Safar / Rabi-Ul Awwal 1422 H
Volume 15-05 No:185
Jeddah: They came in hundreds-children, men and women-with cash, jewellery, wheel chairs and even cars to donate these to their brethren in Palestine. The live Telethon at Jeddah TV Station-the first of its kind in the world, evoked enormous response with donations reaching Saudi Riyal 600 million for the support of the Palestinian people. Prince Abdul Majeed Bin Abdul Aziz, Emir of Makkah who inaugurated the Telethon donated SR 1 million. The first donor was a three-year old girl and then a flood of men and women followed. A 50 year-old man donated SR 500. He had saved this money for his dental treatment, but he was donating his hard-earned money as “now something more important had come up.” A widow came with her son and donated SR 1, 100 and three gold bracelets saying: “ I wish I had more to support the Palestinian widows.” The donation committee consisted of Dr Nabeel Saleh Fadil from Makkah Region Governorate, Mastour Al Harthi from the Saudi Red Crescent, Ibrahim Moussa, Director of Jeddah TV Station and a representative from the National Commercial Bank.
The donations are meant to support the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and contribute in providing them with clothes, food and medicine, as well as the reconstruction of the infrastructure destroyed by the Israeli attacks. One donor handed over a 530-year old manuscript of the holy Quran which fetched SR 300,000. A Rolls-Royce and a Mitsubishi Sedan too formed parts of the overwhelming donations.Top
Cairo: Islamic clerics and scholars from more than 25 countries urged Muslims to boycott products from Israel and countries that support it and to wield the weapon of oil, if needed, to support the Palestinians. The Palestinian violence and anger towards the United States for its bias in favour of Israel overshadowed the two-day conference, organised by Al-Azhar, the highest religious authority in the mainstream Sunni sect of Islam. In their final communique, participants said Muslims should “boycott all products and goods of Israeli companies and of countries that support Israel, that supply it with weapons and support it in its aggression against the Palestinian people.” But the communique, however, failed to mention Palestinian suicide operations - a hot issue debated on the sidelines of the conference.Top
Jeddah: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd has given his approval to establish special centres for girls for the memorisation of the holy Quran in all parts of the Kingdom, according to Islamic Affairs Minister Saleh Al-Sheikh. “This gesture will have a tremendous impact on the Islamic upbringing of the younger generation,” the minister said. The overwhelming support being given by the government and people to the Quran charitable societies has resulted in the spurt of many centers of Islamic studies all over the Kingdom .Top
Cape Town: The Cape Town-based community station, Radio 786, has been successful in its application to the Constitutional Court to declare Clause 2(a) of the Code of Conduct for Broadcasters as unconstitutional. Clause 2(a) provides that “broadcasting licencees shall not broadcast any material which is likely to prejudice relations between sections of the population”. It had been invoked by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBOD). The application was brought by the Islamic Unity Convention and Radio 786, against the Independent Broadcasting Authority and the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBOD).
The Board had complained against Radio 786, in respect of a programme aired in May 1998, which dealt with Zionism and the State of Israel. It claimed the programme, “was likely to prejudice relations between sections of the population, i.e Jews and other communities.” In a judgement delivered last fortnight, Deputy Chief Justice Pius Langa upheld Radio 786’s contention that the invoked Clause 2(a) was inconsistent with the right to freedom of expression. Commenting on the judgement, Radio 786 Station Manager, Farid Sayed said: “It is a victory not only for Radio 786, but also for the entire electronic media in its quest for freedom of expression”Top
Muscat: More than 60 bio-diversity experts and environment specialists from across Africa and the Middle East regions arrived at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) to discuss a host of environmental issues affecting the regions and the world at the workshops being held here. The workshops, focusing on “Promoting Best Practices for Conservation” and “Sustainable Use of Bio-diversity of Global Significance in Arid and Semi-Arid Zones,” are sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Third World Network of Scientific Organisations (TWNSO) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Dr Hamed al Salmi, SQU Vice-President outlined the national bio-diversity strategy and action plan, and stressed that the establishment of the SQU Centre for Environmental Studies and Research (CESAR) was a step in this direction. An exhibition of photographs on environment and bio-diversity depicting different ecosystems and diversity of wildlife, flora and fauna of Oman was part of the workshop.
Riyadh: Saudi Arabia is all set to implement the cooperative health insurance scheme soon. Around 13 insurance companies, representing 90 per cent of the health insurance sector and 200 hospitals and medical centres, have agreed to the draft norms and guidelines, said Saleh Naser Al-Omair, director general of the National Company for Cooperative Insurance. The norms will be binding on all insurance companies and hospitals serving in the health insurance field. The new regulations will solve the problems arising from the absence of uniform procedures in the services offered by various companies and hospitals in the insurance sector. The regulations of the cooperative health insurance will be applied on all expatriate workers and their families. The Saudi employees will come under the scheme only three years after it has been fully implemented for expatriates.Top
Jordan : Learn your ABC in journalism. Writing correctly, precisely and objectively was the name of the game at a journalism workshop held at the Arab Woman Media Center (AWMC) recently.The four-day workshop on the basics of journalism was attended by women journalists representing different Jordanian media institutions in the country. American journalism expert Jo Ann Lynnfission ran through the elements of “good journalism” which are clarity, style and accuracy. The seminar was organised for women journalists only who have risen in number since Jordan started its democratic experiment in 1989.Top
Jeddah: The Saudi government is likely to impose an income tax of about 2.5 per cent on expatriate workers soon. The tax is part of Saudi Arabia's efforts to reform its welfare-dominated economy and diversify state revenue away from oil sales which account for 80 per cent of its income. Around seven million expatriates live and work in the Kingdom, five million of them mainly in the private sector.Top
Dubai: Dubai has started considering a fresh set of laws which would allow more Press freedom, according to Ahmed bin Hayat, Director General, Dubai Technology, e-Commerce and Media Free Zone. On the occasion of the official opening of the Middle East Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) headquarters at the Dubai Media City, it was announced that MBC's decision to move its headquarters to Dubai signifies the development of the region's broadcast infrastructure, and it is part of the network's strategy to establish production units across the Arab world.Top
Copenhagen: Channel One of Denmark's television, for the first time televised the Friday Prayers that were held at the Copenhagen Mosque, the objective being to acquaint the Danish people with Islam, its principles and practices. There are 170,000 Muslims living in Denmark, making up three per cent of the population, yet there are some opposition elements who object to the building of mosques in the country. Islam is the second popular religion in the country, after Lutheran Christianity.Top