Samir Nasri, foreground, fights for the ball with Edouard Cisse of Besiktas during their Champions League Group A soccer match at Inonu Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey. Premier League club Arsenal has completed the signing of the France midfielder.
Samir Nasri, foreground, fights for the ball with Edouard Cisse of Besiktas during their Champions League Group A soccer match at Inonu Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey. Premier League club Arsenal has comShow more

Arsenal finally signs Samir Nasri



So the transfer saga is finally over. Samir Nasri, the 21-year-old France international, has finally joined Arsenal on a long-term contract after negotiations lasting nearly two months. Marseille always appeared willing to sell, but Gunners fans, who've watched Mathieu Flamini leave and are braced for other big-name departures, will be pleased to have finally got their man. Is Nasri really the 'new Zidane'? That's the tag he's had to wear since bursting into hometown club Olympique de Marseille's first-team four years ago - but in truth the comparison is misguided, in one respect at least.

Nasri shares Zidane's Algerian heritage, was born in the same southern French city and plays in a similar position - but he's unlikely to get anywhere near the heights of the best French footballer of the past 20 years. Another widely-reported myth is that Nasri is a winger. He played on both flanks at times for Marseille, but more through necessity than desire. The young playmaker is at his best operating behind the strikers, from where his short, sharp passing ties opponents in knots. So if you're expecting to see him at the Emirates Stadium dash down the flanks and swing over cross after cross, you'll be disappointed.

The boy from Marseille has packed so much into his career already. His league debut came less than three months after his 17th birthday and his first cap for France and Young Player of the Year award at 19. In that sense, he's a French equivalent of Gunners teammate Cesc Fabregas, one month his senior. A bout of meningitis laid him low last year, so he knows how to deal with adversity, too. The most telling phrase Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has used to describe his new player is "margin for progressing further". That's the key to this deal because, like so many Wenger signings, Nasri is almost certain to get better in the hothouse Premier League.

He comes from a good family and has benefited from the wise counsel of his father Hamid, who acts as one of his advisers alongside agent Jean-Pierre Bernes. It was no surprise last December when France Football awarded Nasri their annual prize for excellent media relations. The magazine described him as a "model young man ... who is immensely gifted but keeps his feet on the ground." If he has a weakness, it's his scoring record. A rate of just one goal every 11 league matches is disappointing for an attacking midfielder, although his tally of six in 30 games for Marseille last season shows he's heading in the right direction - and anybody who saw the youngster's beautiful volley in Marseille's 4-3 win over Strasbourg on the final day of last season, which helped the club clinch a place in next season's Champions League, knows he has no concerns over his technique.

The problems appear mental - but it seems almost certain than Nasri will grow in confidence in his new environment among more technically gifted and competitively robust teammates. After all, that's the "margin for progression" his manager was talking about. Robert Pires and Flamini have successfully trodden the path from Marseille to Arsenal. Nasri is likely to make it a hat-trick.

Spare

Profile

Company name: Spare

Started: March 2018

Co-founders: Dalal Alrayes and Saurabh Shah

Based: UAE

Sector: FinTech

Investment: Own savings. Going for first round of fund-raising in March 2019

Children who witnessed blood bath want to help others

Aged just 11, Khulood Al Najjar’s daughter, Nora, bravely attempted to fight off Philip Spence. Her finger was injured when she put her hand in between the claw hammer and her mother’s head.

As a vital witness, she was forced to relive the ordeal by police who needed to identify the attacker and ensure he was found guilty.

Now aged 16, Nora has decided she wants to dedicate her career to helping other victims of crime.

“It was very horrible for her. She saw her mum, dying, just next to her eyes. But now she just wants to go forward,” said Khulood, speaking about how her eldest daughter was dealing with the trauma of the incident five years ago. “She is saying, 'mama, I want to be a lawyer, I want to help people achieve justice'.”

Khulood’s youngest daughter, Fatima, was seven at the time of the attack and attempted to help paramedics responding to the incident.

“Now she wants to be a maxillofacial doctor,” Khulood said. “She said to me ‘it is because a maxillofacial doctor returned your face, mama’. Now she wants to help people see themselves in the mirror again.”

Khulood’s son, Saeed, was nine in 2014 and slept through the attack. While he did not witness the trauma, this made it more difficult for him to understand what had happened. He has ambitions to become an engineer.

if you go

The flights

Fly to Rome with Etihad (www.etihad.ae) or Emirates (www.emirates.com) from Dh2,480 return including taxes. The flight takes six hours. Fly from Rome to Trapani with Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) from Dh420 return including taxes. The flight takes one hour 10 minutes.

The hotels

The author recommends the following hotels for this itinerary. In Trapani, Ai Lumi (www.ailumi.it); in Marsala, Viacolvento (www.viacolventomarsala.it); and in Marsala Del Vallo, the Meliaresort Dimore Storiche (www.meliaresort.it).

Herc's Adventures

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

'Brazen'

Director:+Monika Mitchell

Starring:+Alyssa Milano, Sam Page, Colleen Wheeler

Rating: 3/5

The biog

Name: Salvador Toriano Jr

Age: 59

From: Laguna, The Philippines

Favourite dish: Seabass or Fish and Chips

Hobbies: When he’s not in the restaurant, he still likes to cook, along with walking and meeting up with friends.

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

SPECS

Engine: 4-litre V8 twin-turbo
Power: 630hp
Torque: 850Nm
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic automatic
Price: From Dh599,000
On sale: Now

The biog

Favourite pet: cats. She has two: Eva and Bito

Favourite city: Cape Town, South Africa

Hobby: Running. "I like to think I’m artsy but I’m not".

Favourite move: Romantic comedies, specifically Return to me. "I cry every time".

Favourite spot in Abu Dhabi: Saadiyat beach

CHINESE GRAND PRIX STARTING GRID

1st row
Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)

2nd row
Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-GP)
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-GP)

3rd row
Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing)
Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull Racing)

4th row
Nico Hulkenberg (Renault)
Sergio Perez (Force India)

5th row
Carlos Sainz Jr (Renault)
Romain Grosjean (Haas)

6th row
Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
Esteban Ocon (Force India)

7th row
Fernando Alonso (McLaren)
Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren)

8th row
Brendon Hartley (Toro Rosso)
Sergey Sirotkin (Williams)

9th row
Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso)
Lance Stroll (Williams)

10th row
Charles Leclerc (Sauber)
arcus Ericsson (Sauber)

MATCH DETAILS

Chelsea 4 

Jorginho (4 pen, 71 pen), Azpilicueta (63), James (74)

Ajax 4

Abraham (2 og), Promes (20). Kepa (35 og), van de Beek (55) 

THE SPECS

Range Rover Sport Autobiography Dynamic

Engine: 5.0-litre supercharged V8

Transmission: six-speed manual

Power: 518bhp

Torque: 625Nm

Speed: 0-100kmh 5.3 seconds

Price: Dh633,435

On sale: now

'Nope'

Director: Jordan Peele
Stars: Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Brandon Perea, Steven Yeun
Rating: 3.5/5

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Director: Nag Ashwin

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

Rating: ★★★★

The lowdown

Badla

Rating: 2.5/5

Produced by: Red Chillies, Azure Entertainment 

Director: Sujoy Ghosh

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, Amrita Singh, Tony Luke

Seemar’s top six for the Dubai World Cup Carnival:

1. Reynaldothewizard
2. North America
3. Raven’s Corner
4. Hawkesbury
5. New Maharajah
6. Secret Ambition

Eyasses squad

Charlie Preston (captain) – goal shooter/ goalkeeper (Dubai College)

Arushi Holt (vice-captain) – wing defence / centre (Jumeriah English Speaking School)

Olivia Petricola (vice-captain) – centre / wing attack (Dubai English Speaking College)

Isabel Affley – goalkeeper / goal defence (Dubai English Speaking College)

Jemma Eley – goal attack / wing attack (Dubai College)

Alana Farrell-Morton – centre / wing / defence / wing attack (Nord Anglia International School)

Molly Fuller – goal attack / wing attack (Dubai College)

Caitlin Gowdy – goal defence / wing defence (Dubai English Speaking College)

Noorulain Hussain – goal defence / wing defence (Dubai College)

Zahra Hussain-Gillani – goal defence / goalkeeper (British School Al Khubairat)

Claire Janssen – goal shooter / goal attack (Jumeriah English Speaking School)

Eliza Petricola – wing attack / centre (Dubai English Speaking College)

At a glance - Zayed Sustainability Prize 2020

Launched: 2008

Categories: Health, energy, water, food, global high schools

Prize: Dh2.2 million (Dh360,000 for global high schools category)

Winners’ announcement: Monday, January 13

 

Impact in numbers

335 million people positively impacted by projects

430,000 jobs created

10 million people given access to clean and affordable drinking water

50 million homes powered by renewable energy

6.5 billion litres of water saved

26 million school children given solar lighting

Match info

Liverpool 4
Salah (19'), Mane (45+2', 53'), Sturridge (87')

West Ham United 0

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

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

In numbers

1,000 tonnes of waste collected daily:

  • 800 tonnes converted into alternative fuel
  • 150 tonnes to landfill
  • 50 tonnes sold as scrap metal

800 tonnes of RDF replaces 500 tonnes of coal

Two conveyor lines treat more than 350,000 tonnes of waste per year

25 staff on site

 

THE STRANGERS' CASE

Director: Brandt Andersen
Starring: Omar Sy, Jason Beghe, Angeliki Papoulia
Rating: 4/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

Bridgerton season three - part one

Directors: Various

Starring: Nicola Coughlan, Luke Newton, Jonathan Bailey

Rating: 3/5

ETFs explained

Exhchange traded funds are bought and sold like shares, but operate as index-tracking funds, passively following their chosen indices, such as the S&P 500, FTSE 100 and the FTSE All World, plus a vast range of smaller exchanges and commodities, such as gold, silver, copper sugar, coffee and oil.

ETFs have zero upfront fees and annual charges as low as 0.07 per cent a year, which means you get to keep more of your returns, as actively managed funds can charge as much as 1.5 per cent a year.

There are thousands to choose from, with the five biggest providers BlackRock’s iShares range, Vanguard, State Street Global Advisors SPDR ETFs, Deutsche Bank AWM X-trackers and Invesco PowerShares.

How to help

Donate towards food and a flight by transferring money to this registered charity's account.

Account name: Dar Al Ber Society

Account Number: 11 530 734

IBAN: AE 9805 000 000 000 11 530 734

Bank Name: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank

To ensure that your contribution reaches these people, please send the copy of deposit/transfer receipt to: juhi.khan@daralber.ae


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