Head of delegation for rebel forces known as Houthis, Mohammed Amdusalem, right, and Yemen Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yaman, left, shake hands together with UN Secretary Geleral Antonio Guterres, during the Yemen peace talks closing press conference at the Johannesberg castle in Rimbo north of Stockholm, Sweden, Thurday Dec. 13, 2018. The United Nations secretary general on Thursday announced that Yemen's warring sides have agreed after week-long peace talks in Sweden to a province-wide cease-fire in Hodeida. (Pontus Lundahl/TT News agency via AP)
Head of the Houthi delegation, Mohammed Amdusalem (right) and Yemen Foreign Minister Khaled Al Yaman (left) shake hands with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, during Yemen peace talks. Pontus Lun

Hodeidah agreement is a true breakthrough



Eight days of negotiations in the tiny Swedish town of Rimbo have brought us to this moment. The agreement among Yemen’s warring parties on a ceasefire in the vital port city of Hodeidah is the biggest breakthrough to date in a war that has claimed more than 10,000 lives since 2015. On Monday, UN special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, promised that “tangible agreements will be announced by the end of this round”. He has not disappointed. Earlier this week, Yemen’s government and the Iran-backed Houthi rebels agreed to swap thousands of prisoners – an unprecedented confidence-building measure aimed at advancing peace talks. And the Hodeidah agreement holds even greater significance. The Houthis will, the deal states, withdraw from the harbour and city, leaving local forces to maintain security, which the Saudi-led coalition has demanded for more than a year. The UN – whose attempts to secure a peaceful solution have been vindicated in Sweden this week – will help facilitate the flow of food and aid to civilians in the city and far beyond. In a conflict where starvation has killed an estimated 80,000 children, the significance of that cannot be overstated.

This is a moment to be seized for the people of Yemen, who have suffered for too long. With numerous concessions made, the obstacles to peace are being dismantled one by one. The coalition, which intervened in 2015 at the behest of the legitimate government of Abdrabu Mansur Hadi, has repeatedly expressed its commitment to a political solution. But there now appears to be significant momentum on all sides for a political, rather than military, solution. And with this deal, we have a framework for further negotiations, expected to take place in late January. In September, the Houthis failed even to attend UN-led negotiations in Geneva. As the Rimbo talks come to a close, the immense progress is plain for all to see.

In the past year, it has become clear that peace depends on ­Hodeidah, a crucial entry point for humanitarian aid under tight Houthi control since 2015. As UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Anwar Gargash, said on Twitter, this diplomatic leap was facilitated by a campaign of sustained military pressure on Hodeidah. There is still work to be done to usher in a lasting political solution, including re-opening Sanaa airport. Internally fractured, the Houthis have, in the past, reneged on agreements. That cannot happen again. Brought together in a small and icy town, delegates from both sides have been mixing freely. And the goodwill on both sides has translated into real progress. The eyes of the world are now on Yemen – and the next round of talks. All sides must now move forward with renewed dedication. The people of Yemen deserve nothing less.

MATCH INFO

Europa League final

Who: Marseille v Atletico Madrid
Where: Parc OL, Lyon, France
When: Wednesday, 10.45pm kick off (UAE)
TV: BeIN Sports

Teaching your child to save

Pre-school (three - five years)

You can’t yet talk about investing or borrowing, but introduce a “classic” money bank and start putting gifts and allowances away. When the child wants a specific toy, have them save for it and help them track their progress.

Early childhood (six - eight years)

Replace the money bank with three jars labelled ‘saving’, ‘spending’ and ‘sharing’. Have the child divide their allowance into the three jars each week and explain their choices in splitting their pocket money. A guide could be 25 per cent saving, 50 per cent spending, 25 per cent for charity and gift-giving.

Middle childhood (nine - 11 years)

Open a bank savings account and help your child establish a budget and set a savings goal. Introduce the notion of ‘paying yourself first’ by putting away savings as soon as your allowance is paid.

Young teens (12 - 14 years)

Change your child’s allowance from weekly to monthly and help them pinpoint long-range goals such as a trip, so they can start longer-term saving and find new ways to increase their saving.

Teenage (15 - 18 years)

Discuss mutual expectations about university costs and identify what they can help fund and set goals. Don’t pay for everything, so they can experience the pride of contributing.

Young adulthood (19 - 22 years)

Discuss post-graduation plans and future life goals, quantify expenses such as first apartment, work wardrobe, holidays and help them continue to save towards these goals.

* JP Morgan Private Bank 

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

yallacompare profile

Date of launch: 2014

Founder: Jon Richards, founder and chief executive; Samer Chebab, co-founder and chief operating officer, and Jonathan Rawlings, co-founder and chief financial officer

Based: Media City, Dubai 

Sector: Financial services

Size: 120 employees

Investors: 2014: $500,000 in a seed round led by Mulverhill Associates; 2015: $3m in Series A funding led by STC Ventures (managed by Iris Capital), Wamda and Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority; 2019: $8m in Series B funding with the same investors as Series A along with Precinct Partners, Saned and Argo Ventures (the VC arm of multinational insurer Argo Group)

Who are the Soroptimists?

The first Soroptimists club was founded in Oakland, California in 1921. The name comes from the Latin word soror which means sister, combined with optima, meaning the best.

The organisation said its name is best interpreted as ‘the best for women’.

Since then the group has grown exponentially around the world and is officially affiliated with the United Nations. The organisation also counts Queen Mathilde of Belgium among its ranks.

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

About Takalam

Date started: early 2020

Founders: Khawla Hammad and Inas Abu Shashieh

Based: Abu Dhabi

Sector: HealthTech and wellness

Number of staff: 4

Funding to date: Bootstrapped

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

Real Madrid 1
Ronaldo (87')

Athletic Bilbao 1
Williams (14')

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices


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