The Dipl mat N oting that Sweden can offer excellence within environmenttechnology; information technology and telecommunications; education and health, the Swedish ambassador to Qatar, Her Excellency Ewa Polano says that Sweden also places a strong emphasis on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which is an area where Sweden can make a difference "as we lead as an example, especially in human rights." She adds that there are also endless possibilities in art, music, film and sports. 250 Fils Issue No 735 Established 1996 22 - 28 March, 2015 See Page 7 www.timeskuwait.com H.H. the Amir's support for Syrian refugees praised Recruitment of Indian nurses to be regulated Corruption, exploitation at the root of Indian government’s decision to ban private agencies from recruiting Indian nurses Staff Report I n a major decision to weed out corruption and exploitation of Indian nurses the government of India has restricted the recruitment of Indian nurses to Kuwait for employment through government run agencies only. Indian ambassador H.E. Sunil Jain told The Times Kuwait that government of India had taken a decision that effective 30 April, 2015, the recruitment of Indian nurses for employment in Kuwait would be restricted through State-run recruiting agencies, viz.,NORKA (Non-Resident Keralites’ Affairs Department)-ROOTS and ODEPC (Overseas Development and Employment Promotion Consultants Ltd), Kerala. Henceforth, Indian nurses interested for overseas employment in 18 countries, including Kuwait, would require emigration clearance from Protector of Emigrants Offices in India. Continued on Page 4 A rab League officials commended His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah's relentless support for Syrian refugees, clearly manifested in his hosting of the third donors’ conference to help the Syrian people, end of this month. The officials hoped the Third International Pledging Conference for the Syrian people, would contribute to providing further assistance to some 12.5 million Syrian people and would exceed what had been offered by donors during the first and second meetings, hosted by Kuwait in 2013 and 2014. Arab League Secretary General Nabil Al-Araby praised His Highness the Amir's humanitarian endeavors towards the Syrian people. He said the Arab League’s honoring of His Highness the Amir last September, following UN’s honoring of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad as ‘Humanitarian Leader’, was "an evidence of the humanitarian role of His Highness the Amir in supporting the Syrian refugees." Al-Araby said he would be Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs, Fadhel Jawad, said His Highness the Amir was always at the fore to give a hand to the Syrian refugees. Commending preparations by leading a delegation from the League’s secretariat to the March 31 donors’ conference, also known as Kuwait III, and would give a speech about development in Syria, specially the humanitarian side of it. For his part, the Arab League Kuwait for the upcoming donors' meeting, Jawad said, “The State of Kuwait plays a massive role in the international humanitarian affairs." He added that he hoped all donor countries would contribute to alleviating suffering of the Syrian refugees. Director Internet Stay online with VIVA Internet cards Get 4 GB for KD 4! Enjoy 4G LTE Internet on your mobile in just one step with VIVA Internet cards! Use the card the way you use a prepaid recharge card and you will immediately get 4 GB of Internet on your mobile or for your prepaid router. For more information, please visit our website at viva.com.kw or call our contact center at 102. Terms and conditions apply. Switch to VIVA. @vivatelecom @vivatelecom VIVA Kuwait of the Arab League Health and Humanitarian Aid Department, Laila Najem, said Kuwait "is a big partner of the international community in addressing the humanitarian conditions in Syria and the region." She said that 90 percent of pledges made at the second pledging conference were honored. This commitment, added Najem, underlined importance of Arab League Secretary General's proposal on forming a group to follow up implementation of the resolutions of the donors' meetings. Kuwait III is set to feature participation of 78 countries and more than 40 international organizations. Kuwait hosted the first and second donors' conferences in 2013 and 2014. Pledges in the first amounted to US$1.5 billion while reaching $2.4 billion in the second. Kuwait pledged$300 million in the first meeting and $800 million in the second meeting. Prepaid 2 Local The Times Kuwait 22 - 28 March, 2015 timeskuwait.com Turkish battleship docks in Shuwaikh port T urkish corvette TCG Buyukada F-512 made a goodwill visit to Kuwait last week as part of the framework of friendly ties between the two nations. The corvette docked at Shuwaikh Port and a defence exhibition showcasing Turkey’s defence industry was also held on the sidelines of the battleship’s visit. Turkish ambassador H.E. Murat Tamer welcomed the invitees which included defence personnel from Kuwait as well diplomats and media persons. He praised the strong brotherly relations between Turkey and Kuwait and expressed gratitude to the Kuwait leadership for their support and cooperation in several fields. TCG Büyükada is indigenously designed, developed and built by the Tuzla Naval Shipyard in Istanbul showcasing the naval capability of Turkey. A reception was held by the commander on board the ship which was attended by high ranking dignitaries from the defence ministry and also diplomats and media persons. Local The Times Kuwait 22 - 28 March, 2015 timeskuwait.com 3 His Highness the Amir receives credentials of Arab, foreign diplomats H is Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received at Bayan Palace on Tuesday the new Ambassadors of Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, Australia, Thailand, Sudan, and New Zealand to Kuwait. The diplomats handed their credentials during the occasion to His Highness the Amir. The ceremony was attended by First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Deputy Thank you for sharing in our sorrow I would like to thank everyone who conveyed their condolences to my family and me on the sad demise of my Beloved father, on 24 February, in India. We deeply appreciate the thoughts, compassion and prayers, expressed in person or conveyed through heartfelt messages, which were a great solace to us during our period of grief. Ashok & Mamta Kalra, and the Mughal Mahal family Minister of the Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah, Assistant Undersecretary at the Amiri Diwan Ibrahim Al-Shatti, Head of His Highness the Amir’s Office Ahmad Al-Fahad, Advisor at the Amiri Diwan Mohammad Abul-Hassan, Head of Amiri Protocols Sheikh Khaled Al-Abdullah Al-Nasser Al-Sabah, Head of Protocols at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Dhari AlAjran and Amiri Guard Commander Brigadier Fahad Al-Zaid. 4 Local The Times Kuwait 22 - 28 March, 2015 timeskuwait.com Air India manager bids adieu to Kuwait A ir India country manager Ajai Sinha and his wife Preeti Sinha bid adieu to their friends and well-wishers in a gala reception at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Friday. Mr. Sinha completed a successful tenure in Kuwait having improved the airlines services and connections for the Indian community in Kuwait. During his tenure, Mr. Sinha earned the trust and confidence of the airline fraternity with his hard work and dedication which helped to regain lost market share. Indian ambassador to Kuwait H.E. Sunil Jain, in his farewell speech applauded and congratulated Mr. Sinha for a job well done and for his service to the airline and the community. Hirak Mukhopadyay, airport manager of Air India will be acting country manager until the new manager arrives to take charge. Gulf Indian School mourns demise of student T he funeral service for young Gulf Indian School student Mariamol Mathew, who died in a tragic accident on 4th ring road in Kuwait, was held on 12 March at the St Mary’s Church in Pala, Kerala. Mariamol was travelling with her parents, who had finished some last minute shopping and were driving back home when their tire burst and tragedy struck. Her parents Anil Kumar and Johncy Mathew and siblings Melvin and Manual survived the crash and were rushed to the hospital. A student of Gulf Indian School, Fahaheel, the news of her demise was deeply mourned and the school management, staff and students expressed their heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. Recruitment of Indian nurses to be regulated Continued from Page 1 The new procedure being implemented would ensure transparency and equitable opportunity while protecting the nurses from unscrupulous agencies charging huge sums of money for employment. Detailing the procedure, the Indian embassy in Kuwait explained that foreign employers who sought to recruit Indian nurses would have to register from 30 April 2015 onwards in the e-Migrate system, which is being introduced by the Embassy, for vetting by the Embassy. Thereafter, foreign employers can raise demand for Indian nurses on e-Migrate system with the terms and conditions of their employment. On scrutiny of documents, the attestation/approval would be done by the Indian Embassy on-line basis. This move has been welcomed by several members of the Indian community who have been pursuing this issue to bring an end to the present system of recruitment, where nurses end up shelling almost Publisher & Editor-In-Chief Tareq Yousuf Al-Shumaimry [email protected] Managing Editor Reaven D’Souza [email protected] KD10,000 (Rs20 Lakhs) to secure employment overseas. There are thousands of Indian nurses working overseas and in the past few years it has become a big business for recruiting agents who were following unethical recruitment practices, creating unwanted misery and mental agony for the nurses, which was tantamount to human trafficking. The situation got out of control when almost two years back the Indian government under the previous UPA 2 decided to scrap attestation of employment documents thereby opening a huge corruption nexus into the recruitment of nurses. As part of the recent pay-scale adjustment in Kuwait, nurses’ salaries were raised to attract better trained and qualified nurses. However, recruiting agents were quick to seize the opportunity and charge huge sums of money for employment in Kuwait under a higher pay scale. Several association members commended Ambassador Jain’s personal intervention in this issue that brought about a positive conclusion. P O Box 5141, Safat 13052, Kuwait Tel : 24814404, 24810109 Fax : 24834815 Email : [email protected] Printed in: Arwa Universal Printing Press Dimensions The Times Kuwait 22 - 28 March, 2015 timeskuwait.com 5 GAF 9 juxtaposing technology and art At the Global Art Forum (GAF), 2015, leading artists, curators, archivists, writers, researchers, historians, philosophers and filmmakers gathered alongside new-era professionals such as technologists, entrepreneurship enablers and accelerators, media movers and shakers to debate how technologies have transformed not only the way we work, but how we think, interact, learn and create. Ghazal Praveen T on the museum's collaborative efforts with Joumana Al Jabri, a data visualizing specialist on social issues,in visualizing from 1920s-Palestine to the present. Saleh also expressed her regret at the "lack of networks, museums, trained staff, the absence of a platform to exchange ideas, as well as the safety and security issues involved in transporting art that hinder in building up a museum in Palestine.” Joanne Lisinski, Head of Research at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha, presented a snapshot of her practice and role in arts heritage and preservation in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine. She elaborated on the museum's online encyclopedia in English and Arabic that served as a repository for people to look for bibliographies, phonographs, books, videos and essays. Staff Report he GAF9, held in Kuwait at Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, on 14 and 15 March, was presented by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and supported by Dubai Design District (d3) and the Tamdeen Group in association with Nuqat and Sultan Gallery. The ninth edition of the forum, titled 'Download Update?' was co-directed by media and journalism entrepreneur, Turi Munthe and MiddleEast political, social and economic commentator Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, with Shumon Basar serving as Director-at-Large. The two-day forum, which was supplemented by special exhibitions and events held around the city, highlighted the theme of technologies and their impact on the DISSEMINATE: MEDIA AND MESSAGE IN 20TH CENTURY KUWAIT The debates then trailed the journey of the multi-lingual histories of art, which he found while overseeing numerous projects and research initiatives in India. Two of the founders of Nuqat, Hussa Al Humaidhi and writer Liane Al Ghusain, speaking on 'Archiving as an Act of Love' traced Nuqat’s inception that rose as a result of frustration in the near total lack of Arab identity at artistic platforms. They expressed their concern with documenting and archiving the cultural production of the Middle- world of art and culture. As a kaleidoscope of technology's progress through time, it scanned the past and present looking for the designed and unintended effects of innovation. DIGITIZE OR DISAPPEAR In panel discussions, relating to the GAF's theme of technologies, various researchers and archivists discussed and shared practical and conceptual ideas around digitization of archives and artworks. Open-floor discussions explored various questions ranging from what forms archives can take in the current technological milieu; how visual art be re-imagined through archiving; and what questions does one wants to ask of the future and what shape will it give to the past. The forum looked at different possibilities — data-age, multi-perspective, virtual museums, online curation, multi-faceted curatorial approach to knowledge — that lie in the wake of new archival initiatives in the Arab world and South-Asia, reaching out to individuals and entities engaged in or developing a project on digitizing material. New-Delhi based Senior Researcher at Asia Art Archives (AAA), Sabie Ahmed, presented new ways of mapping various critics, curators, art historians, artists and writers, their personal archives, online bibliographic compilations of East as part and parcel of its mission to stimulate the creative economy. The session investigated their focus on documenting knowledge by 'Practicing the Collective Approach'; data and its perception, the process and the results of collaboration using technology and their effect on the community and economy. Kristine Khouri, an independent researcher and writer based in Beirut, Lebanon, looked at Sultan Gallery's archive over the last forty years and its efforts in introducing Arab artists to broader audiences, and helping to establish a vital dialogue among artists and institutions working internationally. She presented her viewpoint on disappearance of valuable work into thin air, scarce information and how its recovery needs time. Ruba Saleh, Research and Collections Manager at the Palestinian Museum, spoke at length on the 'Palestine Museum' project, and her research interests: space and power, spatial barriers and creativity, practices and policies, and informality and conflict. Emphasizing on the urgency to archive prominent artworks from the region, she furthered homegrown Al-Arabi magazine, from "being the recipient of news" to being the "contributor and exporter" and a pioneer in propounding the ideology of Pan-Arabism. The magazine’s role in creating a ripple-effect throughout the Arab world through its focus mainly on culture, literature, art, politics, society, and economics of the region and its pulsation with the post-Arab Spring movement were also highlighted. Al-Qassemi, contextualized the role of AlArabi magazine alongside the impact of new technologies, including print and television, on the culture scene in Kuwait and the Gulf region, through the voice of scholar, journalist, and the former Editor-in-Chief Al-Arabi Magazine Dr. Sulaiman Abrahim El-Askari. Dr. El-Askari, spoke of how Kuwait expressed itself 50 years ago and how Diwaniyas and radios were then an essential medium of news. He also elaborated on the pre-tech-era of Kuwait, he spoke of the difference of dialect and how it had the undertones of Swahili, Indian and Levantine languages. He then highlighted that Al-Arabi magazine and Kuwait media in general took a "giant leap in the 1950-60s" as they became a significant medium to connect neighboring countries. The Kuwait media through its role in accelerating creative expressions, attracted Arabic literature and art from within and beyond Kuwait – especially in the era when censorship was not a hindrance to expression. Continued on Page 13 6 Local The Times Kuwait 22 - 28 March, 2015 timeskuwait.com Indian embassy holds Indian food, herbal and handicrafts exhibition Madhuri Awale T Staff Writer he Embassy of India, Kuwait, in association with the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), organized a colorful ‘Indian Food, Herbal and Handicrafts Exhibition’ at the KCCI Exhibition Hall on Wednesday,18 March. The exhibition was inaugurated by Ambassador of India to Kuwait H.E. Sunil Jain along with Abdul Wahab M. Al-Wazzan, Second Vice Chairman of the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Speaking on the occasion Ambassador Jain expressed his appreciation to KCCI for their help in holding such an exhibition, which helped display India’s cultural diversity through its wide range of products. The exhibition, which featured a wide range of Indian food items, herbal beauty products and traditional handicrafts, drew a large crowd of citizens and residents. Snacks from restaurants like Thousands witness the launch the Winners restaurant, Udupi restaurant, Thakkar, all kinds of Parle biscuits were available for people to munch on while they went around the exhibition. Spices and pickles from companies like MDH masala, Badshah masala were also available. Indian herbal products included internationally renowned brands such as Shahnaz Hussain and Himalaya with their different kinds of hair oils, face and body scrubs and creams for various skin types. A beautiful display of handicrafts from artistically colored and shaped bowls to intricately designed sarees and churidars from Lu&Lu Hypermarket were also on display. ceremony of Indian Social Forum T he Indian Social Forum (ISF), a new platform for the Indian community in Kuwait, was launched on 13 March at the Integrated Indian School, Abbasiya. The event was observed by thousands. Mr. Abdusalam, Central president of ISF introduced the forum and its activities. He said that the objective of creating a new organization was to have a common platform for all members of the Indian community regardless of language, region, religion or profession. He said, “We are optimistic that the Indian Social Forum (ISF) will enhance the all-round development of the Indian community in Kuwait. In fact the overwhelmingsupport from the people belonging to different Indian states and different walks of life brought this objective into reality.” He further said that the forum’s main focus shall be on the welfare of the weaker sections among the expatriates and they will takeactive part in identifying the expat’s problems and will help them resolve the issues through various means including legal and government channels. In addition to the central and state committee office bearers of ISF, Shihabudeen TS, Secretary, KIFF, Abdullah Ibrahim Khokar, and President Adara Ithihadul Bopara were on the dais. The Event Coordinator and ISF secretary Thayif Ahmed concluded the program with vote of thanks. Sameer Aman hosted the program. Diplomat The Times Kuwait 22 - 28 March, 2015 timeskuwait.com Sweden Enhancing bilateral trade By Erika Widén The Times Kuwait correspondent O n 14 May, 2014, the Swedish embassy opened in Qatar as the country is experiencing a dynamic social and economic development. “It is important for Sweden to be present to lead a political dialogue and promote trade. Our Trade Minister, Ewa Björling’s visit 7 Ambassador to Qatar. Simultaneously, Qatar will soon open its embassy in Stockholm, and His Excellency Hamad bin Muhammed Mubarak Nasser Al Khalifa will be appointed as the Ambassador. At present, in accordance to the Swedish embassy’s records there are approximately 470 Swedish citizens residing in Doha, and around 4,000 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The to Doha, and the opening of the Embassy of Sweden, emphasizes the importance of our relations with Qatar,” says Ewa Polano, Sweden’s Since Her Excellency Polano was appointed Ambassador in September 2014, she has built relations in the triple-helix model including the Qatari government, private businesses and universities. “In addition to a strong emphasize on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which is on the agenda at every meeting, and this is an area where we believe Sweden can make a difference as we lead as an example, especially in human rights.” Ambassador Polano adds that there is a diversity of trade and positions held by Swedish citizens residing in Qatar. For instance, some work for Qatari entities like Qatar Airways, Qatar Rail and Al Jazeera, and in financial institutions while others hold positions in private organisations. In addition, Ericsson Qatar has a Swedish Country Manager and Qatar University has some Swedish professors of Arab origin. “In the medical field we have professors and pharmaceutical managers and rehabilitation medicine – looking to employ Swedish professionals. It would be right to say Swedes are scattered in the government, private and educational infrastructure of Qatar.” Furthermore, Swedish exports to Qatar are at US$260 million, mainly consisting of iron ore, equipment for electric power distribution, telecom and vehicles. Qatar is currently Sweden’s eighth largest trading partner in the Middle-East. Whereas, imports to Sweden from Qatar were approximately US$73 million, mainly compromising of fuel, which is a 55 percent growth in comparison to the year before. “Sweden can offer excellence within environment-technology; information technology and telecommunications; education and health. Those are all areas where Qatar is making extensive strategic investments. There is room for trade expansion – both ways. We are looking into medicine and health, CleanTech, Networked Society, SymbioCity, infrastructure and food,” adds Polano. At present, the largest Swedish company based in Qatar is Ericsson. “Envac and ABB do business here as does Volvo, Saab and H&M. No one 198 5 Dipl mat can avoid the brand new IKEA store in Doha,” highlights the ambassador. The diplomat further adds how Sweden has a lot to offer in many areas of culture. “There are endless possibilities within art, music and also film. Qatar is promoting art as well as sports – and also the Swedish sports culture can share their experiences in Qatar. In March this year we have 58 people coming with a youth team to train at Aspire from Malmö FF (football club).” Despite being a brand new embassy, and with limited manpower among their main duties is to promote organizations, and assist Swedish companies interested to invest and or be present in Doha. “Qatar is a country with the highest per capita income in the world. The development of the country is growing at a rapid speed in all areas. Many embassies were established before we arrived and the competition is fierce. Qatar’s slogan is ‘Qatar deserves the best’ and we believe Sweden can offer the best in many areas,” concludes Polano. 015 -2 SINCE 1985 Everyone’s First Choice Our branches Hawally 22626782 22626783 /4 22425131 22425132 Sharq Fahaheel Farwaniya Al-Rayan Jahra Fintas Salmiya 2 23911174 23911175 24565111 / 222 24565333 23911174 23911175 23900026 23900027 24726126 / 7 24740003 / 4 25729292 25729293 [email protected] - www.mughalmahal.com Salmiya 1 25722223 25722224 Marina Mall 22244523 Sharm El-Sheikh +20693604548 8 Food The Times Kuwait 22 - 28 March, 2015 timeskuwait.com A new culinary Dining experience Staff Report A new dining concept that combines with tasty, healthy and fresh food, Vapiano, serves some amazingly delicious cuisine to guests who are looking for a fine dining Italian experience. Located in the Grand Avenues, on the first floor, the restaurant has been widely frequented since its opening last year in June. Vapiano is not just about pizzas or pastas, but about a concept of freshness. Everything about Vapiano is related to freshness. From the basic ingredients to live cooking freshness is ingrained into the preparation so that the true taste of the DINING IN meal is enjoyed. Vapiano Country Manager Jason D’Souza, who has more than a decade of experience in the food industry in Kuwait, revealed that since their opening last June there has been a steady growth in their customer visits. The new concept has been received very positively and plans are on for opening more branches in select locations all over Kuwait. The unique concept of ordering as you go with a smart card and the meal prepared in front of you gives guests total control over their meal preferences. Whether its adding more cheese or holding the tomatoes in your salad the choice and control is with the guest. Simple preparations with fresh ingredients can go a long way in enhancing the taste and flavor and that is exactly what the Vapiano experience is about, revealed Jason. Symbolizing its name of taking life easy and relaxed, and living healthier and longer, Vapiano treats its guests in an ambience of well being and a design reflecting an olive tree.Trained chefs who have perfected the art of preparation, boil, fry, stir, mix and serve all in one go with amazing dexterity, giving the true meaning to the term ‘what you see is what you eat.’ While the pastas are clearly outstandingly delicious the pizzas are simply the best. The secret to this is the dough which is made in house as well as the sauces and so is fresh and perfect at the time of serving. What is interesting to note is that even the raw pasta is made in house giving the right quality that Vapiano insists about. By making the raw ingredients themselves the Vapiano team controls the quality and taste of the food, delivering consistency meal after meal after meal. While the menu is not an elaborate book of dishes, everything from pasta, pizza, salad and desserts indicate that even the dishes are selected and fine tuned for the guests preferences. To top up this culinary experience Vapiano is priced so reasonably that guests do not have to wait for an occasion to visit the restaurant. For a complete list of featured restaurants, visit http://www.timeskuwait.com/News_Dining In Kuwait KUWAIT Inspired by the elusive brown tomato or kumato, which arrives as a mix of brown, green and red, the fusion Italian establishment is named after this unique tomato. Opt for a Burrata from its classic Italian menu, Italian fattoush salad from its contemporary takes on classics, or even fusion style tapas. The décor – chic, sleek and geometric inspired aesthetic – seems to be cozy and futuristic at the same time. Penne Al L’arrabbiata. Pumpkin Rigatoni. Salted Chocolate Fondant. Al Hamra Luxury Center, Kuwait City | 22270214 Instagram @Brown_Tomato A traditional Kuwaiti restaurant that offers classic homestyle dishes. They are well-known for their tasty kebbeh, cucumber yogurt salad, and traditional Kuwaiti breakfast platters. It combines the essence of Kuwaiti heritage to a modern twist. The counter recalls old baqalas of Kuwait with typical corrugated sheets in the background and on the ceiling. Bright and cheery colors and accessories enhance the Café Bazza experience. Musakhan Tanoor. The Cafe has its own sound track, by singer Marwa Ben Sghaier singing old Kuwaiti tunes, which it sells for charity. 14 branches across Kuwait | 1860860 Their layout is a bit exotic and hipster-esque, with plastic see through chairs, chandeliers and a cone shaped funnel of mounted colored macaroons that add to the ambience. Cheesecake Red Velvet Enjoy typical French desserts from its ‘Classic’ menu available all the time or, go for its selected signature products. It serves a wide selection and flavors of macaroons, puddings, coffee, cheese omelet, pastas, salads, burgers and sandwiches. Arraya Shopping Center, Kuwait city / Saleh Shehab Resort, Julaia’a, U-turn 245 The Avenues – Phase II - 22997919, 22997920, 60062669 - www.facebook.com/chocolateandmacaroon Interview The Times Kuwait 22 - 28 March, 2015 timeskuwait.com 9 DICOE accreditation makes Images Diagnostic Centre unique in region Dr. Yahya Slaiman Kuwait’s healthcare system is steadily proving to be on par with Western healthcare thanks to the efforts of dedicated medical professionals such as Dr. Yahya Slaiman, who are committed to ensuring the country has the latest technological equipment, and people capable of efficiently using these advanced machines, to best serve patients in the country. Christina Pinto I meet International guidelines, and this ensures we maintain a high standard. The ACR supervises quality in more than 3000 centers around the world. We are pleased with the arrangement as this allows us the opportunity to provide high quality care to our patients. Staff Writer mages Diagnostic Center receives the designation of being the First Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence (DICOE) in the Middle East. The DICOE program, which represents the pinnacle of medical imaging care, is an achievement that recognizes the best-quality imaging practices and diagnostic care. Dr. Yahya Slaiman stressed that Images Diagnostic Centre is committed to excellence in Patient Care which was why they received the DICOE Accreditation from the American College of Radiology (ACR). Dr. Slaiman is the Radiology Consultant and General Manager of Images Diagnostic Centre, a leading radiology and MRI center in Kuwait. In 1993, after graduating from the Faculty of Medicine in Toulouse, France in Radiological Diagnosis and Medical Imaging, he returned to Kuwait. Following a stint at a local medical facility as head of department, he moved to his current position with Images Diagnostic Centre. He is a member at the French Institute of Neuroradiology and member of the Organizing Committee of European College of Angioplasty. The doctor met with The Times Kuwait for an exclusive interview during which he spoke about the innovative radiological technologies in use at the Centre, his future practice plans, as well as the Centre’s recent accreditation as a Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence (DICOE) by the American College of Radiology. What is your response to the DICOE accreditation? We are very proud of this achievement; the DICOE accreditation is given by American College of Radiology (ACR), which is among the highest institutions in America dedicated to empowering radiologists and radiological care around the world. A four-man team from ACR, comprising of a radiologist, radiographer, physicist and lawyer, visited the Centre last month and awarded us the accreditation after conducting an extensive examination of all aspects of our facility. They examined in detail our policies and procedures, the quality of our machines and images they generate, and the level of customer service we provide. It was only after this thorough assessment that they awarded us the DICOE accreditation. I would also like to add that an additional requirement for receiving the accreditation was that the facilities must be accredited by the ACR in all modalities they provide, and in which the ACR offers an accreditation program. Another requirement is to participate in the Dose Index Registry® and General Radiology Improvement Database, as well as Image Wisely® and Image Gently. had to be registered with ACR, of which we have been a member since 2010. The DICOE accreditation process is a very detailed and difficult process and one gets it only after three years. We are proud that our Centre is the first facility in Kuwait, as well as the first in the Middle-East, to be awarded this distinction by ACR; the only other accredited centers are in Europe and in the Unites States. How did Images Diagnostics earn the ACR accreditation? When they started the survey of our Centre, aside from all other factors, the main focus was on two factors: quality of images and the patient safety. If a diagnostics center wants to protect patients, it means using the high quality machines with lowest radiation. We do the best examinations and procedures that we can do with state-of-the-art machines, the intention being to avoid inconveniencing our patients by having them repeat certain procedures. For this to work we have had to make the policies and procedures very strict and effective. We are glad that doctors refer their patients to us, and we thrive on patient satisfaction. What does this accreditation mean to the future or Images Diagnostics? The accreditation encourages us to take our practice to another level by following international guidelines. Everything is changing fast in the world and technologies are evolving; this accreditation will help us maintain latest radiology and diagnostics standards. The American College of Radiology also supervises our progress; they request that we send them regular reports and stipulate indicators to maintain quality and this is a relationship that will grow between us. Our work will constantly How important is radiology to healthcare? Radiology plays a very important part; it is the key for good treatment. However, some patients don’t understand the importance, they think they can go to the cheapest place to get the scans done and it will be alright, but some radiologists are not qualified to read the radiology scan. Only a well-licensed and experienced radiologist can properly read a scan. There is a chance that a poorly educated radiologist may miss something in the scan and recommend the wrong treatment or delay the diagnosis. What are some of the innovative technologies employed at the Centre? The most important thing to stay ahead is to follow the latest guidelines and update our machinery. We are planning to start a new MRI machine which does amazing things for our patients. It is called the 3 Tesla (3T) MRI Scan, and it is a quiet, spacious machine that allows us to look after the wellbeing and comfort of our patients. The old MRI machines are normally very noisy, and the examination takes a long time. Moreover, it has limited space and some patients feel uncomfortable in this machine. With the latest advanced machine, we can complete the examination in a less time and since it is bigger, there is enough space so the patient feels more comfortable. The new machine is dependable for detailed examinations and generating high quality images. The patients and their needs are paramount, there are times when we have to do a lot of procedures, and we have to think how it is not easy for patients to be in a narrow closed space and subjected to loud noise. I have a good rapport with my patients, and we treat them well. We give high importance to medical and non- medical service. We want our patients to feel comfortable, and we try to give a special experience for them. What can improve the radiology field in Kuwait? The biggest challenge is getting good and experienced staff. We have an international staff, from Arab, European and Middle Eastern countries, and they contribute a lot to the overall functioning of this Centre. Moreover, a good factor of education in Kuwait is that there are continuous education facilities for professionals to improve themselves. Our challenge is for all of our staff to be experienced and receive a continuous education in the latest technological developments. Images Diagnostics is the only hospital offering a stress cardiac MRI scan, how does it benefit a patient? The Stress cardiac MRI scan is very beneficial to patients, and is easily available in advanced countries. This is the machine of choice for a patient that shows no detectable signs in regular examinations but they express major issues like chest pains. The easiest way to see if the problems originate from the heart is to examine the various areas of the heart in a chemical stress situation. We check to see if there is any blockages, cardiac infractions and weakness in heart muscles and problems with heart contraction, observe the functions of the heart and quality of the cardiac muscles. Do you believe Kuwait can improve its healthcare system? The solution for better healthcare in Kuwait is to work on a National healthcare program. We should have general medical insurance for everyone so it is affordable for people to get treatment and have access to preventive medicine. I believe that the best way Kuwait can resolve its issues with healthcare is if there is an easily accessible national health insurance scheme. This will also lead to reducing rush at the free clinics run by ministries and will increase the quality of the private hospital sector. 10 I Local The Times Kuwait 22 - 28 March, 2015 timeskuwait.com IDF hosts Dr. V. Mohan at KMA-IDF Oration Award event ndian Doctors Forum (IDF), Kuwait conducted the 6th KMA-IDF Oration Award event on 14 March at Regency hotel. IDF selected Padmashri Dr.V Mohan, a world renowned diabetologist and Director of Dr.V Mohan Diabetes specialties center, Chennai and Director of Madras Diabetes Research Foundation as the recipient of the 6th KMA-IDF Oration award. Mr. Shubhashish Goldar, Deputy Chief of Mission of Em- bassy of India in his felicitation speech addressed the burning issue of diabetes and heart diseases in Indian population in Kuwait and commended the IDF for its community service. Dr. Adel Al-Khader, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Kuwait appreciated the IDF for arranging such scientific activities and highlighted the problem of diabetes in Kuwait. Dr. Vinod Grover President of IDF gave a brief account of the academic and professional achievements of Padmashri Dr.V Mohan. The highlights of Dr. V Mohan’s achievements include gold medal in MD examination, establishment of 20 centers of diabetes care in India and abroad, establishment of Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, authorship of more than 900 scientific articles and guest lectures on the subject of diabetes in scores of countries. Dr.Waleed Al-Dahi Con- sultant Endocrinologist of Mubarak Hospital, Fellow Royal college of Canada and Joslin Diabetes Center Harvard University USA gave an introduction to the oration subject of diabetes from his rich experience in the field of diabetes in Canada, US and Kuwait. Then came the climax of the event, Dr.V Mohan started his 6th KMA-IDF oration talk on the subject ‘Prevention of diabetes is possible but we all have to work together’. Quoting extensively from his studies he highlighted the steadily increasing prevalence of diabetes among all social strata in India as well as the role of sedentary lifestyle and food habits as important risk factors for high prevalence of diabetes found in Indian immigrants in US, Europe and the Middle East. He also showed by his studies how including simple walking in their daily routine could reduce prevalence of diabetes among the population. His in-depth knowledge of diabetes, extensive field work and publication of the findings of his field work in the prestigious international medical journals made his Oration talk fascinating. The audience included dignitaries, IDF members, high ranking officials of the Ministry of Health in Kuwait and eminent consultants of private and government sectors. Dr. Jaffer Ali Ismail the dynamic Secretary of the IDF proposed a vote of thanks. The program ended with a healthy dinner served by Regency hotel. Green International to organize seminar by Indian Business Consultant G reen International, a leading project management company in Kuwait, has invited renowned Indian business consultant, Chandrasekar Pandyan, to organize a special corporate training session for their client in Kuwait. The company announced that on the sidelines of the corporate training program, Mr. Pandyan will also be holding a free seminar for entrepreneurs and managerial staff on the topic of ‘Business Process Re-Engineering’. The free seminar, which is scheduled to be held in Salmiya on 28 March, be- City Centre to launch ‘Shop & Win 1001 Trolleys’ promotion C ity Centre, a major player in Kuwait’s retail sector, is to hold a ‘Shop & Win 1001 Trolleys’ promotion at all their outlets in Kuwait from 24 March to 5 April 2015. The promotion optimizes the value of the City Centre shopping experience by adding excitement and fun at all four of its outlets in Shuwaikh, Salmiya, Dajeej and Jahra. During the promotion period, the lucky customer who arrives at the checkout counter is chosen at regular intervals and will be eligible to receive the contents of their entire trolley free of charge. Even if a customer misses on the first attempt, they can try their luck again as there are 1001 opportunities during 13 days of the promotion. Customers shopping at City Centre can take advantage of its wide selection of products and brands, and find all essential household items under one roof. The special promotion will highlight City Centre as one of the best venue for all consumer requirements ranging from Grocery, Garments, Household, Electronics, Toys, and Cosmetics. City Centre boasts of a distinctive shopping experience with a wide assortment of quality products from major brands at competitive prices. tween 6 and 9 in the evening, could be beneficial to CEOs and managers of companies. One of India’s leading corporate consultants, Mr. Pandyan has been a business mentor and adviser to over 50 top brands in the country. With a ‘Certified Knowledge Manager› certification from the `International Knowledge Management Institute› in USA and over two decades of industry experience in India and abroad, Mr. Pandyan is an innovation and business evangelist. His expertise spans across business and technology services, business analytics and research, as well as in initiatives involving systems, processes and infrastructure, to develop seamless competency across the organization. It is hoped that industries and companies in Kuwait will avail of this unique opportunity to attend and interact with this distinguished business consultant during his visit to the country. Local The Times Kuwait 22 - 28 March, 2015 timeskuwait.com 11 Oriental Insurance announces lucky draw winners of 3rd Draw MoI to launch long-term security sweep on illegals U ndersecretary for Citizenship and Residency Affairs at the Ministry of Interior Major General Sheikh Mazen Al-Jarrah said, “We’re about to launch a continuous and long-term security crackdown against the violators of residency law.” He reaffirmed that there is no place for residency law violators in the country, and called on all violators to start amending their legal status in the coming weeks. He noted all sectors of the Ministry will participate in the campaign within a unified security plan designed to control and deport all violators of residence without hope of returning to the country. Church goers decry traffic police action in seizing cars T raffic officers recently impounded 95 cars of church goers, because they parked their cars in ‘No Parking’ areas during the weekly Mass at the Catholic Church in Kuwait City. Security sources reported the procedures followed by the traffic police was in line with application of the law and to provide comfort for those going to the place of worship, indicating they only impounded cars that were blocking the road to make it easy for others to pass. Ministry of Interior made clear that it is keen on enforcing the law and to allowing non-Muslims to perform their religious rites smoothly. Bill increases fine to KD5,000 for employment outside sponsorship T he parliamentary Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee on Sunday approved eight draft bills including a bill to increase the maximum fine imposed on anyone employing a person who is not under his sponsorship from KD3,000 to KD5,000. Considering the political instability and financial corruption that the State of Kuwait has been through in recent years, the authority carries a big burden of making sure no suspicious financial activity goes unquestioned, he added. Al-Nusuf stressed the citizens are also obligated to do their part by reporting suspicious activities, affirming that the Constitution and the authority’s law will protect the wellbeing of whistle blowers during and after investigations. B ader Al Mulla & Brothers Company WLL (BMB), Chief Agents of Oriental Insurance Company Limited (OICL) announced three lucky winners of the third and final draw for the promotion of Motor Own Damage Insurance policies. On 16 March, in the presence of Ministry officials, the draw was conducted at their office in Sharq area. Avinash Wadhawan won 1st prize, Abraham Varghese won 2nd prize and Sulaiman Al Failakawi won 3rd prize. The winners received gift vouchers worth KD 1000, KD 500 and KD 250 respectively at the hands of Agency Manager, Ravi Kumar Raizada. Oriental Insurance is a public sector Government of India undertaking and one of the largest general insurance companies in India. Through their Chief Agents in Kuwait, Bader Al Mulla and Brothers, they offer most extensive coverage’s to Kuwaiti and expatriate population with reasonable premium. They also provide Industries with property all risk cover, vehicle insurance cover, Marine transit insurance cover, Health Insurance cover and liability insurance cover. FREE HOME DELIVERY Parents complain school fees hike D espite the ordinance of the Ministry of Education to cancel any increase in the tuition fee for the school academic year 2015-2016 in private schools, some of schools have reportedly asked for extra fees. According to sources, some private schools sent a circular to parents applying to register their kids in primary stage for the coming school year to pay what they described as ‘category fee’ though the charity education fund already pays all the basic fees for some of them. Health ministry orders HIV tests T he pre-marital medical tests have shown a growing number of HIV infections among citizens and expatriates, said the Ministry of Health. Accordingly, the Health Minister Dr. Ali Al-Obaidi issued a directive mandating all patients consulting at gynecology, pregnancy departments and all sexually transmitted diseases OPDs to undergo HIV tests as a condition to receive further medical care in various hospitals and clinics. Enjoy our delicious snacks and desserts that will satisfy your desire for sweets Government o allow transfer of contract labor T he Manpower Public Authority is currently studying to allow laborers working in government projects to transfer their visas to private companies. This option helps utilize the workers’ services in major projects. The authority is likely to require certain conditions to allow the transfer, such as the presence of vacancies of the worker’s same job title at the destination company, as well as a good salary and better contracts for the workers. This will help fight visa trafficking, the sources said. Private hospitals 'file fees' to be canceled T he file opening procedures, including the fees, in private sector hospitals and clinics would be cancelled in Kuwait and all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, stated Dr. Mohammed Al-Khashti, Assistant Undersecretary for Private Medical Services at the Ministry of Health (MoH). Khashti added that a GCC study is in progress to put this new step into practice in order to reduce the burdens patients seeking private medical care. Many complaints have been made in many GCC states about variations in the ‘over-priced’ fees collected by some private hospitals and clinics for opening files, which vary between KD1 and KD 100. MoH to sign work contracts directly with nurses C hairman of the Kuwait Association of Nursing Bandar Nashmi Al-Enezi has revealed that the Ministry of Health, in coordination with the Indian Embassy and Assistant Undersecretary for Supportive Medical Services Dr. Jamal Al-Harbi at the Ministry of Health, will sign work contracts directly with nurses without the intervention of a third party. He added, the association will cooperate with the ministry if any sort of interference is found that will negatively affect the process of recruitment. Outstanding food and great taste We have cabins for families Restaurants Kuwait city - Mubarak Al Kabeer Street Tel: 22456553 , 22476886 Salmiya - Hamad Al Mubarak Street Tel: 25720788 , 25720799 Confectionerys Jabriya - Block 3, Street 10 Qusor - Block 7, Street 14 Andalus - Block 6 , Street 4 Tel: 25333500, 25348484 Tel: 25425003,25429812 Tel: 24802961, 24802971 Farwaniya - Block 1, street 122 Jahra - Block 2, Behind Zamzam Market Tel: 24757070,24758080 Tel: 24578992, 24578993, 50277799 www.orientalkuwait.com 12 Local The Times Kuwait 22 - 28 March, 2015 timeskuwait.com Kuwait Out & About Things to do this week 22 March Ongoing SPRING FESTIVAL Al-Ghanim Bilingual School brings its spring festival. Entrance ticket KD1. Al-Ghanim Bilingual School Block 6, Al-Mutanabi St. 9am–4pm 25657822, 25644953 ext. 57 27 March ROCK AND RAMBLE, LIVE MUSIC CONCERT 28 March DK Dance and Event group presents Live Music Festival 2015 by Rimi Tomy and Group with singers Nikhil Raj, Sreenath and Pradeeb Babu. Marina Hall – Abbasiya | 6pm To book, call at 90039594, 97797921, 99586902, 99214764, 96620156 Get the latest on Kuwait art scene, plug-ins, new bands and concerts; meet creative talents behind lenses and palettes; find out what books are hot off the press and read about the weekly breathers and weekenders, workshops to drop in, the mood lifters, outdoor and sports events, gastronomy, and much more all condensed into this weekly shot of Out & About. The winner from Kuwait will qualify for the world finals in Austria. Till 29 March SIRBB Circuit, Shuwaikh Industrial Area 1 22274722 | www.sirbbcircuit.com ART EXHIBITION KART RACE RED BULL KUWAIT Set your fastest time at SIRBB track. The fastest 20 races will qualify to Kuwait finals on 2 April. Al-Seef (meaning ‘water’s edge’) are works from the Collection of Barjeel Art Foundation, curated by Suheyla Takesh. The exhibition offers a window into several distinct episodes of history, where proximity to water has either shaped or played a significant role in the development of a place. Till 31 March Contemporary Art Platform / Exhibition Space, 7pm to 9pm, 2492 5636, capkuwait.com GCC, a collective based in the Arabian Gulf, which takes its name from the English abbreviation for the transnational, political and economic union – Gulf Cooperation Council, features a new exhibition inspired by nationstate branding campaigns. A Wonderful World Under Construction imagines a reality in which a government body provides branding as an essential public service. The exhibition serves as the launch for a fictional Smartphone app; the detritus of a press conference, including posters and promo videos, remain in the gallery. Till 2 April Sultan Gallery – South Sabhan Block 8, St. 105, Building 168 | 24714325/6 ext.111, 60970001 www.sultangallery.com [email protected] Sami Mohammad: A Retrospective, the first indepth survey of over fifty years of work by the pioneering Kuwaiti sculptor, brings the largest ever presentation of his work. Curator, Abed Al Kadiri, presents more than 120 pieces —many of which have never been exhibited before — including sculptures, paintings, drawings, prints and documents from the artist’s archive. This retrospective, held in the country of the artist’s birth, pays homage to his long and influential artistic journey. Till 14 June Contemporary Art Platform - Exhibition Space, 2nd floor, Life Center (same building as Eureka and Midas), Industrial Shuwaikh Block 2, St. 28 24925636 I www.capkuwait.com I [email protected] 28 March Besides its permanent galleries, featuring the private collection of Sheikh Nasser Sabah al Ahmed al Sabah, and his wife, DAI director general and co-founder Sheikha Hussah Sabah al Salem al Sabah, the Dar al Athar al Islamiyyah devotes its temporary spaces in March to works by contemporary Kuwaiti artists, including a video program by Monira Al Qadiri, titled JAYKAR: The Cheeky Video Scene of the Gulf; plus exhibitions by Ghadah Alkandari, Amira Behbehani, Farah Behbehani and Mohammed Al Kouh. Through March Amricani Cultural Centre 22400992 | darmuseum.org.kw 27 March X1 ENTERTAINMENT SHOW Mark your calendars to celebrate the anniversary of MadStand – the regional creative entertainment productions – in collaboration with Activate, for live music, performance by DJ Madjam, stand-up comedy and live sketches performed. Safir Hotel, Bneid Algar| 5:30pm 22274640 Book tickets at www.madstand.org/booking A LITTLE PRINCESS, O KUWAIT ne World Youth Theatre, with appearance by One World Actors, presents the delightful ‘A Little Princess’ from the children’s book by Frances Hodgson Burnett in aid of Bayt Abdullah Children’s Hospice. The story goes as Sarah Crewe arrives in England from India and her life changes at Miss Minchin’s Academy for Young Ladies. Bayt Abdullah Children’s Hospice Buy tickets from [email protected] 6-HOURS ENDURANCE RACE Reserve a booth or sign up for your team for the first-time-inKuwait opportunity to experience a 6-hour endurance race and a thrilling carnival, brought by Kartival. 9am–9pm | Call on 60097207 The 31st GCC Traffic Week, runs under the slogan: ‘Your Decision Decides Your Fate’, with the participation of senior officials of the General Department of Traffic, includes a number of events related to safety on roads. A number of field visits by visiting GCC delegations to some key traffic facilities aims to raise people’s awareness about traffic in order to find optimal solutions to traffic problems. Till 31 March EXHIBITIONS EARTH HOUR KUWAIT Earth Hour, a worldwide movement for the planet organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), held worldwide annually encourages individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for an hour, from 8:30pm–9:30pm on the last Saturday in March, as a symbol for their commitment to the planet. Use your power to change climate change. Join the Earth Hour Kuwait, which will feature live music, environmental art, cultural performances, graffiti and ecocrafts, as well as food. KIPCO Tower, Khalid Bin Al Waleed Street, Sharq, Kuwait City | 6pm GCC TRAFFIC WEEK IN KUWAIT A LIFESTYLE EVENT WITH STYLE 28 March ‘ineedmyspace’, a lifestyle event with a twist, by American University of Kuwait (AUK), ART Space you create and GET OUT AUK Garden, 10am - 10pm 97775273 - 97473373 Viewpoint The Times Kuwait 22 - 28 March, 2015 timeskuwait.com EXCLUSIVE to 13 THE TIMES KUWAIT Making space for China Jim O’Neill A former chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, is Chairman of the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance. W hen the United Kingdom announced earlier this month that it had agreed to become a founding member of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), most of the headlines focused not on the news itself, but on the friction the decision had caused between the UK and the United States. The White House issued a statement urging the British government to “use its voice to push for adoption of high standards.” And one senior US administration official was quoted accusing the UK of “constant accommodation of China, which is not the best way to engage a rising power.” In fact, it is the US that is advocating the wrong approach. The US would be wise to stop resisting the fact that the world is changing. The US Congress has yet to ratify a 2010 agreement providing China and other large emerging economies greater voting power in the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. In the meantime, the agreement has become obsolete; China’s economy has nearly doubled in size since the deal was struck. [Ed: The AIIB was formed in October 2014 by a grouping of 21 countries led by China, including India, Singapore and Thailand to fund Asian energy, transport and infrastructure projects. The finance ministers of France and Germany confirmed on 17 March that they would be applying for membership of AIIB. It is believed Italy also intends to join.] America’s reluctance – and that of France, Germany, and Italy – to give the emerging powers an appropriate voice in the established international financial institutions is counterproductive. It drives the creation of new parallel institutions such as the AIIB and the New Development Bank, founded in 2014 by the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, Continued from Page 5 and South Africa). In the coming days, I will be visiting China in my role as Chair of the British government’s Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, and also as a participant in the Boao Forum for Asia, an event similar to the annual gathering of the World Economic Forum in Davos. I hope to encourage Chinese policymakers to make the fight against antimicrobial resistance a priority when China chairs the G-20 in 2016. And though I am not the British ambassador, I will be happy to state my belief that the UK government was wise to join the AIIB, and that the US administration, in voicing its opposition, was not. China’s $10 trillion economy is bigger than those of France, Germany, and Italy combined. Even if its annual output growth slows to 7%, the country will add some $700 billion to global GDP this year. Japan would have to grow at something like 14% to have that type of impact on the world. For anyone who wants to engage in global trade, it is thus vital to identify what China wants. In the case of the UK, this obviously includes finance (as well as sports, music, fashion, and perhaps health care). The UK is simply being smart when it promotes its own interests by cooperating with China. One of the few positive consequences of the 2008 financial crisis was the elevation of the G-20’s global role; in principle, it is a far more representative forum for international leadership than the G-7 ever was. There is, however, a downside to the G-20’s emergence: the large number of participants can make it difficult to reach agreements and get things done. A new G-7 needs to be created within the G-20, thereby providing China with a degree of influence that reflects its economic weight and requires it to assume a commensurate proportion of global responsibility. Space at the table for China could be obtained if the eurozone countries, signaling their commitment to the common currency, agreed to surrender their individual seats in exchange for one representing the entire monetary union. The US, too, would finally have to accept China’s heightened global role. Later this year, the IMF will recalibrate the weights in its unit of account, the so-called Special Drawing Rights, which comprises a basket of currencies that currently includes the US dollar, the euro, the British pound, and the Japanese yen. According to almost every economic and financial criterion, the SDR basket should now include China’s renminbi. The US would be wise to not oppose such a move. Otherwise, it would risk accelerating the decline of the established international financial institutions. Similarly, the US Congress should ratify the agreed changes to the governance of the IMF and the World Bank. By founding the AIIB and the New Development Bank, China and other emerging powers have signaled that they will not wait for their voices to be better heard. And decisions like that of the UK – and France, Germany, and Italy – show that they are not alone. GAF 9 juxtaposing technology and art NEGOTIATIONS AND COLLABORATIONS: REFLECTION FROM THE FIELD Researcher and gender politics consultant, Dr. Al Anoud Sharekh then moderated a discussion between psychologist May Al Dabbagh and artist Manal Al Dowayan, on how reflecting upon external circles, they explored their inner cores with their project 'Voice (re) claimed'. HERITAGE ENGINEERING: A CONVERSATION WITH GCC Critic, curator, editor, Murtaza Vali moderated the conversation by GCC Collective, a group of multi-media artist, on "Heritage Engineering"; how active heritage construction, which might not be there, but is, very convincing. The collective's essentialism on aspects such as "contemporary conditions in the Gulf", reflected on diplomacy as theatre which "just comes in Gulf clothing" but is, as a matter of fact, a truth that "exists everywhere." POKE! Joumana Al Jabri, in conversation with Munthe, talked about shifting perspectives, sensory media and Click-Through-Rates. With her 'Visualizing Impact' (VI) visuals and tech tools, Jabri spoke of visualization to be more about storytelling and Munthe considered it as a way "for the media to suck out the responsibility out of people." In their discussion on VI's project 'Visualizing Palestine' she threw light on the tragic situation of fishermen in Gaza, Palestine who are not able to safely go out fishing. She then showed, in relation to parks being uprooted in New York, how many trees were uprooted in Palestine to create a bus transport system. THE ARAB TECHNOCRACY Munthe, in conversation with Roland Daher, who leads business development and strategic alliances at Wamda, explored 'The Arab technocracy', and why Daher believes in the social impact of entrepreneurship and strives to foster it in the Arab world. They discussed in length about who is doing what to whom in Arab technocracy and for how much, as well as whose lives were being changed and who owns the end product. Munthe questioned Daher on tech's capabilities as a great leveler, or if it tabled as business – political and economic – as usual. With words such as "incubator", "enabler" and "accelerator" describing Daher, he traced "the so called" Arab technocracy: from the cornerstone of a deal that turned Maktoob Inc. into Yahoo!'s official arm in the MENA region, to Talabat's acquisition by Rocket Internet AG, and finally placed Wamda as the third milestone in accelerating entrepreneurship ecosystems across MENA. Rather than mimicking the western world for new ideas, he cited the overnight success of Alibaba. He spoke of the structural characteristic quality, in terms of tech-entrepreneurship, that he found would be particularly aiding the technological growth of the Arab world, especially of the Gulf. He called for a beginning in collating and collaborating – in terms of language and boundaries – rather than acting as "22 individual countries of the region competing to differentiate from each other". "Loosening up" in terms of hiring hindrances, "detaching" from permanent tension between power and control, and scaling out the apt market would add to the success, he said. Daher also saw the beginning of "internet penetration going at par" as well as spoke appreciatively of remarkable amounts of funding by the governments in the region. FOREVER PAPER: PUBLISHING GULF LITERATURE TODAY Writers Mai Al-Nakib and Lana Shamma, in conversation with Kuwaiti writer and journalist Taleb Alrefai, pointed out the entangled conditions that the "globalized, interconnected, and hyper-aware" presence of being online describes the Gulf's reaction to the dissemination of literary publications to online platforms. While Doha-based Shamma, left the question of publishing Gulf literature works today being "Forever Paper" to be a "maybe" phenomena, Mai AlNakib, expressed her "non-optimistic" views towards online presence which lead to disappearance of "private time, quality, memory, creative contemplation and readers" themselves from the lives of people. Shamma also pointed out that as opposed to the very important, vibrant earlier form of expression – 'Hakawati' for Arabics, which used acrobats, storytellers, musicians, "the Arabic e-book dilemma" puts many Arabic readers into the dilemma of "payment, language and privacy rights" issues. I THINK I SPAM Cecile B. Evans, whose work involves "artificial intelligence, automation, and the idea that in the future, maybe humans will be augments to machines," in conversation with Basar spoke of her creation – self robotic, human intelligence, spam-bot – AGNES, the use of holograms and digital mechanics, as well as showed flicks of her current work – the sequel to her recent film 'Hyperlinks or It Didn't Happen'. 14 India The Times Kuwait 22 - 28 March, 2015 timeskuwait.com Why India urgently needs a GST tax structure The legal and regulatory framework governing a free-market economy differs considerably from that of state-controlled markets. Basically, under government control, economic activity is confined to only those permitted by the state; in a free-market economy, the state steps-in only when corrective measures are needed to prevent a ‘market-failure’ or potential market-breakdown. India to import Iraqi oil I to fill strategic reserves I ndia is set to import eight million barrels of Iraqi oil to fill its first strategic petroleum reserve (SPR), taking advantage of cheap prices and lending some support to a market suffering from oversupply. India›s oil ministry instructed state refiners Indian Oil Corp and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd to each seek two very large crude carriers (VLCC) of Basra oil for arrival in May-June, totaling eight million barrels. A committee of directors suggested Basra oil, as it suits refineries on India›s east coast. This would be a one-off purchase for the SPR as the stocks will be used only in case of supply disruptions. India›s finance ministry has provided 24 billion rupees from revised budget estimates for the current fiscal year to fill the first SPR. The world›s fourth biggest oil consumer, India last month built its first underground SPR in Andhra Pradesh with a capacity to hold 9.75 million barrels of oil. A total of three SPRs in the south will hold more than 36 million barrels of oil, enough to cover about 13 days› supply for India in case of a supply disruption or extreme price volatility. The two other SPRs, at Padur and Mangalore in southern Karnataka state, will have a capacity of 29.3 million barrels and are expected to be ready by October. ndia requires the legal and regulatory frameworks for a market economy, which involves among others the repealing of old legacy laws and creating state capacity to address market failures. Among the reforms that the government needs to concentrate on are: First, ensure low inflation by putting in place a structure for monetary policy, fiscal consolidation and food market reforms. It must also put public finances on a sustainable path through tax reforms that require urgent implementation of a Goods and Services Tax (GST) as well as introduction of a more predictable tax administration. Also of importance in the implementation of expenditure reforms that focus on public goods, new designs for subsidy programs and stricter mechanisms for accountability. In order for the Indian prime minister’s call for “Make in India” to resonate with international business community, the country needs to put in frameworks that create a business-friendly environment, including changing the government’s intervention in the market from one of permitted until prohibited, to one of prohibited unless permitted. Providing an environment conducive for investment, which is crucial for job creation and economic growth, requires a commitment to improving India’s longterm growth prospects. One component in this approach is the GST, which the government now says will be rolled out in April 2016. The GST envisages creating a single tax for goods and services across the country. For instance, Indian truck drivers, who clock an average of 280km per day, are well below their international counterparts who clock on average 400km per day, and far below American truck drivers who cover over 700km per day. The underperformance of Indian truckers has less to do with bad roads and less fancy trucks and more about prevailing archaic laws. With more than 650 check posts in the country and 11 categories of taxes on the road transport sector, truck drivers in India spend 60 percent of their time offroad pushing paper-work and negotiating check posts. need for many warehouses. Analysts say the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) could provide the kind of productivity boost illustrated above. GST aims to combine the large number of taxes currently imposed by the central and state governments into a single tax, which could help create a common Indian market facilitating seamless movement of goods across states and reducing the transaction cost Since road traffic accounts for 60 percent of freight traffic in India, the slow movement of trucks across states leads to productivity loss. According to a study by UBS Securities, the global firm providing financial services, if the distance covered goes up by 20 percent per day, Indian truck productivity would improve by 12 percent. Higher productivity would streamline the supply chain, including cutting the need for buffer stocks, reducing loss of perishable goods and lessen, the of businesses. According to the National Council of Applied Economic Research, government›s tax revenue will increase by about 0.2 percent because of GST implementation, while GDP growth could go up by 0.9-1.7 percent. Exports will also get a boost as they are zerorated for taxes and also because the fall in cost of manufactured goods and services under GST will increase the competitiveness of Indian goods and services in the international market. Indian man arrested for forcing daughter to school I Private banks in India to hike fees and fines The new financial year will begin with a new set of charges and higher penalties for customers of private banks. M ost large private banks, including HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank, have announced a hike in charges ahead of the new rules kicking in April 1, for penalty on non-maintenance of minimum average balance in savings accounts. Banks are also introducing charges to nudge customers to use digital channels and move away from physical instruments such as cheques. In November last year, RBI had asked banks to impose from April 1 a penalty which would be proportionate to the shortfall in minimum balance. Banks are also required to inform the account holder through email or SMS of imminent charges when the balance requirement is breached. Thirdly, banks are barred from creating negative balances by imposing charges on the grounds that charges will be deducted from future deposits. Some banks have also doubled charges for locker rentals and introduced new charges for re-generation of PIN at branches and for notes deposited in cashaccepting machines beyond one deposit per month. n rural India, where going to school is still a distant dream for many girls, and parents often think it is not necessary to educate their daughters, a man has been arrested for forcing his daughter to attend school! The incident comes at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a huge campaign to educate girls in India. India has a female literacy rate of 64 percent, compared with 81 percent for men. The 40-year-old man from Mathura district in Uttar Pradesh state was arrested after local papers published images of him driving his daughter to school roped to the back seat of his motorcycle. The man, a father of two sons and three daughters, who works as a security-guard at a local school, said he tried to coax his daughter to attend school by offering her sweets and other gifts. But the young girl was adamant on not attending school as she had a class-exam for that day. The zealous father, who spent a day in the cells and was later released on bail, said, "My daughter will not die if I take her to school tied to my bike; but she will surely die if she does not go to school and learn." Health The Times Kuwait 22 - 28 March, 2015 timeskuwait.com 15 On World TB Day, 24 March, 2015, WHO is calling for new commitments and new action in the global fight against tuberculosis – one of the world’s top infectious killers. World Tuberculosis Day, 2015 Antibiotics Y to stop or to not stop ou have been taking antibiotics for a sore throat, but after two days you feel better – except that the tablets make you feel sick. So must you keep taking them? Traditional wisdom is that failing to finish the course allows some bacteria to survive. These will be the hardier ones that can resist the same antibiotic should they meet it again. So for your own good, and that of antibiotic resistance worldwide, you should keep taking the tablets. But the article in the Medical Journal of Australia said there is a common misconception that resistance will emerge if a prescribed antibiotic course is not completed. They said that there was minimal risk in stopping antibiotics if the signs and symptoms of a mild infection had resolved. Only for some conditions, such as tuberculosis or osteomyelitis, and other deep-seated infections where symptoms could improve even though the bacteria might still be flourishing, should patients continue taking antibiotics until they have finished the course or their doctor tells them otherwise. People who have problems with their immune system should also stick to the doctor’s advice. Antibiotics change the normal gut flora very quickly – wiping out the indigenous, harmless bacteria and leaving the patient susceptible to resistant bacteria. So for individual patients, the less antibiotic they are exposed to, the better. Doctors vary in the length of antibiotic regimes they prescribe, with five-day courses for urinary tract infection still being used even though the evidence shows that two to three days is sufficient for an uncomplicated infection. So if you are given an antibiotic, first ask your doctor if you really need it, and then if you can stop taking it when you feel better. T he World Health Assembly, convened annually by WHO at the UN Palais des Nations in Geneva, passed a resolution in May 2014 approving with full support the new post-2015 Global TB Strategy with its ambitious targets. The strategy aims to end the global TB epidemic, with targets to reduce TB deaths by 95 percent and to cut new cases by 90 percent between 2015 and 2035, and to ensure that no family is burdened with catastrophic expenses due to TB. It sets interim milestones for 2020, 2025, and 2030. The resolution calls on governments to adapt and implement the strategy with high-level commitment and financing. It reinforces a focus within the strategy on serving Men more narcissistic than women A new study on narcissism that analyzed decades of data from almost half a million participants concludes that men are more narcissistic than women. Researchers from the University at Buffalo School of Management in New York analyzed the gender differences in narcissism across more than 300 “journal articles, dissertations, manuscripts and technical manuals.” Overall, the study took in 30 years of research and more than 475,000 Insufficient sleep increases blood Chronic sleep deprivation can increase night time blood pressure, putting you at greater risk of heart diseases, warns new research. “For the first time, we demonstrated that insufficient sleep causes increases in night time blood pressure and dampens nocturnal blood pressure dipping,” say researchers at Mayo Clinic in the US. The results stemmed from a controlled study that mimicked the sleep loss experienced by many people. High blood pressure, particularly during the night, is one of the major risk factors associated with heart disease. In this study, eight healthy normal weight participants aged 19 to 36 participated in the study followed by nine days of either sleep restriction (four hours of sleep per night) or normal sleep (nine hours of sleep per night), and three days of recovery. Twenty four blood pressure monitorings at populations highly vulnerable to infection and poor health care access, such as migrants. The strategy and resolution will highlight the need to engage partners within the health sector and beyond, such as in the fields of social protection, labor, immigration and justice. The resolution also requests the WHO Secretariat to help Member States adapt and operationalize the strategy, noting the importance of tackling the problem of multidrug-resistant TB and promoting collaboration across international borders. WHO will also monitor implementation and evaluate progress towards the milestones and the 2035 targets. WHO’s ‘End TB Strategy’ envisions a world free of TB with zero deaths, disease and suffering. It sets targets and outlines actions for governments and partners to provide patient-centered care, pursue policies and systems that enable prevention and care, and drive research and innovations needed to end the epidemic and eliminate TB. On World TB Day 2015, WHO calls on governments, affected communities, civil society organizations, healthcare providers, and international partners to join the drive to roll out this strategy and to reach, treat and cure all those who are ill today. participants. In particular, the researchers focused on three aspects of narcissism — Leadership/authority; Grandiose/ exhibitionism; Entitlement. The widest gender gap in the study was found in entitlement, suggesting that men are more likely than women to exploit others and that they feel a greater entitlement to certain privileges. The second largest gender gap was in leadership/authority, which led the researchers to note that men “exhibit more assertiveness and desire for power” compared with women. Previous research has found that personality differences such as narcissism are related to gender stereotypes and expectations. For instance, lead author Emily Grijalva, PhD, assistant professor of organization and human resources, notes the lack of women in senior roles of leadership could be influenced by disparities in perceptions of femininity and leadership. Narcissism is problematic for both individuals and society. Those who think they are already great do not try to improve themselves. And narcissism is bad for society because people who are only thinking of themselves and their own interests are less helpful to others. pressure at night regular intervals were measured at each study phase. During night time, in the sleep restriction phase compared to normal sleep phase, systolic and diastolic blood pressure averaged 115/64 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) versus 105/57 mm Hg respectively. Furthermore, the expected fall in blood pressure during the night was suppressed when the people had inadequate sleep. They also found that night time heart rate was higher with sleep restriction than in normal sleep. 16 Beauty The Times Kuwait 22 - 28 March, 2015 timeskuwait.com Best colorless products for your Dress up your nude manicure N udes, pale pinks, creamy whites, and barely-there hues, yet again, ranked in popularity according to worldwide fashionistas, proving that the trend has yet to slow down since it started to appear on just about everyone’s fingertips early last year. What neutrals lack in pizazz, they make up for in versatility and transition. Still, it is easy to get bored with this shade, as it doesn’t have the same allure as a ruby red polish. This color palette might be popular at the moment, but there is no reason to get bored. Take a look at the tips below for a few quick ways to not only dress up the nude manicure trend but also to keep it looking its absolute best. Go for a Half Moon: If you like nail art in its most subtle form, try painting on a half-moon to your nude manicure. For instance, paint your nails with a base coat before highlighting the semicircle shape at the bottom of the nail bed with a sheer, creamy white. If you are worried about being unable to stay in the lines, here is a quick trick; paint on the polish and then taking a clean, angled brush dipped in polish remover, remove the color outside of the lines. You can also use tape or a sticker if you are worried about it getting messy. Makeup Arsenal From primers to powders to gels, colorless makeup products are an absolute necessity to have in your makeup collection in order for your look to be perfected and polished. T hey are essential for both prepping and finishing off a makeup application and are hassle-free, since the lack of color allows for a less precise application– perfect for those of us who are always in a rush. Here are some must-have colorless makeup products that you need in your life right now. Colorless powder: A truly translucent powder is an absolute must-have for your makeup stash. Just like a regular powder, it works to set your makeup so it stays in place. However, the fact that it is colorless will ensure that your foundation color doesn’t change upon application or throughout the day. Eyeshadow primer: Eyeshadow primers, which most often dry clear but also come in a variety of colors, are essential for prolonging the wear of your eyeshadows. Just a dab of this colorless product and your shadows will appear more vibrant, and if you apply more smoothly, the design will stay put all day long. Clear brow gel: For those moments when our brows just don’t want to cooperate, brow gel is a lifesaver. Brow gels come in a variety of styles– clear, tinted, fibered. Swiping a bit of a clear brow gel through your brows and combing the hairs into place after filling them in will pull your whole look together. They are even perfect for the days when you are feeling a bit lazy, but still want to look polished. Applying some to bare brows will make them appear fuller and more defined. Colorless lip liner: You are probably thinking how it is possible for colorless lip liner to actually exist. It does, and it is very amazing. A colorless lip liner primes your lips for lipstick application and ‘defines’ the edges, preventing color from bleeding. What you get is longer lasting lipstick that goes on smooth without the hassle of trying to perfectly trace your lips with a colored liner. Makeup finishers: These products are usually clear, lightweight, pressed silicone gels that are applied with a sponge in a patting motion. They are perfect for mattifying your face, reducing the appearance of pores, prolonging the wear of foundation and freshening up your makeup after a long day. Trendy tousled hair Try a French Manicure: You can create a “modern French manicure” by picking an extremely pale shade and painting it on top of your nail without adding in a white tip. Your white free edge will act as a subtle version of that classic exaggerated tip. However, if you do want to try a white tip, you are going to want to keep it clean. To do this, move very quickly with your sheer white polish over the tip and brush from left to right. You will get a better line if you move faster rather than slower. The pressure is off with tousled hair—and that might be one of the top reasons this style is so sought after. A little windblown, a bit beachy, these are the characteristics you are looking for when getting your hair to a tousled state. Stick on decorations: Those that want a little more glam without the pain of removing glitter should reach for jewels or stick-on studs. Paint on two coats of your desired shade and before the coats completely dry, carefully add on a few studs using a toothpick or an extremely thin paintbrush. and twirl sections of your hair. The serum will help change the shape of those sections, giving them a little bend. It will also help smooth out an excess of flyaways. Some fly-aways are fine, but with too many, the messy look you are going for gets unmanageable. Curl only sections Create an Ombre Color Palette: Instead of picking just one nude or light color, sponge on two or three neutral hues in an ombre gradient, making sure to sponge with less lacquer in the areas where they connect. A s contrary as this sounds, learning how to mess up your hair in the right way, is an acquired skill. After all, it is a look you see on the red carpet at pretty much every awards show—and you know there is an expert hairstylist behind it. Learn how to get the look for yourself with these hairstyling tips below. If blow-drying is a part of your routine that you can’t break, make sure you’re rough drying your hair. This will just speed up the process of your hair drying without changing the shape of the strand like blowdrying with a round brush does. Run your hands through your hair while blow-drying so that you’re separating your strands and giving your hair ample volume. Braiding your hair while it’s damp at night and then sleeping on it works as well. When you wake up, you can gently tease so that the texture isn’t super silky. Apply serum in your hands and twist of your hair—not your entire head. Part your hair as you want it and pick up small sections of hair and curl them in opposite directions. While the curls don’t have to be completely uniformed, you will want to make sure you are doing this evenly on each side of your head. This will give you that undone, deconstructed look. If you are trying to take a curly do to a tousled state, run your fingers through the curls from root to tip to “undo” them and then gently shake your hair to give it movement. Spray in a setting spray to keep the volume at its best. Scrunch your hair, whether it is air-dried and natural or curly, with a teeny, tiny amount of hair styling serum, sea salt spray, texturizing spray, hairspray, or even dry shampoo. A product with a holding component will help keep your hair in ‘scrunched’ position without it falling flat. To transform super straight hair to a messy, wavy hairstyle, use a wider curling wand so that you don’t end up with curly ringlets. Dirty hair actually works better with tousled hair. Try not to wash your hair day of so that the natural oils in your hair can help hold the waves. A little dry shampoo at your roots will give you the lift you need. While you are doing your makeup in the morning, put your hair in a messy bun and spritz it with texturizing spray. Take it down before you leave the house and you will have a look of tousled tresses and a whole lot of volume. Women The Times Kuwait 22 - 28 March, 2015 timeskuwait.com 17 Awareness is only half the story M others were everything for us when were small... our lives revolved around her. We called her for everything we needed; we sought her protection from all perceivable dangers. We relied on her hand to lead us outdoors; to kiss away our wounds and to hug us to sleep. She was the focal point of our lives, the greatest human being in the world; divinity on earth. A mother is the epitome of selfless sacrifice and love. Although, it is true that we do not need a day to remember all that our mothers have done for us, it does not hurt to set aside at least one day in a year to thank our mothers for all that they have done for us over the years. Mother’s Day, or Mothering Sunday as it is sometimes known in the UK, is celebrated all over the world, but at different times of the year. In the US, the annual celebration of “moms” takes place on the second Sunday of May, but in Britain it is held on the fourth Sunday of Lent - 15 March this year. Mother’s Day celebration in its present form has its origins in the US and was formalised in 1914 by President Woodrow Wilson following campaigns by various women’s groups. The origins of the British date are a little more convo- T luted. Some believe that Mothering Sunday is derived from a 16th-century practice of visiting the ‘mother church’ - the main church in the region - on Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Lent. Historically, this was also a time when domestic servants were given time off to visit their families. Ex-communist countries usually celebrate the socialist International Women’s Day on 8 March instead of the more capitalist Mother ’s Day. The day was used to celebrate women’s economic, social and political achievements. Some countries celebrate Mother’s Day on 21 March on the occasion of the Vernal Equinox and many others celebrate it on the second Sunday in May. But no matter when Mother’s Day is celebrated or what its origins, the day essentially celebrates motherhood and all that it implies. It is the perfect occasion to pamper your mom with special gifts and lots of love to show her your gratitude. It is the time to honor and cherish the special bond of love that you and your mother share. It is also a time to make amends for not being able to spend quality time with her. So turn your wrongs right by making all efforts to give a perfect Mother’s Day gift to your mother. to interrupt. here are a few common patterns Reinforcement questions: Women of talking that make a woman often ask questions when they already sound unsure of herself and can know the answers. An astonishing 80 stand in the way of being seen as percent of women say they prefer to confident leaders. ask questions even when they know Many women are not even aware the answer. Though such questions that the words they choose can sound are intended to get reinforcement from weak to others. While they often use their listener, they make the speaker this self-effacing language to create sound unsure. a more collegial or collaborative Using modifiers: Women frequently atmosphere, it actually diminishes them and ends up making them sound use modifiers that weaken their tone. The worst kind are words less like leaders. such as “just”--as in “I’d just like to Here are a few say something.” They also use patterns that make Speaking “a little bit,” as in “I’m a little bit them sound unsure habits that concerned.” of themselves. Asking permission: weaken women’s Softer verbs: Women favor softer verbs. They preface with: I think, Women ask leadership I believe, I guess and other permission to speak softer qualifiers, rather when there is no need than outright say: I know to. The notion that they are or this is how it should merely adding on to what be done. Women others have said - and claim to be “not asking whether the other sure,” even when person can even do they are sure, and so - casts the women they weaken their as a subordinate. verbs even more Women also tend when they have to to over apologize ask someone to when joining a do something. conversation; sorry Women's issues The ‘awareness’’- based solutions for problems facing women generate a lot of chatter but very little genuine change. The last year was full of online discussion of feminist issues, which help inform the public and give voice to survivors. But raising awareness is only half the story. In order to create an equal world for women, there needs to be real policy change, and lots of it S ome of the tangible policy goals for the next few decades of women’s advancement will be tabled at the 59th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, which will be held at the UN Headquarters in New York from 9 to 20 March. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the famous Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which is considered as a roadmap for empowerment of women and achieving gender equality. It was during the Beijing Conference in 1995 that former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was quoted as having said that, “women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are women’s rights.” Here’s a brief look at some of the improvements that have been made for women since the Beijing Declaration. Education: Since 1995, girls and boys worldwide are enrolling in primary school at almost equal rates. That is a huge step forward. The next step is secondary school, where the gender gap widens again. Maternal Mortality: In the last 25 years, maternal mortality has dropped by 45 percent, which means that half of the women who survive childbirth today would not have made it in a different time. But there is still more work to do — 800 women a day die from basic pregnancy complications, mostly in the developing world. Water access: Water is an important issue for women, since in many developing countries girls are responsible for fetching water, a task so timeconsuming and difficult that it can keep them out of school or put them in danger of being attacked. Between 1990 and 2010, over 2 billion people gained access to clean drinking water, relieving the burden of water-fetching from girls. Still, in SubSaharan Africa, women spend 16 million hours per day getting water. Leadership: Since 1995, the number of women serving in legislatures has nearly doubled — but that still only translates to 22 percent of politicians worldwide. Obviously, there is still a lot of work to do, especially when it comes to getting women into leadership roles and stopping violence against women. But the advances in health and education since 1995 have been striking. It means we should take heart — even if there is a lot more work to do, progress is possible. The brief glimmers of progress that have been made since the Beijing Declaration is evidence that when we commit to global action for women, we actually can move the needle toward greater gender equality. What is needed now is more action. Gender diversity breeds better corporate governance P ublic companies with more women on their boards are less likely to be hit by scandals such as bribery, fraud or shareholder battles, according to research from index provider MSCI, which looked at more than 6,500 company boards globally. The research found that boards with gender diversity above and beyond regulatory mandates or market norms had fewer instances of governance-related scandals. “There is a clear pattern between having higher than mandated percentages of women on boards and fewer governance-related controversies,” the report said. Matt Moscardi, senior analyst at MSCI, said the findings show a board with few or no women should be a red flag to investors “actively looking to limit the possibility of investment capital being subject to fraud or corruption”. The MSCI research was careful not to draw any conclusions about women’s abilities and characteristics, and instead suggested the number of women on a board should be seen as “a single data point in a matrix of progressive governance indicators”. Anne Richards, chief investment officer of Aberdeen Asset Management, Europe’s largest listed fund company, said: “It’s not a surprise that more diverse boards have fewer governance issues or scandals. I don’t think this is because women are inherently more ‘moral’ than men. And it’s difficult to tease out cause and effect — Are better companies more likely to embrace diversity or does diverse leadership make for better companies? “What we can say with certainty is that gender diversity is a good proxy for more general cognitive diversity, and we know that cognitive diversity leads to better problem solving and outcomes.” Fiona Hathorn, managing director of Women on Boards, a women’s business network, said of the research: “It does not surprise me. A woman often brings to the boardroom different perspectives and insights, because she may well have been brought up in different way to a man. “As a consequence ... she is likely to ask different questions and hear different things. Research suggests that women do more due diligence, are more reflective and take more measured risk decisions.” 18 Travel The Times Kuwait 22 - 28 March, 2015 timeskuwait.com Navroz in Zoroastrian Empires and beyond On 21 March, Zoroastrians celebrate their New Year, Jamshed Navroz, welcoming the spring season on the first day of the first month of the Zoroastrian calendar. They also commemorate the day to honor the legendary king of Persia, Jamshed, who introduced the solar calculation that determined the date when the sun would mark the beginning of the year. H ere is a list of some places where Nowroz, is celebrated with fervor: Afghanistan Iran The most important holiday in Iran, the festival's preparations begin in the month Esfand, the last month of winter in the Persian solar calendar. The Santa of Parsis: Hajji Firuz or, Khwaja Piruz or, Baba Nowroz (Father or Grandfather of the New Year), is the traditional herald of Nowruz, who oversees celebrations for the New Year, perhaps as a remnant of the ancient Zoroastrian fire-keeper. His face is painted black (black is an ancient Persian symbol of good luck) and wears a red costume. Then he sings and dances through the streets with tambourines and trumpets spreading good cheer and heralds the coming of the New Year. Food First: The part of the celebration that preoccupies many of those who celebrate Nowroz is what goes on the table. The most important thing is sumalyak, a sweet dish made especially for Nowroz and the ‘haft-sin’, an ancient tradition of setting the table with seven items beginning with the letter "sin" in the Persian alphabet. In Iran, where the tradition of haftsin is widespread, goldfish merchants prepare for a peak in sales around Nowroz every year. Pakistan and India What is little known is that Afghans share not only an ancient culture with Iranians, but also the language of Farsi. Nowroz, also known as Farmer's Day in Afghanistan, is celebrated widely, in Afghanistan, as an observance that usually last two weeks. Among various traditions and customs, the most important ones are: Guli Surkh festival, which literally means 'Red Flower Festival' (referring to red Tulip flowers) is the principal festival for Nowroz. Celebrated during the first 40 days of the year, when the Tulip flowers grow in the green plains and over the hills surrounding the city, people from all over the country travel to Mazari Sharif to attend the Nawroz festivals. Various activities and customs are performed during the Guli Surkh festival, including the flag raising ceremony by high-ranking government officials, Jahenda Bala event, horse-riding and national sport of Afghanistan Buzkashi games (literally "goat dragging" in Persian.) Sightseeing to Cercis fields: The citizens of Kabul go to Istalif, Charikar, or other green places around where the Cercis flowers grow. They go for picnic with their families during the first 2 weeks of New Year. Jashn-e Dehqan means 'The Festival of Farmers'. It is celebrated in the first day of year, in which the farmers walk in the cities as a sign of encouragement for the agricultural productions. In recent years, this activity is being performed only in Kabul and other major cities, in which the mayor and other high governmental personalities participate for watching and observing. Kampirak: Like 'Haji Nowruz' in Iran, Kampirak is an old bearded man wearing colorful clothes with a long hat and rosary who symbolizes beneficence and the power of nature over the forces of winter. He and his retinue pass village by village distributing gathered charities among people and do his shows like reciting poems. The tradition is observed in central provinces specially Bamyan and Daykundi. Azerbaijan Usually preparation for Novruz begins a month prior to the festival in Azerbaijan. Each Tuesday of the 4 weeks are devoted to one of the four elements – water, fire, earth and wind – and celebrated. table is khoncha, a big silver or copper tray in the centre and candles and dyed eggs by the number of family members around it. The table should be set, at least, with seven dishes. Fire-jumping: As a tribute to ancient fireworshiping every Tuesday during four weeks before the holiday kids jump over small bonfires and candles are lit. On the holiday eve the graves of relatives are visited and tended. The luck of seven: The decoration of the festive On the last Tuesday prior to Novruz, according to old traditions children slip around to their neighbors' homes and apartments, knock at their doors, and leave their caps or little basket on the thresholds all the while hiding nearby waiting for candies, pastries and nuts. Uzbekistan Tajikistan Folk festivals in the villages of Uzbekistan are especially interesting where traditional sport competition kupkari, wrestling of dzhigits, equestrian competitions are arranged, as well as folk fairs, where you can buy everything from souvenirs to national baked foods. The best place to observe Navroz is Chilpak, the so-called Zoroastrian Tower of Silence, located on the banks of the Amu Darya 285 miles northwest of Bukhara. In Darbant, participation in local Navroz-Bayram; watch Buzkashi game and local folk show and have local traditional meal palov-osh. Though the festival was initially celebrated by the Iranian people in Greater Iran, Caucasus and Central Asia, it is now observed mainly in other parts of the world. Now, registered on the UNESCO’s ‘List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’, Jamshed Navroz is declared a public holiday in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Iraqi Kurdistan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kashmir and Kyrgyzstan. It is also celebrated in the Indian Subcontinent, Turkey, South-Asia, Northwestern China and the Crimea, and by some ethnic groups in Albania, Bosnia, Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia. The tiny land-locked hilly nation of Tajikistan – often known as the roof of the world, was once a hub of the ancient silk route, which allowed it to assimilate Persian, Islamic, Chinese and Russian influences and develop a distinct culture of its own. Central to the festival is the traditional preparation of ‘samanak’ – a sweet paste made from germinated wheat. Women in Tajikistan cook the ceremonial ‘samanak’, a component of the ritual ‘haft-sin’ platter, during Navroz. They stir the pot of wheat throughout the day so that the sweet porridge does not coagulate as they sing a ditty, ‘samanak is boiling and we are clapping; others are asleep’. In a Tadjik household, the owner of a house or his elder sons must prepare fried shish kebab and a sweet pilaf made of rice and other cereals. These dishes symbolize the wish for the coming year to be as "sweet" and happy. South Turkey Churshama Kulla is the tradition where people jump over the fire. It is celebrated as a national emblem in Kurdistan. The word 'Newroz' is Kurdish for 'Nowruz'. The Kurds celebrate this feast between 18 till 21 March. It is one of the few ‘people's celebrations’ that has survived and predates all the major religious festivals. In recent years the Newroz celebration gathers around one million participants in Diyarbakir, the biggest city of the Kurdish dominated Southeastern Turkey. The holiday is considered by Kurds to be the single most important holiday of every year. With this festival Kurds gather into fairgrounds mostly outside cities to welcome spring by lighting fire and dancing around it. Kurds in Istanbul celebrate Newroz through coming together and showing their cultural unity. Nowruz is celebrated by Parsis in Pakistan and India, who celebrate the spring break as Jamshed-i Nouroz, with New Year's Day then being celebrated in July–August as Pateti '(day) of penitence’. Jamshed Navroz celebrations can be prominently noticed in western part of India where the Parsi community is more prevalent. Auspicious symbols: Parsi residences are adorned with garlands of roses and jasmines, symbolic stars, butterflies, birds and fishes, and Parsees wear gold and silver kustis and caps, during this time of the year. Agiary or Fire Temple: Special thanksgiving prayers, known as Jashan, are held and sandalwood is offered to the Holy Fire at the Agiary or Fire Temple. The luck of Seven: The number seven, which symbolizes the seven elements of life, namely, fire, earth, water, air, plants, animals and humans, has been regarded magical and significant for the Zoroastrians. The traditional table setting of Jamshed Navroz includes seven specific items beginning with the letter ‘S’, known as 'Haft Sin', that signify life, health, wealth, abundance, love, patience and purity. The Kashmiris in India celebrate Navroz as Navreh, on a date which usually falls between midMarch and mid-April. Thal Bharun, meaning 'filling the platter', is a major Navreh tradition similar to the Iranian Haft Sin. The tray or platter generally include wheat or rice – a sweet pudding made from milk and cereal, fruits, walnuts, rosewater, a coin (sikkeh), a pen, an ink-holder, a mirror (for introspection, purity of thought and honesty), and a lit diya or clay lamp (representing the Light of the Truth). Education The Times Kuwait 22 - 28 March, 2015 timeskuwait.com 19 Learn to Code, Code to Learn Nurturing Character C oding (computer programming) is an extension of writing. The ability to code allows you to ‘write’ new types of things – interactive stories, games, animations, and simulations. And, as with traditional writing, there are powerful reasons for everyone to learn to code. The recent surge of interest in learning to code, reflected in sites like codecademy.com and code. org, has focused especially on job and career opportunities. It is easy to understand why: the number of jobs for programmers and computer scientists is growing rapidly, with demand far outpacing supply. But we see much deeper and broader reasons for learning to code. In the process of learning to code, people learn many other things. They are not just learning to code, they are coding to learn. In addition to learning mathematical and computational ideas (such as variables and conditionals), they are also learning strategies for solving problems, designing projects, and communicating ideas. These skills useful not just for computer scientists but for everyone, regardless of age, background, interests, or occupation. People are amazed with the diversity and creativity of the projects with which they can work. Take a look at the Scratch website and you will find animated stories, virtual tours, science simulations, public-service announcements, multimedia art projects, dress-up games, paint editors, and even interactive tutorials and newsletters. It is always exciting to watch what young people are creating and learning with their talent. But this is just the beginning. People should be aware that new features and capabilities are not enough. The biggest challenges for the future are not technological but cultural and educational. Ultimately, what is needed is a shift in mindsets, so that people begin to see coding not only as a pathway to good jobs, but as a new form of expression and a new context for learning. in Schools In a society where from the onset we scaffold children with praise and reward whether they have had success or not, we have skewed the meaning of accomplishment. We are not teaching them about the effort it takes to be triumphant. We are not nurturing the character strengths needed to be successful in all areas of their lives, not just education. C haracter is essential to the way in which we deal with situations that occur in our lives. It identifies whether we easily give up in challenging situations, or whether we plough through head first. It defines us, and how we approach life. For this reason schools and educators should make it a point to promote the teaching of character to not only create positive classrooms, but also to instill a growth mindset in their students. There is a strong link between the emotional state of mind and the academic, that is to say, the cognitive skills such as learning a language, mathematical formulae, etc are complimented by our noncognitive skills, i.e. our character strengths. For example, a child who is optimistic, can persevere and has a modicum of selfcontrol will be able to take on a mathematics challenge more effectively than a child who is not able to identify those character strengths (noncognitive skills) within himself. It is important to understand that character strengths are a part Step 3: Organize a teamwork activity. Discuss and recap the character strengths needed to complete the task successfully. Have a one-to-one discussion with each student to evaluate the highs and lows of the teamwork activity. of who we are and therefore we can identify, reveal, elicit and nurture them within ourselves. The challenge for educators remains on creating an effective way in which to nurture the right set of character strengths in schools. The following is a breakdown of how to teach students who are not particularly good when working in a team with others. The idea is to give the student a chance to develop and nurture the character strengths needed to be able to accomplish team work tasks: Step 1: Identify the character strengths required to work well with a team. Identify when you have used these strengths in a good way in other areas of your life. Identify how you can make use of those examples and fit them into the task at hand. Step 2: Encourage the student by praising effort made, and character strengths used for displaying good teamwork in a monitored teamwork session. Encourage students to praise each other for their combined efforts for a successful team building session. It is important to note that the third step is a plenary step which enables students and teachers to bring their learning into a self-reflective zone thus allowing ownership for any successes as well as areas for improvement in the future. Fundamentally, if educators and educational institutes take the time to incorporate a well thought out and planned system of teaching character in schools they can create a combination of students who are optimistic, take time to make an effort to succeed and possibly more conscientious of the world around them. This is in contrast to the youth today who is in constant need of attention and praise whether there has been a conscious use of effort or not on their part.
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