Saudi Arabia

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ISSUE 5 // MAY - JUNE 2019



PUBLISHER Enas Hashani EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Maria Mahdaly PUBLICATIONS MANAGER Bassma Al Toaimi MANAGING EDITOR Jou Pabalate EDITOR Nessreen Tamano WRITERS Dalia Darweesh Deena Dakhiel Yasmine Mohamed Zahra Anwer PHOTOGRAPHERS Mohammed Fawzy lina Mohammed EDITORIAL INQUIRIES


FROM THE EDITOR Ramadan Kareem!

SALES & ADVERTISING Mob: +966-563578291 (9 a.m. - 10 p.m.)


Tel: +966-12-6065902 (9 a.m. - 5 p.m.)


Join us as we delve into the essence of the season and celebrate the joy it brings. From Gargaean, Ramadan nights, Taraweeh, and the last 10 nights of this Holy Month; we sought to bring to light the traditions that inspire our spiritual journeys. But truly, what is Ramadan without breaking bread? To help you with your Iftars and suhoors, we’ve enlisted the help of pros. Four Saudi Chefs are sharing their specialty treats so you can serve it up to your family and friends. In this issue, we invite you all to be extra! Extra kind to one another, go that extra mile, and give that little extra to be the best versions of yourselves. We’ve gathered together a cast of incredible influencers, who are showing us just what it takes to be extraodinary and be examples of what modern modesty is through our special fashion editorial. Destination KSA is a magazine that cherishes the past, celebrates the now, and helps create the future. Join us once again as we navigate Saudi Arabia, be part of the journey. From our family to yours, Eid Mubarak!

Mob: +966-509752274 (9 a.m. - 5 p.m.)




LUB Creative is a creative agency under Rumman Company Intl. Email:


Destination KSA Magazine is a Rumman Company publication. License No. 7862-8/8/1431 / Publisher: Destination Magazine, UK, Coventry, CV14DH N5719 Email: P.O. Box 4113 / Jeddah 21491


Let’s spread the message of peace and love. Maria Mahdaly, Editor-in-Chief


FLAVORED BUTTERS A GASTRONOMY SECRET Black Olive butter, butter with nuts, garlic, or citrus…. European butter is a product full of surprises and can come in a range of unexpected flavors, By flavoring your butter, you can sublime the simplest dishes!

SWEET & SAVORY FLAVORING “Beurre maître d’hôtel” (parsley and



Crafted into small pats, placed on a






(mustard, spices and herbs) for grilled meats, anchovy butter or salmon butter for toast, butter with sage for gnocchi and ravioli, citrus butter for crêpes

beautiful piece of grilled meat, the herbflavored butter melts slowly, releasing its fragrances under the effect of heat, while butter with hints of lemon zest seeps in to the small cavities of a milletrous

Suzette… Refined treats and inspired

Moroccan cepes. As for the array of

dishes halfway between tradition and

flavored butters offered simply to spread,


they come in a range of unexpected





used equally in both sweet and savory dishes. On the French and international gastronomic scenes, flavored butters are inspiring chefs, making the simplest dishes sublime and creating alchemy with

flavors: matcha tea butter that livens up anchovy fillets pickled with lime on homemade crackers; black olive butter on toast for dipping in a boiled egg, or butter with nuts and fennel seeds to accompany thin slices of cheese on rye bread.

unusual flavors.

The content of this advertorial represents the views of the author only and is his sole responsibility. The European Commission do not accept any responsibility for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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BUTTER WITH ZEST OF CITRUS Tasting butter on toast or brioche Butter with oysters Butter served on steamed fish 100 g of softened semi-salted butter + the zest of 1/2 an organic lemon, 1 organic lime and 1 organic clementine grated with a microplane. Mix well and store in a cool place.

BUTTER PISTACHIOS HAZELNUTS Cooking butter for glazed vegetables (turnips and artichokes) Butter for milletrous crĂŞpes or pan-fried scallops 100 g of unsalted butter + 14 g of powdered Iranian pistachios + 15 g of Piedmont hazelnuts, dry roasted in a skillet, cooled and crushed coarsely.

BUTTER WITH GARLIC PETALS AND TARRAGON The secret of butter: For a dish of ricotta ravioli, melt the butter in a frying pan with garlic petals and lightly brown them, add the ravioli and mix gently. Cooking butter for frying chicken fillets 100 g of softened semisalted butter + 2 cloves of garlic peeled and cut into thin slices using a slicer + 20 chopped tarragon leaves. Mix gently and set aside in a cool place.

BUTTER GINGER CHIVES Cooking butter for roasting langoustines, mixed with rye breadcrumbs to coat clams, scallops and mussels, or to flavor snails Tasting butter on toast 100 g softened semi-salted butter + 1 tsp. of fresh ginger grated with a Microplane or cut into very small cubes + 1 tbsp. of finely chopped chives.



GET YOUR DAILY DOSE OF CITY INSIGHTS: destinationryd destinationjed destinationshq






A Brave New Saudi: Reema Juffali

Portraits of the Season Prep, Cook, Devour

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DINING Ramadan Trippin’ Iftar at Crowne Plaza Riyadh Rosewood Jeddah’s Ramadan Tent

Be EXTRAordinary Glam Up With Faces Makeup Al Malki Perfumes


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KNOW YOUR KINGDOM Visiting Makkah & Madinah

WELLNESS Round Up of the Top Spas Saudi Special Olympics Team Tackling Mental Health

TRAVEL TRENDS Discovering Ireland




Writer, “Weird Dishes” Page 110 The Foodies Inc was established in 2013 as an “open mic” for food lovers, chefs, and F&B enthusiasts to express their love and experience in the world of the edibles. It is now a consulting agency in the F&B industry, offering mystery shopping, food tasting, digital marketing strategies, content creation, and customer satisfaction enhancement. Their core value was and remains #SupportLocal.


Writer, “Modest Fashion” Page 60 Athba is a well-renowned Saudi fashion critic and creative director, considered one of the youngest influential voices in the Saudi fashion scene. Shaping digital media in today›s age, she serves as›s Editor in Chief. is a an online social platform conveying #SaudiYouthCulture with a major focus on the young, creative, edgy and hip. Within its digital pages, it discusses topics of fashion, art, culture, and lifestyle. With a significant industry shift to digital, it is positioned as a pioneer in Saudi digital creative content. shoesanddrama

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Writer and photographer, “Solo Traveler” Page 82 After completing two graduate degrees abroad, Mona returned to Jeddah to pursue a career in culture and media, as well as her passion for night photography and exploring natural landscapes of Saudi Arabia. From caves and mountains to valleys around the Kingdom, she was set for journeys of wonder and appreciation for the countless treasures the country offers. monaalzubair

WANT TO BE ON THIS PAGE ? Be part of Destination KSA’s community of writers and creatives. If you have an idea to share, a skill to showcase, or an article you’d like to publish— we are your platform. Get in touch! Send an email to


Writer, “Overcoming Pain Through Fitness” Page 104 An electrical engineer and YouTuber with a passion for journalism, writing, and videography, Mustafa holds a master’s degree in Engineering Management from the University of Dayton and is currently working on his second master’s degree in Media and Communications at the University of Wollongong in Dubai. He was one of the main hosts of the official Instagram Live show “Dardasha Shbabia.” mustafalmg





Writer, “Carrom” Page 72 Jumanah graduated from Webster University Geneva in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communication Studies, a minor in journalism, and certificates in documentary production and magazine publishing. She is also completing her Masters of Arts in Media Studies, along with a certificate in Graphic Design and Page Layout, at Concordia University.

The EXTRAordinaries: AMY ROKO













DANA ZAMKA Writer, “Art Therapy” Page 102 Canadian writer Valerie lives in Riyadh, and enjoys exploring the Kingdom’s history and the creativity of its people.










basmaelkhereiji flywithhaifa

lailamourad foulard_f



Wardrobe: BLEACH






bleachdubai abaya_dk






Writer, “Traveling in KSA” Page 78 Qairawan is a nonprofit travel community that is determined to encourage and enable everyone to travel around Saudi Arabia responsibly, with minimal to zero cost but maximum fun!



Wardrobe: ABAYAS

Creative Director: ALI CHA’ABAN

Web: YouTube: qairawancommunity





abdulaziz821 anhefni


nouffetaihi_ nasibahafiz









Photographer: ABDULLAH ALMOSHARAF abdollah85












PEPSICO: A JOURNEY OF COMMITMENT Businesses Can Do Well, While Giving Back to the Community

Companies have a responsibility to the communities they serve. That’s what PepsiCo believes in; making a difference in the lives of people. Having been in Saudi Arabia for more than half a century, the company has firmly committed itself to the Kingdom and its residents, and will continue to do so for many years to come. Most recently, PepsiCo partnered with The Saudi Food Bank (Eta’am) for an initiative that promoted health and community spirit. Labeled Kilo for Khair, the initiative encouraged PepsiCo employees to start their health and fitness journeys by losing weight.

For every healthy kilo shed by employees from March to the beginning of Ramadan, PepsiCo pledged to donate one box of essential food items through the Saudi Food Bank. The boxes, including necessities such as flour, cooking oil, and tomato sauce, as well as Quaker Pasta, Oats and Soup, Lay’s Forno and Sunbites Bread Bites, will be distributed throughout Ramadan to needy families in 16 cities across Saudi Arabia. The empowerment of people is an important matter for PepsiCo. In partnership with MiSk Fellowship and Traineeship in MiSk Foundation, PepsiCo contributes


to the development of the Kingdom’s young generation by focusing on several areas of critical importance to Saudi society today, such as inspiring young people to enter careers in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math, and empowering them with training and development opportunities to pursue careers in these fields. A 10-week internship program, organized by PepsiCo in collaboration with MiSK Foundation, provides Saudi graduates with experience working in one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies at its main headquarters in New York.

PepsiCo also runs internship programs alongside its local university partners, and participates in the Saudi Human Resources Development Fund’s Tamheer programs. Nearly 100 fresh graduates have learnt vital workplace skills and experience through these initiatives, enabling them to become capable and confident contributors towards the realization of Vision 2030. In 2018, PepsiCo launched the region’s first Million Women Mentors® chapter in Riyadh, creating a local branch of the global movement designed to support the engagement of millions of Science, Technology,

Engineering and Math (STEM) mentors, both male and female, in order to increase the interest and confidence of girls and women to persist, and succeed in STEM programs and careers.

awareness of the importance of including people with hearing disabilities – by teaching people to sign ‘hello’, ‘thank you’, and ‘goodbye’, in return for free Lay’s, Sunbites, and Aquafina.

PepsiCo is an inclusive workplace and values the potential for every member of the society to contribute. To this end, the company actively creates an environment in which colleagues with hearing impairments can thrive; this includes a sign language course for every employee, so that they can confidently and competently communicate with everyone. PepsiCo honored Listen to Me Week – an event that raises

“We aren’t just a business, we’re a responsible corporate citizen and we understand the role we have to play in contributing to the positive development of our society,” said Tamer Mosalam, Vice President, General Manager of PepsiCo’s GCC and Levant Business Unit. “Across the world, PepsiCo has proven its commitment to the communities in which we operate. Whether that is by providing young men and women with internship opportunities to hone their business skills, or supporting community-focused causes that address issues we care about, PepsiCo embraces the opportunity to contribute in meaningful ways.”

Web: pepsicoarabia DESTINATION KSA 9



POISED FOR SUCCESS Blossom inspires confidence in all Saudi women

For the third time, Blossom organized Thiqah, their womenempowerment event, in honor of International Women’s Month, bringing together a network of Saudi women who are working professionals, entrepreneurs and founders, and community members seeking value creation and growth. Blossom’s CEO and Founder Emon Shakoor explains that they help women realize their full potential through their accelerator, activities, and events, such as this one. At the event, four inspirational speakers – Vicky Mathews, Sarah Khonkar, Marriam Mossali, and Loulwa Al Sharif – shared their stories and what they do every day to build confidence in themselves. There were deep-dive workshops, where each speaker discussed what confidence meant, and

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encouraged the audience to build connections and network. Previous attendees have successfully made connections and received job opportunities, and many were motivated to start or progress in their own business after attending the event. Blossom has more events coming up; their goal is to create a platform and network for every Saudi woman to prosper, grow, and ‘blossom.’ “Thiqah coincided with International Women’s Month, but at Blossom we empower and honor women every single day,” says Emon.

Web: blossom_mena



SHE’S MERCEDES Celebrating the achievements of Saudi Women Dedicated to inspiring, connecting, and empowering women to unleash their best, the She’s Mercedes campaign gives us insights into balancing our personal and professional lives, and is a hub for sparking conversation, offering new perspectives, and supporting ambitions.

Initiated by Juffali Automotive Company, Al Thuraya Awards by She’s Mercedes celebrated and empowered Saudi women with a competition that highlights the accomplishments of 16 exceptional women in various fields, chosen from hundreds of nominations. Eight finalists emerged from this pool after online voting was opened to the public, and each of their success stories were shared. In the final round, a selection through a panel of distinguished judges was made from four different categories.

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Sports Excellence Category Yusra’s passion for basketball has led her later on to become professional in it. She established a specialized Basketball Academy for women. Yusra received support at her academy through a program in collaboration with NBA. She was also chosen by the American Council to participate in the Basketball Program. “By winning this prize, it will not be only motivation for me, but for every woman who decides to be in this field.” jeddahathletes


Innovative Art; Design Category Lamia’s love of photography allowed her to capture beautiful moments. Her passion led her to achieve her dream of establishing her own visual composition business, and representing Saudi Arabia in many events globally. She wrote a book called “Authentic Arabian Treasures” that showcases Saudi heritage through photographic experiences. “I want to show the world that there’s no field that a Saudi woman can’t succeed in.” lamiapg


Social Service Category

Sarah’s life purpose is to serve her community, so she focused on the Children’s Education field by simplifying information and using visuals in a fun way that fits the abilities of the targeted group. She also successfully developed training courses to educate parents on necessary skills to protect their children from sexual harassment. “We must stand up, and address our issues by educating ourselves and each other.” sarahs_stories


Entrepreneurship Category Nadia smartly utilized her tourism experience and marketing knowledge by becoming an entrepreneur. She established the first Saudi online company specialized in Sports Tourism, becoming the first Saudi female to work in that field. Forbes recognized her as one of the best 100 Entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia. “As Saudis, we have the necessary elements of infrastructure, environment, and national caders, which in return enable us to promote this sector, and shine in it.” stadiums_ag DESTINATION KSA 13



Interview by Jou Pabalate

Imagine lights flashing, with a thousand motions happening at once, the sound of revving engines and screeching tires, the smell of burnt rubber filling the air. In the middle of it all is where you’ll find Reema Al Juffali. Saudi woman. Professional race car driver. What is it about motorsports that got you interested to do professionally? When did your passion for cars begin?


As long as I can remember I have been passionate about cars whether it was naming all the cars I knew at 7 years old, playing with remote control cars or collecting model cars. It has always been a part of my life. I couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel, I remember begging to drive around the block every chance I got, barely able to reach the pedals.

The racing dream came later in life for me. I didn’t grow up around a racing culture and I struggled to imagine even driving a car in Saudi Arabia, let alone representing my country as a female racing driver. I used to think that racing was 14 MAY/JUNE 2019

something you had to grow into from a young age, but after watching my first Le Mans race I realized that some of the drivers were much older than me. That’s when I thought why not? It’s not too late. When I was at university, I joined different track days and that’s when I caught the racing bug.

What’s the kind of racing you do?

The type of racing I do is called single-seater racing, specifically Formula 4. This season I raced at the F4 British Championship with the Double R Racing team.

What were the challenges you encountered in trying to get into the sport?

In the beginning, it was always about timing. In between my studies and work I could never find the time to race. I also I didn’t know where to start. There are so many different routes you can take and I had a lot of questions, so getting to know people in the industry helped me make these decisions and take the first step. It’s all very new, so most things I didn’t anticipate. I’m consistently in new situations, whether

Trust your instincts, don’t be afraid to take risks and go after what you love. Take the first step; it’s always the most difficult. Reema Al Juffali


it’s learning a new track, adjusting to the car or weather conditions... it’s constantly changing, and you must adapt. Staying positive and trusting in my ability has helped me overcome this.

How’s an average day like for you at “work”?

Test days differ to race days. The day starts off early, I’m at the track by 8am. On a test day, I meet with my team and discuss the plan for the day. For the rest of the day, if I’m not in the car, I’m sitting with my engineer

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analyzing my laps and figuring out where I can improve. On a race day there are a lot more distractions plus my time on track is limited, you have an hour instead of a full day. It’s important to stay focused and make the most out of the time you have. It’s only the beginning so I’m learning something new every day, which is a great feeling. I love the feeling and rush I get when I’m behind the wheel, that’s where I’m happiest, but more than that it’s the challenge that keeps me

going. In motorsport there are a lot of ups and downs, things don’t always go your way and sometimes they are out of your control. Someone can hit you or something can go mechanically wrong taking you out of the race. At the end of the day, all these things just make winning even sweeter.

Email: Web: reemajuffali



RYAN GLIHA US Consul General, Jeddah By Jou Pabalate

Ryan Gliha is no stranger to Saudi Arabia; he started his diplomatic career on the very shores of Jeddah. Upon his return last September 2018, he assumed the role of Consul General (CG). We sat down with him to better understand the part of consulates, deepening the bilateral relations between the US and KSA, cultural exchange, and our shared love for Al-Baik. The Consulate General in Jeddah represents and protects the US interest in the entire western region. Under its jurisdiction are all the governorates from Tabuk, Madina, Makkah, to Asir Al Baha, Jizan and Najran. Ryan Gliha as consul general is the representative of the US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. The Consulate General in Jeddah has a unique history because as many people know, Jeddah used to be the capital of Saudi Arabia. CG Gliha shared gave us its history, “the consulate started as an Embassy back in the 1940’s right after the first meeting between the head of state of our two countries, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz Al Saud. They met on a ship on the Red Sea back in 1947, and after that, we opened an office, which became an embassy.”


When Riyadh became the actual capital of the country, the embassy moved, and we became the Consulate General. Consulates are like little embassies. They do everything that an embassy does except having the ambassador. This changes during the summer. 18 MAY/JUNE 2019

When the Saudi government or King moves down to Jeddah, so does the US ambassador, so for the few months until December the consulate acts as an embassy. While processing visa applications is the first thing that comes to mind when the US Embassy is mentioned, it’s just one of many services they provide as a diplomatic mission. Through the office of public affairs, for example, the US consulate runs various programs that directly engage with the local community and the Saudi public at large.

ON EDUCATION JP: The United States is one of

the popular choices when Saudi students plan on studying abroad. Does the consulate provide any assistance in helping them make informed decisions?

CG: As the consulate, we have

an Educational office that has full-time staff and an advisor who would assist the students to decide on what university and program they wanted to take. Even if you haven’t chosen, we will give you a whole menu of options to help you decide. We can accommodate you through online booking too and on the road. We help them choose to make the right choice. It’s important to note that our advisory is not limited to this, we also create opportunities to prepare Saudi students for life in the US.

JP: How are you able to reach

students who aren’t necessarily based in the major cities?

CG: We sometimes bring our

services and programs on the road. I make some trips on different provinces with some of

our staff and look for institutions who might be interested to hear about our educational services and exchange programs. We also offer much younger programs such as Saudi Youth Leadership Exchange program. We send out dozens of Saudis to the US to exchange experience with their American counterparts as well as Leadership and Personal Development. Our goal for the exchange programs is to capture the diversity of Saudi Arabia. The most important part is to interact with people not just within the major cities but also to different parts of the country.

ON COMMERCE JP: Apart from the consulate’s

educational services, what other interests and opportunities do the US take care of?

CG: We also have a commercial

office. American businesses that want to do business here and Saudi Businesses that want to do business in the US. We help them make the right connections. We also have a political office, which covers and tries to report what’s happening politically in the country and they help me in my dealings with all the different officials in the Western side of Saudi Arabia.

JP: With the recent changes in

the Kingdom, what industries are American investors interested in?

CG: Energy, Aviation,

Transportation, Durable goods, Automobile, a little bit of the Agriculture. However, the growth is with healthcare, services, fitness.

JP: How do you go about

making the connection between these brands and companies?

CG: There are two types of

mechanisms, through a trade show to invite Saudi Business leaders to visit the US and meet with US companies in specific industries. We’ve put together a trade delegation to learn about opportunities. Reverse trade delegation is the other mechanism where we bring US companies, American business leaders to Saudi Arabia to meet their counterparts and look for opportunities here. Throughout the year we’re running this regularly so it won’t stagnate.

JP: How do you see the Saudi

relationship evolving in the next few years?

CG: The relationship between our two countries is based on shared values and interests in the last few decades. What is different now is that there are a lot more opportunities. So if you look at what’s happening in terms of entertainment, movie theaters, these are all opportunities where we can complement. We usually play a coordinating role; it’s good to have to have a light touch by the US government and leave it to the experts.

JP: Lastly, what are you looking

forward to now that you’re back?

CG: If I’m going to be honest

with you, I immediately looked for AlBaik the moment I got back. My first time in Jeddah, I was a bachelor, and we’d spend our Fridays going out for shrimp and chicken. I have explored the different regions before, and each one has its charm; this time around I’m looking forward to experiencing Saudi Arabia with my wife and two kids. It would be great to see what family adventures we can go on together. DESTINATION KSA 19




Jeddah Youth Football Club Created specifically for kids and young adults, the Jeddah Youth Football Club (JYFC) provides a safe environment for the youth to have a full football experience under the coaching and supervision of young, certified, and talented Saudi coaches. The owner, coach Abdullah Dow, is a businessman with a master’s degree in International Business from France. He’s also certified from Barcelona and the US in Total football (Rondos technique), and US soccer coaching, respectively. JYFC believes in the “Total Football” approach and coaching style, in which any outfield player can take over the role of another player in a team, with very fast

short passes – a “Rondos Training Style.” The JYFC currently trains U5, U6, U7, U8, U9, U10, U11, and U12, with each group featuring both beginner and advanced categories. Having been established for 3 years now, their vision is to produce a new generation of football players, who would one day become coaches themselves, applying the Total Football coaching style.

JYFC’s sponsors also share their values of encouraging and supporting Saudi youth.

The Jeddah Youth Football Club is aligned with Vision 2030, supporting young Saudis and the Saudi community, and helping them become productive members of the society.

Zoi (Human Performance Specialist)

Stay tuned as the Football Club plans to eventually open at least three branches in the main cities of Saudi Arabia.


Shampoo CLEAR (Main Sponsor)

Al Esayi Motors (Diamond Sponsor)

Shrimp Zone Restaurant (Diamond Sponsor) Section B Restaurant (Diamond Sponsor) Sabeeka Energy Bar

Location: 7207 Omair ibn Abi Waqqas St., Al Murjan Dist., Jeddah Mob: +966-556688234 jy_fc


INSPIRING TODAY’S YOUTH Role Models building a brighter tomorrow

Parents have the benefit of knowing that their children are being taught unique life skills content developed by UK education experts and delivered by experienced Role Models from the UK.

To date, Role Models has supported children around the world by teaching them how to communicate well, think critically, solve problems, and lead brilliantly. The courses offered at Role Models allow children to experience a unique combination of soft skills training and specific skills input. The courses are fast-paced, high energy, and challenging, and the children work together in teams to solve different challenges while exploring how the mind works.

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“The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even when things aren’t going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset, one that allows people to thrive during the most challenging times of their lives,” says Dr. Carol Dweck. All courses at Role Models incorporate key aspects of the Growth-Mindset Framework in creative ways, teaching children how to push themselves outside of their comfort zones, embrace new experiences, and persist when faced with challenges.

OUR COURSES ARE ALWAYS BASED ON: • Active Learning • Ambitious Content • Serious Fun OUR COURSES DELIVER: • Empowerment • Sustained Behavior Change • A Framework for Future Success

Web: Email: Mob: +44-7946345091 (WhatsApp) / +966-549853568 role.modelsksa



LET’S RISE WITH NÜN ACADEMY For their third annual school show, the production team at Nün Academy started with a vision of writing a script that would embrace every single one of their school values. A script that would eventually be titled “With our Values we Rise”. They dreamt of a show that would embed these values deeper into the fabric of learning that happens in and outside the classroom while at once giving students the opportunity to experience the many benefits that are gained from developing a healthy appreciation of and participation in the Performing Arts. “With Our Values, We Rise” not only celebrated these values but gave all those involved a chance to truly live the values over the course of what was almost a year of preparations. The show takes us on a visit with Nün Academy students to their grandparent’s home, where they reunite with their cousin Hanif, visiting from 24 MAY/JUNE 2019

Canada. Their grandparents used their time together to connect the children with the values presented in the Quran and modelled by the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), the children in turn make the connections between the stories of the past and their very own school values. These connections help them to develop an understanding that while their school values are rooted in the wisdom of the ages, they remain relevant to their day to day lives. Every member of Nün Academy, from the students to the staff, set High Expectations for themselves and others. They strived for excellence from the moment the idea of tonight’s event was born. Staying true to their value of “Glocal” Education, each scene was played out in Arabic, which was also the language of choice for their narrators. At Nün Academy they believe that All People


are Different, and because of that each member of the team took on a different role which suited them. They truly felt that this production was the definition of Education for Life and Beyond, giving them the opportunity to use the skills they’ve developed-- confidence, public speaking, responsibility, resilience and independence. The idea of social responsibility and hence their values of Humane Consciousness was installed through the themes of different scenes. By the time the audience got up they could definitely feel the last and most important value of all Life is What I Make It!

Location: 7639 Omair Ibn Abi Waqqas, Al Murjan District, Jeddah 23715 Web: nunacademy


RAMADAN AT THE PARK Park Hyatt Jeddah is aspiring to elevate your cuisine experience starting the ďŹ rst of Ramadan 2019, Al-Nafoura and Andalusia will present an extraordinary Iftar buffet of ďŹ nely selected International and Mediterranean dishes and desserts. Andalusia will be serving Suhour daily, and there is always the lounge where you can extend your lovely evening and enjoy seasonal desserts and cocktails. For more information and reservations, please contact us on +966 12 263 9666 or visit


PORTRAITS OF THE SEASON A modern rendition of our cherished traditions, these are the moments that define a Saudi Ramadan.

RAMADAN NIGHTS: Disconnect to reconnect. Ramadan is about igniting your spirituality, it’s about looking in and reflecting on your inner world. Put aside the trend of binge watching TV and delve into the idea of feeding your faith. Put aside the trend of going out every night and start to see what you can do to better serve your community. Allow yourself to disconnect from all distractions so that you can figure out what is most important you. Reconnect with yourself this season. Reconnect with Ramadan. 26 MAY/JUNE 2019


By Deena Dakhiel


LAST 10 NIGHTS: By Yasmine Mohamed

With the holy month coming close to an end, we all try to up our spiritual game cashing in as many deeds as possible. It’s not only about what you do during those holiest of nights though, it’s also about what promises you make then and strive to keep for the rest of the year. These days better us, they hold us accountable, and bestow us with the gift of having one more chance at attempting to do better. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Seize these nights this year as if there will be no tomorrow, as if this will be your last chance at transcendence.

TARAWEEH: The sight of Muslims aligned shoulder to shoulder and toe to toe while giving up sleep to pray is unparalleled. The entire kingdom is up supplicating to Allah in rows that extend for miles outside mosques’ capacities. Amens from the congregation echo and fill the skies with peace. From all walks of life, and unsegregated by color, race, or ethnicity we stand united by one faith and by a sense of proud belonging. Tears are shed in remorse and humility, hearts beat with longing and hope, and prayers transpire to the will of the all mighty, the all merciful. It’s one of the most moving displays of humanity. 28 MAY/JUNE 2019


GARGAEAN: By Deena Dakhiel

your disposal. Tap into the free spirited happiness that not only comes along with receiving as a child, but that comes with giving as well. For when we give, we connect with the spirit of the season, we connect with our community and we connect with our faith. This season, give and let give.


With the enjoyment of family and friends surrounding us, what a better time than now to get into the habit of giving. Do you remember when you were a kid and the adults would give to you endlessly? All the candy that your parents would tell you you were not allowed to have are suddenly shamelessly at

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PREP, COOK, DEVOUR Recipes curated especially for Destination readers by very special local chefs By Yasmine Mohamed


Raneen’s love for teaching, cooking, and photography made food blogging appealing enough for her to quit her 9-to-5 in investments and asset management. Never regretting her decision, she encourages everyone who has a dream to go grab it by the horns.

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She has been blogging for three years now, and has managed to connect well with a wide audience, with her meticulous attention to detail, diligent attempts to perfect intricate cooking techniques, and the tips, tricks, and secrets that she shares. She admires Italian cuisine because “a few quality ingredients can make up for an incredible dish,” and French cuisine because “the elaborateness of techniques is brilliant and challenging.” Coming up with constant new content and bringing something new to the table on each and every occasion has been the most challenging thing for her to date. raneens.table

This Ramadan, she serves up Mini Bastilah, a traditional Moroccan classic with a twist. It’s a savory-sweet dish where chicken filling is beautifully wrapped in crispy filo pastry. The aromatic, savory, and soft interior balances well with the sweet crisp filo shell.


MINI BASTILAH YIELD: Serves 4 TOTAL PREPARATION TIME: 90 minutes INGREDIENTS: Chicken mixture: 2 chicken breasts 2 tablespoons of olive oil 1 chopped onion 1 tablespoon of chopped coriander 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley 1/2 teaspoon of ginger, turmeric, black pepper, salt, and cinnamon Sprinkle of saffron 1 cup water Almond mixture: 1/2 cup of roasted ground almonds 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon powder 2 tablespoons of icing sugar 1 teaspoon rose water Filo dough 50g melted butter 1 egg

DIRECTIONS: Place all chicken mixture ingredients into a pot on a stove (except for the water initially), stir for 10 minutes, then pour in the water and let it cook covered for 30 minutes. Remove chicken breasts from the stock and stir until most of the liquid evaporates. Add the egg to the stock and stir until well combined. Shred the chicken separately. In a bowl, mix the almond ingredients. Cut the filo pastry in half and place two layers in a small bowl, brushing each with melted butter. Fill filo sheets with about 1 tablespoon of the egg mixture, shredded chicken, and ground almonds each. Fold the filo pastry from all sides into a round bun, and move it onto a baking tray. Brush the outside with more butter, then bake for 20 minutes at 180°C. Garnish with icing sugar, cinnamon, and parsley, then serve. DESTINATION KSA 33


PASTRY Chef Khalida, the co-founder of online bakery Fatafeet Bakehouse, has been obsessed with baking from a very young age – the alluring smell of baked goods fresh out of the oven, and the wonderful aromas of chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and others. She derives inspiration from particular ingredients (usually natural sweeteners) around which she builds recipes, each one with a story behind it. With Fatafeet Bakehouse, she ensures every order is baked fresh, nothing goes to waste, and the recipes are original. “The whole point of baking is to make people happy. Knowing that customers order my pastries to celebrate their special events brings me lots of personal joy,” the Le Cordon Bleu alumnus says. fatafeetbakehouse

Chef Khalidah shares this recipe for Cinnamon Milk Pie, a contemporary pastry dish. It looks as amazing as it tastes; in the shape of a rosette, the light custard enveloped within the sheets of filo comes to life when dusted with icing sugar and cinnamon. 34 MAY/JUNE 2019

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 175°C. Brush a 10-inch or 9-inch springform cake pan with butter, then set aside. Get a sheet of filo, scrunch up into a cylinder, then into a circle. Place in the center of the pan, and repeat till the rest of the pan is covered. Using a pastry brush, brush the filo with remaining butter. Sprinkle cinnamon on top. Bake for about 25-30 minutes till pastry is golden. While the pie bakes, make a custard filling. Heat the milk until it comes to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk sugar and eggs. Slowly add the hot milk to the sugar and egg mix, whisking as you go. Then add vanilla. Spoon the custard mix into the pie, and re-bake for another 25-30 minutes. Let the pie cool for 5 minutes, dust the top with cinnamon and powdered sugar. It’s best eaten warm, and you can store leftovers in the fridge to prevent the custard from going bad.


CINNAMON MILK PIE YIELD: 8-10 Servings TOTAL PREPARATION TIME: 85 minutes (includes baking) INGREDIENTS: 4 tablespoons (56 grams) of melted butter 8 sheets of filo dough 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon + more for dusting 1.5 cups (12 oz.) of whole milk 3 eggs 1/2 cup (99grams) of sugar 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract Icing sugar for dusting the pie DESTINATION KSA 35



There is a general misconception that candy, sweets, and junk food bring happiness to children. Chef Nawal stands strongly against this ideation and is a passionate health advocate. She majored in special education and used to notice how childrens’ lunch boxes were full of refined carbohydrates and had few vegetables and fiber. Feeling a responsibility towards the matter, she created the Instagram account Food Evolution, and then later The Super Child Project, which hosts health camps (some taking place during Ramadan) for kids, in collaboration with various gyms. She also became a holistic health coach (IIN), helping clients adopt a more holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle. To put all the bits and pieces of the puzzle together, Chef Nawal attended Le Cordon Bleu in London later and studied gastronomy as well, mastering the science and art of food. food.evolution / thesuperchildproject

Beetroot Samboosa is a healthy, light alternative to your usual fried samboosa. Indulge in this easy-to-make contemporary delicacy by Chef Nawal this Ramadan for a different experience. 36 MAY/JUNE 2019

DIRECTIONS: In a large pot of salted water, boil the beets until tender; depending on the size of the beets, it will take around 45 minutes. While beets are cooking, combine remaining ingredients (minus the garnish) and stir to combine; set aside or refrigerate until it is ready to start assembling. Remove beets from heat, rinse with cold water and

peel when cool enough to handle. Using a mandolin or a sharp knife, cut them into very thin, ⅛th of an inch slices, and place on paper towels to absorb excess moisture. Scoop a heaping teaspoon of the filling onto half of the circumference of the beet slice and fold the other half over it (just like a samboosa!) Secure with toothpick if they don’t remain closed on their own, garnish to taste and enjoy!


BEETROOT SAMBOOSA YIELD: 12 Servings TOTAL PREPARATION TIME: 60 minutes INGREDIENTS: 2 large beetroots 4 pitted and and finely chopped dates 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of Greek yoghurt 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of lemon juice 1/8 cup (50 grams) of Gorgonzola cheese or feta cheese 1/4 cup (60 ml) of toasted pumpkin seeds A handful of freshly chopped cilantro for garnish DESTINATION KSA 37



Top Chef season 3 participant Chef Areej surprisingly never fancied cooking until the age of 17. She used to bribe her way out of cooking chores in the household where she grew up. To get away with it though, she had to remain in the kitchen during meal preps to convince her family that she was the one actually doing all the cooking for the day. Curiosity inevitably stemmed from her periods of observation, and at some point decided to just go ahead and try cooking. With some encouragement from her parents, she ended up finding her true passion in life, quitting her day job to pursue being a chef full-time. She aspires to one day open a culinary school in Jeddah in support of Saudi talents who are interested in creating a name for themselves in the culinary world. chefareejals

Here is Chef Areej’s fulfilling Aubergine Fattah dish that can be put together quickly in 30 minutes. It comes in handy when your day has been long and you find yourself running out of time to make Iftar/suhoor. 38 MAY/JUNE 2019

DIRECTIONS: Dice the Arabic bread, tomatoes, and aubergines into small equal squares. Fry the Arabic bread, potato, and aubergine cubes till they become golden in color.



In a separate frying pan, add olive oil, onion and garlic cloves till they wilt and become caramelized. Next add in the tomatoes, tomato paste, and the above-mentioned spices to complete the red sauce. Stir until the mixture becomes homogeneous.

In a bowl, mix all the ingredients mentioned above for the yoghurt sauce and set it aside. Put everything layered together in a clay pot for serving. From bottom to top, start with a layer of red sauce, then add a layer of potatoes, followed by a layer of aubergines, and conclude with a layer of Arabic bread covered in yoghurt sauce. Repeat the process as many times as necessary. Garnish with pomegranate

INGREDIENTS: 2 medium Aubergines 2 large potatoes Arabic bread Can of hummus 1 Pomegranate Parsley Red Sauce: 3 tablespoons of olive oil 1 minced large onion 4 mashed garlic cloves 1 large tomato cut into cubes 3 tablespoons of tomato paste 1 teaspoon of vinegar 1 teaspoon of cumin 1 teaspoon of paprika Salt and pepper to taste Yoghurt Sauce: 2 yoghurt cartons 2 mashed garlic cloves 1 tablespoon of dried mint Salt and pepper to taste DESTINATION KSA 39



TRIPPIN’ Your monthly guide to eating and feasting around Saudi Arabia.



Leaves is your go to place for prime chocolates, souvenirs, and giveaways. Their chocolates are the perfect addition to any occasion. Exceeding your expectations is guaranteed!


Crowne Plaza Jeddah has achieved a unique variety in its Layali Ramadan buffet. It’s ideal for families and corporates who are looking for a spiritual atmosphere, and a cheerful kids’ area this Ramadan.

Location: Prince Saud Alfaisal St., Jeddah Mob: +966-564444928

Location: Crowne Plaza Jeddah, Al Ma'adi Rd., Al Hamra'a Dist., Jeddah Tel: +966-12-2604900





Mӧvenpick Hotel Tahlia Jeddah is set to become one of the city’s most soughtafter dining destinations. With Jeddah’s first restaurant managed by Michelin star chef Vineet Bhatia, this hotspot serves world-class Indian fusion cuisine that promises authenticity.


Guests can also enjoy International with allday dining, or Le Bistro Restaurant, featuring indoor and outdoor areas.

This Ramadan, try Le Voyageur. Offering a delectable buffet of dishes from around the world. You can also enjoy private dining at Grimaldi or Arabesque. For Corporate dining of 200 plus people, Duniaty Ballroom would be your ideal place. You can also enjoy a 15% discount for groups of 10 or more.

Location: Movenpick Hotel Tahlia 2368 Hail St., Al Andalus Dist. Jeddah Tel: +966-12-6125400

Location: 2482 Prince Faisal Bin Fahd St., Ash Shati Dist., Jeddah Tel: +966-12-6139000

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Enjoy a Wadi Haneefainspired ambiance at Goji Restaurant. We recommend their Konafa and their organic ice cream! For groups, Alwadi Ballroom can cater to 200 plus customers. You can also dine privately around the outdoor pool. Location: Courtyard by Marriott Riyadh Diplomatic Quarter Abdullah Al-Sahmi St., Al-Hada Dist. Riyadh Tel: +966-11-2817300


At Crowne Plaza Riyadh, the RDC Hotel and Convention Center gets inspired by traditional Arabic hospitality. The luxurious Ramadan decoration set up in the Mosaique restaurant is specially designed to treat you and your loved ones to a culinary voyage of discovery across the region; with live cooking stations, authentic dishes, and traditional flavours emblematic to the Holy Month.

kids will have special discounts to enjoy the experience. More discounts available on group bookings! Book your private Iftar or Suhoor for your group and enjoy an unforgettable evening filled with refined Arabic cuisine, hospitality, and service. Dine with us during Ramadan and enter in a daily raffle in addition to a chance to win our Grand prize a brand new Ford car 2019 model. At Crowne Plaza RDC hotel and convention, you aspire for it, we bring it to life.

Children between 6 to 12 years can enjoy 50% discount and below 6 years can dine for free. In addition to this, there will be an event called (Fawanees Ramadan) featuring kids activities like children’s cinema, oil painting, daily prizes, pottery art, puppet theatre, entertainment shows, and more. By dining in the restaurant, your

Web: crowneplazardc/ramadan Crowne Plaza Riyadh – RDC Hotel & convention center Tel: +966 11 813 1313 crowneplazardc DESTINATION KSA 41


RAMADAN HITS HOME AT ASSILA HOTEL Experience the taste of authenticity and the spirit of the season. Home is where the heart is, and the fastest way to anyone’s heart, honestly, is through their stomachs. Homemade food brings families together, is comforting, and floods us with nostalgic memories of people and places.

There’s no better time to savor homemade food than Ramadan for the obvious reasons. It’s the epitome of spiritual introspection, unity, mending relationships, patience, charity, and celebratory feasts.


The minute you set foot into Assila Hotel you feel at home. The hospitality is outstanding and the contemporary classic decor is utterly captivating and relatable. The hotel showcases around 2,000 works of art by Saudi talents. It’s no different behind their kitchens’ swinging doors, where more than 35 Saudi chefs can be seen diligently pouring their hearts out into whipping up local favorites. When asked what makes the cuisine at Assila Hotel stand out amidst competition, chef Amal Salamah stated that it’s the Chefs’ skill set, quality ingredients, and the careful combination of spices that deliver the authentic taste of home. “Cumin, coriander, and cinnamon claim the throne

when it comes to Saudi food”, she added. Chef Amal has been cooking for more than 20 years and her eldest encouraged her to pursue cooking as a profession. “The ladies of Madinah are famous for being terrific cooks and I learned a great deal from my aunts”, she remarked with a giggle. She hopes to one day see that the Saudi cuisine be adopted by hotel restaurants around the world, and she aspires to continue to create contemporary Saudi dishes that match international standards of culinary distinction. This Ramadan, head for a homey iftar in Assila ballroom with family and friends to

indulge in local dishes perfected by local expertise. Maybe even treat yourself and your loved ones to a fulfilling Suhoor after taraweeh prayers at Aubergine restaurant (a la carte) or Twenty Four restaurant (buffet). Chef Hassan Gashgary, who has been supervising Ramadan’s food operations since 2017 at the hotel, tells us that everything is prepared from scratch, and all ingredients are fresh. The Hijazi theme has gained wide acceptance in previous years and the atmosphere has always been lively and heartwarming. Chef Hassan had trained in Australia and worked for several restaurateurs for 8 years after realising that cooking was his true passion. Assila Hotel, your destination for hearty and satisfying Saudi meals this Ramadan. Welcome home, and from our family to yours we wish you a blessed Holy Month.

Location: Assila Hotel, Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz St, Al Andalus Web: assilahotel DESTINATION KSA 43


ARABIAN NIGHTS WITH ROSEWOOD JEDDAH Ramadan is a month where sharing means more for the entire community, a reminder to celebrate and accept diversity, and get more in tune with our humanity and spirituality. Families everywhere gather and bond over Ramadan traditions, creating memories for generations. Rosewood understands the value of these treasured memories, and wants to be part of their creation by providing a most authentic Ramadan experience.

Situated in one of the Middle East’s culturally rich cities, Rosewood Hotel in Jeddah offers a unique Arabesque atmosphere for Iftar this Ramadan in both its restaurants – Soleil and Habsburg. You can expect Middle Eastern cuisine featuring food varieties from Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon. Soleil Lounge, with its oasisinspired decor, will immediately give you a sense of tranquility, sanctuary, and abundance as you step in. Countless lanterns and draped tents in Habsburg restaurant, on the other hand, will take you back in time to experience the charm of Old Arabia. Endless views of the Red Sea, exquisitely prepared food, and the Rosewood staff’s expertise all make Iftar and Suhoor at Rosewood a must-


try for discerning diners in Jeddah. Both restaurants can accommodate up to 200 people and cater to group reservations and parties as well. With individual Iftar at 330 SAR, individual Sohour at 250 SAR per person, and group Iftar / Sohour menus tailored to suit all budgets and requirements, break your fast with some of the most delicious food in town, and share unforgettable memories with family and friends. From Rosewood’s tables to yours – Ramadan Kareem!

Web: Tel: +966-12-2607111 RosewoodJeddah rwjeddah

Arabian Nights THE PERFECT BLEND OF TRADITION AND STYLE Arabian Nights at Rosewood Jeddah

Sponsored by:

Mark this very special season, in an equally unique setting, where the old-world charms of Arabia seamlessly blends. Fill your Iftar and Sohour with Arabian splendor, embracing the culinary essence of Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt, Syria & Lebanon in the true spirit of Ramadan. DESTINATION KSA 45




By Deena Dakhiel

What drives a modern Muslim Woman to succeed in modern society? In this issue of Destination, we’ve gathered a handful of incredible ladies who show us that being extraordinary is a matter of deciding to go the extra mile: Extra Grit, Extra Passion, and Extra Hard Work. Arab 46 MAY/JUNE 2019

women are pushing boundaries, and as a whole, can get us across the finish line of progress. This Ramadan and all year long, we ask all of you to BE EXTRA kind, compassionate, and willing to lean on each other.


Saudi comedian Amy Roko encourages her followers to strive for what they want and go for it. She has always been a shy and timid kid and one day decided to reflect and ask herself why. She would see the women who fully embraced themselves, who walked in 48 MAY/JUNE 2019

confidence and she strived to achieve that, “everyone is out here looking super confident just doing what they want and doing what they like.� This inspired her to break out of her shell and just be whoever she wanted to be. The shift from being a shy

girl who never expressed herself to now being one of Saudi’s most recognized household names did not happen overnight for Amy, “It took a while for me to get here actually, it took work. I had to work on myself and expose myself to really awkward situations and blurt out embarrassing things. But hey! Here we are!” Amy Roko stresses the importance of not allowing the voices of others affect who she is, “it can stop you from reaching to where you want to go. Growing up I felt insecure,

but I stopped it there. At some point I thought, when am I going to move on to be this strong independent woman.” Her hijab has helped her express herself throughout the years, “without my hijab I feel kind of exposed. It’s like a warrior walking without his shield”. Her confidence and big personality has reached many throughout the Kingdom. She hopes to keep creating content and inspiring people to be a little more Extra Daring. amyroko DESTINATION KSA 49

With a lack of inspiration in modest fashion, Saufeeya started to take her own pictures and post them online to set things in motion. Due to there not being many resources available or figures to look up to, Saufeeya always questioned whether or not she should be continuing. She decided to kick hesitation to the curb and pave her own way, even if she could not foresee what would come out of her work. Not being sure what to expect or how the public would react to her decisions, Saufeeya kept growing her

50 MAY/JUNE 2019

platform regardless of the minor backlash, “there are definitely the negatives, but when you look at the bigger picture, it has been overwhelmingly positive.” Even when Saufeeya felt defeated or not accepted on a public platform, she remained strong-willed, “I definitely feel there is still a lot of challenges, especially in the Arab world. Whether it’s colorism or the way you dress. There is always something that can be critiqued.”

Saufeeya’s journey has taught her to push through and persevere. It made her pay attention to her surroundings, “your environment is the most important thing. It is what allows you to move forward and allows you to be motivated and inspired and succeed.” Saufeeya wants her followers to remain Extra Creative and Extra Passionate, especially when starting something new. saufeeya

Basma Elkhereiji is best known as an influencer and founder of The Social Kitchen restaurant in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She has also started The Social Kollective, an online store with all types of lifestyle products. Another project of hers is The Social Space, a venue offering rental packages for different social events as well as private occasions. Elkhereiji is an entrepreneur with no intentions

of stopping anytime soon. As a chef she gained inspiration from watching her mother cook, “she was my biggest influence growing up and I always found joy when I see people’s reaction to my food”. Her biggest challenge was overcoming mental challenges, “misconceptions I put in my head and the obstacles that I put in my own way”. Elkhereiji wants others to be Extra

Authentic and remain true to themselves. She advises others to never be afraid of being different, and reminds everyone that people tend to accept those who remain authentic. basmaelkhereiji DESTINATION KSA 51

Haifa encourages her followers not to be afraid of a little Extra Hussle. Sticking to the mentality of staying true to yourself and competing with yourself has created many opportunities for her. Leaving TV to become a content creator meant that she was able to make her own decisions rather than working for others who called the shots. 52 MAY/JUNE 2019

Haifa had an understanding of what the general public wanted, which is why she was able to branch out successfully into youtube and social media. “The audience just wants people that look like them and that they can relate to.� She pushed herself to focus on her goals despite everyday challenges and emotional pressures. Finding

a proper team to support her through her journey was the main struggle, but she persevered. Today, Haifa travels the world creating content that empowers her followers and encourages them to reach high and keep hustling. flywithhaifa

International fashion designer, Arwa Al-Banawi creates intricate designs for her collections. She gains inspiration from elements of her Saudi heritage, which shows in the way she merges the western and middle eastern cultures. Aside from her aiming to export Saudi culture, Arwa’s main drive was wanting to create clothing for strong, powerful women who always inspired

her, “fashion is more than just about the clothes, it’s about the women who wear the clothes.” Arwa learned that to capture the attention of the world she had to believe in her work and remain faithful to her message. “People are seeking work that is honest and very true to yourself. That will definitely show”. Her perseverance helped carry her through the challenges

of starting her contemporary women’s brand. This is why Arwa preaches the importance of being Extra Disciplined, “to develop a certain skill you have to have the discipline for it. I always say this to entrepreneurs and designers when they want to start their own thing or ask about my work and what I do”. arwaalbanawi


Fashion and graphic designer, Sara Rayess advises others to be Extra Patient, especially when starting a business. Rayess started making scarves seven years ago when she realized that there was a lack in the market. She could not find anything up to her liking. Her elegant style and the passion she had for design and fashion drove her success. The people around her who encouraged her to create her own fashion line, Foulard, helped drive her as well. 54 MAY/JUNE 2019

Taking Foulard from a local brand to an internationally recognized brand has been a challenging journey. Rayess learned not to depend on others and to put in hard work and be patient to come up with the results she wanted to see. “The more you give, the more effort you give to the thing you are doing, the more you will get.� foulard_f

After years of thinking she needed to change her physical appearance to be accepted by the general public, Laila Mourad urges her followers to be Extra Confident and accept themselves the way they are. “I wanted to get my nose done, and I thought that’s what I needed to go that extra mile and be better, then I slowly started to accept myself as I am and just really see myself as beautiful without having to change anything.” This shift in perspective allowed Mourad to get past her

insecurities and teach others the importance of self-acceptance before going through her health and fitness lifestyle change. “If I were talking to my younger self, I wouldn’t want her to feel horrible about herself and have to go through plastic surgery to change something about herself. I thought I don’t want to give off that message, so that also helped me just accept myself and accept that I don’t have to look perfect. I can just be natural and be myself.” Mourad found social media to

be more accepting than she had anticipated. With a diverse array of personalities and the large scale of social media, there is enough room for everyone to express who they want to be authentically. “I think you can be who you are and stay true to yourself without having to skew that. You will find a group of people who will love that and want to follow that.” lailamourad



A SCENTSATIONAL JOURNEY Exclusive access to new perfume brands with AlMalki Group The ideal luxury partner in KSA, AlMalki Group (AMG), established in 1952, is leading the niche perfumery market. With a portfolio of exclusive and niche perfumes, sourced from all over the world, they have established their own, “Store in Store” concept: Perfume Library.


Perfume Library caters to the segment of consumers who value singularity and uniqueness when it comes to the fragrances that they choose to express themselves with. Taking you on a journey categorized by key olfactive families – Woody, Oriental, Floral, and Fresh – Perfume Library enables the client to efficiently, and of course in a warm and approachable way, discover new fragrance masterpieces from over 15 niche brands. The name Perfume Library was specifically chosen to allude the time-tried concept of storytelling and discovery – a library! Through personalized design found in select doors, one enters and begins a journey of olfactive discovery; their logo, the quill, is one of the first steps in your trip to discovering your true, individual scent, telling your own story. In addition to being a platform of discovery, Perfume Library is also an incubator for niche brands to properly gain a foothold in an already saturated market. Using their expertise as a market leader in luxury distribution, all of the

products are sourced directly from the manufacturers themselves and brought directly to Saudi Arabia. AMG believes that perfumes and emotions greatly impact one another, and each scent in Perfume Library is a story in itself, and its creator is the author or writer. Niche perfumery can be a way for creators to express themselves and their emotions. Take BDK Parfums, created by David Benedek, which expresses his intimate and emotional attachments to Paris where he lives, and the time he spends creating scents. David expresses not only an idea, but also a reflection of how certain aspects make him feel, and his creations share that story with you. Pas Ce Soir for instance tells the story of how Parisians are free and joyful. Through John- Paul Welton’s illustrious career and travels, as well as multiple collaborations with world-renowned designers such as the late Karl Lagerfeld and Christian Lacroix, he created seven fragrances evoking the beauty of Italy, Egypt, the Middle East, and

Spain. This intimate collection touches on excerpts from his travel diaries. Go on an olfactive journey at any Perfume Library counter in the Kingdom, or get direct access to the perfumes from the AlMalki Group’s upcoming e-commerce page launching early this summer. Available at: Musbah, Dammam airport Robinson’s, Kingdom Tower, Riyadh King Khalid airport Terminal 5 (Domestic), Riyadh Beauti, Jeddah Select Laure Boutiques

Web: almalkigroupksa




The perfect makeup looks for Ramadan and Eid Whether you’re going out for iftar, or going out for Eid, we got you covered. In collaboration with FacesWojooh, here are a couple of gorgeous looks.


Opt for a natural look during Ramadan, to better highlight your features, yet it will still keep your look simple.

SKIN (WOW BY WOJOOH, MAKE UP FOR EVER): Gimme Glow Primer Flawless Matte Liquid Foundation Master Finish Matte Setting Powder Ultra HD Concealer

EYES (WOW BY WOJOOH, JEFFREE STAR): Let’s Face It Palette The Androgyny Palette Master Brow Tinted Brow Definer Double Trouble Mascara

LIPS (JEFFREE STAR): Velour Liquid Lipstick

LOOK BY: Sumaya is a member of




Glam up this Eid with this glowing soft-glamorous look with cherry red undertones that adds a pop of color to this makeup trend.


Picture Perfect Liquid Foundation Picture Perfect Full Cover Correction Ultra HD Concealer Skin Frost Highlighting Powder

EYES (WOW BY WOJOOH, JEFFREE STAR) : Master Brow Kit Kohl Design Eye Pencil The Beauty Killer Palette Double Trouble Mascara

LIPS (JEFFREE STAR): Velour Liquid Lipstick


nada_aljhani From rolabeautytc, a beauty training center that’s sponsored

by Faces

Web: facesbeautymiddleeast DESTINATION KSA 59




The Tasteful, The Tacky, and The Tokenistic By Athba AlMaghlouth EIC of

The fashion industry has finally awakened to a $450 billion new customer: the "modest-wear" client, with a-not-so-modest spending power. Initially, eyebrows were raised when it came to catering to the sometimes controversial topic of the "hijab," but they quickly fell back to place with the rise of their profit margins. Still, the dilemma facing brands jumping onto the modest fashion bandwagon is: how to cater to a market they still know so little about? The result is often a miss – enter Dolce & Gabbana's Beverly Hills Hotel wallpaper abayas. 60 MAY/JUNE 2019

Inclusivity is always here to be championed; whether in runway castings, capsule collections, or editorial campaigns. Yet, we cannot ignore the ignorant elephant in the room: tokenism – a brand’s social conscious paton-the-back for being “woke,” that comes with a ticked off diversity box in their annual score cards. Take Victoria's Secret CMO Ed Razek’s comments last November when, ahead of the VS annual fashion show, he defended the brand’s exclusion of plus-size models, by saying “the show is a fantasy.” Fast-forward to five months and longer body measuring tapes later, to headlines of 55kg model Barbara Palvin earning her wings as the first “plus-size" VS Angel. Tokenism at its finest but I digress. This is no different to capsule collections and sublines targeting the Khaleeji customer, or the modest client at large. Saudi stylist Nora AlEissa comments, “Local designers have lately stepped up their game by adopting a modern approach to traditional staples, while international brands constantly miss the mark by exclusively pulling inspiration from stereotypical oriental tropes without even bothering to understand their significance.” It's true that our heritage as Arabs is bicoastal in many ways, but Ramadan collections really can be more than Moroccan chiffon kaftans embellished with micro-sequin silver stars…

While Dolce & Gabbana and Carolina Herrera should’ve been applauded for leading the industry into taking the first public steps toward inclusivity, targeted market research would’ve been the way to go when it came to their infamous abaya collections. The result: a 50% reduction to collections that can't give away! The issue with many brands is not so much the fantasization of the Orient, but the production of a narrative that is so far removed from our own. Book a flight from Khobar, take a transit to Riyadh before heading to Jeddah – and you’ll witness distinctively different style aesthetics from coast to coast. Other brands, however, present a winning case of how it's done – enter Max Mara’s latest capsule collection, designed with the first hijabi supermodel, Halima Aden. Her idea of modesty saw the reworking of the brand's iconic wool camel coat, along with six staple other pieces. Even the regional marketing was astute, utilizing three influential Saudi women, with three various distinctive hijab styles and personalities. Finally, a campaign that resonated with us women – diverse, authentic, and anything but superficial. Modesty is not a fetish, nor a 5-year update to a marketing strategy. It’s an identity and a spirit of its own. It’s here to be celebrated, not superficially imitated. And now with social media and our celebrity representatives crossing borders and industries, brands have no excuse! DESTINATION KSA 61


CONCEPT STORES Here’s a roundup of some boutiques in the Kingdom that offer a unique retail shopping experience.

Crate Crate is not your typical concept store (because it has delicious food, too!).

Our Pick: We absolutely love these stylish and edgy golden flats from Mishkat.


Location: Al Yamamah St., Salamah Dist. crate.ksa

Number Nine

Ruf Concept Store This newly opened concept store in Jeddah is giving us all the good feels. Our Pick: These natural and homemade products from Essence, including body scrubs and lotions, will have your skin feeling refreshed. Location: Al Imam Malik St. Al Rawdah Dist.


Homegrown Market The ladies and the fellas will find different options at Homegrown Market.

Our Pick: Rock your outfit in one of these chic and unique hats from Trunk. Location: Prince Saud Al Faisal St., Al Rawdah Dist. homegrown_market

When it comes to concept stores, Number Nine is known for being a fast-fashion and lifestyle concept store, with cool pieces from all over the world. Our Pick: Statement hoodies and T-shirts from Not Boring. Location: Fiorenza La Piazza Takhassusi St., Al Mohammadiyyah Dist. conceptno.9

Pattern The minimalistic, industrial vibes at Pattern, will make you never want to leave.

Our Pick: Hair accessories are never out of style! These headbands from Joojoo Headwear are the perfect touch to complete any outfit. Location:King Abdulaziz Branch Rd., Al Yasmin Dist. pattern_saudi 62 MAY/JUNE 2019

SHARQIYA Qantara You’ll find luxury lighting, wall décor, decorative accessories, and furniture, all at Qantara.

Draft If you want to feel inspired, Draft concept store is the place for you. You can shop stationery items, home decor pieces, and more.

Our Pick: We love these tribal backpacks that have their unique and distinguished designs from Lasuna. Location: 2nd floor, Centria Mall, Olaya St., Al Olaya Dist. draftthoughts

Our Pick: This delicate, wellthought-of Butterfly Ginkgo centerpiece. Location: Prince Turkey St., Al Yarmouk Dist., Khobar Web:

Vintage Selections Their vibrant and lively items are what draw us to buy more! Our Pick: These beautifully crafted and unique prayer mats.

Design Society KSA If you’re looking for the latest and trendiest accessories and abayas in town, then Design Society is the place for you! Our Pick: This chic, colorful, and structured abaya by WG Line. Location: Al Gosaibi Village, Al Yarmouk, Khobar designsociety.ksa




THE OXFORD SHIRT Add colors to your daily wear with Giordano’s Oxford shirts. As the sun starts to shine and the weather warms up, it can be hard to dress well and keep cool. Keeping this in mind, Giordano has launched a new Spring collection of men’s Oxford shirts that delivers the high-quality material and fit you expect from this beloved brand. These slim-fit Oxford shirts are sleek and inject a splash of seasonally-appropriate color into your ensemble, featuring a fresh and clean silhouette just as good for the office look as well as for the weekend. “Owing to their versatility, Giordano's Oxford shirts are absolute essentials bringing minimal fuss, yet boasting both comfort and class. Depending on your preferences, you can either go for the Oxford Classic with delicate embroidery, or the smart look with the Lion embroidery. The collection comes in navy, white, and blue options and is made out of 100% cotton with durable fabric,” said Mr. Ahmadullah Abdul hadi, COO, Giordano, Saudi Arabia. Giordano’s success is deeply rooted in its five corporate business values of Quality, Knowledge, Innovation, Service and Simplicity (Q.K.I.S.S). The essence of Giordano is to provide relevant, essential and timeless fashion for all, and to develop apparel for

everyone regardless of ethnicity, nationality or culture. It operates over 2,450 stores in 30 countries across Asia, Australia, Africa, Canada, Central America, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East, and plans to explore many more untapped markets across the world. Giordano is a brand for everyone, everywhere.

Web: giordanosaudi





AT MARRIOTT DQ Collaborating with Hewar Gallery, Marriott champions Saudi creativity.

Throughout the world, Marriott has been a patron of the arts among 5-star hotels, celebrating the masterpieces and heritage unique to its every address and cultural host. The newest addition to the Marriott collection is nestled at the heart of the Diplomatic Quarters, one of the most sought-after districts in Riyadh. Its strategic location is near key embassies and government institutions. Inspired by the scenic and fertile Wadi Hanifa, the low-rise hotel resembles the smooth, dry canyon terrain of the valley. Once you step inside, the waterways guide your way, ushering guests through the arrival court and into the palm dotted oasis at

its center. Seeking to provide guests with an exceptional experience and introduction to the local culture while championing the creativity of Saudi talents, Marriott Riyadh has collaborated with Hewar Art Gallery to showcase local art on its property walls. Utilizing their breadth of experience in art consultancy and curation, the gallery has commissioned Saudi artists to create bespoke pieces for the hotel. Marriott DQ is a premium and trusted extended-stay experience, in the heart of Riyadh’s Diplomatic Quarter. Strategically located, our luxury apartments are within easy reach to the city’s many embassies and corporate head offices and only a 30min drive from Riyadh’s King Khaled


International Airport. Our 140 five-star serviced apartments are tastefully furnished and feature fully equipped kitchens with modern appliances. Sophisticated style and tailored services provide an ambiance where you can connect, accomplish and explore. Colocated under one roof with the Riyadh Marriott Hotel Diplomatic Quarter you can take advantage of a variety of amenities, such as unique restaurants and lounges, a stateof-the-art fitness center and flexible event space. Leading with innovative design and inspired by the ambiance of Wadi Hanifa, the complex features a protected microclimate, links existing road and pedestrian city networks and creates an abundant oasis within the buzzing city of Riyadh.


Sameer is a renowned artist whose contributions are recognized in the art scene for the past 30 years. His abstract artworks beautifully narrate the tales of the Saudi community and the small details of the society, displaying his deep love and affection towards his traditions and heritage.

Mohammed Al Rubat

A prominent name in the Saudi fine arts scene since the mid-90s, his artistic journey is a combination of meditation and experience, and further strengthening his skills with diligent practice and passion.

Ahmed Al Khazmari

Ahmed is one of the important Saudi artists who engraved a distinctive mark in the world of art and ideology, in a way that reflects the depth of his 25 years of artistic experience, making him an icon in the fine art arena. He embodies his historical identity and mimics visual heritage on his paintings, using techniques and brush strokes in a process that only experts can master.

Tel: +966-11-8353000 marriottriyadhdq DESTINATION KSA 67


THE PIECES CONCEPT When style and sophistication meet Pieces is not your typical furniture store. Having been around since 2012, it was opened to provide customers with classic, modern, contemporary, and luxury artisan furniture pieces and home accessories, all catering to different tastes. Their unique mix of thoughtfully selected products influence everything they offer in their collections. By selecting suppliers very carefully, they provide the highest quality of products to their customers. Deema, the founder of Pieces, started Concept for her love and passion for home décor and furniture. “We buy pieces for our home that must look and feel good,” she says. Deema believes that our homes must have a dash of authenticity and a hint of style, as they are a reflection of who we are. She personally buys and chooses each piece to be displayed in the store. “Our home tells a story of who we are, and how we live with the things we love the most. We must feel the love with every piece we add.” She adds that what’s beautiful about home decor is that you can truly get creative – there are no limits to creativity, to having your surroundings reflect your style and personality. 68 MAY/JUNE 2019 PROMOTED CONTENT/ PIECES

Pieces goes beyond home accessories and furniture pieces – their unique items have also been made for special events as they have a service for wedding planners and event planners to customize special pieces for their happy, special occasions.

Location: Prince Turki Bin Abdelaziz Al Awwal St., Hittin Dist., Riyadh Web: pieces_sa




THE WAY OF LIVING WITH ELEGANT HOME When it comes to crafting the perfect home, every design enthusiast knows that furniture can make or break a space. Choosing the right pieces of furniture can elevate your entire home aesthetic. Elegant Home’s main vision is to enhance the customer’s “Way of Living” by transforming their living space to create harmony and balance at their homes.

Hooker Furniture at Elegant Home

Visiting Elegant Home showroom, whether you are a home-owner or a professional designer, you will find a variety of styles and colors that are distinctive from what you usually see. The selection at Elegant Home is inspired by the latest trends, is renewed frequently, and offers different styles to ensure that there is something for all tastes. If you are looking for uniqueness and difference, you’re welcome to visit any of Elegant Home showrooms and follow their social media accounts!

Bernhardt at Elegant Home 70 MAY/JUNE 2019 PROMOTED CONTENT/ ELEGANT HOME

Web: eleganthome_ksa



CARROM Building Communities through Play By Jumanah Abualkhair

Sure, games are a quick way to pass the time, but they can play a much bigger role. Hijazi culture, which is a unique mix of diverse traditions, shows us exactly that. When they decided to migrate, our ancestors brought with them many things – spices, fabrics, tools, habits, and yes, even games. Carrom is one of those games, with its roots traced back all the way to South Asia.


As a board game, Carrom is portable and family-friendly. Players position their strikers in a set field and flick to score their small puck-shaped pieces into any of the four corner pockets. Those pieces come in white and black, placed in a symmetric cluster at the center of the board. A special red piece – the Queen – is positioned in the middle. Rules vary according to the players and the region, but generally, to win, players take turns striking until one team pockets all of their respective colored pieces, with the Queen no longer on the board. Carrom is far from being a simple, passive game. Pocketing the Queen and “covering” by immediately trying to score any of the team’s remaining colored pieces can quickly incite a heated argument. It’s all about precision and skill, and it can be very competitive; players 72 MAY/JUNE 2019

are even calling for Olympic recognition. Tournaments are hosted globally, open for amateurs and professionals alike, the last one being the 2018 Carrom World Cup held in Chuncheon, South Korea. And yet, to its players, Carrom is more than just a competition. Playing Carrom is (and has always been) about building a community, especially during Ramadan, when families would stay up late into the night, talking and playing with each other until suhoor. The kids would get together to orchestrate lively matches, involving the whole neighborhood. They would side with their siblings against their cousins, with their families against their neighbors and, sometimes, even with their next-door neighbors against the whole block. Carrom was fun. Carrom was loud. Carrom was communal. These tournaments were a way to forge strong relationships. And the stories told to future generations, of nights spent with the sound of the striker hitting wood, the sound of laughter in the air, the feeling of triumph and rivalry – these are the memories that make our culture unique. Personal. Ours. These experiences are what later shape us, moments we ultimately seek to recreate.

Carrom proves to be a popular game played by many throughout generations, perfect for appreciative grandparents and skeptic teenagers. Not only is it fun and addictive, it acts as a strong symbol of cultural heritage, one that helps us connect with, reimagine, and reenact our own rich history. You need a minimum of two players to play the game. The bigger the group, the more teamwork required. And by working together, we are able to become stronger. Carrom ultimately teaches us a lesson: community is key. Play together, win together, lose together. The vibrant suburbs that still play Carrom are, to this day, known for their solidarity. Games aren’t about winning, but about understanding (both “enemies” and allies). The overwhelming presence of numbers made physical: a crowd watching, teammates cheering, opponents goading – this is what makes Carrom real, a traditional game that settled with the settlers and spread throughout the region.



COMPOUND LIVING AT ITS BEST Secure contemporary living at Retal Residence A self-contained oasis for individuals and families, Retal Residence is designed to provide a lifestyle of convenient community living. Boasting a spectacular 120,000 m2 of property space a few minutes drive from the Al Khobar Corniche, the compound comprises 416 modern and lavish residences – villas, town villas, and apartments – nestled amongst landscaped gardens, walking paths, and state-of-the-art health and wellness, entertainment, and lifestyle amenities. Each residence has its own individual style, yet all share the same ethos and levels of service – fully furnished and equipped units with electricity, water, IP TV, Wi-Fi, and 24/7 security.

Retal Residence excels in offering a smart property with an excellent facility management system, and its residents benefit from a private app with advanced services at their fingertips. The app offers everything from reporting damages, maintenance, requesting internet upgrades, submitting documents to the management, booking appointments at the Club House Spa, and viewing and paying bills, all the way to ordering in-house pizza delivery. Encouraging a life of health and vitality, the residential compound is designed to embrace an active life for the whole family, with its beautifully landscaped communal outdoor sport spaces – a tennis court, indoor and


outdoor swimming pools, gym, spacious walking paths, and more. Residents also have easy access to all the entertainment facilities, from a Dolby Atmos and a 4-lane bowling alley, to restaurants and various cafes. Discover this modern sanctuary where the quality of service is a way of life. Retal Residence welcomes you to a life you’ve always dreamed of!

Location: Salma Bin Suliman St., As Sadafah, Dammam Web: retalresidence



EXPLORE MAKKAH & MADINAH By Mustafa Al Hafi (Edited by Nessreen Tamano)

Ramadan season is upon us, and if you’re like the locals, you’re probably planning on visiting the Holy Cities of Makkah and Madinah to complete your spiritual journey. Here are some things to do while you’re there, to get the full experience.



First and foremost, take your pick from any one of the amazing hotels that surround the Holy Mosque, all of which provide easy access to the Haram and the surrounding traditional markets. Some of them have rooms with a breathtaking view of the Holy Mosque, especially during prayer times. 76 MAY/JUNE 2019



Plan your 48 hours so you have ample time to perform Umrah and visit the areas around the Haram. Depending on how crowded it is, your Umrah will take an average of two to three hours. Make sure to pass by the Fairmont Makkah Clock Tower, considered to be one of the tallest buildings in the world with its 120 floors!


Hit the road early in the morning towards Jabal Al Nour (Mountain of Lights), which houses the cave where the Prophet Muhammad received the first message of Islam.

In the afternoon, stop by the Kabba Kiswah Factory, where you can learn about the history of Kiswah and experience the process of making it. End the night with a shopping trip to some of the street shops for more souvenirs.


Try to head towards the local Miqat of Makkah, known as Masjid Al Taneem, before noon; this is the mosque built on the city’s boundaries – signaling where the pilgrimage starts.


For lunch, there are various restaurants serving different local and international cuisines in the city, but if you like, you can try the famous Al Baik fried chicken. Afterwards, head towards the Mina area, which has more than 100,000 air-conditioned tents prepared for pilgrims during the Hajj season. From Mina, you can go visit Arafat, also known as The Mountain of Mercy.



Start with a visit to the Prophet Muhammad Mosque; if you want to be able to enjoy the prayer in the “Rawdah Sharifah,” then try to get there an hour before noon midday prayer. You might also pass by the Al Baqia Cemetery, where most of the Prophet’s Companions and wives are buried.

On the morning of your second day, go on a trip to Mount Uhud, located 13km outside of Madinah, where one of the famous battles in Islamic history happened. On your way back from the mountain, stop by Masjid Quba, one of the famous mosques in Madinah with its 62 domes, built by the original residents and the Companions of the Prophets who came from Makkah and settled in Madinah.



Another important stop during your visit is the Madinah Museum, located by the Hijaz Railway Station. The museum features 21 halls with many synthetic and visual exhibitions of Madinah, in addition to historical objects belonging to Ottoman train and some old vehicles restored by the National Authority for Tourism and National Heritage.

Enjoy the famous “Zalabiah Al Madinah,” traditional fried food in Madinah, which is best to try at the Al Basha Traditional Food restaurant. Finish your first day in in the city at Al Noor Mall, one of the largest in Madinah, or, if you are looking to get souvenirs, head for the bustling street markets.


Masjid Al Qiblatayn is where Prophet Muhammad received the command from Allah to change the Qiblah, where all Muslims face during prayer, from Jerusalem to Makkah. Afterwards, visit the Dar Al Madinah Museum, the first to be dedicated to Madinah’s urban heritage, telling the story of the city and Islamic civilization. It also has a large collection of antiquities and old photographs of Madinah.

There is a Makkah-Madinah Train, so don’t forget to book your tickets! Web: DESTINATION KSA 77



Saudi Arabia, the fifth largest country in the continent of Asia, is a land of wonders that not many have ventured to discover. As travelers, we get a kick out of discovering places, from big cities with breathtaking skyscrapers to places that are raw and full of wilderness. We search relentlessly for those unique experiences all around us and beyond, and Saudi Arabia never ceases to fail us when it comes to that. 78 MAY/JUNE 2019

isn’t hard, and can be a short distance away. As soon as you get on the road, the landscape and scenery changes. Mountains and hills start to appear and in between them rises into view small villages with as little as ten houses huddled together, creating a scene of a simpler life that you don’t get to see every day. Passing through the villages and out, an expanse of wilderness awaits to be discovered. Going into the wilderness can be challenging

– not all the roads lead to your destination. You might find yourself making your own path into the desert to reach a place like no other in the world. This lack of services and directions along the way make this experience beautiful, an opportunity to explore and make the whole journey an experience rather than just the destination. In traveling to new places, you are bound to get lost, but that is not a bad thing! You might end up experiencing the hospitality rooted deep in the Arab culture.


Traveling around Saudi Arabia is an exceptional experience because you are always on a new path. Starting with a big city, between the tall buildings and busy streets, you will find the old parts of the city that represent the heart of Saudi culture with its old and historical structures. We tend to overlook these simple, beautiful things in our everyday life that speak about Saudi’s history and cultural significance. Getting out of the city to detach from all that is modern and get some peace of mind in the tranquility of nature

A massive area of black dunes from volcanic materials; East of Umluj DESTINATION KSA 79

There isn’t a wrong destination when you are traveling the roads of Saudi Arabia, because every turn is a destination. It might be scary at first, but traveling responsibly and with a group (like us!) can make your exploration of the Kingdom an authentic and ultimately enjoyable experience.

Wadi Al Disah; Tabuk Region (Photo Credits: Houssam Saba) 80 MAY/JUNE 2019

Catalina Seaplane from the 1930s; Ras Al Sheikh Hamid, Tabuk Region (Photo Credits: Houssam Saba) DESTINATION KSA 81


Georgios Shipwreck: Haql, Tabuk Region (Photo Credits: Houssam Saba)


MUST-DOS FOR LOCAL ADVENTURERS Text and Photography By Mona Alzubair

Outdoor activities like camping or hiking present an invaluable chance to immerse oneself in an environment unlike our own. So as you pack and get ready for your next local adventure, leave your assumptions behind, live up to the experience, and own it. Here are five points that will certainly enrich your upcoming local outdoor travel.

mechanism that living things guard and close on themselves when danger approaches, and yes, you can represent danger to a tree, a bird, or a wildflower! Think of it this way: nature becomes itself when it is undisturbed and progressing on its own pace, not yours.

EXPAND YOUR HORIZON. There are no limits to the amount of knowledge you can gain from an adventure. So push your boundaries, explore new surroundings, and ask as many questions as you can. What kind of terrain is it? How isolated is it from surrounding inhabitants? What kind of human impact is there? How did this location come to being from an ecological, geological, or other standpoint? As you continue to explore, you’ll thank yourself for going beyond the surface.

So go about your adventure with the awareness that you are a visitor, bringing with you only respect and appreciation. Ponder on the fact that it took mountains and valleys hundreds of millions of years to form, and the surrounding younger and transformative elements are in sync with this ecosystem, moving all in harmony and in accordance to a grand wisdom. Respect it.




“LET THE BIRD SING.” Rest assured that the moment your city-life self interacts with nature, it retracts and somewhat limits your experience. It is a coded natural protection 82 MAY/JUNE 2019

The delicate interaction between all the elements of nature will not be revealed or fully expressed to you or to others around you when you are loud, hurried, and abrasive.


BE CLEAR ON OBJECTIVES, EVERYONE. Be conscious of why you are taking this trip. Is it a mini getaway from daily pressures? Do you want to see this specific location you’ve heard about? Do you constantly imagine yourself standing on a hill overlooking a magnificent sunrise? It could

Al Wahbah Crater, a volcanic crater 250 km from Taif, in the western region of Saudi Arabia.

Ibrahim Mountain area, Bani Malik DESTINATION KSA 83

be anything, but you need to figure out what it is! As you do so, you should also inquire and align with the objectives of the group you are traveling with. The company you go with is what will make or break your trip, and if you are not aligned at least on the major objectives, expect that compromises will be made. This could range from the food you will eat if you are sharing resources, the timing of specific hikes and activities, and general rules of the group, etc. You are all in this together, so verbalize your needs.


BECOME A MASTER PLANNER. Packing for a camping trip is a skill acquired through experience. Every time you do it, you become better at it, realizing that certainly you don’t need four t-shirts or your big bottle of body lotion for a 2-day trip when space is limited and every gram counts (especially if it is a backpacking trip where you will be carrying all your needs for a considerable length of time!). If you are traveling with a guide, ask questions – a good guide will let you know what the essentials are beforehand. It’s important to not let others “carry you” 84 MAY/JUNE 2019

throughout the trip; don’t expect them to carry an extra headlight or camp chair for you, for instance. Train yourself to give up some comforts and embrace the hardships your upgraded self is now experiencing.


AIM FOR THE STARS (AND/OR THE MOON)! As someone who practices night photography, I am fascinated by the night’s enormous potential for dream-like photographs. Among other things, the timing of your trip as well as how far you are from city lights will determine the outcome; each scenario has its own unique gifts to offer. First thing I usually do is figure out where the moon falls in its lunar cycle. You will get a nightscape with the dominance of either the moon or the stars, not both. I once camped in a 1% moon phase in Al Ula, the starriest night I have ever witnessed – heaven was truly a place on earth that night. If you’re not into night photography, don’t discount the night time experience outdoors. Allow yourself to adjust to the darkness with as little light pollution as possible, and you will be surprised by what and how much you can see.

BONUS TIP: The Principles of Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace (LNT) is a set of international standards for outdoors decisionmaking. The five points we mentioned are inspired by the spirit of LNT which informs on much more than how to minimize impact outdoors to a practical and ethical code of conduct. These are golden rules; if you learn and practice them, you will have contributed to the preservation of the wilderness, and to spreading the love of nature.

Al Ula is one of the tourism mega projects, a must visit for its natural marvel and historical significance. DESTINATION KSA 85


SPA RETREATS IN SAUDI ARABIA Here’s a roundup of our favorite spas in the Kingdom to get pampered this Eid.




A sensory sanctuary for women on the 17th floor of Assila Hotel, this spa is operated by Mermaid Salon and Spa and guarantees a journey of rejuvenation. There are individual treatment rooms offering a collection of wellness treatments, and relaxation rooms to ensure the ultimate spa day. The spa ensures tranquility overlooking the city of Jeddah, while providing guests with the best facilities—from steam rooms, to salons, and a top of the line fitness center. Assila also hosts a spa for men on the 18th floor. Location: Assila Towers, Tahliya St. assilahotel 86 MAY/JUNE 2019

Launched in 2007, Oriana Salon and Spa has become one of Jeddah’s most beloved, known for its comfortable environment and top-notch services. Their menu runs the gamut from facials to massages by specialized experts, making it a great escape for their customers to enjoy its serene and tranquil atmosphere. In a city as cosmopolitan as Jeddah, Oriana has managed to grow a strong following among elite female guests.



It offers an assorted and exquisite range of services and innovative techniques for their skin and hair treatments, while maintaining their authenticity

Going through Manna Center’s menu, one is spoiled for choice with various relaxing options, from manipedis and hair treatments to facials and massages.



Manna Center is committed to providing its customers with a full-body pampering. With a dozen different massages available for anyone wanting their knots kneaded, one of their most popular treatments is reflexology, designed to stimulate reflexes for the mind and body through a therapeutic acupressure massage, a perfect remedy for aching souls. The spa treatments also include soothing Swedish massage, exfoliations, hot stone therapy,

by being one of very few local brands in the Kingdom. Amidst an elegant ambience, the services provided allows guests to unwind, indulge, and rejuvenate themselves, making their visit one that has a lasting experience. Not only does it offer a dozen different massages with special Moroccan bath packages, there's also semi-permanent makeup application, wraps, scrubs and nail treatments, special bridal services, and lots more.

Location: Al Kurnaysh Rd, Atallah Commercial Center, Jeddah Web: oriana_salonandspa

and the luxurious Moroccan bath and massage to follow making it a heavenly indulgence. Offering a choice of different Moroccan baths ranging from regular hammam to a special one called Al-Maliki, designed for a special retreat, Manna Center’s qualified specialists cater to every need to leave you feeling relaxed and calm. Besides a long list of beauty therapies, Manna Center has a solid selection of facial treatments too, such as a deepcleaning facial and aroma facial.

Location: Abdullah Aba Al Khayl, Al Khalidiyyah, Jeddah mannacenter DESTINATION KSA 87



AURORA SPA BY JOELLE Faithful to its brand, this spa at the ground floor of the Movenpick Riyadh is where specialists design a special journey of rejuvenation. The spa is a lavish, tranquil hideaway with six individual therapy rooms, offering a wide variety of tailored treatments designed to help you unwind, balance, and uplift. Location: King Fahd Rd, An Namudhajiyah, Mรถvenpick Hotel, Riyadh movenpickriyadh For reservations, call: +966 11 457 9999



JOLIE DAME This salon is known for its chic hairdos, highlights, and a whole host of face and nail touch-ups. If bags under your eyes have enhanced during the sleepless nights of Ramadan, this salon also offers the Thalgo eye treatment that reduces the appearance of wrinkles and dark circles. Location: Makkah Al Mukarramah St., Al Aqrabiya, Khobar joliedame_sa

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Saudi Arabia’s Special Olympics Athletes

When 50 Saudi athletes arrived home from the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, hearts around the Kingdom beat as one in celebration of their return. They were welcomed back as the heroes they are; airports across the Kingdom hosted jubilant family members, friends, co-workers, government officials, and royal family members, all excited to applaud the phenomenal efforts of the team who gave it their all to bring pride to their country and us all. 90 MAY/JUNE 2019

The Saudi men’s team wins the gold medal during the relay.

The Saudi women’s Basketball team imbibes the spirit of the games as they assist an injured opposing player.


Athlete Heba Shawli embraces her coach in celebration.

At the World Games, Saudi Arabia was represented by 21 women and 29 men. Throughout the week-long competition, the athletes created inspiring moments of sheer passion, skill, and joy, culminating in a life-changing experience for everyone that was involved.

outside of the Kingdom. For others, it was their first time to visit Abu Dhabi. Every moment, in the lead-up to and during the World Games, has created a lasting experience that every athlete, family member, volunteer, and spectator will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

It’s these moments that are important, even more so than the 40 medals won by Saudi Arabia’s athletes during the World Games, as they represent the real heart and soul of the Special Olympics. For several of the athletes, this was their first time competing

For Faiz AlShehri, Assistant to the Head of Saudi Arabia’s delegation, the most overwhelming moment of the World Games was when the they entered the Zayed Sports City stadium during the opening ceremony. “We were representing Saudi Arabia

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with the biggest delegation to date, including female athletes for the first time, and I felt so happy and proud to be there.” Having spent a lot of time with the athletes during the course of the World Games week, Faiz saw the impact participating in such an event had on them. “They met new people, made new friends. This is what the Games were founded for and what they encourage – friendships and inclusion of athletes with intellectual disabilities, and the opportunity to meet their peers from other countries and different cultures.”

There are hundreds of unsung heroes who gave their time, talent, and love into making the journey possible. Accompanying Saudi Arabia’s team were family members, coaches, doctors, and nutritionists, as well as representatives from the Special Olympics Saudi Arabia Federation. One of the parents at the World Games was Heba Al Shawli’s mother, Reem Abdulrazzak. Heba participated in several athletics events, winning gold and bronze medals. “My daughter’s achievements give me a great sense of pride, and I am also proud of all of the other athletes,” she said. “More than being a success just for Heba, I see the participation of all of our athletes as a national achievement. The Special Olympics World Games is a platform that promotes respect of the differences we all have, and it proves that people with intellectual disabilities – people with disabilities in general – have amazing skills that should be nurtured and invested in.” More than the excitement of winning, though, is the opportunities for growth that the World Games offered to Heba, and many other athletes. “These Games have strengthened her courage, and she has become

more disciplined and committed to her daily routine, which now includes exercise and training.” The sentiment was echoed by Mona Albaiti, who coached the award-winning women’s bocce team. “The World Games has had such a major positive impact on the athletes, especially in terms of boosting their self-confidence and their enthusiasm for participating in sport.” It was an emotional experience for Mona herself. “I cannot describe how I feel, being part of a team that has grown to be more like a family. For months, our athletes have worked hard, supporting one another through the highs and lows that come with being international athletes. Watching them grow together and become more confident in themselves and their abilities, seeing the hard work and effort come to fruition, and getting such a positive response from the media – it was all beyond our expectations.” Volunteers from Saudi Arabia also travelled to the UAE to join thousands more from around the world who donated their time to make the Special Olympics an incredible experience. The ecosystem of support extends beyond the attendees; it includes the communities in which the athletes were raised, and the educational and rehabilitation

centers around the Kingdom which play such an important role in providing education and opportunities to people with intellectual disabilities. The Help Center in Jeddah, for example, is where the women’s unified basketball team began its gold-medal journey. It also includes the companies that embrace diversity and practice inclusion by employing people with disabilities, and everyone who takes the time to engage with a post featuring Special Olympics Saudi Arabia on social media. Every little moment counts and contributes towards the creation of a nationwide environment that supports and celebrates everyone. If there’s one thing that our athletes have shown us, it’s that the support of the community can help everyone shine. As the dust settles on the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, the athletes have been welcomed back and celebrated into their everyday lives, with the knowledge that they’ve made their country proud, and the understanding that this is far from the end of their story. Their experiences have made them stronger and more confident, they’ve made friends from around the world, and they’ve proven that it’s possible to make dreams come true. DESTINATION KSA 93


STOP THE STIGMA Let’s Start a Conversation on Mental Health By Yasmine Mohamed

Mental illness scares us because it is an abstract disease of the mind that is not readily proven to exist unlike physical ailment. We fear what we do not know. To cope with that, it becomes easy to

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go into denial, or make assumptions about it and avoid people suffering from mental illness. Being unaware of proven facts about mental illness further entangles an already complex situation.

Mental illness has a grand halo of stigma surrounding it, a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person. Sadly, it is considered a disgrace to suffer from mental illness in our society, and that is an added burden for all involved. Like any disease, there is an underlying causative biological imbalance in mental illness; it’s not a choice. It most certainly is something that needs to be addressed.

According to an article published in the World Psychiatry Journal in 2002 titled “Understanding the Impact of Stigma on People with Mental Illness,” stigma can be divided into public stigma (also known as social stigma) and selfstigma. Public stigma is the general population’s (including family and friends) reaction to people suffering from mental illnesses. Self-stigma is the prejudice people with mental illness have against themselves. Both kinds of stigma include three elements: stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. Stereotypes are perceived negative beliefs, prejudice is an agreement with stereotypes or the development of an emotional reaction (e.g. fear or anger) to them, and discrimination

is acting on or responding behaviorally to prejudice. Common stereotypes held about mental illness in our society include attributing mental illnesses to having weak faith or a weak personality. Other false beliefs about mental illness revolve around the notion that they are always chronic and all medications used for treatment cause dependence. Discrimination may take the form of withholding help, avoidance, coercive treatment, and segregated institutions, along with physical. emotional, or verbal abuse. Stigma in all its forms has significant and deleterious effects on people with mental illness. It delays


the acknowledgement and acceptance of the disease process, delays medical attention, and augments feelings of guilt and shame where selfesteem suffers. The incidence of suicidal ideation, suicidal attempts, substance abuse, and self-medicating practices may increase as well. Eventually, overall outcomes and quality of life significantly diminishes. It’s really time to stop the stigma and start a conversation that offers tangible solutions, and cultivates a culture of understanding. Signs of possibly having a mental illness include but are not limited to a drastic shift from a person’s baseline attitude, actions, or mood. For those who feel like they may be suffering from a mental disorder, get help. Don’t allow the fear of being labeled hold you back. The faster you are diagnosed, the sooner you embark on a journey towards recovery. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a mental illness – don’t fall victim to denial, embrace yourself in its entirety. You are not weak, and you don’t need to suffer for long and in silence. Surround yourself with supportive family members and friends you trust. Open up and avert from isolation. Book an appointment with a psychiatrist and explore the various available treatment options. Equip yourself with knowledge about your diagnosis; remember that it doesn’t condemn nor define you. No matter how dark or hopeless the situation may be, never give up on yourself. It will get better. 96 MAY/JUNE 2019

To everyone else who surrounds those suffering from mental illness (caregivers, family members, friends, employers, colleagues), be part of the change today. Telling people with mental illness to “stop whining� or dismissing the disease altogether sends out a dangerous message despite it coming from a good place. Abstain from such comments, belittling others’ suffering, and being judgemental. Educate yourself on the matter to have a better understanding, and to become active advocates.

For more information on specific disorders, here are some places in the Kingdom to seek medical attention from: ACT Adult & Child Therapy Center:

A multidisciplinary mental health care private practice. They provide a wide range of services including adult and child psychotherapy, child and adult psychotherapy, coaching, marriage counseling, play and art therapy and more. They also offer regular seminars and workshops. Location: 233, Mohamed Bin Abdulaziz St. Al Andalous District, Jeddah actcenter

Medicare Clinics: Established in 1998, these clinics provide home visit services for those unable to attend the clinic, run Wechsler IQ tests and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory that assesses personality traits and psychopathology, and provide group therapy along with other services. Location: Al Madhar Ash Shamali, Takhassusi Street, Al Mathar Ash Shamali, Riyadh medicareclinics

Dr. Ali Alsalamah Medical Center: A center that specializes in psychiatry, psychology, sociology, guidance and rehabilitation for Autism and ADHD patients. Location: Street 28, Alanoud district, Dammam ajaberalsalamah DESTINATION KSA 97



MAGGIE ARADATI Life coaching, as defined by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), is basically partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. It helps coachees move from where they are to where they want to be in life via a multitude of techniques such as guided imagery, neuro-linguistic programming, mindfulness, and visualization.

Maggie is a certified holistic life and career & executive coach from the Goal Imagery Institute. She initially majored in political sciences and minored in psychology.


She took a detour into coaching after she had discovered and fallen in love with positive psychology, the scientific study of well-being and optimal human function, which had a lot in common with coaching. From her experience, the majority of clients’ obstacles stem from their belief system. Beliefs drive thoughts that in The concept of coaching can be turn are translated into actions. applied to different aspects of “As cliche as it may sound, one’s life, including financial, if you believe you can then health, and professional. you most certainly will,'' she Coaching is more future-oriented, explains. Coaching not only focuses on outer action and allows her to lend a helping results, is more short-term, and hand to others, it also drastically doesn’t involve diagnosis. We altered her perception of life. speak to a couple of notable She has become more aware and certified coaches who of self-limiting thoughts and continue to empower individuals firmly believes that anything and organizations through and everything is possible once life coaching. you set your mind to it. wellbeing_with_maggie

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REEM ALJIZAWI “Coaching is a journey that starts with uncertainty and ends with clarity. It is the invisible dance that takes place in the session between the coach and the coachee through an intelligent conversation that leads to immense awareness. It is a state of flow that ends with brightening our paths to the final image we always aspire to be and become.” Founder of coReach, a coaching firm and platform based in Riyadh, Reem Al Jizawi is a social & emotional intelligence and executive & team coach. President of the ICF Saudi Chapter, she became a certified professional coach from Erickson Coaching International after her positive transformation experiencing coaching firsthand as a coachee. Reem explains that a good coach should never offer advice – clients are whole and resourceful, and coaches only help them make their own decisions. She also clarifies that having a coach does not automatically translate into success. You have to be willing to do the majority of the work and apply what is established during coaching sessions to be able to achieve your goals. She highly advises clients to ensure that the coach they hire is accredited, and have a clear understanding of the service contract and all it entails. Web: reemaljizawi / coreachco DESTINATION KSA 99




By Dalia Darweesh

100MAY/JUNE MAY/JUNE2019 2019

Hanaa Shahbar was focused on her goals and career, holding a prominent position at an architectural engineering firm, when her life changed so abruptly in 2016 upon discovering that she had Stage 3 breast cancer. She spiraled into grief and pain, and even as her family showered her with love, she was acutely aware of being treated by everyone around her as a “sick person.” She eventually began painting, expressing what she was going through – all the emotions that reflected her state of mind as she adjusted and tried living with her cancer. When she started attending art events and collaborating with other artists, she found that it helped her overcome the initial depression and sadness that came with having cancer. “I turn these feelings into visible works of art, highlighting the importance of finding happiness from within, despite what I go through,” Hanaa says. “The first piece of work I finished, Silence of the Frightened, left me upset and confused. It expressed a combination of fear, anticipation, and a longing for

silence. I ended up destroying the artwork.” Hanaa tried again soon afterwards, confronting herself and her fears, and sharing Confrontation with her family. “This time, it was all about acceptance – it’s okay to wear a wig and faux lashes, it’s okay to live for yourself. We need to love ourselves, before expecting others to,” she adds. After a spate of treatments, Hanaa battled her cancer successfully. In celebration, she created Success to reflect laughter, happiness, and her gratitude. “I’m currently under treatment still, but I always remember to be grateful to God.” She shares, “We all have difficulties in our lives. Cancer patients who have a positive perspective, like Shaima Eidi and Hana Iskandar, are sources of inspiration for all of us.” She aspires to be one such person, too; she learned motion graphics to produce her full story on video and share it with others, and she created a page dedicated to supporting other survivors. hanno_2018 / hanno_art_ DESTINATION KSA 101


ART THERAPY By Valerie Behiery

“Art has a potential for showing and changing people’s experience, including psychological elements.” - Dr. Fahad Alfahed, Art Therapist and Lecturer at KSU

refugee camps, it is used to help individuals cope with trauma, personality disorders, depression, and physical disabilities, amongst many other health impairments.

Making art makes us feel good, but does it possess healing capacities? Artists have always recognized the well-being and self-transformation that art provides. Cubist painter Georges Braque described art as “a wound turned into light,” while American artist Julia Cameron proclaimed that “Art opens the closets, airs out the cellars and attics” and “brings healing.”

Research confirms, from both a physiological and psychological perspective, the value of the expressive arts to the healing process. Art’s benefits are not reserved, however, for those experiencing major challenges as studies show that making art reduces stress, improves self-esteem, enhances learning, and fosters creative thinking and problem-solving skills.

Art’s ability to express what lies beyond words and give shape to the goings-on of the human unconscious led to its early medical usage with psychiatric patients. Slowly, art therapy, formally recognized in the 1940s, emerged as a distinct branch of psychotherapy. Practiced in myriad settings – hospitals, rehabilitation centers, prisons, shelters, and

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Working with an art therapist possesses advantages, as Dr. Fahad Alfahed, a board-certified art therapist and lecturer at KSU, explains, “Art itself is therapeutic when it is used appropriately with or without an art therapist, but working with the right art therapist is essential to best achieve desired outcomes.” Producing art in a place that feels safe with someone you trust allows clients to go deeper in their self-exploration. Moreover, the interaction with a well-trained therapist who perceives clients’ art with fresh eyes and listens to the stories they weave around it greatly facilitates clients’ intuitive understanding of their images, allowing them to better imagine a way forward. Art therapy is now practised across the globe, including in Saudi Arabia, although it is limited to a few institutions. Dr. Fahad also notes the issue of training: “People in Saudi Arabia are interested in art

therapy, but many have difficult access to education.” Lucille Proulx and Michelle Winkel, directors of the Canadian International Institute of Art Therapy currently teaching in Cairo, observe the desire for art therapy education in the wider Arab world: “We are now experiencing from our Egyptian students the thirst for art therapy techniques and theory during this month’s training on attachment-informed art therapy. It is critical that we address the stresses and challenges impacting today’s families in creative ways, and art therapy is an economical, evidence-based intervention wonderfully suited to Arabic culture.” Because the creative arts are central to contemporary Saudi culture, the growth of art therapy would have far-reaching, positive social consequences. We can only hope, along with these art therapists, for a day when Saudi-based art therapy programs are established across the kingdom.

PLACES OFFERING ART THERAPY King Fahad Medical City Location: As Sulimaniyah, Riyadh Tel: 800-127-7000

Tawazon Space (founded by Khoulod Aladani) Location: Abdul Rahman Ibn Abi As Sarh, Shati Dist., Jeddah Tel: +966-565364663 Email: DESTINATION KSA 103


FIGHT IT With Strength, Sport, and Faith

By Mustafa Al Hafi Edited by Nessreen Tamano


“My Cancer Retreat” is how Mohammad Al Dakhil, 36-yearold Saudi athlete and banker, describes the period during his cancer treatment. In 2017, on a Friday morning, Mohammad woke up with excruciating pain in his lower back. At first he thought it was muscle tension, but the pain became unbearable and he went to the hospital. After a first round of medical tests, there seemed to be nothing wrong, but the pain continuously increased for Mohammad. The doctors decided to make further tests and put him under a pain management program. After further checkups, they found a sudden inflammation in the lymph node in Mohammad’s chest, it was later identified as a rare type of cancer called Germ Cell Tumor. Mohammad decided to pursue his treatment in Jeddah, choosing to stay close to family and friends despite the option of receiving treatment in the US 104 MAY/JUNE 2019

where he was born and raised. In the US, after graduating in 2006 from Maryland University with a degree in hospitality, he and his wife Lojain Rifai decided to pursue a healthy lifestyle, both of them getting certified as personal fitness trainers before moving back to Saudi Arabia. Working hard to make healthy choices as part of their daily routine and way of life, it was definitely a shock for the couple to receive news of Mohammad’s diagnosis. While receiving treatment, Mohammad made it his goal to push himself and cross his mental and physical limits as part of his coping mechanism with his disease. He continued to work out and exercise, even on the days when he didn’t feel at his one hundred percent. Doctors warned Muhammad of the effects of over-exercising, especially in his condition, but he equipped himself by getting to know his cancer and his

body. “Many cancer patients don’t have enough knowledge about their cases and are scared to push themselves and their bodies to the limit,” he says. “You have a choice – work hard to overcome your challenges, or fail. I decided to work hard.” Engaging in sports and physical activity helped Muhammad overcome his chemotherapy symptoms, and gave him strength to fight his cancer. “Faith above all doubt is important,” he says, “and my belief that my body heals itself to function better, both mentally and physically.” Throughout this difficult time, he worked to improve his relationship with Allah and with his family and friends, to reflect on his life, to focus on what’s important, to spread positive energy, and to use healthy and active choices to battle cancer. This was his Cancer Retreat. DESTINATION KSA 105


THE IRELAND ALLURE Where nature, history, and innovation come together. Story by: Enas Hashani

Written by: Deena Dakhiel

I was beyond excited to arrive in Northern Ireland and meet the Invest NI team. They have been nothing but kind to show us around the beautiful surrounding areas and introduce us to their incredible country.


The weather was chilly but wonderful on our first morning, after an intro from the Invest NI team, we took part in a guided tour and briefing at the Titanic Museum. Titanic Belfast has been dubbed the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction at the World Travel Awards back in 2016. It is located beside the Titanic slipways, the Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices and Hamilton Graving Dock, where the Titanic was launched in 1912. Not only was the architecture incredible, but so was the history. We learned about the story of the Titanic, from the conception to the construction and launch. Next up was the Queen’s University Belfast tour. One of the leading universities in the UK and Ireland and one of the most elaborately 106 MAY/JUNE 2019

sculpted buildings I have come across. No wonder it is ranked in the top 10 most beautiful universities in the UK. With its uniquely rich heritage and history, Queen’s University Belfast stands as the UK’s ninth oldest university with state-ofthe-art facilities. After a night’s rest at the Grand Central hotel where we were staying, we traveled to the Kris Turnbull studio for a tour with the company director. The Kris Turnbull team is exceptionally talented and offers a range of design services that are recognized all around Europe and the Middle East. Being one of the most esteemed design studios in the UK, they offer architecture, interior architecture, interior design, and styling. We then moved on to the NI Tourism tour. Tourism NI is the national development authority for tourism in Northern Ireland with a mission is to grow tourism in the region. The tourism itinerary included many destinations where I felt

like I was walking onto the set of Game of Thrones. On the first stop on tour, we got the chance to see the famous Dark Hedges planted by the Stuart family back in the 18th century as a means to impress visitors as they made their way to the entrance of the Gracehill House. The long and ominous road included tall intertwined trees that met at the top to hide the sun from beaming down on us. This gave the street a dark and mysterious feel, a perfect spot to film the Game of Thrones. The second location on tour was Carnlough, a small but incredibly picturesque harbor followed by a trip to the Cushendun Caves. The caves were large and magnificent, a perfect contrast to the quiet and sandy beach it overlooked. Later we visited the Larrybane Quarry which is adjacent to the Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge. Located on the North Antrim coast, the location held an incredible view of the Causeway Coast. Afterward, we visited the Ballintoy Harbour, a tiny fishing


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village with a regal panoramic view. The last spot was the most incredible and forever memorable Giant’s Causeway. With an almost dreamlike view of the wild North Atlantic Ocean and dramatic landscape of giant cliffs, Giant’s Causeway has captured the hearts of all who have come across it from artists to scientists. The tour was insanely visually inspiring, and I have no doubt that NI Tour will reach its goal of making Northern Ireland one of the top world-class tourist destination. After a well deserved good night’s rest at the Bishop’s Gate Hotel in Derry-Londonderry, we traveled to visit the magnificent Ulster University Magee campus. The university is Northern Ireland’s public university whose research has contributed globally as well as to the local region’s social and economic betterment.

Later that we visited the CDE Global HQ. CDE is a wet processing equipment company for sand and aggregates, mining, C&D waste recycling, and industrial sands. The company has been designing, manufacturing and commissioning wet processing plants for over 25 years. Visiting the headquarters of such a prestigious company has been truly eye-opening and an exciting way to wrap up our trip to Northern Ireland. A real island gem of culture, entrepreneurship, gastronomy, and more; our Northern Ireland trip served as an eyeopener. Beyond the shamrocks, any traveler who gets the chance to visit this wonderful country would be in luck. DESTINATION KSA 109





Traveling is a joy – you get to go sightseeing, hit the beach, meet new people, and most importantly, dive into some local cuisine! Some food is amazing, some need you to get a little bit outside of your comfort zone, and others are just totally insane! We take you on a little journey around the world with the good, the bad, and the ugly, at least in terms of food. 110 MAY/JUNE 2019

Tunisia is not only known for its amazing beaches and luscious greenery, but also for its cuisine and love for spicy food and tuna. Lablabi, a Tunisian soup-like dish, is traditionally eaten for breakfast and widely available in many local restaurants. It is a hearty meal, containing chickpeas that are in a flavored thin soup, served over pieces of stale bread and topped with a poached egg and a seasoned dressing. Typically, it is garnished with tuna and olives.

CATAPLANA Native to the Algarve region, it is a combination of different, delicious seafood like prawns and clams, mixed with sausage. A cataplana efficiently contains the flavor and heat of the contents in the dish, making it uniquely flavored and scented. Definitely not something to miss if you visit Portugal this summer! Interesting fact: the dish got its name from the cataplana pan.

THE UGLY THE BAD HAGGIS, NEEPS, AND TATTIES Scotland is a lovely country engulfed in mystery and history, but they do have their share of ‘weird’ dishes. Haggis sounds cute and cuddly, but really is a savory pudding made from sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs, minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and cooked while traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach (although now often in an artificial casing instead). Neeps are basically Scottish turnips, while tatties are the potatoes. Feeling hungry yet?

BALUT KOKORETSI (KOKOREÇ) Turkey isn’t just for enjoying grilled Kebab and lovely dolma. There are also dishes that make your back curl if you think about its ingredients! Kokoretsi consists of grilled lamb or goat intestines wrapped around seasoned internal organs, including hearts, lungs, or kidneys. In Istanbul, you might find it in small eateries, but the authentic ones are sold on wheeled food carts on the street.

Balut, a famous Filipino delicacy, is a 16-to-21-day-old fertilized duck egg that contains not only a yolk but also a semi-developed duck embryo. Balut vendors tend to come out in the late evenings or at night. We’re not sure how that came to be, other than that its appearance may be enough to put off the squeamish, so perhaps best to eat it in the dark!





Salman Bin Abdulaziz












2.52% 13

Mohammed Bin Salman


2,149,690 km²

Makkah & Madinah

GMT +3

Sharqiya, 4.1 million people

Riyadh, 7.3 million people




King Khaled International Airport









Jeddah & Makkah


King Abdulaziz International Airport

Khobar, Jubail Dammam & Dhahran



Madinah & Yanbu



Abha & Najran


King Fahd International Airport

Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz International Airport


BUSINESS + BANKING HOURS 8/9 a.m. - 4/5 p.m. (Sun - Thur)

1.00 USD 1.00 Euro 1.00 British Pound 1.00 Indian Rupee 1.00 Philippine Peso

WEEKEND Friday – Saturday SHOPPING HOURS 10 a.m – 1 p.m. 5 – 11 p.m.


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Prince Abdul Mohsen bin Abdulaziz International Airport

Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport


STC Inquiry information Speaking Clock Mobily STC ZAIN

Al-Ahsa International Airport

905 1222 1100 900 959

EMERGENCY Ambulance General Emergency NAJM (Car Accidents) 920000560

997 911

SR 3.75 SR 4.39 SR 4.82 SR 0.06 SR 0.10



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