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TAXI FOCUS from Pakistan


PAKISTANI TAXI DRIVER MASTERS TEN LANGUAGES WITHOUT FORMAL TRAINING


A Pakistani taxi driver has learnt ten lan- guages while working in Dubai. Hussain Syed, 33, is a resident of Peshawar and has mastered the differ- ent languages from Google translator and other applications. Syed talents were featured in a morning show on Hum TV. Syed wanted to be a doctor but could not pursue his dreams. He came to Dubai 14 years ago and started driving a taxi. While driving and meeting with different people, he got an inspira- tion to learn different languages. He has so far learned ten languages, including Russian, Malayalam, and English. He now is looking forward to learning Spanish, French, and Italian. He said he is fluent in Chinese, Arabic, Persian, and Tughlaq lan- guages. Even on his visits to Pakistan, his main focus is to learn more languages. He said he travelled to Dubai at the age of 16 and worked as a watchman for five years. In his job, he interacted with various peo- ple and learned phrases and words from different languages which later developed into his passion for learning and speaking different languages. Syed said that now he can speak the various languages without any hindrance.


of the question. Restaurant and bar owners were not laughing. The early closing times mean Italy’s bustling aperi- tivo hour is gone, as are dinners out. Regional heads had warned a new decree with strict measures would fuel social ten- sions, after street clashes in Naples and Rome last week. Taxi drivers protesting in Turin could be seen wearing face masks standing next to taxis parked on Piazza Castello square on October 26, during a strike to protest against the new restrictions.


from Spain


BARCELONA TAXI DRIVERS PLEAD WITH GOVERNMENT TO SAVE THEIR INDUSTRY


from Italy


ANGER OVER ITALY VIRUS RULES AS CURFEWS ENFORCED AROUND EUROPE


Anger is growing in Italy over harsh new coronavirus restrictions brought in to “save Christmas”, while other hard-hit countries enforced curfews in a bid to avoid fresh national lockdowns. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s decision to close restau- rants and bars from 6pm and shut all theatres, cinemas and gyms for a month was widely criticised, even as scientists questioned whether it would be enough to stop the virus. Countries across Europe are seeing dramatic spikes in cases, and governments are taking drastic action. Spain imposed a new national state of emergency and overnight curfews, while France extended an overnight curfew to cover areas home to around 46 million people. Conte told Italy he hoped the unpopular new restrictions, which deal a severe blow to sectors already on their knees after a national lockdown this spring, “will allow us to be more relaxed by Christ- mas”, though he warned “hugging and partying” would still be out


NOVEMBER 2020


Taxi drivers in Barcelona have staged a demon- stration on wheels, clog- ging a major street with their cars and parad- ing an impro- vised gallows s ymb o l i s i n g their nearly- dead industry. According to RT, the rally on 26 October, which was organised by local profes- sional associations, involved around 1,000 taxi licence holders serving the Barcelona Metropolitan area. After gathering on Mon- day morning, they slowly drove their vehicles through the centre of the Catalan city, leaving free only a single lane for emergency ser- vices. The protesters then parked their vehicles and walked towards the government building hosting the administration of Teresa Cunillera, Madrid’s delegate to Catalonia. They wanted to personally deliver their demands to the top official, who refused to talk to them. The message was driven home by a gallows, which was mounted on top of one of the taxis, complete with an effigy hanging in the noose, which was apparently meant to symbolize the degree of desperation the drivers face. Taxi services have been hit hard by the current recession in Spain. The protesters say they urgently need government support and a freeze on the repayment of bank loans, many of which are due next month, to keep their business afloat. Otherwise around 14,000 fam- ilies face economic ruin. The lack of reaction from the authorities has disappointed the protesters, and more protests like this will follow until the demands are heard, the organisers said.


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