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Over 40 National Events and Heritage-related Activities to Mark UAE’s 45th National Day

The event will highlight the momentous achievements made by the UAE throughout various historical periods and its wise leadership

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Abu Dhabi, Wikimedia

Sharjah, November 22, 2016: The Higher Committee of National Day Celebrations here has approved more than 40 national events and heritage-related activities to mark UAE’s 45th National Day across the emirate, media reported on Tuesday.

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Themed ‘Accomplishments Of A Country Rise Of A Nation’, the celebration programme will feature a line-up that involves key landmark venues in Sharjah, namely Flag Island, Sharjah National Park, Mega Mall, Khor Fakkan, Al Hamriya, Al Dhaid, Kalba and Dibba Al Hisn.

Khalid Jassim Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) and Chairman of the Higher Committee of National Day Celebrations in Sharjah, said: “Celebrating National Day is a very special occasion for both Emiratis and residents. We celebrate not only the birth of the UAE, we also celebrate its success as a nation and the progress it has made and continues to make with each anniversary.

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“Every year, we try to ensure the celebrations reflect that dynamic development in a new and innovative manner that lives up to the tremendous achievements and milestones made by our country and the national identity and cultural values we all hold so dear.”

The Flag Island will host a national operetta, while the Sharjah National Park will stage 20 events, featuring an array of activities taking place in a marquis within the park.

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The event will highlight the momentous achievements made by the UAE throughout various historical periods and its wise leadership.

The programme will also involve the setting up of a unique attraction called ‘We Build with Our Hands’, alongside the ‘Oasis of Creativity’ corner, folk bands and dances, art workshops, theatrical shows and mural painting. Other events include tours within the park, a designated area for children’s traditional games, competitions, and daily draws. (IANS)

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Have Indians been ‘Bad’ Passengers while Travelling Abroad?

Flight attendants are often complaining when they have Indian passengers on an international flight

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Indian Passengers
Indian Passengers have been doing certain things wrongly that often lead to complaints from flight attendants. Wikimedia
  • Flights attendants are often sharing stories and complaining about passengers from India 
  • The problem is not just their behavior, but what they carry for travel as well
  • A couple of studies reveal exactly why Indian passengers drive the flight attendants crazy 

July 07, 2017: Flight attendants are often sharing funny and weird stories about Indian passengers on board to an international flight. They often complain about Indians being ‘different passengers’ that others.

A middle aged man once peed on the aisle as he got drunk out of his mind. Another time, on a flight from Melbourne to Delhi, a man got drunk and assaulted two passengers as a result of which he had to be tied down to his seat.

And surveys and study has revealed it is not only what Indians do on board, but also what they carry along with their travel. Recent study and survey show exactly what is wrong.

Virgin Atlantic, a UK based airline, studied the most bizarre check in requests from all over the world. It reveals about the Indians’ requests to carry beddings and broom on their travel. Bed-heads, folding beds and brooms are often requested by Indians on their travel to the UK.

ALSO READ: Trees worth Rs 742 Crore to be Cut for Building Metro-3 Car Shed in Mumbai

Another study about the 2016 crash-landing of Emirates flight (consisting 80% Indians on board) and more broadly about passenger behavior carried out by UAE aviation authorities highlight that Indians do not follow instructions, even at the times of crisis. For example, Indians carry their handbags during evacuation after repeated requests by the crew not to do so.

Not putting phones on airplane mode, stealing in-flight headphones and blankets, not making way for fellow passengers and of course taking too many selfies are some of the other things listen out by UAE authorities.

– prepared by a Staff Writer of NewsGram

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Can Flourishing Islamic State (ISIS) be Stopped in Afghanistan?

The truth about IS and Afghanistan is definitely no picnic

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Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016.
Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016. The rise of IS in Afghanistan has become such a priority that U.S. and Afghan forces sometimes support the Taliban while battling IS, VOA
  • Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups
  • Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops
  • In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS

June 25, 2017: The Islamic State group is rapidly expanding in parts of Afghanistan, advancing militarily into areas where it once had a weak presence and strengthening its forces in core regions, according to Afghan and U.S. officials.

Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups.

Attacking IS has become such a priority in the country, that disparate forces sometimes join together in the ad-hoc fight, with Afghan and U.S. forces finding themselves inadvertently supporting the enemy Taliban in battling IS.

Confusion leads to mistakes

All too often, officials say, mistakes are made due to confusion on the ground.

Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops, provincial police chief, Rahmatullah Turkistani told VOA. The supplies were meant to help Afghan forces that are countering twin attacks by IS and Taliban militants but were used instead by IS.

“It’s not getting better in Afghanistan in terms of IS,” U.S. Chief Pentagon Spokeswoman Dana White told VOA this week. “We have a problem, and we have to defeat them and we have to be focused on that problem.”

Reinforcements for the IS cause reportedly are streaming into isolated areas of the country from far and wide. There are reports of fighters from varied nationalities joining the ranks, including militants from Pakistan, India, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia and Central Asian neighbors.

Confusing scenarios

Still, the Islamic State-Khorasan (ISK) as IS is known in Afghanistan remains a fragmented group composed of differing regional forces with different agendas in different parts of the country.

“IS-K is still conducting low-level recruiting and distribution of propaganda in various provinces across Afghanistan, but it does not have the ability or authority to conduct multiple operations across the country,” a recent Pentagon report said. But where it operates, IS is inflicting chaos and casualties and causing confusing scenarios for disparate opponents.

In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS. IS regained ground after a few days, leading to U.S. military air attacks on IS positions in conjunction with Afghan intelligence instructions and army operations.

IS fighters reportedly have fled from mountain caves of Tora Bora, where al-Qaida’s leader Osama bin Laden hid from U.S. attack in 2001.

Families displaced

IS fighters were also reportedly advancing in neighboring Khogyani district, displacing hundreds of families, according to district officials. It is one of several areas in Nangarhar province, near the Pakistani border, where IS has been active for over two years.

Fierce clashes in the Chaparhar district of Nangarhar last month left 21 Taliban fighters and seven IS militants dead, according to a provincial spokesman. At least three civilians who were caught in the crossfire were killed and five others wounded.

“IS has overpowered Taliban in some parts of Nangarhar because the Taliban dispatched its elite commando force called Sara Qeta (Red Brigade) to other parts of the country, including some northern provinces to contain the growing influence of IS there,” Wahid Muzhda, a Taliban expert in Kabul, told VOA.

ALSO READ: Flashback to Terror: 1993 Mumbai Blasts Judgement to Hail on June 27 After 24 Years

Recruiting unemployed youths

IS has also expanded in neighboring Kunar province, where, according to provincial police chief, it has a presence in at least eight districts and runs a training base, where foreign members of IS, train new recruits.

Hundreds of miles from Nangarhar, IS is attempting to establish a persistent presence in several northern provinces where it has found a fertile ground for attracting militants and recruiting unemployed youths, mostly between the age of 13 and 20.

IS has been able to draw its members from the Pakistani Taliban fighters, former Afghan Taliban, and other militants who “believe that associating with or pledging allegiance” to IS will further their interests, according to the Pentagon report.

Hundreds of militants have joined IS ranks in northern Jouzjan and Sar-e-Pul province where local militant commanders lead IS-affiliate groups in several districts.

Darzab district

Qari Hekmat, an ethnic Uzbek and former Taliban militant who joined IS a year ago, claims to have up to 500 members, including around 50 Uzbek nationals who are affiliated with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) — previously associated with al-Qaida and Taliban in Afghanistan.

IS and Taliban are reportedly fighting over the control of Darzab district in Jouzjan which they stormed this week from two different directions and besieged scores of government forces. The Taliban has reportedly captured the center of the district while IS militants control the city outskirts.

Afghanistan faces a continuing threat from as many as 20 insurgent and terrorist networks present or operating in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, including IS, the Pentagon said.

“In areas where the government has limited influence and control, IS attempts to emerge and expand there,” Ateequllah Amarkhail, an analysts and former Army general in Kabul told VOA.

Hit-and-hide strategy

IS has also claimed responsibility for several recent attacks in urban areas, however, with a hit-and-hide strategy that is proving effective. And it is engaging too in more skirmishes with U.S. forces that initially were sent to the country to help Afghan forces halt the spread of Taliban.

Three American service members based in eastern Afghanistan were killed in April during operations targeting IS militants, according to the Pentagon.

“ISIS-K remains a threat to Afghan and regional security, a threat to U.S. and coalition forces, and it retains the ability to conduct high-profile attacks in urban centers,” the Pentagon said. (VOA)

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June 21 Marks Third International Yoga Day: UAE Celebrates too!

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International Yoga Day
The third International Yoga Day is celebrated on June 21. VOA

June 21, 2017: Thousands of people of different nationalities took part in various events organized in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the eve of the International Yoga Day.

The third International Yoga Day is celebrated on June 21 but the events in the UAE were held a day earlier.

There were multiple venues across the UAE for the day. As the sun set down, participants trooped to the main venues in Dubai such as Burj Park, Zabeel Park and Burhani Complex in Al Nahda, at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium and at ADNEC in Abu Dhabi.

Warm-up sessions such as stretching, breathing exercises and exercise meditation were held prior to the main yoga session, which spilled over until midnight, the daily said.

The events in Dubai were organised by the Indian Consulate General with support from several schools and yoga associations such as The Art of Living.

Indian Consul General Vipul joined the Burj Park event where UAE Minister of Happiness Ohood Al Roumi and Dubai Sports Council Secretary General Saeed Hareb were also present.

The daily quoted Anand Mungre, a management executive who had come with his wife and child to participate, as saying: “I have been practising yoga for seven years and I can say that it has become a big stress-reliever for me. I also feel strong and healthy.”

Yoga has also contributed to international solidarity, said Rashi Datt of The Art of Living. “We see here people coming from various nationalities and they move in sync,” Datt said.

The UN declared June 21 as International Day of Yoga in 2014 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for the day to be declared as a global celebration of yoga. (IANS)