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Your Local Bahraini Guide!

Aziza Salman We speak to the creative mind behind Paparazzi Photography

Places to Go Things to Do Events Tradition And much more!

HalaBahrain Magazine

Lifestyle - Culture Entertainment - Events

Magazine Feb 2009 - Volume 1 - Issue 8

Events & Happenings We cover the Grand Racing Weekend, Elham events, and more! HalaBahrain Magazine | February 2009



Moving On... Dear Readers, With 2009 well underway, Bahrain seems a little different from the place it was last year, or so it seems. A shook up financial and real estate sector has started showing signs of trouble, and the retail sector seems to be indirectly suffering as well. It’s not too bad though, since it means we get 75% discounts in a lot of shops out there, and hopefully the over-heated real estate market in the country will slowly sink bank to normal (ish?) levels.

HalaBahrain Magazine Lifestyle - Technology Entertainment - Events


The Team Editor-in-Chief Ammar Al-Aradi Creative Director Fardan Raffi Public Relations Amal Fareed

Copyright Information

Anyhow; for this month’s issue, we’ve brought you the regular dosage of events and happenings around the country, as well as a quick guide to Sakheer, if you want to get away from it all. We’ve also interviewed Aziza Salman, founder of Paparazzi Photography, who left a stable career in banking (boring) to follow her dream. Again, we would love to hear from you about anything; send us your emails with thoughts about the magazine, letters, ideas, and let us know what you’re thinking! Till next time,

© All Rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or in part without the written permission of the publisher. Liability: While every care has been taken in the preparation of this magazine, the publishers cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the information herein, or any consequence arising it. HalaBahrain is a fully registered online publication with the Bahrain Ministry of Information, under registration number EQHBH210 HalaBahrain is published monthly; to view the magazine, for a free subscription, or to download a copy, please visit For advertising and all enquiries, please contact

Ammar Al-Aradi Editor In-Chief

HalaBahrain Magazine | February 2009



News, Events & Happenings

Noticed that the country seems to be a little less busy on the weekends? That’s because half of the population have decided to go camping! We’ve written a short report on what to do in the desert a little later on, so make sure to check it out!

For those who haven’t enough motor-rush from January’s Grand Racing weekend, check out the F1 Testing sessions this month! Entry is only BD1, and you can get to watch the Ferrari, BMW and Toyota teams test out their cars as part of the preparation for the 2009 race! Of course, the CRC races and Drag championship are also there to keep you busy throughout the rest of the month! For a different sort of Valentine’s day, check out the Coral Beach Club’s fancy dress party. Think you’re as a good pool player? Well head down to Envy to watch some of the best in the country go at it in a few games of pool. Want something different? The King’s Cup Challenge is going on, so if you’re into horse racing, this should be something to watch for. This month’s Elham gathering will be at Arad Fort; a different setting, with a few more talented individuals showing off their works of art. Finally for those who want to get loud Paul Mendez will be performing live at the Marina Club, so get your tickets early if you want to get rowdy!

10-28 February Pool Tournament Location: Envy @ The Palace Contact: +973-17725000 13 February F1 Testing Location: Bahrain Int’l Circuit Timing: 9:00am-5:00pm Contact: +973 - 17450000 13 February Valentine Special Fancy Dress Party Location: Coral Beach Club Contact: +973-39649590 19-22 February King’s Cup Challenge Location: Contact: +973-17754300 24 February Elham 17th Monthly Gathering Location: Arad Fort Contact: 25-27 February Bahrain Drag Championship - Round 4 Location: Bahrain Int’l Circuit Contact: +973-17450000 26 February Paul Mendez Live Location: Marina Club Contact: +973-39857359 27 February CRC Round 4 Location: Bahrain Int’l Circuit Email:

HalaBahrain Magazine | February 2009



HalaBahrain Mail Got something to say? Anything specific you’d like to see in the magazine? Or maybe you just love our magazine? Hate it? Or just need someone to talk to? Whatever it is, let us know, email us on: ———— ———— FROM: Joseph Cafaro SUBJECT: Good to hear We’re most happy to receive your publications. It’s always so good to hear from you. It’s always so good to hear from you too!

FROM: UK National Lottery SUBJECT: You Won We are pleased to inform you that you have won 4 million pounds,... If only these would come true, just once.. Sniff.. ————

———— FROM: Jestin Prabakaran SUBJECT: Dear sir Im Jestin as a staff nurse I search in job in your hospital Every issue there ‘has’ to be that one guy...

FROM: Sameeha SUBJECT: Lovely We love your magazine, it gives a fresh look at what’s happening in the country, something we don’t find in the other newspapers and magazines. Keep up the

beautiful work, me and my husband are avid readers every month. Much appreciated! Hope you enjoy this issue as much as the others! ———— FROM: Car Freak SUBJECT: Car Reviews Why did you guys stop doing the regular car reviews? Hey there car ‘freak’. We’ll be getting back to the auto reviews very soon, just finalizing a few things to make the section a lot better than it previously was. Keep an eye out for it coming soon!

HalaBahrain Magazine | February 2009

———— FROM: Danny SUBJECT: Comments Excellent magazine. Can we have a review about the old Forts around Bahrain? I’ve been looking around for info but most of the stuff I find online is superficial. Sure! We actually wrote an article on Arad Fort back in November, so you should check that out in our archive on the website. However, we will be covering one of the other forts in one of the upcoming issues, so keep your eyes open!


HalaBahrain Magazine | February 2009



Grand Racing Weekend On the 23rd and 24th of January, the BIC hosted the Grand Racing Weekend. Two days full of motorsport fun with the GP2 Asia Cup, a number of supporting races including the Speedcar Series, 2000cc races, full family entertainment, music, magic and dance performances, and much more! Missed it? Not to worry! There’s still more action in February, with the F1 testing going on, as well as the Bahrain Drag Racing Championships and 2000cc & National Sprit races! Make your way down to the BIC this month for a high powered adrenaline rush!

HalaBahrain Magazine | February 2009



HalaBahrain Magazine | February 2009



Elham Events

January was a busy month for the Elham Creative Arts group! The monthly gathering held at AlBareh Art Gallery featured readings by Indian author Reena Abraham, a musical performance by Padmini Rao, paintings by Anne Thackery and live drawing by Mohammed Al Mahdi. Besides that, they organized a creative trip to Al Dar Island, to capture images of the islands, wildlife, and much more.

HalaBahrain Magazine | February 2009



HalaBahrain Magazine | February 2009



360° of Comedy

With the increased popularity of stand-up comedy in Bahrain comes 360° of Comedy, a show bringing together a mixture of local, regional and global acts for a full night of laughs! The two shows at Harvester and Teatro were held to introduce the bi-weekly comedy club to be opened soon, where anyone who thinks they’ve got the funnies can go up and audition!

HalaBahrain Magazine | February 2009



Bahrain News

Multiple Messaging

New Taxis! Yes, just a few days ago a new vehicle made it’s way onto the Bahraini streets; the famed London Taxis! But this time they’re not black, and they’ve got ‘Arabian Taxi Company’ written all over them. Yup, there’s a new cab company in town, and that should hopefully make the public transport system in Bahrain a little better!

Zain just released a new messaging service, where you can send out messages to a group of friends with just one SMS! Saves on time, saves on cost, and a great service overall. Want to try it out? Choose a username and send ‘register username’ to 50005 (Zain customers only), and get messaging! New Mobile Operator

Yup, get ready to welcome a third mobile operator on our small island. Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has just won the third license for mobile operator. Do we have room for a third mobile company? Well considering that there are almost 1.5 active mobile lines for everyone in the market at the moment, then there probably is! Keep a look out for STC to set up and launch their services over the coming year. Site Blocked If you haven’t already come across it, the Site Blocked screen has plagued the corners of the internet in Bahrain. Sparked by a Ministry of Culture & Information order, the ban on a large number of websites has sparked quite a movement by bloggers, freedom of speech promoters, and many other groups. What do you think of the ban? Let us know on HalaBahrain Magazine | February 2009


HalaBahrain Magazine | February 2009



If you’ve recently felt like Bahrain isn’t as busy as it used to be, then don’t worry. Most of the people are at Sakheer! Yup, with camping season in full effect, the desert gets overtaken by society as people go to the desert to live ‘in the wild’. If you’re not a regular desert-goer, here’s our guide on where to go, and what to do!

Sakheer Camping Get a Tent Easy! Either buy one, or rent one out from some of the places that have them already set up. Not to worry though, you won’t have to leave your precious amenities behind, as Bahrain’s very own Paris-Hiltonesque camping style comes ready with bathroom, hot water, electricity, TV, satellite channels, etc etc etc… (Yep, sure feels like being at one with nature!). Perfect for a sleepover, but remember to bring some warm clothes along!

People Watching The main entrances to Sakheer are busy with cars coming and going; besides those, temporary restaurants pop up and are busy with people ordering food, youngsters drive their quad-bikes and motorcycles around and show-off their moves, people walk around the area, others switch on music and dance around the camp-sites. Especially busy on the weekends. HalaBahrain Magazine | February 2009


Tradition Rent a Quad-Bike For some off-road fun, you can rent out quad bikes, or even regular dirt bikes! Definite fun right there, and you’re sure to be faced with other bikers soon after you take off. Make sure to launch your quad-bike on two wheels (or one wheel if it’s a regular dirt bike), just to prove how cool you are to everyone. (We’re kidding here, HalaBahrain Magazine encourages safe and responsible behavior. Be good now).

Try some Traditional Home-Cooked Food Yes, this may be the desert, but it’s also a really good place for the older Bahraini women to cook and sell food! Consider this; not many restaurants + many people = excellent business opportunities! Look for these women with stalls set up full of pots and pans. Yum. No seriously, it’s good, try it.

Chase Camels Not really a traditional activity, but still pretty fun. Unfortunately, with the recent increase in crowds around Sakheer, the camels have moved on to find a quieter place deep in the desert. If you’re lucky, you might find a goat or two to chase instead though. HalaBahrain Magazine | February 2009


Tradition Start a CampFire Great for keeping warm at night and toasting marshmallows on! You don’t necessarily need a campsite to do this, just gather a bunch of friends around, throw some wood on the sand, and light it up. It would also be a wise move to make sure you’re not doing this near any of the oil pipelines lying around. Ya know. Just incase.

Discover the Area Walking around and discovering untouched spots you can call your own is a great way to become more familiar with the desert. It’s also a good way to find a new place to go when you need a bathroom and there aren’t any around. HalaBahrain Magazine | February 2009



So what are you waiting for? Get down to Sakheer for a change of scenery, and gather a few friends along to start up a campsite, a fire, and a sleepover! Or just go for a few hours to have a bit of fun and come back? Up to you. While Sakheer isn’t exactly the fanciest desert in the Middle-East, there’s still quite a lot of fun to be had there, so check it out before camping season is over next month! Don’t know how to get there? Drive past the Awali Roundabout towards Sakheer; take the first roundabout left, and keep driving along the road till you get there. Easy!

HalaBahrain Magazine | February 2009


Whispers The new album by Ala Ghawas.. Out now HalaBahrain Magazine | February 2009


Visit the world of hidden Bahraini Talents...

HalaBahrain Magazine | February 2009


Eating Out

Lanterns Restaurant

Not really widely publicized, Lanterns Restaurant is actually one of the older fancy Indian restaurants on the island. Being old has only worked in it’s favor, however, as over 20 years of experience show in the taste and quality of the food. Location-wise, you wouldn’t expect much; hidden just off the Budiya Roundabout, Lanterns hardly stands out. Walk through the door, however, and you’re transported into a totally different world, with a mystical Indian vibe. The surroundings, menu, cutlery, and colors, all reflect a traditional Indian mood, and the food even more so. Not sure what to order? We could recommend Chicken Makhni with Lemon Rice, but almost anything you order here is good. After a good meal, make sure to try their Carrot dessert (it tastes better than it sounds; we promise). With live music during the evenings, why not check it out for dinner? We promise you won’t be disappointed. Lanterns Restaurant is located behind Burger Land, just off the Budiya Roundabout. Tel +973 17590591. HalaBahrain Magazine | February 2009


Local Talent

In the corporate world where everyone becomes a slave to their job, living life just to work, the daily routine of going to the office distracts you from everything else in life. This including your free time, hobbies, and more, but mainly, your passions. Only very few people are determined enough to escape this daily cycle to follow their heart, and do what they love for a living. In this month’s issue we talk to Aziza Salman, founder of Paparazzi Photography. Once a fullyfledged banker, Aziza decided to skip the grey world of business-suits and corporate meetings, to start a small company based on her own passion, photography. We managed to catch up with her to ask about her company, her motivations to follow her heart, and more.

HalaBahrain Magazine | February 2009


Local Talent

- Aziza, to start off we’d like to ask you about Paparazzi Photography; What is it, and what is the concept behind it? Paparazzi Photography is specialized in glamour shots, or glamour photography. The concept started off with me considering to start a photography venture, but trying to find something that was not available in Bahrain. The concept of glamour shots was already available in other parts of the world for a while, and is very popular. People here actually go around from studio to studio looking for a place that could provide that, but end up disappointed with the service or final product, and the quality of it. - Why the name? With the idea, I started thinking of a theme to go along with the service, so I came up with Paparazzi; of course we don’t mean this in the bad sense of the word, as if we are stalking our clients, but in the sense that our clients are stars (they come willingly!). Our slogan is ‘You Are a Star’, and I tried to make sure that shows in the theme of the shop, which we’ve designed based an Oscar party, walking on a red carpet, with a prestigious and glamorous atmosphere. When we do the shoots, we have more than one photographer, to cover you from all the angles and treat you like a star, so that’s the idea! - Great! Isn’t your background a little different though? I actually come from a Banking background; I studied Business Management & I.T. However, I always had an artistic side to me, things that I love to do in my spare time. That eventually took over and I decided to leave the world of Banking and pursue what I love, which was artistic photography.

HalaBahrain Magazine | February 2009


- A total change of field; great stuff. How did you make the decision to switch? It was actually very adventurous, but I guess I was just determined to do it. I felt there was something missing at my old positions and needed more of a challenge, and something more fulfilling. I believe that doing what you love is always going to work, so I just went for it, and decided I was going to make it work!

- How do you get the word about your services? Well actually most of the marketing right now goes out through word-of-mouth, as the people I know and those who come and get shots tell others about it. So far that’s actually been working really well, as more and more people are coming in every week. I am getting ready to launch an official marketing campaign soon in the near future. - How can people find out about your services? Do you have a website or any other place people can go to? I’m working on the website right now; I have a FaceBook group where people can see some samples and so on, and of course, at the shop we have all the information available, so people can call in, or email me for any information.

HalaBahrain Magazine | February 2009


Local Talent - Do you have any advice for people who want to go along the same adventurous steps as you and start their own business? How should they start? What do they need to consider? Well, first, they need to plan it very well; but even then, plans will always deviate from the original path. This means you should expect the unexpected, and always have contingency plans. Put down an idea of when you should push forward, and when you should stop and try something else. There will be places along the way where things you don’t expect happen, so just be flexible, and never quit! - How long have you been doing this now? Almost six months. - That’s cool; have you had any celebrities or famous people come over for shot? Yes we’ve had some; we took photos of Sami Al Haddad, Fatima Abdulraheem, Marwa Khalil, and so many people; all of my customers are stars in their own right.

HalaBahrain Magazine | February 2009


Local Talent

- So do you only do photography in your studio? Or do you have shots done outside as well? We do both; we’ve done corporate photo shoots for the Board of Directors of CapiNova Bank, i’m working with Orbit, we’ve done weddings, birthdays, and a whole lot of other types of shoots, besides just the glamour shots. - And what are your future plans for Paparazzi Photography? Well there are quite a lot of plans! I’ll be holding photography classes soon, looking forward to establish my magazine, and also hopefully considering plans for a TV show as well! - TV show! That’s sounds very interesting; what’s the plan behind that? Actually I have a few ideas; I’m considering a sort of reality show, The Photographer; where we look for upcoming photographers and models. The other is a show about photography, where people can learn how to take their day to day shots, advice, tips. It could be more of an interactive show, with a live audience interacting; more of a creative spin on a photography guide. - Sounds very interesting. Well Aziza, it was great talking to you! Anything else you want to add? You too! Thank you for the interview, and I wish all the upcoming Bahraini entrepreneurs the best of luck in all their ventures!

To get in touch with Aziza, email, or call +973-17596336. Alternatively, visit Paparazzi Photography at the Country Mall, Budiya.

HalaBahrain Magazine | February 2009


HalaBahrain Magazine | February 2009


HalaBahrain Magazine | February 2009


Profile for HalaBahrain

HalaBahrain - Feb 2009  

Volume 1 - Issue 8 HalaBahrain Magazine

HalaBahrain - Feb 2009  

Volume 1 - Issue 8 HalaBahrain Magazine