New Age Islam News Bureau
1 Feb 2016
Photo: The aim is to impart training to women in investment and how to choose the right business, steps for launching a project. (SPA)
• Training Program to Boost Arab Women Entrepreneurs’ Skills
• Limitless: Women’s Rock Climbing Gains Foothold in Iran
• Sania Mirza Describes Australian Open Win as 'Unreal Feeling'
• Obesity, Diabetes in Mother Increases Autism Risk in Child: Study
• President Ghani Inaugurates Fund for Women Victims of Violence
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
'Secret Wife' Of Saudi Prince Reveals Monarchy’s Mysteries
24 Jan, 2016
Janan Harb, 68, has quite a life story to tell: she says she was the former Saudi king's secret wife. Harb, a Palestinian-born Christian, says she converted to Islam back in 1968 to marry the monarch.
Harb now lives in London and is a scientologist. A film is being made based on her life in the Saudi royal family. Harb is also planning to publish an autobiography by the end of 2016.
The woman spoke to RT about her first encounter with the prince.
“There was a big party for the Palestinians and the Lebanese, a Christmas party. The prince was the minister of interior at that time, he was invited, and that’s how we met,” she said.
For the next three years, Harb lived in the prince’s palace as his secret spouse.
“We had a lovely life [for] the first two years. It was a very beautiful life. But the third year was quite tragic, because it was taken seriously, and his brothers got involved.”
In 1971, Harb was deported to the UK.
“His brothers were grooming him to become a king, and didn’t accept him having a Palestinian Christian wife. I was deported without his knowledge,” she told RT.
She has since successfully sued the late king's son, winning a historic UK High Court case.
The late king’s son has been ordered to pay Harb £12 million (US$17 million), according to a deal that was struck with the king before his death.
Harb told RT she has turned to the media in the hope that the Saudi royal family will face up to its duties.
“Every time you confront the Saudis, they tell you – instead of asking or finding the truth – ‘Oh! Maybe she was a prostitute, maybe she is a money digger’… Since he [the former king] didn’t take responsibility for his father’s reputation, he bears the blame himself.”
Saudi nationals are known to have a history of tricky relations with the UK legal system.
Just this week, one Sheikh managed to escape divorce payments in the UK after he was appointed a UN envoy by a small Caribbean nation, therefore receiving diplomatic immunity.
Sheikh Walid Juffali, whose fortune from his family’s business interests is estimated at £4 billion, faced a divorce suit in London’s High Court from his second wife, Christina Estrada, a former Pirelli calendar girl, after he secretly married a Lebanese television presenter in 2012.
Last month, a Saudi millionaire was cleared of raping a teenager after he claimed he may have penetrated her accidentally after tripping and falling on her.
Saudi Arabia is notorious for its strict interpretation of Sharia law, with alcohol and gambling banned and women not allowed to drive.
Women’s rights in the country have often been in the spotlight: a few months ago, a Saudi woman posted footage of her husband sexually abusing their maid. However, it was the wife who was facing a year in jail in the end, due to the Saudi law on revenge videos.
Training Program To Boost Arab Women Entrepreneurs’ Skills
1 February 2016
ABHA: The businesswomen’s center at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Abha has launched a training program, “Dream, achieve, and be professional,” at the headquarters of the training center here.
The program, which will conclude on Thursday, is being held under the guidance of Lina Al-Amoudi, a businesswoman and human resources specialist.
The aim is to impart training to women in investment and how to choose the right business, steps for launching a project, legal aspects, how to establish intellectual property and the mechanism for financial returns.
Al-Amoudi said that there are many avenues to start small or medium projects, because the Asir region is considered a virgin region and can be accessed with multiple investment areas like coffee shops, restaurants, concerts coordination and exhibitions.
She said the targeted category of the program is proprietors of small and medium projects, who will be introduced to ideas for projects that can bring huge returns.
The program has been implemented in many regions of the Kingdom, including Jubail, Dammam and Alkhobar and at technical and industrial institutes, said Al-Amoudi.
Al-Amoudi said the program answers many questions such as reason to start a project, goal, whether the project will contribute in building the community, qualities and tools of an entrepreneur as well as information on marketing small businesses at the lowest cost.
“Training will also be imparted on business issues like intellectual property and its importance in the establishment of small enterprises, applying intellectual property on the trainees’ projects, and establishing projects as an individual institution or with partners, and addressing contracts and their types, contents and models ,” she added.
Abdullah Al-Zahrani, secretary-general of the chamber, said knowledge of legal procedures is one of the essential things for businesswomen in order to avoid legal problems that are encountered while establishing a new business.
He said that the Abha chamber is looking to provide all the necessary data to identify important legal procedures and intellectual property that contribute to the reduction of the size of problems in any investment business, as the chamber seeks to provide a number of meetings, training programs and lectures to enrich the thinking process, culture and awareness of businesswomen so the result becomes an integrated and harmonious system between businesswomen, the chamber and various sectors.
He noted that this comes within the framework of the chamber plans and strategy to accommodate all businesswomen’s requirements in Asir, and help them achieve the informed investment equation based on scientific grounds designed to keep their capital and developing it in order to achieve their economic return they aspire to when they build their businesses according to the economic foundations based on the local market’s feasibility study, reading its reality and absorbing all its data.
Limitless: Women’s rock climbing gains foothold in Iran
1 February 2016
ZANJAN: In the mountains of northwestern Iran, Farnaz Esmaeilzadeh clings to a sheer rock face, ignoring the dizzying height and icy wind as she searches for the next handhold.
The 27-year-old, who has been rock climbing since she was 13, has distinguished herself in international competitions despite the barriers she faces as a female athlete in Iran.
Gyms in the Islamic Republic, including the facility where she practices on an artificial climbing wall, have separate and limited hours for women.
Rock climbers, like other female athletes, must adhere to the country's dress code by wearing long, loose garments and covering their hair.
“For me, climbing rocks is part of life, a symbol of overcoming the barriers of life,” Esmaeilzadeh said. “What I do is to change things that people think are norms. I feel there is no difference between men and women.”
Some 200 Iranian women compete in nationwide rock climbing events, and many more climb recreationally.
Up in the mountains, away from the morality police, women and men can climb together. But women are not allowed to work with male coaches, denying them access to the country's most experienced trainers.
Esmaeilzadeh has nevertheless competed in two World Cups held by the International Federation of Sport Climbing and is ranked 21st worldwide in women's speed climbing.
She gives climbing lessons to other women in order to raise money to take part in international competitions, but she is worried she won't be able to afford to compete in the IFSC World Championship held in Paris in September.
“International championships begin in about three months, and my biggest mental concern is whether I can afford to participate at all,” she said.
Some 200 Iranian women compete in nationwide rock climbing events, and many more climb recreationally.
Sania Mirza Describes Australian Open Win as 'Unreal Feeling'
Reported By Press Trust of India
Hyderabad: Sania Mirza, following her Australian Open triumph, on Sunday said it was an unreal feeling to win three Grand Slam titles in a row and she would try to maintain the winning streak with her Swiss partner Martina Hingis. (Sania Mirza Says It's Time For Olympics Medal, After Australian Open Win)
"It's an unreal feeling. We haven't lost a match in a long time but also to win three Grand Slams in a row...it's what really dreams are made of and I am really excited. It was a perfect way to start the year. We feel really happy. Three slams in a row who would have thought. I am taking a couple of days off before going to Fed Cup in Thailand," said Sania after her arrival here. (Sania Mirza, Martina Hingis Clinch Australian Open 2016 For Third Women's Doubles Grand Slam Crown)
Reacting to another query, she said "Nothing is certain. We still have to go out there and give our best and try and play the best that we can. Fortunately we have been able to do this for so many months and the whole year has been incredible. But the last six months especially. So we are going to keep trying to do that. I think we all know, in sports everyone loses and at some point we are going to lose and until we lose we are going to try and enjoy this streak.
"I will leave for Delhi and then for Thailand for Fed Cup and then go to St Petersburg," she said.
Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis were on Friday last crowned the Australian Open women's doubles champions after they tamed the spirited Czech duo of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in straight sets for their 36th win in a row. It was their third consecutive Grand Slam title for Sania and Martina, having won the Wimbledon and US Open in 2015.
In an incredible feat, Sania and Martina have now extended their unbeaten run to 36 matches, winning eight titles in a row. They won five straight titles in 2015, starting from the US Open and before the Australian Open now.
Asked on her Padma Bhushan recognition, Sania said "I am very honoured and I hope I can be here in the country (to receive the award) and it would be amazing. I was here for the Khel Ratna and hopefully I can be here. It's a great honour for me and I feel privileged."
Obesity, Diabetes In Mother Increases Autism Risk In Child: Study
Press Trust of India |January 31, 2016
WASHINGTON: Children born to obese women with diabetes are over four times as likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder as those born to healthy mothers, a new study has warned.
Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental condition characterised by severe deficits in socialisation, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviours.
Researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in US analysed 2,734 mother-child pairs. They collected data on maternal pre-pregnancy weight and whether the mothers had diabetes before getting pregnant or whether they developed gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
They also followed up the children from birth through childhood via postnatal study visits and review of electronic medical records.
Researchers identified 102 children who were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder over the course of the study. Those children with mothers who were both diabetic and obese were more than four times as likely to develop autism compared to children born to normal weight mothers without diabetes, they found.
"Our research highlights that the risk for autism begins in utero," said M Daniele Fallin from the Bloomberg School's Department of Mental Health.
"It is important for us to now try to figure out what is it about the combination of obesity and diabetes that is potentially contributing to sub-optimal foetal health," Fallin said.
Along with pre-conception diabetes, children of obese mothers who developed gestational diabetes during pregnancy were also at a significantly higher risk of being diagnosed with autism.
Previous studies had suggested a link between maternal diabetes and autism, but this is believed to be the first to look at obesity and diabetes in tandem as potential risk factors.
The findings highlight a leading theory about autism, that the risk likely develops before the child is even born. The biology of why obesity and diabetes may contribute to autism risk is not well understood. Obesity and diabetes in general cause stress on the human body, researchers said.
Previous research suggests maternal obesity may be associated with an inflammation in the developing foetal brain.
Other studies suggest obese women have less folate, a B-vitamin vital for human development and health. The findings were published in the journal Pediatrics.
President Ghani inaugurates fund for women victims of violence
By Khaama Press - Mon Feb 01 2016
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has inaugurated a fund to support women affected by violence.
While contributing his assistance to the fund, President Ghani said on Sunday that cabinet members have also promised of giving 15 per cent of their one month pay.
He further said that women must be given their legal and religious rights.
The gathering was organized by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and attended First Lady Rola Ghani, second-Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danis, deputies to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ahmadzia Massoud-President Ghani’s special envoy for reform and good governance, cabinet members, other high ranking government officials and activists of women’s rights.
First Lady Rola Ghani, Minister of Women’s Affairs Dilbar Nazari and women’s rights activists hailed the fund as an important step for supporting women victims of violence.
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