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Egypt has been relatively successful in combating Covid-19 pandemic: Ambassador Dr Heba Elmarassi

Megha Sharma

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Egypt’s Ambassador to India Dr Heba Elmarassi recently joined NewsX for a conversation where she spoke about how Egypt is containing Covid-19 spread, the steps taken by the country to safeguard its border and its relations with the friendly nations and other issues.

In the wake of three aircrafts that have arrived in India from Egypt under the able mentorship of President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi and there have been hordes of supply when it comes to the remdesivir vials, medical supplies, and equipment from Egypt. They all have been brought to India by Egypt in its dire need.

Ambassador Elmarassi said, “I would also like to express my solidarity with India in these difficult times. We are standing by our friends in India whenever we can. The two countries have good friendly strategic relations and the people of Egypt are with the people of India. India has always stood by the whole world. So, it’s time for us to help India in this crisis.”

EXCERPTS:

Q. What kind of measures is Egypt taking to contain the virus? How is the vaccination drive coming along? What is the new way forward for global procurement of vaccination through an open supply chain as has been appealed by Minister of External affairs S. Jaishankar to different nations? How is Egypt taking this initiative forward?

All the countries of the world are seeking to have their people vaccinated as soon as possible and Egypt is no different. We have been doing our best since day one to vaccinate our people. Egyptian people are being vaccinated by different vaccines including Astrazeneca and Sputnik V. We are also having cooperation agreements with China and Russia. Egypt has been relatively successful in combating this pandemic. Fortunately, our numbers have been low and we are taking a lot of precautions to avoid having increased Covid-19 cases in Egypt.

Q. The first tranche of medical supplies have arrived in India. Is the President sending more tranches to India? Are there any funds allocation that has already been satiated for the same?

The recent consignment was quite big. It was brought to India by three cargo planes and consisted of oxygen cylinders, concentrators, diluters, ECGs, patient beds, and syringe pumps. Whether there will be another consignment or not, we will know it shortly but rest assured that Egypt will be standing by India. Whatever it needs, we will do our best to bring it to India.

Q. In the wake of the short supply of vaccines that India is currently facing, do you think there could be any agreement between Egypt and India for the import of vaccines coming in from Cairo?

The vaccine has not been produced in Cairo. We have signed an agreement and it will start by the end of 2021. So, it’s too early to talk about exchanging produced vaccines in Egypt but we will be ready to help whenever we can.

Q. The Egyptian armed forces have been integral to the logistical plan in transferring medical requirements. Under the leadership of President al-Sisi, it has been the same for India as well as the country’s armed forces have been at the helm of affairs when it comes to international logistics to procure these supplies. Is there integrated cooperation that can be witnessed between the armed forces of India and Egypt, for a further ball string of strategic ties between them, especially with the Covid heralding the position of cooperation between the two nations?

In the time of crisis, military forces are always part of handling any crisis. This is everywhere. In Egypt especially, it is having an integral role in trying to combat this pandemic and this role is crucial in a national committee formed for this objective. It is under the auspices of the President that forces are helping the Egyptian people against this pandemic. Yes, there is a cooperation between Egyptian and Indian armed forces on different domains.

Q. Talking about the geopolitical scenario Egypt finds itself in, in the eastern Mediterranean region, with Turkey been going ahead and giving advances in the wake of 2020 where the ties between Turkey and Egypt have been straining. Also in the wake of the developments in the eastern Mediterranean and the upheaval in Libya, how does Egypt see India as a strong ally?

Egyptian and Indian relations have always been very strong. Egypt and India are two big regional countries and the cooperation between them will always be positive and productive in whatever situation.

Q. Taking into consideration what happened in 2020 in the eastern Mediterranean especially around the red sea where there has been advancement made by Turkey Ships, the battleships trying to demarket the maritime relations that are special economic zones for Egypt as well as for Greece, in the wake of this a strong friendship has developed between the Government of Egypt and Government of India. How is the Egyptian government going ahead in tackling the situation?

Egypt is doing its best to protect its interest and to protect its interests and we are having contact with everyone in the region to have our country safe. We are having talks with everybody, we are cooperating with everybody. So, no doubt Egypt is doing its best and is cooperating with everybody including India to have regional peace.

Q. There have been lots of talks from strategic experts and political pundits when Egypt bought those 30 Rafael, is that a deterrent to politics faced by Egypt and neighbouring nations since 2020 especially?

Egypt is a big country and it is always purchasing planes and arms. So big countries always have strategic decisions for their country and this is no different for Egypt. This is something that goes without saying.

Q. There has been a change in the dynamics in the Middle Eastern region: a shift in US diplomacy when it comes to Iran nuclear deal, an embargo which had been put on Qatar which was led by Saudi Arabia and that has all but diminished with lots of pacts signed between the UAE and Qatar and several other countries. There has been a coalition government that has been formed in Libya after the skirmishes that have been exchanged the military involvement of Turkey in this entire scene from 2020 to now. Any scope of peace prospects when Egypt has gone ahead and showed its stand for global peace especially in these particular regions, what are the strategic steps Egypt is going to take to safeguard its border and its relations with the friendly nations?

Egypt has always been helping countries to have political solutions to all the problems. We support the government of Libya. We support any political solution signed by the Libyan people and we always have our support in political peace in the region.

Q. In wake of the new world order, a multilateral one in a post-Covid era, a lot of multilateral connections have been formed, the recent being the connectivity partnership between the European Union and India just been signed on 8 May. There have been assumptions of talks of free trade and if you take a look at QUAD which is, Quadrilateral amongst the nations of United States, Australia, Japan and India, they are all focal point on the Indo- pacific region and the Indian ocean region. Is there any bilateral ties highlighting bolstered relations between India and Egypt, keeping in mind the politically strategic and geopolitical alliances at this time eyeing the Indian Ocean region?

Egypt is having a very good relation with India. This bilateral relation includes a lot of fields. And Egypt is having good relationships with all the other countries of the region. The formation of a certain alliance needs a lot of discussion and evaluation but we have good relations with India and all the countries of the region.

Q. Any last message that you wish to send to India to strengthen the bilateral ties between India and Egypt. This pandemic has taken over all the world. What is the thought process and agenda that can be put forth for the second wave in India and the third possible wave as predicted by the experts?

The whole world is passing through a difficult time for a year and a half now. India and Egypt are not different from the whole world and they are all cooperating to fight the pandemic. India has always been an inspiration for the world with its civilisation and its diversity. So we are all sure that India will pass this crisis. We are standing by each other and as they say, Nobody is safe till everybody is safe.

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SPORTS AL DENTE TO DISTRIBUTE FREE JERSEYS

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Sports Al Dente is a rapidly growing sports news and updates website that attracts over a million site visits each month. The website’s impressive numbers are in large part due to the credibility it champions in its coverage. Sports Al Dente boasts about its exclusive content curated by dedicated sports enthusiasts and analysts.

From post-game discussions to analysis and exhaustive match reports, the website has witnessed significant growth in terms of the type of content it publishes each day. Along with providing sports fans all around the world with reliable and unbiased news, the website has now decided to venture out of cyberspace and cater to the underprivileged and masses deprived of proper sports and games facilities. In a partnership with its sister company OtakuRage, Sports Al Dente is now seeking to distribute free jerseys to the underprivileged of society. The initiative by Al Dente comes after the company decided to expand its reach to other parts of India and beyond. Based in Surat, the website has been catering to masses all over the world. The overarching mission of Al Dente has been to popularise sports and games in general. While the Indian sports scene does have a large number of athletes and enthusiasts with a keen interest in various sports, the fledgling facilities and general lack of awareness have been a massive roadblock. Sports Al Dente’s latest partnership with OtakuRage is the company’s efforts at combating the prevailing issues with the Indian sports scene.

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CANHEAL TO OFFER A WIDE RANGE OF TEAS FOR CANCER FIGHTERS

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CanHeal, a one-of-its-kind platform and e-commerce portal for all the life needs of cancer fighters and winners, on wednesday added a wide range of Darjeeling, Green and Herbal teas having health benefits for cancer fighters.

CanHeal has tied up with Darjeeling Sips to offer a large variety of tea sourced directly from tea estates in Darjeeling and the surrounding areas. CanHeal has also added to its portfolio of accessories a range of Chemo Pillows and custom-designed Chemo Bag. Explaining the additions to a wide range of products already available on the CanHeal portal, Anchal Sharma, Founder of CanHeal said, “CanHeal launched its e-commerce and community portal couple of months ago intending with an objective to offer all those products that cancer fighters and winners require to live their life with verve. During my fight against cancer, I came to know of the health benefits of tea in addition to its taste as I was always a fan of Darjeeling Sips sourced directly from tea estates that grow and brew a variety of tea in a socially responsible and planet-friendly way, hence the best fit for cancer fighters.”

“We have also added some smart products to our range of accessories – chemo bag that has been custom designed to hold all that is required during the day-long chemo sessions and pillows that include seat belt pillows, port pillow, armpit pillow and all-in-one comfort pillow to meet the cushioning needs arising due to cancer of different parts of the body. CanHeal is committed to continue adding new products to meet all the needs of cancer fighters at one source.”

CanHeal is in discussion with multiple brands to further expand the range of specially curated products for cancer fighters and winners.CanHeal is a one-of-its-kind Indian e-platform exclusively designed to serve the life needs of Cancer fighters and winners. CanHeal offers a range of Skincare, Body care & Haircare products, Apparel, Food & Nutrition Supplements to enhance immunity and regain strength and Accessories designed specifically for the comfort of patients undergoing treatment and cancer winners having special needs. This product range has been curated by Anchal Sharma.

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Top five upcoming developers changing the skyline of Delhi NCR

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MRG World (Gurugram), Whiteland Corporation (Gurugram), Maasters Infra (Noida), SKA Group (Noida), and Axon Developers emerged as the ‘Top Five Emerging Developers of NCR’ in the list announced by a Delhi-based research firm.

The survey was conducted by International Brand & Research Forum (IBRF) across the region with a special focus on projects launched, projects delivered, and progress of the projects as per RERA; IBRF researched the quality and feedback index on various parameters to come up with the result. The prime focus was on the developers operating in Noida and Gurugram market. Maasters Infra Group, instituted by seasoned professionals and under the patronage of five-decade-old infra company K. R. A. Engineers & Contractors, announced their first commercial project Maasters Capitol Avenue spread over 5 acres in Sector 63, Noida. The project will have office space and retail; the project’s total area would be 10,00,000 sq. ft. to be completed in 42 to 45 months. The company says that the total sales realisation from the project is between Rs. 800 crore to Rs. 1,000 crore. The Group is also coming up with a residential project and one IT project.

Whiteland Corporation, a real estate development company founded by industry stalwart, Mr. Navdeep JP Sardana unveiled the first look of their maiden commercial project Urban Cubes 71 recently in Gurugram. Some of the brands signed, include Striker, Beer Cafe, Nostalgia, Houz Cafe & Bar. The project on Golf Course Road extension, Sector 71, Gurugram, is on a land parcel of about 3 acres acquired from DLF. Urban Cubes 71 is an approved SCO (Shop-cum-Office) development with a total of 34 state-of-art buildings with maximum development facing the main road making it highly attractive. The project is slated to be delivered by October 2022 with a total salable area of 4.5 lac sq. ft. and a projected sales value of Rs. 500 crore.

Realty firm Axon Developers, which has been newly set up by promoters of brokerage firm 360 Realtors, has recently taken over two stressed real estate projects in Delhi-NCR and will invest over Rs. 300 crore to complete them. The company has entered into a development agreement to complete Keltech Kumar Imperial Green project, comprising 350 flats at Noida extension in Uttar Pradesh. It has fully acquired a retail project ‘Manish Gallexie 91’, having 3.5 lakh square feet saleable area, in Gurugram from Manish Buildwell. The company expects a sales realisation of around Rs. 650 crore from these two projects, of which Rs. 500 crores will come from retail projects. Axon Developers is looking at acquiring more projects in Delhi, Noida, Gurugram and Lucknow, both through greenfield and brownfield routes.

SKA GROUP was formed with a view to construct group housing society in Greater Noida-West. SKA Group was started in the year 2012. Recently, the Group announced its luxury residential project, SKA Orion in Sector-143, Noida. Spread over 3.5 acres, the cost of the project is Rs. 400 crore out of which Rs. 300 crore is the cost of construction and Rs. 100 crore is the land cost. The Group is looking at total sales realisation of approximately Rs. 450 crore. To be developed in single-phase, the project has 508 units of 3 BHK configuration; the company has launched 380 units of the total stock and will complete the project by 2026. All projects are completed before time. Presently, five projects are in progress and all projects are ahead of their schedule.

Catering to the affordable housing segment, MRG World has ensured that they live up to the expectations of the middle class to move into their abodes as soon as possible. The directors – Rajat Goel and Vikas Garg – set up the company with a motive to cater to the segment that has the maximum demand. MRG World ensured that they deliver projects before the promised deadline.

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Former Trump lawyer to auction NFT of memoirs written in prison

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Michael Cohen, former lawyer and “fixer” of erstwhile United States President Donald Trump will display and auction a non-fungible token of the first page of his memoirs written while serving his prison term, NFT platform and curated marketplace ArtGrails announced on Wednesday.

The ArtGrails NFT exhibition will run from December 1 through December 12.

The successful bidder will receive the original manuscript, which was handwritten by Cohen while serving the first days of his federal sentence in New York’s Otisville Prison, as well as an NFT-backed video of Cohen working on the memoir’s first pages from his holding cell. The video, recorded by an unnamed colleague, was filmed just before the former Trump attorney was sent back to his luxury Park Avenue apartment to serve the rest of his term.

Bidding will begin on December 1 at 5 PM Eastern Time and will go on till December 12, 5 PM Eastern Time. In addition to the manuscript, ArtGrails is releasing a set of fixed price Cohen’s prison badges in an NFT Edition release on December 12 at 4 PM Eastern Time, which will feature three different levels of rarity – Open, Gold and Grail.

ArtGrails is a curated NFT experience, and as such, we are working with some of the highest caliber creators and artists in the market today.” Says ArtGrails.com founder, Avery Andon. “When Michael [Cohen] came to me after deciding to release his manuscript and federal prison badge, I knew this had to be a project facilitated by our platform. Integrating an NFT into the release of this one-of-a-kind physical item, not only validates them using blockchain technology, but it also gave us the ability to incorporate some creativity into the release.”

In addition to the NFT-backed physical manuscript page, written on Cohen’s personal letterhead, and his actual Prison Badge from Otisville Federal Prison, the team at ArtGrails is making available limited release NFT versions of Cohen’s Otisville Federal Prison badge. These NFTs will be released in three different levels of rarity, “open”, “gold”, and “grail”.

ArtGrails will host a VIP party and Q&A media event in Miami’s design district on Friday, December 3, the event will feature a live video appearance by Michael Cohen who will read from his manuscript and also take limited questions from the event attendees and media.

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EVERY TIME YOU OPEN A CHILEAN PRODUCT YOU ARE ‘UNBOXING CHILE’

The main objective of Unboxing Chile is to offer India a box full of diverse experiences, opening which will trigger the senses of Indian consumers into experiencing the culture, scenic beauties, colours, and aromas.

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The India office of ProChile, the agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile, which promotes the export of Chilean goods and services and whose role is to boost the commercial relationship between Chile and India hosted a one-of-a-kind event titled ‘Unboxing Chile’ on 26 November 2021.

Ambassador of Chile to India, H.E. Juan Angulo with Ms. Marcela Alejandra Zuñiga Alegria, Trade Commissioner of ProChile




The Chilean products showcased at the event were fresh produce like kiwi fruit, cherries, blueberries, and apples and dry fruit like walnuts.
The event that was hosted at Hotel Leela in Gurugram saw the participation of leading Indian food, travel, and lifestyle writers, influencers, and enthusiasts.
The main objective of Unboxing Chile is to offer India a box full of diverse experiences

The main objective of Unboxing Chile is to offer India a box full of diverse experiences, opening which, will trigger the senses of Indian consumers into experiencing the culture, scenic beauties, colors, and aromas. In turn, they get to feel the spirit of Chile, its warmth, all the beautiful places that Chile can show, and the identity of the Chilean people stamped in their products.

The event that was hosted at Hotel Leela in Gurugram saw the participation of leading Indian food, travel and lifestyle writers, influencers and enthusiasts.

Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador of Chile to India, H.E. Juan Angulo, remarked that “Chile and India share a tremendous relationship that is based on shared values. Economic partnership between the two countries continues to grow and food is a very important part of this. Indians are slowly getting a taste of Chilean foods and are beginning to appreciate the quality that Chilean produce brings. Chile is bestowed with a unique topography to make Chile a phytosanitary island. This is a primary reason for the high quality of produce that comes from there.”

Marcela Alejandra Zuñiga Alegria, Trade Commissioner of ProChile in India said that the goal of ProChile is to bring Chile closer to India and improve the visibility of Chile, as a country, supplier and partner. ProChile is a nonprofit entity, whose main objective is to improve bilateral trade between both countries. Unboxing Chile is an international campaign that comes alive tonight in India and provides an incredible opportunity to know and connect with Chile, its flavors and its people.

The Chilean products showcased at the event were fresh produce like kiwifruit, cherries, blueberries and apples and dry fruit like Walnuts. Chilean wines were also showcased. Unboxing Chile also exhibited tourism possibilities in Chile. The evening was thoroughly enjoyed by those present and the Chefs at Leela under the leadership of their Executive Chef Ashish Bhasin put out an extensive menu featuring Chilean fruits and dry fruits.

This truly was an opportunity to get to know Chile and its wonderful bounty. Unboxing Chile stimulates one’s senses and through this experience, created memories that will not let those who attended forget the magical goodness of Chile. This was Unboxing Chile. As it was said, “Every time you open a Chilean Product you are #Unboxing Chile.”

Chilean ambassador Juan Angulo said, “Economic partnership between the two countries continues to grow and food is a very important part of this.”

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You end up saying things in writers room that come out only during therapy: Garima Pura

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Garima Pura

Writer Garima Pura joined NewsX for a candid chat as part of NewsX India A-List. In the exclusive conversation, Garima, who is the co-writer of the Netflix show ‘Little things’ opened up about her journey of working as a screenwriter.

Garima started off by giving us insights about her fellow writers and sharing her experience of being the writer of a prominent show like ‘little things’ she said, “ The first and second season were written by Dhruv Sehgal, he is the original writer. When Netflix picked it up for the third season is when they asked for a diversity in the writers teams. Writers room experience per say was all heart. You end up saying things that come out only during therapy. Writing is a fairly personal experience. There is craft and technique but mostly there is experiences and emotions. So all the writers have to become friends and get to know each other well. You just put all those experiences in the mix on the table and then pick what is good for the show. She went to say that, ‘’This is not purely experience based, there’s fiction too

Talking more about her writers room experience and how she bagged the project, Garima shared, “Little things writers rooms was first few in the country. This concept is seen an advent with the advent of OTTs. At that time, I was already floating my work with the production houses to see if I get something or not. I was presenting and asking to be given an opportunity. That is when ‘Little things’ team went through my profile. We had to write sample scripts and a solid screening process post which we were picked. Then we found ourselves in a little writers room where we met day and day out.

Sharing about the overwhelming response from the audience on the third season of the show, Garima expressed, “There are so many talented people out there who deserve their writing to be showcased. Being in this position, I feel so honored and privileged that I got an opportunity so early in my carrier to contribute to an already solid show. I feel great and humble at the same time and it also inspires me to do better work and tell stories which are honest and people feel close to.”

When asked about her previous work experiences, the writer said, “ I have made documentaries in the past and I’ve been different types of writer at different stages. Till the time I was in studying in Chandigarh, filmmaking was no where in the horizon, I just wanted to be a writer. I had published poems and stories and enrolled in a media course to become a journalist. So there I felt like film making is a good vessel to share my experiences and be heard.”

For our final question, we asked Garima about her upcoming projects, to which she revealed, “ Right now I am doing dialogues for an 8 episode web show. I am extremely excited for this because it’s North Indian dialogues as I have a good command over this lingo. Next, I am working with Audible and a couple of short films here and there. I wrote a feature documentary “Sacred bond” which is about an orphan elephant who is being taken care of by human parents”.

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