Iqbal Day Event @ PAD

•November 23, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Pak body celebrates solidarity event
By Jamil Khan @ The Gulf Today-Sharjah, Nov 23, 2014

DUBAI: The ongoing month-long Pak-UAE solidarity celebrations have entered the final phase as a large number of community members from Pakistan residing all over the UAE participated in the event on Friday evening.
The event, ‘Allama Iqbal and National Identity,’ was organised by the Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD) while representatives of the Community Development Authority (CDA) also took part.
The community celebrates its patronage to its great leader, Allama Iqbal, on Nov 9 every year and in the UAE this event was linked with the country’s National Day as part of the community’s solidarity celebrations, to express solidarity with the nation in the light of Iqbal’s philosophy.PAD-2
Ambassador Asif Durrani was the chief guest while Humaid Al Shamsi from CDA and Ali Al Saloom, Haroon Malik, Welfare Consul and Abdul Wahid Khan, Press Consul from the Pakistan Consulate in Dubai, were present.
Dr Faisel Ikram, General Secretary of PAD, unveiled the theme logo to declare the initiating of the month-long celebration. The logo was unveiled by Asif Durrani, Humaid Al Shamsi along with Zahid Tirmiz, vice- president of PAD.
Ambassador Asif Durrani in his speech congratulated the UAE on its 43rd National Day, and admired the vision of its founding leadership which took the nation to  new heights. He also praised the initiative of the Association to mark the UAE National Day. “Pakistan has strong brotherly relations with the UAE and Pakistanis are the second largest community in the country and imparting a significant role in the development of the UAE. Allama Mohammad Iqbal being the poet of the East had the concept of “Khudi” which gives us a positive lesson to follow,” he said.
During the event, Nitin Anand, Director and Chair of Executive Council, Skyline University College, presented a cheque of Dhs50,000 to Zahid Tirmiz to support eight under-graduate students selected from four Pakistani schools.
The event comprised significant performances by 40 students from Islamia Higher Secondary School, Fujairah, Pakistan Islamia Higher  Secondary School, Ajman, Pakistan Islamic Private School, Al Ain and Sheikh Rashid Pakistan School, Dubai which presented traditional dances on various national songs.
Fatema Huzefa, Education Secretary of the association, announced the results of an essay competition and awarded medals and a gift hamper for top positions. The winning schools took the shield of appreciation. All the participants were awarded the Certificate of Participation.
The seven schools which participated in the competitions were Al Amal English High School, Sharjah, H.H. Sheikh Rashid Pakistan School, Dubai, Pakistan Education Academy, Dubai, Pakistan Islamia Higher  Secondary School, Ajman, Happy Home English School, Sharjah, Islamia English School, Abu Dhabi and Prestine Private School, Dubai.

Interview: Nazih Girgis

•November 17, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Writer engages differently-abled children with musical stories

By Jamil Khan @ The Gulf Today-Sharjah, Nov 17, 2014

Dubai: Musical stories always fascinate children and special needs kids are no exception.
Autistic children are more inclined towards musical stories while children with other disabilities also learn a lot from such experiences.
Nazih Girgis, storyteller, writer and President of Edu-Stories Publishing, stated this in an exclusive interview with The Gulf Today. JAMIL-Interview-NazihGirgis-1
He is visiting the UAE and recently held a workshop at the Rashid Centre for the Disabled, which was attended by a large number of children with special needs and teachers.
“Music is as important for me as Maths, Geography, English or other subject. Since the 90s, I have been working with children to conduct workshops and reading session only because I love children,” he said.
Girgis, a prize-winning literary figure in Egypt, has been writing and publishing stories for young children in English as well as in Arabic.
His books include Peter and the Wolf, Carnival of the Animals, Queen Water, Stop and learn from Dr Wise and the Elephant and The Dolphin Park.
Most of his storybooks aim at raising children’s awareness about key issues like environment, health, road safety, water resources and conservation through the help of illustrations.
“Story-telling in a way to amuse young children just like using musical instruments and interactive methods that always fascinate the listeners and deliver effective messages,” he told.
Girgis has been conducting hundreds of workshops and reading sessions in schools, libraries and book fairs throughout Egypt, the UAE and other countries in the Arab world.

PAD Desert Fun Drive 2014

•November 17, 2014 • Leave a Comment

PAD organises Desert Fun Drive
JAMIL-PAD-Desert-1By Jamil Khan @ The Gulf Today-Sharjah, Nov 17, 2014

DUBAI: As part of the month-long solidarity celebrations on the occasion of the 43rd National Day of the UAE, the Pakistan Association Dubai organised a day-long ‘desert fun drive’ on Friday.
Over 100 vehicles with community members from different walks of life were part of the event along with their families and marked the day to show their solidarity with the UAE by flaunting the National Flag throughout the evening.
The association had kicked off the series of events two weeks ago by initiating a poetry recitation session in which poets from Pakistan, Australia and different parts of the UAE enthralled the audience.
The Desert Fun Drive was also attended by Haroon Malik, Welfare Consul from Consulate General of Pakistan, who was the chief guest while families of members of the association were also present.
Community members enjoyed their own 4×4 drive in the desert along with their families and kids, which gave them an amazing experience. JAMIL-PAD-Desert-2
Zahid Tirmzi, vice-president of the association, welcomed the chief guest and thanked the community members for their active participation.
Malik in his remarks appreciated PAD’s gesture in arranging such a wonderful event.
He admired the vision of the UAE’s founding leadership which  took the nation to its new heights.
He also praised the initiative of PAD to devise the series of events to bring the community together to celebrate the UAE 43rd National Day.
“Pakistan has strong brotherly relations with the UAE and being the second largest expat community here we have a significant role in the development of the UAE,” he added.
Culture Secretary of Pakistan Association Arshad Malik thanked the activity partner Butterfly Tourism.
Al Maher Contracting, the main sponsor, was represented by Choudhry Amjad Hussain along with key sponsors Brighto Paints, Mediclinic Hospital, Ramada Hotel Ajman, GN Publishing and Josh FM.
The upcoming events of the ‘Solidarity Celebrations 2014’ are ‘Iqbal and National Identity’ (Nov.21), food festival and Meena Bazaar (Nov.26-29), health awareness camp and solidarity walk on Nov.28.

PAD Plans On 43rd UAE National Day

•November 16, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Association starts Pak-UAE solidarity event

By Jamil Khan @ The Gulf Today-Sharjah, Nov 09, 2014

DUBAI: Members of the Pakistan community in the country have started taking part in the month-long Pak-UAE solidarity programmes to celebrate the UAE’s 43rd National Day.
The celebrations were started with a Pak-UAE Friendship Poetry Recital.
The month-long celebrations are being organised by the Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD) and the Mushaira (poetry recitation) evening was held at its premises.
Poets from the community who participated were flown in from Australia and Pakistan while a number of UAE-based poets also recited their poetry in front of a large crowd of Urdu-lovers.
Earlier, addressing a press conference in the association, the office-bearer unveiled the details of the month-long programme aimed at celebrating the UAE’s 43rd National Day.
Dr Faisal Ikram, general secretary, said the community members of Pakistan are the only ones in the UAE who for the last many years have been organising a series of events to show their solidarity with the country.
“For the past many years, the association has planned various programmes to be held on weekends, between Nov.7-Dec.2, to celebrate the friendship and long-lasting relationship between the two brother countries. We are expecting more than 20,000 people to attend the events that include the Food Festival, Meena Bazaar, Desert Fun Drive, competition between students from Pakistani schools as well as sports activities between visiting students from different schools from Pakistan and UAE,” he said.
As part of the solidarity celebration, the next event, desert fun drive, will be held on Nov.14 in which more than 100 vehicles will participate in the day-long event with the collaboration of famous tourism organisers.
The Food Festival and Meena Bazaar as well as the Photographic Exhibition ‘Colours of Solidarity’ by Pakistani photographers based in the UAE will be held in the premises of the association between Nov.26-29.
The activities will witness participation from families as well as individuals while more than 40 stalls will be set up to provide a sneak peek into traditional food, handicrafts and other items.
A health awareness camp in collaboration with doctors and paramedics from different major hospitals from Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah will also be held on Nov.28 in the association to provide different health-related services to community members free of charge.
The most prominent event, a solidarity walk, will be held on Nov.28 and the organisers are expecting more than 5000 people.
The press conference was also attended by Zahid Tirmizi, vice president, Tahir Zaidi, joint secretary, Tariq Rehman, Malik Arshad and other senior members of the association.

Mustafa Hosni Visits Rashid Centre

•November 10, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Egyptian orator admires Rashid Centre services

By Jamil Khan @ The Gulf Today-Sharjah, Nov 10, 2014

DUBAI: The ongoing Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) is no doubt a big and very well organised event which provides visitors – especially book lovers – a unique opportunity to meet their favourite authors and attend a variety of interactive sessions.
This was stated by Mustafa Hosni, one of the most influential Islamic preachers from Egypt and the host of many TV programmes, in an exclusive interview with The Gulf Today during the tour at the Rashid Centre for Disabled in Dubai on Sunday.Mustafa Hosni
Hosni, who had delivered two lectures during the ongoing SIBF in Sharjah Expo Centre, is known for his influence on younger generations and his encouragement of true Islamic values. During his visit to the Rashid Centre for the Disabled, he termed the centre a great example of humanitarian services for children with special needs.
“Charity is the best humanitarian work, and serving the people with special needs with such great dedication is simply extraordinary. Staff and teachers in this centre are very hard workers, who are highly qualified to tackle each and every single child with great care,” he said.
Earlier, he was received by young students with special needs from the Centre to present him a bouquet, while Maryam Othman, Director General of Rashid Centre for the Disabled, welcomed him.
Talking to the media, Mustafa Hosni said that “the teachers as well as other staff are very talented and qualified and offering great services for the people with special needs. I wish each and every single country in the world especially in the Arab world should have centre like Rashid Centre to provide education and rehabilitation for the children with the special needs.
Besides briefing on various operations of the Centre, Maryam Othman told the guest about the services like education and rehabilitation of children with special needs with the help of exclusively designed curriculum and techniques.
Mustafa Hosni along with officials toured different sections and interacted with the children with special needs and also lauded the dedication of the staff to perform their duties diligently.
He also spend time in Motion Drama Studio where a group of students with special needs from the Centre performed a short play while a group also sang.
Later he visited the Art Workshop and admired the artworks like paintings, sculptures, wooden crafts, decoration item, embroidery skills and others by the students in their respective classrooms.
Mustafa Hosni was in the country to take part in the Sharjah International Book Fair where he delivered two lectures which were attended by a large number of people as he has been known in the Arab world for his moderate views on Islam through his various television programmes.

Global Village 2014

•November 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Global Village to open doors tomorrow

By Jamil Khan @ The Gulf Today-Sharjah, Nov 03, 2014

DUBAI: Global Village, the region’s largest outdoor family destination and theme park, will kick off on Nov.6, it was announced on Tuesday.
Addressing mediapersons, the officials declared that the event will be bigger and better and run for 157 days until April 11, 2015.
There will be a total of 31 countries participating and that will include three new pavilions represented like Iraq, Cambodia and the Americas.
A total of 12,000 such shows will be held throughout the season while 20 major music concerts will entertain through the main arena.
In a press conference held at the Global Village, the management team announced the details besides unveiling the new attractions as well as launching a new mascot, Globo.
The guest experience for Season 19 will be the best yet with an expanded line-up of attractions, cultural shows and entertainment, new family facilities and the Park offers a newly expanded space and more large scale and bigger entertainment and cultural shows to add to its line-up.
The family friendly character will be seen as the official host of the attraction and will have its own themed shows at Global Village. Guests will also get an opportunity to take pictures with Globo at the entertainment park and buy branded Globo merchandise at Globo Centre at Global Village.
This season the visitors will see the return of the hugely popular Fantasy Island funfair concept in an improved and larger format which is operated by internationally renowned rides and fun-fair specialists, the Mellors Group from the UK.
This year Global Village will deliver more entertainment shows than ever before with many events being performed for the first time in the Middle East.
These include the Wall Kings, Vertical Drummers, Comedy Car Show, FMX show, Lords of Lightening, Mirror Man, and much more.
Guests will also get to enjoy Streetmosphere, The Covent Garden Street Festival which will bring the best of street artists from around the world, Thrill Shows and the regular fun packed and colourful parades, coupled with fireworks amongst other things. Guests can also experience the all-new Dancing Fountain at Global Village.
Already hugely popular for its eating out experience, this year Global Village is extending its dining opportunities with more restaurants and cafes that will provide guests with more choices and opportunities to savour food and unique tastes from around the world.
Addressing the media Ahmad Hussain Bin Essa, CEO Global Village, said, “The Global Village team is proud to announce details of our 19th season — what will be an eagerly anticipated and spectacular 157 days of world-class attractions, more than 12,000 cultural and entertainment shows, more than 20 music concerts for international Super Stars, fantastic dining, shopping and family fun featuring a wide range of brand new activities for our visitors from the UAE, the region and around the world.”
Entry tickets for the coming season are priced at Dhs15 per person with children under 3, individuals with special needs and people over 65 entering for free.
Every ticket holder will be a winner this season, as they will be given a Scratch and Win voucher with guaranteed prizes.
This year Global Village has for the first time introduced new Family and Economy Packs to add greater value and convenience to its visitors. The packs will be available at selected Eppco and Enoc petrol stations around the UAE, meaning no waiting in lines at ticket counters.
The Family Packs will be priced at Dhs199 for 10 tickets and at Dhs99 for 4 tickets, with a total value-add of nearly 45 per cent discounts.
A key element to the 19th season is its alignment with Dubai’s 2020 vision of smart innovation. This has meant a brand new website and its very own mobile application for easy accessibility to its end-users and this year sees Du offer free Wi-Fi in Global Village for the benefit of both guests and exhibitors.

DWHC 2014 – Day 3

•November 3, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Book detailing local heritage launched at world hospitality contest

By Jamil Khan @ The Gulf Today-Sharjah, Nov 03, 2014

DUBAI: The three-day Dubai World Hospitality Championship (DWHC) 2014 saw a number of traditional and national cuisines from the UAE and all over the Arab world. The response from the participants and general visitors or professionals was enormous. As part of the event of Dubai World Hospitality Championship, Zaabeel Palace Hospitality launched a book documenting the local heritage under the title “Emirati Hospitality: Customs and Traditions”.
The book demonstrates principles of Emirati Hospitality, from a Bedouin-style welcome, desert themed drinks, cooking instruments, wedding clothes, and other genuine Emirati customs. The book highlights the different eras of Emirati heritage. The first edition of the book was signed by Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. JAMIL-Hospitality-Book-2
Commenting on the launch of the unique book, Ahmed Bin Hareb, President of DWHC, stated that the traditions of UAE’s unique hospitality are passed on from one generation to the next for centuries. Deeply engraved customs and families food recipes have been passed down through oral tradition, and thus the “Emirati Hospitality: Customs and Traditions” book has managed to document these crucial aspects to demonstrate the essence of original Emirati hospitality and shared it with the rest of the world.
“The Dubai World Hospitality Championship, which was launched under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, has been established to celebrate and preserve our traditions, and at the same time, improve innovation in the hospitality sector,” added Bin Hareb.
“We hope that the book would achieve its goal in documenting the elements of Emirati hospitality through its texts, photographs, and illustrative and informative drawings.”
The collaborative efforts in the hospitality sector in the UAE have made great strides, as the number of chefs and restaurants is increasing and hotels are competing on how best to provide Emirati hospitality. Food enthusiasts have a chance to taste the unique flavours of Emirati cuisine and enjoy the warmth and generosity of Emirati hospitality.
Alia’ Rashed Al Shankiti, Events Manager at DWHC, noted that the book can be a reference on the customs of our ancestors which can keep them alive, particularly because of the rapid changes in the hospitality sector.
Al Shankiti reviewed the contents of the book’s three chapters: Emirati hospitality, Emirati cuisine, and chefs and kitchens.
The modern Emirati family reflects the balance between tradition and modernism, where many local houses now consist of a “mabrez” (Majlis), a reception room equipped with traditional Emirati furniture, where guests can relax and lean on “tickee” (pillows), with chairs and matareh (mattresses).
The book asserts that some customs and traditions exist as before, such as drinking coffee and eating fresh Fuala and desserts at the beginning of each visit. Such customs are considered an essential element for local manners and a permanent symbol of Emirati hospitality. Neighbours, families and friends still exchange dishes and drinks as presents, and rich families still donate food generously to mosques and charities, especially in Ramadan.
Public water coolers are a common sight outside UAE nationals’ homes to slake the thirst of passersby and workers on the street. These practices and others give evidence of the generosity of Emirati hospitality realised in modern everyday life.


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