Ramadan to begin Wednesday

MENAFN – Arab News – 09/07/2013

(MENAFN – Arab News) The fasting month of Ramadan begins in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday as nobody sighted the new crescent on Monday. "Tomorrow, July 9 will be the 30th day of Shaaban and the holy month of Ramadan begins on July 10," the Royal Court said in an official statement.

The Royal Court announcement was based on a decision taken by the Supreme Court after meeting in Taif yesterday.

The beginning of Ramadan is decided after sighting the new moon. If it was not sighted on Shaaban 29 as a result of low visibility, then the month will have 30 days.

The Supreme Court congratulated Muslims all over the world on the advent of Ramadan and hoped it would strengthen their unity and improve relations among them.

Muslims around the world greet the holy month of Ramadan with utmost respect and happiness. It is compulsory for Muslims to fast in this month to purify their minds and make them spiritually and physically healthy.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) told his companions on the last day of Shaaban: "O people! A great month has come to you; it is a blessed month in which there is a night (Lailat Al-Qadr) that is better than a thousand months; Whoever tries to attain the pleasure of God by performing any of the optional deeds shall receive the same reward of performing an obligatory one in other days, and whoever performs an obligatory deed shall receive the reward of performing 70 obligations."

The Prophet (peace be upon him) added: "It is the month of patience, and the reward of patience is Heaven. It is the month of charity, and a month in which a believer’s sustenance is increased. Whoever gives food to a fasting person to break his fast, shall have his sins forgiven, and he will be saved from the Hell, and he will get the same reward of that fasting person, without lessening the latter’s reward."

Mohammed Badahdah, assistant secretary-general of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, said: "We have to change ourselves to make this Ramadan a different experience. We have to make special preparations for Ramadan and change the atmosphere to get the maximum benefit out of it and achieve the end result of becoming pious and God-fearing Muslims."

http://www.menafn.com/1093677459/Ram…egin-Wednesday

By Waheed Ghanim.

This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Currency Class War: Damaged Dinar Notes result in Bribery, Injustice

Exchange shops, bank cashiers and savvy housewives are doing big business as they deal with Iraq’s dodgy, damaged, low-denomination notes – for a price. The losers? Pensioners and low-income earners who end up with cash they can barely use.

Every two months Makiya, a 65-year-old Iraqi woman, travels a long way to pick up her pension in cash. She lives 40 kilometres out of Basra and the journey is a difficult one for her. And then to her chagrin, whenever she gets her pension, it mostly comes in low-denomination notes that are damaged, torn or otherwise destroyed.

“The people who come to collect their pensions are not treated the same way as others,” Makiya complains. “To get clean, undamaged bank notes you have to pay the bankers a bribe.”

Additionally Makiya says that if anybody complains about the IQD3,000 that is usually deducted from the payments by the bankers –a service fee taken for no apparent reason, she says – they are punished by being given even more of the damaged or distressed banknotes.

“And then when you get the damaged bank notes you can’t do anything with them because nobody accepts this money,” Makiya says.

The descriptions “talef” and “naqes” are often used by people like Makiya when they talk about money. Respectively the words mean damaged and missing and are terms used to describe the smaller notes – the IQD1,000 notes and the half and quarter dinar notes – that those who can’t afford to pay for better, bigger banknotes end up with.

By Reidar Visser.
The following article was published*by Reidar Visser, an historian of Iraq educated at the University of Oxford and currently based at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. It is reproduced here with the author’s permission. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Personal Vote Results from Provincial Elections in Anbar and Nineveh: The Decline of Nujayfi and the Fragmentation of the Political Landscape

Following the announcement of the final results on 27 June, the Iraqi elections commission (IHEC) has now also released the personal vote results from Anbar and Nineveh for the postponed provincial elections that were held on 20 June. The results add some interesting information on political dynamics in the two north-western Iraqi provinces.
In terms of comparison with the rest of Iraq, it is clear that politicians in Anbar and Nineveh are struggling in terms of building relationships with their voters. Despite running in the most populous governorate after Baghdad, politicians from Mosul and Anbar mostly fail to make it into the top 15 list of the best vote getters nationally. The five exceptions are Nineveh governor Athil al-Nujayfi of Mutahhidun (40,067 votes), the two top Kurdish politicians in Nineveh (14,218 and 13,672 votes respectively), ex Nineveh governor Ghanem al-Basso (12,716 votes), and Anbar governor Qasim al-Fahdawi (14,503 votes).
Additionally, beyond national comparisons, it is clear that for some of these politicians, personal vote numbers that may come across as decent actually look worse when compared with results in the previous local elections of January 2009. This is above all the case with regard to Nineveh governor Nujayfi. Reflecting his party’s stunning loss of more than 300,000 voters since 2009, his own results declined from around 300,000 personal votes to only 40,000.
And whereas it is clear that Mutahhidun has done a good job nationally in terms of transforming the original Hadba party in Nineveh of 2009 to the dominant force within the Sunni and secular camp from Basra to Diyala, the reversal of its fortune in Mosul itself may suggest that Athil al-Nujayfi’s governorship of that area may have become something of a liability for his brother Usama’s national ambitions (or, alternatively, that the move towards rapprochement with the Kurds is hurting them more there).

Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com.

Post your commentary below.

By Waheed Ghanim.
This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Currency Class War: Damaged Dinar Notes result in Bribery, Injustice

Exchange shops, bank cashiers and savvy housewives are doing big business as they deal with Iraq’s dodgy, damaged, low-denomination notes – for a price. The losers? Pensioners and low-income earners who end up with cash they can barely use.
Every two months Makiya, a 65-year-old Iraqi woman, travels a long way to pick up her pension in cash. She lives 40 kilometres out of Basra and the journey is a difficult one for her. And then to her chagrin, whenever she gets her pension, it mostly comes in low-denomination notes that are damaged, torn or otherwise destroyed.
“The people who come to collect their pensions are not treated the same way as others,” Makiya complains. “To get clean, undamaged bank notes you have to pay the bankers a bribe.”
Additionally Makiya says that if anybody complains about the IQD3,000 that is usually deducted from the payments by the bankers –a service fee taken for no apparent reason, she says – they are punished by being given even more of the damaged or distressed banknotes.
“And then when you get the damaged bank notes you can’t do anything with them because nobody accepts this money,” Makiya says.
The descriptions “talef” and “naqes” are often used by people like Makiya when they talk about money. Respectively the words mean damaged and missing and are terms used to describe the smaller notes – the IQD1,000 notes and the half and quarter dinar notes – that those who can’t afford to pay for better, bigger banknotes end up with.

Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com.

Post your commentary below.

Iraqi Kurdish opposition MPs urge President Barzani not to extend term

Mon Jul 8, 2013 7:38PM
Dale McEwan, Press TV, Arbil

Opposition MPs in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region have slammed a new bill that extends the regional president’s term by two more years. The lawmakers are calling on president Masoud Barzani to step down when his term finishes at the end of this month. Press TV’s Dale McEwan has the details in this report.

A decision to extend Iraqi Kurdish president’s term by two years has caused a lot of controversy in the Kurdistan region. Kurdistan’s two ruling parties rammed through a bill on June 30th to give President Barzani two extra years. The ruling parties introduced the bill without the required forty-eight hours notice. Kurdistan’s opposition parties have now called on President Barzani not to sign the law. They want Barzani to step down when his second term finishes at the end of this month.

President Barzani is expected to make an announcement about his presidential term. During his visit to Baghdad on Sunday, Barzani reportedly told journalists to wait for the foreseeable future to hear more about this issue. Barzani is the head of his Kurdistan Democratic Party. Even members of his party cannot confirm if Barzani knew about the law. Members of the party say the law was passed in the name of the Kurdish people.

The law to extend President Barzani’s term was passed in a majority vote by Barzani’s party and its partner ruling Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. The Patriotic Union says its leader and Iraq’s President Talabani supported the bill. Claims of bribery have now emerged, with some reports alleging that Patriotic Union members received oil bribes in return for supporting the law. MP Shavan did not confirm these claims but told Press TV there was a political agreement between the two ruling parties. MPs say they passed the bill to end the deadlock over Kurdistan’s draft constitution.

Kurdistan’s September presidential elections will be cancelled if President Barzani signs the law. There are also signs that provincial elections may be delayed again. The parliamentary elections are the only ones expected to take place. That’s left many observers questioning where exactly Kurdistan’s politics is heading.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/07…o-extend-term/