Queen Rania, J-WEL take on refugee education

Queen Rania, J-WEL take on refugee education
Held under the patronage of Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, the meeting was chaired by Hassan Jameel, Community Jameel president, and Kevin Watkins, Save the Children UK CEO.
Updated 24 September 2019

Queen Rania, J-WEL take on refugee education

Queen Rania, J-WEL take on refugee education

The Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development (QRF), Save the Children and the MIT Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL) convened a high-level meeting on refugee education in Amman on Sept. 9, addressing one of the critical humanitarian issues born out of the global refugee crisis.

Held under the patronage of Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, the meeting brought together philanthropists, business leaders, donor institutions and international and regional development organizations, and was chaired by Hassan Jameel, Community Jameel president, and Kevin Watkins, Save the Children UK chief executive. 

The Amman meeting followed a high-level roundtable held at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2019, which Queen Rania also attended, and which was chaired by Jameel and Helle Thorning Schmidt, then chief executive of Save the Children International and former prime minister of Denmark. The meeting was also part of the buildup to the Global Refugee Forum, which will be held in Geneva in December by UNHCR.

Speaking at the roundtable, Jameel said: “At Community Jameel, we recognize the importance of education. By supporting teachers’ well-being, in conjunction with improving quality teaching practices and student learning, we have the opportunity to re-establish the transformative role of education in vulnerable children’s lives.”

Save the Children UK CEO Watkins said: “Save the Children is celebrating 100 years of humanitarian and development experience and we are delighted to be partnering with such high-level, global philanthropists on this critical agenda.

“Over half of the world’s 25 million refugees are children. If those children were a single country, that country would be the country with the world’s worst education indicators. More than half of the world’s school-aged refugee children — 4 million in total — are out of school.” 

Among the attendees were senior representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UAE-based Al-Ghurair Foundation for Education, the Saudi-based Alwaleed Philanthropies, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Islamic Development Bank, the LEGO Foundation, Schmidt Futures, and the World Bank.

Following its initial launch by Queen Rania as an online adult learning platform, Edraak partnered with Google.org and the Jack Ma Foundation to launch a K-12 platform, providing quality Arabic education materials to both children and adults, accessible for free to refugees and others across the region. 

Another program, the Transforming Refugee Education toward Excellence (TREE) initiative, received a major boost with the announcement on Monday that philanthropic organization Dubai Cares had committed $1.5 million to the program.

TREE is an initiative of Save the Children and MIT J-WEL being piloted in Jordan, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and in collaboration with Community Jameel and Dubai Cares. Over a five-year period, it aims to equip Jordanian teachers with skills to deliver effective teaching, and to help students suffering from trauma overcome challenges.


Virtual summit to explore GCC-UK trade opportunities

Virtual summit to explore GCC-UK trade opportunities
Updated 6 min 51 sec ago

Virtual summit to explore GCC-UK trade opportunities

Virtual summit to explore GCC-UK trade opportunities

British government figures indicate that the UK trade with the Middle East amounts to $57.2 billion annually, with the Gulf region accounting for $50.8 billion. The two regions are experiencing a time of advantageous trade opportunities and a period of rapid growth and diversification.

With so many opportunities for bilateral trade and investment, the upcoming virtual GCC-UK Trade Summit, organized by Add Enterprise International, will bring together commercial opportunities, experts, live projects, and potential suppliers to explore and encourage trade and investment over the next decade. The event, on June 29, will include the participation of more than 40 speakers and 400 attendees.

The GCC-UK Trade Summit aims to facilitate foreign direct investment, business, and trade between the GCC and the UK, providing a platform for businesses to expand into new markets and build networks. It will present some of the most prominent projects currently underway in the GCC, providing updates and highlighting investment and cooperation opportunities.

The summit will also host insightful discussions and presentations on subjects that are most relevant to the UK and GCC business communities, delivering key insights through expert speaker panels, case studies, sectoral analysis, high-level conversations, interviews, and networking opportunities.

Delegates will hear from a lineup of industry-leading figures, interviewers, and senior management of megaprojects including: Dr. Abdel-Aziz Aluwaisheg, assistant secretary-general for political and negotiation affairs, GCC; Jay Rosen, chief financial officer of The Red Sea Development Company and AMAALA; Julian Lynn, regional head, Middle East and Asia Pacific, UK Export Finance; Alistair Gosling, advisory board member, Qiddiya; Frank Kane, senior business editor and anchor of Frankly Speaking, Arab News; Khalid Al-Zayani OBE, chairman, Bahrain British Business Forum; and Saud Abu Al-Shawareb, managing director, Dubai Industrial City.

The agenda explores important topics including the GCC economies and investment overview, investing in the UK, stimulating economic growth and development, attracting foreign investment, environmental sustainability, future economic outlooks, and regional opportunity sector developments.

It will be held virtually via a dual-language English and Arabic event platform, Malga. Delegates will be able to choose which language they attend in to ensure a seamless, engaging and successful event of collaboration, business, and networking.

Tickets are now available via the Add Enterprise website.


French butter enhances iftar recipes this Ramadan

French butter enhances iftar recipes this Ramadan
Updated 8 min 18 sec ago

French butter enhances iftar recipes this Ramadan

French butter enhances iftar recipes this Ramadan

French butter is lauded as one of the true flavor enhancers of the world. It is now making its way into the most important meal of the day during Ramadan as chefs look to utilize the versatile ingredient through a range of iftar dishes.

One such chef is Ahmed Ali, head chef of Middle Eastern restaurant Ninive, who has developed an entire iftar menu using the finest French butter. The menu showcases how the 100 percent natural ingredient can be used in traditional and local recipes to make it more flavorful and colorful, transporting a classic dish into a taste sensation.

Discussing the benefits of using French butter in cooking, Chef Ali said: “For me, it is a mainstay whenever I’m cooking. Its versatility means I can use it any dish to elevate the taste, which was particularly relevant during this challenge to take the standard iftar menu and add a butter twist. 

“Because the manufacturing principles of French butter have remained the same for centuries, I know the ingredients’ quality remains at the very highest level therefore significantly adding to all attributes of the dish.

“With each dish on the menu, I used a range of techniques to incorporate the butter. For the soup, I whisked in the ingredient for a creamier finish while for the spiced carrot dukkah (an Egyptian spice blend), I blended it in for a richer consistency. I was also able to use butter to create a golden color on the chicken birwat.”

In addition, Chef Ali created a range of flavored butter with bread and roasted dates in butter to break the fast. Bread coated in butter and then placed in the oven accompanied a Fattoush salad. Baby gem lettuce and mujadara (a Middle Eastern lentils and rice dish) and sardines were given the butter treatment to add taste, color and consistency.

For the main course, Chef Ali panfried all meats with butter before being placed in the oven to create a succulent mixed grill. The vegetable tagine was sauteed in butter, creating a melt-in-the-mouth sensation rounded out by a fish sayadieh (a Lebanese fish and rice dish), onion rice, nuts and raisins, all enhanced by butter.

And what iftar would be complete without the staple dessert of Umm Ali? Chef Ali glazed the puff pastry in French butter to add to the taste and round off the menu.


Danube Home pledges to donate 10% of profits toward COVID-19 relief in India

Danube Home pledges to donate 10% of profits toward COVID-19 relief in India
Updated 9 min 45 sec ago

Danube Home pledges to donate 10% of profits toward COVID-19 relief in India

Danube Home pledges to donate 10% of profits toward COVID-19 relief in India

Danube Group, a Dubai-based multibillion dollar diversified business conglomerate, has announced its contribution toward COVID-19 relief efforts in India. Danube will donate 10 percent of its group company Danube Home’s Dubai profits from its sales for the month of May, which run into crores, to mitigate COVID-19 pains in India. The relief initiative will be handled by the Danube Home Foundation, through which customers too will be urged to contribute toward this noble cause.

Danube Home will primarily be donating to oxygen provider agencies as well as NGOs in Mumbai, the city from where the company’s chairman Rizwan Sajan hails. To begin with, Danube Home has already decided to donate to three institutions based in Mumbai, which include the Popular Front of Maharashtra, Rotary India and Kalsekar Hospital. Further, Danube Home is also looking to donate to other NGOs across the country engaged in COVID-19 relief operations.

Adel Sajan, group managing director — Danube Group, said: “Given the severity of the devastating pandemic situation in India, it’s our utmost responsibility to make efforts toward helping the needy and the sufferers across India. Since its inception, Danube Group has stood strong with the people of India to make a positive difference in society. If we look at the nationwide fight against COVID-19, it is very much required for all organizations to come forward in every possible way to ensure that our citizens have seamless access to the healthcare services, oxygen and other necessary requirements which can save precious lives.”

Danube Home — the home interior retail arm of Danube Group — has showrooms in several strategic locations across the UAE. The stores are located in Al-Barsha, Fujairah, Jimi Mall, Sharjah, Ras Al-Khaimah, Al-Ain and Abu Dhabi. Apart from the UAE, Danube Home has seven showrooms in Oman, one showroom in Bahrain, and one in India, and is now a global brand with stores across 20 countries through its franchise-based model. It also has an e-commerce website, which is making new strides in the GCC market.


LuLu hands over 16 Mini Coopers to ‘Super Fest’ winners

LuLu hands over 16 Mini Coopers to ‘Super Fest’ winners
Updated 05 May 2021

LuLu hands over 16 Mini Coopers to ‘Super Fest’ winners

LuLu hands over 16 Mini Coopers to ‘Super Fest’ winners

Regional retailer LuLu awarded 16 new Mini Cooper cars to winners as part of its anniversary promotion “Super Fest.” The handover ceremony was held consecutively in three of the Kingdom’s cities — Riyadh, Alkhobar and Jeddah.

Shehim Mohammed, director of LuLu Hypermarkets Saudi Arabia, said: “Super Fest is our biggest promotion yet. The success of this anniversary promotion reflects the utmost support of our loyal customer base. This is such a perfect opportunity for us to give back to them for continuously trusting us over the years, together with our brand partners. We are excited to launch more enjoyable events in the coming months.” 

The winners are: Saddam Ahmed Ahamed Alrawei, Khuram Parvez, Abdullah Bader Alessa, Khaled Saad A. Alshuhaib, Muhammed Ezhukandy, Rasheed Khan, Jwan Alsadoun, Hassan Barakat, Abdul Aziz Almalki, Modi Al-Tuwairb, Sanju Pettathanam Soman, Ahmad Aljehani, Muhammed Ankah, Muhammad Arfat Aziz Abdul Aziz, Mutlq Fahad M. Alafari and Aqnaz Monaco. 

 Over the years, LuLu’s Super Fest is a much-awaited promotion that has showcased exclusive product offers and exciting in-store activities. With 209 stores operating worldwide, LuLu has always been committed to offering the highest quality products from around the world, along with a dynamic shopping experience through monthly festivals and special events.

Serving more than 1,600,000 shopping patrons every day, it is the fastest growing retail chain across 10 countries that include the GCC, India, Egypt, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Founded in the early 90s, it has successfully expanded to different parts of the world and currently operates with a staff of more than 57,000.


Saudi firm Basamh driving GCC’s $253bn retail market

Saudi firm Basamh driving GCC’s $253bn retail market
Updated 05 May 2021

Saudi firm Basamh driving GCC’s $253bn retail market

Saudi firm Basamh driving GCC’s $253bn retail market

Basamh Trading and Industries Group, one of Saudi Arabia’s most successful purpose-led fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) businesses in the Middle East and Africa, has announced that its digital transformation is driving the GCC’s multibillion-dollar retail market.

Thanks to robust population growth, the rise in e-commerce, and multinational brands entering the region, the GCC’s retail market has topped $253 billion, according to Alpen Capital. 

Basamh, with top brands such as Goody, Cofique and Treva, and as a distributor of a range of quality brands such as Perfetto, Betty Crocker, Nature Valley, Bugles, Best Mix, Glade, Raid, Pledge and Windex, is supporting FMCG innovation with its five-year digital transformation strategy LEAP, with global technology company SAP. Central to the strategy is the Leap to Digital (L2D) program that is enabling sustainable profitability. 

With a world-class enterprise resources planning system, Basamh has standardized, streamlined, and integrated business processes across finance, procurement, sales and distribution. 

Basamh’s solutions cover nearly 1,200 employees in 12 branches in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. 

“In the highly competitive fast-moving consumer goods field, Basamh needed to improve our on-time delivery, increase our salesforce efficiency, and automate reporting and employee self-services to enhance business competitiveness,” said Khalid Temairik, group CEO, Basamh Trading and Industries Group. 

In response, Basamh implemented the SAP S/HANA real-time business suite and SAP SuccessFactors human experience management suite with channel partner LABS. Basamh also implemented the SAP Extended Warehouse Management solution with channel partner Westernacher, and various enterprise solutions with the channel partner Vistex. 

“Thanks to our digital transformation with SAP, Basamh has improved management decisions and business planning,” said Maher Barrayah, group CFO, IT and procurement. “We’ve also standardized business processes, enhanced customer and supplier experiences, and can scale up for future business growth.” 

Recognizing its success, Basamh has won an SAP MENA Quality Award — Gold in the category Business Transformation — Middle East North. Judges praised Basamh for successfully managing the complex project by taking three key actions: Changing management and constant communication with employees, training employees on digital skills, and organizational change in restructuring companies. 

“This is just the start of our journey to digitally transform Basamh, and we are commitment to continually delivering with quality to enable further digital innovations for the group,” said Osama Islam, group IT director.

“Basamh’s award-winning digital transformation shows how intelligent enterprises can leverage a strong digital foundation to drive business growth and innovation,” said Ahmed Al-Faifi, senior vice president and managing director, SAP Middle East North.

“As a Saudi digital leader, Basamh is implementing high-impact digital opportunities that are enhancing customer experiences, enabling seamless operations, and empowering high-performance digital teams.”