TAPI gas pipeline to be inaugurated on Feb. 25

The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project will be inaugurated on Feb. 25. (REUTERS file photo)
Updated 20 February 2018

TAPI gas pipeline to be inaugurated on Feb. 25

KABUL: The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project will be inaugurated on Feb. 25 in Herat, said a spokesman for the governor of the western Afghan city.
“High-level guests of the TAPI member countries” will attend the ceremony, Jailani Farhad added.
Herat lawmaker Ahmad Farhad Majidi said the multibillion-dollar project will create at least 25,000 direct jobs and be a source of income for the Afghan government.
“This is a megaproject on the regional level. I don’t see any hindrance to its implementation,” he told Arab News.
“We’ll have annual revenue of $450 million from this. There will be jobs for people. They’ll have access to gas.”
Afghans view the project as a game-changer that will boost the economy and transform the country into a major trade and energy corridor after four decades of conflict.
The major section of the pipeline runs through southwest Afghanistan, the main bastion for the Taliban, whose spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the group is in favor of the project and will protect it. TAPI “is an important project,” he told Arab News.
Anwarullhaq Ahady, who held various Cabinet positions in the previous government, told Arab News: “In the absence of peace with the Taliban, it would be rather easy to disrupt the construction of the TAPI pipeline in Afghanistan.”
But “if a settlement is reached with the Taliban, TAPI is likely to substantially increase interdependence among nations in this region, which in turn will strengthen peace,” he added.
The 1,078-mile pipeline will transport 33 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
It will provide Afghanistan with 0.5–1.5 bcm per year over the next 30 years, while India and Pakistan will each receive 14–16 bcm per annum.
Tribal chiefs and communities living along the pipeline route have expressed an “earnest willingness to protect it and not allow anyone to sabotage,” said Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman Shah Hussien Mutazawi.


10-year-old Bangladeshi’s communication app creates buzz

Updated 20 January 2020

10-year-old Bangladeshi’s communication app creates buzz

  • “I thought we should have something of our own, which inspired me to start working on my communication app”: Ayman Al-Anam

DHAKA: A Bangladeshi fifth-grader’s new communication app — Lita Free Video Calls and Chat — has created a huge buzz among local internet users. Already, 10,500 people have downloaded the app from the Google Play Store since Saturday.

Ayman Al-Anam submitted the app to Google on Dec. 27. After scrutiny and manual verification, Google uploaded the app on its Play Store on Dec. 31.

 “Currently, Bangladeshi internet users are mostly dependent on apps like WhatsApp, Viber and Imo for communication overseas,” Al-Anam told Arab News.

“I thought we should have something of our own, which inspired me to start working on my communication app.”

It took the 10-year-old 10 months to create the app, which he said he accomplished by himself, without the help of any mentor. “I learned the process through different YouTube tutorials. The rest was just trial and error,” he added.

 The app provides better-quality, high-definition video calls to its users. It also works for transferring big data in a shorter amount of time compared to similar apps.

Al-Anam’s success at such an early age has surprised his parents. “From a very early age, my son had a knack for technology, and I encouraged him to pursue it. He used to spend his free time in front of computers, smartphones and other devices,” said proud father Tauhedush Salam Nishad. “I always supported him, but I never dreamed that he’d see this sort of success so young.”

Recalling the first successful test run of the new app, Nishad said: “One night, I returned home from work and Ayman took my smartphone and installed the raw file of the app. Later, he did the same with his mother’s phone and connected the two devices with a video call. It was the best moment in his life. He shouted with joy, ‘I did it!’” 

Al-Anam named the app after his mother Lita. The young inventor is currently studying at South Point School and College in Chattogram, 248 km from the capital. He dreams of becoming a software engineer and wants to work at
Google headquarters.

His creation has drawn much attention from local experts. “We should nurture this sort of extraordinary talent very carefully,” Prof. Mohammad Kaikobad of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology told Arab News.

 “This new generation will lead the technology world of tomorrow if they’re guided and
encouraged properly.”