UAE businessman, philanthropist Al-Habtoor launches $500,000 children’s fund in Illinois

Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor addresses a press conference in Springfield, Illinois on Feb. 8.
Updated 13 February 2018
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UAE businessman, philanthropist Al-Habtoor launches $500,000 children’s fund in Illinois

Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor, a well-known businessman and philanthropist, has launched a children’s fund in Central Illinois. He said America needs to do more to address hunger and homelessness in the country. His comments came as US President Donald Trump took credit for a strong US economy and job growth in a speech in Ohio last week. Al-Habtoor said that the US government needs to do more to address the issue on US soil.
“President Donald Trump is giving himself credit for a strong economy but he needs to prioritize the lack of basic human rights for many Americans,” Al-Habtoor said. “The US homeless population increased for the first time since 2010 under the Trump administration. The US is the world’s biggest economy, where homelessness and poverty should not be an issue.”
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development acknowledged at the end of 2017 in its annual Point in Time count that there are 554,000 homeless people in the US. That is a one percent jump from the previous year, while the official poverty rate is around 12.7 percent according to data from the US Census Bureau. Separately, Feeding America states that more than 46 million people in American turn to them for food each year.
Al-Habtoor is in the US for the launch of the “Dr. Khalaf Al-Habtoor and Congressman Paul Findley’s Children Fund.” His $500,000 contribution, which has been awarded to the Central Illinois Foodbank in Springfield, will be used to establish an endowment to fund programs that provide food to people in need throughout the foodbank’s 21 counties.
Al-Habtoor learned of the Central Illinois Foodbank and its outstanding performance in providing for the needs of the hungry through his long-term relationship with retired US Congressman Paul Findley.
At a press conference attended by state and community leaders in Springfield, Illinois on Feb. 8, Al-Habtoor said: “I believe that philanthropy should be independent of race, religion and geography. When God gives you something, you have to give part of it to people in need without differentiation. You have to help everyone. The three main religions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam — teach us that. All people have the right to live a decent life. With this thought in mind, I am very grateful and find much serenity through giving and sharing with the people and children of Central Illinois.”
He added, “I am deeply grateful to Congressman Paul Findley for his vision and the commitments he has made as a tireless public servant in retirement. I would also like to thank the Central Illinois Foodbank for its diligent pursuit of its mission to serve those in need of food and develop creative solutions to end hunger.”


Regional authorities offer free training at HVACR Expo

Updated 21 January 2019
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Regional authorities offer free training at HVACR Expo

The region’s largest dedicated HVACR (heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration) business event will host specialists from Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO), GCC Standardization Organization (GSO) and Saudi Council of Engineers (SCE) among other credible entities.
Set to shed light on the latest efficiency guidelines in the HVACR industry, these authorities will feature a free and certified training agenda at the HVACR Expo Saudi from Jan. 28-30 at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center (RICEC).
Zayed Mohsen Albagami, deputy director of energy efficiency, SASO, said: “It is important for SASO and for the Kingdom as a whole to support and enhance Saudi Vision 2030 at this time.”
He added: “The role of SASO toward this goal is to help the manufacturer himself adopt a sustainable approach. We implement this through a variety of initiatives, whether it be the issuance of new standards on energy efficiency, raising awareness in the media or finally by holding workshops — as we will do at HVACR Expo Saudi 2019.”
In line with the 2030 initiative, the Saudi government has enacted SASO regulations 2663 and 2874, which improve the efficiency level of all air conditioning equipment. They have also introduced a district cooling framework for new developments exceeding 15,000 tons.
Basem Salameh, conformity specialist at GSO, said: “The GCC Standardization Organization (GSO) aims to harmonize standardization activities among the GCC member states to facilitate both international and intra-trade, and to remove technical barriers for economic operators.”
Along with presentations by SASO, GSO and SCE, the workshop agenda at HVACR Expo Saudi 2019 will include training sessions from industry leaders Carrier, Samsung Electronics, Midea RAC, Al-Salem Johnson Controls, and Shaker Group (LG) to name but a few.
Abdul Rouf Pandith, senior mechanical engineer at KEO International Consultants and speaker at the event, said: “By inviting and bringing together government stakeholders, policy and decision-makers, and leaders from the utility sector across the country, HVACR Expo Saudi can mark a new era in the cooling sector.”
Roni El-Haddad, event director of HVACR Expo 2019, said: “We are extremely honored to welcome SASO, GSO and SCE on board at HVACR Expo Saudi 2019. While the Kingdom is coming together to fulfill the objectives laid out by Saudi Vision 2030, the time is now to bring these authorities on-board and to work with them to ensure that HVACR professionals can achieve the highest standards within their field.”
HVACR Expo Saudi will also bring together more than 85 of the industry’s heavyweights to showcase innovative industry solutions and products at the event. Countries represented will include Turkey, China, the US, France, Italy, the UAE, Singapore, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and more.