President El-Sisi honors 42 Egyptian women on Mother's Day

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Photo released by the Egyptian Presidency on March 21, 2018 shows President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi (C) and his wife Intissar Amer (C-R), along with members of the National Council for Women, commemorating Mothers Day in Cairo. (AFP)
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Photo released by the Egyptian Presidency on March 21, 2018 shows President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and his wife Intissar Amer celebrating Mothers Day in Cairo. (AFP)
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Photo released by the Egyptian Presidency shows President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi at a National Council for Women event, commemorating Mothers Day in Cairo, Mar 21, 2018. (AFP)
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Updated 21 March 2018
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President El-Sisi honors 42 Egyptian women on Mother's Day

CAIRO: 42 Egyptian women were honored by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi as part of nationwide celebrations on Wednesday marking Mother’s Day.
Speaking on the occasion, Sisi praised “the greatness of Egyptian women,” in a ceremony held at a Cairo hotel.
Public figures, ministers, and Egypt’s first lady attended the event.
Maya Morsi, Chairwoman of the National Council for Women (NCW), said Egyptian women are Egypt’s third line of defense, after the army and the police, according to Al-Masry el-Youm newspaper.
Morsi said Egypt has a clear policy and approach to empowering women across all fields, referring to legislation and unprecedented laws recently issued to protect the rights of Egyptian women.
Meanwhile, Egyptian female celebrities filled social media with heartwarming messages as they expressed their gratitude towards mothers and motherhood.
Egyptian actress Donia Samir Ghanem sent her wishes to her mother Dalal Abdel Aziz in the form of a picture she has posted on her official Twitter account.
Egyptian singer Angham chose to celebrate the occasion her own way, by sharing a video of her newly released song that celebrate mother's love. “Mother, my backbone, my support, in your shadow I live .. no matter what I do to you is never enough.” said the song's lyrics.
Meanwhile, singer Carmen Soliman, who was just blessed with a baby, posted on Instagram her latest song on how motherhood has changed her life, while asking fans to share the song with their beloved mothers.
The Arab world marks Mother’s day on March 21 of every year.


Rickshaw pullers fade from India’s streets

Updated 26 April 2018
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Rickshaw pullers fade from India’s streets

KOLKATA: Mohammad Maqbool Ansari puffs and sweats as he pulls his rickshaw through Kolkata’s teeming streets, a veteran of a gruelling trade long outlawed in most parts of the world and slowly fading from India too.
Kolkata is one of the last places on earth where pulled rickshaws still feature in daily life, but Ansari is among a dying breed still eking a living from this back-breaking labor.
The 62-year-old has been pulling rickshaws for nearly four decades, hauling cargo and passengers by hand in drenching monsoon rains and stifling heat that envelops India’s heaving eastern metropolis.
Their numbers are declining as pulled rickshaws are relegated to history, usurped by tuk tuks, Kolkata’s signature yellow taxis and modern conveniences like Uber.
Ansari cannot imagine life for Kolkata’s thousands of rickshaw-wallahs if the job ceased to exist.
“If we don’t do it, how will we survive? We can’t read or write. We can’t do any other work. Once you start, that’s it. This is our life,” he tells AFP.
Sweating profusely on a searing hot day, his singlet soaked and face dripping, Ansari skilfully weaves his rickshaw through crowded markets and bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Wearing simple shoes and a chequered sarong, the only real giveaway of his age is his long beard, snow white and frizzy, and a face weathered from a lifetime plying this disappearing trade.
Twenty minutes later, he stops, wiping his face on a rag. The passenger offers him a glass of water — a rare blessing — and hands a note over.
“When it’s hot, for a trip that costs 50 rupees ($0.75) I’ll ask for an extra 10 rupees. Some will give, some don’t,” he said.
“But I’m happy with being a rickshaw puller. I’m able to feed myself and my family.”