Saqr Ghobash, Chinese top parliamentarian review advancing cooperation

SHANGHAI, 17th September, 2023 (WAM) Saqr Ghobash, Speaker of the Federal National Council (FNC) met with Cheng Gangmiao, Deputy Director and Deputy Party Secretary of the Shanghai Municipal Congress of Chinese Communist Party, Standing Committee, President of the Municipal Federation of Trade Unions. The meeting took place as part of Ghobash’s official visit to the People’s Republic of China, during which is leading an FNC delegation in response to an invitation from the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China. During the meeting, the importance of strengthening the existing cooperation between the two countries in various fields was emphasised, as well as the significance of exchanging information and knowledge transfer in a way that reflects the aspirations of the leadership of both countries to advance relations across all fronts. Ghobash stressed the depth of the bilateral relations between the two nations, noting that 2024 marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, which were established in 1984. He noted that both countries are keen to develop their relations in all fields, especially at the political, parliamentary, economic, cultural, educational, investment, and vital sectors, under the strategic partnership signed by the two countries on November 17, 2012, to enhance bilateral relations in all fields. The two sides discussed ways to strengthen cooperation in various fields, including in areas of trade, investment, tourism, culture, and education. They also reviewed the latest developments in the region and the world. For his part, the Chinese parliamentarian welcomed Ghobash and his accompanying delegation, appreciating the importance of their visit and their meetings with senior officials in the People’s Republic of China. He emphasised the long-standing friendship between the two countries and theirpeoples, noting the partnership between Shanghai and Dubai. He praised the Dubai Expo and the Shanghai Expo as major milestones in this relationship, and highlighted the development of Shanghai, the largest city in China.

Source: Emirates News Agency (WAM)

Ministry of Climate Change and Environment leads UAE delegation at 62nd meeting of Ramsar Convention

DUBAI, 17th September, 2023 (WAM) — Ministry of Climate Change and Environment led the UAE delegation at the 62nd meeting of the Standing Committee of Ramsar Convention, held at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) headquarters in Gland, Switzerland . The meeting was held under the presidency of the People’s Republic of China marking the conclusion of the UAE’s four-year presidency, which commenced in 2018 and was underpinned by significant achievements. Asilah Abdullah Al Mualla, Director-General of the Fujairah Environment Authority, took part in the meeting, with officials from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, the Fujairah Environment Authority, Sharjah Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA), and the Dubai Municipality. The meeting covered the strategic plans of Ramsar Convention Parties and discussed their future projects and approach to strengthening measures to protect wetlands and biodiversity. It also addressed the current financials and next year’s budget. Several meetings of the sub- and regional working groups of the committee, were held earlier, and recommendations of these meetings were also discussed. Dr. Mohammed Salman Al Hammadi, Assistant Undersecretary for Biodiversity and Marine Life Sector at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, said: “UAE’s wetlands are among the most biodiverse and we are committed to enhancing efforts to preserve them. Several measures have already been initiated to protect and nurture these ecosystems. During the UAE’s Presidency of the Ramsar Convention, we facilitated a conducive environment for cooperation among member states which helped advance measures for preserving and developing natural environments worldwide. With China holding the current presidency, we look forward to strengthening our cooperation. We will work with all our partners during COP28 to be hosted by the UAE in November to explore additional opportunities for cooperation to achieve our shared objectives”. Asilah Abdullah Al Mualla said: “The Fujairah Environment Authority works in line with the national strategy to protect biodiversity and preserve natural water resources in the Emirate of Fujairah to enhance wetland sites. We do this through joint efforts with the community to achieve a balanced relationship between nature and human activities. Since the inclusion of the Wadi Wurayah National Park among the wetlands in the UAE, the Authority has implemented several initiatives that have assisted in preserving the reserve’s natural resource. We have also drawn out a roadmap for the future with a focus on ensuring the sustainability of our rich biodiversity.” The meeting also discussed plans and initiatives to engage youth in wetland conservation. This reflects the commitment of the participating countries to empower and involve youth in sustainability endeavours to create a greener future. The Emirati delegation’s participation included a review of the country’s efforts to maintain wetlands through systematic planning and innovative initiatives announced at the previous conference. These complement the UAE marking 2023 as the Year of Sustainability, when the UAE hosts COP28. The UAE believes in enhancing biodiversity as a framework for addressing the impact of climate change. Zimbabwe will host the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and the next meeting of the Standing Committee of the Ramsar Convention has been scheduled for June 2024. The UAE ratified the Ramsar Convention, under Federal Decree No. (11) of 2007. In the same year Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary in Dubai was included under it followed by Wadi Wurayah National Park in Fujairah, Mangrove and Alhafeya Protected Area in Khor Kalba, Sir Bu Nair Island Protected Area in Sharjah, Al Wathba Wetland Reserve, Bul Syayeef Marine Protected Area in Abu Dhabi, and Al Zorah Protected Area in Ajman, in the following years. Hatem Mohamed

Source: Emirates News Agency (WAM)

Entrepreneurship incubator launches grant program in Irbid to support business start-ups

In a bid to foster economic growth and empower aspiring entrepreneurs, the entrepreneurship incubator affiliated with “Jordan Start” company has announced the launch of a grant program for business ventures in northern city of Irbid. This initiative, funded by the Jordanian-Syrian Education Program and the European Union, aims to provide financial support to small and micro business projects. Irbid governor Radwan Atoum emphasized the program’s importance in improving economic conditions for both Syrian refugees and host communities. Targeting Syrian refugees benefiting from the services of the National Aid Fund and the Tkiyet Um Ali, the grants, valued up to JD10,000, offer a significant opportunity for business development, he said. Additionally, Atoum highlighted that the application process for availing the grants will commence this evening through the company’s official website.

Source: Jordan News Agency

Jordanian Family Missing Following Flood-Induced Home Collapse in Libya

A Jordanian family is now unaccounted for following the recent catastrophic floods that led to the collapse of their residence in the Libyan city of Derna, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates. The official spokesperson for the ministry, Sinan Majali, said the Ministry’s Operations Center Unit was Saturday alerted by a fellow Jordanian citizen based in Libya about the incident. Upon immediate follow-up, the Operations Center Unit reached out to a kin of the missing family, comprising six members. The relative verified that there has been a break in communication with the family since the devastating floods. Majali emphasized that through the combined efforts of the Operations Center Unit and the Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Tunisia, they are in continuous liaison with the relevant Libyan authorities to ascertain the whereabouts and well-being of the family, he added. In light of the ongoing situation, Majali has once again urged all Jordanian citizens in Libya to remain vigilant and to reach out for any necessary assistance. They can contact: Operations Center Unit in the Ministry: (00962795497777). Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Tunisia: (0021628585111) (0021627111009) (0021650474482) (0021671780875)

Source: Jordan News Agency

Jordan, Oman discuss media cooperation

Minister of Government Communication Faisal Shboul welcomed President of the Omani Journalists Association Muhammad Al-Araimi on Sunday for talks over cooperation. During the meeting, which members of the Association attended, Shboul emphasized the significance of enhancing the media sector’s relations between the two nations by signing memorandums of understanding between official media institutions and organizing media delegations’ exchange visits. Highlighting the importance of boosting media partnerships with Jordan, Al-Araimi acknowledged the obstacles confronting the media industry, such as the drop in the advertising market, where social media platforms have gained the biggest market share, and emphasized the significance of keeping up with artificial intelligence technologies, which may eventually replace human workers in the media sector.

Source: Jordan News Agency

Sharjah Islamic Bank Introduces Screen Reader Integration for its Mobile Banking App

SHARJAH, 17th September, 2023 (WAM) — Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB) announced its success in adapting its mobile banking application with the screen reader service to serve people with visual disabilities as the first service of its kind in the United Arab Emirates. This step came after the specialised technical departments at Sharjah Islamic Bank conducted a series of meetings, deliberations, and continuous communication with people with visual disabilities to find the best ways to allow them to obtain comprehensive and independent banking services. Waleed AlAmoudi, Head of Digital Banking of Sharjah Islamic Bank, said: “The idea of providing new banking services to our brothers and sisters with visual disabilities was launched after a person with a visual disability contacted the bank to find a solution to the difficulty of using mobile applications that meet their banking needs, of balance inquiry, daily money transfers and other digital banking transactions.” Waleed AlAmoudi added, “As part of SIB’s commitment to serve people with visual disabilities, the Digital Banking Department held multiple technical meetings and sought their opinions to help arrive at the best solutions that meet their needs. This communication resulted in the provision of a screen reader service for our fellow people with visual impairments in the SIB’s digital mobile application. We anticipate its success as it is the first of its kind in the UAE to address the needs of this important sector in society. SIB, in line with the directives of the wise leadership and government plans, continues to work on implementing the best policies and practices to empower people with disabilities and ensure their inclusion in decision-making within society, thereby ensuring equal opportunities.” User testing with visually impaired individuals was conducted to ensure easy and secure use of the application The Digital Banking Department at Sharjah Islamic Bank conducted numerous studies for the requirements of the new service and organized several pilot tests in cooperation with a group of people with visual disabilities. These experiments contributed to accelerating the required compatibility for the screen reader service, enabling the bank’s customers with disabilities to perform all their banking transactions through the SIB application on smartphones. The interface for banking services within the smartphone application can be easily navigated, ensuring privacy and security. Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS) expressed appreciation and praised this initiative, highlighting the fruitful cooperation with Sharjah Islamic Bank and its dedication to providing the best services to people with disabilities, including the success in adapting the screen reader service on its banking application via smartphones. Professor Dalia Abdel Moneim, a visual disability specialist at the city’s Early Intervention Center, emphasized the significance of the new screen reader service compatibility in enhancing the independence of people with visual disabilities and enabling them to complete their banking transactions independently. She explained that the (SCHS) places great importance on empowering people with disabilities across various domains, offering services such as early detection using the Spot Vision device to identify visual problems in children in nurseries and kindergartens. The (SCHS) also provides individual training services to develop the skills of people with visual disabilities, classroom training services, and services to support the integration of students with visual disabilities into schools. Additionally, community awareness initiatives are undertaken to educate people about the challenges faced by individuals with visual disabilities and how to effectively engage with them. Numerous people with visual disabilities, their families, and others expressed their appreciation for the bank’s efforts in providing continuous services to people with disabilities in general, and its ongoing leadership in introducing initiatives that facilitate various electronic and other banking transactions. These efforts reflect the support and encouragement provided by Sharjah Islamic Bank towards cultural practices that, in turn, demonstrate the level of digital and civilizational progress achieved by the UAE as a whole and the Emirate of Sharjah in particular. It is noteworthy that Sharjah Islamic Bank has been a pioneer in providing cutting-edge quality banking services. In 2008, the SIB introduced the first ATM of its kind in the Middle East for wheelchair users with mobility disabilities at Al Thiqah Club for Disabled In 2012, the SIB launched the first ATM in the Middle East for people with visual disabilities at the Emirates Association of the Visually Impaired in Sharjah. In 2018, the SIB introduced the first ATM in the Middle East catering to wheelchair users with mobility disabilities as well as the visually impaired at the Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services. A similar initiative was launched in 2019 at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs in Dubai.

Source: Emirates News Agency (WAM)