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Issue 124, June 2017
Family Attitude Class Entertainment Success
Founder / Essa Bin Mohammed Al Zedjali Chairman & Editor-in-Chief / Mohammed Issa Al Zedjali Chief Executive Officer / Ahmed Essa Al Zedjali Business Director / Sophia Raman
WATCH FACES COME ALIVE. FOR INSTRUCTION TURN TO PAGE 11
This message of Ramadan is captured in our cover story, which presents tips and guidelines from motivational and inspirational speakers on staying positive. While the month acts as a precursor for observers to follow the tenets of the season, there is no better time than now, for everyone, to indulge in acts of sharing and caring and embrace the positivity that is palpable in the air.
Editorial Consultant / Suzy Fontes Art Director / Pushpender K. Sharma Operations / M.V.V. Sagar
The myriad manifestations of Ramadan, both spiritual and customary, is traced in the pages of this special Ramadan issue. Whether it is the Iftar, the family bonding or the inevitable shopping during the month, FACES has taken a Ramadan route to present the joys and glories of this month.
Published By / Muscat Media Group
In our special pages, however, we take a detour to London to present a vivid comprehensive feature on our trip to London’s Shangi-La Hotel at The Shard on British Airways, enjoying the premium Club World experience.
PB 770, PC 112, Ruwi, Oman
Tel: +968 24 811953 . Fax: +968 24 813153 Printed At / Oriental Printing Press Tel: +968 24816952, 24815330
Come along and relish this issue of FACES.
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n the daily rush of home-office-home routine, Ramadan comes as a whiff of fresh air to pause and take stock of life in general. It permeates the air with distinct notes of spirituality that ushers in both physical and emotional changes; it brings to fore the importance of sharing and caring and finding solace in acts of charity. It is a season to don the cloak of positivity and spread love in every action.
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We are on Facebook! ‘FACES Magazine, Oman’
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Copyright 2017 FACES / All material published remains the copyright of FACES. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without the written consent of the publisher. FACES cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or other material.
FACES Features 12 Cover Story
Tips and guidelines from motivational and inspirational speakers who have imbibed the trait to help people seeking the solace of motivation in their lives.
18 In Conversation
From learning Arabic to organising charity ventures, Major (Retd) William Edward Welsh, a training officer and avid golfer, has found avenues to realise his quest for community service in Oman
36 Just Travel
Whether you are looking forward to a memorable summer or seeking to create family moments to treasure, Virgin Limited Edition can make your holiday special
30 In The Luxe Replenish your mind, body and soul with an exclusive retreat in a far off land, with nature setting the mood and luxury establishing the tone
20 In The Spotlight
38 Look Good
22 Centre Stage
40 Style File
Al Faisal Al Zubair launches team, ‘FZracing’ to compete in prestigious 2017 Porsche Supercup series -
‘Papa Kehte Hain Bada Naam Karega’ is the title of the upcoming new Hindi film to be produced as a joint OmanIndia venture Presenting Royal Opera House Muscat’s upcoming season
24 Feast On -
Home baker Adila Eileen whips up an Iftar spread, featuring dishes influenced by recipes sourced from around the world Give your family a healthy oats break with Simran Dhanju’s make-ahead recipes
FACES Health 28 Health Check
Lose weight or simply get a quick dose of health by fasting
34 Explore Oman
Travel tech entrepreneur Lujaina Al-Kharusi’s adventure travel app Envago is the first marketplace app for adventure
Turn your home into a spa with ingredients sourced from your kitchen or the neighbourhood supermarket.
Maiyasa Al Noufly of Maiyasa Designs has evocatively fused art and fashion to create distinctive designer wear for fashion-savvy ladies Special diamond collection from Malabar Gold and Diamonds
FACES Elements 32 Take a Spin
The third generation of Hyundai Santa Fe brings ‘Modern Premium’ to the SUV segment
50 At Home
Make time to get your home ready for Eid with a cleansing session to declutter and reorganise things in your living space
52 Relatively Speaking Festive seasons have an unwritten code of conduct for families to bond over traditional customs and the obligatory festive banquet
FACES SPECIAL 44 London Special
British Airways organised a memorable junket to London, treating media representatives to its impeccable service and the legendary hospitality of Shangri-La
FACES Razzmatazz 08 Star Light
When Jimmy Kimmel poured his heart out in a monologue, recently, to inform his viewers about his new-born son’s heart condition, he also used the forum to talk about the health care policy and leverage health coverage support for people with pre-existing conditions
10 Razzle Dazzle Latest celebrity gossip from the world of Hollywood
11 Tittle Tattle
Heard through the grapevine...
58 Movies & Books Reviews of upcoming movies and books
60 Gadget Notes Roundup of new gadgets in the market
Funtazmo’s Roller Coaster now open for public Good news for lovers of roller-coaster rides. Funtazmo, the family
Summer Camp with Al Mazaar at Barr Al Jissah A fun and educational summer camp awaits children at Barr Al Jissah, which has announced the launch of its first ever Al Mazaar Summer Camp. Set to take place over the course of five weeks from July 16 to August 19, the camp will include a wide range of art, educational, and sports activities, focused on children between the age groups of 6 – 12. The programmes will cover five days of the week, from Sunday to Thursday with activities split into three primary categories – Art (painting, drawing, handicrafts, music, etc.), Educational (workshops covering topics such as road safety, healthy and eco-friendly lifestyles, cooking, and science), and Sports (including martial arts, ballgames such as football and dodgeball, fitness, dancing and more).
Topdeck Travel partners with Travel Point Youth vacations have become all the more easier with Topdeck Travel appointing Travel Point as their partner in Oman. Topdeck Travel is a leading provider of hassle-free group trips for the youth. Founded in 1973 by a group of friends with a double decker bus and a passion for adventure, Topdeck has grown to offer a variety of culturally-rich planned trips spanning Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, North America, Africa and the Middle East. Topdeckers enjoy a travel experience led by local trip leaders with the opportunity to travel with and meet likeminded individuals. It is currently running a sale of 30 percent off on its packages, which include Bangkok Stopover for 4 Nights and The Western Inspiration for 5 Nights, both including flights, accommodation and sightseeing.
entertainment amusement park located at Oman Avenues Mall in Bausher, has premiered its much-awaited new Roller Coaster. With a length of 274 meters and a maximum speed of 9.5 meters/second (nearly 35 kilometers/hour), the Roller Coaster will complete 1 cycle per minute; with capacity of seating 16 people (4 cars with 4 people each), it will entertain up to 500-600 passengers per hour. The ride will include number of inversions, airtime hills and plenty of drops and 180 degree turns and twists to enthrall thrill-seekers, who will be secured with over-the-shoulder restraints and interlocking seat belts. The new Roller Coaster has made its home in the second part of Funtazmo, which is located on the second floor.
Summer Breeze at The Chedi Muscat To add cool relief during the long and hot summer months, The Chedi Muscat has introduced two new Summer Breeze offers, giving GCC residents the perfect excuse to escape the heat and relax in a serene setting. Available from 15th May to 30th September, the offer allows guests to retreat to sophisticated surrounding and relax in style in an enchanting oasis. The package includes breakfast in The Restaurant, and a complimentary treatment when they buy another at The Spa. Alternatively, those looking to add value to their stay can opt for the Resort Credit offer and enjoy unique Chedi experiences as part of their stay.
Dhahab sets sail from Six Senses Zighy Bay Six Senses Zighy Bay has unveiled its latest luxury experience for guests. Designed for superior sailing comfort ‘Dhahab’, a beautifully restored classic Omani Dhow, is a 90 feet seafaring vessel, capable of cruising the spectacular Musandam fjords at a comfortable 10 knots. Developed by Six Senses Zighy Bay and their team of specialist designers, the vessel has a relaxed yet luxurious feel in tune with its roots at Zighy Bay. Accommodating up to six guests in three well-appointed cabins, the experience is perfect for families or groups of friends seeking a mini getaway. With a central air-conditioned saloon, two sun decks, multiple dining areas and a large open galley ‘Dhahab’ is perfect for a relaxing break.
Staycation at Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara Those searching for the ultimate staycation filled with cooler
Steak Escape launches new sandwich range Lovers of Steak Escape Sandwich Grill’s American-style
climes, stunning scenery and intrepid experiences can choose to stay at Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara for a chance to escape the city heat and retreat to luxury surroundings away from smog and humidity. Throughout the Khareef Season in Salalah, between June and September, nature enthusiasts can venture into the verdant mountains accompanied by the resort’s Salalah Guru, to spot the region come alive with wildlife, including ibex, gazelles and hyena, whilst birdwatchers can spot vast flocks of flamingos, herons and egrets.
cuisine,will have plenty of reasons to rejoice with the launch of new flavorsome sandwiches and desserts. Designed to take its popular cheesesteaks and sandwiches to the next level, there are plenty of new combinations and upgraded classics to light up the senses of every customer. Leading the new items is the stunning Cowboy BBQ Burger, which combines the first half-pound beef patty in Oman, fresh pickles, tomatoes and lettuce smothered in cheese and barbeque sauce. Steak Escape is also introducing the BBQ Chicken Sandwich, which includes grilled chicken as well as succulent and fresh vegetables. Foodies with a sweet tooth can tuck into a range of delicious milkshakes, brownies and other indulgent dessert options.
Juventus Academy replacing Arsenal Soccer School Oman Juventus, the most successful club in Italian football, is all set to replace Arsenal Soccer School in Oman, which is under the wings of Mosaic Sports LLC. Arsenal Soccer School was the first organised football school in Oman and has trained a cross section of children throughout different age groups and abilities over the years. As of May 2017, the Board of Directors at Arsenal Football Club U.K. have taken a strategic decision not to continue with the Soccer School Partnerships globally, which include Oman and the MENA Region. Mosaic Sports decision to move to Juventus Academy was made easy by their professionalism and opportunities they offer for children. The new term will open as Juventus Academy on the 10th September 2017. Juventus Academy will conduct training session from two locations - Muscat International School, Qurum, and A’ Soud Global School, Seeb.
Jimmy Kimmel Live When Jimmy Kimmel poured his heart out in a monologue, recently, to inform his viewers about his newborn son’s heart condition, he also used the forum to talk about the health care policy and leverage health coverage support for people with pre-existing conditions
t was an emotional day when Jimmy Kimmel went public with his newborn son’s heart condition. In a 13-minute long monologue he revealed that his son William John Kimmel was born on April 21 with a serious heart issue. “He appeared to be a healthy normal baby until about three hours after he was born. It’s a terrifying thing… You know, my wife is back in the recovery room, she has no idea what is going on and I’m standing in the middle of a lot of worried looking people, like right now, who were trying to figure out what the problem is,” he said, adding that his son had to undergo an open-heart surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “It was the longest three hours of my life,” he said. But with his son Billy now out of danger, he had his usual quips to fall back on. “Poor kid... Not only did he get a bad heart, he got my face,” he joked. However, what got the attention of all his viewers and received notice from global media, were his comments on the importance of health coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and his thoughts on health care policy. “If your baby is going to die
May-June June 2017 2017
and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make. I think that is something that whether you are a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right?’ he asked the viewers. For the legion of Jimmy Kimmel fans, the answer was an obvious ‘yes’. Having aced his television career with the popular Jimmy Kimmel Live, he is a household name, in America as well as elsewhere around the world and his words are sacred for his fans everywhere. James Christian ‘Jimmy’ Kimmel is the host and executive producer of ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’, the late-night talk show that premiered on ABC in 2003. Before this, the 49-year old American television host, comedian, writer, and producer was best known as the co-host of Comedy Central’s ‘The Man Show’ and ‘Win Ben Stein’s Money’; he has also produced shows such as ‘Crank Yankers’, ‘Sports Show with Norm Macdonald’, and ‘The Andy Milonakis Show’. He started his career very early in life. He was still in high school when he began working for radio, hosting
a Sunday night interview show. It was in 1989 that he got his first paying job as morning drive co-host of ‘The Me and Him Show’. Kimmel later went on to host his own show at KCMJ in Palm Springs, California. Following this, he spent five years as ‘Jimmy The Sports Guy’ for the Kevin and Bean morning show. Kimmel is a star in every possible way. He was one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2013 and has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6840 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on January 25, 2013. However, he minces no words when he says talk shows are all about sponsorships than about the host or the guests – “The truth is, we have this idea that late night is about creativity and being cool, but that’s not our job. Our job is to get as many people watching the commercials in between our show. That’s the reality of it.”
Jessica Chastain disturbed by Cannes’ representation of women
Jessica Chastain, one of the jury members at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, said the representation of women on film in 2017 is surprising and disturbing. “This is the first time I watched 20 films in 10 days, and I love movies, and the one thing I really took away from this experience is how the world views women. It was quite disturbing to me, to be honest. There are some exceptions. For the most part, I was surprised with the representation of female characters on screen in these films,” she stated at a press conference after the closing ceremony.
Robert Pattinson was fired from ‘Twilight’?
Ariana Grande’s mom tweets for Manchester
Robert Pattinson, the main face of the Twilight, was nearly fired from the series. He recently told an entertainment magazine that he was almost fired while making the first film, which was released in 2008. His agents intervened, flying to the Canadian set to calm him down. The star stated that he’d taken his method acting so seriously that he was fighting with everybody in control all the time. “...To the point where I almost got fired,” he said.
Ariana Grande’s mother Joan Grande is sending her love and support to the people of Manchester after the terrorist attack. Joan was in attendance at the concert and was still sitting in the front row when the bombing happened outside of the Manchester Arena in England. She reportedly rushed some fans to safety by bringing them backstage. “I join my daughter in extending my help and services to all those affected by the diabolical act of terror which occurred in Manchester,” she tweeted on Memorial Day.
Kim credits Kanye for her style transformation
Kim Kardashian recently set the record straight by crediting Kanye West, and not Monica Rose, for her style transformation. She was on Andy Cohen’s ‘Watch What Happens Live!’, when the host asked Kim about the rumours that the star and the rest of the family had severed ties and association with their go-to celebrity stylist, Monica Rose. Although Kim avoided directly answering the question, she pointed out that she hadn’t worked with Monica in four years and that her husband and the team he picked out, totally transformed her style.
Prince William opens up about Princess Diana’s death “I still find it difficult now,” said Prince William,
opening up about the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana. In a rare interview with the British GQ, the Duke of Cambridge said, “I am in a better place about it than I have been for a long time, where I can talk about her more openly, talk about her more honestly, and I can remember her better, and publicly talk about her better. It has taken me almost twenty years to get to that stage. I still find it difficult now because at the time it was so raw.”
“I don’t think you get celebrated enough. You should be celebrated for every aspect of your growth and your growing pains. You should be celebrated for your creativity, for your fearlessness, your persistence and your determination…” Rihanna praises future generation of designers at Parsons School of Designs’ annual benefit, where she was honoured for her contributions “Fake news, fake news.” Jamie Foxx reacts to rumours about dating Katie Holmes “It was director Sam Taylor-Johnson who really pulled me in. I always liked her vibe. She’s so playful, spirited, fun and a true artist. I trust her instincts very much. I saw her out a couple of times socially, and she said she’d love for me to read the script.” Naomi Watts reveals who convinced her to join ‘Gypsy’
“He’s such a king. Shoutout to Queens, New York, we are both from Queens. He’s the king of Queens and I’d like to think I’m the queen of Queens. He’s a rap legend, and I have a lot of respect for that. I hate men. But I might make an exception for him.” Nicki Minaj takes a roundabout way to confirm that she is dating Nas
“I tried to talk to her about it, and she wouldn’t speak to me. I do the right thing any time it feels like a fumble. I got a full shutdown, and then she writes a song about me (‘Bad Blood’)… That’s how you want to deal with it? ” Katy Perry talks about her feud with Taylor Swift
‘Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.’ – Henry Ford
Stay Positive This Ramadan What is motivation? Is it the praise, the acknowledgement of a job well done; is it the feeling of well-being spurred by self-awareness…? While definitions set forth by experts quantify it as a characteristic that defines goal oriented behaviour, there is that niggling feeling that it is not a prerogative enjoyed by all. For, even those who have adopted the behaviour that underscores motivation, will have moments of lapses. Motivation has its own parameters to stay alive, even when it is the very reason for our every action. But ask a lay person about his/her understanding of motivation and there is bound to be a reference or two to praise. Everyone, apparently, thrives in an ambience that is made positive with complimenting words. Conversely, absence of praise could also be quoted as a reason for a lack of motivation or a general apathy to things that should matter. But again, motivation is not a one-time affair. It is an everyday trait that needs replenishment. While staying motivated or finding ways to keep chanting the ‘positive’ mantra is not as easy as it sounds, the following pages will present tips and guidelines from motivational and inspirational speakers who have imbibed the trait to help people seeking the solace of motivation in their lives.
E BELIEV IN
LF E S R U YO
Believe in yourself and ignore what people think of you as a motivational speaker, he focused his attention on reading specialised books, practicing public speaking, socialising, volunteering at charitable organisations, goal setting and, as he puts it, “letting go of negative friends.” Experience has since taught him the importance of believing in people. “I have realised that the most important element to build people’s confidence is believing in them and giving them an opportunity to shine,” he maintains, adding that he strongly believes that everyone has a God given talent, which needs to be explored.
Hatim Harith Al Abdissalaa
“I was an extremely shy person and had no communication skills whatsoever. I also had very low self-esteem, which made me isolate myself from the rest of the world for years. Later on, I went through very difficult circumstances, which forced me to change... One of the incidents that changed my life and moulded me to who I am today, was the snakebite in 1998 - it put me in a coma for four days. After that, by the grace of Almighty Allah, I was able to structure the plan for the change I saw myself in…” states Hatim Harith Al Abdissalaam, tracing his initiation into the world of motivational speaking. Over the course of ten years, which paved the path to his celebrated status
According to him, one major roadblock on this path is a lack of confidence, which afflicts majority of people. “It is driven by many factors. It starts off very early; for example, when your parents don’t really believe in you or don’t see you as a special star and dictate who you should be, rather than accepting what you really want to be,” he explains, adding to the list the education system, which does not recognise the different abilities among students. What adds to the problem, in addition to the differences in skills, is the all-consuming focus on high school results. “Students are made to believe that high school results are final judgments of life - if he/ she doesn’t do well in school then he/she is doomed and considered to be a total failure. This continues through to college where students
are forced into specialisations that do not conform to their interests and they end up working in places that do not allow them to become creative or confident to prosper…” states Hatim. However, there is always a way to stay self-motivated. “Believe in yourself and ignore what people think of you… Trust me, the moment you discover your real abilities and the potential of your brain, you will never look back or slow down,” is his advice. This could be put to practice during the season of Ramadan, he maintains, providing the following guideline to get it right: “The month of Ramadan is a blessing and it’s a month that we should all wait for anxiously; it’s a month of discipline, where you test the limits of your physical and mental abilities. It’s the only time where you take control of your life in terms of desires and temptations. Only those who really want to prosper and grow will utilise this month fully, while others give excuses to do nothing, claiming that they are fasting and tired. “I personally put in triple the effort during Ramadan, compared to other months as I really enjoy to push myself to the limit and test my durability physically and mentally. “People set their goals at the beginning of every new year and most of the time they can’t really achieve even 40 percent of their goals. I set
my goals in the month of Ramadan, which forces me to be disciplined and focused on my goals. “I have two full time jobs during Ramadan - working six hours in the oil and gas industry and two hours at the radio station, every single day, in addition to giving public lectures, teaching my kids, exercising and performing religious rituals…not to forget the weekends where I fill up my schedule and don’t allow any room for being unproductive. Yet, I feel I have only utilised 50 percent of my capabilities. If I can do it, you all can do it better than me...” Hatim Abdissalaam is the ER Officer, SD Project Implementation at Oman LNG; he is an active member of The Islamic Information Centre - Grand Mosque, lecturer at The Shariaa College, radio and television host and trainer at the Ministry of Health
Know Yourself Confidence stems from self-awareness and an emotionally balanced approach to life
“I used to stutter as a child and, as mysterious as life could be, I think we take our early challenges as a calling to overcome and excel in,” states Mutassem Al Sharji, founder of the social enterprise Enriching Experience, who fused that calling with his love for gaining and sharing knowledge to reach his current status. “What has helped shape my career is my constant desire to practice what I preach and be humble enough to admit ignorance, instead of
conning people with any intellectual pretence,” he adds. He follows an ‘inside out’ approach while coaching people to gain a higher level of self-awareness and assisting them in developing relevant strategies to enhance their potential on a personal and organisational level. It was his fascination for the stark differences in people’s achievements, despite sharing the same environment, that led him to explore the domains of psychology, philosophy, social sciences and
Mutassem Al Sharji
economics to find the right balance for personal growth and selfawareness. In the following interview, he highlights the importance of seeking inspiration from within and building on the confidence level through selfawareness. As a Life Coach, what do you see as the most important factor in building confidence among people? Confidence is of two types: technique-based confidence and character-based confidence. The first could be learnt through techniques of body language and how one presents oneself. It works temporarily, but it is not a permanent solution, simply because it is superficial and could easily get shaken depending on circumstances. The second form of confidence comes from a higher level of selfawareness and the courage to be authentic. Hence, I would say a person must continuously strive to be more self-aware and develop the capability of being emotionally balanced towards other people’s praise or criticism. Being self-aware, emotionally balanced and having the courage to live authentically is confidence. Do you think there is a general lack of confidence among people? Confidence is a result of living a fulfilling life with clarity and in resonation with oneself. It is just a by-product of living authentically and is not an aim in itself. I think people need to be more aware of their real priorities and strive to live according
to them; not live according to the expectations of other people. What are some of the stumbling blocks that come in the way of general progress? First, some family members and friends might think you are crazy for taking a path less trodden. Second, the amount of hard work you need to put in, every single day, to excel is tremendous. Third, internal challenges and feelings of temptations to settle for less and stop striving. How do you help people address issues that concern self-growth? I help them develop a higher level
of self-awareness and identify what it is they really want from their most authentic vantage point. And then, based on that, I assist them in developing a different perception about the issue, which, consequently, enables them to overcome it easier. What are some of the challenges you face as a Life Coach? To be expected to be a perfect human being - which is impossible and it is not something I’m striving for. To be expected to be positive and optimistic all the time, which is again impossible. I believe in balance and every person has both, positive and negative traits. What would you advice people seeking motivation in their lives? 1. Know yourself continuously 2. Strive to be yourself at all times 3. Count your blessings every single day How can the season of Ramadan help people get replenished, mentally and emotionally, for the year ahead? It is a great opportunity to reflect and reconnect with ourselves, especially due to the changes in lifestyle and working hours. It is a perfect time to develop new habits such as meditation and reflection. Also, it is a perfect time to get rid of bad habits. Plan for the month wisely and act on that plan with a soldier’s discipline!
Mutassem is a business consultant, life coach and karate coach. He has delivered/facilitated more than 600 hours’ worth of training and impacted the lives of more than 2,000 people in more than 20 different organisations.
Self-Love and Self-Growth
Building confidence is something that needs daily nourishment
“I grew up with severe body image issues. I was always a chubby girl and faced a lot of flak for it while growing up. I now have the confidence to talk about it after a lot of inner work and self-love; but way back then, I sought a lot of ‘unhealthy’ ways to substitute that lack of self-worth. Over the years, as I began to work on myself, I discovered two things: one, that my self-worth does not depend on what others think of me; two, that there are so many ailing hearts out there, all suffering on the inside and never having the guts to talk about it or even acknowledge it... That is when I realised I could make a difference. If I can go from the awkward, misplaced and teased girl to becoming a motivational speaker, counselling psychologist and healer who talks to literally hundreds of people on a daily basis, anybody can. I am proof that we need not let our past dictate our future. We create the beautiful life we want with our own self-worth,” states Zeenat Merchant Syal, a practicing counsellor, psychologist, spiritual counsellor, motivational speaker, naturopath, holistic healer and writer. According to her, it all boils down to self-confidence, which she classifies as a daily requirement. To emphasise it further, she quotes Zig Ziglar, American author and motivational speaker, who said, ‘People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.’ In her 15 years of experience in the field she has observed people feeling less confident for a variety of reasons. “It could stem for a harsh word from a colleague or friend; it could also stem from past experiences that left feelings of embarrassment, a lack of self-love and, most of all, the comparison bug,” she notes. In the following text, she addresses issues of confidence, selfgrowth and the importance of nourishing heart and mind: Zeenat Merchant Syal
Society in general has these neat boxes with labels, which it expects everyone to fit into. The instant a person does not fit into those boxes, he/she is considered a misfit and becomes the focal point of all things negative. Today, the field of arts is given its due respect, but way back then, parents (some even now) loved to tell their kids to grow up to become a doctor or engineer to savour success. Children are brought up with the thought that their selfworth is dependent on A+ grades… Instead, parents must nurture their children’s talents, whatever they may be, and allow them to blossom into confident adults who can then actually make a huge difference in society. Lack of self-confidence comes from not believing in your own abilities, and that belief can only be developed by loving who you are completely and having a supportive environment. The biggest stumbling block in realising this is procrastination. The level of self-doubt that comes with every hurdle we face on the way to success is the cause for this procrastination. We put off the things that we need to put our energy in, get completely immersed in mundane trifles of life and then blame not having time or energy to work on that big idea or dream that we know is what we are meant to do. Basically, we become our own worst enemies.
The best kind of help is self-help. Self-growth is nothing but fine tuning yourself to become the shining diamond you were always meant to be. The challenge we all face is moving the rubble from around that diamond, so that it can surface and shine. That is where people like me often come in.
Motivation is an ongoing process, a behaviour that you can nurture and expand, but motivation cannot be forced. If you are ready to live a meaningful life, then here are two powerful strategies to pump up your motivation to start acting on the goals that are important to you and your life. 1. Have a morning motivation ritual: Staying motivated is a daily practice. If you don’t start your day right, it won’t end right either. So have a morning motivation ritual. 2. Build Your Potential: Motivation flows from the heart, it does not rain down upon you. To stay motivated, you need to first link to what you feel strongly about. Tap into an idea that excites you and fires up your imagination. Allow this vision to provide you with a higher purpose. For example, instead of just losing weight with a restrictive and boring diet, you could focus on the health benefits of losing weight. It’s not about the weight that you will lose, but about the health, strength and empowerment that you will gain that will keep you moving forward. Whenever you are feeling demotivated, set your sights on the stars and focus on the pleasure of the ideas that arouse your passion.
Spiritual growth during Ramadan
Ramadan is a month of spiritual growth. I often think of it as a month for ‘reset’. In fact the energy of this month is so pure it can make miracles happen if we utilise this time truly well. On a physical level, fasting helps detox the body if we open and close the fast with pure unadulterated whole foods, instead of fried and complex foods.
And since food or the pursuit of the stomach is not that important in Ramadan, as it is all year round, we have more time to nurture our soul and grow on that front. We can immerse ourselves in helping the less fortunate, praying more and connecting with the Divine. Kindness, love and compassion can all be ways we can reach purity of spirit. When we help others, we heal too. During fasting, we attain a level of patience, self-control and understanding of our body and mind, which can help us grow exponentially. Smokers can easily stop smoking during this time, losing weight is far easier, focusing on the important, rather than the mundan,e is all part of the growth process that Ramadan brings. When we can reset our bodies, our minds and our hearts during this pure month, almost any goal that we set for ourselves can be achieved. The year ahead only feels brighter, because we are going ahead with a pure cleansed spirit.
*Zeenat Merchant Syal is the founder, writer and online counsellor of the website/blog: PositiveProvocations.com.
In the Major league From learning Arabic to organising charity ventures, Major (Retd) William Edward Welsh, a training officer and avid golfer, has found avenues to realise his quest for community service in Oman, which he calls home
hen Major (Retd) William Edward Welsh came to Oman in 2006, following his term in Afghanistan with the British Army, it was to be a three-year stint. But things panned out differently. His Arabic language skill extended that period to five years and saw him joining the Royal Army of Oman (RAO) for another five years. Thereafter, in 2015, the prestigious Military Technical College invited him to join the team and he got on board as the Deputy Director of Technicians. “I think I am bound to Oman somehow,” he muses, looking back at the exciting changes in his tenure here. It was the sheer contrast between Afghanistan operations and Oman’s peaceful environ that first got his attention. “I fell in love with Oman. Everybody was so friendly and I immediately taught myself Arabic. I learnt one word every day. I quickly realised that it is respectful if you learn a language; you get more from people,” he adds. It was during his posting in Muscat, after three years with the armoured brigade in the desert, that he got the opportunity to sign a special contract of five years to work for RAO’s engineering training department. His job was to teach young Omanis and pass on his experience in the military. In 2015, at the end of his five year contract, he was due to go back to Germany, where he has made home with his wife Annette. But fate had other plans; or as he puts it, “It was karma!” The Military Technological College offered him a position and he took it up. “I took it up because of two reasons: because I love Oman and because I wanted to give something back to the society. Teaching young men who are going to work as engineers in the military was the ideal position for me to go into. Karma...” he states.
Wentworth Golf Club - saw him taking up golf and learning the sport on the sand course. Soon, Muscat Hills opened the first green course and he moved over to accomplish his golfing goals. Around this time Al Mouj was getting ready and, when it opened, he became one of the first members and its first club captain. However, golfing is not all that occupies his leisure time. His military background has been effective in prompting him to undertake charitable work. During his contract with the RAO he helped the Early Intervention Centre for Children with Disabilities by manufacturing
It was karma again that helped shape his social life here. In 2009, following hospitalisation for a knee injury, he had to say goodbye to his football days. But a thoughtful present from a friend – a membership to the Ghallah William with wife Annette
Explaining about his love for charitable work, he states: “I have reached a stage in my life where professionally I want to give back my experience to the Omani youth and
socially I want to do my bit, as I am in a fortunate position, financially and socially.” He credits his professional success and his personal achievements to his early decision to join the army. His 40 year career in the army, from September 15, 1975 to September 15, 2015, has seen him move from a non-commissioned officer to the rank of a warrant officer and from a commissioned officer to a Major. However, life hasn’t been a smooth ride. In 2003 he lost his son in an accident caused by a drunken driver, which he describes as the worst blow
in his and wife Annette’s life. Their grandson, who was born ten days before the tragedy, has remained their source of happiness and a reason for them to believe their son wants them to stay happy. Welsh wants to use the lessons learnt to inspire people and share his passion for golfing among young Omanis. As far as his future plans are concerned, he hopes to continue contributing to the society before retiring to Germany, where he plans to open an English school to teach street English to tourists and travellers
training aids like hoists to lift disabled children on to rocking horses. And, as a diving instructor, he has been assisting disabled children learn the sport; he also undertakes golf-ball diving in the Al Mouj Golf course lake to find balls, which are then auctioned for charity. Over the period, he has also initiated an annual charity day to generate aid for the Centre - the event raised RO2000 this year.
Up Close & Personal With
William Welsh The home I grew up in... Was in the North East of England, Newcastle, on a council Estate; it was a shipyard/ mining community, with little opportunities. When I was a child I wanted to... I ran everywhere, so maybe I wanted to be an athlete and a footballer and play for Newcastle United. The moment that changed me forever... Losing my son to a drugged and drunk driver...would not wish that on anybody. My greatest inspiration... My wife, Annette, inspired me to become more than my expectations. My hero… In the short term, because of my passion for Newcastle United, Alan Shearer, who inspired people; in the medium term, Winston Churchill - in adversity he rallied the Allies to contribute
to the freedom we now enjoy; long term, Queen Elizabeth 2 - her moral standards, her place in the world and her unwavering leadership. If I could change one thing about myself... Be more patient with people - at work and socially. I dream of... Health and prosperity for my family and to enjoy life and experience travel. What I see when I look in the mirror... Someone who has achieved and experienced many things and has improved them, both in a military humanitarian arena and, more closely, with friends and family. It’s not fashionable but I like... Cooking. My greatest regret... Not seeing my son develop into a mature adult and a good father. You may not know it, but I’m no good at... Difficult one this...as I generally turn my hand to most things. May be sewing... You may not know it, but I’m very good at… Cooking, playing all sports and being a good friend. If I have time to myself... I over think situations, over plan and organise, which is not always a good thing. My house is... Small but homely; it is the first home we have had
after 35 years of marriage, as military houses are just not the same. My favourite haunt/holiday destination... Tuscany in Italy and all of Oman. I am somewhat spoilt for choice. My favourite weekend spot in Oman… Al Mouj Golf Club with friends, a good clean competitive game and socialising at the 19th. I will not leave my house without… My GSM, car keys, wallet, a shave and a picture of my wife. Five things I like about Oman… People, people, people, people and people...add to that the sun, golf, sea and hospitality. A book that changed me... Serve To Lead, a Sandhurst Leadership Book, and Newcastle United: 50 Years of Hurt. On top of my wish/bucket list is... To be gracious in life, become a better golfer and help those who wish to be helped. My success mantra is... ‘Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance’, and always, ‘Deal with the crocodile closest to the boat first, then the others.’ In 10 years› time, I hope to be... Here and alive, helping people to succeed in their wishes and desires.
in the SPOTLIGHT
Al Faisal Al Zubair launches team to compete in prestigious 2017 Porsche Supercup series, which follows F1 racing circuit Europe, UK, and Mexico this year, gaining global exposure for Oman
l Faisal Al Zubair, Oman’s racing genius, officially launched team ‘FZracing’ at a VIP event held at the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort, recently. Rolling out the new team livery, Al Faisal announced the participation of team FZ Racing in the prestigious 2017 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race series, which follows the Formula 1 (F1) racing circuit across Europe, United Kingdom and Mexico later this year. Al Faisal will be looking to add to his racing experience, following his recent success in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, where he took both the GCC Rookie and Silver category championship titles in his debut season. Present at the event was Walter Lechner, founder of Lechner Racing GmbH and principle backer for team FZracing, renowned journalist & F1 commentator Firas Nimri, together with invited dignitaries, guests and media.
Speaking at the launch of team FZracing, Al Faisal Al Zubair said: “It’s been an amazing journey for me since November last year and it continues to get better. After making the decision to move into the Porsche GT3 Cup car from single seaters, my driving career has really taken off. The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East provided a great platform for me to build and develop on my racing experience and I feel that driving the Porsche GT3 Cup car really suits my driving style. I knew that competing in Season 8 of the GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East would be tough, but I seemed to adapt quickly and I surprised myself, and the people around me with the results I was getting early on.” In April, Al Faisal capped off a stunning season debut in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, signaling a remarkable end to the hard fought series. Round 11 of 12 on the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, which supported the Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix and was viewed by a global audience, saw Al Faisal Al Zubair take his maiden victory in the championship,
while the final race of the season saw Al Faisal placing fourth, taking his sixth Silver Class victory, as well as his ninth GCC Rookie Class win. After an incredible debut season which saw Al Faisal compete against some of Europe’s and the region’s best young driving talent, whilst also coming up against seasoned professional drivers, Al Faisal’s dream of competing at the top echelons of international motorsport will continue into the Summer with Porsche and the Lechner Racing team. 19-year old Al Faisal Al Zubair is no newcomer to the world of motor racing. Born and raised in Muscat, he started early on in competitive karting before making his way up through the junior single seater categories in the United Kingdom. By 2016 he was participating in the British Formula 3 (F3) series, which is often seen as the launch-pad for racing drivers to elevate their career, often to professional status. Al Faisal is widely acknowledged as a rising star of motorsport in the Middle East, and has made an
in the SPOTLIGHT impression with industry observers in his debut season of Porsche racing. With the recent double championship success, attention now turns to the next rung on his career ladder. The entry of team FZracing to the 2017 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race series marks the next stage in Al Faisal’s flourishing motor racing career, one that will take him onto the global motor racing arena. The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup has
been running since 1992 and after just its first year in competition became part of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship – and always held directly ahead of the F1 Grand Prix races at European and international top locations. The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup is the most competitive of the worldwide Porsche one-make series, and provides a riveting stage for intense driving action. The basic principle of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup guarantees fair competition at the highest sporting level, with each driver competing in identical vehicles based on the seventh generation of the 911 GT3 Cup. Also speaking at the media launch in Oman, Walter Lechner, founder and head of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East said: “Al Faisal is a perfect example of what the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East stands for. Developing young regional racing talent, and helping them to build a future in motorsport is something that the championship prides itself on, and to see a driver as young as Al Faisal come into the championship and
develop this quickly over a five month period is a testament to the series and everyone involved.” Founded in 1975, the Lechner Racing Team has enjoyed great success in numerous racing series - currently in the Porsche Supercup, which operates within the framework of FIA Formula 1 World Championship. Parallel to a successful racing career, Lechner Racing successfully operates a racing school. Today, it is considered one of the most successful motorsport organisations who nurture emerging talent worldwide. In addition to racing activities, Lechner Racing GmbH has positioned itself as an international partner for the automotive and tyre industry
A Legendary Season at ROHM Royal Opera House Muscat’s upcoming season will witness operas, Omani and Arab performances, ballets, concerts, jazz, musicals, world music, education and outreach programmes
he Royal Opera House Muscat’s (ROHM) ‘20172018: A Legendary Season’ encapsulates the exciting genres of performances that are lined up to make the season truly legendary. The new Season, which marks ROHM’s seventh spell, will open on September 14th, 2017 with Giuseppe Verdi’s grand masterpiece ‘Aida’, produced by Teatro Regio Torino. Announcing the new season at a press conference, H.H. Sayyid Kamil Fahad Al Said, Member of the ROHM Board commented: “With 35 outstanding new programmes and 55 performances, we unveil an inspiring theme for the 2017 – 2018 season... Not only does our new season offer an abundance of performers with legendary reputations, but also further brands the Royal Opera House as a legendary place where the dreams of civilisations are realised.”
Highlighting the new ventures that are on the agenda for the season, ROHM Director-General, Umberto Fanni spoke about another new coproduction, Bellini’s Norma with Opéra de Rouen. “The Royal Opera House Muscat is continuing on the path of transformation from a predominantly hosting institution to a theatre that also creates its own productions in-house,” he said.
of treasured Pavarotti memorabilia from 14th December 2017 to 6th January 2018.
After marking its Sixth Anniversary on the 12th of October 2017, ROHM will commence its seventh season with a wide range of top quality productions in many different genres. On the agenda are two delightful, heartwarming operas – Gioachino Rossini’s ‘L’Occasione fa il Ladro’ (Opportunity Makes a Thief) and ‘La Sonnambula’ (The Sleepwalker).
The year 2017 marks the tenth death anniversary of the legendary Luciano Pavarotti; ROHM will pay tribute to him in ‘Homage to Luciano Pavarotti’, a gala concert as well as an exhibition
The roster of superstars includes Sir Cliff Richard, the rock legend who has sold more than 250 million records worldwide, Dianne Reeves, a living jazz legend who has won more than five Grammy Award and Gilberto Gil, known as ‘The Soul of Brazil’. Among the many highlights in ROHM’s 2017-2018 series of nine Omani and Arab performances are the annual Omani Women’s Day Celebration, featuring talented Yemeni singer Balqees and ROHM’s Military Music: Oman and the World with hundreds of musicians marching in dress uniform on the Maidan. Arab concerts will feature contemporary legends like Sami Yusuf and rising Omani star Salah Al Zadjali.
The first ballet of the season is ‘Swan Lake’, the compelling story of a swan swimming on a lake of tears; it will be followed with ‘Pas de Deux for Fingers and Toes’, were music and movement come together in a supreme expression of beauty. ROHM is venturing into avant-garde ballet with a new take on ‘Cinderella’ and is returning to Tango with a thrilling show called Recital CanTANGO
(Tickets went on sale from May 23rd, 2017)
Bollywood comes to Oman
For the first time ever, a Hindi film will be produced and shot in Oman under the banner of ‘Hit Productions’ ‘Papa Kehte Hain Bada Naam Karega’, the catchy line from a popular Bollywood film, is the title of the upcoming new Hindi film, to be produced as a joint Oman-India venture. The film, to be directed by Harleen Singh and produced by Delicious Sahadevan, R. Chikara, Harleen Singh and Dr. Deepak Sharma, will feature Oman’s new singing sensation Haitham Mohammed Rafi, who recently won a popular music contest in India. The film will be shot mainly in Oman and will be launched under the Hit Productions banner. The film builds on the cricket frenzy that rules the world of sports in India and captures Oman’s growing interest in cricket, as it unravels the story of a young boy who aspires to play cricket at the national level. It is an inspirational story that traces his growth from his hometown in India to Oman, where he comes after a series of disappointments in realising his cricket dream. Talking about the film at a press conference, Harleen Singh affirmed that the film will be shot mainly in Oman and will be ready for release by the end of the year. Preproduction of the film is expected to take about a month, following requisite permissions from the authorities for the film. Although the cast is yet to be finalised, the film is expected to bring up many surprises, creating a complete entertainment package for viewers everywhere. Many local artistes are scheduled to feature in the film that has already set the celebrity quotient with Haitham Rafi. Singh brings to ‘Papa kehte...’ his long experience in the industry as a director of short films and music videos. He has to his credit a short film titled ‘Khwaaish’, which was showcased at Cannes in the short film category. He was mentored early on by his father, a playwright and
director. He was 15 years old when he began assisting his father in putting up plays. However, his tryst with the camera began much later; it was under the banner of Hit Productions that he began making corporate films and short films. For the upcoming film, Hit Production and Delicious Sahadevan will group together with the production house in Oman. Sahadevan is the founder of Delicious Dance Academy (DDA) a music and performing art institute based in Muscat; he has earned repute in the Indian film industry, following his stint as an assistant choreographer in many hit Hindi films. Dr. Deepak Sharma, who is a part of the production team, is a noted name in the field of Homeopathy. His late father V. P. Sharma, a recipient of President’s award for scouting, was a well known personality in Oman. He was associated with Indian school Muscat from 1983 to 2004. He played in Ranji matches in India and has contributed much to Indian cricket
let’s COOK A scrumptious Iftar spread Adila Eileen
Home baker Adila Eileen* took time from her Ramadan preparations to whip up an Iftar spread, featuring dishes influenced by recipes sourced from around the world
Coca Algerian Pastry
(Coca is an appetizing pastry; it is similar to sambosa, but in baked form)
Ingredients l l
Flour -2 cups l Eggs -1 l Salt - to taste Butter – 100gms l Water, if needed to combine
For the filling: l l l l l
Pre-seasoned mincemeat - 1/2kg with herbs and spices Spring onions (chopped) - 2tbsp Paprika or black pepper - 2tsp Curry powder - 1tsp (optional) Oil -1tsp
Method 1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Prepare the dough by combining all ingredients together. Knead for at least 5-7 minutes. Keep refrigerated for 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Add oil in a pan and slowly add the spices and meat. Let this cook for few minutes only; cool it completely. Remove dough and roll it into a big round disc. Using a round shape cookie cutter, cut round shapes. Fold one side of the disc add in meat filling and seal it completely. Use flour mixed with water or egg wash to seal them. Before baking, brush it with egg wash and add sesame seeds. Bake 30-40 mins 180 degree
* A passionate cook and a mother of four, Adila has been writing recipes and cookery articles for Dubai based food magazines and newspapers. Following her move to Oman, she started working with Oman’s celebrity chef Issa Al Lamki and networked with other local chefs. She has since met up other international chefs, including Sanjeev Kapoor, Kunal Kapoor and Ajay Chopra, and given wings to her culinary interests and research in Middle Eastern cuisine.
June 2017 Photographs: Pushpender Sharma
Fatayer Ingredients l l l l l l l l l
Flour - 3 cups Vegetable oil - 5-7tbsp Yoghurt - 5tbsp Baking powder - 1tsp Yeast - 1tbspn Sugar – 2tsp Salt - 1tsp Warm water - 1/2 cup or more Egg – 1 (for egg wash with little milk for glaze)
Filling for Fatayer l
l l l
Akkawi cheese (look out for less salted), mozzarella and cheddar cheese - mix all of them together or choose your favourite (50gms each) Black seeds (nigella) - to sprinkle Sesame seeds - to sprinkle Parsley - to garnish
1. Add yeast and sugar together to the warm water and let it sit for five minutes. 2. In a stand mixer, add rest of the ingredients with yeast mixture to make a dough. 3. Remove and knead it for 5-7 minutes. This makes the dough rise well. 4. Cover the dough with a cling wrap or any towel in a bowl. Keep it in warm temperature till it rises to double (almost an hour).
5. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. You could use akkawi with cheddar or mozzarella cheese. Add parsley and zatar or labneh and zatar or meat and zatar…Add your desired filling and keep aside. 6. The dough would have risen after an hour or so. Remove and punch air out and roll to make desired shape. 7. Fill the Fatayer with your fillings and brush with egg wash. Keep this for another 10-12 mins to slightly rise up. Before baking, brush with egg wash again and sprinkle the seeds. 8. Bake at 200 degrees for 12- 15 minutes.
(To make chicken tabaka, the chicken is flattened by meat pounder and cooked on iron caste skillet. It is a very popular dish in Russia and surrounding countries, including Georgia)
Ingredients l l l l l l
Whole chicken - 800 gram or less Paprika - 2tsp Flavoured salt - tsp or as per taste Olive oil - 2tbsp Cooking oil – 2tbsp Pine nuts or pistachio – for garnish (optional)
1. Cut the chicken and wash it. Let the water drain completely. 2. Meanwhile, prepare the rub. Add olive oil, paprika and flavoured together and make a mixture. 3. Now, using the meat pounder (hammer), start pounding the chicken to flatten it. 4. Apply the mix on to the chicken and let it rest for 2-3 hours to get maximum flavour. You could marinate and keep it overnight too. 5. Heat a skillet, add a little oil and cook the chicken on low flame for 10 minutes, turning over the chicken. Add a weight or cover it with another pan and a brick on top. 6. Keep checking the meat to avoid burning – it cooks in half an hour maximum. 7. Enjoy the dish with garlic sauce or a plum based one.
Zatar Shrimp Biryani
(Adila’s special Ramadan recipe is a refreshing twist to your regular biryanis)
l l l l l l l l l l l l l l
Shrimps (large, peeled and washed) - 1kg Zatar - 3tbsp Olive oil - 3tbsp Fried onions - half cup Cooking oil - 5-8tbsp Tomatoes (chopped) - 2-3 Ginger-garlic paste - 2tsp Arab spice - 2tsp Black pepper - 1tsp Salt to taste Saffron - few strands soaked with 5tbsp warm milk Melted butter or ghee - 4tbsp or more Basmati rice 2-3 cups (washed and soaked) Fresh pomegranates - 1/2 cup
1. Clean and wash shrimps, drain all water away. 2. Marinate the shrimps with zatar, olive oil mixture, black pepper, and keep aside for 20 minutes. 3. Soak 2 -3cups basmati rice for half an hour 4. In a large pot, add in oil, sauté ginger-garlic paste, add the fried onion and cook on medium flame. Add the tomatoes after a couple of minutes and cook for 5 minutes before putting off the flame. 5. Remove from flame and blend it in a mixer to turn into a fine paste. 6. Meanwhile, for the rice, prepare the pot with water, add salt and let the water boil for 10 mins at least. 7. Add in the rice with little oil to the boiling water. Cook till medium done. 8. Now put the onion mixture back on the flame and add the marinated shrimps. Cook for 2 minutes on high flame. Don’t cook the shrimps for long, as they will be slow cooked later. 9. Rinse the rice with cool water and let the water drain. Leave it for 3- 5 minutes. 10. Now put this semi-cooked rice either layered or in one go on top of the shrimps. 11 Layer them well and stir in 3tbsp ghee/butter and saffron. 12. Create little holes in the layered biryani to allow steam to pass and help cook rice easily. 13. Close the pot with foil and put a lid with a heavy stone on top; cook for half an hour to 45 minutes. 14. Remove the cover and plate it with garnishing of zatar and pomegranates. Serve with yoghurt chutney or pickle. Note: If using chicken instead of shrimps, cook the pieces for 10-15 minutes at least. Also, zatar has salt, so be careful while adding salt to the biryani gravy.
Moletn Lava Cake Ingredients l l l l l l
Dark chocolate - 4 pieces Egg – 1 Egg yolk -1 Butter - 30 to 40gms Fine granulated sugar - 1/3 or 1/4 cup Flour - 3tbsp
1. Whisk the butter and sugar together. 2. Slowly add the egg and egg yolk and keep whipping 3. Melt the chocolate in microwave for a few seconds and add the melted chocolate to the batter. Slowly incorporate the flour and make it a smooth batter without any lumps. 4. Grease 2 ramekins with butter, pour the mixture evenly and bake the goodies at 220 degrees for 12-14 minutes. (This dessert could be made ahead and frozen for 2-3 months. Just before baking, thaw it to room temperature. It stays in the refrigerator for a week.)
Oats Break Give your family a healthy oats break with Simran Dhanju’s flavoursome, make-ahead recipes
Oat Bran Peanut Butter Cookies Ingredients: l l l l l l l
1 cup oat bran 1 cup plain flour ¾ cup crunchy peanut butter 50g salted butter 1 tsp baking soda ½ cup raw sugar 2 eggs, lightly beaten
In a mixer bowl, cream together butter, peanut butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time to the mixer and beat well for 2 minutes. 2. In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients (oat bran, plain flour, salt and baking soda); add them to the wet ingredients and blend together until well combined and formed a dough. 3. Now, divide the dough in equal portions and form 20 balls of it. Place them 2” apart on a cookie sheet or lined baking tray, press gently with your palm and put impression with the back of fork. 4. Bake in pre-heated oven at 180˚C for 20 minutes. Leave to cool on tray. 5. Store for weeks in air tight jar.
Cranberry Oats Bars Ingredients: l l l l l l l l l l l
2 cups, rolled oats (small) ½ cup self-rising flour ½ cup dried cranberries 1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped ¾ cup butter, melted ¼ cup raw sugar ¼ cup sunflower seeds ½ cup unsalted pistachios ½ tsp salt ½ cup water 2tbsp honey/maple syrup (optional)
1. Pre-heat the oven to 170˚ C. Grease 9”x 6” baking pan with butter. 2. Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl and pour in prepared pan, press it down with a spatula to flatten it. Bake in pre-heated oven for 30 minutes. 3. Remove from oven, while still hot, put cuts with serrated knife to divide them in 14 rectangular bars. Let cool in the pan and store them in airtight container.
Simran is a celebrated chef and a winner of multi cooking competitions; she creates visual delights artfully by merging traditional flavours.
Fast for Health
Whether you want to lose weight or simply get a quick dose of health, fasting could do the job for you
ith Ramadan setting the tone for spiritual renewal and ushering in the tenets of abstinence and sharing, now is the time to bask in the all-encompassing mood of the season, Muslim or otherwise. It could be an act of charity, a decision to stop smoking or simply incorporating fasting into your lifestyle. While giving up smoking has obvious health benefits and charity can only spread goodwill, it is fasting that could act as a driving force to experience the essence of the season. For, fasting has its own health benefitsâ€Ś Boosts weight loss Weight loss is the obvious benefit, as studies have shown that intermittent fasting does allow the body to burn fat cells more effectively than through regular dieting. It makes one eat fewer meals and does enhance hormone function, which facilitates weight loss. Intermittent fasting is known to increase the metabolic rate by 3.6 to 14 percent, helping the body burn more calories. As the digestive system gets a rest, it energises the metabolism to burn calories more efficiently. Studies have shown that such fasting can cause weight loss of 3 to 8 percent over a period of 3 to 24 weeks. It is said to be effective in losing belly fat too. Reduces diabetes risk With Type 2 diabetes becoming common in recent decades, the focus is on reducing insulin resistance to help lower blood sugar levels. Intermittent fasting has been shown to have major benefit in insulin resistance, leading to an impressive reduction in blood sugar levels. Studies on intermittent fasting
Improves eating patterns Ironic as it may sound, fasting is said to improve eating habits of people who suffer from binge eating disorders and those who find it difficult to establish a correct eating pattern due to their lifestyle and work pressures. Fasting regulates eating times, leaving no room for binge eating as the requisite calories are consumed in one sitting. Enhances brain function Fasting boosts the production of a protein called brainderived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). It activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons and triggers numerous other chemicals that promote neural health. This protein is also said to protect the brain cells from changes associated with Alzheimerâ€™s and Parkinsonâ€™s disease. A deficiency of BDNF has been implicated in depression and other brain problems.
Improves skin The impact of food, especially fried snacks, on the skin has been well documented. So it should come as no surprise that fasting can indeed help clear the skin and even prevent acne. This is possible because the bodyâ€™s attention is shifted from digestion to regeneration, helping the body glow with energy. In fact, even fasting for one day is known to help the body clean up the toxins while regulating the functions of other organs. Heightens immunity Fasting has a big role to play in improving the immune system. It reduces free radical damage, regulates inflammatory conditions in the body and starves off cancer cell formation. Even in the animal world, sick creatures are known to temporarily stop eating to reduce stress on the internal system and help the body fight infection
have shown that fasting blood sugar is reduced by 3 to 6 percent, while fasting insulin is reduced by 20 to 31 percent. One study also found that intermittent fasting can protect against kidney damage, which is one of the most severe complications of diabetes.
Promotes longevity Interestingly, eating less has a big say on longevity. The less one eats, the longer he/she lives, say medical experts, who found that people in certain cultures have longer lifespans due to their diets. As one of the primary effects of ageing is a slower metabolism, fasting will also mean less toll on the digestive system. Studies on rats have, in fact, shown that intermittent fasting does extend their lifespan; rats which fasted every other day lived 83 percent longer than other rats. Benefits heart health Heart disease, rated as the biggest killer in the world, can benefit from intermittent fasting. Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can improve numerous heart disease risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglycerides and inflammatory markers.
in the luxe
Retreat and Refresh
Replenish your mind, body and soul with an exclusive retreat in a far off land, with nature setting the mood and luxury establishing the tone Parrot Cay Retreat
The Parrot Cay retreat does not need a ‘do not disturb’ sign to assure you privacy and an uninterrupted stay. Described as a sanctuary, it is one of the most secluded and exclusive resort islands in the northern Caribbean and has over a thousand acres of white sand beaches alongside the tropical landscape. Tucked in the waters of Turks and Caicos, it has its own private beach that turns into a yoga classroom; it also includes Japanese baths and a Jacuzzi garden as a part of its Asianinspired holistic therapies. There are beach house suites, two-bedroom villas and private homes offering ocean views and provide total seclusion.
As the name suggests, it is a ‘happiness’ retreat in the majestic Himalayas in India. The 100-acre estate is located in the foothills of the Himalayas. It is set at 3,000 feet, offering panoramic views of the Ganges and the villages. The retreat includes a 24,000-squarefoot spa and several meditation and yoga pavilions in the gardens. It is popular for its bespoke meditation sessions and spectacular views from the plush suites and villas.
The yoga retreat in Greece’s Silver Island is a treat for yoga enthusiasts. The privately owned island is spread over 60 acres, providing ample space for yoga classes and a taste of nature’s exuberance and quietude. It can house only 12 people, which means early booking and, of course, an abundance of privacy. The retreat also has on offer kayaking and snorkelling opportunities, not forgetting the mesmerising views of the Island’s rolling hills, small idyllic coves, olive groves, cypress trees and wild flowers.
in the luxe Holy Isle
This is the right time to visit the private two-mile long island, which is located just off the Isle of Arran in Scotland. It is at the north end of the island that the Centre for World Peace and Health is located; this is where the meditation retreats take place. Between April and October guests are welcome to stay at the Centre for personal retreats or even holiday breaks. There are walking paths along the rugged coastline and also through the grassy interior; however, because of the island’s delicate ecosystem, which includes species such as Eriskay ponies, Saanen goats, and many indigenous plants, some areas aren’t allowed to be explored on foot.
Insight Meditation Society
A grand old mansion in central Massachusetts, hugged by 200-acre property of Insight Meditation Society (IMS), is a perfect retreat spot for some alone time. The retreat involves a combination of seated and walking meditation. Long-term retreat is also possible at the Forest Refuge, which is set in the countryside. The Retreat Centre has a range of silent meditation courses, while the Forest Refuge offers a more independent and less structured form of retreat life.
Natural springs with thermal waters greet you at the Adler Thermae retreat, Italy’s prime destination for top of the line yoga and pilates classes. Here, you could follow the yoga session with some cleansing at the natural springs to regenerate your energy and indulge yourself to some warm relaxation.
Mexico’s Rolling Meadows Meditation Retreats are all about yoga, meditation and a divine communion with nature. Located in Tulum, the retreats take place at Casa Om, a beachside camp with a meditation centre, which is flanked by the azure sea and the quiet Mexican fishing village of Puerto Morelos. The retreat offers four sessions daily; all focused on turning inward. Great snorkeling opportunities await interested snorkelers at the second largest barrier reef in the world.
38 Degrees North
If you are going to Ibiza, pass by 38 Degrees North to experience one of Europe’s top yoga retreats. It is an island just off Spain’s eastern coast, designed to cater to yoga enthusiasts as well as party lovers. The rooftop, where the swimming pool is located, offers beautiful views of the island as well as yoga classes for those interested
take a SPIN
A ‘Modern Premium’ affair with Santa Fe
The third generation of Hyundai Santa Fe brings ‘Modern Premium’ to the SUV segment
t’s chunky and full of verve. It’s fluid and noticeably striking. It’s practical and absolutely premium. Welcome to the world of Hyundai Santa Fe. Hyundai Santa Fe with its core product concepts being ‘Refinement’, ‘Smartness’ and ‘Practicality’, is becoming a hit in the SUV market, with its whole new class of luxury and comfort – whether it is the differentiated design, cutting-edge technology or the practical use of space. The all-new Santa Fe is a ‘Modern Premium’ car in every sense. With wide legroom and the right elements of comfort woven into the seating arrangement, it is just what a family would need to move around the city on weekdays or cruise the suburbs on weekends. It has enough boot space to carry a large picnic basket and all the essentials for a day out with family. It contains two neat storage areas under the floor and
provides a huge 585 litres of storage space. Designed as a versatile machine, it offers, in addition to legroom, second row seats that can slide, recline and split-fold to offer a wide range of seating set-ups; two additional foldaway seats in the boot can also be brought up. Its reclining angle comfort rear seats are identical to seats found in luxury sedans; it includes a cooling box that will refrigerate drinks in the hot weather and a rear window curtain that provides more exclusivity and privacy for the rear passengers. To make it truly family-friendly, Hyundai has ensured that the allnew Santa Fe is one of the safest vehicles in the market. Its cuttingedge active safety systems include Electronic Stability Control, a Hill start Assist Control system that prevents the vehicle from rolling when on an incline, as well as a Brake Assist System, which increases braking pressure in an emergency
situation. In addition to a Traction Control System, Vehicle Stability Management is available on topof-the-range models and promotes stable car manoeuvring when the car may be liable to skidding. Based on Hyundai’s design philosophy, Fluidic Sculpture, the new Santa Fe adopts its own design concept called ‘Storm Edge’, which captures the strong and dynamic images created by nature during the formation of a storm. The design adopts the hexagonal grille that has become a Hyundai trademark in most of its new line-ups, a twotone voluminous bottom car body and wider front and rear bumpers, creating a futuristic and urban-style SUV image.
take a SPIN Santa Fe continues the solid brand heritage of Hyundai’s most representative SUV model. Hyundai has ensured that the Santa Fe offers a range of features and technologies that are normally associated with premium sedans and SUVs from the class above. These include Smart Navigation, a rear parking camera, a premium hi-fi system with 4.3-inch TFT-LCD display and a vast panoramic sunroof. The interior shows an evolution in design and an insight into the future through Hyundai’s eyes. The Santa Fe comes to the Middle East in a sporty five-seat form with ample room and storage across different parts of the car.
* OTE Group is the exclusive dealer of Hyundai’s range of vehicles in Oman.
June 2017 Photographs: Pushpender Sharma
Adventure travel with Envago
Travel tech entrepreneur Lujaina Al-Kharusi’s adventure travel app Envago is the first marketplace app for adventure
ooking to book a fourteen day expedition in Alaska, or a day of walking in the beautiful Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia? Perhaps, you fancy snowmobiling in Iceland or trekking in Nepal…? Yes? Simply download the free Envago app, which has many such adventures to offer in 12 countries – from Croatia to Oman and from Brazil to Saudi Arabia. Founded by travel tech entrepreneur Lujaina Al-Kharusi, the adventure travel app Envago - www.envagoapp.com - was launched in late 2016. Although still in the nascent stage, the focus has been on finding planners offering unique, once in a lifetime adventures around the globe. The app allows those seeking adventures to search by category of adventure (air, earth, water, rock and ice or volunteer), listed activities or by map, to access a range of providers. “The Envago app will change the way we access and experience adventure… I want people
to have choice and opportunity, whether they are seeking their next adventure or looking to utilise their passion, talent and experience to become verified as a planner with Envago. Our app is putting those small, independent planners on the map, and giving adventurers around the globe access to once in a lifetime experiences,” states Lujaina Kharusi, who is a full time economist and a mother of four children.
Lujaina Al-Kharusi In the following interview, she talks about the app and the potentials for adventure tourism in Oman. How did the idea for Envago come about? The growth in the usage of smartphones has been intense; almost ten years after the launch of the very first smartphone we are at near peak penetration. It’s the way we go online, it’s how we do our
How will the app benefit travel and tourism enthusiasts? Imagine, you are heading off for travel and you want to make the most of your time and experience uplifting, inspirational adventures. You could spend hours trawling the web looking for adventures, or you could find them all together in one place with reviews. Or, you are in Nepal and you want to try your hand at paragliding or boating on Phewa Lake. Grab your smartphone and, through the Envago app, you are all booked in five minutes. At Envago, we are also passionate about putting those small, independent planners on the map and giving our
customers access to unique deals, like our Amazon survival experience. With the app, you can also connect with others booked on the same adventure and meet other travellers with similar adventurous tastes! What is the potential for Oman? Oman is a huge focus for us at the moment. It is such a beautiful country and its landscape is so perfect for adventure, from the peaks of Jabel Shams to the desert sands, the mountains and beyond. I want travellers from around the world to come to Oman and experience some of our amazing adventures. We are working with one planner currently in Oman, who offers the Lost Falls of Jabel Shams, Snake Canyon and the Wadi Jadis, and we are happy to hear from other adventure planners who have exciting, life enhancing adventures that would inspire our customers and drive adventure travel in Oman. As an entrepreneur in Oman, what were the challenges you faced? I was lucky in that I was always encouraged to create and be entrepreneurial. My mother set me a wonderful example that I could be whatever I set out to be. After graduating from the University of
Brunei, I started my career as an economist in 2005. But, alongside, I also operated various businesses, like a baby boutique and an antenatal service venture. Juggling a professional career with a family and a start-up business can be challenging, as I am always mindful that I give each the proper attention they deserve; but again, the support of my family has made this possible.
shopping and, increasingly, it’s how we book our travel. And the travel industry itself has had to adapt, making room for nimble start-ups who are ready to offer customers the marketplace as they want it. With Envago, it’s about allowing travellers to search hundreds of adventures at once, by location or type of adventure, giving them choice and saving them time. The idea also grew from my love of travel. We lived in the UK when I was young and we travel regularly as a family now - one of our favourite things to do is camp in the desert.
Any future plans…? For now my business focus is on Envago and I wish to significantly expand our range of adventures, particularly across the Middle East and also the rest of the world. One of the categories of adventures we offer at Envago is volunteering, and this is also something that I want to develop. At the moment, you can book to volunteer at the idyllic Lang Tengah Island in Malaysia, saving the endangered green turtles’ eggs from poachers, or to help in the community or at a local school in Nepal. Travel now is about more than self-interest; travellers want to combine their holiday with activities that support the country they are visiting and incorporating this, and sustainability more generally is where I see the future of Envago
Envago is available on iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/ gb/app/envago/id1140098064?mt=8 And Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/ details?id=envago.envago Visit Envago at http://envagoapp.com on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Envagoapp/ Twitter https://twitter.com/Envagoapp and Instagram https:// www.instagram.com/envago_adventures/
Virgin Affair Whether you are looking forward to a memorable summer or seeking to create family moments to treasure, Virgin Limited Edition has it set to make your holiday special
A summer to remember
Create extraordinary memories this summer with a stay at one of Virgin Limited Edition’s luxury hotels and retreats. From the magic of an African safari to a relaxing villa break, there’s something for everyone to enjoy, and, with a selection of hand-picked offers, now is the time to book an unforgettable summer escape. For travellers in search of adventure, Ulusaba Private Game Reserve offers the ultimate safari experience. During twice daily game drives, guests will have the opportunity to
spot the legendary Big Five guided by expert rangers in South Africa’s Sabi Sand Reserve. The holiday of a lifetime awaits this summer at Mahali Mzuri where guests will have the chance to witness one of the seven ‘new’ wonders of the world - the Great Migration. Twice-daily game drives provide a front-row seat to this astonishing spectacle as over a million animals make an epic 1600km journey through Kenya and Tanzania. Summer is a fantastic time to discover Morocco’s Atlas Mountains
with a stay at Kasbah Tamadot. While the city sizzles, this peaceful and secluded region is up to ten degrees cooler, ideal for poolside lounging or sipping ice-cold drinks in the shade. Those staying four nights or more between 1st June and 31st August can extend their getaway with one night free. From gourmet dining to personalised bubbly tasting, foodies enthusiasts will be in heaven at Mont Rochelle Hotel & Mountain Vineyard. Located in Franschhoek, guests can discover the delights of this unique corner of the Western Cape, as well as Mont
spectacular natural wonders, the Great Wildebeest Migration which takes place between July and September. For an extra slice of half-term fun in May and October, up to two kids stay free when sharing a tent with at least one adult.
For an exceptional alpine getaway, look no further than The Lodge, Virgin Limited Edition’s Swiss mountain retreat. The stunning hillside location allows guests to explore Verbier’s sunny side with outdoor activities from hiking and mountain biking to spectacular paragliding adventures.
Families looking for tailored service in a beautiful Balearic setting will love Son Bunyola. Located on Mallorca’s North West coast, there are three villas available for rental; three-bedroom Son Balagueret, four-bedroom Sa Terra Rotja and five-bedroom Sa Punta de S’Aguila. Each property has a private pool, a chef and concierge service and on selected dates in 2017, guests staying 7 nights or more will receive their final night for free
Rochelle’s fascinating heritage. Between 1st May and 31st August 2017 guests staying 4 nights or more will enjoy their final night for free.
Nothing says summer quite like kicking back in the Mediterranean sunshine, and Son Bunyola is just the place to relax with friends and family. Located on the northwest coast of Mallorca, the estate boasts three stunning private villas offering tailored service in a spectacular setting. It’s summer all year round in the British Virgin Islands and Necker Island’s Celebration Weeks are the perfect excuse for a sunsoaked vacation. This August and September, guests can book a room for stays between 3 and 10 nights to experience a slice of Caribbean paradise without having to book the entire island.
From half term breaks to summer escapes, Virgin Limited Edition has hand-picked a selection of incredible offers and unforgettable adventures for the family holiday of a lifetime. Located in South Africa’s Sabi Sand Reserve, families visiting Ulusaba will have the chance to spot lions, leopards, elephants and many more species on twice-daily game drives, led by an expert team of rangers and trackers. The Cubs Club offers amazing activities for kids of all ages, including treasure hunts and traditional arts and crafts. There is even more reason to get the family together in this stunning safari setting, as on selected dates throughout 2017, up to two cubs stay for free with one or more adults. At Mahali Mzuri, children are known as ‘Little Warriors’ in recognition of Kenya’s rich Maasai traditions.
First look at Virgin Limited Edition’s Son Balagueret
Virgin Limited Edition’s newly-opened villa, Son Balagueret, is situated on the Son Bunyola Estate. It is spread over three floors and includes a secluded central courtyard, a private heated swimming pool and panoramic views over the estate and the dramatic coastline. The villa sleeps up to 6 people in three bedrooms, one of which is located in a unique and historic turret dating back to the 13th century. Rates start from EUR 13,095 for a 7 night stay. The private estate, with its own gated entrance, is over 700 acres and is located in between Esporles and Banyalbufar on the Northwest coast of Mallorca. At the heart of the estate is an original Finca building dating back to the 1800’s surrounded by vines, citrus fruit trees, almond and olive trees. You could take a dip in your private heated pool just steps away from your villa or play a spot of tennis on the nearby court (racquets and balls provided) – this is shared by all three villas. The estate is 3km×5km in size so perfect for a stroll to stretch your legs, or capture stunning ocean views with a coastal walk which starts from a pebble beach.
Alongside twice-daily game drives, families can enjoy fun, tailored activities, including Maasai jumping competitions and visits to the local community. For the ultimate summer holiday adventure, families can experience one of the world’s most
Home Spa Turn your home into a spa with ingredients sourced from your kitchen or the neighbourhood supermarket
es, we agree, nothing can beat a pampering session at the hands of a beautician in a salon or a spa, with creams, lotions and gels that are designed for your specific skin tone and requirement. But that is not always the only option; more so if you are seeking nature-inspired products or have time to experiment with some tried and tested natural beauty aids. With summer limiting outdoor action and giving you reasons to stay put indoors, especially during the weekends, this is, perhaps, the right time to give home spa a try. Here is an easy guide to get you started:
A chocolate affair
Give your face a chocolate touch with this all natural chocolate face mask that can be whipped up in the confines of your kitchen. All that you need to prepare this mask are 100 grams cocoa powder, 3 tablespoons heavy cream, 2 teaspoons of cottage cheese, 3 ounce honey and 3 teaspoons oatmeal powder. Mix all these ingredients together and apply it on your face. Leave it for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing it in warm water to give your skin a soft and silky feel. This mask is ideal for normal skin.
Sugar, sugar baby
Exfoliate with a sugary scrub and get your skin feeling silky smooth and sweet. To make your sugar scrub, mix together one cup brown
sugar, one cup oats and one cup olive oil. Apply this gently on your dry skin in slow circles. To avoid messing up the bath during the scrub process, place a plastic sheet or some newspaper under your feet. Use it to scrub all over your body before getting into the shower.
For all those who love to wake up to the smell of coffee, here is a wake up scrub from coffee grounds to start the day right. Simply mix together a quarter cup of olive oil, one teaspoon vanilla extract, one cup brown sugar, few drops of essential oil and half a cup of used coffee grounds from your pot of freshly brewed filter coffee. Blend it well and store it until use (it stays fresh for more than two weeks if refrigerated). Apply the coffee scrub to wet skin in circular motion and follow it up with your regular bath. You are coffee ready!
By Sophia Raman Loud MAkeup iS A no-no, WhAtever be the oCCASion…
Hands, especially fingers, are known to take the brunt of household chores, especially dish washing. But that’s no reason to fret, as your kitchen can quickly provide you with a remedy to soften them. Take some cold cream into a bowl, add two drops of tea tree oil in it, along with lavender oil and olive oil. Now blend in a banana; ensure that it is smooth before applying it liberally all over your hands and cuticles. Place your hands in rubber gloves to give the concoction time to work its magic. Wash the banana mix off and feel the natural softness of your hands.
Every little change in the weather can leave its telling mark on your lips. Although lip balms have proven to be effective in combating cracks and dryness, you might want to whip up your own formula to stay naturally hydrated. You would require one tablespoon beeswax pearls, one tablespoon pure shea butter (or olive oil), two tablespoons almond oil and ten drops of essential oils to make four tins of balm. Place the beeswax, shea butter and almond oil in a double boiler and stir continuously until the ingredients are liquefied. Remove it from the boiler and blend in the essential oils. Pour it into your prepared containers and let it cool until it solidifies. Store in a cool dry place and use as required
hether you are a makeup addict or not, there are certain makeup rules that are best followed to ensure that you do not turn up for a meeting or a social do with a face that looks like it has been freshly painted. For although makeup does seem like an easy chore, it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. You require practice and a free hand to ensure that the foundation or the blush you are applying is taking the subtle path. Even when the occasion demands heavier makeup, you need to follow certain tried and tested routes to get the look just right. Keep a close watch on your face as you go through the various steps to immediately correct errors that are obvious. For example, if the foundation seems a tad too loud, spray your face with a mist to dampen the foundation and blot the excess liquid off your face with a beauty sponge or a face tissue. Always remember, the foundation that is supposed to hide your blemishes can heighten them if over applied. Best is to wash it off if it looks cakey; but the mist will help you equally. The role of blush is to give you a naturally flushed look. A wrong shade or over application can turn the look awkward. While the wrong shade will mean going cosmetic shopping to get the right colour, overdose of blush is something that you could correct with a powder brush. Use the brush to pat your cheeks and gently sweep outwards until the colour fades away or subtly blends into the face. Another way to go about it is to dust some translucent powder and tone the base down.
Maiyasa Designs Maiyasa Al Noufly, founder and designer of the clothing line Maiyasa Designs, has evocatively fused art and fashion to create distinctive designer wear for fashion-savvy ladies
arthy colours, exotic appliqués, arresting 3D designs… Omani fashion designer Maiyasa Al Noufly’s Ramadan collection, under her fashion brand Maiyasa Designs, is all that and more. She has, for the first time, introduced 3D designs on her dresses and has embellished them with pearls, shells and flowers to create masterpieces for the season. She has woven the moods of the season in cuts and designs that act as an extension of the wearer’s personality… Her love for all things fashion began when she was only six years old. She nurtured her passion alongside her artistic forays in the field of drawing and music. She found a perfect platform in fashion, to balance all her interests, and learned to merge one with the other to create designs that portray musical harmony, lucid artistic lines and fashion novelties that have won her a fan following on her social media pages.
Her talents were recognised very early on. She was 16 when she won the second prize for best drawing among all the participating schools in the Sultanate. She repeated the feat, on a higher level, at the age of 22 when she won first place in both drawing as well as playing piano, among all the colleges in the country. She won the creativity award in 2014 and got to attend a course in fashion designing in Milan, Italy. She also won the best sketch in Maserati contest chosen by two powerful names in the fashion industry - international designer Abed Mahfouz and Antoine Salame from LaBourjoisie.
Playing the piano may have started as a hobby, alongside her flair for sketching and drawing, but these interests soon helped chart her path in the world of fashion. While art helped enhance her creativity in choosing the right colour palate and creative embellishments on to the fashion sketches, the notes of piano spurred her imagination and creativity to produce extraordinary designs.
Maiyasa graduated from the University of Southern Queensland in 2008 with MBA in marketing and worked in the events industry before opening her own boutique. (For more details, check Maiyasaâ€™s Instagram account @ maiyasadesigns)
Shine like a Diamond
Get resplendent with the special diamond collection from Malabar Gold and Diamonds
June 2017 2017 May-June
esque It wIth ALe
Cannes 2017 CLASSIC GLAMOUR IS VERY MUCH IN VOGUE, OBSERVES ALE AL ZADJALI, fOLLOWING THE SHOW Of GLITZ AND STYLE AT THE RECENT CANNES fILM fESTIVAL
annes 2017 gave me the regal, princess red carpet impressions that I have been longing for. No doubt that stars with huge personalities like Rihanna didn’t hold back (oh, at all) when it came to making her gowns fit her style…but we got to see many other celebs keep it simple.
Uma Thurman in Atelier Versace must have been the first look I spotted this year, because it’s the epitome of royal. It was carried off in such a spectacular tone of pink that it blend into her skin. And, while she looked like a queen, we got to see Bella be a modern day princess in her Gauthier pink number. Another red carpet stand out was definitely Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who showed real versatility with her looks from the adventurous Yanina number to the Cinco number, fit for a queen! She even wore red on a red carpet and turned a no-no to a ‘YAS.’ I guess the best trend is that while everything goes (unless it’s Emily Ratajkowski’s black number because that needs to be hidden for all of eternity), classic glamour is still very much in Vogue
Ale Al Zadjali is a 23 year-old award-winning fashion designer; he is the brain behind the ‘Esque By Ale’ line of clothing
From London with Love
British Airways organised a memorable junket to London, treating media representatives to its impeccable service and the legendary hospitality of Shangri-La. Sophia Raman shares her experience...
ife is both the destination and the journey… That’s our conclusion after the dream junket to Shangri-La at The Shard in London, aboard the British Airways.
from Muscat International Airport for London Heathrow, at 0805 hours.
While the journey was no less a dream with the British Airways staff taking pampering to a new level, it was The Shard that ensured the destination was as important for all the right reasons.
The Club World or the Business Class cabin of British Airways is designed to cater to passengers’ every comfort, with the stress on impeccable service. It combines premium levels of comfort and service with freedom and flexibility to make every journey unique and unforgettable. We had a taste of this elite Club with scrumptious food, choice of drinks, tailor-made entertainment and attention to detail that is meant to make every passenger feel special. And we did feel special - from the time we were ushered in with the
It was early May, and summer was yet to get bold. We were met at the airport by British Airways representative, who ensured our quick check-in and got us heading to the Plaza Premium Lounge. At the scheduled time, we made our way to the gate to board BA080 that departs
That is when the magic of the journey began…the magic of ‘Club World’.
warm ‘Welcome’ greeting, to the ‘Thank you’ adieu on landing. The seat, padded with a pillow, a duvet and noise cancelling headphones, was the perfect start to a journey that promised a large dose of relaxation and pampering; the latter began the minute we plonked ourselves on the cosy seat. First came the welcome drink along with the amenity kit, packed with Elemis skincare products and accessories, and what-have-you to make the trip pleasant. Interestingly, the bag is a keepsake that can double up as your carry bag. Meal times are a delight, as the menu, packed with local and international flavours, lets you know what is in store and the options available to suit your taste. The three-course lunch was a feast in the sky, with the smooth flight
Club World Galleries Club Lounge
An hour later, we reached the foothills of The Shard that houses the ShangriLa, our destination, just above the London Bridge Station. We were escorted in by Ruwaida Abela, Senior Public Relations Manager, Middle East, Sharngi-La Hotels and Resorts, who’d joined us from Dubai. She was our attentive escort, who ensured that comfort was never compromised.
The enigma of the Hotel is resplendent in the floor-to-ceiling windows that are affixed in every room, presenting stunning city views. The panoramic view of the London Bridge is what greeted us as we made our way to The Deluxe City View Room, silently admiring the contemporary design and the Oriental motifs around the Hotel. We were in for some visual treat
On landing, we were quickly ‘fastracked’ through immigration
The drive from the Heathrow Airport, along the busy London roads with popular tourist attractions flashing by, was a treat; it was a quick snapshot of all the regular sightseeing spots... But we knew we were here for more than the usual fare. We were here to ‘experience’ London the unconventional way - whether it was a visit to the Wimbledon, a shopping experience at Borough Market or the scheduled trip to Jo Malone on Sloane Street, which, however, couldn’t take place owing to time constraints. To make up for our loss, Jo Malone went out of their way to treat us with gift hampers.
But well, the magic of the trip was just beginning.
Shangri-La at The Shard
The world of calm and tranquillity that envelops the aircraft can make you wonder if you are really zooming through the skies. The smooth flight, the constant flow of food and drinks and the option to simply recline and relax… We couldn’t be blamed for wanting the journey to continue forever.
We were picked up by a chauffeur who seemed visibly pleased to see us. That was an indication of the way things would unfold in the next three days of our trip in London. All smiles…
state that it is the place to be if you truly want to indulge your senses. Its décor conjures up a sense of oriental elegance that comes right to you the minute you enter the foyer; its rich ambience is perfectly infused with a welcoming warmth. The suites beckon you to unwind and relax with its strikingly quaint décor elements adding a subtle touch of warmth amidst the celebration of luxury. The legendary hospitality of Shangri-La is well captured in every guestroom and suite.
In-flight entertainment in the Club World, with personal 10.4” flat screen and noise-cancelling headphones, does seem like it is tailor-made to suit the tastes of film buffs. With so many choices, sleep was the last thing on our minds. But well, the seats, designed to recline to a flat bed with the help of a footstool, is difficult to resist for a little snooze. The Club World seat is a complete blend of armchair, bed, dining table and office, making it adjust and adapt to your need, whether you want to catch up on your office work, nap or simply watch your favourite film. The entertainment package includes hundreds of latest films, documentaries, television shows, music, audio books and games.
process as we were the privileged ‘Club World’ travellers.
making it seem as if it was a dream after all. As Club World passengers, we had access to the ‘Club Kitchen’, which is a snack zone to meet all hunger cravings. It is designed to meet the needs for passengers seeking inbetween meals during the flight. With a scrumptious meal and the traditional afternoon tea, we weren’t really hankering for any snacks, but the availability of salads, fruits, wraps, ice creams and drinks makes it a regular kitchen for most requirements.
The Shard is a jaw-dropping structure with its vertical elevation redefining the aesthetics of luxury. At a height of over 309 metres, it is Western Europe’s tallest building, housing offices, restaurants, London’s highest viewing platform and the Shangri-La Hotel. After two nights at this plush hotel, we can only
Shangri-La Hotel entrance
April-May June 2017
of London’s most famous landmarks, including the City of London, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, Canary Wharf, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and Tate Modern. Interestingly, the Hotel has made available binoculars in every room for guests to have a closer look of these landmarks. It was just perfect for us, as our itinerary was packed and the days too few to go on a sightseeing trip. Guests can also enjoy complimentary high-speed internet, Acqua Di Parma bathroom amenities and more. Besides, high-end technology sits comfortably alongside subtle luxury with features including automatic climate control that complements the building’s integrated sun-shielding and the patented, body-contouring Shangri-La Bed. After freshening up for the evening, we headed to the lobby on the 35th floor, for a tour of the impressive Hotel. We checked out the Signature Suites, the event spaces – Ren, Li, Yi, the restaurants, bars and the health club and pool. The Signature Suites include the Shangri-La Suite, the London Suite and the Westminster Suite, all of which boast luxury of another kind, with the Shangri-La Suite earning the distinction of being the one-bedroom jewel in the Hotel’s crown. Guests here have access to a private lift, 24-hour personal butler service, private chauffeur service, sumptuous living areas with entirely custom-designed furniture and 180-degree views of
Deluxe City View Room
Level 34 Atrium at Shangri-La Hotel
And just when we thought we had seen the best of luxury for the day, we were escorted to the Ting restaurant for a sumptuous three-course dinner. A perfect finish to a perfect day that started at the Oman International Airport in the early morning.
The following day was dedicated to Wimbledon. After breakfast, we headed towards Wimbledon, which took us on a lovely countryside ride through London, bringing us to Church Road Gate No. 5 of Wimbledon. For a tennis fan, who has followed the Wimbledon championships, it was a dream come true to walk to the centre court and inhale the crisp sporty air of the stadium. We were met by Eric White of AELTC (All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club) who took us on a personal tour of Wimbledon. What is interesting about a visit to Wimbledon is the chance to actually play tennis. While our interest in the game only extends to watching, the ones who like to give it a go can indulge in the sport at the LTA’s (Lawn Tennis Association) Play Tennis Zone near Court 12. Visitors can partake in activities, including interactive tennis games and competitions to win prizes, or simply chat to LTA representatives about how to get more involved in British Tennis.
If you are lucky you could also get an opportunity to meet your favourite players in person at the Fanzone located just outside Aorangi Pavilion in the north of the Grounds. Every day one or two players visit the booth to meet fans and sign autographs. While you are in the north of the Grounds you can view players practicing on the Aorangi Park courts. The area is awash with players hitting balls, stretching or just hanging out. This hidden gem allows you to get up close to players in a more relaxed setting. At the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum you could experience the history and traditions of ‘the Fortnight’, get up close to the Championships Trophies, feel the fabrics of tennis fashions from the Victorian period, test your skills on the Batak wall and learn about how The Championships has developed since 1877. With clothing and equipment donated by tennis’ top stars, you are certain to see something from your favourite player. The Museum also runs several special exhibitions over the years, including one dedicated to tennis at the Olympic Games, another charting the evolution of the racket from the 1870s to present day, and a showcase of the spectacular tennis posters in the Museum’s collection. The current exhibition, ‘On Air: Wimbledon and the BBC 1927-2017’, celebrates Wimbledon’s relationship with the BBC.
Centre Court with roof
Museum ticket holders may also visit Centre Court with one of the Tour Assistants. Besides, there is also the opportunity to go on a behind-thescenes tours of the Grounds to see this world-famous site. If shopping is on your agenda, you could check out the Wimbledon Shop which carries many of the products sold during The Championships. Favourites include the Championships towels (as seen on court) and other towelling products; rackets, balls and bags; a wide selection of clothing for adults and children; jewellery, key rings, home ware, gifting, crystal, throws, ties, souvenirs and tennis accessories.
London’s iconic landmarks from one of the capital’s most rare addresses.
There is also the Wingfield Café, which is open 10am-5.30pm serving delicious hot and cold meals and snacks. Pizzas, sandwiches and salad are available every day, with a tasty hot special available each day. Following an outstanding tour of the Wimbledon, we returned to our magnificent Hotel to freshen up for the evening out with the friendly British Airways team. Our venue for the evening was Kensington Garden and were we in for a surprise… To welcome us to the The Roof Gardens & Babylon Restaurant was Charlotte Dollin, the PR Manager of Virgin Limited Edition and Amanda Allan of British Airways.
Wall at Wimbledon with winner names on it
The Roof Gardens & Babylon Restaurant
With three themed gardens spread over 1.5 acres on the 6th floor of a building in Kensington, west London, The Roof Gardens has long been one of London’s most spectacular landmarks. The Roof Gardens operates as an event space, a private members Club on Friday and Saturday evenings and a restaurant, Babylon. Up on the 7th floor with amazing views over London’s skyline, Babylon restaurant is open every day of the week for both lunch and dinner. No other location in London offers beautiful rooftop gardens with fully grown oaks and fruit trees, a flowing stream stocked with fish and wildlife and resident flamingos. The Roof Gardens: There are three distinct gardens - The Spanish, Tudor and English Woodland, all arranged around the central Clubhouse. The Spanish Garden was inspired by the Alhambra in Granada, and is characterised by manicured lawns, fountains and colourful seasonal bedding plants, all arranged around a central courtyard. The Woodland Garden features almost 100 different species of trees, some of which were planted over Shangri-La Suite dining room
70 years ago. This garden stretches all the way along the length of the roof, with full grown oak, lime and fruit trees growing in just 1.5m of soil. This is the garden where the resident flamingos live; it also has a stream, a play area for the ducks and a fish pond harbouring a number of different species. The Tudor Garden is a delightful combination of Tudor-style archways and walls punctuated by secret corners, hanging wisteria and a beautiful display of flowers in spring. Evergreen shrubs are surrounded by fragrant lilies, roses and lavender during the summer months. Babylon Restaurant: Set high up on the seventh floor of The Roof Gardens, offering amazing views of London’s skyline, Babylon really is a cut above the rest. The award-winning food at Babylon is best described as contemporary British and the menus change regularly to ensure only the freshest seasonal ingredients are used. There are Table d'Hote lunch menus available for two and three courses (Monday to Saturday) as well as a delicious Sunday Roast offering. Guests looking to dine al fresco can cosy up throughout the winter on our heated terrace to indulge in baked cheeses and fresh breads or enjoy a delicious fresh seafood menu in the summer. The restaurant can accommodate everything from an
intimate dinner to lunch with friends. The private dining room is ideal for parties or meetings of up to 12 guests, with its own terrace overlooking the resident flamingos. For larger groups of up to 30 guests, a stylish, semiprivate area can be booked and Babylon can also be hired exclusively for dinner and cocktail receptions for up to 120 guests.
Borough Market…that was our destination on the last day of our stay in London. Following a large breakfast, we went for a walk to the historic Borough Market, accompanied by Executive Chef Gareth Bowen and Chef de Cuisine Tom Kurth. The Borough Market is one of London’s oldest and largest food markets; it serves as an integral source of the most exceptional British and international produce for the city’s restaurateurs as well as locals and tourists looking for delectable delights. It was an interesting market day, as we got to pick local ingredients with the Chef, who was supposed to incorporate it in our lunch that day. It is a part of the Hotel’s interactive stay, where guests can take advantage of the ‘At the Market with Chef’ offer, which includes a bespoke shopping trip to Borough Market. This is followed
with a personalised five-course dinner, prepared with ingredients chosen at the market stalls. Our shopping spree at the Borough Market was a delight, as we were spoilt for choice with fresh local produce greeting us everywhere. Soon after, we returned to the Hotel to savour Chef Bowen’s culinary skills. He presented us with a seasonal three course menu at the Chef’s Market Table at the Hotel’s TING Restaurant on Level 35. Chef’s Market Table is available for lunch or dinner with a personalised seasonal menu, including welcome drinks and canapés, plus four courses hosted by one of TING’s culinary artisans. The host will provide diners (groups of up to eight) with insider knowledge on ingredients, methods and recipes throughout each course. The Chef’s Market Table lunch, a highpoint of our trip, culminated our sweet trip to London.
Back at the airport, we were fast tracked through immigration as Club World travellers, before we got set to relive the magic at the exclusive Galleries Lounge, which emanates calmness and tranquillity. It is here that we could relish some quiet time before the flight. The Galleries Lounge has on offer light meals or snacks, which are especially prepared for guests. It has an exclusive work and entertainment zone, which is a perfect place to catch up on last minute emails; there is also an option to watch live sport or selected entertainment in the 20-seat cinema.
Passengers flying through London Heathrow Terminals 3 and 5 and New York JFK Terminal 7 can indulge in a luxury facial treatment or relaxing massage from acclaimed British spa and skincare brand Elemis. The airlines is also working with Elemis, the acclaimed British spa and skincare brand, to offer exclusive treatments and skin-therapies. Developed by the world-renowned Noella Gabriel, Elemis brings you a new concept in travel spa and skin-therapies to awaken your senses and refresh you during your journey.
Interestingly, the airport, which boasts a large duty free shopping zone, also has on offer a complimentary Heathrow Personal Shopping service and we were assigned with our own personal shopper. However, time was a luxury and we couldn’t avail the service of the shopper to do our shopping. These assistants help passengers purchase items from across the airports’ wide variety of over 140 international brands across luxury, fashion, beauty and technology. If you have the time and the inclination, you could even book online for a consultation with one of the stylists. Soon we were back on the BA flight to Oman, enjoying the comfort and luxury of Club World. We returned back home completely refreshed… As we relive the experience, we cannot but help salute the staff of British Airways and the Shangri-La for helping us create memories that will last a very long time
As we bid our goodbyes to ShangriLa, and made our way to the airport, we couldn’t shake away the feelings of awe and excitement of being a part of the Hotel, albeit briefly. We are sure the images will linger with us for a long while.
Home Clean Home Make time to get your home ready for Eid with a cleansing session to declutter and reorganise things in your living space
ith Ramadan ushering in a spiritual ambience and inducing a positive lifestyle change, now is the right time to get down to the task of cleansing your home; in time for the upcoming Eid celebration. Assign a day and time and involve all the members of the house to make it a family affair. Give everyone a task, even if you have domestic help, for this is more than the regular dusting and cleaning.
Declutter - that’s the key task in any home cleaning project. You can never fathom the extent of things you would have accumulated unless you dedicate a day to pull out all items, make a checklist of things that have lost their importance to you and pile it up to discard or give it away. Take one room at a time to ensure that decluttering is total. While kitchen is bound to be a storehouse of things that are expired/ expiring or simply unnecessary in your family’s dining habits, bathroom too will throw up a few ‘why-did-I-buy-it’ surprises. Thoroughly check the expiry dates of the shampoos and creams lining your bathroom shelf before finding ways to discard or give away the ones that have remained unopened or have been hardly used. Bedrooms are, probably, the major hoarding zones. In your bedroom: It is common, in most households, to use the space beneath the bed for storage of items that are, often, superfluous. The best way to go about it is tackle each item separately and, depending on the use or the general importance for the household, pack it in a proper container to store it under the bed for use in the near future or to give away to some charity. Placing them in separate containers will help categorise items and also keep it dust-free.
According to a dĂŠcor expert, keeping the space around the bed neat is important to have a good nightâ€™s sleep; clutter can be disturbing. In the living room: Furniture is important, but there are times when they can crowd the room and make the living room look burdened. If possible, move smaller pieces to the guest room or the master bedroom. Perhaps, you have plans to buy new furniture? Look out for items like ottomans that can double up as tray tables or even provide storage space, which is possible with the ones that come with a lid. And, with smart TVs becoming a rage, mounting it on
the wall is a better alternative than opting for a wall unit with TV space. Also, do not crowd the room with too many rugs, as they tend to make the space look unfocused and even busy. Find ways to create a sense of harmony in all the little accessories; this applies to your coffee table too. Do not turn it into a place for all your papers and files.
Study room: If you have a separate study room for the children, chances are that the shelves are stacked to the brim with books that have outlived their purpose. It is time to donate those books to friends or give it away to a charity. It would save you time in the future if you made storage boxes and file the papers into folders.
Your wardrobe: The cupboard or the wardrobe is by far the biggest source of clutter. When new clothes compete with old ones for space, you are bound to be confronted by a wardrobe that feels like it is coming apart at the seams. The biggest task in arranging the wardrobe is throwing or giving away clothes that you have outgrown or you do not fancy it anymore. owing to the changes in the trend. Make piles of clothes depending on their value to your wardrobe and, accordingly, dispense them for recycling or giving away to charity. Once done segregating, stack clothes in the order of their purpose so as to avoid further mess.
In the kitchen: Cleaning is, obviously, an everyday task, but special cleaning projects require you to empty out all the cabinets to make it a thorough job. Wipe the shelves clean before placing the items back in. Check out and discard expired products and find ways to classify items according to the usage. Labelling the containers will prove to be the best thing you did to your kitchen shelves. And if, like most shoppers, you hoard all the plastic bags, find an easy way to store it in a bag or box
Your bedside table would also need a decluttering session if you have been using the drawers to push in bills and documents for future reference. Pull them out, check if any has validity, either for personal or for commercial reason, and throw the ones that have no reason to occupy space in your storage shelves. The only things on the table ought to be your bed lamp and a glass of water for the night.
Strengthen The Family Bonds Festive seasons have an unwritten code of conduct for families to bond over traditional customs and the obligatory festive banquet
s the season of sharing and caring surges ahead, take a long pause to assess your relationship status with members of the family; make determined efforts to bridge gaps, if any, and build on the bricks of love and togetherness.
Loyalty is, perhaps, innate in most families; but for it to thrive and help families bond positively, it needs regular nourishment. It is about instilling a sense of security to make every member feel safe with the other. It is about ensuring that at no time does any member feel that he/she is in a threatening situation. Remember, verbal abuse and constant criticism can all defeat the very edifice of family loyalty. Identify ways to support each other and make the other person feel confident about sharing dreams and ideas.
Laughter and its ability to improve health is well established. It not only does a whole lot of good for your mental and physical health, it also sets the tempo for family bonding and takes it to a beautiful
new level. Laughter is, indeed, therapeutic. It helps relieve tension in the family and even strengthen the bonds among the members who are certain to feel connected when they share in the joke. Apply the basics of humour into your family time and enjoy the benefits. Ensure that the laughter induced is not at any member, rather, it is an exercise to laugh together. Find the right balance to use laughter in a positive way and strengthen those family bonds.
Like charity that supposedly should begin at home, appreciation too should find an avenue within the family. It is a human tendency to seek appreciation; to receive generous words of praise for a job well done, for being a good person or simply for dressing up well or looking good, is a big boost. Praise has
Relatively SPEAKING no age bar, even an octogenarian will be happy to receive a compliment or two. Appreciation is important to maintain good health of the family; it is a motivation to feel positive about each other. Appreciation could be inculcated within the family by simply making the members feel that the other is a friend. It could be shown through action or simply by stating your feelings of love for the other.
There is nothing more important in any relationship than communication. It is a two-way process that has immense import in family bonding. A healthy family is one where members have established strong lines of communication and do spend time talking to each other, even if it is about trivial things that happened during the day. Communication that is effective can be the mainstay of the family. Effective communication will act as the base to share issues of critical importance, when and if they arrive. This could transpire as
careful listening and ensuring that you have understood the message. There is trust and honesty in such communication.
The need to feel that we belong, belong to a family, community or society, is universal. Members of the family have a stronger need to experience the feeling of belonging within the household. This happens when there is a complete acceptance - where acceptance means that each member is content in the knowledge that he/she can find support when things are not going right or get encouragement when it is needed. It is the act of making the other feel you are approachable in any situation. It is an expression of belief in the other without being judgemental; it is the feeling of positivity about your status in the family.
You donâ€™t need any research or study to prove that kindness does
pay, however, there are tabulated experiments that have shown how the mere act of kindness can not only benefit the receiver, but also the doer. Acts of kindness have a direct say in the release of oxytocin hormone. It could be a simple act of doing the dishes, picking up the grocery or whipping up a dinner for the family without being told.
The arguments of quality over quantity of time may have yet to find consensus, but the crux of the matter is that together time, whether defined by quantity or quality, cannot be undermined. It is the time spent together - in shared experiences that build memories and kindle the feelings of love, acceptance and all things positive. It could be eating dinner together or planning activities like picnics or movies or even a DIY task - together time can be easily created
Engineer Haitham Jaffer Al Bahrani and Partners DSC open Oman branch
Engineer Haitham Jaffer Al Bahrani and Partners DSC who are a multi-disciplinary architecture, engineering, electrical and mechanical engineering have inaugurated their new offices in Al Yasmeen Complex in Al Khuwair. H.E. Maitha Saif Majid Al Mahrouqi, Undersecretary at the Tourism Ministry, cut the symbolic ribbon to inaugurate the plush new office in the presence of dignitaries and senior level guests, from both the private and public sectors. Speaking on the occasion, Engineer Haitham Al Bahrani, Chairman of the new offices Board, stated that the new branch would pave the way for a richer local experience. “This is a significant milestone in the architectural horizon of Oman. DSC brings with it close to two decades of experience in the field, having carved its niche in Asia, Middle East, and Africa from its headquarters in Egypt.”
‘Feel the Speed’ with Awasr
Awasr, Oman’s first specialised broadband Internet service provider, is riding a crest of success following the launch of its prestigious ‘Feel the Speed’ campaign. The campaign, which went underway with the opening of pre-order facility for new coverage areas in Azaiba, Ghubrah, Madinat Alam, Al Qurum, Wadi Adai, Hamriya, Wadi Kabir, Hilat Al Sadd and Darsait, has set a new paradigm of speed with its cutting edge technology. Awasr aggressively pursued the tenets of ‘Feel the Speed’ campaign and paved a revolutionary path for consumers to experience and enjoy speed like never before. With ten new destinations and more set to build its growing reputation as a reliable provider, Awasr is on a mission to engage with customers on a proactive platform and spread its ‘speed’ credo.
Oman Air launches its CSR Guide
Under the theme of ‘building a brighter future, together’, Oman Air, the national carrier of the Sultanate, launched its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy focusing on supporting a range of sectors, including SMEs, environmental protection, tourism and education. The strategy will also help people with special needs, as well as contributing to voluntary initiatives and comes with the stated aim of boosting the development of a sustainable society through investing in various public institutions for the foreseeable future. The CSR strategy of Oman Air aims to demonstrate best practice by creating a safe working environment in which to achieve excellence and success in the aviation sector. The strategy includes creating a team to manage, implement and measure the impact on society of the CSR initiatives.
Strong response to Meethaq Sukuk
Meethaq, the pioneer of Islamic banking in Oman from Bank Muscat, has evoked strong response to the Sultanate’s first Sukuk programme. The maiden RO25 million issuance, which is part of a larger RO100 million Sukuk programme for retail and institutional investors, was open for subscription till 1 June. The debut Sukuk issuance for RO 25 million comes with a green shoe option of a further RO25 million, in case of oversubscription. The issue has an indicative profit rate of 5 percent per annum with a tenure of five years. The Meethaq Sukuk programme is set to transform the landscape of Islamic banking in Oman. Meethaq Sukuk is priced RO 1.002 per certificate, including the issue expense of 2 baisa per certificate.
MGM to gift eight Honda Civics
Muscat Grand Mall (MGM) has announced the launch of its new ‘8 Big Reasons to Shop This Summer’ promotion. As part of the campaign, visitors to the mall will benefit from great offers and specials at most stores during the promotional period, which ends on July 23. In addition, shoppers will also be provided with an opportunity to win one of eight 2017 model year Honda Civics, all of which are on prominent display at the mall. Each of the lucky winners will be announced immediately at a draw held every Sunday. Over the course of the promotion, visitors spending RO20 or more at any of the stores at MGM will be entered into a draw to win one of eight Honda Civics.
SalamAir launches direct services to Pakistan
SalamAir, Oman’s first budget airline, has welcomed Pakistan to its fast-growing route network with direct flights to Sialkot, beginning on 16th May and to Multan on 23rd May. SalamAir services to both cities will operate thrice weekly, with one-way tickets starting at just RO30. Underscoring the key role these new routes will play in promoting business and leisure travel between Oman and Pakistan, Khalid Al Yahmadi, Chairman of SalamAir said: “While these services will facilitate increased travel flows, they will also provide important connectivity for enterprises keen to capitalise on Oman’s investor-friendly regulatory framework as they explore the wealth of commercial opportunities in the Sultanate’s diversifying economic base.”
OAM wraps up fun-filled ‘Grand Celebrations’ campaign
Oman Avenues Mall has brought to a close its 2nd Year Anniversary Grand Celebrations, which included five weekends’ worth of fun-filled performances by internationally-renowned theatre artists. Oman Avenues Mall also marked the end of the campaign with their grand prize giveaway of a brand new Lexus RX350 to the lucky Grand Celebrations shopper, Viann Maria, a Muscat resident. During the five Grand Celebrations weekends, mall visitors were entertained with delightful performances by Otto il Bassotto’s ‘Rubber Head’ show; Luigi Ciotaa’s ‘Sweet Dreams’ show; and a charming portrayal of the legendary actor, Charlie Chaplin, in ‘Diego: The Chaplin Show’.
Muriya renames ‘Salalah Beach’ as ‘Hawana Salalah’
Muriya has announced the renaming of its flagship destination ‘Salalah Beach’ to ‘Hawana Salalah’. The company’s move came as part of its continued commitment to contribute to the growth of Oman’s burgeoning tourism, real estate and leisure market. Meaning ‘our fresh breeze’ in Arabic, the new name is inspired by Salalah’s renowned reputation as a destination of choice and reverberates with connotations of comfort and peace of mind. Hawana Salalah is home to three upscale hotels comprising the 400-room Salalah Rotana Resort, the 302-room Fanar Hotel & Residences, the 82-room Juweira Boutique Hotel, as well as the recently launched Souly Lodge which is Salalah’s first eco-lodge comprising of 15 beach-front huts built entirely with natural elements.
Al Jenaibi International Automobilesâ€™ Ramadan offers
Al Jenaibi International Automobiles, the BMW Group importer in Oman, has announced its annual Ramadan offers. All BMW models will be available with the BMW Service Inclusive Plus (BSI) package covering all major servicing costs for the first six years or 120,000kms (whichever comes first) and a warranty for 6 years or 200,000 kms. Additional benefits include a 128GB iPhone 7 as a complimentary gift. Customers who purchase selected MINI models during the promotion period will receive a complimentary six years or 200,000km warranty. In addition, a complimentary MINI Service Inclusive XL Service Package covering major servicing for the first six years or 120,000kms. All MINI customers will also receive a 128GB iPhone 7 as a complimentary gift.
Maserati Oman announces Ramadan offers
Alfardan Motors, the official importer of Maserati in the Sultanate, has announced a special offer in celebration of the Holy month of Ramadan. Maserati clients can enjoy a range of benefits, including five years warranty with unlimited mileage, five years maintenance package or 100,000kms, whichever comes first, and complementary insurance and registration for one year as part of the special offer. This offer is available on the Maserati Ghibli, Quattroporte and Levante models. The exclusive offer will be available until end of Ramadan 2017 at the Maserati showroom in Azaiba.
Cadillac introduces latest service technologies to the Middle East
Continuing efforts to give Middle East customers the highest levels of customer service and maintenance on their vehicles, dealers across the region have brought the latest technologies and expertise to service Cadillacâ€™s new models. The readiness to tackle high-tech repair jobs serves as a foundation to Cadillacâ€™s future advanced product strategy, which will include mixed and composite material as a cornerstone in all future products. The latest technologies in the structural design of Cadillac was first introduced in the CT6. The brands latest prestige sedan is made of 11 different metals, creating a segment leading torsional rigidity to mass ratio, with an industry first of combining steel and aluminum bond that is possible with a GM patented method. (OTE Group is the dealer for Cadillac in Oman).
Nissan Oman announces special Ramadan scheme Nissan Oman, from the house of Suhail Bahwan Automobiles (SBA) has announced a special Ramadan offer under the theme ‘open up to world of wonders in the month of giving’. The offer, which started on May 7, will go on till July 6. The exciting offer is valid on all models purchased for personal use. As part of the special scheme, Nissan
Oman is offering assured cash gift, free registration, free insurance (terms and conditions). Apart from these also get free fuel upto RO1000 and free service package upto 100,000 kms through Scratch and Win Cards. There are additional benefits on purchase of second vehicle in family as well as a part of loyalty scheme.
Mercedes-Benz Oman’s Comprehensive Care Service Package
Setting a new benchmark for excellence in safety, MercedesBenz Oman has launched the Mercedes-Benz Comprehensive Care initiative for models registered prior to 1st January 2010. This service has been developed to help maintain the superior performance, safety and comfort year after year for older vehicles. Available by appointment only at Mercedes-Benz Service Centres located in Muscat, Sohar and Salalah, the Mercedes-Benz Comprehensive Care service package includes an inspection of the vehicle’s braking system and inspection for exterior and underside damage as well as for leakages and corrosion. Assessments are carried out on fluid levels with engine oil replacement and oil filter change, wiper blades, exterior lights, wheel alignment, tyres, and tyre pressure, which will be adjusted as necessary.
Dhofar Automotive opens new stateof-the-art facility in Wattayah
The exclusive distributors of Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, and Ram Automobiles in Oman, Dhofar Automotive recently celebrated the opening of its latest and largest showroom in the country. The exclusive new state-of-the-art facility located in Wattayah, Muscat, is a complete 3S facility (Sales / Service / Spares) designed to handle everything from customer demonstrations of the latest vehicles available from these iconic brands, to ensuring that all possible customer after sales requirements are met at a single destination. The facility also boasts a drive-in service check-in facility and a luxurious customer lounge with cafeteria and complimentary Wi-Fi for the complete customer convenience.
ZAG announces group-wide ‘Great Ramadan Offer’
The Zubair Automotive Group (ZAG) has announced a group-wide Ramadan campaign that will see vehicles sold by most of its subsidiary dealerships with price discounts of as much as 35 percent or cash gifts of up to RO10,000. The offer, titled the ‘Great Ramadan Offer’, will include a majority of the vehicle brands sold by Wattayah Motors, Dhofar Automotive, Rumaila Motors, and General Automotive Company. Leading automotive brands in the special Ramadan offer include Audi and Volkswagen from Wattayah Motors, Mitsubishi from General Automotive Company, Great Wall and Haval from Rumaila Motors, and Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and Fiat from Dhofar Automotive. The promotion, which ends on July 21, will see vehicles from each of these dealership with drive-away prices and cash gifts.
ND I N G
Mark Wahlberg Josh Duhamel Anthony Hopkins Isabela Moner Jerrod Carmichael Josh Duhamel Laura Haddock
Transformers: The Last Knight
Humble: Kendrick Lamar
Shape of You: Ed Sheeran
That’s What I Like : Bruno Mars
Ten years after Michael Bay launched
DNA: Kendrick Lamar
director is set to mark the anniversary
Without sacrifice, there can be no victory the
with the release of the fifth installment
Mask Off: Future
iSy: Lyle & Lil Yachty
Something Just Like This: Chainsmokers & Coldplay
Stay: Zedd & Alessia Cara
Despacito: Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee
in the series – ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’. This latest edition shatters the core myths of the Transformers franchise, and redefines what it means to be a hero. Humans and Transformers are at war and Optimus Prime is gone... The key to saving the future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden
10. Loyalty: Kendrick Lamar & Rihanna
history of Transformers on Earth. Saving the world befalls on the shoulders of three heroes - Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg); Bumblebee; an English Lord (Sir Anthony Hopkins); and an Oxford Professor (Laura Haddock) – who form an unlikely alliance. As the film synopsis states, ‘There comes a moment in everyone’s life when we are called upon to make a difference. In ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’, the hunted will become heroes. Heroes will become villains. Only one world will survive: theirs, or ours.’
s Gadget Riddle Web World Horoscope Trivia Books Gadget UPCOMING RELEASES
Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Jake Johnson, Marwan Kenzari, Russell Crowe, Annabelle Wallis Two thousand years ago, a young princess named Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) was chosen to be the new ruler of Egypt, but her father did not wish to pass on the throne to his daughter until he had a son. She kills her father in an attempt to claim the throne for herself, but her plans get quashed when she is buried alive beneath the sands, never to be seen. Pan to the modern day and her tomb is rediscovered by the American army and opened... She is once again awakened; bringing with her a malevolent grudge that has grown over millennia.
Author: Paulo Coelho The Alchemist tells the story of an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago. Spurred by a recurring dream, which he concludes to be prophetic, he consults a fortune teller, who concurs with him, telling him that there is a treasure in the pyramids in Egypt. Early in his journey, he meets an old king who introduces the idea of a Personal Legend and the thought that when you want something the entire universe conspires to make it happen. As the story unfolds, it brings home the truths about discovering ones personal legend and the path for self discovery.
Despicable Me 3
Steve Carell (Gru), Trey Parker (Balthazar Bratt), Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, Nev Scharrel This third installment in the ‘Despicable Me’ is a 3-D computer-animated comedy film that continues the adventures of Gru, Lucy, and their adorable daughters, Margo, Edith and Agnes, and the Minions. Gru faces off against Balthazar Bratt, a former child star who has grown up to become obsessed with the character that he played in the ‘80s, and gets into some sibling rivalry when he meets his long-lost charming and more successful twin brother Dru, who wants to team up with him for one last criminal heist.
Chris Pine (Steve Trevor), Gal Gadot (Diana Prince / Wonder Woman), Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Ewen Bremner Before she was Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on the mythical island of Themyscira, Diana fulfills a destiny, long ago bestowed on her by the Gods. She meets an American pilot (Chris Pine) who tells her about the massive conflict that is raging in the outside world. Convinced that she can stop the threat, Diana leaves her home for the first time. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, she finally discovers her full powers and true destiny.
A Return to Love
Author: Marianne Williamson ‘A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles’’ is a spiritual guide in which Marianne Williamson shares her reflections on miracles and her insights on the application of love in the search for inner peace. She reveals how we each can become a miracle worker; she shows how love is a potent force, the key to inner peace, and how by practicing love individuals can make their own lives more fulfilling while creating a peaceful and loving world for their children.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Author: Richard Bach Bach’s novel tells the story of Jonathan, a seagull whose passion for flying makes him different from other gulls. Jonathan’s wish to perfect his flying results in being outcast from his group. Although he is initially devastated, the experience gained makes him move to a higher plane where he meets other gulls like him, and helps him subsequently return to his flock. Bach weaves Jonathan’s character as a model for all those who refuse to conform, teaching virtues of love, forgiveness, and ways to reach ones true potential
Inspire your kids Log on to inspiremykids.com to find practical resources that will help inspire your children to do their bit for the society ‘Kids can change the world. All they need is a little inspiration!’ reads the tagline of inspiremykids.com, which is teeming with inspiring stories, quotes and activities, all aimed at bringing out the best in your child and help him/her take action to make the world a better place. The website is a storehouse of stories and activities that have made it one of the world’s largest online community for children seeking inspiration. The website opens with the Home page that has drop-down menus with valuable inputs under the segments titled People & Stories, Quotes, Make a Difference, Educators and Parents. You have the option of exploring the site by Values, Topics, Subjects and Age Range. The topics covered are wide, including animals, bullying, charity, education, environment,friendship,health,human rights, invention, leadership, music, politics, special needs and sports. The values highlighted include caring, fairness, perseverance, responsibility and sportsmanship.
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What kind of button won’t unbutton? What do you call a group of men waiting for a haircut ? What did the penny say to the other penny? What do you call a nervous javelin thrower? Who can shave 10 times a day and still have a beard?
What is more, academic subjects like Arts and Music, Business, Character Education, English, Health, History, Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Technology and even Physical Education are incorporated. It caters to all ages and has age appropriate material that caters to children 5 and above, 8 and above, 12 and above and 18 plus. An interesting section featuring quotes is just right to start the day on a positive note. There are great quotes for kids about love, passion and enthusiasm, about the importance of family, serving others, good manners, gratitude and the like… Alongside is ‘Make a difference’, whole segment dedicated to people who have stories that inspire. The site is ideal for educators as well as parents.
Riddle Time Answers (February 2017)
What has a face and two hands, but no arms or legs? Answer: A clock. What has to be broken before you can use it? Answer: An egg. It starts out tall, but the longer it stands, the shorter it grows. What is it? Answer: A candle. What has three feet but cannot walk? Answer: A yardstick. I’m full of keys but I can’t open any door. What am I? Answer: A piano.
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s Gadget Riddle Web World Horoscope Trivia Books Gadget GADGET NOTES Europe’s first ‘eTree’
There is now a ‘eTree’ rooted in central France… The solar tree, with giant square leaves that convert sunlight into electricity, was unveiled in the central French town of Nevers, recently. This town is the first in Europe to experiment with the technology developed by Israeli company Sol-logic, which was inspired by the acacia tree found in the Israeli desert and African savanna. The tree allows passers-by to charge their phones, surf the Internet or simply enjoy its shade. The futuristic-looking ‘eTree’ also supplies water and street lighting.
This camera can see visible and invisible light
Extra pair of robotic hands with MetaLimbs
There is good news for all multitasking folks who wish they had an extra pair of hands. A team of Japanese engineers have invented a solution, which they call MetaLimbs. The Multiple Arts Interaction Metamorphism or MetaLimbs, is a set of robotic arms that reach around under human arms and are controlled by sensors attached to legs. Positional tracking balls on the knees and feet direct the arm movement, while a sock device allows the movement of toes to control the grasp of the robot hands. There are even haptic sensors on the robot hands that generate force feedback on the feet. The arms are intended to be worn while sitting, but can be used while standing, depending on the task at hand.
Bites Bob was in a horrible motorcycle accident and his legs seemed to have taken the worst beating. After a couple of weeks of therapy, the doctor attending to him realised that
In a novel venture, scientists at the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) have managed to create a digital imaging sensor that can capture ultraviolet, infrared and visible light at the same time, using graphene and quantum dots. The graphene/quantum dot hybrid system has helped create a high resolution image sensor that is sensitive to a huge range of wavelengths, from UV rays of about 300 nm, through the visible spectrum in the middle, and up to infrared light with a wavelength of 2,000 nm. The researchers say this is the first time that a single image sensor has been capable of detecting light across such a wide spectrum at once.
Paper fingerprints to fight forgery
Say goodbye to your fears of forgery; scientists at Newcastle University, UK, have found an inexpensive and easy way to validate the authenticity of any paper document just by taking a picture of it on a standard camera. The researchers analysed the translucent patterns revealed when a light shines through paper, to identify a unique ‘texture’ fingerprint for every single sheet of paper. Capturing the random interweaving of the wooden particles, they show that a unique fingerprint code can be captured and verified with 100 percent accuracy using a camera. They note that the fingerprinting process is reliable even if the paper is treated with rough handling such as crumpling, soaking, scribbling and heating.
he had to do the inevitable. However, as Bob’s condition was frail, the doctor enlisted the help of Bob’s wife of 40 years to do the job, asking her to do it gently. The next morning, Eva, Bob’s wife went to his bed and said: ‘Honey, I have some good news and bad news; which would you like to hear first?’ Bob, always in a gloomy mood, said, ‘What do I care? Just give me the bad news.’ Eva took Bob’s hands in his and said, ‘I hate to have to tell you this, but it seems like your legs will have to be taken off…’ Shaken completely, Bob said, ‘So what is the good news?’
‘The good news’, said Eva, ‘is that the gardener was in here earlier and he said he may be interested in buying your slippers from you!’ Brian said to his wife Sue, ‘Do you know what our 6 year old son wants to be once he’s big?’ She replied, ‘No, what does he want to be?’ ‘A garbage man... And you know why?’ Sue said, ‘No, why?’ ‘Because he thinks they only work on Tuesdays!’ snapped Brian.
Chill Out June 2017
(May 21 – June 20) Your love life may not yet be what it should be, but there’s improvement happening this month. Love is not the only thing going great this month; this is essentially a happy and prosperous month. The great Law of Compensation is definitely at work here. The stress in one area will open doors in other areas. Your self-confidence and personal power is at a yearly high right now and you are enjoying all the physical delights.
Yes, you guessed it right, there’s more to love than just physical chemistry and material aspects. Mental intimacy is extremely important and you will soon experience the importance of communication in love. Remember it is all about sharing ideas and finding the right mental connection. If you are single, you could find love opportunities in educational settings.
Health continues being good and you could enhance it even further by giving greater attention to lungs, arms and shoulders. Release the tension in your shoulders with a massage, acupuncture or acupressure. Now is the time to pay attention to your mood control and find ways to enjoy sound emotional health. You are still enjoying your yearly financial peak.
Your personal power is at its maximum. Create the necessary conditions that please you, as things will become harder in a couple of months’ time. You are currently in a spiritual period, which will pave the way for your interior growth and
spiritual breakthroughs. The month ahead is great for a spiritual reconnection. Finances are good.
outer goals. The challenge now is to be successful in your domestic life and in the career.
Now is the time to develop your personal skills and hone your personal initiative and independence. Do not get bogged by comments from others that you are being selfish; your self-interest is as important as theirs. Begin creating conditions as you want them. Remember, your approach is just right and it will bring you results. Pay rise could happen too… This may seem to be an active and hectic month, but there is success packed in it. You are still in the midst of a yearly career peak and you are in charge of your personal growth. Promotions are likely too. Family life may seem more defiant and those close to you want more of your attention, but it might seem difficult this month. Your focus is on the career and you will soon realise that keeping everyone pleased is a big challenge.
This month is all about energising the self and shining through. You will find yourself becoming the centre of attention in the office and with your friends. Enjoy this bright phase. You might be called on by a friend or family to assist with your organisational skills. There is travel pegged in too.
Home, family and emotional wellness are, of course, the most important things in your life, but you are at the dawn of your new year and are ready to make other things significant in your life, especially your career. It is time to pay greater attention to the career and your
Elizabeth Hurley (June 10, 1965)
Elizabeth Jane ‘Liz’ Hurley is an English actress and model. She has been associated with the cosmetics company Estée Lauder since the company gave Hurley her first modelling job at the age of 29. She has appeared in two Austin Powers’ films. She also played the Devil in the 2000 film Bedazzled.
Keep enjoying your yearly love and social peak. Look forward to gaining social confidence and finding many social opportunities. If you are single there are many romantic opportunities on the way too. Make it a point to project love and warmth to others. However, it is time now to let go of home and family issues and concentrate on your career. It’s party time. Alongside your yearly love and social peak you will find yourself in the midst of parties and gatherings. The mood is for romance. Remember, love could take place in a variety of ways and in a variety of diverse settings. Financially, you are sound all through the month, but things might seem stressful towards the end.
Look forward to a pause before the start of a new direction in your life. For example, you might notice that there is a pause in the family life and family situation and then a change of direction. This situation will arise even if you are a student at the college level. Watch out for dramas in love life as well as with the family. Finances might seem challenging.
As you would have noticed, the demands of career are still there, but they are less urgent than last month. You might not find enough time to spend with the family and handle home affairs. But this tension between home and career might have some therapeutic effect, as it will force up old memories and old patterns that need cleansing.
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Irish beach reappears after 33 years
A beach that was swept away more than 30 years ago from a remote island of the west coast of Ireland has reappeared after thousands of tons of sand was deposited on top of the rocky coastline. The 300 metre beach vanished when storms stripped it off its sand, leaving nothing more than a series of rock pools. But after high spring tides last month, locals found that the Atlantic Ocean had returned the sand.
Fasting through centuries
Fasting has been an integral part of life from time immemorial l
Adopt cats and get paid
A company in Japan is paying employees to adopt cats. Ferray, an IT firm in Tokyo, not only allows employees to bring their cats into the office, it also gives workers a bonus if they adopt a cat. Hidenobu Fukuda, head of Ferray, has been welcoming office cats since 2000. It started when one of his employees asked to bring a pet cat to work. Currently, nine cats hang out in the office regularly.
Real-life Robocop at Dubai shopping mall
Dubai city, which wants 25 percent of its police force to be robots by 2030, has a real life Robocop already. A robot police officer, nicknamed ‘RoboCop’ after the classic action movie, reported for duty in Dubai, recently. The robot officer has a touchscreen that allows shoppers to report crimes or pay traffic violations. It can also giving directions and shower people with compliments. This first RoboCop is just the beginning for Dubai, which hopes to eventually make its police force 25 percent robot, say media reports.
Pythagoras was one of the first few in ancient Greece who extolled the virtues of fasting. During the fourteenth century, Renaissance Doctor Paracelsus called fasting the ‘physician within’. In primitive cultures, a fast was generally called for before going to war; it was also part of a coming-of-age ritual. Native North Americans used it as a rite to avoid catastrophes such as famine. In ancient times, gods were thought to reveal their divinity in dreams and visions only after a fast. Fasting has played a key role in all the world’s major religions - in Islam, Muslims fast during the holy month of Ramadan; Judaism has several annual fast days; Roman Catholics fast during Lent. In the early 20th century, Victorian ‘fasting girls’ claimed to be able to survive indefinitely without food. Therapeutic fasting became popular in the 19th century as part of the ‘Natural Hygiene Movement’ in the US. Dr Herbert Shelton, who opened ‘Dr Shelton’s Health school’ in San Antonio, Texas, in 1928, claimed to have helped 40,000 patients recover their health with water fast. In the UK, fasting became part of the ‘Nature Cure’; the first Nature Cure clinic to offer fasting opened in Edinburgh. At present, many German hospitals run fasting weeks to help manage obesity; there are fasting holidays at centres and spas throughout Europe.