Upon Salman invitation, Egyptian terror victims' relatives in Mecca to perform Hajj

A muslim pilgrim prays while others circle the Kaaba and pray at the Grand mosque ahead of annual Haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia August 16, 2018.REUTERS/Zohra BensemraCAIRO – 17 August 2018: A total of 1,000 Egyptian relatives of army and police forces, and victims of violent acts have arrived to Mecca on Friday to perform Hajj (pilgrimage) upon an invitation from King Salman bin Abdel Aziz and as part of the king's Hajj Guests Program, annually supervised by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance.The pilgrims include the parents of the victims who lost their lives during the terrorist attack that hit Al Rawda village in Bir al-Abd city, North Sinai in Nov. 2017.Colonel Tamer Refae, the military spokesman, published a video clip for the 1,000 pilgrims travelling from Cairo to Mecca.In a statement, Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance Sheikh Abdullatif bin Abdulaziz Al-Sheikh announced that this year the Kingdom is welcoming its guests from all over the world noting that thousands of male and female pilgrims have benefited from this program since it started 22 years ago.Upon reaching Mecca, the program organizers arranged a welcome reception offering them flowers and Zamzam water celebrating their arrival.Additionally, they provided them with room keys, mobile SIM cards and bags filled with all needed equipment for pilgrimage.The pilgrims expressed their happiness and gratitude to King Salman who invited them in recognition of their sacrifice in defending and protecting their homeland.The King stressed the need to ensure a peaceful and reassuring atmosphere during Hajj as part of his constant concern to serve Islam and Muslims.

Source:Egypt Today

August 17, 2018 14:37 UTC

Germany looks at easing immigration laws to fill skilled labor gaps

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a news conference with Bosnia-Herzegovina's Prime Minister Denis Zvizdic (not pictured) at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany August 13, 2018. REUTERS/Hannibal HanschkeBERLIN - 17 August 2018: The German cabinet will soon decide on a proposal to make it easier for skilled workers from outside the European Union to move to Germany to take a job, a paper seen by Reuters shows, as Germany seeks to alleviate chronic labour shortages.Such plans could be sensitive in a country where anti-immigration sentiment has helped drive support for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and a row over asylum policy almost toppled Chancellor Angela Merkel's government in July.The new proposal mainly addresses relaxing migration policy for professionals outside the EU, since EU citizens enjoy free labour movement in the bloc.A lack of skilled labour and a shortage of young people willing to commit to on-the-job training for up to 3-1/2 years have become big concerns for managers in Europe's largest economy.Germany bet on more than a million refugees who arrived in 2015 to fill workforce gaps, but a lack of German-language skills and the inability of most refugees to prove any qualifications has slowed the process.A record 1.2 million jobs remain unfilled in Germany, the Federal Labour Office said earlier this month.The German Interior, Labour and Economy ministries agreed to recruit more foreign skilled labour to Germany, the paper seen by Reuters showed.They have sent the proposal paper to the rest of the cabinet, which will take a decision on it soon and changes to it are still possible, two government sources said. "We will adjust the federal government's concept of skilled labour and focus on three areas: domestic, European and international skilled worker potentials," the paper, on which Interior Minister Horst Seehofer took the lead, said.Seehofer, leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU) - Bavarian sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), takes a hard line on immigration and asylum issues. He vowed in July to present a migration law for professional workers by autumn.Seehofer faces a tough regional vote in Bavaria in October, when the AfD is expected to win seats in the state assembly. The anti-immigrant AfD's popularity has surged since the migrant influx and it became the country's third largest party in September's election.Germany already has a "blue card" system that makes it easier for companies to hire foreign academics and professionals.The paper proposes that the government will no longer insist that companies give preference to German citizens in filling vacancies before looking for non-EU foreigners.Graduates and workers with vocational training will have an opportunity to come to Germany to look for a job within a certain period of time if they meet qualification and language requirements.They will not have access to social welfare benefits during that period but will be allowed to work in jobs for which they are overqualified so they can earn some money, the paper added.Qualification recognition procedures in Germany will become faster and easier, the paper said, adding that the government is planning an advertising campaign in selected countries.

Source:Egypt Today

August 17, 2018 11:48 UTC

13th Sheikh Zayed Book Award to stop receiving nominations Oct. 1

File - Sheikh Zayed Book Award logoCAIRO – 16 August 2018: Sheikh Zayed Book Award will stop receiving nominations for its 13th edition on October 1.The award, which started accepting nominations on May 10, consists of nine categories: Sheikh Zayed Award for the Best Contribution to the Development of the Country, Children’s Literature, Literature, Young Author, Translation, Art Criticism, Arabic Culture in Non-Arab Language, and Publishing and Cultural Technologies.The award is not granted to works that have previously won international or Arab awards. Egyptian author Ahmed al-Qarmalawi was one of the winners of the 12th edition of the international Sheikh Zayed Book Award.Born in Cairo in 1978, Qarmalawi graduated from the Faculty of Construction Engineering at the American University in Cairo (AUC), and later went on to receive a master's degree from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. His first novel, "Abbas First" was published in 2013.He received the Sheikh Zayed Book Award under the Young Author category for his novel "Summer Rains" (Amtar Sayfiyyah) which was published by Cairo's Maktabat al-Dar al-Arabiyah lil-Kitab in 2017.Aside from writing, Qarmalawi's hobbies also include oil, charcoal, and pastel painting as well as playing oud. Other winners of the award include Syrian novelist Khalil Sweileh, winner of the Literature Award for the novel "Remorse Test" (Ikhtibar al-Nadam), published in Beirut, 2017 by Nofal- Hachette Antoine. This book explores

Source:Egypt Today

August 17, 2018 11:03 UTC

Masterpiece theater: Chinese make-up artist brings paintings to life

A combination picture shows makeup artist He Yuhong, also known as "Yuya", posing without her makeup and garments (L), and without her makeup (C) following her transformation (R) into the "Girl with a Pearl Earring", the 17th century oil painting by DutchCHONGQING, China (Reuters) - Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Cristiano Ronaldo are just a few of the famous faces that Chinese make-up artist He Yuhong can transform her features into, but now she’s turning to famous artworks.The 27-year-old has gone viral on Chinese social media for her videos of her make-up transformations, drawing a million followers on popular video and music platform TikTok.“It’s more difficult to do this kind of make-up, because it’s more like drawing,” said He, who is based in the southwestern city of Chongqing.“I need to draw other people’s faces onto my own, with a lot of details added, and I need to change my facial features.”He has even taken on characters from paintings, such as the “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by 17th-century Dutchman Johannes Vermeer.It took her more than six hours to recreate, carefully adding layers of foundation to her face to replicate shadows, and wearing a headscarf to match the one on the canvas.In May, He kicked off her video series, unexpectedly bringing to life Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” in a recreation that captured attention on social media.Before she became a blogger on the transformative use of make-up, she had her own studio, applying cosmetics in preparation for weddings and advertisement shoots.Now she estimates her monthly spend on make-up is up to 10,000 yuan ($1,452). She is backed by corporate sponsors.“I like to try new things,” He said, adding that characters from the “Lion King” and princesses in Disney animated films are next in her lineup for imitation.

Source:Egypt Today

August 17, 2018 05:37 UTC

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