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82 NOVEMBER 2009


www.babyshopstores.com

Fall/ Winter collection now in stores. A Division of Landmark Retail Ltd.

82 NOVEMBER 2009

Centrepoint: Al-Khuwair, 96473101; Muscat City Centre, 96473113; Salalah, 23289260; Sohar (near Globe Roundabout): 95119737. Babyshop: Ruwi, 96473105; Seeb, 24424923; Sur, 25545417.


THE GIFT OF KINGS

L E G E N D S O F T H E S I L K ROA D O N W W W. A M O U AG E . C O M


From the Desk NOVEMBER 2009 Vol 7 No 80 Editorial EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Salman Ibrahim Al Balushi CONSULTING EDITOR Priya Nair ASSISTANT EDITOR (CONSULTING) Rekha Baala ASSISTANT EDITOR Rana Alawneh PRINCIPAL CORRESPONDENT Deepa Rajan

COVER DESIGN : rashida picture courtesy: AMINA AL JASSIM

DESIGN ART DIRECTOR Sandesh S. Rangnekar DESIGNERS Aliya Al Waheibi Rashida SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER Rajesh Burman PHOTOGRAPHER Sathyadas C. Narayanan PRODUCTION MANAGER Govindraj Ramesh ADVERTISING & MARKETING GROUP ADVERTISING MANAGER Mimi Deb ASSISTANT ADVERTISING MANAGERS Benu Ritu SENIOR MEDIA EXECUTIVE Fareeda Sulaiman Al Balushi CORPORATE CHIEF EXECUTIVE Sandeep Sehgal EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT Alpana Roy VICE PRESIDENT Ravi Raman SENIOR Business Support Executive Radha Kumar DISTRIBUTION United Media Services LLC

Published by United Press & Publishing LLC A Renaissance Services Company

P.O. Box 3305, Ruwi, Postal Code 112, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. Tel: 00 968 24700896 Fax: 00 968 24707939 e-mail: almara@umsoman.com

Woman Power It was a happy occasion indeed! The Symposium on Omani women held from October 17-19 in Sohar reaffirmed that women continue to play an important role in society. Royal grants were given in support of Omani Women’s Associations and scholarships for girls. Al Mar’a too was part of this momentous event. We present a special report on Page 48. How many times have you seen a beautiful home and wondered who did the work? Where did they find all that beautiful yet simple bric-a-brac? Or how did they put all of it together to such great effect? If only you could get so creative! How many times have you looked at a room in your home and wished you could make it look a little different but didn’t know where to start? Every one of us does all of that and more… But as they say, “A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.” In this issue we bring to you a Home Improvement Special. We don’t mean to say your home needs improvement; we’re simply presenting a few ideas and offering them to you, to buy for your own home or for someone else’s. And that’s because the festive season is around the corner. There’s Eid, Christmas and another New Year to look forward to. It’s the right time to plan a small or a much-needed makeover for your home. And while you’re at it, give it a double dose of that positive energy and love that makes it all the more alluring and inimitable. We also take this opportunity to invite you to be a part of the third Al Mar’a Festival. Scheduled for November 7 and 8, this extravaganza is a fun-filled fest showcasing world class brands, captivating performances, inspiring discussions, great food and tons more. All at the Al Noor Hall between 5pm and 10pm. Make new friends and bring some old ones along too. The idea is to get together and have a blast! The rest of the issue is full of infotainment, just the way you like it. So take your time and check it out; we know you’ll enjoy the experience Let Team Al Mar’a be the first to wish you a wonderfully happy Eid! May God’s blessings always be with you! See you next month, until then, stay cool people…

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the express permission of the publishers. Copyright © 2009 United Press & Publishing LLC Printed in the Sultanate of Oman at Oman Printers & Stationers

NOVEMBER 2009 3


17

Al Mar’a Special — Home Improvement 18 Give your living room a makeover 22 Trendy bedroom furniture and accessories 24 Brighten up your little one’s room 26 The lowdown on what’s new in kitchens 30 Spruce up the dining area 32 Jazz up the bathroom 34 Ideas that make gardens/ balconies totally inviting

FeatureS International Men’s Day Features

38 Just a few enlightening facts about male gossip… 40 Men pay tribute to the most important woman/women in their lives… FEATURE

42 Rami Al Lawati and wife Huda – the driving forces behind ProShots Special Report

48 All about the Symposium on Omani Women held at Sohar…

Top Drive

Al Mar’a takes the all-new Porsche 911 Targa 4S for a spin

60


SOLUTIONs

PEOPLE Wellbeing

56 Dr Prema Seshadri says a

cheerful home makes for cheerful people…

Beauty Buzz

58 Meet

Geraldine Pra, International Product Training Manager at Nuxe.

At Home

62 Practical ideas for your

ManDate

home and you.

51 Meet

Health Plus

Mukesh Luthra, Chairman, VLCC.

64

A Q & A session with Dr Smita Lulla, Obstetrician & Gynaecologist.

Fashion & Beauty

74

Food In Every Issue

> Your Say > News, Etc. > Books, Movies and More… > Stargazing

Cuisine

68 Chef Mario Prestigiovanni, Chef

de Cuisine-Capri Court, Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, presents the Chef’s Specials, especially for you.

Fashion

Très chic designs by Saudi Arabia’s Amina Al Jassim.

Al Mar’a Recommends 50 We endorse: Xtreme Lashes

We tried & tested: Lemon Aid from Benefit

Beauty Zone 66 The beauty booty checklist… NOVEMBER 2009 5


YOUR SAY PRIZE-WINNING LETTERS

Identifying the Blues Last month’s issue was exceptionally good! Al Mar’a just keeps getting better and better every month. You covered many global occasions like Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and World Mental Health Day with style and class. The story about a young girl battling depression made a special impact to me. I just wanted to write in and remind people that depression is a real mental illness and not something you can easily wish away. Watch out for symptoms in your friends and family and make sure they get the help needed! Soumya Rajan Ghubra

More Tweeple! Hi! I loved last month’s feature on Twitter. I’m a newcomer to the world of tweeting

6

NOVEMBER 2009

Pretty in Pink

Validating Veggies

I loved your feature on breast cancer awareness last month. It was great to see younger women taking a stance on a disease that has killed so many women across the world. It truly is a global issue and I’m glad you gave it the attention it deserved. I especially loved the Pink Ribbon Song! I’m sure it touched a lot of people’s hearts! Haifa Al Lawati Qurum

Hi! I loved last month’s issue of Al Mar’a. I’ve recently cut back on meat after I received an email with graphic details about what goes on in slaughter houses. It was great to see people I admire validating my decision to do so, especially Paul McCartney! I think he’s a legend and would love to see you do a feature on him some time in the future. Keep up the great work. Shahana Rahim Al Khuwair

and it cleared up some things for me. It was also great to see women across the city explaining how they used it and managed to keep addiction to the site at bay! I added the Al Mar’a team on Twitter after reading the article. I’m looking forward to getting regular updates from you guys! Michael Crasta Wadi Kabir

Delightful Cuisine I have a lot of Sri Lankan friends and am frequently regaled with stories of “food back in Sri Lanka”. I’m always telling them my cuisine beats Sri Lankan any time, however, after trying out the Hoppers with Lunu Miris featured in last month’s issue I was inclined to concede to their boasts. It was one of the most scrumptious dishes I’d ever tasted. Just don’t tell my friends!

They’ll never let me live it down. Ragini Vasisht CBD

Spunky Star I’ve always found Megan Fox to be a little bit obnoxious, but your story painted her in a whole new light. I found myself reevaluating my views. She’s a loud-mouth, yes but is also spunky, sexy and a great actress! Thanks Al Mar’a for continually making us question our first opinions about people! Keep up the great work. Shaima Ibrahim Muttrah


NEWS, ETC.

Wheels Tough Stuff

Are you looking for a tough, versatile SUV? Well, the Nissan X-Trail is a good bet! It‘s ‘toughness’ is highlighted by the enhanced all-weather capability, provided by Nissan’s latest electronically controlled four-wheel drive (4WD) system, the all mode 4x4-i with yaw moment control. Also new for this generation X-Trail is Hill Descent Control (HDC) and Hill Start Assist (HSA). X-Trail’s hallmark high quality and outstanding utility have also been enhanced with added convenience and storage features. Go for a test drive and check the rest of the features.

Super Sporty

So what’s the latest on the Merc front? Well, the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG premiered at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt/Main recently. And this very cool vehicle embodies the perfect blend of consummate automotive fascination and top technology. The super sports car delivers a compelling mix of purist styling, consistent lightweight design and superior driving dynamics. At the same time, the SLS fully lives up to all the expectations of Mercedes’ hallmarks — everyday practicality and optimum safety. In essence, the new ‘Gullwing’ offers the ideal synthesis of the strengths of Mercedes-Benz and AMG. Can’t wait to see this baby cruising Muscat’s roads…

What a Car!

We just can’t stop drooling over this beauty! Shanfari Automotive’s Sports Car Division recently launched the new and exciting Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder. And what a car it is! The new Spyder features a 560 horsepower engine that gets you from 0-100 km/ hr in just four seconds. The 5.2 litre V10 engine delivers a maximum speed of 324 km/hr, features a permanent four-wheel drive, improved traction, handling and stability at any speed and has a razor sharp design. And it is a Lamborghini, what more would you want!?

Wily Cat

The Jaguar sports car experience now gets bigger and better! It moves on to new levels with the introduction of a new generation of the XK and XKR coupe and convertible — cars that utilise advanced technologies at a higher level and with greater performance than ever before. There are three models in the new XK range: the XK, the highly equipped XK Portfolio and the supercharged XKR, all available in coupe or convertible form. Each is seductive, powerful and elegant; introducing revised exterior and interior styling that underlines Jaguar’s contemporary thinking on design. Totally hot wheels these!

True Luxury Get ready to meet the Ghost in the Middle

East now! We are talking about the latest model from Rolls Royce that was unveiled in Jeddah recently. The Rolls-Royce design team sought inspiration from architecture and yachts when seeking to create a modern interpretation of Rolls-Royce’s values. As a result, the Ghost’s flowing lines are dominated by its majestic ‘yacht line’ styling. Large, uninterrupted surfaces flow between finely sculpted horizontal lines to create a powerful, defined exterior. Now, that’s what we call an ‘out-of-this-world’ car!


YOU SAY, “RENAULT IS A SMART CHOICE.” WE SAY, “IT IS SMARTER WITH MINIMUM  50%  BUY BACK AFTER 3 YEARS*.”

KOLEOS

SAFRANE

LOGAN ‹4VKLSZ‹@LHY24*VTWYLOLUZP]L=LOPJSL4HPU[LUHUJL‹-YLL0UZ\YHUJL ‹-YLL9LNPZ[YH[PVU‹([[YHJ[P]L,_JOHUNL6MMLY(]HPSHISL

Renault Always Gives You More. Buy a Renault Safrane, Koleos or Logan and we guarantee that we’ll buy it back from you - at least 50% of the initial cost, after 3 years. So, you can really relax and enjoy your car, confident in the knowledge that, while Renault’s world-leading safety features keeps you safe on the road - our resale guarantee keeps your investment safe too.  This offer is valid till 19-12-2009 *Conditions apply ** Whichever is earlier


NEWS, ETC.

Lifestyle… For Kids Only

Did you know there’s a new kids’ store in Oman? Well, there is and it’s called Wenice, which is one of the world’s most innovative fashion brands for children. They inaugurated its first boutique outlet in Oman at the Muscat City Centre recently. Wenice was launched in Oman by Hareer Retail LLC, a Mohammed Al-Harthy Group Company. Wenice Collections are renowned for taking an innovative approach to design, for using raw materials creatively, and also for developing designs by recognising each market’s ethic and cultural tastes. Moms, get shopping now!

Water of Life

This is good news…our favourite bottle of mineral water now comes in convenient sizes. The Oman Oasis Water Company has launched Oman Oasis in 200ml, 500ml, 1.5 and 2 litre pack sizes and the response to the launch has been very positive. The company has also introduced ‘Oxygenated Water’, produced in 1.5 litres and 500ml bottles and now available in hypermarkets and medium sized supermarkets. Easy sizes to carry along, don’t you think? Drink up, people!

Shape Up

Want to shed some pounds/kilos for the upcoming New Year? Get help from VLCC, a premier preventive healthcare services and beauty brand, that’s making quite a splash in Oman. They formally opened a new centre in Al Mawaleh, their second centre in Oman and the thirteenth in the GCC. As an inaugural promotion, VLCC Mawaleh will offer complimentary consultation and one free trial session on their weight loss / body shaping treatment. Check it out, it could actually make your ‘I will lose weight’ NY resolution come true!

10 NOVEMBER 2009

Light but Tough

Looking for some light luggage to ease your travel woes? Samsonite launches Cosmolite, the strongest yet lightest luggage ever! The new Cosmolite offers a mix of durability, incredible lightness and absolute strength without compromising on a modern design. A product of Samsonite’s proprietary and revolutionary ‘Curv’ technology — comprising an innovative and highperformance body, the Cosmolite offers advanced impact resistance and lasting durability. The new technology is designed to guarantee unparalleled strength and lightness and caters at the same time to every traveller’s needs and requirements. Get yourself some, as they say, ‘life’s a journey’ but you can always travel light and safe…

Glam Plus

Lipsticks are not only about colour, are they? Well, Dior is ensuring that they are about skincare as well. They’ve launched Serum de Rouge, a brand-new generation of lipsticks that combine skincare expertise with a passion for colour. Its texture is saturated with active ingredients and enriched with pure pigments in order to lavish the lips with radiant colour and enhance their appearance day after day. Go glam this season, the Dior way!

Ring True

Give your jewellery collection some extra pizzazz. Check out the ‘Possession Entrelacee’ from Piaget — playful and precious rings, entirely caught up in the sheer joy of movement. The bands intermingle, tease and brush against each other in an infinite number of ways. Whether crafted in pink or white gold, the bands dance beneath the fingers and the magic weaves its spell. It is all about spontaneity and joie de vivre, expressed in an infinitely feminine manner. Now who doesn’t want some of that!?

Park here

There is a new eatery in town! And this one has succulent food fresh from the grill! The RBG Grill recently opened at Park Inn and is a bold new concept in hotel dining introduced in the Middle East for the first time. The tempting menu offers a variety of international cuisine and local specialities in addition to signature grill dishes, the best gourmet burgers, light bites, soups, salads, shakes and smoothies.


The Height of Luxury

In a dazzling show, the new Khimji’s Watches showroom was formally inaugurated on October 10, at Shatti Al Qurum by HH Sayyid Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, Minister of Heritage and Culture. The popular Swiss folklore group ‘25 Jahre Jodeldwett Geschwister Rymann’, specially flown in from Switzerland, made the evening come alive with a scintillating performance. Lending a local flavour to the evening was a brilliant display of song and dance by a traditional Omani dance troupe from Sur. A special book on the new Khimji’s Watches showroom, detailing the fascinating interior displays and celebrating the fine nuances that went into making it world-class, was released on the occasion in both Arabic and English versions. For the uninitiated, the new Khimji’s Watches showroom hosts the best brands in the world from high-end watches, jewellery and accessories such as Rolex, Chopard, Cartier, Piaget, IWC, de Grisogono, Chanel, Gérald Genta, Oris, Bell & Ross and Tudor, to Vertu luxury mobile phones and Caran d’Ache writing instruments. The showroom also has an awesome Lunettes (Eyewear) Collection comprising Versace, Bulgari, Tiffany, Mont Blanc and Tom Ford. The new Khimji’s Watches’ premium facility is elegant, spacious and a class apart. You can experience the ambience of grandeur and luxury from the moment you step into the showroom. You need to check out this high-end luxury boutique if you haven’t already…


NEWS, ETC.

Lifestyle…

Step Up

Get a load of this! Clarks has launched its latest collection of shoes, bags and boots for Autumn-Winter 2009. The focus is on clever design realised through uncompromising craftsmanship. In creating the women’s collection, Clarks have developed the theme, subtly evolving classic lines enhanced by a selection of sumptuous leathers and complementary materials. Understated opulence is the watchword in a heady mix of warm colours and tones; such as shades of brown, rust and claret. Burnished, rub-off and high shine finishes add versatility to wearability. Check out Clarks stores at the Muscat City Centre and the Al Khamis Plaza today!

The Whole

Picture

Calling all shutterbugs… professionals and amateurs… here’s something to go ga-ga over! Canon has launched its 12.1 Megapixel Digital IXUS 200 IS that lets you see — and take — the whole picture, with a stunning 24mm ultrawide angle lens with 5x optical zoom. This is the first time a 24mm lens has been featured in a Digital IXUS. This impressive lens with a wider perspective than conventional wide-angle lenses lets you capture stunning landscapes and get everyone in the frame even when shooting large groups of people. The 5x optical zoom also enables you to get close to your subjects for spontaneous portraits and close-ups. It’s also amazingly simple to use. So round up the gang and shoot!

12 NOVEMBER 2009

World Class

This press conference took to the skies, literally! We are talking about the event conducted by Oman Air on board its new A330-300 aircraft. Many thousand feet above the ground, scribes were treated to a wonderful onboard experience with the launch of the airline’s much-anticipated First Class Mini Suite, together with new Business and Economy Class seats, menus and uniforms. The threeclass service has been introduced to a range of routes across Europe and Asia. The six seats in the first class cabin feature 82-inch long, fully-flat beds within a pitch of 85.5 inches, a seat width of 25.5 inches, electrically-operated backrests, leg rests and seat depth controls, and an eight-point massage system and a host of entertainment features. There are 20 business seats with a range of classy features and the Economy Class seats too offer everything the modern traveller needs to stay connected, informed and entertained.

Polynesian Pampering Looking for a total spa experience that rejuvenates both body and mind, at home!? Try the new Polynesia Spa Range from The Body Shop. This exotically fragranced range incorporates invigorating textures and ultra pampering formats to lull the body and mind into a restful, yet deeply refreshed state. This range combines Polynesian beauty traditions with luxurious indigenous ingredients such a Samoan coconut oil and Tahitian Monoi de Tahite, as well as exotic tropical flowers such as pikaki, lotus and frangipani. Truly exotic and refreshing as well!

Just Eight!

The Middle East is often a creative inspiration for many brands, and Oman too is no exception. Now, Mistal, the watch boutique seems to put Oman on the map like never before. Plans are afoot to announce a new collection specially designed for Oman, from the house of Jaquet Droz, a name famous for its limited edition one-off watches, each a novelty piece in itself. What is known till now is that only eight of these watches will be made and presented by the President of Jaquet Droz himself. Apparently inspired by the more mysterious facets of Omani heritage and culture, the look of the watch is said to be completely revolutionary. It is being said that each watch will also be numbered to show that there are only eight of these watches existing. The eight buyers will be presented with the watches at a very private dinner. We can’t wait to have a sneak peek soon!


NEWS, ETC.

Lifestyle…

Practical & Chic

Your choice of electronics brands in the market just got better! The Kuwait-based leading brand of consumer electronics and home appliances, Wansa, is now available in Oman. Wansa, part of the multinational conglomerate Alghanim Group, is being distributed in Oman by market veteran, Muscat Electronics. With over 1400 products across 32 categories, Wansa’s products combine functionality with elegance. The products are feature loaded yet easy to use to meet every domestic need. Check it out soon…

Far Eastern Flavours

Here’s some good news for all foodies like us…Muscat has yet another swanky new eatery — Lemongrass is a new innovative restaurant concept brought to you by Kobe Sizzlers. Located right next to Kobe’s at Qurum near the City Commercial Centre, it offers all kinds of Far Eastern cuisine ranging from spicy Indonesian food to sweet and sour Chinese cuisine and includes Korean and Thai as well. It can seat up to 40 people and offers different dining options from mini meals to different kinds of scrumptious Thai and Chinese starters. The restaurant is open from 12pm to 3pm and from 7pm until midnight. Check it out, we loved the food and the place and are sure you will too!

What a Show!

It was truly a sight to behold. We are talking about the Chopard Exceptional Watches and High Jewellery Exhibition recently held at the newly-opened Khimji’s Watches showroom. The three-day exhibition showcased many pieces from Chopard’s scintillating watch and jewellery collection. The legendary LUC named in honour of its founder, Louis-Ulysee Chopard and the Millie Miglia Chrono and the attractive ladies collection grabbed our attention. We sooo loved the ‘LUC Tourbillon Lady’ watch, Chopard’s first ladies watch that is endowed with the exceptional LUC movement, and has baguette diamonds decorating the entire case besides other outstanding features. The exhibition was made more special with the presence of Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, the co-president of the Chopard group, who was here on a holiday with his family. Hope you did not miss this grand event…

Flower Power

Won’t we all like to have flawless, bright skin! Nuxe addresses our need by offering a simple skincare routine — called the Brightening Program — that moisturises, cleanses and protects our skin. They launched the Program range at a scintillating event at the Diplomatic Club recently. The range uses white crocus, daisy, green tea and mallow that work together to brighten, moisturise and protect our skin. Three work in combination to do the job; the Brightening Extreme Lotion, Brightening Concentrated Lotion and ending with the Brightening Protective Fluid. The product is suitable for all skin types .

Abode of Luxury

The world-renowned Marriott chain of hotels comes to Oman. Dhofar Tourism Company SAOG has partnered with Marriott International to launch the 5-star, 234-room Marriott Resort in Mirbat. Set on the idyllic shores of the Gulf of Oman, the Marriott Resort is scheduled to open at the end of the year. The hotel features well-appointed rooms with guests having a choice of scenic beach or mountain views and a choice of staying in the resort’s main building or in surrounding chalets offering studios and one- and two-bedroom configurations. There are a host of other high-end facilities too. We can’t wait to see it!

14 NOVEMBER 2009


Accolades, Achievements and Updates…

Get Ecological

The role of businesses, institutions and individuals in environmental protection and preservation is invaluable. Responsible and sustainable methods, adoption of environmentally sound technologies, policies and practices – these are what will protect our natural resource. We know there are people, and organisations, that have been doing their bit. We know they’ve had a genuine concern for the future of our generations. And we want to recognise and honor them. The 2009 Oman Green Awards (OGA), an initiative supported by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, the Ministry of Health (Department of Environmental and Occupational Health) and the Environment Society of Oman, is a beginning in the direction. OGA will honour voluntary efforts and achievements by organisations, big and small and by individuals. A company can nominate itself any of the eight categories by using a simple online nomination process through www.oeronline.com/greenawards. If you are not sure about the award categories to nominate your company under you could still enter the competition by listing the activities taken in the the area of environment preservation, and we will guide you in the nomination process. Access is also available to The Green Champion Award form for individual nominations. An independent panel of judges — experts in the field of environmental initiatives — will judge the entries. All you need to do is go to the special website – www.oeronline.com/ greenawards - and register yourself immediately! We cannot do enough, people, so let’s do our very best!

It Pays to be Aware!

October as we all know was Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And to spread the message across, On October 27, the National Association for Cancer Awareness (NACA) organised a 3km walkathon from the Ministries Area in Al Khuwair. Around 4,000 people turned up for the walk to pass on the message, ‘Together We Care’. Apart from women, it was heart-warming to see men, teenagers and children join the cause. Apart from Breast Cancer Awareness, the NACA emphasised that the event was also a spotlight on all types of cancers in general and in particular on those to which women were susceptible. More power to such initiatives!

Get the Info

Did you know Omantel now has a new website? With several digital services and links, it provides subscribers with privacy, security and diverse services at the same time. It offers each surfer a private account; once the surfer has registered her information through the online services portal, she gets a username and a password. She can then add her telephone numbers and all internet accounts. Through this account, a subscriber can also enjoy the facility of electronic payment. Now info is a click away!

Lookin’ Good!

Popular model Sami Al Zadjali sure is making waves! He recently won the Splash Model of the Month contest in August. With that he becomes the second participant from Oman to have won this online contest on www.splashfashions.com. He, like all the other title winners of various months, now stands to win a chance to walk down the ramp in one of the glamorous Splash fashion shows. He also received a cool gift voucher at the Splash store at Muscat City Centre. Way to go, Sami!

To Be the Best

This is yet another feather in the cap for Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa! It has been awarded the ‘Best Resort Hotel’ during the Business Traveller Awards 2009 held at London recently. Voted by discerning readers of Business Traveller UK magazine, these awards cover a range of essential categories including favourite airlines, airports, hotels and car rental companies and are an important recognition of achievement and exceptional levels of quality and service. Very cool, people!

NOVEMBER 2009 15


Y SPACE UR Al Mar’a invites you to bring home some changes this festive season…

Minimalistic, opulent, classy, warm, inviting, spacious, luxurious, open, cosy, clean, welcoming, simple… these are just some of the words we use to describe a home. We have such varied tastes and that’s the beauty of it. Some of us have homes that are simple and traditional, some of us love the chrome and glass look, others choose to go very contemporary and trendy, some love antiques and the old-world charm, some homes are practical, some are cheerful and messy, and some are just plain confusing! In fact, if you were to sell/ buy/rent a house you would pay attention to an ad that used the right words to describe the property besides the price and the location. Our homes do speak volumes about us. Even if you don’t know a person, when you walk into someone’s home you know if they have children or pets. If they are collectors of fine crystal, art, antiques, love their gadgets or are not planning on being here for long… In this special section, we present to you a few ideas, accessories, furniture and other products that you could use to fill that gap in the living area or the bedroom or the children’s room. You could probably want to add an item or two to your garden or terrace/balcony … So take you time with each page, we’ve broken them up according to rooms for your benefit. We’ll leave you to it now… happy shopping and happy decorating!

NOVEMBER 2009 17


Home Improvement Special — Living Room/Majlis

Live it Up! 18 NOVEMBER 2009

Mukul Goyal Candy ID bowl from EasyLife

Incense burner from Bait Al Attar Al Arabi

The living room is where you spend most of your time at home, entertaining guests or simply lounging around. How about giving a traditional makeover to the most important room in the house? Choose from these simple ideas to give your home a Middle Eastern twist. Or if you like a contemporary feel, these accessories will do the trick. Mix and match for best results!


Grassoler furniture from Home `House

Flea markets and antique shops are great sources for pictures and unusual decorations for your walls and shelves.

Grassoler furniture from Home House

Lizlon-Konsol vase from EasyLife


Home Improvement Special — Living Room/Majlis

Decorative stand from Tavola

Han

shmiri ca dcrafted Ka

rpet from M

ajid Trading

Buy seasonal decorating items after the season ends and store them for next year. It’s a great way to get beautiful items at a deep discount.


Leather sofa set from Marina Furniture

Indian Velvet throw from Marina

Add colourful tassels to pillows, throws, curtains, lamps, to create an ornate look.

Kahwa pot and Candy Container from Tavola

Rosewood Arabic diwan from Majid Trading

NOVEMBER 2009 21


Home Improvement Special-BEDROOM

ntre

me Ce

om

Bedro

m Ho set fro

22 NOVEMBER 2009

The bedroom is your space to unwind, relax and a place to destress at the end of a long day‌ Choose from a range of bedroom furniture and accessories that not only reflect your personal and individual style but are trendy and chic as well! Vases Sophia from ID Design

Spiral Triple SP3 - Pendant Gold from ID Desigh

Serene Sanctuary


Bedroom Set from ID Design

Malak Lamp from Khimji’s Bait Al Ahlam

Bedroom set from Khimji’s Bait Al Ahlam

As far as lamps go, a single, sleek lamp on your night stand will set the mood for a relaxing evening.


`Kids room furniture from Home Centre

Home Improvement Special - CHILDREN’S ROOM

Kids’ Stuff! Curver Decor Storage box for kids from EasyLife

24 NOVEMBER 2009

Storage boxes for kids from Home Centre

Doll from Samahram

Presenting some bright, fun, cheery furniture and accessories for your little darling’s room. Pick up some of these ideas and surprise them this Eid/ Christmas/New Year!


Doll from Samahram Kids’ room furniture from Samahram

Fill the room with colourful rugs and bright, little cushions for a soft, cosy look. And never forget the all-important night-light. Make sure it lends the room a warm, snug, relaxed feel.

Paintings from Home Centre

Kids room furniture from Khimji’s Bait Al Ahlam


Home Improvement Special - kitchen

SieMatic Kitchen from Khimji’s Bait Al Ahlam

From Royal Kitchen

Kitchen Central! Want a funky, modern kitchen? Or a simple, traditional one? How about some very cool accessories to go with it? Here’s the lowdown on what’s new on the kitchen scene... Happy cooking!

Kitchens are moving away from the classic appliance triangle and towards work/ task areas. In larger kitchens, you can find zoned areas, for salad making, baking and cooking, etc.

SieMatic Kitchen from Khimji’s Bait Al Ahlam

26 NOVEMBER 2009


From Royal Kitchen

NOVEMBER 2009 27


Baking Bowls from Home Centre

Magnetic Salt and pepper shaker from Home Centre

Home Improvement Special - KITCHEN

Cutting boards come in a wide variety of styles and designs. The main purpose of a cutting board is to give the cook a solid cutting surface that won’t damage the knife and be easily cleaned.

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Knife and Cutting Board from Home Centre

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28 NOVEMBER 2009

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Flower Dream collection from Villeroy & Boch Flower Dream collection from Villeroy & Boch

KENWOOD Major Classic Kitchen Machine from Capital Store

Blender from ID Design

Decorate your appliances too with beautiful decorative panels.

Food cover from Home Centre

Tea set from Home Centre

NOVEMBER 2009 29


Dining room furniture from Khimji’s Bait Al Ahlam

Dine in Style

Looking for some furniture for your dining room... Here are some very cool options!

Dining room furniture from Furniture Village

Dining room furniture from Khimji’s Bait Al Ahlam

Home Improvement Special - Dining Area

30 NOVEMBER 2009


Home Improvement Special - BATHROOM

Bath accessories from Home Centre

When selecting fixtures for your bathroom, keep in mind they are going into a small space. Choose simple designs made from smooth surfaces, such as ceramic and marble, and opt for light, neutral tones.

Roca one-lever tap from Khimji’s Bait Al Ahlam

Want to jazz up the bathroom? Here are a few accessories that will help you give the bathroom a spanking, new look!

From Mundane

to Swanky

Broadway Family Spa from Roca - Khimji’s Bait Al Ahlam

ma Khro new n s ’ a Roc ctio From om Colle o r Bath

32 NOVEMBER 2009


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Home Improvement Special - outdoor

Solar Light Oriental from Home Centre

If your home is where your heart is, a part of your heart will definitely be in the open spaces, i.e, your balcony or garden. Here are some products/accessories that will make your outdoor space look even more beautiful and inviting!

Mukul Goyal ID flower vase from EasyLife

Free Space!

Hammock lounge from Home Centre

34 NOVEMBER 2009


Swing Chair from Home Centre

Carved rosewood swing from Majid Trading

Accessorise intelligently. Canvas pillows are a perfect way to brighten up an old lounge chair or a washed out wicker seat. Have fun experimenting with different styles, Dedon outdoor furniture from Home House


FEATURE

Colour Coding Painting your walls anew can dramatically transform your entire home. Shinuna Said Al Esry, Chief Designer, Dar Al Mahara Eng. Designers and Consultancy tells us how to pick the right colours for rooms that complement the décor as well

P

icking the right colours cannot only bring out the best features of the house but can also hide design flaws and lend your home a balanced look. A colour which might seem right for your living room might not have the same effect in your bedroom. Here’s how you can get it right…

The Living Room: Modern trends for Living

Room colours are currently vibrant especially in young trendsetting homes where experimentation with a variety of colours is in one room rather than the typical one colour per room. Beiges and whites have been cast away as mundane and outdated while vibrant oranges, reds, yellow, sapphire blue encrusted with gold have stepped in the living room. Even furniture follows suit with colourful throws with inspiration from India, the Middle East and other exotic places.

Dining Details: Currently, many people are opting for open plans where the dining room is an extension of a kitchen with just different colour zones and /or levels to separate the areas. As for the kitchen, many opt for warm colours and slowly tone it down when coming in to the dining area. The Dream Bathroom: With contemporary bathroom fittings and a large variety of tiles available one can easily have the fantasy bathroom of their dreams today. Cool modern tones are accentuated with blues, greys, silver, and even black, while warm thematic tones are best done in gold, reds, yellows and orange tones. Child’s Play: A kid’s room should be vibrant

with animated themes but do ensure one wall, especially the one that they face while going to sleep, is a soothing suitable pastel for boys and girls.

36 NOVEMBER 2009


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IMD Feature

38 NOVEMBER 2009

Dishing the Dirt


W

omen have been discredited for years as gossipmongers. Men, we’re told, never gossip. They network… ‘Fess up, boys. The jig is up! And I don’t care what you call it — locker room talk, information exchange vital to the economy, if it’s about other people and it hasn’t been officially confirmed by the people themselves or through photographic evidence. I’m going to set the record straight — it’s gossip! And I’ll also be the first to admit, I enjoy a good, long goss session with my best girl friends, going over who’s done what (or other alternatives). Although I try not to pass information along, sometimes, if it’s harmless and I haven’t taken a vow of silence, the opportunity is just too delicious to pass up. There’s something about the way people’s eyes light up when they hear a really juicy piece of news. And who am I to deny someone that pleasure? It’s always bugged me however that my male counterparts seem to enjoy the reputation that they’re above it. Male genetic makeup, I’ve heard, is anti-gossip. A part of me has never believed it. Mainly because

men are human, aren’t they? And honestly how interesting can video games, cars and sports really be? Varied research and proven studies show however, that men do indeed gossip. It’s simply the way that they go about it, that differs from their female counterparts. The genius of it is that men are totally upfront about their chitchat and so no one stops to go — “Hang on, you’re gossiping!” Women, being the subtler sex, skirt around the topic, they imply things rather than say them out loud, and always, always start/end their conversations with “She’s a nice girl but…” or “I don’t want to sound mean but…” It’s the subtlety that brings us down ladies! We are secretive therefore we are guilty. It’s a sad state of affairs, but there you have it. Ladies (and the gentlemen in the back) listen up, for these are extremely interesting and enlightening facts about gossip…

Fact No. 1

: According to a study by the Social Issues Research Centre, a non-profit think-tank in England, 33 per cent of men gossip every day as opposed to 26 per cent of women. Well, that’s a hell of a starter isn’t it? I’m tempted to stick my tongue out and go “nyah, nyah-nyah nyah, nyah!” but that would be immature. You do have it coming though…

Fact No. 2:

Men are more likely to share their gossip with female friends, their partners or their work colleagues. Alternatively women chose close relatives or close best friends as their gossip partners. That gaggle of guys surrounding the water cooler? Chances are, they’re not just talking about last night’s match.

Indulging in some good ol’gossip isn’t a woman’s prerogative alone. Men like to gossip too avers Mahreen Sohail.

Fact No. 3:

Men gossip about politics, business and other intellectual topics less than 5 per cent of the time. Research also shows that talk about highbrow topics increases by 15 to 20 per cent whenever there are women around. I don’t know whether I should be flattered or annoyed…

Fact No. 4:

Men spend much more time talking about themselves than woman do. And we thought we were bad. However, just for the record, I feel that gossip gets a bad name sometimes. A little self absorption is a good thing. We’re not asking you to go around spilling your latelate grandmother’s daughter’s niece’s secrets but airing your issues and concerns with close friends once in a while is a good thing!

Fact No. 5:

Varied research shows that only about 5 to 33 percent of gossip is negative or critical. Before you guys go around punching the air, vindicated, I’d just like to say that this fact applies to both genders! Chit chat doesn’t always have to be negative, guys, or something to be ashamed of… As I wrote this feature, I thought after I was done researching that gossip is something both genders engage in, I’d also try figuring out why exactly men gossip. And then it hit me. Men probably engage in gossip for the same reason as women. It’s fun, it’s entertaining, you share news and information, it’s a good way to vent and catch up with each other’s lives. Finally, gossip can also be a warning sign. Innocent until proven guilty sure, but remember, there’s generally no smoke without fire. Gossip can warn you of approaching bad news, bad people or even bad weather. We’re not saying believe everything you hear. But it might be a good idea to be a teensy-weensy bit wary sometimes. So there you have it lads. Though, we’ve established irrevocably that you do indeed gossip, we don’t necessarily think you’re the worse off for it. I think Barbara Walter said it the best when she said, “Show me someone who never gossips, and I’ll show you someone who isn’t interested in people”. It’s just that it’s about time you guys owned up to it.n

NOVEMBER 2009 39


IMD Special Feature

On the occasion of International Men’s Day, we asked a few men in town who they thought was the most important woman/en in their lives. Here are their heartfelt tributes…

Salutations Appreciation

L

ast year, we had women speaking to us on the most important men in their lives. This year, we turn

40 NOVEMBER 2009

the tables and ask men to talk about the most woman/en in their lives. Here are some tributes — words from the heart!


“I have been blessed with three important women in my life. My mother, my wife Rachel and my daughter Ashley. I respect my mother for instilling the values, patience and open mindedness required daily in my job, for putting up with three kids who had completely different characters. She has been supporting us and until today does not shy away from telling us when something is not right — I guess for a mother we will always be her children and never the General Manager of a Five Star hotel. My wife, Rachel, the love of my life, for almost single-handedly raising our beautiful two kids, and accepting a husband that leaves home in the mornings and hardly ever sits at the dinner table. Our little girl Ashley, who is the sunshine of our days and reminds me of what

is my nt woman in my life “The most importa ask u yo n he W . er Alka spouse, my life partn ubt do no ely ut sol re is ab me this question, the my o that person is in in my mind as to wh ted pla em nt co r ve I had ne life. But I realised st mo the lds ho n this woma why I believe that l. Is heart, mind and sou special place in my it Is ? me d un aro olves it because her life rev es do e sh n tha re me mo because she cares for Is ? rld wo s thi in ody else for herself or anyb d an y lit ibi ns po res ake on it because she can t on her a scowl or a frown multitask without dige she exudes natural face? Or is it becaus meanher persona and de nity and grace with that. s much more than our? No, I think it’ e cares sh t tha t fac st is the What I admire mo engage t for all those who not for me alone bu at ple refrain ‘Let me with her, with a sim thout wi y’, cit pa ca is in my least do whatever that reciprocity; the fact any expectations of nts academic achieveme in spite of her vast  heart ains  ‘innocent’ at and prowess, she rem ing; the duplicity and cunn with not a trace of reer being a ‘modern ca fact that in spite of that ofessional pressures woman’, facing pr rtals, she nd of ordinary mo would sway the mi t. And and chaste in spiri can remain so pure th divine of being blessed wi above all, in spite d for ‘human’! Thank Go qualities, she is so that!” Rajiv Ahuja Communications Head - Corporate Khimji Ramdas

is truly important in life with her inquisitive character and her clever way of looking at the world.” Christoph K. Franzen General Manager Grand Hyatt Muscat

“Heaven lies under the foot of the mother (woman) says the ‘Hadeeth’; women are the cornerstones of the foundation on which our lives are built today. I am both proud and thankful to Allah for having blessed me with the best combination of three special women in my family, namely, Safiya (my mother), Nashat (my wife), and Daniya (my daughter). My mother Safiya brought me into this world, and looked after and pampered me in this life. Without my mother’s everlasting prayers, guidance and care, I would have not been where I’m today. Behind every successful man is a woman, and that woman is my wife Nashat, whose love, support and care for me, and our children, shaped my life. Last but not least is my daughter Daniya, whose blessings not only led to my going to my first ‘Umra’ recently, but fulfilling other important deeds as well. She puts a smile on not just my face but my son Hilal’s as well, at home every night and day! Tariq Hilal Al-Barwani Founder and President, KnowledgeOman.com

“The most important woman in my life is a very important Oommen in my life. On Octo ber 28, 2009, I complete ten years of marr iage to my wife, Mary Oommen. And it has been an eventful journey, replete with the usua l ups and downs and one that we have traversed beautifully. The qualities that make my wife so speci al are numerous; she is genuinely affectiona te, warm, understanding and resilient. Not only has she tolerated my variegated tempers and demanding work schedule, she chose to sacrifice a substantial part of her working years at a crucial juncture in her upwardly mobile career to ensure undivided attention and care to our two children. Apart from being a great friend, she has also proven to be an invaluable guide to me over the years, thanks to her rare combination of balanced

thinking and strong intuition. All in all, I can only say, ‘There’s something about Mar y’!” Johnny Oommen Head of Operations Al Jenaibi International Automobiles


FEATURE

Say Cheese! Rami Al Lawati and wife Huda are the driving forces behind ProShots, the first digital arts centre in Oman. Here’s a look at their totally amazing and fun work…

M

arriage is about supporting each other at all times! But some couples go beyond that and life at home, and poke their noses into each other’s businesses, literally! And thank God for that! Else we wouldn’t have Rami and Huda Al Lawati and ProShots — one of the top digital arts ventures in town today.

42 NOVEMBER 2009

Rami had always dreamt of being a photographer and initially, he took it up as a hobby. Meanwhile, he pursued his studies in finance in Australia and later earned an MBA from the UK. Once back in Oman, he also worked with Omantel for a few years. Huda did her studies in multimedia and currently is also a Lecturer at the Technical College.


FEATURE The thing is you can’t hold a shutterbug down too long and not one with a cherished dream... and that was how a hobby turned into a full-time profession. The couple set up ProShots — a one-stop shop offering a variety of creative services like photography, videography, montages, digital albums and 3D advertising. So what’s special about ProShots? Well, they’re innovative, creative and a whole load of fun! Whether it’s a family portrait, photographs of young ones or babies, the professional crew ensures that your personality is captured in the best light possible. Their Wedding Photography

44 NOVEMBER 2009

Package is also quite a hit because an honest effort is made to capture every moment for posterity — of every event leading to the wedding, and the wedding itself. For tourists looking to illustrate their Omani experience, ProShots provides traditional settings including authentic costumes, to enhance the whole cultural experience. These photographs then become precious keepsakes. And what’s Huda’s role in all of this? She supervises photography sessions for children, newborns and families. Rami

looks after the management aspects of the company. ProShots also has a crew of 16 professionals! ProShots also offers an Art Gallery, Frames, Digital Albums and Hand and Foot Casting to complete their portfolio of products. This is one couple who sure are busy minding their own business, and having fun while they’re at it too! (The following is a portfolio of select photographs from ProShots)


Event

e u r T The of Style t i r i p S The third ‘Authenticity Speaks’ fashion competition organised by the Layali Al Asalah brought to the limelight some breathtakingly beautiful designs...

W

hen it comes to original designs, creativity speaks volumes! And it’s this creativity that was unleashed in full force at the third annual ‘When Authenticity Speaks’ competition organised by the Layali Al Asalah Fashion Company. The theme of this year’s fashion contest was ‘A Wedding of Cultures’. Twelve designs from 11 young Omani designers were presented during the scintillating evening where fashion fused with art and culture, enrapturing a packed audience. The designs combined the influences of Turkish, Omani and Zanzibari fashion. The eleven competitors competed in four categories — ‘jalabiyas’, children’s wear, accessories and wedding gowns. Prizes were awarded for the Best Design, Best Innovation, the Jury Overall Favourite and the Audience’s Favourite that was decided by voting through SMS. Apart from a trophy, the prize included a scholarship to the University of Milan to study fashion design. Mariam Al Khusaibi won prizes for being the Judges’ and the Audience’s Favourite for her ‘jalabiya’ design. Basma Al Harthy won the Best Design award for her stylish handbag while Samia Al Busaidi won the Best Innovation prize for her traditional Omani bags. The show also featured the latest collection by renowned Saudi fashion designer Amina Jassim. The competition was held under the patronage of Fakhria bin Khamis Al Ajmi, the first Omani actress. All in all, it was an exciting evening, a showcase of originality and awesome creativity! (Al Mar’a was a media sponsor of the event.)

46 NOVEMBER 2009


Special Report

The Symposium on Omani Women, held from October 17-19 at the Royal Camp at Saih Al Makarem in Sohar was a great success. Women continue to be a focal point in Oman with equal rights and opportunities.... Al Mar’a was there and presents a report.

T

he three-day symposium, which took place under the Directives of His Majesty, Sultan Qaboos Bin Said was organised by the Ministry of Social Development and fully devoted to women in society. The symposium, chaired by Higher Education Minister, H.E. Dr Rawya Bint Saud Al Busaidiya, was attended by Ministers, UnderSecretaries, Members of the Majlis Addawla and the Majlis Ash’shura, Shaikhs and dignitaries, experts, representatives of the private sector and civil society institutions and a large gathering of women and those concerned with their status in the sustainable development process.

48 NOVEMBER 2009

The goals of the event were: • Appreciation of women (as partners in nation-building) • Highlighting the progress achieved in women-related human resources indicators in Oman; defining targets hoped to be achieved and the impact of social policies being adopted. • Highlighting the contribution of women in economic and social development • Eliminating any misconceptions or negative practices related to women’s participation in the Majlis Ash’shura elections (the activities of women as voters and candidates). • Assessing the performance of women in


the Majlis Ash’shura • Addressing any difficulties obstructing the expansion of women’s participation in all areas

The themes of the event were: • The pioneering social role of Omani women • Omani women in the economic field and in business (as entrepreneurs) • Omani women and Majlis Ash’shura • Omani women and legislations The themes were discussed in seven papers and five reviews of experiences taking up the issue of women as partners in the country’s comprehensive development. The papers were presented in morning sessions which were presided over by the Ministers. They were followed by evening workshops under the auspices of the Under-Secretaries. The aim was to draft recommendations for the formulation of specific working plans and future visions. The issues covered at the Symposium

included laws and systems related to women, skill development for participation of women in the Majlis Ash’shura, women’s participation in the workplace and in economic projects, financing and encouraging of social initiatives in implementation of the principle of social partnership between different sectors, reinforcing the culture of voluntary work and training in areas related to the affairs of women, the family and society. The concluding day of the symposium was a happy occasion. H.E. Dr Sharifa Bint Khalfan Al Yahya’eeya, Minister of Social Development, announced two Royal Grants in support of Omani Women’s Associations and scholarship for girls. “The Royal Directives grant the setting up of permanent headquarters for Omani Women’s Associations (OWA) that do not have permanent buildings, and to raise government support allocations to OWA. This Royal Grant has been issued in recognition of the Omani women’s efforts and contribution to nation-building,” she said.

The second Royal Grant will provide annual scholarships for girls who are holders of Secondary School Diploma Certificates to study at private higher education institutions. This educational grant allocates full scholarships for 500 girls who obtain grades of 80 per cent and above and have not had the opportunity to be admitted at government higher education institutions. It was also announced at the Symposium that His Majesty, the Sultan has designated October 17 as Omani Women’s Day — to celebrate the achievements of Omani women. The Day will be celebrated under different themes to address diverse aspects related to Omani women, family and the society as a whole. In a country where women play a major role in all sectors of society, the Symposium on Omani Women has given them wings.... to soar high and make a huge mark in the development of the Sultanate as a whole!n

NOVEMBER 2009 49


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Sublimage from PRECISION CHANEL

Enjoy the beauty of your face and skin, whatever your age! Chanel Precision makes this possible, thanks to the first polyfractionated active ingredient in the range: Planifolia PFA. The power of this ingredient radiates at the heart of Sublimage, a complete line of exceptional skincare products, a cream whose intensive regenerating performance makes its truly luxurious. Offering comfort and pure well-being. Available at Khimji’s Luxury & Lifestyle.


ManDate Presenting the

male point of view… It tells us

that not all

of them

are from Mars! The man: Mukesh Luthra, Chairman, VLCC Career path:

Have always been working with women and for women. I started my career in the fashion industry, buying garments for a lot of major labels and was associated with JC Penney’s and Macy’s. I joined VLCC, my wife’s business in the year 2000. Once she made the entire thing into a successful delivery process brand, we started planning a business model and started growing, spreading our wings wide.   Mantra in life: Look good. Be healthy.   Chill out zone: Being with my family which I get to be with rarely.

An ideal day would be: Just lazing around,

reading newspapers and magazines and eating good food once in a while.

Beats stress by: Doing a bit of physical activity, playing and watching cricket.  

Can’t live without: Work; but I am not a workaholic.

 

Loves listening to:

Old Hindi songs with beautiful

lyrics.

 

Being a father/husband means:

I have two daughters and I keep telling myself ‘daughters are daughters all their lives and sons are sons till they get their wives.’ So it is fantastic to have them. Also being the husband of a successful woman in business feels good.   Right now he‘s reading: Books on nutrition and healthcare... and also reading balance sheets!

Dream destination:

Greece

A really cool movie: Any movie that makes me laugh.

Fave food: French cuisine  

Women are: An inspiration, they are powerful in terms of what they can do; they are much more patient and stable.

Last word: happy life.

Eat well, be healthy and enjoy a long and

NOVEMBER 2009 (Rekha Baala met Mukesh51 Luthra)


Wellbeing

d e s i g r e n s E e m H 56 NOVEMBER 2009


d

People from positive homes evolve and are a happy lot. Infusing our homes with positive energy should be our primary responsibility, says Dr Prema Seshadri.

M

ore than a decade ago, a simple message from my spiritual master impacted me with the enormity of the responsibility. The pledge was to carry a blissful and peaceful energy into not just every home that we enter but also into every city that we visit. So, there is something in us humans which is very empowering — the bundle of energy that we are, can never be emphasised enough. This energy brings about life, defines life, and decides the quality of life. The study of energy as a discipline was reflected upon several thousand years ago and voluminous literature exist as a testament to the importance given to it. An oft-used Sanskrit terminology is ‘Prana’, a subtle life-force energy which flows in the human body through a network of channels, centres, cells, blood, and body fluids. ‘Prana’ was first propounded in the ancient Hindu scriptures called the ‘Upanishads’ where it has been described as part of the worldly physical realm sustaining the body, and the mother of thought and thus also of the mind. It is interesting that this concept is not just restricted to Hindu philosophy but has been embraced by different cultures around the world. In Japan it is called ‘Ki’ while in China it is called by the better known ‘Chi’. In Greece, it is called ‘Pneuma’ while in the Polynesian culture it is known as ‘Mana’. It is mentioned as ‘Ruah’ — the breath of life — in the Old Testament. Sufis have spoken of 9 or 11 energy points in one’s subtle body that vibrate when we take our consciousness to the same rate of vibration as of an energy point. Doing so thus raises energies to positive levels. ‘Prana’ or ‘Chi’ not only affects the inner environment but also the outer.

The function and efficacy of the flow of energy decides our physiological and psychological health variously manifested through our reflex actions, emotional responses, mental processes, interactions, and behaviour patterns. This subtle life force energy is so very understated and intangible that it is best understood in the popular dilemma experienced by many who have had a so-called good eight hours of sleep but wake up tired, sluggish, and in a blue mood. So, while the physical energy has been taken care of, the subtle energy needs attention. When not nourished, it leads to a diseased energy going on an unfettered viral spin touching and tainting everything on its way. Walk into some homes and one feels the tension and stress so powerful that to the uninitiated it is perplexing and uncomfortable. But the discerning will instinctively don the protective armour. Inadvertently and unconsciously we are sending out messages and signals and these have obscurely been described as body language or such like. Little wonder that hospital precincts do not bring about cheer. In fact, one often feels depleted and depressed after a visit to the hospital. On the other hand places of worship have a soothing and calming effect. Above all, it raises the energy to bring about a sense of hope and vigour. It only stands to reason that in homes where the energies are not healthy and positive, the food too tends to lack the taste, the nutrition and the appeal. Often, the food eaten in such places tend to affect digestion adversely. It is an interesting exercise to see how the energies are in the various supermarket sections. Many people have experienced a lowered energy when they are in the frozen or meat sections. A visit to an open vegetable

market has always raised my own feeling of wellness. There is a wealth of meaning to many of the ancient practices. They were set up and followed to ensure a home environment that was conducive to the building and functioning of a healthy body and mind. All yogic practices are directed towards achieving this goal. They are aimed at purging the system of toxins, building an equanimous temperament, strengthening the inner immune system, and providing the wisdom and values to lead a centred life, infusing our homes with positive energy should be our primary responsibility. Open communication, respecting diverse ideas and opinions, and enjoying the differences of the various people in the house is crucial to creating a consciousness that illumines an oneness, a bonding. People from positive homes evolve and are a happy lot. Their ability to stand tall in the face of challenges and ride over any difficulty stems from the supporting energy that comes from within their homes. They are also the ones who reach out to those who are not so fortunate and bring them solace. A cheerful home makes for cheerful people, who enjoy unequivocal enthusiasm, regardless of how or what. There are many ways of creating positive energy in the house. Using the natural energy in the house and moving a few things around would help in a big way. There are many experts who can guide and help. Keeping the house uncluttered is very important. Lessen the tendency to buy and hoard and that would go a long way in creating a positive energy inside and out. Meditation and ancient breathing techniques are some of the best ways to create a positive energy to enhance health and make life truly satisfying.n

NOVEMBER 2009 57


Beauty Buzz

Nuxe is a unique brand that combines nature, performance and sensuality says Geraldine Pra. Rekha Baala finds out more…

Beautiful, Naturally! Geraldine Pra, the International Product Training Manager at Nuxe tells us all about the brand she represents, what she thinks beauty is all about and everything about the new Brightening Program from Nuxe… Geraldine was in Oman for the launch of the ‘Brightening Program’ Range from Nuxe available at Muscat Pharmacy.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

“My experience is based on dermocosmetic products. I have been working with Nuxe as International Product Manager for almost two years. I work with our partners to implement the brand in their countries and develop marketing strategies. Before Nuxe, I worked with the Pierre Laboratory for two years. After six months at the headquarters, I worked for a year-and-a-half at their Canadian subsidiary to support the launch of some ranges in the Canadian market.”

So what is the Nuxe difference?

“Nuxe is a unique brand that combines nature, performance and sensuality and offers high quality and efficient

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products at excellent value for money through pharmacies. The products offer a glamorous and poetic image as well... something that never happened before in a pharmacy which is still considered a technical and scientific environment.”

Who is your target consumer?

“Nuxe is a trans-generational brand that can be used by all women, from all ages, of any skin type. Our complete portfolio of face care goes from hydration to anti-aging (first wrinkles, expression lines, deep wrinkles and loss of density), from 18 to over 60 years old. Our final consumer is usually a woman who looks for natural products, with safe and efficient formulas but also pleasurable textures and fragrances. They like Nuxe because it has a modern, feminine image, very different from usual dermo-cosmetic brands. Men, who are now much more aware of the need for skincare, are also fans of Nuxe products for their performance and the pleasure of use. The 24 hydration range, Crème Fraîche de Beauté or the Nourishing and repairing Huile Prodigieuse have become part of their daily beauty routine.”

So many foreign brands are not suited for Middle Eastern and Asian skin. How has Nuxe addressed this problem?

“To be a brand suitable for Asian skin, you need to adapt your product offers and formulae. Nuxe Laboratory led a long-time research on the power of the white crocus flower that, we discovered, has the power to block the production of melanin. Based on this discovery, Nuxe has developed a complete Brightening Program, adapted to Asian and Middle Eastern skin needs that give visible results on the skin in less than one month.”

How would you describe the skin

of Arab women?

“Arab skin faces harsh climatic conditions like high temperature, dry winds and pollution. As a reaction against these climatic factors, the skin protects itself like a shield, becoming thicker and creating sebum which makes it dark and dull. It is therefore important to cleanse and moisturise the skin with a light, nongreasy cream. A well-hydrated skin looks more luminous and translucent. It is also important to keep it away from the sun and UV rays that accelerate cutaneous ageing and can lead to an anarchic production of melanin and pigmentary dark spots.”

What products, from the Nuxe range, would you say are musthaves?

“Huile Prodigieuse has remained the brand’s cult product since its creation in 1989. It is an original and exclusive concept of a multi-usage/multi-function dry oil for hair, body and face that nourishes, repairs and softens thanks to its unique concentration of 30 per cent precious plant oils (borage, hypericum, sweet almond, hazelnut and macadamia). With the years, the product has become a worldwide success and that includes the Golden Shimmer version, a must-have for women (one sells every 11 seconds!). Other popular products include the Reve de Miel Lip Balm with its nourishing and repairing formula made of delightful natural ingredients (honey, precious plant oils, shea butter, grapefruit essence and Vitamin E) and the Crème Nirvanesque (soothing care with blue lotus and poppy seeds for first wrinkles.)”

How can one get the best results out of your new Brightening Program?

“The Program offers brightness and clarity from the very first month of use, thanks to

its ‘high-flowers’ performance. It is a real skincare method based on three products: The Extreme Lotion, The Concentrated Essence and The Protective Fluid, to be used in synergy, to moisturise, correct and protect.”

Fairness creams don’t really make you fair… do they?

“For its Brightening Program, Nuxe has based its research on the diminution and reduction of dark spots (white crocus patent) in order to get a more even complexion that leads to a clearer, more translucent, brighter skin… not to be misunderstood with a whiter skin (change of skin colour).”

What, according, to you, is a ‘healthy’ way of life?

“A few simple steps make a big difference. Try to get enough sleep (to avoid puffy eyes and dark circles), walk at least 20 minutes a day (for shaping up and oxygenating the heart) and avoid smoking since it dries and dulls the skin and complexion. Also avoid stress and follow a healthy diet (choose fish over meat as it is full of Omega-3, essential fatty acids good for health and skin). Drink water all day long to hydrate and help detoxify and when cooking, avoid too much salt and too much oil (terrible for water retention and cellulite).”

‘Beauty is not just about having a fair complexion!’ What is your take on this?

Having a fair complexion is not a standard of beauty (Cleopatra was considered the most beautiful woman of her time!); it is more a question of culture and mentality. Whatever the colour of your skin is, beauty is also a question of a healthy life and a healthy diet and also a healthy treatment of the skin.” n

NOVEMBER 2009 59


Top Drive

Maxed-Out

Style! We love a lit bit of luxury once in a while and if it comes with four wheels, we love it even more! Malcolm X. Crasta takes the all-new Porsche 911 Targa 4S for a spin. Rekha Baala slips into the passenger-seat for an adrenalin rush...

he next time some know-it-all tells us that the only point in having a car is to get from Point A to Point B, we’ll be compelled to tell him to go take a ride. In the new Porsche, that is! There are cars and then there’s a Porsche; a real-attention grabber, on the road and off it too. Even while at the showroom, we couldn’t stop drooling over the beauty... And once we were on the road, the others couldn’t! The 2010 Porsche 911 certainly takes your breath away. The term, ‘headturner’ was tailor-made for this car. Naturally, a short ride just wouldn’t do and thankfully, we had around 10 hours at our disposal to drive this magnificent car. Deadlines were given a miss and assignments were conveniently postponed (Hmmm… Ed). After all, one doesn’t get to test-drive the latest Porsche every day! ‘Our’ Porsche was a Nordic Gold Metallic Targa 4S, truly an eye-catching, headturning colour for the road. It’s lean, muscular and as we would realise, an exceptional driver’s machine as well. Feeling all smug and a tad high and mighty, we stepped into the car with a surge of excitement — Ah! the liberty of

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a day with one of the world’s top cars. Almost immediately we were enveloped by a feeling of luxury what with its plush interiors! The body-hugging leather seats are extremely comfortable and lend a feeling of security at every bend. And with seat ventilation keeping you cool throughout, there’s no other feeling that comes to mind, except total relaxation! This car simply screams — ‘Enjoy the ride!’ Our first stop was to tank up so that we could enjoy the Porsche all day, without any interruptions. The second was to insert the mobile SIM card into the Porsche Communication Management’s Integral

SIM card reader for a total hands-free experience. We weren’t expecting too many calls considering most of our colleagues and friends had already been warned not to disturb us during the Porsche experience (Hmmm… Ed). The Porsche cruised smoothly along the long and winding road as we drove along the road towards the Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa. As we approached the road that would lead us to Yeti and thereafter to the serene lagoons of Bandar Al Khayran, we settled into the ease that the Porsche offered us. We fiddled around a bit trying to understand the Porsche


Communication Management (radio, phone, music controls) et al, while the BOSE Surround Sound System blasted out our fave music. A bottle of water fitted neatly into one of the twin cup holders which are actually neatly concealed behind the dashboard trim. There are other small touches too; compartments in the centre console and door panels to provide all the space you would need for your personal belongings. The spatial design of the Porsche offers many more advantages and comforts. These include a Voice Control System, Anti-theft protection, a 6-disc in-dash CD/

DVD auto changer and a Satellite Changer. And for all you sporty people, you can splurge on performance options such as the Sport Chrono Package Plus, Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes and more. With the weather being good, we decided to let the glass roof slide back (and it did so in just a few seconds) to hear the distinct sound of the engine (sweet music to our ears!). On the narrow road towards our destination, a lot of people gave us the thumbs up sign (we, were after all, the ‘cool people in a Porsche’!) while some even gave way! Speed came naturally as the car zipped through the roads

effortlessly towards the shimmering blue lagoon. The sight of the golden car against the sparkling blue backdrop compelled us to take a quick stop... Talking tech… The 3.8l Boxer engine is a powerful one and packs a solid 385hp punch. It hits 100kmph from standstill in just 4.5 seconds, when connected to Porsche’s version of the Dual Clutch Gearbox, called the Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK). Everyone knows that safety is a given when it comes to high-performance cars. But it’s still important to know what a car offers in terms of safety. The new Porsche 911 Targa 4S is fitted with full-size driver’s and passenger’s airbags and the Porsche Side Impact Protection System, bi-xenon headlights, powerful braking systems, latest tyre pressure monitoring system and more. Rest assured, all are statutory requirements in respect of passenger and occupant safety. It was a long drive, but it just wasn’t enough for car aficionados like us. But then that’s the Porsche for you… you never can have enough of it! If you’re looking to make a purchase of a lifetime, get these wicked wheels, it’s far more gratifying than anything else you could think of, diamonds included! This fast, sure-footed, confidence-inspiring car is a winner all the way!

NOVEMBER 2009 61


AT HOME

Home remedies for everyday troubles… Scorch this

Eggy Beauty

•To remove scorch marks from cotton put a drop of hydrogen peroxide on it and then quickly iron it. Be mindful that this does not apply to severe scorch marks. •Very mild scorch marks can be removed by holding the cloth under a cold tap. • Incidentally most stains can be removed immediately from garments with the help of raw tomato juice. Apply the juice generously with a piece of cloth, rubbing vigorously into the stain. Leave for about half an hour and then wash normally. Sheena. M Wadi Kabir

•An egg can go a long way in closing pores and refreshing the face. First beat up the white of an egg and apply it to the face. When it has dried, beat up the yolk of the egg and apply that on top of that white. When that dries and the skin feels taut wash your face with warm water. •Also give yourself a castor oil massage once in a while. It does wonders for the complexion. After massaging gently, rub an ice cube wrapped in muslin on the face. Wash off with warm water to remove oil. Aliya Al Riyami Ghubra

Tummy Trouble • A teaspoon of ginger juice mixed with a pinch of salt is a good home remedy for diarrhea. It relieves stomach pain and brings the diarrhea under control. • In order to cure indigestion, eat some ajwain (thymol seeds) or mix a little cumin seed (zeera), fresh ginger and curry leaves in hot water. Allow the mixture to brew for a while, add a cup of water and drink it. Tarini Raja Darsait

Flying away • If you have a fly problem, place crushed mint on the kitchen bench. This will repel flies. Alternatively leaves of lavender, pennyroyal or rue in a vase or hung up will also do the job. A pot of growing basil in the kitchen will keep the flies away too. April Belda Ruwi

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with honey and pure ghee and take in small quantities two times a day in a cup of hot milk late at night to relieve cough, sore throats and colds. Shazneen Khan Muttrah

Common Coughs • For ordinary coughs, mix juice, honey and glycerine in equal quantities and have a teaspoonful three or four times a day. •You can also try powdered pepper mixed

Aching Joints • For painful joints, mix equal parts coconut oil and fresh lime juice. Warm this, shake well and massage it into the painful joints. Another remedy to relieve the pain is to rub hot vinegar into the joints before going to bed. • You may also mix two teaspoons apple cider vinegar and two teaspoons of honey and dissolve them in a cup of hot warm water to bring relief. Jane Rourke Qurum Do share your fine housekeeping and personal grooming skills with other Al Mar’a readers. Write in to Al Mar’a, At Home, United Media Services, P.O. Box: 3305, Ruwi 112, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman or email us at almara@ umsoman.com, Subject: At Home or fax us at 24707939. Do give us your name, address and GSM number.


HEALTH PLUS

YOUR HEALTH ave all your gynaecological queries answered by Dr. Smita Lulla — MBBS, M.D, D.G.O. (Gold Medallist), Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at Qurum Clinic, Muscat. The veteran doctor has had advanced training in the UK in Obstetric & Gynaecological Ultra-sonography & Infertility.

My six and a half week ultrasound report shows an anteverted uterus with a single irregular gestational sac. Will it be okay in coming days or will I be able to have a healthy pregnancy next time as my age is 37 years. Did you require a D & C? Have you done blood tests like toxoplasmosis, TSH, blood sugar and anti- cardiolipin antibodies? These would determine whether there is any specific cause for the miscarriage. Also, there is an increased risk of chromosomal anomalies in the fetus after 35 years, but you could have a normal pregnancy during the next pregnancy. Continue folic acid and plan a pregnancy within two to three months of the miscarriage. Let me know the results, so I can advise you further. I am 27 years old. I have had a PCOD problem for the past few years. I had been taking Diane-35 for a long time. My husband and I are now trying to conceive. My doctor has advised Diamet thrice a day and folic acid tablets. This month, I had missed my period but my pregnancy blood test showed negative results. My doctor has now advised Primolut-N thrice daily for five days. It has now been two weeks and I still haven’t gotten my period. Earlier whenever I had taken Primolut-N

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my period would come within five days of stopping the medicine. I am worried that there is a problem. Could you please advise on how to proceed? If you still have not got a period, do a blood test for pregnancy. You may have ovulated and conceived late during that cycle. If you have got a period, do a scan on day 11 of the period to see whether you are ovulating or not. If you are not, you can take injections during the same cycle or take Clomid during the next cycle. Let me know the results of the scan, so I can advise you further. PCOD is associated with irregular periods, infrequent ovulation and that would explain your delayed periods. This, of course, can be corrected by medication. All the best! I am 26 years old and my husband is 28. We have been married for a yearand- a half but I haven’t conceived yet. I went for a follicle study in January and the results showed no abnormalities. In February my doctor told me there was no egg formation. I was prescribed Ovafar 50mg for five days and my ovulation became normal. But I still have not conceived? Should I continue taking Ovafar for the next three months? If you are ovulating with 50 mgms of Ovofar , you can continue the same dose. You must do a scan on day 11 and day 15 of the cycle to ensure that you are ovulating. Let me know

the size of the follicles on the two scans. That would also determine whether you are fertile. I am 27 years old married for two years. I had regular periods till the last four months. I visited a doctor since we are also planning for a baby. She advised to go for a follicle study. The size of follicle was 21mm on 17th day of my cycle. She gave injection to induce ovulation on 19th day of my cycle. But there has been no ovulation so far. I want to ask whether it is possible to get periods without ovulation? What must I do? During sonography I was diagnosed with 9mm para ovarian cyst. Once the injection has been given, you would ovulate. How do you know you did not ovulate? Did you do a scan after four days or did you do a serum progesterone test? Also, even if you ovulate, you may not conceive. This is because the «egg» may not have gone into the tube, or the sperm may not have been fertilised the egg. However, you have to try again. In the next cycle, do follicular monitoring and when the follicle is 20 mm take two injections (of 5000units of Pregnyl or Choriomon) to rupture the follicle, since one may not have been enough.

Find more questionS and answers fielded by Dr. Smita Lulla at www.omanaccess.com


REVIEWS

Books, movies & more… A

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown [Book]

In his long awaited sequel to the international bestseller “The Da Vinci Code” Brown fails to disappoint. Brilliant Harvard professor, Robert Langdon returns to lead you through an incredible journey along the hallways of Washington D.C. The book tantalises readers by exposing secrets within secrets, and Brown proves once again that he is no stranger to making thrilling entertainment of the lost art of symbology.

B

The Last Song BY Nicholas Sparks [Book]

The book explores aspects of familial love and the stress that comes with having a teenager in the family. The distress generated by a 17-year-old daughter is contrasted with the complete love a 10-year-old son has for his father. Consequential themes briefly explore other relationships as well and the roadblocks to happiness. The novel shows that love brings both happiness and pain. And that when everything seems to be working out, life can throw us a curveball. Read it!

C

The Resistance by MUSE [CD]

A fantastic album and as you listen you feel a sense of… shall we call it awesomeness? Yes that’s the word, the album features multi layered tracks, guitar solos that attempt (not unsuccessfully) to blow your mind away and the voice of that legend, Mathew Bellamy.

Deviating between operatic rock and classical movements, this massively ambitious album definitely delivered and left us staggered.

Kiss And Tell

All by Selena D Gomez and the

Scene [CD] This newcomer has arrived on the scene with a bang. Her songs are of the lighthearted pop variety and they’re sure to get you singing along. The beats are catchy and rich in variety, full of tunes that just won’t get out of your head! Dealing with heartbreak, new found love and just plain fun, this CD is a treat for those of still ready and able to have some fun. Love Happens Starring Jennifer Aniston, Aaron Eckhart and Dan Fogler [Movie]

E

This romantic comedy is all set to warm hearts across the world. A grieving widower becomes a self help guru after the success of his new book which deals with how to grieve over the loss of a loved one. While at one of his book seminars, he meets a florist and what follows is a heart warming and touching tale of how to deal with loss and welcome new love. A romantic comedy with a heart, make sure you watch this one!

My Sister’s Keeper Starring Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin, Joan Cusack &

F

Alec Baldwin [Movie] Sara & Brian’s lives are turned upside down when they learn that their daughter Kate has a very rare form of Leukemia. They conceive another child, Anna, a perfect genetic match for Kate in order to save their daughter. At 13 Anna sues her parents for the rights to her own body. A film dealing with love, loss, death and morality, this heart rending flick cannot be missed. Just make sure you keep a box of tissues by your side!

G

http://www. shinyshiny.tv

H

http://www. craftster. org [Website]

[Website] FINALLY! A website for tech savvy women who like their gadgets to be slightly more fragile and slightly less like they’re made using male testosterone. This website cum blog features ingenious gadgets for women like applications for your iPhone and the Teasmade 2009, a kettle cum alarm clock that times your tea to be ready by the time you wake up! Make sure you browse its pages before your next girly shopping trip with the gals!

Craftster is an off the beat, funky website about do it yourself crafting. Craftsters from across the world come together virtually to compare and get feed back on their projects as well as get inspiration from some truly quirky and handy crafts work. This is a website for the creative woman (or man!) inside all of us! Log on and join now!

NOVEMBER 2009 65


Beauty Zone

Pure Gold

Intensify It

Seasons change, and so do colours. Inspired by the ease and sensuality of the season’s fashions and the timeless elegance, confidence, warmth and luminosity of today’s woman, Estée Lauder has created Sensuous Gold — a uniquely feminine, luxurious new colour collection for Fall 2009. Using soft nuances of colour with rich tints, tones and washes, Sensuous Gold gently brings out your inner radiance and reveals your softer side. Eyes are delicately defined in soft shades of golden amber and peach accented by rich, regal amethyst. Lips are luxuriously dressed for the season in sateen finishes of coppery nudes and supple plums. AM says: Your skin is luminous, warm and radiant in a soft veil of golden tones. Sophisticated, luxurious and naturally feminine!

When it comes to eyes, do you know blue is the new black? For Fall 2009, Sephora plays with colour like never before with new harmonies and a new look! Inky blue is the new black here. The eyeliner frames your eyes for an ultimately intense, dark and happening look. Denim blue, petrol blue, indigo and stormy shades battle it out, competitively comparing talent, in an attempt to conquer eyes of all shades. AM says: Drenched in a haze of semi-permanent, felt-tipped eyeliner, these daring eyes overwhelm and captivate. You’d love these blues!

All about Attitude

As a woman of the 21st century, you need a fragrance that’s close to your attitude and tastes. And for that free-spirited, hedonistic, self-confident woman, Loewe has specially launched a new fragrance — Loco Loewe. It’s a provocative fragrance that moves with a hint of savage. Fresh, and sprinkled with a floral scent at first, it blends with the magnificence of flowers in the body of the scent and the exuberance of exotic flavours in its depths. AM says: You’ll simply ‘Loewe’ it!

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Scent of love

If you are dreaming of love, this is simply the fragrance for you. Guerlain has created Idylle, a fragrance for women that is the embodiment of the moment when everything begins, an explosion of the senses which lasts for one day or forever. Because even when love vanishes, the scent of love remains... A Chypre Floral Eau de Parfum Idylle is a bouquet of fresh and sensual flowers: lily of the valley, peony, freesia, lilac and rose. The Bulgarian Rose, the star ingredient, is balanced by patchouli and white musk to give a sensual base to the fragrance. Idylle is like a mist of flowers on the skin. The Idylle bottle is like a jewel, a precious work of art. The curve of Idylle represents a drop of perfume, a drop of gold, a drop of love. AM says: A fresh whiff!

Lip Sensation

Want a lip colour that lasts and lasts and lasts!? Revlon offers you the perfect solution... ColorStay Ultimate Lipcolor is the first one-step, food-proof lip colour that lasts up to 14 hours. It really doesn’t fade after meals! All you need to do is to apply just one coat, no topcoat needed at all. AM says: It’s super comfortable and offers a soft shine finish as well. And all that in just one application!

Dream On

Here comes the ‘scent of happiness’! Parfums Lolita Lempicka has launched a new fragrance – Si Lolita – said to be inspired by the power of dreams. Si Lolita is a feminine interpretation of the traditionally masculine note of spices. Si Lolita contains top notes of pink peppercorn, bergamot and mandarin; heart notes of wallflower, sweet pea and heliotrope; and base notes of Elemi gum, amber, patchouli and tonka bean. The juice comes in a bottle shaped like a four-leaf clover, with each leaf resembling a heart with gold outline. A polka dot muslin scarf is tied around the bottle neck, while the name is engraved in the guise of a clasp. AM says: Live your dreams!

Blot Spots

This best-seller from Benefit is a must-have for your make-up kit. Get Even Blot Away Shine & Discoloration Face Powder is a doubleduty blotting powder that gets rid of shine, discoloration and redness. Benefit’s supreme blotting formula blots away all shadows and imperfections and provides you with a matte, mistake-proof finish. The mirrored compact comes complete with a washable sponge. Just use a cotton swab to dab Get Even directly over blemishes... And you get the wonderful finish you desire! AM says: Blot all your beauty flaws out in seconds!

Lip Service

Sensai presents the crowning glory of the Sensai Colours make-up collection, The Lipstick. These distinctive hues are inspired by the refined silk Kimonos of high-ranking women in Japan’s ancient Imperial Court. The Lipstick contains elements of pure gold and silk, as well as rare botanicals with proven anti-ageing properties. Supremely gentle yet powerful, The Lipstick spreads with satin-smooth ease, sheathing your lips in luminous, lasting colour while protecting and conditioning them. AM says: With every application, your lips are moist, smooth and plumped up. Absolutely alluring and magical!

NOVEMBER 2009 67


Cuisine

Chef’s Special! Al Mar’a presents four special recipes from Chef de Cuisine Mario Prestigiovanni of the Capri Court at Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa. Enjoy these delicacies that can be whipped up in a matter of minutes!

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Caprese Salad Serves: 4

4 Roman tomatoes 4 pieces Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese 40 ml virgin olive oil 20 gm fresh basil Salt & white pepper to taste Slice the tomatoes and the mozzarella cheese into equal slices. Marinate the slices with olive oil and season with salt and white pepper. On a plate, stack the slices alternating the tomato and cheese and make three or four layers. Top the salad with fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of the olive oil.

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Cuisine

Minestrone Soup Serves: 4

50 gm potatoes, peeled 25 gm carrots 50 gm green zucchini 25 gm cauliflower 25 gm broccoli 20 gm white beans 150 gm fresh tomatoes, chopped 1l vegetable stock 25 ml extra virgin olive oil 15 gm basil pesto 20 gm asparagus 2 bay leaves A few fresh basil leaves Salt & white pepper to taste

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Cut the potatoes, carrots, zucchini and tomato into cubes and sautĂŠ in olive oil. Add the bay leaves and the chopped tomatoes. Set aside. Boil the white beans till soft and add the sautĂŠed vegetables. Add the vegetable stock, and season with salt and pepper. Boil the broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus and set aside. To serve: Pour the soup into a bowl, garnish with the cauliflower, broccoli and asparagus, add a small amount of basil pesto, fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.


Vanilla Panna Cotta with Cantaloupe Melon Soup

Serves: 4

400 ml whipping cream 5 gelatin sheets 2 vanilla pods 200 gm white sugar For the Melon Soup: 100 gm cantaloupe melon 10 gm white sugar For the Garnish: 20 gm blackberries 20 gm red berries A few fresh mint leaves

Add the whipping cream, vanilla pods and sugar into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add the gelatin sheets, let them dissolve and strain the mixture. Pour the mixture into a mould and place it in the refrigerator for at least two hours or until firm (this is Panna Cotta). Blend the cantaloupe melon with the sugar to make the melon soup. Remove the Panna Cotta from the fridge, de-mould and place in the centre of a deep plate. Pour the cantaloupe melon soup around. Garnish with black berries, red berries and mint leaves.

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Cuisine

Seared Tiger Prawns with Mashed Potatoes and Cherry Tomatoes Serves: 4 2 kg peeled prawns 250 gm potatoes 15 gm chopped parsley 50 gm cherry tomatoes 100 ml olive oil 20 gm butter 20 gm chopped garlic Dill leaves for garnishing Salt and white pepper to taste In a small pot, boil the potatoes in salt water till soft. Mash and set aside. SautĂŠ the chopped garlic in olive oil, add the mashed potato and season with salt and white pepper. SautĂŠ the prawns in olive oil and season with salt and white pepper. In a separate pan, heat the butter lightly and glaze the cherry tomatoes. In a deep plate, first place the mashed potatoes and place the prawns on top. Garnish with the cherry tomatoes, chopped parsley and dill leaves.

Co-ordinated by: Abigail Lobo Photographs: Rajesh Burman

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FASHION

Al Mar’a presents a few of Amina Al Jassim’s designs — this is what you call traditional, yet trendy and the combination that is totally wow!

Timeless yet

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Renowned Saudi designer Amina Al Jassim is a wellknown name in the world of fashion. This talented designer started off in the fashion industry 25 years ago. Today, she has taken Arab chic beyond the boundaries of the Middle East and won international acclaim for her work.

Avant-Garde! NOVEMBER 2009 75


FASHION

She’s best known for her creative designs of ‘jalabiyas’, Arabicstyle smart casuals and chic accessories like handbags. While the dominant influence in her designs remains Arabic, she also adds stylish motifs and touches from other countries like Egypt, Syria and Morocco as well. She also admires the traditions of the Orient, Turkey, Iran and India. 76 NOVEMBER 2009


Amina’s designs are modern but they are created keeping the ‘modesty’ element firmly intact. While one may expect the earthy colours of the desert in Middle Eastern fashion creations, Amina has created striking contrasts in her collections. She liberally uses fuschias, oranges and reds to create a stunning impact!

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FASHION

“Women who wear my label are fashionistas looking for high quality designs and have good taste in fashion,� says the immensely talented designer. 78 NOVEMBER 2009


The designer was here in Oman for the third ‘Authenticity Speaks 3’ competition organised by the Layali Al Asalah Company. She showcased her latest collection and was also a Judge at the contest.

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STARGAZING

What the stars foretell this month… Aries

March 21 - April 20 You are dealing with a whole range of emotions this month. This is the time to get rid of excess baggage and start anew. Utilise the extra energy in professional matters though personal matters can get a bit distracting at times. You need an extra helping hand at work, someone to sort out background support.

Taurus

April 21 - May 20 November is a busy month with negotiations, adjustments and socialising. Charm comes naturally, and you want nothing more than to find peace with a special someone. There also arises an opportunity for a partnership or joint venture around monthend. With emotions running high, don’t wear your sentiments on your sleeve. This is however, a good period for professional opportunities.

Gemini

May 21 - June 21 You’ll find that life is busy and perhaps hectic at times, but the work you tackle now will certainly give you more freedom to enjoy yourself later. Vacation plans move forward and so do career matters. Any roadblocks or delays you may be experiencing are lifting. You have a strong sense of what needs to be done, and you actually enjoy getting yourself back on track.

Cancer

June 22 - July 23 This is a self-expressive month for you overall. Romance is in the air, and this feeling will carry over for many months. Friendship also takes top priority; a friend may be in need of your help throughout the month. Overspending may be an issue, so keep a tight leash over your finances. You are never short of money-making ideas, though!

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Leo

July 24 - August 23 You are feeling especially energetic and assertive this month. You have all the confidence you need to tackle any project or problem that comes your way. However, there may be a feeling of stagnation in relationships. The first few days will bring career matters to a peak. Your focus however, is on home and family, while socialising takes a complete backseat. 

Virgo

August 24 - September 23 This is a busy month with plenty of errands and general ‘catching up’ to do. Reorganising your finances will be your strong point of focus. You will find some time apart from work to indulge in building your skills, learning and reaching out to others. Family life is supportive and heart-warming.

Libra

September 24 - October 22 You are focusing on comfort, financial security, and pleasure for the most part. It’s also the time for a little ‘growing up’ to be done. Activities with friends and groups assume more importance in life. Work matters are mostly pleasant as you have a stronger sense of moving forward with projects and plans.

Scorpio

October 23 - November 22 This is a powerful month where the spotlight is entirely on you. You feel confident, focused and ambitious. Though there may be some roadblocks in life, they only fuel your determination to strive hard and achieve success. Your magnetic appeal will continue to win people over till the end of the month — so make the most of the attention while it lasts.

Sagittarius

November 23 - December 22 Try to maintain some distance from colleagues at work. What you say may be misunderstood at times. This is the time to analyse what is working for you and what isn’t. You are now enjoying a new sense of adventure and even a taste of the exotic in your love life. This will continue all month!

Capricorn

December 23 - January 20 The pressure you were feeling last month is easing. The spotlight turns towards group activities, friendships and networking. Your attitude towards professional responsibilities takes a different turn. Life eases into a predictable pattern making goals easier and more achievable. You will show more clarity towards your finances. 

Aquarius

January 21 - February 19 It’s time to feel important, and loved! Other people are bound to find you especially attractive, personable and approachable on the job. So you may as well look for a romance at the workplace. New responsibilities will be welcome as your confidence levels are soaring right now. Take some time to revel in the joys of the present.

Pisces

February 20 - March 20 Pressures are easing, your confidence is on a high and you have a group of supportive people around you. What more do you need from life this month? Work life is busy but is also enriching and profitable too! Your ambitions are moving along the right track, so as they say, ‘Carpe Diem’ — seize the moment!


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82 NOVEMBER 2009 Sultanate of Oman, Markaz Al Bahja, Seeb. Tel: 24536035 www.marksandspencerme.com


ALMARA - November 09