Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed launches ‘Hope Maker’ award

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid has announced the return of the Arab Hope Makers award. (Reuters)
Updated 25 February 2018
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Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed launches ‘Hope Maker’ award

CAIRO: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced on his Twitter account the return of the Arab Hope Makers award.
The initiative, launched for the second year in a row, entitles participants from the Arab world to win the position of a “Hope Maker,” a job post with a salary of $272,000, or one million dirhams.
The award is dedicated to honoring people who spread hope and encompass the values of giving and optimism, by dedicating their lives to helping others. It is meant to help the winner continue their efforts.
Sheikh Mohammed announced on Saturday the second round of the award, by tweeting: “The Arab Hope Makers are also the makers of our civilization and our future. Every person has the spirit of giving inside them, and the ability to contribute positively to our society; this is our Arab world’s civilizational mission.”
“There are thousands of people who work silently and tirelessly to help others — these are the true heroes who deserve to be honored. We will take these people’s extraordinary stories, and continue to fight despair and pessimism with their spirit of positive change.”
Those with humanitarian, volunteer experience or work on community-based projects, anywhere in the Arab world, are eligible to apply to become the next Arab Hope Maker. Their age doesn’t matter, applicants must perfect the language of giving, both spoken and written.
Nawal Al Soufi from Morocco was named the Arab ‘Hope Maker’ in last year’s edition, for saving the lives of 200,000 refugees.


Trump declares Daesh defeated in Syria as US weighs complete withdrawal

Updated 19 December 2018
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Trump declares Daesh defeated in Syria as US weighs complete withdrawal

WASHINGTON: The United States has defeated Daesh in Syria, Donald Trump claimed on Wednesday, adding that it was the only reason he had kept troops in the country.

His comments came after US officials told Reuters on Wednesday that the US is considering a total withdrawal of US forces from Syria as it nears the end of its campaign to retake all of the territory once held by Daesh. 

Such a decision, if confirmed, would upend assumptions about a longer-term US military presence in Syria, which Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other senior US officials had advocated to help ensure Daesh cannot reemerge.

"We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency," Trump wrote on Twitter.

The US president has previously expressed a strong desire to bring troops home from Syria when possible.
The timing of the withdrawal was not immediately clear and US officials did not disclose details about the deliberations, including who was involved. It was unclear how soon a decision could be announced.
The Pentagon declined to comment.
The United States still has about 2,000 troops in Syria, many of them special operations forces working closely with an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF.
The partnership with the SDF over the past several years has contributed to the defeat of Daesh in Syria but outraged NATO ally Turkey, which views Kurdish YPG forces in the alliance as an extension of a militant group fighting inside Turkey.
The deliberations on US troops come as Ankara threatens a new offensive in Syria. To date, US forces in Syria have been seen as a stabilizing factor in the country and have somewhat restrained Turkey’s actions against the SDF.
A complete withdrawal of US troops from Syria would still leave a sizeable US military presence in the region, including about 5,200 troops across the border in Iraq.
Much of the US campaign in Syria has been waged by warplanes flying out of bases and ships in the Middle East.
Still, Mattis and US State Department officials have long fretted about leaving Syria before a peace agreement can be reached to end that country’s brutal civil war, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced around half of Syria’s pre-war population of about 22 million.
In April, Mattis said: “We do not want to simply pull out before the diplomats have won the peace. You win the fight — and then you win the peace.”
Daesh is also widely expected to revert to guerilla tactics once it no longer holds territory.
A US withdrawal could open Trump up to criticism if Daesh reemerged.
Trump has previously lambasted his predecessor, Barack Obama, for the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq that preceded an unraveling of the Iraqi armed forces. Iraqi forces collapsed in the face of Daesh's’s advance into the country in 2014.