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Tragic Wildfire In Greece: In Search Of Missing Families After 79 People Confirmed Dead

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Tragic Wildfire

What is happening in eastern Attica is a black hell. Have you heard about the tragedy of the wildfire spreading in Athens, Greece? If not, carry not reading.

Firstly, wildfire is basically a large, destructive fire that spreads quickly over woodland or brush. However, this fire season has become is the deadliest in decades.

Fire swept through the village 40km (25 miles) north-east of Athens on Monday and was still burning in some areas on Tuesday.

Fires are a recurring problem during the hot, dry summer months in Attica.

Officials quoted by AFP news agency have suggested the current blazes may have been started by arsonists looking to loot abandoned homes.

“Fifteen fires had started simultaneously on three different fronts in Athens,” said government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos.

As wind-fueled wildfires that killed at least 79 people in vacation areas outside Athens bore down on their seaside resort, 26 men, women and children gathered in the hope that they could find the narrow path leading to a small staircase down to the water.

The gated entrance stood only a dozen paces away, but with smoke blotting their vision and choking their lungs, they appear to have lost their way. Officials found their bodies the next day, Tuesday; several were still clinging to one another.

Greek authorities are looking for dozens of people missing after the deadly and catastrophic wildfires near Athens. After At least 79 people have died, and a search continues for survivors who fled the blaze, including those who took to the sea. More than 170 others have been hospitalized with burns and other injuries.

Furthermore, the blaze struck like a flamethrower, causing both smoke inhalation and skin burns. Coastal patrol boats and private vessels picked up hundreds of those who did manage to reach harbours or beaches.

Flames fanned by strong winds devastated the seaside village of Mati, devouring homes and cars. The coastguard said it and other ships rescued almost 700 people who had fled to the coast, and pulled 19 survivors and four bodies from the sea.

Desperate families in need were trying their hardest to reach the safety of the sea were trapped by walls of smoke and flame. They just couldn’t make it. Others died in buildings or cars.

The blaze has created such thick smoke that the main highways between the Peloponnese and the Greek mainland have been shut down and an orange haze has descended on Athens.

The first fire broke out in a pine forest near the seaside settlement of Kineta 50km west of Athens between the capital and Corinth. At least 150 firefighters were on the scene while five water-dropping planes and seven helicopters helped to fight the blaze from the air.

According to BBC.UK, after the 26 bodies were found in an open space, Nikos Economopoulos, head of Greece’s Red Cross, said: “They had tried to find an escape route but unfortunately these people and their kids didn’t make it in time. Instinctively, seeing the end nearing, they embraced.”

Mati is located in the Rafina region which is popular with local tourists, especially pensioners and children attending holiday camps. Rescuers there found the bodies of 26 adults and children, who had apparently hugged each other as they died, trapped just metres from the sea. It is devastating and heartbreaking how these people couldn’t make it.

High winds spread the fire, trapping many in homes and vehicles and forcing others into the water as they tried to escape the flames.

One of the survivors claimed that the village has disappeared which more than 1,000 buildings had been destroyed or damaged!

Hundreds of firefighters have been battling the blazes and the authorities are seeking international assistance. A fire brigade official confirmed the latest death toll.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has declared three days of national mourning.

Prime Minister Tsipras has declared a state of emergency in Attica, saying all emergency services had been mobilised.

According to the BBC.UK, a spokesperson for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Georgia Trismpioti, told the BBC some people had lost everything, “The death toll rises every hour, many people lost their loved ones, many people lost their houses, lost everything, and they will need long-term support in order to recover.”

We, the What’s Up Cairo Team, wish all those survivors a speedy recovery and all those families mourning for losing their beloved ones to stay strong and we’re all here for you!

Nadia Haitham, who is a sixteen year old teenager, fantasizes and creates images in people’s minds using written words. She has always admired the idea of writing ever since she was a little girl with piggy tails and somehow, she’s chasing her dream! Nadia is currently an IGCSE student in The Continental School Of Cairo and she’s in the eleventh grade. They say Nadia is too young but she asks repeatedly, “if I don’t start now, then when?!” She blows her candles on the fifteenth of July, her zodiac sign is Cancer and she’s Egyptian. In 2015, she has written her first completed book that’s called, “Love Of A Teenage Girl” which is published on a writing website called, Wattpad. She has won several awards for the book which she’s planning to publish in the future. Nadia has also written a few other books and created quotes of her own but she hasn’t completed them yet but she’s planning to. She’s into music and learning something new every single day using the help of the social media world. She believes that writing is an underestimated art, it’s exactly like painting colorful images in people’s minds by using words of black and white.

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Food

Saudi female baristas break taboos and gain respect

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JEDDAH: Saudi female baristas in cafés in most larger cities in the Kingdom say they have enjoyed widespread support from the people they come into contact with at work.

Arab News has been talking to some of them about their experiences.
Taibah Ibrahim Al-Ruhaili, a barista in her early twenties, joined Joffrey’s café in Jeddah 15 months ago after applying for barista jobs in many coffee shops.

She said her dream to be a barista finally came true thanks to her passion for coffee.
“I am a coffee enthusiast, and I would love to learn more about the secrets of making good coffee,” she said.

The biggest challenge she faced was work pressure and customer connection. However, she said she managed to overcome all the obstacles.

Remembering her first day, Al-Ruhaili said: “The team members who were working with me were very cooperative and I quickly learned the skills baristas need in their work. This made me come every day with more eagerness and readiness to learn something new,” she added.

Al-Ruhaili said that she learned how to both satisfy her customers with cups of coffee that hit the spot and shoulder responsibilities and bear work pressure.
“I learned self-discipline and commitment. I also learned how important work achievements are. In fact, I have learned many things that I was not aware of before.”

This was not accepted in the past, but with time people have become more civilized, and it has become normal to see women working everywhere. Some of my male customers proudly introduce their families to me. These families are now my frequent customers.

Entasar Hubail, a barista from the Eastern Province, joined Starbucks in 2019 and has since been promoted from barista to shift supervisor and now to assistant store manager.
Hubail said she loves coffee and had volunteered in coffee exhibitions and even bought a coffee machine for her brother, although she is the one who ended up using it.

“I still remember when I bought my first coffee bean bag from Starbucks and made coffee from it. I enrolled in coffee roasting courses and learned new techniques,” she said.
She is also a chocolatier and is into pastry-making. The time came when she had to decide whether to pursue cooking or join a coffee company. She chose the latter and ended up in Starbucks.
Speaking about what attracted her to this job, she said that when she applied, she was surprised to have been accepted for the job, which she thought showed the company’s focus on promoting gender diversity and attracting local talent.

When she started, Hubail had mixed feelings of surprise, happiness and fear. “I was afraid because I was a very shy person and suddenly I was going to have colleagues and customers to deal with. I, in fact, wanted to take this job opportunity to overcome my inhibitions and focus on understanding more about the coffee industry and building a future at this big company.
Like Al-Ruhaili, Hubail’s biggest challenge was dealing with customers; it was her first time communicating with strangers. She said that with time and practice she was able to overcome her fears.
“The first day I went to work was a truly frightening experience. It was something like my first day at school. I even wanted my mom and sister to go to work with me. Thankfully, I was able to get over my fears by pushing myself more and more,” she said.

  • Passionate coffee makers have found full support from the coffee companies, their male coworkers and customers

JEDDAH: Saudi female baristas in cafés in most larger cities in the Kingdom say they have enjoyed widespread support from the people they come into contact with at work.

Arab News has been talking to some of them about their experiences.
Taibah Ibrahim Al-Ruhaili, a barista in her early twenties, joined Joffrey’s café in Jeddah 15 months ago after applying for barista jobs in many coffee shops.

She said her dream to be a barista finally came true thanks to her passion for coffee.
“I am a coffee enthusiast, and I would love to learn more about the secrets of making good coffee,” she said.

The biggest challenge she faced was work pressure and customer connection. However, she said she managed to overcome all the obstacles.

Remembering her first day, Al-Ruhaili said: “The team members who were working with me were very cooperative and I quickly learned the skills baristas need in their work. This made me come every day with more eagerness and readiness to learn something new,” she added.

Al-Ruhaili said that she learned how to both satisfy her customers with cups of coffee that hit the spot and shoulder responsibilities and bear work pressure.
“I learned self-discipline and commitment. I also learned how important work achievements are. In fact, I have learned many things that I was not aware of before.”

This was not accepted in the past, but with time people have become more civilized, and it has become normal to see women working everywhere. Some of my male customers proudly introduce their families to me. These families are now my frequent customers.

Faten Bahussein, Barista

Entasar Hubail, a barista from the Eastern Province, joined Starbucks in 2019 and has since been promoted from barista to shift supervisor and now to assistant store manager.
Hubail said she loves coffee and had volunteered in coffee exhibitions and even bought a coffee machine for her brother, although she is the one who ended up using it.

“I still remember when I bought my first coffee bean bag from Starbucks and made coffee from it. I enrolled in coffee roasting courses and learned new techniques,” she said.
She is also a chocolatier and is into pastry-making. The time came when she had to decide whether to pursue cooking or join a coffee company. She chose the latter and ended up in Starbucks.
Speaking about what attracted her to this job, she said that when she applied, she was surprised to have been accepted for the job, which she thought showed the company’s focus on promoting gender diversity and attracting local talent.

Entasar Hubail, a barista from the Eastern Province, joined Starbucks in 2019 and has since been promoted from barista to shift supervisor and now to assistant store manager.

When she started, Hubail had mixed feelings of surprise, happiness and fear. “I was afraid because I was a very shy person and suddenly I was going to have colleagues and customers to deal with. I, in fact, wanted to take this job opportunity to overcome my inhibitions and focus on understanding more about the coffee industry and building a future at this big company.
Like Al-Ruhaili, Hubail’s biggest challenge was dealing with customers; it was her first time communicating with strangers. She said that with time and practice she was able to overcome her fears.
“The first day I went to work was a truly frightening experience. It was something like my first day at school. I even wanted my mom and sister to go to work with me. Thankfully, I was able to get over my fears by pushing myself more and more,” she said.

Faten Bahussein, a university graduate of Islamic studies, is also a coffee aficionado whose mornings begin with a cup at home before she goes to Chocochino café, where she works.
“I had an old coffee-making machine, and I practiced making coffee during the curfew period. This has helped me to become good at it, and that reflected positively on my current career,” Bahussein said.
After nearly four years working as a barista, Bahussein said that she has noticed how people look much happier when they see a Saudi girl working in a restaurant.
“This was not accepted in the past, but with time people have become more civilized, and it has become normal to see women working everywhere. Some of my male customers proudly introduce their families to me. These families are now my frequent customers,” she said.

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Environment Ministry launches mobile clinic to detect honeybee diseases

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MAKKAH: A state-of-the-art mobile clinic to detect honeybee diseases has been launched in a Saudi city.
Unveiled in Madinah, the Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture’s first specialist center is equipped with the latest laboratory equipment and scientific devices.
Abdullah Al-Subaie, head of the ministry’s apiaries and honey production department, told Arab News: “The mobile clinic aims to provide quick and effective services to beekeepers at their location.

“Beekeeping specialists and technicians accompanying the mobile clinic will be inspecting apiaries, collecting samples, and examining and diagnosing the causes of diseases. They will also educate beekeepers on looking out for various disease symptoms by conducting guidance programs and qualitative campaigns,” he said.
He pointed out that when bees grew weak due to undernutrition and stress, they became vulnerable to diseases and pests, most notably parasitic varroa mites and the fungus nosema apis.
Varroa mites can reduce the number of hatching bees, deform newly hatched bees, and transmit a number of viral diseases to cells. If left unchecked, nosema apis can spread rapidly and kill large numbers of bees if a hive already harbors other diseases or is running low on food supplies, especially proteins.
Al-Subaie noted that good management of apiaries was essential in helping to reduce disease risks. Methods included adopting sustainability practices and beekeepers recognizing the importance of pastoral grazing capacity by not putting large numbers of cells in one place.

Bee stress, he added, could be reduced by avoiding unnecessary cell inspections during winter, providing the insects with appropriate food, paying attention to strengthening cells, performing necessary bee processes, combining weak cells, changing older queens with more fertile ones, using natural substances to activate bees such as mugwort, thyme, acetic acid, and menthol, and sterilizing contaminated wax combs and cell boxes.
As part of its initiative, the ministry was looking to protect Saudi Arabia’s only species of bee. Other breeds are imported for their ability to produce good quality and quantities of honey.
Dr. Ahmed Al-Ghamdi, head of the Arab Beekeeping Association, told Arab News that apiculture was a major and secondary source of income for a large segment of society.
There are currently 14,000 beekeepers in Saudi Arabia and numbers were expected to reach 30,000 by 2030 as a result of the country’s support for the sector and its inclusion in the SR13 billion ($3.46 billion) rural development program launched by King Salman.

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Saudi winners of Study UK Alumni Awards announced in Riyadh

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RIYADH: The winners of the Study UK Alumni Awards 2021-22 in Saudi Arabia were announced on Wednesday night at a ceremony hosted by the UK Ambassador to Riyadh Neil Crompton.

Saudi alumni of UK universities from Jeddah, Dammam, Jubail, Alkhobar and Al-Majmaah were recognized for their outstanding achievements as business professionals, entrepreneurs and community leaders, and for their contribution to strengthening ties between the Kingdom and the UK.

The ceremony was organized by the British Embassy and British Council in Riyadh and attended by senior representatives in government and UK alumni.

The award judging panel selected recipients for the four award categories: the Science and Sustainability Award, the Culture and Creativity Award, the Social Action Award and the Business and Innovation Award.

The Science and Sustainability award was presented to Maha Al-Muzaini, a graduate of Imperial College London. The Culture and Creativity award was presented to Faisal Al-Homoud, a graduate of Nottingham University. The Social Action award was presented to Monira Alsubaie, a graduate of University College London, and the Business and Innovation award was presented to Ahmed Al-Harbi, a graduate of Imperial College London.

The prestigious international award celebrates UK higher education and the achievements of UK alumni around the world.

Now in its eighth year, the award received more than 1,500 applications from international UK alumni in more than 100 countries, representing more than 140 higher education institutions across the UK.

Speaking on the occasion, the British ambassador said: “I am delighted to host this year’s Study UK Alumni Award ceremony. We are immensely proud of our alumni, who have built on their education to become leaders in different fields and champions of social change, in turn enriching the lives of those around them.”

He added: “The UK and Saudi Arabia share a strong and modern partnership. We consider the alumni of British universities to be ambassadors for both countries and testament to our strong people-to-people links. My congratulations to all our finalists and winners.”

Eilidh Kennedy McLean, country director at the British Council in Saudi Arabia, said: “The remarkable individuals we celebrated today have all taken their UK education as a starting point to excel in their chosen careers and shape the world around them.

“This year’s awards ceremony is testimony not only to the diversity of UK alumni and their endeavors, but also to the transformative impact of a UK education — with more than 100,000 UK graduates, there’s a lot to celebrate with!”

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