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Archive for the ‘Press Releases’ Category

Acclaimed LG V30 Begins Making Its Way into Customers’ Pockets and Lives

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Karachi / SEOUL, September 26, 2017:- LG Electronics (LG) begins shipping its well-regarded LG V30 smartphone to customers in its home country of South Korea this week and will be followed by deliveries to eager customers in North America, Europe and other key markets globally in the days and weeks to come.

The LG V30 created strong interest at this year’s IFA 2017 in Berlin, winning 26 awards, the most for LG at the annual trade show. Audiences praised it for its superb design and range of innovative features with experts predicting it will be the phone to beat when it comes to creating professional-quality content without professional-level complexity.

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To best deliver consumers’ preference for big screens in small bodies, LG engineers squeezed a 6-inch, 18:9 FullVision display into a frame that is 8mm shorter and 3mm narrower than its predecessor. Sheathed front and back in tempered glass that curls around its edges, the V30 won accolades for its exquisite look and feel. Weighing in at only 158g, the V30 is the lightest smartphone in the 6-inch and over smartphone category.

“The V30 was designed to help consumers best capture the experiences that make up our life stories,” said Juno Cho, president of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “Its functions and features delight our senses of sight, sound and touch and when it comes to looks, it may just be the most beautiful smartphone we’ve ever developed.”

LG is a leader in smartphone photography, and the V30 extends this legacy. The phone features many industry innovations, including the first F1.6 aperture and glass lens in a smartphone camera, the ability to produce near professional quality movies and videos by shooting in LG-Cine Log format and the smartphone industry’s first OLED display in FullVision format.

The F1.6 aperture lens that highlights the main camera captures more light for brighter-than-ever shots. The Crystal Clear Lens is composed of glass, a material usually only found in higher-end cameras that delivers more accurate colors and crisper images than traditional plastic lenses.

As a video capture tool, the V30 is equipped with Cine Video mode to make anyone shoot like a pro. Cine Effect features 15 different presets that emulate genres from romantic comedy to summer blockbuster. And industry-first Point Zoom allows one to zoom in on any subject in the frame, not only the center object. LG-Cine Log saves files while preserving a wide dynamic range and color gamut to allow for more adjustments in post-production. All this, when combined with the QHD+ (2880 x 1440) OLED FullVision display, offers faster response times and minimizes afterimages for the ideal Google Daydream VR experience.

Additional details including price and exact date of availability will be announced locally in each market.

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Hajj 2017 comes to a close

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Karachi / MAKKAH (September 5) – More than 2.35 million pilgrims have completed Hajj this year, fulfilling their religious duty in peace and unity at the holiest city in Islam, Makkah.

Saudi Arabia welcomed the world to the five-day pilgrimage, one of the five pillars of Islam, with pilgrims from dozens of countries coming together in what many consider the highlight of their spiritual lives.

In all, 2,352,122 pilgrims traveled to Makkah for this year’s Hajj, 1.75 million of whom were from outside the Kingdom. Just over 1 million came from Asia, and nearly 400,000 traveled from non-GCC countries. Close to 200,000 arrived from African countries. Nearly 100,000 pilgrims traveled from European countries, while the United States and Australia together accounted for around 25,000 pilgrims. Almost 33,000 came from GCC countries.

“Welcoming pilgrims from all around the globe is the honor and duty of Saudi Arabia, under the auspices and direct guidance of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. We make every effort and spare no expense in ensuring that pilgrims have a peaceful and fulfilling Hajj” said Dr. Awwad Alawwad, the Minister of Culture and Information.

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“Whether it is providing lodging at Mina or staffing health facilities or giving pilgrims helpful information bracelets, we do everything we can to take care of those traveling to Makkah. Our efforts to improve this experience are constant and ongoing” Dr. Alawwad added.

The logistics of Hajj
As always, the creation of a temporary city to accommodate more than two million people meant that Saudi Arabia again had to go to extraordinary lengths to protect the health, safety and well-being of pilgrims.

There were 15 medical centres at Makkah and nearby Holy sites, staffed by more than 30,000 trained medical professionals. During the course of Hajj, doctors performed more than 2,600 free surgical procedures, and nearly 60,000 pilgrims received some form of medical treatment.

Of the foreigners who traveled to Saudi Arabia for Hajj, more than 1.6 million arrived by air, most traveling through Jeddah and Madinah, where airports have special terminals dedicated exclusively to handling Hajj pilgrims.

These facilities, paid for and constructed by Saudi Arabia, are just one example of the fruits of the tens of billions of dollars Saudi Arabia has invested since the 1950s to improve and enhance access to Makkah, the upkeep of the Grand Mosque, and the Hajj experience itself.

As always, a focal point of Hajj was the vast tent city at Mina, where pilgrims stayed in air- conditioned tents constructed of fire-retardant materials. In the tent city, the pilgrims were grouped by nationality.

Of course, a massive undertaking like Hajj can sometimes be daunting and confusing for pilgrims, which is why 2017 marked the second consecutive year that pilgrims were issued individual electronic identification bracelets.

Each bracelet contained a pilgrim’s personal information and any special medical needs they might have. The devices, which are water-resistant and contain GPS data, also were used to provide pilgrims with up-to-date information on prayer schedules and other details related to Hajj.

The bracelets could also be used to connect with a multi-lingual help desk in which other, more detailed questions could be asked and answered.

The utility of the wrist bracelet was augmented by regular Hajj updates texted by the Saudi organisers to the pilgrims’ mobile devices. All information was also updated to two websites dedicated to Hajj 2017: SaudiWelcomesTheWorld.org and Hajj2017.org.

The following list is a representative example of the resources that the Saudi Authorities deployed to ensure a safe and smooth Hajj season:

  • 122,252 staff members representing more than 20 governmental entities working around the clock
  • 14,000 staff members from the Makkah Region Development Authority to facilitate pedestrian movement at the holy sites and operate and maintain the ‘Hajj metro’
  • 6,300 staff members from the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque providing cold Zamzam water for pilgrims at prayer sites
  • 4,480 staff members providing municipal services for pilgrims, citizens and residents in Makkah and the Holy sites
  • 4,470 staff members from the General Department of Passports to prepare and equip the entry ports to receive pilgrims
  • 3,706 scouts providing a wide range of services such as directions to lost pilgrims
  • 2,935 volunteers under the Ministry of Hajj from different nationalities and backgrounds
  • 2,280 Civil Defense staff members for firefighting and emergency rescues, overseeing safety measures and contributing to medical evacuation
  • 1,650 media professionals providing media services and live coverage to more than 104 TV channels and 19 radio stations
  • 1,500 technicians
  • 1,307 staff members and technicians from the National Water Company
  • 279 staff members from the Saudi Food & Drug Authority to ensure food safety
  • 240 inspectors from the Ministry of Labour and Social Development to inspect establishments
  • 130 help desks manned by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance to answer pilgrims’ questions in all languages
  • 67 Civil Defense centers in Makkah, Madina and the Holy sites

The spirit of Hajj

Hajj, of course, is about more than raw numbers; each pilgrim has his own deeply personal experience. And pilgrims bring their own unique perspective to this fulfillment of a religious duty.

One of the oldest pilgrims was 104-year-old Ibu Mariah Marghani Muhammad, from Indonesia, who arrived in Jeddah on August 26 and later in the week said in Makkah that her pilgrimage journey was an “experience that I will never forget”.

Another young Indonesian pilgrim, Mochammad Kahmim Setiawan, travelled 9,000 km by foot on a yearlong “spiritual adventure” before he arrived for this year’s Hajj.

These are just several of thousands upon thousands of personal stories that illustrate the importance of Hajj to Muslims the world over.

The spirit of Hajj was perhaps best captured by senior Saudi cleric Sheikh Saad Al Shathri in a sermon delivered August 31 at Mount Arafat, who said that one of the primary intentions of Hajj is “to cultivate benevolence in people’s hearts. This is no place for partisan slogans or sectarian movements.”

As pilgrims begin to return to their home countries, Saudi Arabia is already beginning to plan for next year’s Hajj. The work of organizing and hosting the world’s largest annual gathering never stops.

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Next Major Smartphone from LG to Feature First-Ever OLED FullVision Display

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Karachi / SEOUL, September 6, 2017:- The next flagship smartphone from LG Electronics (LG) will be the first ever device to feature a plastic OLED FullVision display, consistent with the company’s smartphone display strategy that started with the LG G6 and continues with the LG Q6. As LG’s first OLED smartphone since the LG G Flex 2 in 2015, the shift marks a move by LG to extend its OLED leadership from the premium TV sector into the premium smartphone space. Beyond their slim profile and excellent visuals, OLED displays in smartphones are ideal for VR applications, one of the key growth areas in the smartphone industry.

LG OLED FullVision Display

“Expertise in OLED has long been a core competency of LG, and the technology has always been seen as a potential value-add for smartphones,” said Juno Cho, president of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “With competition in the global smartphone space fiercer now than ever, we felt that this was the right time to reintroduce OLED displays in our mobile products.”

With consumers seeking bigger displays but eschewing larger phones that are uncomfortable to hold in one hand, LG’s FullVision display is a key contributor in the trend toward minimized bezels in smartphones. OLED was simply the next evolution for FullVision displays, delivering incredible quality, vividness and clarity to smartphone visuals. At six inches, the OLED FullVision display will be LG’s largest in four years while the actual body will be smaller than last year’s LG V20. As the upper and lower bezels have been reduced by 20 and 50 percent when compared to the V20, the LG logo has been moved from the bottom of the display to the back of the phone to maximize viewable screen space.

The FullVision display’s immersive and expansive visual experience is enhanced on the 4.15 million pixels of the QHD+ (1440 x 2880) OLED screen. Superb image quality is achieved via emissive OLED technology which reproduces perfect black and colors with greater accuracy across a wider color spectrum. By implementing optimal image algorithms gleaned from years of OLED research and development, visuals on this OLED display deliver 148 percent of the sRGB1 color space for digital images and 109 percent of the DCI-P32 color space for digital cinema. Another intrinsic advantage of OLED technology is operational response time, which is tens of times faster than LCD. This accelerated response time effectively eliminates afterimages, an important consideration for action movies and VR. And with support for HDR10, watching compatible movies and videos on this display offers a whole new eye-opening experience.

And because the screen in the upcoming smartphone will be based on plastic OLED technology – also known as P-OLED – the edges can be curved to allow for a more ergonomic design and a better feel in the hand. P-OLED is created by placing pixels on a plastic substrate which is much stronger than a glass base. What’s more, the display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 that incorporates shatter-resistant technology. Most importantly, using advanced encapsulation and pixel-scanning technology, the burn-in problem that has affected OLED technology in the past has been all but eliminated in the P-OLED technology in LG’s upcoming device. Encapsulation significantly reduces oxidation of the pixels and LG’s pixel-scanning technology allows for less energy to be applied to each pixel, also saving battery power.

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Hutchison Ports Pakistan sets national vessel handling record for third time this year

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Karachi, September 06, 2017 – Hutchison Ports Pakistan, the country’s first deep-water container terminal, sets national vessel handling record for third time this year, handling 1,953 moves in just 11 hours on the 8,562 TEU vessel Hyundai Global / 063E.

The terminal operator broke its own previous record of 3,191 moves in just over 23 hours, achieved on the 8,600 TEU vessel Hyundai Splendour / 047E. In less than 5 months, since starting test operations on 9th December 2016, Hutchison Ports Pakistan has now thrice broken the productivity record.

During the vessel’s stay at the facility, the Terminal achieved a Vessel Operating Rate (VOR) of 181.15 container moves per hour (previous record was 140.18) and a Gross Crane Rate (GCR) of 31.05. During the call, a total of 2,503 TEUs were handled.

“When we commenced operations at the terminal, we set out with a very high benchmark for ourselves,” said CEO Captain Rashid Jamil. “With every record, we continue to raise the bar and aim to achieve higher goals in the future.”

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Coke Studio 10’s Episode 5 showcases the breadth of Pakistan’s talent

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Karachi, September 07, 2017: Coke Studio 10 will release its fifth installment packed with exceptional music this weekend. Featuring four songs, Episode 5 will include ‘Bol’ by Shafqat Amanat Ali as a tribute to the iconic poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz; ‘Rangrez’ by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Sahir Ali Bagga; ‘Sab Maya Hai’ by the father son duo, Attaullah Esakhelvi and Sanwal Esakhelvi; and ‘Ujaalon Mein’ by Faraz Anwer and Faiza Mujahid. The Episode is set to be released digitally on Friday, September 8 and aired on all leading television channels on Saturday, September 9.

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Often called Pakistan’s “greatest poet”, Faiz Ahmed Faiz was an intellectual, a revolutionary poet, and one of the most celebrated writers of the Urdu language. Faiz’s poetry was influenced by the works of Allama Iqbal and Mirza Ghalib, and addressed the tyranny of military dictatorships and oppressions. Coke Studio’s rendition of the iconic poem ‘Bol’, advocating the importance of standing up and speaking the truth, is brought to life in a sweet ballad performed by Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan.

Shafqat Amanat Ali began his journey with Coke Studio in Season 2 with ‘Aankhon Ke Sagar, ‘Khamaj’, ‘Ajab Khail’, and an interesting collaboration with Josh on their bhangra track, ‘Mahi Ve’. He returns to Coke Studio in Season 10 with his signature, dynamic voice demonstrating his versatility as a true musician. He observed, “Coke Studio has played a big part in promoting Pakistani music globally. They’ve managed to bring our forte and our specialty to attention; these are the sounds that make Pakistani music different.”

The tribute is directed by the talented Shani Arshad who returns to Coke Studio Season 10 after his powerful compositions like Abida Parveen’s ‘Maula-e-Kul’ and Meesha Shafi’s ‘Bholay Bhalay’ in Season 9.

‘Rangrez’, a modern Sufi song, encompasses the true meaning of devotional love. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan teams up with Sahir Ali Bagga to create magic with a fresh, new sound. In the musical composition by Sahir Ali Bagga, the tabla flirts with the shehnai and a flurry of backing vocals paint a vibrant surrounding as Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s glowing and scintillating voice takes the foreground to bring out the rang and dhanak of the melody.

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, the modern torch-bearer of Qawwali, has been an integral part of Coke Studio from the very beginning, with his mesmerizing take of Ali Azmat’s Garaj Baras in Season 1, to his powerful rendition of Chaap Tilaak with Abida Parveen in Season 8. After a record-breaking, ‘Afreen, Afreen’ and finally, an enigmatic duet with the (Late) Amjad Sabri in Season 9, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan returns to Coke Studio 10 with some of the most sought after performances of the year. He shares, “Coke Studio has been very successful, and it’s all because of the music directors, music selection, the musicians and the overall talent in Pakistan. They have the credit of bringing the talent of the country to a global platform. The world now accepts and appreciates Pakistan’s musical talent. I think this is just the beginning, and Coke Studio has a long way to go.”

In ‘Sab Maya Hai’, Attaullah Esakhelvi and Sanwal Esakhelvi bring the sounds of the soil to the airwaves by narrating a tale of depravity within the realms of love and money. Attaullah Esakhelvi’s unique yet familiar folk tone settle itself into the soundscapes that Shuja Haider has designed as Sanwal’s young, powerful voice lifts the melody with his energy. On a backdrop of groovy and emotive backing vocals, accented with the banjo and flute, this song is a journey towards uncovering the truth.

Sanwal enthused, “I have been performing with my father for a long time, so on some level, it’s not too new for me, but yes, there is an excitement because it’s the first time we are together on Coke Studio. I was a little nervous but I enjoyed working with Shuja and am excited about my performance.”

Well versed in traditional and folk music, Sanwal will be making his Coke Studio debut alongside his father Attaullah Esakhelvi in a beautiful rendition of a family classic. Attaullah sahab previously lent his voice to Coke Studio in Season 4 with popular renditions of ‘Pyaar Naal’ and ‘Ni Oothaan Waale’.

A familiar rock-ballad ‘Ujaalon Mein’, finds a home at Coke Studio Season 10, as Faiza Mujahid’s electrifying voice is paired with the prolific guitarist, Faraz Anwar, in a delightful rendition of Pakistan rock anthem. Jaffer Zaidi masterfully creates a space that complements and accentuates the simplicity of the melody while staying true to the signature progressive-rock sound that comes with Faraz Anwar’s fiery musical personality to create a powerful rendition of a classic Pakistani rock song.

Faiza admitted, “I was really happy that I got to work with Faraz and Jaffer. Coke Studio covers so many genres but I wanted to stick to my genre and performing with Faraz on his song has been amazing. The song is soft rock and what I loved about the collaboration was that it was an equal participation. The song is beautiful, and I think everyone will like it.” Singer-songwriter, Faiza Mujahid rose to fame with the famous song ‘Bandeya Ho’ from the movie ‘Khuda Kay Liye’. She makes her Coke Studio debut on Season 10 with her flair for rock music and versatile vocals.

With an already large fan following, Faraz Anwar made his Coke Studio debut with band Mizraab in Season 4. He returned in Season 7 as a guitarist in collaboration with Sajjad Ali. Faraz Anwer joins the Coke Studio team in Season 10 to unearth some progressive rock ballads that stir the soul.

The milestone Season 10 continues Coke Studio’s tradition of producing exceptional music and bringing together Pakistan’s most accomplished artists and musicians on one platform. With an interesting assortment of the renowned and established artists along with the new and rising stars, Episode 5 is all set to yet again captivate audiences though its soulful music.

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AkzoNobel reclaims top ranking on Dow Jones Sustainability Index

Friday, September 8, 2017

AkzoNobel has returned to the top of the influential Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) to lead the rankings again for the fifth time in six years.
The latest listing, published today, places the company first in the Chemicals industry group. It represents a quick and successful response from the company after its run of four consecutive years at the top came to an end in 2016.

“It’s a great achievement to be leading our industry again,” said AkzoNobel CEO Thierry Vanlancker. “We made a huge effort to improve in areas that needed to be addressed and being ranked first again proves the impact we can have by putting sustainability at the heart of our business strategy.”

The company has now featured in the top ten for 12 consecutive years, underlining AkzoNobel’s commitment to working with customers to develop sustainable solutions that make a positive impact on the whole value chain.

“The real value and purpose of the DJSI lies in its effectiveness as a benchmark tool to continue to improve our business,” added Vanlancker. “So we’re well aware that just because we are leading the ranking again, we can’t afford to become complacent. As a leader in sustainability, we are playing a major role in transforming the industries in which we operate. We therefore need to keep improving in order to make the giant leaps required for us to create a more sustainable future.”

He pointed to the progress being made by the Decorative Paints business in transitioning to water-based products, and the continued success of partnerships being forged by Specialty Chemicals, as examples of how the company is helping to transform the industries in which it operates. AkzoNobel is also aiming to become carbon natural by 2050.

Regarded as the most respected independent sustainability ranking system, the DJSI World Index benchmarks the sustainability performance of leading companies based on environmental, social and economic performance, including forward-looking indicators.

It assesses various criteria, including supply chain management, operational eco-efficiency, product stewardship, human capital development, integrity and people, process and product safety.

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Emirates launches special fares to celebrate landmark 100th A380 delivery

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Book a Getaway across Emirates’ global network in Economy and Business Class with fares starting from PKR 24,380*

Karachi / Dubai, UAE, 12 September 2017 – Emirates is celebrating the historic delivery of their 100th Airbus 380 aircraft with a fare sale to exciting destinations across the Emirates global network in the Middle East, Far East, Europe and US. Emirates operates the largest fleet of A380s in the world, serving 47 destinations around the world.
All-inclusive Economy Class fares start at PKR 65,380 to Europe, PKR 24,380 to the Middle East, PKR 103,380 to the Americas and PKR 47,380 to Far East Asia. Business Class fares start from PKR 223,380 to Europe, PKR 119,380 to the Middle East, PKR 238,380 to the Americas and PKR 135,380 to Far East Asia.*

Bookings have to be made between September 12 and 22, 2017, for travel between September 15 and December 07, 2017.

“Emirates offers a great network of global destinations and a great flying experience, which is made even better on our A380 service. We are proud to have the largest A380 fleet in the world – our 100th delivery is testament to our commitment of offering world class service to our customers,” said Jabr Al-Azeeby, Vice President Pakistan. “With these special fares, we hope to encourage Pakistani travellers to explore a new city, try out a new experience, or just make that long-promised visit to friends and family. We want our customers to make their travel plans a reality with Emirates. We look forward to welcoming our Pakistani customers on board our flagship A380, which they can experience from Dubai and beyond.”

Customers can plan ahead and book Economy and Business class fares with direct service to Dubai and onward destinations such as Kuala Lumpur, Paris, London, New York, and Frankfurt among others.

Emirates Experience
The Emirates A380 is renowned for its award-winning First Class Private Suites and Shower Spas, as well as On-board lounge for First and Business Class passengers to mingle whilst enjoying canapés and beverages. Passengers travelling on the Emirates A380, will enjoy spacious cabins and experience a peaceful journey in the world’s quietest long-range jet. Pakistani travellers can experience the A380 service from Dubai and beyond.
Emirates’ customers will have access to premium food and beverage offerings prepared by five-star chefs. All travellers will experience Emirates’ award-winning service and innovation as they will have access to ice, Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment system offering more than 2,500 channels of on-demand entertainment at every seat, gourmet regionally inspired dishes, and dedicated children’s menus and activities. Emirates travellers will experience first-hand the excellent inflight service from a multilingual Cabin Crew representing over 130 nationalities and more than 60 languages.

Emirates operates 71 weekly flights in 6 cities in Pakistan – including Karachi, Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore, Sialkot and Multan – and that gives customers the choice of choosing flights which are most convenient to them. There are 35 weekly flights to Karachi, 5 to Peshawar, 10 each to Lahore and Islamabad, 7 to Sialkot and 4 weekly flights to Multan.

Book Your Flight Today
For more information on Emirates, including how to book and a complete list of terms and conditions, contact your travel agent or visit:http://www.emirates.com/pk/english/destinations_offers/special_offers/featured-fares/index.aspx

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LG Unveils World’s Largest OLED Screen in Dubai

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Karachi / SEOUL, September 12, 2017:– LG Electronics (LG) announced the unveiling of a video wall signage in Dubai that has the distinction of being the largest OLED screen and the largest high definition video wall in the world. Located in Dubai Mall adjacent to the Burj Khalifa, the mega-sized video wall was created using 820 LG Open Frame OLED signage panels. LG partnered with Emaar Entertainment, operator of the Dubai Aquarium, on the record-breaking project.

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“LG is revolutionizing the way commercial space is designed and used because its pioneering slim and curved OLED technology is an iconic piece of art itself,” said Kwon Soon-hwang, head of Information Display at the LG Home Entertainment Company. “Our Dubai exhibit is an example of how LG digital signage products add harmony to a space in addition to being an innovative solution that today’s B2B customers demand. It’s fitting that this breakthrough screen is being shown in the largest mall in the world next to the tallest structure in the world.”

OLED is often referred to as the next-generation display because it is emissive technology, meaning that the display emits its own light, eliminating the need for bulky and inefficient backlighting. This results in superb images with the deepest possible blacks and life-like colors as well as wider viewing angles than conventional backlit displays.

The use of LG’s Open Frame OLED signage at the Dubai Aquarium is particularly fitting because the curved form factor of the display follows the undulations of flowing water. LG Open Frame OLED signage can be configured into both convex or concave curves in both landscape and portrait modes, blending into any public and private space.

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TAF Foundation, changing lives of women, one skill at a time

Monday, September 18, 2017

Karachi, September 18, 2017: TAF Foundation, a not-for-profit organization working for women empowerment through its Vocational Training Institute (TAFF-VTI), has commenced its second 3.5-month training course for marginalized women from all across Karachi. This rigorous course will impart classroom and practical training in culinary and housekeeping skills, preparing the trainees comprehensively for a career as professional domestic helper.

There is an overwhelming demand for well-trained, groomed and reliable domestic helpers with structured skills. The higher socio-economic segment of Pakistani society presently addresses this need through domestic help imported from other countries like Philippines, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. TAFF-VTI is now all set to bring about a paradigm shift, by institutionalizing the domestic help industry in Pakistan through skills development of our own women, who are willing to build a career for themselves in this field. Not only will there be an assured supply of local skilled domestic helpers for those who need it, but sustainable livelihoods will be created for our society’s marginalized women.

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Aatiqa Lateef, CEO TAF Foundation, said, “Our program engages women through a three-tier model – recruitment, training and placement. Thus, the objective is not just providing professional training, but also ensuring placement of our graduates, with premium remuneration. This program is developed to enable women in Pakistan not only with a professional skill set but to also empower them with a legal and financial understanding of their rights as women. We have seen that these additional skills have had a transformational impact on their personal lives.”

Previously TAFF-VTI has rolled out two terms from which majority of the graduates have been placed into meaningful employment. These graduates who were earning PKR 4,000 to 8,000 per month before joining TAFF-VTI are now working in contractual employment at PKR 20,000 to 30,000 per month, with their contracts being based on the labor laws in Pakistan and managed by the VTI’s Career Placement Center.

“Today I consider myself extremely fortunate to have received this training from TAFF-VTI,” stated Sultana, TAFF-VTI trainee from the pilot batch, adding: “It has been a life-changing experience, which only someone who has remained marginalized and exploited their whole life can really understand. The quality and efficiency of my work has improved drastically, my self-confidence is sky-high, and I have a new respect and dignity not only from my own family and in-laws but from my whole community. With my much larger income now, I am able to achieve at least one dream – provide a good education to my son, which was previously impossible.”

As the project gains attention, corporates and institutions from around Pakistan have identified TAFF-VTI as one of the more innovative integrated social development projects in the country.

About TAFF: TAF Foundation (TAFF) began as the Abbassciy Family Foundation in the year 2010 and served as a charitable organization to the underprivileged. In 2015, the Abbassciy Foundation was restructured into a philanthropic organization focused on long-term development initiatives. Renamed the TAF Foundation, TAFF aligned its mandates to Education, Health, and Social Consciousness and now concentrates on sustainable programs which help to create upward social and economic mobility.

TAFF-VTI is a long-term and scalable project of the TAF Foundation established to meet the demand.
TAFF-VTI developed a ‘first of its kind’ intensive training program, and has partnered with reputable Corporates, Foundations, Law Firms, Banks and other organizations that aligned themselves to women’s

empowerment initiative which closes the gap between supply and demand in a non-institutionalized industry. To learn more about TAFF-VTI, please visit: http://www.taffoundation.org/projects/vocational-training-institute/

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Coke Studio Season 10’s finale closes with Strings making a comeback

Friday, September 22, 2017

Karachi, September21, 2017: Strings, the executive producers of Coke Studio since the last four seasons, have been creating music that has kept audiences around the world hooked. They joined Ali Zafar and Ali Hamza for a rendition of Vital Signs’ ‘Us Rah Par’, making a comeback as singers after 8 long years since their last performance of ‘Titliyaan’ in Season 2.

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Strings, an internationally renowned Pakistani pop rock band led by Bilal Maqsood and Faisal Kapadia, started their musical journey in 1988 and became an integral part of both the Pakistani and Indian music industry. They performed hits like Sar Kiye, Anjane, Duur, Zinda and Titliyaan in Season 1 and 2.

Coke Studio’s rendition of ‘Us Rah Par’ is composed by Jaffer Zaidi who shares, “When we were recording the song, we could tell there was something missing. I wanted Strings to perform on the song and they agreed! I feel like it’s an important contribution because they knew Junaid Jamshed and Vital Signs personally and spent time with them. They bring a certain value to the song that I can’t describe. I’m very happy with the song.”

The finale Episode 7 will also feature 3 other songs including ‘Baanware’ by Aima Baig and Shuja Haider; ‘Tera Naam’ by Sajjad Ali and ‘Maula Tera Noor’ by Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan.

Season 10 continues the philosophy of Coke Studio by creating music that resonates with people, music that is meaningful, soulful and appealing at the same time. This season was special as it paid tributes to 7 legends of the music industry of Pakistan who are no longer with us and through these tributes helped us rediscover our roots helping us take pride in our rich heritage.

The season followed the multiple music directors’ format with nine music directors, including Shani Arshad, Ali Hamza, Jaffer Zaidi, Shuja Haider, Sajjad Ali, Salman Ahmed, Mekaal Hasan, Sahir Ali Bagga and Strings working with different genres of music, with Strings acting as the executive producers. The line-up of artists comprised of more than 40 vocalists and 35 musicians in the house band, bringing many celebrated artists back into the spotlight including Attaullah Esakhelvi, Arieb Azhar, Humera Arshad, Sahir Ali Bagga and Salman Ahmed, while showcasing new talent of Pakistan including stars like Waqar Ehsin, Aima Baig, Faiza Mujahid, Irteassh, Zaw Ali and Sanwal Esakhelvi.

Coke Studio has been creating fusion music that has continuously bridged barriers, in tandem with working for progress of music in the country consistently for the past 10 years. There hasn’t been anything bigger than this platform in our country, and music from Coke Studio has become intertwined with our identityas Pakistani.

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