UAE’s culture minister becomes latest govt official to receive coronavirus trial vaccine

UAE Minister of Culture and Youth, Noura Al-Kaabi, thanked the nurse for her work. (Instagram)
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Updated 17 October 2020

UAE’s culture minister becomes latest govt official to receive coronavirus trial vaccine

  • Noura Al-Kaabi received her vaccination the day after the foreign minister
  • Social media post shows the minister receiving the injection in her arm

DUBAI: The UAE’s Minister of Culture and Youth, Noura Al-Kaabi, has become the latest official in the country to receive the COVID-19 trial vaccine.

In her latest Instagram post, Al-Kaabi appears to be receiving the jab, with a message praising the nurse who administered the vaccination.

“Thank you Nurse Ozma, from Lahore! She’s been working in the UAE for the past 18 years.”

 

 

She follows the UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan who received the vaccination on Friday and shared the news on his twitter account.

Al-Nahyan later said the vaccine was manufactured by Sinopharm in a tweet.

Last month, UAE issued emergency approval for the COVID-19 vaccine for frontline healthcare workers.

“The vaccine will be available to our first line of defense heroes who are at the highest risk of contracting the virus,” the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority said.

The vaccine is compatible with the country’s laws, the country’s Minister of Health and Prevention Abdul Rahman Al-Owais, who was also the first to receive a vaccine, said.

Its effective and has resulted in a “strong response” by generated antibodies in trial volunteers, the health minister said.

The UAE has reported 1,538 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, increasing total of infected people since the start of the pandemic to 114,387.


Court orders authorities to reveal Israeli citizenship criteria to Palestinian Jerusalemites

Updated 26 November 2020

Court orders authorities to reveal Israeli citizenship criteria to Palestinian Jerusalemites

  • Without Israeli citizenship, residents of East Jerusalem could not obtain an Israeli passport, vote in national elections, or work in state government jobs
  • Vast majority of Jerusalem’s 330,000 stateless Palestinians have not applied

AMMAN: An Israeli court has forced state authorities to reveal the criteria that need to be met for Palestinian Jerusalem youth to become citizens of Israel.

The judicial order will mean that approximately 20,000 Palestinians aged between 18 and 21 living in East Jerusalem will now know the requirements when petitioning for Israeli citizenship, which is not automatically granted to them as residents of the city.

The vast majority of Jerusalem’s 330,000 stateless Palestinians have not applied, nor have the desire, to become Israelis. But the court decision should in future make the application process easier for those interested in carrying an Israeli passport and having the protection of the Israeli government regarding their legal status.

Jerusalem attorney, Mohammed Dahdal, who has practiced civil and human rights law for more than 30 years, noted that without Israeli citizenship, residents of East Jerusalem could not obtain an Israeli passport, vote in national elections, or work in state government jobs, among other things.

However, they did pay taxes to Israel and received social benefits such as national insurance, unemployment payments, and healthcare coverage.

Dahdal told Arab News that after 1988, when Jordan disengaged from the West Bank, which included East Jerusalem, Jerusalemites became stateless citizens. He said the ruling had come about after a Palestinian from Jerusalem had appealed to the court after revealing a loophole in the law.

He noted that the court decision, published by the Israeli Ministry of the Interior, made four conditions to ensure receipt of an Israeli passport. “That the applicant has no other citizenship, that they were born in Israel (for Israel, East and West Jerusalem are both parts of Israel), that the applicant is between 18 and 21 years old, and has lived continuously in Israel during the five years preceding applying for citizenship.”

The lawyer added that the Israeli government had fought in court to have the criteria for citizenship kept under wraps.

Former Jordanian member of parliament, Audeh Kawwas, who was on Wednesday appointed as a member of the Jordanian Senate, told Arab News: “If the aim is to solve the statelessness issue of Jerusalemites, I am for it and I have spoken about it (as a committee member) in the World Council of Churches.

“However, if this is an attempt to disenfranchise Palestinians and to make the city more Israeli, then I am totally opposed.”

Hazem Kawasmi, a community activist in Jerusalem, told Arab News that many young Palestinian Jerusalemites were in a desperate situation, as no government or institution was taking care of them and their needs.

He said: “They are living under occupation with daily harassment from the police and Israeli intelligence and face all kinds of racism and enmity.

“Israeli citizenship helps them get high-skilled jobs and it is a prerequisite for many jobs. It helps them travel for tourism or work to Europe and the US without the cumbersome, complicated procedures of getting visas, that is if they get it at all.

“Finally, Israeli citizenship makes the youth feel safe not to lose their residency in Jerusalem and movement and work in Israel,” he added.

Khalil Assali, a member of the Jerusalem Waqf and an observer of Jerusalem affairs, told Arab News that he was doubtful that Israel would speed up the process for granting Israeli citizenship. “They have made this move to show their newly established Arab friends that they are acting democratically.”

Hijazi Risheq, head of the Jerusalem Merchants’ committee, told Arab News that the Israelis were looking for ways to turn the city into a Jewish one. By giving citizenship to youth between the ages of 18 and 21, Israel was aiming to deter them from carrying out hostile acts against Israel and keep them away from the Palestinian National Authority and its security forces, he said.

Jerusalem-based human rights activist, Rifaat Kassis, said: “The idea that Jerusalem is Arab has become an empty slogan. Meanwhile, Israeli racism has become the overriding power that forces Jerusalemites trying to have a dignified life with their families to live under difficult conditions.”