Turkey: Visiting Kaaba in metaverse is not real Hajj

Jun 18, 2022 | 🚀 Fathership

The Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) has declared that visiting Kaaba in the metaverse will not be considered a ''real Hajj''.

After a month-long discussion, Diyanet concluded on Tuesday that although the metaverse visit of the Kaaba can be performed, this won't count as real worship.

“This Hajj on the metaverse cannot happen,” Remzi Bircan, the director of Diyanet’s Department of Hajj and Umrah Services, said on February 1, according to Hurriyet Daily News.

“Believers can pay a visit to Kaaba on the metaverse, but it will never be considered a real worship,” he said while adding that “people’s feet should touch the ground.”

According to Bircan, Hajj should and will be practiced by going to the holy city in real life.

The metaverse version of Kaaba became controversial among Muslims across the globe following Saudi Arabia's "Virtual Black Stone Initiative” event in December 2021.

'Virtual Black Stone'

The country brought Islam’s holiest spot into the metaverse, allowing Muslims to virtually view a religiously revered rock called Hajr Aswad, or Black Stone in the city of Mecca from their homes.

“The initiative allows Muslims to experience the Hajr Aswad virtually prior to the pilgrimage to Mecca,” the Saudi officials said in a statement while announcing the initiative.

Bircan compared the initiative to a virtual reality (VR) viewing of the Archeological Museum in Istanbul.

“Like touring the museum with VR glasses, Saudis started this virtual travel program to promote the Kaaba,” said Birdan.

The project was formed by Saudi Arabia’s Exhibitions and Museums Affairs Agency, working with Umm al Qura University.

The founder of the project is the Haramain, which can be translated as “the two sanctuaries,” referring to Mecca and Medina and specifically the two holy mosques in those cities.

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Talent shortage in Singapore with 8 in 10 employers reporting difficulty in filling roles

Jun 15, 2022 | 🚀 Fathership

In ManpowerGroup Singapore's Q2 Employment Outlook Survey, the company revealed positive sentiments regarding pay increments and bonuses. In the latest edition of this report, for Q3, the sentiments have shifted towards hiring between the July to September 2022 period - labelled as "a record high" in the report.

In brief, Singapore’s net employment outlook (NEO) is at +40%, with the previous "record high" being in Q4 2011 at +31%. Further, employers surveyed in all 11 sectors (i.e. communications & media, manufacturing, and construction) anticipate positive headcount growth in Q3, with not-for-profit employers reporting "strongest" hiring intentions at 67%.

Despite the optimistic outlook, Singapore’s talent shortage level has been found to be at "its highest in 16 years", with more than eight in 10 (84%) employers reporting difficulty in filling roles. This statistic represented a 20% increase from 2021. Prior to that, talent shortage levels were quite high in 2018 at 56%, and in 2010 at 53%. According to the findings, the most difficult-to-fill roles are in restaurants & hotels (97%), other services (89%), and construction (88%).

That said, the "most sought-after" professions are: IT & data, operation & logistics, sales & marketing, manufacturing & production, and customer facing & front office. On top of that, employers are also looking at soft skills such as critical thinking & analysis, creativity & originality, resilience & adaptability, leadership & social influence, and reasoning & problem solving.

"The shift from pandemic to endemic has given companies greater clarity on their business outlooks," explained Linda Teo, Country Manager, ManpowerGroup Singapore. "Employers are ramping up their hiring due to a combination of factors like pent-up demand for manpower, employee attrition, and shortage of workers with the right skillsets."

Dissecting the local numbers

Filtering Singapore's NEO figure, analysts discovered that:

  • More than half (52%) of employers plan to hire;
  • More than one in 10 (12%) of employers expect a staffing decrease;
  • Close to four in 10 (35%) of employers plan to keep workforce levels steady, and
  • Less than five in 10 (2%) of employers are undecided about the hiring/talent scene.

In addition to not-for-profit employers having strong hiring intentions, those in other services (professional, scientific & technical, and administrative & support) similarly have positive intentions at 59%. These employers are then followed by those in banking, finance, insurance & real estate (56%), wholesale & retail trade (50%), and restaurants & hotels (46%).

A global perspective

Of the more than 40,000 employers surveyed across the globe, many are likewise expecting to hire more workers in the Q3 2022. According to findings, the global NEO is at +33% - which revealed hiring intentions to "increase year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter" respectively at +18% and +4%. In terms of per country/territory data, Mexico ranks top with a +59% NEO, while India has a +51%; Mainland China +29%, and Hong Kong +11%.

India's NEO is the strongest in the APAC region for the second consecutive quarter, up 13% since Q2. As for Hong Kong's NEO, it improved by 8% compared to Q2 2022, and by 10% compared to the previous year.

Looking at the hiring/talent scene, analysts discovered that digital roles continue to drive "most demand" with employers in IT & technology (+44%). This is followed by those in banking, finance, insurance & real estate (+38%), construction (33%), and manufacturing (33%).