What is Zahir X Batin?

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The first structure to understand about the world is the duality of Zahir and Batin, that there is an apparent world which we see and feel, and a hidden world which we can only apprehend with our minds and hearts. Beginning with what is closer at hand, we can physically see and feel our own bodies and at the same time have an inner awareness of ourselves and our thinking, but we cannot employ our physical sense to touch our thoughts or see our feelings. From this microcosmic level, the duality applies also to the universe. Just as our physical bodies abide in this material world of Zahir, Nasir teaches that the non-physical part of our beings whether called soul or mind or heart – resides in the spiritual universe of the Batin, to which in fact it yearns to return, to regain its proper home. Thus, the ultimate journey is the journey of the soul which starts here and now, in this world. And for Nasir Khusraw this is not mere philosophy but a personal statement of faith.

From Knowledge and Liberation by Nasir Khusraw

Inspired by two of the most powerful concepts from the Islamic World, Zahir X Batin is a Multi-Dimensional Art Platform founded by @Ahmad.Shuhib.Zuhurooddin. From Life coaching, Fashion line, Literature, Theater, Art Exhibition, Producing music/directing music videos to Stage design, the idea of that platform is to CULTURE by fusion. Zahir X Batin is about the plurality of expressions of that spark screaming love, colours and grey zones, words and ideas in black or white, reading through different senses Allah gifted us with.

Life coaching: Zahir X Batin will collaborate with various stakeholders/mentors/life coaches to guide the youth in need of guidance in their journey, in person or online.

Fashion Line: Fusioning the eastern and western culture by respecting the ethical framework of the Islamic values, Zahir X Batin want the people to express the core of who they are through Fashion, not to uniform but the give people to ability to express the plurality of their being with the way they dress.

Poetry and art exhibitions: Zahir X Batin will organise Art exhibit for local artists to showcase their work and give them a platform to exhibit their art with possibilities to live with their art.

Theater: Zahir X Batin will take part in the creative process of plays, short movies and videos by merging culture to create new content supporting comedians and actors,comedians & artists by giving them a stage and platform to practice their passion.

Producing music: Sampling Persian melodies with 808s are one of the examples of how Zahir X Batin will support artists to own their masters. Working alongside professionals in the field of music production and composition, Zahir X Batin is about the fusion of sound energy.

Music videos: By using Inner cosmological/Islamic/Non-Islamic geometrical design framing, Zahir X batin is breaking the traditional music video framework to give the artists the tools to adapt the visuals of their music for they way the present and the future is wired.

Stage design: In order for artists to be close to their fan, Zahir X Batin is coming up with a new way the design stage for performances. This will enable fans and artists to be more close to one another and the Artist to share their spark in a creative way with their Stage Performance reflecting their ideas and sounds.

Web Design: Zahir X Batin has been offering innovative website designing services at accessible price points to businesses across the globe. Our web design services include everything from a simple content web site to the most complex Custom Web Design, Table less Div Based Pages, PSD to XHTML, Web 2.0, Industry Based Design and Website Redesign. Apart from being user friendly, all websites are W3C validated, easy to load and extremely functional.

Zahir X Batin is a semi lucrative platform as part of gain made Zahir X Batin Art platform is given back to the people worldwide and support international artists in their creative projects in collaboration various NGO’s. The ultimate goal of this art platform is to Culture by fusion and enable creatives to take part in making this world a better place. 

Why are people shopping online late at night?

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More consumers seem to be shopping online late at night and in the early hours of the morning, say retailers.

New data from the John Lewis Partnership Card shows that one in 15 purchases are now made between the hours of midnight and 06:00.

The research shows that the number of purchases made in this period rose by 23% in 2018, compared with 2017.

Retail analyst Chris Field told the BBC that technology improvements have prompted this new trend.

“It’s partly to do with the more recent generations of mobile phones, and the retailers are becoming much more sophisticated,” he says.

“They’ve realised that if you go to the website and you don’t buy, they have to spend money trying to get you back on to the website, so they’re investing a lot on the websites and software.”

Online-only fast fashion retailer I Saw It First says that it too has seen a spike in nocturnal shopping visits to its website.

The retailer, which was the main sponsor for ITV reality show Love Island for summer 2019, told the BBC that peak customer traffic occurs at 21:00 and ends at about 01:00.

During this period, customers aged 18-24 are most active on the website, while dresses and tops are the most popular items.

Electronics retailer Currys PC World told the BBC that traffic to its website usually peaks between 20:00 – 22:00 on weekday nights. But in the last year, there has been a 10% increase in customers shopping between 22:00 and 03:00.

The retailer said the product categories that received the most traffic included PC gaming hardware, PC components and gaming accessories.

But why do people feel the need to do their shopping so late at night?

‘It’s the only time’

Romana Kuchai, a doctor based in London, says that bedtime is the only period in the day when she has the time to go online to do her shopping, whether it is for essential or spur-of-the-moment purchases.

And she is not alone. Many women told the BBC that they too like to shop for clothes and even get their grocery shopping orders done late at night.

“My brain is buzzing at that time of day, so I’m often buying house decor, clothes, food – anything my brain has in its to-do list,” Hampshire-based marketing director Kerri Watts told the BBC.

This ties in with the John Lewis research, which found that night-time spending is predominantly done by women. However, men are likely to spend more late at night than women do.

The top five most popular items being bought on John Lewis in the early hours of the morning are:

  • duvet covers
  • televisions
  • laptops
  • mobile phones
  • freezers

Luke, 27, told the BBC that he and his partner work 45-50 hour weeks, and they use online shopping as a way to get things done so that they can spend more time on their relationship at the weekend.

However, Mr Field says that purchases made online at night are actually part of a “shopping journey” that begins much earlier in the day.

Retailers say that many purchases are not made impulsively. Usually the consumer has looked at the item at least once previously, perhaps on a desktop computer, before later deciding to take the plunge and buy the item on a mobile device.

This ties in with the experience of electrocardiogram technician Taia Johnstone. She told the BBC: “I sit there and save items in my basket and then online shop late at night, not sure why, but the most horrendous outfits suddenly look wearable around 11:47pm on the model.”

According to Mr Field, this nocturnal shopping phenomenon has grown over the last two years, and shoppers are not just buying items at unusual times of the day, but also initiating returns at different times as well.

Now, retailers are having to consider whether they need to extend the hours that they employ staff, especially as the online shopping market becomes even more competitive, he adds.

Plus the costs of operating an online ecommerce website are now about equal to the costs of running a bricks-and-mortar shop, research from retail consultancy AlixPartners has shown.

“Retailers are trying to understand whether they will need to have some kind of night shift at their contact centres, so there are at least a handful of people available to help with orders or answer questions,” he says.

“Retailers are trying to understand whether they will need to have some kind of night shift at their contact centres, so there are at least a handful of people available to help with orders or answer questions,” he says.

This article was originally published in BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-49633006

Department of Finance Canada to Release Annual Financial Report

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The Department of Finance Canada will release the Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada (AFR) at 11:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, September 17, 2019.

The AFR summarizes the Government’s financial results for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019, including the budgetary balance. The Department is also releasing updated Fiscal Reference Tables, which provide annual data on the financial position of the federal, provincial, territorial and local governments.

Election 2019: What Canada’s parties are saying on Economic Class immigration

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Elections and promises go hand in hand and Canada’s main federal political parties are making plenty on the topic of Economic Class immigration in the run-up to Canada’s 43rd general election on October 21. 

The Economic Class is one of the three classes through which immigration to Canada is managed, along with Family Class and Refugee Class.

Economic Class immigration programs currently welcome the majority of newcomers to Canada each year. These include the three Express Entry-managed Federal High Skilled immigration programs (the Federal Skilled Worker ClassFederal Skilled Trades Class and Canadian Experience Class) and Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), among others.

Canada’s 2019 admissions target for its various Economic Class programs is 191,600 new permanent residents. This is nearly 60 per cent of this year’s total target of 330,800 admissions across Canada’s three immigration classes.

Five of the six main federal contenders have now released their platforms on immigration, with the exception of the incumbent Liberal Party of Canada.

Here’s a look at what they’re saying on Economic Class immigration and, in the case of the Liberals, what they’ve done.

The Liberal Party of Canada

Policies enacted by the Liberals since they assumed power in November 2015 provide us with a strong sense of what to expect from them should they win another mandate.

Their 2019-2021 Immigration Levels Plan tells us that the Liberals would continue to welcome 58 per cent of Canada’s newcomers under the Economic Class over the next two years.

With overall immigration levels slated to rise even further under the plan (to a target 350,000 immigrants by 2021 compared to around 260,000 when the Liberals took office), the number of Economic Class immigrants selected by both the federal government and provinces would also rise.

In 2021, the Liberals have an admissions target of 88,800 immigrants through Canada’s Express Entry-managed programs — a nine per cent increase compared with 2019’s target of 81,400.

Admissions through the PNP are also slated to increase to 71,300 new permanent residents, an increase of 17 per cent over 2019.

Assisting the federal government and Canada’s provinces and territories in their efforts to welcome more immigrants in the coming years are new economic class streams introduced by the Liberals since 2015.

These include the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot and the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot as well as the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, which provides Canada’s four Atlantic provinces with significant authority to select immigrants who meet the region’s economic needs.

These programs were introduced to help Canada meet broad immigration objectives such as promoting economic development in smaller jurisdictions and supporting key areas of the economy such as the agri-food sector.

In the absence of an election platform, it remains to be seen what other reforms the Liberals could make to Canada’s economic class program should they receive a new mandate.

However, given the Liberal move away from annual to multi-year immigration planning, stakeholders have a fair idea of what to expect should the Trudeau government return to power.

The Conservative Party of Canada

The Conservatives governed Canada most recently from 2006 to 2015 and were responsible for introducing the Express Entry system in January 2015.

Polls show the Conservatives effectively tied with the Liberals for the lead among decided voters.

In his 2019 Immigration Plan, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer’s promises to “safeguard and emphasize economic immigration” if elected in October.

He also promises to “set immigration levels consistent with what is in Canada’s best interests.”

The other economic plank in Scheer’s immigration platform is the pledge to “improve credential recognition and make it easier for new Canadians who have existing skills that meet our standards to ply their trades here.”

New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP)

Polls show the NDP in third place among decided voters, slightly ahead of the Green Party of Canada.

Should no party win a majority on October 21, runners-up like the NDP or the Greens could have leverage over Canada’s immigration policy should they hold the balance of power.

The NDP’s immigration platform accuses the Liberals of leaving “highly educated” immigrants “struggling to get work in their field of expertise — causing stress for their families as they struggle to make ends meet.”

To this end, the NDP’s platform pledges to “work with provinces to address gaps in settlement services and improve foreign credentials recognition.”

The NDP also promises to “make sure that our immigration policies and levels meet Canada’s labour force needs and recognize people’s experiences, contributions and ties to Canada.”

Gender-based wage discrimination is also raised in the NDP platform, which highlights the wider pay gap for immigrant women, among others. The NDP pledges to prioritize pay equity by “requiring employers to be transparent about pay and implementing and enforcing tough and pro-active pay equity legislation and regulations right away.”

The Green Party of Canada

Improving the recognition of foreign professional credentials is also a central plank of the Green Party’s immigration platform.

The Green Party says “newcomers are a source of incredible skills and potential for our country” and yet recent immigrants “make almost 40 per cent less than workers born in Canada.”

To help correct this, the Greens say they would “ensure professionals being considered for immigration have the licensing requirements for their professions clearly explained before entry.”

The Greens also pledge to “work with professional associations to create a robust system for evaluating the education and training credentials of immigrants against Canadian standards, with the goal of expediting accreditation and expanding professional opportunities for immigrants.”

They would also abolish Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program “and address labour shortages by increasing immigration, working with employers to establish pathways to permanent residency.”

The Greens also say they would “improve the pathway … to Canadian permanent residency and citizenship” for international students and foreign workers.

The Bloc Québécois

Given their mandate to promote Quebec independence, the Bloc’s immigration proposals exclusively pertain to the province.

The Bloc’s Economic Class proposals focus on addressing the serious labour shortage that employers across Quebec are facing, notably those in the province’s smaller regions.

To address this, the Bloc is proposing a tax credit for immigrants and recent international graduates of Quebec schools who accept employment in its outlying jurisdictions.

The Bloc says it also supports a proposal by Quebec’s centre-right Coalition Avenir Québec government to tie permanent residence status to the condition that an immigrant accepts and maintains employment in such jurisdictions.

Lastly, the Bloc proposes streamlining the application process for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, which a growing number of Quebec employers are turning to as labour shortages grow. The Bloc calls for hiring more staff to eliminate “endless processing delays.”

The People’s Party of Canada

The People’s Party of Canada (PPC) is a new populist federal party led by former Conservative MP Maxime Bernier, who once served as Canada’s foreign minister, among other cabinet portfolios.

While the PPC favours reducing overall immigration to Canada, its election platform says “the primary aim of Canada’s immigration policy should be to economically benefit Canadians and Canada as a whole.”

The PPC proposes to “reform the immigration points system and the related programs to accept a larger proportion of economic immigrants with the right skills.”

The PPC says it would also “limit the number of temporary foreign workers and make sure they fulfil temporary positions and do not compete unfairly with Canadian workers.”

CIC News and Canada’s 2019 Federal Election

Follow CIC News for full coverage of immigration-related news during Canada’s 2019 federal election.

Underpaid immigrants could cost the Canadian economy $50 billion

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Canada does a good job attracting foreign talent, but not so much when it comes to paying them their fair share.

A new report from RBC (RY.TO) shows immigrants earn about 10 per cent less than those born in Canada. That wage gap has grown from less than 4 per cent 30 years ago.

“That’s a red flag for a country that already has the highest proportion of immigrants to total population in the G7. Immigrants make up 22% of Canada’s population now, a number that’s expected to rise to 28% by 2036,” said the report.

“The immigrant wage gap is costly. Our research suggests bringing immigrants up to the wage levels and employment of those born in Canada would produce substantial economic benefits—maybe as much as 2.5% in annual GDP, about $50 billion.”

Researchers observed the phenomenon across occupations, age, gender, and regions – with the exception of Atlantic Canada.

In March, the federal government announced a two-year extension of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot to make it easier to hire skilled labour and recent graduates to fill local vacancies.

The situation has worsened elsewhere despite immigrants being increasingly better educated. The gap for university-educated immigrants aged 45 to 54 is about 18 per cent.

Educated immigrants also aren’t finding jobs that match their education. Only 38 per cent of university-educated immigrants hold positions that require a degree, compared to 52 per cent for those born in Canada.

Meanwhile, the federal Liberals have pledged to increase the country’s immigration intake to 350,000 by 2021.

“Given current federal plans for an increase in immigration levels, the cost is worth bearing in mind.”

It’s a much different picture when immigrants come to the country as children. Those who arrive before the age of 16 actually earn just as much, if not more, than their Canadian-born counterparts.

The report calls for better data, help for Canadian employers with assessing foreign work experience, and more government resources to help immigrations transition into the workforce. It also suggests trying to replicate Atlantic Canada’s approach across the country.

This story was originally published in Yahoo.com: https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/underpaid-immigrants-could-cost-canadian-economy-50-billion-190434665.html

The only dog shop in Kabul aims to help pet owners

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Afghanistan German Shepherd Dogs Club based in Kabul is the only dog shop in Afghanistan.

The club established in January 2018 provides healthcare, food and accessories, training and dog selling services in Kabul. It is yet the only dog shop in the country that have been licensed by the Ministry of Commerce and Industries.

According to reports, a small population of Afghanistan keeps dogs in the cities, but a large number of them in rural areas and villages keep guard dogs to prevent strangers entering their properties.

Massoud Sinan, the sales manager at the shop says that he gets new customers every day. Most people who keeps dog at homes, they do not have primary knowledge of feeding and vaccination, but we brief them here about healthcare and dog foods, said Massoud.

He further added that most people don’t know that homemade foods are not healthy for the dogs. There are certain foods that are harmful for the dogs’ health, he added.

This local pet shop enters into business deals with private and public organizations who keep security and K9 dogs as well.

Dr. Firoz and Dr. Zahra are checking a GSD puppy health in the Afghanistan German Shepherd Dogs Club, Kabul – Afghanistan

“We provide dog foods and healthcare services to several de-mining and security companies. Previously, the companies had to directly import dog foods or some de-mining companies used to bring dog food in large number and resell it on other companies for higher price, but now we are here to provide whatever they require,” said Massoud.

Mohammad Firoz Mohammadi works as the senior vet. He manages the clinic with another two female vets.

Individuals and families keeping pets must first care about the healthcare and cleanliness, said Dr. Firoz.

“We are a one-stop shop that provides anything a dog keeper needs. We supply and sell 8 to 30 months old puppies, mostly German Shepherd breeds that has very high demand in Afghanistan. In addition, we do vaccination, deworming, surgeries and grooming,” Firoz said.

The company has attracted considerable attention in social media over a relatively short span of time and currently has more than 100,000 followers in Facebook.

The products available in the store for the dogs, include Royal Canin, Dr. Clauder’s, Brit, Reflex, and Farmina, according to the company owners.

This article was originally published in Khaama Press

More Fed cuts expected to push Canadian interest rates lower: Don Pittis

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A weakening global economy and continued trade fears — and emphatically, he said, not angry words from U.S. President Donald Trump — convinced U.S. Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell to cut interest rates on Wednesday for the second time this summer.

And for Canadians waiting for lower rates, those same global forces are on their way, and will likely force Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz to follow suit.

Despite the fact that the quarter point cut was widely expected, the move had an immediate effect on the Canadian dollar which fell promptly after Powell’s announcement. 

While Powell said shrinking industrial activity justified the cut, he insisted that he and his advisers expect the economy to continue to grow, and predicted there would likely be no more interest rate cuts this year.

Markets — which have been predicting a series of cuts and, until recently, expected a larger half point cut — tumbled on the news.

After repeated attacks on Powell and the central bank, whom Trump recently described as “boneheads,” it was hardly surprising that the president expressed his unhappiness with the Fed chair’s mild rate cut.

“Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve Fail Again. No ‘guts,’ no sense, no vision!” tweeted the U.S. president.

While Canada’s central bank insists it is independent from what the Fed does, experts say a global trend to lower rates will come here too. (Michael Wilson/CBC)

Powell insisted that such insults were not going change the bank’s outlook, and that despite the repeated attacks morale within the organization remains strong.

“I assure you that my colleagues and I will continue to conduct monetary policy without regard to political considerations,” said Powell.

He said the bank’s decision not to make the kind of deep cuts Trump has been demanding is because much of the economy remains robust.

“The consumer is spending at a healthy clip,” said Powell. “The labour market is still strong.”

‘Good solid year’

Powell sees growth for 2019 and 2020 coming in at two per cent, which hedescribed as “a good solid year,” and the purpose of the two rate cuts this summer, he said, have been to keep the economic expansion alive. 

“If you look at things that are happening in the economy, I personally see a high value in sustaining the expansion because we really are reaching, this positive economy is reaching, communities that haven’t been reached in a long time,” said Powell.

If that stimulus acts as intended, the economic boost is likely to work its way across the border into Canada, perhaps delaying the need for rate cuts here.

“Global capital markets are highly integrated and our long rates are definitely pulled down by the very, very low rates that are abroad,” said Powell. Those low overseas rates are one of the reasons for the inverted yield curve — a potential recessionary indicator from the bond market — and are a sign that parts of the global economy are on the rocks, he said. 

The Bank of Canada always insists it is not directly affected by U.S. interest policy moves, says Scott Aquanno, a political economist at Ontario Tech University, in Oshawa, Ont., who studies central banking.

But just as Powell fears possible contagion from the struggling economies of China and Europe, Canada will also feel the effects of U.S. moves.

“The domestic conditions that the Bank of Canada references when they say they are going to act on their own terms are set, in many respects, by what the Federal Reserve does,” said Aquanno. And that means lower rates are coming to Canada too, he said.

“It won’t act immediately because these kinds of things take a little while to trickle through the economy and to play out, but this does indicate … that the long-term trajectory for the Bank of Canada is a rate cut not a rate increase.”

Market disruption

At Wednesday’s news conference Powell was asked about this week’s credit crunch in short-term money, in what is called the repo market, when a shortage of lenders in the market for overnight money pushed rates far above the central bank’s interest rate range, indicating the Fed had been caught short. 

Because something similar happened before the 2007-08 credit crunch that led to the Great Recession, online chatter worried this week’s market jolt was a symptom of something worse. That was a view Powell was anxious to dispel. 

“We don’t see this as having any implication for the broader economy or for the economic outlook,” Powell told reporters.

But when the central bank began its emergency lending this week, banks came cap in hand for $53 billion US on Tuesday and another $80 billion on Wednesday.

“That’s $130-plus billion the banks have asked the Federal Reserve for, so that’s not insignificant, and in many respects it’s startling to feel like a mini, kind-of crisis within short-term funding markets,” said Aquanno.

The Fed is expected to release another $75 billion today in an attempt to steady the market, and Aquanno says it is crucial that they do for not just the U.S. but the Canadian and the global market.

“Once the Fed loses the capacity, or is perceived to have lost capacity to manage short-term rates, then that introduces tremendous volatility into the system because the Fed remains the global central bank, even more so that it did 15 years ago.”

Original story link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/federal-reserve-rates-canada-1.5279888