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Catholic Church inaugurated in Abu Dhabhi

Abudhabhi: The second Catholic Church was inaugurated in Abu Dhabhi by Culture, Youth and Community minister Shekh Nahyan Bin Mubark Al Nahyan.

Vatican Secretary Cardinal Pitotro Parolin, Bishop Pavl Hinder were present. The new church is spread over 4,560 sq.ft, and is built in industrial area of Abu Dhabhi. Musapha Abu Dhabhi Municipality has given land for the Church.

Around 9 lack Catholics reside in UAE and 20000 people used to attend the mass in sole church in the city, Saint Joseph Catholic Church.

The foundation for this church was laid on 29thJjune 2013. 1200 chair facility is available in the church and the church staff has every kind of facility in the complex.

Parish Priest F. Anix Xavier will take over the chair on Sunday.
  • Published in UAE

Racism at Abu Dhabi International Airport by Etihad Airways staff, Indians livid

Bengaluru: A five-day tour to Abu Dhabi turned into a nightmare for 16 Indians, as the ground staff of Etihad Airways at the Abu Dhabi International Airport, apparently from Pakistan,  allegedly made racist comments against these tourists and also denied one of them a boarding pass on a confirmed ticket.

Mr Mirza Ismail, 56, an advocate from Davanagere, was among those who were allegedly ill-treated by the airline staff. He told that “I had opted for a package tour along with my five friends and their families from May 20 to May 25, and the tickets were confirmed. We went to the UAE and had a good time. But while returning on May 25, we had a terrible experience at the Abu Dhabi International Airport.”

He said, “When we approached the airline ground staff all of us were given the boarding passes, except my 17-year-old son. I tried to enquire with the staff, but I was made to wait for over two hours without any response. When I approached the desk again, the staff told me that my son cannot board the flight as all the seats are occupied,” he said.

“I was not convinced with their vague response and tried to reason with them. But two workers, Saalim and Sabha, both Pakistan nationals, threatened us and commented, ‘Indians are stupid and they just cannot understand any language. We will get you arrested and detained in Abu Dhabi if you don’t agree to our terms’,” alleged Mr Ismail.

After much persuasion, the airline reportedly informed the family that their son can be accommodated in some other flight, but only after 24 hours. Left with no option, Mr Ismail let his son fly, while opting himself to board the next flight the next day.

“When I told the staff that I don’t have any place to go, they promised an accommodation at a nearby hotel. But to my shock, the hotel was nearly 50 km away from the airport. I reached there around 4.30 am, and only then I realised that I was not the only victim but other Indians too had been cheated by the Airline staff. I suspect that there it is a  nexus between the staff and the hotel, as I was made to pay for the accommodation. The hotel did not provide any facility. They did not even give me a mobile charger, though I requested them a number of times and pleaded that I had to get in touch with my family in India. Around 6.30 am on May 26, I was brought to the Abu Dhabi Airport in a bus and flew back to Bengaluru in a connecting flight with Spicejet via Mumbai,” he added.

Taking a legal course of action, the victim’s associate issued a legal notice to Etihad Airways through a social networking site. The airline authorities replied saying that they will look into the matter. But even a week after the reply, no updates have been made about the action taken.

  • Published in Karnataka

Abu Dhabi International Book Fair: 25 fruitful years

Abu Dhabi — The 25th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) was officially inaugurated on Thursday morning by Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and chairman of the National Media Council.

Touring the fair, which this year is bigger than ever, occupying 31,962sqm of exhibition space, Shaikh Abdullah stopped at various government pavilions and publisher booths, particularly taking his time at the Abu Dhabi Education Council, to join young school students in their free book reading stop over.

“One of the most important cultural events in the country, ADIBF has contributed to shaping awareness of consecutive Emirati generations and reflects the country’s official orientation towards building the individual based on knowledge, science and education, which is the principle that the late Shaikh Zayed had stipulated at an early stage of the UAE’s development as a nation,” said Shaikh Abdullah.

Organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, the fair celebrates its Silver Jubilee this year, hence the many special events in the cultural, professional and educational programmes. One of them is celebrating Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan as the Focus personality at ADIBF 2015.

A retrospective pavilion is dedicated to his life, work and achievements, with rare photographs and documentaries offering glimpses into the legacy he left not just for the UAE, but the world.

Some 600 writers will join the fair this year, to engage in public talks, open dialogues and sign their latest books. Growing by 20 per cent in terms of space from last year, ADIBF accommodates 1,181 publishing houses from 63 countries. Among them there are 130 new publishers, including some from Croatia, New Zealand, Poland, Colombia and Georgia taking part for the first time. Arabic titles remain predominant, but there are also books in English, French, German, even Icelandic language. Most exhibited are children’s books and novels, but there is also a good deal of history, religion, poetry, science and even art titles.

“Personally speaking, ADIBF has always been a pre-eminent stop to look for major new publications in politics and literature, the areas of knowledge I am most keenly interested in. Therefore, I made sure that I visited the fair every year since my days as a student at the UAE University. My frequent visits have allowed me to trace the continuous development the fair, its diversity and richness and the earnest efforts of its organisers to make it a highly professional event that attracts publishers from all over the world,” said Shaikh Abdullah.

ADIBF had a modest start in 1981, when the UAE was still an emerging country; however, the fair has become one of the most prestigious book industry fairs in the Middle East, mirroring our beloved UAE which has become a key player on the international arena,” he added.

The fair will continue at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre till May 13.
Bookworms’ paradise

  • Published in UAE

Muslim women have a very important role to play in promoting peace in the Muslim community

Abu Dhabi: Muslim women have a very important role to play in promoting peace in the Muslim community, and are already at the forefront, spreading a peaceful image of Islam, delegates were told on the third and concluding day of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies held in Abu Dhabi.

The event saw Muslim women from different professions and walks of life give their opinions on how best to promote peace, and counter the extremism that has emerged in certain sections of the Muslim community.

Aisha Al Adawiyyah, an American who embraced Islam, and is the founder of Muslim Women, Inc, in the US, told the audience, “Women are at the forefront of peace building and I don’t think we [truly] understand the significance of what this means. Everyday, women are in the trenches working for peace, trying to keep their family whole, trying to find ways to protect their children, by giving them an education and a dignified, respectful life.”

Women accept the challenges they face, said Aisha. “We take on challenges that many are not inclined to take on.”

Al Adawiyyah also highlighted how Muslim women took part in inter-faith work, broke down barriers and created friendships.

“Muslim women are at the forefront of interfaith work. I live in New York, and have been involved in the interfaith movement for decades, and have found the more meaningful examples of interfaith work to be the ones that brought people from all faiths and backgrounds to the work that impacted peoples’ everyday lives at the grassroots level - that is where you connect with people. Supporting each other in our struggles and strife, we find friendship and love among those people.” she said.

She also called for Muslim women to be granted access to attain traditional scholarships, so that there could be Muslim female scholars, who become recognised and reputed in the community.

Leah Mammadova, President of the Balkan Muslim Womens Conference, one of the speakers at the conference, said that one important pillar in preventing extremism, especially amongst women who have newly embraced Islam, is to provide them with a sound guidance of the religion to prevent them from being influenced or lured into extremism.

“We have a challenge of preventing Muslims from fundamentalism and extremism. These people can be called neo-Muslims - they created an ideal picture of Islam, and read a book telling them Islam should be like this or that, but they don’t have a real [Muslim] model to see or live by. Many times, they find a change in a radical way and move towards an extremist position.”

Scholars also have their role to play in helping these women, by correctly explaining Islamic concepts and principles.

“I propose that scholars compile the doubts and arguments in a book, and also gather the statements by extremist groups that are used to attract Muslim men and women to their cause. This requires a detailed study, of the statements and concepts which need to be explained to them. Unfortunately, extremists have taken Islamic principles ... to [use them] to victimise men and women. This plight should be addressed,” she said.
  • Published in UAE

Mangaluru-Abu Dhabi direct flight

Mangaluru: The Jet Airways Company has launched flight, which will connect Abu Dhabi to Mangaluru directly.

Health minister of the state, U.T.Khadar officially flagged off the flight at Mangaluru International Airport.

This will be the second flight from Jet Airways that will fly from Gulf to Mangaluru. Already a flight is flying between Mangaluru and Dubai.


Mangaluru: 17.50 Abu Dhabi: 20.20

Abu Dhabi: 08.45 Mangaluru: 13.45

 Minister Abhayachandra Jain, MP Nalin Kumar, MLA J.R.Lobo, Moideen Bava, Ivan D’souza and others were present.

  • Published in Mangaluru

Verdict on Indian girl's death Feb 8

bu Dhabi: An Abu Dhabi court will give its verdict Feb 8 over the death of a four-year-old Indian girl who suffocated in her school bus on a hot day, a media report said Monday.

Naziha Lal Ahmed, the kindergarten student of Al-Worood Academy Private School, was found dead here after apparently suffocating inside the locked bus in October last year, the Khaleej Times reported.

According to the forensic report, the child died due to exhaustion.

The public prosecutor has accused the bus driver and attendant of causing the child's death. The school employee tasked with checking the students' attendance was charged with negligence.

The prosecutor has sought maximum punishment for the accused.
  • Published in NRI Form

Labour Ministry collects Dh1,000 fine from violating employers

Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Labour will begin levying a fine of Dh1,000 from companies that fail to issue or renew electronic labour cards of their employees from Sunday.
The move is in line with the Cabinet resolution over violations of labour laws.

However, Humaid bin Dimas Al Suwaidi, assistant under-secretary of the Ministry for Labour Affairs, said employers will be given a grace period — January 4 to June 30, 2015 — to adjust their status.

Employers who failed to issue or renew electronic Labour cards or “Plastic Labour Cards” for their employees will have to pay a maximum of Dh1,000 for each labour card that has not been issued or renewed by December 31, 2014.

He revealed that fines have so far reached a total amount of Dh2.85 billion, which will be reduced to Dh100 million as per the grace period given to employers for settlement.

The period covers the electronic card applications not issued or renewed until the end of this December.

He urged employers to benefit from the grace period to settle the status of their workers and apply for the issuance and renewal of their workers’ e-labour cards.

Al Suwaidi said about 100,000 applications were submitted by 40,000 firms, representing 13 per cent of the total firms registered by the ministry.

“This confirms the government’s keenness to support employers and motivate them to settle those fines, which is a tool used by the ministry to control and regulate the labour market and provide protection to the workers,” Al Suwaidi added.

He explained that there are thousands of cards, some of which have fines reaching Dh53,000.

“Now that large fines have been reduced to only a Dh1,000, it is an opportunity for all employers and business owners to settle those fines and remove any sorts of restrictions in their records at the ministry,” Humaid said.

Furthermore, offenders during the grace period, will be stopped from obtaining all kinds of labour permits until they settle all the above mentioned fines. “Starting July 2015, employers will be asked to pay the Dh1,000 fine per card in addition to another Dh500 for each month of delay,” Bin Deemas pointed.

Al Suwaidi stated that the Ministry of Labour, starting from January 4, 2015, will fine employers “Dh500 per month if they fail to provide employment contracts to the ministry within a 60-day period starting from the entry of the employee into the country.”

He explained that this decision represents the keenness of the UAE to protect labourers’ rights and ensure a stable relationship between employer and employee with full transparency.

He said that the period of 60 days is sufficient for the employer to sign a contract with his new employee through Tas’heel service centres to properly document this, and any excuses of delay will not be accepted.
  • Published in UAE

Sushma Swaraj says welfare of expatriates is priority

Abu Dhabi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday said welfare of Indian nationals residing abroad, particularly in the Gulf countries, is one of the top most priorities of her government. "We believe that the overseas Indians must be a part of the growth story of the nation," she said in an interactive session with the Indian diaspora here Tuesday. November 10-12 is her first visit to the UAE as external affairs minister. She said that her government in collaboration with the state governments has been proactively devising ways and means to address the concerns of the Indians living abroad.

"We have also been engaged with the UAE government in continuous dialogue on various matters concerning our community here," she said. "We have a Memorandum of Understanding on Manpower signed between the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in India and Ministry of Labour in UAE." Sushma Swaraj said the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has undertaken a number of measures to ensure the welfare of Indian community in UAE -- through the institution of Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF), setting up of Indian Workers Resource Centre(IWRC) and online information system regarding transportation of mortal remains.

Since the inception of the ICWF, more than 6,000 Indians have benefitted directly from it, she noted. "IWRC has attended to more than 65,000 telephone calls, conducted 200 awareness camps and provided more than 4,500 free counselling sessions since its establishment in November 2010," she told the Indian diaspora. "Recently, our embassy in Abu Dhabi brought out an advance copy of 'Guidelines for Indians' in limited numbers which I hope will prove quite beneficial for the Indians in UAE. More numbers of this booklet will be printed in English, Hindi and other regional languages."


  • Published in Saudi Arabia
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