• Iran introduces credit cards for first time

    Iran introduced credit cards for the first time on Sunday, the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) reported. In January, world powers had lifted sanctions against the Islamic Republic in return for Tehran complying with a deal to curb its nuclear ambitions. Valiollah Seif, the head of the central bank of Iran, cautioned that it could take some time for banks to get used to the credit card system. “It would be incorrect to think that these cards will be used quickly within the banking network,” ISNA quoted Seif as saying. The cards will be offered with limits of approximately 3,000, 10,000 and 15,000 dollars and can be used for purchases in shops or online.   Last Update: Sunday, 25 September

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  • Video: Cut's 100 Years of Egyptian Beauty Breaks the Internet!

    The latest video of Cut's 100 Years of Beauty series, which has already covered the evolution of beauty in countries such as India, Russia, and Korea, just managed to fit 100 years of Egyptian beauty in less than two minutes of footage. Featured looks are a documentation of Egypt’s political shifts and their effects on Egyptian society and, by extension, Egyptian women’s sense of style.    “The look chosen for the 1910s represented the urban look that women would wear to step outside the home,” researcher Jacinthe Assaad says in a video detailing the research behind each look. According to Assaad, the 20s look is inspired by Egyptian feminist Huda Shaarawi who took off the veil in resistance.

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  • Unpaid Pakistani workers to fly home

    RIYADH: Hundreds of Pakistani construction workers are to fly home from Saudi Arabia this week but without the salaries they have waited months to receive, embassy officials told AFP.A total of 405 Pakistanis owed wages by once-mighty Saudi Oger will fly home from Wednesday courtesy of the Saudi government, said Abdul Shakoor Shaikh, the Pakistani Embassy’s community welfare attache. They are among more than 6,500 Pakistanis who, he said, have not been paid by the construction giant for that past eight or nine months. Large contingents of Filipinos and Indians have also gone months without pay from Saudi Oger, which is led by Lebanon’s billionaire former premier Saad Hariri. In all, more than

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  • Duterte pivots to China, Russia as investors flee

    MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said yesterday he would visit Russia and China this year to chart an independent foreign policy and “open alliances” with two powers with historic rivalries with the United States. Duterte said the Philippines was at the “point of no return” in its relations with former colonial ruler the United States, so he wanted to strengthen ties with others, and picked two global powers with which Washington has been sparring with on the international political stage. He last week declared he would soon – and often – visit China, with which ties remain frosty over a South China Sea arbitration ruling won by the Philippines in July. He said Russian Prime Minister

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  • Dubai airport grounds flights due to 'drone activity'

    Dubai International Airport was forced to ground flights for half an hour due to a drone flying in the area, the airport says. It said airspace around the airport closed just after 0800 local time (0400 GMT) on Wednesday because of "unauthorised drone activity". Arrivals resumed at 0835, with full operations restarting by 0907. It is not the first time drones have delayed flights at the airport, one of the world's busiest. "We remind all [drone] operators that activities are not permitted within 5km (3.11 miles) of any airport or landing area,'' Dubai Airports said on Twitter. On June 12 a similar incident saw Dubai International Airport close for 69 minutes. In the wake of the incident, authorities

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  • Rare chance to see Cambridges as a family of four

    This was a still rare chance to see the Cambridges as a family of four. Prince William and his wife continue to shield their children from the spotlight. They landed in a city named after William's great-great-great-great-grandmother. Despite the honour, Queen Victoria never made it to this part of her empire. Her descendants will be here for eight days. They represent the future, as things stand, of the throne she once occupied - in both the UK and some 4,000 miles away in Canada - where the British crown replaced a French one. Despite a sizeable minority of the population yearning for a Canadian-born head of state, there is, as yet, no concrete political drive to change the status quo. That

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  • Love Island will return for a third series

    Good news for fans of Love Island - ITV has announced it will be back next year. Bosses have ordered a third season of one of the summer's most talked about shows. Its second run is thought to have doubled last year's viewing figures, with an average of 1.3 million people watching each episode. "We can't wait to do it all again next year," said ITV Studios creative director Richard Cowles. Although the series officially finished last night with Nathan Massey and Cara De La Hoyde crowned champions, it will return for a special episode on Sunday 17 July. Love Island: Heading Home will follow the islanders as they're reunited at the wrap party. Which will no doubt mean clashes as exes come face-to-face

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  • Kashmir territories profile

    The Himalayan region of Kashmir has been a flashpoint between India and Pakistan for over six decades. Since India's partition and the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the nuclear-armed neighbours have fought three wars over the Muslim-majority territory, which both claim in full but control in part. Today it remains one of the most militarised zones in the world. China administers parts of the territory. MEDIA Reporting on Kashmir from both India and Pakistan mainstream media is deeply politicized and reflects the tension between the two countries. Media in Indian-administered Kashmir are generally split between pro- and anti-secessionist. Local journalists work under strict curfews and also face

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  • Two Muslim Women Kicked Off JetBlue Flight for ‘Staring’ at Flight Attendant

    In what would have been a shocking but is now an all-too-familiar Islamophobic incident, two Muslim women were led off a passenger plane as a flight attendant did not like the way the women ‘stared’ at her, according to DailyMail. On Saturday, two Muslim women in hijabs onboard JetBlue Flight 487 between Boston and Los Angeles were escorted out of the airliner by police as one of the flight attendants was concerned about the way the two women were looking at her. A video showing the two women being escorted out for questioning was posted on YouTube on Monday by Mark Frauenfelder, taken by his friend Sharon Kessler. In regards to the incident, Kessler told DailyMail that "it was a terrible moment

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  • Oman Air disables misnamed 'Persian' Gulf inflight maps

    MUSCAT: Oman Air has switched off an inflight map system that labeled the waterway between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran, the subject of a bitter naming dispute, as the “Persian Gulf”. The decision followed a storm of criticism on social media after a passenger posted a video showing the map in Arabic referring to the Persian, rather than Arabian Gulf. “Our crew have been notified to disable the disturbing maps,” the sultanate’s national carrier said in a statement on Twitter. Two Boeing Dreamliners hired from Kenya Airways used a different map system to its own, it said, adding that it had asked Panasonic, which runs the system, to change the maps “without delay”. One Twitter user called the

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  • Blake Lively doesn't want you praising her post-baby body

    Blake Lively says new mums shouldn't feel pressure to lose weight straight after having a baby. She's been on Australian breakfast show Sunrise, where she was complimented on how great she looked in a bikini in her new film The Shallows. The presenter commented on how the film was shot just months after Blake had her first baby. But the 28-year-old called it unfair that slimming down after birth is "so celebrated". "It's like, this is what someone looks like after having a baby," she said. "I think a woman's body after having a baby is pretty amazing. You gave birth to a human being. I would really like to see that celebrated." The ex-Gossip Girl star's now expecting her second child with husband

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  • 9 Of The Hottest Spots To Karaoke Around Town

    Karaoke is either the time to share your talents with the world or pierce a hole through your friend’s ears - either way, both are fun. Most of us think we can actually sing, but the sad truth is that, well, we can’t. It’s usually just annoying shrieking like that golden egg in Harry Potter. Maybe we should be put underwater to sound like beautiful mermaids, too… Whether you want to belt out your favourite Shakira song or sing a little 60s tune, the stage is your oyster! We've gathered a list of the nine best spots to hit for karaoke. Shriek away! *buys earplugs*Johnny's In Zamalek Located on the fancy Le Pacha 1901 boat, Johnny's has a karaoke night every Sunday accompanied with live DJs. The

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  • Saudi women file petition to end male guardianship system

    A petition signed by more than 14,000 Saudi women calling for an end to the country's male guardianship system is being handed to the government. Women must have the consent of a male guardian to travel abroad, and often need permission to work or study. Support for the first large-scale campaign on the issue grew online in response to a trending Twitter hashtag. Activist Aziza Al-Yousef told the BBC she felt "very proud" of the campaign, but now needed a response. In the deeply conservative Islamic kingdom, a woman must have permission from her father, brother or other male relative - in the case of a widow, sometimes her son - to obtain a passport, marry or leave the country. Many workplaces

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  • India: The children left behind by an ancient custom

    Dungarpur, Rajasthan, India - Five-year-old Pinki is hiding behind her grandmother, Kanku Roat. The 53-year-old has been her world since her mother left. They live in a small mud house that they share with two goats, a cow and a calf - their only assets.  Pinki doesn't remember her mother. She left after Pinki's father died. The young widow went off to participate in the centuries-old custom of Nata Pratha. Pinki was only a year old.  Prevalent in the Bhil tribal community from which Pinki's family come, Nata Pratha allows a man to pay money to live with a woman to whom he is not married. The price can range from 25,000 to 50,000 Indian rupees (around $375 to $750) and is usually negotiated by

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  • Dubai becomes increasingly attractive to Chinese investors

    DUBAI: Dubai’s housing market has always had high profile investors that kept the port city’s real estate sector afloat through the thick and thin.Previously, the top investors in Dubai’s real estate market happened to be British and Indian citizens. But a group of fresh investors from China have surfaced in the emirate’s real estate market and they mean serious business. Chinese investors are especially drawn to Dubai’s realty sector after the trend of affordable properties took over the port city’s housing market. Here are some reasons why Chinese investors are ignoring the traditionally fruitful Western real estate markets and are betting their fortunes on Dubai’s lucrative realty sector.

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  • Swimming feat by Saudi woman to highlight plight of Syrian orphans

    Saudi Gazette report Jeddah — Mariam Saleh Binladin has become the first person from Saudi Arabia to make a solo assisted crossing of the English Channel, the world’s most celebrated open water swim. Mariam took on the Channel swim as part of a series of ultimate endurance challenges to raise awareness about the plight of orphan children from Syria. The story of Mariam’s epic swimming feats will be told in a film documentary ‘I am Mariam Binladin’ to be premiered in December this year. Mariam’s Channel swim was ratified by the Channel Crossing Association (CCA) which permits swimmers to wear wetsuits and receive assistance to ensure a safe crossing. Mariam completed the swim in 11 hours and 41

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  • 23 Absurdly Fab Photos from Karim El Chiaty & Victoria's Secret Model Ana Beatriz Barros' Wedding

    You might have noticed people making the move to Sahel, Gouna, and other such dreamy beachy lands during the Eid weekend, but what about the mysterious case of Mykonos? Why were our social media feeds suddenly flooded with images of the Greek tropical island? A coincidence? We think not. Everyone in the country (or world) has been buzzing – about what can only be described as the biggest, most glam wedding of the year where Brazilian Victoria’s Secret supermodel Ana Beatriz Barros tied the knot with Egyptian-Greek billionaire Karim El Chiati. You could say a few celebrities made an appearance. Nothing special. A slew of luxurious villas held over 400 guests who flew from all over the world for

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  • As diplomacy fails, Russia opts for 'total war' - Army retakes Aleppo district as bombs rain

    DAMASCUS: Syria’s army took control of a rebel-held district in central Aleppo yesterday, after days of heavy air strikes that have killed dozens and sparked allegations of war crimes. In the first advance since announcing plans last week to retake all of the divided city, pro-government troops seized the Farafira district northwest of Aleppo’s historic citadel, a military source told AFP. The push follows several days of Syrian and Russian air strikes on rebel-held Aleppo neighborhoods – some of the fiercest bombardment of the five-year conflict so far – after a ceasefire deal brokered by Moscow and Washington collapsed last week. The Aleppo maelstrom prompted Western powers to accuse Russia of committing possible war crimes, charges the Kremlin condemned as “unacceptable”.

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  • Egyptian Girl Sold Into Slavery at the Age of 8 Publishes Her Memoirs

    Despite having been heavily covered by western media, the sad saga of an Egyptian girl who was robbed of her childhood in the cruelest way possible is only just beginning to become known here in Egypt after one Facebook user took to the social network to share her story, which is rapidly going viral  Although born in 1991, Shyima Hall’s life didn’t really begin until 2002 when she was freed from the shackles of slavery her own parents had sold her into for the mere price of $30. Born in grinding poverty, little Shyima lived with her parents and ten siblings in an Alexandria slum until she was traded to a rich family for whom her older sister used to work as a maid. The wealthy employers accused

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