest organised retail chains, today pledged its support for the United Nations World Food Programme Stop the Waste campaign, a global movement that aims to raise hunger awareness by asking the general public to be more conscious of their food waste – one of the fundamental steps towards eradicating global hunger. Ahead of World Food Day on October 16th, Choithrams joins entities and individuals from around the globe to pledge #StopTheWaste.

#StopTheWaste is a social media movement for change launched by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) globally and it aims to spotlight the critical issue of food waste and highlight simple solutions we can all adopt to prevent it.

In addition to the social media activation, Choithrams organized a special event at the brand’s Al Wasl outlet in the presence of representatives from WFP and Choithrams, members of the community and the media. During the event, Choithrams customer and 12-year old campaigner Naisha Rajani issued an impassioned plea to stop food waste.

Naisha, said, “Wastage of food angers me, makes me sad. I have seen a malnourished child and her mother begging two years ago in India and that has changed my life. Please never forget what one piece of bread or a small meal which goes to dustbin can do for the hungry or needy. When millions are dying due to hunger, we cannot close our eyes. When children are dying due to malnourishment, we cannot forget that. I keep remembering that day from two years back and it breaks my heart.”

Chefs of Choithrams joined in with their support. A food tasting tour was organised on the side-lines of the World Food Day event to showcase how leftover food can be turned into delicious dishes. The chefs shared smart food hacks that delivered tasty and nutritious outcomes using ingredients that would otherwise be thrown.

Choithrams Chairman Mr. L.T Pagarani said, “Our partnership with World Food Programme is an excellent example of how we have linked our work here in Choithrams with a global cause, creating a purpose in our business that goes beyond profit. So when we come together to raise awareness about something as important as food waste – we ensure our business becomes more efficient, we ensure our customers can choose and buy wisely and we ensure that our future generations live in a balanced world, where food waste does not exist.”

“Time has come for us to take drastic action against food waste. Also, wasting food increases greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to climate change, “ added Mr Pagarani.

“There is enough food to feed the world’s 7 billion people, yet one in nine people goes to bed hungry every night,” said Mageed Yahia, Director of the World Food Programme Office in the UAE and Representative to the GCC . “This is a problem that must be solved urgently if we are to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030. Everyone can play a part to #StopTheWaste. We count on the vital support of all our partners, like Choithrams, to help us achieve this ambitious goal,” he added.

Follow these simple steps to pledge #StopTheWaste:

  1. Search your fridge or pantry for a food item that is nearing its expiration date and safe to eat
  2. Snap a selfie with your item (do not forget to eat it)
  3. Share your photo on social using #StopTheWaste and challenge three friends by tagging them in your post
  4. Take your pledge one step further by sharing your food waste recipes or host a dinner party and encourage others to do the same.For more information and to get involved with the World Food Programme, please visit


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AU Students Mark International Day of Older Persons

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The Unit of Community Service at the Office of Community Engagement, Ajman University (AU), has celebrated the ‘International Day of Older Persons’, at the Seniors’ Happiness Center at Mamzar, Dubai.

Male & female students from different AU colleges were so keen to show appreciation to the senior citizens therein.

Ms. Noor Al Chaghouri, Head of Community Service, said the center provides valuable services to its senior citizens “who are mostly above 60 years old.”

Some of the senior members just come to spend some good time with their friends, mainly when they are free, she added.

“AU students were so thrilled to share some time with senior citizens, and get them involved in an array of activities planned by the Unit of Community Service.”

The activities run included some musical exercise, board games and blindfold games, she explained.

“The senior citizens at the Centre actively enjoyed the activities organized to the maximum.”

Mr. Abdul-Aziz, one of the senior citizens there, asked Ajman University volunteers to kindly visit them again.

“We loved the activities you have run so much; they really made things better here.”

Amina Wali Al Rehman, a student of engineering, AU, said she was so thrilled with the feedback she got from the senior citizens there. “Their comments are so inspiring and encouraging.”

It was really an amazing experience, she affirmed.

“Sharing some time with senior citizens was worth it,” she said, hoping to be part of such community activities. “I would like to participate in these activities over and over.”

The Unit of Community Service gears up to arrange another function for senior citizens, yet on campus this time. “Our senior citizens expressed their wish to spend some time with AU students on campus.”

“We are happy to see the enthusiasm our volunteers showed and the beautiful smile on the faces of our seniors.”

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UAE Shoppers Urged to Take the Tolerance Pledge and Show Their Support for Diversity and Inclusion across the United Arab Emirates

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  • More than 6,000 consumers have already signed the pledge as part of a national initiative by Carrefour and P&G to promote respect of and acceptance for different viewpoints and cultures
  • The goal is to reach 10,000 pledges, to set a new Guinness World Record for tolerance and inclusion globally
  • Anyone can take the Tolerance Pledge at one of Carrefour’s participating stores and online until the 4th of October
  • For every pledge made, P&G and Carrefour will plant one Ghaf tree as a symbol of tolerance and inclusion

UAE shoppers are being urged to show their support for living in a tolerant and inclusive society. The Tolerance Pledge campaign was launched by Procter & Gamble and Carrefour in July of this year, and so far more than 6,000 of the UAE’s consumers and residents have already recorded videos pledging their commitment to be more open to accepting diverse views and opinions. This remarkable figure underlines how important diversity and inclusion is to people living in the UAE.

The goal is to have over 10,000 UAE residents take the Tolerance Pledge, which will set a new Guinness World Record in a country that embraces more than 200 nationalities from around the world as residents. For every pledge made, P&G and Carrefour will plant one Ghaf tree thanks to a partnership with Dubai-based social enterprise Goumbook. (The native Ghaf tree is the UAE’s symbol of inclusion during the Year of Tolerance.)

Shoppers can sign the Tolerance Pledge in-store at their nearest participating Carrefour or online via their social media accounts, using the hashtag #TolerancePledge. The Tolerance Pledge initiative is running in-store until October 4th, with an online campaign running until the beginning of November of this year.

The Tolerance Pledge reflects the idea of promoting peace and harmony between different nationalities living together in the country, and reflects a multi-faceted society made up of dozens of religions and belief systems. Consumers wishing to take part via social media should record themselves saying the following: “I pledge to respect and accept people whose abilities, beliefs and culture are different from my own.”

Carrefour is hosting video booths in ten stores nationwide, to offer the public the opportunity to take part in the campaign. They can also upload a video of themselves reciting the pledge on their social media, on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, by using the hashtag #TolerancePledge. At the end of November, each individual Tolerance Pledge video will be merged into one album and entered into the Guinness World Record book.

“The response to the first round of the campaign in July and August is testament to the belief that we all have a role to play in promoting inclusion. We live in a wonderful place, and we’re surrounded by diversity. Let’s all come together to pledge our support for a more welcoming and inclusive society that is open to all,” says Saranathan Ramaswamy, Sales Director for the Arabian Peninsula, Procter & Gamble.

Pledges can be made at Carrefour branches located in:

  • Mall of the Emirates
  • City Centre Mirdif
  • City Centre Shindagha
  • City Centre Deira
  • Ibn Battuta Mall
  • City Centre Me’aisem
  • Dubai Festival City Mall
  • Yas Mall
  • Marina Mall – Abu Dhabi
  • Al Saqr
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Navy Commander of Central Punjab Rear Admiral Zahid Ilyas met IG Punjab captain retired Arif Nawaz Khan at Central Police Office. During the meeting, overall situation of law and order and security along with other issues of mutual interests were discussed.

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Pak Navy Commander Central Punjab Rear Admiral Zahid Ilyas called on IG Punjab captain retired Arif  Nawaz Khan  at central police office today. Different issues of mutual interest including security, law and order were discussed in the meeting whereas increase in cooperation of professional skills between Pak Navy and Punjab Police was agreed upon. IG Punjab briefed Commander Central Punjab Navy about modern IT projects of Punjab Police and told that public service delivery has been separated from general policing and Police Khidmat Marakiz have been established in all districts across the province for facilitation of the citizens. Moreover, the process of adoption of modern police working system is under way speedily. Modern surveillance system for monitoring have been installed in important districts of the province and Police officers and officials are performing their duties in accordance with rules of smart and community policing in order to maintain peaceful environment. He further said that formation of CTD, SPU, Dolphin, Peru, Anti Riot and SOU along with specialized forces has enhanced the efficiency of Punjab Police. IGP added that all possible steps are being taken to improve the standard of training of Police Force. On this occasion, Navy Commander central Punjab Rear Admiral Zahid Ilyas acknowledged information technology based modern projects and said that IT projects of Punjab Police are a precedent for other provinces and should be replicated by them. During the meeting, information sharing and exchange of training instructors were also accorded so that capacity building of the force could be enhanced. In the end of the meeting, IG Punjab and Commander Central Punjab Navy exchanged memorial souvenirs between each other.

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Human rights department with collaboration of SFJ organized a ceremony regarding launching of web-portal to streamline treaty reporting for strengthening of human rights & GSP plus status at a private hotel, here today. Federal Minister for Human Right Dr Shireen Mazari graced the ceremony as chief guest, Provincial Minister Ijaz Alam Augustine and other members of Punjab Assembly along with High commissioner of Australian and EU also attended  the ceremony.  Secretary HR Tariq Mahmood delivered welcome speech and highlighted the performance of HR&MA department. Barristor Saeed Nasir gave detailed briefing, saying that the Punjab Treaty Implementation Cell, HR&MA Department, Government of the Punjab aims at implementation of international Treaty Obligations of Pakistan. Treaty Implementation Cell is manned with professional human resource comprising of experts in international law backed by an IT team as well. PTIC is working on the international Treaty commitments of Pakistan to identify the gaps in implementation of the said treaties. PTIC intends to digitalize the reporting mechanism in Punjab to make it more efficient and reliable. Dr Shireen Mazari applauded the performance of HR department and hoped that web-portal would be beneficial in resolving the issues of masses. She showed her grave concern over the violations and the threat of further worse violations of human rights, alongside the looming threats of ethnic cleansing and genocide in Indian occupied Kashmir. Dr Mazari drew the attention of the UN& Australian HC to the massive human rights violations committed by India against the people of Kashmir, in a blatant and forceful attempt to deny the latter their right to self-determination including the Gender-Based Violence as a weapon of war, Communications shutdown, Imposition of a curfew, Arbitrary arrests and detentions; arrests of political leaders, Religious persecution and violations against children. Provincial minister Ijaz Alam said in his address that Government of the Punjab established Treaty Implementation Cell to deal with treaty obligations and manned it with international law experts backed by an able IT team. The Punjab Treaty Implementation Cell (PTIC), HR&MA Department has a mandate of timely communication of UN/EU observations, consolidation of reports for Federal TIC/ Government, intervention in policy and laws to align them with international obligations of Pakistan and spreading awareness about international obligations. All the participants acknowledged the efforts done by Human Rights department for the protection of human rights. At the end of ceremony Dr. Shireen Mazari inaugurated web-portal by switch a button. Ijaz Alam also gave a memorial shield to the federal minister.

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Shell Pakistan and CARE Foundation join hands to inculcate Road Safety awareness amongst school children

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As per the World Health Organization’s Road Safety Report, ‘Road Traffic Injuries (RTI)’ is the 8th leading cause of deaths across the world and the cost of road traffic injuries account for 3% of GDP’s for developing countries like Pakistan.

Shell believes it can play a role in the vision set out by the National Road Safety Strategy 2018-2030 “to create a safe and sustainable road network across Pakistan as part of the Government’s commitment to bring better quality of life to the people of the country”.

Road safety education in schools is one potential way of reducing the number of deaths or injuries amongst road users.  It can play an important role in shaping the attitudes and behaviors of children and young people ensuring they become responsible drivers, passengers and pedestrians.  To achieve this objective, a memorandum of understanding was signed with CARE Foundation in Lahore to inculcate road safety awareness amongst the future generation of our road users.

Shell Pakistan Limited is working towards incorporating Road Safety education in the government approved curriculum across the nation. CARE Foundation coming on-board this mission is the first step.

The agreement between CARE Foundation and Shell Pakistan Limited stipulates that the road safety book will form part of the curriculum for the schools of CARE Foundation in the coming school year for grade six and seven. The book, produced by Shell Pakistan for young minds; through content developers and publishers, is a narrative based learning, on observations of unsafe behaviors by people on the road.

“Shell prioritises the safety of the people it works with and the space in which it operates, making road safety one of our key focus areas. Shell Pakistan works with great commitment to achieve road safety in a larger context by collaborating with partners and communities, we work towards building a robust safety culture on the road and beyond our operations.” shared Haroon Rashid, Chief Executive and Managing Director of Shell Pakistan, at the ceremony.

“I hope that this partnership will raise the much needed awareness on road safety. Disorderly traffic is a serious risk to individuals commuting daily on the road. I believe that this initiative would have a tangible impact towards achieving the mission of making our roads safer.”  said Seema Aziz, Chief Executive Officer, CARE Foundation at the event.

The long-term vision is to advocate road safety education and include as part of the curriculum of the country’s educational institutions, over the coming years.

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Arab Fashion Council founder scoops the League of Gentlemen Award in New York

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Jacob Abrian, founder and chief executive officer of The Arab Fashion Council has been awarded the League of Gentlemen Award for his role and contribution in creating opportunities for Arab talents in the region.

The award ceremony, which was held on the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, was part of the 9th annual Fashion 4 Development Official First Ladies Luncheon.

Its focus this year was a call-to-action to towards the noble goals of ending poverty and hunger to gender equality as well as education.

Other nominees winning the awards included Carla Sozzani, the President of The Alaia Foundation and founder of 10 Corso Como who was awarded The Fashion 4 Development Award and the French President, Emmanuel Macron, who was bestowed the Fashion 4 Development 2019 Medal of Honor in recognition for his exemplary leadership, courage and commitment to creating a more sustainable, equitable world by including fashion as part of the G7 agenda.

Speaking after accepting the highly coveted award, Abrian expressed gratitude to everyone who had supported him throughout his career. He also recounted with nostalgia how his upbringing in Europe taught him how a successful system could lead to supporting talent growth, which contributes to the entire national economy.

“I am so grateful to everyone who has walked with me every step along the way and believed in my vision. Starting my career as a model in Milan and graduating as an Architect with an honorary masters degree has allowed me to meet so many Arab talents abandoning their homes and scattered around the world desperately looking for opportunities. This is what gave me the determination to create an organization that can provide Arab talent and the women equal opportunities which we, fortunately, enjoy in Europe and America,” said Abrian.

Born in Lebanon and raised in Italy, Abrian founded the Arab Fashion Council at the age of 22 with a vision to establish a creative economy, fashion infrastructure in every Arab country and employ over 20 million women.

The council, which is an international extraterritorial authority, consists of 22 Arab nations with the sole objective to unite and transform the Arab world to become an intelligent supply chain of the world.

“The Arab Fashion Council initiatives culminate in the biannual Arab Fashion Week, which is held in Dubai. The event has positioned the Arab world on the international map of fashion. The Saudi edition of the Arab Fashion Week – the first-ever fashion event to be held in the country, has been instrumental in boosting the country’s reform plan”, Abrian added.

The Arab Fashion Councils categorizes the Arab world into 3 main clusters, the Raw Material Custer combining the North African Countries, which focuses on resourcing and producing the fabric, the Manufacturing Cluster includes the Levant countries such as Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine, and the Retail and Marketing cluster combining the Arab Gulf countries.

This system says Abrian, directly boosts an independent sustainable economy based on the most renewable resources. This also indirectly empowers women, which helps in creating a better environment to raise their children and limit illegal immigration.

Evie Evangelou, Fashion 4 Development founder urged all stakeholders to unite and contribute towards improving society. Making reference to the awards which were shaped to resemble a bell, Evangelou likened the recipients’ recognition to a wake-up call.

“They are presented to this year’s award recipients to ignite a call-to-action, a call to unite together, a wake-up call for each and every one of us, to contribute to the betterment of society. Bells have a deep symbolic meaning associated with the mind and the expansion of our consciousness. It’s time to sound the bell!” noted Evangelou.

And in celebration of the event the Arab Fashion Council also endorsed a fashion show tribute to Azzedine Alaia and the Alaia Foundation. In 2017, the foundation opened its doors to young designers giving them access to Alia’s work so that they can learn about his creative processes and possibly work in the studio to understand the craftsmanship.

The prestigious awards were designed and created by Luxury designer and artist Helen Yarmak as a symbolic hand-painted bell using silver and 24karat gold.

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Making govt. learning-oriented amid 4IR is a big challenge, experts

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The advent of Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) with new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics and big data analytics is fundamentally changing and shaping our modern society. A key challenge amid 4IR is to make our government departments’ learning-oriented organizations to use big data effectively as evidence for decision making.

Experts said this during a distinguished lecture titled “Implications of Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) for policymaking and the knowledge systems” organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Friday at Islamabad.

Senior Research Fellow, Overseas Development Institute (ODI), London, Dr. Arnaldo Pellini, while delivering the lecture said that over the years the remarkable progress in digital and information technology around the world for generating, collecting and analysing data has been changing the way policymakers can source and use evidence, and adding real-time big data analytics to their evidence. Dr. Arnaldo while quoting the example of New Zealand said that the adoption of four basic principle of usage and sharing of big data, which include values, inclusion, trust and control, can help the governments in effectively managing and regulating the big data usage. Now, the governments need to invest in building capacity of institutions to adapt to the new technologies and innovations, he added.

Joint Executive Director, SDPI, Dr. Vaqar Ahmed said that the major challenge in today’s digital world is to make our government departments ‘learning-oriented’ organizations. “We need to study reasons for low demand of evidence in policy making”, he said adding this challenge is also closely related to how we can narrow down the divide between policy researchers and policy makers. The former needs to learn how best to package evidence-based advice so that it is comprehended properly by the latter.

Dr Vaqar underlines that policy makers on their own will also have to learn how to put in place knowledge management system which are able to provide solutions to complex political economy problems faced by officials on almost a daily basis. He said the public sector can also look at models from other countries where officials have the benefit to learn from an internal unit which dedicatedly focuses on strategic research, foresight and experimentation. The public offices through competition can crowd-source idea from the best academics and practitioners. It is now encouraging to note that some local think tanks are collaborating to help the public organizations towards strengthening evidence for development initiatives, he observed.

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Ambassador of Pakistan to UAE has given congratulations to Mr. Hazza  Al Mansouri (first UAE Astronaut going to International Space Station).

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H.E. Ghulam Dastgir, Ambassador of Pakistan to the United Arab Emirates,has released the following message on the UAE’s first space mission.
“On behalf of the Pakistani community in the UAE and myself, I congratulate Mr. Hazza Al Mansouri, being the first Emirati astronaut to go to the International Space Station.
We wish him good luck in his Mission and pray for safe return.On this historic occasion, I also congratulate the leadership and people of the UAE on achieving this milestone.
I am confident that this space mission will inspire millions around the globe to pursue their efforts for technological development.”

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