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Now gift your loved ones the joy of shopping at Oman Avenues Mall

Issue 133, March 2018

Family Attitude Class Entertainment Success

Editor’s Note #PressforProgress Taking the International Women’s Day 2018 campaign a step further, we invite you, our beautiful readers, to come along and march to the drums of progress with our March issue.

With the month tuning the global attention to women on ‘International Women’s Day’ and of the Arab world to mothers on ‘Arabic Mothers Day’, we have opened our pulsating platform to pay tribute to women from all walks of life. We have our fingers on the pulse of our readers and have packed this issue with articles and feature stories that reflect women’s role at the forefront of the society. Whether it is women engaged in everyday chores or the ones who have broken the shackles of stereotypes to enter career fields that are classified as male domain, FACES is celebrating the resilient spirit of womanhood in its cover story as well as its regular pages. From gift ideas and fashion ensembles for savvy women and general tips and tricks for travel and lifestyle to the more serious topic of glaring gender parity at workplace and around us, FACES has gone all the way to salute women with an issue that touches each one of its readers. Come along and be a part of this momentous issue, which has women sharing their stories of self will, determination and the eternal drive to rise above the set parameters. They will motivate and inspire you… CENTRE



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ch 2018

Mar 46 FACES

Founder / Essa Bin Mohammed Al Zedjali

We are on Facebook! ‘FACES Magazine, Oman’



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ch 2018

Mar 22 FACES

en cereals or other whole-g on simple , sugar-lad of eating oatmeal, oat bran Then, add some . . grains, try are high in fibre or chopped nuts cereals that as milk, yogurt, protein, such

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Mar 28 FACES

Chairman & Editor-in-Chief / Mohammed Issa Al Zedjali

Published By / Muscat Media Group

Chief Executive Officer / Ahmed Essa Al Zedjali

PB 770, PC 112, Ruwi, Oman

Business Director / Sophia Raman

Tel: +968 24 811953 . Fax: +968 24 813153

Editorial Consultant / Suzy Fontes

Printed At / Oriental Printing Press

Art Director / Pushpender K. Sharma

Tel: +968 24816952, 24815330

Operations / M.V.V. Sagar Copyright 2018 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 14 Cover Story

Celebrate women who have demonstrated their resilience to shake off the ennui of stereotypical expectations and rise above the tides to reach for their share of stars

16 In Conversation

Lilianne Donders - photographer, explorer, reiki healer, registered nurse, painter, handicrafts enthusiast, fashion designer and pet psychic - better known as camel whisperer, shares her long and endearing association with Oman and her unconditional love for animals

18 In The Spotlight •

Established wildlife photographer Nasser Al Kindi has compiled his collection of bird pictures in a new book for children titled ‘Birds of Oman and the Arabian Peninsula’ ‘Sariya and the Turtles’, a new children’s book from established writer Jane Jaffer, was launched recently

20 Centre Stage •

30 Health Check

Infertility is on the rise among Oman in the age group of 20-30, according to a recent research by IVI Middle East counsellors

FACES Travel

32 Explore Oman

Before summer sun makes camping out a sweaty affair, pull out the gear and head to Oman’s most stunning beach - Fins

34 Just Travel

Vindhya Krishna presents tailored travel destinations for women who seek fun, food, shopping, adventure and fitness

FACES Style 36 In The Luxe

Must-have gadgets to cater to the modern day woman

FACES contributor Rabi’ah. M caught up with sand artist, Shayma Al Mughairy, to highlight her credentials as the first Omani woman to take her art worldwide

38 Look Good

A passion to chase her dreams, the gumption to follow it through on a bike and a strong will to carry on despite spiralling health concerns have made Rosie Gabrielle an ambassador of hope and inspiration

40 Style File

24 Feast On

A quick guide to the best breakfasts in town, from food enthusiast Adila Eilleen and her friends, who spent long hours checking out the fare in the popular food destinations in the capital

26 Let’s Cook

Start your day on a right note with Simran Dhanju’s recipes for healthy oat bran and wholemeal bread and a delicious strawberry jam

FACES Health 28 Diet & Fitness

Your body is a temple, treat it accordingly...

Tips and guidelines to tackle post pregnancy skin problems

Top designers from around the Arab world, including Oman’s very own Ahmed Al Balushi of the Kash5aful brand, presented their collections at ‘Stories from Arabia’, at the London Fashion Week

FACES Elements

50 Relatively Speaking

Celebrate ‘International Day of Happiness’ on March 20, with a vow to seal your happiness by creating your very own happy place

52 Mandate

There may be myriad ways to express your

feelings for your partner, but saying ‘I love you’ beats them all

FACES SPECIAL 46 Special Love

With women around the world pledging to #PressforProgress in keeping with the International Women’s Day theme this year, join in the journey with a commitment to empower yourself, socially and economically

FACES Razzmatazz 08 Star Light

As the ‘will she run for president’ grapevine following her rousing speech at the Golden Globes died down, Oprah Winfrey proved, yet again, that she is a woman who minces no words to get her views across

10 Razzle Dazzle

Latest celebrity gossip from the world of Hollywood

11 Tittle Tattle

Heard through the grapevine...

FACES Digest

58 Movies & Books

Reviews of upcoming movies and books

60 Gadget Notes

Roundup of new gadgets in the market

#allnewkaya opens in Muscat City Centre Redefining the skin clinic experience, Kaya Skin Clinic, with a presence in Muscat for over a decade, has launched its ‘Skin Clinic 2.0’ – the next generation Skin Clinic. Conveniently located in City Centre Muscat, the brand unveils a refreshing new experience - the third Kaya clinic in the Gulf region in its vibrant new identity. With the launch of this new identity, not only has the brand unveiled the next generation skin clinic, but also a vibrant new ‘Kaya’ brand, which will continue to lead the industry as it always has. The new branch will offer the entire range of Kaya Skin Clinic’s solutions available across all its outlets. It will also include Body Contouring Solutions along with Skin and Hair Care treatments.

Redtag launches ‘Colors of Spring’ Collection The new Spring-Summer collection

at Redtag boasts beautiful summer looks with on-trend outfits - embroidery on denims, ruffles, updated floral prints and glorious color pops. The new women’s collection is all about soaking up the sun in style with shades of mustard, mango and also hot pink. One shoulder tops, shirts with pearls and relaxed fit dresses are the new season staples. In the men’s collection, the focus is on printed t-shirts, half sleeve shirts and trendy shorts. The teens’ collection is all about bright colours and dainty details. For boys, its hats, shorts and t-shirts; for young girls, there’s crop tops, skinny jeans with embroidery and relaxed summer outfits. The kids’ collection features cute floral frocks, bag packs and sunglasses.

Bank Muscat and Visa to bring alive 2018 FIFA World Cup™ magic in Oman Get ready for the FIFA magic. Bank Muscat, in association with Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments, is all set to bring alive the magic of 2018 FIFA World Cup™ in Oman. Bank Muscat, in association with Visa, is offering 15 all-expenses-paid packages to witness the FIFA World Cup™ semi-final matches and the finals, live in Russia from 14 June to 15 July. The exclusive FIFA World Cup™ packages will be distributed among the bank’s Private, asalah, al Jawhar and other customers with Visa credit cards. The eligibility conditions will be on card usage. The winners will receive all-expenses paid 5 day/4 night package for 2 people to witness semi-final and final matches. The package includes airline tickets, match ticket, hotel accommodation and sight-seeing in Russia.

Launch of Asmahan Restaurant & Café An all new destination for foodies in town... Under the patronage of the Ministry of Tourism, represented by Sayyid Adel Bin Mirdas Al-Bousaidi, tourism affairs advisor, Hot Star LLC, subsidiary of Al-Jabal Trading and Refrigerating Holding, launched Asmahan Restaurant & Café in Madinat Al-Sultan Qaboos. It is the first of a series of promising restaurants and F&B quality trend setters in the Sultanate, whether from the diversity of the menu or retro, yet trendy interior design reflecting the era of 1940’s to 1960’s.


FACES March 2018

Girnar Tea makes its foray into the Oman market Good news for tea lovers. An established brand in India, Girnar Tea will now be available in Oman, offering instant premix packs along with its teabag and loose tea collection in varied flavours. The official launch in the country was marked by the presence of Sachin Bhansali, Director of Girnar Food and Beverage Pvt. Ltd. Barakat Muscat International is the sole distributors for Girnar Tea in Oman. Girnar’s tea line in Oman will include instant premixes, teabags as well as loose tea and detox kahwa. Girnar premixes will be available in cardamom, ginger and masala blends. The teabag collection would incorporate karak, masala, green tea and cardamom, while Girnar Royal, karak and masala will be available as loose tea for those who like to make their tea the traditional way.

Muhurat shot of the first cricket based feature film of Oman Well-known names from Bollywood – Rahul Mittra, Deepak Tijori and Harshvardhan Deo – were in Muscat to witness the first shot of a Hindi-Arabic sports-themed movie titled ‘Papa Kehte Hain Bada Naam Karega’, under the banner of Golden Arrow Production (a division of Abaan International LLC) and HIT Productions to be filmed in Oman and India. The first shot, commonly known as the ‘Muhurat Shot’, was filmed at the Muscat Festival venue at Amerat. The movie will capture the life of a cricket-obsessed young boy from a remote Indian town whose only aim is to become a cricketer and fulfil his dream of representing the Indian national cricket team globally. Whether the boy can accomplish his dream will be the focus of the film.

SalamAir announces first direct flights to Shiraz from Muscat Setting a strong pace for 2018, SalamAir has announced the launch of its first destination in Iran. The airline will operate two weekly flights to Shiraz with ticket fares as low as RO80 (return). Guests can now book directly on www. SalamAir will be operating flights every Sunday and Wednesday, departing from Muscat at (12:50) and arriving in Shiraz International Airport at (13:50). SalamAir has also started flights scheduled to operate three now book their

to Multan. The budget airline is direct flights to Multan. Guests can tickets on for just RO 88, return. The weekly flights are set to take-off at 23:55 from Muscat, arriving in Multan at 3:30. The return flights will depart from Multan at 4:50 arriving in Muscat at 6:35.

March 2018 FACES




light Oprah Winfrey

As the ‘will she run for president’ grapevine following her rousing speech at the Golden Globes died down, Oprah Winfrey proved, yet again, that she is a woman who minces no words to get her views across – hints and insinuations are not her game

in ways that have made her an institution.


ut then again, maybe she should go with the flow of chants seeking her place in the run for presidency and demonstrate that she is, indeed, designed to win. Even if it is only to irk those in power. Just a week ago, US President Donald Trump went on to call Oprah insecure and accused her of presenting a biased show. His rant came after she hosted a follow-up group discussion with 14 voters (7 of who had voted for Trump) who had appeared on the show in fall 2017. The discussion, apparently, was to assess if those who did vote for Trump still backed the President. Following the airing of the show, Trump tweeted, ‘Just watched a very insecure Oprah Winfrey, who at one point I knew very well, interview a panel of people on 60 Minutes. The questions were biased and slanted, the facts incorrect. Hope Oprah runs so she can be exposed and defeated just like all of the others!’ May be she should… For Oprah has, over the years, become a brand that is associated with empowerment - in all walks of life. She has championed causes that have found resonance with people who have the well being of fellow citizens on their minds. Whether she runs for President (and, of course, wins) or not, these causes will remain strong and resolute and she will continue pledging her support


FACES March 2018

As she says, ‘Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.’ Oprah Winfrey, who plays one of ‘the Mrs’ in the upcoming ‘A Wrinkle in Time’, wears the philanthropist crown (In 2005, Business Week named her the greatest Black philanthropist in American history) above all her credentials in the entertainment industry. Although she is best known for her talk show ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’, which was the highest-rated television program of its kind in history, she has found ways to stay connected with her fans and followers. Born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother, Oprah has turned fate completely around – she is currently ranked the richest African-American of the 20th century. That, amongst her several other achievements, demonstrates her constant resolve to rise above trifles. She has been vocal about the sexual assaults she endured during her childhood and her early teen years and has been

a symbol of hope and triumph for millions of young girls who have suffered similar fate. It was, perhaps, this openness about her life that helped her create that bond of oneness with her followers. Her popular show proved to be a kind of awakening; a medium for confessions and connection, both with the celebrities featured as well as her audience. To quote her: ‘I don’t think of myself as a poor deprived ghetto girl who made good. I think of myself as somebody who, from an early age, knew I was responsible for myself, and I had to make good.’




First Among Equals

As the International Women’s Day leads to the Arabic Mother’s Day, join us in celebrating women who have demonstrated their resilience to shake off the ennui of stereotypical expectations and rise above the tides to reach for their share of stars They are the conductors of life’s orchestra, setting rhythm for personal growth and development. They are the story tellers who have found new paradigms to inspire a legion of women who are willing to shake off the stereotypes and find their grove. They are the women who have, in their own special ways, carved a niche for themselves and the society to develop a unified whole… This cover story is a tribute to women who have taken the equality mantra to another level with their thoughts and actions. The following presents stories of four women who have forged paths of personal development with that of their community and the country.

Empowerment Comes From Within Success attributes are not defined by gender; it takes a dream and commitment to succeed, maintains Hamdah Said Al Shamsi*, Acting General Manager of the Public Authority for Social Insurance (PASI), as she presents her perspective on gender equality “I personally do not believe in gender equality; I feel it is a trap to make us someone that we are not. It degrades us as women. A man is not capable of reaching that level to make him equal to me. I don’t’ need equality, I need acknowledgment of me as a unique human being who should be accepted just the way I am. What we need is not equality, but a gender

10 FACES March 2018

Hamdah Said Al Shams


balance and tolerance, whereby both genders balance the strengths and weaknesses of each other,” states Hamdah Said Al Shamsi. A highly competent and strong woman, with a big heart and huge ambitions to force a difference wherever she goes, Hamdah elected to choose a career with USAID Mission in Oman when she returned came back from the USA after her graduation. Subsequently, she moved to the Public Authority for Social Insurance (PASI), where she is currently holding the position of General Manager. Her goal is to see PASI as the leading financial organisation in Oman by maximising the return on investment of its portfolio. Having a passion for books and a gifted writing skill, she started writing a weekly column in the business section of a local daily, more than 10 years ago. “My writing obsession led me to a path of continuous learning and discoveries,” maintains Hamdah, who has published five books to date and has hosted regular shows on the radio. She is also an active member of Toastmasters International; she started the first Toastmasters Chapter in Oman for Arabic speaking ladies.

“I am a strong believer of the saying that when you educate a woman you educate a nation. I do a lot of work with the Omani youth in general, especially with women, through my inspirational talks and workshops as well,” she notes She credits the men in her life as her source of inspiration. Being the only girl among her male siblings, she recalls saying ‘I am just a girl’ when she was still little. Her father admonished her never to say those words again, pointing out her capabilities to do anything that a boy could do. He encouraged her to be a strong and independent woman, and so did others. “I also have an amazing man as a husband, who has always been encouraging and inspiring. Besides, my brothers make me feel every day that I am one of the luckiest woman on this planet; I lead an extraordinary life with them all by my side,” she states. She strongly believes that women are capable of being and doing more than what they think, provided they have the confidence. But as for empowerment, her advice is to stop asking for empowerment, as it has to come from within. To elucidate it further, she quotes Ken Blanchard who

said, ‘Empowerment is what others give to you; self- leadership is what you can do with this empowerment.’ Talking about gender equality as a global concern, she notes that women are still fighting for their rights in advanced counties. However, she maintains that the issue of gender equality in Oman is more about implementing it, as the same is provided in the country’s legislation. “We only need to look at the employment numbers to measure equality in Oman, and that is not sufficient. We are among the very few countries in the world that got their rights without even asking for it. His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said made it a point to give women equal rights as men in education, employment, voting and so forth, from day one. We need to take this advantage as Omani women to work on building competences that will make us excel at work. Take every training and development opportunity provided by the employers and try to stick long enough to advance in the career ladders. “Be proud of your womanhood; give up the idea that you have to act like a man to succeed. You are strong and capable because you are a woman,” advices Hamdah.

* Hamdah Said Al Shamsi represents the Sultanate of Oman in the Bureau of the International Social Security Association (ISSA) as the Chairperson of the Technical Committee of Old Age, Survivors and Disabilities.

March 2018 FACES



Bigger, Better and Brighter

“Don’t rely on anyone for validation – let your action and independence demonstrate that you too can do a man’s job,” states Balqees Sulaiman Abdullah Al Hassani, Head of Wellbeing in Al Sahwa Schools, and Vice President of Knowledge Oman*


welve years ago, when Balqees Sulaiman Abdullah Al Hassani was starting her career in education, she had no idea where the path she chose would lead her to. When she accepted the position of lab technician at Al Sahwa Schools, she instinctively felt that it would only be a stepping stone to aspire to something more challenging in the field of education. With strong motivation and support from colleagues, friends and family she challenged herself and worked harder to improve her position at the school, first as a science teacher, then as Pastoral Coordinator, and then General Education Diploma (GED) Coordinator to Assistant Principal and to the Head of wellbeing. A year ago she joined Knowledge Oman as a volunteer, and within a short span of time was promoted as the Vice President. She has achieved the Council of International School (CIS) Accreditation and is an established events coordination for several NGOs. Following are excerpts of an interview with Balqees:


My inspiration has always been my mother - my father passed away when I was 3 years old. My mother raised me and my other four siblings on her own. She provided us with all life necessities, security and

12 FACES March 2018

stability and built confidence in us; she guided us and gave educational support and all the love we needed.

Attributes of a successful woman

Believing that a woman can do any job or task is essential; we should be open minded and accept any challenge. One should be confident in the way one presents oneself and positive in the way one sees things and people. Work-life balance is essential to manage both the spectrums and so is focus. If we take on too many things, we will end up doing nothing. We need to focus on impactful and quality things.

Women’s empowerment

Providing equal opportunities is not only one of the basic human rights, it is also a necessary component for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable country. Empowering women today is important as it will help ignite and also fuel a sustainable economy. Women have all it takes to help a country prosper; what they need is to be empowered and not just placed on an equal platform with men. Today women are holding top positions in private and public sectors; they are the secret ingredient behind many organisations’ success and economic growth.

Drive to excel

I believe that quality education is the basic right of every citizen in Oman, be it for a woman or a man. Education

Balqees Sulaiman Abdullah Al Hassani is the cornerstone of our kids today and generations to come. Getting the right support from family members also plays an important role in empowering and motivating women to excel in their careers, economic growth and development.

Career opportunities

Women have always been able to undertake tasks and opportunities that were considered male domain, but only needed a chance to demonstrate themselves. For example, driving taxis or working in oil rigs. Previously, women only opted for jobs in the fields of medicine, education, etc. This proves that there’s huge leap and development in women’s skills, expertise and potential.

Teaching values of empowerment

We can inculcate values from early on by giving equal ownership and assignments to both the genders and avoiding giving one gender a responsibility or action that the other doesn’t have. Wrong should be wrong for both genders!

* Knowledge Oman is a knowledge-sharing platform that has been specifically formed to create, share and promote knowledge across the country for free.


In Pole Position Talha Albusaidi, Founder of Pole Fit Muscat, sees a paradigm shift in the way people perceive women’s roles in the society today, compared to a couple of decades ago “In the past, men had all the accesses - from education to travel and great job positions too. Today, many women have these opportunities; unfortunately, it is not on the same level as men. But I strongly believe and hope that one day we will all be equally respected and appreciated,” maintains Talha Albusaidi, the 25-year old entrepreneur and mother, as she talks about her career in a novel fitness industry in Oman. As the founder of Pole Fit Muscat, she has had her share of challenges and upheavals and has come out winner. She enjoys being a pole instructor because she gets to be the person that makes women confident about themselves. “I get to be the person that makes women stronger than they would ever know; the one that takes the stress off their shoulders. I want to be able to provide a place where women can have a few moments of their own to connect with their inner peace, their little happiness place. Most of the ladies come to my class to take the stress out from work, school or college…” she notes.

to start teaching pole fitness by next week’,” she recalls. With the support from her husband, she ordered 2 poles and mirrors to fit in a room in her grandmother’s house and, five months later, moved the classes to Wijdan Centre, located at Jawharat Al Khoud. The Wijdan founders supported her business, but clients were not forthcoming as it was a totally new concept for many. “It is understandable, as majority of the people look at pole fitness negatively. But I am here to prove to you that it does not have to be,” she explains, pointing out that pole fitness is a very challenging sport, one that requires a lot of core strength and flexibility. “Watching someone use the pole makes it seem very easy, but looks can be deceiving,” she adds. She was inspired by Amina Al Mawali, who got her interested in the sport by introducing her to it to through videos and pictures of her classes in Holland during summer holidays. Vlada Zhizhchenko, co-founder of

Talha Albusaidi (centre) with Sharifa al Batashi & Sabra Al Awali, co-founders of Wijdan

Talha, who is majoring in the final year of Human Resources management, started learning pole fitness at the age of 22, from a Russian instructor who lived in Oman. Not long after, she bought a pole, placed it at her home and taught herself the intricacies of the art. And before she knew it, she was addicted to the sport. Although she was never a gym type of person, pole fitness endeared to her completely. “To me poling was like therapy,” she states, adding that she soon started teaching her cousins and realised she enjoyed teaching and wanted to be a pole instructor. She wanted to be able to teach women how to be strong, confident and have a good time, no matter the age. “I literally woke up one morning, telling my husband that ‘I’m going

March 2018 FACES


COVER STORY Pole Fit Dubai, who opened the first Dubai aerial arts academy by hosting her classes in a friend’s studio, also inspired her to take the next big step. So what does she think about women’s empowerment? Is it all about gender equality? “I don’t think empowerment of women is just about gender equality, because it is a known fact that men and women haven’t been equal since the past. However, I believe that women have magical powers, which means that when we show empowerment we are spreading our spell by demonstrating our capabilities, strengths and more,” she opines, listing commitment, dedication and passion as the attributes of a successful woman. Fortunately, there has been a strong shift in the mindset of women as far as career opportunities are concerned. Women now have the opportunity to drive taxis and even trucks, in addition to taking up positions in the field of engineering. “What is more, with the rise of awareness in fitness and health, many women are

into bodybuilding, personal training and nutrition, which again is a shift in the Omani women’s mindset,” she maintains. According to her, believing is one thing and doing is another - once the two elements are combined, you create wonders. Her tips for women seeking some motivation is this: “If you believe in something and believe in yourself, you are half way there, and once you start writing it down, that is the first step into doing.

“Here are some tips on how I got to where I am today: -

I have always loved dancing


I have watched many videos and practiced in my room


I have shared my passion with the people around me


I have created a little career from a hobby (doing what I love) I have introduced the sport to people who did not know about it Finally, I have opened my space and now I get to do what I love everyday and I feel I have achieved what I wanted at the very start When you are passionate about something, go for it!”

Believe in Yourself


ince my schooling days I had a passion to make a difference in my community and I wanted to leave my footprints. I was more interested in people recognising what I was doing and how it could affect or change lives than being known. I always believed that nothing could limit one’s success other than one’s self. I never thought that I will not be able to do anything if I work hard to achieve it. After graduating from Sultan Qaboos University, I worked in a bank and that was my start. It was tough and challenging, yet interesting, especially as I did not hold commerce or banking degree at the time. The challenge was to

Nabila Al Macki

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‘Believe in yourself and the sky is the limit,’ states Nabila Al Macki, Associate Dean for Quality Assurance and Registry at Majan University College, as she narrates her story of self will, determination and belief in herself and the people associated with her


prove to myself first and my line manager that I am capable and on par with my colleagues who hold degrees from international universities in the fields of commerce and accounting. I still remember those days when I had on-the-job training for six months in different departments in the bank. I was supposed to choose or be selected by the head of the department to work with. By Almighty grace, every department that I had training at, the head asked me to stay and work for them. I still remember the General Manager calling me to his office and mentioning the same. Of course, I was thrilled to hear that, but I wanted to continue my 6 months training before I chose the department I wanted to work in. The point I want to make here is that no one can stop you from fulfilling your dreams, especially if you are given the support, opportunity, trust and confidence. I have had two careers in my life. I started as a banker and then moved to higher education sector. H.E. Yahya Al Jabri was and still is my guide and mentor. He was the general manger of the bank that I worked for in my early career and he really made a difference in my professional life. He taught me how to be to a good listener, how to learn from everyone, no matter what position that they hold, and to be patient in gaining and seeking knowledge. After leaving the bank, I joined Majan University College as a lecturer in Accounting and Finance. I was promoted to a programme manager and later to the Head of Faculty of the

Business Management. The faculty is the largest in the College in terms of programmes and student numbers. The experience and skills gained during my career in the bank was of great help to me in teaching and managing the faculty. I still remember when I joined the College; although my English language was good but joining a higher education institution was a totally different experience. In spite of holding a Masters Degree I had to learn the intricacies of higher education. I enjoyed and still enjoy working with students and I feel providing them with the support that they need, will help them accomplish their dreams.

In my opinion, there is no difference between men and women when it comes to work, but sometimes I feel women are more committed, dedicated and supportive. Successful leaders, whether women or men, are those who lead by example. Successful leaders also believe in the people they work with, capitalise on their strengths and work on their weaknesses.

to have empowered women. Today there are Omani women in most spheres and walks of life, from the sciences to the arts. Each individual, irrespective of gender, is accorded equal opportunities to grow, develop and contribute to society. The doors are always open for the best and not based on gender. If parents treat their kids equally and provide them with the same support and care, they will be confident and excel in whatever career path they choose in life. Modernity reflects change in ideology, practices and variance in career growth and professional development. My understanding of the term women empowerment is the ability for women to make their own decisions regarding their lives, careers and overall well being - the ability to view themselves as capable of reaching and achieving true potential in any sphere or walk of life. For me personally, I owe my success to my parents, who supported me since I was a child until date. My father believed in me and trusted my capabilities to work in a field that is dominated by males (banking and higher education). My mother pushed me to study hard since my young age until graduation. I still remember her asking me (sometimes yelling) ‘Have you finished writing your homework’ and waiting beside me to ensure that I did. I not only succeeded but I took on leading roles during my professional life. It is true that ‘if there is a will, there is a way’, so again I would say ‘believe in yourself and the sky is the limit’.

One can comfortably say that Oman, among other countries, can claim

My view is that the glass ceiling for women in Oman is already shattered.

I was the first Omani woman in the private higher education sector to hold the position of a faculty head and later Associate Dean for Quality Assurance and Registry. To be successful is to believe in yourself first and to give service without expecting acknowledgements from the people around you. Do what you believe in from your heart, be persistent, be passionate, committed, thorough, honest and you will succeed.

March 2018 FACES



All creatures big and small Lilianne Donders - photographer, explorer, reiki healer, registered nurse, painter, handicrafts enthusiast, fashion designer and pet psychic - better known as camel whisperer, shares her long and endearing association with Oman and her unconditional love for animals


our cats, 6 Saluki dogs, 11 chickens, 3 turkeys, 3 geese, 10 guinea fowls, 5 ducks, 5 camels, 10 tortoises, 7 hedgehogs…

That’s a quick headcount of Lilianne Donders’ household. Her animal world! Right in the heart of the bustling busy Seeb road is her little haven – a world away from the whizzing traffic and the daily rush. Open the gate to her abode and six elegant Salukis come rushing, feigning anger with loud barks. “They are docile”, points out Lilianne, as she leads us to patio seats facing the camel pen, with her favourite Zubeida and the gang giving us languorous looks. We were all set to switch off from the mundane and soak in the positive radiance around us. Positivity is what Lilianne symbolises. Whether it is in her triumph over her breast cancer or her innate ability to do Reiki healing, even on animals, the camel whisperer, who undertook a Caravan of Hope days after her radiation and chemotherapy sessions in early 2000s, has woven a cocoon of positivity around her. A registered nurse by profession, Lilianne has a strong Reiki background, having relied on it to induce healing and create positivity. Looking back on those early days, she recalls that her initiation into nursing happened because her parents (her


March 2018

father is a doctor) believed it was a more reliable profession than being an artist. But, alongside nursing, she followed her heart and realised her dream of studying art and fashion designing. She was still studying when she got married and eventually got pregnant with her first son. She was preparing for her fashion exam during the day, working as nurse during the night and managing it all with her positive mien. It was her husband’s transfer to Oman, 38 years ago, that crystallised her destiny. Although the years in between have taken the family to Syria, Iran, the UAE and to some European countries, it is Oman that she now calls home. In the weeks following her arrival here, the local Bedouins adopted her into their tribe – Al Majali Al Janaibah – and made her a part of their lives. Soon she started travelling throughout the country, photographing her forays. These trips brought her into close contact with local handicrafts and she found a home for them by opening an art gallery, the first of its kind in Oman, called Gallery Numero Wahad. The name was a takeoff from ‘Laila Numero Wahad’, the pet name given to her by Bedouins, from whom she also learnt Arabic.

As her bond with the Bedouins grew, they started offering her goats, which she had to decline as she doesn’t eat meat. But when they offered her camels…something clicked in her. Although she had to refuse, as it wasn’t feasible to bring them home with her, she made arrangements to visit the camels regularly. But she had to put a brake on that, as her husband’s transfers took them away from Oman. Not for long... So, when she realised they were headed back to this region, she told her husband – “That’s it; I am going to buy camels!” She’d saved for it and, with the help of a friend in Syria, bought Saudi camels – a mother (Zubaida) and her daughter (Sheba). Zubaida,

IN CONVERSATION her first camel, is still with her, but they lost her daughter to a stomach infection. “It was horrible,” she recalls. “She was my baby. She was the most intelligent camel I had ever met in my life. Camels have their own frame of mind, they never follow tracks…and so do I. I follow my own intuition and will.” And that is exactly what she did when she took on the arduous trek along the mountains with her camels. She walked with the camels from Damascus to Tehran, just weeks after her treatment for breast cancer was finished; a few years later continued all the way to Oman. She was diagnosed with breast cancer as she was finalising her plans for the first trip in 1999. But immediately after the treatment, she informed her oncologist about her plans and went ahead, despite the negative feedback from people around her. Her radiating positivity helped push her on; it was the very same positivity that helped her inject magic into the hospital in the initial days of

Up Close & Personal With

Lilianne Donders

her treatment. Feeling the weighty dreariness emanating from the large framed images of medical instruments on the walls of the hospital corridor, she affixed printed images of her camels on them and wasn’t surprised when it changed the very atmosphere of the cancer ward in the hospital. In April 2000 she initiated the much awaited walk with her camels to Tehran, covering about 1800kms. She followed that with a second trip in 2004, walking from Tehran to Muscat and back to Dubai, covering a total of 8000 kms in both the trips. Her husband and two sons joined in whenever they had time; her husband compiled her trip in a daily blog for her sponsors, while her sons helped track the route. She walked from Tehran to Yazd where they took a truck up to Bandar Abbas; from there they travelled to Emirates on a barge, unloaded the camels, dogs and the truck and began the next phase of the walk from Ras Al Khaimah to Dubai and Al Ain. That walk brought them into Oman and

The home I grew up in... Is in Holland. When I was a child I wanted to... Be an explorer. The moment that changed me forever... When I arrived in Oman in 1980. My greatest inspiration... Wilfred Thesiger. My hero… My husband. If I could change one thing about myself... I would have finished art school.

she remembers camping opposite the road where she now resides. It was a vacant lot then. People would bring food in the evenings, strengthening her resolve to stay connected with Oman. Her plan now is to do another trip, with camels, of course, through the Empty Quarter to Salalah, and back along the coast. In the meanwhile, she continues to talk to animals and see things that others cannot instinctively see in them. Her love, she says, is unconditional!

I dream of... The desert – my favourite place It’s not fashionable but I like... Walking with camels. My greatest regret... That I didn’t travel more extensively. You may not know it but I’m very good at… Communicating with animals. If I have time to myself... I would paint. My house is... The place where I feel truly comfortable – outside of the desert, that is. My favourite haunt/holiday destination... Oman and the Middle East. My favourite weekend spot in Oman… Jabal Akhdar and Salalah. I will not leave my house without… An abaya. Things I like about Oman… The warmth of its people, their hospitality and the way His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said has held the country together, provided educational opportunities for women and made the country a role model for the Middle East. On top of my wish/bucket list is… Do another trip with camels. My success mantra is... To stay positive and fight whatever that comes in the way. In 10 years› time, I hope to be... Still here.

March 2018



Birds of Oman and the Arabian Peninsula Established wildlife photographer Nasser Al Kindi* has compiled his collection of bird pictures in a new book for children titled ‘Birds of Oman and the Arabian Peninsula’


ilm maker, photographer, writer and environmentalist, Nasser Al Kindi, has a picture perfect presentation for young readers with his soon to be released book, ‘Birds of Oman and the Arabian Peninsula’. The book, which follows his earlier ‘Birds in Oman’, will be a keepsake for children exploring the world of birds around them. “I am hoping ‘Birds of Oman and the Arabian Peninsula’ will acquaint children with and interest them in twitching (pursuit of a previously located rare bird), bird watching or ornithology in general. Such a book would hopefully encourage some young readers into pursing even bird photography as a hobby or even a professional pursuit. I would be very pleased, indeed, if the book triggers an interest in ornithology as a higher education pursuit. But my main objective is that, for the time being at least, the book spurs an interest in young readers to protect avian fauna and, of course, all forms of flora and fauna,” explains Nasser.

The 64-page book has 55 photographs of different species of birds found in various parts of the Arabian Peninsula. It includes a brief introduction into avian fauna in the region and a simple guide aimed at assisting young readers to identify various species of birds. “Throughout my life, photographing, filming and writing about birds, I have discovered that most people find identifying the different species a challenge; and it is. I do not make the claim that this or any other book makes identification a simple job, but it does, hopefully, provide a platform for early steps in the right direction,” he states. Bird watching and bird photography require observation skill and constant travel; but what is of larger importance is passion, “and, perhaps, some biscuits and a cup of freshly brewed coffee, or whatever you prefer munching on while waiting!” quips Nasser. It is a hobby that has led him to explore and discover some of the wonders of nature. “It never fails to leave me in awe of the magic unfolding before my eyes. It is a great pretext to explore your country and be in touch with nature,” he suggests.

He is often asked how he gets the time to photograph, film, travel and write, and his answer is: they are all integral components of a whole. “They are professions, not hobbies, and, hence, I give each one of them its due time and attention. I begin work very early in the morning and usually leave a window everyday for photography or scouting a location for filming. No matter what you do, give it your best; at the end of the day, you have got to be productive and that is what counts,” he states. The Arabic version of ‘Birds of Oman and the Arabian Peninsula’ is expected to be out soon and the English will follow suit. In the meanwhile, Nasser is all set to publish a glossary for the Arabic reader - a reference book to help photographers and filmmakers comprehend and research the meaning of common jargon related to these two fields. He is currently working on a short documentary about the natural wonders of Dhofar, alongside a book. * Nasser Al Kindi is a recipient of Sultan Qaboos Award for voluntary work

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Sariya and the Turtles ‘Sariya and the Turtles’, a new children’s book from established writer Jane Jaffer, tells the story of a young girl and her parents


y the light of the moon, Sariya sees a mama sea turtle laying her eggs on the sand. In the morning, the baby hatchlings scamper down the beach towards the ocean. But dangers are lurking nearby... Will Sariya be able to save the baby hatchlings from hungry predators? Old fishing nets, plastic bags and rubbish litter the beaches and make their way into the sea, threatening the turtles’ habitat. How can Sariya help protect the sea turtles’ home? Author Jane Jaffer says she was inspired to write the story after visiting the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve with her granddaughter, Sariya, and family. “It was amazing to witness the green turtles nesting there. The book helps children learn about these amazing creatures. Five of the seven species of sea turtles can be found in the seas around Oman’s coastline.

The aim of the book is to educate children about sea turtles and make them aware of the dangers that turtles and other marine creatures are facing,” she explains. Two talented 11 year old students from the Sultan’s School, Lubna Al Adawi and Mohamed Raed Dawood, spent many hours after school, working with their art teacher, Heather Ford, to create the colourful illustrations for the hardback book. Talking about their joint effort, Heather Ford said, “I’d like to congratulate Jane on writing this book. It is an endearing tale with such a strong message. Mohamed and Lubna worked really well together, and the illustrations they produced are beautiful. I am so proud of them and I’d like to thank Jane for giving Mohamed and Lubna this wonderful opportunity”.

Mohamed Dawood commented, “It was a great opportunity for us to illustrate the pictures for ‘Sariya and the Turtles’. It was an amazing experience and I am so proud of myself”. Reiterating similar sentiments, Lubna Al Adawi said, “This experience gave me a lot of confidence. It taught me how to become a better artist and not to doubt myself. I also must say I couldn’t have done this alone. “Mohamed was such a good partner. My teacher, Ms Heather Ford, was always there for us. It is really such a shame knowing that many turtles are dying because of how much plastic we throw away. I hope people will learn from this book and start to care about our environment”. Following the book launch on 10th March, the book will be for sale in the Let’s Read Charity Book Shop in the Al Qurum Complex.

March 2018 FACES



Shaima Al Mughairy:

Master of Sand Sketch Artistry

Everyone remembers Omani-born Shayma Al Mughairy as one of the top contestants in the popular ‘Arabs Got Talents’ reality show, which captured her unique sand-sketching craft. She has, since, come a long way, bagging awards and establishing her footprint on the international canvas. FACES contributor Rabi’ah. M caught up with the artist to highlight her credentials as the first Omani woman to take her art worldwide. When I first met the Omani born Shayma Al Mughairy, more than five years ago in Ras Al Khaimah, U.A.E, I recollect her being a humble and well-spoken individual, despite the fame she’d managed to accomplish in a short span of time. Talking to her was an honour; it gave me an opportunity to understand the mind and passion for a unique genre of art, which is rarely experimented by mainstream artists.

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Shayma Al Mughairy Her claim to fame moment was at the age of 17 when she participated in the ‘Arabs Got Talent’ TV show, which was extremely popular in the Middle East, broadcasted on the MBC Network. With her hard work, efforts and constant improvisation, she has managed to gain recognition not only in Oman, U.A.E, and the Middle East, but even globally. She has successfully managed to take her sand-sketching art to a higher level with newer opportunities to perform and showcase her remarkable work. It is her spectacular imagination and endless creativity which, perhaps, leads and inspires her on a continuous basis with the endless support from her family, friends and the community. It is worth noting the way Shayma manages to illustrate imagery within the context of a tight timing; it is simply fascinating for the onlooker since this entails control and composure.


In the following interview she talks about her art, her inspiration, challenges and the awards that act as incentives. What is your main source of inspiration as an individual and an artist? My main sources of inspiration are the day-to-day modern topics. I love to draw what people like and discuss these days; it makes me feel that I am communicating with them through my art. It is all about being relevant to the community and trying to contribute my opinion towards the topic and discussing it through my art. Have you thought of taking your sand-sketching work to greater heights of innovation? I have already achieved what no sand artist has done before. For instance, working on the first sand art music video, first children’s TV series totally dedicated to sand art and other TV series related to sand art. Also, numerous TV commercial conducted in the sand art medium. I am also working on more innovations for the future. What is the best part of being a sand sketch artist? Creating art using a unique medium like sand, being able to control the art, make it speak, give it motion… Unlike pen and brush, I can narrate a lot more than a still picture. The best part is anyone and can take a pen, draw something and call it an art, but not everyone can control sand and make something out of it. Do you feel you are limited to simply being a ‘sand sketch artist’ or do you have plans to diversify this across to other arenas of art genres?

I started off as a painter and a pen sketcher, then I decided to try out something new that was never seen in the Gulf and the Arabian world that’s why I started learning sand art 10 years ago. I would love to diversify, but using sand in the process to create another type of art. What difficulties have you faced with your work? Bringing my art to the audience was difficult in the beginning, since it was something new; but what was all the more difficult for me was to balance this while at high school, especially in my last year of school. However, thanks to God and to the support of my family, friends, and the school and the Ministry of Education…they helped me to overcome it all and become the person I am right now. But I still face some difficulties such as practicing speed and memorising the storyboard and the detailed

sketches for the show. Encountering a live show in an open area where I should adapt to the environment around me and keep up with the wind so I could draw more easily... How challenging is it for you to be detail oriented? Being detailed is a very important thing to me, details are what brings your art to life. At first, when using a new form of art, being detailed would take up to an hour to finish one portrait. But now, I can do it within a couple of minutes. What new events or developments have taken place in your work? I had the chance to work with I Solisti Veneti, an Italian orchestra, playing the Four Seasons concerto while I was drawing with sand in front of a huge audience at the Royal Opera House in Muscat. I worked at the Muscat festival 2018 TV commercial and have worked on several other events. I have been a part of the celebration of Omani national day at the Sultanate of Brunei by an invitation from the Omani embassy, UAE national day in Brazil and Montenegro by an invitation from the UAE embassy, participant in the dates festival in Al Ahsa – KSA, Expo Milan – Italy, Expo Yeosu South Korea, ‘Breakpoint’ conference in Istanbul, ‘Dissemination of the Message of Islam’ campaign at UNESCO headquarters in Paris and in Brunei, inauguration of the Swiss GC watch in Switzerland, celebration of the 150th anniversary of the establishment of Nestlé in the UAE and Switzerland, opening of the new branch of Pullman Hotel in Medina – KSA, and many more.

March 2018 FACES



VROOMS AND DREAMS A passion to chase her dreams, the gumption to follow it through on a bike and a strong will to carry on despite spiralling health concerns have made Rosie Gabrielle an ambassador of hope and inspiration


he is a picture of complete positivity. There is energy radiating through her, and if you did not know of her health condition, you would think she has everything going right for her. Youth, chutzpah and a go-getter attitude. So how did it all start for Rosie Gabrielle - the itinerant biker, the selftaught photographer, the Instagram sensation? “I took every opportunity that came my way,” she says, matter-of-factly, pointing out that she didn’t have the money or education but knew she had to live her dream – a dream of travelling the world. She joined volunteering trips to go to new destinations, and at 19 decided to do a solo trip - but the experience was ephemeral, she notes. She realised that she wasn’t cut out for backpacking, because taking a bus from one point to another with other tourists meant missing everything in between. “That wasn’t my idea,” she muses. And that also meant following the refrain in her heart and her mind to go solo. That was 13 years ago. She rented a motorbike, despite a complete lack of knowledge about riding one, did a little weekend trip and, as she puts it, ‘was pretty much sold to the idea.’ Rosie decided that was how she was going to travel and followed her

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dream. She rode all over Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, travelling 12,000kms on the bike over six months. On her return back home in Canada she bought her first motorbike and there was no travelling any other way after. “I didn’t really think about the what-ifs. I just had this passion and the will to go,” she adds. Very early on she set her priorities right and learnt to manage her funds

for travel. Today she can travel for a month on what most people would spend on one night out with friends on food and drinks. Her shoes have been re-soled 8 times and her green jacket has not changed much, and she relies, generally, on borrowing or renting bikes to make things easy and convenient. And, as she emphasises, she is willing to take any opportunity. So it was that when the opportunity to join a band that was playing a gig in Oman came along, she didn’t hesitate. Her friends had certified her as a good singer and she said yes. In two weeks she learnt 60 songs and was off to Oman, a completely unheard of destination, to sing six days a week at the Grand Hyattt Muscat. Following the singing stint she had a chance to leave or stay back in Oman. She opted for the latter, learnt the ropes of photography and initiated her successful Rosie Gabrielle photography business. She was 20 when she first came to Oman, and now, nearly 13 years later, she affirms it was the love for the country and the people that helped her decide to stay back and continue strengthening her bond with the country. Come April and she will bid a final adieu to Oman and focus all her attention and energies on her health, which took a toll from her existing preconditions and her constant adventures.


Rosie has been sick since her birth and her health problems worsened over the years. Recent examination revealed that she was misdiagnosed for 20 years. She has chronic Lyme disease; a painful condition that is intense and continuous. “I have never let that stop me I have always pushed myself and tried to achieve as much as I can despite the pain brought on by the disease,” she states. But two years ago, things came to a pass when a friend passed away in a car accident. It acted as a wakeup call to get away from the revolving door of work. She went through the messages shared with her friend and realised travelling the world on motorcycle cropped up constantly. That was when Rosie, who today has over 28000 followers on Instagram, decided to stop everything and follow her heart. She realised the importance of documenting her experiences and encounters to share her adventures and struggles with the world, and

started a YouTube channel and Instagram page. With her Masirah video going viral, shortly after it was released 5 months ago, Rosie became a popular social media personality. The video, which shows her crying, touched a raw nerve among her followers. “Every day I dropped that bike and every day I got help from complete strangers. They not just helped me with my bike, but also invited me home to meet their family,” she recalls. On one such occasion, when two gentlemen helped her, she became emotional and cried while recording the incident. “I don’t know what it was about them, their character, their spirit, their energy… I was so touched by this connection that we had,” notes Rosie, who is a strong advocate of positivity. “In the 13 years that I have been travelling around by myself, I have never encountered a bad person… My whole purpose of all of this is to

tell people not to be afraid. Your mind is such a powerful tool; whatever you focus your energy on you can do it. I don’t suggest pushing yourself too much, but there is hope and there are ways to live your dream if you want it,” she explains. Now, as she gets set to bid adieu to Oman, along with her pet dog Winston who accompanied her this time around, hoping to visit as a tourist in the future, it is her health that is of prime concern. She is on a detox programme to flush out the chronic Lyme disease and has put all her grand plans of travelling to Alaska and Africa on hold. She is aware that if she pushes herself a little too much, the healing process will take that much longer. But she is also certain that she will come out of it a winner. She is strong willed and determined and her drive has been fuelled by her mother who let her go off on her adventures to evolve and experience life.

“I just have to have faith that everything will work out one way or another,” she states.

March 2018 FACES


Breakfasting in Muscat


A quick guide to the best breakfasts in town, from food enthusiast Adila Eilleen and her friends who spent long hours checking out the fare in the popular food destinations in the capital to come to a consensus about the ones that satiate hunger, meet the quality quotient and offer variety to suit different palates


re you a breakfast person? Have you tucked into some of the amazing waffles, crepes, pancakes and pastries that some of the established restaurants and coffee shops in the capital dish out day in and day out?

Here is an interesting breakfast survey from a team of ladies who gave their meetings a breakfast flavour over the past several months, to check out the best that the restaurants have to offer and give their votes to the ones that fit their bill. In the following article, Adila Eileen, a food enthusiast presents her team’s recommendations of top 10 breakfasts to try, based on service, quality and customer service through regular checkups and feedbacks.

Copper Restaurant Copper Restaurant is our top favourite too… The uber looking cool restaurant has some of the most eye catching presentations and great tasting breakfast and brunch options. The glazed banana toffee waffles is quite a popular pick. Their coffees are great too, and so is their service. Copper restaurant is known for creating its own name in the restaurant scene in Oman. Brunch every Saturday 8am to 4pm

Café Bateel Bateel has a beautiful ambience, which plays an important role in the breakfast scene of Oman. This is a must visit place if you enjoy a pleasant marina view and scrumptious breakfast with prompt service – every time. Don’t miss their Belgian waffles, the Levant breakfast and some good scrambled eggs. The café serves good quality baked goodies, which are definitely not to be missed. Bateel at Al Mouj opens at 8am and serves all day breakfast.

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Paul Paul has been our favourite for their lunch and, equally, for their breakfast. We highly recommend their egg Benedict avocado on toast, which has become our regular breakfast item now. Apart from that, they also have some nice French crepes and lovely trio of fromage, a three cheese sandwich. Try it with a non -sharable hot chocolate. Paul serves from 8am to 12pm at Muscat City Centre and Muscat Grand Mall.

Mani’s Café Mani’s is a cosy yet vibrant restaurant, serving some well crafted breakfasts. It is a promising restaurant that has kept true to its promise of quality, without compromising on the taste and comfort. Mani’s has had no complaints with its food and is the place for some healthy breakfast options too - apart from regular pancakes and English breakfast. Mani’s serves all day breakfast at Al Mouj and Jawharat Al Shatti.

Passion Café Located in Al Khoud and Boushar, this local cafe/restaurant is for all those who are in a mood for some naughty breakfast. The café has some good burgers and pizzas, and they serve all day breakfasts with a host of options for brunches. Our favourite? Their croque madame.

Fanajeen We are in love with their fisherman breakfast, which has the essence of the Gulf region as well as of India, like for example the balaleet or the fried eggs and dal (lentil soup) with parathas, which is also known as Fanajeen special. This beach facing restaurant in Azaibah has gained popularity for serving some good breakfast. Tea lovers will certainly love their karak tea too. And well, you can’t go wrong in serving a good old fashioned breakfast, can you? They do some good crepes and waffles too and lovely Turkish coffee. Fanajeen near Azaibah beach serves all day breakfast

March 2018 FACES


FEAST ON Casper and Gambini With many new restaurants coming up in Muscat, this vibrant place at the Oman Avenues Mall is making waves. They serve breakfast and brunches on weekends and we surely did pick them up for their service and tasty breakfast.

Nando’s Nando’s breakfast is also called as winter season breakfast, and we recommend this if you are a Nando’s lover like us. We love their fluffy pancakes and eggs Benedict, which comes with Nando’s chicken. Don’t miss D’Arcy’s Kitchen How could we miss D’Arcy’s? We all love D’Arcy’s for their it this season. Nando’s serves breakfasts every Friday and Saturday breakfast. This season they have come up with something new too - kids friendly menu, which is of importance here as from 8am to 11pm families prefer to breakfast out. It is one of those must-visit places if you are a resident of Oman. Many, like us, have some great memories associated with this restaurant. We love their well maintained quality, which has remained constant. D’Arcy’s Kitchen at Jawharat Al Shatti serves all day breakfast.

The Crepe Café The Crepe Café, located in Al Mouj and Jawharat Al Shatti is an ideal place if you fancy a good crepe, simple pancake with syrup and cream or even eggs - the croque madame, which is a sure treat for anyone. Here is wishing all of you a happy breakfast experience

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For the love of Breakfast


Start your day on a right note with Simran Dhanju’s recipes for healthy oat bran and wholemeal bread and a delicious strawberry jam

Strawberry and rose petal Jam Ingredients: l 750g strawberries, hulled and chopped l 350g white sugar l Juice of 1 lime l 2tbsp dried rose petals l 1tsp rose water Method: 1. Wash strawberries, remove leaves and core; chop them. 2. In a saucepan, add sugar, strawberries and lime juice. Cook on medium low fire until sugar is dissolved and mixture stars bubbling for approximately 10 minutes. 3. Now reduce flame to low settings and cook further, stirring every few seconds; add rose water and petals. Cook for approximately 20-25 minutes until strawberries are pulpy and reduced to thick syrupy consistency. 4. Now pour the hot jam in sterilised sealed jar and let the jam cool in it.

Oat bran and wholemeal bread Ingredients: l 1 cup oat bran meal l 1 cup wholemeal flour or atta flour l 2 cups plain flour l 1 1/2tsp dried yeast l 1tbsp sunflower oil l 3/4tsp salt l 1tbsp sugar l 2cups warm water Method: 1. Pour yeast in warm water, add sugar and stir well to dissolve yeast and sugar. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes. 2. Sieve flours in a mixing bowl; add oatmeal, oil and salt. With the help of dough hook, mix all on low speed. Gradually add yeast water while the machine is still on, to let all the dry and wet ingredients combine well and form a dough ball. 3. Increase the speed to medium high and mix further for approximately 7-10 minutes until it’s elastic and gluten is formed. 4. Place dough in oiled bowl, cover with cling wrap and rest at warm place for 3-4 hours to rise double in size. 5. Remove dough on floured surface and knead well to make it smooth. 6. Grease baking loaf tin, sprinkle flour and dust off extra. Place the dough in prepared tin, put 3-4 cuts on top, cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for proving for another 2 hours. 7. Brush lightly with water, sprinkle rolled oats on top and bake in preheated oven at 200 degree Celsius for 20-25 minutes.

Simran is a celebrated chef and a winner of multi cooking competitions; she creates visual delights artfully by merging traditional flavours.

March 2018 FACES



Eat Right

Your body is a temple, treat it accordingly – that is the refrain from Vindhya Krishna, as she highlights the whys and how’s of treating your body right


ollowing a standard or customised workout regime will only get you 40 percent of the results you wish to achieve. It is proven that you are what you eat, and eating proper, wholesome and healthy foods is the easiest and quickest way to reaching that set goal. That means fuelling up your body by eating the right foods and drinking the right fluids, in the right amounts, at the right times. When it comes to eating foods to fuel your exercise performance, it’s not as simple as choosing vegetables over carbohydrates. For instance, if you get up in the morning after eight hours of sleep, and drink a glass of orange juice, the simple carbohydrate in the juice rapidly sends your blood sugar to soaring heights. This rise in blood glucose is momentary and in turn followed by a rebound fall, leaving you feeling weak, without the necessary fuel to work out. Now, if you were to have a bowl of high-fibre cereal and skimmed milk to that glass of juice, instead of the temporary surge in your blood sugar levels, you will have a nice, steady rise and a slow fall over the course of the morning. This meal, containing simple and complex carbohydrates, low-fat protein and fibre should give you enough energy to fuel your workout while helping to keep you feeling full until lunchtime.

Breakfast Is Key

Eating a healthy and fibre-rich breakfast is especially important on days when exercise is on your agenda. Skipping breakfast can leave you feeling lightheaded or lethargic while you are working out. Choosing the right kind of breakfast is crucial as many rely on simple carbohydrates to start their day. Instead of eating sugar-laden cereals made from refined grains, try oatmeal, oat bran, or other whole-grain cereals that are high in fibre. Then, add some protein, such as milk, yogurt, or chopped nuts.

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Protein Rich Diet

Ideally, adults need to eat about 1 gram of protein per day, for every kilogram of their body weight. Frequent exercisers may need even more than that as intake to build muscle. Choosing lean proteins that are low in saturated and trans fats are the healthiest options. Limit your intake of red meat and processed meats to once a week. That protein can come from, poultry - chicken and turkey, red meat - beef and lamb, fish - salmon and tuna, dairy - milk and yogurt, legumes - beans and lentils and eggs.

Opt For Healthy Fats

Unsaturated fats may help reduce inflammation; they provide your body with needed calories. While fat is primarily a fuel for exercise, we have plenty stored in the body to fuel even the longest workouts. However, getting healthy unsaturated fats provide essential fatty acids and calories to keep you moving. Healthy unsaturated fats are nuts -almonds and walnuts; seeds - chia seeds, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds; avocados, olives, oils olive oil, and flaxseed oil.

Don’t Forget To Hydrate

Whether you are a professional athlete who trains for several hours or you have a low to moderate routine, keep your body hydrated with small, frequent sips of water that add up to at least 3 litres of water a day.

Eat the Rainbow

Try to ‘eat the rainbow’ by choosing fruits and veggies of different colours. This will help you enjoy the full range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Every time you go to the grocery store, consider choosing a new fruit or vegetable to try. For snacks, keep dried fruits in your workout bag and raw veggies in the fridge.

March 2018 FACES



on the rise Infertility is on the rise among Oman in the age group of 20-30, according to a recent research by IVI Middle East counsellors

age is one of the most important factors determining her chance of pregnancy and a healthy birth, because with age, the quality and quantity of her eggs decrease overtime, and the likelihood of miscarriages and birth defects increases. A study of the existing consultations at IVI clinics also shows that if a woman has healthy pregnancies in her 20s or early 30s, it does not mean that her attempt to have another child in her later 30s or 40s will be successful. She may face complications once she touches 35 or more, as the chances of her conceiving naturally are halved compared to her chance in twenties.


aternal age is one of the most important factors to help identify a woman’s odds of having a baby. However, recent analysis of the patient demographics by IVI Middle East Fertility Clinic has revealed that the age group of 20 to 30 is also witnessing a surge in both male and female infertility factors. According to the Clinic, the average number from this group is almost 15 percent of the total patient count, which is the second highest. “While lifestyle and eating habits are two critical factors that have led to an increase in infertility with the locals in the age group of 20 to 30, consanguinity is another very important reason for the increase in such cases amongst the Omani population,” said Prof. Dr. Human Fatemi, Subspecialist Reproductive Medicine & Reproductive Surgery, Medical Director, IVI Middle East Fertility Clinic. Reiterating that Omani families are facing increasing incidences of infertility, Dr. Frank Ruiz, Specialist, IVF, IVI Fertility Muscat, commented: “In females, parental consanguinity leads to a low ovarian reserve and due to rare sun exposure of the skin, Vitamin D deficiency is very common. Other factors are unhealthy diets and diabetes. Similarly,

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Prof. Dr. Human Fatemi

male infertility is related to obesity, excessive smoking, possible steroid consump¬tion for bodybuilding and largely consanguinity.” Changes in the marriage age have also contributed to infertility. Until the last few decades, women throughout the region

typically married while still in their teens or in their early 20s. However, with changing times, women are giving more importance to their careers and delaying child-bearing, which is also a contributing factor to rising infertility, the Clinic maintains. It is to be noted that a woman’s

With infertility becoming a common issue amongst Omani men and women, IVI Middle East Fertility Clinic is offering breakthrough medical treatments designed to address the growing fertility issues facing many couples today – both young and the not so young.

Holding hands can ease pain Holding hands, which is seen as a demonstration of support and liking for the other person, has several health benefits too. For a new study has found that when a romantic partner holds hands with a partner in pain, their brain waves sync and his/her pain subsides. “Reach for the hand of a loved one in pain and not only will your breathing and heart rate synchronise with theirs, your brain wave patterns will couple up too,” states the study, which was published recently in a medical journal. Researchers also found that the more empathy a comforting partner feels for a partner in pain, the more their brainwaves fall into sync. And the more those brain waves sync, the more the pain goes away. How exactly this happens is still under study, but researchers feel that empathetic touch can make one feel understood and thus activate the pain-killing reward mechanisms in the brain.


Do you sleep with your socks on? If you answered yes, it is good for you. Recent studies have found that wearing socks to bed could aid sleep as it helps regulate temperature, which is a necessary part of the sleep cycle. Our body temperature is affected by the biological clock, or the circadian rhythm. It is the circadian rhythm that controls the timing of sleep, making you feel sleepy at night. On an average, body temperature gradually rises during the day, peaking in the late afternoon when you feel most awake and alert; it decreases during the night, making you feel sleepy. And when you begin to fall asleep, the temperature of your body decreases by a couple of degrees. So, if you sleep with your socks on, it might help with your temperature regulation cycles.

Do not expose preschoolers to night-time light A new study has found that preschoolers who were exposed to bright light at bedtime had an 88 percent reduction in melatonin levels. Anatomical differences in their young eyes is said to make them more vulnerable to adverse impacts of bright light. According to the study, exposing preschoolers to an hour of bright light before bedtime almost completely shuts down their production of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin and keeps it suppressed for at least 50 minutes after light’s out.

Salt is bad!

Salt is bad even if your diet is packed with healthy foods, say researchers who found that salt-induced high blood pressure cannot be offset by an otherwise healthful diet. The study, which covered more than 4,000 adults, found that a diet rich in foods such as fruits and vegetables that are linked to lower blood pressure, did not alter the blood-pressure increasing effects of consuming too much salt. While fruits and vegetables were found to lower blood pressure, they were not enough to counteract the effect of high salt intake. The results of the study revealed that participants who had a high amount of sodium in their diet were more likely to have hypertension than those with low dietary sodium, regardless of their intake of fruits and vegetables.

March 2018 FACES



Fins Beach Before summer sun makes camping out a sweaty affair, pull out the gear and head to Oman’s most stunning beach - Fins


t is strikingly white, curiously pebbly, incredibly blue and jaw-droppingly amazing.

As the sun rises on the horizon and pauses to douse the skyline with crepuscular rays, you can do nothing but stand and stare at this glorious vision. The sea, the shore, the birds‌all in harmony with the sun conducting a nature orchestra to the tunes of the cool morning breeze and the caws from seagulls and flamingos swooping in for the chorus. If you are seeking to commune with nature, there are several beautiful destinations in Oman that assure you one; but if you are looking for an animated conversation, Fins is the place to be. Despite the throng of campers occupying some of the prime spots around the beach on weekends, it has little crannies that open up magnificent vistas of the beach and the surrounding fishing village. For a nature lover, this is as close to paradise as one could get in the vicinity of Muscat. It is a sojourn that dictates an ode to the nature. Located on the Amerat – Sur road, the drive from Muscat to Fins can seem long and tiresome if you are not familiar with this road; but the distance and the weariness will be forgotten the minute you hit this beautiful stretch of beach. The gravel road will lead you on to beautiful camping spots that stretch along the long shore line. If you are early, you could find the best of the camping spots, with the sea, the shore and the escarpment on one end providing the intimacy you would be seeking with the beach. Whether you want to throw a fishing line in, swim in its calm waters, set up a barbeque or simply soak in the ambience, Fins will not disappoint. It has that faraway feel about it that takes away the humdrum of everyday life to replace it with a quietude that comes from an otherworldly connection with nature. Excepting the other campers on the beach, there are no spells from the regular life to change the status quo set by the beach. There is serenity, despite the bursts of revelry from

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other campers in the vicinity. It has a sublime feel of relaxation; even the waves lapping against the shoreline are in quiet unison with all that they survey. An early morning walk along the shore will throw up series of visually gratifying scenes. Flamingos surveying the shore for bits of food, seagulls flocking to check out if there is strength in numbers, stray birds of uncommon species trying to draw attention with loud chirps, amateurs trying their hands at fishing and a whole lot of beautifully shaped pebbles. From flat circular ones to smooth big pebbles, the shoreline is an ocean of white and stained pebbles that give you a bent neck stance. You will be, invariably, drawn to its weather beaten shapes and textures, wanting to comb the beach to find the most striking ones. And you will find. Tons of them. In fact, every pebble you pick will make you wonder if nature has woven its magic wand to create such beauties. Pieces of washed up corals and shells

discarded by the sea add to the lure of the beach. It is best to plan Fins Beach for the weekend to make the most of it. The distance of close to 150kms requires you to start early if you want to catch the sunset and get a vantage spot in the popular beach. If not, you will have to pitch your tent in any available space and then wait for the sunrise early next morning. Go on; give your work-weary self a break with a camping trip at this magical beach.

How to get there:

Set your odometer to zero at the Shell Petrol Pump adjacent to Hatat House and take the road to Amerat (it is a straight drive until you reach close to the Quriyat-Sur road). At about 8kms from the Shell station you will reach the Amerat Roundabout – drive straight. Keep driving straight as you pass the next roundabout and the roundabout after that. Your odometer will by now read close to 15kms. When it touches 15.8kms you will

come to another roundabout where you take left and get on the QuriyatSur road. The straight road continues until your meter reads 82.9kms and you will see the Quriyat turn. Drive straight. At 99kms you will see the toll gate. Drive straight. Next comes the Sink Hole turn and you continue in the same straight road. It is at 136.5kms that you will come to the Fins turn; here, turn right and follow the road that goes down. Shortly you will see a board reading Fins 1km – take that road. Less than 2kms later the road will lead to a T junction where you need to take the right. You will immediately get on to the graded road. Keep driving for about 3kms when you will see a cautionary board on the right. Take the left just before the board and follow the road to find your camping spot for the weekend.

March 2018 FACES


Girls Trip


Vindhya Krishna presents tailored travel destinations for women who seek fun, food, shopping, adventure and fitness


n need of a quiet getaway, an adventure-filled journey or retail therapy…? Here are five different holiday destinations that will satisfy every want and need of a woman who has travel on her mind.

For the Explorer- Iran:

Majestic mosques, ancient caravansaries, impressive rock tombs and formerly the royal city of the ancient Persian Empire – Iran lures one’s eye with a radiant bouquet of architectural masterpieces and unique natural wonders. From the cerulean Caspian Sea in the North and the bodacious Persian Gulf in

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the south, the city of Tehran buzzes with its bustling markets/ bazaars. Tabriz, a former capital, has the most awe-inspiring ing and fascinating bazaar. It is a sprawling, labyrinthine bazaar – a Unesco World Heritage Site dating back 1 000 years – with ornate and dimly lit timchehs (halls) that immerse you in an almost mystical, back-in-time feel.

For the Pleasure Seeker Kyoto, Japan:

Kyoto, once the capital of Japan, is a city on the island of Honshu. Well known for its serene temples, sublime gardens, traditional

teahouses and geisha scurrying to secret liaisons. This is a city of 2000 temples and shrines: a true masterpiece of religious architecture, like the retina-burning splendour of Kinkaku-Ji (the famed Golden Pavilion) and the cavernous expanse of Higashi Hongan-ji. It’s where robed monks shuffle between temple buildings, prayer chants resonating through stunning Zen gardens, and the faithful meditating on tatamimat floors. Even with the scurry of the modern city, a waft of incense burning, or bright vermillion torii gate marking a shrine entrance, are reminders that Kyoto remains the spiritual heart of Japan.

For the Foodie – Campania, Italy


Rich, intense, hypnotic ragù of Arabesque street life, decadent palaces, pastel-hued villages and aria-inspiring vistas, is Campania. It’s like a never-ending feast, bubbling with wood-fired pizza’s in Naples, long lunches at Cilento agriturismi (farm stays), and lavish pastries at celebrity-status Amalfi Coast pasticcerie (pastry shops). To capture the full experience of Campania, take the mountain route inland from Maori and engulf yourself in a wine tasting against the rural landscape of olive groves, chestnut woods, and vines. The mild climate, the beauty of the coasts, the richness of its art and history, and the love for food make Campania the best vacation for a foodie.

For the Fitness Freak – Lanzarote, island of Spain Lanzarote an island now on the boom of tourism is quite the revolution, it is all about staying in chic, eco-friendly places and spending your days cycling, walking, surfing or sampling the local wines. This Canary Island paradise is where you can ride a camel into the sunset and then dine inside a brilliantly candlelit cave. Legend has it that locals would hide from pirates in the underground caverns of Cueva de los Verdes, which are now open to curious visitors in need of an adventure.

For the Shop-a-Holic – Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires combines faded European grandeur and Latin’s fierce passion. The birthplace of the tango is like the dance itself, captivating, seductive and bustling with excited energy. The Latin America’s shopping capital offers the promise of premium retail therapy along its grand, wide boulevards. With the oldest of leather craftsmen and stores to choose from, this destination isn’t just about shopping, old neighborhoods are filled with romantic restaurants and thumping nightlife. The energy and bustle of modern Buenos Aires is most evident in the city centre—the locus of entertainment, shopping, and café-going.

March 2018 FACES



It’s a Woman’s World With the rise of new age technology, nothing is beyond your imagination. Whether it is your skin that desires some anti-ageing treatment, home that demands a quick cleaning session or entertainment that seeks a new pace of change, there is bound to be a device to fulfill all your demands. Vindhya Krishna has compiled some must-have gadgets to cater to the modern day woman.

iRobot Roomba Vacuum 980

The iRobot Roomba 980 robot vacuum instantly cleans your floors…with the push of a button. Roomba 980 seamlessly navigates an entire level of your home, keeping track of its location and recharging as needed until the job is done. With a built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, you can even have your favourite playlist on while Roomba does the cleaning. With the iRobot HOME App, you can clean and schedule on the go. Price: US$899

Quasar MD Plus

The Quasar MD PLUS is said to be the most effective and most efficient device in the age-old fight against ageing skin. It contains collagen-building and elastin-strengthening red-light technology with which you can pamper your face with four times more power. The MD Plus has a larger head for treatment; with more surface area covered it lessens the time consumed. Price: US$595

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THE LUXE IN THE IN SPOTLIGHT SimpleHuman Sensor Mirror Pro

The SimpleHuman Sensor mirror pro is an 8-inch round sensor mirror with a large 5x magnification mirror and a 10x magnification detail mirror that magnetically attaches to the front and stores on the back. Capable of over 50,000 colour variations, you can use your phone to choose presets or capture light settings from the environment around you and recreate them on the mirror. This enables you to groom yourself in accordance to the light features; it also has a built-in Wi-Fi setting to access other features. Price: US$250

Nimb Ring

Nimb is a ring with a concealed button that can send an alert message with your location to your friends and family, emergency services and the Nimb community when you are in trouble. The ring was designed with the current day scenario in mind - one where women are free to do as they wish without having to worry about the time or place. The Nimb ring is sleek and comes in two colour variants: black and white. Price: US$250

Sony Ultra Short Throw Projector

Fitted with an artificial marble top, a half-mirror aluminum frame and a wooden shelf, Sony’s Ultra Short Throw Projector can create a 120-inch image with 4K resolution. It is designed to look like a stylish credenza or side table. When turned off, it would blend into a modernist living room, seamlessly. Built into the top of the table is a HDR-compatible SXRD laser projector, which when placed 9.6 inches from the wall, can create a 120-inch image. Price: US$30,000

The Foldimate

Make folding clothes faster and easier with the new Foldimate. It can fold shirts, button-up blouses and pants from children’s clothes to adult size XXL. All you have to do is place each item of clothing at the top of the machine and enjoy a neatly folded pile at the bottom. Making an appearance in the CES 2018 Expo, the Foldimate is set to release very soon in the market. Price: US$980

HTC Vive Virtual Reality

Teleport around boundless virtual worlds sitting at your desk, or create a dedicated room-scale play area where you can physically walk around. The HTC Vive comes with a 360-degree controller, headset tracking, realistic graphics, directional audio and HD haptic feedback - realistic movement and actions in the virtual world. With over 15,000 games to choose from their VR Stream, it is the perfect virtual reality headset of this generation. Price: US$599

March 2018 FACES



Post Pregnancy Skin Woes

If you are wondering whatever happened to the glow on your skin that marked your pregnancy, you are not alone


hoever said pregnancy makes your skin glow and your hair shine, hasn’t been a witness to the stretch marks, the tired lines, the saggy eye bags, the frizzy hair, the dropping clumps of strands…immediately after the delivery. As if all the skin and hair problems were simply waiting for you to deliver and get you on a boxing match with time - which refuses to stretch beyond its set 24 hours. Thankfully, these are temporary issues that will go away with some care and attention. All you need is time and some tips to ensure that you are on the right track with your skin and hair care regime.

First some basic guidelines: g

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Use a mild cleanser to clean your face twice a day Moisturise your skin twice a day Exfoliate your skin once every week Eat healthy foods; ensure that your foods contain antioxidants that help to strengthen the roots of your hair Drink enough water Use a gentle anti-hair loss shampoo with conditioner In consultation with your doctor, take vitamin supplements – Vitamin B and C will help you maintain fuller hair Avoid or delay going to the salon for hair colouring or straightening/perming during this time, as it could lead to further hair loss Begin your workout sessions after getting a go signal from your doctor Get enough sleep – if possible go to sleep with the baby And, most importantly, stay stress-free and don’t hesitate to ask for help from family to ensure you get your ‘me’ time

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Common skin problems:

Acne: Often, hormonal changes taking place in your body, more so during and after birth, can lead to acne or cause rashes on the face. This will, of course, go away with time and some care. Use soft face brush to cleanse your skin and rely on anti-acne products. Make sure that your moisturiser is lightweight and oil-free and use mild scrub with soft granules to exfoliate. Dark circles and under eye bags: With sleep becoming a premium commodity post delivery, those dark circles might seem inevitable and so also those sacks under the eyes. While cosmetics will help you get rid of these signs, little changes in your habits



could also work wonders. Use a thicker pillow and ensure that you minimise your fluid intake before you go to sleep. Place cucumber or potato slices on your eyes to find instant relief.

Pigmentation: One of the common skin woes are the spots

that are brought on by the raging hormones. Although they may seem to have made home for good, they will lighten and disappear after a year or so if you ensure that you are not doing anything to aggravate them. Use sunscreen daily and opt for a moisturiser that is specific to your skin and targeted towards pigmentation.

Dull complexion:

Blame it on lack of sleep or a lack of care; dull complexion is one issue that you may have to contend after birth. Remember to drink enough water, moisturise your skin twice a day and exfoliate once a week.

Stretch marks: Another inevitability of pregnancy are

the stretch marks around the body. It is advisable to tend to them during the pregnancy itself with an anti-stretch mark cream or even olive oil. Follow it through post pregnancy and complement it with a healthy diet and some workout.

Your morning alarm didn’t go off. You have a big meeting lined up for the morning. You have to leave home in 5 minutes to avoid traffic. And your face is crying for some makeup to get into the groove. If the above rang a bell, rather is an everyday affair, you need some make-up-in-a-hurry tip. What is that, you ask? Don’t try to go the full way! Yes, the biggest makeup faux pas, in the absence of time, is following the everyday routine of foundation, concealer, lashes, eye shadow, mascara, eyebrows, cheeks, lips…. Attempting to rush through your morning makeup session could prove to be a disaster if you bring out the complete kit. You could, of course, be ready for such emergencies by picking up one of those all-inone makeup palettes when you go shopping next. The best checklist to follow when applying makeup in a hurry is to understand the premise for your makeup. For example, if you have a rash or acne that you need to cover up, simply pick out your concealer stick, dab it on and leave for work. Again, what you need is a lightweight concealer to avoid creases. Dark circles are also best tackled with a coating from your concealer stick. Alternately, focus only on your strong features, which you, of course, are aware, and use your makeup skill to accentuate that. The easiest is to apply a lightweight foundation and a touch of your favourite blush; or avoid both and opt for the primer. But if you are an eye person and do not like to step out without giving it a shield of makeup, apply a dark eye shadow on the outer corners and forget the eyeliner.

* A self professed lifestyle guru, Sophia Raman has honed her expertise for beauty and fashion with a natural flair for all things chic and a distinctive style quotient. She is a sophisticated socialite who brings her love for fashion, style and travel to this column.

March 2018 FACES



‘Stories from Arabia’ Top designers from around the Arab world, including Oman’s very own Ahmed Al Balushi of the Kash5aful brand, presented their creative, vibrant collections at ‘Stories from Arabia’, the largest Arab platform for emerging and established designers at London Fashion Week. London based journalist Rabi’ah M. met Ahmed Balushi and UAE designer Maysoon Al Shami of Dar Maysoon fame, to present a peek into their collections.


n 19th February 2018, the glamorous city of London witnessed an exceptional event - ‘Stories from Arabia’ - as part of the London Fashion Week season. What made the event unique was not just its attention grabbing name, but the fact that it provided Arab fashion designers an excellent platform to showcase their creativity and talent. Participating fashion designers were from Morocco, Oman and the U.A.E - making Oman proud was Ahmed Al Balushi of Kash5aful, who displayed a unique collection that won the applause of the crowd. Maysoon Al Shami, representing the UAE, also kept the ramp mesmerised with her beautifully crafted Abayas.

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Ahmed Al Balushi’s Kash5aful Flavours

“As an Omani designer, I have always wanted to play a role in raising the flag of my country internationally in the fashion field. This event was no less than what I had expected. It was a combination of a milestone and a successful achievement in my fashion career,” said Ahmed Al Balushi, who was presenting his brand for the first time at London Fashion Week.

March 2018 FACES



Calling it a successful event, he said it will help him in growing his experience in the fashion industry. “The prospect of taking part for the first time in London was certainly a challenge, which I dealt with successfully,” he stated, pointing out that the feedback was positive from the European fashion connoisseurs who witnessed his work. His main aspiration regarding this event was to showcase a collection that stands out for its Arabian concept and yet has its roots in the contemporary fashion world. “Also, representing the common colours of the flags of the Gulf countries was one of the aims of this collection,” he added. Talking about his fashion inspirations, he said, “Being a fashion designer and an architect has led my inspirations to a point where the structural element is apparent in the collection.” He has found a niche for Kash5aful with designs that have an Arabian touch with modest fits, but are contemporary in their concept.

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Dar Maysoon from Maysoon Al Shami

“I wanted to introduce to the crowd our cultural designs and fashion. Stories from Arabia, with its wide media coverage, was the perfect platform,” stated UAE designer Maysoon Al Shami, who presented black abaya haute couture from her brand ‘Dar Maysoon’. Buoyed by the successfully concluded event, she said she was particularly motivated by the response from the audience and the compliments that came in from the social media.

March 2018 FACES



As a designer she finds inspiration from the beauty and feminism expressed by Abaya. Design, high quality fabrics and accessories, detailed finishes and personalised attention are the hallmarks of her designs, which are unique in every way. “All details are handmade,” she pointed out. Although she has previously participated in fashion events in London, this was also her first outing at the London Fashion Week.

Mother’s Day Pendants from Malabar Gold & Diamonds This Mother’s Day, make your mom feel unique by gifting her diamond and 18k gold jewellery pendants

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and to celebrate this occasion, Malabar Gold & Diamonds has introduced an exclusive diamond and 18k gold jewellery pendants as a glittering tribute to the unspoken love of a mother. Show her how much she is loved and appreciated by gifting an entwined pendant, sparkling with brilliant diamonds, representing the unbreakable bond a mother and child share. Mother’s Day is celebrated on 21st March every year to honour and commemorate the unconditional bond of motherhood. Celebrate the true essence of motherhood

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ALE, WHO IS GETTING READY FOR HIS RITE OF PASSAGE, SHARES SOME STYLE SECRETS TO ROCK THE ACADEMIC REGALIA I’M GRADUATING! Actually, by the time you read this I would have already graduated; but as I’m halfway through my pre-graduation checklist, I decided to share some tips. As men, we have it easy because we are limited to two options - a suit or a dishdasha - and either way one colour will end up showing from under the graduation gown. However, I just want to point out that the footwear is VERY important; it shouldn’t clash with both the outfit and the gown. If you are wearing shoes, pay extra attention to the socks, because they will show and chances are the socks you got at a sports store aren’t the best choice for graduation. Another tip that’s essential for both genders is to make sure that the shoes you wear have been ‘broken into’. New shoes are amazing, but chances are you’re walking on various types of flooring, and new shoes + anything that’s not a carpet = slipping. Now, ladies might not have it as limited as men, but that makes it even more challenging. Do not wear short dresses - seriously, if your graduation gown is longer than your dress, you will look awkward, no matter how fabulous your shoes are. Keep in mind that this is only graduation; so, easy on the long, puffed out or tight fitting dresses. You should be able to walk, sit and breathe...preferably. Last but not least, make sure your outfits have pockets! Nothing is tackier than a guy holding his phone and wallet or struggling to find somewhere to put them when he’s walking up to take his certificate; the same applies to purses. Last tip: HAVE FUN!

with this perfectly crafted pendant, offered at an affordable price, starting from RO 75; there are 11 beautifully crafted designs in diamonds and 5 exquisite designs in 18k gold jewellery. All diamond pendants will come with the 18K chain. All these pendants are available across the showrooms until the stock lasts.

Ale Al Zadjali is a 24 year-old award-winning fashion designer; he is the brain behind the ‘Esque By Ale’ line of clothing

March 2018 FACES



Let’s Talk Empowerment

With women around the world pledging to #PressforProgress in keeping with the International Women’s Day theme this year, join in the journey with a commitment to empower yourself, socially and economically



Gender Gap

The avalanche from the #metoo and Time’s Up campaigns that panned out on the social media does indicate a change in the mindsets of people everywhere, men included, but will it help bridge the yawning gender disparity, which is a global concern, even today, despite unprecedented developments in every facet of our lives? First for some hard-hitting facts: l

l l

Over 700 million women, who are alive today, were married when they were under 18, and of those some 250 million were married before they were 15 (Unicef). Around 1 in 10 (120 million) girls worldwide have experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives (Unicef). Around 200 million girls and women in 30 countries have undergone female genital mutilation (Unicef).

Gender disparity is across all walks of life. It is more pronounced in the labour market, as economic empowerment of women continues to remain elusive. According to the facts and figures

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listed by, women are a far way from coming anywhere close to men in their average earnings or placements. While it is no secret that globally women are paid less than men, there are more disturbing facts to prove the disparity in the work force. l l

l l

Women in most countries earn on average only 60 to 75 per cent of men’s wages In 2016, only 57 percent of working age women were in the labour market, compared to 70 percent of working age men Women devote 1 to 3 hours more a day to housework than men When paid and unpaid work are combined, women in developing countries work more than men, with less time for education,



leisure, political participation and self-care Despite some improvements over the last 50 years, in virtually every country, men spend more time on leisure each day while women spend more time doing unpaid housework Gender differences in laws affect both developing and developed economies, and women in all regions.

Women have been fighting for gender equality for ages and they still continue despite strategic measures undertaken by developed countries and changes in the legislations incorporated by developing countries. l

Women make up just 23.3 percent of parliamentarians

l l

A year ago there were only 10 women serving as Head of State and 9 as Head of Government Statistics of January 2015 shows that only 17 percent of government ministers globally were women

While there are obvious developments in the field of education with governments everywhere taking up the issue, there are still yawning gaps in gender equality. l


In Southern Asia, only 74 girls were enrolled in primary school for every 100 boys in 1990 and the ratio was the same even in 2012 In sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania and Western Asia, girls still face barriers to entering both primary and secondary school.

Empowered and ready for the world Rise above everyday issues and feel the power of empowerment by incorporating positive traits that will help you pave the way for success Empowered women know how to get their way around. They know when to say ‘no’ and when to accept a challenge. Here is a little guide with tips and suggestions from experts who believe empowerment is the only way forward. 1.




Stand up for yourself at all times: Your opinions and ideas matter, so do not hesitate to put it across, whether it finds consensus or not. You might get called names and might have to endure back-biting, but that should in no way bring you down. Instead, use it as a learning experience. Learn to say no: This is of significant importance, as people tend to take ‘yes’ people for granted. Going out of your way to help is fine, but if people expect it from you at all times, it deprives you from doing things that are of importance to you. Know yourself: Even reaching the first rung of the success ladder requires you to know yourself – your weaknesses and your strengths. Once you know where you stand, it becomes that much easier to sharpen your strengths and suppress or work on your weaknesses. Accept yourself: Whatever beauty quotient the world might throw at you, accept yourself, with all the flaws and wrinkles, and understand you are beautiful just the way you are. Success is not dictated by looks, but self acceptance will certainly show you the way.

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Respect yourself: Just as you learn to accept yourself, so also begin to respect yourself. Empowerment comes from a deep sense of respect for self. It will also help you nurture positive thoughts.

Take responsibility: Understand that you are responsible for your life. Do not hesitate to take on new challenges and responsibilities. After all,YOU are responsible for your life. 7. Think positive: All the little things that you do for yourself will help you inculcate positivity in your thoughts and actions. Don’t entertain negative thoughts and stay away from negative people. All your achievements will come to naught under the influence of negative people. Think positive and stay happy and empowered. 8. Take care: Read that as ‘take care of yourself.’ As a wife, mother, daughter, sister you have been wearing different garbs to care for the people around you - now start showing some care for yourself. A little care will go a long way in empowering you for lifetime. 9. Nurture learning: Make learning a continuous affair to develop your skills and attitudes for the changing times and needs. A passion to soak information and absorb new skills can act as a fount of empowerment. 10. Be independent: Learn to make your owndecisions and be independent financially so as to experience the true joys of freedom. Understand your share of household financial responsibilities and become an expert at handling and managing your personal financial affairs. 6.

Inspirational Women of our Times They stood for what they believed and made trifling of challenges to rise above the staid benchmarks of society. They are beacons of hope for women everywhere… Here is a compilation of motivational quotes that demonstrate their never-say-die attitude.

“Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment.” Oprah Winfrey - American media mogul, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist, best known for her talk show ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show.’

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“If you are successful, it is because somewhere, sometime, someone gave you a life or an idea that started you in the right direction. Remember also that you are indebted to life until you help some less fortunate person, just as you were helped.” Melinda Gates - American philanthropist, former Microsoft employee, and co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” J. K. Rowling - British novelist, screenwriter, and producer, best known for writing the ‘Harry Potter’ fantasy series. “I don't want to be thought of as the ‘girl who was shot by the Taliban’ but the ‘girl who fought for education.’ This is the cause to which I want to devote my life.” Malala Yousafzai - Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate. “There cannot be trueMelinda democracy Gates unless women's voices are heard.


“No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you’ve come from, you can always change; become a better version of yourself.” Madonna - American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman, referred to as the ‘Queen of Pop’ since the 1980s. There cannot be true democracy unless women are given the opportunity to take responsibility for their own lives. There cannot be true democracy unless all citizens are able to participate fully in the lives of their country.”

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton - American politician who was the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001, and served as the junior U.S. Senator from New York from 2001 to 2009 and 67th United States Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013. Malala Yousafzai

J. K. Rowling

March 2018 FACES



Are YOU in your HAPPY place? As the world celebrates ‘International Day of Happiness’ on March 20, take a vow to seal your happiness by creating your very own happy place Where is your happy place? Is it in the confines of your home that little windowsill that brings to you a slice of the world outside? Is it that special spot on your favourite beach? Perhaps, it is the book that you pick up every time you wish to steady your mind? A hot cup of tea with some onion fritters on a rainy day, may be? Or the smell of first drops of rain on the sun-soaked ground? Strains of your favourite song on the radio, eh? Your senses are attuned to help you create your very own happy place – consciously or otherwise. Whether you physically create that happy place or let your mind do your bidding, you will find it within you. Simply focus on happiness and the ways will come to you.

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Often, what you deem as your happiness quotient, rather your happy place, is a composition crafted from memories. A little trigger is all that is needed to open memory gates and let whiffs of that happiness engulf you. As you keep drawing from that pool and go about structuring your environment to replenish it, your happy place will become all the more apparent. If you agree that your mind is the most powerful tool and that your happiness is dictated by your mind than by other external factors, read along and find out how little things can help you construct your happy place – physically or mentally. Experts on the subject believe that mere visualisation can make you happier; that going to your happy place is all about vividly imagining that happy factor, they argue.

So, how do you get to your happy place? Do you simply sit and imagine the situation that would alter the present stressful status quo into a happier one? Or do you physically get out and seek shelter under the canopy of your happy place? Little steps could help you trace your way to your happy place…

Relax: If taking a walk out in the garden helps you relax, make time for it, even if it’s for 10 minutes a day. Find simple ways to calm your mind and experience mental relaxation that is essential to savour the joys of your happy place. Even a quick coffee break and some chitchat with a friend, before you wind up for home, could lead you by your hand to your happy place. Manage time: You need to

make time for all the little things that are often sidelined and categorised


as fun things to do on a holiday. Fun is what you make of a situation; it has very subjective connotations. But without chasing the set parameters of fun, you could create your very own idea of fun, everyday, by ensuring that you give time to yourself. This calls for a change in the way you manage time. If you have a fixed time to go to work, ensure that you have a time to stop working too. Stick to that time, unless there is an emergency and your presence is a must. Understand the importance of keeping your work time distanced from your personal time to revisit your happy place.

Nature: Give nature its dues and

nature will help you get on your happiness bandwagon. Stop and look at the greenness of the grass growing on the sidewalk, the earthy coloured

feathers of the little sparrow flitting away, the dry leaves of spring, the wispy white clouds ushering summer‌ Find beauty in your surroundings, even in your home, revel in the joys of energy it radiates. Nature is the most beautiful happy place.

Friends: After all is said and

done, it is the memories of good times cherished with friends, from the neighbourhood, school and college that set the benchmark for your happy place. That explains the reunions and the alumni meetings to find that happy place one more time. But to truly experience that happy place, break the shackles of routines and make a call, even if it is a long distance one, to say hello to that old friend and make a date to meet up – soon!

Get active: You, of course, know the importance of staying active for a healthy body and a healthy mind. A mind that is engaged in constructive activities will lead you to success. It will help you structure your time with things that are positive and personally gratifying. Simply sitting in a quiet place and visualising your happy place is a great start to this exercise. Try writing a letter to your younger self, even if you are in your 20s, about the years that have passed, the experience you have gained and the advice that you can now share on life and all things happy. Life is meant to be happy. Make time to create your share of happiness. Find your happy place!

March 2018 FACES



Dad, overcome those baby blues


You might be suffering from post natal depression (PND). New mamas are not the only ones afflicted by this emotionally draining condition. Dads are equally susceptible to PND, or paternal postpartum depression, in the first year of the child’s life. It could come about suddenly or happen gradually, and the intensity might range from mild to acute. Although studies have shown that it affects up to 10 percent of new dads around the world, the figure is believed to be much larger as men, typically, wear the shroud of indifference when it comes to reporting depression. While there is no one answer to explain the whys behind post partum depression in men, it is usually seen as a result of the emotional and stressful situations that are aggravated following the birth of the baby.

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New challenges and pressures of fatherhood are at times difficult to manage, triggering PND. And, if the relationship with the partner saw a rough patch during the pregnancy, it might get further strained; there are also chances of the partner’s post natal depression triggering an episode in the new dad.

Some of the common symptoms of PND among new dads are: -

Feeling low or despondent


Constant crying or the urge to weep


General tiredness and a lethargic feeling


Inability to cope with responsibility


A sense of guilt about not giving enough love and attention to the baby


Irritable and even indifference to the partner


Irrational thoughts


Loss of appetite or indulgent eating


Difficulty sleeping


Panic attacks and anxieties


Difficulty concentrating


Headaches and pains; feelings of sickness


Obsessive thoughts about baby’s wellbeing


Recurrent thoughts about death

While therapy and medication is advised to overcome some or all of the hard-hitting symptoms, there are little things that you, as a new dad, can do to overcome depression and enjoy this beautiful phase of your life.








Acknowledge that you are indeed facing an uphill task in coping with the changes in your life. If you have been experiencing the symptoms mentioned, you need to pause and understand that you do need help to fight the depression. Share your mental turmoil with your partner, a family member or a friend. Talking and communicating your struggles and your overpowering emotional problem is an important step to move forward. If possible, meet new dads and create opportunities to share your thoughts and experiences of becoming a new dad. You might find solace in understanding you are not alone or even learn ways to overcome the lapses. Take time out for yourself from all the new responsibilities and commitments. Indulge in a hobby or take up a DIY task; a round of golf or your favourite sport with friends is always effective. Workouts can play a big role in energising your body and mind. Walks are helpful in calming your mind and giving you a better perspective of your life and the current situation. Press the brakes on all the feelings of guilt by shifting the thoughts away from the lack of attention and indifference to the baby to a more pronounced care. Keep reminding yourself of your position in the baby’s life and do little things to appease




your guilt. Whether it is changing the nappy and giving a bath or simply cuddling the baby, little things will add up to quell your guilt. Do not get tempted to apply negative coping strategies to suppress those feelings of inadequacy. Looking for extra office work or finding excuses to stay away from home will only aggravate the situation. Face the situation that is inducing feelings of inability to cope and find ways with your partner to change it for both of you. Communicate with your partner and address the changes that have taken place in your relationship following the birth of your baby. Do not let the initial strain in the relationship widen; sit down, talk and resolve every little issue that has come up in the days following the delivery. Seek professional help if you feel overwhelmed by depression. You might need counselling to get a grip on the situation or even medication to put a check on the symptoms

March 2018 FACES



Oman Air continues its dynamic network expansion Oman Air is launching three new routes this year to Istanbul, Turkey in June, Casablanca, Morocco in July, and Moscow, Russia in October. While Istanbul and Moscow will be served by Oman Air’s Boeing 737-800, Casablanca will be served by 787-8. The new flight to Istanbul will launch on 1 June. Flight WY163 will depart Muscat, daily at 20hrs, arriving in Istanbul at 00.25. The return flight WY164 will depart Istanbul each day at 01.25, arriving in Muscat at 07.25. The new Casablanca flight will start on 1 July and will be the only non-stop service to Casablanca from Oman. Flight WY171 will depart Muscat four times per week at 01.20, arriving in Casablanca at 07.10. The return flight WY172 will depart Casablanca at 08.20, arriving in Muscat at 19.15. Moscow will be launched during the Winter Schedule 2018.

Bank Muscat presents Braille laptops to vision impaired at SQU

Bank Muscat, as part of its commitment to sustainable social development, presented Braille Sense 2 laptops to 10 visually challenged students at Sultan Qaboos University in the presence of H.E Dr. Ali bin Soud Al Bimani, Vice Chancellor of Sultan Qaboos University, during the special needs students’ family gathering ceremony. The bank’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative is aimed at supporting the vision impaired youth to enhance skills and integrate with mainstream society. Raya bint Habib Al Shukaili, Senior Regional Manager - South & Central Muscat branches, presented the customised laptops to the vision impaired youth at the ceremony attended by senior bank and university officials.

Jebel Sifah driving Oman’s golf tourism growth Jebel Sifah’s new 9-hole golf course has become a huge success. The development is the latest by Muriya to attract visitors from around the region, with the Harradine-designed masterpiece offering homeowners unrivalled golf green views and a unique golfing experience for pro golfers and beginners alike. Leveraging the international expertise of management experts Troon International, the par 36 course has exceeded the expectations of players by delivering the highest levels of customer service with the addition of new facilities on the horizon in response to their feedback. Catering to visitors looking for an ideal golf getaway, the recently opened course offers a full range of activities and package deals tailored to a wide variety of golf enthusiasts.

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MRM joins hands with Mwasalat

Millennium Resort Mussanah has joined hands with ‘Mwasalat’ to link the award-winning property to the Sultanate’s growing public bus network. “By offering a direct link to prospective guests, we are taking our unique combination of prime location and convenience to even greater heights,” said MRM General Manager Christoph Schleissing. Ahmed Al Balushi, Mwasalat’s CEO, commended the partnership with MRM, noting that it demonstrated their determination to strengthen Oman’s tourism strategy. The new service connects Millennium Resort Mussanah to Muscat through Route 42. The buses depart from Muscat three times daily, leaving at 7.30am, 11.30am and 15.30pm, and arriving at the resort by 9am, 13pm and 17.20pm, respectively. The route subsequently departs from Millennium Resort Mussanah at 9.30am, 13.30pm, and 17.30pm, arriving to Muscat at 11am, 15pm and 19pm.

Muscat Bay Presents First Ever ‘Yogathon’

Muscat Bay hosted a first-of-its-kind Yogathon’ at its Experience Centre, in early February. The ‘Yogathon’ was organised by Yoga Shaala in commemoration of their First Anniversary in Oman and included a community-driven and grassroots celebration of yoga. The event featured an exciting line-up of local and foreign yoga instructors offering classes and workshops on yoga, movement, and meditation. It also brought together about 100 local yoga enthusiasts for an interplay of yoga, sound (voice, music and breath), and life. Marksim Karki, founder of Yoga Shaala said “The key purpose of the ‘Yogathon’ was to be able to establish an engaging experience for yoga buffs in the local community and enable them to build an enjoyable social relationship with like-minded individuals.”

Beaconhouse International Student Convention 2018

The third in the series, Beaconhouse International Student Convention 2018 (BISC 2018) held last month at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex was a resounding success and was the talk of the town. BISC 2018 proved itself to be a shining beacon of learning, inter-cultural camaraderie, tolerance and a magnificent display of sportsmanship by Beaconhouse students from all over the world. The occasion was graced with the presence of H.H. Sayyid Faris bin Fahar Al Said, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Al Suwaiq Football Club, and Ali Javed, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Oman. The Chairperson of Beaconhouse, Nasreen Kasuri and Chief Executive of Beaconhouse, Kasim Kasuri, inaugurated the proceedings and were a source of inspiration and motivation for Beaconhouse students and staff. Also in attendance were esteemed delegates from the 5 participating countries in addition to the Beaconhouse senior management. BISC 2018 featured a host of activities and competitions from various spheres of learning, ranging from sports and athletics to science, technology, the visual and performing arts and filmmaking. Over 200 Beaconhouse students from 5 countries took part in these events in Muscat, utilising a diverse set of skills that reinforce 21st century learning. In addition, thousands of Beaconhouse students worldwide participated in activities in their home countries (Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, and Thailand) in order to qualify for BISC.The event was endorsed and supported by the Ministry of Education.

March 2018 FACES



Mercedes-Benz Oman offers exclusive package on selected new cars Mercedes-Benz Oman is making it even more desirable to own one of the brand’s iconic vehicles in 2018 with an attractive package on selected new models. Available until March 27th 2018, this stellar campaign offers customers from 11 percent up to 25 percent off the purchase price, three years/45,000km service package, three years unlimited mileage warranty, three years Mobilo on-road assistance and free registration. This exclusive offer is available on a select range of new vehicles including the SL 400, S500 Cabriolet, GLA 45 AMG 4MATIC, E400 Cabriolet, CLS 400 Coupé, C300 Cabriolet, Mercedes-AMG SLC 43, Mercedes-AMG S 63 4MATIC Coupé, Mercedes-AMG GT S, Mercedes-AMG A 45 4MATIC and the E400 Coupé.

Lamborghini Muscat launches the Lamborghini Urus

Lamborghini Muscat officially unveiled the Urus in Oman, the world’s first super sport utility vehicle, at Barr Al Jissah’s Al Mazaar amphitheatre. An exceptional combination of supercar performance with SUV functionality, the Urus is a one-of-a-kind vehicle developed by the Lamborghini team who have blazed another trail in luxury and innovation. Available with a 4.0 L, V8 twin-turbo engine with 650 HP and 850 Nm of torque for maximum performance, the Urus achieves a top speed of 305 km/h and goes from 0 to 100 in a cool 3.6 seconds. Borrowing its name from the mighty Aurochs, a large wild ancestor of the Spanish fighting bull, Urus takes on the look and feel of the raging bull as depicted famously in Lamborghini’s logo.

Nissan Oman announces special offer

Nissan Oman from the house of Suhail Bahwan Automobiles (SBA) has announced a special offer on all its models. With a variety of attractive value propositions on offer, Nissan patrons stand to benefit much from Nissan Oman’s exclusive deal including low EMIs and attractive cash back. The promotion, which offers several benefits on all its vehicles, will go on till April 2018. The special offer is valid on all models purchased for personal use. Nissan Oman is offering assured cash back, free registration, free insurance, free fuel card, free Periodic Maintenance Service and free additional benefits as part of this promotion. The campaign offers exceptionally low EMIs starting from OMR 55 and attractive cash back of up to RO 4000.

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New 2019 Jeep® Cherokee

The new 2019 Jeep® Cherokee made its debut at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, boasting a new, authentic and premium design, along with the addition of an all-new, advanced 2.0-litre direct-injection inline four-cylinder engine that enhances performance and fuel efficiency. Jeep Cherokee’s evolution offers more interior comfort and convenience, delivering everyday practicality with outstanding ride and handling characteristics, independent front- and rearsuspension systems with world-class body torsional stiffness, a choice of three different engine offerings mated to an enhanced, highefficient nine-speed transmission and more than 80 safety and security features. The new 2019 Jeep® Cherokee will be introduced in the Middle East in the second quarter of 2018.

‘Power Days’ with RAM 1500

Dhofar Automotive, the official distributor for Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, and RAM Vehicles in Oman, recently announced huge discounts ranging from 16 percent to 25 percent on the full range of ‘RAM 1500’ models with prices starting from RO 12,700. Going by the slogan ‘Power Days’, the new promotion, which was launched recently and continues until March 28, offers huge discounts, together with a range of other benefits including a 5-years/100,000km warranty and first year free registration and roadside assistance. With an impressive combination of power and Fuel Saver Technology, the 5.7L HEMI V8 engine is amongst the most powerful in its class.

Infiniti Oman launches enhanced Q50 premium sports sedan

Infiniti in Oman launched the enhanced Q50 premium sports sedan at an exclusive event held at its showroom in Muscat. Featuring refreshed exterior and interior design, and innovative technologies, Infiniti Q50 has been designed to empower and support the driver. The enhanced sports sedan retains its sleek proportions and athletic stance, while establishing greater visual differentiation between model versions, including the performanceinspired ‘Red Sport 400’. Through the Red Sport 400 grade, Infiniti’s designers have brought the model in line with its ‘designed to perform’ ethos. The new Q50 is the first Infiniti vehicle to use Drive Assist Technologies as the overall brand for the company’s driver support technologies.

March 2018 FACES


Chill Out



Director Steven Spielberg








Olivia Cooke Tye Sheridan T.J. Miller Simon Pegg Mark Rylance Ben Mendelsohn


1. God’s Plan: Drake 2. Perfect: Ed Sheeran 3. Finesse: Bruno Mars & Cardi B 4. Havana: Camila Cabello & Young Thug 5. Rockstar: Post Malone & 21 Savage 6. New Rules: Dua Lipa 7. Pray For Me: Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar 8. Stir Fry: Migos 9. Filthy: Justin Timberlake 10. Bad At Love: Halsey

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Ready Player One An adventure too big for the real world. ‘Ready Player One’, based on Ernest Cline’s bestseller of the same name, is set in 2045, with the world on the brink of chaos and collapse. But the people have found salvation in the Oasis, an expansive virtual reality universe created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance). When Halliday dies, he leaves his immense fortune to the first person to find a digital Easter egg he has hidden somewhere in the Oasis, sparking a contest that grips the entire world. The film, however, centers on a young outcast named Wade Watts. In the near future, Watts escapes from his daily drudgery by logging into the online game called ‘The Oasis’. When the game’s billionaire founder dies, he offers players his fortunes as the prize in the virtual treasure hunt. Watts gets in on the action, but soon finds himself facing off against corporate foes who will go to any lengths to get the money – in both the real world and in ‘The Oasis’.


s Gadget Riddle Web World Horoscope Trivia Books Gadget UPCOMING RELEASES

Tomb Raider A Wrinkle in Time

Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Storm Reid, Zach Galifianakis, Chris Pine Meg Murry and her little brother, Charles Wallace, have been without their scientist father, Mr. Murry, for five years, ever since he discovered a new planet and used the concept known as a tesseract to travel there. Joined by Meg’s classmate Calvin O’Keefe and guided by the three mysterious astral travelers known as Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, the children brave a dangerous journey to a planet that possesses all of the evil in the universe.

Red Sparrow

Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Jeremy Irons, Nicole O’Neill , Thekla Reuten When she suffers a career-ending injury, Dominika and her mother face a bleak and uncertain future, which influences her into becoming the newest recruit for Sparrow School, a secret intelligence service that trains exceptional young people like her to use their bodies and minds as weapons. She emerges as the most dangerous Sparrow the programme has ever produced, but she must reconcile the person she was with the power she now commands…


Alicia Vikander, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu, Dominic West, Hannah John-Kamen, Kristin Scott Thomas Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen. Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara makes a living as a bike courier, barely making the rent, and takes college courses, rarely making it to class. She refuses to take the reins of her father’s global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he’s truly gone. However, even Lara can’t understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death.

First Comes Love, Then Comes Money

Authors: Bethany and Scott Palmer The book is based on the premise that happy couples know how to talk about money. According to the authors, the number one cause for divorce is financial infidelity. Described as ‘The Money Couple’, they reveal that the missing ingredient needed before any financial programme or plan can work is a healthy financial communication, and then go ahead to tell the reader how to do it…

The Art of Loving Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man

Author: Steve Harvey American comedian, television host, producer and radio personality, Harvey instructs women on how to be a ‘keeper’, instead of a ‘sports fish’. He presents his concept of what men really think about love, relationships, intimacy and commitment, while encouraging women to understand that they can never be first in a man’s life without understanding and accepting that men are driven by who and what they are and how much they make.

Author: Erich Fromm In this classic work, renowned psychoanalyst and social philosopher Erich Fromm explores love in all its aspects; not only romantic love, steeped in false conceptions and lofty expectations, but also brotherly love, intimate love, self-love, the love of God, and the love of parents for their children. He presents love as a skill that can be taught and developed. He rejects the idea of loving as something magical and mysterious that cannot be analysed and explained.

March 2018 FACES


Chill Out



Cuddle the Kiddle

Kiddle – the safe search engine for your children

If you have been on the lookout for a safe search engine for your children to explore the world of Internet, check out www.kiddle. co/ (the .co is stands for ‘children only). What make Kiddle safe are its inherent features. As the website claims: ‘Since Kiddle results are either handpicked and checked by our editors or filtered by Google safe search, you know you get kid-oriented results without any explicit content. In case some bad words are present in a search query, our guard robot will block the search.’

The sites that pop up in a Kiddle search are filtered to remove even deceptive content. It is designed as a child-friendly site to ensure that your kids, browsing for information on any subject, are not introduced to material that can be classified as harmful for their physical and emotional growth. According to the search engine, Kiddle returns results for every query by opening safe sites and pages that are written specifically for children and which are handpicked by Kiddle editors. They could be from trusted sites that are not expressly written for children but have content that is simple in its style and presentation to make it easy for them to understand.

What kind of driver never gets a parking ticket? What do you call a dentist in the army? Why did Goofy put a clock under his desk? How did the farmer mend his pants? Why did the man lose his job at the orange juice factory?

60 FACES March 2018

And as far as privacy is concerned, here is what the search engine has to tell: ‘We don’t collect any personally identifiable information, and our logs are deleted every 24 hours.’

To add to that, the Kiddle search results

Riddle Time

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are illustrated with big thumbnails, making it easier for your little ones to scan the images presented and pick the one that best answers the query made. The large font used also makes it easy for even smaller children to read the text and get an understanding of the content provided.

Riddle Time Answers ( February 2019 )

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What do you call a condiment with a hit single? Answer: A must‘heard’. Why did the balloon burst? Answer: Because is saw a lolly pop What did the stamp say to the envelope? Answer: Stick with me and we will go places! What do you call a magician on a plane? Answer: A flying sorcerer!

When do you stop at green and go at red?? Answer: When you are eating a watermelon.


s Gadget Riddle Web World Horoscope Trivia Books Gadget GADGET NOTES Movie time, anytime

Movie time is set to become a continuous affair with Movi Smartphone. This Smartphone is embedded with a laser, high definition (HD) 720p pico projector that allows users to utilise many surfaces as an additional screen to enjoy and share digital content such as movies, videos, games, and more. The projector, powered by MicroVision’s PicoP Scanning Engine, allows users to project quality digital content, up to 100-inches in size, wherever they are. With extended battery life, made possible by the certified power adapter that allows the device to be charged up to 4 times faster than the traditional method, watching movie on the go is a breeze.

Third-gen wireless earbuds

As the world marches into a wireless zone, Jabra, a leading developer and manufacturer of communications and sound solutions, has introduced its third generation of true wireless earbuds - built for a consistently stable wireless connection and up to 15 hours of battery life (with cradle). With the Elite 65t and Elite Active 65t, Jabra has reinvented a set of true wireless earbuds. The earbuds have a distinct focus on the voice experience, delivering superior audio quality for calls and music without wires. The products come in two versions: one for daily on-the-go use and an ‘Active’ version made for training and sport.

The Peloton Tread

Make space for a private fitness studio in your home. Peloton, the technology company that revolutionised the fitness industry with its indoor cycling bike, has introduced the Peloton Tread. It is a new technology that will allow Peloton Members to participate in live and on-demand bootcamp and circuit classes from the convenience of their own homes. It is effectively a private fitness studio, offering high-energy, immersive workouts both on and off the treadmill. With a variety of live and on-demand classes including Run, Total Body, Floor and Walk classes, the Peloton Tread is the most highly innovative and immersive treadmill experience on the market. It comes equipped with a 32” HD touchscreen that will give access to thousands of different classes led by world-class instructors live.



am was always self-conscious of his lack of ears. Whenever he would interview a future employee, he would, invariably, ask the candidate, “What do you notice different about me?” If the candidate mentioned his lack of ears, which happened often, it would be a sure ‘no’ for the job. However, if the candidate would mention something else, he would hire immediately. One year,

at the annual business party, Sam approached his most recent employee and asked him if he remembered the last question he had asked him when interviewing him for the job. “Sure I do” was his reply. “You asked me what was different about you and I said that you were wearing contact lenses.” “Of all things to answer”, Sam questioned curiously, “why was that the thing you noticed?”

“Well, to be honest, it was quite simple. How could you possibly be wearing glasses if you don’t have any !”

“Frank Smith,”

announced the judge, “for breaking into a house in the middle of the night, I sentence you to two years in prison.” “But your honour,” pleaded Smith, “last time I was in court you sentenced me to a year in jail for breaking into a house in the day! If not in the middle of the night, and not in the middle of the day, just when am I supposed to earn my living?”

March 2018 FACES


Chill Out



March 2018

Pisces (February 19 – March 20) Happy Birthdays are in order for all you Pisceans out there. Get set for a roller coaster ride that will get you in touch with yourself. Everything will be more open for you if only you allow yourself to be still for a moment and contemplate on yourself. When you allow the calm and peaceful truth into your consciousness, you will begin to see where you stand in the here and the now. It is a month of inner glow that will radiate through you in all that you do with compassion and love.

Aries There might be a storm brewing somewhere and you might get carried away if you don’t keep a tab on the figurative weather update. Bring out the umbrella or find an alternative to escape the storm. Strengthen your resolve to face the problems head on, but do not hesitate to ask for help when needed.

Taurus Looks like you have got the proverbial bull by its horns. Make the most of it. Bask in the spotlight and do what it takes to ensure the positive ambience isn’t disrupted by anyone around you. Spread your charm and keep everyone happy, including yourself. A whole lot of happiness is coming your way this month.

Gemini You are in need of some tender loving care. Press the brakes on your work and the hectic pace of life that has become an everyday affair, look out, smell the

grass and seek the warmth of your family. Now is the time to focus on your family and spend time with them. Nothing spells comfort as beautifully as some quality family time.

Cancer You might be tempted to continue swimming against the tide, but hold on; it will not be easy if you don’t check the flow. You need to introspect and even retrospect to see where you are going and what lies ahead. A little planning is essential to ensure your peace of mind and keep you sane and healthy.

Leo Feel like the lion in your star sign? You have the air of a superhero and have the energy to boot. All that you need to do now is to find an anchor for all that dynamism and stay focused on your larger goal. Follow your heart and you might find ways to realise your dreams sooner than you though.

Virgo You are a winner, Virgo. You made it through the difficult last month with ease and have proven that you can stand resolute in your commitment to your causes. What makes it easy for you is your focused thinking and your never-give-up attitude. This month, fortunately, will be much smoother. So go for it…

Libra Love is in the air, Libran. Feel the soft breeze, the singing birds and the wafting notes of love. If you are already taken, this month will open up opportunities to

Shaquille O’Neal (March 6, 1972)

Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal, nicknamed ‘Shaq’, is an American retired professional basketball player currently serving as a sports analyst on the television programme ‘Inside the NBA’. He is widely considered one of the greatest players in NBA history; he is the fifth-highest-scoring NBA player by total career playoff points scored.

62 FACES March 2018

strengthen the ties. And if you are single, get ready to say hello to the love of your life.

Scorpio You know there is never a dull moment in your life and you are ready to fill every minute with things to do and plan. But the dull month that has just gone by has created a vacuum and you want the coming days to set you on your regular beat. Well, you are in luck; you are in for a whirlwind of a month.

Sagittarius Something about your close relationships has got you worried. Rather has you thinking if things are going wrong in some quarters. Stop. Stop the thoughts and the worries. Find ways to alter your perception of things and all will fall in place. Remember, how you perceive the world is how the world will perceive you.

Capricorn You can be impulsive and you have had such impulsive moments all through the month gone by. But March calls for some contemplation – about yourself and your relationships. Your impulsive acts are not always positive. Understand the importance of giving in all your relationships.

Aquarius Don’t get tensed worrying about things that haven’t taken place. Worrying or overthinking about an issue will only make it worse. It is difficult to tell how a situation will pan out, but you can be ready for it with the right attitude. So Aquarian, get set, think positive and win this race.


s Gadget Riddle Web World Horoscope Trivia Books Gadget

WEIRD NEWS When sharks get hooked

A shark took a man for a wild ride after it got snagged in his line while he was fishing from a kayak off the coast of Balnarring in Victoria. The 34-year old man, say reports, hooked the shark and got more than his share of adventure when the shark, attempting to break free from the lined, pulled him into the water. Fortunately, his friends were fishing nearby and they rescued him out of the water. However, his kayak floated out into the sea and was found after massive search and rescue effort.

Women’s Day Women’s day – facts and trivia l



Time travel a reality?

This time travel story sounds like a tall claim, as the entire episode is based on claims by one William Taylor who, again, claims that he is a former British government worker. According to his story, he was sent to the year 8973 in a secret time machine. He returned back to the present to reveal that the illusive time travel technology will be available to the public as early as 2028. Taylor said he experienced life on earth thousands of years from now and he claimed he found ‘utopia’, where people lived with no disease, death or crime. Although earth still existed, human race was replaced with human-robot hybrids.

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Don’t pass wind while flying

A farting passenger forced a plane to make an emergency landing when a fight broke out among the passengers. The flight from Dubai to Amsterdam had to make an emergency landing in Vienna. When the stinky farts kept coming, the passengers on either side of him complained to the airline crew. Well, they didn’t, rather, couldn’t do anything about it and soon a fight broke out. This led to an emergency stop in Vienna and the two passengers, who complained and caused the ruckus were removed from the flight – not the farting passenger. Two women sitting in the same row were also forced off the plane; however, they plan to sue the airlines for it.

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Sources tell us that the word ‘woman’ came from the word wyfman, a Middle English term that meant ‘the wife of man’. The Tale of Genji, which is recorded as the world’s first novel, was written by Murasaki Shikibu, a woman; it was published in Japan. The world’s first golf course is said to have been created by a woman, Mary Queen of Scots. Two women own the record of having the highest IQs on a standard intelligence test. It was Germany’s Clara Zetkin, the Social Democratic Party’s Women’s Office leader, who brought up the idea of an International Women’s Day in 1910, in Copenhagen, during the International Conference of Working Women. More than a million people joined the rallies that took place in 1911, when International Women’s Day was first observed. The women of Russia observed their first International Women’s Day in February of 1913. It was in 1965 that the Day was moved to March 8. The yearly celebration of women in March is also a way of remembering the women, children, and men who died during the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York on March 25, 1911. The United Nations started sponsoring International Women’s Day in 1975 In the United States, March is known as ‘Women’s History Month’. 1975 was designated as International Women’s Year.

March 2018 FACES


Facesoman 133  

#PressforProgress Taking the International Women’s Day 2018 campaign a step further, we invite you, our beautiful readers, to come along and...

Facesoman 133  

#PressforProgress Taking the International Women’s Day 2018 campaign a step further, we invite you, our beautiful readers, to come along and...