‘Arab world needs heroes like Salah and Malek,’ Bahrain workshop told

Egyptian player Mohamed Salah, left, and Oscar-winning star Rami Malek
Updated 27 June 2019
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‘Arab world needs heroes like Salah and Malek,’ Bahrain workshop told

  • FIFA chief calls for program to build more football pitches in Palestine

MANAMA: The Arab world needs heroes, and football and the film industry can help provide them, the US-led “Peace to Prosperity” workshop in Bahrain was told.

In a plenary session at the event, titled “the power of sport and entertainment,” Thomas Barrack, an American financier and one of US President Donald Trump’s closest advisers, said: “We in the Arab world do not create our own heroes, we’ve done a bad job at creating role models for Arabs. But football and film have been roads to doing that in the rest of the world.”

Gianni Infantino, president of the international football governing body FIFA, told delegates at the gathering in the Bahraini capital Manama, that the game could help inspire youngsters, and singled out the Egyptian player Mohamed Salah as an example of a new hero in the Middle East.

“Half of the world watches the World Cup. We have got to give hope, dreams and a smile to the world,” he said.

Argentinian film producer Fernando Sulichin, responsible for several Hollywood blockbuster movies, highlighted the success of Oscar-winning “Bohemian Rhapsody” film star Rami Malek, of Egyptian descent, as an example of the kind of success Arab actors could enjoy.

On White House adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner’s plan to revive the economy of Palestine and surrounding regions, Sulichin said: “Here is this plan. It is a script. I’m a producer, so now let’s get it done.”

He also noted the recent “renaissance” in moviemaking in Saudi Arabia as an example of how film could complement positive social change.

The FIFA boss also called for a program to build more football pitches in Palestine, where he said there were only 25 playing areas for a population of 5 million people.


US and all ‘enemy ships’ watched Iran warns, as UK seeks ‘safe shipping’ alliance

Updated 49 min 1 sec ago
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US and all ‘enemy ships’ watched Iran warns, as UK seeks ‘safe shipping’ alliance

  • Iran says it observes all US ships in the Gulf region
  • Iran and the United States came to the brink of war last month

GENEVA/LONDON: Iran observes all US ships in the Gulf region and has an archive of images of their daily movements, the head of Iran’s navy, Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, said on Tuesday, according to the Young Journalists Club news site.

“We observe all enemy ships, particularly America, point-by-point from their origin until the moment they enter the region,” Khanzadi said, noting that images were recorded using Iranian drones. “We have complete images and a large archive of the daily and moment-by-moment traffic of the coalition forces and America.”

Iran and the US came to the brink of war last month after the Islamic Republic shot down a US drone, nearly prompting a retaliatory attack which US President Donald Trump called off at the last minute

Meanwhile, the Swedish-based operator of the British-flagged tanker seized last week by Iran said on Tuesday it was still awaiting permission to visit the ship’s 23 crew members.

“We continue to focus our efforts on supporting the families of those affected in India, Russia, Latvia and the Philippines and will continue to offer full support until all 23 crew members are released and safely back with their families,” it said in a statement.

Stena Bulk added that all necessary notifications had been made for the Stena Impero’s transit of the Strait of Hormuz, which it said was carried out in full compliance with all international maritime regulations.

“We can confirm that we are not aware of, and nor is there any evidence of a collision involving the Stena Impero,” it said.

On Saturday, Iran said the tanker was seized because it had collided with a fishing boat.

On Tuesday, the UK approached EU nations to join its proposed European-led naval missions for safe shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, with France, Denmark, Italy and the Netherlands all showing strong support for the possible mission.