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Zig’s Place Chat News Sunday AM 3-21-21

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butterfly  The Kurdistan region begins tomorrow to send pilgrims to the Holy Land

Sunday 21, March 2021 00:00   The Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs in the Kurdistan region announced that it will send, tomorrow, Sunday, the first batch of pilgrims from the region, to the holy lands to perform Umrah.

The Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs said in a statement, according to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan website: “Tomorrow will witness the start of sending pilgrims to the Holy Land, after a hiatus of about a year due to the Corona pandemic.”

And she added: The first batch includes 24 pilgrims from Sulaymaniyah Governorate, indicating that after implementing the recommendations and procedures for Corona, the flight will start from Sulaymaniyah International Airport at 4:00 dawn tomorrow, Sunday . https://ninanews.com/Website/News/Details?Key=894565

butterfly   https://ninanews.com/Website/News/Details?Key=894557

The head of the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate, Moayad Al-Lami, congratulates the Kurdish brothers and the Iraqi people on the occasion of the Nowruz holidays

Saturday 20, March 2021 23:12  The head of the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate, head of the Union of Arab Journalists, Muayad al-Lami, congratulated the Kurdish brothers and the Iraqi people on the occasion of the Nowruz holidays.

Al-Lami said in a tweet: I extend my warmest congratulations and the most beautiful congratulations, coupled with goodness, happiness and safety to our Kurdish brothers and the whole of our Iraqi people..Every year and everyone is a thousand thousand good .

butterfly   Nowruz (pronounced no-rooz) is a combination of two Persian words. The first word “now” means new and the second word “ruz” means day; together they mean “New Day.” Nowruz is the name for the celebrations that observe the New Year for many Persian and Central Asian communities.

The exact beginning of the New Year occurs when the season changes from winter to spring on the vernal equinox, which usually happens on 20 or 21 March each year. The spelling of Nowruz in English can take many forms, including: Noroz, Norouz, Nowruz and Norooz. For this resource we have used the spelling Nowruz.

The festivities of Nowruz reflect the renewal of the Earth that occurs with the coming of spring. Activities that celebrate the arrival of Nowruz share many similarities with other spring festivals such as Easter, celebrated by Christians, and the Egyptian holiday called Sham Al-Naseem, which dates back to the time of the Pharaohs.

butterfly  Nowruz is a time for family and friends to gather and celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of the next.  Children have a fourteen-day vacation from school, and most adults do not work during the Nowruz festivities.

Throughout the holiday period friends and family gather at each other’s houses for meals and conversation.

Preparing for Nowruz starts a few weeks prior to the New Year with a traditional spring cleaning of the home. At this time it is also customary to purchase new clothing for the family and new furniture for the home.

butterfly   How long does Nowruz last? The festivities end 13 days after the New Year with Sizdeh Bedar, which can be translated as either “getting rid of 13” (a symbol of bad luck), or “to hit the road”.

butterfly   https://ninanews.com/Website/News/Details?key=894509

Congratulating the Nowruz holidays, the President of the Republic calls for a just and legal solution to the outstanding issues between the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Saturday 20, March 2021 19:33 |The President of the Republic congratulated Dr. Barham Salih on the arrival of the Nowruz holidays.

In a telegram of congratulations, according to a presidential statement, he called for resolving the outstanding issues between the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government, a fair and legal solution that preserves the rights of Iraqis, including the rights of citizens in the Kurdistan region, and the adoption of constitutional and legal contexts that leave no room for tampering with the rights of citizens.

He stressed that: There is no retreat from achieving the people’s demands to reform the system of government and curb the scourge of corruption by strengthening the state of institutions, and looking forward to building a capable and capable sovereign state, holding fair elections on schedule and protecting them from fraud and manipulation to restore confidence to the Iraqis in their constructive role and their vision for the next stage.

Today, with Iraqi enthusiasm, unity and patience, he said, we look forward to building a capable, capable and sovereign state, holding fair elections on schedule and protecting them from fraud and manipulation to restore confidence to the Iraqis in their constructive role and vision for the next stage, and that continuing efforts to combat extremist ideology and eradicate the roots of terrorism in our country is one of our priorities.

Saleh continued: Today, we do not back down in front of our people’s demands to reform the system of government and curb the scourge of corruption by strengthening the state of institutions, building competencies, encouraging youth talents and giving them opportunities to prove their worth in building and developing our country.

butterfly   He added, on this brilliant holiday, we remember with reverence and honor our martyrs from the security forces in the army, the police, the Peshmerga, the Popular Mobilization Forces and the tribal people, who drew with their pure blood the meanings of life in our country.

butterfly  https://ninanews.com/Website/News/Details?key=894570

After it was presented by Saeroun, Al-Halbousi refers the sovereign fund project to the government in preparation for its legislation

Sunday 21, March 2021 09:37 Parliament Speaker Muhammad al-Halbousi directed the transfer of the (Sovereign Fund) project, presented by the two representatives of the Saeron Alliance, Dr. Inaam Al-Khuzaie and Naji Al-Saeedi, to the Council of Ministers to express his opinion on the sovereign fund after the legal committee in Parliament confirmed that the project “meets the formal conditions in the constitution.” And the internal system of the House of Representatives and that the “reasons upon which the bill was based require its legislation.”

butterfly https://ninanews.com/Website/News/Details?key=894586

Al-Bajari: We called for the addition of an article within the budget to do justice to the graduates from Basra, Al-Faw sit-in, Al-Zubair, and the oil-producing districts

Sunday 21, March 2021 11:01 The representative of Basra Governorate, Zahra Al-Bajari, called for fairness to the graduates from Basra, with all their specializations, and the sit-in of Al-Faw, Al-Zubayr, and all the oil-producing districts.

Al-Bajari said in a press statement, “We collected a number of representatives’ signatures and announced that they would refrain from attending the voting session on the budget except after adding an article. ”

(The Ministry of Oil must employ all sit-ins for graduates of the Faculties of Engineering and Science and sit-in residents of the districts of Al-Faw and Al-Zubayr, and include the sons of the oil-producing districts in Basra, with a fixed share for their children, according to the need of oil companies to provide them with financial allocations, and the priority in employment will be exclusively for the people of Basra in order to implement justice and treat their oppressed children.

butterfly  https://ninanews.com/Website/News/Details?key=894588

Amer Al-Jawahiri to / Nina /: Reliance on high oil prices to cover budget expenses and its deficit … is a scary thing for the country’s future

Sunday 21, March 2021 11:19 The consultant in industrial development and investment, Amer Al-Jawahiri, considered relying on high oil prices to cover the budget expenses and its deficit .. a frightening matter for the country’s future.

He told the Iraqi National News Agency / NINA /: It is assumed that the annual planning budget is an integral part of the budgets of the years of the five-year plan, which should be in harmony with the subsequent annual plans to achieve the vision of Iraq 2030 and 2040.

Al-Jawahiri added that: Dependence and waiting for a rise in global oil prices and improved revenues to deal with budget expenditures, whether to enhance them or cover their deficits, is considered a non-curricular approach and that is a scary thing for the future of Iraq.

He pointed out that: The government should invest improved revenues to cover the deficit and prepare to start major economic projects, provided that they are seriously implemented and benefit from their outputs as soon as possible.

butterfly  https://ninanews.com/Website/News/Details?key=894622

Transportation is looking for a working mechanism to open a port (Arar – Jdeideh – Arar) for the passage of trucks

Sunday 21, March 2021 14:26 The Ministry of Transport chaired the Iraqi-Saudi coordination meeting (the Transport Committee, Border Crossings and Ports).

A statement by the Ministry of Transport, which the Iraqi National News Agency ( NINA ) received a copy of, stated that the Minister of Transport, Nasir Hussain Bandar Al-Shibli, discussed during his chairing the meeting of the Transport Committee, Border Ports and Ports, within the work of the Iraqi-Saudi Coordination Council, the working mechanism for the opening of the border crossing point (Arar – New – Arar) for the passage of trucks and cars, after Iraq received the entire implementation project with its installations and equipment from the Saudi side.

Al-Shibli stressed, “following up with the Border Ports Authority, the implementation of the automation of customs procedures in order to standardize the customs tariff in all Iraqi ports, and coordination with the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers on the Memorandum of Customs cooperation between the two countries in preparation for its entry into force.”

For its part, the Saudi side affirmed the Kingdom’s readiness to discuss the electronic linking process for the new and Arar outlets, upon completion of the automation of customs procedures at Arar port, in order for it to become ready for the process of linking with the automatic system of Saudi customs.

It was also agreed to form a technical team from the General Company for Maritime Transport, the General Company for Iraqi Ports, the General Authority for Ports and the Saudi Public Transport Authority to activate maritime transport between the ports of Umm Qasr and Saudi ports for passengers and goods.

butterfly  https://www.iraq-businessnews.com/2021/03/21/textron-awarded-12m-iraq-contract/

21st March 2021 US-based Textron Aviation Defense has been awarded a $12,548,081 firm-fixed-price modification (P00033) to contract FA8620-17-C-3011 for the Iraq Air Force Peace Dragon Program.

This modification adds the six months to Option Year Three of the multi-year basic contract. Work will be performed in Wichita, Kansas, and is expected to be completed March 31, 2021.

Total cumulative face value of the contract is $99,550,294.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

butterfly  https://www.shafaq.com/en/Economy/Exchange-markets-closed-in-Baghdad-and-Erbil

2021-03-21 02:46   Shafaq News/ The official exchange market in Baghdad shut down all transactions and trades with only one day left of the weekly total lockdown imposed on weekends.

Erbil markets are also on hold as all trades are halted during the official holidays in the region on the Kurdish new year, Newroz.

butterfly  https://www.shafaq.com/en/Iraq-News/Iraqi-ship-captured-by-Iranian-pirates-for-ransom

Iraqi ship captured by Iranian pirates for ransom

butterfly  2021-03-21 09:29  Shafaq News / MP of Basra Governorate, Kadhim Finjan revealed that an Iraqi ship had been looted and kidnapped by pirates near the Iranian coast.

Finjan, the former Minister of Transport, said in a statement that he had received documented appeals from the private ship’s owner (T-4) demanding to release his ship from the grip of the pirates who drove it to an unknown location.

He quoted the ship’s owner saying that his ship “ran aground along the Iranian coasts about seven miles north of Bushehr Port, and that the crew of the vessel (Sohan) stole his ship’s fuel, plundered its cargo and equipment, and demanded a ransom of 80,000 Us dollars.

The MP indicated that he will send an urgent appeal to request help from the MEMAC Mutual Aid Center for Maritime Emergencies, based in Bahrain, and address the Iraqi authorities concerned with bilateral relations with neighboring countries.

butterfly  https://www.shafaq.com/en/Iraq-News/Changing-the-dollar-s-rate-is-outside-the-jurisdiction-of-the-Parliament-MP-says

Changing the dollar’s rate is outside the jurisdiction of the Parliament, MP says 2021-03-21 08:27

Shafaq News/ A member of the Parliamentary Finance Committee said on Sunday that the Parliament does not have the powers to adjust the exchange rate of the Iraqi dinar in the budget, adding that it hampers the structure of the budget.

Committee member Ahmed al-Haj Rachid, “the exchange rate of the dollar in the budget cannot be changed. Any change will affect the structure of the budget and change its paragraphs and the provisions of the law.”

“Any change might cause a drop in the income and a rise in the expenditures, which further intensifies the deficit,” he stressed, “the Parliament doe not have the powers to alter the exchange rate.”

butterfly  https://www.shafaq.com/en/Kurdistan/U-S-ambassador-to-Iraq-reaffirms-the-United-States-partnership-with-Iraq

U.S. ambassador to Iraq reaffirms the United States partnership with Iraq 2021-03-20 13:08

Shafaq News / the U.S. ambassador to Iraq on Saturday congratulated the Kurdish people in the Kurdistan of Iraq on the Nowruz.

Matthew Toller said in a statement, “I offer my warmest greetings on Nowruz holidays to the people of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and to all Iraqis who celebrate it as we celebrate the first day of spring.”

“The United States reaffirms its partnership with Iraq and the Iraqi people….We remain committed to helping the Iraqi people as they continue to build a secure, stable and prosperous Iraq.” He added.

butterfly  https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2021/3/19/chinas-military-bans-tesla-cars-on-camera-sensor-spy-concerns  China military bans Tesla cars citing camera, sensor spy concerns

China, the world’s biggest market for electric vehicles, is key to Elon Musk’s global growth ambitions.

butterfly  https://ninanews.com/Website/News/Details?key=894657

Adnan Al-Faihan: The budget will be voted on Saturday, in the presence of the Kurds or not

Sunday 21, March 2021 17:13 The head of the Sadikoun bloc, Adnan Al-Faihan, confirmed: “The parliamentary blocs will go ahead with approving the 2021 budget next Saturday, whether or not the Kurdish blocs attend.

” Faihan said, “The Iraqi street and the future of the economic situation are awaiting approval of the budget, and that The vision of the political blocs and their representatives in the House of Representatives differs today from the previous one, so the Kurds ’decision to approve will be welcomed, and in the event that they insist on rejecting the budget, we will go ahead with its approval in order to revive the national economy.

” He added: “There are items that will be in the interest of Babylon, including Allocating an amount of $ 50 million on the Babylon Law, the historic capital of Iraq, and annexing the province to the petrodollar fund as long as the oil price is higher than $ 45 per barrel.

butterfly https://ninanews.com/Website/News/Details?key=894664

Al-Araji to the Korean Ambassador: Iraq is witnessing security stability, encouraging the entry of international investment companies

Sunday 21, March 2021 17:28   National Security Adviser Qassem Al-Araji confirmed that Iraq is witnessing security stability that encourages the entry of international investment companies.

The chancellor said in a statement that the Iraqi National News Agency ( NINA ) received a copy of it: “Al-Araji met in his office today, Sunday, South Korean Ambassador in Baghdad Jang Kyung-wook, and the meeting discussed strengthening and developing relations between the two countries, and South Korea’s support and cooperation in the field of city reconstruction Sinjar. ”

Al-Araji assured the Korean ambassador that Iraq welcomes every international effort to rebuild the liberated cities, noting: “Iraq is witnessing security stability that encourages the entry of international investment companies,” indicating: “The Iraqi government is ready to coordinate with friendly countries operating in Iraq, and to provide protection.” Security needed for companies operating in the country. ”

For his part, the Korean ambassador affirmed that his country is always ready to provide support and assistance to Iraq in all fields.

butterfly  https://shafaq.com/en/Iraq-News/Differences-between-Shiite-and-Sunni-blocs-halt-the-budget-approval-MP-says

Differences between Shiite and Sunni blocs halt the budget approval, MP says 2021-03-21 04:50

Shafaq News/ MP of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Harim Agha, said that only Shiite-Shiite and Shiite-Sunni differences are halting the approval of the 2021 federal budget.

Agha said in a statement to Shafaq News Agency, “if the Shiite blocs agreed among themselves and the Sunni blocs, they would have passed the bill apart from the Kurdish position. However, wide differences halted the approval of the bill.”

The Shiite-Shiite differences revolve around the exchange rate of the Iraqi dinar and the share of the governorates, among other issues. On the other side, the Shiite-Sunni differences are upon the development projects, financial allocations, and transactions in the western governorates.

Agha deemed the demands of some blocs as off the charts in the current situation, reiterating that the Kurdish blocs agreed with the Shiite blocs on passing the bill, but the agreement was not put into action in the session.

The Iraqi Parliament adjourned the session dedicated to voting on the 2021 budget bill until next week due to the profound discrepancies upon the region’s share.

Shiite blocs refused the agreement reached between the Regional and the Federal governments, stipulating that Erbil delivers 250,000 barrels a day in exchange for 12.6% of the Federal Budget’s allocations.

butterfly  https://www.jns.org/opinion/jews-vanish-from-iraq-but-still-have-no-closure/

Jews vanish from Iraq, but still have no closure

The recent death of the “last Jewish doctor” in Iraq highlights the near-extinction of the oldest Jewish Diaspora in the world.

butterfly (March 21, 2021 / JNS) The oldest Jewish Diaspora in the world, that of Iraq, edged closer to extinction on March 15, with the death of 61-year-old Dhafer Fouad Eliyahu—an orthopedic surgeon at al-Wasiti Hospital in Baghdad.

A plethora of tributes to the “last Jewish doctor” appeared on Iraqi social media upon the announcement that Eliyahu had passed away after suffering a stroke.

Known as the “healer of the poor,” he ran a private clinic, but treated those who could not afford medical care for free. His mother was among the first female doctors in Iraq. She had her own private clinic in Baghdad in the 1950s. In spite of intensifying persecution, her family stayed behind. Eliahu, too, stayed on to serve his Iraqi compatriots when “tens of thousands” had left. He had sacrificed his personal life to remain in a country where there were no Jewish girls left to marry.

Before their mass exodus in 1950-51, Jews contributed beyond their numbers to modernity in 20th century Iraq. Jews comprised a 40 percent of the medical profession. When the Royal Medical College opened in 1927, seven out of 21 students were Jews. In 1932, only 12 graduated of these graduated, but all seven Jews stayed the course.

butterfly  One of the most eminent graduates was Dr. Jack Aboudi Shabi, who specialized in neurology and psychiatry. Shabi practiced in his first-floor clinic in Baghdad. So identified with mental illness was he that the expression “send him to the first floor” became a byword for “this person is crazy.”

Another Jewish doctor known for his compassion and loyalty to his patients was Dr. David Gabbay from the city of Amara. In spite of his popularity and good works, Gabbay was jailed and tortured by dictator Saddam Hussein in 1969. Eventually, he fled Iraq on foot and resettled in London.

Eliyahu’s death leaves just three Jews still living in Iraq. With his passing, a question mark hangs over the issue of who will manage the community’s assets and maintain cemeteries and synagogues. Jewish affairs were administered by Marcelle Azra, who died in her 90s this past September.

The origins of the community go back to the Babylonian exile following the destruction of the first Temple in Jerusalem in 586 BCE. Rabbis at the pre-Islamic academies of Sura and Pumbedita wrote the Babylonian Talmud, the most authoritative source of Jewish law.

In 1948, the community numbered 150,000 Jews and a quarter of the population of Baghdad was Jewish. They were seen as a fifth column after the establishment of Israel and suffered extortion, execution and a series of discriminatory laws.

The vast majority fled to Israel in 1950-1. They were stripped of their Iraqi citizenship and much of their property was frozen without compensation.

Butterfly  The most recent bone of contention has been the so-called Iraqi-Jewish archive. The U.S. administration has pledged to return to Baghdad this random collection of Jewish books, correspondence and school reports, which was seized from the community by the Iraqi regime, but shipped in 2003 to the United States for restoration.

Iraqi Jews have been fighting to keep this last vestige of their former lives, arguing that their memorabilia are of no interest or value to the rest of the Iraqi people.

While Iraqis themselves are increasingly acknowledging the selfless loyalty of Jews like Eliyahu, the return of the archive to Iraq would rub salt in the wound, adding yet another injustice to a very long list.

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