Oman road crash leaves at least 18 dead

A crash involving a bus, truck and car has killed at least 18 people and injured 14 others in the Gulf Arab country of Oman.

Police said the collision on Tuesday morning occurred on a road between the northern cities of Fahud and Ibri.

The state-run Oman News Agency said the accident happened at a roundabout and that some of the survivors suffered serious injuries.

Oman police spokesman Mohammed bin Salama al-Hashami said officials were still not sure what caused the collision. The dead included Saudis, Omanis and Asians, he said.

He added that those hurt had injuries ranging from serious to minor and had been transported to hospitals throughout the country.

Source: Agencies

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“Oversized Coat”, torna il cinema nella Striscia di Gaza

Il manifesto di “Oversized Coat” , film che riapre dopo 20 anni il cinema a Gaza

Il manifesto di “Oversized Coat” , film che riapre dopo 20 anni il cinema a Gaza

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Nei giorni di Oscar e red carpet, nei Paesi in difficoltà torna il cinema; un segno, questo, che qualcosa sta finalmente cambiando. E’ successo nei giorni scorsi a Gaza, dove la macchina cinematografica – hanno riferito fonti locali – ha ripreso a funzionare in una sala messa a disposizione dalla Mezzaluna Rossa. Per poco più di 2 euro (10 shekel) gli spettatori hanno visto il film del 2013, “Oversized Coat”.

Per la prima volta, dopo 20 anni, circa 150 residenti di Gaza hanno quindi potuto assistere ad una proiezione. “Oversized Coat’, opera del regista palestinese di base in Giordania Nawras Abu Saleh, racconta la vita dei palestinesi tra il 1987 e il 2011, lasso di tempo che ha visto il fallimento degli sforzi per la pace e due Intifada contro Israele.

Al tempo del governo egiziano della Striscia (1948-1967) le pellicole più viste nei cinema locali erano quelle arabe, occidentali e asiatiche. I cinema furono incendiati la prima volta nel 1987 all’epoca della prima Intifada quando a Gaza c’era Israele.

Nel 1994 il presidente palestinese Arafat – quando l’Autorità nazionale palestinese assunse il controllo della Striscia dopo il ritiro unilaterale israeliano – autorizzò la ristrutturazione di una sala cinematografica che però non entrò mai in funzione e fu bruciata nel 2007 nelle violenze interne tra le fazioni palestinesi di Fatah e Hamas.

© Riproduzione riservata

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Dubai firm launches shipping services in India


Sima Marine, a subsidiary of Dubai-based Simatech Shipping, one of the largest container feeder servicing companies in the world operating 54 ships, has launched coastal container shipping services in India.

The services cover four major ports of Cochin, Mundra, Goa and Mangalore. CF George, managing director of Simatech Shipping Dubai and Sima Marine India, said the company saw good growth potential on Indian coasts untapped for a very long time.

“We believe a consistent service with competitive rates can attract more coastal cargo movement which is now moving by road,” George told reporters here.

“India government is promoting coastal container movement by offering incentives. By shifting cargo movement to the sea from the road, it not only helps decongest highways and reduce pollution but provides cost-effective trade and safe and fast service.”

For the exclusive coastal service operations in the country, the Indian subsidiary has also acquired two 1500-teu container vessels, Sima Godavari and Sima Narmada, which are already in operation. These ships are now sailing with Indian flag to work within the cabotage law.

The Dubai-based shipping major has an already growing presence in India for its international operations. Currently, Simatech is operating nine services out of India. Their regular services are calling Mundra, Hazira, Goa, Mangalore, Cochin, Tuticorin, Chennai, Krishnapatnam and Visakhapatnam connecting India to the Middle East, SouthEast Asia, Bangladesh, Thailand, China and Korea.

Besides Cochin, Dubai’s DP World operates Mundra, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Mumbai Nhava Sheva and Kulpi ports.

As a strategic move, the company which received the biggest container operator award from Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Mumbai, in 2014, has also started a fully-equipped back office operation facility in Kochi.

“In Kochi, we are the largest operator now with three vessel calls a week,” he said. “Soon, our new back office in Kochi will be in a position to support our entire global operations. All our ship planning and accounting operations will be done in Kochi.”
Source: Gulf Today

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MAST appoint Rear Admiral Anthony Rix as new Business Development and Board advisor


International maritime security company MAST have announced today the appointment of Rear Admiral Anthony Rix as Business Development and Board advisor. Anthony’s responsibilities within the team will include advising commercial ship-owners and private yacht owners on a range of maritime matters and supporting MAST on their global maritime security business.

Anthony previously worked for five years in London as Director of Maritime Security at Salamanca Risk Management Ltd and for 34 years as a Warfare Officer in Operations in the Royal Navy, where he retired as a Rear Admiral in 2009. He has proven expertise in Corporate Communications, Maritime Security policy and operations, Training, Equipment Procurement and Change Programmes in the UK and abroad, as well as extensive first-hand experience of Intelligence provision, team leading and security project management in the Middle East and West Africa.

Phil Cable, CEO and co-founder, MAST said:

“Anthony is an accomplished senior leader with wide-ranging command, leadership and operational experience, and we are looking forward to utilising his expertise within the team. MAST is in the final phase of completing a highly successful training project in Oman and as part of a Bae offset programme, we have trained the Omani Maritime Police and Coastguard in boarding and search techniques, navigation and general maritime skills.
“ We are in a strong position to replicate this project in other territories and are speaking to officials West Africa, and also believe this product to be relevant to other Coastguard operations in South East Asia and the Gulf. I am confident that Anthony will be an invaluable asset in expanding and implementing projects such as these and warmly welcome him to MAST.”

Antony Rix commented:

“MAST is a market leader in maritime security and this is certainly an exciting time to be joining the team. Their strong international presence and impressive track record of past operational experience helped me make this decision, in what is a time of multiple maritime security threats around the globe. ,. I look forward to helping deliver on MAST’s core promises of professionalism and, integrity, and making the high seas a safer place to live and work in 2016.”

Source: MAST

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Q&A: A 'terrible moment' for the Arab world

Beirut – My Name is Adam, the latest novel by Elias Khoury, a novelist, playwright, critic, cultural journalist and public intellectual, is set in the Palestinian town of Lydda in 1948. It explores life for the Palestinians who remained in what Israelis dubbed “the ghetto”. 

Khoury has also written about Lebanon’s civil war and spoken publicly about the wave of revolutions that washed over the Arab world in 2011, which he calls a “big step” whose ramifications are still unfolding.

Khoury spoke with Al Jazeera about how his novels help to mark the difference between past and present, about the ongoing violence in Israel, and about the Arab Spring five years on.

‘I’m telling stories, I’m not teaching lessons in history or philosophy,’ Khoury says [Getty Images]

Al Jazeera: You have said that you don’t consider your novels to be historical, because when you write about the Lebanese Civil War or the Palestinian Nakba, you are writing about the present. Can you elaborate on that?

Elias Khoury: My first novel about the Civil War, Little Mountain, was published in 1977, so it was written in 1975 and 1976, during the war. My idea was that we have to write what we are living, because this separation between writing and living, between spoken and written, must be destroyed. Speaking about something that happened 10 years ago is not the past, it’s present – otherwise everything is past. Ten minutes ago is the past. It becomes an absurdity.

I’m telling stories, I’m not teaching lessons in history or philosophy. I’m just telling stories – love stories, life stories. I love these characters and I find them interesting, and through them I discover different aspects of reality.

Al Jazeera: Is your new novel, My Name is Adam, the long-awaited follow-up to Gate of the Sun [a previous book that chronicled the Palestinian saga]?

Khoury: It’s set in Palestine and this book is the first volume. It’s supposed to be a trilogy, but every book is independent. It is a continuation of Gate of the Sun in the sense that it chronicles the Nakba and the aftermath.

It begins in the city of Lydda, and it tells a story which is not known at all. The biggest massacre of 1948 happened in Lydda, but this is not the issue. The issue is that the people who stayed in Lydda were quite a small number. From 50,000, something like 500 or 600 people stayed. The Israelis let them live for a year and two months in an enclosed area, surrounded by razor wire. There was one door and they couldn’t leave, and the Israelis called it the ghetto.

This novel is entitled My Name is Adam because the narrator’s name is Adam. He was born in 1948, so he was the first baby born in the ghetto.

He’s telling the memories of his mother and the people with whom he lives in this first year in the ghetto, which was a terrible year, because the Palestinians who stayed were obliged to do forced labour and the labour was terrible, because the major part of it was to collect the corpses from the streets of the city.

READ MORE: The terrible illusions of the Arab Spring

Al Jazeera: How did you research the historical background?

Khoury: There are some testimonies which were written about Lydda, but very few, and I collected a lot of oral testimonies. It was very difficult because I could not go there.

For Gate of the Sun, it was easier because I was working in the camps here in Lebanon. This time I had to collect information by Skype and phone and WhatsApp and Viber – actually, I learned to use this technology because of this. There were also many people who I met, in New York and also in Jordan.

Al-Nakba – Episode 1

Al Jazeera: What do you make of the renewed wave of violence in the occupied Palestinian territories in recent months? 

Khoury: I think in the Arab East, we are going through something new. My feeling is that we are entering a new phase, and maybe it’s the toughest phase of our contemporary history. If we take the Palestinian cause, what we feel is that there is no political option. The Palestinians have no options at all.

In the Oslo Accords, which came as a result of the first intifada, the Palestinians surrendered. The Oslo Agreement is a total surrender by a people who accepted losing 78 percent of their homeland.

The condition of surrender is that if you surrender, you have to survive. The Israelis have proved that they refused the Palestinians’ surrender. They are continuing the occupation and it’s becoming unimaginable now to think about the Israelis agreeing to the two-state plan.

I think it’s impossible for the Israelis to agree to it now; it would lead to a civil war in Israel. They have created a situation that’s irreversible. What does this mean? It means that the Palestinians have to accept to be stateless.

It’s an apartheid system without recognition of the Palestinians as citizens. In a sense, we’ve gone back to the origin of things, where survival is resistance. My reading of the resistance that’s taking place now is that it’s not led by anybody and it cannot be stopped by anybody.

These are the first signs of a new type of resistance, which is resistance against an apartheid system.

Al Jazeera: You gave a keynote speech about the Arab Spring back in 2012, in which you spoke of the revolutions as a positive force for change. Do you still feel this way?

Khoury: Positive or negative, history decides. We are living it and we cannot see what will happen and how things will unfold, but I think what happened in the Arab states is a big step and nothing can go back to the status that was before.

Look at Egypt, where they tried to bring back the status quo with Sisi; it’s undoable. That system is over. But on the other hand, the failure of the secular political groups is terrible. We are going through a very tough period.

I don’t see any end for the civil wars in Syria and Iraq. And, of course, one of the terrible outcomes of this is the collapse of society. I don’t think it’s the revolutions that are responsible for this catastrophe.

The revolutions happened because it was the end of an era and people couldn’t take any more of this type of regime. But the savagery of the despotic apparatus led a revolution towards a sectarian civil war.

We are in a very terrible moment, and I don’t think we can rethink the destiny of the states one by one. We have to rethink the destiny of the region.

It’s all related. I think this is the last struggle of the ancient despotic ways of governing and thinking. They are fighting their last battles and they will be very bloody and they will defend themselves to the end, but there is nothing that can save them. This is the end of an era.

Source: Al Jazeera

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