(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Ali Hassan Ahmed al-Khalaf, a candidate from the Rawdhat Al Khail district, for the upcoming Shura Council elections, aims to connect various generations with each other under the campaign slogan 'the generations are a trust.'
“The slogan means that the generations are the foundation of society and must take care of each other,” he told Gulf Times in an interview.
“The generation that is currently active, the generation that is currently studying at university, and the young or the future generation, we have the moral obligation to bring them to harmony” al-Khalaf explained. The businessman and former senior civil service employee has targeted for his electoral programme eight axes which he believes are essential to further the development of the Qatari society. They cover education and training, recruitment and employment, the environment, demographic imbalance and how to tackle its negative impact, the family, urban development, administrative organisation and legislation reform. He considers them as headlines for major projects which can be implemented through inter-disciplinary committees.
Al-Khalaf was born in Fereej Al Baharna, adjacent to Souq Waqif in Doha. He studied in Doha schools from primary to secondary levels. He received a BA in Economics and Political Science from Beirut Arab University. He worked at the Ministry of Economy and Commerce in Qatar, and rose through the ranks until he became an economic advisor to the minister. He was a member of a number of boards of directors, including Qatar Fertiliser Company (Qafco), the Qatar Industrial Manufacturing Company, Hamad Medical Corporation and Al Muntazah Co-operative Society.
He headed the Qatari delegations with many countries in the negotiations of draft agreements, including those for economic co-operation, protection of mutual investments and avoidance of double taxation. He participated and headed the delegations of Qatar in economic and trade meetings at the bilateral, Gulf, Arab, Islamic and international levels.
Talking about the motives that made him participate in the Shura Council elections, al-Khalaf said:“This is considered a historic event in the political system in the country, and the fact of having an elected Shura Council is also a milestone in implementing the permanent Qatari constitution. I was already interested to run for the Shura Council, and after consultations, I saw that I have the required competence. I also have deep respect for every candidate in district 11, Rawdat Al Khail, and in other constituencies.
“I saw it as my duty, at the beginning of this political development in Qatar, to participate in order to be in the service of all the people of Qatar.”
Al-Khalaf went on to say:“I am personally known among the members of my district and I have a very good relationship with them with mutual respect. Al-Khalaf's family has been for four generations in inter-marriage relationships with most families in this district and this is an important factor as I see and value it.” Concerning education and training al-Khalaf intends“to focus on the nature of the outputs of modern technical education and training with diplomas in various disciplines provided by institutes and colleges to meet the urgent market needs, and encourage children of low-income families to become self-reliant and meet the needs of the job market in the private and public sectors.”
To answer the aspirations of citizens regarding employment, al-Khalaf proposes“equal employment for those entitled to employment and the activation of Qatarisation without affecting productivity, discrimination or unjustified delays for recruitment in specialised jobs, with fair pay, allowances and promotions. I emphasise the appropriate employment, the right man in the right place. To take care of providing jobs for people with special needs, training them for appropriate jobs and giving them salaries and free family housing if they are unable to work.”
With regard to the axis of women and the family, al-Khalaf is of the view that:“Women constitute half of the Qatari society, they have played an important role in their working life over the past decades, and they must now take more care in raising future generations, with the need to consider assessing their rights, to update regulations and reconcile them with their cases by reducing working hours, improving their work environment and granting them adequate maternity leave, while promoting the rights of their children if they are married to non-Qataris.”
He is also in favour of reducing“the costs of marriage, to determine the causes of widespread divorce and to address its negative effects on the family and society.”
Concerning the health sector, al-Khalaf is in favour of:“raising the performance ratio in health services and allocating places for Qatari patients in hospitals, health centres and other services to avoid long waiting lists and delays in addition to regulating health insurance. To provide more decent healthcare for the elderly and disabled retired citizens in recognition of the services they have provided in their youth to their country and to grant them reduced prices in resorts and transportation. And, more importantly, is to focus on raising the efficiency of the Qatari medical cadres.” Al-Khalaf went on to elucidate what he intends to pursue with the supervisory role to confront the phenomenon of corruption, and said:“control and follow up lead to accountability because corruption has many aspects, so we must put active and working legislations in place to mitigate the negative effects of this phenomenon to facilitate business for citizens and expatriates. It is necessary to raise awareness about the regulations and laws and to expose them in order to avoid injustice to the people. Here emerges the importance of the supervisory role of the Shura Council with emphasis on the right employee in the right place and the salary that is in line with the importance of the responsibilities entrusted to the senior official.
Al-Khalaf seemed to be very keen on the protection of the environment and the adequate urban planning of old quarters in Doha and its suburbs. He said:“my interest in the environment, consists of the completion of integrated projects, and the improvement of roads and sidewalks, to answer citizens' concerns, and to pay attention to the safety of the environment, by raising awareness and motivating community members, officials and construction entrepreneurs to maintain a clean environment free from the risks of industrial and building waste pollution and unjust encroachment on the natural environment in rural and desert areas.
It is also our responsibility to take care of the old areas where we need to develop roads, sidewalks and parking lots according to coherent planning. Also, the development of an appropriate law to change the architecture of large family houses into smaller apartments according to the requirements of small families and to make them convenient and pleasant to live in comfortably,” added al-Khalaf.
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