Archive for July 19, 2013

Friday  19/07/2013

JERUSALEM (AFP) — Some 155,000 Muslims attended prayers at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound on the second Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, Israeli police said.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri told AFP the prayers passed “without incident”.

Last Friday’s prayers at the site were participated by some 80,000 worshipers.

After the prayers on Friday, hundreds of Hamas supporters took part in a rally in favor of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi and against army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Demonstrators held posters with Mursi’s picture and chanted “Morsi is the Egyptian president, Sisi is an American collaborator”.

A similar demonstration took place last Friday at the site.

Mursi was ousted by the Egyptian army on July 3.

More than 3,000 Israeli police were deployed in the walled Old City, where the compound is located, and elsewhere in occupied East Jerusalem, police said.

Israeli authorities relaxed usual restrictions on entry to Jerusalem by Palestinians in the West Bank for the second week, enabling access to women of all ages and men over 40 years of age.

Palestinians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are usually barred from Israel and from East Jerusalem, which Israel occupied in the 1967 Six-Day war and then unilaterally annexed.

The Al-Aqsa compound, which lies in Jerusalem’s Old City, houses the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.

Known to Jews as the Temple Mount, the compound is a deeply sensitive location where clashes frequently break out between Palestinian worshipers and Israeli forces.

Jews are not allowed to pray inside the Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

Source: Ma’an News Agency.


Thursday July 11, 2013

Maja Zuvela

POTOCARI, Bosnia (Reuters) – Bosnia reburied another 409 victims of the Srebrenica massacre on Thursday but, 18 years after Europe’s worst atrocity since the Holocaust, the country remains mired in ethnic disputes long after other parties to the conflict have moved on.

Watched by thousands of mourners, coffins draped in green cloth were passed from hand to hand down lines of Bosnian Muslim men to be interred at the Potocari memorial center, a forest of white marble and wooden gravestones that now number 6,066.

Some 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed by Bosnian Serb forces in five summer days in 1995, towards the end of a war that erupted in 1992 with the collapse of federal Yugoslavia and would claim 100,000 lives.

Some bodies have yet to be found from what became Europe’s worst mass killing since the Nazi Holocaust against Jews during World War Two.

Thursday’s anniversary coincided with dramatic change in the Balkans. Bosnian neighbor and fellow former Yugoslav republic Croatia joined the European Union on July 1 and Serbia is on the cusp of accession talks following a landmark accord with Kosovo, its overwhelmingly ethnic Albanian former province.

Bosnia, however, trails the pack, still hostage to the ethnic politicking of rival Serb, Croat and Muslim (also known as Bosniak) leaders that has stifled development and kept it languishing on the margins of Europe.

Srebrenica remains an open wound, the cold facts still disputed by many Serbs.

“Innocent and helpless victims were faced with the cold and merciless hatred of criminals akin to those in the Nazi camps of Hitler’s Germany,” said Bakir Izetbegovic, the Muslim member of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency.

“We have been asking ourselves through these 18 years – what could they have been guilty of, and to whom, in those hellish days?” said Izetbegovic, the son of Bosnia’s wartime president.


Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic and his political chief, Radovan Karadzic, are standing trial in The Hague on charges including genocide in Srebrenica. Both deny that any orchestrated killing occurred.

Among those buried on Thursday were 44 boys, aged between 14 and 18, and a baby girl who died in a United Nations peacekeeping compound. Their remains were dug from nameless death pits and identified through DNA analysis.

“I feel like I’m losing them again today,” said Ramiza Siljkovic, 62, kneeling by two freshly dug graves for the remains of her two sons. “Only a handful of their bones were recovered from two mass graves.”

The Srebrenica massacre was the culmination of a policy of ethnic cleansing by Mladic’s forces to carve a pure Serb state out of communally diverse Bosnia.

Many Serbs in Serbia and Bosnia still doubt the official figures and narrative of what happened in Srebrenica.

The town, located in wooded hill country of eastern Bosnia near the border with Serbia, was a designated “safe area” guarded by U.N. peacekeeping troops, but they abandoned their posts in the face of advancing Bosnian Serb forces.

The sectarian killings and big-power inertia of the current conflict in Syria has drawn comparisons with Bosnia.

The Bosnian war ended in a 1995 U.S.-brokered peace deal that created a byzantine system of ethnic quotas and power-sharing, frequently leading to abuse and paralysis.

The latest impasse is over how to issue the unique, 13-digit identification number given to every citizen, meaning that for weeks earlier this year babies were left unregistered and unable to leave the country even for emergency medical treatment.

The European Union, in a statement marking the anniversary, called for further progress towards reconciliation.

“Large steps have been made in that direction, but there is still much to be done, especially by those in positions of authority, so that citizens of the region can fully enjoy peace and prosperity, together with their fellow Europeans.”

(Editing by Matt Robinson and Mark Heinrich)

Source: The Star.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013

BEIRUT (AP) – Many devout Muslims in the Middle East have started observing the dawn-to-dusk fast for the month of Ramadan even as the region is rocked by Egypt’s turmoil and the relentless civil war in Syria.

For most Sunnis and Shiites, Ramadan started on Wednesday while others are expected to begin observing the holy month on Thursday – differences based on various sightings of the new moon.

Nowhere is the hardship for this Ramadan starker than in Syria, where the civil war is now in its third year. The U.N. says at least 93,000 people have been killed since the conflict erupted.

Syria’s fragile currency has reached an all-time low while food and fuel prices are soaring. The U.N. says over 4 million Syrians risk going hungry because they can’t afford food.

Source: KoloTV.


July 18, 2013

TRIPOLI, Libya, July 18 (UPI) — Protesters frustrated with their employment prospects in Libya managed to shut down operations at an oil terminal, an employee said.

Armed protesters managed to halt operations at the Zuetina oil day, one day after operations resumed from previous strikes. Demonstrators said they were frustrated with the lack of job prospects.

“The protesters arrived yesterday afternoon and tried to stop work at the port,” an unnamed Zuetina employee said Wednesday to the Libya Herald. “The protesters are still in the port, but they haven’t attacked anyone.”

A three-week strike that ended earlier this week was called off following intervention from Libyan Oil Minister Abdulbari al-Arusi, who persuaded demonstrators he was working to address their demands.

Libyan oil production has struggled to return to pre-civil war levels of 1.6 million barrels per day. Austrian energy company OMV said its oil operations in the country were back to normal following a decision to shut down “due to the political situation” in Libya.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said Libyan production for June, the last full month for which data is available, was 1.28 million barrels per day, an 11 percent decline from May.

Source: United Press International (UPI).



Thursday 18 July 2013

Madinah will have a major facelift shortly as plans have been made for its comprehensive development by implementing a number of projects including a metro system to meet the requirements of the city’s growing population and visitors.

Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman held talks with Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf along with Madinah Development Authority’s council members to develop the city’s public transport system.

“The governor has instructed to complete the project study quickly in order to present it to higher authorities for approval,” a senior official said.

“The transport project is an important component of a comprehensive development plan for Madinah,” he added.

The transport system includes a metro network and speedy bus services, in addition to parking facilities, fuel stations, maintenance centers and smart systems.

It is designed to provide quick access to the Haramain Railway that links Makkah and Madinah.

“The transport project will be carried out by phases following international standards,” said the official.

King Abdul Aziz Road, Hijrah Road and Al-Salam Road will also be developed as part of the project, which coincides with the Prophet’s Mosque expansion project.

Prince Faisal and the council members also discussed matters related to the mosque expansion project, especially the acquisition of land and demolition of hotels and buildings near the mosque, stressing the need to make alternative arrangements to meet shortage in housing facilities.

The council was weighing various options, including quick implementation of the newly planned pilgrim city to be established on an area of 1.6 million square meters along Hijrah Road with a capacity to house 200,000 pilgrims.

State-owned Public Investment Fund will finance the pilgrim city project, which includes a railway and bus station, offices of government agencies and a 400-bed hospital.

Source: Arab News.


15 July 2013

Some facts about the United Arab Emirates.

– The Emirates helped the Mubarak regime in Egypt every year in the amount of $ 12 billion, mainly with oil products. After the revolution and the overthrow of Mubarak, the UAE completely stopped helping Egypt. After the military coup the aid resumed.

The Emirates helped to get the US out of the economic crisis in 2010, signing a deal to buy weapons for $ 200 billion.

The Emirates helped Arizona (USA) after the famous hurricane in 2008 in the amount of 10 billion dollars, rebuilding all the schools of the state.

The Emirates expelled the majority of Syrians working in the country since the beginning of the revolution in Syria against Bashar al-Assad. In the UAE, the Syrians are not allowed to transfer money anywhere.

The Emirates helped the French in their crusade in Mali in the amount of $ 7 billion – to help the French to prevent establishing the Sharia law by Muslims in the country.

The Emirates spent on the celebration of a so-called New Year nearly $ 2 billion.

The Emirates is a haven for all those who are hiding from law such as Ahmad Shafiq and war criminals, such as Dahlan, and the family of Bashar al-Assad.

The Emirates is the nest of American and European intelligence services in the region. After the overthrow of Mubarak, all intelligence agencies moved from Egypt to the UAE.

The Emirates is a world center of money laundering and arms sales, as well as prostitution. A single trip to Dubai will be enough to confirm all this.

The Emirates gave credit to a well-known Serbian war criminal, accused of genocide of Muslims in the amount of $ 400 million with a very sympathetic repayment scheme.

The Emirates deprived of citizenship many Islamic scholars and preachers, such as Ibrahim al-Marzouqi, Hussain Al-Jaber, and the others were expelled from the Emirates, and many of those who observed diligence in prayer and observance of Islam, as well as proper care for the Ummah.

On the request of Putin, the Emirates welcomes and befriends Kadyrov and Chechen apostates, helping them with money, false “sheikhs” and fake “relics” of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

UAE Emir Mohammed bin Zayed vowed to overthrow Ikhwans (Muslim Brotherhood) in Egypt, even if it would cost him the entire budget of Abu Dhabi. And he fulfilled his promise.

The Emirates is a fully fledged sponsor of the French campaign against Muslims in Mali, as well as a safe haven for the entire American terrorist organization Blackwater in Baghdad.

In the Emirates, the Americans found friendly hospitality (CIA base in Jebel Ali) for interrogating and torturing all the prisoners: the Mujahideen or all those “suspected” of involvement in Jihad, or just Muslims, “blacklisted” by the CIA.

All Masonic meetings of Rotary clubs and Lions are being held in the UAE.

In the Emirates, they build churches and Buddhist temples, although the Prophet (pbuh) bequeathed to this world, as one of the last instructions by him, an order to expel all polytheists from the Arabian Peninsula.

Question: Which religion and Community does the UAE belong to?

By Salman al Bulgari

Department of Monitoring

Kavkaz Center

Source: Kavkaz Center.


Aiming to reduce both its greenhouse emissions and its use of hydrocarbons to generate power, Qatar is looking to embrace solar technology.

This could lead to the development of a local industry with the potential for exports in the longer term, Global Arab Network reports according to OBG.

On January 9 the international press reported that Qatar was looking to launch an initiative to support the development of alternative energy sources in the Gulf. The announcement was made by Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada, the Minister of Economy and Energy, at an electricity conference in Doha. Al Sada said that Qatar would launch pilot schemes in the solar sector as part of a 200MW solar project announced last year.

The initial phase, which is due to be tendered in the coming months, will see small-scale plants generating 5MW-10MW each, installed on underutilized land. Last year the cost of this stage was estimated at $30m. Phase two will involve assessment of the initial sites, with a view to bringing in private investment to increase solar capacity.

Officials at the conference asserted the importance of boosting generation capacity in the Gulf, as well as broadening the energy mix and increasing the proportion of power generated by renewables.

Al Sada said that greater use of renewables could help reduce the use of natural gas to produce power. Qatar is one of the world’s leading gas exporters, and also has a growing petrochemicals industry and substantial desalination needs. Greater diversification of power sources would free more gas for these purposes. Currently, all the country’s electricity comes from oil- and gas-fired plants. Another reason for wishing to increase green energy output and reduce the use of hydrocarbons is environmental.

With these issues in mind, Qatar aims to generate 20% of its energy from renewables by 2024, and have 1800MW of installed green capacity by 2020. These are ambitious targets given the current generation mix, but not an unobtainable one, thanks to the financial resources at its disposal and its year-round sun, which makes it well suited for solar development.

While solar power is still a relatively expensive source – particularly compared to Qatar’s cheap and abundant gas – scientists are increasingly confident that technology will be developed over the coming years to make it more efficient and thus cost-effective.

One driving force behind renewables development in the state is Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTec), a venture between the Qatar Foundation, a semi-private non-governmental organisation backed by the royal family; Germany’s SolarWorld; and the government-owned Qatar Development Bank.

In May 2012 QSTec secured financing for a $1bn polysilicon plant in Ras Laffan City, north of Doha. The factory will have initial annual production of 8000 tonnes of polysilicon and will produce enough for photovoltaic panels generating 6.5GW when at full capacity.

A number of international companies are also involved in research and development in the solar sector in Qatar. US energy giant Chevron, best known for its hydrocarbons activities, is investing $10m in the Center for Sustainable Energy Efficiency (CSEE) at Qatar Science & Technology Park, with another $10m coming from local clean energy firm GreenGulf.

The CSEE was inaugurated in March 2011 and aims to develop solar technology that is suited to Qatar’s climate and the specific needs of its energy users. One of the issues that Chevron aims to address is building solar panels that can perform in the hot and dusty Gulf environment. With very little rain, panels can get clogged with sand and dust, and thus absorb less sunlight. According to Chevron, their effectiveness can be reduced by as much as 40% after six months. Photovoltaics also operate less effectively in high temperatures.

As well as working on technology for power plants, the CSEE is researching the potential of harnessing solar energy for uses such as desalination and air conditioning, as well as energy efficiency measures.

Other international firms investing in solar research in Qatar include General Electric, Shell and ConocoPhillips, while the Doha campus of Texas A&M University has a project working on using solar energy to break down natural gas into carbon and hydrogen for industrial uses.

Renewables are still in their early days in Qatar, and an important caveat is that solar power is still considerably less efficient and more expensive than the state’s abundant gas. However, the country has the financial resources to invest in solar research and development and has put itself at the cutting edge of technical advances in the industry. If development continues at this pace, Qatar could become a leader in solar technology. QSTec’s potential capacity could also leave scope for export, while the work being done at CSEE and Texas A&M should, if successful, be applicable elsewhere in the region, and the world.

Source: Global Arab Network.



TUNIS – Tunisian authorities early on Thursday released from jail two former figures of the toppled regime who were arrested following the 2011 uprising for abuse of power, the justice ministry said.

Mohamed Ghariani, ex-secretary general of the Rally for Constitutional Democracy party of now ousted dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and former interior minister Abdallah Kallel were ordered freed by Tunis Appeals Court, the ministry said.

Kallel was arrested in March 2011, just weeks after Ben Ali was ousted, after a group of lawyers lodged an official complaint accusing him of embezzling funds from the now-dissolved ruling party.

Last year a military court sentenced Kallel to two years in jail for the arrest and torture of army officers who were accused in 1991 of trying to topple Ben Ali.

Ghariani was arrested in April 2011 for abuse of power and embezzlement.

Source: Middle East Online.



Thursday 18 July 2013

ISTANBUL: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has refused to speak to Egypt’s new Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei, the latest broadside in a spat that erupted after the military coup in the Arab world’s most populous country.

Erdogan infuriated Egypt’s interim leaders after he voiced support for ousted Islamist president Muhammad Mursi.

“How could I speak to you? You were not elected, you were appointed by the orchestrators of a coup,” he said on Wednesday, addressing ElBaradei in remarks carried on CNN-Turk’s website.

ElBaradei, a prominent liberal and former head of the UN nuclear watchdog, was sworn in on Sunday as part of a new cabinet appointed after the July 3 military overthrow of Mursi.

Erdogan, leader of the Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP), had branded the coup as an “enemy of democracy” and said Mursi was the only legitimate president of Egypt.

He said he had received a letter from ElBaradei seeking a telephone conversation after his comments.

“They don’t like what we are saying; they are uncomfortable with it,” Erdogan said. “They said certain comments were made without full knowledge of the facts.”

The interim government in Cairo on Tuesday voiced “strong resentment” at Erdogan’s comments about the overthrow of Mursi, Egypt’s first freely elected president.

Relations between Turkey and Egypt had strengthened during Mursi’s year in power.

Source: Arab News.


17 July 2013

Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi are continuing their mass protests against the political transition underway in Egypt, following the formation of a new interim cabinet that has no members from Islamist parties.

Street demonstrations continued Wednesday outside Cairo’s main government buildings, demanding that Morsi be returned to power.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is visiting the Egyptian capital, and became the latest international figure to meet with interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi and interim President Adly Mansour.

Unlike U.S. envoy William Burns earlier in the week, Ashton also is expected to meet senior figures in Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood. The Islamist group insists the ousted president be reinstated and has refused to take part in any interim government.

The newly sworn in cabinet led by Beblawi is composed mainly of liberals and technocrats. It has seven holdovers from the previous administration, including the army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who ousted Morsi, and serves as defense minister and deputy prime minister.

Three female ministers were appointed, filling the health, information and environment portfolios.

Morsi’s removal has bitterly divided Egypt, with thousands of his supporters maintaining a vigil in a Cairo square to demand his return, swelling to tens of thousands for mass demonstrations every few days.

Clashes overnight Monday into early Tuesday between security forces and supporters of Morsi left seven people dead and more than 260 injured. Authorities arrested more than 400 mostly pro-Morsi supporters following the fighting.

Source: allAfrica.