23/08/2013

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Volunteers needed to clean up sand hills

The Conway Sandhills, a narrow strip of land along Prince Edward Island’s northern coast, is seen in this photo. The Nature Conservancy of Canada is working to preserve what it calls ‘a beautiful wildness’.


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is looking for volunteers to assist in cleaning up sections of the Conway Sandhills on Monday, Aug. 26.
Volunteers will assist in cleaning up the beach, knocking down and removing several old shacks and identifying birds. A spokesman for the conservancy said a number of people have already registered for the event but more are needed.
The Conway Sandhills are part of a network of ecologically rich sand dunes and wetlands found along the north shore of western P.E.I.
This barrier beach system is a part of two important bird areas and critical in the life cycle of many populations of migratory waterfowl, shorebirds and passerines, including the nationally endangered piping plover.
There are only 6,000 piping plovers left in the world.
The NCC wishes to improve the health of this ecosystem, preserving this habitat and the birds it supports by demolishing and removing these shacks.
"This is a chance to contribute to the stewardship of some of P.E.I.'s most significant sand dunes where NCC has been working since 2011, acquiring private lands in working to protect this unique area of Atlantic Canada," the spokesman said.
Depending on good tide conditions, NCC staff and conservation volunteers will head out to the Conway Sandhills Aug. 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
There will be a boat leaving from Milligan's wharf to transport volunteers. Anyone with a canoe or kayak may paddle to the sandhills if conditions permit.
The event was timed to follow the conclusion of the plovers' nesting period so they will not be disturbed.
"But please feel free to bring a pair of binoculars along as we can survey for shorebirds too."
To register for this event visit www.conservationvolunteers.ca; or email the NCC at atlanticnatureconservancy.ca or contact 1-877-231-4400.
The NCC is supported in this effort by the Confederation Bridge, EcoAction Community Funding Program, and the Imperial Oil Foundation.
In addition to their ecological importance, the sandhills have played an important part in the lives of early Islander settlers.
Aspiring fishermen built lobster canneries around water channels, only to have storms fill them in virtually overnight. Fishing boats and vessels always ran the risk of running aground in the shallow waters surrounding the sandhills.
Despite this, the sandhills were an integral part of local homesteaders who crossed over 'the narrows' to farm the marram grass when there was nothing else to feed cattle; to work in the lobster canneries that clustered around volatile channels; and to meet the rum-runners, illegally importing alcohol from the French isles of Saint Pierre and Miquelon during prohibition.
With the removal of the remaining cannery buildings in the mid 20th century, the sandhills bade goodbye to a generation as a working landscape, and resiliently reverted back to a natural ecosystem.
Now NCC helps protect not only waterfowl habitat, but a reminder of an iconic part of Maritime history and culture.

http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/Living/2013-08-23/article-3361684/Volunteers-needed-to-clean-up-sand-hills/1

Syria crisis: Child refugees reach 'one million'


UN agencies say the number of children forced to flee Syria has reached one million, describing the figure as "a shameful milestone".
The UN's refugee agency and Unicef say a further two million children are displaced within the country.
More than 100,000 people have been killed in the conflict, according to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
He has also called for an investigation "without delay" into the recent alleged chemical weapons attack near Damascus.
Activists say hundreds were killed in Wednesday's attack, and Mr Ban is sending disarmament chief Angela Kane to Damascus to press for an investigation, his spokesman Eduardo del Buey said on Thursday.
Russia - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's main ally - on Friday urged Syrian rebels to ensure that a UN team already in the country had safe access to the site of the alleged attack.
Bridget Kendall investigates how we can interpret the alleged chemical attacks footage
'Traumatised'
The UN says children now make up half of all refugees fleeing Syria. About three-quarters of those children are under 11.
"The youth of Syria are losing their homes, their family members and their futures," said UN high commissioner for refugees Antonio Guterres.
"Even after they have crossed a border to safety, they are traumatised, depressed and in need of a reason for hope," he said.
Children of Zaatari
Most of the children have arrived in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt, the UN says, and increasingly Syrians are fleeing to North Africa and Europe.
But with its appeal for Syria less than 40% funded, the two UN agencies say they are struggling to meet the needs of the refugees.
Just 118,000 of the refugee children have been able to continue in some sort of education, and a fifth have received psychosocial counselling.
The BBC's Imogen Foulkes in Geneva says the agencies are now warning of a lost generation that are ill-equipped to bring peace and stability to their country in the future.
"We must all share the shame," said Unicef executive director Anthony Lake, "because while we work to alleviate the suffering of those affected by this crisis, the global community has failed in its responsibility to this child.
"We should stop and ask ourselves how, in all conscience, we can continue to fail the children of Syria."
Roger Hearn, Save the Children's regional director for the Middle East, added: "It is appalling that the world has stood and watched as one million children have been forced from their country, terrified, traumatised and in some cases orphaned."
The UN says the conflict in Syria has caused the world's worst refugee crisis for 20 years, with numbers not seen since the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
Syrian refugees have also swamped the border crossing into Iraqi Kurdistan, Jim Muir reports
It says more than 1.7million people have registered as refugees since the uprising against the rule of President Assad began in March 2011.
More than 40,000 Syrians have poured over the border of Iraqi Kurdistan since a new wave of arrivals began in the region a week ago.
Shocking footage
Speaking of the alleged chemical attack, Mr Ban said: "Any use of chemical weapons anywhere, by anybody, under any circumstances, would violate international law. Such a crime against humanity should result in serious consequences for the perpetrator."
Mr Ban has asked the Syrian government to let UN weapons inspectors, who are already in the country, investigate the allegations.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: "Chemical weapons... would violate international law"
"I can think of no good reason why any party - either government or opposition forces - would decline this opportunity to get to the truth of the matter," Mr Ban said from the South Korean capital, Seoul.
The inspection team currently only has a mandate to visit three previously agreed sites, including the northern town of Khan al-Assal, where some 26 people were killed in an alleged chemical attack in March.
There is no sign yet that Damascus will allow the team to extend its mission, and Syrian adviser Bassam Abu Abdullah told the BBC he believed it would not be allowed to visit the site.
Dr Bassam said the chemical attack was carried out by what he called a terrorist group, to prevent a military operation by the Syrian army.
The government earlier described the allegations that it sanctioned the use of chemical weapons as "illogical and fabricated".
But unverified footage shows civilians - many of them children - apparently suffering horrific symptoms, as well as rows of shrouded bodies.
Chemical weapons experts have told the BBC that footage appears genuine and that the injuries shown are consistent with nerve agents.
International clamour over the alleged chemical attacks has continued to grow.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius warned that France must react "with force" if the use of chemical weapons was confirmed.
The US state department said it was urgently gathering information to try to determine what had taken place in Damascus.

Nationwide outrage over journalist's gang rape in Mumbai, Centre seeks report

NEW DELHI: The gang rape of a young photojournalist in Mumbai triggered an avalanche of outrage across the country on Friday and condemned as despicable and shameful stirring memories of a similar attack last December in New Delhi that led to nationwide protests.

As people from all walks of life voiced their anguish, political parties, media associations and Bollywood were one in demanding harshest punishment to the perpetrators of the crime in a city which is seen as far safer for women than the national capital,

The attack also had its echo in Rajya Sabha which erupted in anger with agitated members expressing serious concern over increasing atrocities on women and the government assuring "harshest" action against the culprits.

Union law minister Kapil Sibal said sex assaults must be dealt with "in the severest manner".

"We cannot afford to let our women and children live in insecurity and must make sure that such attacks against women are dealt in the severest manner," he said.

Hundreds of people including members of several journalists' associations gathered in south Mumbai to stage a silent protest. Some wore black armbands, while others carried placards reading "stop rape" and "city of shame."

Media associations in Chennai said the "horrifying incident" has shocked the entire country once again raising the issue of safety of women.

Some even sniped at the Union ministry of home affairs and its equivalent in Maharashtra for failing to enhance the safety of women in the country since the Delhi gang-rape incident last December and after enactment of new laws.

BJP's Smriti Irani while raising the issue during zero hour in Rajya Sabha asked what steps had been initiated to prevent recurrence of such incidents even after repeated assurances of improving law and order condition in the aftermath of Delhi gang rape and targeted the Centre and the Maharashtra government.

Twitter was also abuzz with rage over the gang rape.

"Despicable! We are shamed! How long & God forbid, how many more before the criminals are punished? Wake up, India!" tweeted BJP spokeswoman Nirmala Sitharaman.

"helpless to say the least...words like "devastated".."disgusted" mean nothing at a timelike this!!!! #gangerape in my city...I feel ashamed," lamented producer-director Karan Johar on Twitter.

Kiran Bedi, former IPS officer tweeted, "Another shame!A photo journ gang-raped by 5 men in Mumbai.No wonder India is considered most unsafe place for women amongst G-30 countries."

"... thousands of women aren't safe in a country that demands of them patriotism, sacrifices and taxes," said one tweet. Some said legislations are merely not enough.

"If punishment is strict, rape incidents can be avoided," said a Jadavpur University student, while a Bhopal housewife said women and even shcool girls are not safe anymore.

Centre seeks report from Mumbai police

Terming as "extremely tragic and unfortunate" the gang rape of a 23-year-old photojournalist, the Centre on Friday said it has sought a detailed report from Mumbai police on the incident.

"First of all, what happened in Mumbai is a matter concerning that state. In spite of that, I have spoken to the Mumbai Police Commissioner. The investigation is progressing," home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde told reporters outside Parliament House.

Minister of state for home RPN Singh said the Home Ministry has sought a detailed report from the Mumbai police.

"It is an extremely tragic and unfortunate incident that has happened in Mumbai. We have asked for a detailed report from the Mumbai police. We have also asked the Mumbai police to take immediate action ... to arrest the accused. Harshest punishment should be meted out to these people," he said.

The 23-year-old woman was allegedly gangraped by five men in Parel area in central Mumbai last night.

The incident took place at around 8 pm near Shakti Mills in Lower Parel area when the victim, working with an English magazine, was on an assignment, doing a story on "chawl", police said.

In a chilling reminder of the December gang rape in Delhi, the men tied up the victim's friend and raped the woman.

In a statement given to police, the girl said the five goons were present in the Shakti Mills compound. They started making lewd remarks and harassed her. When her friend intervened, two of them assaulted him. Three others took the woman inside the dilapidated structure and raped her.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Nationwide-outrage-over-journalists-gang-rape-in-Mumbai-Centre-seeks-report/articleshow/22006811.cms

06/08/2013

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UC Riverside Co-Ed Allegedly Asked Boyfriends to Help Her Kill Her Exes

A University of California at Riverside co-ed is accused of asking two former boyfriends to kill two other of her ex-boyfriends in a bizarre murder-for-hire plot.
Barbara Wu, 22, faces six felony charges including soliciting murder, making terrorist threats and stalking.
Wu's attorney, Rajan Maline, told ABC News the charges against his client were baseless.
"They have yet to produce one threat of any kind that my client made," he said. "What you're going to see though, is a spurned young person that was very much in love."
But one of her former boyfriends, Dennis Lin, testified that Wu asked him during their four-month relationship to abduct another one of her ex-boyfriends in order to kill him.
"She asked me to kidnap him, tie him up so she could break his legs with a bat, to motorcycle him and then to somehow kill him and then dispose of the body," he said in Riverside County Superior Court on Friday.


Once Wu allegedly asked Lin to commit murder for her, he went to police, who asked him to wear a wire. Investigators said when they listened to the tapes, they heard Wu allegedly plotting the violent death for her ex.
The alleged target of Wu's malice, who has not been identified, also testified in court Friday that after he broke up with her via email in December 2012, she went on a rampage for revenge.
Wu allegedly sent this ex-boyfriend threatening messages, posted his personal information on a Craigslist sex ad and even confronted him with a knife, he said.
"She guarded the door with a knife. She tried to attack me with the knife and that's all I remember," he said in court on Friday.
Wu was arrested on May 29 and was being held on $500,000 bail at the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning, Calif. She has pleaded not guilty to charges against her, ABC Los Angeles station KABC-TV reported.
After Wu's arrest was reported in the media, a second man, who said he had dated Wu in 2009 and 2010, contacted UCR police because he thought was the intended target, Riverside County district attorney spokesman John Hall said in a news release. The second man, whose identity hasnot been released, told authorities that Wu also asked him to kill another former boyfriend.
Wu's preliminary hearing was scheduled to resume Monday morning in Riverside County Superior Court.

'Dream Come True': Dying Boy Shares in Parents' Wedding Day

A Pennsylvania couple tied the knot this weekend after having only one week to prepare for their wedding to ensure their 2-year-old son, who is dying from a rare disease, would be present to share in the experience.
Doctors told Christine Swidorsky and Sean Stevenson that Logan, their little boy, only had weeks to live.
The couple had been planning to get married next year, but once they got the dire news from the doctor, they decided to move up the wedding, which took place Saturday in Jeannette, Pa., a suburb of Pittsburgh.
They had the 12-minute ceremony in the backyard of their home.
Logan wore a pin-striped suit as he was carried by Swidorsky.
"This is our dream come true," said Swidorsky, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Saturday.
Sean Stevenson thanked friends and family who donated food and helped out with wedding arrangements so the family could spend much of the day together.
"It means the world to me. It means the world to me. We're just blessed every day that he's here with us," he said.
Logan was born with a rare blood disorder called Fanconi's anemia, which keeps cells from repairing damaged DNA and can lead to certain cancers.
"We knew about that but always had it in back of our minds that we've just got to get over this next hump no matter what it was," Stevenson said earlier in the week.
Even though Logan was born a month early and had difficulty eating, Stevenson said he was a normal baby for the first year of his life.
A few months after his first birthday, however, Logan was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, which is uncommon in people younger than 45, according to the American Cancer Society.
Logan underwent chemotherapy and a cord blood transplant, and went into remission for nine months.
"As time went by, we started noticing Logan was doing really good." Stevenson said. "It kind of seemed like our family was getting back to some kind of normalcy."
But it didn't last. Swidorsky noticed Logan was acting strange, Stevenson said. He lifted his left arm a lot as if he were stretching, but she sensed there was something wrong with her son. They soon learned he had a tumor the size of an orange on his left kidney.
Doctors removed the tumor and the kidney, leaving Logan with a right kidney that was smaller than normal and didn't function properly, which is common in Fanconi's anemia patients. Further therapy to shrink the tumor wasn't possible, Stevenson said.
That was when doctors advised the family to make memories while they still could. They called the Make-a-Wish Foundation and set up a trip to Disney World (Disney World and ABC News are both owned by the Walt Disney Co.). On the second morning of their trip, Logan's grandmother woke Swidorsky and Stevenson.
"There's something wrong with Logan," she said.
Stevenson saw that Logan was lethargic and his eyes rolled toward the back of his head.
After stays at two hospitals in Florida, where doctors told the family that Logan was dehydrated and in septic shock, Logan was returned to Pittsburgh Children's Hospital on a medical flight. After spending almost three weeks on a ventilator, he woke up.
"He was home not even a week, maybe four or five days, and my fiancee started noticing something," Stevenson said. "That's when they found a mass in the same spot where his left kidney would have been."
On July 26, doctors told Stevenson and Swidorsky that their son would live no more than three weeks.
"We were waiting for when Logan got better so it would be a wonderful day for him," Stevenson said of their previous wedding plans. "We just decided to have the wedding together this weekend and threw everything together in a week."
The family wants to share Logan's story to show the world how hard he fought, and to let other families with sick children know they're not alone.
"The toughest thing a parent has to do is bury one of their children," Stevenson said. "He showed me personally that I have to be as strong as he was."

04/08/2013

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26 شاعراً عربياً في مهرجان «أصوات المتوسط»... والسورية رولا حسن منِعت من السفر

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اختتمت الدورة الرابعة من مهرجان «أصوات حية» الشعري الذي تستضيفه مدينة سيت (جنوب فرنسا) كل عام على مدى تسعة أيام وليال. وكالعادة، غصّت المدينة بجمهور غفير قدم من مختلف أنحاء فرنسا للمشاركة في هذا المهرجان الذي يُعتبر أكبر تظاهرة شعرية في أوروبا إن على مستوى عدد الشعراء المدعوين أم على مستوى كثافة نشاطاته الشعرية والفنية.
هذه السنة، دُعي للمشاركة في المهرجان تسعون شاعراً بينهم 85 شاعراً من دول حوض المتوسط وخمسة شعراء من بلجيكا ودول أميركا اللاتينية. أما النشاطات اليومية فتجاوزت الستين أحياناً وتراوحت بين أداءات وقراءات شعرية، يواكبها في أحيان عزف موسيقي، ونقاشات، في ساعات النهار، وحفلات موسيقية وعروض مسرحية في المساء. نشاطات توزعت على ساحات المدينة وشوارعها الضيقة وحدائقها الخاصة والعامة الخلابة، وطاولت مرفأها ومسرحها البحري ومراكب صياديها.
ومثل كل عام، كانت حصة الشعراء العرب المدعوين كبيرة مع ستة وعشرين شاعراً وشاعرة، هم: عباس بيضون وعيسى مخلوف وصلاح ستيتيه (لبنان)، أيمن إغبارية وناصر رباح (فلسطين)، محمد فؤاد ورولا حسن (سورية)، جليل حيدر (العراق)، علي العامري (الأردن)، عبدالمقصود عبدالكريم ومهاب نصر ونجاة علي (مصر)، محمد زيدان وسميرة البوزيدي (ليبيا)، فتحي نصري وعليا رحيم (تونس)، محمد بوطغان وفارس كبيش (الجزائر)، أحمد العمراوي ومحمد ميلود غرافي (مغرب)، هدى الدغفق ومحمد حبيبي (السعودية)، وضحى المساجن (البحرين)، جمال علي (الإمارات)، ناصر العلوي ويحيى الناعبي (عمان).
ومن الشعراء العرب الذين سجّلوا حضوراً لافتاً أثناء المهرجان، نذكر أولاً عباس بيضون الذي لمع في مداخلاته النقدية حول مسائل الشعر والهوية واللغة وقرأ لجمهوره قصائد نثرية جديدة ومقاطع من قصيدته الشهيرة «صور». وخلب عيسى مخلوف المستمعين إليه برقّة حضوره وقصائد جديدة تناول فيها في شكلٍ مثير وجديد مواضيع المنفى والأم والتيه والسفر.
وبينما احتشد جمهور غفير للاستماع إلى قراءات صلاح ستيتيه ومداخلاته الشعرية القيّمة، لفتت قصائد محمد فؤاد الحديثة الشكل، انتباه كثيرين لاستقائه مادتها تارةً من معاناة أبناء وطنه وتارةً من مواضيع أخرى متفرقة. وحظي أيمن إغبارية وناصر رباح باهتمامٍ بالغ، الأول بفضل قصائد مستقاة من واقعه اليومي ولا تخلو أحياناً من الطرافة، والثاني بفضل قصائد نثر طويلة أو قصيرة ومشدودة إلى ذاتها يصوّر بعضها النقص والحنين والوحدة بشعرية بالغة، ويتناول بعضها الآخر مأساة الشعب الفلسطيني من منطلق حميمي.
ولا ننسى سميرة البوزيدي التي فتنتنا بقصائد حميمة تقترب بشكلها من الكلام العادي من دون أن تقع في المبتذل، وتتخذ الشاعرة فيها تارةً صفة العاشقة وتارةً حال المرأة التي فقدت أوهام صباها؛ قصائد تعبّر عن واقع يومي رمادي وغير مُرْضٍ وتشكّل الكتابة الشعرية غالباً موضوعها الرئيس. ومن الشعراء المغاربة، استوقفتنا أيضاً تجربة أحمد العمراوي الأخيرة التي تتميز بأسلوب شخصي حداثي وطرافة واضحة في المواضيع المقاربة ونظرة ساخرة على الذات وعلى محيطه الاجتماعي.
أما حصة الشعراء الفرنسيين المدعوين فكانت الأكبر هذه المرة مع 29 شاعراً وشاعرة، أهمهم ماري كلير بإنكار وميشال دوغي وجان بونسيه وسيرج باي الذين رفعوا مستوى المهرجان بمداخلاتهم القيّمة حول تجاربهم الشعرية المختلفة والمهمة، وحول الشعر الفرنسي المعاصر عموماً. لكن المشاركة الأبرز في المهرجان كانت، في نظرنا، للأرجنتيني خورخي بوكانيرا الذي سحرنا بقصائد تتميز بغنائية ممسوكة وإيقاع موسيقي ممغنط وقدرة كبيرة على مساءلة لغز الوجود، وللشاب المقدوني فلاديمير مارتينوفسكي الذي سجّل حضوراً مميزاً بقصائد شفافة تحتفل في شكلٍ فريد بالطبيعة، ولكن أيضاً بعزفه الرائع على آلات موسيقية مقدونية قديمة وبتفاعله الحار مع جميع الشعراء المدعوين.
وأهمية هذا المهرجان تكمن أولاً في تحويله مدينة سيت على مدى تسعة أيام وليال إلى مكان مثالي يتيح فرصة التآلف مع مختلف التجارب الشعرية الممارَسة في حوض المتوسط والتعرّف عن كثب إلى أصحابها ومحاورتهم، كما يتيح للشعراء أنفسهم فرصة فريدة للتعارف والتفاعل في ما بينهم. ولأن قراءات الشعراء المدعوين تتم دائماً بلغاتهم الأم وباللغة الفرنسية، يعمل عدد كبير من المترجمين إلى نقل نخبة واسعة من قصائدهم إلى لغة رامبو قبل انطلاقة المهرجان، مما يحوّل هذا الأخير إلى مختبر فريد في ميدان ترجمة الشعر. وكما لو أن ذلك لا يكفي، تعمد إدارة المهرجان كل عام إلى إصدار أنطولوجيا تتضمن قصيدة لكل شاعر مدعو ونبذة عن حياته وأبرز إصداراته، بالتعاون مع دار «برونو دوسيه» الباريسية، إضافةً إلى خمسة كتب شعرية باللغة الفرنسية وبلغة الشعراء الخمسة المختارين، بالتعاون مع دار «آلان غوريوس» الباريسية.
وهذه السنة كانت هذه الكتب من حصة السورية رولا حسن التي منعتها السلطات السورية من مغادرة البلاد بلا سبب، والأرجنتيني بوكانيرا والتركي ميتين سيلال والبوسني هادسيم هادجاريفيتش والإسبانية نوني بينيغاس. ولأن قراءة الشعر تبقى ناقصة من دون ركيزتها الأساسية، الكتاب، تنظّم إدارة المهرجان سنوياً، خلال أيامه التسعة، سوقاً للكتاب الشعري في ساحة المدينة الرئيسة تشارك فيه حوالى مئة دار نشر فرنسية، الأمر الذي يمنح بعض الشعراء المدعوين فرصة العثور على ناشر لنصوصهم في فرنسا.





تبقى إشارة إلى النشاطات الفنية المهمة التي تنظّمها إدارة المهرجان بموازاة النشاطات الشعرية. فإلى جانب الفنانين التكشيليين والحكواتيين وفناني الأداءات المختلفة الناشطين من داخل برنامج المهرجان، اشتعلت ليالي سيت بعروض مسرحية وحفلات موسيقية لوجوه فنية كبيرة، أبرزها: المغني الإسباني الشهير باكو إيبانيز، والمغنية المغربية عائشة رضوان، ومجموعة «أبناء القمر» المغربية وفرقة «لوركيس» الفرنسية.

http://alhayat.com/Details/538497

السعودية: تمويل مترو الرياض متوافر وتسهيلات لتأمين عدد كافٍ من العمال

تصميم أولي لجانب من مشروع مترو الرياض (الحياة)

أفاد مسؤول بارز في الهيئة العليا لتطوير مدينة الرياض أمس بأن تمويل مشروع المترو العملاق الذي تتكلف عقوده 22.5 بليون دولار متوافر لدى الحكومة السعودية، مستبعداً تكهنات بأن تصدر الحكومة صكوكاً لتمويل المشروع كما حدث في مشاريع أخرى. وقال عضو الهيئة رئيس مركز المشاريع والتخطيط فيها إبراهيم السلطان لوكالة «رويترز» إن الحكومة تولي المشروع أهمية كبرى وستعطي الأولوية لتوفير اليد العاملة اللازمة لإنجازه في الوقت المحدد.
وبدأت الحكومة السعودية المشروع العملاق الأحد الماضي بمنح عقود لثلاثة ائتلافات تقودها شركات أجنبية من أكبر مصنعي شبكات القطارات في العالم ومنفذيها لتصميم أول شبكة مترو في الرياض وتنفيذها من ضمن مشروع سيستغرق استكماله خمس سنوات. ورداً على سؤال عن صحة تكهنات انتشرت في أسواق المال في شأن احتمال إصدار الحكومة السعودية صكوكاً لتمويل المشروع العملاق، قال السلطان: «عندما جرى الإعلان عن فائض الموازنة العام الماضي أمر خادم الحرمين الشريفين الملك عبدالله بن عبدالعزيز بتخصيص 200 بليون ريال (53.3 بليون دولار) لمشاريع النقل العام. هذا المبلغ موجود لدى مؤسسة النقد العربي السعودي».
وأضاف السلطان: «ننظر إلى هذا المشروع كجزء من البنية الأساسية - مثل المياه والجسور - وتدعم الحكومة عادة مشاريع كهذه وتمولها». وفي كانون الأول (ديسمبر) الماضي قال وزير المال إبراهيم العساف إن الملك عبدالله وجه الحكومة بتخصيص 200 بليون ريال من فائض موازنة 2012 إلى مشاريع النقل العام بأكبر اقتصاد عربي وأكبر مصدر للنفط في العالم. وقال العساف آنذاك إن الحكومة تريد توفير تمويل هذه المشاريع بعيداً من الموازنة نظراً إلى طبيعتها الاستراتيجية ولتجنيبها أي ظروف قد تؤثر في إيرادات الموازنة أو أي معوقات تتعلق بالتمويل. وكانت السعودية حققت فائضاً قيمته 386.5 بليون ريال في موازنة 2012 بعدما بلغت الإيرادات 1239.5 بليون ريال والنفقات 853 بليون ريال.

الجدوى الاقتصادية
وعن الجدوى الاقتصادية للمشروع قال السلطان إن مترو الرياض سيؤثر إيجاباً في كل القطاعات في العاصمة في صورة مباشرة لكن تأثيره الأقوى سيكون في شكل غير مباشر. وقال: «السبب المباشر وراء هذا المشروع هو إتاحة بديل آخر لوسائل النقل في المدينة أمام الناس. لكن ذلك المشروع الضخم سيؤثر في كل القطاعات بالمدينة، سيؤثر في البطالة والنفط وحتى في البيئة وجودة الهواء وسيحد من التلوث وعدد الحوادث». وتابع «عندما أجرينا دراسة الجدوى وجدنا أن كل ريال أو كل دولار سيجري إنفاقه على المشروع سيحقق عائداً يساوي ثلاثة ريالات أو ثلاثة دولارات في شكل غير مباشر».
وكانت شركة «اف سي كونستركسيون» الاسبانية التي ستنفذ ثلاثة خطوط من الخطوط الستة للمشروع أعلنت أنها قد تحتاج إلى 15 ألف عامل لتنفيذ الجزء الخاص بها في حين أشارت شركة «بكتل» الأميركية التي فازت بعقد لتطوير خطين إنها قد تحتاج إلى 20 ألف عامل. وبسؤاله عن حجم اليد العاملة التي قد يحتاج إليها المشروع قال السلطان إنه لا يمكن تحديد الأرقام بدقة وقال إن الحكومة ستمنح الشركات العاملة بالمشروع الأولوية والتسهيلات لجلب اليد العاملة.
وقال: «قبل بدء مرحلة الإنشاء ستكون هناك ثمانية شهور للتنسيق مع الجهات الحكومية وجزء من ذلك سيتعلق بجلب اليد العاملة اللازمة للمشروع الذي يحظى بالدعم الكامل من الحكومة، وستُمنح الشركات كل التسهيلات اللازمة. لا نشعر بالقلق لأن المشروع ستكون له الأولوية».
وقال السلطان عندما سئل عن إمكانية منح الشركات أي استثناءات لنظام «نطاقات» أو لقوانين وزارة العمل: «لن تكون هناك أي استثناءات لنظام نطاقات... سنعمل وفق القواعد القائمة لكن الأولوية ستكون لمنح التأشيرات للعاملين». وأكد أن المشروع سيتيح متسعاً كبيراً لتوظيف المواطنين السعوديين، خصوصاً في مرحلة التشغيل التي ستستوعب النسبة الأكبر من المواطنين.
وأضاف: «ننظر إلى المشروع كمرحلتين الأولى تتعلق بأعمال الإنشاء وستكون في الأساس لبناء خطوط المترو ومدها وبالطبع سيشارك فيها المواطنون السعوديون وفي المناصب الإدارية ومناصب أخرى. لكن المرحلة الثانية ستكون الأكثر أهمية وهي تشغيل المشروع إذ ستخلق عدداً كبيراً من الوظائف للمواطنين السعوديين، فـ 90 في المئة من العاملين في تلك المرحلة سيكونون من السعوديين».
يذكر أن مدة تنفيذ المشروع أربع سنوات تسبقها ثمانية شهور لاستكمال أعمال التصميم وفق أنظمة النقل، وتحويل الخدمات والتنسيق مع الجهات، وقيام المقاول بتوريد المعدات اللازمة للتنفيذ، تلي ذلك بعد نهاية المشروع أربعة أشهر للاختبارات للتأكد من عمل المترو، وحجم الركاب المتوقع لمشروع النقل العام يبدأ من مليون راكب. ويتكون المشروع من ستة مسارات، مجموع أطوالها 176 كيلومتراً، وأعمال المسارات تختلف من مسار إلى الآخر، تشمل مسارات أرضية وتحت الأرض وعلى جسور.

http://alhayat.com/Details/539116