Khaleeji music icon Abu Bakr Salem dead at 78

Abu Bakr Salem
Updated 12 December 2017
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Khaleeji music icon Abu Bakr Salem dead at 78

JEDDAH: Veteran Saudi singer and a pioneer of Khaleeji music, Abu Bakr Salem died on Sunday aged 78 after a prolonged battle with a disease. He was last seen during the Saudi National Day celebrations in September but could not sing then due to his illness.
Originally from Hadramout, Yemen, a young Salem moved from Traim to Aden where he met several poets, singers and musicians, namely, Lutfi Jafar Aman, Ahmed bin Ahmed Qasim and Mohammad Saad Abdullah, and eventually started singing.
One of his first famous songs was “Ya Ward Ma7la Jamalak.”
In 1967, Salem left Aden for Jeddah, where he pioneered a new genre of music, called Khaleeji music, along with others such as Tariq Abdul-Hakim and Talal Maddah.
Salem received several medals and honors throughout his rich artistic career from Saudi Arabia, Yemen and other Arab countries. The Arab League honored him in 2002 along with other Arab art pioneers.
The versatile artist traveled frequently between Aden, Beirut, Jeddah and Cairo before settling in Riyadh.
Tributes poured in from celebrities and fans alike from across the Arab world.
Lebanese singer Elissa wrote on Twitter: “We lost a great artist in the music industry ... Abu Bakr Salem, one of the icons of modern Khaleeji music. May he rest in peace.”
“The knight disembarked his horse and left us. Our dear father Abu Bakr Salem left us. Let’s pray together for him, Oh Allah, give him a home better than his home, and a family better than his family. Treat him with your mercy and take him into paradise,” Emirati singer Ahlam tweeted.
Pop star Nancy Ajram wrote: “May Allah have mercy on the singer Abu Bakr Salem … warmest condolences to his family and all his loved ones.”
Lebanese superstar Ragheb Alama said: “The death of the artist Abu Bakr Salem is a great loss to the Arab music and entertainment world ... May God’s mercy be upon you Abu Bakr ... Warm condolences to his family and loved ones ... Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return.”
 


Japan worker’s pay docked for taking lunch 3 minutes early

Updated 21 June 2018
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Japan worker’s pay docked for taking lunch 3 minutes early

TOKYO: A Japanese city official has been reprimanded and fined for repeatedly leaving his desk during work hours — but only for around three minutes to buy lunch.
The official, who works at the waterworks bureau in the western city of Kobe, began his designated lunch break early 26 times over the space of seven months, according to a city spokesman.
“The lunch break is from noon to 1 pm. He left his desk before the break,” the spokesman said on Thursday.
The official, 64, had half a day’s pay docked as punishment and the bosses called a news conference to apologize.
“It’s deeply regrettable that this misconduct took place. We’re sorry,” a bureau official told reporters, bowing deeply.
The worker was in violation of a public service law stating that officials have to concentrate on their jobs, according to the bureau.
The news sparked a heated debate on Japanese social media, with many defending the official.
“It’s sheer madness. It’s crazy. What about leaving your desk to smoke?” said one Twitter user.
“Is this a bad joke? Does this mean we cannot even go to the bathroom?” said another.
The city had previously suspended another official in February for a month after he had left his office numerous times to buy a ready-made lunch box during work hours.
The official was absent a total of 55 hours over six months, according to the city.