Category: United Arab Emirates

The Importance of Effective Investment in Think Tanks

Omar al-Obaidly – Al-Hayat – 5th September 2017

The concept of think tanks arose in Western nations during the twentieth century, after the the founding of the first such institute in the United Kingdom, the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) at the beginning of the 19th century. Today in the United States there are more than a thousand think tanks, distinguished by gross budgets of billions of dollars, including public funds. What, then, is the best way to invest this money?

This question has become important in the countries of the Gulf, since they have begun to follow the Western example with regard to think tanks. A number of new think tanks have been established in countries like Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, engaging with strategic and economic issues. These institutes are charged with building local skills, because the near-absolute reliance on foreign consultants for support in decision-making has become a thorny topic, especially in the light of the recent and continuing escalation of regional tensions.

In order to lay down general principles on the best means for effective investment in think tanks, the role which these institutes play must firstly be noted. Specifically, think tanks support decision-making primarily by installing experts who devote their efforts to studying daily strategic issues, and provide analysis and recommendations to decision-makers. These experts are not involved in the daily work of government, which precludes employees of government agencies from spending the necessary time and effort to study strategic developments deeply.

In the charter of the majority of these new think tanks, there is an article stating the importance of consolidating cooperative relationships with global think tanks, because researchers in the Gulf think tanks cannot propose effective policies to decision-makers unless they have a strong global network. Their international contacts feed them pivotal knowledge about what other governments are thinking, while global institutes grant the Gulf think tanks access to cooperation with decision-makers in other nations, in addition to foreign peoples through media events. By way of example, one of the reason’s for Iran’s speed in seizing the economic opportunities which were presented to it after the nuclear deal was the strength of the relationship between Iranian and Western think tanks, which laid the foundations deals between global and Iranian companies.

In the past, when interacting with Western organisations, Gulf think tanks have focused on joint events, like conferences, and seminars. They would also entrust Western experts with conducting rigorous studies on issues which are important to the Gulf countries. Such policies represented a logical first step, given the relative weakness of Gulf research staff, which can only be described as having limited expertise in conducting rigorous study in support of decision-making.

However, we must now proceed to the second stage, which is cooperation with Western think tanks by way of research exchange and joint studies. Countries like Saudi Arabia have invested a great deal in the development of their citizens, for example through the King Abdullah Scholarship Program, and there are now many Saudi researchers capable of undertaking rigorous studies into strategic issues. What are the additional benefits, then, which are achieved when relationships progress from joint events to joint studies?

Firstly, senior researchers are greatly concerned with their scholarly reputations. When they cooperate with Gulf researchers, the relationship between the two parties deepens, while creating a joint and sustainable advantage, because research in the age of the Internet does not vanish, unlike conferences and seminars, which may be quickly forgotten after they are held. Secondly, joint studies are considered one of the best methods of developing the abilities of researchers, because after a doctorate, progress in the field of scientific research can only be achieved through practice. Working with a foreign researcher offers an opportunity for rapid development since their expertise in scientific research is greater and deeper than Gulf experts. Thirdly, the previous focus on joint events at the expense of research cooperation has generated an image among foreigners that Gulf citizens are merely rich and uncultured people whom they can exploit. Thus, some inaccurate Western conceptions about the Gulf persist, for example, that they are terrorists, or regressive, which contributes to legislation which is harmful to Gulf interests, such as JASTA. Thus, cooperative research projects should be launched, partially to combat this perception, and to convince Western authorities and citizens that people of the Gulf are peaceful and cultured, and able to contribute to the development of solutions to global security and economic problems.

To be specific, Gulf think tanks must urge their researchers to conduct joint studies with their Western counterparts. All traditional means should be utilised, such as financial incentives, and the implementation of joint research as a criterion for promotion, as well as the use of non-typical means, such as the establishment of an award for best joint study between Western and Gulf researchers, and giving those researchers a chance to discuss their work on well-known television programmes. It would also be very beneficial to adopt parallel programmes in the field of academic research, an area complementary to research emerging from think tanks, in addition to using the Gulf branches of Western universities, for example, the University of New York in Abu Dhabi, as a starting point.

It is now time for effective investment in think tanks, for the Gulf researcher to develop their service for the people, by building strong intellectual bridges with their Western counterparts, progressing beyond joint events.

Translated by Conor Fagan

Original article found here.

The Mind of the Terrorist

Emarat Al-Youm – Abdullah Al-Qamzi

More than a week has passed since the sinful and despicable terrorist attacks which struck the governor’s base in Kandahar in Afghanistan, and which killed a group of our countrymen, who have given the most valuable thing they possessed while extending a helping hand to the needy and the vulnerable, and it is several days since I watched the film ‘Patriot’s Day’, about the terrible terrorist bombing which killed and maimed many during the marathon in the American city of Boston on April 15, 2013.

A friend of mine studying Islamic law told me that if a person arrives at a state of religious intolerance or delusion, then it is very rare that he will return to the right path, and when I thought about his words, I found them to ring true. Examples abound, in more than one Arab country, of religious outcasts who returned to terrorism after rehabilitation programmes. I don’t understand these minds, which justify the killing of civilians in the name of religion, nor do I understand how they can be convinced by the recruiters for terrorist organisations.

Terrorism even rouses them to kill parents! What a bold contradiction to the Holy Qur’anic texts, which urge devotion to the parents. As a result, the equation of Islam with terrorism has become a common idea. This is utterly void, and the religion has suffered from this scourge since the days of the Assassins, and their leader, Hassan-i Sabbah. The idea found popularity among so-called intellectuals influenced by the ideas of European Orientalists, who promoted the idea that Islam is spread by the sword. This false idea is contrary to the tolerance of the religion.

But wherever it strikes, this vicious terrorism is conuterproductive, because its aim is sabotage and destruction and nothing more. If it strikes in Europe or America, it rallies the community with Muslims, and causes the spread of cooperation and solidarity among individuals in the community, and this is the biggest proof of its failure to achieve any goal. And if it strikes in any Muslim country, it has the same effect of solidarity against it, and that is because the killing of man is an ugly crime of a wicked and criminal mind, not justified by religion, nor by ideology, nor by logic.

Terrorism is the devil’s work, and it distinguishes no one, nor does it enhance their political or religious goal. It is a warped tool for killing, for vandalism, and for spreading corruption in the land. Its fate is failure. Human nature is charitable love and its diffusion through the community, help for the downtrodden and the needy, and defence of the oppressed. Islam is a religion of this nature.

To conclude: In the film ‘Die Hard 3’, which explores the subject of terrorism, there is a scene featuring the evacuation of a school in New York because of the presence of a bomb. Police officers discover two boys hiding in a classroom after the evacuation, and a policewoman rushes to rescue them. When she realises that there will not be enough time, she decides to take them to the roof of the school, and embraces them. The scene carries profound weight because she is white, and the two boys are African-American, and this reflects community solidarity, regardless of religion or race, in the face of wretched terrorism. In another scene from the film, the villain reveals that the bomb he placed in an area teeming with children is a decoy, saying “I’m a soldier, not a beast.”

The soldier: Fights to achieve political goals.

The beast (the terrorist): Kills people to wreak havoc.

Translated by Conor Fagan

Original article can be found here.

‘Maroc Telecom to reward its employees in Morocco and abroad with two months wages,’ Hibapress (Morocco), 18 May 2014

Recently acquired Maroc Telecom has decided to grant its employees, whether in Morocco or in the company’s African branches, two months wages. Sources say the bonus is unrelated to the company’s acquisition by Emirati telecommunications giant Etisalat. Continue reading

‘Report: Moroccan teachers lowest paid in the Arab world, after Algeria,’ Hespress (Morocco), 30 April 2014

An American report of teacher salaries in fourteen different countries places Moroccan teachers as the second lowest paid in the Arab world, just ahead of Algeria, earning an average monthly wage of $512. Continue reading

‘Approximately 83,000 Moroccans visited Turkey in 2013,’ Hespress (Morocco), 10 February 2014

Turkey witnessed 9% growth in the number of tourists coming from Arab states last year, with over 3 million Arabs visiting the country for a number of reason. Tourists come to Turkey from around the Middle East for a variety of reasons, including shopping opportunities, hair transplants and to purchase homes. Continue reading

Princess Rym Ali calls to correct of the image of Arabs in the West, Al-Rai (Jordan), 3 December 2013

Jordan’s Princess Rym Ali has praised news channel Al-Arabiyya for its new translation service that will provide English versions of Arabic broadcasts with full  translations an hour after the original broadcast. The princess congratulated Al-Arabiya on the service, which is considered a tool to help the West understand the Arab World and combated the negative stereotypes of Arabs in the West.

Continue reading

‘How to make your husband support you emotionally all of the time’, al-Roeya (UAE), 2nd November

كيف تجعلين زوجك يدعمك عاطفياً طوال الوقت
عبدالعزيز الخضراء

تشير الدراسات إلى أن المساندة الزوجية هي مؤشر كبير للسعادة عند النساء، وهذا باعتراف الجميع. وقد قامت هذه الدراسة بتقييم الحالة المزاجية للنساء المشتركات في هذه الدراسة، وفقاً لمدى الدعم العاطفي المقدم إليهن من الأزواج. وثبت بالفعل أن النساء اللاتي حصلن على الدعم العاطفي أظهرن سعادة أكبر من غيرهن! وليس بالضرورة أن يكون زوجك من الشخصيات الرومانسية لتحظين بالدعم العاطفي منه، فلحسن الحظ هناك بعض الأشياء التي يمكن فعلها للحصول على هذا الدعم العاطفي من زوجك. وإليك هذه النصائح

١. العطاء عامل أساسي للحصول على الدعم العاطفي

إذا كنت لا تشعرين بالحصول على الدعم العاطفي الكافي من زوجك، فقد يرجع ذلك إلى قصور في عطائك ومساندتك العاطفية لشريك حياتك وبالتالي تتلقين هذه المعاملة العاطفية الجافة كمقابل. وإذا ظل الحال هكذا، أنت تنتظرين عطاء زوجك لمنحه المساندة العاطفية، وبالمقابل ينتظر زوجك منك العطاء لمنحك الدعم اللازم وتستمر هذه الدوامة مما يعقد الأمور ويشعر كلا الزوجين بالحرمان العاطفي. لذلك، ابدئي بنفسك وامنحي زوجك الدعم العاطفي اللازم لكسر هذه الدائرة

٢. كوني واضحة وصريحة وعبري عن رغباتك

تتوقع المرأة دوماً من زوجها أن يقرأ ما يدور برأسها من رغبات أو مطالب، وبالتالي تنتظر منه الاستجابة لهذه المطالب دون حتى أن تقولها بصوت مسموع. وتكون الصدمة حينما تجد أن زوجها ليس معها على الموجة نفسها وأنه لم ينفذ أياً من رغباتها! لماذا؟ لأنه بكل بساطة عقل الرجل وأحاسيسه تختلف اختلافاً تاماً عن المرأة، فتركيبة دماغ الرجل لا تتميز بقراءة ما بين السطور مثل المرأة. الرجل يريد كلاماً واضحاً ومحدداً. لذلك إذا رغبت في الحصول على نزهة، غداء بالخارج أو غيرها اطلبي ذلك من زوجك مباشرة ولا تنتظري منه أن يستشعر هو رغباتك دون أن تطلبيها

٣. كوني منفتحة الآفاق

لمجرد أن زوجك لا يظهر لك نوع الدعم العاطفي الذي تبحثين عنه، لا يعني ذلك أنه لا يهتم بل يعني هذا فقط أن لديه طرقاً مختلفة لإظهار هذا الدعم، فكل شخص يتحدث لغة مختلفة من لغات الحب. ابحثي عن الطريقة التي يعبر بها زوجك عن حبه ودعمه العاطفي لك وتكيفي مع هذه الطريقة بل وحاولي إظهار تقديرك بتعبيره عن حبه ودعمه

٤. أحبي نفسك ودلليها

حب الذات قليلاً يقطع شوطاً طويلاً لحل مشكلة الحرمان من الدعم العاطفي. توقفي عن الاعتماد على شريك حياتك لإسعادك طوال الوقت، ولا تجعلي حياتك كلها متوقفة على ما سوف يقدمه زوجك، فهذا يمثل ضغطاً كبيراً على الرجل وكثيراً ما يدفعه للهروب

اخلقي لنفسك حياة اجتماعية ونجاحاً في عملك وعلاقات أسرية وصداقات ناجحة لملء فراغك العاطفي بمحبة كل من حولك وتقديرهم لك



How to make your husband support you emotionally all of the time
Abdel Aziz Al-Khadara

Studies indicate that spousal support is a large indicator of women’s happiness, and this is recognized by everyone. This study has undertaken the assessment of the moods of women participating in the study, according to the extent of emotional support presented to them by their husbands. It is already proven that women who receive emotional support appears happier than others! It is unnecessary for your husband to be a romantic in order to receive emotional support from him, and fortunately there are some things which you can do to get this emotional support from your husband. Here are those tips.

1. Giving is a key factor to receiving emotional support:
If you don’t fell like you are getting enough emotional support from your husband, this could be do to the lack of emotional support you are giving to your life partner, so you receive this dry emotional support in return. If this is the case, you are waiting to give your husband emotional support, and in return your husband is waiting for you to give him the necessary support and this cycle will continue, complicating matters as both spouses feel emotional deprivation. Therefore, start by giving your husband the necessary emotional support yourself, in order to break the cycle.

2. Be clear, explicit and express your desires.
Women always expect their husbands to read what is going in in their heads and their desires and demands, so they wait for their husbands to respond to these demands without even saying them in an audible voice. They are shocked when they find that their husbands are not on the same wave as them and that they don’t implement any of their desires! Why? Simply because men’s minds and feelings are completely different from women’s. The structure of men’s brains is not characterized by reading between the lines like women’s. Men want clear and specific speech. Therefore, if you want to have lunch out, a picnic, or something of the like, ask your husband directly and don’t wait for him to instinctively figure out your desires without you requesting.

3. Be open to perspectives.
Just because your husband does not show you the type of emotional support which you are looking for, does not mean that he does not care. It just means that he has different ways to show his support. Every person speaks a different language from the languages of love. So look for the way in which your husband expresses his love and emotional support to you and adapt to this method and try to show your appreciation for his expression of love and support.

4. Love yourself and prove it.
A little bit of self-love goes a long way to solving the problem a deprivation of emotional support. Stop relying on your life partner to make you happy all of the time, and don’t put your whole life on hold because of what your husband might offer. This represents a huge pressure on men and often pushes them to run away.

Give yourself a social life and success in your work, family life and friendships in order to fill your emotional gap with the love of all of those who are around you and appreciate you.

Translated by Kevin Moore.

Access article at Al-Roeya.

‘Google’s Virtual Tour of Lamborghini Museum’, Sky News Arabic, 13th October 2013

زيارة افتراضية من غوغل لمتحف لامبورغيني

لأحد  13 أكتوبر, 2013 – 14:57  بتوقیت أبوظبي

أبوظبي – سكاي نيوز عربية

[Source: Sky News Arabic]

[Source: Sky News Arabic]

هل تمنيت يوما زيارة متحف سيارات لامبورغيني ولم تتمكن من ذلك بسبب المسافة أو عدم القدرة على تحمل رسوم الدخول؟ ما رأيك في زيارة هذا المتحف افتراضيا وبشكل مجاني؟

وقد أصبح متحف سيارات لامبورغيني أحد الوجهات التي تغطيها خدمة غوغل “ستريت فيو”  للتجول الافتراضي، ليتيح للمستخدم القيام بجولة بين أعرق الطرز من تلك السيارات الفاخرة.

وتجولت كاميرات غوغل داخل متحف لامبورغيني الواقع في سانت أجاتا بولونيز في شمال إيطاليا- بلد السيارة الأم، لتصور جميع سيارات لامبورغيني منذ نشأتها وحتى آخر إصدار .

ويمكن عبر خدمة “غوغل ستريت فيو” أيضا استكشاف بعض سيارات لامبورغيني من الداخل وليس من الخارج فقط .

الجدير بالذكر أن متحف لامبورغيني تم افتتاحه عام 2001 في احتفالات الألفية الجديدة، كما أن رسم دخوله 13 يورو.



Google’s Virtual Tour of Lamborghini Museum

Sunday 13th October 2013

Abu Dhabi – Sky News Arabic

Have you ever wished of visiting a Lamborghini Museum but have not been able to due to distance or not being able to afford the entry fee? How would you feel about visiting a museum by default or free of charge? This is what Google provides through its famous ‘Street View’ service.

The Lamborghini Museum has become one of the destinations that Google’s ‘Street View’ service covers to stroll freely around and allows the user to tour the oldest models of these luxury cars.

Google’s cameras wander inside a Lamborghini Museum located in Sant’agata Bolognese in Northern Italy – the motherland of cars – to visualise all of the Lamborghini cars since it was created, and even the latest version.

The Google ‘Street View’ service also makes it possible to explore some Lamborghinis from the inside and not just from the outside.

It is worth mentioning that the Lamborghini Museum was opened in 2001 as part of the celebration of the Millennium, and that the entrance fee is €13.

Translated by Zara Shad

Article is available here.