UAE agrees to give Egypt $3b in loans and grant, source

UAE agrees to give Egypt $3b in loans and grant, source

posted on 10/07/2013

The UAE has agreed to grant Egypt $1 billion and another $2 billion interest-free loan, an Egyptian source close to the talks told Gulf News on Tuesday. "The amount was expected to be part of a larger financial package from the UAE. The loan would be in the form of a deposit at Egypt's central bank,” the source, who talked on condition of anonymity, said.

The offer was made during a meeting between a UAE delegation to Cairo, led by UAE National Security Adviser Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Egypt's interim president Adly Mansour.

"The UAE stands by Egypt and its people in this crucial phase. It has confidence in the choices made by its people, as well as this people's ability to overcome the current challenges,” Sheikh Hazza said, according to WAM.

Also, the UAE has sent 30,000 tonnes of diesel to Egypt via Suez, a senior Petroleum Ministry official said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Egypt's presidency named former Finance Minister Hazem Al Beblawi to serve as interim prime minister, leading a government that will administer new elections and work to revive a crumbling economy.

Al Beblawi will take ownership of an economy stuck in the worst slowdown in two decades, record unemployment and the highest budget deficit in the Middle East.

Opposition leader Mohammad Al Baradei is named as vice-president for foreign affairs, according to the state-run news agency.

Meanwhile, a senior member of Muslim Brotherhood has rejected the timetable announced by the country's interim president for amending the country's constitution and setting new presidential elections. Essam Al Erian said on his official Facebook page that the transition plan will take the country back to "square one”. – Gulf News with additional inputs from AFP – Gulf News

Sheikh Saif highlights role of media in UAE

posted on 10/07/2013

A number of Emirati reporters will run a variety of legal networking sessions that will take place during Ramadan in different locations

The ‘Majlis' conversations will be held across the Emirates by Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior.

"Media persons are ambassadors of the truth and true partners in improving services provided to clients given their national message through which they express the views of the general public.”

This was revealed during a meeting that Lt. Gen Sheikh Saif conducted with the reporters yesterday (Tuesday) where he said that members of the media are the ambassadors of truth and are active partners in raising the standards and quality of services provided to people in the UAE.

‘'Media persons are ambassadors of the truth and true partners in improving services provided to clients given their national message through which they express requirements and views of the public,” Sheikh Saif said.

He also highlighted the importance of media and its crucial role in enhancing the march of nation-building and development experienced by the UAE in all fields.

He pointed out that media persons play a vital role in conveying the different ideas being thought of by the public. Sheikh Saif exchanged with journalists various views about a host of national issues related to upbringing of younger generations and topics pertaining to enhancing the values of loyalty and allegiance to the nation, as well as the culture of respect for the law.

The discussions will include topics surrounding the concepts of respecting the law, the importance of legislations relative to religion and society. All these aspects create a better understanding and a higher level of education for the law, Al Nahyan added.

Finally, the official urged members of the media present during those discussions to express all their thoughts as this helps various government departments benefit from their opinions and feedback and to create better policies in social services at the Ministry of Interior. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

Colouring the sprit with the minister

posted on 10/07/2013

More than 1,500 gifts were delivered in the past month to children and patients in hospitals around the emirates, putting smiles on faces and ‘replenishing' the pre-Ramadan celebration of ‘Mid of Shabaan'.

Two Dubai-based organisations — charity 1971 and social goods enterprise Social Bandage — joined forces to deliver food and gifts during the month of June to patients at Latifa Hospital, the Elderly Community Centre in Dubai, and Tawam Hospital in Al Ain. Their final stop was on Sunday, at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, where Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan also attended.

1971 founder Khalifa Binhendi said he and founder of Social Bandage Aisha Saeed Harib decided to create the event to try and bring back the tradition of giving children gifts and sweets to prepare and motivate them for the holy month of Ramadan.

"We want to (rejuvenate) hasn't happened much in the past five years.

"It's also an opportunity to change the atmosphere for kids in hospital, and involve the society and motivate them to serve.”

Volunteers — sourced by email, Twitter and Instagram — worked with the organisations to deliver the gifts, socialise and take part in fun activities with the children.

Binhendi said one of the highlights was seeing Sheikh Nahyan attend.

"He was really happy about it, he opened the gifts with the kids, did some colouring with them, and went around to give out gifts to children who couldn't get out of their rooms.”

Harib said it was a great opportunity to celebrate, especially for children. She had first thought she wanted to do a project giving 100 gifts to hospitalised children, and then realised that by joining forces with 1971, they could "cover the Emirates” and provide more than 10 times the amount of gifts.

"The children are in a situation where they're trapped in their room ... I thought somehow there's a solution to help them heal faster...we wanted to take them out of that room and celebrate a special day with them — and invite the public and sponsors to take part.

"The (children and patients) couldn't believe it was happening. They were so happy. Whether it was a cancer patient or a parent — we got them out of their room. It's not often someone knocks on their door wearing face paint.”

It had been a challenge convincing some of the hospitals to take part, as they were concerned about the patients and the amount of noise and festivity, but they soon "loosened up” when they saw the activities, and how much joy could be brought to the patients.

Harib's mother died when she was nine, and since then, "when I started giving and being there for the needy, I felt that some part of it heals me and makes me closer to my mom”.

"And the more you give, the better you become as a person.”

Her business, which "links donors with receivers through products”, recently secured 1,000 wheelchairs for people in need by selling T-shirts and securing sponsorship.

It targets youth, who were not as likely to, or able to, donate cash to causes, but would buy products with a cause behind them, such as T-shirts or bangles, she said.

Her next project aims to help pay off school and transportation fees for those children who cannot afford an education. – Khaleej Times


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