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Winter 2016-17

Founders of

RISHN Discuss Beards

LOTUS CLUB Jolts Erbil Nights to Life

& Business

Q&A with Kurdish Rising Star

5

Greatest Steaks of Erbil

HELIN ARO


Tangram Hotel Erbil. Stylish, Sophisticated and contemporary, Luxury boutique hotel set right minutes away from heart of Erbil city. Dedicated to delivering an exceptional level of guest service, the Tangram Hotel Erbil combines high style with a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Featuring 118 spacious deluxe rooms & suites, the hotel exudes total comfort and opulence with a unique design edge. Exquisitely decorated with the finest in contemporary furnishings and handpicked local art.

Find the essence of social life in 360 Restaurant, Lounge & Bar. The place to be and be seen in Erbil. This high-end Restaurant & Bar transforms from a relaxing evening to a fashionable late-night destination. The place to be known serving the best US steaks in town, Italian Pizza and pasta. Serving selected European wines, creative international cocktails and a refined cigar collection. The Lounge is the perfect spot to relax after a busy day, simmer down with friends or shake hands with the elite while savoring flavors that will definitely suit your palate.

Kirkuk road, opposite Police Academy, Erbil, Kurdistan Iraq

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For Booking & Information E-mail: info.erbil@tangramhotels.com +964 ( 0 ) 750 889 5554 www.erbil.tangramhotels.com +964 ( 0 ) 662 296 900

Circuit Magazine


Issue 10 - Winter 2016-17

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Circuit Magazine


Letter From

The Editor

H

ello Circuit Readers! You may have noticed when you picked up this issue that it’s a lot heavier than you remember. As promised, we’re still upgrading and making lots of changes to Circuit Magazine based on your feedback. This issue we’ve got seven sections filled with stories about more people and businesses that we think you will enjoy reading about. In the Community section, you’ll learn about real people doing real things in the community. We also threw in a story about pets because we know fur babies warm our hearts and what else do you really want during this cold time of year? Our Culture section touches on the holidays as well as traditional Kurdish honey making and bee keeping. We also managed to get in touch with up and coming Kurdish musician, Helin Aro, whose most recent single hit the top of the charts in the summer. We have high expectations for her new music coming up this and next season. The Health & Beauty section is totally new for us and something that came requested. The section is newly sponsored by Senses Beauty Clinic near English Village who will be providing us with columns about interesting new treatments you can try out at their facilities. In addtion, we’re still up for taking suggestions on what you’d like to see, but we’d especially love to see your questions and participation on a new segment called, “Ask Coach” which is all about reaching your fitness and nutrition goals. Business is also a new section we added on this issue. There we plan to highlight start ups created by young, local entrepreneurs. We know that business in Kurdistan isn’t easy and these people and their ideas inspire us. We also bring attention to other businesses we’ve worked with along the way that we know our readers will find useful or interesting. Food & Drink is a section that has always been with us and always will. Take a look to find some of our favorite winter recipes as well as our favorite places to get a great steak. (Note: This list may come in handy at Valentine’s Day.) In Travel & Leisure, we’ve taken on winter, a time of year when everyone mistakenly think it’s time to bail on the region and find some snow when we know they can just head to the mountains for loads of activities and fun. Finally, our Nightlife section is there to not only tell you about a great new place to spend your nights in Erbil, we’ve added on a column from EPIC creator, Jeremy Oliver, so that he can keep you up-todate on the goings on around town. Be sure to take a glimpse at the ‘Out on the Circuit’ pages to see if you were spotted partying in Erbil.

Jimmie Collins Editor-in-Chief

An American living in the Kurdistan Region for four years, Jimmie Collins leads a vibrant social life among expats and locals in Erbil. She now calls Erbil home, settling into the city with her husband (Sabah), two massive dogs, a feisty cat, and a daughter (arrival pending as of print, but expected in December). She complains of never having near enough free time to do all the things she loves, however, she always makes time for food and friends. Circuit Magazine, which she started with her business partners more than two years ago, is a hobby turned obsession meant to help others get to know Kurdistan's social scene and enjoy themselves as much as she does.

Enjoy the Circuit!

Issue 10 - Winter 2016-17

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In This Issue Community Page 15 - People of Kurdistan Page 16 - Engineering For Development : Taking an Innovative Approach to Charitable Giving Page 21 - Chico’s Adoption: How a Sick Chihuahua Found a Forever Home

Culture Page 23 - Christmas in Kurdistan Page 24 - Kurdish Honey : A Traditional Labor Under Threat Page 26 - Helin Aro : Q&A With Kurdish-Swedish Rising Star

Health & Beauty Page 35 - Ask Coach Page 36 - Sense Beauty Clinic : PRP Therapy for Facial Rejuvenation and Hair Restoration

Business Page 40 - Q&A with dnata Travel Page 42 - Founders of Rishn : Discuss Beards & Business Page 46 - Korek Mountain Resort & Spa : Receives International Awards

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Circuit Magazine


Winter 2016-17 Winter 2016-17

Food & Drink Page 48 - Kubba Hamuth Page 50 - Momma Pat’s Texas Chili Page 53 - The 5 Greatest Steaks of Erbil

Founders of

RISHN

Discuss Beards & Business

LOTUS CLUB

Jolts Erbil Nights to Life

Q&A with Kurdish Rising Star

5

Greatest Steaks of Erbil

HELIN ARO Issue 10: Winter 2016-17 Editor-in-Chief Jimmie Collins

Travel & Leisure Page 58 - Winter in Kurdistan Page 61 - Winter Sports: Kurdistan’s Offering Gaining Popularity Page 64 - A Journey to India

Publisher Lana Yaqo Oliver Writers Jimmie Collins Patricia Collins Saz Jawdat Elias Jeremy Oliver Rezhna Tannia Photographers Camilo Garcia Rezhna Tannia Designers Jimmie Collins

Nightlife Page 69 - The Real EPIC Page 71 - Lotus Club : New Club Jolts Erbil Nights to life Page 74 - Out on the Circuit

Marketing Department Jeremy Oliver Omid Ghammari Tabassi Muhanad Ali Sabah Makki Contact: info@party-circuit.net 0750 633 7700 Circuit Magazine is a subsidiary of BWFW Services Company Cover Photo by Camilo Garcia

Issue 10 - Winter 2016-17

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December Sunday Bella Ranicia - Happy Hours Tangram Hotel - 360 Lounge - Steak Night T-Bar - Karaoke Night

Monday Bella Ranicia - Ladies Nightt Tangram Hotel - 360 Lounge - Pizza Night T-Bar - Quiz Night

Tuesday Bella Ranicia - Karaoke Night Tangram Hotel - 360 Lounge - Cocktail Night T-Bar - Let’s Party

Wednesday Bella Ranicia - Persian Night Divan  Hotel - Qi21 Restaurant - Up In the Sky Tangram Hotel - 360 Lounge- BBQ Night T-Bar - Girl’s Night Out

Thursday Rotana Hotel - Flavors Restaurant - Seafood Night Tang  Chinese Restaurant - Thursday Night Special Bella Ranicia - Mad Thursday Lotus Club - DJ Eli Tangram Hotel -  360 Lounge - International  Live Music T-Bar- DJ Thursday

Friday Rotana Hotel -  Flavors - Family Friday Brunch Bella Ranicia - Double Mad Friday Lotus Club - DJ Nights Tangram Hotel - 360 Lounge - Japanese Night

Saturday Lotus Club - Ladies Night Tangram Hotel - 360 Lounge - Value Night T-Bar - Cocktail Night

Christmas Day - December 25, 2016 New Year’s Eve - December 31, 2016

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Circuit Magazine


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January Sunday Bella Ranicia - Happy Hours Tangram Hotel - 360 Lounge - Steak Night T-Bar - Karaoke Night

Monday Bella Ranicia - Ladies Night Tangram Hotel - 360 Lounge - Pizza Night T-Bar - Quiz Night

Tuesday Bella Ranicia - Karaoke Night Tangram Hotel - 360 Lounge - Cocktail Night T-Bar - Let’s Party

Wednesday Bella Ranicia - Persian Night Divan  Hotel - Qi21 Restaurant - Up In the Sky Tangram Hotel - 360 Lounge- BBQ Night T-Bar - Girl’s Night Out

Thursday Rotana Hotel - Flavors Restaurant - Seafood Night Tang  Chinese Restaurant - Thursday Night Special Bella Ranicia - Mad Thursday Lotus Club - DJ Eli Tangram Hotel -  360 Lounge - International  Live Music T-Bar- DJ Thursday

Friday Rotana Hotel -  Flavors - Family Friday Brunch Bella Ranicia - Double Mad Friday Lotus Club - DJ Nights Tangram Hotel - 360 Lounge - Japanese Night

Saturday Lotus Club - Ladies Night Tangram Hotel - 360 Lounge - Value Night T-Bar - Cocktail Night

New Year’s Day - January 1, 2017 t Winter Music Festival - Korek Mountain Resort & Spa - January 27, 2017

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Circuit Magazine


NOT BEEN TO KOREK MOUNTAIN, NOT SEEN K U R D I S T A N.

The Korek Mountain Resort & Spa,Bekhal, Erbil,Kurdistan Region +964 750 245 8888 +964 750 902 6161 Family Mall Kiosk : +964 750 101 8686 The Korek Mountain Resort & Spa, Kurdistan www.thekorekmountain.com info@thekorekmountain.com

Issue 10 - Winter 2016-17

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February Sunday Bella Ranicia - Happy Hours Tangram Hotel - 360 Lounge - Steak Night T-Bar - Karaoke Night

Monday Bella Ranicia - Ladies Night Tangram Hotel - 360 Lounge - Pizza Night T-Bar - Quiz Night

Tuesday Bella Ranicia - Karaoke Night Tangram Hotel - 360 Lounge - Cocktail Night T-Bar - Let’s Party

Wednesday Bella Ranicia - Persian Night Divan  Hotel - Qi21 Restaurant - Up In the Sky Tangram Hotel - 360 Lounge- BBQ Night T-Bar - Girl’s Night Out

Thursday Rotana Hotel - Flavors Restaurant - Seafood Night Tang  Chinese Restaurant - Thursday Night Special Bella Ranicia - Mad Thursday Lotus Club - DJ Eli Tangram Hotel -  360 Lounge - International  Live Music T-Bar- DJ Thursday

Friday Rotana Hotel -  Flavors - Family Friday Brunch Bella Ranicia - Double Mad Friday Lotus Club - DJ Nights Tangram Hotel - 360 Lounge - Japanese Night

Saturday Lotus Club - Ladies Night Tangram Hotel - 360 Lounge - Value Night T-Bar - Cocktail Night

Valentine’s Day - February 14th, 2017

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Circuit Magazine


Exquisite standards

of hospitality in Pirmam Standing as the most prominent structure in Pirman just a quick ride out of the busy city of Erbil; greets a 5 star luxurious hotel. With rich fabric and superior design the hotel can be classified as one of the top business hotels in Erbil.

Bedrooms

Offering large spacious rooms and ornate furniture. One can sip on a cool beverage and read a book whilst enjoying a spectacular view of the Mountains of Kurdistan.

Cuisine

Internationally trained and qualified chefs, overtake ourkitchen. We prepare succulent and mouth watering cuisines from around the world.

Swiss Health Club Recreation Centre

Enjoy a game of bowling or Billiards at the Swiss Recreation Centre. Or if your focus is your health then spend your time working out at the gym which includes modern and high tech equipment.

Our Swiss Spa offers a wide variety of relaxation options in addition to its therapeutic massages. With additional facilities such as sauna, steam rooms and a large indoor pool are part of the Grand Swiss experience.

Swiss Mall

Swiss Mall is highly attractive for leisure. It offers products directly

imported from the US and Europe which cannot be purchased elsewhere

in Erbil. Salons, Electronic stores and fast food are all part of the shopping experience.

Address: Shaqlawa Road, Pirmam (Selhaddin). Erbil, Iraq Phone: +964 750 440 00 44 /+ 964 0750 440 00 45 Issue 10 - Winter 2016-17 E-mail: info@hotelgrandswiss.com | FB: facebook.com/hotelgrandswiss

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Circuit Magazine


People of Kurdistan

Community

I am a Shepherd on my way back to Masif. Every spring, I take the flock to the mountains near the Iranian border with two other shepherds. We spend the days camping out and roaming from one area to another until the weather gets cold around this time of the year [in late Autumn]. We began making our way back three days ago. The other two shepherds with me guide the flock and the owners of the sheep follow us in their SUVs and camp out near by. We still have three more days before we reach Masif. I don’t mind the journey, but it’s much nicer in the spring. It can get really cold at night this time of year.

Issue 10 - Winter 2016-17

-Harem, 20 years old

Photo by Rezhna Tannia

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Community

Photo provided by EFD

Engineering For Development

Taking an Innovative Approach to Charitable Giving There are many NGOs operating in Kurdistan, all with good intentions and doing their best to help in whatever way they can. It’s always interesting to find an organization that is operating in a little bit of a different manner, and when I met Haval Simitko, a Swede of Kurdish-Iranian descent and the General Secretary of Engineering For Development, I knew immediately that his organization was different. The Board is made up of various individuals who are all leaders in their respective fields in Sweden and internationally and therefore bring vast amounts of expertise and experience to EFD. The organization takes an interesting approach to complete their mission, which is to provide concrete assistance on the basis of innovation of sustainable development. The aim is to provide a better quality of life for vulnerable people around the world. In broader terms, their mission is to create vitality. EFD envisions itself helping work toward ‘a world where we are not needed.’ Their work ranges from im-

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mediate solutions to long-term sustainability. In the process, they have seen what areas are priorities and where they have the ability to make a difference in a positive direction in terms of quality of life. They have expertise in these areas and apply effective processes to implement concrete actions that bring measurable results. Their work focuses on four segments: Water & Sanitation, Health, Education, and Energy. EFD tries to interpret the segments widely so that their projects will not be constrained. Oftentimes, a project can fulfil more than one, or even all, segments that EFD focuses on. The key aspect with EFD projects, however, is that they need to have some kind of innovation in the planning and implementation in order to achieve maximum effect. EFD first came to Kurdistan in 2013 and through support from the Barzani Charity Foundation, was able to implement their first project in 2015, the distribution of EFD backpacks to school children in two refugee camps in Koya, outside Sulimaniyah.

The backpacks included several innovative products the children would have a need and use for including the backpack itself, which was rainproof and adjustable in size. Inside, the children found a 3D puzzle, a rain poncho that came in a small plastic ball, a flashlight which doesn’t require batteries and is re-charged by cranking a lever, a band-aid box, a water bottle produced in two different plastics including the drinking area produced from an antibacterial resistant plastic so the children would not get sick even if the bottle was dropped, a pen and ruler kit, and a toothbrush made from antibacterial plastic which came inside a protective storage container. EFD’s latest project currently being implemented in Kurdistan is the Project Oral Rehydration, again supported by the Barzani Charity Foundation in terms of logistics on the ground in Kurdistan. The organization has delivered 250,000 sachets of oral rehydration solution to both refugees (mainly women and their children as diarrhea is a huge problem)

Circuit Magazine


and the Peshmerga on the frontline. The Peshmerga are fighting in the sun for many hours and so the ORS can be taken pre-emptively to prevent dehydration or taken to restore their energy. Of the 250,000 sachets brought to Kurdistan, 120,000 were delivered to refugee camps and the rest were delivered to the Peshmerga on both the Makhmur front, South of Erbil and the Mosul frontline outside of Duhok. For any EFD project, they consider three aspects in order to show that it has definitely met their requirements as an innovative and necessary project - the human perspective, the feasibility perspective and, of course, the financial perspective. They use these criteria to work to find their core essence. Innovation, according to EFD, exists where there is a core essence between these three aspects. EFD applies its approach to innovation to decide the best way to fulfil the needs and complete the project. For example, the oral rehydration project fulfilled their requirements in every way. The human perspective is sat-

Issue 10 - Winter 2016-17

Photo provided by EFD

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Photo provided by EFD

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isfied – 1.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in northern Iraq. The health situation is in such a poor situation that the majority of the refugees are suffering from life-threatening dehydration and diarrhea. Today there are effective and simple solutions to treat dehydration, in form of an oral rehydration solution (ORS). It is technically feasible to produce it, but the process optimization was to go directly to the source for production. EFD has together with a pharmaceutical company, developed a WHO recommended recipe for rehydration produced directly from the factory. It is financially sustainable – EFD overall strategy is to help as many as possible at as low a cost as possible. Their Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) is 406% cheaper in the market compared to other products. In this respect the core essence was achieved, Simitko says. The organization takes this approach

Circuit Magazine


to all its projects, not only in creating a solution to a problem but also in fundraising. EFD takes a more innovative approach to the traditional ways of fundraising where an organization makes a direct appeal for donations through a campaign. “We don’t do that. We don’t ask for money, we always believe giving something back in return is a better approach,” Simitko says. “The concept is for our donors to purchase an EFD product, knowing that the profit made on the purchase will go to charity and therefore do good.” If a donor would like to make a simple donation in the traditional way, there is a link on the EFD website to do so and they thank all our donors with a personalized thank you card on social media platforms. “The main way EFD goes about it’s fundraising, though, is that the ‘donor’ gets a cool gadget in return and we always put a lot of effort and engineering skill into the gadget,” Simitko says. “Take for example the power bank. A person will donate $20 and in return get an EFD power bank. There is a double value with this concept - the donor is not much different from a consumer in that they receive something in return for money spent and at the same time, they are helping to make the world better by charging their phone.” In this respect, EFD achieves its charitable objectives by following a business model approach. The ‘donors’ described above cover their private sector consumers and EFD also targets corporations in their fundraising efforts. “The corporate side of EFD’s

fundraising is that corporations buy a lot of gadgets to use as giveaways, for example we will produce 1,000 or 10,000 power banks with their corporate logo on it and ‘powered by EFD’ also printed on it so that the product is certified with the EFD hallmark,” Simitko says.” We create a CSR package for them too, which presents added value to most organisations. In return for the money generated from their ‘purchase’ we give them certificates and other documentation showing 100% transparency in the organization so they can highlight their work in corporate social responsibility.” An example is Olav Thon, their biggest customer in

Sweden. His organisation purchased a large number of power banks from EFD as well as portable solar panels that were specifically in support of EFD’s Project Oral Rehydration. Some companies make specific requests if they want a bespoke product which we haven’t already produced. EFD works together with the company to engineer an innovative product unique to their organization. While they have projects underway, EFD is looking ahead to how it can be more useful and innovative in the Kurdistan Region. Their hope is that in the future they would introduce larger, sustainable projects that introduce more added value, for example creating job opportunities. The next priority for EFD is to focus on its expansion, with offices being set up in Holland now and the UK in the near future. The plan is to also have an office and team operational in Erbil, Kurdistan by April 2016. For more information or to contact EFD: Check their website at www.efdworld.org /efdworld /engineeringfordevelopment

Issue 10 - Winter 2016-17

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Circuit Magazine


Community

Chico’s Adoption By Anna Strazewska

Want to tell your pet’s adoption story? Share your pet bonding stories and pictures with us by emailing info@erbilonline.info or jimmie.collins@erbilonline.info

Issue 10 - Winter 2016-17

In March 2015, we went for a walk around Ankawa as we usually did in the evenings. It was still quite cold outside. We walked by a pet shop which had recently opened near Apaya Restaurant. We found out it was illegally opened, had no proper business papers, and was totally filthy. Inside, I saw a tiny, skinny, pitiful, shivering little guy in an aquarium type cage. I was compelled to go in and check on him. I felt so upset about his condition. No one in the store spoke English so I had a very hard time communicating my anger. We went home and I just couldn’t relax or stop thinking about the poor soul. An hour later we went back to the shop to bargain with the owners about the pitiful little Chihuahua. I paid $900 and took the sweet little guy home. (Needless to say, the so-called pet shop is no longer there as we worked together to shut him down with the help of a lady with connections in the neighborhood.)  The little Chihuahua, who we named Chico, was so shy, scared, hungry and cold. I thought I would keep him a couple of weeks, get him well, and then put him up for adoption on the Facebook page PAWS of Kurdistan which Alena M., Sus G., and I had just recently launched. As time went on, I grew so fond of the little guy, I just couldn’t part with him. He has been with us ever since. He now has a doggy passport and travels with me everywhere I go whether it’s Europe, Canada, wherever. Papers for travel can be done with a couple of vets in Erbil. So if you have any questions about it, feel free to contact PAWS. Chico is now a funny, goofy dog-child, and an eating machine. He’s definitely the last thing I ever thought I would be bringing home from Kurdistan but I’m glad he’s part of the family now.

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Circuit Magazine


Culture

Christmas in Kurdistan By Lana Yaqo Oliver

Christmas time was always the best time of the year growing up; it was that magical time of the year for us as kids where we always looked forward to putting the tree up and decorating it with the colorful, shiny and bright ornaments. Back then, there were no shops where someone could just simply walk in and buy a tree or decorations, at least not where I lived because it was not celebrated by everyone but only by the Christian/Assyrian people of Iraq. Neighbors were surprised when they visited us and always asked about the tree tradition. Some would take photos next to it like it was a famous monument, unlike nowadays where a lot of people, no matter what their background is, celebrate it and even put a tree at their homes. However, my parents always somehow managed to get us a tree even if it was in an irregular shape and, of course, it always had to be a real one since there were no shops that sold artificial ones. They made sure we didn’t miss the fun of decorating it all together on Christmas Eve, or sometimes even a week before that, and the tree would stay up until January 8th. Of course, Papa Noel or “Santa Claus” was the best part of Christmas. He usually brought us the gifts on Christmas Eve and placed them underneath our pillows, we would get so excited and it was probably the only night in the year that we went to bed super early just so that we would get the gifts as soon as possible. I remember when my siblings and I would all wake up in the middle of the night and see the gifts underneath or beside our pillow, that was probably the best feeling ever as kids and we would all run to my parents’ room to show them all the gifts we got. Of course, my parents always pretended that they had no clue and smiled at us. All kids believed that Santa had a magical power and could just appear and

Issue 10 - Winter 2016-17

disappear anytime anywhere he pleases; it was very disappointing when we found out the truth. Pacha and Kleja were the main traditional Christmas dish and pastry in our house each year; every family prepared them for Christmas time. So, the general Christmas tradition was to bake the Kleja and put the Christmas tree up with all the decorations and lights about a week before. Then at Christmas Eve, we simmered the Pacha on low heat and received all the gifts from Santa at night. Then on Christmas Day, the 25th of December, we would wake up early, dress up, go to church for Mass, return home and have the breakfast (or maybe brunch is a more appropriate term) feast with all the family members together. One of the saddest things during Christmas, though, was missing school for 3-4 days because it was not a public holiday for everyone but only for Christians. So after Christmas we always had to catch up with what we missed and it was hard most of the time because most of the teachers wouldn’t cooperate or explain exactly what we missed so we had to ask other students to do so. Sometimes teachers would even schedule a test on Christmas Day but we always had to either complain or take a different test alone after the holidays. My parents always expected the highest grades from us and would not listen to any excuses, so we had to study harder after Christmas just to maintain the high grades. It’s really nice to see more people openly celebrating Christmas nowadays and that we can actually shop for a tree, decorations and lights from more than one place. Almost every hotel and restaurant in town puts a tree up to put you in the Christmas spirit these days. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone. Let’s hope 2017 will be a great year for the entire world.

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Culture

Kurdish Honey

A Traditional Labor Under Threat Story and Photos by Rezhna Tannia

The rapid development of the Kurdistan Region has led to incredible modernization in major cities like Erbil. Just over a decade ago there were no shopping malls, coffee shops, or a great number of quality hotels for visitors to choose from. Kurdistan’s economy began to grow after the toppling of Saddam’s regime and continues to progress despite the economic hardship it is currently facing. Two decades ago Erbil was almost unrecognizable as the city we know today. The Erbil of my childhood was a small city in comparison to today and had little development underway aside from the conversion of Saddam’s government buildings and minor repairs to the Citadel from the damages of war. The remarkable progress Kurdistan has made in such a short period of time leaves me in awe yet a part of me yearns to return to the old Erbil to relive those days filled with tradition and culture that I took for granted.

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In search of a little piece of tradition, I decided to learn more about Kurdish honey, typically sold with slabs of honeycomb in the bazaar. I spoke with many shops in the bazaar to find someone who could take me to the villages where these goods are produced. Unfortunately most of the shopkeepers could not assist as they only dealt with wholesalers from Rawanduz, Shaqlawa and Qandil. I mentioned my hunt for farmers and beekeepers to a friend who was able to introduce me to Akeed, a Peshmerga fighter who lives in the town of Sedacan where they produce honey. Sedacan is a small village behind Soran mountain near the Iranian border. Akeed had returned from the frontline near Nawaran a few days before we met in the village. He introduced me to Masih Qatar, a local beekeeper who owns a small shop on the main road in Sedacan. Masih has been in the business of bee keeping for more than 18 years, and cares for a total of 70

Circuit Magazine


bee colonies. The hives are kept in traditional woven cylindrical baskets covered with mud and tarp to protect the colony from harsh weather and mites. Every year between May and June he transports the bees to the mountains where the bees spend the summer months drinking nectar and eating the pollen of flowers and fruit trees. “I just brought the hives back from the mountains two weeks ago” he replied when I asked if I could visit the site on the mountain near by. Around late October, Masih begins the collection process from the woven cylindrical baskets, gathering the freshly made honey from the colony cautiously. He showed me two samples of this year’s batch of honey: light-golden and black. “Black honey comes from honeycombs that were left in the hives over the winter months for the bees. Many beekeepers take all the honey from the hive and feed bees sugar-water during the winter months, but I do my best to keep from doing this because it alters the purity and taste of natural honey that comes from flowers,” he explained. “The males (drones) are kicked out of the colony at the end of the season,” Masih said. “The queen will hatch new drones before the next season when we take the bees to the mountains again.” I asked him why this occurred and he replied “the drones don’t contribute much to the hive. The males only serve to be with a queen.” I was skeptical about what he was saying but after doing some research online

it turns out the drones are indeed non-essential personnel during winter. Unlike drones, worker bees (which are females) have multiple duties: make honey, care for larvae, protect and defend the hive. The queen of the colony has only one important duty: lay as many as 1,000 eggs per day. I asked Masih about the recent decline of the bee population worldwide but he was unaware of this phenomenon. “Our bees are dying because of the chemicals from war and farmers using dirty pesticides. This year I lost 30 of my colonies because of a two-day bombardment by Iran,” he said, pointing to a burnt mountainside. Late June this year Iran attacked the area around Sedacan claiming Kurdish militants responsible for unrest in Iran were hiding in the mountains. The media group Rudaw wrote an article last year on the subject of declined honey production in Kurdistan due to Turkish air strikes in the Qandil area. Kurdistan is still a haven of rich culture and tradition. It may not be as easy to see in Erbil, but it is clearly evident when one travels outside the major cities. If you have yet to try the local honey, I highly recommend you try some next time you’re in the bazaar or even pick some up at Family Mall. There is a stand in the mall which sells local sweets and pastries that carries honey from the Qandil Mountains. If you are feeling adventurous head out to Sedacan and stop by Masih’s shop on the main road across from the PDK office. The price of local honey is anywhere between 45,000 – 65,000 dinars per kilo on the market.

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Culture

Helin Aro Kurdish-Swedish Rising Star Uses Music to Tell the Stories of Her People

By Jimmie Collins

After her newest song “Lori,” hit the top of the charts in Kurdistan, Circuit Magazine, decided it was time to put a face and personality to the artist behind the beautiful melody. The song lyrics (a mix of English and Kurdish), its melody, and even the vision for the accompanying music video were all written by Helin Aro, a Syrian-Kurdish musician and humanitarian. We asked her to tell us about herself and the experiences that have shaped her music as well as her humanitarian work. Q1) Helin, thank you so much for this interview. First, can you give a bit of a biographical run down? Who are you? Where are you from? My name, Helin Aro, means “bird’s nest.” I am a feminist, a mother and an artist who writes lyrics trying to be relevant because as a Kurd we face many challenges. I was born and grew up in Qamishli in the Syrian-Kurdish Region of Rojava, with my mother, two sisters, and baby brother. My father, unfortunately, passed away when I was only 7 years old. My mom is from Nusaybin in Turkey, a city separated from Qamishli by only the Syrian-Turkish border. We used to spend our summers and vacations with my grandmothers, uncles, and aunts in Nusaybin. I fled together with my family to Sweden 27 years ago. I am now married and have two daughters, Aura, 6, and Lenor, 4. Lenor is the child actor in the “Lori” video. My background has shaped who I am today and music has always been a natural part of my life which I’ve used to express my emotions. I grew up in Qamishlo watching and imitating Bollywood movies. I thought they were beautiful and had similar Kurdish clothes that we used to use. In Sweden, they noticed me at the International Children’s Festival in 1990 where I sang two Kurdish songs. After the

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Circuit Magazine


Photo by Camilo Garcia

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Photo provided by Helin Aro

festival, I was invited by a large Swedish television channel, SVT, to know more about the Kurds, my songs and my clothes. Since then I have appeared at Newroz celebrations of Kurdish television channels each year. At 20 years of age, I got a record deal with the company Universal, after they heard three self-written songs. I then studied at university as my mother wanted me finish my studies first. After I graduated, I worked on a Swedish television channel as a hostess, but I wanted to continue writing music. Q2) So then tell us about your music. Where does it all come from? My album “Just a Girl” was everything about what it means to be a feminist. Titles such as “Head Up High” or “Just a Girl” were for me to grow up and prove my power and capacity as a woman, partly for myself but also for younger girls. Up until now, I have also sponsored all my music and videos, and it feels pretty good that I am free and independent and that no one can decide a certain direction for me. I write my own music and currently work with a production company called Brand New Records in Denmark. For me when I write it’s like a puzzle. Everything comes from my heart and most of the songs I write are relevant to something. I’m a very empathetic person and that makes me put myself in their shoes. It comes naturally to me to write about people’s stories in the current situation. I put it all down on paper so I can quiet the nagging. The “Lori” video was released on Mother’s Day on

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Photo provided by Helin Aro

Circuit Magazine


Photo provided by Helin Aro

Vin TV channel and is dedicated to Yezidi mothers and their lost children. The song came to me while I was crying and basically having a nervous breakdown after I saw videos of children who died of thirst and heard the mothers’ stories of how Daesh took their loved ones. As the mother of two children, I could not imagine what these mothers went through. The melody came naturally and so I wrote a song to give the mothers who carried a lot of guilt a voice; for mothers to pray for their children’s forgiveness for not being able to save them from evil. Q3) You have some experience of your own with what these families are going through now. Can you elaborate on your experiences? Escape and exclusion have unfortunately hit us for generations. My grandfather was Armenian and fled Turkey in 1915 during the Armenian Holocaust when he was 8 years old. I honor my grandfather by keeping Aro as my surname and actually kept it as a middle name for my children. My mother, my little sister, and I fled after my father passed away in Syria. Although it was not forbidden to have Kurdish names or to speak Kurdish, the intelligence service was active and took in people who stood out and who demanded certain rights. A great deal of my family were killed during this time and my mom realized she could not stay. My mother had no choice but to leave Rojava and escape along with some friends to Europe. The only thing I remember was that I got lice in my hair in

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Damascus, I was very afraid and was overprotected. Being forced to flee is to lose. We refugee children have been outside history. No books know what we know about ourselves. We live retroactively, we compensate for our disinheritance and rootlessness afterwards. Escape hurts us. Can we ever free ourselves from traumas inherited? My dream is to start several children’s villages in Kurdistan as orphanages where all the children who lost their parents and acquaintances find a place of safety with lots of love. I want to give them the childhood they missed out on, to give them the opportunity to dream of the future. We need those children to build our beautiful Kurdistan. Q4) I understand you do a lot of humanitarian work. What is it you do and how did you get into it? I have a master’s degree in sociology. As a person, I have always been interested in how people work in groups, power structures, and tried to search for explanations of why a society is structured in a certain way. But the last two years after the ISIS rampage in Shingal/Kobani, I wanted to go deeper and understand more about the systematic orders being given to rape sexual slaves in war as effective weapons to achieve ethnic cleansing. In the world there is a “war against terrorism,” but what can we do at the societal level to prevent terrorism, not just fight it once it has occurred? My sociology background makes it easier for me to find interesting perspectives on the issues that people are working on and that can make other people interested. Right now, I try to

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pay attention to what is going on particularly with my people. By defining my time as a performer I can help to increase understanding of the ethnic minorities - specifically the Kurds and Yezidis - situation in all parts such as Bakur, Rojava, Rojhalat and Bashur and hope outsiders become interested. I have been working on several projects that sought to strengthen and motivate young people to study, among other things. I have also worked to help establish new refugees into the Swedish society. In short, I have been working with integration issues, labor issues, etc. In 2014, I started a non-profit organization, KHO, with my two sisters and organized a gala for refugees. The artists who performed were Li Dine, Regina Lund, Adam Tensta, and myself. Later I traveled with my sister, Jiyan Aro, to Kurdistan to distribute the “Solvatten,” a portable Swedish innovation to help refugees with water filtration. Clean water is so important and difficult to come by. We also visited a family who had suffered in an explosion in Rojava / Hassake and were now living in Hawler. I had with me lots of birthday presents that my daughter had received. She wanted me to take them with me to the girls because we had followed the family’s story on a Kurdish television channel. We helped the family get treatment in a hospital, took them to register with the UNHCR, and after six months of keeping in touch with them and helping support them, they finally received a residence permit in England. Q5) Can you tell us about your upcoming music? I have never been able to write a happy song, maybe because I have been shaped by my background and the time I live in but right now I am working on my new single called “Let the Stars Sing for Me.” It’s a powerful song in memory of Alan Kurdi and other children like him who lost their lives in the Mediterranean Sea. The image of his lifeless body washed up on the beach along with his brother and mother is iconic. This song is meant to be his story from his perspective. Also, I have just recently finished a song for Dalkurd, the Kurdish football team in Sweden. The concept and song is ready but we are desperately seeking for sponsors to make the video. We are considering looking for sponsors in the Kurdistan Region. It’s a big project. A video where everyone who won any kind of medal, like an Olympic medal, competing under other flags should be allowed to do so under the Flag of Kurdistan. Sport is powerful internationally and I want everyone to see what skills we possess on every level. For more on Helin Aro, follow her on social media. /HelinAroOfficial /helinaroofficial /user/78justagirl/featured

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Circuit Magazine


Wide Variety of Professional Services: Natural and Artificial Nail Care Hair Styling and Hair Cures Bridal Care Makeup, Personal Image Laser Hair Removal

Facial and Special Skincare Treatments Filler & Botox Hair Transplants for eyebrows and boldness Medical Anti-Aging Face Treatments Slimming & Cellulite Therapy Senses Hair Body & Skin Care Center Erbil Senseshairskincare

Issue 10 - Winter 2016-17

professional power of natural beauty

English Village Shopping Center, Ara Towers, Bloc B Ground Floor Next to Holland Bazar 4, Erbil, Kurdistan 00964 750 529 8484 - 00964 750 529 8787

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Need Food?

Groceries Delivered to Your Home or Office Family Market: 0750-278-2478 *Minimum $50 Order for Delivery

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Circuit Magazine


Ask Coach We asked Coach Muthana al-Kebasi, from First Nutrition, to give us some tips for keeping ourselves in decent shape this winter. We’re realistic people and know that since it’ll be cold outside and there will be loads of holiday gatherings and parties that it’s going to be all but impossible to lose weight and difficult to at least try not to gain too much, but the hope is that by following Coach’s tips, we can try to maintain our bodies a little bit until we’re ready to come out of hibernation in the Spring First things first: Focus on Nutrition. Coach recommends counting protein, carbs, and unsaturated fats. Since it is the holidays he’s allowed us a little higher counts on some of these than would be normal. He suggests trying to break down your intake into 4 to 5 meals a day (not just the regular 3). Here’s how he suggests calculating the intake that is best for you. (This is for an average-size, athletic male. Numbers may need to be adjusted a bit for smaller or larger people and those who are less than athletic.) Overall Calories: Body weight in kilos multiplied by 24 (for the number of hours in a day) multiplied again by 1.5 (for an average body weight) is a good target for how many calories you should be consuming for the whole day. This can be affected by metabolism and other factors as well, so use this as a guide. This target will help build muscle. For the break-down, try this: Protein: your body weight in kilos multiplied by 2.5. Divide this by number of meals daily. “Try getting protein from egg whites, chicken breast, non-fatty meats, and fish,” Coach says. “I’m not really talking about plant-based proteins because the body absorbs these more slowly.” Carbs: Body weight in kilos multiplied by 4. Divide by numbers of meals. “I recommend complex carbs

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Health & Beauty

for example potatoes, rice, oats, barley, etc.,” Coach says. “Fruits between meals is ok, but be careful of the sugars and limit them to at least four hours before bed.” Non-saturated fat: Body weight in kilos multiplied by 0.4. Divide by number of meals, but “you’ll want to have more fats in your morning and late meals rather than in the middle of the day,” he says. “Don’t use non-saturated fat to cook a meal because they become trans-fats with heat.” The exception here is coconut oil because it needs a very high heat to make that change. While your body definitely starts in the kitchen, Coach recommends training five times a week and resting two days a week, for example taking Mondays and Fridays off, which is what he and his training group do. Although you’re training five times a week, you don’t have to train for hours and hours. Coach says not to make your exercise routine more than 60 minutes (it can be even be less), not including cardio. Include bench presses, dead lifts and squats. This is to target your larger muscles, lose fat, and maintain general body health. For extra measure, tack on 15-20 minutes of cardio three to four times a week. This doesn’t have to be full out, heart-pumping sprinting, but anything to keep your heart healthy and get your circulation going. Focus on abs 3-4 times a week. OK fine, we know it’s not swimsuit season, but abs are hard to get and even harder to maintain. You’ve got to work it even when you’re pretending you’re a bear curled up on the couch with leftover Christmas pies watching movies all day. Got questions for Coach? Email info@erbilonline.info to submit your questions for coach for the Spring issue of Circuit Magazine.

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Health & Beauty

PRP Therapy An Alternative Treatment for Facial Rejuvenation of Hair Restoration

Marwa Sabbah

Owner of Senses Natural Beauty Senses Natural Beauty Care Center in Erbil is part of a network of health and beauty care centers in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, and Lebanon. The center offers 35 years of experience in hair and skin care. Marwa is a licensed beauty expert and consultant trained by the American School of Natural Health specializing in skin care, scalp, and hair nutrition.

professional power of natural beauty

Facial rejuvenation is a top priority for many of Senses Medi Spa and Beauty Clinic patients, but not all of them are ready or willing to undergo invasive surgery to achieve a more youthful appearance. Fortunately, there are a number of effective treatments available that can provide noticeable results without surgery. One of the newest treatments involves the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to correct some of the most common facial aging concerns. The PRP that is injected is a concentrated formula of your

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own platelets which makes it rich in growth factors. Such growth factors are needed to repair the body, and come in handy, too, when trying to fight the signs of

ageing. Effectively PRP is encouraging your body to use its own processes but more effectively in the places that are starting to need a bit of extra help. While its cosmetic applications are relatively new, PRP has a long history of use in orthopedic medicine, reconstructive surgery, and dentistry. It is a popular treatment for joint, tendon, and tissue injuries in professional athletes because it greatly reduces the amount of time the athlete is out of play after an injury. PRP is rich in platelets and growth factors, which are known to stimulate stem cells. Stem cells in turn stimulate the growth of collagen to help the body heal and regenerate more quickly.

Circuit Magazine


The most popular uses of PRP Therapy include:

• Improving skin texture • Adding volume to the face, hands, and neck • Treating fine lines and wrinkles around and below the eyes • Plumping up under eye grooves • Minimizing wrinkles and lines around the mouth • Eliminating acne scars and stretch marks • Hair Restoration

How PRP is used in cosmetic medicine Also referred to as a “vampire facelift,” treatment with PRP is able to address a variety of cosmetic concerns in areas of the face that can be difficult to treat with other non-invasive techniques. The most popular uses of PRP include, improving skin texture, adding volume to the face, hands, and neck, treating fine lines and wrinkles around and below the eyes, plumping up under eye grooves, minimizing wrinkles and lines around the mouth, and eliminating acne scars and stretch marks Procedure Overview Treatment with PRP can be completed in less than 30 minutes at Senses Medi Spa and Beauty Clinic. When the patient arrives, a small vial of blood is drawn, similar to the volume required for routine blood work. The blood is then spun in a centrifuge to separate the growth factors, platelets, and stem cells from the rest of the blood. Once this unique mixture is obtained, our Medi Clinic’s Doctor injects it into the targeted areas using a very fine needle, similar to ones used to inject botox. Results To achieve the best results, most of our patients have three to four treatments, spaced at 4-to-8 week intervals. During the first month, a noticeable improvement in skin texture can be seen. Maximum collagen regeneration occurs around 3 months after the initial treatment, resulting in plumper, lifted skin with fewer lines and wrinkles. The results of the treatment are typically maintained for 18 – 24 months. Many

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patients opt to undergo touchup treatments after one year to maintain their results. Recovery and risks After undergoing PRP treatments, patients are able to resume normal activities immediately. There are very few side effects associated with PRP treatments because the injected substance is sourced from the patient’s own body, which eliminates the risk of infection or allergic reaction. Some patients experience redness in the treated area for up to 48 hours after the treatment, but this is not painful and can be easily concealed with makeup. Swelling and bruising are uncommon and last less than a 2 days if they do occur. After the treatment, we encourage the patients to keep the skin well hydrated with their normal moisturizer and to apply sunscreen several times a day to protect the skin and maintain the effects of the treatment. PRP Therapy for Hair Loss PRP can also be utilized in a similar manner to encourage the regrowth of hair. PRP Hair Restoration is suitable for both men and women. It is a state of the art, non-surgical, totally natural, alternative medical procedure used for the treatment of hair loss or hair thinning. It is injected into the scalp with a thin

needle in areas with thinning hair or which have gone bald. It is possible to use PRP Hair Loss Therapy alone to promote hair growth or it can also be used in combination with hair transplant or restoration surgery. Helping to restore one’s confidence, the end result is a fuller, healthier looking head of hair. The cost of PRP hair treatment can be considerable, as more sessions may be needed to obtain the desired result. At this time there is not yet clinical proof that it works, but the results are very promising. Ideal candidates for PRP treatments Platelet-rich plasma treatments are ideal for individuals who are looking for a gradual improvement in their hair or skin’s appearance and seek noticeable, natural looking results. It is appropriate for individuals with mild to moderate signs of aging. Candidates should also be in good overall health and have realistic expectations for the procedure. If you are interested in PRP treatments for facial rejuvenation or hair restoration, we encourage you to contact our Senses Medi Spa today to find out if this is the right treatment for you. Call: 0750 529 8484 or 0750 529 8787 /SensesErbil /Senseshairskincare

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Business

Q&A with With our newly included take on international travel from Kurdistan, Circuit has teamed up with dnata Travel to help you find the best packages for both personal and corporate travel. We discuss options and the configuration of the business in Kurdistan with Bimal Jain, country head of dnata Travel – Iraq.

Q1) Can you tell us more about dnata Travel and your operations here in Erbil?  Started nearly 60 years ago, dnata Travel has grown into a market leader in the Middle East. Headquartered in Dubai, dnata caters to every aspect of the travel industry, both in the Middle East and around the world. At dnata, a culture of excellence guides our busi-

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ness. We take immense pride in the way we have achieved award winning service standards, through a process of continuously focusing on our end customer. We are very proud of our achievements and we look forward to an optimistic future where we can bring our high standards to even more customers. Today, dnata Travel sources, supplies, distributes and promotes the world’s best travel products making them available to the travel trade and our end customers. We started our Iraq operations in June 2014, from our registered office located on 40 Meter Street in Erbil, Kurdistan. We launched with a two-pronged strategy, one to support the Travel Agency industry with our newly developed web-based travel booking portal, and the other to focus on providing the dnata standard of professional service to the various corporations based in Iraq. We started with a small team of 10 professionals and though the Iraq economic environment has been going through a very tough and challenging cycle since we started, we’ve maintained our focus and continued to strive to build lasting relationships with our clients. We also have successfully maintained half of our staff comprising of local recruits, as we are keen to employ, train and nurture local talent. From market feedback and our customer responses, we are very pleased to note that we are considered to be one of the most professional Travel Management companies in Iraq, and that our staff are doing a commendable job in living up to the expectations of our service standards at the highest level.

Circuit Magazine


Q2) What products and services from the huge portfolio that dnata has are you focusing on promoting here in Erbil? The name dnata is synonymous with travel and all things related to travel. All our customers know us as a one-stop-travel-shop for all their travel related needs. Staying focused on offering a comprehensive and extensive range of services that deliver real value to our customers is what we strive for Our range of services include: ticket reservations, worldwide hotel bookings, corporate travel services, travel insurance, visa assistance, tailor made holiday packages, and VAT reclaim – from EU Countries We are quite aware of the challenges that the travel-aspiring population of Iraq are facing due to visa restrictions to most countries around the world. However, there are many products and services that can be considered and available through us, either as a corporate traveler or leisure traveler. Some of the popular products & services for this market are International & Domestic Air tickets (including Iraqi Airways), Dubai Visit Visas & Dubai Tourism packages. Our team of experts bring years of experience and in-depth knowledge to the planning of each holiday. We also have some amazing holiday packages to other popular destinations like Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Georgia, etc. Besides these, some of the other services that our corporate customers specifically request us for are tailor-made corporate agreements, Visa Application & Appointment services for Schengen and American visas, and Security Transfer services in Baghdad and Basra We have also successfully handled a few group movements of 100+ people to destinations such as Turkey and Dubai as part of our Incentive & Meeting Groups division. Q3) What are the various destinations that are popular for holiday travel and what are the special holiday offers that dnata has? Some of the popular leisure / holiday destinations from the Iraq market are Dubai, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia in addition to others.

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Malaysia is also a very interesting destination for the Iraqi passport holder, due to easy visa approvals and the easy availability of Halal food. We have also seen a year-round demand for Dubai visas that we process from our office and also a good demand for our Dubai tourism packages. Currently we’re experiencing a huge surge in demand focused around the New Year period. Other holiday seasons that we specifically cater to in this market are during the two-week Newroz holiday in March and both the Eid holidays. We also promote medical packages to India especially as access to quality and professional medical facilities is very cost-effective in India, hence we have recently seen exceptional demand for Medical Tourism to India, along with a growing interest for Leisure Tourism to the various Indian destinations. With our wide global network and thanks to our access to an array of airlines and destinations, we are in a unique position to provide especially tailor-made holidays to suit every individual’s needs. Q4) What can you tell us about your corporate travel brand HRG? dnata Corporate Travel is a collection of business travel operations which are dedicated to providing companies cost-effective travel management solutions. The face of dnata’s corporate travel division is HRG, one of the world’s leading travel management companies, with a network of offices in over 120 countries. As HRG Iraq, dnata’s corporate travel capabilities stretch far beyond the classic travel management role and are designed to meet the needs of both the corporate decision-maker and their travelers in Iraq. As well as handling both simple and more complex bookings through online or people-based channels, we assist with program management decisions and negotiation support. Services are tailored to meet clients’ individual needs, providing much more than just a reliable method of making reservations. HRG Iraq has unrivaled knowledge in shaping the standards of the global business travel service, while applying a cutting-edge approach to technology leveraging the Emirates Group technology arm to the benefit of its clients. Since the start of our operations in Iraq in 2014, one of our key focus areas has been to not only sign-up and manage the travel requirements of multinational companies that are managed by HRG worldwide and have their presence in Iraq, but also to contract with other Iraq-based companies that would like to benefit from the services offered by a Global Travel Management brand such as ours. If you would like someone from dnata Travel to make contact with you for any of the products or services offered by dnata, including a tailor-made corporate agreement, please do not hesitate to contact dnata Travel office by Tel: 0751 010 0501 or Email: ticketingiraq@dnata.travel

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Business

Rishn Young Local Entrepreneurs Develop Niche Market Product

I

By Jimmie Collins

t takes patience to curate a beard. It appears it also takes patience to start a successful and legitimate business in Kurdistan. Between their full, well-groomed beards and the visible success of their artisanal beard care products, the founders and owners of Rishn, Omer Nihad and Ahmed Nauzad, are clearly the picture of patience.

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Circuit Magazine


The two twenty-something young men have known each other since they were children, losing contact at one point, but later reconnecting when they saw each other and were admiring each others beards. “We were both having the same issues with having a beard,” Omar says. “Teenagers were always asking how can they grow a beard. Is there a medicine or something that they can use to help? Even people who had a beard, but they didn’t know how to treat the beard, were asking a lot of advice.“ But their advice was not always what people wanted to hear. Maintaining an admirable beard is not always easy and requires a lot of products and work. Many of those products were difficult to find, expensive, or low-quality here in Kurdistan, and none of them were Kurdish. “Before we started the business we would use beard oils but it could be very expensive,” Omer says. “So then I would just go on the internet and just find that I could use simple oils and things to take care of our own beards.” Then they realized a niche market they could fill in Kurdistan. Omer went to London to scope out information about the makings of beard oils, learning more than he could have ever imagined

Issue 10 - Winter 2016-17

about carrier and essential oils, the way they interact, and how to come up with the perfect beard oil with the perfect smell. After his return, Omer and Ahmed discussed their vision to be the first local barber brand in Kurdistan. The beginning of 2015, they started to put ideas together. “November 2015 – March 2016 was probably the busiest part of our lives. We started pulling together the products, designing logos… we were so busy we didn’t even shave our beards in those months,” Ahmed jokes. They wanted to do everything themselves: beard oils, shampoos, conditioners, everything from ‘A to Z’ that needed as a barber will be theirs and their idea, Omer mused with a far away look in his eyes. They plan to take Kurdistan by storm, opening shops in every major city, but also supplying the products internationally. “We have foreigners taking our products and sending them to their home countries like France, the UK, the USA.” The catch: They wanted something with a Kurdish touch. They wanted to break the stereotype that if something is made in Kurdistan it’s low quality. The Kurdish influence had to be there, and they had to make sure it didn’t come off cheap. “We’re representing Kurdish

culture in the product. The hope is to eventually go international as well,” Ahmed said.” “We are making something here and it’s high quality. Local products, for some reason, are always seen as cheap or low quality. Even Kurdish companies are trying to appear as if they’re made in Europe or the USA,” Ahmed says. Everyone always assumes Rishn is made outside, even the marketing portfolio, and then they find out it’s made here and they’re impressed, he says. They came up with seven different recipes for beard oils and ordered all the ingredients from abroad and began mixing so that they could test them. Their recipes are hand-crafted and they tested them out themselves as well as invited friends and family to give it a try. “Even our female friends and family liked it because it’s good for hair in general,” Omer said. “It’s a struggle to start something new here though. When you are young, people love to talk and to criticize. Everyone thinks they’re an analyst. We always listened, whether it’s bad or good, and then we worked with that. Some of the more constructive criticism was implemented and really helped a lot.” Their final product was narrowed down to one recipe, a

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Woodsy-scented beard oil, using a secret mix of 10 carrier and essential oils. The business partners mix the large batches themselves, bottling and labeling them and then distributing them for sale. When the products were ready, we went to Zuhair style one of the famous barbers in Erbil. He liked the idea very much, they gave him some samples and he tried it. He liked it and a week later asked them to come and bring a stand. He says he has many different oils, but people always come in and ask for Rishn. Now their products are available in several well-known barbershops in Erbil as well as in Sulaimania in some of the more popular barbershops. The logistical struggles of finding the necessary ingredients to build their product, create a logo and cohesive marketing package, and to package their product were probably enough of a challenge for most entrepreneurs, but both men say there were many more issues along the way. Their major grievance is how difficult

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Circuit Magazine


it can be to work with the government and that the government doesn’t seem to offer much, if any, support to young entrepreneurs starting up their own businesses. “Our government doesn’t do anything to help startup businesses,” Omer says. “There isn’t a lot of help for young entrepreneurs and there should be something to help at least to give advice.” He suggests the government could help would-be business owners learn to make a business plan without having to have a degree in business. “There’s just not a lot of support,” he says. “I would like to see a young entrepreneurial community where you can take advice to help you convert your ideas into a real business. Seminars or workshops would be helpful. The lack of resources and lack of knowledge means a lot of young entrepreneurs give up before they’ve even really started.” The two complain there are not always clear instructions of what is needed to start a business.

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“We wanted to register our company in the chamber of commerce. They wanted the name and I told him ‘Rishn’,” Omer says. ‘Rish’ means beard in Kurdish and ‘Rishn’ is the adjective form, essentially meaning bearded. “The man at the chamber of commerce said, ‘What is this? It has to exist in the dictionary. Every company has to have a meaning. Even PEPSI has a meaning.’” (Which he said is ‘Pay Each Pence to Save Israel’) “I tried to make an acronym and they wouldn’t let me. Instead of registering our company, they were making it very difficult.” They consulted a professor they knew and he wrote an essay about how it’s a fully Kurdish name and, of course, it should be registered. The process still hasn’t been easy for them. Despite the difficulties of bureaucracy, Rishn has been successful. They now offer a beard oil and a moustache wax as well as a beautifully hand-crafted gift box set. Of course, that’s not enough for them. They’re now working on another scent called

‘Black Oud’ which they describe as very wintry and very Middle Eastern. Another twist to their business is the addition of a women’s line with a new name and logo presenting a larger volume recipe specified for women’s hair. “We found out a lot of women are using our beard oil, so it was just a natural progression.” While their business is homegrown and still small (most of their sales are through the phone with their customers calling and asking for delivery), the men are proud of what they’ve started and have bright eyes looking toward the future. “Not everyone likes a beard. My mom was always telling me, ‘Please, trim it,’” Omer says. “But now that we have managed to turn the business crisis into an opportunity - a fully functioning business - I have a lot less pressure.” To contact or place an order call: 0750 481 1642 /RishnBeardCare /RishnBeardCare

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Business

Korek Mountain Resort & Spa Receives International Recognition The Korek Mountain Resort & Spa received the awards for “The Best Family Resort, 2016” and “Best General Manager, 2016” from Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Awards™ who crowned the finest hotels from around the world during a dazzling awards gala ceremony hosted at the magnificent Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Abu Dhabi, on October 20, 2016. As the world’s leading awards initiative, the Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Awards™ acknowledge the most exceptional in hospitality experiences across seven continents, 172 countries and 94 categories. Distinguished global hotel brands compete for the ultimate accolades in overall excellence and greatest contribution to the industry over the past year. This prestigious awards system recognizes excellence, founded on feedback from guests – a fair, transparent process based on a unique concept exclusive to Haute Grandeur. Unbiased results are guaranteed, as the process

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relies on quality feedback from guests rather than quantity of votes by a panel of judges or the public. Association with Haute Grandeur ensures participating establishments are perceived as elite, setting the standard in a highly-competitive industry. Korek Mountain Resort & Spa is a prestigious project and a destination within the region which is on must see lists for all tourists visiting the region. The project, which is prominently located at an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level at the majestic Korek Mountain, is maintained by a very motivated and creative team. Despite the recessionary trends and operational difficulties faced by the management in running the resort in the present situation, management has ensured standards are always maintained. Management of the resort at such a remote location has its own challenges, including high cost of operations, difficult weather, etc., but the team at the resort only

has one motto: “Exceed your own achievements.” This award has proven that the Kurdistan Region has the potential and is ready for international tourism in all manner and the resort indeed has maintained international standards required to be part of the elite list of hotels and resorts of the world. The General Manager, Anoop Suri, was proud to receive this honor at the ceremony in Abu Dhabi. “I received this award on behalf of my guests, my team, management and foremost for Kurdistan,” he said. “We are proud to have achieved this prestigious honor proving the international might of the region in the tourism sector. I would like to thank everyone equally.” The Korek Mountain Resort & Spa has also been listed in the ‘Best in Hotels’ book of Haute Grandeur, a place reserved only for the global elite. /thekorekmountainresort

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Food & Drink

Kubba Hamuth By Saz Jawdat Elias

Winter is the time for comfort food and warmth. One of the best traditional Iraqi meals during this season is Kubba Hamuth (or Sour Kubba), a tomato-based soup with meat-filled dumplings and vegetables. The Kubba can be made from rice, semolina, or bulgur, but in this recipe we use rice. The soup of the Kubba Hamuth is a slightly sour tomato-based broth. It sometimes is made with turnips, zucchini, pumpkin, or eggplant. In this recipe, we choose eggplant. This is the recipe to prepare Kubba Hamuth with eggplant stew. Bon appetite! Ingredients: Sunflower oil 0.5 kg of stew meat (beef or lamb, or your preference) 1 kg eggplant Bunch fresh mint (chopped) 3 cups of water Tomato puree Chili Pepper Salt 1 kg rice 0.5 kg beef mince (not fatty) 1.5 kg beef mince (slightly fatty) Âź kg onion (diced small) Baharat seasoning 1 Tbsp white pepper

Directions: Step one: Prepare the stew with meat by putting the meat in a pot with enough water to cover and boil for 1 to 1.5 hours until falling apart. Cut the eggplants into small slices. Add eggplant slices, a bunch of fresh mint, and tomato paste to the boiled meat. Add salt and chili pepper as desired and leave on low until its ready. Step two: To prepare the dough, soak the rice in water for 8 hours then dry it. Now grind the slightly wet rice using a food processor. Mix ground rice with the ½ kg of non-fatty beef mince. Step three: To prepare the filling, mix the slightly fatty mince meat with diced onion, baharat seasoning and salt. (You can cook a small amount to test for taste preference.) Step four: Last but not least make the Kubba by flattening the dough in your hand, adding the raw filling and folding the dough around it to create a flattened disc. Add it to the eggplant stew. Do not stir immediately or the kubba may fall apart. When you do stir, be gentle. Leave to stew on low heat for 40 minutes and then the most delicious meal will be ready to serve.

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Food & Drink

Momma Pat’s Texas Chili By Patricia Collins

Any born and raised Texan can tell you that we have favorite foods for different times of the year. Most of the year is all about Tex-Mex, summer is all about slow, smoked BBQ, and winter is all about chili. Since winter is upon us, I started thinking of chili and got all warm and fuzzy inside. There are two kinds of Texans when it comes to chili. Chili with beans and chili without beans. I have even had chili made with diced potatoes instead of beans, but don’t tell any other Texans because they might take my Texan card away. You can exchange the beef for other options like deer or turkey (or some combination) but we’ll stick with beef here in Kurdistan since it’s easy to find. Overall though, I prefer my chili with ground beef and with beans. Then I top it off with cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream (and if you can find some Fritos we’re in good shape!), but when it comes to chili I will eat it anyway I can get it. Here is one of my favorite basic recipes for chili. I hope that you will try it and enjoy! *Makes about 6 bowls of chili. Ingredients: 2 Tbsp vegetable oil 2 medium white onions (diced) 2 cloves garlic (minced) 1 lb. ground beef 3 Tbsp smoky chili powder (Make sure this is the American kind! It’s different!) 1 Tbsp cumin (although we really love cumin so we put closer to 2 Tbsp) 1 Tbsp paprika 1½ tsp. garlic powder 6 Tomatoes chopped into small cubes (or a large can of whole tomatoes diced) 2 cans Kidney Beans (drained and rinsed) 1 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste) 2 tsp black pepper (or to taste) 2 cups beef broth (you can substitute vegetable broth) 4 Tbsp tomato paste Cheddar cheese (shredded, optional) Sour cream (optional)

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Directions: Pour oil into large pot, add onions and garlic, cook until translucent. Add ground beef and cook until browned. Add chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, tomatoes, beans, salt,and pepper. Slowly cook for 5 -10 minutes so juices rise from tomatoes. Taste for salt and pepper preference. Add the broth and the tomato paste and stir to combine. Cook over low heat for 30-40 minutes until thickened. Add water if you want your chili thinner or let cook longer if it hasn’t thickened up to your preference. Occasionally check and stir so it doesn’t stick to bottom of pan or burn. Add shredded cheddar cheese and a dallop of sour cream to garnish if you’re into that kind of thing. I know we definitely are.

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Satisfy your hunger with our generous portions, we guarantee your satisfaction Mongolian Burger

Philly Cheese steak

The Long Island

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Food & Drink

5 The

Greatest Steaks of Erbil

Above: 360 Lounge - Tangram Hotel By Jeremy Oliver

I always hear the question, “Where do I go to get a good steak?” So, I have spent the last couple of months exploring who makes the best steaks in Erbil. Well, now I hope this article articulates exactly what you need to answer that question. Here are my five favorite steak joints in no particular order. We’ll start with DC Steakhouse. DC Steakhouse is a place that specializes in American-style steaks and a steakhouse atmosphere. The management team is made up of Greeks (who have a great understanding of quality) and it’s owned by a Lebanese gentleman named Allam. Although they aren’t Americans, their understanding and execution is pretty on target. They have a full selection of steaks including filet mignon and a ribeye. They are currently running a special for $30 each for two people. You get two ribeye steaks, a salad, bread, sauces, potatoes, vegetables and a glass of wine. I had the privilege of not only trying the ribeye but also the filet. They have several sauces for you to choose from, but the most

Issue 10 - Winter 2016-17

common are cracked pepper or mushroom. My wife and I had our steaks, and she tried the mushroom sauce and I tried the black pepper. This steak was absolutely fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone. The next stop on the list is Kurdish-owned. The owner fled to the U.S. back in the ‘70s and worked in the kitchens of some of the top brands for steak in America. He started his family and his kids grew up in America. It’s now a family-run business with his kids at the helm. T-bar Sports Bar, now located in the Hotel Grand Erbil in Bakhtiari is the place to go, not only for a real American T-Bone, but also for hot wings, burgers, and so much more. The atmosphere is intended to be like a sports bar with TVs spread throughout the room playing sports from around the world. So, let’s get to the meat of this. T-bar has a full kitchen offering good American-style food, and the steaks, are quite frankly, exactly what you would expect to find in an American

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sports bar. Cooked the way you asked, served with great potatoes and vegetables, and mouth-watering flavor. Now the next place speaks for itself. Erbil Rotana has five 5-star restaurants. My wife and I decided to try the steak from their Basilico Italian Restaurant. It’s a tenderloin served with a spinach salad and mashed potatoes. As it is a premium cut of steak, it practically melts in your mouth. The serving size is small for my taste, because dinner is usually my first meal of the day, but after eating that and desert, I managed to get full. I would definitely recommend it for a light a dinner steak, and encourage more people to try Basilico for the full menu. Another well-known steak joint is the Greek Grill on the ground floor of the Classy Hotel in Ainkawa. Now before I get into the quality of the steak, let me first comment on the quality of the service. These guys are super service oriented from greeting you at the door, to staying within whispering space of the table to make sure your every need is met. The manager, Ali, browses around with a smile on his face working the room to ensure that everyone is satisfied, and for me that’s a “closed sale”. I ordered the ribeye, which is usually my favorite cut of steak because I prefer to have a little marbling to make it easier to chew. Although it’s served with fries (which in my opinion is good, but takes away from the inherent value of a steak dinner, normally served with baked, grilled or mashed potatoes), the steak itself was tantalizingly good and well worth returning for. I would encourage people that visit Classy to go to the Greek Grill with the idea of eating Greek Food. As with any restaurant, the name is usually reflective of their specialty. Above: T-bar Sports Bar & Grill Below: DC Steakhouse

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Circuit Magazine


Above: Basilico Italian Restaurant - Rotana Hotel Below: Greek Grill - Classy Hotel

Last but not least on the least is the Tangram 360 Lounge. I took a leap and ordered the 430 gram “Houston” Tenderloin. The size was right, the sides were right, and the steak was just right, all the way to the last succulent bite. It was a perfect combination of what every steak dinner should be, and on the particular day we went, it was served with a glass of French red wine, which really makes a steak dinner. The Europeans running the roof top location have mastered this idea in the elegant 5-star Tangram hotel. I encourage people interested in good food, good atmosphere, and good service to check this place out on a weekday like Sunday to Wednesday. It’s a bit quieter, and perfect for a date night with indoor and terrace seating. However, if you like it to be packed, join them on the weekends when they have the live band B5 Shadows playing international music all night long. Now, it will certainly be difficult to choose which of these top-five places to try out first, but they’re all relatively similarly priced. Additionally, if you have a Circuit Platinum Membership Rewards Card, all of the steaks I mentioned in this article come with a discount when presenting your Membership Rewards Card when settling the bill. Get out there and treat yourself to a great steak!

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Tanj Co. is now offering sales on Lana City Apartments near Majidi Mall. Apartments on offer are 110 sq. m and 175 sq. m. units. Long-term payment plans are available.

Tanj Co. offers a wide range of products and services including: • Oil and Gas Services • Investment • General Contracts • General Trade • Insurance • Security • Kurdistan Visa and Residence Affairs • Food and Beverage • Travel and Tourism

Issue 10 - Winter 2016-17

Tanj Company - Alacity Project Tel: 07504440406

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Winter in Kurdistan By Jimmie Collins

I remember when I first came to Kurdistan I thought it was going to be hot as hell in the summers (I was right) and that the winters would be mild. I thought I would have to travel internationally in order to see snow again. I was wrong. It’s funny these ideas we come up with before going to a new place. To be fair, before I arrived in Kurdistan there wasn’t a lot of information available online or in guide books about traveling here. It was only just becoming a place that people felt comfortable going for something other than work and tourism hadn’t boomed yet. So don’t let anyone tell you that you won’t find snow in Kurdistan. And each year gets better. Before, you may have found snow in the mountains, but there wasn’t much to speak of in terms of winter activities although no one would turn down a good snowball fight and snow angel making. These days you can find a lot of activities and places to keep you occupied in the winter. You can make the trip up to Korek Mountain Resort & Spa to take advantage of their great new winter sport facilities or to just curl up next to their fireplaces drinking hot chai and watching the snow fall. Another option is to grab a group and find your own space and bring your own gear. This picture, in the Doli Akoian area, was taken by a group of Rock Your Bones members off to cross country ski and air board in the wide open spaces. (Best to take a guide if you’re unfamiliar.) However you enjoy spending your winter, don’t be fooled, Kurdistan has plenty to offer as always. Photo provided by Rock Your Bones

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Travel & Leisure

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Travel & Leisure

winter sports

Kurdistan’s Offering Gaining Popularity

By Jimmie Collins

Kurdistan is admittedly not the first place most people think about when they start planning their ski vacations, but it also should no longer be the last. Some mountains host ample snow throughout the winter (Korek Mountain had already received its first couple of dustings before this issue even arrived) and most have been cleared of mines so that safety is not as

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Photos provided by Rock Your Bones

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Photo provided by Korek Mountain Resort

Photo provided by Korek Mountain Resort

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much of a concern as it may have been in the past. (But do take a guide and know where you’re going.) There is a wonderful outdoors group in Kurdistan that we’ve talked about before, called Rock Your Bones. And while they seem to be most active in the spring, summer, and autumn, they don’t let winter hold them back from enjoying the great outdoors. The group gathers for cross-country skiing, air boarding, tubing, and even the occasional bit of downhill skiing. Some members have their own equipment, but the gentlemen running the group often have extra equipment they can lend or rent out to would-be winter sports fans. They organize both day trips and overnight trips, so just check out their group on Facebook for more information. For something a bit more like your typical ski resort experience and with lodging to scamper off to when you’re cold, Korek Mountain Resort & Spa is now hosting a full range of winter sports. Their ski shop has all necessary equip-

Circuit Magazine


ment for skiing, snowboarding, or tubing available for rent. They also offers lessons to those who are just starting out or need a refresher. Their recently installed downhill skiing area offers a travellator belt to get you back to the top and the facilities can even be used without snow so you can continue practicing your new found favorite sport whenever the snow melts and on into next ski season. At Korek Mountain, you can find a full restaurant and lodge as well as rooms available if you plan to stay a few days. The Resort also has play areas, paintball, and other amusement park style rides that are accessible year-round. Get yourself to the mountains and enjoy that snow! To join trips with Rock Your Bones, join their group on Facebook at the following: /rockurbones For reservations and more information regarding winter sports at Korek Mountain Resort & Spa, call: 0750 245 8888 /thekorekmountainresort

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Photo provided by Rock Your Bones

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A Journey to

India At Circuit, we’ve typically focused on travel at a local level – getting into or around Kurdistan, finding new and interesting places to visit, knowing where to go and how to get there. But after feedback from readers and sponsors, it’s clear that a lot of people want to know more about where to go when they get their precious holiday time to go out of Kurdistan. We teamed up with dnata Travel to find out more about great destinations that are easy to get to from Kurdistan and for which visas can be relatively easily obtained for those with more difficult passports. This quarter, we’re highlighting a trip to India. Take off from Erbil International Airport, layover in Dubai and then head on to arrive in New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport. If you book through dnata Travel, then a representative will meet you in the arrival hall and escort you to your hotel in an air-conditioned vehicle. And from there, the relaxation begins. This is where the fun begins with a two-night stay in the city and plenty to see and do day and

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night. You can check in at the hotel and have some drinks at the lobby bar, or explore the general area, but be sure to get plenty of rest, and eat a healthy international breakfast provided by the hotel. After breakfast, prepare your mind to visit Old Delhi which was the capital of Muslim India between the 17th and 19th centuries and has many mosques, monuments and forts. Begin your day with an exploration of Old Delhi - visit the Jama Masjid, the royal mosque built by the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan in 1656. It is considered one of the largest and most beautiful mosques in the world and is constructed in red sandstone and white marble. The main prayer hall has a seating capacity of more than 20,000 worshippers. In the old city of Delhi, walk through the by-lanes of the spice market, the wedding street and the jeweler’s lane to savor the 350 year-old culture upclose. There will be great photo opportunities here. Enjoy a cycle rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk, the spine of Old Delhi. Jahanara Begum, the

daughter of Shah Jahan designed this commercial place in 1648. Drive through the majestic boulevards of New Delhi designed by the Edwin Lutyens in 1920. Lutyens’ Delhi includes the grand government buildings and parliament house. You’ll drive past the Red Fort, built in red sand stone by Shah Jahan in 1648. This magnificent monument is laid out along the river Yamuna as an irregular octagon. The Rashtrapati Bhavan (Presidential Palace) is where the Viceroy once lived and now is the official residence of the President of India. It is an imposing structure with 340 rooms, constructed high up on Raisina Hill. From the Presidential Palace, continue straight down the road to view India Gate, a war memorial arch built in honor of 90,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives in the First World War. Continue to Humayun’s Tomb, the first great example of Mughal architecture in India. It developed to become the hallmark of the Mughal Dynasty. Culminate your tour at Qutab Minar, a soaring tower of victory, towering at 72.5 meters high with five distinct

Circuit Magazine


stories. The construction of this minaret commenced in 1193 and was completed in 1368. Built on the foundation of a Hindu temple, many elements of the construction reflect their Hindu and Jain origins. Within the complex, there are myriad monuments that combine both Islamic calligraphy and Hindu motifs. Now, by the time you’ve finished all of this, you will probably be absolutely exhausted, after all, it’s still early in your trip. So get some rest from all the walking and riding around. Head back toward the hotel, or stop to enjoy a spectacular Bollywood show at the Grand Theatre “Kingdom of Dreams.” After the show, the day is complete, so go back to your hotel room and fall into the comfort of your bed, and call for room service if you can keep your eyes open long enough to eat a late dinner. If not, don’t worry, because there is a nice International breakfast every morning at the hotel. After breakfast, you’ll drive to Agra covering a distance of 200 km in approximately four hours. This is the next stop in your package and one of the favorites. Two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and Shah Jahan, transformed the little village of Agra into a befitting second capital of the Mughal Empire. Today, a visitor to Agra is caught up in a world of contrasting edifices of red sandstone and white marble, narrow lanes and quaint buggies, and that irresistible charm that this favorite city of the Mughals still retains. Arrive at Agra and check-in at your hotel, then go ahead and spend the afternoon enjoying all of the fantastic hotel facilities and explore the local market area. In the evening visit Kalakriti Auditorium to enjoy Mohabbat The Taj for a live show. Mohabbat - The Taj is an 80-minute presentation that perfectly complements a pilgrimage to the Monument of Love. “Indeed to fully appreciate and soak into the beauty of the monument, one is advised to see the musical presentation at the Kalakriti auditorium. After the show catch some rest

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Travel & Leisure

because tomorrow is going to be a busy day! Wake up, and fill up on breakfast at the hotel On your morning tour, you’ll finally visit one of the most famous monuments in the world, the Taj Mahal. The 17th century Taj Mahal is often called a poem in stone. If so, the mausoleum is a love poem - created by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal. It took 22 years to be completed and was designed and planned by a Persian architect Ustad Isa. Apart from its stunning design balance and perfect symmetry, the Taj is also noted for its elegant domes,

intricately carved screens and some of the best inlay work ever seen. Situated two kilometers towards the west of the Taj Mahal on the banks of the river Yamuna stands Agra Fort. It was built by the third Mughal Emperor, Akbar, and added to by his son Jahangir and grandson Shahjahan. Agra Fort is an imposing structure with walls of red sandstone almost two miles long and contains palaces, audience halls and mosques built by all the three emperors. The fort presents a good sampling of Islamic and Hindu architectural styles.

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After the Agra tour, you’ll drive to Jaipur covering a distance of 260 km in approximately 5 to 6 hours. With a short stop en route to visit Fatehpur Sikri. Fatehpur Sikri, the deserted red sandstone city, was built by Emperor Akbar as his capital and palace in the late 16th century. It is a veritable fairy tale city and its ruins are in pristine condition. It is not hard to imagine what the court life must have been like in the former days of its grandeur. Also visit the Bulund Darwaza, which is the largest gateway in the world. The city Jaipur was first intended to be called ‘Sawai Jaipur’, named after the boy prince who commissioned it - Maharaja Jai Singh II - a warrior, astronomer and politician who reigned over the Mughals from 1699 to 1743. Today’s Jaipur is pink, visually described as the city shaded with the autumn colors of sunset. Although originally the walls were render set and pigmented the color of red sandstone, Jaipur’s universal coat of pink only came in 1876 to coincide with the visit of the Prince of Wales (King Edward VII). Almost the entire city was given a coat of pink

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paint, thus giving it the name the ‘Pink City’. Upon arrival in Jaipur you’ll check-in at your hotel where you will be staying for two nights. After that drive you’ll certainly be tired, so get some rest, but if you still have energy, feel free to have a look around and check out all of the hotel facilities before going to bed. All hotels in these packages include breakfast, so regardless of how busy you get, you’ll have at least one big healthy meal each day. After you eat, enjoy an excursion to the magnificent Amber Fort. Tour the chambers and hallways of the palace, famous for the excellence of its design and decoration. Within the complex is Ganesh Pol, an imposing gateway painted with the images of the elephant-headed god, Ganesh. The merging of Rajput and Mughal architectural styles is captured in the Sukh Niwas and Jas Mandir apartments, and the Charbagh garden with its perfectly proportioned landscaping. Pierced screen windows offer views from different vantage points & shimmering mirrors encrust walls of Sheesh Mahal.

Later enjoy an orientation tour of Jaipur before your visit to the Jantar-Mantar Observatory which was built in the 1700s but still appears to be futuristic. It houses unique instruments for measuring the harmony of the heavens! Continue your visit to City Palace to witness the Maharaja’s private collection of textiles and armory. Culminate the tour with a drive by with photo stop at Hawa Mahal also known as the “Palace of the Winds.” This beautiful façade is probably the most-photographed in Jaipur, with its ornately carved windows designed so the ladies of the palace could look out onto the streets unobserved. Then head back to the hotel. Also, don’t worry, there is plenty of time between visits to check out the sites, take pictures, ask questions, buy souvenirs, etc. The next morning is your leisure day for independent activities. There is time available for shopping or relaxing spa appointments. Visit the market and local bazaars just in time transfer to Jaipur airport to board a flight for onward destination. To book this tour or a similar offering, contact dnata Travel in Erbil 0751 010 0501 or holidaysiraq@dnata.travel

Circuit Magazine


5 nights from

Package A

USD 278 PER PERSON

City

Hotels

Delhi

Crest Inn

Agra

Regal Vista

Jaipur

Peppermint

Cost on Twin / Double

Cost on Triple

Single Supplement

USD 328

USD 278

USD 135

Offer valid: From 16 November 2016 - 31 March 2017 Note: Rates are not valid between 20 December 2016 till 05 January 2017

5 nights from

Package B

USD 312 PER PERSON

City

Hotels

Delhi

Piccadilly Hotel

Agra

Four Point Sheraton

Jaipur

Fortune Select Metropolitan

Cost on Twin / Double

USD 383

Cost on Triple

USD 312

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Delhi. Transfer to the hotel for check in

Single Supplement

Day 2: Delhi. Full day sightseeing tour of Old & New Delhi Day 3: Delhi – Agra (200KM/approx. 5 hours’ drive). On arrival check in at hotel in Agra

USD 178

Day 4 Agra – Jaipur (240KM/approx... 6 hours’ drive). Morning visit Taj Mahal & Agra Fort. Later en-route visit to Fatehpur Sikri

Offer valid: From 16 November 2016 - 31 March 2017

Day 5 Jaipur. Morning visit to Amber Fort. Later sightseeing tour of Jaipur city

Note: Rates are not valid between 20 December 2016 till 05 January 2017

Day 6 Depart Jaipur. Transfer to Jaipur airport to board flight for onward destination

5 nights from

Package C

PER PERSON City

Hotels

Delhi

Vivanta by Taj Dwarka

Agra

Double Tree by Hilton

Jaipur

Radisson Blu Hotel

USD 340

Cost on Twin / Double

Cost on Triple

Single Supplement

USD 442

USD 340

USD 212

Includes

2 nights accommodation in Delhi 1 night accommodation in Agra 2 night accommodation in Jaipur Daily breakfast at the hotel as per the program Transport using an air-conditioned vehicle Services of an English speaking guide for sightseeing at all places as per the itinerary Assistance on arrival and departure All presently applicable taxes.

Offer valid: From 16 November 2016 - 31 March 2017 Note: Rates are not valid between 20 December 2016 till 05 January 2017

Visit us at dnata travel office, or call +964 (0) 75101 00501 or email holidaysiraq@dnata.travel The experience you’re looking for

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y a d y r e v

e

S T R O P S VE

LI

In the Erbil Grand Hotel Ainkawa Rd. and Gulan St. Intersection

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Circuit Magazine


Nightlife

The seasons change and so does the Erbil Nightlife. More events will be moving inside as the weather cools and turns to intermittent rain. If you don’t already know, Circuit and our affiliated Facebook groups are here to help you be in the know about what to do and where to go. This is going to be a wild ride from Christmas running into New Year’s Eve and then finally Valentine’s Day, with events all over town that you won’t want to miss. Join us online on “The Real EPIC - Circuit Magazine” Facebook group to get updates on what events are happening around you or get one of the legacy members of the original Erbil Party International Circuit to add you to the largest group (more than 15,000) of foreigners and English-speaking locals in the Kurdistan Region. Check out our calendar of events or the events page on Facebook to see everything that is coming up. Pay close attention to the events in our schedule and look for the ones labeled “The Real EPIC.” These are the events sponsored by Circuit and we sell tickets to these exclusive parties from our office in Italian City. Be sure to present your Circuit Membership Rewards Card at any of our sponsor locations to get exclusive discounts and great deals. If you don’t have a card, get one! We run unpublished specials for a number of different social groups. Discounts range from 10 to 25 percent, you get VIP invitations to future “The Real EPIC” events, and we’ll even deliver Circuit Magazine to your home or office if you like. Another way to keep in touch and know what’s going on is to listen to the “EPIC Hour” Radio show which is up and running on MRadio 105.5, helping you plan your week and weekend. I’ve been doing this for a long time in Erbil (about 8 years to be exact) and consider myself the best in the industry. Tune in to listen to Pat Collins and me on the radio Thursdays at 5 p.m. on 105.5 FM and we will see you out on the Circuit! Our number is 0750-633-7700. Give us a call anytime to ask about Membership Rewards, ticketing, joining our groups, website questions, or really anything else to do with Erbil and where to find things or have fun.

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Jeremy Oliver Creator of EPIC A Texan living in the Kurdistan Region for 8 years, Jeremy Oliver is the "Original EPIC." He lives a crazy life, day and night, in Erbil hosting a variety of social events all throughout town, while juggling his time with his lovely wife Lana, his beautiful son Elliot, his doggy Poopa, and his close friends. He never has free time and Pat keeps his schedule full with appointments with companies interested in advertising with Circuit and EPIC. Circuit Magazine and "The Real EPIC" group on Facebook are the warm chocolate center of his existence though he and his wife Lana actually are involved in 11 companies ranging from security consulting to engineering, construction, and waste management. He is always open to a good time and if you spend time in Erbil it is only a matter of time before you see his gleaming smile from across the bar!

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Nightlife

Lotus Club New Club Jolts Erbil Nights to Life By Jimmie Collins

There is a place that has raised the bar for nightlife in Erbil. The opening of the Lotus Club (located beneath Onyx Restaurant in the Divan Erbil complex) has been anticipated for quite some time and its opening has definitely not been a let down for party-goers in the capital. Lotus offers the next level of clubbing, says Sylvana, a 29-yearold regular client of the nightclub. “I spend every Thursday there. Sometimes also on Friday. Really only if I’m sick or traveling I might not be there,” Sylvana says. But what makes it different? Well, the décor and atmosphere first of all. Even entering the club (and we can really call it a club, not a trumped up bar), you can

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feel the difference with the lighting and decoration. The words ‘dance’, ‘music’, luxury’, ‘enjoy’ and ‘discover’ build up your mood as you walk through the hall and in the front doors. The club is set up with different levels of exclusivity and privacy. You only get in if you’ve made a reservation and are on the list. On busy nights like Thursdays, you only get a seat if you’re willing to pay a little extra for VIP service. In the center of the club is the circular bar offering counter seating and setting up the layout. Then there’s a ring of small tables just near the bar, the so-called silver tables offering up service at a minimum charge of $300. The next ring of tables is more pri-

vate and are considered the gold tables with a minimum charge of $600. Finally, there is the extreme VIP area which is very private and set aside offering platinum service for a minimum charge of $1,000. Of course these charges come with automatic bottle service at your table (number and options of bottles vary depending on the level of table you choose), as well as the the knowledge that you and your friends (however many you can fit at your table) will have your own private space to party as well as excellent service to boot. Sylvana says one of the main reasons she and her friends are comfortable at Lotus is that all groups have to be mixed. “It

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doesn’t have to be 50/50, but there’s a good mix. It’s not just one girl and seven guys, which can sometimes happen at other places and isn’t always that fun,” she says. She also really likes the privacy saying she can be comfortable no matter who she’s with and she knows that everyone else there has the same expectations. The club, bringing in international DJs who mix up the music with more than just Top 40 English songs, stays open late and caters to a later crowd which Sylvana says enables her to start her night somewhere else for dinner and a few drinks before taking her place at a big table among friends at Lotus. “I usually get there at 11:30 or 12 and then stay until 3 or 4 a.m. It may not be a lot of hours, but you really enjoy yourself,” she says. For those who are worried about the price tag but want to check it out, Lotus is now offering specials a few nights of the week. Ladies Nights on Saturdays boast

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Circuit Magazine


free drinks for ladies and a $30 entry for men which includes three drinks. Their Alcohol Fever on special features a great deal with an open bar for a set price of $35 for house booze or $55 for premium drinks. “Some people complain it’s expensive, but I don’t feel like the price is too much. And the price is set just high enough to ensure the quality of people is good,” she says. “Until now I haven’t seen any fights or anything there because of the quality.” Throughout the winter, in addition to their regular offerings, Lotus is planning events bringing in dancers, international DJs, and other live entertainment. Sylvana knows where she’ll be spending her party nights. “Lotus is the best nightlife in Erbil. It’s the most comfortable place in Erbil,” she says. “It’s better to choose only Lotus for the night because you will get even more fun being there all night than anywhere else.” For reservations call: 0750-507-8888 /lotuserbil

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Nightlife

OUT ON THE

CIRCUIT Enjoy a few photos of who we spotted “Out on the Circuit” last quarter at different special events at our sponsor locations throughout Kurdistan. Maybe you’ll even find yourself. Make sure to find us and strike a pose at parties this season to end up in next issue!

Halloween at the 360 Lounge at Tangram Hotel

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Circuit Beer Pong Tournament at the Deutscher Hof

Quiz Nights at T-bar Sports Bar & Grill

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Emergency Numbers Fire …........................................ 066-115/124 Police …..................... 066-104/124/134/144 Asayish …...................... 066-222 (5283/0230) Traffic Police …................................. 066-104 Ambulance ….......................... 066-122/4635 Private - 0750-361-2040 Security ….............................. 0750-455-8527 Private - 0750 133 2192 Legal Assistance ….................. 066-224-5506 Private - 0750 326-5989 Translation Services … Private - 0750 326-5989 Medical Insurance … Private - 0750 633-7700

Christmas Gift Ideas Find and circle all of the words that are hidden in the grid. The remaining 13 letters spell an additional Christmas gift idea.

More Useful Numbers Veterinarian …..........................066-229-4876 Private - 0750-447-8549 Event Management ..................066-222-0422 Private - 0750 633-7700 Waste Management …............0750-455-3161 Private - 0750-727-2289 O&G Services ….......................066-223-2475 Private - 0750-209-0010 Real Estate Services …..............066-226-7500 Private - 0750-812-6130 Certification Courses… Private - 0750-327-6984 Marketing Services... Private - 0750-633-7700 Hotels …....................................066-222-0422 Private - 0750-633-7700 Korek Mountain .......................066-222-0422 Private - 0750-902-6161 Shisha Deliver ... Private - 0750 777 8000 Ci Circuit Membership Rewards ... Private - 0750-633-7700

Know of a number that’s missing? Email us at info@erbilonline.info to submit other useful information or corrections 78

BAKING BELT BOOK BRACELET CANDLES CANDY CHOCOLATES CLOTHES COFFEE MAKER COFFEE MUG COLOGNE COOKIES DOLL EARRINGS ELECTRONICS FLOWERS GAME GIFT BASKET GIFT CARD HERBAL TEAS JEWELRY MONEY

MOVIE MUSIC NECKLACE NECKTIE PANTS PENDANT PERFUME PLANT SCARF SHIRT SLIPPERS SNEAKERS SOCKS STUFFED ANIMAL SWEATER TELEVISION TOOL SET TOY TREE ORNAMENT WATCH WINE

Circuit Magazine


Across: 1. Not quite vertical 6. Memorable Texas mission 11. Basic college degrees 14. Hot chocolate 15. Rice cooked in broth (Var.) 16. ” ... of the _ of Aquarius.” 17. Apply maximum effort 19. Claret-yielding area 20. Put emphasis on 21. Knockoffs 23. Paparazzi gear 26. Pizza units 27. Jungle vines 28. Gilbert and Sullivan emperor 30. Breeds or varieties 31. Canary relative 32. One for the off-road 35. Doctor’s charge 36. Washington Monument, e.g. 38. Neither this_ that 39. Drug approver 40. One’s north and one’s south 41. Leave speechless 42. Acupuncture item 44. Bermuda wear 46. “And_ off!” 48. Psychiatrist, for one 49. Indian queen (Var.) 50. Miami daily newspaper 52. “Addams Family” cousin 53. Placate 58. “Mountain” or “rocket” finish 59. Spanish snacks 60. Keyboard instrument 61. Like the Sahara 62. “Hello” singer 63. River to the Missouri

Go On

Down: 1. Play subdivision 2. Rocky peak 3. In need of salting 4. Makes less tense 5. Hindu religious writing 6. Altar locales 7. Ad-_ (improvises) 8. Guinness and others 9. Pas’ mates 10. Maneuver around, in war 11 . Boondocks 12. Act the yes-man 13 “The Cat in the Hat” author 18. Blocks of history 22. First_ kit 23. Jumping-off point? 24. Needed medical assistance 25. Utilize a journal 26. Snow sliders 28. Free-for-all 29. It gives peepers color 31. Bear’s order, on Wall Street 33. Praises loudly 34. Arp collaborator Max 36. 28-Across production 37. Be an omen of 41. Joins metal, in a way 43. CBS logo 44. Click, as the fingers 45. Attention-getting shout 46. Attempted, as this puzzle? 47. Fan’s opposite 48. Got out of bed 50. Ballyhoo 51. And others, for short 54. X-ray dose 55. Ottoman ruler 56. Mattress problem 57. 180 deg. from WSW

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OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH CARE

We can also provide home visits and Specialist medical consultation Our services include Pre-employment checkups for companies potential employees Emergency response using our fleet of ambulances and fully qualified staff 24/7 Both inpatients and outpatients are catered for Complete primary care covering a wide range of illnesses Standard clinic services include (dentistry, paediatric, physiotherapy, lab services, X-ray, pharmacy, etc )

Bupa International, HTH International, Allianz International, MSH International, Cigna International, Daman International.

Erbil Head Office: Italian Village, Bld. 809 www.lst-medic.com info@lst-medic.com +964 750 361 2040

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PUZZLE SOLUTIONS

Got ideas for future puzzles? Submit your ideas or interests to info@party-circuit.net



Circuit issue 10 - Winter 2016-17