Page 1


From The Chair Welcome to the Spring 2006 edition of Forum. The magazine of the Bahrain British Business Forum. As we look back on 2005, I think we can safely say that it was another successful year for the BBBF. Membership continues to rise at an encouraging pace and with that growth comes increased diversity in all respects. I am delighted to report that we have seen a significant growth in Bahraini membership, allowing us to become even more of a bridge between British and Bahraini interests. We have enjoyed a busy start to 2006, with a visit from HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York and an entertaining lunch at the Bahrain International Circuit during Formula 1 testing. We also had a dinner on March 11 with Sir Roger Tomkys and Dr Mohammed Smadi, Chairman and

Secretary General of the Arab British Chamber of Commerce. Looking ahead, we have plenty more on the cards too. Our lunch diary is rapidly filling and we have a host of evening events looking for an opportunity to happen. I am also delighted to announce that three of our longstanding members have agreed to provide corporate sponsorship to the BBBF during 2006. With British Airways and Bahrain Airport Services on board as Gold Sponsors and Standard Chartered as a Silver Sponsor, the BBBF has witnessed a massive injection to its operating funds for the year. At times, it is important to speculate in order to accumulate and having improved financial reserves will allow the BBBF to invest in projects which may be a little speculative in nature but

Contents will hopefully generate returns well in excess of the initial investment. Our new web site (to be launched very soon) is one example of this, as is the Inspired Leadership event held in April this year. The Inspired Leadership event has the potential to grow into a major regional event over the next few years, providing leadership coaching and training for the next generation of CEOs around the Gulf. Along the way, its success would also generate significant income for the BBBF – funds which can be ploughed back into the community to help further develop business opportunities. I hope that many of you attended the Inspired Leadership event and will attend the many other functions we have in the pipeline for 2006, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy this edition of Forum.

Letter from H.M. Ambassador ............ p3 BBBF Internal News ........ p4 Diary Dates ....................... p5 Member Benefits .............. p6 Application Form ............. p7 Duke of York in Bahrain ......................... p8 Crown Prince Scholarship Program ...... p10 UK Security Industry ..... p12 Airport News .................. p14 Chelsea Pensioners Visit ............. p20 Medical Insurance ......... p22 Workplace Stress .......... p24 Life Coaching for all ...... p25 Inspired Leadership ....... p26 British School Work Experience ........... p27 Leisure article ................ p28 Bahrain company invests in UK .................. p30 A new style of motoring .......................... p32 Climate Change .............. p34 Holistic Corner ............... p35 Bahrain News ................. p36 And Finally ..................... p40 Registration number SBBB 492

The 2006-7 BBBF Executive Committee

Chairman Steve Ritchie Mob: 3967-3145

Deputy Chairman Linda Jennings Mob: 3962-5004

Treasurer Austin Rudman Mob: 3969-9475

Hon. Secretary Julie Lomas Mob: 3960-6712

Membership Secretary Rob Grey Mob: 3966-3452

Media Coordinator Terri Harwood Mob: 3964-8419

Member Peter Lyall Mob: 3933-5003

Embassy Representative Rebecca Eriksson Mob: 3953-6989

BBBF Tel: +973 1781 3488, Fax: +973 1781 3489, Email: bbbforum@batelco.com.bh Bahrain British Business Forum, P. O. Box 10051, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain

Forum

1


From Her Majesty’s Ambassador organising a programme of high quality speakers and innovative activities to bring new vitality to the Forum’s performance. I make no apology for underlining once again the valuable role the BBBF can play in providing a business network for British firms operating in or visiting Bahrain. It is a pleasure to welcome you to the 2006 Bahrain British Business Forum Magazine, and to register once again the impressive range of business activities represented by the BBBF’s members. This range and the professional energy of the membership have combined with the Committee’s vigour in

This is one of the reasons why I am delighted that the partnership between the BBBF and my Embassy continues to thrive. My Commercial Team is the Bahrain arm of UK Trade & Investment. UKTI works alongside the BBBF with chambers of commerce, trade associations, Business Links, export clubs and

others across the UK. More than 200 organisations pull together for British business success overseas, providing guidance and support to British exporters enlisting the help of our many partners. In addition, we actively promote British goods and services in Bahrain and we help Bahraini companies to locate goods and services as well as potential business partners from the UK. Many factors and suppliers play a part in building bilateral trade but I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the BBBF’s members on their contribution to last year’s excellent visible trade figures: UK exports to

Bahrain recorded another 14% increase on the year before, to £180 million. And this does not, of course, include the considerable business which will have been done by companies representing the financial and other service sectors. On top of this, investment continues to flow in both directions, into the UK and into Bahrain, including most recently International Power’s contract to operate and expand the Hidd power and water utility. My trade team and I look forward to continuing our rewarding collaboration with the BBBF and wish its members every success in the year ahead.

British Embassy Services

UK Trade and Investment

The Warden System is still running at the Embassy. A warden is a member of the British (or unrepresented Commonwealth) expatriate community who volunteers to be the contact point between the British Embassy and the community. You will be allocated a warden when you register at the Embassy. This can be done either on the web site at www.ukembassy.gov.bh or by visiting the Consular section which opens from 9am - 2pm. For those already registered, please remember to update your details as necessary and re-register each year.

The UK Trade & Investment section of the British Embassy can help in a variety of ways. Our main objective is to help UK companies achieve their export potential and to assist UK companies already in market. We aim to improve business performance through sales and investments overseas.

Passports are processed in 5 working days. Application forms can be picked up at the Embassy between 9am - 2pm or downloaded from the web site www.ukembassy.gov.bh

For more information on our services log on to our web pages at www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk and www.ukembassy.gov.bh or contact Rebecca Eriksson on (+973) 1757 4100 or Rebecca.Eriksson@fco.gov.uk

Visa Fees. The following fees will apply 1 Commonwealth Countries/Overseas Territories/ Transit BD23 2 Single/Double and Multiple visit visa up to 6 months BD38 3 Longer term visit visa OR visa for any other purpose including Student/domestic worker certificate of entitlement/work permit / Working holiday BD64 4 Settlement, Finance BD195 Information of any Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advisories currently in effect for Bahrain may be obtained on the web site www.fco.gov.uk/travel

As part of his Middle East tour, The Rt. Hon. Alderman David Brewer the Lord Mayor of the City of London called upon the Bahrain Institute for Banking & Finance in February. Forum

3


BBBF Internal News Corporate Sponsors give BBBF Finances a Boost Historically, the funds of the BBBF have been derived almost entirely from membership fees. As membership grows, so the income of the Forum grows, but at BD50 per person, growth is slow to say the least. It has been enough to keep the Forum ticking along happily for many years and could do the same in the future, but it will be a long time before our kitty is big enough to make some bold moves, if we rely on the current membership fees alone. One option is to raise the membership fees, but we feel our members would look for an increase in value before accepting a substantial increase in fees, and rightly so. Another option, and one which we have successfully implemented this year, is to look to corporate sponsorship to provide a boost to our income and give us a small surplus of funds which we can use to help grow the BBBF as a business. This year, in our first year of corporate sponsorship, we have received the support of British Airways and Bahrain Airport Services at Gold level and Standard Chartered at Silver level. Their financial contributions will allow us to try one or two new ideas without running the risk of bankrupting the Forum. The new web site and the Leadership Event in April, are two good examples of this. We anticipate that the new web site will help generate more interest in the BBBF and help accelerate the number of new members we capture. In doing so, it will pay for itself in the long term, but even if the payback period is extended, we will have created it in large part from sponsorship income. The Leadership Event is similar. If it is successful, it is a process we can repeat and develop to the point where it too is generating significant income for the Forum. If we have misjudged the local appetite for this kind of event, we will have spent a little money on advertising but not been forced to dip into our traditional funds.

ABCC Chairman Sir Roger Tomkys and CEO Dr Mohammed Smadi, accompanied by Patrick Forbes, visited the Kingdom between the 6th and 12th March 2006. The visit was one stop in a series of trips to the Arab World as part of a drive to meet with ABCC stakeholders, both British and Arab, and talk about recent developments in the Chamber. Over the 6 days in Bahrain the delegation met with the Foreign Minister H.E Sheikh Mohammed Al-Khalifeh, HMA Robin Lamb, H.E Mr Issam Fakhro of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce & Industry, in addition to joining the BBBF for dinner on the 11th March. In their addresses to the BBBF, Sir Roger and Dr Smadi gave a brief outline of the changes that have taken place at the Chamber, and expressed their hope that existing BritishBahraini ties, already well established and close, be strengthened through increased cooperation and dialogue. BBBF Chairman Steve Ritchie picked up on this point, and encouraged members to contribute to the Arab-British Bulletin, which is published fortnightly and reaches a wide British and pan-Arab readership. Of particular note was the news that the ABCC will be moving into new premises at 43 Upper Grosvenor Street on the 24th May 2006, and looks forward to welcoming BBBF members in making full use of the facilities that will be offered. For more information on the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce, please visit www.abcc.org.uk

Golden Oldies Triumph

In return for the commitment and trust shown in us by our sponsors, they will benefit from advertising slots in all our publications, as well as additional opportunities for “exposure” at lunches and other meetings. However, the real benefits will hopefully come to everyone. As the Forum grows in stature and reputation all members will see more benefits from their membership. In the meantime, we’d like to thank our three inaugural sponsors, Bahrain Airport Services, British Airways and Standard Chartered Bank for their support.

Corporate Sponsors

4

Forum

The Golden Oldies Team, pictured above, including BBBF Chairman Steve Ritchie took part in the Bahrain-Gaelic festival on the 10th March. They were declared Champions of the Games after defeating teams from Amex and the Bahrain Irish Society.


New Members Robert Lewis Group General Manager Gulf Media International/M.E.Media P.O. Box 10688, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1753 6535 Fax: 1753 3511 Mob: 3991 8886 robertl@gmi-net.com Nigel Smith Head of Security & Safety Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) PO Box 30319, Budaiya, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1745 1069 Fax: 1745 1111 Mob: 3998 8048 n.smith@bic.com.bh

Diary Dates

Welcome

Saturday April 1st, 2nd and 3rd 2006 Inspired Leadership Workshop. A gala dinner, followed by two days of high intensity learning and development in the hands of Adrian Gilpin, international leadership guru and Executive Chairman of the Institute of Human Development Venue: Gulf Convention Centre, Gulf Hotel Cost: BD208 members / BD260 non-members NB: Limited seats are available for the dinner only for guests accompanying paid delegates (one guest per delegate). Cost: BD30

Tuesday 25 April 2006 Speaker: Mr Abdulla Janahi, Director of Engineering, Civil Aviation Affairs, will provide an update on the expansion plans for the Bahrain International Airport Venue: New Restaurant, Bahrain International Airport Time: 12 noon for 1 pm Cost: BD 7 for members / BD 8 for guests NB: numbers limited to 100, so please book early to avoid disappointment

Christopher Fairey Regional Manager De La Rue Currency PO Box 15620, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1771 2667 Fax: 17717159 Mob: 3960 6531 christopher.fairey@bh.delarue.com

Tuesday 16 May 2006

Jan de Haldevang Regional Director Middle East AEGIS Specialist Risk Management 39 Victoria St, London SW1H 0EU Tel: +44 20 7222 1020 Fax: +44 20 7222 1022 Mob: +44 7917 621 045

Also to come: Business Development Opportunities in Iraq a special event to be arranged at the behest of the Iraqi Embassy in Bahrain will outline the current and future business opportunities in Iraq for British and Bahraini companies. Dates to be announced soon.

Speaker: Mr Omar Oz, Bahrain Incubator Centre, will outline the role of the BIC in developing young entrepreneurs and encouraging new business growth in Bahrain. Venue: to be announced Time: 12 noon for 1 pm Cost: BD 7 for members / BD 8 for guests

Our thanks to all the advertisers. Without their support this issue would not have been possible. Please give them yours. Al Faris Auto Centre ........................................... p37 Al Osra Supermarket .......................................... p31 Aluminium Services WLL ................................... p16 AXA Insurance ...................................... Back Cover BAESystems .............................. Inside Back Cover Bahrain Airport Services .................................... p15 Bahrain Airport Services .................................... p17 British Airways ................................................... p19 G4S ...................................................................... p39

Gulf Hotel & Conference Centre ..........................p2 HSBC ......................................... Inside Front Cover Mansouri Mansions ............................................ p35 Mohammed Jalal & Sons ..................................... p9 Morgan Price ....................................................... p38 National Motor Company ................................... p33 Oryx Insurance Services .................................... p32 Royal & SunAlliance ........................................... p23 The Dilmun Club ................................................. p29 Forum

5


Benefits for BBBF Members “Membership” goes the saying “has its privileges, so why not take advantage of some of the additional benefits from being a member of the Bahrain British Business Forum? As you are now aware we have started to obtain Benefits for all our members on production of your Membership card at the concerned outlet. We would like to hear your feedback concerning these discounts. Please do not hesitate to offer your services to our members by contacting the BBBF office. If any member has any difficulty obtaining a discount, please contact the BBBF office so we can rectify the situation. NHSC 5% on beers, 15% on wines and spirits with the exception of products already on special offer Contact: Bill Beddall Tel: 1753 3764 Email: nhsc1234@batelco.com.bh Effective until 31st Dec 2006. Azrek Search Associates 20% discount on search and headhunting services Contact: Rory Adamson Tel: 1771 4709 Email: rory@akgholdings.com Effective until 31st Dec 2006. Al Faris Auto Centre Special discounts on parts and services Contact: Yousif Eid Tel: 1787 7222 Email: yesadadi@batelco.com.bh Effective until 31st Dec 2006.

British Airways BA offer 10% off lowest published fare in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus cabins to UK destinations of London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Manchester and Aberdeen. Contact: Tracy Cole Tel: 1758 9624 email:tracy.cole@britishairways.com Various conditions apply, please check with BA for details. Tickets may be purchased at the BA travel shop on production of BBBF ID Card. This deal is valid until 31 December 2006 Royal Over-Seas League The Royal Over-Seas League has clubhouses in London and Edinburgh which include hotel-style accommodation. A quarterly journal issued to members free of charge. Reduced rates for BBBF members Application forms for membership are obtainable from the Membership Secretary at Royal Over-Seas League, Over-Seas House, Park Place, St James’s Street, London SW1A 1LR Tel: 0044 20 7408 0214 Fax: 0044 20 7499 6738 Email: fvanicek@rosl.org.uk Effective until 31st Dec 2006.

The MakeOver Experience Discounts to corporate members for training courses. Contact: Leila Edwards Tel: 1759 2019 Email: leila@themakeoverexperience.com

Conscious Connections 5% discount on Crystal Therapy and Awareness, 10% discount for group bookings and group workshops Contact: Julie Lomas Mobile: 3960 6712 Email: julie@batelco.com.bh Effective until 31st Dec 2006.

Hasan Mansouri 10% discount to members at Mansouri Mansions Hotel and Country Club. Effective until 31st Dec 2006. Contact: Karim Mansouri Tel: 1772 8144 Email: mansouri@batelco.com.bh Effective until 31st Dec 2006.

Hertz Hertz now offers BBBF members an exclusive 10% discount on all prepaid rentals processed through their call centre in Bahrain.

AXA Insurance Some benefits/discounts to members on personal and corporate insurances. Contact: Richard Morrison Tel: 1758 8222 Email: richard-morrison@nubah.com.bh Effective until 31st Dec 2006. Betsy’s Day Spa 25% Discount on all Spa, Beauty and Hairdressing Treatments and 15% Discount on all Spa Shop Purchases. The Spa Treatments are for ladies only but male members can visit and make purchases from the Spa Shop.( Skin Care, Hair Care, Cosmetics, Sun Care, Aromatherapy Oils, etc and Skin and Hair Consultations) They can also purchase Gift Vouchers at 25% off discounted rate. Conditions are: Discount on full price treatments and products only; Discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other special offers. Effective until 31st Dec 2006. Contact: Betsy Mathieson Appointments can be booked on Tel 1774 2222. 6

Forum

Simply show your membership card and benefit from the discount on all car rentals in 7,000 locations in 150 countries. Contact: Ali Ebrahim Kashef Alghata Tel: 1729 9147 Email: alihasan@hcc.com.bh This edition of the BBBF Forum magazine was compiled by Andrew Mead at Mead Management Services Ltd. email andrew@sbtd.co.uk UK Mob: 0044 7940 559 925 KSA Mob: 00966 506 271 151, Bahrain Mobile: 00973 3910 0113 and produced in cooperation with Krishnan Surendran at Jumana House, Riyadh, KSA Tel 009661 402 4785 Fax: 00966 10 405 9861 If you would like to contribute to a future edition please telephone or send an email to info@sbtd.co.uk A full page advert is charged at BD300. A half page advert at BD180, A quarter page advert at BD100 A small panel at BD50 Other sizes by arrangement


Why Join The BBBF? BAHRAIN The Pearl of the Gulf has had a long standing relationship with Britain and is still a major trading partner. BRITISH Trade with Bahrain is now subject to significant competition in this era of globalization particularly from countries in Europe and from the USA.

Membership directories are distributed to members of visiting Trade Missions and are available to businessmen visiting Bahrain through the Embassy and business centres in five star hotels. Simply click on “Sign Up” on our website www.bbbforum. org complete the application form and click submit. Sounds simple, it is, it must be worth it.

BUSINESS between Bahrain and Britain must be promoted in order for Britain to maintain its dominant position. The BBBF has been formed to help in whatever way it can to do this and through its close cooperation with the British Embassy seeks to promote exchange of trade and good relations between Bahrain and Britain.

Cost of membership Individual Membership: BD 50 per annum, with an additional BD20 once-only registration fee.

FORUM Is defined in the Collins English Dictionary as, “an assembly or meeting to discuss topics of public concern”. The BBBF provides through its monthly meetings a platform for networking amongst its members and the exchange and dissemination of useful business leads and opportunities. In addition, in return for a modest subscription, members receive the benefit of inclusion in an annual directory describing the products and services they have to offer and a listing on the BBBF website again with a description of activities, contact numbers and useful links.

Corporate Sponsorships Three levels of sponsorship are available:

BBBF Membership Application

Corporate Membership: BD150 per annum (up to 5 individuals) plus BD40 for each applicant up to a maximum of 10, with an additional BD50 once-only registration fee.

Platinum: BD5000 Gold: BD2500 Silver: BD1000 Sponsor packages include a variety of advertisement opportunities in the Membership Directory, the Forum magazine, the BBBF website and at the regular lunch meetings. Full details are available on request.

Corporate Membership please complete separate form for each applicant

Please complete the membership form and send it to: Individual Membership BBBF Administration Manager, Fax: (00973) 1781 3489, or Email: bbbforum@batelco.com.bh. For further information call (00973) 1781 3488, Web site: www.bbbforum.org Company Name

Website address of business (if applicable)

Title and full name (Surname first)

Describe how you / your company contribute to substantial business interests in Bahrain (Maximum 150 words)

Position in business Nationality

Date of Birth

CPR Number Address of business (P.O.Box & Town) Business telephone Home telephone E-mail address

Facsimile Mobile

I agree to abide by the BBBF Constitution & Internal regulations. Applicants Signature

Date

7


HRH The Duke of York visits Bahrain HRH The Duke of York visited Bahrain in January and was received by Shaikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Governor of Muharraq Governorate, Salman bin Isa bin Hindi and British Ambassador to Bahrain, Robin Lamb. The Duke of York’s programme included a dinner with HM the King, and a call upon the Prime Minister, Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa where he offered his condolences on the death of Shaikh Faisal bin Hamad Al Khalifa. The Premier and the Prince discussed international and regional developments. During a lunch at the Radisson Diplomat Hotel, the Duke delivered a speech to members of the BBBF and senior Bahrani business people. His Royal Highness was visiting the Gulf region in his role as the UK’s Special Representative for International Trade and Investment. In this role, which he took up after leaving the Royal Navy in 2001, the Duke undertakes a wide range of official activities, including encouraging British companies to become involved in international trade, selling British goods and services overseas, and the attraction and retention of inward investment to protect British jobs.

8

Forum

The Duke is not paid for his trade and investment work. His Royal Highness continues his Royal duties in support of Her Majesty The Queen, his work with the numerous organisations of which he is Patron, and the charities he supports, including Outward Bound. Outward Bound aims to inspire young people to fulfil their potential through challenging outdoor activities and to instil qualities of leadership in young people so that the challenges they will face in everyday life are not insurmountable. The Duke’s trade and investment role began on 1 October 2001, following a familiarisation programme which involved meetings with business leaders throughout the UK and briefings on the role and work of UK Trade & Investment.

Since then, His Royal Highness has carried out a busy programme of visits. The Duke of York now undertakes approximately 250 trade and investmentrelated engagements annually within the UK, and at least five overseas traderelated visits each year. In 2005 His Royal Highness carried out some 535 engagements in the UK and overseas. Whilst in Bahrain, The Duke also opened the new site for St. Christopher’s Junior School in Saar where Mr Ed Goodwin, (Principal, St Christopher’s School) and Mrs Wendy Batteinah (Headmistress, Junior School) received him. The Duke unveiled a plaque in a special ceremony to mark

the formal opening of the school. The Duke of York has been a regular visitor to Bahrain in his trade & investment role over the past five years. With HH the Crown Prince, he broke ground at Zallaq to commence building of the Bahrain International Circuit, and attended the inaugural Bahrain Grand Prix in 2004. HRH was also present at the celebration of Bahrain Fort’s celebration as a UN Heritage Site in 2005, at the invitation of HM The King. The Duke of York also receives Bahraini visitors regularly in the UK, and addressed the Bahrain Society’s annual dinner in 2003.


The Crown Prince’s International Scholarship Program

The Scholarship Program is a scholarship for Bahraini youth, initiated by His Highness, Shaikh Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, The Crown Prince and Commander in Chief of the Bahrain Defence Force in October 1999. The principal aim of the program is to give the opportunity for the brightest, most dedicated and most motivated High School students to study at top International Schools, Universities and Colleges. His Highness’s vision is to develop young Bahraini’s from all walks of life to take key positions in Bahrain’s public and private sectors in order to provide the country with the knowledge that it will need to continue to grow and prosper. It is hoped that this initiative will provide the motivation for high achievers to aim for the top. The program works with about seventy top high school students each year out of an applicant pool of 175 to 200, with approximately a third coming from private schools and two thirds from Ministry of Education Schools. Four students are selected from the private schools and six from Ministry of Education schools, to receive the scholarship each year. His Highness is keen to promote equality and half the places are given to girls and half to boys. In order to apply the students should hold a Bahrain passport and typically have a Grade point Average of 97% or above. If 10 Forum

selected as a candidate they are put through the SAT and TOEFL placement tests, produce a portfolio of evidence with regards to their academic achievements and extra curricular activities, highlighting special talents and achievements, they also pass through a series of interviews. The program Directors are looking for those students with the ‘X’ factor, not just academics but those with leadership skills, drive, character, in short, that extra something which sets them apart from the rest. To date it seems to have successfully done just that resulting in fifty three very special young people

studying at top educational institutions in the UK and USA. The Program has now been running for six years, there are currently twenty six of these young people studying at UK boarding schools and universities and 27 studying at prep schools and universities in the USA. The program has allowed for a closer bond to be formed between our Bahraini students and the UK and US education systems. Due to their consistent high performance and excellent reputation, our students are accepted readily at prep and boarding schools, where

UK Universities attained by CPISP recipients Establishment Architectural Association Durham University King’s College London London School of Economics Oxford University University of Bristol University of Cambridge University of Nottingham Warwick University Imperial College University of Birmingham School of Oriental & African Study University of Manchester

Current 0 2 0 4 2 1 3 1 2 2 1 1 1

Graduated 1 0 1 3 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0

UK Boarding Schools attained by CPISP recipients Establishment Bosworth Independent College Canford School Cheltenham College Dulwich College Hailebury School Malvern College Oakham School Oundle School Sedbergh School Sherborne School Shrewsbury School

Current 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1

Graduated 1 1 2 1 1 2 0 2 0 1 1

often students would be on a waiting list from birth. By looking at the table below it may indicate to some extent the diversity of education that these students have achieved. All university places were earned by the students own performance and applications and not by any influence from the scholarship office. Scholarship recipients from the private schools will already have applied for university placement through the UCAS system in the UK or directly to universities in the US and will then go on to their chosen university and course as planned. Students from the Ministry of Education are sent to select boarding or prep schools for two years. We feel it is important that the students have this transition between school in Bahrain and the UK or US education systems in order for them to apply to the top universities. All the students are encouraged to expand their horizons beyond the academic forum. Field trips to date have included Borneo, Tanzania, Washington, Syria, Sweden, France, Spain, South Africa and Cyprus and the list is growing. One of the students( pictured below ), Marwa Al Sabbagh, obtained her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award and also won a National writing competition for the British Council.


CPISP students on a cultural visit to France Some students were given summer internships with leading financial and corporate institutions in the UK and US. (The picture below right shows Students visiting Investcorp in London.) Each Easter the students are involved in an outward bounds and team building program. In July 2004 we proudly saw our first graduates from both UK and US universities. Mona Janahi graduated with first class honors in Banking and Financial Management from Nottingham University and she is now working for Gulf International Bank in Bahrain. Fawaz Abdulla graduated with first class honors in Economics from London School of Economics. Aysha Shirawi graduated with first class honors in Business Management from King’s College, London and has gone on this year to take her Masters at the Durham University. From the US, Nasser Al Mohri graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) with a degree in Telecommunications and is now studying there for an MBA in IT &

Telecommunications Management. Khalid Fakhro graduated with a degree in Genetic Engineering from University of Chicago, and is now on a fully paid five year scholarship from Yale University to study for a PhD in Bio Technology.

In July 2005 we had 4 more students graduate from their respective university programs in the UK. They were Hussain Al Musaad, graduated with first class honors in IT from Churchill College, Cambridge, he will start work with Goldman Sachs in London in June 2006; Ohood Abdul Ghaffar,

graduated with first class honors in International Relations from LSE and is now studying her masters in Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London and Fawaz Abdulla, again graduated with his masters from Oxford University in Economics. Lubna Al Tajir graduated from Bristol University with a degree in Communication Engineering. Lubna is now working as a Mathematics Teacher for Teach First at Norwood Secondary Girls School, UK. In July 2006, Yousif Mohamed will graduate from Georgetown University with a degree in Political Science and he has already accepted a job with MacKenzie in Dubai, UAE. For more information, please contact: Ava Tansey Higher Education Advisor International Scholarship Program Court of the Crown Prince PO Box 2909, Rifa’a Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1765 9103 Fax: 17 66 4451 email: ava.tansey@ccp.bh

Forum 11


In Safe Hands With The UK Security Industry

From access control to property marking and from CCTV installation to secure document destruction – there are many different facets that make up the United Kingdom security industry. Renowned worldwide as an innovative provider of cutting-edge technology, the UK security industry employs about 600,000 people and is worth an estimated 5.15 billion pounds. More than 2,000 companies specialise in the design, manufacture and supply of security equipment and these products are sold to businesses, private households, government agencies and police forces globally. The Italian and Spanish police are 12 Forum

particularly keen on UK security products, buying much of their requirements from the UK. Apart from the manufacture of such products, there is also a thriving security guarding industry in the UK, with about 2,000 companies in operation. In the light of heightened security awareness following recent terrorist attacks, the sector is particularly strong on risk/threat assessment and how best to respond. Another area of expertise is in the high-tech field of CCTV (closed-circuit television). There are an estimated 4.25 million CCTV cameras installed in the UK. Personal security such as household and personal alarms, and security advisory services

are also represented.

strongly

As far as inward investment goes, there are numerous foreign security companies operating in the UK including top firms such as: * Japanese giant CBC Europe that supplies security monitors, infrared cameras and night vision lenses; * fingerprint, iris and face-recognition specialist International Biometric Group, headquartered in New York, and with offices in London; * German group Bosch Security Systems that specialises in CCTV, intrusion detection and access management.

Bosch produces a bestselling CCTV camera called Eazeo that is popular with smaller retailers such as convenience shops, liquor stores and newsagents. Company spokesman Malcolm Chadwick said: “Eazeo is the perfect solution for retail applications requiring up to eight cameras, and it’s easy to add extra facilities such as door-entry control, video recording or remote viewing as the situation demands.” Another example is leading international security group Kaba that has headquarters in Switzerland and 5,900 employees worldwide. Kaba makes and installs locks in major hotel chains worldwide. In the UK, Kaba has two operations, one in Devon, south-west England and the other in Telford, north-west England. The


company was recently awarded the contract to supply all door locks for the first easyHotel in Kensington, London. The hotel is the latest addition to low-cost travel empire easyGroup, founded by Stelios Haji-Ioannou. Every now and again a UK security company comes up with a new system that creates interest worldwide. One such product is SelectaDNA that is merging science with security and using DNA principles to help police foil both property and office theft. SelectaDNA - developed by Kent-based Selectamark Security Systems - is a water-based adhesive containing a unique identity signature that runs through the liquid, in a similar way that one person’s DNA is unique among humans. SelectaDNA is also being used to mark high-value equipment in offices and factories, where last year alone, property theft of items such as laptops, laser printers, DVD players, fine art, construction machinery and tools cost UK businesses at least 150 million pounds. SelectaDNA is built up of four distinct chemicals that have two key sequences whose identity must be known before the unique code sequence can be accessed. It is the sequence of the four chemicals within the DNA molecule that creates the unique and specific DNA string. One of the main advantages of using a

marking product such as SelectaDNA is that it is virtually impossible to remove traces of it and identification can be made from specks the size of a pin head. Selectamark’s chairman Jim Brown said: “SelectaDNA is an exciting new technology which is creating huge interest from overseas. It is great to think that sophisticated scientific advances such as this are now available to businesses and the general public, and that it can help them securely mark their property and cut crime at the same time.” Another new product, also from Selectamark is ePlate, an electronically tagged licence plate that emits the vehicle’s vehicle identification number (VIN) every second, using battery-powered radio frequency identification (RFID) tags embedded in the plates. With the UK government preparing to test high-tech plates, and administrations worldwide looking at replating schemes, e-Plate offers numerous applications for security, congestion monitoring, deterring terrorism and tracking wanted or stolen vehicles. Vehicles fitted with e-Plate can be tracked around towns, cities and along motorways, whether stationary or mobile, and in all weather conditions. According to Jim Brown, ePlate was developed to provide companies and public authorities with a more reliable way to identify a vehicle. He said:

“The e-Plate looks like a standard plate, is tamper proof and has an embedded chip which cannot be seen or removed. It is self-powered with a battery life of up to seven years and is designed to shatter if anyone tries to remove or tamper with it.” Another area of security that is becoming increasingly popular in the wake of identity theft and leaked company information is secure document destruction. This service is provided by companies such as Papersafe UK that has offices in Kent and Hampshire (website: www.papersafe.co.uk). The company provides businesses with specially designed security-sealed boxes, polypropylene sacks with security seals, and lockable wheeled bins in order that staff may deposit confidential paperwork safely. Papersafe can then collect and transport documents that need to be disposed of – eliminating the risk of confidential information falling into the wrong hands. Despite the huge variety of elements that make up the UK security industry, one thing the sector prides itself on is maintaining product standards and high levels of customer service. In order to keep a close eye on these matters, there are two main trade associations for the industry. The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) is the professional trade body whose aim is to help its

500-plus member companies, responsible for more than 70 per cent of UK security business, to succeed in an everchanging and highly competitive environment. The Association of Police & Public Security Suppliers (APPSS) represents companies providing products and services to police forces and other public security agencies at home and overseas. There is also the Joint Security Industry Council (JSIC) that is the umbrella organisation for associations, inspectorates and other organisations with an interest in security. Contact: British Security Industry Association Security House, Barbourne Road, Worcester, United Kingdom, WR1 1RS Phone: +44 1905 21464 Fax: +44 1905 613625 Web: www.bsia.co.uk Contact: Selectamark Security Systems 1 Locks Court, 429 Crofton Road, Locksbottom, Kent, United Kingdom, BR6 8NL Phone: +44 1689 860757 Fax: +44 1689 860693 E-mail: sales@selectamark.co.uk Web: www.selectamark.co.uk Contact: Kaba (UK) Lower Moor Way, Tiverton, Devon, United Kingdom EX16 6SS Phone: +44 870 000 5625 Web: www.kaba.co.uk Forum 13


Airport News New Chairman at Bahrain Airport Services

award was announced. British Airways measures airports in groups with similar structures, passenger numbers, flights and challenges. Bahrain saw off competition from places such as Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit and Orlando, who were among the top five in the same category. The awards take into account factors such as overall customer satisfaction at check-in, the departure process, punctuality, baggage aspects and the number of immigration fines.

The newly elected Chairman and Deputy Chairman of Bahrain Airport Services, Mr. Fawzi Kanoo and Mr. Jalal Mohamad Jalal, respectively, held introductory meetings with Senior Managers and other officials of the company recently. They are pictured above with senior members of staff from the organisation. The appointments came following the previous chairman’s decision to step down at the end of 2005.

BAS employs over 2,500 staff in its four main operating departments: Ground Services, Cargo, Engineering, Aircraft and Terminal Catering as well as Management and Administration. Last year, BAS opened its new, exclusively designed BD1.1 million Dilmun Lounge at the airport, providing services of an international standard for First and Business Class passengers. For the first time in history,

Bahrain topped the global British Airways Quality Count League last year. The airline named Bahrain International Airport as the best performing airport throughout the airline’s global network. “Great credit goes to BAS, who have played a tremendous role in supporting the operation. I am very grateful to the whole BAS team,” British Airways service delivery manager Middle East Ultan Kenny said when the

Emirates Airlines also recognised BAS with a safety award for handling 1,500 Emirates flights with zero aircraft ground damage. Another recent milestone was the BAS Engineering Training Centre obtaining the European Aviation Safety Association (EASA) IR PART 147 approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency. This approval allows the centre to conduct training courses and issue approved certificates on behalf of the EASA.

KLM introduce new aircraft on Bahrain route In other news from the Airport, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines started operating the new A330-200 aircraft in Bahrain in February. The aircraft replaces the Boeing 767s, and increases the seat capacity on the sector by 15%. Transportation Ministry’s Civil Aviation Affairs (CAA) organised a reception to welcome the new aircraft which was attended by top 14 Forum

CAA and Bahrain Airport Services (BAS) officials, senior officials of KLM and its general sales agents. KLM’s Dubai-based general manager for Gulf, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Iran, Richard Oliver said the airline is delighted to receive the new state-of-theart A330 to its Middle East route, adding ”KLM has been operating to

Bahrain for 32 years, and the decision to use the brand new aircraft on this sector reflects the continuation of our commitment to the country.” Commercial manager in Bahrain Denzil D’Silva said the new aircraft offered 30 seats on the World Business Class and 221 on the Economy Class. KLM operates daily flights between Bahrain and Amsterdam , four of them non-

stop and three via Abu Dhabi. Passenger benefits of the new aircraft include a more spacious cabin, offering enhanced service and greater comfort. Every seat has a personal video on demand system in addition to an interactive entertainment system and e-mail and text messaging to any address or mobile telephone anywhere in the world. There is also a telephone for every seat.


15


Airport restaurant reopens after $ 1 million renovation Passengers traveling through the Bahrain International Airport now have a good reason to smack their lips with delight. The airport restaurant (branded Sky Restaurant & Sky Bar) is open after undergoing a 1 million Dollar renovation. Located on the 4th floor, the

Sky Restaurant and Sky Bar is the ideal venue to escape from the buzz of activities at the airport. The interiors of the Sky Restaurant and Bar have been styled in contemporary fashion with modern furniture, ambient lighting and well appointed fixtures. Travelers with time to spare can now enjoy a meal

or a drink in a relaxed, quiet and unhurried environment. As the restaurant overlooks the runway, guests are also afforded spectacular views of landings and take offs. With a capacity to hold 250 person (stretchable up to 280), the Sky Restaurant also has a

separate fine dining area which can hold up to 25 people. The fine dining area is a preferred haunt for frequent business travelers who appreciate the settings, food and ambience. Tables may also be reserved in advanced in this area. The Sky Restaurant’s cuisine is a mix of International and Arabic. Under the creative guidance of the New Executive Chef , Robert Peachy, a lot of new dishes have been added on to the elaborate menu, while retaining popular dishes from the old menu. The restaurant also has two separate enclosures for families who seek privacy while dining. The Restaurant and Bar can be accessed through the elevator behind the Duty Free Traditional Souk. The Sky Restaurant and Bar is smoker friendly and is manned by a 40 strong staff. It is operated and managed by the Bahrain Airport Services.

ALUMINIUM SERVICES W.L.L. Designer, Fabricator and Installer of Best Quality Architectural Aluminium Products and Glass such as: CURTAIN WALLING SKYLIGHTS STRUCTURAL GLAZING SHOP FRONTS FRAMELESS DOORS AUTOMATIC DOOR SYSTEMS REVOLVING DOORS

FULL RANGE OF DOORS AND WINDOWS FIRE RATED DOORS AND WINDOWS STAIR CASE & BALCONY RAILINGS CLADDING

Authorised Builder of Technal, France Authorised Agent for Boon Edam Revolving Doors Tel: 1729 0987 Fax: 1729 1643 Email: aluser@batelco.com.bh P.O.BOX 26586, MANAMA, KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN We offer free Consultation Service to Architects, Contractors and Clients

16 Forum

Gulf Air to buy new planes Gulf Air announced in February that it plans to spend $900 million to replace 9 ageing Boeing 767s but did not name the aircraft it intended to buy. James Hogan, chief executive officer of Gulf Air, told reporters the airline would seek a long-term loan to finance the purchase once approved by the airline owners. Gulf Air, which returned to profitability in 2004 after years of losses, carries a debt of about $500 million. Hogan said Gulf Air would start placing orders by May. He said the airline also plans to refurbish its fleet.

The board passed a series of resolutions in support of the new plan. Smart Airline, Successful Business includes provision for recapitalisation of the airline, reequipment of the fleet, product upgrades and refurbishment of present aircraft, and investment in a range of areas of the business. The resolutions in support of the new plan were passed at the board meeting under Gulf Air’s new ownership structure, which sees the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Sultanate of Oman now each owning 50% of the airline, following the withdrawal of Abu Dhabi as a shareholder.


Aircraft Firm Flies High With £80M Seat Deal A major order to build aircraft seats for British Airways has been won by a factory in Northern Ireland. B/E Aerospace is to make business-class seats for the airline, in a deal initially worth about £80 million. Deliveries are to begin in mid 2006 and B/E Aerospace said the contract would help to secure jobs at the United Kingdom plant at Kilkeel, County Down. B/E Aerospace is a manufacturer of cabin interior products for commercial aircraft and business jets, selling directly to the world’s airlines. The firm also provides aircraft cabin interior design, reconfiguration and passenger-to-freighter conversion services. BA said that it wanted to improve the standard of long-haul aircraft businessclass seating that already allows passengers to lie flat. B/E’s senior vice-president Michael Baughan believes that BA is vastly improving passenger comfort with the

investment. “In 2000, BA revolutionised the industry with its introduction of the first horizontal lie-flat business-class seat,” he said. “Now, BA is again raising the competitive bar and we are very pleased to collaborate with them to introduce an entirely new level of comfort and living space for their businessclass passengers.” BA is set to invest 100 million pounds in a main overhaul of its long-haul business class that the airline’s chief executive officer Willie Walsh claims will be the “best in the air”. The investment will build on the success of the airline’s existing Club World flat bed - the industry’s first completely flat bed in business class - and will set new standards for such travellers. The airline will redesign all aspects of the journey - on the ground and in the air - and will also make a major upgrade to its in-flight entertainment system in all four cabins, also to be

introduced from summer 2006. With a rich heritage dating from almost 90 years ago, B/ E has evolved from sales of about $3m in 1987 to revenues of $700m currently, making B/E the world’s leading manufacturer of aircraft cabin interior products and components for commercial passenger aircraft and business jets. The company also provides a range of cabin interior design, reconfiguration and certification services, including the conversion of passenger aircraft to freighter use. It has leading global market shares in most of its product lines and its

customers include almost all the world’s airlines and aircraft manufacturers. B/E’s installed base (products on aircraft currently in service) is valued at some 6.6 billion dollars. The company has manufacturing facilities in the US and Europe and employed 3,740 people from February 2002. The company designs, makes, sells and provides global support for the industry’s broadest product line that includes commercial aircraft seating, food and beverage equipment and passenger and crew oxygen systems. www.beaerospace.com

Concorde voted the Greatest British Design Icon embraced every area of design from aircraft and cars to fashion, typography and video games.

In the Great British Design Quest, the British public were asked to vote for their favourite British design icon since 1900. They voted in their thousands and from a shortlist of 25 in January, 18 Forum

Concorde has now been declared the winner.

A shortlist had been drawn up from an extensive selection of British design projects compiled by the Design Museum, after consulting with designers, architects, design historians and other design experts.

The Great British Design Quest was organised by the Design Museum and BBC TV’s The Culture Show and

Voting was undertaken in stages with the first round producing a ‘top ten’ on the 16th Feb with subsequent

voting until March 12 th resulting in the win for Concorde. Second place was taken by the London Tube map with the Supermarine Spitfire in third place. Other items in the top ten included the old red telephone kiosks and the Routemaster London Bus. Voters had been asked to vote on the basis of selecting a design that had made such a powerful impression on their life that they would always remember it.


Forum 19


We will remember them of activities that we would be involved in during our stay. This was followed by an interview with the local press who were very interested in our views on the 2nd World War and the conflicts that have occurred since.

As many of you will be aware, two fine old soldiers with over 50 years of active service between them visited Bahrain in November as part of our annual fund raising effort in support of the Royal Chelsea Hospital and the Earl Haig fund. Chelsea Pensioners Charlie Melia and Chris Mercer are both veterans of the Royal Artillery and between them have served in Italy, Palestine, Cyprus, Germany, Hong Kong, Malaya and Northern Ireland. Despite their previous world travels, this was their first visit to Bahrain. After an activity packed week including their attendance as guests of honour at the Trafalgar Ball as well as the more sombre responsibility of laying wreaths at Remembrance Services, Chris has kindly sent us this summary of their visit as seen through his own eyes. Charlie Mercer and I flew to Bahrain on Tuesday 8th November as guests of the Bahrain British Business Forum and were met at the Airport by the Chairman, Steve Ritchie and the Honorary Secretary Julie Lomas. We were whisked off to a rather luxurious hotel, the 20 Forum

Bahrain Hilton. The rooms were large and fitted with all mod cons and sported King Sized Beds, I found this rather daunting after my cosy 3 foot bed in Berth 6. Early the following morning we were met by Julie Lomas and Linda Jennings (Deputy Chairman) two very attractive ladies who were to be our guides for the rest of our stay. We were given a good briefing on the program

The serious side of our stay was to take part in the celebrations to mark the victory of the Battle of Trafalgar and the Remembrance Day Ceremonies for those who fell in the 1st and 2nd World Wars. There were however many leisure activities planned starting on Wed the 9th with a visit to the BA Offices. BA had generously undertaken to provide the seats for the flight to and from Bahrain. We met Rory Black the Manager, Deborah Beedie and Tracy Cole, both BA Ambassadors, and thanked them for their support. After the meeting we met Steve

Richie at the Ritz Hotel for a very tasty and leisurely lunch. This was followed in the evening by a Sunset Cruise to the north of the Island where we met many more of the Ex-Pats. The booze was plentiful, the company great, which made it a perfect ending to our first day. An early start the following day, took us to the Commercial Centre including Investcorp (who act as a principal and an intermediary in international investment transactions). This was followed by a tour of the Island. We were driven by Linda Jennings who must have nerves of steel. If you think that driving around London is hairy try driving through Manama. That evening we were invited to the St George’s Society Trafalgar Ball, which was attended by about 350 people all closely associated with the British community. It was a great night and hugely successful and enjoyed by all in a way that only Brits abroad know how to do. We of course, holding to the traditions of the RH, did not leave untill 3am, leg weary but happy. It was again an early start on Fri 11th where we attended a Remembrance Day parade held in the Christian Cemetery in Manama. This was attended by the Ambassador Robin Lamb and many other dignitaries from the Services and Civilian authorities. We were given the privilege of laying the wreath with the Chairman of the BBBF. Following the service we were invited by Steve Richie to his home for lunch with his charming wife Jane and 3


year old daughter Victoria. After lunch we were taken up onto the causeway linking Bahrain to Saudi Arabia. This was followed by a visit to a Camel Farm. I understand, camel meat is a delicacy in this part of the world.

That evening we went to the British Club, which has a good bar and restaurant and had a Fish and Chip supper. The end of another great day. Saturday started with a visit to St Christopher’s School in Isa Town where we met most of the older students. There followed a lengthy interrogation..., questions mostly to do with the war years. Because of the content of some of the questions they needed to be answered with tact. The students were quite an intelligent group that made the visit well worthwhile. We then paid a visit to The Financial Centre. This is a new area being built on reclaimed land which will house Financial Offices and include a theatre, restaurants and residential accommodation and is due to be completed by mid 2006 The structure is mainly glass and, being close to the Airport, will be a very

impressive advert for Bahrain. On leaving the centre we toured some of the older areas of Bahrain. One of the places we visited was where Sheikh Isa was born and is now preserved and open to visitors, it certainly

gave you a good idea of what life must have been like in those far-off days. We then headed for the InterContinental Hotel where with Linda Jennings, we where hosted for lunch by Susan Welch (PR Manager) of the hotel. A down to earth lady as nice as you would wish to meet. After a very nice lunch we visited the rather up-market shopping areas. Later that evening we were invited for supper at the home of Linda Jennings where we met most of the other committee members of the BBBF. Other guests included some of the business fraternity and teachers at the schools. A lovely evening and Linda’s Shepherds Pie certainly made the party. Sunday 13th Nov Our first visit was to the British School Bahrain. This school is predominantly for younger children. While there, we were treated to a preview of their Christmas Pantomime,

but as this was their first rehearsal, things did not go quite according to script, but it did remind me of the saying “It’ll be alright on the night”. Wish I was there to see the end result. The youngsters were very attentive and when the time came for us to leave we found it very difficult. I believe that in our Scarlets they thought we were Father Xmas. We then went to the Bahrain International Motor Racing Circuit, a newly built track that has been built for the exacting standards of Grand Prix racing. The course was first used for the 2004 F1TM Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix and is now an established venue for world motor racing. We were met by Rodney Davies and other members of staff and were entertained at a very nice lunch. After lunch Charlie and I went with Rodney in a Land Rover followed by Linda and Julie in the 2 nd Land Rover for a complete circuit of the track. We were travelling at about 50kph and some of the corners on the track were rather hairy - the professionals hit these at anything between 200 300kph. So I leave it to your imagination where the expression “keeping a tight rein” originates from. We also went over the Adventure Training Course. This has been built with many difficult obstacles to test the driving skills of any driver who is considering “off the road” travel in any middle east area. Full marks to Linda and Julie who had a go at one of the obstacles. At 6pm that evening we attended the Remembrance service at St Christopher’s Cathedral attended by the Ambassador and other

dignitaries where we laid the wreath on behalf of the BBBF. Immediately following the service we went to an evening BBQ held at the Deputy Ambassadors Residence. This was a superb party attended by many we had already met and some others for the first time. They were all connected in the sponsoring of our trip to Bahrain. But all good things must come to an end sometime and at 10pm we said our farewells to all those that had put in so much effort into giving us such an unforgettable holiday. It was back to the hotel to collect our kit and prepare for our return flight home. Linda took us to the airport in good time to catch the 2am flight back to the UK.

The BBBF raised over BD1500 in support of the Pensioners Appeal and the Earl Haig fund but none of this would be possible without the support of our members and the generosity of our many sponsors, including: * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

AXA Insurance British Airways The British Club The British School of Bahrain The Bahrain Caledonian Society The Crowne Plaza hotel Investcorp Bank Island Tours Al Zayani Investments National Hotel Services Company The Regency Hotel The Ritz Carlton Hotel and Spa Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Royal Society of St George United Adjusting Services Forum 21


Private Heath Insurance in Bahrain What is Not Covered Typical exclusions might be :

For nationals and expatriates alike health insurance is an essential part of their social and economic support in Bahrain. Accident or illness whether short or long term affects your ability to earn and in turn your standard of living. Prompt and effective treatment will get you and your employees back to productive earnings in as short a time as possible. Nationals can rely on government facilities and we are fortunate that in Bahrain there is a high standard of medical care. However the main benefit of health insurance is that it gives the policyholder a choice as to where they wish to have their medical treatment. Expatriates coming to Bahrain to work should always make sure that they have life and medical insurance provided by themselves or their employer. Some employers have schemes or will simply give you a cash allowance for you to buy your own. Private health insurance is of two types: group and individual. Employers typically provide group insurance as an employee benefit. As an individual you can buy individual insurance to provide coverage if you 22 Forum

are not a member of an insured group. The cost of individual insurance is usually higher than the group premium rates. Remember always that medical insurance is a little like car insurance in that it only covers the real emergencies and not the annual servicing, re-sprays and cleaning. So don’t expect your medical insurer to give you an annual check up or plastic surgery. These are costs you must bear yourself either as part of improving your own health and lifestyle or as a conscious decision to improve your appearance. Remember also that many medical conditions can be avoided by sensible diets and simply drinking plenty of liquids (But remember that alcohol and caffeine cause dehydration).

General rules about coverage What is Covered ‹ In-patient and day care treatment including consultant’s, surgeon’s and anesthetist’s fees plus diagnostic tests and procedures. ‹

Out-patient treatment including consultant fees, diagnostic tests and prescribed drugs, physiotherapy

‹

Chronic conditions unless approved

‹

Pre-existing conditions unless agreed and may be admitted after a certain period say 24 months.

‹

Cosmetic surgery or treatment

‹

Health treatments, spas, saunas

‹

Vaccinations, inoculations and any other preventative treatments

‹

Birth defects, learning difficulties and disorders

‹

Injuries from racing, professional or hazardous sports

‹

War risks, riots, civil commotion, Terrorism

‹

Pregnancy or dental unless specifically included

‹

Aids related illnesses

These exclusions will vary from insurer to insurer so it is essential that you check these before proceeding. Exclusions will affect the price that you pay so a lower priced policy may not be the best for you. Treatment Abroad Most insurers will cover you whilst you are abroad (depending on the plan/ scheme selected) and also assist you if you need medical treatment abroad. There is usually a help line number and if necessary an emergency ambulance call out.

Claims Procedures Most medical insurers have what are known as direct billing arrangements which means that on production of a medical card your claim is settled direct between the medical provider and the insurer. You may have a small excess to pay in most cases. In Bahrain, a figure of BD5 per consultation/ claim is not uncommon. Direct billing arrangements only apply to hospitals and clinics who are on a medical insurers approved list, other claims will be settled on a reimbursement basis, in other words you pay upfront and then claim. However, in most cases the full amount will not be recoverable as say 20% or more will be deducted for going outside the insurers agreed network.

Where can I get details of private health insurance in Bahrain ? Bahrain National Life (BNL), Axa Insurance, Royal & SunAlliance (RSA) and Oryx Insurance Brokers are members of the BBBF and will give special consideration to BBBF members. Contact numbers: BNL 1758 7333, AXA 1758 8222, RSA 1758 1661 Oryx 1723 2632. All above companies are members of the Bahrain Insurance Association. You can also contact International Companies such as BUPA International, ExpaCare, Interglobal, International Health Insurance.


Forum


Workplace Stress - survey suggests a growing problem in the Gulf Almost half of the employees in Gulf countries cannot stop thinking about the office, a regional survey revealed. Trade Arabia.com reports that a survey conducted by a recruitment and career planning company based in Dubai revealed that nearly half of the respondents admitted not being able to stop thinking about work on the weekends. More than one in 10 regularly find

themselves in the office on the weekends or during holidays and only 18% of the people who took part in the two-week survey said they could successfully block out work after office hours. The survey showed that 44% of people always had work on their mind, 11.4% said they work weekends on a regular basis, 26.4% said they had work on their mind except when they were really busy

Stress - the facts * Stress has a quantifiable cost to industry worldwide, with stress -related absence stress-related accounting for half of all sickness from work, with an estimated price tag of $4 billion.

* FFormer ormer UNISON head of safety,, now Senior health and safety Policy Officer on Health and Safety at the TUC, Hugh Robertson, said it was in the interests of workers and employers to eliminate stress, which is now the biggest cause of workplace absence.

and only 18.2% said that as soon as they leave work their mind is free. People were also asked about which industry they would change if they had the choice. Apparently 37.2% said they would change to medical, 7.6% said fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), 14.4% said oil and gas, 14.4% banking, 11.6% engineering and construction and 14.8% information technology (IT).

* A recent study from the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy undertaken by Professor John Mcleod of the University of Abertay Abertay,, Dundee has shown that counselling can reduce levels of stress in the workplace by more than 50%, and that counselling in the workplace can reduce levels of sickness and absence by between 25-50%.

The survey also indicated that 21% of people thought that IT paid the highest salaries, 17% said banking and finance, 11.4% feel construction and engineering, 4.2% said FMCG, 39.6% said oil and gas, and 6.8% said Medical and healthcare. Consistently working late is a reality for many Middle East employees, according to the survey.

* The mental health charity Mind, estimates that 80 per cent of modern diseases have their beginnings in stress. Most of the 12 million adults who see their GP each year about mental health problems have complaints related to stress, and workplace issues are a major determinant.

Heart disease and diabetes linked to stress in the office - researchers study 10,000 London based civil servants for 14 years People who suffer from chronic stress caused by their job are more likely to develop heart disease and diabetes, according to research reported earlier this year. It has long been suggested that stress can damage your health, but scientific evidence has been hard to come by. However, researchers writing in January’s British Medical Journal say they have evidence “for the biological plausibility of the link”. Their study looked at the stress levels reported by more than 10,000 civil servants, aged 35 to 55, in 20 government departments in London. The participants in the 14-year study also answered questions 24 Forum

on their health and had two physical examinations. The researchers found that those who most often reported stress were most likely to have a set of risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, which include abdominal obesity, raised cholesterol and high blood pressure, known as metabolic syndrome. Stress is difficult to define. The researchers, from University College London, used what they call a “job strain” questionnaire. Stress was present, they said, if those surveyed said the demands of their job were high and their control over decisions was low. The researchers said past studies had been limited because they asked about

stress on only one occasion. The new study asked participants about the stress in their job on four occasions during the year. If they met the criteria for job strain on three out of the four occasions, they were defined as having chronic work stress. The authors found a direct relationship between chronic stress and metabolic syndrome. Men with chronic work stress were nearly twice as likely to develop the syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and diabetes, as those who had no work stress. Women were five times more likely to have metabolic syndrome than men were. Those most likely to develop

metabolic syndrome were also those who had a poor diet, drank heavily, smoked and did little physical exercise. They were also more likely to be at a lower employment grade. But stress still played a part. One possible explanation is that prolonged exposure to work stress may affect the nervous system. Alternatively, chronic stress may reduce biological resilience and thus disturb the body’s physiological balance (homoeostasis). “Employees with chronic work stress have more than double the odds of the syndrome than those without work stress, after other risk factors are taken into account,” the authors wrote.


Life Coaching - the new trend that helps you to help yourself For many years therapy was the only way that celebrities and troubled individuals could keep their heads together under pressure. Whether you are trying to cope with new found fame, a relationship falling apart, or even the day to day pressures of running a home and family ‘Life Coaching’ will help you find your way. Life Coaching does not carry the stigma of therapy, which seems to have a taboo status. In fact, the name is more empowering and shows that you are someone who is in control of their own destiny, (even if admitting that you need help to achieve your goals). On the contrary, Life Coaching implies learning, discovery and growth, and has a healthy ring to it that is reminiscent of seeking guidance in a sport or help with your craft. Madonna, always the trendsetter, has admitted to having a Life Coach and so does chat show host Oprah Winfrey. Hilary Clinton swears by hers and sporting heroes of our time have also taken to having coaching on and off the

Health News Why women are better drivers Women could have the edge behind the wheel thanks to their hormones, researchers have found. In tests, women showed a better attention span and a greater degree of ability to learn rules. In the Bradford University study, women were more able to shift attention from one stimulus to another, making it easier to perform actions such as driving. It’s thought to be down to the hormone oestrogen having a positive effect on the brains frontal lobe. The queens of multi-tasking win again!

field. Even David Beckham has admitted to consulting life coaches in his spare time and in the UK, Arsenal Football Club apparently has its own Life Coach to help its players avoid the destructive lifestyle that some famous footballers succumb to. Many large corporates also take advantage of the life coach phenomenon and submit their key employees to life coaching sessions. Using one has had particularly good results for IT giant IBM, whose employees benefited from a work life balance programme designed to give them more time with their families. The theory being that a happy workforce is a more productive one. So what do lifestyle coaches do and what makes them different from traditional therapists? Bahrain-based Life Coach Carol Melrose explained: “It is important to concentrate on a client’s current lifestyle, how they want to change it and how they want to develop as an individual. “Different from therapy, which is all about looking at the individual’s past and reasons for their problems, Life Coaching

Work your way to a longer life? Proposed pension reforms in the UK means we could all be waiting until 68 to retire. But every cloud has a silver lining. Research suggests working longer could add years to your life. Employees who retire at 55 have a higher mortality rate than those who work for another decade. The physical and mental activity and social contact work wonders for your health.

Why men don’t go to the doctors. At long last, we have discovered why men avoid the doctor’s surgery at all costs. Apparently, men are

prefers to look at what’s happening now and what’s going to happen in the future,” she said. Adding “There are obviously some overlapping issues, as a client may have past problems that are affecting the way they live their life today and we may need to touch on them, but we don’t focus on them like a therapist would, rather we want to look at the requirement for the future and bringing balance to the person NOW”. Until now the life coach revolution had only spread from the US, where it started 14-15 years ago, as far as Europe, where it has taken hold in the last four to five years. However, Coaches have now been

dissatisfied with the current service and want extended surgery hours and more male clinics, check-up’s and screening tests. More than 400 men took part in a survey for men’s health forum and most said they would visit their GP if the surgery were open evenings or on a Saturday. Some wanted to see online booking systems and others wanted to see more ‘malefriendly’ surgeries with more men’s magazines. The forum is presenting the findings to the government so hopefully change is a foot.

Wonder herb for your heart. New research confirms garlic

introduced to the Middle East via International Coaches Federation. Just one word of warning, if you are thinking of visiting a life coach, be prepared to be honest with yourself and answer questions truthfully, you may also have to think about aspects of your life you have never considered before and recognise what your comfort zone is. It can be a bit of an eyeopener and may shake you up, but when you are bouncing around living your life to the full and achieving what you want, you’ll know it was worth it. Carol is a member of the BBBF and anyone interested in finding out more can contact her through them.

really is good for your heart. The latest study has found that taking a garlic supplement can significantly reduce the chances of heart attacks in people with existing heart problems. This is good news as cardiovascular disease is Britain’s biggest killer, causing 233,000 deaths a year. Researchers from Liverpool’s John Moore’s University found that a garlic supplement lowers the risk of blood clots and therefore heart attacks. The garlic works by targeting platelets in the blood that clot to stop us bleeding to death. In older people these platelets can stick together, but garlic keeps them mobile and reduces the risk of clots. Forum 25


Inspired! very high endorsement from CEOs and business leaders for the sustained impact they have on audiences. He is regularly voted ‘best speaker’ at conferences across all industries.

The BBBF recently teamed up with the Institute of Human Development (IhD) in the UK to deliver a two day workshop entitled ‘Inspired Leadership’ in the Gulf International Convention Centre at the Gulf Hotel under the patronage of His Excellency Daij Bin Salman Al Khalifa, Undersecretary of Foreign Trade and with the sponsorship of British Airways and Infocall. The Inspired Leadership workshops are one element of an overall package of events created by the IhD. These include, Inspired Teams, Inspired Branding, Inspired Vision, and Inspired Workers. Together, they will help to create the Inspired Enterprise – an organization which is driven by a single belief system and set of values, shaped around the values and needs of its people; an organization which will be head and shoulders above the competition. The workshop was led by Adrian Gilpin, founder and Chairman of the IhD 26 Forum

and was attended by 60 delegates from a wide range of corporate backgrounds including, finance, oil, accounting, health services, education and construction. It also attracted delegates from the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Government departments. According to Steve Ritchie, Chairman of the BBBF, “the content and format of this event was unique. Not only have the delegates enjoyed two days of intensive interactive learning, they have also been given a full years’ access to the online learning and support network of the IhD. This will ensure they continue to develop the concepts they pick up at the workshop” Adrian Gilpin’s presentations are certainly not the ordinary run of the mill lectures. They are a mix of story-telling, movie clips, wisdom and common sense, coupled with a deep understanding of what makes human beings tick and perform at their best. His presentations get

The IhD has designed and led some of the most effective and sustainable change programmes in British business. Many organisations – recently Royal Bank of Scotland, Prudential and Barclays – have retained the IhD to coach their Managing Directors and senior executives in high performance leadership coaching. Entrepreneurs have worked with the IhD to maximise the value of their enterprises; Adrian Gilpin himself coached the board of Bookham Technology through the largest ever public floatation of any UK technology business. He works regularly within the public sector too, including the MOD and all three forces. Adrian best-selling book Unstoppable People has just been revised and republished under the title Unstoppable – The pathway to living an inspired life. An inspiring story of a personal journey of self-discovery, US leadership guru Warren Bennis called the book an “immensely inspiring and deeply practical - a book for leaders of the future to treasure” and the Independent on Sunday referred to it as a guide to how “ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things.” So, why Bahrain? The BBBF committee felt there was significant potential for an organization such as the IhD to market its unique brand of personal development and

growth in the region, both on an individual basis as well as to large Corporates. They contacted Adrian Gilpin to see if he would be interested in testing the theory and it turned out he had very similar views. Aside from the success of the workshop itself, the theory seems to be holding true. Adrian was able to set up meetings with senior staff at a number

of the larger companies in Bahrain to discuss the longer term needs and opportunities. He was also honoured by His Highness Shaikh Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Commander in Chief of the BDF, who convened a lunch meeting with Adrian and over 50 senior businessmen and government officials during Adrian’s visit. The BBBF and the IhD are also in discussion with a BBBF member company which operates a training institute in Bahrain and an events company in Dubai with a view to providing year-round local support for delegates and offering the full range of Inspired courses on a regular basis across the Gulf. For more information on the IhD visit http://www.ihd. co.uk


UK Companies struggle to fill vacancies Research unveiled at the end of 2005 shows how the skills gap is biting for businesses across the UK. The Investors in People survey shows that over a third of employers lack the applicants they need for their positions. The research, conducted amongst more than 700 Investors in People organisations, showed that recruitment is becoming an increasingly important business issue. Nearly nine in ten (86%) employers say recruitment is a high or very high priority for them over the next 12 months. Almost one in five (37%) see it as more of a priority than they did a year ago. But a lack of quality applicants is proving a challenge for businesses in the UK. Nearly a quarter of UK bosses (24%) have to wait up to six months on average to fill job vacancies; only 18% say it takes less than a month to find the right person for the job. Ruth Spellman, Chief Executive of Investors in People UK, commented, “This survey shows that finding the right person for the job is becoming increasingly difficult. Applicants are lacking in both quality and quantity, meaning that ambitious employers are starved of the lifeblood of their business – the people whom they need to progress” “In these difficult circumstances, employers must do all they can to increase their competitive edge in the recruitment market. This means putting people at the heart of their

business, analysing both current and prospective requirements and then tenaciously targeting people to fill these needs – both internal and external candidates. Organisations working with Investors in People are already alert to the issues – and taking steps to tackle them; we believe thousands more could benefit” Other key findings from the survey included: • Over a third (40%) of respondents say that the main reason for recruitment is business growth • Manual and craft workers need to be recruited most often (31% compared to other recruitment areas). • 18% of those interviews say they need to recruit middle managers/ professionals most often Investors in People offers the following ‘top tips’ for employers wanting to improve their recruitment and retention performance: • Consider both current and future need. It’s vital to plan ahead. Avoid kneejerk recruiting by carefully evaluating what resource you will need in the next six to 12 months, and reviewing this on a regular basis. It’s important to keep on top of resource needs as your business develops and grows. • Be clear about what you’re looking for. Draw up a clear job description for each vacant position and establish your expectation of the candidate’s skills,

experience and aptitude to avoid ‘job mis-selling’. It will avoid disappointment and expense further down the line. • Take a look at your own people. It can be tempting to rely on the recruitment consultant to find the right person for the job, but the perfect candidate could be right under your nose. Careful succession planning can ensure that when a manager is promoted or moves on, a member of their team is well equipped to fill their shoes.

programme into place to ensure that your new starters don’t lose their motivation but start to contribute to the organisation’s productivity as soon as possible after joining. • Keep talking to new recruits – don’t abandon them at the end of their induction period. Ask them for feedback on the organisation and listen to their suggestions for how to improve the recruitment and induction process.

• Don’t neglect new recruits. Ensure that you put a proper induction

The British School of Bahrain – Work Experience Scheme With the support of the BBBF the British School of Bahrain is looking to place up to 30 senior students in the work place. The scheme will run for one week at the end of June 2006, with the hope that this will become an annual event. Whilst some students already have their career programs mapped out, many are simply at the idea stage and have a limited view of working life.

We have already received a number of very welcome offers that involve a variety of job descriptions across a range of companies, but the British School is still looking for further assistance.

The aim of the program is to ensure the students spend a week in the workplace to experiencing first hand the business environment, covering issues such as dress code, timing, delegation and a sense of responsibility to others.

For more information please contact either the BBBF office on 1781 3488 or E-mail: bbbforum@batelco.com.bh Or Bridget Penrose-Lyall at the school on 1771 0878 E-mail enquires@thebhbs.com Forum 27


More Leisure - fact or fiction In recent years more and more reports have shown the increasing importance of the leisure sector. More and more businesses seem to be growing to exploit the time people supposedly have on their hands and even some government websites have pages devoted to telling people what to do with their time! (www.direct.gov.uk) So how much time do people really have for leisure activities? Consider for a moment that in 1847 an act was passed in the UK to reduce mill hours to ten a day (and remember this was a 6 day week), though not all mill owners took any notice of it. Consider as well that in Ireland during the early 1900’s there was still no law on the statute book preventing employers from working staff for as many hours as they wished. Working conditions for shop workers may have been less harsh, but the hours were longer. It was 7.00 in the morning until 11.00 at night, and 7.00 until noon on Sunday. Often a shop owner wouldn’t shut until his competitors did, and he would send an assistant out to make sure. By 1912 a Shop Hours Act had been passed in Ireland limiting the working week to 74 hours but it is still recorded that a drapery shop owner was prosecuted in that year for ‘permitting’ one of his young female employees to work 97½ hours in one week. In Germany in the early part of the 20 th century, historians record that over 6 million women were engaged in agricultural activity, often doing the 28 Forum

same work as the men, and they were working 17-18 hours per day. Meanwhile in the US, statisticians tell us, the average length of the working week has decreased from 66 hours to 35 hours during the 20 th Century. Because of more holiday and a shorter working week, the average number of hours worked in a year is now supposedly only half of what it was in the latter part of the nineteenth century. But what is the reality of the working hour week? Recently published UK employment statistics show that over half of fathers and 13% of mothers regularly work over 40 hours per week. 30% of fathers and 6% of mothers regularly work over 48 hours per week. For the self-employed 14% of mothers, and 49% of fathers worked more than 48 hours per week. In addition, at the turn of the twenty-first century, the European Foundation for Improvement in Living and Working (EFIL) conditions showed that the average commuting time in the UK was the highest in Europe at 46 minutes per day. That’s 184 hours per year versus the 160 taken off for four weeks holiday. But even so, surely this means that people still have more non-working time available than ever before? Our choices are like a smorgasbord at a restaurant, so many, that we try to take a little of each and generally overload our plates. It has been noted by some that we are often afraid to make deliberate

choices because we realize that every choice precludes others. If we take the mountain road, we cannot drive by the lake along the valley road as well. So some people put off making a decision just to keep their options open. Others simply try to say “Yes” to everything. Rather than having more leisure time, we probably have less because we expect to do more and others expect us to do more. We try to match the pace of a fast society. Since we want it all and want to do everything, we are guilty of raising our expectations for activity. “Ah, tomorrow is a day for leisure. Let’s go to the beach in the morning, a movie in the afternoon, and to dinner with our friends in the evening. Then we’ll still have time to see that video, check our email, and watch the news before bed.” So what else affects our leisure apart from time available? It was the arrival of mass forms of cheap transport in the 20th century that gave a boost to the demand for shorter working hours and longer holidays: the railways and to a lesser extent the bicycle. Although it was the

factory owners who were primarily reluctant to grant more time off work, the authorities too were alarmed. What would the workers do, apart from spend more time in the pubs and become more of a nuisance? At least if they were locked up in the factories, they were out of the way all day. Cheap excursions on the railways could carry thousands to the seaside or to the races. Owning a bike meant you could get out into the countryside. And of course providing refreshment and accommodation for these early holiday-makers was a new industry in itself. The tourist industry was born and the pressure to create more leisure and more money-making opportunities was on. In the west the average famly now spends 15% of its income on transport. Transport has become cheaper, easier and faster. This makes it easier for people to get to leisure activities and means many more holidays can be taken abroad. The Economic & Social


Research Council (ESRC) has produced figures for 2003 showing that Britons took over 41 million visits abroad for holidays that year, a figure which continues to grow year by year. So what do we spend most on? The most popular activity for Britons was going out for something to eat or drink which represented 18% of all visits spent away from home. Consumers in the UK spent over £12.2 billion in restaurants, cafés, canteens and pubs (excluding alcoholic drinks) in the third quarter of 2004 alone. Results from other surveys show that other mostpopular activities include

walking/rambling, visiting friends and shopping. So... Answer the questionDo we have more leisure time? Well, to say, for example, that a woman who works at a high stress office job eight hours, commutes ninety minutes, and does ninety minutes of household chores each day has more leisure time than her 1970s counterpart who stayed home with the kids is absurd. Sure, she might log fewer hours of “work” but she is certainly more stressed. Similarly, going out to dinner, considered a pleasant leisure activity not that long ago, has become routine. So, going out to

dinner for ninety minutes times two people counts as an extra three hours of leisure time for the couple. If the stay-at-home wife was previously cooking that meal she probably logged it as two hours of housework, although in reality it was more like twenty minutes of actual work done over the course of a couple hours. So, a single dinner out might count as a net leisure gain of five hours for the couple. But is it really? It basically means coming home and having very little time to relax before going to bed to get ready for the next workday. If the couple has small children, scratch that relaxation time. Is going to the gym to “work

out” classified as leisure or work? In the past, people went because they enjoyed it or as a way of blowing off steam. Now, most people go because they feel pressured to do so for health or competitive reasons. Between all the commuting, instant communicating, and constant overscheduling, we are very stressed as a society. It is hard to deny that our economic lives are better in almost every way from that of our generational forebearers. As stressful as white collar work can be, it beats back breaking manual labour. We drive nicer cars, live in bigger houses, have more toys, and have much more disposable income than our grandparents could have imagined.


Significant Investment For Skin Cancer Technology A unique skin-imaging technology that allows medical staff to look beneath the skin with light for the early diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers by u s i n g a h a n d h e l d scanner or digital camera has been developed by a United Kingdom company. Cambridge-based Astron Clinica has raised venture finance from Kuwait Finance House, Bahrain. Astron plans to expand worldwide and to develop its product suite to include applications in a variety of skin conditions - such as psoriasis, eczema and acne - as well as in wound management and for the cosmetics industry where it can be used to analyse skin-ageing. Experts use a handheld SIAscanner or a standard digital camera to create surface or sub-surface maps of the skin that can be stored and compared with subsequent images to monitor and treat patients over a series of examinations. The images can be incorporated into reports or printed out for patients to assist in selfmonitoring. “The company’s patented SIAscopy technology is used in its Dermetrics product suite to assist in the early diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers [cancerous moles/ malignant melanomas] and has potential applications in a variety of skin conditions,” said a spokesperson. “The multimillion pound investment follows a funding round of 300,000 pounds raised through the Oxfordshire Investment Opportunity 30 Forum

Network, Europe’s leading technology business angel network.” Recently, Kuwait Finance House, Bahrain (KFHBahrain) acquired almost a 39% interest in Astron Clinica. KFH-Bahrain’s general manager Abdulhakeem Alkhayyat said: “The company’s unique imaging technology [SIAscopy] together with its unique skin-imaging software suite [Dermetrics] gives Astron Clinica the potential to be the leading global player in skin imaging. KFH-Bahrain is delighted

to invest in Astron Clinica and support the efforts of Astron Clinica’s management team with the full commercial development of their skinimaging business.” KFH-Bahrain is a leading provider of commercial and investment banking services that are fully compliant with Islamic law. Established in 2002 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Kuwait Finance House, an industry leader for more than 25 years, KFHBahrain specialises in developing and bringing to

market the highest quality Islamic law-compliant banking and investment products. The bank is the market leader in the Islamic banking industry in Kuwait and holds an estimated 20 per cent of the total deposit base of the country. Astron’s skin-imaging technology (SIA = spectrophotometric intracutaneous analysis) uses visible and infrared light to examine the main skin components (blood, melanin, dermal melanin and collagen) to a depth of two millimetres below the skin’s surface and

displays the images on standard PCs. The technology is based on research started at Birmingham University, England, by the company’s chief scientific officer, Dr Symon Cotton, and has been developed by Astron in association with the university and Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge. It is now being used worldwide in Astron’s Dermetrics products suite by dermatologists, plastic surgeons and other medical professionals. The system helps

decrease the time between identification and treatment. Medical professionals have been closely involved with the development of SIAscopy that was based on original PhD work by Dr Symon Cotton. Now, Per Hall, consultant plastic surgeon at the world-renowned Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, and his team are exploring the possibilities of SIAscopy through a series of research projects and are also using Dermetrics at the hospital. Dermetrics enables medical practitioners at all levels to use SIAscopy to examine beneath the surface of the skin without the need for excision. Case study examples include a 43-year-old mother of two whose birthday present saved her life. Her husband gave her an appointment with consultant Per Hall to remove thread veins; Hall spotted a malignant melanoma on her calf that was removed. She is now happy to be regularly checked with SIAscopy to ensure that any other cancerous moles that develop are controlled. No form of diagnosis is 100 per cent accurate but as Dr Symon Cotton, SIAscopy’s inventor, said: “The use of SIAscopy has been shown to increase diagnostic accuracy from around 70 per cent to 95 per cent. This could be thought of as reducing missed melanomas by over 80 per cent. SIAscopy is the most accurate method of deciding whether a mole should be removed or not.”


Annie Brooking, Astron Clinica’s chief executive officer, said: “The skin is the largest organ in the body and it is far from simple to investigate what is going on inside. Current methods of assessing whether a skin lesion may be cancerous are based on visual examinations of the skin’s surface but the process is timeconsuming, costly and has a high ‘false negative’ rate as about 20 per cent of melanomas are not detected on first presentation. “SIAscopy is a breakthrough in medical imaging which assists consultant dermatologists and GPs [family doctors] to identify suspicious

moles at the earliest possible stage without cutting the skin. This means that patients can receive prompt treatment, greatly increasing their chances of recovery. Scientific research has proven SIAscopy to be a reliable and cost-effective technology.” “SIAscopy will now be applied to provide important new insights into the factors responsible for human skin appearance and should enable cosmetic scientists to gain a much clearer understanding of the actual effects of their products.” Commenting on the fundraising process, she

added: “Oxfordshire Investment Opportunity Network (OION) provided the bridging finance we needed at a crucial time to take us through to the stage where we could attract substantial v e n t u r e - c a p i t a l investment. OION’s knowledgeable investors had a thorough understanding of the healthcare market. Angel networks have a critical and important role to play in helping technology companies such as ourselves reach the next stage.” The OION network is Europe’s most successful technology business angel network that links

investors with entrepreneurs seeking business development funds from 150,000 pounds to two million pounds sterling. OION helped 13 companies raise 2.5m pounds in the year to March 2005, and during the last five years, has helped 74 companies raise 17.3m pounds. OION is managed by Oxford Innovation, the UK’s leading operator of innovation centre premises for start-up companies, and sponsored by HSBC Bank, Grant Thornton, Laytons, MTI, Frank B Dehn & Company, Nesta and Business Link.

Forum 31


The shape of things to come? Being narrow minded is positively a good idea at a certain automotive group in Wales. The company is making a radical new vehicle created by crossing a car with a motorcycle - and it could become a British congestion-busting success.

to come is currently under development in Wales and could be on UK roads within three years, costing 5,200 pounds.Commuters, taxicabs and delivery

as unlikely as rickshaws have been seen on London streets and even confirmed city drivers have recently been turning to bicycles. Appearing like a curious

“We are confident there will be market demand for cars like the Naro, particularly in our cities,” said Hugh Kemp. The concept has been driven by the increasing problems of

companies the world over are always looking for a way to beat the traffic – and find a parking space. Solutions

throwback to an earlier age, yet mixed in with modern technology, the Naro has bicycle-style mudguards over each wheel.

congestion, the scarcity of parking spaces and concerns about pollution levels.

The metre-wide Naro is a two-seater vehicle in which driver and passenger sit in tandem similar to riding on a motorbike but are cocooned in a car-like shell. Initial design work was carried out by Coventry University School of Art & Design, central England; the styling and layout work was undertaken by Matt Reeves while at Swansea Institute School of Industrial Design, Wales. Developers claim it drives like a motorbike - and even has to be leaned into corners - but has four wheels and the safety facilities of a car. The unlikely shape of things

32 Forum

Hugh Kemp is a former product director at Lotus Cars responsible for the Elise and he set up the Narrow Car Company of Wales to develop the concept. Based on research licensed from Prodrive, a leading motorsport and automotive group, he is hoping to produce 1,500 Naros a year in Wales.

“The Naro is a third of the weight of a typical saloon car, occupies a third of the space of a conventional car, uses less than half the fuel and will be capable of 100 miles per gallon, making it an attractive cost-effective proposition. Our aim is to manufacture the commuter vehicle in Wales and license the platform for development as a singlepassenger taxi cab and citydeliver vehicle,” he added.

His company, based in Abercynon, South Wales, has clinched funding from a Welsh Assembly scheme set up to encourage innovative research and development projects. It will fund research into the technical feasibility of the Naro and develop a demonstration model.

Kemp said the vehicle was still in the research stage but the technology would be tested on a “mule” vehicle later this year. The company has received funding from SMART Cyrmu to research the technical feasibility of the car’s unique roll and steer control system that underpins


the vehicle’s stability. This is now patent protected. Additional funding from SMART Cymru has been provided to develop a working demonstration rig. Andrew Davies, Welsh Minister for Economic Development & Transport, said the fact that Kemp chose to establish the Narrow Car Company in Wales was an indication that the entrepreneurial culture now evident in Wales was being recognised in the UK. “This is supported by the Accelerate automotive programme which is providing a dynamic network for new technology development and commercialisation of innovative ideas,” said Andrew Davies. “The Naro car

is an exciting concept involving novel technology and we are delighted this revolutionary new vehicle is not only being developed in Wales but that manufacturing may follow. “It is also pleasing to see entrepreneurs coming to Wales specifically to develop their ideas and products here. The R&D element brings added value to the economy and we have the skills, expertise and support mechanisms to help develop projects like these,” he added. Hugh Kemp said the Naro represented a radical change in car design, involved novel technology and was aimed at a niche market. Experts at Cardiff University Centre for Automotive Industrial

Research have predicted the UK market for the “sub-car” sector will grow to 20,000 vehicles a year by 2012. Initial design work was carried out by Coventry University School of Art & Design, central England; the styling and layout work has been undertaken by Matt Reeves while at

Swansea Institute School of Industrial Design, Wales. He is now working for Prodrive. Naro has been further supported by the Welsh Development Agency by developing the supplier base through the Accelerate New Vehicle Cluster programme and by Venture Wales.

Forum 33


Climate Change - a priority

The Prince of Wales has now joined the calls for more immediate action by claiming that Climate Change is the world’s greatest threat - ahead of terrorism. He told leaders of small British businesses that their companies should become more energy efficient and cut waste because it can help profits and protect their grandchildren’s future. HRH was speaking at a meeting at the CBI’s London headquarters, where he quoted John Coomber, a main board director of Swiss Re, which assesses risk and looks to the future, as saying: “Climate change is the number one risk in the world, ahead of terrorism and demographic change.” Prince Charles commented: “I think he has got a point.” Prince Charles says climate change should be seen as the “greatest challenge to face man” and treated as a much bigger priority in the UK. The Prince later unveiled his vision for the future of the environment, farming and food in an interview with the BBC. 34 Forum

He said he did not want his future grandchildren to ask why he had not acted over the issue, adding that climate change was a big issue for the future of farming, and affected considerations such as which crops should be grown.

framework on emission targets needed to be agreed by everyone.

The Prince also said that moves should be taken to ensure “there was something left to hand on” to future generations.

“Click for the Climate” invited people to pledge to make a small change to their lifestyle during science week to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Back in November of last year, Prime Minister Tony Blair had said he was keen to see ‘binding agreements’ put in place to deal with the problems the world faces from climate change. In particular, he said, the US, China and India - as the world’s largest and fastestgrowing economies - had to sign up to make any such treaty worthwhile. Mr Blair pointed out that the evidence of climate change was getting stronger and even those who doubted it accepted there were concerns over energy security and supply. The Prime Minister acknowledged that the Kyoto protocol had been important, but added that the world needed to combine the need for growth with ‘a proper and responsible attitude’ towards the environment. Climate change had been one of the main priority areas during the UK’s G8 Presidency year and speaking in March of this year the PM refuted suggestions that his ‘resolve was weakening’ on the issue, but said that any

Also in March, the UK public were invited to participate in a mass experiment to reduce climate change as part of National Science Week.

The Prime Minister has added support by lowering his thermostat by one degree. The British Association for the Advancement of Science (BA), which coordinates National Science Week, asked people to visit its website to make an online pledge for a “green” lifestyle change, revealing the estimated carbon dioxide savings if the action is kept up for a week. The pledges include: ·

not going to school or work by car, saving 4.5kg of CO2

·

unplugging phone chargers when not in use, saving 1kg of CO2

·

fitting three low energy light bulbs, saving 1.4kg of CO2

·

off-setting one return air flight by planting a tree, saving 1,000kg of CO2

·

not leaving electrical equipment on stand-by, saving 0.6kg of CO2

Professor Sir David King, the government’s chief

scientific adviser, launched the campaign and said reducing greenhouse gas emissions is the greatest global challenge we face today, adding that cutting emissions is up to individuals, as well as government and industry. “We in government have a particular responsibility, and hence our emphasis on reducing our emissions by 60% by 2050. At the same time it is a problem for each individual to think about, and this is why the ‘Click’ campaign is brilliant, because it brings home to each individual their own responsibilities,” he said. More than 500,000 people took part in National Science Week. “If they all just replaced one ordinary light bulb in their home with an energy saving bulb, then National Science Week would have cut down carbon dioxide emissions by over 240 tonnes,” explained Roland Jackson, chief executive of the BA. “People say individuals cannot make a difference this shows that they clearly can!”

The light bulb that hangs over the famous black front door in Downing Street has also being changed to a low-energy type.


Forgiveness From the Holistic Therapy Couch of Julie Lomas Many years ago, in the early years of my healing journey, I carried a list of people around in my head who had “hurt me or had done something wrong to me in some way.” The circumstances included all sorts of silly little things as well as big things. Over time the burden of my anger or hurts weighed heavy on my heart and, looking for a way to release the pain, I slowly learned how to forgive and accept. I also accepted that I had to go through the hurts and anger to become the person I am today so that I, in turn, can help others. Recently I have been told I still need to release some suppressed anger from childhood days which is still affecting me now. For those of you who know me well, you know I don’t often get angry, in fact its very rare. I do lose my temper for a few short seconds but rarely am I angry. However I do, very often get hurt and it often takes a long time for me to get over the hurt when I know I don’t deserve what has been done. It would be good to express anger here ( in private of course ) to help to release it. To express it would be better than suppressing it as I often do, or stewing on things until I become an emotional mess. My problem being that I don’t like to upset people, even if they have upset me, I don’t like confrontation or conflict at all. One of the bravest steps we take on our healing journey is to forgive. Sometimes it helps to re-

member that beneath the surface of our humanity, is our divinity. No thought, word, or action can ever dispute this Universal Law. If you’d like more support on the topic of forgiveness, I highly recommend a book called “Dare to Forgive,” by Edward Hallowell. Its a very good book and helps you look at the path to forgiveness. Forgiveness is such a tricky subject. When we’re harmed or betrayed by someone, emotions can run wild from hurt, to disappointment, to anger, and even rage. Sometimes we experience conflicting emotions. Often, if you’re hurt by someone you love, it can be confusing to feel angry while at the same time, saddened by the loss of the relationship. Sometimes the people who have the most profound effect on our lives are the ones who cause us the most pain and hurt. We also deal with pain in different ways. There are those who hold grudges, there are those who forgive too soon. And there are those who are unsure of what to do at all. The emotional roller coaster ride can feel overwhelming and exhausting. To forgive someone doesn’t mean you condone bad behaviour. It doesn’t mean that you give in, it certainly doesn’t mean that you need to reengage in a relationship. To forgive means that you choose love over hate. You choose to free yourself from the toxicity of the pain so you can move on with your life. You can however

only do this when you’re ready. Some people need to fantasize about getting revenge first, while others need to tell the story over and over again until it loses its power and sting. We each need to go through our own healing process. Of course we also sometimes need to forgive ourselves, but that is a whole other subject. When I was finally ready to forgive, I asked the angels to help as I now always do and I came across this following ritual. So, if there is someone you’d like to forgive, you might want to try it yourself, perhaps you could use it in your own way. 1. Set aside some time to yourself and perhaps light a candle 2. Think about someone you’d like to forgive and repeat the following prayer out loud: ”I fully and freely forgive X (mention the

name of the offender). I let him or her go. I completely forgive the whole business in question. As far as I am concerned, it is finished forever. I cast the burden of resentment on the God within me. X is free now and I am too. I wish him or her well in every phase of life. That incident is finished and God has set us both free.” 3. Then, offer thanks, get up and go about your business. When the event and/or person crosses your mind again (and it will), simply repeat: “I release this event,” and then dismiss the thought from your mind. After a while, you’ll find that the memory returns less often and soon you’ll forget about it altogether. Good Luck. Julie

Enjoy our famous sizzling steaks, prawn sizzlers and more For reservations Tel. 1771 6999

Email: sizzlers@batelco.com.bh Website: www.mansourimansionshotel.com Forum 35


Bahrain News Soccer Credit Card launched

Hotel to create 575 jobs in Bahrain

Standard Chartered has launched an innovative credit-card called MasterCard Soccer Credit Card, for people with a passion for football.

Artists impression

A brand new $150 million Italian Domina Hotel and Resort Al Areen (DHA), 100% owned by Al Hamad Group, will give a new blend to the exclusive hotels and resorts in the Kingdom. The property located within Al Areen project, next to Bahrain International Circuit, will be ready by mid2007 and fully operational during the Formula One Grand Prix 2008. The project will create approximately 575 jobs, providing strong support to young, educated locals. DHA will feature 342 spacious rooms including presidential and junior suites, several restaurants and lounges, fully integrated and comprehensive sports and leisure facilities, a 35,000ft2 convention centre and 24 additional luxury villas. The hotel is directly linked to The Lost Paradise of Dilmun Water Park where guests can walk down and enjoy the unique facility. Al Hamad Group Chairman Nashat Sahawneh told a Press conference: “Bahrain is one of the most attractive tourist and commercial destinations in the Middle East. Al Hamad has all 36 Forum

components of the construction industry including designing and development and all relevant building materials and services within the group.” Sahawneh added. ”We expect this to be the first of several projects we will undertake with this partnership.” Chairman of Al Areen Holding Company, Shaikh Ahmed bin Ali Al Khalifa, said: “This move by Al Hamad was motivated by the hugely attractive possibilities offered by the colossal Al Areen development project with the confidence it inspired in both investors and consumers alike.” Al Areen, a large-scale, luxurious urban, multi-use health and tourism development, spans an area of 2 million square metres and is located on an elevated desert plot within Al Areen Wildlife Park in the southern region of Bahrain. The chairman added: “Al Areen is happy with its alliance with Al Hamad Company which has the expertise as well as the technical and human resources that enable it to participate effectively in such a diverse and challenging project.

DHA is the latest addition in a chain of landmark health and leisure projects - hosted within Al Areen development grounds - that also include the Banyan Tree Desert Spa and Resort and The Lost Paradise of Dilmun Water Park. Managing director of Al Hamad Construction and Development Company, Thamin Fakhoury, said: “Well-known for its worldclass construction practices, its high quality standards and services, Al Hamad is a welcome contributor to Al Areen development which will be a testimony to the rising investor confidence in local markets. Khalid Mukatash, Al Hamad area manager said the plot purchased by Al Hamad, spreading over more than 52,277 square metres, does not only overlook the magnificent water park but also has splendid views of Al Areen Wildlife Sanctuary west of the development site. DHA represents a perfect blend of traditional Bahraini architecture and state-of-the-art amenities. The hotel is scheduled to open in June 2007

MasterCard Soccer Credit Card is the official credit card for the FIFA World Cup to be held in Germany this year. The card offers a host of soccer-related benefits in addition to the standard features of Standard Chartered credit cards.

Standard Chartered MasterCard Soccer Credit Cardholders will get a chance to win an allexpense-paid trip to Germany to watch the World Cup matches in Germany. All new creditcardholders activating their cards on or before April 30 will be automatically entered into a raffle draw. Tickets are courtesy of MasterCard International, the official sponsor of the World Cup. Asish added: “Cardholders will receive discount vouchers which can be redeemed for sports goods or to avail themselves of spa facilities.” The Standard Chartered MasterCard Soccer Credit Card sports a picture of a football player on a blue background with World Cup and MasterCard logos.


BMA wins prestigious award for its contribution to Islamic funds industry The award for Best Contribution to Growth and Development of Islamic Funds has been conferred on the BMA by Failaka International, a Kuwaiti-US firm, which is a recognized leader in Islamic funds monitoring and information. The Failaka Islamic Fund Awards are the first-ever for the Islamic fund industry. The awards ceremony was held in Bahrain, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel & Spa. A total of ten awards were presented for a range of Shari’a compliant funds covering several investment markets, such as real estate, commodities and leasing. The award for the BMA was accepted by H.E. Anwar Khalifa Al Sadah, Deputy Governor of the BMA, who was also the keynote speaker at the event. He noted that the Islamic funds industry currently represents one of the fastest growing sectors within the Islamic financial services industry, with the global market for Islamic

investment funds currently estimated at over 120 funds with assets exceeding US$6 billion. The industry is growing at around 15% per annum, with the demand for such funds set to outstrip supply for the foreseeable future. Bahrain’s Islamic funds industry has been seeing growth rates in excess of 20% in recent years and is the fastest growing segment of the total mutual funds industry, which, at the end of December 2005, stood at 1,882 funds managing assets worth US$7.7 billion. New BMA initiatives, to further develop and advance the mutual funds industry, include a new licensing framework for investment business, which will cater specifically for such activities as asset management, funds management and custodial services. In terms of legal developments, a proposed Trust Law will help in further developing Bahrain’s mutual funds industry.

MTC Vodafone extends customer base in Bahrain MTC-Vodafone Bahrain has exceeded its own goals by making record earnings and achieving profitability two years ahead of schedule, according to Chief Operating Officer, Dr Marwan Alahmad. Speaking at the company’s 2nd anniversary celebrations he said they had now captured a customer base of more than 200,000 in the

Kingdom, representing around 20% of the market. The Bahrain operation saw revenues increase by almost 100% to $70 million last year, allowing it to turn round a $22 million loss in 2004 to a $16 million profit. He continued: “We pride ourselves on our innovative services with original, creative

and very competitive tariff plans for all levels of use. The last year has been a period of building on our strengths. MTC-Vodafone has introduced some of the most technologically advanced services in Bahrain available in the global telecom industry. In addition, our international standing gives MTCVodaphone customers in Bahrain the same

technologically enabled services that are enjoyed by our customers in other regions.” MTC, the parent company, now has more than five million customers in the Middle East and, with its rapid expansion into Africa in 2005, saw global customer numbers increase by 340% to more than 14 million. Forum 37


Bahrain News Bahrain clamp on pirated software Inspectors confiscated pirated software in raids on two computer trading companies in Manama during early March.

digital environment to support the local software industry and protect copyright laws,” said officials.

Three PCs loaded with illegal software were confiscated, along with a large number of CDs containing copies of Windows XP, MS Office 2003 and Norton Anti-Virus.

“The kingdom is exerting tremendous efforts to limit the trade of pirated software which would generate extensive economic benefits and boost profit,” said Information Ministry publications and Press director Jamal Daoud.

The raids were part of campaign against software piracy in Bahrain, “...as the kingdom is promoting a safe

“Bahrain is committed to implementing the Intellectual

WE’LL TAKE YOU FURTHER Morgan P rice are Price international health insurance providers Middle East Regional Office is Now Open Join us at this exciting stage in our development and get: z z z

z

Excellent customer service Market leading products Competitive premiums for individuals and groups Expert help and advice

To explore this opportunity with us apply now: P.O.Box 18695, Manama Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: +973 1753 3151 Fax: +973 1753 3152 Mobile: +973 3940 4160 E-mail: samyaziz@morgan-price.com

www .morgan-price.com www.morgan-price.com

Property Laws and enforce them to restrain this illegal practice. This successful campaign was a result of the co-operation between the Bahraini Authorities and the Arabian Anti-Piracy Association (AAA). “We are committed to working closely with the various parties and organisations involved to limit these detrimental practices.” he added.

“Direct breach of the IPR laws is an obstacle in the face of economic prosperity in the country and the region,” he said.

The BSA is the voice of the world’s commercial software industry and its hardware partners before governments and in the international marketplace. The alliance helps governments and consumers understand how software strengthens the economy, worker productivity and global development and how its further expansion hinges on the successful fight against software piracy and Internet theft.

Software piracy is considered the biggest challenge the global IT industry is facing. The total loss suffered by the global retail industry in 2004 due to software piracy amounted to

BSA programmes foster technology innovation through education and policy initiatives that promote copyright protection, cyber security, trade and ecommerce.

AAA chief executive officer Scott Butler expressed his gratitude to Bahrain’s authorities for their support in the field of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protection.

Saudi Bahraini Business Forum Bahrain’s Prime Minister expressed his optimism that Saudi investments in his country would grow further thanks to the incentives offered by the government. Opening the first AlEqtisadiah forum for Saudi and Bahraini businessmen, the premier emphasized the strong relations between the two Gulf Cooperation Council neighbours. “The forum symbolizes the historic relations between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain,” the premier told the

38 Forum

$32.7 billion (BD12.29bn), of which the Middle East region accounted for $1.2bn (BD451 million), according to the annual piracy report announced by Business Software Alliance (BSA). “Piracy can have a strong negative impact on the economy in general and IT sector in particular,” said Mr Butler.

gathering, attended by a large number of male and female business executives from both countries. “This is a good opportunity to strengthen economic and commercial partnership between the two countries,” Sheikh Khalifa said, emphasizing Bahrain’s desire to extend all facilities to foreign investors. Essam Abdullah Fakhru, chairman of the Bahraini Chamber of Commerce and Industry, stressed the role being played by SaudiBahraini Business Council in boosting joint ventures.


Riffa Views opens its doors to the Contracts awarded on the international community Avare project Riffa Views announced in January that they had had a surge of inquiries from members of the expatriate community in addition to the interest from Bahraini nationals and GCC citizens. “We know that many expatriates currently living in the country would like to make Bahrain their home, and we are delighted that this is now possible” said Riffa Views Managing Director, Mr Yasser A. Abdulla. “We have also been approached by former expatriates who would like to extend the positive experience they enjoyed while living in the Kingdom, and who have been eagerly awaiting an opportunity to own a home in the sun,

along with the entitlement to live in Bahrain,’ Mr Abdulla added. Riffa Views plans to build a gated community featuring 900 top quality homes woven around a planned new PGA championship golf course designed by internationally famed Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest & Associates. The first release of properties offered off plan currently include 81 villas in the Wadi Oasis and 78 villas in the Lagoons area with mortgage finance options in place, enabling eligible buyers of any nationality in any country in the world to secure a property in the development. On site work begins in June 2006, with the first phase being completed by the last quarter of 2007.

Grand Real Estate Projects has appointed AAA Homes, to build their new, luxury residential high-rise, The Avare, situated in Al Seef district. Construction is expected to begin in March on this 29 storey waterfront property. Bahrain-based United Engineering has headed up the design of the project and Century 21 Bahrain Properties are the exclusive sales and marketing agents for the $14 million, 89 apartment development. “The Avare will epitomise the luxurious, upmarket nature of Bahrain’s Al Seef district.” said a spokesman. Abdul Wahed Al Kooheji, Chief Executive, Century 21

Bahrain Properties, said: “We are looking forward to the commencement of work on The Avare, a bold vision of luxury and elegance on the part of the developers. With such an aggressive schedule for completion, we are confident that the collective industry expertise, market knowledge and familiarity with the region of both AAA Homes and United Engineering will set new standards for the budding real estate industry in Bahrain. The Avare development has already garnered a lot of attention and we are pleased to be associated with a project of this nature.” The completion of The Avare is scheduled for the end of 2007. Forum 39


World News

- A brief look at some of the ‘lighter’

stories from the World’s Press that you may have missed OSLO - To a Norwegian woman, it may have seemed like magic when beer began running from her kitchen tap. But it was a nightmare to the bar two floors down when water poured out of their beer taps.

OXFORD - Children in Oxfordshire nurseries are being taught to sing “Baa, Baa rainbow sheep” after the nurseries decided to “reevaluate” their approach to equal opportunities.

She says the free beer wasn’t all that magical though. It was flat and not at all tempting.

This is not the first time that the nursery rhyme has received unwelcome attention; some readers may recall that in 2000, Birmingham Council tried to ban the rhyme, only rescinding the order after black parents said the ruling was ludicrous.

SUNDERLAND - A man has had 1015 metal rings skewered through his body in a non-stop piercing session - all without anaesthetic.

SCOTLAND - Factory worker Craig Crosbie was crowned the world’s fastest texter after he took just 48 seconds to type out the 160character message:

Kam Ma, a hairdresser, broke his own world record with the help of Charlie Wilson, a professional piercer.

“The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human.”

A clumsy plumber had accidentally hooked beer hoses to the water pipes to the woman’s apartment.

The pair had been aiming for 3000 apparently but gave up after 9 hours when Mr Ma went into shock. Mr Wilson said “the average man would stand about 10 minutes before giving up”

Apparently there are now 93.5 million text messages sent everyday leading to speculation that texting has become addictive.

UK - Five years after speculation in the House of Commons regarding who owns it, a UK number plate has come up for sale. ANG 1E is offerred on the web by www.newreg.co.uk for a mere £287,495.00 The website also invites enquires (without giving a guide price) for SUS 1E which is also apparently available. Both plates were mentioned in the House, during the debate on standardising plate sizes in April 2001. DETROIT - One 12-year-old visitor to the Detroit Institute of Arts doesn’t think much of abstract art. The boy stuck a wad of chewing gum to a $1.5 million painting called “The Bay” by Helen Frankenthaler, leaving a stain the size of a quarter, officials said. The boy, who was not identified because of his age, was part of a school group that was visiting the museum last week.The museum’s conservation department is researching the chemicals in the gum to decide which solvent to use to clean it.

BAHRAIN - In the same week that birds on Hawar island have been declared free from avian influenza, The Times newspaper in the UK has suggested that Britons are far more likely to win the lottery than catch bird flu. Rather than innoculating the birds, one wit has suggested the solution above. 40 Forum

And Finally

Bookseller magazine has given the 28th annual Diagram Award for Oddest Book Title of the Year to a self-help book on being haunted entitled: People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It. In a close fight, the runner-up was: Rhino Horn Stockpile Management: Minimum Standards and Best Practices from East and Southern Africa. Other titles that missed out included: Nessus, Snort and Ethereal Powertools and Circumcisions by Appointment: A View of Life In and Around Manchester in the Eighteenth Century.” Previous winners have been “Bombproof Your Horse” and “Greek Rural Postmen and their Cancellation Numbers”, and “Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice”


BBBForum Spring 2006  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you