UAE app to provide Friday sermons in English and Urdu

A survey noted that over half of UAE respondents preferred an Urdu translation of Friday sermons. (AFP)
Updated 06 September 2018
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UAE app to provide Friday sermons in English and Urdu

  • The new service will enable non-Arabic speakers to follow Friday sermons in English and Urdu initially
  • Etisalat and Du are offering free data packages for the Friday sermon translation service users
DUBAI: An initiative to translate the content of Friday sermons in UAE mosques into multiple languages will be available from The General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments’ mobile application.
The new service will enable non-Arabic speakers to follow Friday sermons in English and Urdu initially. Efforts are being made to expand the scope of the initiative to include a choice of foreign languages.
The project is aimed at catering to the needs of the non-Arabic speaking community across the UAE and help them gain a better perspective of the values and teachings of Islam.
According to a survey, 55 percent of respondents preferred the translation of the Friday sermon in Urdu. Additionally, 92 per cent of the respondents were smartphone users.
The initiative is collaboration of the Department of Community Development, the Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi, Etisalat and Du.
Etisalat and Du are offering free data packages for the Friday sermon translation service users via the ‘AWQAF’ mobile application. Listeners will be provided with free data packages and will be exempt from payment on using the service.


Vietnam jails activist for anti-government posts on Facebook

Updated 25 September 2018
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Vietnam jails activist for anti-government posts on Facebook

  • The conviction comes as communist authorities step up a crackdown on dissent
  • Some 97 activists were in jail as of April this year, according to Amnesty International

HANOI, Vietnam: A court in southern Vietnam has sentenced an activist to 27 months in prison for Facebook posts that judges say insulted the ruling Communist Party and government and called for anti-government protests.
Doan Khanh Vinh Quang, 42, was convicted “abuse of democratic freedom to infringe on the legitimate interests of the state” by the People’s Court in Ninh Kieu District in Can Tho province after a one-day trial Monday, the Vietnam News Agency reported.
The agency quoted judges as saying Quang’s actions “actively abetted hostile and reactionary forces from inside and outside the country” who want to overthrow the party and government.
Court officials were not available for comment Tuesday.
The conviction comes as communist authorities step up a crackdown on dissent. Quang was third activist to be jailed in a week on similar charges.
On Saturday, Nguyen Hong Nguyen and Truong Dinh Khang, were convicted of insulting the Communist Party and its leaders, including late founding President Ho Chi Minh, and sentenced to two years and one year respectively in separate cases in Can Tho province.
Despite sweeping economic reforms over the past 30 years that opened Vietnam to foreign investment and trade that made it one of fastest growing economies in the region, the Communist Party tolerates no challenge to its one-party rule.
Some Western governments and international human rights groups criticize Vietnam for jailing people for peacefully expressing their views. Hanoi says only lawbreakers are put behind bars.
Some 97 activists were in jail as of April this year, according to Amnesty International.