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.


Bangladesh frees photographer facing charges of propaganda

Bangladeshi photographer and activist Shahidul Alam (C) speaks following is release from Dhaka Central Jail, Keraniganj, near Dhaka, on November 20, 2018, after he was granted bail by the high court a few days prior. (AFP)
Updated 21 November 2018
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Bangladesh frees photographer facing charges of propaganda

  • His arrest involving a student protest for better road safety after a road accident in August had sparked criticism at home and abroad

DHAKA,Bangladesh: An acclaimed photographer has been released from a jail in Bangladesh more than three months after he was arrested on charges of spreading false information about a street protest and propaganda against the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Prison official Mahbubul Islam said late Tuesday authorities had released photographer Shahidul Alam following a daylong wait after his family and lawyers provided the proper documents from the High Court that granted him permanent bail.
His arrest involving a student protest for better road safety after a road accident in August had sparked criticism at home and abroad.
Rights groups have criticized Hasina for repressive measures against free speech, but authorities say Alam spread false information on Facebook that tarnished the country’s image.