Syria enclave rebels say ready to expel jihadists
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- Morocco ’s King Mohammed VI
- Saudi Arabia
- King Salman
- ARAB TIMES, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2018
THE FIRST ENGLISH LANGUAGE DAILY IN FREE KUWAIT
Established in 1977 / www.arabtimesonline.com
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2018 / JUMADA AL THANI 12 , 1439 AH
SYRIA ENCLAVE REBELS SAY READY TO EXPEL JIHADISTS
UN calls for ceaseﬁre to be observed
A general view taken from Damascus shows smoke rising from the rebel-held enclave of eastern Ghouta following fresh air strikes and rocket ﬁre on Feb 27. A ﬂedgling ‘humanitarian pause’ announced by Russia in Syria’s rebel-held
enclave was rattled by fresh air strikes and rocket ﬁre, several sources said. (AFP)
ly” underwent a heart opera-
tion in a Paris clinic on
Monday for an irregular heart
beat, his medical team
The doctors, in a state-
ment, said the 54-year-old
monarch had felt the symp-
toms on Jan 20.
of the arrhythmia,” or irregu-
lar rhythm, had successfully
normalised his heart beat.
King Mohammed, who
would resume his normal
activities after a period of rest
prescribed by his doctors, has
ruled Morocco since the
death of his father Hassan in
He underwent an eye oper-
ation in the French capital last
❑ ❑ ❑
Saudi Arabia has
replaced top military com-
manders, including its chief
of staff, in the latest move to
bring fresh blood into the
kingdom’s upper ranks.
The changes, announced in
a string of royal decrees late
Monday, come a month
before the third anniversary
of a Saudi-led military inter-
vention in the Yemen war
which has killed thousands
and triggered a humanitarian
Saudi Arabia for decades
has been home to some of the
world’s most restrictive poli-
cies, banning women from
driving or mixing with men
and outlawing cinemas and
other forms of entertainment.
But since King Salman
Continued on Page 8
Fresh violence mars truce
Moscow and Damascus blamed rebels for the collapse of the
truce, saying ﬁghters had shelled a safe route intended for civil-
ians to leave the enclave. The insurgents denied such shelling.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow would
press on with a plan to stage similar daily pauses in the ﬁghting,
allowing aid to be delivered to eastern Ghouta through what Russia
describes as a humanitarian corridor.
The United Nations said it was proving impossible to aid civil-
ians or evacuate the wounded, and said all sides must instead abide
by a full 30-day ceaseﬁre demanded by the UN Security Council.
“We have reports this morning there is continuous ﬁghting in
eastern Ghouta,” UN humanitarian spokesman Jens Laerke said.
“Clearly the situation on the ground is not such that convoys can go
in or medical evacuations can go out.”
Hundreds of people have died during 10 days of government bom-
bardment of the eastern Ghouta, an area of towns and farms on the
outskirts of Damascus. The assault has been among the most devas-
tating air campaigns of a war now entering its eighth year.
With its Ghouta offensive, the Syrian government of President
Bashar al-Assad is drawing on the military methods it has used to
crush its opponents in other parts of Syria, including eastern Aleppo
in late 2016.
Probing ground assaults
Intensifying bombardment of the besieged area has been coupled
with probing ground assaults to test rebel defences.
With no sign of decisive international pressure to stop the attack,
eastern Ghouta seems likely to meet the same fate as other areas
won back by the government, where humanitarian corridors even-
tually became escape routes for defeated rebels.
“A concrete humanitarian corridor has been set up that will be
used to deliver humanitarian aid, and, in the other direction, a medi-
cal evacuation can take place and all civilians who want to leave
can,” Lavrov told a joint news conference in Moscow after meeting
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Residents in several towns in the eastern Ghouta described a
brief pause in ﬁghting, but said bombardment swiftly resumed. In
the town of Hammouriyeh a man who identiﬁed himself by his ﬁrst
name Mahmoud told Reuters helicopters and warplanes were in the
sky and conducting strikes.
Siraj Mahmoud, a spokesman for the Civil Defence rescue ser-
vice, which is funded by Western governments and operates in
rebel areas, said artillery and air strikes had hit the region.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights moni-
toring group said helicopters and warplanes had struck four towns
and artillery shelling killed one person.
A UN Security Council resolution passed on Saturday called for
a 30-day ceaseﬁre across the entire country, but did not specify
when it should start. It excludes some militant groups which are
among the rebels in eastern Ghouta.
Ceaseﬁre not observed
That has meant the ceaseﬁre has not been observed in practice.
UN spokesman Laerke declined to comment on the Russian pro-
posal for a ﬁve-hour truce, but called instead on all sides to obey
the full 30-day ceaseﬁre.
“It is a question life and death — if ever there was a question of
life and death - we need a 30-day cessation of hostilities in Syria
as the Security Council demands,” Laerke, spokesman of the UN
Ofﬁce for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA),
told a Geneva brieﬁng.
A rebel spokesman said people in eastern Ghouta did not want to
leave the area despite the bombardment, because they feared arrest,
torture or conscription by the government. Russia said it would
guarantee the safety of any civilians who left.
Eastern Ghouta, where the UN says around 400,000 people live,
is a major target for Assad, whose forces have clawed back numer-
ous areas with military backing from Russia and Iran.
Rebels based in eastern Ghouta have intensiﬁed shelling of gov-
ernment-held Damascus. A medical ofﬁcial in the capital said on
Monday 36 people had been killed in four days. Syrian state media
Philippine legislators back ban
MANILA, Feb 27, (Agencies):
In spite of Kuwait exerting tre-
mendous efforts which led to
the arrest of the two alleged
killers of the Overseas Filipino
Worker (OFW) Joanna De-
mafelis, one of the Philippines
Congressmen said the ban on
the deployment of workers to
Kuwait must not be lifted until
the leaders agree to sign a bi-
lateral agreement, according to
During a press conference
which was called for by the
House majority bloc, Reps.
Ana Siquian-Go (NPC, Isa-
bela), Randolph Ting (PDP-
Laban, Cagayan), and Jesulito
Manalo (Angkla party-list) said
a congressional investigation
will determine the liability of
Philippine Labor and Foreign
Affairs ofﬁcials who allowed
the Filipino workers to go to
Kuwait without signing the bi-
Siquian-Go, chairperson of
the House Committee on For-
eign Affairs, said the House
investigation must also cover
other countries which hire
OFWs without guaranteeing to
protect and ensure the welfare
Last week, John Bertiz rep-
resenting the ACTS OFW
party-list said the Philippine
government ofﬁcials have been
violating the Migrant Work-
ers Act that makes a bilateral
agreement a requisite in the de-
ployment of OFWs.
Bertiz said Kuwait was al-
lowed to receive OFWs despite
its refusal to sign any agree-
ment guaranteeing that OFWs
will be treated fairly and pro-
tected against abuses.
Manalo said the revelation
made by Bertiz indicates there “is
already a prima facie instance”
that certain ofﬁcials in the Depart-
ment of Labor and other agencies
tasked to look after OFW welfare
had failed in their jobs.
“Without good faith espe-
cially in the light of many inci-
dents of abuse, it is now a must
that they must sign a bilateral
agreement,” said Manalo,
Chairman of the House Com-
mittee on OFW Affairs.
The murder of the Filipina
maid whose body was found
in a freezer in Kuwait has trig-
gered outrage and prompted
Manila to impose a departure
ban for its citizens planning to
work in the Gulf state.
But the estimated 252,000
Filipinos and Filipinas already
working in Kuwait must weigh
their fear of sharing the fate of
Joanna Demafelis against the
potential loss of vital income
for their families.
MP weighs in on domestics
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim
Arab Times Staff
KUWAIT CITY, Feb 27: MP
Waleed Al-Tabtabaei has sub-
mitted a proposal related to Al-
Durra Company for Recruit-
He pointed out that the cost
for recruiting domestic work-
ers remain high although the
company has been operating
for quite some time now and
there are even indications that
the situation will get worse.
He stressed the need to stabi-
lize the domestic labor market
and encourage fair competi-
tion between service ofﬁces
and companies through the es-
tablishment of more domestic
labor ofﬁces as this will result
in lower recruitment cost as per
the law on supply and demand.
He proposed replacement of
the required ﬁnancial guarantee
from a local bank with issuance
of a license to recruit domestic
workers such that the ﬁnancial
guarantees will be as follows:
■ Ofﬁces: from KD 5,000 to
■ Companies: from KD 10,000
to KD 100,000
■ Branches of companies:
from KD 5,000 to KD 40,000
for each branch
In another development, MP
Saleh Ashour revealed that
the government’s representa-
tives have informed the par-
liamentary Kuwaitization and
Employment Committee about
the completion of a vision to
unify salaries and prepare job
descriptions for 4,000 posts
which will be submitted under
the strategic alternative salary
scale draft law.
He clariﬁed this will be ap-
plicable to those who work in
the public sector once the draft
law is approved and published
in the Ofﬁcial Gazette.
He added the draft law on
regulating leadership positions
will be endorsed along with
the strategic alternative salary
scale to standardize the salary
ladder in the public sector.
He said the salary for under-
secretaries, assistant undersec-
retaries and general managers
should not exceed KD 6,000
while other ﬁnancial privileges
like allowances, incentives and
bonuses will be cancelled.
On another issue, MPs Adel
Al-Damkhi, Omar Al-Tabta-
baei, Ali Al-Daqbasi, Al-Hu-
maidi Al-Subaie and Osama
US threatens action
Iran touts DC ‘defeat’
after Russia UN veto
TEHRAN, Feb 27, (Agencies): Iran said on Tuesday that the
vetoing of a UN resolution that would have criticised its role in
Yemen represented another setback for the United States.
Russia vetoed a resolution at the UN Security Council on
Monday that would have expressed concern over Iran’s fail-
ure to block supplies of missiles to Yemen’s Houthi rebels and
called for “additional measures”.
“Based on a one-sided report, they intended to pass a resolu-
tion that referred to Iran, but they failed,” said Iran’s deputy
foreign minister Abbas Araghchi, according to the ofﬁcial
IRNA news agency.
“This is yet another failure by the US government to drag
Iran to the Security Council,” he added.
The resolution was drafted by Britain, but strongly supported
by the United States.
“Over the past year the US government has tried many times
to drag Iran to the Security Council and it has failed every sin-
gle time,” said Aragchi, on the sidelines of an water conference
In January, Washington called an emergency session of the
Security Council to discuss protests in Iran, only to face strong
criticism from other members who said the move was hypo-
critical and inappropriate.
Later that month, a Security Council panel of experts re-
leased a report into missiles ﬁred by the Houthis into Saudi
Arabia, saying they were made in Iran.
The report did not say Iran had supplied the missiles, but said
the country was still in breach of an arms embargo on Yemen
by failing to stop them reaching the rebel group.
“The biased allegation was absolutely clear in the way the
report was formulated,” said Aragchi.
Photo by Bassam Abu Shanab
Fireworks held near the Kuwait Towers as part of the Na-
tional Days celebrations.
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+13.76 pts at closing Feb 27
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-7.13 pts at closing Feb 27
+236.23 pts at closing Feb 27
$1,325.75 per oz (London)
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ARAB TIMES, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2018
Kuwaiti national fervor continues
sweeping over missions overseas
Triumvirate of photographic exhibitions held in Mumbai
KUWAIT CITY, Feb
27, (KUNA): The gai-
eties of Kuwait’s na-
continue to pervade its
overseas missions, as
the Gulf country marks
its 57th National Day
and 27th Liberation
Day, in addition to the
12th anniversary of His
Highness the Amir’s
Kuwait’s embassy in the
Indonesian capital Jakarta
held a gala Tuesday, where
a number of senior govern-
ment ofﬁ cials joined a bevy
of Kuwaiti diplomats to get
the festivities underway, read
a statement by the mission.
Kuwait’s ambassador to the
world’s largest island nation,
said bilateral ties are outstand-
ing and date back ﬁ ve decades,
expressing hope for more pro-
gress in relations between the
In Vietnam, Kuwait’s Consu-
late General celebrated the joy-
ous occasion with much fanfare,
as consul Khaled Al-Mutairi
took the opportunity to deliver a
speech on his country’s ties with
the Southeast Asian nation, con-
veying his heartiest congratula-
tions to the His Highness the
Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad
Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness
the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf
Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah,
and the Kuwaiti people.
Kuwait’s embassy in the Sul-
tanate of Brunei joined in the
celebrations as well, as ambas-
sador Fahad Al-Th
his country continued prosperity,
security and peace.
e Kuwaiti envoy described
bilateral ties as “exceptional”, say-
ing His Highness the Amir’s his-
toric visit to the sultanate back in
2016 was the catalyst that helped
Meanwhile, Kuwait’s Consul
General in India’s fi nancial capi-
tal Mumbai, Mansour Al-Alaimi,
presided over a cultural festival in
the sprawling city, which includ-
ed a triumvirate of photographic
exhibitions that brought together
notable personalities and a num-
ber of international diplomats.
In neighboring Bangladesh,
Kuwaiti ambassador Adel Hayat
used the occasion to hold a re-
ception for a number of top gov-
cials as well as chief
lawmakers in the country.
Meanwhile, in Kuala Lumpur,
the Ambassador Saad Al-Asousi
led a reception marking the occa-
sions, grouping diplomats, digni-
taries and Kuwaiti students.
He extended congratulations
to the top leaders, namely His
Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah
Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah,
His Highness the Crown Prince
Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-
Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness
the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber
Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sa-
bah, as well as the Kuwaiti people
on the national days.
During the celebration, Malay-
Kuwait Embassy in Slovakia celebrate the 57th National Day and 27th Liberation Day.
Kuwait Embassy in the Sultanate of Brunei celebrate
the National Days.
Children dressed in Kuwaiti national colours form part
of Qatar’s participation in celebration of the Kuwait’s
sian Minister in the Prime Minister’s
Department Shahidan Kassim praised
the distinguished bilateral relations be-
tween the countries.
In Slovakia, the Kuwaiti mission in
the capital Bratislava held a similar re-
ception, comprising senior Slovakian
Kuwaiti Ambassador to Slovakia Essa
Al-Shimali conveyed sincere congratu-
lations to the people of Kuwait on the
He pointed out that ties between Ku-
wait and Slovakia have made palpable
headway in recent times, citing agree-
ments for economic and health coop-
eration signed by both nations.
Furthermore, the Kuwaiti embas-
sies in Khartoum and Amman marked
Kuwait’s 57th National Day, 27th Lib-
eration Day and the 12th anniversary
of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah
Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s ascen-
sion to power.
Kuwaiti Ambassador to Sudan Bas-
sam Al-Qabandi held a reception,
which was attended by ministers, dip-
lomats, businesspersons and offi
civil society organizations.
In a speech, the ambassador extend-
ed congratulations to His Highness the
Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber
Al-Sabah, His Highness the Crown
Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-
Jaber Al-Sabah and the Kuwaiti people.
Al-Qabandi prayed to Allah to main-
tain security, progress and prosperity of
Kuwait, greeting martyrs who off ered
their souls for the liberation of Kuwait.
He noted that Kuwait has represent-
ed a platform for development across
the world through carrying out many
projects, which are highly appreciated
by the international community.
Such projects prompted the United
Nations to honor His Highness the Amir
as a “Humanitarian Leader”, he stated.
e Kuwaiti envoy pointed out that
the Arab region is facing many chal-
lenges that necessitate cooperation,
rming Kuwait’s supportive role
aiming to counter threats surrounding
the region and work to settle disputes
peacefully as well as discard violence
He touched upon the bilateral re-
lations between Sudan and Kuwait,
referring that they have witnessed
continued development, thanks to the
support and attention by His High-
ness the Amir and Sudanese President
For his part, Sudanese Finance Min-
ister Mohammad Al-Rekabi congratu-
lated His Highness the Amir, the State
of Kuwait, the Kuwaiti government
and all Kuwaitis on this great occasion,
praying to Allah to maintain stability
and prosperity of Kuwait.
He hoped for further development
in the bilateral ties, voicing his appre-
ciation of Kuwait’s continued support to
Sudan to set up several strategic projects
and successful investments in the fi elds
of communication, oil and real estate.
On the sidelines of the festival, the
embassy held an exhibition on human-
itarian activities of charities in Sudan.
In Amman, Ambassador to Jordan
Dr Hamad Al-Du’aij hosted a func-
tion to celebrate Kuwait’s national days
in the presence of a large number of
cials, Jordan-based dip-
lomats from the GCC states and other
friendly countries, and representatives
of the civil society institutions.
Ambassador Al-Du’aij congratulat-
ed His Highness the Amir, His High-
ness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf
Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His
Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh
Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sa-
bah on the national days.
is occasion materializes the
achievements made by the Kuwaiti
people under the wise leadership of
the country, he said in statements to
He lauded the exemplary relations
between Kuwait and the Kingdom of
Jordan on all levels.
On his part, Jordanian Deputy
Prime Minister and Minister of State
for Cabinet Aff airs Jamal Al-Sarayra
congratulated the Kuwaiti leaders and
people on the national occasion.
He said that both countries enjoy
deep-rooted historical relations that
kept growing in the course of time.
Yousif Sultan, the
Kuwaiti contestant in the talent search
program ‘The Voice’, captured the
attention of the audience and panel
of judges for the fourth season of the
program through his rendition of a
song in Turkish and Arabic, reports
The program is aired every Saturday
evening on MBC1 and MBC2 Egyp-
❑ ❑ ❑
Kuwaiti-funded schools opened:
Secretary General of the Iraqi Cabinet
Mahdi al-Alaq has inaugurated ten
Kuwaiti-funded schools in the northern
Iraqi city of Mosul.
Speaking to KUNA on Sunday,
Ahmad Al-Heity, chairman of the
United Iraqi Medical Society (UIMS)
which supervised the establishment
of the schools, pointed out that six of
the schools were built in the right side
of the city, while the other four in the
Each school has a capacity of 640
The schools are fully furnished and
equipped with air conditioning systems
and power generators as well as all
necessary requirements, he added.
The Iraqi government announced
earlier that the fund provided by the
State of Kuwait exceeded all funds of
other Arab countries.
It lauded Kuwait’s ﬁnance to the
construction of a number of schools
and medical centers across Iraq.
❑ ❑ ❑
MoF accepts conditions:
of Finance has accepted recommen-
dations approved by the lawmakers
regarding the six conditions stipulated
for government loans, reports Al-
The ﬁrst condition stipulates drastic
economic and ﬁnancial approaches in
dealing with budget deﬁcits through
diversiﬁcation of revenues and the
second stipulation entails frugal man-
agement of fund by directing the loans
toward capital expenditure (develop-
ment projects) rather than the recurrent
The third condition is about quick
issuance of Islamic bond law and the
fourth one insists Kuwait’s high credit
rating should be maintained taking into
consideration the dangers of compro-
The ﬁfth condition says that govern-
ment should set a clear schedule for
refunding the loan, while the last
provision states the need for collect-
ing all government revenues to boost
non-oil revenues that fell within the
past two years.
News in Brief
Left: His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah with Interior Minister. Center: With Cabinet Affairs Minister and right: With National Assembly Affairs Minister.
Left: His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah with National Assembly Speaker. Center: With Prime Minister and right: With Foreign Minister.
His Highness the Crown Prince audience
HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received
on Tuesday, Feb 27, in Bayan Palace Speaker of National Assembly Mar-
HH Crown Prince received HH Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak.
HH Crown Prince also received Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of
Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.
HH Crown Prince received Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior
Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah. HH the Crown Prince received Deputy
Prime Minister and State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh.
Later, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber
Al-Sabah received at Bayan Palace on Tuesday Minister of State for Na-
tional Assembly Affairs Adel Musaed Al-Jarallah Al-Kharaﬁ . (KUNA)
KUWAIT CITY, Feb 27, (Agencies):
e Public Authority for Applied Ed-
ucation and Training (PAAET) has
launched the “Light and Hope Cor-
ner” at the library of Basic Education
College, to help students with special
needs, the PAAET announced Tuesday.
e corner aims to assist students
obtain and enhance their academic,
research, educational and social capa-
bilities, PAAET Assistant Dean for Stu-
dents Aff airs Dr Latifa Al-Kandari said
in a press statement.
It includes a multitude of general and
specialized books, and encyclopedias,
covering science, religion and educa-
tion and other
fi elds, she added.
It also off ers
many audio and
Braille books, she
is is an ambi-
tious program in
Arabic and Eng-
lish to support the
students with spe-
cial needs at the
College, as well as library visitors, giv-
ing them access to various sources of
knowledge, Al-Kandari said.
Meanwhile, about fi ft y contracts are
expected to be signed soon by the Edu-
cational Buildings Sector of Ministry of
Education, reports Aljarida daily quot-
ing educational sources.
ey explained that these contracts
include those for establishment of ten
gym halls in fi ve educational zones –
Jahra, Capital City, Mubarak Al-Kabeer,
Hawally, and Ahmadi.
e cost of constructing a gym in
Mubarak Al-Kabeer is KD 2.190 mil-
lion and that contract has already been
e contracts for establishing gyms
in Ahmadi and Capital educational
zones will be signed soon.
e sources said the Educational
Buildings Sector will soon fi nish pre-
paring eight contracts for establishing
various educational buildings.
ey explained that the fl oated pro-
jects include those for building three
kindergarten schools in Hawally Edu-
cational Zone, one primary school and
two elementary schools in Farwaniya
Educational Zone, two kindergarten
schools in Ahmadi Educational Zone,
and a car park in Capital Educational
e sector has also signed a contract
for establishing a car park in Mubarak
Al-Kabeer Educational Zone at a cost
of KD 2.994 million, and another for
constructing a kindergarten school in
Mubarak Al-Abdullah area at a cost of
KD 1.585 million.
Concerning the ongoing projects, the
sources revealed that the establishment
of Abdulrazzaq Al-Baser Secondary
School for Boys in Rumaithiya costs
KD 3.679 million and the rate of com-
pletion is currently 85 percent.
e rate of completion of a car park
project in Hawally Educational District
reached 15 percent. Th
e total cost of the
project is KD 3.37 million.
e project for establishing Ishbiliya
Secondary School for Boys reached 50
percent of completion at a total cost of
KD 3.2 million, while the establishment
of Ishbiliya Secondary School for Girls
reached 78 percent at a total cost of KD
Also, the establishment of Ishbiliya
kindergarten school has reached 12
percent at a total cost of KD 1.539 mil-
e establishment of Al-Salaam
kindergarten school costs KD 1.219
million. In addition the establishment
of Al-Shuhada’a Kindergarten School
costs a total of KD 1.574 million.
Furthermore, the latest educational
statistics showed low illiteracy rate in
the last school year 2016/2017 with
131,503 citizens and foreigners who
cannot read nor write and 60,885 of
them are males, reports Al-Qabas daily.
e daily obtained a copy of the sta-
tistical report which revealed that the
number of illiterate citizens reached
24,390 – 90 percent of them are females
(21,772) and 10 percent are males
e illiteracy rate among citizens and
foreigners reached 2.98 percent, while
that of citizens alone reached 1.80 per-
cent and the rate for foreigners is 3.50
PAAET offers ‘library service’
to students with special needs
Aims to assist students enhance academic capabilities
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