Glimpses of Tweets

•May 29, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Mohammed’s book of tweets released

Rashi-jamilBy Jamil Khan @ The Gulf Today-Sharjah, May 29, 2015

DUBAI: In a colourful ceremony, a book titled Glimpses of Tweets by Mohammed Bin Rashid on Humanity was launched as students from the Rashid Centre for the Disabled staged various performances.
The launch of the book on humanitarian tweets by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was part of the celebration of Rashid Cultural Season 2015 at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel on Wednesday evening.
The event was attended by Emirati dignitaries as well as foreigners and families.
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Emirates Airline and Chief Executive of the Emirates Group, was the chief guest.
Paintings made by various local and foreign artists based on the humanitarian tweets of Sheikh Mohammed were on display at the venue. The event also featured various cultural performances by women and children from the centre.
The book, published in both Arabic and English, incorporated the pictures of paintings made by artists during the second edition of the Dubai International Art Symposium 2015 recently.
As part of the ceremony, UAE intellectual and writer Abdul Ghaffar Hussein shared different humanitarian tweets and highlighted the poetic side of Sheikh Mohammed. Others who spoke were prominent guests from Jordan, Lebanon, and France.

CDA New Facility

•May 28, 2015 • Leave a Comment

CDA launches early childhood development centre

By Jamil Khan @ The Gulf Today-Sharjah, May 28, 2015

DUBAI: The Community Development Authority (CDA) has launched the first Dubai Early Childhood Development Centre (DECDC) to provide a number of services under one roof for the differently abled children
The facility which is first of its kind in the Middle East has been inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Supreme Committee to Protect the Rights of People with Disabilities on Wednesday.
The DECDC’s location in Al Manara area in Dubai is bigger in space and has more advanced facilities thus increasing its overall capacity including delivering early intervention services to more children, newborn to six years of age.
After the inauguration, Sheikh Mansour along with the CDA officials toured the centre’s therapy rooms and learned about the different services provided including the diagnostic assessment and the early intervention and rehabilitation for communication impairments, speech and language impairments, learning disabilities, physical and motor impairments, attention and behaviour issues and others.
He reviewed the state-of the art technologies and assistive devices used in therapy rooms that provide interventions according to the individual development plan of each child.
Sheikh Mansour also checked the Sanad Mobile Rehabilitation Units that CDA announced last April that aims to accommodate more children with disabilities.
The units are designed to provide 10 to 12 sessions daily for each and are built according to international standards to deliver the required services based on the children needs. This includes speech impairments, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy.
Khaled Al Kamda, Director General, CDA said that CDA aims to turn DECDC to a model that should be cloned by the tertiary sector investors to follow its methodology in early intervention and  including engaging the family and the surrounding community in developing children skills.
He further spoke about the “My community” initiative that aims to make Dubai a disability friendly city and the leadership vision that has always stressed on respecting the rights of people with disabilities and empowering them.
While talking to the media, he pointed that currently the centre has enrolled around 70 Emirati children and soon the capacity will be increased to 100 to reduce the number of waiting list.
“The centre is providing a range of therapy solutions to different type of special needs children as each individual will be treated according to exclusively devised programme by a team of specialist. The range of programme will last six years to prepare the child to get integrated into mainstream educational institute,” he pointed out.

Goods for Nepal

•May 26, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Hotels organise campaign to help Nepal quake victims
By Jamil Khan @ The Gulf Today-Sharjah, May 26, 2015

DUBAI: Employees of three prominent hotels in Dubai recently organised a fund raising campaign and collected goods to send to the affected people of Nepal earthquake.
The initiative was taken by Rihab Rotana and Rimal Rotana, Villa Rotana as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives and commitment towards Rotana Earth, the Global Corporate Sustainability Platform of Rotana Hotels.
The recent earthquake in Nepal that occurred on April 25, killed more than 7,000 and injured twice the number, and was recorded the most powerful disaster that struck Nepal since 1934.
The management of the Villa, Rihab and Rimal Rotana with the support of its employees took a step forward and initiated an internal fund raising campaign that has benefited 17 Nepalese colleagues from the three hotels. The hotels also conducted a clothes donation campaign in partnership with Emirates Red Crescent. The campaign generated an amount of Dhs5,000 and 21 boxes of new, used clothes and linens from the hotels.
Kinan Al Ghraoui, General Manager of Villa Rotana, Rihab Rotana and Rimal Rotana, said, “Charity begins at home; helping our own colleagues who were affected by Nepal earthquake brings us a sense of hope and peace. We hope and pray that Nepal stays strong and come back to its glory days. Like someone said: many droplets make an ocean, I hope this small effort from our end helps the bigger cause.”
Mohammed Abdulla Alhaj Al Zaroni, General Manager, Emirates Red Crescent in Dubai received the boxes and thanked the representatives Mona Doush, Marketing Head and Jawad Ali, EHS Manager and their team for the efforts extended in helping Nepal earthquake victims.
Emirates Red Crescent is a volunteer humanitarian organization that supports official authorities in times of peace and war. It started on the 31st of January 1983 and was internationally attested as a member in the international Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in 1986.

Creativity Recycled

•May 25, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Beauties from scrap
RECYCLEBy Jamil Khan @ The Gulf Today-Sharjah, May 25, 2015

DUBAI: Imagine the windscreen panel of a luxury car as a coffee table or replicas of the iconic Burj Khalifa and the Burj Al Arab hotels made with black sealant. Or dozens of stunning models of various objects such as a guitar, vase, robot, miniature motorcycle and so on. The creations, the handiwork of techniciaCAR4ns of two automobile dealerships, are on display at an ongoing exhibition in Dubai.
‘Creativity Recycled’ gives visitors a unique experience to see exotic objects made from scrap material and used auto parts. The exhibition is being organised by Al Tayer Motors, one of the UAE’s premier automobile dealerships, at its Sheikh Zayed Road showroom in Dubai and will last till June 4. CAR13 CAR1 CAR3 CAR2 CAR5 CAR6   CAR8 CAR7 CAR12
The artworks reflect the fertile imagination of a highly skilled workforce: technicians of Al Tayer Motors and Premier Motors. The workers crafted these models in their spare time as part of an in-house art competition which lasted two months. The competition, initiated for the first time by the management to further strengthen the teamwork of its workforce, resulted in an extraordinary range of objects being displayed for visitors.
The teams of technicians CAR10fashioned some spectacular creations such as a pair of swans created from a radiator, a bumper lower finisher, headlCAR9ight lenses, a door handle, mirror covers and parking sensors; a Burj Khalifa replica made from black sealant, valves, radiator core, shims and a drive belt; and a CAR11butterfly using a radiator grille, stop lamps, roof rail cable, airbag rod and a cam shaft, to name just a few examples.
The display area within the showroom not only showcases a wide range of the latest marques around the world but replicas of the Burj Al Arab, miniature vehicles, insects, flowers, birds, musical instruments, and robots. Nearly 400 technicians divided into 98 teams of Al Tayer Motors and Premier Motors from 11 locations across the UAE participated in a two-month-long contest to demonstrate their artistic abilities, by creating 98 art objects.
The technicians were between 27 and 30 years.  The teams in the competition designed the models without any professional training. They used only their talent as technicians and through painstaking efforts adopted the high-tech machinery to mould hard receptacles into their desired art pieces.
“The objects created have exceeded our wildest expectations in terms of engagement, enthusiasm among the teams, and have served to strengthen the spirit of teamwork,” said Boulos Massoud, general manager, aftersales, Al Tayer Motors. ‘Embodying diversity and quality, two of our core values, the competition has served to unleash the creativity hidden within our talented technicians, who have made these magnificent pieces of art that serve as a fantastic showcase of their talent, imagination and craftsmanship.’ Besides showcasing these objects for the visitors, the management encourages them to use their digital devices to vote for their five favourites from the entire collection. The creators of the top three works of art from the five finalists, chosen by an internal panel of judges, will be rewarded. Through various social media platforms, people are being informed about the ongoing ‘Creativity Recycled’ exhibition even as visitors flock in droves to admire the creativity of the talented technicians.

Interview: Illac Diaz

•May 24, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Training workshops on solar lighting for children

By Jamil Khan @ The Gulf Today-Sharjah, May 24, 2015

DUBAI: As part of the global initiative of the “Liter of Light”, a series of workshops for schoolchildren will begin in the UAE to teach them about the solar lighting and make them part of the initiative to provide lighting solutions in the world.
This was stated by Illac Diaz, founder of the Liter of Light initiative in an exclusive interview with The Gulf Today on the sidelines of the 12th CSR Summit held in Dubai recently.
Diaz for Liter of Light initiative has also won the Zayed Future Energy Award 2015 in the category of non-profit organisation.

His initiative to provide solar light started in the Philippines in 2011, and has now spread to 20 countries around the world. It has been providing lighting solutions in places where people are living without electricity.
The foundation with the support of PepsiCo has started the project to utilise used plastic bottles, solar panels and LED light bulbs to produce enough light for a household for six to eight hours as one such bottle costs around $1.5 and could last four to eight years.
The UN has declared 2015 as “Year of the Light” and to provide more people with light solutions, the Liter of Light is going to start school training workshops in the UAE to train around 500 students from different schools on making basic circuit for a panel of solar light. “These 500 solar lights to be made by local students will be installed in remote areas where the electricity is not available and will be remembered as a part of social service from the UAE to making a difference,” he said.
“The interesting thing right now is that to move into another phase and be financially sustainable to not depend on one-time donation but to consistently move the programme if the donation is stopped. With the support of PepsiCo, we are working as a social enterprise as it is the new direction to teach local people and use local resources for sustainable lighting solutions in places where the project is going on,” Diaz added.
“Since then, 480,000 lights in 20 countries around the world have been installed while the foundation has shared the technology through internet and other platforms to benefit people as currently 1.5 billion people around the world are without electricity,” he said.
“The Liter of Light has devised a two-year Social Enterprise Plan to train local people and use local material to make this programme more sustainable,” he added.
According to him, it takes five months by a factory in China or India to produce solar panels in bulk while further three to four  months are spent to get clearance through customs and other logistics. Around 60 per cent of the allocated funds are spent on logistics, taxes and management.
Noha Hefny, Corporate Affairs Director, Middle East and Africa pointed that “companies should support social innovators, as these are the people who through their unique ideas bring changes in their communities and in the world. The PepsiCo has been supporting such innovators and the great example is the Liter of Light project which has ben providing solar light solution to not its community but also in the world. It is the gift of light from the PepsiCo and the foundation to the people living without the lights,” she said.
She also pointed that the firm has been engaged in a number of activities with different government and departments and others to provide support in education, training for young entrepreneurs and helping start ups.


SCHS Exhibition

•May 24, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Differently-abled students display self-made products at exhibition

By Jamil Khan @ The Gulf Today-Sharjah, May 22, 2015

SHARJAH: The Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services has put on display products made by the differently abled students in Al Dhaid City Products Exhibition.
The week-long exhibition inaugurated by Khalifa Bin Huwaiden, Chairman of Al Dhaid Cultural and Sports Club, aims to prove that differently abled students can equally participate in society and make substantial contributions to the economy.
The exhibition will continue till May 25.
Rashid Mahaan, President of Parents Council in Al Dhaid City, said that he was very proud of the achievements of differently abled students, and that people with disabilities have capabilities that must be harnessed to move the country forward. “People with disabilities effectively contribute to the country’s economic, social, cultural, and political life with the full enjoyment of human rights together with able-bodied persons,” he said.
Sabiha Ketbi, Head of SCHS Branch of Al Dhaid Vocational Rehabilitation & Training Department, said that students with disabilities made all the products that are on sale at the exhibition. The students also explained to visitors how they made the products step by step.
“Students with disabilities were happy as they were explaining to visitors how to make these products with their own hands and how to make a good sale to raise money for the department and build their confidence at the same time,” she added.

Stuffed with Hugs

•May 21, 2015 • Leave a Comment

‘Stuffed with Hugs’ initiative embraces children with special needs

By Jamil Khan @ The Gulf Today-Sharjah, May 21, 2015

DUBAI: Children from various schools across the UAE participated in “Stuffed with Hugs”, a Build-A-Bear Workshop charitable programme, to build stuffed bears for children with special needs.
The Build-A-Bear Workshop is offering school students across the GCC the opportunity to make bears for less privileged children than themselves.
Children made bears for free and stuffed it with hugs, love and wishes which were then given to the children at the Special Needs Schools. jamil-Noor-Beer-2
The initiative was supported by the children from Jumeirah Primary School-GEMS in Dubai and Al Nahda School in Abu Dhabi, who helped the bears to be taken to Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs and Future Centre for Special Needs based in Mohamed Bin Zayed City.
For the past two years and ongoing, “Stuffed with Hugs” have been bringing schools and charities together to embrace the true nature of giving.
“The key message we want to get across is that it’s not just grownups who can help children with Special Needs. The kids themselves can lend a helping a hand. Build-A-Bear is just the vehicle for them to be able to do so” said Paul Marks, General Manager of Build a Bear Workshop who oversees nine GCC stores.
“Build-A-Bear Workshop and its associates believe in the teddy bear philosophy of being good people and good bears. Throughout our 18-year history, the company has shared the hug of a teddy bear wherever needed in local communities and abroad.” Marks added.
“As we start to grow in the region we hope that we can do more and more each day to encourage children to help each other and learn that giving is just as important as receiving”.
It is also mentioned that the Build-A-Bear Workshop is the only global company that offers an interactive make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience. There are more than 400 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores worldwide, including company-owned stores in the US, Puerto Rico, Canada, United Kingdom and Ireland, and franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America.


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