June 2020

Afridi for Kashmir
Cricket Team in PSL

Jammu and Kashmir Salvation Movement (JKSM) President Altaf Ahmed Bhatt has praised former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi for demanding to induct a Kashmir team in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

“I hope that there will be a team from Kashmir in the next edition of PSL. I also want to play for that team,” Afridi said during his visit to Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

After the statement, the desire of Afridi to make Kashmir team part of the PSL has become the voice of millions of Kashmiris as the people of occupied Kashmir have always supported Pakistan cricket team whenever it had a face-off with India.

The JKSM President said he dreamed that PSL matches would be held in Srinagar as the hearts of Kashmiri youth beat with the Pakistan cricket team. Bhatt also paid tributes to Kashmir King Chairman Nisar Shaiq for mobilising the Kashmir cricket team and introducing it to the world. He also suggested that Kashmiris from both sides of the border be made part of the Kashmir cricket team and be allowed to play international matches.

Describing Afridi as a goodwill ambassador for the Kashmiris, Bhatt expressed hope that the cricket legend would continue to highlight the Kashmir cause globally.

ITU Digital World
2020 Postponed

As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Ministry of Information and Communications, Viet Nam, have taken the difficult decision to postpone ITU Digital World 2020, the global tech event for government, industry and SMEs. The event will now take place as ITU Digital World 2021 in September 2021 at the same venue in Hanoi.

International events such as ITU Digital World 2021 are more important than ever as a platform that is bringing together the global ICT community to learn, share knowledge, debate and network.

Trump Honours
Pakistani American

A10-year-old Pakistani-American Girl Scout brought laurels to Pakistan after she was honoured by US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump along with other coronavirus crisis heroes for helping people on the frontlines.

Laila Khan, 10, from Maryland, was recognized as American coronavirus hero as she had donated cookies to nurses and fire-fighters. Other than Laila, Lauren Matney and Sravya Annappareddy of Troop 744 in Elkridge, Maryland, all 10 years old, donated 100 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to local doctors, nurses and fire-fighters. They also wrote 200 personalized cards for healthcare workers.

The US Embassy in Islamabad also congratulated Laila Khan on Twitter. ‘Congrats to 10-year-old Laila Khan, a Pakistani-American girl scout recognized by President Trump during a ceremony honouring coronavirus heroes! Laila donated 100 boxes of cookies to local medical workers and fire-fighters,” the embassy tweeted.

Turkish TV Series Storms In

The Turkish television series Dirilis (Resurrection) Ertugrul, based on the life and times of the 13th-century Muslim Oghuz Turk leader, Ertugrul, has taken Pakistan by storm. In just 20 days, PTV’s YouTube channel registered an exponential rise in viewership with 2.1 million subscribers, shattering all previous records.

The series was dubbed in Urdu on instructions of Prime Minister Imran Khan who had expressed interest in the series during his visit to Turkey.

Often described as the Turkish ‘Game of Thrones’, the series depicts the 13th century Anatolia and tells the story before the establishment of the Ottoman Empire. It illustrates the struggle of Ertugrul Ghazi, father of the Ottoman empire’s founder.

The series comes handy in keeping people indoors as the Ertugrul series is based on glorious times of the Muslims.

Last September, Turkey, Pakistan and Malaysia had also agreed to combat the rising global trend of Islamophobia, mainly in the West. They had decided to launch a television channel dedicated to confronting challenges posed by Islamophobia and to produce films on Muslims

Restaurants Re-opened

In line with the directives from the Ministry of Health and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA), Dubai’s Jumeirah Group has re-opened three of its signature restaurants. Two restaurants at Jumeirah Al Naseem named KAYTO and Rockfish and Shimmers at Jumeirah Mina A’Salam.

All the restaurants are operating under government guidelines to continually protect both guests and colleagues’ health and safety during Covid-19 pandemic.

Online Lego Certified Store

Majid Al Futtaim Fashion has expanded its digital footprint and customer reach with the launch of an online web store for LEGO Certified Stores in the UAE – yellowblocks.me. The new platform invites LEGO-lovers across the country to enjoy greater convenience as they shop from the Danish toy company’s wide variety of creative and interactive products.

The online store offers the complete LEGO product range, including exclusive monthly sets from LEGO Creator Expert lines, LEGO Star Wars and other categories. In celebration of the launch, online shoppers can capitalise on free delivery for a limited time.

Mubashar Hameed
Appointed KSBL Rector

The Board of the Karachi School of Business and Leadership (KSBL) has appointed Mr. Mubashar Hameed as Rector, effective April 23, 2020. Mr. Hameed will also serve as CEO of Karachi Education Initiative (KEI), which sponsors and raises funds for KSBL.

He has served as Chief Digital Officer at Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency where he led a complete business transformation, including restructuring the agency for the digital environment.

He is a results-driven senior executive with 32 years experience, primarily in the USA. He has aligned global organizations such as General Electric, MoneyGram and Fiserv with a strategic vision for growth and profitability by driving fast-paced enterprise transformation initiatives and building digital capabilities.

Mr. Hameed holds an MBA and BS in Electrical Engineering from Wichita State University.

Reliving Childhood
with New KitKat

Just the name of KitKat is enough to bring back fond childhood memories of breaking off KitKat bars saying the famous tagline ‘Have a break, have a KitKat’ that was first used in 1958 and has been used without a break since. Now it’s finally time to recreate your childhood along with the special moments you spent with your loved ones with the launch of Nestle’s new KitKat Arabic Coffee.

The beloved KitKat crispy wafer fingers come in a blend of smooth milk chocolate, roasted blond Arabica coffee beans, and the rich aroma of cardamom, in a combination evoking comforting traditional senses that merge nostalgia with modernity. The much-loved chocolate bar is specially designed for the region introducing the coupling of Arabic coffee with chocolate.

The confectionary brand launches the new KitKat with an Arabic twist to meet local consumer demand for a flavour inspired by Gahwa, as Arabic coffee is socially referred to in the region. Traditional Arabic coffee is an important element of hospitality in the region; so much so it was inscribed on to Unesco’s intangible cultural heritage list in 2015.

Over the years, KitKat has launched several new flavours including tiramisu, strawberry cheesecake and creme brulee. The new KitKat Arabic Coffee is available across retail stores in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, and Jordan.

Silent No More

The Pakistani-American author Iram Gilani has released her first book ‘Silent No More: An Intimate Portrait of How Trauma Affects Us All.’ The book explores the suffering and survival trauma - how it affects us all and how we can deal with it.

Iram Gilani touches on the tumultuous landscape of trauma as a whole and how social forces shape human behaviour across time and culture. The book provides an insight into the influences inflicted by traumas. The author does so by drawing upon her own experiences —making it a realistic and relatable read.

The book is available with two free downloadable options in the form of an e-book and audiobook on the author’s website.

Film ‘Lockdown’

Director Abu Aleeha will be directing an upcoming film titled ‘Lockdown’ based on a love story set during lockdown times. The script is by Abida Ahmed; it will be produced by Tariq Habib Rind. Tariq has also produced ‘Lafangey’ which was delayed due to COVID-19.

Read Along

Google’s Read Along Android app, which helps improve reading skills for elementary school students is now available in 180 countries. Read Along uses Google’s speech recognition technology to help develop literacy skills and is designed for children aged 5 years and above.

Kids work on their reading skills with the help of an in-app reading buddy named Diya. As kids read out loud, Diya uses Google’s text-to-speech and speech recognition technology to detect if a student is struggling or successfully reading the passage. She gives kids positive and reinforcing feedback along the way, just as a parent or teacher would. Children can also tap Diya at any time for help in pronouncing a word or a sentence.

Production Pandemic

The multi-tasking Pakistani actor Muneeb Butt has recently signed three mega projects. One is for Hum TV written by Aliya Bukhari, who previously wrote drama serial ‘Deewar-e-Shab’, and directed by Barkat Siddiqui featuring Sanam Jung, Rubab Hashim and Mikaal Zulfiqar. The other serial is directed by Anjum Shahzad and it’s for I-dreams Productions, featuring Shabbir Jan, Saba Hameed and Madiha Imam. The third is a funny telefilm for Eid by Kashif Saleem’s production, featuring Danish Nawaz, Sarah Khan, Gul-e-Rana and Irfan Motiwala. The telefilm will be on ARY Digital.

Muneeb Butt started his acting career in 2012 and since then appeared in many television serials like ‘Daldal’, ‘Baandi’, ‘Koi Chand Rakh’, ‘Kaisa Hai Naseeban’ and ‘Yaariyan’.

Evolving Technologies

With a surge in at home cooking, the storing ofnfood effectively to reduce waste and to prolong shelf life has never been more of a priority. Preserving food is now easier than ever before with ultramodern side-by-side refrigerators from LG Electronics (LG). Boasting plenty of room, smart features and eye-catching style, LG side-by-side refrigerators offer the latest cooling and freshness technology, convenient storage and styling that enhances every kitchens.

TCF Launches
Children’s TV Show

The Citizens Foundation is producing and presenting a 45-minute colourful and engaging show for kids - ‘Ilm Ka Aangan’. The show is broadcast every Sunday at 11 a.m. on PTV Teleschool – a dedicated TV channel for virtual learning.

This programme is structured around early childhood education that TCF follows in its classrooms nationwide. The episodes engage children through theme-based videos, activities, storytelling sessions by renowned actor Sania Saeed, physical exercise segments and much more. This effort is part of TCF’s COVID-19 Response Appeal.

Nadeem Baig Directs Again

Nadeem Baig is directing his next drama serial titled as ‘Dastak Na Dau’. The story is based around the current situation regarding coronavirus. This will be Nadeem Baig’s latest serial after ‘Mere Pass Tum Ho’.

The drama will provide an alternative mode of raising awareness rather than the typical advertisements that viewers get annoyed with. It is light-hearted and family-oriented with dramatic elements.

SICPA Solar Plant

SICPA Pakistan has completed the installation of a Solar Energy System at its factory in Karachi. With an operating life of 25 years, annual generation of the project is 245 MWH.

The Solar Energy Installation will on average generate 671 KWH daily, meeting 25% of the electrical power demand of SICPA Pakistan through Green Energy. This will reduce the company’s carbon footprint by reducing 148 tons of carbon dioxide every year.

The project was inaugurated by Asif Ikram, Managing Director SICPA Pakistan, who was joined by Haroon Rasheed, Managing Director, Pakistan Security Printing Corporation (PSPC). Speaking at the inauguration, Asif Ikram said, “Having access to robust, sustainable and renewable sources of energy like solar power, helps our organization greatly by not just improving our energy security and resource availabilities but also significantly reducing our carbon footprint on the planet. We see this as an investment in our future and doing our part to be environmentally sustainable”.

Basketball Shoes
Sold for $560,000

A pair of Air Jordan sneakers worn in a game by Michael Jordan sold for $560,000 at Sotheby’s auction house, an all-time record for basketball shoes.

The white, black and red shoes, made for Jordan in 1985 and autographed by the NBA legend himself, dethroned the reigning “Moon Shoe,” one of Nike’s first sneakers, a pair of which sold in July 2019 for $437,000, also at Sotheby’s.

The latest sale highlighted the soaring market value of objects identified with the retired basketball superstar since the release of ‘The Last Dance’, an ESPN/Netflix documentary that chronicles the saga of Jordan and his Chicago Bulls. It also confirms that the lowly sneaker now has a place of pride in the world of wealthy collectors alongside more traditional collectables.

The pair of Air Jordan 1’s in the Chicago colour scheme, the most emblematic model of its generation, easily surpassed Sotheby’s pre-sale estimate of $100,000-$150,000. The Air Jordan 1 is the first model specially created by Nike for Michael Jordan, who wore them in his first season in the NBA. But unlike the Air Jordan 1’s, the “Moon Shoes” sold last year had never been worn.

Before the sale, the record for athletic shoes worn by an athlete was held by the leather-soled running shoes in which Britain’s Roger Bannister became the first person ever to run a mile in less than four minutes, in 1954. They were bought for $409,000 by an anonymous collector in 2015 at auction at Christie’s in London.

‘Bright’ Sequel

Louis Leterrier is in talks to direct the sequel for the Netflix film ‘Bright’ in which David Ayer will be replaced by Louis Leterrier but David Ayer will be acting as the producer of the film. Louis Leterrier previously directed ‘Now You See Me’, ‘Clash of Titans’ and ‘The Incredible Hulk’.

Will Smith and Joel Edgerton will be returning to reprise their roles. The fictional film was made with a whopping budget of 90 million US dollars but mostly garnered negative reviews. However, the number of viewership changed the game for the film making it a hit.

‘Bright’ tells a story where humans, orcs, elves and fairies have been coexisting since the beginning of time. Two police officers a human and an orc embark on a routine night patrol that alters the future of their world as they know it. Battling their differences as well as an onslaught of enemies, they work together to protect a young female elf and a thought-to-be-forgotten relic which could destroy everything.