Russian diplomacy is open to Hamas



"Russia is doing in public what other quartet members are doing off the record." With these words, the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, responded to his critics about his meeting with the Hamas political bureau chief, Khaled Meshaal, in Damascus in presence of the Syrian president Bashar al Assad, wrote Areeb al Rantawi in a comment piece for the Jordanian newspaper Addustoor.

Russia is not opposed to the demands of the other three members of the Quartet, though. It still asks Hamas to recognise the state of Israel, to accept previous agreements, and to stop violence. These are part and parcel of the Russian foreign policy regarding the Palestinian issue and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in general. Moscow, however, stands quite apart from other Quartet members in that it believes in the possibility of achieving these demands by means of dialogue with the Islamic movement and also by integrating Hamas into the Palestinian political system, including the peace process. "In this, the Kremlin does not require of Hamas to immediately comply with these demands as preconditions to open a dialogue." The Russians tend to take into account many geopolitical factors surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. It also gives an opportunity to Hamas to ponder on how to reconcile adopting an open policy and maintaining its resistance programme.

Seatea Noureddine, in an opinion article run by the Lebanese newspaper Assafir, commented on a seminar organised by Carnegie Middle East Centre on the Swiss experience in political and cultural pluralism management.

Noureddine quoted the former Swiss president, Pascal Couchepin, addressing the three sources of violence that hit Switzerland during the 18th and 19th centuries. They were the sectarian violence between Catholics and Protestants, social violence between rich and poor, and also between the rural areas and the city, in addition to violence involving population of various origins: Germans, French and Italians.

Mr Couchepin stressed in his speech that he did not intend to dictate to the Lebanese which path to take. Nor did he aim to provide the Lebanese with a ready-made recipe, He simply mentioned that he wanted to dissect how the Swiss experiences evolved to produce a federal system that is still maturing. Yet his message got through: priority should be given to nationhood at the expense of other considerations. This means that the Lebanese need to probe into things that would unify them and to reject those that potentially could promote sedition. He did not put it the discussion into the right political context: the presence of Israel, which has obstructed in one way or another Lebannon's natural growth.

In an opinion piece for the UAE newspaper Al Khaleej, Saad Mehio highlighted what he described as the most serious statement about the nature of the next Israeli war. He deplored the lack of interest by Arabs in such remarks by the Israeli air force commander Ido Nehoshtan in a conference held recently in Herzliya. Nehoshtan said Israel can deter both Hamas and Hizbollah, but he did not know whether military action would continue in the coming years.

He added that two organisations should bear in mind they have obligations towards themselves and citizens, "but it seems they care mostly about maintaining power", he said.  This implies two scenarios: First, Mr Nehoshtan called for immediate military action against Hizbollah and Hamas to prevent them from building up their missile arsenal. This is only possible now because once they completed their military structure, it would be hard to defeat them.

Second, Nehoshtan looked at these two organisations as no longer ordinary resistance movements, but rather ones with large popular support. This means the war may target civilians under the pretext of drying up a potential source of popular support. This can also take the form of removing the population from their homes or destroying vital infrastructures. For these reasons Hamas and Hizbollah must first care about the civilians' fate.

In a lead article for the London-based newspaper Asharq al Awsat, Tariq al Homayed warned against hidden war strategies adopted by Iran in the region. Al Homayed referred to recent reports on movements of leaders of Al Qa'eda to and from Iran, Saudi Arabia and remote tribal areas of northwest Pakistan. Iran is reportedly reviewing its policies in anticipation of a potential military confrontation with the US or Israel, or likely economic sanctions. Many fear that Tehran may resort to supporting terrorist operations through sleeper cells in many areas. This is reflected in the many successive news articles about the active existence of Iranian spy networks across the region.

A well-informed Iranian source told Asharq al Awsat  that Tehran had intelligently used al Qa'eda in Iraq and Afghanistan to harass the US  presence in the region. And  because of the present situation, Iran might again devise new tactics with the movement  in other areas. Many Arab countries, and especially those in the Gulf, tend to belittle these reports to avoid escalation with Iran, yet a pressing question is what is our strategy to avoid uncertainty? * Digest compiled by Mostapha El Mouloudi @Email:melmouloudi@thenational.ae

SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE

Directors: Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson
Stars: Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Oscar Isaac
Rating: 4/5

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 profile

Company name: Nestrom

Started: 2017

Co-founders: Yousef Wadi, Kanaan Manasrah and Shadi Shalabi

Based: Jordan

Sector: Technology

Initial investment: Close to $100,000

Investors: Propeller, 500 Startups, Wamda Capital, Agrimatico, Techstars and some angel investors

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

5 of the most-popular Airbnb locations in Dubai

Bobby Grudziecki, chief operating officer of Frank Porter, identifies the five most popular areas in Dubai for those looking to make the most out of their properties and the rates owners can secure:

• Dubai Marina

The Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence are popular locations, says Mr Grudziecki, due to their closeness to the beach, restaurants and hotels.

Frank Porter’s average Airbnb rent:
One bedroom: Dh482 to Dh739 
Two bedroom: Dh627 to Dh960 
Three bedroom: Dh721 to Dh1,104

• Downtown

Within walking distance of the Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa and the famous fountains, this location combines business and leisure.  “Sure it’s for tourists,” says Mr Grudziecki. “Though Downtown [still caters to business people] because it’s close to Dubai International Financial Centre."

Frank Porter’s average Airbnb rent:
One bedroom: Dh497 to Dh772
Two bedroom: Dh646 to Dh1,003
Three bedroom: Dh743 to Dh1,154

• City Walk

The rising star of the Dubai property market, this area is lined with pristine sidewalks, boutiques and cafes and close to the new entertainment venue Coca Cola Arena.  “Downtown and Marina are pretty much the same prices,” Mr Grudziecki says, “but City Walk is higher.”

Frank Porter’s average Airbnb rent:
One bedroom: Dh524 to Dh809 
Two bedroom: Dh682 to Dh1,052 
Three bedroom: Dh784 to Dh1,210 

• Jumeirah Lake Towers

Dubai Marina’s little brother JLT resides on the other side of Sheikh Zayed road but is still close enough to beachside outlets and attractions. The big selling point for Airbnb renters, however, is that “it’s cheaper than Dubai Marina”, Mr Grudziecki says.

Frank Porter’s average Airbnb rent:
One bedroom: Dh422 to Dh629 
Two bedroom: Dh549 to Dh818 
Three bedroom: Dh631 to Dh941

• Palm Jumeirah

Palm Jumeirah's proximity to luxury resorts is attractive, especially for big families, says Mr Grudziecki, as Airbnb renters can secure competitive rates on one of the world’s most famous tourist destinations.

Frank Porter’s average Airbnb rent:
One bedroom: Dh503 to Dh770 
Two bedroom: Dh654 to Dh1,002 
Three bedroom: Dh752 to Dh1,152 

RESULTS

5pm: Maiden | Dh80,000 |  1,600m
Winner: AF Al Moreeb, Tadhg O’Shea (jockey), Ernst Oertel (trainer)

5.30pm: Handicap |  Dh80,000 |  1,600m
Winner: AF Makerah, Adrie de Vries, Ernst Oertel

6pm: Handicap |  Dh80,000 |  2,200m
Winner: Hazeme, Richard Mullen, Jean de Roualle

6.30pm: Handicap |  Dh85,000 |  2,200m
Winner: AF Yatroq, Brett Doyle, Ernst Oertel

7pm: Shadwell Farm for Private Owners Handicap |  Dh70,000 |  2,200m
Winner: Nawwaf KB, Patrick Cosgrave, Helal Al Alawi

7.30pm: Handicap (TB) |  Dh100,000 |  1,600m
Winner: Treasured Times, Bernardo Pinheiro, Rashed Bouresly

Director: Nag Ashwin

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

Rating: ★★★★

Women's Prize for Fiction shortlist

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Milkman by Anna Burns

Ordinary People by Diana Evans

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Circe by Madeline Miller

RIDE ON

Director: Larry Yang

Stars: Jackie Chan, Liu Haocun, Kevin Guo

Rating: 2/5

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 www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

Dr Amal Khalid Alias revealed a recent case of a woman with daughters, who specifically wanted a boy.

A semen analysis of the father showed abnormal sperm so the couple required IVF.

Out of 21 eggs collected, six were unused leaving 15 suitable for IVF.

A specific procedure was used, called intracytoplasmic sperm injection where a single sperm cell is inserted into the egg.

On day three of the process, 14 embryos were biopsied for gender selection.

The next day, a pre-implantation genetic report revealed four normal male embryos, three female and seven abnormal samples.

Day five of the treatment saw two male embryos transferred to the patient.

The woman recorded a positive pregnancy test two weeks later. 

Water waste

In the UAE’s arid climate, small shrubs, bushes and flower beds usually require about six litres of water per square metre, daily. That increases to 12 litres per square metre a day for small trees, and 300 litres for palm trees.

Horticulturists suggest the best time for watering is before 8am or after 6pm, when water won't be dried up by the sun.

A global report published by the Water Resources Institute in August, ranked the UAE 10th out of 164 nations where water supplies are most stretched.

The Emirates is the world’s third largest per capita water consumer after the US and Canada.

DRIVERS' CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

1. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 171 points
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-GP) 151
3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-GP) 136
4. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull Racing) 107
5. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 83
6. Sergio Perez (Force India) 50
7. Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing) 45
8. Esteban Ocon (Force India) 39
9. Carlos Sainz (Torro Rosso) 29
10. Felipe Massa (Williams) 22

New Zealand squad

Tim Southee (capt), Trent Boult (games 4 and 5), Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson (games 1-3), Martin Guptill, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor, Blair Tickner

UAE medallists at Asian Games 2023

Gold
Magomedomar Magomedomarov – Judo – Men’s +100kg
Khaled Al Shehi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -62kg
Faisal Al Ketbi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -85kg
Asma Al Hosani – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -52kg
Shamma Al Kalbani – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -63kg
Silver
Omar Al Marzooqi – Equestrian – Individual showjumping
Bishrelt Khorloodoi – Judo – Women’s -52kg
Khalid Al Blooshi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -62kg
Mohamed Al Suwaidi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -69kg
Balqees Abdulla – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -48kg
Bronze
Hawraa Alajmi – Karate – Women’s kumite -50kg
Ahmed Al Mansoori – Cycling – Men’s omnium
Abdullah Al Marri – Equestrian – Individual showjumping
Team UAE – Equestrian – Team showjumping
Dzhafar Kostoev – Judo – Men’s -100kg
Narmandakh Bayanmunkh – Judo – Men’s -66kg
Grigorian Aram – Judo – Men’s -90kg
Mahdi Al Awlaqi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -77kg
Saeed Al Kubaisi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -85kg
Shamsa Al Ameri – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -57kg

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

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
Investors: Venture capital and government

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Consoles: PC, PlayStation
Rating: 2/5

Tips to keep your car cool
  • Place a sun reflector in your windshield when not driving
  • Park in shaded or covered areas
  • Add tint to windows
  • Wrap your car to change the exterior colour
  • Pick light interiors - choose colours such as beige and cream for seats and dashboard furniture
  • Avoid leather interiors as these absorb more heat

A Prayer Before Dawn

Director: Jean-Stephane Sauvaire

Starring: Joe Cole, Somluck Kamsing, Panya Yimmumphai

Three stars

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

Abu Dhabi racecard

5pm: Maiden (Purebred Arabians); Dh80,000; 1,400m.
5.30pm: Maiden (PA); Dh80,00; 1,400m.
6pm: Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan National Day Cup (PA); Group 3; Dh500,000; 1,600m.
6.30pm: Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan National Day Cup (Thoroughbred); Listed; Dh380,000; 1,600m
7pm: Wathba Stallions Cup for Private Owners Handicap (PA); Dh70,000; 1,400m.
7.30pm: Handicap (PA); Dh80,000; 1,600m

Race card

5pm: Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,600m; 5.30pm: Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,400m

6pm: Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,400m; 6.30pm: Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,200m

7pm: Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 2,200m

7.30pm: Handicap (TB) Dh100,000 (PA) 1,400m

Know your Camel lingo

The bairaq is a competition for the best herd of 50 camels, named for the banner its winner takes home

Namoos - a word of congratulations reserved for falconry competitions, camel races and camel pageants. It best translates as 'the pride of victory' - and for competitors, it is priceless

Asayel camels - sleek, short-haired hound-like racers

Majahim - chocolate-brown camels that can grow to weigh two tonnes. They were only valued for milk until camel pageantry took off in the 1990s

Millions Street - the thoroughfare where camels are led and where white 4x4s throng throughout the festival

Takreem Awards winners 2021

Corporate Leadership: Carl Bistany (Lebanon)

Cultural Excellence: Hoor Al Qasimi (UAE)

Environmental Development and Sustainability: Bkerzay (Lebanon)

Environmental Development and Sustainability: Raya Ani (Iraq)

Humanitarian and Civic Services: Women’s Programs Association (Lebanon)

Humanitarian and Civic Services: Osamah Al Thini (Libya)

Excellence in Education: World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) (Qatar)

Outstanding Arab Woman: Balghis Badri (Sudan)

Scientific and Technological Achievement: Mohamed Slim Alouini (KSA)

Young Entrepreneur: Omar Itani (Lebanon)

Lifetime Achievement: Suad Al Amiry (Palestine)

SPECS

Engine: Two-litre four-cylinder turbo
Power: 235hp
Torque: 350Nm
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
Price: From Dh167,500 ($45,000)
On sale: Now

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

The Saudi Cup race card

1 The Jockey Club Local Handicap (TB) 1,800m (Dirt) $500,000

2 The Riyadh Dirt Sprint (TB) 1,200m (D) $1.500,000

3 The 1351 Turf Sprint 1,351m (Turf) $1,000,000

4 The Saudi Derby (TB) 1600m (D) $800,000

5 The Neom Turf Cup (TB) 2,100m (T) $1,000,000

6 The Obaiya Arabian Classic (PB) 2,000m (D) $1,900,000

7 The Red Sea Turf Handicap (TB) 3,000m (T) $2,500,000

8 The Saudi Cup (TB) 1,800m (D) $20,000,000

The Bio

Favourite vegetable: “I really like the taste of the beetroot, the potatoes and the eggplant we are producing.”

Holiday destination: “I like Paris very much, it’s a city very close to my heart.”

Book: “Das Kapital, by Karl Marx. I am not a communist, but there are a lot of lessons for the capitalist system, if you let it get out of control, and humanity.”

Musician: “I like very much Fairuz, the Lebanese singer, and the other is Umm Kulthum. Fairuz is for listening to in the morning, Umm Kulthum for the night.”


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