Saudi women shine at Arab Women of the Year awards in London

Arab Women of the Year 2017 Award winners
Updated 02 December 2017
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Saudi women shine at Arab Women of the Year awards in London

Princess Lamia Bint Majid Al-Saud was named winner of the Achievement in Philanthropies Award at the Arab Women of the Year 2017 held in London on Thursday.
Princess Lamia is Secretary General and member of the board of trustees at Alwaleed Philanthropies which over the past 35 years has supported and initiated projects in more than 124 countries regardless of gender, race or religion.
The Foundation collaborates with a range of philanthropic, government and educational organizations to combat poverty, empower women and youth, develop communities, provide disaster relief and create cultural understanding through education.
Princess Lamia was among eleven outstanding Arab women recognized for their achievements in a wide range of categories including social leadership, culture, music, women’s advancement, trade development, motivation and wellbeing, education, journalism and public awareness.
A special award was presented to a program created by the OLE.IRD and UNHCR called ‘The Tiger Girls’. Tiger Girls, which stands for ‘These Inspiring Girls Enjoy Reading’, enables 120 Syrian girls in the Zaatari refugee camp, supported by Syrian female coaches, to participate in team-based learning. Present to accept the award alongside her colleagues was UNHCR senior adviser, Reem bint Amr bin Abdelhamid from Saudi Arabia.
Event organizer Omar Bdour, Ceo, London Arabia Organization, said he had been completely overwhelmed with emotion when he visited the Zaatari camp in Jordan and met the young women benefitting from the program.
He described a moving moment during his visit to the desert camp when young girls released balloons carrying messages describing their hopes and dreams. For young people who “have almost nothing,” he said, “their hopes and dreams are all that sustain them but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to break out of their box.”
He added that the Arab Women Awards celebrated Arab women who ‘aspire to make a difference.’
Award Advisory Chairman, Professor Aldwyn Cooper, Vice-Chancellor and Ceo, Regent’s University London, said in the Arab world educational institutions are climbing up the global world rankings. He saw as a valuable element in this trend the social change being led and supported by the country’s rulers. “There is recognition of the knowledge, skills and innovation of Arab women in many fields,” he said.
On the UK, he said: “It is important that we recognize Arab students as creating genuine inputs into the cultures of our universities with new perspectives, new ideas and real innovation.”
He said there would be announcements made by the UK government on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, about changes to the visa arrangements for students studying in the UK and staying to contribute to the British economy.
He said: “We are open for business in Britain for education and everything else.”
Guest speaker Desiree Bollier, chairwoman and global chief merchant, value retail management, said women make up 67 percent of her organization’s workforce.
“Women are wives and mothers and working. All we have done over the years is stretch their days and hours. The average work and social life and expectation of being a wife, mum and working woman is an average 14-hour day. We support these women with flexible hours – the office today is merely a mobile – you can do your work from anywhere.”
The glittering awards evening, hosted by Saudi social media influencer and entrepreneur Bayan Linjawi, was held in the Jumeirah Carlton Hotel in Knightsbridge. Entertainment was provided by the Scottish Egyptian multi-instrumentalist Ayoub Sisters, Sarah and Laura who played a range of wonderful classic pieces
The event was attended by royals, diplomats and a host of high achieving women showing their support for the award winners.
Dr. Hania Mursi Fadl, winner of the achievement in social leadership award, is one of the first Sudanese women to be trained as a radiologist. She established the Khartoum Breast Care Center using a family foundation fund of $14 million. The KBCCC is the only fully equipped and staffed cancer center available to women in the region.
Sheikha Intisar Alsabah, of Kuwait, winner of the achievement in community development award, is the founder of Alnowair, a first of its kind non-profit initiative in region.
The achievement in culture award went to Dr. Maha El-Khalil Chalabi. Born in the southern Lebanese city of Tyre, Chalabi has led numerous welfare and cultural campaigns for her native city which has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1984. She notably initiated the establishment of a medical and social care center and the International Festival of Tyre.
The well-known Kuwaiti singer Nawal El-Kuwaitia won the achievement in music award. She is known as The Queen of Classic Music and famed for her Harp of Khaliji Song, the Gulf’s Fairooz and the Sun and Moon of Kuwait. She currently has 16 albums and has collaborated with many composers and poets.
Yasmine Sabri won the award for achievement in promoting women’s advancement. Sabri, who was a professional swimmer in Egypt, shot her first movie in Mumbai and was number one in the box office. She participated in the “You are more important campaign” celebration – “Smile of Gold” at the Childrens’ Cancer Hospital during the World Children Cancer Day.
Shaikha Hind Al-Khalifa won the achievement in trade development award. Shaikha Hind was born and raised in the city of Muharraq, Bahrain and served as the Assistant Under-Secretary for the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. She is president of the Bahrain International Federation for Business and Professional Women.
The winner of the achievement in motivation and wellbeing award was Hala Kazim. She is a certified counselor and coach from the City University, London. Kazim established ‘Journey through Change’ in 2011 to positively impact people’s lives by taking them out of their comfort zone and expanding their intellectual boundaries.
The achievement in education award went to Professor Karma Nabulsi a Fellow in Politics at St. Edmund Hall who lectures at the University of Oxford where she is currently Director of Undergraduate Studies at the Department of Politics and International Relations. Dr. Nabulsi recently directed, co-edited and co-curated ‘The Palestinian Revolution,’ a bilingual Arabic-English digital humanities and teaching resource exploring Palestinian revolutionary thought and practice in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.
Ragihda Dergham won the achievement in journalism award. Dergham is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Beirut Institute, a cutting edge independent think tank for the Arab region. She has been a columnist and senior diplomatic correspondent for the London based Al Hayat daily since 1989.
Hind Al-Eryani won the achievement in public awareness award. She is a writer, journalist whose articles are widely published on media including TV5, Alsafeer, and Lebanon Now.
Eryani has led many campaigns against Qat highlighting its negative effects on the economy, water and agriculture. Her latest campaign promotes peace in Yemen.
Arab Women of the Year 2017 was partnered and sponsored by Regent’s University London, Bicester Village, La Vallee Village, London & Partners and the Arab British Business Association.


Will flying cars take off? Japan’s government hopes so

Updated 18 September 2018
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Will flying cars take off? Japan’s government hopes so

  • This vision of the future is driving the Japanese government’s “flying car” project

TOKYO: Electric drones booked through smartphones pick people up from office rooftops, shortening travel time by hours, reducing the need for parking and clearing smog from the air.
This vision of the future is driving the Japanese government’s “flying car” project. Major carrier All Nippon Airways, electronics company NEC Corp. and more than a dozen other companies and academic experts hope to have a road map ready by the year’s end.
“This is such a totally new sector Japan has a good chance for not falling behind,” said Fumiaki Ebihara, the government official in charge of the project.
Nobody believes people are going to be zipping around in flying cars any time soon. Many hurdles remain, such as battery life, the need for regulations and, of course, safety concerns. But dozens of similar projects are popping up around the world. The prototypes so far are less like traditional cars and more like drones big enough to hold people.
A flying car is defined as an aircraft that’s electric, or hybrid electric, with driverless capabilities, that can land and takeoff vertically.
They are often called EVtol, which stands for “electric vertical takeoff and landing” aircraft.
The flying car concepts promise to be better than helicopters, which are expensive to maintain, noisy to fly and require trained pilots, Ebihara and other proponents say.
“You may think of ‘Back to the Future,’ ‘Gundam,’ or ‘Doraemon,’” Ebihara said, referring to vehicles of flight in a Hollywood film and in Japanese cartoons featuring robots. “Up to now, it was just a dream, but with innovations in motors and batteries, it’s time for it to become real.”
Google, drone company Ehang and car manufacturer Geely in China, and Volkswagen AG of Germany have invested in flying car technology.
Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. said they had nothing to say about flying cars, but Toyota Motor Corp. recently invested $500 million in working with Uber on self-driving technology for the ride-hailing service. Toyota group companies have also invested 42.5 million yen ($375,000) in a Japanese startup, Cartivator, that is working on a flying car.
The hope is to fly up and light the torch at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but it’s unclear it will meet that goal: At a demonstration last year, the device crashed after it rose to slightly higher than eye level. A video of a more recent demonstration suggests it’s now flying more stably, though it’s being tested indoors, unmanned and chained so it won’t fly away.
There are plenty of skeptics.
Elon Musk, chief executive of electric car maker Tesla Inc., says even toy drones are noisy and blow a lot of air, which means anything that would be “1,000 times heavier” isn’t practical.
“If you want a flying car, just put wheels on a helicopter,” he said in a recent interview with podcast host and comedian Joe Rogan on YouTube. “Your neighbors are not going to be happy if you land a flying car in your backyard or on your rooftop.”
Though the Japanese government has resisted Uber’s efforts to offer ride-hailing services in Japan, limiting it to partnerships with taxi companies, it has eagerly embraced the US company’s work on EVtol machines.
Uber says it is considering Tokyo as its first launch city for affordable flights via its UberAir service. It says Los Angeles and Dallas, Texas, and locations in Australia, Brazil, France and India are other possible locations.
Unlike regular airplanes, with their aerodynamic design and two wings, Uber’s “Elevate” structures look like small jets with several propellers on top. The company says it plans flight demonstrations as soon as 2020 and a commercial service by 2023.
Uber’s vision calls for using heliports on rooftops, but new multi-floored construction similar to parking lots for cars will likely be needed to accommodate EVtol aircraft if the service takes off.
Unmanned drones are legal in Japan, the US and other countries, but there are restrictions on where they can be flown and requirements for getting approval in advance. In Japan, drone flyers can be licensed if they take classes. There is no requirement like drivers licenses for cars.
Flying passengers over populated areas would take a quantum leap in technology, overhauling aviation regulations and air traffic safety controls, along with major efforts both to ensure safety and convince people it’s safe.
Uber said at a recent presentation in Tokyo that it envisions a route between the city’s two international airports, among others.
“This is not a rich person’s toy. This is a mass market solution,” said Adam Warmoth, product manager at Uber Elevate.
Concepts for flying cars vary greatly. Some resemble vehicles with several propellers on top while others look more like a boat with a seat over the propellers.
Ebihara, the flying-car chief at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, says Japan is on board for “Blade Runner” style travel — despite its plentiful, efficient and well developed public transportation.
Japan’s auto and electronics industries have the technology and ability to produce super-light materials that could give the nation an edge in the flying car business, he said.
Just as the automobile vanquished horse-drawn carriages, moving short-distance transport into the air could in theory bring a sea change in how people live, Ebihara said, pointing to the sky outside the ministry building to stress how empty it was compared to the streets below.
Flying also has the allure of a bird’s eye view, the stuff of drone videos increasingly used in filmmaking, tourism promotion and journalism.
Atsushi Taguchi, a “drone grapher,” as specialists in drone video are called, expects test flights can be carried out even if flying cars won’t become a reality for years since the basic technology for stable flying already exists with recent advances in sensors, robotics and digital cameras.
A growing labor shortage in deliveries in Japan is adding to the pressures to realize such technology, though there are risks, said Taguchi, who teaches at the Tokyo film school Digital Hollywood.
The propellers on commercially sold drones today are dangerous, and some of his students have lost fingers with improper flying. The bigger propellers needed for vertical flight would increase the hazards and might need to be covered.
The devices might need parachutes to soften crash landings, or might have to explode into small bits to ensure pieces hitting the ground would be smaller.
“I think one of the biggest hurdles is safety,” said Taguchi. “And anything that flies will by definition crash.”
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