Tag Archives: asia

US Retail, Forever 21 could not survive in Europe and Asia

One of the Top Fashion Retailer Forever 21 is winding up operations from Europe and Asia. Planning to halt operations of approximately 350 stores globally. Established in 1978 in US in pursuit of offering economical women accessories against competitors such as H&M and Zara. From overall 800 it will decline to 450 outlets in USA.


Escalating Customers shopping expectations forcing Retailers do more in all segments despite of limitations






It has filled up Chapter 11 protection postpones a US company’s obligations to its creditors, giving it time to reorganize its debts or sell parts of the business.”This does not mean that we are leaving business – on the contrary, filing for bankruptcy protection is a deliberate and decisive step to put us on a successful track for the future.”


Forever21 winding up operations from Europe could not deal with customers escalating demand

Mr Khan West & East understanding reveals priorities: Must Read

WHY The West Craves Materialism & The East Sticks To Religion

By Imran Khan

My generation grew up at a time when colonial hang up was at its peak. Our older generation had been slaves and had a huge inferiority complex of the British. The school I went to was similar to all elite schools in Pakistan. Despite gaining independence, they were, and still are, producing replicas of public schoolboys rather than Pakistanis.

I read Shakespeare, which was fine, but no Allama Iqbal – the national poet of Pakistan. The class on Islamic studies was not taken seriously, and when I left school I was considered among the elite of the country because I could speak English and wore Western clothes.

Despite periodically shouting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ in school functions, I considered my own culture backward and religion outdated. Among our group if anyone talked about religion, prayed or kept a beard he was immediately branded a Mullah.

Because of the power of the Western media, our heroes were Western movie stars or pop stars. When I went to Oxford already burdened with this hang-up, things didn’t get any easier. At Oxford, not just Islam, but all religions were considered anachronism.

Science had replaced religion and if something couldn’t be logically proved it did not exist. All supernatural stuff was confined to the movies. Philosophers like Darwin, who with his half-baked theory of evolution had supposedly disproved the creation of men and hence religion, were read and revered.

Moreover, European history reflected its awful experience with religion. The horrors committed by the Christian clergy during the Inquisition era had left a powerful impact on the Western mind.

To understand why the West is so keen on secularism, one should go to places like Cordoba in Spain and see the torture apparatus used during the Spanish Inquisition. Also, the persecution of scientists as heretics by the clergy had convinced the Europeans that all religions are regressive.

However, the biggest factor that drove people like me away from religion was the selective Islam practiced by most of its preachers. In short, there was a huge difference between what they practiced and what they preached. Also, rather than explaining the philosophy behind the religion, there was an overemphasis on rituals.

I feel that humans are different from animals. While the latter can be drilled, humans need to be intellectually convinced. That is why the Qur’an constantly appeals to reason. The worst, of course, was the exploitation of Islam for political gains by various individuals or groups.

Hence, it was a miracle I did not become an atheist. The only reason why I did not was the powerful religious influence my mother wielded on me since my childhood. It was not so much out of conviction but love for her that I stayed a Muslim.

However, my Islam was selective. I accepted only parts of the religion that suited me. Prayers were restricted to Eid days and occasionally on Fridays when my father insisted on taking me to the mosque with him.

All in all, I was smoothly moving to become a Pukka Brown Sahib. After all, I had the right credentials in terms of school, university and, above all, acceptability in the English aristocracy, something that our brown sahibs would give their lives for. So what led me to do a ‘lota’ on the Brown Sahib culture and instead become a ‘desi’?

Well, it did not just happen overnight.

Firstly, the inferiority complex that my generation had inherited gradually went as I developed into a world-class athlete. Secondly, I was in the unique position of living between two cultures. I began to see the advantages and disadvantages of both societies.

In Western societies, institutions were strong while they were collapsing in our country. However, there was an area where we were and still are superior, and that is our family life. I began to realize that this was Western society’s biggest loss. In trying to free itself from the oppression of the clergy, they had removed both God and religion from their lives.

While science, no matter how much it progresses, can answer a lot of questions – two questions it will never be able to answer: One, what is the purpose of our existence and two, what happens to us when we die?

It is this vacuum that I felt created the materialistic and the hedonistic culture. If this is the only life then one must make hay while the sun shines – and in order to do so, one needs money. Such a culture is bound to cause psychological problems in a human being, as there was going to be an imbalance between the body and the soul.

Consequently, in the US, which has shown the greatest materialistic progress while giving its citizens numerous rights, almost 60 percent of the population consult psychiatrists. Yet, amazingly in modern psychology, there is no study of the human soul. Sweden and Switzerland, who provide the most welfare to their citizens, also have the highest suicide rates. Hence, man is not necessarily content with material well being and needs something more.

Since all morality has its roots in religion, once religion was removed, immorality has progressively grown since the 70s. Its direct impact has been on family life. In the UK, the divorce rate is 60 percent, while it is estimated that there is over 35 percent of single mothers. The crime rate is rising in almost all Western societies, but the most disturbing fact is the alarming increase in racism. While science always tries to prove the inequality of man (recent survey showing the American Black to be genetically less intelligent than whites) it is the only religion that preaches the equality of man.

Between 1991 and 1997, it was estimated that total immigration into Europe was around 520,000, and there were racially motivated attacks all over, especially in Britain, France, and Germany. In Pakistan during the Afghan war, we had over four million refugees, and despite the people being so much poorer, there was no racial tension.

There was a sequence of events in the 80s that moved me toward God as the Qur’an says: ‘There are signs for people of understanding. ‘One of them was cricket. As I was a student of the game, the more I understood the game, the more I began to realize that what I considered to be chance was, in fact, the will of Allah. A pattern which became clearer with time. But it was not until Salman Rushdie’s ‘Satanic Verses’ that my understanding of Islam began to develop.

People like me who were living in the Western world bore the brunt of anti-Islam prejudice that followed the Muslim reaction to the book. We were left with two choices: fight or flight. Since I felt strongly that the attacks on Islam were unfair, I decided to fight. It was then I realized that I was not equipped to do so as my knowledge of Islam was inadequate. Hence I started my research and for me a period of my greatest enlightenment. I read scholars like Ali Shariati, Muhammad Asad, Iqbal, Gai Eaton, plus of course, a study of Qur’an.

I will try to explain as concisely as is possible, what ‘discovering the truth’ meant for me. When the believers are addressed in the Qur’an, it always says, ‘Those who believe and do good deeds.’ In other words, a Muslim has a dual function, one toward God and the other toward fellow human beings.

The greatest impact of believing in God for me meant that I lost all fear of human beings. The Qur’an liberates man from man when it says that life and death and respect and humiliation are God’s jurisdiction, so we do not have to bow before other human beings.

Moreover, since this is a transitory world where we prepare for the eternal one, I broke out of the self-imposed prisons, such as growing old (such a curse in the Western world, as a result of which, plastic surgeons are having a field day), materialism, ego, what people say and so on. It is important to note that one does not eliminate earthly desires. But instead of being controlled by them, one controls them.

By following the second part of believing in Islam, I have become a better human being. Rather than being self-centered and living for the self, I feel that because the Almighty gave so much to me, in turn, I must use that blessing to help the less privileged. This I did by following the fundamentals of Islam rather than becoming a Kalashnikov-wielding fanatic.

I have become a tolerant and a giving human being who feels compassion for the underprivileged. Instead of attributing success to myself, I know it is because of God’s will, hence I learned humility instead of arrogance.

Also, instead of the snobbish Brown Sahib attitude toward our masses, I believe in egalitarianism and strongly feel against the injustice done to the weak in our society. According to the Qur’an, ‘Oppression is worse than killing.’ In fact, only now do I understand the true meaning of Islam, if you submit to the will of Allah, you have inner peace.

Through my faith, I have discovered the strength within me that I never knew existed and that has released my potential in life. I feel that in Pakistan we have selective Islam. Just believing in God and going through the rituals is not enough. One also has to be a good human being. I feel there are certain Western countries with far more Islamic traits than us in Pakistan, especially in the way they protect the rights of their citizens, or for that matter their justice system. In fact, some of the finest individuals I know live there.

What I dislike about them is their double standards in the way they protect the rights of their citizens but consider citizens of other countries as being somehow inferior to them as human being, e.g. dumping toxic waste in the Third World, advertising cigarettes that are not allowed in the West and selling drugs that are banned in the West.

One of the problems facing Pakistan is the polarization of two reactionary groups. On the one side is the Westernized group that looks upon Islam through Western eyes and has inadequate knowledge about the subject. It reacts strongly to anyone trying to impose Islam in society and wants only a selective part of the religion. On the other extreme is the group that reacts to this Westernized elite and in trying to become a defender of the faith, takes up such intolerant and self-righteous attitudes that are repugnant to the spirit of Islam.

What needs to be done is to somehow start a dialogue between the two extremes. In order for this to happen, the group on whom the greatest proportion of our educational resources are spent in this country must study Islam properly.

Whether they become practicing Muslims or believe in God is entirely a personal choice. As the Qur’an tells us there is ‘no compulsion in religion.’ However, they must arm themselves with knowledge as a weapon to fight extremism. Just by turning up their noses at extremism the problem is not going to be solved.

The Qur’an calls Muslims ‘the middle nation’, not of extremes. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) was told to simply give the message and not worry whether people converted or not, therefore, there is no question in Islam of forcing your opinions on anyone else.

Moreover, we are told to respect other religions, their places of worship and their prophets. It should be noted that no Muslim missionaries or armies ever went to Malaysia or Indonesia. The people converted to Islam due to the high principles and impeccable character of the Muslim traders. At the moment, the worst advertisements for Islam are the countries with their selective Islam, especially where religion is used to deprive people of their rights. In fact, a society that obeys the fundamentals of Islam has to be a liberal one.

If Pakistan’s Westernized class starts to study Islam, not only will it be able to help society fight sectarianism and extremism, but it will also make them realize what a progressive religion Islam is. They will also be able to help the Western world by articulating Islamic concepts. Recently, Prince Charles accepted that the Western world can learn from Islam. But how can this happen if the group that is in the best position to project Islam gets its attitudes from the West and considers Islam backward? Islam is a universal religion and that is why our Prophet (peace be upon him) was called a Mercy for all mankind.

Humbly written by

Imran Khan

(Prime Minister of Pakistan)

Emirates A380 World’s Largest landed at this airport for the first time.

Its a moment of immense pleasure for us that Emirates have shared its confidence and trust in us and landing its fleet biggest airbus A380 here for the first time making history.

Emirates on Tuesday announced that it will deploy a one-off A380 service to Islamabad on July 8, 2018, with the airline’s iconic double-decker making its inaugural arrival in Islamabad on a special flight EK2524/EK2525.

The A380 flight will depart Dubai at 8am and arrive in Islamabad at 12.10pm. The flight will depart Islamabad at 3.40pm, arriving in Dubai at 5.45pm on the same day.

“We are proud to bring our flagship A380 aircraft to Islamabad and we look forward to showcasing our innovative products on board this iconic aircraft with the signature Emirates service. While this is a special flight, we are very keen to launch a scheduled A380 service to Pakistan and will continue to work with authorities to realise these plans,” said Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, divisional senior vice-president, commercial operations centre, Emirates.

The Emirates A380 aircraft on this special one-off service will be in a two-class configuration offering seats in economy class and seats in business class as well as Emirates’ onboard lounge. Passengers in all classes enjoy free Wi-Fi.

Emirates and Pakistan have a shared history tracing back over 30 years when the airline’s flight landed in Karachi on October 25, 1985. In the last three decades, Emirates has progressively expanded its operations and offering global connectivity to Pakistan’s major cities including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Sialkot, and Multan.

World’s most oppressed countries.

Today, it is a democracy that finds itself battered and weakened. A quarter-century ago, at the end of the Cold War, it appeared that totalitarianism had at last been vanquished and liberal democracy had won the great ideological battle of the 20th century.

 


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The Freedom in the World 2018 index by the US government-funded non-governmental organization (NGO) Freedom House has found that in its own words:

Democracy is in crisis. The values it embodies—particularly the right to choose leaders in free and fair elections, freedom of the press, and the rule of law— are under assault and in retreat globally.

For the 12th consecutive year, countries that experienced democratic setback outnumbered those that registered gains. The report stated that 88 countries were classed as “free”, while 49 were classed as “not free”.

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The report also criticised some nations for becoming increasingly authoritarian:

The retreat of democracies is troubling enough. Yet at the same time, the world’s leading autocracies, China and Russia, have seized the opportunity not only to step up internal repression but also to export their malign influence to other countries, which are increasingly copying their behavior and adopting their disdain for democracy.

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   A confident Chinese president Xi Jinping recently proclaimed that China is ‘blazing a new trail’ for developing countries to follow. It is a path that includes politicized courts, intolerance for dissent, and predetermined elections

 

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The Gambia’s status improved from Not Free to Partly Free, its political rights rating improved from 6 to 4, and its civil liberties rating improved from 6 to 5 due to the installation of newly elected president Adama Barrow into office in January and the holding of competitive legislative elections in April. Among other openings associated with the departure of former president Yahya Jammeh, exiled journalists and activists returned, political prisoners, were released, ministers declared their assets to an ombudsman, and the press union began work on media-sector reform.

The Freedom in the World report evaluates the state of freedom in 195 countries and 14 territories, assigning a score between 0 and 4 in a series of 25 indicators to give a final score of 100.

The methodology is derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, regardless of geopolitical, geographic, ethnic or religious considerations.

Contemporary sanctions on North Korea by United Nations

The latest United Nations sanctions on North Korea are expected to choke its economy still further, but with Washington and Pyongyang showing no signs of stepping back from their face off, observers have warned that the world is running out of options to resolve the crisis.

The United Nations Security Council on Friday voted unanimously to support the sanctions, spearheaded by the United States, which will see North Korea’s imports of refined petroleum products cut by almost 90 percent from January.

The self-proclaimed nuclear power – after its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile launch in late November – is also banned from exporting food products, machinery, electrical equipment, stone and wood as the UN seeks to cut external funding for its weapons and nuclear programmes

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US proposes to cut off oil supplies to North Korea at UN Security Council

The U.N. Security Council on Friday unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea following its latest intercontinental ballistic missile test, a move that analysts said could have a significant impact on the isolated country’s struggling economy.

The resolution seeks to ban nearly 90 percent of refined petroleum product exports to North Korea by capping them at 500,000 barrels a year and, in what diplomats said was a last-minute change, demands the repatriation of North Koreans working abroad within 24 months, instead of 12 months as first proposed.

North Korea on Nov. 29 said it successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile in a “breakthrough” that puts the U.S. mainland within range of its nuclear weapons whose warheads could withstand re-entry to the Earth’s atmosphere.

“It (the resolution) sends the unambiguous message to Pyongyang that further defiance will invite further punishments and isolation,” Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said following the vote.

Source: CNBC