Dean Jones travelling to Lahore to watch PSL final

DUBAI: Islamabad United may have crashed out of the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL), but their coach Dean Jones has announced that he will still be traveling to Lahore to watch the final at the Gaddafi Stadium.

In the midst of mass withdrawals of the PSL’s foreign contingent, Jones’ announcement will be music to the ears of the hosts.

“We might not be in the final but we are committed to Pakistan cricket. Good luck to all teams still in play in the PSL,” said Jones.

But cricket is not the only motivating factor for the Australian to make the trip. He apparently is quite fond of Lahore’s famous cuisine.

“I will visit Lahore to support cricket in Pakistan but also to taste their delicious food,” he added.

Quetta Gladiators became the first team to qualify for the PSL final on Tuesday after defeating Peshawar Zalmi by just one run in a thrilling encounter.

It is the second straight year the Gladiators have qualified for the tournament’s final, although they will be looking to go one better than last year when they were bested in the final match by Islamabad United.



Peshawar out to end play-off curse against Karachi

SHARJAH: Peshawar Zalmi will be out to end their play-off curse and make it to the final of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) when they take on Karachi Kings in Dubai on Friday.

Peshawar, for the second season running, finished top of the group stages but suffered a one-run defeat against Quetta Gladiators to find themselves facing an eliminator.

However, what is different this time around is that instead of Misbahul Haq’s Islamabad United, they take on Kumar Sangakkara’s Karachi in the do-or-die game.

Peshawar have a superior 3-1 win-loss ratio against the Karachi side so may go into the game high on confidence. However, their only loss did come in the last game between these two sides.

Batsman Sohaib Maqsood admits the pressure is firmly on the Peshawar side as they once again face the prospect of failing to reach the final after topping their group.

“This is our second chance of reaching the final; there is a bit of pressure but we are trying to be as focused as we can,” Maqsood told The Express Tribune.

The former Pakistan international knows his side should really have been in the final after throwing away the initiative in the game against Quetta where they needed just one run off the final three balls to take the game into a super over.

“We had a really close game against Quetta and we let it go from our hands,” he said. “But this time around we are confident we will manage to ensure that the game doesn’t get decided by chance.”

The right-handed middle-order batsman knows the team that manages to hold its nerves better in the crunch game may well be the one facing Quetta in the final in Lahore. “The team that holds its nerves at the crucial times will have an advantage in the upcoming game,” he said. “We were unable to do that in the last game and it cost us the win.”

Maqsood revealed that Peshawar have pinpointed Karachi’s batting trio of tournament top-scorer Babar Azam, West Indies big-hitter Chris Gayle and Pakistan international Shoaib Malik as the dangermen.

“Babar can be their main batsman but Gayle needs to be dismissed quickly otherwise he can score big if he stays out there,” he said, while also admitting that playing pacer Mohammad Amir and spin duo Imad Wasim and Usama Mir won’t be easy to face. “It will be a fun match to play under so much pressure.”

However, the Multan-born added his side also boasts some of the finest match-winners around, naming the likes of skipper Darren Sammy, star all-rounder Shahid Afridi and pace spearhead Wahab Riaz. “They have delivered some match-winning performances and we require something similar in the next game against Karachi.”

Karachi, on the other hand, are now the tournament’s form side with five wins in their last six games, including knocking out champions Islamabad in their last game.

However, Imad knows the batsmen need to up the ante against Peshawar. “We were around 25 runs short against Islamabad, but managed to defend it through some brilliant bowling,” said Imad.

The Pakistan all-rounder admits the side may have misread the pitch a bit in the last game. “We were expecting the pitch to support the bowlers but it didn’t, although the ball was skiding in the first half and wasn’t coming onto the bat like it did in the previous matches,” he said.

Imad impressed in tandem with spin partner Mir and the left-arm spinner hailed his younger leg spin colleague. “Mir helps me a lot since he is a wicket-taker so my job changes when he bowls with me,” he said. “However, against Islamabad we knew we needed wickets from both ends.”

Imad admitted the team is riding a wave of confidence with three wins on the trot. “The last two wins against Islamabad and the win against Lahore really lifted the team’s morale and confidence,” he said.

Facebook to launch suicide prevention tool on Live and Messenger

Facebook plans to use artificial intelligence and update its tools and services to help prevent suicides among its users.

The world’s largest social media network said it plans to integrate its existing suicide prevention tools for Facebook posts into its live-streaming feature, Facebook Live, and its Messenger service.

Artificial intelligence will be used to help spot users with suicidal tendencies, the company said in a blogpost on Wednesday.

In January, a 14-year-old foster child in Florida broadcast her suicide reportedly on Facebook Live, according to the New York Post.

Facebook is already using artificial intelligence to monitor offensive material in live video streams.


The company said on Wednesday that the updated tools would give an option to users watching a live video to reach out to the person directly and report the video to Facebook.

Facebook Inc will also provide resources, which include reaching out to a friend and contacting a help line, to the user reporting the live video.

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for 15-29 year olds.

Suicide rates jumped 24 per cent in the United States between 1999 and 2014 after a period of nearly consistent decline, according to a National Center for Health Statistics study.


Uber and Careem banned from airport pickups in Saudi Arabia

Drivers from ride-hailing services Uber and Careem are barred from picking up passengers from Saudi Arabia’s airports, Al Madina newspaper reported, quoting a spokesman from the kingdom’s General Directorate of Traffic.

Traffic authorities would punish any violators found transporting passengers on airport grounds, Colonel Tareq Al-Rubaiaan was quoted as saying

Airport regulations have long barred private drivers from offering their cars for hire to arriving passengers in Saudi Arabia, which means the ride-sharing apps have operated in legally murky territory as they grew increasingly popular.

Uber has had shaky ties with Gulf regulators, and only last month signed an agreement with transport authorities in neighboring Dubai to become fully regulated after a series of clashes over pricing and availability.

Saudi Arabia has embraced Uber and regional rival Careem to a far greater extent, courting both companies with substantial state investments to support its Vision 2030 economic reform plan, particularly its goal to get more women in the workforce.

In a country where women are barred from driving and private drivers are often prohibitively expensive, women account for around 80 percent of Uber and Careem’s passengers.

The state’s Public Investment Fund bought a $3.5 billion stake in Uber in June, while state-controlled Saudi Telecom Co (STC) invested $100 million in Careem in December.

Saudi authorities have also used the apps to bolster employment for Saudi men, requiring in November that Uber and Careem “limit the jobs to Saudi nationals,” while allowing non-Saudis already registered as drivers to continue to work for the companies.


UK: Modern day slavery in spotlight at interfaith event in Manchester

It was clear that slavery is an issue still blighting our communities, and we all need to be alert to it happening in the workplace or in people’s homes.

Preston chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association attended a regional interfaith event in Manchester with the theme of Modern Day Slavery hosted by the Nigerian Women’s Group Manchester.

A reverend began proceedings with a prayer, and a number of theater performances and presentations highlighted that slavery is still taking place in this day and age, including in the United Kingdom.

Ways that we can recognise modern day slavery and the importance of reporting it, were discussed by a large gathering of people from the local community.

It was clear that slavery is an issue still blighting our communities, and we all need to be alert to it happening in the workplace or in people’s homes.

With file from David Callaghan, Tabligh secretary, Preston Jamaat

— Modern day slavery in the spotlight

Obituary | UK’s Well-liked Ahmadi Muslim Rafik Safeer passed away

Rafik had a heart of gold and none of us can recall Rafik ever being cruel or mean spirited. He saw goodness in everybody and always tried to see the positive in people.

Yesterday [February 28, 2017], after a long illness one of my oldest and dearest of friends Rafik Safeer passed away.

إِنَّا للهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ.

Many of you will know him through his years of work with Atfal in Khuddam ul Ahmadiyya and virtually every department of the jamaat. More recently Rafik was a popular, much loved and highly respected Sadar of the Surbiton Jamaat, but for me he was quite simply one of my close childhood friends with whom I shared many happy memories across the last 40 odd years.

Rafik was the son of the late Dr Safeer an educationalist/teacher who had served the jamaat in West Africa and then came over to the UK. Rafik was only a young child when Dr Safeer sadly passed away. This must have been a terrible time for Rafik and his siblings, and the family could have become withdrawn and retreated into themselves, but instead the Safeer family, including young Rafik immersed themselves into the jamaat. Every evening, of every day Rafik and his older brothers Tahir & Nasir Safeer would come to Masjid Fazal to attend both Maghrib and Ish’a prayers. They would take part in jamaat activities at every level whether it was Atfal, Khuddam, Tabligh or any other activity that the jamaat called upon them to perform, and at the heart of all these activities you would always find Rafik.

Rafik was the kindest, decent and upright people that I knew. He was also great company and had a lovely and wicked sense of humour. In those early days of the jamaat during the 70’s there were only a few of us and we all became good friends with each other. Rafik was a keen sportsman and played football really well. In addition, he and was an ace at badminton and table tennis. We played all of these sports initially in the old mission house at 61-63 Melrose Road, which would later become Mahmood Hall at Gressenhall Road.

Rafik had a heart of gold and none of us can recall Rafik ever being cruel or mean spirited. He saw goodness in everybody and always tried to see the positive in people. That’s not to say that he wouldn’t speak out and express his opinion when he disagreed, but this was usually when he perceived some injustice against someone less fortunate than him. In those early days we were a band of brothers who made the masjid the focal point of our lives. Rafik, for me was the best of us.

In recent years, just like many of us, he faced different challenges in life that placed a great strain upon him, but he always faced adversity with that same calmness and total faith in Allah and never lost his faith, decency or humanity. I feel blessed to have known him, and pray that Allah gives his family and loved ones the strength to bear this truly sad loss. I attach a few photographs of my dear friend Rafik that I hope shine a light on his character, may Allah grant him a lofty status in paradise (Ameen)

Canada: Northumberland Ahmadiyya Muslim canvassers will circulate Sunday

“In light of recent tragic events in Quebec and the recent controversy over anti-Islamaphobia, the campaign comes at a time when curiosity about Islam is at its high and questions are numerous.”

NORTHUMBERLAND – Cobourg, Port Hope and Brighton are among the communities that will be covered in a Sunday initiative by the Ahmadiyya Muslin Youth Association.

The group is launching a unique nation-wide campaign in 65 towns to afford Canadians an opportunity to learn about the true teachings of Islam.

As well as Cobourg and Port Hope, other towns where this will be carried out include Newcastle, Clarington, Courtice, Bowmanville, Peterborough, Belleville, Kingston, Cornwall, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City.

The announcement notes that this is a time when Islam is one of the most widely searched topics on-line while, simultaneously, anti-Islamic rhetoric is on the rise both in Canada and abroad.

“Canadian Muslim youth feel the need to bring forward a platform that provides their fellow Canadians an authentic source to learn about the faith and break down misconceptions first-hand,” the press release said.

Islam Understood is the name of this cross-Canada campaign, which includes door-to-door canvassing in thousands of neighbourhoods, as well as social media and special exhibitions in major cities.

While some Canadians have engaged their Muslim friends and neighbours, the announcement said, others have become distant.

“In light of recent tragic events in Quebec and the recent controversy over anti-Islamaphobia, the campaign comes at a time when curiosity about Islam is at its high and questions are numerous.”

Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a non-profit charitable religious organization in more than 206 countries world-wide with 86 chapters throughout Canada.


Australia: Ahmadiyya Muslims to roll up sleeves for Clean Up Australia Day

Ahmadiyya Muslims, who preach love for all and loyalty to their country, again lead the national Clean Up Australia Day charts for money raised and participants registered this year.

Thousands of volunteers around Blacktown are gearing up for Clean Up Australia Day this Sunday, March 5.

The annual day of action is the nation’s largest community-based environmental event, with people donating more than 27 million hours of their time over the past 25 years.

Last year more than 800 volunteers in Blacktown collected 9 tons of waste from 41 registered sites. An additional 9,500 students from 40 schools also took part.

Baitul Huda Mosque, Marsden Park, can boast the largest participation for groups in the area – and indeed the country.

Ahmadiyya Muslims, who preach love for all and loyalty to their country, again lead the national Clean Up Australia Day charts for money raised and participants registered this year.

Ahmadiyya Muslim Association Australia president Imam Kauser said every Muslim should take part in the day.

“Islam teaches us to be mindful of cleanliness on individual and on societal levels,” Imam Kauser said.

“The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has said that cleanliness is part of faith. This is why it is every Muslim’s responsibility to keep their surroundings neat and clean.”

Ahmadiyya spokesman Aqeel Ibraheem said their involvement was part of the group’s commitment to letting actions speak louder than words.

There are 96 clean up sites registered in and around Blacktown this year – find a site and join now at