Animal group finds loving homes overseas for Syria’s stray cats, dogs

Animal group finds loving homes overseas for Syria’s stray cats, dogs
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STAR provides shelter to nearly 2,000 cats and dogs in southern Syria. (@syrianteamanimalrescue)
Animal group finds loving homes overseas for Syria’s stray cats, dogs
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STAR provides shelter to nearly 2,000 cats and dogs in southern Syria. (@syrianteamanimalrescue)
Animal group finds loving homes overseas for Syria’s stray cats, dogs
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STAR provides shelter to nearly 2,000 cats and dogs in southern Syria. (@syrianteamanimalrescue)
Animal group finds loving homes overseas for Syria’s stray cats, dogs
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STAR provides shelter to nearly 2,000 cats and dogs in southern Syria. (@syrianteamanimalrescue)
Animal group finds loving homes overseas for Syria’s stray cats, dogs
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STAR provides shelter to nearly 2,000 cats and dogs in southern Syria. (@syrianteamanimalrescue)
Animal group finds loving homes overseas for Syria’s stray cats, dogs
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STAR provides shelter to nearly 2,000 cats and dogs in southern Syria. (@syrianteamanimalrescue)
Animal group finds loving homes overseas for Syria’s stray cats, dogs
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STAR provides shelter to nearly 2,000 cats and dogs in southern Syria. (@syrianteamanimalrescue)
Animal group finds loving homes overseas for Syria’s stray cats, dogs
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STAR provides shelter to nearly 2,000 cats and dogs in southern Syria. (@syrianteamanimalrescue)
Animal group finds loving homes overseas for Syria’s stray cats, dogs
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STAR provides shelter to nearly 2,000 cats and dogs in southern Syria. (@syrianteamanimalrescue)
Animal group finds loving homes overseas for Syria’s stray cats, dogs
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Dutch student Celine de Jong with her two-legged cats Zaina and Holly. (@syrianteamanimalrescue)
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Updated 20 December 2021

Animal group finds loving homes overseas for Syria’s stray cats, dogs

Animal group finds loving homes overseas for Syria’s stray cats, dogs
  • Syrian Team for Animal Rescue cares for almost 2,000 animals, many of them seriously injured
  • Group says some of its former charges are now living in Europe, US

DUBAI: Syria might not be the first place people think of when looking to adopt a stray dog or cat, but Dutch student Celine de Jong recently did just that and she could not be more pleased.

It all started with an internet search that led De Jong, who volunteers at an animal ambulance service, to the Facebook page of the Syrian Team for Animal Rescue.

Established five years ago, the nonprofit organization provides shelter for nearly 2,000 cats and dogs in southern Syria. Its Facebook page has more than 100,000 followers.

“They’re having a hard time in Syria, also the animals,” De Jong told Arab News from Assendelft, about 15 km northwest of Amsterdam.




Dutch student Celine de Jong with her two-legged cats Zaina and Holly. (@syrianteamanimalrescue)

“Star has a lot of cats and dogs that have been hit by cars or shot at. Many have missing legs. We have disabled cats in Holland, but not stray animals. I wanted to adopt a stray cat.”

De Jong contacted the Star team and this month her new pets — two-legged cats Zaina and Holly — arrived at their new home in the Netherlands.

Although the adoption process took almost six months to complete, as the animals had to have a rabies shot and a blood test, which then had to be approved by a laboratory in Europe, De Jong said it was worth the wait.

“You’re really saving their lives,” she said, adding that she hopes one day Zaina and Holly will be able to be fitted with prosthetic legs.

De Jong and her mother Petra traveled to Beirut to collect the animals, where they were taken after leaving Syria.

The pair also met representatives from Star and donated food, medicine and toys to help other sick animals.

The De Jongs are not the only foreign family to come to Star’s aid. Its founder Hanadi Al-Mouhtaseb said other animals once cared for by Star are now living in Belgium, Germany and the US. “They’re very cooperative, there’s great humanity,” she told Arab News of the foreign adopters.

Al-Mouhtaseb began looking after injured animals at her home before setting up an open-air shelter in the Sahnaya area outside Damascus. Today, Star is run by volunteers and funded by public donations, but it is not easy.

The shelter struggles to get the veterinary equipment and medication it needs to treat its animals, many of which have serious injuries when they arrive.

While the war and political unrest in Syria has made it difficult to get support for Star, Al-Mouhtaseb said she was also trying to educate people, especially children, about the need to care about animals and not abuse them.

“If you walk up to a child and tell them what they’re doing is bad, they say, ‘Does an animal feel anything anyway?’” she said. “But if there wasn’t all this harm, we wouldn’t need an association.”


Iran judiciary opens probe into death of teenage girl

Iran judiciary opens probe into death of teenage girl
Updated 17 min 13 sec ago

Iran judiciary opens probe into death of teenage girl

Iran judiciary opens probe into death of teenage girl
  • The street violence has led to the deaths of dozens of people

TEHRAN: Iran’s judiciary has opened an investigation into the death of a teenage girl, who was reportedly killed during protests over the death in police custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.
A wave of unrest has rocked Iran since Amini died on September 16 after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran for allegedly failing to observe the Islamic republic’s strict dress code for women.
The street violence has led to the deaths of dozens of people — mostly protesters but also members of the security forces.
“A case has been filed in the criminal court to investigate the cause of Nika Shakrami’s death,” Tehran prosecutor Ali Salehi was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency late Tuesday.
“An order to investigate the case has been issued and necessary measures are being taken in this regard,” he added.
Earlier, the prosecutor said 400 protesters were released from prison “on condition of not repeating their actions.”
He stressed, however, that those “who acted against national security” will be dealt with “decisively, seriously and without leniency.”


Lebanese MP Cynthia Zarazir enters Byblos Bank north of Beirut to demand frozen savings

Lebanese MP Cynthia Zarazir enters Byblos Bank north of Beirut to demand frozen savings
Updated 39 min 7 sec ago

Lebanese MP Cynthia Zarazir enters Byblos Bank north of Beirut to demand frozen savings

Lebanese MP Cynthia Zarazir enters Byblos Bank north of Beirut to demand frozen savings
  • First-time parliamentarian enters bank unarmed and demands $8,500 in cash
  • Bank offers a rate of 8,000 pounds to the dollar, an 80 percent cut on the value of her funds

A Lebanese member of parliament entered a branch of Byblos Bank north of Beirut on Wednesday with a group of associates to demand access to her frozen savings to pay for surgery.

Cynthia Zarazir, a first-time parliamentarian who was elected in May to represent Beirut, entered the bank unarmed and demanded $8,500 in cash, she said.

“We’ve spent a few days going back and forth to the bank and bringing my (medical) reports and they don’t answer us. I can’t delay this any more. I came to take my money,” Zarazir said by telephone from the bank.

“Today, I came as a I don’t care what my colleagues in the parliament will think. I see right from wrong,” she said.

 

 

A citizen also opened fire on a Bank of Beirut branch in Jbeil after guards prevented him from getting into the bank without a prior appointment, the Lebanese State Agency reported.

The man reportedly pulled out a machine gun from his car and opened fire on the bank, causing damage to the glass door. Security forces arrested him on the scene for further investigations.

Cases of bank hold-ups and protests have snowballed across Lebanon recently as depositors have grown exasperated over informal capital controls that banks have imposed since an economic downturn began in 2019.

Depositors can only withdraw limited amounts in US dollars or the Lebanese pound, which has lost more than 95 percent of its value since the crisis began.

The bank branch shut down after Zarazir entered and a spokesperson for Byblos Bank at its headquarters was not immediately available for comment.

Zarazir said she had rejected an offer from the bank to withdraw an unlimited amount in Lebanese pounds at a rate of 8,000 pounds to the dollar — which would represent a roughly 80 percent haircut on the value of her funds.

“She has not broken the law in any way. She went into her bank to ask for her money. She didn’t even shut the bank down — the management did that,” said Fouad Debs, her lawyer and a founder of the Depositors’ Union advocacy group.

He accompanied Zarazir and spoke to Reuters from the bank, saying the sit-in would continue until the lawmaker had access to her funds.

Tuesday saw four hold-ups across Lebanon, two of them involving armed men demanding their deposits.

Another incident took place on Monday.

Separately, an unidentified assailant fired shots at a Beirut Bank branch in the northern town of Byblos on Wednesday, a security source said.

There were no injuries and the assailant fled, the source said.

Lebanon’s banking association has expressed outrage over the hold-ups. A similar surge last month prompted banks to close for about a week.


Newest Hindu temple officially opens its doors to UAE residents

Newest Hindu temple officially opens its doors to UAE residents
Updated 05 October 2022

Newest Hindu temple officially opens its doors to UAE residents

Newest Hindu temple officially opens its doors to UAE residents

DUBAI: The newest Hindu temple in Dubai opened its doors to worshippers on Tuesday following an official ceremony. 
The new Hindu House of Worship officially welcomed worshippers for the first time following its inaugural by the UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence. 
Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al-Nahyan inaugurated the temple by lighting a lantern in the temple’s multi-purpose hall on the ground floor, Al-Khaleej Times reported. 

People visit the newly inaugurated Hindu Temple in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, October 4, 2022. (Reuters)


The new temple in Jebel Ali is the latest addition to what is locally known as “village of worship” which already houses nine religious shrines, including seven churches, the Guru Nanak Darbar and Sikh Gurudwara. 
The ceremony was also attended by the Indian ambassador to UAE and over 200 dignitaries, including officials, faith leaders, and members of the Indian community in UAE.

 


Yemen reviews humanitarian projects amid renewed Houthi attacks

Yemen reviews humanitarian projects amid renewed Houthi attacks
Updated 05 October 2022

Yemen reviews humanitarian projects amid renewed Houthi attacks

Yemen reviews humanitarian projects amid renewed Houthi attacks
  • Saudi Arabia is implementing a project to drill and operate 10 replacement wells using solar energy in Aden
  • Kuwait-funded projects are being established under Altwasul for Human Development to serve the displaced in Marib

ADEN: Yemeni officials reviewed humanitarian projects as the government seeks to intensify relief efforts amid a renewed escalation in conflict after the Houthis refused to extend the United Nations-brokered truce.
On Tuesday, Saudi Program for Yemen’s Development and Reconstruction briefed officials on a project to drill and operate 10 replacement wells using solar energy in Aden.
The team also reviewed the proposed sites for a solar-powered seawater desalination plant with a capacity of 10,000 cubic meters a day.
“Such projects will largely contribute to enhancing water security in Aden,” said Engr. Mohammed Bakhbeira, director general of the Local Water and Sanitation Corporation in Aden.
Abd Rabbo Muftah, the Undersecretary of Marib governorate, also reviewed some ongoing Kuwait-funded projects being established under Altwasul for Human Development to serve the critical needs of the displaced and the host community in the province.
He was briefed on the progress of a women and children hospital north of Marib, which was 20 percent complete, and the efforts to install a $500,000 oxygen plant in a public hospital with a capacity of 300 cylinders a day.
Badr Ma’awn, Secretary-General of the Local Council in Aden, meanwhile reviewed the implementation of humanitarian projects under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. He praised the UN’s efforts in assisting war-affected families and the displaced in Aden amid the current situation in Yemen.
Heavy fighting has earlier erupted between government troops and Houthis across Yemen after the Iran-backed group refused to renew a UN-brokered truce that expired on Sunday.
The fiercest battles took place outside the central city of Marib and in Al-Fakher area of Dhale province, according to officials.


Iran summons British ambassador after ‘interventionist comments’

Iran summons British ambassador after ‘interventionist comments’
Updated 05 October 2022

Iran summons British ambassador after ‘interventionist comments’

Iran summons British ambassador after ‘interventionist comments’
  • Britain’s foreign ministry had summoned the Iranian charge d’affaires over crackdown on protests

DUBAI: Iran’s foreign ministry summoned the British ambassador in Tehran in reaction to “interventionist comments” from the British foreign ministry, the semi-official news agency Tasnim reported on Wednesday.
“The British side, by issuing unilateral statements, shows that it has a role in the belligerent scenarios of terrorists active against the Islamic Republic,” the director general of Western Europe at Iran’s foreign ministry added, after saying that London’s remarks on Iran’s internal affairs were “based on fake and provocative interpretations.”
Britain’s foreign ministry said on Monday it had summoned the Iranian charge d’affaires, Iran’s most senior diplomat in Britain, over the crackdown on protests following the death of Mahsa Amini in custody.
The British envoy in Tehran was summoned on Tuesday.
The Iranian official added Tehran will consider possible options in response to any unusual actions from Britain.
A 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman, Amini was arrested on Sept. 13 by the morality police in Tehran for wearing “unsuitable attire.”