Kuwait's Wataniya Airways confirms order for 25 A320 planes

Major aircraft order follows an earlier agreement announced at last year's Dubai Airshow between Kuwaiti carrier and Airbus
 
 

Golden Falcon Aviation, the exclusive aircraft provider of Wataniya Airways, on Monday confirmed an order for 25 Airbus A320neo family aircraft.

The order follows an earlier agreement announced at last year’s Dubai Airshow, a statement from Airbus said.

The firm order was signed during the Farnborough International Airshow by Rakan Al-Tuwaijri, CEO of Golden Falcon Aviation, and Eric Schulz, Airbus chief commercial officer.

Wataniya Airways resumed operations in July 2017 and currently operates a fleet of four A320 family aircraft serving destinations in the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Asia from its home base in Kuwait.

The A320neo family aircraft will support the airline’s vision to become the fastest growing and leading airline in the country, the statement added.

With more than 6,100 orders received from over 100 customers, the A320neo Family has captured some 60 percent share of the market.

KUWAIT : THE OPENING OF TWO FUNERAL HALLS IN THE "JAFARI CEMETERY"

 
The director of the funeral department in the municipality, Dr. Faisal Abdul Karim Al-Awadi, inaugurated the funeral halls at the Al-Ja'fariya cemetery on an area of ​​5250 thousand square meters donated by the heirs of the late Sayyed Hamid and Umm Al-Khair Behbehani.
Dr. Al-Awadhi stressed that the men's funeral hall on an area of ​​3 thousand square meters, stressing that the women's funeral hall is an area of ​​2250 square meters.
 
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Dr. Al-Awadhi pointed out that 2 men's toilets, 2 women's toilets, a men's and women's washbasin, and parking spaces were provided with umbrellas for 176 cars.
Dr. Al Awadhi praised the role of Sayyid Fuad Bahabani and Sayyid Nasrallah Bahbehani on their generous donation, which serves the families of the deceased and the people of Kuwait.

MAC Cosmetics cuts ties with Kuwaiti influencer Sondos Al Qattan

A growing number of brands have distanced themselves from the controversial Kuwaiti social media influencer
 
 
In a Wednesday statement, MAC Cosmetics – one of the world’s largest cosmetics brands – said that the company “does not currently have any partnerships with her and will no longer be working with her on any brand activities.”

Several more brands have cut ties with Kuwaiti social media influencer Sondos Al Qattan in the wake of her controversial criticism legislation protecting the rights of Filipina domestic workers.

In a Wednesday statement, MAC Cosmetics – one of the world’s largest cosmetics brands – said that the company “does not currently have any partnerships with her and will no longer be working with her on any brand activities.”

The statement added that the company works “to align ourselves with partners that shore core values and in no way tolerate excluding anyone.”

Recent Instagram posts on the page of MAC Middle East were filled with dozens of calls urging the company to condemn Qattan.

On Wednesday, one user urged the company to cut ties with Qattan, whom she described as a “despicable advocate for modern day slavery and the violation of human rights.”

Similarly, Anastasia Beverly Hills, a US-headquartered cosmetics brand, announced that it was “deeply disappointed” with Qattan’s remarks.

“These comments complete [sic] contradict the core values of Anastasia Beverly Hills and we have not and never will condone any hateful, discriminatory views,” the company said in an Instagram post.

"Sondos is not affiliated, employed or collaborating with ABH. As a result of her statements, ABH has unfollowed Sondos and removed her from our PR list,” the statement added.

With their announcements, MAC and ABH become the latest in a string of companies that have distanced themselves from Qattan, alongside companies such as Max Factor Arabia, French perfume brand M. Micallef, the UK-based Chelsea Boutique, as well as cosmetics brands Shiseido and Etude House.

Qattan has refused to apologise or back down from her comments, and has instead hit back at critics by saying that the “foreign media campaign” against her is an attack on Islam, the Hijab and Kuwait.

 

Source: arabianbusiness

Comment: Social media can break you faster than it makes you - just ask Sondos Al Qattan

The Kuwaiti Instagram star's social media blunder is a valuable lesson in social media gone awry for influencers and brands, writes Bernd Debusmann Jr

Source: arabianbusiness

Before long, many of the beauty brands with which Qattan had relationships – including Max Factor Arabia, the UK-based Chelsea Boutique and French perfume brand M. Micalle – severed ties with her.

Last week, the region’s – and indeed much of the world’s – media was abuzz with the controversy swirling around Kuwaiti social media influencer Sondos Al Qattan’s ill-advised and thoughtless comments about Filipino domestic workers.

Her comments aside, the rightfully enraged public backlash in many ways illustrates the enormous power – both good and bad – of social media.

Qattan’s troubles began on July 10, when she posted a video in which she expressed seemingly sincere incredulity that new Kuwaiti regulations will give Filipina domestic workers one day off a week and forbid employers from keeping their passports.

Rather than apologise or walk back her comments in the face of mounting criticism, Qattan doubled and then tripled down with a series of remarkably tone-deaf responses, in which she defended her comments and upbraided her critics.

Before long, many of the beauty brands with which Qattan had relationships – including Max Factor Arabia, the UK-based Chelsea Boutique and French perfume brand M. Micalle – severed ties with her.

Let Qattan’s case serve as a cautionary tale. For one, the incident serves to starkly highlight the potential downsides of brands funnelling considerable resources into potentially fruitful and lucrative relationships with personalities, ranging from athletes to actresses and social media influencers with online followings that dwarf those of many media outlets.

The brand can never guarantee what the influencer will say or do, making it paramount that they choose carefully who they work with.

Recent history is full of examples of brands having to drop people after poorly thought out statements, bad decisions or simple stupidity.

Tiger Woods, for example, lost sponsors after a car crash exposed a slew of infidelities. Others, from Wayne Rooney and Michael Phelps to YouTuber Logan Paul, have had companies sever ties with them over a variety of reasons.

It’s important to note that the brands that were slow to put out statements or didn’t respond at all to the Qattan case were the ones that attracted much of the public ire on social media, suggesting that many companies around the globe are yet to understand the speed of information in the modern age.

News – good or bad – travels incredibly quickly these days, and companies that are slow to respond to problems, or mishandle their response, will very likely suffer a subsequent PR nightmare.

The public outcry following Qattan’s comments also led some – including a prominent local newspaper – to decry what they considered Qattan’s “trial by social media.”

The notion that a well-paid social media influencer – who makes a living through the online platforms – is ‘unfairly’ facing trial by social media is, to put it simply, absurd.

She is a professional with a massive international following, and social media is her office. As someone who earns her keep through social media, she should know better, or at least be prepared to face the predictable consequences.

MAID BADLY INJURED IN FAILED ESCAPE ATTEMPT

Ambassador of Guinea to Kuwait, Mamady Traoré has requested the Guinean Minister of Social Affairs and Promotion of Women to suspend sending Guinean domestic workers to Kuwait until completion of their travel and employment procedures by the embassy.

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The remarks came in light of a recent incident of a Guinean maid who attempted to escape her sponsors’ apartment from the 4th floor.

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according to the information, the injured maid at the hospital said that she had to escape out of the flat due to the mistreatment and deprived her of food.
Meanwhile, the embassy is working currently on ending problems of about 20 Guinean maids before their repatriation to the country.

Kuwait allows compensation for Indian workers who lost jobs

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The Kuwaiti government has announced compensation for 710 Indian workers who left the country after they lost their jobs following a protracted labor dispute. The Public Authority of Manpower (PAM) has directed the Social Affairs and Labor Ministry to pay KD 250 as a relief amount to each worker registered with the PAM, an Indian Embassy official told Kuwait Times.

The Indian Embassy had initially submitted in September a list of 3,614 workers for compensation, but an agreement could not be reached on the modalities to liquidate the security deposits.

India’s Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh visited Kuwait earlier this year and held talks with the authorities to find a solution to the issue of the aggrieved laborers. The embassy also pursued the matter and held several rounds of talks, leading to the signing of a power of attorney, the official said. Subsequently, the embassy submitted a modified list of 1,262 people, out of which PAM shortlisted 710 people who would be eligible for compensation of KD 250 each. A mechanism has been evolved to remit the amount directly to the workers’ accounts – who are currently out of the country – the official added.

By Sajeev K Peter

Source : Kuwait Times

Brands take ‘day off’ from beauty blogger – Ties cut

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BEIRUT, July 25, (RTRS): Max Factor Arabia and other leading beauty brands have severed ties with a popular Kuwaiti blogger after she said domestic workers should not be given a day off, highlighting resistance to reforms to end widespread labour abuses in the Gulf state.

Sondos Alqattan, whose make-up tutorials endorsing major brands are followed by 2.3 million Instagram users, has faced a backlash online for criticising new regulations to protect some 260,000 Filipino domestic workers from mistreatment.

“Max Factor Arabia is taking this incident very seriously and have immediately suspended all collaborations with Sondos,” said the company, which had worked with Alqattan. “Sondos’ comments are personal and do not represent neither the values nor the principles that Max Factor Arabia stands for,” it told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in emailed comments on Wednesday.

Kuwait and the Philippines signed a deal in May allowing domestic workers to retain their passports, which are usually taken by employers, and to refuse to be transferred to other employers without their consent.

This followed a diplomatic row triggered by the discovery of a Filipina migrant worker’s body in a freezer, leading Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to order workers in Kuwait to return to their home country.

Workers in many Gulf states are employed under a sponsorship system that gives employers the right to keep their passports and exercise full control over their stay. Rights groups say this leaves workers across the region open to exploitation. “How can you have a servant at home who keeps their own passport with them?” Alqattan said in the video in Arabic, which led online critics to call her a racist who was encouraging modern slavery. “What’s worse is they have one day off every week.” Chelsea BEAUTIQUE, which sells eye and brow products in London’s upmarket Harvey Nichols store, also took down an online video where Alqattan used its products.

A spokesman told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that the company never had a direct partnership with Alqattan. He referred to a statement on Twitter saying, “We believe that decent working conditions should be provided to everyone and such behavior does not represent our brand’s core beliefs”. Alqattan defended her initial remarks in an Instagram post on Monday, saying “the passport of any expat employee should be in the possession of the employer to protect the employers interest”, adding that “we are all equal humans”.

Filipina nabbed for possessing narcotic pills

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Police arrested a Filipina and referred her to the Drg Control General Department for possessing narcotic pills, reports Al- Anba daily. According to a security source, Hawally police patrolling the area suspected the Filipina who was in a taxi but she fled when the taxi driver pulled over. The taxi driver told police that she left a small bag in the taxi. Police then found her civil ID and three narcotic pills. The officers checked the security record of the Filipina and they discovered she is involved in an absconding case. A thorough investigation ensued, leading to the arrest of the Filipina.

Authority responds to Kuwaiti citizens claim that he found plastic materials in rice

Samples of sugar, lentil, milk sent for testing

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KUWAIT CITY, July 25: The Public Authority for Food and Nutrition (PAFN) has responded to the claim of a citizen, who took his share of food supplies from the branch of Rigga Cooperative Society, that he discovered plastic materials in the rice, reports Al-Rai daily.

Director of the Inspection Department for Ahmadi Governorate Saud Al-Jalal told the daily that samples of sugar, lentil, all kinds of milk, tomato paste and corn oil have been taken and sent to the Ministry of Health laboratory for testing to ensure they are safe for human consumption

Criticism of me is attack on Kuwait and Hijab, says Sondos Al Qattan

Kuwaiti beauty influencer has vowed to have her followers boycott brands that sever ties with her
 
Source: arabianbusiness
 
A number of brands have cut ties with Qattan in the wake of widespread public backlash concerning a July 10 video in which she criticised Kuwaiti rules that give Filipina domestic workers one day off a week and forbids employers from retaining their passports. (ITP Publishing)
 

Kuwaiti blogger and social media influencer Sondos Al Qattan has hit back at her critics, saying that the “foreign media campaign” against her is an attack on Islam, the Hijab and Kuwait.

In a video shared widely shared on Twitter, Qattan says the criticism of her remarks concerning legislation protecting the rights of Filipino domestic workers is an intentional effort to damage Kuwait and the wider Gulf region.

In the video, she also asked why her critics have, in her view, expressed more outrage over her remarks than they have over humanitarian crises in Syria, Iraq and Gaza.

Qattan vowed to reveal any brands that have severed relationships with her, so that her followers can boycott them.

While Qattan’s Twitter page with 116,000 followers is now ‘protected’ and no longer public, her Instagram profile - with 2.3 million followers - remains open to the public and active.

On Tuesday night, Qattan put up a post promoting perfumes produced by Al Jazeera Perfumes, a Kuwait-based company.

On Wednesday, she posted another image of herself with the caption “do what’s right and don’t do what’s trending.”

A number of brands have cut ties with Qattan in the wake of widespread public backlash concerning a July 10 video in which she criticised Kuwaiti rules that give Filipina domestic workers one day off a week and forbids employers from retaining their passports.

On several occasions since the original video, she has defended her comments, saying that any criticism is “unjustified” and upbraided her critics for spreading what she called “rumours”.