According to the UNHCR, 65 million people worldwide were refugees in 2016, fleeing war, terrorism and hunger – especially in war-torn Syria. For the last 20 years, German Magnum photographer Thomas Dworzak has been working in regions ripped apart by war and crisis. With his pictures, Dworzak hopes to help these new arrivals get around and navigate daily life in Europe. “Europa: An Illustrated Introduction to Europe for Migrants and Refugees” is a charitable, non-profit project. Aid workers working with refugees and migrants can order a copy by contacting Jessica Murray ([email protected] )
After the second round ended, four Egyptian female squash champions—Nour El-Sherbini, Nouran Gohar, Omneya Abdel Kawy, and Raneem El-Welily—made it to the 2017 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions’ quarterfinals. In the second round of the tournament, El-Sherbini, ranked first internationally, was the reason her compatriot Salma Hany Ibrahim exited the tournament after defeating her by 3-1. El-Sherbini was the 2016 J.P. Morgan champion. Egypt’s Nour El-Tayeb also exited the tournament in the second round, after losing to her compatriot Gohar. El-Welily was the champion of the 2015 J.P. Morgan.
The economic activity in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has shown surprising resilience in 2016 despite mounting political and economic headwinds, according to a report recently released by the economic analysis and forecasts provider FocusEconomics. The report reviews the performance of the region throughout 2016. While the region managed to accelerate despite a challenging economic and political climate, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have performed poorly in 2016. The figures of 2016 are the results of the diverging economic trends within MENA. FocusEconomics expected a gradual increase of US dollar inflows and investors as well as an expansion of GDP by 3.5% in 2017.
Egypt played its third match of the 2017 IHF Handball World Men’s Championship on Monday against Bahrain. Egypt won by 31-29, of which six goals were scored by Egypt’s Yehia El-Deraa who won the Best Player of the Match award. As the Pharaohs are placed in group D, they will be facing Argentina on 18 January and Sweden on 20 January. Sweden’s national men’s handball team won this championship four times, the last of which was in 1999. At the 2016 Rio’s Summer Olympics, celebrated in August, Sweden reached the quarterfinals of the men’s competition.
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) decided to pump EGP 2.5bn into United Bank, bringing the bank’s capital up to EGP 3.5bn. According to Ashraf Elkady, chairperson of the United Bank, the CBE’s injection of new capital will give a strong boost to the bank and its team to develop its business, strengthen the capital base, and raise the capital adequacy. This increase in the bank’s capital aims to meet the growing requests to expand in business and finance, whether directly or indirectly. Egypt at this important stage of economic construction needs strong banking entities to improve financial inclusion rates and to achieve targeted profitability, he explained. The capital of the United Bank was EGP 1bn at the beginning of its acquisition of the Nile Bank, the United Bank of Egypt, and the Islamic Bank for Development and Investment in mid-2006.
Prime Minister Sherif Ismail announced a package of decisions that aims to expand the social safety net and support low-income people. In addition, Ismail directed the government to import sufficient quantities of basic goods to maintain a six-month stock. Basic commodities will be sold through outlets of subsidiaries of the Food Industries Holding Company at low profit margins. The prime minister also assured he will take all actions necessary to review and filter the ration cards system. Moreover, contracts for supplying basic commodities will be conducted according to a scheme that allows for long-term supply and payment to obtain discounts and payment facilities.
Following circulating news regarding the kidnapping of 15 Egyptian workers in Libya, kidnappers informed the brother of one of the kidnapped workers that his brother was killed due to the media campaigns launched by his family. Meanwhile, Tarek El-Khouly, member of the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee submitted an inquest to parliament speaker Ali Abdul Aal regarding the Egyptian workers kidnapped in Libya, in order to refer it to the Foreign Ministry to follow the case. The MP made the inquest after he had received a message from the killed worker’s brother. Hamada had told Daily News Egypt back then that Mohamed had been kidnapped by anonymous militants after illegally travelling to Libya in December 2016. He said that a smuggler had agreed to smuggle his brother into Libya so that he could find employment in agriculture.
According to the report, both Cairo and Jordan’s Aqaba are considered tourism hotspots with 8% and 11% expected RevPAR growth from December to February, respectively. Alexandria is the runner-up with a forecasted 6% RevPAR growth in the same period. Regarding the Guest Experience Index (GEI), Colliers noted that Cairo scored 73 out of 100 for November 2016, marking a three-point increase, while Alexandria scored 76, Sharm El-Sheikh scored 81, and Hurghada scored 82. The reports indicated that the highest GEI growth was witnessed in Ras Al-Khaimah with a five-point increase, reaching a score of 77 points. Aqaba’s GEI witnessed the highest recorded drop in the GEI score with an eight-point decrease, reaching 71.
The Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) signed a contract with Doosan Group to supply a turbine, condensers, and generators to the Assiut power plant for $61.68m. A source at the EEHC said that several other companies had presented their bids to the tender, before it was awarded to Doosan Group. These companies included Mitsubishi Hitachi Alliance, Toyota Tsusho, Siemens-Shanghai Electric Alliance, and Doosan Group. He explained that the project is composed of a steam turbine with a capacity of 650 MW, condensers, generators, and other facilities. Funders include the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, the Islamic Development Bank, and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).
Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday criticized delays in the U.S.-led coalition's offensive against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, as extremists pressed ahead with an offensive against Syrian government forces. The extremist group said it was a reprisal for Turkey's campaign to dislodge the militants from the northern Syrian town of al-Bab. Turkish troops rolled over the border in August to help Syrian opposition forces battle IS and halt the advance of U.S.-backed Syrian-Kurdish fighters, who are also fighting the extremists. Meanwhile, in Syria's eastern city of Deir el-Zour, fighting between Syrian government forces and IS militants continued for the fourth day on Tuesday. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 122 people have been killed in and around the city, including 27 civilians.
The Housing Ministry Tuesday offered land plots for Khaliji investors for sale against US dollarsover the upcoming three months, in partnership with the Egyptian private sector, according to Assistant Housing Minister Khaled Abbas, quoted in Aswat Masriya. The main aim of these plots of land offerings is to get foreign currency from abroad, Abbas explained. He called on Egyptian real estate companies to make partnerships with companies from Gulf states to make use of these lands. In Novemeber 2016, the Housing Minister, Mostafa Madbouli, had said that his ministry is offering plots of lands for sale for Egyptians living abroad and for foreign investors as a source of US dollars. Egypt's economy is recently suffering from a severe shortage of foreign currency due to a drop in tourism revenues and declining foreign investment.
American actress and pop singer Lindsay Lohan caused a storm of controversy on social media. She starred in Disney's Herbie: Fully Loaded in 2005, A Prairie Home Companion and Bobby in 2006, TV film Labor Pains in 2009, TV film Liz & Dick in 2012. She also appeared in Ugly Betty TV series in 2008 and starred in the TV film Labor Pains in 2009. Arab fans on Twitter congratulating Lohan on converting to Islam. Arab fans on Twitter congratulating Lohan on converting to Islam
Following in the footsteps of Egyptian superstars Omar Al-Sherif and Amr Waked, Egyptian actor Maged el-Masry started out the new year by starring in international film "The Outcast" alongside Patrick Kilpatrick and Golden Globe nominee Eric Roberts. The actor posted photos from the film set in Hollywood on his Instagram account on Thursday. El-Masry was discovered by the director Hussam el-Din Mostafa and introduced to the Egyptian cinema in the film “Hekmat Fahmi the Spy”. He starred alongside Egyptian superstar Ghada Abdel Razek in "Maa Sabk al-Esrar" and has also worked in theatre. More recently in 2014, actor Amr Waked acted in “Lucy" which starred Scarlett Johansson.
Cairo Administrative Court decided on Tuesday to postpone the verdict of halting the sacking of former top auditor and former head of the Central Auditing Organization (CAO) Hesham Geneina to 24 January. The lawsuit was filed by Geneina against President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and said that the dismissal decision that was taken by Al-Sisi is unconstitutional. The Cairo Criminal Court had issued a verdict in July 2016 against Geneina. The case started when a local newspaper published falsified statements attributed to Geneina about the size of financial corruption in the public sector. The verdict of that case might affect the case raised against Geneina for publishing false news.
Parliament will discuss the Egyptian-Saudi maritime demarcation agreement in accordance to constitutional Article 151, parliamentary speaker Ali Abdul Aal asserted during a televised interview on Monday. This came hours after the Administrative Court rejected the government’s appeal against the court’s previous verdict. It thereby asserted its preliminary verdict of nullifying the agreement in a case known in the media as the “Red Sea islands” case. This implies that the State Council’s court is considered the highest judicial entity in the country. The lawyers who initially brought the case to court said that throughout the court sessions, government representatives failed to prove Saudi sovereignty over the islands.