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Emiratis' frequent travel disruptions under FNC spotlight

Council to also question ministers on Friday sermon topics, doctors' pay, unemployment among Emirati graduates and rural health.

ABU DHABI // The Minister of Justice will appear before the FNC today to address complaints about Emiratis being wrongly stopped from travelling.

Dr Hadef Al Dhaheri will respond to questions from Musabah Al Ketbi (Sharjah) about the problem that has affected people with the same names as those who have warrants against them.

Dr Al Dhaheri previously wrote to the FNC that a system had been put in place to prevent such mistakes by linking warrants to passports or ID cards.

But Mr Al Ketbi said police and border officials were not following the system because the problem was continuing.

"If the ID of people was based on ID cards and not their names, this would not happen," he said at the last session a fortnight ago.

Unhappy with the minister's answer, Mr Al Ketbi asked Mr Al Dhaheri to attend today's session.

Also today, the Minister of State for FNC Affairs, Dr Anwar Gargash, will be questioned about the possibility of introducing more topical and local content into Friday sermons.

The issue was raised at the last meeting by Sultan Al Shamsi (Ajman), who called for the head of the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments (Awqaf) to meet the council. A statement from the FNC confirmed only that Dr Gargash would attend.

"The sermon does not reflect what Muslims in the Muslim world go through," Mr Al Shamsi said.

He said that if such matters were included in the invocations it "would help to keep [other Muslims'] feelings in mind and lessen the pain they carry".

In a 17-page response, Awqaf said one of the purposes of the Friday sermon was to raise Islamic awareness in society, and topics were chosen to coincide with religious and government holidays, and with ministries' needs.

Dr Gargash said it was possible that more coordination was needed over the sermon.

Today's session will also discuss a report on the environment prepared by the FNC's foreign affairs, planning, petrol, mineral resources and fishing committee.

It will encompass the Ministry of Environment and Water's plans to deal with environmental problems, priorities for environmental work and efforts to protect aquatic life, and prevent pollution and desertification.

The Speaker, Mohammed Al Murr (Dubai) will put six questions to government environmental agencies about the report.

Humaid Al Qattami, the Minister of Education and director of the National Human Resources Authority, will face a question from Saeed Al Khatri (Ras Al Khaimah) about unemployment among Emirati graduates. And Mohammed Al Qubaisi (Abu Dhabi) will ask the Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, Mr Abdul Rahman Al Owais, about doctors' pay.

Obaid Rakkad (Umm Al Quwain) will ask a question about health centre hours in rural areas to the deputy minister of health.

amustafa@thenational.ae

* With additional reporting by Ola Salem

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