Aging brothers in Hyderabad run last radio repair shop in southern Indian state

Aging brothers in Hyderabad run last radio repair shop in southern Indian state
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Mohammed Moinuddin, 71, repairs a radio set at Mahboob Radio Service in Hyderabad, India, March 25, 2021. (AN photo by Yunus Y. Lasania)
Aging brothers in Hyderabad run last radio repair shop in southern Indian state
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Mohammad Mujeebudin, 82, repairs a radio set at Mahboob Radio Service in Hyderabad, India, March 25, 2021. (AN photo by Yunus Y. Lasania)
Aging brothers in Hyderabad run last radio repair shop in southern Indian state
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Old radio sets are stacked at Mahboob Radio Service in Hyderabad, India, March 25, 2021. (AN photo by Yunus Y. Lasania)
Aging brothers in Hyderabad run last radio repair shop in southern Indian state
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Entrance to Mahboob Radio Service in Hyderabad, India, March 25, 2021. (AN photo by Yunus Y. Lasania)
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Updated 03 April 2021

Aging brothers in Hyderabad run last radio repair shop in southern Indian state

Aging brothers in Hyderabad run last radio repair shop in southern Indian state
  • Mahboob Radio Service is now the last radio repair shop in Telangana
  • Opened in 1948, it served customers as prominent as the Hyderabad Viceroy Mir Osman Ali Khan

NEW DELHI: “Mahboob Radio Service,” reads the faded panel on a small repair shop near the 16th-century Charminar mosque in the heart of the old town of Hyderabad.

The shop, which has been open since 1948, is filled with thousands of radio sets stacked in the small space where two aging brothers have been repairing radios for as long as they can remember.

The brothers, Mohammed Mujeebudin, 82, and Mohammed Moinuddin, 71, learned the craft from their father, who started selling and repairing radios in the 1920s after a trip to Bombay, where he bought his first set.

“My father started Mahboob Radio Service from Dabeerpura in Hyderabad before moving to the present location in Chatta Bazar in 1948,” Moinuddin said.

He remembered his father’s most prominent customers, such as Viceroy Mir Osman Ali Khan, who ruled Hyderabad until the princely state’s merger with India.

“He was our client, and we would repair his radios. Once the work was done, we would deliver the radio to the palace and receive some 20 or 30 rupees,” Moinuddin recalled. The sum today is equivalent to less than one US dollar. “We never dared to ask for money.”

More than seven decades later, Mahboob Radio Service is now the last radio repair shop in Hyderabad and the whole southern Indian state of Telangana.

“People from far-off places come here for repairs,” Moinuddin said. “We also get clients from Dubai, Sharjah and other Gulf countries.”

FASTFACT

Opened in 1948, it served customers as prominent as the Hyderabad Viceroy Mir Osman Ali Khan

Many more people used to come to Mahboob Radio Service in the 1970s and 1980s, not only to buy or repair a radio set but also to listen to the BBC, Voice of America and other foreign stations.

“Radio was also a luxury once upon a time,” Moinuddin said. “Some 3,000 people would gather to listen to the BBC and other stations, in the morning and evening.”

The brothers say they have all kinds of radio sets, from brands like Phillips, GEC, Johnson, Marconi and Telefunken to the iconic Murphy.  

“The oldest radio set that I have is 100 years old. It’s a Murphy radio,” Moinuddin said. “It still works fine and is up for sale to anyone who pays 20,000 rupees ($275).”

He regrets that many top brands stopped making radios in the 1980s and no longer produce parts for their once-famous sets.

“The advantage with old radios is that you can repair them by replacing damaged parts, but the same is not possible with damaged technology,” he said.

With the golden age of radio long gone, not only does the technology seem beyond fixing but also the future of Mahboob Radio Service. Neither of the brothers has taught his children the art of repair.

“Our children are educated, and they don’t want to join our profession. This business will end with us,” Moinuddin said, although he believes that better times are yet in store for the radio as a medium.

“This digital phase is not permanent,” he said. “People will return to radio.”


Arab-Japan Day serves as reminder of long-standing friendship

To celebrate the opening of Arab-Japan Day, an online event was held on April 21 attended by many notable figures including Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide. (Supplied)
To celebrate the opening of Arab-Japan Day, an online event was held on April 21 attended by many notable figures including Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide. (Supplied)
Updated 21 April 2021

Arab-Japan Day serves as reminder of long-standing friendship

To celebrate the opening of Arab-Japan Day, an online event was held on April 21 attended by many notable figures including Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide. (Supplied)
  • Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide renewed his respect to all members committed to fortifying relations between both Japan and Arab nations

TOKYO: To celebrate the opening of Arab-Japan Day, an online event was held on April 21 attended by many notable figures including Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide who delivered a speech.

The celebration was divided into two sessions, and the first commenced with welcoming remarks by Rachad Bouhlal, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco and Chair of the Council of Arab Ambassadors, the meeting was also chaired by Symantec Kamal, Ambassador of Egypt. 

Waleed Siam, Ambassador of Palestine, Dean of Arab Diplomatic Corps also gave a speech in which he thanked Japan for its support to the Palestinian cause.

“Japan attaches great importance to the long-standing friendly relations with the Arab countries. I remember very well the hospitality I received during my visit to Egypt, Palestine, Syria and Jordan 20 some years ago as a Diet member,” he said.

During his speech, Suga renewed his respect to all members committed to fortifying relations between both Japan and Arab nations.

“The peace and stability of the Middle East is vital for the entire international community as the region provides energy resources to the world and is strategically located from a geopolitical perspective,” Suga added.

Amidst his praise, Suga reflected on the difficulties and hardships faced by the Arab region, highlighting the global impacts of COVID-19 and reiterating Japan’s support and readiness to deliver assistance.

Outlining the programs offered by Japan, Suga asserted that he is confident “these programs steadily contribute to the regional stability and development.”

Suga also touched on Japan’s contribution to ensuring delivery and access of vaccines to Arab countries through their financial support of the COVAX Facility.

“I would like to work together with Arab friends to overcome this unprecedented crisis,” Suga said, expressing hope for stronger Japan-Arab relations in the future.

Suga concluded by wishing everyone Ramadan Mubarak and expressing thanks.  

Other important figures who spoke at the event include Tokyo Governor KOIKE Yuriko and Regulatory Reform Minister KONO Taro.

Speaking in English, Governor Koike greeted the audience in Arabic before highlighting the primary issues faced today, including COVID-19 and the climate crisis, placing emphasis on the importance of human connection during troubled times to find solutions.

“This Arab-Japan day is true proof of the friendship between us which remains unchanged no matter what hardships we face. May I close by extending my most heartfelt congratulations today,” she said.

“We are very much looking forward to deepening the relationship in spite of COVID-19,” Minister Kono reiterated. 

Kono hopes Arab nations and Japan can deepen their relationship in terms of politics and regional security.

As the minister in charge of the vaccine roll out, Kono spoke openly regarding his concern over ‘vaccine nationalism’ spreading around the world, stressing unity among us. Kono also shared hope that Japan and Arab nations can work together in the fight against COVID-19.

Kono shared regret at not being able to visit the region for some time due to the ramifications of the pandemic but intends to once matters improve.

Other speakers that participated during the first session include Saiki Akitaka, President of the Middle East Institute of Japan who delivered the keynote speech. 

The second session included a panel discussion followed by a Q&A, moderated by Ayman Kamel, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

Sasaki Nobuhiko, Chairman and CEO of JETRO, Karube Jun, Chairman of Toyota Tsusho, and  Morikawa Keizo, President of Japan Arab Association took part in the panel.


Chile vets fined for giving dog vaccines against COVID-19

Chile vets fined for giving dog vaccines against COVID-19
Migrant woman and a child kiss during a gathering to regulate their immigration status at Chile where two vets were fined on Wednesday for giving dog vaccines against COVID-19. (Reuters)
Updated 21 April 2021

Chile vets fined for giving dog vaccines against COVID-19

Chile vets fined for giving dog vaccines against COVID-19

SANTIAGO: Health authorities in northern Chile have fined two veterinarians they say were giving or promoting canine vaccines as false protection against COVID-19.
Roxana Díaz, deputy health secretary for Antofagasta province, said her agency’s workers had gone to the veterinary practice of Maria Fernanda Muñoz in the city of Calama over a report that people there weren’t using masks and were told it was because they were vaccinated.
In an interview Tuesday with the government’s 24 Horas television channel, Muñoz acknowledged giving herself and several people in her office a vaccine aimed at canine coronavirus, and argued she hadn’t become ill. That occurred last year, before any COVID vaccines had been approved in Chile.
“The truth is, it’s very dangerous,” Díaz said. “There are studies that say the effects can be local – irritation caused by the medications it has – or systemic. But we haven’t done a study of what happens inoculating a person with canine vaccines because that would be unethical.”
The US based VCA veterinary hospital chain includes a reference on its website warning against confusing the new human coronavirus — one of a broad family of viruses that affect many species — with the one that causes an intestinal ailment in dogs that is targeted by canine vaccines.
Díaz said another veterinarian, Carlos Pardo, had been falsely promoting use of the canine vaccine for humans.
The health department fined Pardo the equivalent of about $9,200 and Muñoz about $10,300. Both have appealed.
Chile has now vaccinated 7.7 million of its 19 million people with at least one dose of legitimate COVID-19 vaccines.


In Gaza, Christians share in the spirit of Ramadan

In Gaza, Christians share in the spirit of Ramadan
Updated 21 April 2021

In Gaza, Christians share in the spirit of Ramadan

In Gaza, Christians share in the spirit of Ramadan
  • According to church statistics, there are 390 Christian families living in Gaza among roughly 2 million Muslims
  • As is the prevailing custom among Gazans, Tarazi said she traditionally cooks Mulukhiya on the first day of Ramadan

GAZA CITY: Many Christians in the Gaza Strip participate in the customs and rituals of Ramadan, Sanaa Tarazi, secretary of the Supreme Presidential Committee for Churches Affairs, told Arab News. She stressed that Christians in Gaza are “an integral part of the Palestinian people.”
According to church statistics, there are 390 Christian families, with an estimated 1,313 members, living in Gaza among roughly 2 million Muslims.
“No one can distinguish a Muslim from a Christian, for we are all close neighbors, having a bond of love and affection between us,” Tarazi said.

Tarazi grew up in her family’s home in the heart of old Gaza. Ramadan, she said, is a month of “beautiful childhood memories” when she and her friends from the neighborhood would play with lanterns and fireworks in the streets, transforming night into day.
She has passed that love on to her two children, who are currently studying abroad, decorating the house with lanterns and other ornaments every Ramadan.

“Our eating and drinking habits change greatly during Ramadan,” she said, “Many days, we will (forego) lunch and eat at the Maghrib (evening) prayer call.” She added that she is careful to delay cooking her family’s food so that the smell will not disturb her Muslim neighbors when they are fasting.
As is the prevailing custom among Gazans, Tarazi said she traditionally cooks Mulukhiya on the first day of Ramadan, in anticipation of a good and blessed year.
She and her neighbors exchange Ramadan food and sweets. Tarazi said she makes Qatayef at home to distribute to her Muslim and Christian neighbors throughout Ramadan.

Tarazi’s husband, Majed — leader of the Arab Orthodox Scouts in Gaza, shares her love for the Muslim holy month. He told Arab News that Ramadan nights out with friends are a “special experience” and that this year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he is missing a number of the usual Ramadan rituals with his many Muslim friends.
The scouts are often deployed on Gaza’s streets during Ramadan to distribute water and dates to those returning home late after work before iftar, he explained. The scouts also normally host an iftar at the Greek Orthodox Church in Gaza, but it has been canceled this month, for the second year in a row. “We host that iftar at the church to express tolerance and show the depth of the relations with Muslims that bind us in Gaza,” he said.

He pointed to the historic minaret of the Kateb Wilaya mosque, which dates back to the early 14th century CE and overlooks the church. “This is our relationship: Loving neighbors, partners in the homeland, sharing a common destiny,” he said.
“Just as our Muslim brothers congratulate us on our religious occasions, and they share our joys and sorrows, we exchange love and respect with them, and we appreciate the holiness of their rituals and religious occasions,” he added.


Vimto squash is no longer suitable for vegans

Vimto squash is no longer suitable for vegans
Updated 21 April 2021

Vimto squash is no longer suitable for vegans

Vimto squash is no longer suitable for vegans
  • A supplement from animal products has been added to the recipe and the brand has faced backlash from vegans
  • Most vitamin D3 in supplements is produced from lanolin

LONDON: The recipe for fruit juice drink Vimto has been changed to include vitamin D, making it no longer suitable for vegans.
A supplement from animal products has been added to the recipe and the brand has faced backlash from vegans, British newspaper Metro reported.
Most vitamin D3 in supplements is produced from lanolin, which is derived from sheep wool.
A petition has been launched to demand the supplement be removed.
#MakeVimtoVeganAgain is being used by Vimto-loving Twitter users to urge Nichols plc, the company that produces the squash, to revert back to the old recipe.
The change only affects Vimto squash drinks. Other variants, including fizzy and still ready to drink ranges, do not contain any animal products
“All of our Vimto squash drinks are suitable for vegetarians. Due to the recent addition of Vitamin D they are not suitable for vegans,” Vimto said on their website.
“However, all of our other Vimto drinks variants, including fizzy and still ready to drink ranges, do not contain any animal products and as such, are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.”
Vimto is also manufactured under license in Dammam, Saudi Arabia and is an extremely popular drink during the holy month of Ramadan in the Middle East.


Queen Elizabeth marks 95th birthday, days after husband’s funeral

Queen Elizabeth marks 95th birthday, days after husband’s funeral
Updated 21 April 2021

Queen Elizabeth marks 95th birthday, days after husband’s funeral

Queen Elizabeth marks 95th birthday, days after husband’s funeral
  • Prince Philip died on April 9 at the age of 99
  • Elizabeth is the world’s longest-reigning monarch

LONDON: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, the world’s oldest monarch, turns 95 on Wednesday, but there will be no public celebrations just days after she bade farewell to her husband of seven decades at his funeral.
Prince Philip, whom Elizabeth married in 1947, died on April 9 at the age of 99. The royals paid their final respects to the family’s patriarch at his funeral on Saturday at Windsor Castle.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the queen sat alone during the somber service for Philip, who she had described as her “strength and stay.”
Elizabeth, who is also the world’s longest-reigning monarch, will be at the castle for her birthday, which traditionally passes off with little or no ceremony.
However, this year, with the royals marking two weeks of mourning, there will be no gun salutes at the Tower of London or the capital’s Hyde park which usually occur on the queen’s birthday.
“I was at the funeral on Saturday, her Majesty was, as always, more concerned with other people than herself, and she will be on her birthday,” Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, told Reuters.
“She doesn’t do ‘I’m the most important person in the room’. She does ‘I mind about the other people more than about myself’. She is an extraordinary person.”
The queen also has an official birthday, which is usually celebrated with greater pomp on the second Saturday in June.
Philip’s death has robbed Elizabeth of her closest and most trusted confidant, who had been beside her throughout her 69-year reign.
It also came as she grappled with one of the biggest crises to hit the royal family in decades — allegations of racism and neglect against it from her grandson Prince Harry and Meghan, his American wife.
Newspapers have suggested that family members would be visiting the queen over the coming days to ensure she would not be left alone while mourning her late husband.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman declined to comment, saying all family matters after the funeral would be private.
Elizabeth was born on April 21, 1926, in Bruton Street, central London. She ascended to the throne in 1952 at the age of 25, and surpassed her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria as Britain’s longest-reigning monarch in September, 2015.
Elizabeth is also queen of 15 former British colonies including Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
“I would like to send my warm wishes to Her Majesty The Queen on her 95th birthday,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Twitter. “I am proud to serve as her prime minister.”