Return to Transcripts main page
CONNECT THE WORLD
Hong Kong Protesters Preparing For Long-Term; Turkey Parliament Debating Entering Fight Against ISIS; Iraqi Christians Find Sanctuary In Jordanian Church; African Startup: Moyo Designs; Airstrikes Help Drive ISIS From Key Town; Industrial Expansion in Saudi Arabia Eastern Province; Women in the Workforce; Investing in Egypt
Aired October 2, 2014 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Now as ISIS makes new gains despite a growing international effort to contain it, we'll examine the fallout for this
region in crisis.
We'll take you to Turkey, to Lebanon and to Jordan and find out how their neighbor's problems have become their problems, too.
And as the clock ticks down to midnight in Hong Kong, the threat of protesters and police facing off again looms every larger. We'll be live at
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: It is 7:00 p.m. in the UAE.
Now Turkey could soon approve a big role in the international coalition against ISIS. Lawmakers there debating right now whether to
authorize the use of military force against ISIS fighters in Iraq and in Syria.
Now a vote in the Turkish parliament is expected later today. One important concern for Turkey is the tomb of the grandfather of the founder
of the Ottoman Empire. It's located inside Syria, but is considered a Turkish enclave by treaty and is guarded by Turkey.
Well, the tomb just kilometers away from the mostly Kurdish Syrian city of Kobani where residents are being told to flee as ISIS militants
advance, fighting between ISIS and Kurdish fighters is now just a few hundred meters from the eastern part of the city, according to activists
Arwa Damon joining us from the Turkish-Syrian border with more.
What is the picture so far as you can tell on the ground at this point, Arwa?
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's pretty grim, Becky, despite the fact that there have been handful of coalition
airstrikes around the town of Kobani, ISIS has managed to advance, as you were saying there, only a few hundred meters away, according to some
resident activists and YPG, the Kurdish fighting force fighters.
They are now not counting the kilometers between their front lines and ISIS's positions, but rather the meters at this stage.
The YPG, again, the Kurdish fighting force issuing an order earlier this morning telling all civilians to evacuate, some making it across the
border. A few thousand waiting to be allowed access into Turkey and some at this stage refusing to leave. The YPG does seem -- believe, according
to some of its fighters, that it could perhaps have an advantage if it isn't able to draw ISIS fighters into the town itself, because they know
the town, they believe that there they will be able to put up a better fight than the one that we have been seeing thus far, but again that
desperate cry for help from the international community.
A lot of people we're talking to failing to understand how it is that the coalition can be flying its aircraft above and not take even more
action against ISIS fighters that right now have this town even more under siege. They are suffocating it. And this coalition is not doing anything
to stop that from taking place, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yeah, it does seem quite remarkable.
That takes us to the Turkish parliament debating a motion to allow its military to enter Iraq and Syria and foreign troops to use the territory
for its operation. This is new, of course, something that hadn't been debated until now.
Parliament is expected, Arwa, to back this motion. But there are protesters on the streets in Turkey who simply don't want this to happen.
DAMON: Well, the protests that we're hearing form the opposition parties in parliament is that they believe that the government of President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan is using this as a ploy to draw Turkey further into this war and to grant the government even wider sweeping authorities.
This resolution, if it does pass, is based on two previous resolutions, one that was -- one that was begun to be implemented in 2007
that authorized the Turkish military, the authority to go into northern Iraq to go after the PKK, the Kurdish separatist group that Turkey
considers to be a terrorist organization.
Also, another resolution passed in 2012 that authorized cross-border military incursions into Syria in pursuit of terror targets should the
government choose to in fact take those measures.
What's different about this resolution that does combine a previous issuance is as you were mentioning, opening the door for a wide variety of
military measures, operations a government could decide to (inaudible) is having formal troops (inaudible) that buffer zone that Turkey has long been
calling for is established, the potential for the use of Turkish military bases to launch aircraft, airstrikes into Syria.
But at this stage it's not to say that when the resolution does pass we're going to be seeing immediate action by Turkey when it comes to
airstrikes, especially not when it comes to boots on the ground, that is something that most certainly the government presumably would be reluctant
to do. But the potential for it is out there at this stage.
Perhaps most critical of all is that it does allow for Turkey to then seek the move to join this coalition. We did hear from the president over
the weekend saying that Turkey could not afford to not be a part of this coalition given what is happening in Iraq, especially what is happening in
Syria right next door.
ANDERSON: Yeah, and it could mean the U.S., of course, using its largest air base in southern Turkey for airstrikes, one assumes, any time
after this motion is passed, if indeed it is. And we will keep our viewers bang up to date on exactly what is happening in the Turkish
parliament as the hours go on that vote expected, or the result of that vote expected fairly shortly.
Arwa, thank you for that.
Iraqi forces conducting airstrikes of their own in the town of Hit, trying to retake it from ISIS militants. Witnesses say dozens of fighters
stormed the town earlier today and blew up a car bomb outside police headquarters.
Now a local official says the Iraqi forces were outgunned by ISIS fighters who were equipped with heavy artillery and tanks.
Now this attack comes just hours after twin car bombs exploded on a busy street in Baghdad killing at least 14 people.
Let's get you to Baghdad where our senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman has the very latest on those attacks in Baghdad.
Ben, just describe what we know at this point.
WEDEMAN: Well, what we understand is that this was a car bomb, which went off in the neighborhood of New Baghdad, that's a predominately Shia
neighborhood. It went off at a time where there are lots of people on the street, keeping in mind, of course, that people are shopping before the Eid
al-Adha holiday, which begins on Saturday.
And so as a result of that bomb, lots of casualties, at least 14 people dead, possibly more at this point. And this comes after Tuesday
when there were a series of attacks and car bombs in Baghdad and other Iraq -- southern Iraqi cities in Baghdad Tuesday, 20 killed, a total of 40 in
Iraq and Baghdad to the south of there. And this really underscores one of the dangers at the moment.
You do have ISIS forces, which are on the outskirts of Baghdad, but they are being stopped by what's being called by the defensive belt, which
is manned by the Iraqi army and these Shia militia. But somehow or other, car bombs and other explosives are able to get into the Iraqi capital.
We understand that security has been seriously beefed up in the runup to the Eid al-Adha holiday. The fear is that there may be a series of
urban attacks by ISIS during that time -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Ben, I want you to pause for a moment while I get our viewers just a sense of what U.S. General Allen had to say about Iraqi
government forces. Let's just have a listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. JOHN ALLEN, U.S. MARINE CORPS (RET): I have extensive experience in training indigenous forces. And with the right kind of training,
infrastructure and the right kind of forces that we're working with, I think there's a very good chance that the Iraqi security forces can be the
adequate -- term is not a good term -- boots on the ground, could be the adequate arm of decision ultimately to decide the outcome with ISIS on the
ground in Iraq.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Ben, that is not the evidence on the ground that Iraqi forces are in a position to defeat ISIS at this point, is it?
WEDEMAN: No. We've heard from American officials it may take two to three years to bring the Iraqi up -- army up to a level where they can
But we -- Iraq doesn't have two to three years.
We -- there are basically real problems of corruption, incompetence within the officer corps. I was speaking to somebody who was explaining to
me why, for instance, all of these Iraqi bases in Anbar Province and elsewhere are so easily overrun. They were saying that a lot of these
soldiers are poorly trained, it just takes a few shots from ISIS into these bases for them to panic. They fire back. They basically use up all their
ammunition and then ISIS just comes in, takes over. The soldiers either are captured, killed, or they run away. And often times, they leave their
weapons and ammunition behind.
It is a very, very sort of -- it's an urgent situation where Iraq really can't afford to wait years to bring the Iraqi army up to a level
where it can actually fight ISIS, because ISIS is gaining ground as we saw in the town of Hit, which is about 150 kilometers northwest of here.
There, it appears, at this point that ISIS has taken over large parts of the city. The Iraqi army, with the help of the Iraqi air force, has
tried to launch a counter offensive, but as far as we know up to this moment that counter offensive has not been successful -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Pretty depressing picture on the ground. Ben, thank you for that.
Ben Wedeman in Baghdad for you.
We've got a lot more to cover on the battle against ISIS here on Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. This hour, coming up, Britain,
one of the latest countries to join the aerial fight against the militants. We're going to take you inside the Town of Raviyah (ph) as coalition forces
try to help drive out these extremists.
Plus, many of Jordan's churches have opened their doors to Iraqi Christians fleeing ISIS. Why many of them fear they will never be able to
go back home.
And Jordan isn't the only country struggling with a flood of refugees. Nick Paton Walsh will show us how Lebanon is handling its refugee crisis.
That is just ahead.
I want to get you, though, away from this region and to Hong Kong at this hour on the streets where we are watching to see what happens in the
next hour or so. We just learned the chief executive will hold a news conference in about a half hour's time.
Pro-democracy protesters here, as you see live pictures coming to us from Hong Kong, out in force for a fifth straight day. And some student
leaders have threatened to occupy government buildings unless the chief executive resigns by the end of today Hong Kong time. That is less than
one hour from now.
But a top official says there's not even, and I quote, the slightest possibility that he will go.
Well, police also say they'll take what they call -- again, I quote, decisive enforcement to police security is threatened.
Well, they've warned protesters not to charge cordon lines. And earlier called on them to disperse.
China's foreign minister has condemned the rallies during a visit to Washington. Wang Yee (ph) called the protests illegal and said they are an
internal matter for China.
Let's get you to the streets of Hong Kong where Will Ripley is standing by. Will, how would you describe the scene at present? Some are
calling it a standoff between protesters and police politicians. How would you describe the atmosphere and what you are witnessing on the streets at
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, the mood here has changed dramatically just in the last hour. And as you can see behind
me as we look down Harcourt Road towards Hong Kong Central business district, the size of this crowd continues to increase. Many thousands of
people are on this road as far as the eye can see, perhaps not the biggest crowd we've seen since this protest began, but certainly bigger than it was
here this time last night.
And if you look over, this is a new thing that we're just now seeing. Lining the walls of that government building right there are Post-It notes
that people have placed with various messages about this movement, also tweets that are coming in from countries all over the world.
I saw one from Los Angeles, California a short time ago, this one that you see on the screen there from Vietnam.
The protesters have also been distributing supplies to tents like this one behind me. The only cars that are being allowed on this normally busy
thoroughfare in the heart of Hong Kong are cars that are supplying these tents that line the streets with supplies.
You can see those people are putting bottled water into a container.
And one thing that they're handing out that a lot of people are wearing right now, are these protective masks, Becky. As you know on
Sunday when the police used pepper spray and later tear gas against some of the protesters, they were using their umbrellas to try to defend
themselves. More and more people now we're seeing with goggles, putting on these protective masks, apparently preparing themselves. You can see one
this -- this is one of the vans that was just dropping off supplies, you now, driving by right now after unloading into the tents that are along the
So the mood that we sense is that these young people are preparing for something. This, as police outside of the chief executive's office have
now been seen just within the last few minutes or so with riot shields. And they were earlier this evening, they were spotted -- CNN saw them --
carrying large containers that have been widely reported on social media and local news as containing rubber bullets.
These are the type of implements that police departments in cities all over the world, not just here, use to disperse large crowds.
But the big question right now, Becky, will that be enough to disperse this rapidly growing crowd in the heart of Hong Kong.
ANDERSON: Back to you this hour, I know that -- I'm just looking at some tweets, as you speak here, student leader Joshua Wong outside the
chief executive's office, quote, "we've made history, 200,000 people occupying #HongKong."
Back to you, Will, as this hour progresses as we stand by to see exactly what does happen as we approach midnight in Hong Kong. For the
time being, thank you.
Still to come, Hong Kong's chief executive prepares to hold a news conference as protests continue into the night there. We will, as I
promised, get back with the very latest on Connect the World with me Becky Anderson.
Also speaking sanctuary, the plight of refugees fleeing ISIS brutality is for many a dire struggle for survival. But sometimes, there are moments
of hope and humanity. That's next.
ANDERSON: You're with CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson at 18 minutes past 7:00 in the UAE.
We're going to return now to our top story this hour, and that is the fight against ISIS in Syria and in Iraq, and really focus on the impact
that that is having on people living where the militants are now in control.
Estimates by the United Nations and regional governments (inaudible) say more than 3 million Syrians have now fled the country since the civil
war broke out. But that estimate only includes people who have registered. In the countries affected have higher estimates. Turkey believed to have
the most Syrian refugees -- 1.6 million there, we believe. Look at the much smaller, Lebanon, though, up to 1.5 million refugees. That would be
equal to one-third of its population.
Jordan, barely better, with 1.4 million. Iraq, meanwhile, dealing with its own overlapping crisis, the UN estimates that the unrest has
forced nearly 2 million Iraqis from their homes. These are now internally displaced people. The autonomous region of Kurdistan bearing the brunt of
that. It's now home to not only many of those -- what we call IDPs, or internally displaced, but more than 200,000 refugees from Syria as well.
What a bleak picture, hundreds of Iraqi Christians taking sanctuary in churches in Jordan after ISIS gave them a terrible choice. As Jomana
Karadsheh now shows us, these refugees determined, though, to survive and be free to practice their faith. Have a look at this.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is all Ammar Zaki and his family have left from a life they were forced to leave behind.
9-month-old Afina (ph) might never see Iraq again, the price this family has had to pay because of their faith.
AMMAR ZAKI, IRAQI CHRISTIAN: Jesus Christ tells to people leave everything and follow me.
KARADSHEH: So that's what--
ZAKI: Yeah. So it is. Leave everything and go out to be a Christian, to stay in my religion.
KARADSHEH: Ammar's family is one of more than 100 Iraqi Christian families who found sanctuary in this Catholic Church Amman. Many are from
the city of Mosul, others from Karakosh (ph), once the Christian capital of Iraq, now both under the brutal rule of ISIS.
REV. KHALIL JAAR, ST. MARY'S CHURCH, AMMAN: Many of the kids arrived with their families very sick, because the trauma of the incidents they
suffered in Iraq -- fear, insecure, no food.
KARADSHEH: It's not the first time Sabhan Yusuf (ph) and his wife Ann have fled the threats from Islamist extremists over recent years, but it's
the first time they've left Iraq.
ANN DANYAL, IRAQI CHRISTIAN REFUGEE (through translator): Our life is over in Iraq. We were scared for our children. We lived very difficult
moments. We didn't know if we'd leave safely or if we will get killed.
KARADSHEH: When ISIS took over the city of Mosul in June, the family left for a few days, clinging on to a life they built. They accepted the
risks and returned.
But in July, ISIS gave Christians a 24 hour ultimatum, pay a tax, convert to Islam, or leave.
DANYAL (through translator): I wish I wake up and find this all to be a dream. But it's not.
KARADSHEH: Like other churches in Jordan, Father Khalil has opened his doors to these families. It's not an easy living, but they've created
their own little community. The women take turns cooking daily, surviving on donations the church receives.
Their faces tell the story of their suffering. Some have slept on sidewalks and in parks in Iraq's Kurdistan region before getting to Jordan,
but they say they're the lucky ones, now in a safe place.
7-year-old Rita doesn't understand why she's here. She dreams of a new life. She says she wants to go to Australia to play by the ocean she's
only seen on TV.
Jordan is not home, it's a safe transit point for these refugees as they wait for asylum in Europe or the United States, a wait that could last
Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Amman.
ANDERSON: Well, Lebanon dealing with more refugees per capita than other country in the world -- more than a million in a country with just 4
million people. Many of them are Syrians who had to flee the civil war and ISIS brutality.
This influx of refugees is having an impact on Lebanon's economy, as you can imagine.
Nick Paton Walsh is in Beirut right now.
And Nick, how would you describe the strain on resources and the reception for these refugees right now?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the resources issue is something you can notice, frankly, just living here. I
mean, perhaps partly down to mismanagement. There's a water shortage. Many people having to pay for tankers to fill up their tanks at home.
Mobile phone reception at times suffering as well.
This, as you say, in a country which is seeing its population rise by over 25 percent. That's the declared refugees. There are others, too,
unofficially here as well, causing a real strain here, certainly, what do to with so many people? Well, may of them are in the Bekka Valley,
certainly. There's been a long policy by the Lebanese government, a long history here of dealing with refugees, many Palestinians too, and not
wanting to create official camps for them unless they feel a sense of permanency. That is now beginning to change slowly, because without some
sort of official place for many of these people to go, it's hard to raise aid for them as well.
There's talk now amongst new cabinet ministers about creating official camps to house just tens of thousands, a small number, but perhaps find
some more permanent way of dealing with the issue here in Lebanon, and really it's so hard to see how such a small nation can really hold so many
extra people for so much longer -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Nick Paton Walsh in Beirut for you this evening.
Well, live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. You're world news headlines are coming up in a few minutes time.
We'll also go live to Hong Kong for you for the very latest on the pro-democracy protests as the clock ticks down on what is an ultimatum from
the student protesters for the city's chief executive.
Up next, though, one photographer in Tanzania turned to a new outlet for her creative talents after digital technology pushed her out of the
business. African start-up after this.
AYESHA MAWJI, CO-FOUNDER MOYO, : Hi, I'm Ayesha Mawji. Welcome to my shop Moyo in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Have a look around.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ayesha Mawji founded Moyo Designs with four other women in Tanzania's largest city Dar es Salaam. Though her co-founders
dropped out, Mauji continued by herself. She opened her first store one year ago.
MAWJI: Moyo means heart on a soul level in Swahili. And we sell home decor and accessories crafted out of local textiles, local being Swahili
fabrics like kangas and ketenges (ph).
This is where Moyo began. And it's one of my favorite products here, because it's so quirky and funky.
A lot of the Moyo products began because I was thinking of my own home and decorating my own home.
The pompom actually began when we started decorating the (inaudible) trees. And I needed something to put on top at the tips of the branches.
So we put together these little pompoms. And they looked magnificent, so practically every product in our shop has a pompom.
This is one of the products in our recycled range and it's basically shuttered plastic bags, which are woven into a polypropylene mass and lined
with a ktenge (ph) crafted to make rather fun little quirky bag.
UNIDENTIIFED FEMALE: Mawji has recruited a number of artisans to help her create her products.
MAWJI: We have about 15 people in the workshop. And seven people are full-time employees. And a system of honor contract basis.
Having my own shop, means I'm in contact with my clients directly. And that's been really super in terms of my product evolving.
A mother had placed an order for an animal for her child and so we made her a crocodile and embellished it with pompoms. They look fabulous
on a bed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With her brand growing, Mawji realizes the importance of marketing.
MAWJI: Social media would be the way to go, for sure. And I mean, it's accessible and it's easy, but it is a little time consuming.
One of the biggest challenges has been dealing with my overhead, which are very high. My rents are high. Also, that the Moyo products are very
labor intensive and labor costs are fairly high here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Despite the struggles, Mawji remains optimistic.
MAWJI: Five years from now, I'd love a bigger shop and maybe in a different location, maybe a more touristy location. I'd also love to be
able to export a bit more on the European market or the American market or even to other parts of Africa.
ANDERSON: This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. The top stories here on CNN this hour.
Turkish lawmakers expected to vote anytime now about whether to use military force against ISIS in Iraq and in Syria. Meanwhile, in Turkey's
capital, hundreds of people took to the streets earlier to protest the measure.
Meantime, ISIS inching closer to the Syrian city of Kobani along the Turkish border. The militants now said to be just a few hundred meters
from its eastern edges. Kurdish forces fighting to protect Kobani have told civilians to evacuate. Many refusing to leave.
Health officials in the US state of Texas are contacting up to 100 people to see whether they interacted with Thomas Eric Duncan, the man
being treated for Ebola in Dallas. They say only a small fraction of that group have been identified as having had contact with Duncan and are now
being monitored for signs of the virus.
Hong Kong's leader is due to hold a news conference any moment now. This is as police are warning of, quote, "serious consequences" if
protesters try to occupy or obstruct government buildings. These are live pictures coming to you directly from Hong Kong.
That is exactly what demonstrators have threatened to do if the chief executive doesn't resign by the end of the day. That is some 30 minutes
from now, 11:30 or so PM in Hong Kong.
This the sight on the streets. The protesters close to the Hong Kong garrison of the PLA, or China's army. It's not meant to intervene in daily
life within the city, but the Hong Kong government can, when needed, ask for Beijing's assistance from the garrison. Will Ripley with more.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It sits in the shadow of the Hong Kong skyline, China's People's Liberation Army garrison. You
see them behind these gates here. Notice they're not bothering us right now, because behind these gates is where they stay most of the time.
Back in 1997, when Hong Kong was handed over to China, there was a lot of concern among residents that the PLA may try to intrude on people's
lives. There was a lot of memories of Tiananmen Square. But over the years, those memories have faded.
The PLA's role is to essentially protect Hong Kong, to maintain its sovereignty. And it's also, under the law, not supposed to interfere in
Hong Kong's daily affairs. That is the job of the police, who you see stationed just down there.
However, because of this protest movement, there's some new concern that the PLA might try to intervene, might try to break up the protesters,
who've cause gridlock in the heart of Hong Kong. Because there's a clause in the law that would allow the chief executive, whose office sits right
next to the garrison, to call in the PLA to help maintain public order.
Beijing says this is a local issue that Hong Kong can handle on its own, and most experts say that because of all the international attention,
it's very unlikely that the PLA would leave these gates and try to disperse the protesters. However, that doesn't stop some of the fears that continue
to linger in the Occupy movement.
ANDERSON: Well, China's central government has given its backing to Hong Kong's chief executive. An article in "The People's Daily," which is
published by the Communist Party, says that Beijing will support C.Y. Leung as protests continue. Will, live for us again in Hong Kong. Any evidence
at this point that the PLA is on the move, Will?
RIPLEY: No evidence at this point of the PLA being on the move. All we're seeing right now is a buildup of police officers outside of the chief
executive's office, police officers who were seen tonight carrying riot shields and containers that are believed to hold rubber bullets.
But there are a number of different barricades around the city, and at this point -- and we have cameras all over the place, seeing what's going
on here. But we're only seeing the increased police presence outside the government buildings.
So for right now, all of these students, many thousands of them, continue to sit right here in what is normally a very busy artery in the
heat of Hong Kong on the even of a Friday when this city is supposed to go back to work.
And if this continues, if these crowds remain here, Becky, it's going to pose some very significant problems as Hong Kong tries to go about its
At some point, these crowds will have to disperse, but tonight, we're not seeing any evidence that the police are approaching this area in the
heart of the city. They're just a couple of blocks away at the chief executive's office in case the students go through with their promise
within the next 30 minutes to occupy government buildings if C.Y. Leung, the chief executive, doesn't step down, which there is no indication -- in
fact, there's a flat-out statement that he will not be stepping down, Becky.
ANDERSON: Sure. It's 38 minutes past the hour, which means it's still 22 minutes before the top of the hour and midnight, and we are
waiting for the chief executive to hold a news conference.
At this point, is there any indication -- I know you said there's a statement which flat-out says that there's going to be no movement so far
as he is concerned. Any indication of what he might say and where he's speaking from?
RIPLEY: We don't know what he's going to say. We do know that the students requested a meeting with Carrie Lam, who's the second in command
here in Hong Kong, and she will be holding this news conference, a joint news conference, with the chief executive C.Y. Leung. But we don't know
what they're going to be talking about.
But I can tell you, the perspective that we got from the president of the Hong Kong legislature is that even if C.Y. Leung wanted to step down,
Beijing -- the Beijing government would not allow him to do so.
So it appears that this students' key demand, that the man that they hold responsible for using teargas on a group of mostly peaceful protesters
that resulted in tens of thousands of people filling these streets, that demand that the chief executive step down is not going to be met, not going
to be met by the midnight deadline.
So the question now, will there be some sort of a last-minute deal to diffuse this before it moves on to the next level, Becky?
ANDERSON: Will Ripley's in Hong Kong for you. And as we get more on the chief exec and his news conference, we, of course, here on CNN will
bring that to you.
We mentioned how ISIS is inching dangerously close to the Syrian city of Kobani. In other areas, though, airstrikes have proven effective at
driving them back. ITN's Jonathan Rugman was there when coalition missiles fell on ISIS holdouts in the Iraqi town of Rabia. Have a look at this.
JONATHAN RUGMAN, ITN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These Kurdish forces have Rabia surrounded, and as they wait for the final push, they can hear
coalition fighter jets in the sky.
(JETS FLYING OVERHEAD)
RUGMAN: Ahead of them is a ghost town, deserted apart from one building, a hospital, where Islamic State militants are still hiding out.
Then, as we watch, this.
RUGMAN: Two missiles appear to hit. Rabia, captured by jihadists in June, and their main supply route to Syria, has fallen at last.
RUGMAN (on camera): These Kurdish fighters are delighted at the spectacle which has unfolded before them. They say that the hospital over
there was the last building to fall in Rabia, and that they can now advance, assuming there are not booby traps left by the jihadists on the
roads ahead of us.
And these are roads we dare not take, for the casualties have been high. This man was shot dead by a jihadist sniper. And three Islamic
State suicide bombers blew themselves up here yesterday.
RUGMAN (voice-over): No wonder they look nervous, for the militants are leaving a trail of destruction in their wake, their self-declared
caliphate not giving up without a fight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They hate everybody. They are against humanity. They are against Kurds and Arabs. They are wild
RUGMAN: In the surrounding villages, the militants have destroyed almost everything. A scorched-earth policy. And as the jihadists retreat
from town to town, Iraqi troops say they will be forced into urban warfare to flush them out.
Today's victory was made possible by coalition airstrikes, but this is just one battle, with many more to go.
Jonathan Rugman, Channel 4 News, Rabia.
ANDERSON: Well, I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. We are just about 15 minutes away from the deadline set by protesters in Hong
Kong demanding that the chief executive, C.Y. Leung, resign. He is holding a news conference right now.
We're going to have much more on this story coming up on "The International Desk" with Robyn Curnow at the top of the hour. But for the
time being from me, that's it. Thank you for watching.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN RICE, VICE CHAIRMAN, GE: We can do business here as easily as we do it anywhere. If you look at the length of time it took us to get this
facility up and running, no different, maybe even a little faster than some other areas of the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN DEFTERIOS, HOST: A new hub for business. This week on MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST, we head to Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province to see
how it is attracting the interest of global industry giants.
Welcome to the program. We're in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, home to some of the largest oil fields in the world. As you can see, oil
has transformed the landscape, with new buildings and motorways.
When most think of Saudi Arabia, they think, of course, of the capital, Riyadh, and going west to Jeddah. But the Fortune 100 companies,
including GE, know this province very well.
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): GE, one of the world's largest American conglomerates, has been operating in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia for more
than eight decades. Employing over 1500 people in the country, it provides turbines that generate over 50 percent of the kingdom's electricity, and
more than 180 million liters of water per day. And there are plans to expand even further.
DEFTERIOS (on camera): GE has already invested $1 billion into Saudi Arabia in the energy, health care, and innovation sectors, and it's in the
process of expanding into the oil and gas manufacturing business right here in the Eastern Province.
RICE: The machines come in from 70 different countries.
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): I toured one of GE's manufacturing technology centers already up and running the eastern city of Dammam, and spoke with
the company's global vice chairman and chief executive of global growth markets, John Rice.
RICE: This country is open for business. We find it's as easy to business here as it is anywhere. You have to be on the ground, you have to
understand the culture, you have to be an investor. We've been here for a long time, and we're putting more investments in.
DEFTERIOS (on camera): It's quite compelling, if you look at the numbers. One of them is $200 billion over ten years to diversify their
energy, for electricity and also water desalination. That's pretty enticing for GE alone.
RICE: Sure. And it's not just that. It's also health care. It's commercial aviation. It's expanding in the oil and gas space. So when you
look at our infrastructure businesses, every one is active in Saudi Arabia.
DEFTERIOS: We're sitting in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, not far from the situation in Iraq. Does it affect business at all right now?
Do people get hesitant about future growth because of what's happening in Iraq?
RICE: From our perspective, we have to be aware of everything. So, we pay attention. But in the end, we're making long-term decisions about
where we invest, and our customers are making long-term bets.
So, we have be prepared to stick it out. We have to kind of drive our way through this and not react to short-term disruptions or geopolitical
events which may be here today but not tomorrow. We're in this for the long haul.
DEFTERIOS: When you think of, John, the next tier of emerging markets, then say in the "Next 11," as Jim O'Neil once talked about at
Goldman Sachs then, Iran's on that list. Iran's not open for business for an American company, but it's a large consumer market blessed with a lot of
natural reserves, in terms of oil and gas. How do you play it going forward? When do you think it'll open up?
RICE: I don't know when it'll open up. My guess is someday it will, and they'll need infrastructure. And companies like ours will be ready if
the US government and other governments say it's time to go in.
DEFTERIOS: Beyond the strategy of this operation, this plant is interesting for another reason: female engineers can work side-by-side
with their male counterparts. Quite a radical change for a country that still does not allow women to drive.
JUMANA ALMUZEL, PROCESS QUALITY ENGINEER, GE: Have we finished the infraction?
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): A rare sight in Saudi Arabia: a woman working side-by-side with her male counterpart in the Eastern Province.
Jumana Almuzel is a new breed of working woman, an American-educated mechanical engineer. She has come back to work on gas turbines for global
ALMUZEL: I was really happy and excited that I might have the chance to work in the shop where there is most of the operators are males, and
there is no females, so I would be working inside the shop. So, it was really exciting to be one of the first females working in here.
DEFTERIOS: According to the World Bank, females in the labor force is low throughout the region, half that of the global average. It may be the
biggest economy in the neighborhood, but Saudi Arabia has just one out of every five women working.
However, change is afoot in this ultra-conservative kingdom, driven from the very top by the ruler, King Abdullah, who's giving women new
opportunities in public life. And he's using large companies, like GE, to drive that reform.
DEFTERIOS (on camera): This operation ticks two key political boxes. Number one, he gets women into high-paying, high-tech jobs. It also
localizes the workforce. Domestically, they call it Saudiazation.
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): With around 8 million expatriate workers, Saudi officials say there's an over-reliance on foreign workers. The CEO
of energy giant Saudi Aramco, is one of a handful of local business leaders tasked with changing the labor landscape. In Riyadh, he inaugurated an
all-female business processing center that will eventually employ 3,000 women.
KHALID AL FALIH, CEO, SAUDI ARAMCO: Definitely within Saudi Arabia there is a great opportunity. We utilize offshore shared services to a
great extent. And yet, the irony is we have unemployed, and many of the unemployed are highly-educated females. Over 50 percent of the unemployed
females are holding university degrees.
DEFTERIOS: In a country where many women are veiled and gender segregation is the norm, this new center for women only offers them an
opportunity to join the workforce. For engineer Almuzel, a career on the factory floor is one way to break down barriers.
ALMUZEL: When I come to the shop floor and working with them side-by- side, they ask me some questions, some of them even maybe more experienced than I am, but we're helping each other.
There are things that I am capable of understanding, what's the mechanics behind the components that we are working on. And even the
operators think that a female can do whatever the employee males can do.
DEFTERIOS: But one exception remains: she and her peers still cannot drive themselves to work, as women are still not allowed behind the wheel.
DEFTERIOS: Our look at women in the workforce and Saudiazation as a result of foreign direct investment. Well, FDI's been in short supply in
Egypt after nearly four years of upheaval. When MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST continues, a special look at the el-Sisi government nearly six months in
DEFTERIOS: Welcome back to the program from the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. The kingdom, of course, is the most-populated country in the
Gulf, but in the broader Middle East and North Africa, it is Egypt.
It is a country, however, that has lacked stability after the Arab Spring. Ian Lee spoke to the country's minister of investment about the
effort to bring in FDI after the change of government.
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Convince me why Egypt would be a good place to invest.
ASHRAF SALMAN, EGYPTIAN MINISTER OF INVESTMENT: The location of Egypt in the middle of the world, connecting between the East and the West,
access to 90 million consumers. Using the bilateral agreement and the international free trade agreements, you have access on another 1.5 billion
citizens, consumers everywhere in the world.
LEE: Tell me, what are some of the major challenges that you have to deal with?
SALMAN: We have a lot of challenges, actually. Challenge number one is building our democratic system. Challenge number two is trying to solve
the existing disputes with investors. I think we have learned a lot from the last economic program that was undertook by Egypt during the period of
2005 to 2010, which did not put into consideration the social impact and the social aspect.
LEE: Is Egypt stable? Is it secure?
SALMAN: Egypt is heading to stability. It's not stable yet. It's heading to stability. And security, always Egypt has security. And we are
expecting that once the whole political road map will be in place, security will come back to the country.
LEE: Talking about the Suez Canal, that is quite the large product. Congratulations on getting all the funding, over $8 billion in eight
business days. And we're told that it's going to take roughly a year. That's quite ambitious.
SALMAN: We need to launch or mega project in this specific period as a period that is broken down from the big five-years plan in order to
achieve a growth of 3.5 percent of GDP for fiscal year 14-15.
This project represents a sentiment for the Egyptians that they want to share the development of their country, and they want to share the GDP
growth of their country.
LEE: Going back to that astonishing number, that you were able to raise so much in such a little amount of time. What does that say about
the reserves that Egypt has in itself?
SALMAN: Let me be very frank with you on this matter. Egypt has a parallel economy. So, I think this attraction of such instrument will also
regulate and organize the parallel market, pushing it into the official market.
So, you have money in the country, but you have to present this money the proper instrument, the proper yield, the proper risk appetite.
DEFTERIOS: The real challenges, there, of trying to stabilize the Egyptian economy. And that's all for this edition of CNN MARKETPLACE
MIDDLE EAST, this week from the Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia. I'm John Defterios, thanks for watching. We'll see you next week.