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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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Online language groups: a new learning experience

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The internet is flooded with language groups. I don’t think I am exaggerating when I say that there are millions of such groups on Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, and other social networks. However, if you take a closer look at the posts in such groups and chat rooms, you will notice that many of the members are actually asking for the links to other, better, and more active groups, in the hope of finding something closer to a real learning experience. But groups that provide such an experience are rare. Even the ones that seem active are filled with static questions, with just a few answers to each post. There is barely someone ready to answer in real-time.

I was already on the verge of deciding what language groups just aren’t for me when I suddenly came across a website focused on what I was searching for. It took me to a bunch of related groups on Telegram, and I ended up in an amazing setting for language learning. The project bears the name Learning Creators, and they claim to have invented online group learning. It sounds pretentious, but surprisingly I wasn’t disappointed when I joined their groups: vocabulary games, spelling and pronunciation exercises, syntax and translation quizzes, all designed by native teachers from all over the world. But it’s not only the exercises that make the groups so charming; it’s the community. There are teachers in the groups 24/7, providing personal feedback to the learners and helping solve questions and doubts, apart from giving regular lessons based on a common syllabus; those are even stored in separate rooms to allow peaceful studying in an otherwise constantly active environment. Learners register for a management system that keeps track of their progress and makes learning more competitive between the students of each proficiency level. And what’s best about it: all 25 language groups are free. Of course, some groups are still to reach the standard of constant activity, but the groups for big languages, like English, German, Arabic, French, and Chinese, are just overflowing with messages.

If someone had told me that there was still something to be seen in the field of e-learning, except the idea of autonomous bots or super translators that allow you to communicate without actually learning the language, I wouldn’t have believed them. But what I saw is an extraordinary idea of bringing the learning back to the roots: human to human, while taking full advantage of the possibilities of social media, and that brings the learning to a whole new level: real online group learning. The community is constantly growing, and its creators keep adding new features, so I’m curious to see what comes next.

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Home to the “Healthiest Pizza in Chicago”, the Modern Italian Eatery invites Guests to Witness Chefs Go Head to Head for the Most Delicious 4-Course Battle Yet

Fire up the pizza ovens and may the best chef win! Casati’s, 444 W. Fullerton Pkwy, invites guests to join them as they host a “Pinsa Showdown” featuring their own Michelin Star Chef Christian Fantoni, taking on challenger and Master Pinsa Chef Daniele Papa on Tuesday, October 8. All day, diners may enjoy a four-course meal, featuring two entrée Pinsas and two dessert Pinsas handcrafted by both Chef Fantoni and Chef Papa, for just $24 per person. Each guest will have the chance to vote to determine which Chef takes the crown. Casati’s specialty, Pinsa, is a delicious creation that offers diners a lighter and equally-mouthwatering take on traditional pizza – offering 90% less fat, carbs and gluten overall.

Michelin Star Chef Christian Fantoni is eager to welcome challenger Master Pinsa Chef Daniele Papa (flying in from Rome) to Casati’s for this special showdown and all-day dining experience. Both natives of Italy, these Chefs make for the perfect matchup as they have both perfected the craft of this Roman-style pizza dish. While each Pinsa will be a surprise to diners, they are sure to be delighted with each and every handcrafted course.

Owned and operated by Italy-native Stefano Casati with a kitchen led by Chef Fantoni, Casati’s is open for both lunch and dinner seven days a week and offers guests a light, fresh and healthy menu of authentic Italian favorites in an inviting atmosphere. Casati’s is open Mondays – Thursdays from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Fridays – Saturdays from 11 a.m. – 12 a.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. For more information or to make a reservation, please visit

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Celebrate Halloween with Al Raha Mall

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  • Party Centre at Al Raha Mall is the ultimate destination for Halloween accessories

Shoppers celebrating Halloween can get their scary costumes and spooky accessories at Party centre in Al Raha Mall, Abu Dhabi. With the spell binding night creeping up next month, residents can get their hands on the scariest pumpkins, fright night costumes and eerie decorations.

Whether you are looking to rock cat ears or devil horns, Halloween jewellery, skeleton masks, balloons, fake blood or being the most wicked witch in town,

Mr. Sadiq Afridi, Mall Manager at Al Raha Mall said, “Party Centre is busiest before and during the Halloween month and we attract a lot of neighbourhood residents who venture into the mall for their Halloween wares while sampling the mall’s F&B offers and retail outlets.”

“We have numerous product and service offerings for residents looking to host parties or buy trick or treat items. They come from as after as Ghantoot, Shahamak, Shamka and Reef Island,” continued Sadiq.

Other Al Raha Mall outlets include, Lulu Express Supermarket, Brands4U, Dubai Library, Borders bookshop, Al Raha Cinema, Sparky’s, Damas Jewellery, Aster Optical, Tag World, Orlando Sports, ELC, Nayomi, H collection. Services include Etisalat, Du, Al Ansari Exchange, Jumassan Salon, Young Musician, Photo studio, ATM’s and Green Land Flowers. Food lovers can enjoy Caesar’s Restaurant & Confectionery, Tche Tche Boulevard Restaurant, Subway, Papa Murphy’s, Charley’s, Burger Hut, Soulful Restaurant, Samurai Japanese Restaurant, Sapori Veri Restaurant. Coffee connoisseurs can head to Fresh Bakes Café, Bonjour Bonsoir Café and Gloria Jeans.

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Gulf Medical University Signs MoU with Washington State University for Strategic Cooperation in Academia, Training & Research

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The College of Pharmacy, Gulf Medical University (GMU), Ajman, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Washington State University (WSU), USA, to promote mutual cooperation in the areas of academia, training and research.

The MoU was signed at Gulf Medical University on 22nd September 2019 by Prof. Hossam Hamdy, the Chancellor of GMU and Dr. Sherief Khalifa, the Dean of the College of Pharmacy, representing Gulf Medical University and Linda Garrelts MacLean, Interim Dean of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Dr. Asif Chaudhry, Vice President for International Programs, representing WSU.

According to the agreement, GMU and WSU will cooperate to develop joint educational and research activities, student and faculty exchanges, information sharing and practical training.

Prof. Hossam Hamdy, the Chancellor of GMU stated, “This MoU marks the beginning of GMU’s long-term partnership with WSU in several mutually beneficial areas, with the shared objective of improving the quality of education and research. This partnership is in line with GMU’s strategic vision to be a leading international academic healthcare institution through the integration of quality health professions education, research, healthcare and social accountability for sustainable community development.”

Prof. Sherief Khalifa, the Dean of the College of Pharmacy commented, “This is a unique collaboration that is expected to result in a state of the art drug information service in Thumbay University Hospital. The service will be run by licensed pharmacists who are academicians in the College of pharmacy at GMU and in continuous consultation with drug information experts from WSU. The Center for Drug Information and Evidence Based Practice will serve to enhance clinical pharmacy services in Thumbay hospitals, clinics and pharmacies and will a provide an excellent training opportunity for our PharmD students at GMU.

With 6 colleges and 26 accredited programs, GMU is a leading medical university of the Middle East region. The Gulf Medical University Academic Health System is the first of its kind in the region’s private sector. GMU enjoys a robust collaboration with 60+ prestigious universities around the world, including the University of Arizona, Virginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee – USA, University of Saint Joseph School of Pharmacy in Connecticut, Tokyo Medical Dental University, etc. GMU receives students from more than 80 countries as its reputation and image goes beyond the region.

The Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program offered by the College of Pharmacy, GMU, has been recognized by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), making it the first internationally certified entry-to-practice PharmD program in UAE. The PharmD program is fully accredited by the Commission for Academic Accreditation of the Ministry of Education, UAE. GMU PharmD students are the only graduates eligible to take the pharmacist license examination right after graduation. The success rate in pharmacist licensure examination in UAE by GMU PharmD students is 100% in the first attempt.

Founded in 1890, Washington State is a public research university in Pullman, Washington. It is one of the oldest land-grant universities in the American West and features programs in a broad range of academic disciplines. It is the second largest institution of higher education in Washington.

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Press Statement to Mark the 89th National Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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I congratulate the leadership and the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on its 89th National Day, an occasion that is dear to Emirati hearts. This day provides an opportunity to celebrate our brotherhood, unity and shared destiny. May God protect the kingdom as it continues to prosper under its wise leadership.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia enjoy a strategic partnership that spans a wide spectrum of sectors. The roots of the solid ties between our two countries date back to the depth of history and the relationship between our great nations is a model of Arab cooperation.

Wishing our nations continued success and prosperity under our wise leaders.

Mariam Ibrahim Al Mahmoud

Acting Deputy Director General and Director of Executive Training

Emirates Diplomatic Academy

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