Tuesday, October 30, 2007




The Middle East's Leading English Language Daily


Hello, Majid Alemi Junior

kadara kursum is suggesting the following article from
Drug program to boost role of student advisers
Walaa Hawari | Arab News

RIYADH: The Drug Combating Department in association with the General Directorate of Education launched yesterday a series of workshops for female student advisers in the Kingdom's high schools.
The workshops - entitled "Protecting Them is Our Responsibility" - will be carried out for two weeks and are aimed at highlighting the role student advisers can play in combating drugs. The workshops will introduce participants to the various types of drugs and their effects, how to detect signs of drug abuse and addiction, and how to tackle them.
Hana'a Al-Freeh, program coordinator, said the workshops have taken place at the secondary and elementary level for the last three years. She added that the high school age group is important and that signs of behavior disorders should not go unnoticed.
During 2008, the Drug Combating Department was able to confiscate 28 million Captagon tablets, a popular drug among students. Saudi official records show that users spend over 60 percent of their income on drugs, which increases to 90 percent when they become compulsive addicts.
According to a study by Abdul Rahman Al-Qurashi, a microbiologist at King Faisal Medical College, drug abuse is predominant among the younger generation due to unemployment, spare time, social and family detachment, and easy access to cash. In his study, Al-Qurashi noted that in 1989 there were 338 crimes relating to drugs, while in 2001 there were 16,325 - a 48-fold increase in just over a decade.
"All efforts must be put together through various means and programs to put an end to the drugs problem," said Amal Khashogji, director of the Women's Education Affairs Department. She added that providing student advisers with the means to detect drug abuse is important.
Forty-five student advisers will be attending the workshops for the coming two weeks. The advisers will also be provided guidance in how to deal with teenage problems and the importance of gaining students' trust to protect them.


Hi there! Majid Alemi Junior

you might be interested in this article from The Sunday Vision online:

They also added this comment:

Britain shall not cut aid to Uganda

THE British Minister of State for International Development Co-operation (undersecretary of state) Ivan Lewis was recently in Uganda, and delivered a state message to President Yoweri Museveni. Cyprian Musoke caught up with him to find out what the message contained, and other issues surrounding British aid to Uganda.

What are you, as the Minister of State for International Development responsible for?

I am responsible for development issues in the region of Africa and on health and education for the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development.

What was your mission to Uganda, and what, briefly did you discuss with President Yoweri Museveni?

I came to Uganda to see first hand the challenges facing Uganda and to speak to Ugandan leaders about key development plans. My visit was the first bilateral visit to Uganda by a UK development minister since 2006. I had the opportunity to congratulate President Museveni on the country’s economic stability over the last 10 years and for his efforts to reduce poverty.

I also congratulated him on Uganda’s contribution of peacekeeping troops to Somalia and support of AMISOM. We explored ways of ensuring that Africa has a strong voice in the reform of global institutions, and I confirmed to him the UK’s commitment to meeting our aid commitments to Uganda, and got an update on the joint Uganda, Sudan, and Congo efforts to bring the Lord’s Resistance Army leader, Joseph Kony, to justice. I also offered the UK’s assistance in consolidating peace and promoting recovery in northern Uganda.

Britain, just like the rest of Europe has lately been hit by recession, and it has been feared that this will force you to cut back on the aid commitments to Africa and the third world. Will you reduce funding to Uganda?

Our Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, made it absolutely clear that despite the global economic downturn, Britain intends to go ahead with its aid commitments. We signed a 10-year commitment with Uganda worth 700m pounds, and our premier made it clear that we will honour all our aid commitments around the world because it is our responsibility. So we will not be cutting back on any of our aid commitments to Uganda. Despite the global crisis, we urge other development donors to do the same.

In this five-year plan you signed with Uganda, what is the main area of funding?

A lot of it is in budget support but comes with expectations in terms of what the Government should do. We intend to focus on crucial areas like education, agriculture and roads. Fifty per cent of the overall total is in budget support, the rest is on specific programmes like humanitarian assistance.
One of the most prominent complaints that have been voiced by this government, especially President Yoweri Museveni are the strings that are attached to the assistance. Does your aid have many strings?

We made a very clear policy change in 1997 when the Labour Party was elected that aid should not be tied. That was a big shift in our foreign policy. Until then aid had been tied to trade benefits. The only thing we expect is countries to deliver in terms of development to the people of Uganda. The strings attached are that we expect outcomes to change the lives of the people of Uganda and general change as an outcome of the aid we give.

One of the most persistent problems Uganda has had to grapple with in the past has been terrorism by a rebel outfit known as the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) led by Joseph Kony. How have you helped us in this and many other negative elements in the Great Lakes region?

We are still giving humanitarian assistance to the LRA’s victims in northern Uganda. We are now moving to the region to contribute to the possible reconstruction. We believe that the Government of Uganda, together with district leaders should all come together to start up the process of improving everyday lives of Ugandans in the north.

Recently there was an article by Gulu District chairman Nobert Mao in The New Vision (February 24), which blamed Britain for the north-south divide, and the underdevelopment of northern Uganda. Of course we believe that chairman Mao has a key role to play in the reconstruction of northern Uganda, but we urge him to look at the future as not explained by injustices of the past that colonial Britain fought in northern Uganda. We want to work alongside the Government and local leadership, including Mao for the reconstruction of the lives of the people of northern Uganda. We are more committed to improving their lives as per the vision of President Yoweri Museveni.

The other troublesome region in this part of Africa has been Dafur, which some people have termed a genocide. What have you done as our former colonial masters?

We do provide a lot of assistance to the people in Dafur. We have been very supportive of the peace process and want to see peace on the ground and the implementation of the peace agreements that were signed. So we do provide significant assistance to Southern Sudan, and fully support the peace process there. We want to see tangible progress on the ground.

What do you say about the indictment of Sudanese president Gen. Bashir, which most people have looked at as an impediment to the implementation of the peace process and exacerbated the war in Dafur?

We strongly urge the Government of Sudan to co-operate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) and to take bold, ambitious, concrete action to bring peace in Darfur. We urge all parties in Sudan and all international partners to support these efforts.

What is the possibility that the ICC will lift the arrest warrants for LRA’s Joseph Kony if the Government of Uganda opts for a local settlement in Uganda’s courts?

This is not for us to judge; it is an issue for the ICC — an independent body — and the Government of Uganda.

What about the possibility of lifting the indictment of Sudanese President Bashir in order to let the peace process in Dafur take root?

The ICC prosecutor’s application to indict Bashir is independent and has its own procedures. It would be premature to speculate on the outcome of its internal deliberations.

Britain recently held a Uganda presidential advisor Ananias Tumukunde for a bribe he had solicited from a security firm in relation to security equipment Uganda was buying for CHOGM, and President Museveni praised Britain for the move. Their ambassador here returned the money to the Inspector General of Government. Did they discuss corruption that eats into some of the aid we get from the UK?

We discussed corruption with President Museveni as a priority and I offered the UK’s support in tackling corruption in Uganda. We welcome all steps taken by the Ugandan authorities to thoroughly investigate corruption allegations and to seek prosecutions where the evidence allows. It is important that corruption is tackled. Uganda has taken steps to improve public financial management and tackle corruption. Significant progress has been made in developing the institutional framework for accountability. The country’s laws, bodies and systems are strong. Parliament’s ability to scrutinise the Executive and to hold it to account over the use of public funds also shows signs of gradual improvement. Public awareness has increased as a result of a vigilant media and civil society.

What is your take on the situation in Somalia and what’s the UK’s contribution in finding a solution to the crisis there?

We are very impressed by Uganda’s contribution to Somalia’s recovery. Uganda has done a tremendous job in Somalia. Reports we get from Ugandan troops indicate that things are still a bit difficult there, but they are trying in the circumstances. We very much welcome the new Somali president and the prime minister, and desire that they create an all-inclusive government in Somalia. Britain will be ready to work with America and the Somali republic to bring peace.

We have had a constructive meeting with President Museveni in which we talked about tremendous economic growth in Uganda, and increasing decrease in poverty. I delivered a message from Britain. We noted the progress in northern Uganda, that’s why we want to work alongside the Government, and are committed to reconstruction efforts.

What do you have to say about the situation in Zimbabwe?

About the new power sharing in Zimbabwe, we expect them to be fulfilling certain conditions like the release of political prisoners, improving the economy and committing themselves to free and fair elections in the future. That’s Britain’s position if we are to re-engage with the power-sharing government.

Does this mean Britain has not yet engaged with the new government in Zimbabwe?

We are providing lots of humanitarian support to the people of Zimbabwe, but not through the government of Zimbabwe. We will only engage with the government when they have implemented those prerequisites for democracy.

Uganda has for a long time been governed under a monolithic Movement system of government. What do you comment about Uganda’s multiparty politics?

We discussed with President Museveni the fact that it is very important for the next elections in Uganda under the multiparty system to be free and fair. He assured us it would be free and fair, and we will be looking to see what happens.

What do you say about term limits?

That’s a matter for Uganda’s Parliament and the people of Uganda.

Recently there was shelling of Palestine (the Gaza Strip) by Israel, which put the Middle East crisis back on the international agenda. As one of the world powers, what is Britain’s stand on the Middle East crisis?

Britain, like other countries believes that the way forward in the Middle East is a political and diplomatic settlement based on a two-state situation. A secure Israel free from terrorist attacks by Hezbollah, creation of a separate Palestinian state and the stopping of attacks on Israel, but also on the Palestine state. We shall use all our influence to bring that in the Middle East.

One of your main allies, the US has been accused of covertly supplying Israel with arms hence perpetuating the crisis. Have similar accusations been levelled at Britain?

Not any that I am aware of. The issue is we believe that there has to be political and diplomatic settlement of the crisis. Israel is within its rights to protect its citizens from terrorists attacks. But the long-term solution must come from a settlement that will serve both the states of Israel and Palestine.

You can also read the article online at: http://www.sundayvision.co.ug/detail.php?mainNewsCategoryId=7&newsCategoryId=130&newsId=673878




March 7, 2009


Kadara, Assalamu-Alaikum and Greetings !

There has been a lot of buzz recently about the new expansion plans for the Haram Mosque in Makkah. Considering some of the facts, it is no wonder that it is creating a lot of excitement. Consider this - if you have visited Makkah in the past 4 - 5 years, you would have noticed that the expanse of the mosque has grown immensely to accommodate almost one million worshipers. If we on the other hand consider the capacity that would be available when the new design comes to life, the mosque would hold approximately 3 million worshipers ! That is almost 3 times more capacity than all the expansion that has happened to date !

Another design proposed by Atkins will allow upto 5 million worshipers.

In the post below, you can see the proposed new design that is actively being considered. You can also see videos comparing the mosque's new design with the actual mosque designs that date back almost 100 years. You will be able to see the changes that have come to life over the past few years.

Click on the link below to see and watch the mosque's new design. Feel free to forward this post / email and share the fascinating designs with as many as you can.


See and Watch Makkah Mosque's New Design and Architecture

Read other Articles at IqraSense.com





The Middle East's Leading English Language Daily


Hello, Majid Alemi Junior

kadara kursum is suggesting the following article from http://www.arabnews.com:
Editorial: In praise of Orientalism
7 March 2009

Orientalism used to mean the study in the West of the Orient, specifically the Middle East and the Muslim world. All that changed some 30 years ago when the late Edward Said, in his book "Orientalism" made it a dirty word. The study of the Arabs, the Middle East and Islam divided East and West, he claimed. It had been politically driven, the Orientalist's aim being to understand the region so as to control it or to demonstrate Western superiority over it.
He had a point. One of the main British centers for Oriental studies, the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, was established during World War I specifically to create a brigade of trained young men who, knowing the local languages and customs, could play the Great Game in India or ensure the success of British interests in the Middle East and Central Asia; "Knowledge is Power" remains its motto.
A point - but not a large one. To extrapolate from a few genuine cases that all British and French interest in the Middle East over the past 700 years has been conspiracy is a theory too far and has since been shown to be untenable by a host of academics, Arab as well as Western.
But a great deal of damage has been done in the meantime. Inevitably, given the weight of issues burdening the Middle East - Palestine and Israel, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Islamophobia, terrorism - together with the sense of victimhood that stalks the Middle East as a result, Edward Said's thesis has been taken out of context and used to build the very walls that he wanted to tear down. In more vacant minds, the term "Orientalist" has come to mean "enemy" and Westerners interested in discovering Arab and Islamic culture viewed with hostility.
It is appalling when Westerners overheard speaking Arabic in places as far afield as Aswan or Fez or Jerusalem or seen to be taking an interest in local culture are accused menacingly of being "Orientalists". It happens. To suggest that an American or European who is interested in the Middle East or who takes the trouble to learn Arabic does so for devious reasons, that he only wants to know about Arabs and Muslims so as to control them is nonsense. Islamophobia and Arabophobia are serious problems in today's global village. Ultimately they lead not only to affronts like the Danish cartoons but all the way to the continued absence of a Palestinian state. These phobias are not the result of an academic conspiracy; they flow from Western ignorance of Arab and Muslim culture. It is a two-way process. There is ignorance too among Arabs and Muslims of the West. Westerners should be encouraged to learn Arabic and discover the rich history of Islamic culture. Imagine the difference in attitude if officials in Washington or London were as familiar with Arabic as they are with French or Spanish. The bigots of both sides want the walls between the Muslim world and the West to be reinforced. Those walls need to be leveled. Dialogue depends on it. Without dialogue there cannot be a peaceful world. Orientalism needs to be encouraged; Occidentalism too. A Westerner speaking Arabic in Aswan or Fez should be congratulated, not viewed with suspicion.


Museveni flies to UK
Sunday, 8th March, 2009 E-mail article Print article

By Herbert Ssempogo

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni is in London to attend the Commonwealth Day celebrations marked every March 9.

The theme as the Commonwealth commemorates the 60th anniversary is ‘Serving a new generation’.

Museveni, the chairman of the Commonwealth, is scheduled to attend a multi-faith prayers at Westminster Abbey and events organised by Commonwealth Youth Programme regional centres in India, Guyana, Solomon Islands and Zambia.

The President, who left the country yesterday, will be in UK for three days, according to a release from State House.

The aim of commemorating Commonwealth Day is to promote understanding on global issues, international co-operation and the work of the Commonwealth to improve the lives of its two billion citizens.

Queen Elizabeth II, who heads the 53-member organisation, urged member countries to put more emphasis on developing the young generation.  

“Nearly one billion people of today’s Commonwealth are under 25 years of age. These are the people that this association must continue to serve in the future.”  

“To help them make the best of their opportunities, our young and women, therefore, need the opportunity to become active and responsible members of communities in which they live,” the Queen stated in an international message.

Soldiers to be tried over Koboko shooting

Ssekadde hands over Namirembe Diocese

Former tax boss wants churches, mosques audited

Teacher’s assessment begins

Global Fund wants money recovered

First Lady lauds Mukono university

High Court summons rival Mufti

EC sets nomination dates for LC polls

Besigye blasts govt over child deaths

Govt owes pensioners sh200b

MPs to intervene in Muslim row

Local Councils lack leadership skills

Preps for the 2012 census start

News in brief


Other close Museveni relatives in govt jobs

lGen. Caleb Akandwanaho aka Salim Saleh (brother) Senior Presidential Advisor on Defenc
Sam Kutesa (in-law) Foreign Affairs Minister
Lt. Col. Muhoozi Kainerugab (son) Commander of Specialized Forces
lNatasha Karugire (daughter) Private Secretary to the President in charge of Household
Hope Nyakairu (relative to First Lady) – Under Secretary Finance & Admn, State House
Justus Karuhanga (nephew to the First Lady) Private Secretary to the President in charge of Legal Affairs. Re:Forwarded By Me. Majid Alemi Junior.


The Middle East's Leading English Language Daily


Hello, Majid Alemi Junior.

kadara kursum is suggesting the following article from http://www.arabnews.com:
ICC decision not helpful: Kingdom
P.K. Abdul Ghafour I Arab News

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia yesterday expressed its strong dissatisfaction over the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) decision to issue an arrest warrant for Sudan’s President Omar Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Kingdom said it would only complicate the Darfur problem rather than solving it.
The Council of Ministers, chaired by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s support for Sudan, saying Riyadh would stand by Khartoum to confront “whatever undermines its sovereignty, stability and territorial integrity.”
The Kingdom urged the relevant parties to continue their efforts to counter the aftermath of the ICC decision. “We call upon the UN Security Council to shoulder its responsibility toward preserving Sudan’s peace and stability,” the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted the Cabinet as saying.
Culture and Information Minister Abdul Aziz Khoja said the Cabinet also approved new regulations on sales of residential, commercial, office, service and industrial plots and buildings.
“It has banned the sale of such real estate properties or announcements about them in the local and foreign media or marketing them in the Kingdom or displaying them at exhibitions, except after receiving approval from the relevant committee,” the new law said.
The Cabinet set up a committee at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to look into applications for real estate development, set out conditions for the technical and financial qualifications of developers as well as conditions for consumer rights and management of joint benefits.
“The committee will also work out conditions for the declaration of sold real estate properties and the mechanism to protect consumers from the sale of a single property to a number of people by developers and middlemen,” SPA said, quoting the Cabinet decision.
The Cabinet also decided to implement the Saudi Construction Code on an experimental basis for two years. The code aims at achieving public safety and protecting public health by ensuring the strength and stability of buildings and institutions and creating a healthy atmosphere, adequate ventilation and light, conserving the use of water and energy and safeguarding people and property from danger.
The Cabinet expressed the Kingdom’s support for Lebanon in its endeavor to maintain stability, peace and national unity. The Kingdom welcomed the upcoming joint summit of Arab and Latin American countries in Qatar on March 31 and hoped Latin American countries would support Arab causes, especially the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.