No Eid joy in Syria

Qaddafi's fall sends a warning to Syria

Libyans are celebrating Eid in high spirits, since their significant accomplishments have brought them closer to revolutionary triumph, but the Syrian people have nothing to celebrate, columnist Othman Mirghani wrote in the London-based newspaper Asharq Al Awsat.

In fact, Bashar Al Assad's forces are pressing ahead with their lethal clampdown on protesters.

The success of the Libyan uprising in the face of the barbarity of Col Muammar Qaddafi's forces - acting on their leader's televised vow to "crush all the rats" - sends a strong message to Damascus.

"If the Syrian regime was hoping to see repression and the use of force put an end to the Libyan uprising, the reality on the ground must come as a big disappointment," the writer said.

Still, strong as that message from the Libyan rebels might be, the Syrian regime does not seem to learn any lesson.

"Mr Al Assad's regime, as it is watching Col Qaddafi's regime fall apart, still insists on suppression, cruelty and abuse as proper methods to curtail the popular uprising in Syria."

Meanwhile, the Syrian people who have, for months now, shown their resolve to continue the protests for regime change, will find a timely morale boost in the current Libyan celebrations following the downfall of Col Qaddafi.

Algeria: last roadblock to Maghreb Union

The historic changes in Tunisia and Libya (autocracies toppled), Morocco (constitutional reforms) and Mauritania (on the road to the state of law) should be ushering in the revival of the Maghreb Arab Union, the once-promising North African economic bloc, wrote Abdullah Iskandar, managing editor of the pan-Arab newspaper Al Hayat, in a column.

But that doesn't seem to be the case yet. Algeria, the fifth and key member of the bloc, still hampers that revival.

"Algeria seems to be the exception that gets in the way of all these positive changes in the Maghreb region," the writer said, "even though the Algerian people are just as hopeful as their counterparts in other Maghreb Union states for better governance, sustainable development and political freedoms."

When ambitions for democratisation were simmering in North African states, the regime in Algeria - a junta with a civilian facade - was undertaking constitutional changes to ensure that power would remain the preserve of the army.

The regime made sure to maintain a measure of tension between it and its neighbours, to keep the country's attention trained on a perceived foreign threat, which makes tight control over internal affairs easier.

It's unfortunate that the country of "the one million martyrs" (for independence from France) is now averse to openness and democratic transition.

Electoral awareness among Emiratis is key

It is essential to raise awareness among Emirati candidates and voters ahead of the Federal National Council elections on September 24, especially since a considerable number of candidates and voters will be taking part for the first time, said an article from the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, published yesterday in the Emirati daily Al Ittihad.

The Voter and Candidate Guide and the FNC Empowerment Programme, issued this month by the National Elections Committee, serve that purpose. Both publications feature useful information about the stages of the electoral process, in an accessible form.

"The higher the awareness among voters about the process and its various aspects," the article said, "the more likely voters are to participate, which will naturally have a positive effect."

Also, heightened voter awareness would keep the candidates in check, preventing them from overstating their electoral agendas for the sake of garnering more votes, the article added. "For one issue that crops up sometimes during the elections is the gap between the candidate's electoral programme and reality."

Some candidates who made big promises and raised high hopes among voters in the last elections performed below expectations once voted into office, the opinion article said.

Libya must manage western ambitions

Liberated from Col Muammar Qaddafi's 42-year rule, Libya must now face up to a major challenge: protecting its people from the crowd of western powers salivating over its oil and vying for handsome infrastructure contracts, Masoud Daher wrote in the comment section of the Dubai paper Al Bayan yesterday.

The first step towards protecting the interests of the Libyan people is to form a national unity government representing all components of society.

Obviously, there are many bumps on the road. First, armed groups still loyal to Col Qaddafi must be subdued. The persistence of armed conflict would protract the involvement of Nato, with more infrastructure destroyed and more civilians as collateral, the writer said.

Second, recouping Libya's frozen deposits - $160bn (Dh588 bn) from foreign bank accounts must be the priority. The handful of millions of dollars disbursed now and then by western countries to cover the monthly salaries of Libyan soldiers and public servants is not enough.

Third, the leadership should beware of the West's intention to reward itself for its military aid with a more lasting corporate presence in Libyan oilfields.

The new leaders must never forget that the West was a great supporter of Col Qaddafi.

* Digest compiled by Achraf El Bahi

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through and

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

Company Profile 

Founder: Omar Onsi

Launched: 2018

Employees: 35

Financing stage: Seed round ($12 million)

Investors: B&Y, Phoenician Funds, M1 Group, Shorooq Partners


Jemma Eley, Maria Michailidou, Molly Fuller, Chloe Andrews (of Dubai College), Eliza Petricola, Holly Guerin, Yasmin Craig, Caitlin Gowdy (Dubai English Speaking College), Claire Janssen, Cristiana Morall (Jumeirah English Speaking School), Tessa Mies (Jebel Ali School), Mila Morgan (Cranleigh Abu Dhabi).

Company Profile

Company name: myZoi
Started: 2021
Founders: Syed Ali, Christian Buchholz, Shanawaz Rouf, Arsalan Siddiqui, Nabid Hassan
Based: UAE
Number of staff: 37
Investment: Initial undisclosed funding from SC Ventures; second round of funding totalling $14 million from a consortium of SBI, a Japanese VC firm, and SC Venture

UAE v West Indies

First ODI - Sunday, June 4
Second ODI - Tuesday, June 6
Third ODI - Friday, June 9

Matches at Sharjah Cricket Stadium. All games start at 4.30pm

UAE squad
Muhammad Waseem (captain), Aayan Khan, Adithya Shetty, Ali Naseer, Ansh Tandon, Aryansh Sharma, Asif Khan, Basil Hameed, Ethan D’Souza, Fahad Nawaz, Jonathan Figy, Junaid Siddique, Karthik Meiyappan, Lovepreet Singh, Matiullah, Mohammed Faraazuddin, Muhammad Jawadullah, Rameez Shahzad, Rohan Mustafa, Sanchit Sharma, Vriitya Aravind, Zahoor Khan

Ramez Gab Min El Akher

Creator: Ramez Galal

Starring: Ramez Galal

Streaming on: MBC Shahid

Rating: 2.5/5

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home. 

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed


Company name: Blah

Started: 2018

Founder: Aliyah Al Abbar and Hend Al Marri

Based: Dubai

Industry: Technology and talent management

Initial investment: Dh20,000

Investors: Self-funded

Total customers: 40


Name: Mamo

Year it started: 2019 Founders: Imad Gharazeddine, Asim Janjua

Based: Dubai, UAE

Number of employees: 28

Sector: Financial services

Investment: $9.5m

Funding stage: Pre-Series A Investors: Global Ventures, GFC, 4DX Ventures, AlRajhi Partners, Olive Tree Capital, and prominent Silicon Valley investors.


Director: Lee Isaac Chung

Starring: Glenn Powell, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Anthony Ramos

Rating: 2.5/5

Founders: Ines Mena, Claudia Ribas, Simona Agolini, Nourhan Hassan and Therese Hundt

Date started: January 2017, app launched November 2017

Based: Dubai, UAE

Sector: Private/Retail/Leisure

Number of Employees: 18 employees, including full-time and flexible workers

Funding stage and size: Seed round completed Q4 2019 - $1m raised

Funders: Oman Technology Fund, 500 Startups, Vision Ventures, Seedstars, Mindshift Capital, Delta Partners Ventures, with support from the OQAL Angel Investor Network and UAE Business Angels

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Wales 1

James 5'

Slovakia 0

Man of the Match: Dan James (Wales)

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On the menu

First course

▶ Emirati sea bass tartare Yuzu and labneh mayo, avocado, green herbs, fermented tomato water  

▶ The Tale of the Oyster Oyster tartare, Bahraini gum berry pickle

Second course

▶ Local mackerel Sourdough crouton, baharat oil, red radish, zaatar mayo

▶ One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Quail, smoked freekeh, cinnamon cocoa

Third course

▶ Bahraini bouillabaisse Venus clams, local prawns, fishfarm seabream, farro

▶ Lamb 2 ways Braised lamb, crispy lamb chop, bulgur, physalis


▶ Lumi Black lemon ice cream, pistachio, pomegranate

▶ Black chocolate bar Dark chocolate, dates, caramel, camel milk ice cream

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
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Transmission: 8-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 11.9L/100km
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Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5

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Hamilton $60m x 2 = $120m

Vettel $45m x 2 = $90m

Ricciardo $35m x 2 = $70m

Verstappen $55m x 3 = $165m

Leclerc $20m x 2 = $40m

TOTAL $485m

Spider-Man: No Way Home

Director: Jon Watts

Stars: Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon 


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Job: CEO JCDecaux Middle East

In the role: Since January 2015

Lives: In the UAE

Background: M&A, investment banking

Studied: Corporate finance

The specs

Engine: 3.8-litre twin-turbo flat-six

Power: 650hp at 6,750rpm

Torque: 800Nm from 2,500-4,000rpm

Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch auto

Fuel consumption: 11.12L/100km

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On sale: now


GMC Sierra Denali 1500

Engine: 6.2-litre V8

Transmission: 10-speed automatic

Power: 420hp

Torque: 623Nm

Price: Dh232,500