Saturday, 16 February 2013

EQ holds Creativity & Innovation Week


DOHA ENTERPRISE Qatar (EQ) organised a week of activities for students as part of the Schools Olympic Program (SOP) recently.

Secretary-General of the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdelrahman al Thani commended the success of the workshops.

The strategic partnership between Enterprise Qatar and the Schools Olympic Program aims to encourage students between the ages of 15 and 18 to think innovatively and entrepreneurially about the sports industry.

Sheikh Saoud bin Abdelrahman al Thani said that the Schools Olympic Program partnership with Enterprise Qatar has planted the seeds for a new generation of business owners in the sports industry.

“Qatar is investing heavily in sports, and the Qatar Olympic Committee is keen to support all efforts that develop local talent. The workshops have shown that we have an abundance of good ideas, passion, and drive in high school students and I commend their efforts,” he said.

Noora al Mannai, CEO of Enterprise Qatar, added that the workshops were part of EQ’s mission to encourage and support entrepreneurs.

“Judging by the success of these workshops, Qatar is home to many budding sports business owners. At EQ we will help them develop their ideas into real businesses, and provide them with the necessary tools to succeed,” she said.

In his comment, Nasser al Muhannadi, COO of Enterprise Qatar, said: “Enterprise Qatar is proud to be partnering with Qatar Olympic Committee on this year’s Schools Olympic Program to highlight the theme of sports and investment.

To fulfill our vision of supporting entrepreneurship in Qatar, we believe in the need to instill this spirit of entrepreneurship and creativity among students. We believe that they are the ones who will lead the nation’s future to realise the Qatar National Vision 2030.” Enterprise Qatar delivered the student workshops over five days. The programme curriculum has been carefully designed to build on existing programs while also incorporating the needs and opportunities of national priorities such as the Qatar 2030 National Vision and the hosting of the 2022 World Cup.

Over the course of the week, more than 400 students from independent and international schools participated in the workshops. They were divided into teams and trained by mentors not only on how to develop their sense of business awareness, but also on how to act professionally within their teams through the assumption of corporate roles.

Students were asked to present innovative approaches to promoting Qatar as a tourist destination for the 2022 World Cup with an emphasis on Qatar’s numerous tourism spots and various activities to enjoy in conjunction with attending the football matches.

Next the students were challenged to present creative ideas to increase awareness and participation of Qatari women in the sports field with the aim of reaching a record-breaking number of Qatari female participants in the upcoming 2016 Olympic Games.

The third challenge was to develop a national plan to reduce childhood obesity through innovative means of encouraging children’s participation in sports while engaging schools and families in the process.

For the last task, the students were asked to present creative ways of supporting Paralympic activities through addressing a specific disability as well as proposing new ways to help aspiring athletes with disabilities to overcome the hardships in their quest for Olympic glory.

Teams were judged based on the originality of their ideas, their presentation skills and their team-working abilities.

Three winning teams were selected each of the workshops’ five days.

The winning schools included: Hamza Bin Abdul Mutaleb Preparatory School, Nasser Al Attiya secondary school, Jassim Bin Hamad secondary school, Qatar Technical School, Al Kawther secondary girls school, Al Maha girls school, Doha Independent Secondary School for Boys+ Omer Bin Al Khatab preparatory school, Ahmed Bin Hanbal secondary school, The Tunisian School, Qatar International School and Abdul Rahman Bin Jassim Preparatory school.

HMC treats 2,000 epilepsy cases every year, says neurology expert


DOHA ABOUT 2,000 epilepsy cases are treated annually at the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Boulenouar Mesraoua, a senior consultant at the Neurology Department, has said.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the eighth Qatar Neurology Symposium in Doha on Friday, the official said that the cases include all kinds of epilepsy.

“In the outpatient clinic for epilepsy, once a week I treat 10 patients, not including the inpatient and a total of about 60 patients per month. We treat between 600 and 800 patients every year but the number of cases may vary because one patient could be treated more than once. We treat at least 2,000 epileptic cases a year,” he said.

Mesraoua reiterated that amongst these cases, inherited epilepsy constitutes over 10 percent and those with unknown cause accounting for between 40 and 50 percent. There are also cases of symptomatic epilepsy which may be due to road accidents, infection or stroke and cardiovascular issues in elderly people.

He highlighted that neurological diseases are common in Qatar like everywhere else in the world.

“For example, for epilepsy the prevalence might be higher in Qatar due to road accidents which may cause epilepsy and some infections.

This is not the case in Europe and America. It’s also different from India and Africa where it’s probably the highest,” he said.

Talking about juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (disorder characterised with abnormal movement of any part of the body when the patient wakes up in the morning) in Qatar, the official said there were many patients with the condition.

“I am personally following at least 25 patients with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy aged between 7 and 16 years.

It’s quite a frequent disease.

There has been no genetic or controllable treatment study but it’s well known that we have a lot of patients. This disease is all over the world,” he said.

He however said that the prevalence rate of the syndrome is not known. The first study was done in Saudi Arabia in the Arab world.

“About the prevalence, unfortunately there is no study yet in Qatar but we posted a project to the Qatar National Research Fund about looking for the genetic and epidemiologic of inherited epilepsy. If we get the project we will probably be coming with some results within two to three years.

We will provide good data regarding epidemiology of this disease and other inherited diseases like primary generalised epilepsy and frontal lobe epilepsy,” he said.

Mesraoua, who is also the chairman of the conference, said that the second day of the symposium will feature headache and movement disorders.

The conference will conclude on Saturday.

QR295 million road projects for Al Shamal region


DOHA PUBLIC Works Authority, Asghal, has launched projects worth QR295 million for upgrading the Al Shamal road and linking it to an integrated road network for the region.

During the first phase, the project will undertake linking areas of Al Duhail camp, Lnaim, Alab with Arab League street that runs parallel to Al Shamal road.

Implementation of the project has been started on a 27 km stretch from the eastern side of Al Shamal road.

The second phase of the project includes development of Um Aberiya road which is located on the west side of the Al Shamal road.

The 2-km main link road will be completed by the end the year.

Ashghal is also studying the possibility of establishing three bridges for pedestrians.

In the first phase, services will be provided to residents of the area along with those of Al Khash area and Umm Salal Mohammed.

Ashghal is also preparing a project to make the main Akherittiyat area road twolane in both directions. A new passage will be also constructed to link Al Shamal and Celebrations Street.

These projects are being undertaken by Ashghal due to a dramatic increase in population and urban growth that the area has witnessed during the past few years.

The project has been divided into several phases.

The first one will be the 4.5 km stretch from Al Gharafa intersection to Al Shamal bridge . The phase will also include construction of the Landmark intersection which will have a ground level bridge connecting the north and south ends via three lanes in each direction besides a 1.2 km tunnel connecting the east and west ends via two lanes in each direction.

In addition, traffic signals will be set up in the tunnel along with two bridges for pedestrians.

Work on this phase of the project was started in mid- 2005 and it was inaugurated in 2007. The achievements during this period have been Umm Lakhba intersection which consists of a bridge of three paths in each direction and a 1.2 km tunnel equipped with traffic signals and service roads on its sides. Two pedestrian bridges have also been constructed.

As for the third phase of Al Shamal Road, projects will be launched from Al Khor intersection to Al Ruwais, involving four-lane roads, 11 multilevel intersections and five tunnels for camels over a stretch of 61 km.

Under the fourth phase, projects will be launched from Zubara intersection to Ras Asherg via a bridge connecting Qatar and Bahrain. This phase will involve the establishment of four- track roads, six multilevel intersections, three tunnels for camels as well as infrastructure network development.

Opposition makes fresh talks offer to Syria govt


AMMAN SYRIA’S opposition coalition is ready to negotiate President Bashar al Assad’s exit with any member of his government who has not participated in his military crackdown on the uprising, coalition members said on Friday.

Syrian authorities have given no formal response to several offers of talks in recent weeks. But officials say they cannot accept preconditions about Assad’s departure and have privately dismissed what they say are no more than media initiatives.

Meanwhile, intense clashes between the Syrian army and rebel fighters near the country’s secondlargest airport killed around 150 people in recent days, anti-regime activists said on Friday, pointing to the significance both sides in the country’s civil war place on controlling key infrastructure.

The battle for the international airport near Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, resembles other battles over strategic assets that could provide an edge in the larger fight for the country.

On the other hand, the political chasm between the sides, along with a lack of opposition influence over rebel fighters on the ground and an international diplomatic deadlock preventing effective intervention, has allowed fighting to rage on with almost 70,000 people killed in 22 months of conflict, by a UN estimate.

Opposition leader Moaz Alkhatib made an offer of negotiations last month without consulting the coalition’s 70-member assembly, prompting criticism from a powerful bloc within the movement dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al Moualem is due to visit Moscow, one of Assad’s main foreign allies, later this month.

Russia also hopes Alkhatib will visit soon in search of a breakthrough to end the bloodiest of the Arab Spring uprisings.

But coalition members say no date has been set for an Alkhatib trip to Moscow and Syria’s Foreign Ministry played down suggestions that Moualem and he could meet there, saying any dialogue must take place in Syria.

An overnight meeting of the coalition’s 12-member politburo in Cairo endorsed Alkhatib’s initiative, although it set guidelines for any peace talks which will be presented for approval by the full assembly on next Thursday.

“These guidelines stipulate that Bashar al Assad and all the security and military leaders that (have) participated in the killing of the Syrian people and whose hands are stained with blood have no place in the Syria of the future,” coalition member Abdulbaset Sieda told Reuters in Cairo after the meeting.

Emir holds talks with Colombian president


BOGOTA QATAR and Colombia signed a number of memoranda of understanding (MoU) for cooperation in diverse fields during the visit of the Emir His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani to the country on Friday.

HH the Emir also held a round of official talks with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos at the Colombian presidential palace of Casa de Narino.

Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al Thani attended the session along with members of the official delegation accompanying HH the Emir. It was attended as well by a number of ministers and senior officials from the Colombian side.

The session discussed bilateral relations between the two countries and means of enhancing and developing them in all fields. A range of regional and international issues of mutual concern were also reviewed.

After the meeting, HH the Emir and the Colombian president witnessed the signing of a number of agreements and MoUs.

The MoUs included those related to air services between the two countries, and another related to sports, which was signed between the Qatar Olympic Committee and the Colombian Olympic Committee.

The Qatar Chamber and the Colombian Confederation of Chambers of Commerce signed another MoU.

Two more MoUs in the fields of mining and investment were also signed. HH the Emir and President Santos held a meeting before the official talks attended by HE the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister and Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin.

HH the Emir was accorded an official reception ceremony.