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JUNE 2012 VOL 10 NO. 110


PUBLISHED BY United Press & Publishing LLC A Renaissance Services Company


A SUMMER STORY We know what you did last summer, and we know what you are doing this summer too. Well, the pun’s not on the famous movie, but on our constant summer refrain year after year, “Well, it can’t get any hotter than this!” or “I can’t wait until summer is over!” and more cribbing on these lines. But it’s summer and it does come year after year. And yes, we have to face the heat whether we like it or not. While we cannot lie and claim that we love the heat, there are things we could do to remain cool, in body, mind and spirit. For starters, let not the heat affect your mood. Make a conscious effort to be calm. Relax, ruminate, meditate and keep aside some me-time for yourself. And stay hydrated at all times. If you don’t know already, there are some ‘cool’ things to do in summer too! Our Summer Special winds its way through different sections that includes fashion, beauty, health, well-being, décor and cuisine. Revamp your wardrobe, bring in bursts of colour and embrace cotton. And do not forget the sunscreen and shades while stepping out. And because it’s summer, skincare and eye care are also of utmost importance. We have some simple, yet effective tips to follow throughout this season. And what’s summer without something refreshing to cool your insides? We have summer cuisine at its best with some mouth-watering summer coolers to round off the issue. And before we forget, it’s also World Environment Day this month. We have for you a special report on the Women’s Empowerment and Environmental Education Project initiated by the Environment Society of Oman (ESO). Read on to find out how women are making a difference… We’ll see you next month… until then, stay cool, people!

P.O. Box 3305, Ruwi, Postal Code 112, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. Tel: 00 968 24700896 Fax: 00 968 24707939 e-mail: website: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the express permission of the publishers. Copyright © 2012 United Press & Publishing LLC Printed in the Sultanate of Oman at Oman Printers & Stationers

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CONTENTS MANE TALK 34 Keep your locks lush and looking gorgeous during summer GOOD THINGS 36 Must-have accessories 38 Trendy shoes of the season 39 Keeping time with watches 40 Your beauty checklist GET THE LOOK 43 The Paris Flowers Collection from Bourjois MORE THAN A WOMAN ENTERPRISE 44 Susan Proctor on taking her business online PROFILE 46 Laila Al Bellucci on her book ‘Mirabella and the Pearl of Chulothe’ BUZZ SUPERSTAR 48 A profile of songstress Katy Perry STARDUST 50 All the gossip on the stars HEALTH SMART TIPS 52 How to protect your eyes during summer HEALTH PLUS 54 Q&A with Dr. Smita Lulla SKINCARE 55 Skincare tips from Olay

COVER STORY 18 All about the Women’s Empowerment and Environmental Education project initiated by the ESO GLAM UP INTERVIEW 24 Fatma Al Rahbi on showcasing her colourful scarves

LOOKBOOK 26 Distinct collections from Koton 30 Celebrating the new Spring/ Summer Collection from Gap FASHION GUIDE 32 All about choosing the right shades 33 How to revamp your closet this summer

SLICE OF LIFE WELL-BEING 56 How to feel good during summer by Dr. Prema Seshadri WELLNESS 58 Yoga is a way of life says Kamlesh Barwal of the Art of Living

GETAWAY 67 Enjoy the beauty that is Wadi Dayqah Dam GO TECH 68 All about Pinterest TOP DRIVE 70 A test-drive of the Hyundai Centennial PALATE CUISINE 72 Four cool recipes for summer SPECIAL 76 The Chedi Muscat Wadi Cake – a unique recipe Plus: About Town, Events, Reviews, Blogspace and Stargazing.

MONEYWISE 60 10 reasons why we overspend R&R TRAVEL 64 Five must-visit historical destinations

Cover Design: Rakesh Radhakrishnan

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Address your letters to: The Editor, The Woman, United Media Services P.O. Box: 3305, PC 112ŘŒ Ruwi, Sultanate of Oman or fax us at 24707939 or e-mail us at



I was rendered speechless after reading the article ‘In Pursuit Of Happiness’ by Dr Prema Seshadri. It made me wistful. Her words “The journey of life is fascinating in its absence of a destination,� were like a revelation. The effect was incredible. It made me turn within and introspect. It’s not always the end product of a task that matters. People feel dejected in their lives because they had too many expectations that are beyond their reach. They don’t take advantage of the fun and the learning element of the journey. They believe that the only source of happiness is achievement of the goal. This notion is too dull and unimaginative. People say that they will be happy after achieving some goals. Does that mean they would never be happy unless their goal is achieved? Happiness is not something to be postponed. Life has both problems and pleasures. Our mind creates the former one dominant. Be in the present moment and always look at the brighter side of life. Optimism is the key to a beautiful and merry life.

Happiness means different things to different people. How true! And so beautifully has it been illustrated through different sections in your ninth anniverary issue. I was bowled over when I saw the cover itself. ‘On cloud nine’ was indeed a superb concept. And the way you linked happiness to the different important things in our lives was creative indeed! Each section had something to ponder over and revel in, whether it was the colourful scarves by Roeckl, the delightful cuisine spread or the tech toys. I was simply amazed at how you guys put together this concept of happiness in simple, yet thought-provoking ways. Kudos and here’s wishing you many, many more happy anniversaries!

Prarthana Kumar Seeb MIND & BODY






Shayma Al Riyami Ghubra


Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the recipe for happiness? The following exemplifies what happiness means to me. Take 12 whole months, cleaning them thoroughly of all bitterness, hate and jealousy. Make them just as fresh and clean as possible. Now cut each month into twenty-eight, thirty or thirty-one different parts, but donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make the whole batch at once. Prepare it one day at a time out of these ingredients. Mix into each day one part of faith, one part of patience, one part of courage and one part of work. Add to each day one part of hope, faithfulness, generosity, and meditation and one good deed. Season the whole with a dash of good spirits, a sprinkle of fun, a pinch of plan and a cupful of good humour. Pour all of this into a vessel of love. Cook thoroughly over radiant joy.

Irina Kubrak Qurum


32 MAY 2012


I read your magazine often, but the last one was just different. The article â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Ha-Haâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; by Sayyida Basma Al Said was very inspiring! There are very few people, who once they start laughing find it difficult to stop. I am proud to say that Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m one of them. People have asked me to stop this habit but now I really feel that I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need to. When I can laugh my way to good health, happiness and well-being, why should I stop? Looking forward to more articles like these and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to conclude by saying, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Laughter is the sun that dries winter from the human face.â&#x20AC;? Indeed!

Vaishnavi Rao Qurum 6

JUNE 2012


Congratulations to Team The Woman on your ninth anniversary. The cover looks absolutely gorgeous. And you featured Zooey Deschanel, my favourite star! I absolutely love her and her show New Girl, sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a bundle of energy; making things instantly happy and bright! I loved the different ways in which you portrayed happiness that includes shopping or even chilling out with friends. The fashion section was also fabulous! The scarves from Roeckl were gorgeous with strong and intense colours but most of all, I loved the desserts. Keep up the good work.

Shivani Madani Ruwi


right focus

BankDhofar has announced that it has signed up to a broadcast sponsorship of TV show Hayatuna, on Oman TV. The sponsorship involves a number of new episodes across the series which highlights different issues affecting Omani society. By sponsoring this series of shows, BankDhofar builds on its brand recognition of its private motor insurance Tamini which features attractive discounts on new policies for its customers and is available in many of its branches.

hassle-free roaming

With the advent of the holiday season that witnesses thousands of citizens and expats traveling abroad, Omantel has recently issued a statement requesting its customers to review the roaming charges prior to leaving the country. Omantel owns the largest international roaming network having voice roaming agreements with more than 550 operators in addition to 400 data roaming agreements, which have enabled Omantel customers to remain connected while they are abroad. Make sure you have all the info before you travel!

tee & drive

We were there and we loved it! Zawawi Trading Company (ZTC) the exclusive distributor for Mercedes-Benz in Oman and ‘Official Car’ sponsor for Almouj Golf – hosted the Women’s Guild in Oman (WGO) for a twin activity ‘Birdie’ Tee/Tea and Drive morning last month. Held at the world-class Almouj Golf club, ZTC invited the WGO to enjoy a morning of professional golf instruction and test drives in the latest range of luxury cars from Zawawi MercedesBenz. The women of WGO were welcomed to morning tea at the Almouj Golf club by Mario von Glahn, Regional Sales Manager, Mercedes-Benz Cars, who flew in especially for the event from Dubai. Following a short presentation on Mercedes-Benz cars by Mario, the ladies took part in a ‘nearest to the pin’ putting challenge under the instruction of PGA Professional, Chris Jones. The women’s long-game swing also received a makeover in the state-of-the-art Almouj Swing Studio, under the expert coaching of PGA Professional, Marcus Casey. With their drives finely tuned, the women then swapped golf clubs for gear sticks to enjoy firsthand driving experiences in of the latest Mercedes-Benz models in the Sultanate. Cars included the C-Class, C-Coupé, E-Coupé, E-Class, GLK, R-Class, the sporty SLK roadster, and the newly launched M-Class SUV - which effortlessly combines performance with sophistication. 8

JUNE 2012

all likes

This one was unique. Emirates Medical Center conducted the ‘Like’ us on Facebook Contest and received an overwhelming response. Khalid Said Ali Al Numani was the winner of the Facebook Contest. EMC had launched the Facebook page EmiratesMedical Center in 2011 to provide special services to its valued clients and to meet their needs and demands more effectively. The Facebook page has reached around 3300 members until date. You can also go and ‘Like’ it!

irresistible offer Planning a quick getaway? Then it makes sense to head to the newly opened Sifawy Hotel at Jebel Sifah. The hotel is offering a tempting summer promotion of an all-inclusive Rials 65 per room per night with a host of additional attractions that includes a sumptuous buffet breakfast and a set dinner menu for two adults. It is valid until August 31. So what are you waiting for? Head to Jebel Sifah and have some fun.


On behalf of the entire planet. We extend our gratitude to all our partners, associates and sponsors for their support. And we salute every eco-conscious entry with a vision, idea, initiative or achievement to protect the ecology of our only home: Planet Earth

5 June



Initiative In association with

Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs

Ministry of Health

Support Partners

Call Centre

Media Partners

Printing Partner


pride of Oman

Omani artist Alia Al Farsi is making waves! Her ‘Communique Celestial’ collection debuted to rave reviews in Japan. Her Imperial Highness Princess Hisako Takamado inaugurated the Art Exhibition at the Omani Embassy in Tokyo, Japan. “This series of work amalgamates past and present, traditional and contemporary to articulate Oman’s modernisation while paying homage to its lineage,” said Al Farsi. “I am deeply honoured for the opportunity to translate my country’s traditions through art and hope that audiences explore the collection’s juxtaposition within their own frames.” Well done!

novel stuff pamper your skin

From The Body Shop, comes the new look Body Butter for instant hydration and that’s non-sticky, light and fragrant as well. Available in 13 different fragrances, did you know a tub of Body Butter sells one in every two seconds. And now it’s just got bolder. What’s different about the new design is photography, the logo, the matte effect packaging and 100 per cent recyclable packaging. Go, get it!

true fashionista

Guess who came calling at Salam Studio & Stores recently? Rana Saab, a famous fashion image consultant and a renowned name in the Arab fashion world visited the store, interacted with invited guests and provided them with personalised styling advice. Customers also benefited from the private consultation which included colour and body analysis, as well as one-on-one discussions on mixing, selecting and choosing outfits from the latest Spring/ Summer 2012 Collection from brands such as Armani Jeans, Armani Colezioni, Just Cavali, Rocco Barocco, Givenchy and many more. 12 JUNE 2012

Dawood Group of Companies has announced the opening of the first franchisee showroom of the brand Novel in the GCC and has chosen the Sultanate of Oman as its first destination. The citizens of Muscat will have lots to look forward to in the 1150sqm outlet which will be located at the Markaz Al Bahja Shopping Mall. With more than 35 years of furniture fabricating experience, Novel has gained the highest appraisal from its initial concept, design, material to the final product quality. Furnish your home with Novel is definitely the assurance of quality.

mummy time

It was a celebration of beauty, charm and elegance and more than anything it was a celebration of motherhood in all its glory at the Hindi Wing’s Mother‘s Day event, which was held at the Copper Chimney restaurant last month. The event was co-ordinated by Mridula Chaudhary and Divya Tewari and supported by volunteers Sharda, Geeta, Anuradha, Mrs.Ritu and Dhruv Tewari, who was there to help his mother capture memories of this beautiful event. The event saw a bevy of beautiful women participate in everything from a Mummy Beautiful fashion show to Talented Mummy, Yummy Mummy and Photogenic Mummy competitions. With so much talent and radiance in the room, it was a wonder that the judges, which included well-known beauty expert Daksha Shah and fashion designer Mrunal Khimji, had a tough time deciding the winners. All in all, it was a fun event where mothers and the children had a frolicking time!

write stuff

Caran d’Ache welcomes the season with a totally extrovert Swiss Made Collection (writing instruments) in four hyper colours. A waterfall of fluo colours makes up the ultra-flashy palette of the Popline collection. Electric yellow for a psychedelic escape, deep green for memorable moments, ravenous purple to plunge into life, brilliant orange to tell the world you’re here…’Fluomania’ says it all about the PopLine collection. Now, two new models add a touch of calm and simplicity: a perfect matt white and a very smart matt black. Sparkling fresh in every detail, the Popline 849 collection comes in a box that fits its personality. A brilliant little half-moon on the box matches the colour of each pen. For more info, contact Khimji’s Watches.

points galore

fashion forward

Mrunal Khimji, one of the top fashion designers in Muscat launched her new Summer and Fall Collection 2012 and the new website of her boutique, “A woman of every size and look deserves to feel beautiful on the outside which helps bring out her inner beauty. The outfits highlight the elegance of a mother who takes care of her home and feels like the most gorgeous woman in any room,“ said Mrunal. The boutique’s website follows a simple but elegant design, showcasing its different facets.

This is great news. Nawras has expanded its popular Elite Program to reward customers for recommending friends and family to join Oman’s customer friendly telecommunications provider. It is a new way for customers to earn up to 10,000 Elite Points which can be redeemed for free call time or SMS to other Nawras numbers. It rewards both existing and new customers with Elite points based on their chosen mobile or home broadband plan.

the right connect

Jotun Paints has revealed a new strategic initiative, ‘Closer to the Consumer,’ which is focused on consolidating the company’s market presence in Oman. The announcement was accompanied with the launch of ‘Fenomastic Stain Resistant’ and ‘Fenomastic Hygiene.’ In addition, the company has also revealed a new design packaging for the ‘Jotashield’ line of paints. The launch was successfully held across the major Omani cities that included Muscat, Salalah, Barka, Sur, Nizwa and Sohar. Good going!

what a beauty

In more auto news, did you get get a load of the 2012 Nissan Murano? The all new Nissan Murano is a perfect balance of gorgeous looks, smooth ride, responsive handling and greatest comfort. It is sleek, sophisticated and stylish and due to its power and prowess, it has proven to be a whole new breed in driving excitement. Hot wheels, this one!

style quotient

The all-new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu is here. It is Chevrolet’s first global mid-size sedan and stands out for its expressive styling, comfortable cabin, high levels of features, interior craftsmanship, outstanding ride and handling and top-notch safety. Visit the nearest OTE showroom to have a glimpse of this beauty!

coffee talk

In the midst of the lively, true-to-its name Muscat Grand Mall, if you’re looking for that cosy niche to unwind and sip on that much-longed for beverage, it’s got to be Caribou Coffee that you’re weaving your way to. Their newest outlet in this posh location with an added advantage of free Wi-Fi promises the perfect coffee-house experience whether for business or just plain ‘coffee’. Go, get a cuppa!

for a cause

The Environment Society of Oman recently held a series of activities to mark Earth Day and the start of the turtle nesting season in Masirah Island. The activities focused on raising awareness on the protection of turtles on Masirah Island to different sectors of the community. These activities were designed to encourage youth to discover their environment and think critically, so they can make better choices and positively change their environmental behaviour.

summer fun

Head to Dubai this summer for a whole lot of fun. Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment in collaboration with Emirates Airline recently unveiled its summer-long agenda of fun family entertainment and events set to be staged in Dubai. Dubai Summer Surprises 2012 is due to be held from June 14-July 14. The launch of DSS will once again coincide with the opening of the highly popular Modhesh World one of the largest family edutainment venues in the Middle East, which will run until the end of Eid Al Fitr. 14 JUNE 2012

young achievers

The NTI BizPro Awards 2012 were presented in a glittering ceremony at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on May 20, 2012. HH Sayyid Tarik bin Shabib al Said, Director, Renaissance Services and Stephen Thomas, CEO, Renaissance Services were invited on stage to present the NTI BizPro Awards 2012 to the three Young Achievers who had emerged as the winners braving a long and tough assessment process. As the names of the three winners - Murtadha Al Lawati, Head of Corporate Communications, Ahlibank; Abbas Hassan Al Lawati, Manager, Equity Group Investment Banking, BankMuscat and Sami Mohsin Al Sheikh, General Manager, Human Resources, Enhance were announced, the august gathering burst into spontaneous applause. Each one of the winners were presented with a trophy and a certificate. In addition, Renaissance Services awarded a scholarship of RO2,500 to each one of them.





man Green Awards (OGA), the Sultanate’s first environmental award to honour outstanding environmental vision, endeavours and achievements of corporates and individuals, will hold the third edition of its prestigious award ceremony on June 5 at Al Bustan Palace, A Ritz-Carlton Hotel. HE Mohammed Salim Said al Toobi, Minister of Environment and Climate Affairs, will preside over the function as the chief guest and felicitate winners of the nine different categories of the awards. OGA is the ultimate recognition for companies, institutions and individuals in Oman, who demonstrate a commitment towards responsible consumption and sustainable growth. OGA honours and celebrates their vision in leading the way to a cleaner, greener tomorrow; and offers a unique opportunity to be part of a national platform for this cause.

The event is being held in association with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, Ministry of Health and Muscat Municipality; and representatives from these august organisations will attend the green celebrations, which coincide with the World Environment Day. It has received massive support from corporate houses and individuals who have made green mission a priority. Oman Oil Marketing Company, OCTAL and Muriya have joined OGA as strategic partners and Sadolin as the support partner to keep the green torch burning bright in the country. The media partners include Times of Oman and Al Shabiba while Infoline is the call centre for the event. Conceived from a perceived need to motivate behavioural change and increase awareness in relation to the protection and preservation of our environment, the OGA has been able to make the corporates, individuals and organisations in the country more serious about building environmental sustainability into their business practices. Conceptualised and initiated by Sultanate’s premier business magazine in 2010, OGA has evolved as an umbrella organisation bringing together corporate houses, institutions, individuals and schools etc. who are involved in relentless efforts to protect and preserve the environment; and facilitating better coordination and exchange of ideas. Its three-fold objectives focus on boosting local environmental efforts and achievements; providing green groups a platform for concerted action; and raising awareness and generating greater action. The last two editions of the OGA were a resounding success in meeting its stated objectives.


A voyage around creativity Intense, insightful, heartwarming, enlightening and truly inspiring! TEDxMuscat was all these and more… 16 JUNE 2012


t was a day well spent. And the long drive to the Millennium Resort, Mussanah was worth it, many times over. The TEDxMuscat event inspired more than two hundred people who attended it with inspirational stories and performances from top keynote speakers from a wide diversity of disciplines who shared innovative and entertaining ideas from their respective fields and experiences. Organised around the theme ‘Passion for creation’, the event as promised, was a day of thoughtprovoking conversations with topics ranging from creative and entertaining media to solutions for people looking to augment human mobility, from turning ocean power

into unlimited clean energy to new possibilities in cancer research as well as other fields including arts, environment and electric cars. The day began with an inspiring talk from Abdullah Al Zakwani the executive director of Industrial Innovation Centre of Oman. The other interesting speakers included Niels and Keld Hansen, credited with coming up with a radical new standard and a unique concept in wave energy; one of the few ways to convert fluctuating energy into highspeed rotation necessary to generate electricity. Cancer researcher Dr. Adhra Al Mawali spoke on her passion for research and the quest for seeking out new challenges that has heralded new possibilities for the entire scientific community.

Dr. Adhra Al Mawali

Resul Pookutty ideas with multiple initiatives. TED brings together the world’s leading thinkers and doers to share ideas that count in any discipline technology, entertainment, design, science, humanities, business, and development. The talks at the conference, ‘TEDTalks,’ are then made available to watch for free on

Eythor Bender of Ekso Bionics showed that with technology can achieve the remarkable by making a wheel-chair bound young Omani youth walk with the help of the ‘Exoskeleton’ – a new technology designed to give mobility to people who can’t walk. Other inspiring speakers included Sultan Al Amry, whose dream is to establish the first Omani designed, built and marketed electric car in the world with testing of the prototype to begin in August and a young Mustafa Al Barami whose focus on environmental research and passion for creation has led him to produce paper from date palm tree leaves. Oscar-award winner and sound engineer of Slumdog Millionaire, Resul Pookutty wowed the audience by taking them through a journey, replete with different sounds that brought life to the much-acclaimed movie. Finally, Shayma Al Mughairy sketched her life and her experiences with her extraordinary talent as a sand painter. The event was also interspersed with videos of popular TED talks. “Oman became the

Shayma Al Mughairy

centre of creativity for a day”, delightfully said Roopesh Bhatnagar and Arun Raj, the event organisers. “TEDxMuscat attracted diverse talent across different sectors and industries who demonstrated the power of creativity, and the crowd was simply ecstatic. In fact, our audience is what makes TEDxMuscat so special and we were very pleased with the record attendance”. TED is a nonprofit organisation devoted to ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’. Started as a four-day conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support world-changing

Following the end of the event Satyabrata Acharya, Host and Curator of TEDxMuscat added: “TEDxMuscat has already become

Eythor Bender ‘the’ annual gathering and a catalyst of innovative ideas and concepts in Oman. There are many people that we should thank and give credit for helping make TEDxMuscat 2012 such a great success. I don’t think that we can say thank you enough to all of our incredible speakers, sponsors and partners and volunteers who all shared with the audience the value of open dialogue and the power of ideas”. We are already looking forward to the next one!


Together, We Can!

On the occasion of World Environment Day on June 5, The Woman takes a look at how a project initiated by the Environment Society of Oman has empowered women and given them the opportunity to voice environmental concerns affecting their local communitiesâ&#x20AC;Ś

Nida Helou, project leader, Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Empowerment and Environmental Education, Environment Society of Oman (ESO).

18 JUNE 2012

Images Courtesy: ESO


omen are an integral part of any movement to save the environment. As natural caretakers, our ‘giving’ nature extends to the environment as well. So educating women about the environment translates into empowering them to raise the ecological consciousness in society. A unique project initiated by the Environment Society of Oman (ESO) has sought to do just that. The Women’s Empowerment and Environmental Education Project, launched in early 2010, funded by the US Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and implemented in collaboration with the Majlis Ash’shura and the Omani Women’s Association (OWA), focuses on giving women the opportunity to voice environmental concerns affecting the communities they live in and share mitigation measures with decision-makers. This was how it took off. In the same year, around 20 members from the Omani Women’s Association were chosen (from each of the participating cities: Muscat, Nizwa, Sohar and Salalah) and they were trained through special workshops on how to conduct background research, gather data and finally document an existing environmental problem in their respective communities. The prize-winning essay from each region was chosen based on the environmental concern and the suggested plausible and practical solutions they documented. The second phase of the project began in March 2011 and targeted women in Sur, Ibri, Yankul and Khasab. To know more about the project, the prizewinning essays and the way forward, we spoke to Nida Helou, project leader, Women’s Empowerment and Environmental Education, Environment Society of Oman (ESO). Can you tell us about the outcome of the essay

competition and throw light on both the phases? The winners of the first phase were invited to attend a meeting at Majlis Ash’ Shura in Muscat chaired by the Majlis Chairman and attended by members of Majlis Ash’ Shura to discuss the environmental issues tackled in the research reports. The Chairman and the members of Majlis Ash’ Shura were impressed by the women’s efforts and capacity to assess local environmental issues and suggested solutions and mitigation measures. As the ultimate activity under the project, the authors of the best reports, the presidents and representatives of each partner OWA and I visited neighbouring villages to each of the four regions to transfer the experience and success stories on the project to them and encourage each host OWA and its members to replicate it and share their environmental concerns with the elected members of Majlis Ash’ Shura. At the project’s closing ceremony in March 2011, the winners were awarded certificates of accomplishment and offered training courses of their choice. As a token, ESO published the four best research reports in a booklet under the names of the authors and distributed it at the ceremony. The main outcomes that resulted from the project: The Chairman of Majlis Ash’ Shura formed a technical committee at the level of the Council to follow up on the environmental issues mentioned by the project’s participants and consequently addressed letters to the relevant ministers to kindly urge them to act on the environmental issues. Local women were empowered to promote positive environmental change in their local communities and encouraged to participate in the environmental decision-making process. The project fostered partnership among civil society organisations in the Sultanate to work on common goals. After the success of the project, we secured further funding from the US Departments of State and Interior to carry on with a second phase of the project which kicked off in June 2011. While

benefiting from the lessons learned in Phase I of the project and in addition to raising Omani women’s awareness of environmental issues and empowering them to identify local environmental issues in their respective regions and engage in environmental civic activism, Phase II added a new component which was to provide on-the-job training to a local Omani woman. The candidate was none other than the winner of the best research report from Nizwa in Phase I, Thikra Al Moselhi. During the second phase of the project, we provided training and opportunities for local women from Khasab, Ibri, Sur and Yankul to meet and discuss environmental issues and equip them with the right tools to spread environmental education in their local communities and communicate effectively with Majlis Ash’ Shura. A positive unexpected development in Phase II was the offer of the Chairman of Majlis Ash’ Shura whom we met with in April 2012, who also arranged a meeting for us last month with the Health and Social Committee of Majlis Ash’ Shura specialised in dealing with environmental issues, with very positive outcomes. Phase II will also provide the opportunity for the target group of Omani women to train women’s groups in neighbouring regions in June 2012 to ensure the project’s sustainability. Phase II is expected to close at the end of June 2012. What was the response from women, first to the workshops and then to the essay competition itself? The women who attended each of the discussion groups and training workshops in both phases of the project were very enthusiastic about the idea of researching environmental issues in their areas, writing about them and sharing their concerns with Majlis Ash’ Shura. At the time of the workshops, almost all the attendees expressed interest in joining the competition and registered their names along with the topic they planned to research; however, due to family commitments or work pressure some of the women apologised and dropped out along the way. In other cases, due to the load of work involved in researching some of the environmental issues, individual women teamed up with others to better divide the work among each other.

Can you give us a gist of the prize winning essays? In Phase I, the four environmental issues submitted were as follows: Anti-littering along the beaches and in public places in Muscat, the lack of awareness and attitudinal issues behind the misbehaviour as well as the negative consequences on the environment, ways to combat such irresponsible behaviours and the role of the community and the government in the solution. The health and environmental impacts of Sohar Port and its industrial enterprises, particularly the refinery. The report described the peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s complaints and hardships due to the proximity to the Port as well as conducted interviews with the health centre and collected statistics on the health problems most probably caused by the industrial pollution in the area. The health and environmental problems resulting from the mismanagement of the sewage network in Salalah. Due to the narrow pipes in the newly established network and after the population growth in the area, the households were complaining from the regurgitating sewage and the consequence of the attraction of rodents and cockroaches inside the homes. The scarcity and pollution of water in some places in Nizwa. The dry climate of the area and the over-pumping of underground water wells lead to the drop in the level of the groundwater table. 20 JUNE 2012

The situation was made worse by the misuse and overuse of the surface waters particularly the falajs. The main mitigation measures suggested were the better management of wastewater treatment to benefit from the output water and awareness raising of the public on the importance of water conservation. In Phase II, the four environmental issues submitted were as follows: The pollution of drinking water in the villages of Wadi Bani Jaber in Sur and its health impacts on the residents. Although people mainly trusted the falaj water and used it for drinking purposes, lab tests showed that the falaj water was polluted in some places. The report suggested recommendations on how to safeguard the quality of the water in the falaj and stressed the importance of raising the awareness of the residents on how to have access to clean drinking water. The health and environmental impacts of the gold mine in Yankul, which pits were left open and untouched after the mining and processing of the minerals. The report thoroughly described the impacts of the irresponsible management of the mine and its wastes and suggested mitigation measures in order to benefit from the richness of the environment while at the same time preserving the health of the people. The dry climate and resulting drought of the

falajs in Ibri and consequently the death of the palm trees in the area. The report described the root causes of the problem and suggested mitigation measures to counteract the drought of the falajs which are the lifeblood of the area. The health and environmental impacts of burning domestic solid wastes in the coastal areas and on the small islands in Khasab. The main recommendations were raising the awareness of the local people on the importance of reducing solid wastes and on the bad impacts of burning wastes in addition to finding better solutions to transport the solid wastes generated on the islands to the mainland. After the second phase of the project, then what? The main outcome of the meetings with Majlis Ashâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Shura is to leave the researched environmental issues in their hands to further investigate them, take them a step further and address the government authorities to tackle these issues and mitigate them. In June, we will still have to do the visits to neighbouring villages to the participating regions to share the success stories on the project and encourage local women to do the same in their areas. There is a prospect of having a phase III for the project but it has not materialised as yet so we would rather speak about it in due course.

“We won’t have society if we destroy the environment” - Margaret Mead Buthaina Al Alawi, Yankul and Sheikha Al Salti, Sur

WINNERS ALL They are the champions of ‘green’ Oman. And hopefully, the change they wish to see will materialise with their well-researched and documented efforts in raising environmental issues and also providing solutions. We also spoke to some of the winners of the first and second phases to know more about what winning means to them. They also took the opportunity to thank the Environment Society of Oman (ESO) for giving them the chance to write about environmental issues in their region and their collaboration in identifying solutions and mitigation measures and opening the door for them to implement these measures.

The Winners

How does it feel to be a winner?

In Phase I: Littering in Public Places in Muscat by Zawwan Al Hosni and Zakiyya Al Hosni

Saffiya Al Shehi and Mona Al Shehi of Khasab: “It was an indescribable feeling which encouraged us to look forward to solving other environmental issues in Khasab such as the quarries and their negative impacts on the natural environment and the residents.”

Health and Environmental Impacts of Sohar Port by Aisha Al Miqbali and Moza Al Miqbali

Aisha Al Miqbali and Moza Al Miqbali, Sohar: “Rather than how it felt to be a winner, we were delighted that we were able to get the message across and make our voices heard by the decision-makers.” Buthaina Al Alawi, Yankul: “I consider that all the researched topics have won - not just the ones which were selected to be published and discussed with Majlis Ash’ Shura because the participants have investigated the environmental problems. I am both proud and delighted to have taken part in this project and be chosen as a winner and also to witness the interest and support demonstrated by Majlis Ash’ Shura to further investigate and mitigate the environmental problems.” Thikra Al Moselhi, Nizwa: “Winning in this project meant a lot to me especially that I was able to make things happen in my life which I was proud of especially that I was able to give something back to this land which made me who I am.” Sheikha Al Salti, Sur: “Of course I was delighted to have won and I will be more so if my recommendations serve the research population.” Zawwan Al Hosni and Zakiyya Al Hosni, Muscat: “Winning in this project made us feel happy and optimistic and encouraged us to take part in essay writing competitions in the future.”

Health and Environmental Impacts of the Mismanagement of the Sewage Network in Salalah by Fatma Al Jabal and Siham Al Houjeim Scarcity and Pollution of Water in Nizwa by Thikra Al Moselhi In Phase II: Pollution of Drinking Water in the Villages of Wadi Bani Jaber in Sur by Sheikha Al Salti Health and Environmental Impacts of the Gold Mine in Yankul by Buthaina Al Alawi Drought and the Death of Palm Trees in Ibri by Athra Al Shikeli Health and Environmental Impacts of Burning Domestic Wastes in Khasab by Saffiya Al Shehi and Mona Al Shehi




he average bed occupancy of NICU Units in Tertiary Centers in Muscat like Royal Hospital, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital and Khoula Hospital is most often times 90 % to 110 %. With the establishment of neonatal units in the various Regional Hospitals, these tertiary centers hope that the pattern of referrals be changed to more complex medical, cardiac and surgical infants who cannot be managed there. Once the acute problems are resolved, these infants are transferred back to the referring hospital for continuation of care.

Premature babies also need extra monitoring, treatment and care. They are vulnerable and can have serious health problems. Some of the common problems associated with premature birth are:

We at Muscat Private Hospital therefore take the challenge to contribute to offer quality care to possible NICU patients to allow the above tertiary centers to keep their beds more available to the various expertise offered in their Unit.

• breathing problems • bleeding in the brain • heart conditions • gut and digestive disorders • eye problems • jaundice • anaemia • infections

With this in mind let me orient you to the ideal Neonatal Unit we want you to expect from our Hospital by tackling on the following questions.

In the neonatal unit, the nurses and doctors are always checking for the signs of any of these problems. They can treat your baby promptly if they need to.

WHAT IS THE NEONATAL UNIT? The neonatal unit provides expert, round-the-clock care for newborn babies who are ill or born prematurely. There are different levels of care available on neonatal units. Depending on your baby's needs, she will be in one of these units. • Neonatal intensive care, for the most seriously ill babies. • High-dependency care, for babies who do not need to be in the NICU but who still require complex care. • Special care, for babies who are catching up on growth and development after a premature birth. These babies have less serious health problems or are getting better after more complex treatment.

WHO WILL CARE FOR MY BABY IN THE UNIT? On the neonatal unit, a skilled team from different professions will care for your baby. Some of the people you may meet include (Bliss 2011):

WHY DOES MY BABY NEED TO BE IN THE NEONATAL UNIT? Premature babies need extra help while their bodies catch up on the growth and development they missed in the uterus (womb). For example, it's harder for your baby to stay warm because she can’t regulate her own body temperature yet. A special cot (incubator) can help with this. If your baby is too small, weak or immature to feed, she might receive fluids and a nutrition mixture 22 JUNE 2012

through a drip. Or she might need a tube that carries milk into her stomach.

• Staff and specialist neonatal nurses. • The senior nurse in charge of the unit, called the sister or unit manager. • Consultant paediatrician or neonatologist, who leads your baby's care. • Other specialist doctors, such as surgeons. • Staff grade doctors. • Junior doctors. • Physiotherapists to help with your baby's development. • Radiographers, who take x-rays and scans. • Dietitians who advise on nutrition. • Pharmacists. • Nursery nurses. • A social worker to help you with family issues, financial worries, and support that might be needed after you take your baby home. Dr. Carmencita Remo Senior Specialist Pediatrician Muscat Private Hopsital. Tel : 24583600


Rekha Balakrishnan meets Fatma Al Rahbi, who designs colourful scarves and has successfully used social media to showcase her passion to the world…

Head Turner


e came across this interesting woman when she posted a YouTube link of her video Hijabi Chic on The Woman’s Facebook page. The video showed women how to wear colourful scarves that co-coordinated with their outfits – smart tutorials on how to convert scarves into chic style statements. Our curiosity extended to her blog, www. and sure enough, Fatma Al Rahbi was a woman after our own heart. Enterprising, ambitious, passionate, inspiring and someone who was willing to work hard to realise her dreams. So she landed up at our office with a mannequin, her beautiful scarves and what followed was a light-hearted conversation, peppered with laughs and interesting snippets on how this passion came about and where it has taken her.


Fatma Al Rahbi studied tourism and hospitality and is a banker by profession. But a love for all things fashion inspired her to begin designing colourful abayas in 2008. With no formal training in designing, Fatma’s learning was solely through books, websites and fashion blogs. She designed her first scarf around four years back, and since then, as they say, there has been no turning back. Taj Designs is the home-based business through which Fatma designs and sells scarves of interesting variety and designs. “I don’t design too many abayas but concentrate entirely on scarves,” she says.


“For a woman, especially in this part of the world, the scarf means everything. But I think it’s not necessary that you need to wear black all the time,” says Fatma. And that’s perhaps why she uses a lot of striking and vibrant colours. “I keep myself up-to-date with fashion all over the world. There can be interesting elements that can be sourced from Bollywood or Hollywood, symbols that can be used to great effect on scarves,” she adds.


Fatma mostly uses chiffon and a host of embellishments that distinguish her

24 JUNE 2012


scarves from others. The embroidery is colourful and intricate and she uses Swarovski crystals as well for a shimmering effect. “I think my collections stand out because of the sheer vibrancy of colours. I keep checking www. for regular updates on colour trends.” says Fatma.


“I have been able to popularise my business to a large extent only because of a strong online presence. By posting my ideas and designs on Facebook, I’ve been able to reach out to a large number of people all over the world. YouTube also helps in the process of connecting and communicating with people about what wonders one can do with the scarves.”


“I always dream big and so my next step is make my products available online. Then, I’m looking at having a small boutique of my own. Also, maybe, someday, I hope to take my designs to international fashion shows. I believe one must always dream big, as the sky is the limit!” says Fatma.


She credits her success to the support of her husband and friends. “I am good at time management and that ensures that I spend enough time with my family, especially my two girls. I update my blog and the Facebook page every night and go out to buy materials for my scarves maybe twice a week.”


Fatma is glad that more and more Omani women are doing things on their own and giving wings to their creativity and talents. “I wish there was an organisation that would support women with home-based businesses by giving them support and training.” For this woman, for whom fashion symbolises the striking simplicity and uniqueness of an Elie Saab creation, it’s all about passion and where her dreams can take her. We at The Woman, wish her the very best in all her endeavours.




Sleek chic

Diverse and distinct, choose from Koton’s colourful and vibrant collections this season…

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28 JUNE 2012

k e e l S ic h c SS 12 WOMEN’S WEAR




A Celebration! With the the new Spring/Summer 2012 collection, Gap is embracing colour in every shade, shape and form.

30 JUNE 2012

The women’s collection bursts with colour in a variety of brightly hued jeans and khakis, including the Always Skinny Cropped Jean in fuchsia, surf pipe, lilac and rose and the Broken-In Straight Khakis in hot coral, active blue, dried fig, greenway and blue sky.

Tops, bottoms and accessories are brought to life in a wide range of luscious colours that instantly brighten your wardrobe. It’s colour shown off in a sophisticated way – whether it’s contrasting or tone-on-tone, mixed, matched or striped, colour has been elevated in a singularly Gap way.

At the core of the collection, lies the t-shirt, the original American sportswear piece, in every possible interpretation, the foundation of a complete Summer wardrobe. The classic tee is offered in a spectrum of colours; the fluid ease of an oversized shape; the modernity of contrast colour blocking; the classicism of Breton stripes in a host of colours; the graphic punctuation of chevrons. The new tee dress, in easy to wear floor length jersey; the tank dress and playsuits all work in perfect harmony to create a line that is fresh, chic and incredibly comfortable.


minimum and try upswept frames to draw attention to your forehead. long. But choosing the right shades is important… but it’s cool to be up in the fashionista stakes as well! Here are some tips that will help you make that choice.



he weather’s getting hotter so it’s time to arm yourself with summer’s best fashion accessory; sunglasses! Yes, we cannot do without those helpful pair of shades that will keep us looking and feeling cool all summer

If you have an oval face, count your blessings, since almost all frame shapes work for oval faces. Simply take your pick from the wide and varied choices available.

THE ROUND FACE Full cheeks and a curved chin may want frames that make your face look longer and thinner. Angular or geometric patterns are sure to give you that look! Keep curves to a

THE DIAMOND FACE Stay away from any narrow frames if you have a small forehead and chin with dramatic cheekbones. These may accentuate your narrow eye line. Instead try out softly curved sunglasses such as oval frames. Rimless styles are also great since they’ll accentuate your cheekbones nicely.

THE SQUARE FACE If you have a squared face – strong jaw line, broad forehead and wide cheek bones, try out classic oval shaped frames as well as butterfly shaped glasses - these help to give your face a longer appearance!

OBLONG FACE Oblong face shapes usually have high cheekbones, long chins and foreheads. If you have this shape try and remember that square, oval and rounded frames add width to your face! Try choosing tall frames as these will make your face more proportional.

TRIANGULAR FACE If you have a narrow forehead with wider cheekbones semi rimless frames are absolutely perfect for you. Styles such as ‘cat eyes’ will do wonders to balance your jaw line! So there you have it. This season make sure you step out in style!

Flatter your face and protect your eyes. Choose the right sunglasses to beat the heat…

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Get cool!


e all have those old clothes that just seem to hibernate at the bottom of our closets. This summer, instead of spending loads oads of money on na new wardrobe, e, just transform your y old things into o über chic new outfits! o Here’s how.


Turn your old boring or faded je jeans eans into something hip and new byy turning them into Bermudas or three quarter jeans. Make sure you use a good pair of fabric scissors and don’t forget to fold an extra inch of the cuff and sew it up.

And if you’re feeling really creative, you can always glam up the jeans with sequins or embroidery to make it a truly unique pair!


Give your old flip flops a dash of bling by sticking sequins, large jewels, fake flowers or even ribbons along the straps. All you need is a good hot glue gun and you can create a pair of unique flip flops for every occasion. It’s simple, inexpensive and a great way to pass time!


A belt can transform any old outfit into something stylish and chic. Use a scarf belt with your jeans or a chunky broad belt to convert a long shirt or sweater into a stylish new dress. The possibilities are endless. Get out there and experiment!


Be it long or short, skirts never go out of style. And they can so easily be modified to create something trendy and fashionable. Add a few layers to make a short skirt longer, or cut a long skirt to give it a new look. Or you can always cut the seam and add lace for a touch of elegance. Whatever you do, let it bring out your inner personality!


Tired of boring old sleeves? Completely revamp your old sleeves by making them stylish three quarters or attaching a little lace or ruffles at the ends. The teeniest change can make an old shirt look totally exciting and new!


Buttons are a great way to give a plain old sweater or shirt a chic stylish new look. Watch out for chunky, sparkly or vintage buttons that go well with the shirt you have in mind. It’s sure to give any old outfit a subtle, yet classy look!


T-shirts are possible the easiest piece of clothing to transform! Try experimenting with different necklines like the V-neck or square neck. Or you could always try getting a design of your choice printed on the tee with the help of a professional. It’s sure to look great and it puts your old tees to good use!


Fabric or Zipper flowers are all the rage lately and not only are they simply adorable they’re incredible easy to make. Zipper flowers can easily be made by rolling a zipper along the edge and using a hot glue gun to hold it together. Once made, they’re absolutely perfect to glue onto your handbag or simply turn into a funky bracelet. Take your pick! There you go! Look fabulous and stylish all summer long with these simply DIY ideas! A little creativity is all you need to create that perfect style statement.

Make You Over!

The Woman presents eight creative ways that will not only have you looking stylish, but keep you entertained as well


The Mane Thing Keep your locks looking lush and gorgeous… Pantene experts show the way…

34 JUNE 2012

The heat and humidity during summer can turn good-looking hair into a tangled, oily mess. Exposure to the high heat, harsh UV rays and air-conditioning damage your hair in more ways than you can imagine. As temperatures rise and humidity peaks your hair can become frizzy and weak. Continuous exposure to the sun, sea water and pool chemicals cause dry and brittle strands. The summer heat combined with regular hair styling treatments, such as blowdrying and colouring, are a growing concern as the more damage that is

done to your hair, the more hair fall you are likely to experience. Here’s what takes a toll on your hair during the harsh summer months: • High heat: Hair that’s exposed to high levels of heat has a tendency to dry out and eventually break. • Water damage: Weakened hair is put under great stress when exposed to sea and pool water, as the water causes the cortex to swell and outer cuticles to lift, making the hair more prone

to breakage. • Humidity: High humidity levels suck the moisture from the hair, leading to dry, frizzy strands. “During the summer months women often find that their hair becomes dry and brittle as it’s exposed to intense heat and humidity,” explains Dr. Frauke Neuser, Pantene Scientific Communications Expert. “They also suffer from damage as a result of brushing, blow drying and styling,”

With over 80 per cent of women in the region suffering from damaged hair, is it any wonder we’re always looking for effective summer hair treatments? Just as you protect and moisturise your skin from the harsh UV rays, your hair also needs the extra attention during the hottest months of the year more than any other time. As the summer months take full force, following a few simple hair tips can ensure healthy, shiny locks all year round. Add a hat to your summer wardrobe: Exposing your hair to the sun and heat for as little time as possible will help retain moisture and prevent dryness. Keep your hair squeaky clean: Washing and conditioning your hair everyday is essential for

summer to rid away the day’s dirt from the beach and restore shine. Put the blow dryer away: The high heat and humidity causes frizziness so try leaving your hair to dry naturally and keep styling to a minimum during the summer. It’s best to not colour your hair during the summer months; the product combined with the heat, pool and sea water causes dryness and breakage. Extra care: Treat your hair to a moisturising treatment regularly throughout the summer to help prevent split ends and hair fall. In a similar way to facial treats, your hair can benefit greatly from leave-in treatments during this period. There is a double advantage: • Concentrated ingredients are left on the hair for longer, and so are able to penetrate deeply into the hair. • Applying leave in treatments allows the product to work without interruption while protecting it from summer time aggressors. The Pantene way When you sleep, your mind and body rest and rejuvenate - and so does your hair! Pantene knows and understands that while you sleep is the best time to nourish your hair with some much-needed TLC, which is why its newest

product, Oil Replacement Night Therapy, is designed specifically to wrap your hair in a healing blanket while you catch your ‘Zs’ and dream of tomorrow. Quite often, oil treatments are used during summer to help restore the hair’s shine and manageability but the benefits are short-lived, time consuming and messy. As such, Pantene has developed a range of Oil Replacement treatments that address today’s problems with today’s solutions, pinpointing the damage and working to restore its natural shine for healthy summer hair. Pantene Oil Replacement is a nourishing treatment that combines the benefit of oils with Pro V science to provide superior damage prevention in wet hair. It leaves your hair soft and manageable without all the fuss of using natural oil. The nourishing treatment leaves hair with up to 98 per cent less damage (vs. shampoo alone). Say goodbye to dry, drab, split, brittle and frizzy hair. With a little care, your hair will look lustrous and shiny during summer too!




Carolina Herrera


Carolina Herrera

Carolina Herrera 36 JUNE 2012


Your It List!




Accessories that will define your style



Mango Mango




river island (via

monsoon (Monsoon/Acessorize/

river island (via


Sole Concerns (Monsoon/Acessorize/

Some of the hottest must-haves of the seasonâ&#x20AC;Ś

river island

38 JUNE 2012


Changing Times

Exquisite time-pieces from different brands






Your beauty checklistâ&#x20AC;Ś SUMMER SUNSET

Eternity Summer from Calvin Klein captures the drama of a summer sunset, as it illuminates the sky and glistens across the ocean. It opens with a Japanese pear martini accord, a heart of white peony, and a dry down of comforting musks.


Bottega Veneta, the eau de parfum, evokes the suppleness and sensuality of the houseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s renowned leather goods. The fragrance, a leathery floral chypre, marries the olfactory language of the Venetian countryside - fresh meadows, mown hay, flowers, earth, and wood - with the gentle richness of leather in a creation crafted with the meticulousness of a master artisan. 40 JUNE 2012

Elie Saab presents the Elie Saab Le Parfum, eau de toilette. Like a couture dress fashioned in precious chiffon, the perfumer sketches out a new, more crystalline, almost evanescent orange blossom, mingled with a soft, subtle rose honey note, all combined to create an olfactive addiction similar to the eau de parfum.


Bring the cool quotient back into your life. Lady Cool, the newest perfume from Dueto Parfums is built around her personality: it opens with a fresh floral and sweet scent; then evolves into tenacious warm woody notes that are enriched with a musky scent. Lady Cool is a free-bird that does not follow trends but creates her own unique hip style.


The goodness of the peony flower sparkles in L’Occitane’s Pivoine Delicate Collection all set to dress your skin this summer. The range includes the Pivoine Delicate Eau De Toilette, shimmering powder, hand cream and the Pivoine Delicate Gloss & EDT duo. Go ahead, pamper your skin like never before!


Every woman can be beautiful. You just need to know how to be one. From Estée Lauder comes a new daywear Anti-Oxidant Beauty Benefit Creme SPF 35 powered with the most advanced complex of skin-essential antioxidants, Estée Lauder’s new Beauty Benefit Creme ‘does it all’ in just one single step for eventoned, healthy-looking skin now and into the future.


Revlon’s cult Nail Enamel now comes in 20 brand new shades: from feminine pinks to mysterious greys and zingy greens, Revlon now offers an expertly developed palette of 34 colours for every shade of you.


Get tropical this summer with Marc Jacobs Splash Tropical Collection 2012. Experience the lush feeling of rain plus two new coastal concoctions; the juicy and sunny kumquat and the subtle, sensual hibiscus.


For today’s preppy fashionista, Tommy Hilfiger brings the Eau de Prep – Tommy Girl, the accessory that completes her look, her long-lasting, memorable image. This cool new fragrance contains pink peppercorn, violet leaf, white roses, and sandalwood for a classic ‘Prep’ feeling.


A fragrance that infuses elegance and beauty, love, chloé opens a new chapter in its olfactive histor. Encriched with an Oriental facet, the perfume has delicate powdery notes. Get a whiff!


It’s a look inspired by inspired by the sun and turquoise waters. The ambience is fresh and colourful. Between warm shades with incandescent radiance, and aquatic blue colour blocks, eye shadows flash on the skin and embody the contrast between sunbathing and a dip in the ocean. Make way for a sexy, chic approach and a French touch. Behold Croisette, the Dior Summer Makeup Collection 2012.


Combine the high-shine highperformance plump of a gloss with the hydrating power of a serum and you get the Volume Booster Gloss Serum from Sephora. The result? A volumeboosting effect and 47 per cent more hydration. Available in no less than 10 high-wattage pigmented shades, this is a volume booster that’s not afraid of colour.


This summer sees the launch of the limited edition MMXII collections from London connoisseurs, Molton Brown. Championed for travelling the world in search of the rarest ingredients, Molton Brown’s bestloved hand and body washes from the Naran Ji, Paradisiac Pink Pepperpod and Re-Charge Black Pepper collections return to the capital and are placed on the podium in gold, silver and bronze bottles.

GLAM UP - GET THE LOOK Bouquets of hibiscus, nasturtium and bougainvillea in incredible colours have given rise to sunny make-up with saturated shades that cleverly play with transparency. In this multi-hued world of primary colours, the eyes play a starring role with a combination of bold colours: spicy orange teamed with tropical blue! Sensual and vibrant, the lips are dressed in a saturated coral with sheer radiance. The complexion is soft and warm, with delicately sun-kissed cheekbones lightly enhanced with bronzing powder. Nails match the lips: for the first time, Bourjois features a transparent grenadine shade: red for summer? Yes! But as light as a sorbet! Here’s more on how you can get the look:


Eyes take centrestage in the Paris Flowers collection with two complementary colours, vivid and crisp, inspired by Latin America. Create a sunny look with Bourjois’ new Round Pot Eyeshadow in No. 16 Orange épicé a spicy orange, teamed with Round Pot Eyeshadow No. 02, a vivid blue, Bleu canard -

the perfect play on contrasts. Lashes get that final, glamorous touch with Volume Glamour Max Waterproof Mascara. Its waterproof formula with black pearl extract and its new rounded brush plumps up lashes with 10x more volume, and coats them in a deep, luminous black with 24-hour hold.


Get the Paris Flowers Look in two easy tips! • Apply No. 16 Orange épicé eye shadow over the entire eyelid. • Wet the applicator and use 02 Bleu canard as a liner. And that’s it! Your eyes have taken on a whole new dimension!

For the lips

The Effet 3D Lipgloss dresses lips for summer attire with its bright new shade, 53 Corail artistic. Lips boast sheer, noshimmer shine, saturated with cheery colour!


.To boost lip volume, apply a little more of the product at the centre of the lips.

For the nails

Echoing the vibrant, glossy lip make-up, nails are coated in coral red with a sheer finish. The nails are enhanced with a delectable, sorbet colour for statement nails. Because summer and light go hand in hand, Bourjois created 1 Second Nail Enamel in Glossy Grenadine tonic no. 15, its first enamel with a gel texture and glossy colour. It boasts a 100 per cent translucent formula, enriched with silicon, for perfectly coated nails with an ultraglossy finish.

For the face

To accompany the vivid colours of the Paris Flowers look, the complexion is discreetly bronzed with Délice de Soleil Bronzing Powder, delicately applied to the cheeks. As delectable as ever with its addictive chocolate scent, Délice de Soleil Bronzing Powder creates an exquisitely natural and radiant glow. Its soft, ultra-fine texture is a pleasure to apply for a sheer bronzing effect.

• For a natural glow, delicately apply the powder with the flat side of the brush, sweeping over the entire face, neck and décolleté. • To sculpt contours and get that sun-kissed look: apply powder to areas the sun naturally hits first (top of the forehead, bridge of the nose, chin, apples of the cheeks). • To highlight the complexion like a blush, as shown in our Paris Flowers look: apply Délice de Soleil Bronzing Powder on the cheekbones, lightly moving up to the temples.


Depending on your mood or the look you want to create, there are several ways to apply Délice de Soleil Bronzing Powder.

Colours of Summer

This season, it’s all about being colourful and exuberant. Bourjois celebrates the beauty of tropical flowers with a palette of colours with the Paris Flowers Collection…



Susan Proctor of TOTEM tells us how her unique concept is now reaching a new level and a wider audience…


f you didn’t know already, TOTEM is a popular boutique that opened in Jawharat A’Shati in early 2007. The concept behind it is to bring in limited edition collections from independent labels exclusive to TOTEM within the Middle East, so TOTEM customers can ensure their style is unique. TOTEM caters to men and women who are looking for something different, investment pieces with the wow factor, who care about the quality of and a story behind their clothing. The brands TOTEM brings in tend to be upand-coming, independent labels, designed by people with a real passion for it. Each item you see in TOTEM has been hand-selected. Owner and founder of TOTEM, Susan Proctor, is also the boutique’s buyer, and travels to New York and London to view the collections and makes her selections with the market in mind. TOTEM’s online shop and Facebook shop was launched last month, in response to demand from existing customers and Susan’s own desire to expand the range and the concept to the next level. Here she tells us how it all began and what are the exciting things in store for the buyer. THE INSPIRATION BEHIND MY VENTURE IS… Taking the concept of TOTEM to a new level and a wider audience, using the latest technology and cutting-edge marketing tools. With an online store we can bring in even more of our exclusive brands and shopping for them will be easier than ever and available to more people. Although of course we’ll stick to our original

premise of bringing in minimal numbers of each style, to keep our customers looking unique. THIS IS MY CALLING BECAUSE… I love clothes, I love retail, and I love this place. I want to do what I can to expand online shopping in the region, and it’s clearly the future of retail. It’s massively different to being in my shop, of course… I almost feel like I’ve got a second shop with its door left open and no staff inside to help the customers. But TOTEM is my pride and joy and I want to see where we can go commercially and conceptually. HERE’S HOW I SET IT UP… Getting the website right was a question of finding the best web developers, software, payment gateway and delivery companies, models, photo editors, and consultants; then managing the project and fine-tuning how everything and everyone would work together. I only ever work with people I like, though, so it was a pleasure to set up. FACING HURDLES, OBSTACLES AND DIFFICULTIES… Data entry, uploading images, weighing the items, writing up the fabric content and washing instructions! There’s a lot of tedium involved in setting up an online shop, and it necessarily all takes place in solitude – for months I’ve been in front of my laptop, cross-eyed. Setting up a shop in a physical location takes just as much effort, but it’s much more social and fun, plus you get to move around rather than sit at your desk for hours on end.

customers who come to the shop or arrive at our FB page that they can shop securely online for exclusive labels from the comfort of their own home makes me very happy. I’m so proud to have such a beautiful outlet for our labels, and to have launched the first Facebook integrated shop in the entire region. The designers we work with are all keen to see how their lines will do in the wider market, which is exciting for us too.

THE FRUITS OF MY LABOUR ARE… Just looking at the website makes me happy. Telling

TODAY I AM GRATEFUL FOR… The help of everyone involved in the project, and everyone

who told me to go for it and wished for the site’s success. We’ve really got an amazing set of people behind TOTEM, not least our customers, who are universally kind and supportive. THEY SAY BUSINESS IS A GAMBLE, I SAY... They are quite right. GO AFTER YOUR DREAM BECAUSE… You will want to look back at some point and say that you did. And because it might just work! Also, I believe life is better when every day is different and a bit scary.


A MAGICAL WORLD Rekha Balakrishnan in conversation with Laila Al Bellucci on the unique concept behind her book ‘Mirabella and the Pearl of Chulothe’ and much more…

46 JUNE 2012


he holds the distinction of being the first female writer of English fiction in the Sultanate of Oman. Laila Al Bellucci’s Mirabella and the Pearl of Chulothe, published by American publishers, Adducent, Florida, USA, has been garnering rave reviews ever since it was launched early this year. The first book of five in the series, Mirabella and the Pearl of Chulothe begins a quest by three friends that will span the globe in a race of good against evil to find the five keys that will prevent the coming of a new dark age. A story within a story, across worlds within worlds and encounters with people who are not what they seem, this is also a passage through folklore, legends and riddles, where in order to succeed and survive, each character must draw on their own strengths, on the quality of their friendship and belief in themselves and each other. It’s a modern tale of courage and fear, of love and loss and how experience can teach us to discover out true self and the power that comes with belief in ourselves.

technology. But here I want to stress that although we have the technology, we shouldn’t forget where it all began, the history and heritage of all worlds. I believe Oman represents all worlds and on the day of the launch, I said, ‘One message, all nations’ and it adds up to O-one, M-message, A-All, N-Nations. Oman has all the world’s cultures and people love it here. It represents everything good in this world. How much of this book is influenced by Oman? I am an Omani and my soul is always here. In all the things I did from childhood, I always spoke about Oman as I knew about it, even though I had not seen Oman until the age of 18. The author is Omani but it doesn’t mean I have to be here to do something. I was in England writing my first book and now I am in Oman writing about Paris. This is what I want to reflect; you can be anywhere in the world and create something about other worlds, known and unknown. The world’s our oyster especially with technology facilitating this process. If you use it in a positive way, it can indeed create miracles.

Originally from Oman, Laila has been in England all her life. But as she says, “I am an Omani and my soul is always here.” And that’s why she chose to have a big launch here in Oman. The Woman met up with Laila Al Bellucci to know more about her first book, what it represents and what the future holds… EXCERPTS: Can you tell us a little about yourself? I’ve been in England all my life but we are originally from Oman. My father is from Barka. My mother was born in Mutrah but her family lived in Bidbid. My father was an extra-ordinary man and he had a lot of qualities that came out of Oman and was very much in touch with his culture. I loved libraries a lot and walked a far distance every Friday after school to the library and read as much as I wished. I did Architectural Engineering and started off in a firm that my brother worked in. I got a Master’s in Business Administration and became a business and diplomatic consultant. I also did a lot of consultancy for different industries as well as concepts for renowned charitable organisations. When and how did the idea of a book come about? The idea was there for a long time… I was working on the concept of ‘One World’ which was something to do with the vision of the libraries of the future while making it alive and interactive. And I was thinking of a story to go into that world when the idea of this book came about. Book two has most of the ideas because of the journeys to different countries, the art and innovation in the arts. Book one talks about going into Paris and that’s the key there, as I want the children to decode what’s in the book is called the ‘Codilleom’, one to know where the journey will end in book two and so on until the end of the series. Who is the book targeted at? It’s for the tweens -young adults because I believe that children do not want ‘once up a time’ stories these days. They want to go into imaginative worlds, packed with knowledge and

How did you get the ideas for the characters? My daughter was in boarding school in England and when I once went to collect her, I saw these letters she had written to herself and was shocked. She was not very happy with certain things at school. So then I thought that is a great base for a story. I didn’t really put it in the concept of racism or prejudice from her angle but I used the story line. I thought that I should create a beauty under the evils or ignorance and some stories actually came from my childhood which my father or mother would tell us as we grew up in a ‘house of story-telling’. Have you finished work on your next book? I have not finished it but it’s progressing well. Books are something you can’t plan. I thought I could but when you start writing, it takes a life of its own and it’s quite magical when you see that happen. The publishers are also now in talks with a lot of movie directors about making a movie on the book. Let’s wait and see what happens. (Visit The Woman Facebook page for more details on the ‘Codilleom’ and how to crack it!)

Living a dream


She’s cheeky, quirky and has an excellent sense of humour. This month’s Superstar is pop’s reigning queen Katy Perry! 48 MAY 2012


dmit it ladies, we all like to think we’re a little bit above pop. Right? We mean, yes, we secretly love it, but when someone asks us who we are into music wise the answers always range from “Why, The Rolling Stones of course…’ (superior look) to “Have you heard of (insert obscure band name here)” (superior look). Nobody actually ever says Katy Perry (high-school students and party-crazy freshmen may be an exception to this rule). Hold on to your hats though, because this month we’re letting the cat out of the bag. The question isn’t, do you like Katy Perry’s music anymore? The question is how do you not like her? She’s just plain fun. There’s no other word for it - she’s good, maybe not so wholesome but almost family-friendly fun. This is perhaps a calculated image; the superstar is smart enough to know what the public wants, “I think people appreciate a songwriter who shows different sides. The whole angst thing is cool, but if that’s all you’ve got, it’s just boring. Everything I write, whether it’s happy or sad, has a sense of humour to it.” So is this particular popstar currently enjoying the waves she’s making in the music industry? The answer is a resounding yes. Her first album One of The Boys (2008) gave birth to not one, not two but three Billboard Hot 100 top ten songs. Her third album Teenage Dream (2010) was even more successful with five number one singles. And get this - she was the first woman in musical history to achieve this milestone. To date, she’s been nominated for eight Grammy awards, has stayed for 69 consecutive weeks in the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100, and is basically very, very successful. Like,

success most of us can’t dream of. We think it’s safe to say this isn’t some trend. Ms. Katy, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, is here to stay. So her music has heads bopping across the world, but who exactly is Katy Perry? We realised we couldn’t really begin to even peg her down, because she doesn’t seem to fit into a particular niche; she’s serious, quirky, a judge on The X Factor UK, a fashionista; her music speaks to all of us, but is emotional and funny at the same time. It’s a curious blend and perhaps a look at her background will explain some of it. Katy herself describes her childhood as a bit of a mix, “I was a hop-around. I hung out with the rockabilly crew, the guys who were trying to be rappers, the funny kids.” She was born Kathryn Elizabeth Hudson in 1984 and grew up in California. Both her parents were pastors and she spent her childhood in an intensely strict household. Katy first started singing because her sister used to practise singing with cassette tapes. She’d later steal the tapes and sing on her own. Her parents heard her and decided that she had talent (duh!) and decided to pay for vocal lessons. She took lessons from when she was nine till when she was 16 and sang during this time at her parent’s church as well. Her upbringing was actually quite strict, Katy explains, “I wasn’t allowed to listen to secular music when I was a kid, but there was a time when I was hanging out at my friend’s house. We are trying on all our outfits, like girls do, and out of nowhere I heard the lyrics to Killer Queen. Time stood still. The music was totally different from anything I’d heard. I still love Freddie Mercury. He was flamboyant with a twist of the operatic.” Though her parents were strict about what Katy listened to or sang, they did recognise her talent, “My dad would give me $10,

To date, she’s been nominated for eight Grammy awards and has stayed for 69 consecutive weeks in the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 which is a lot of money when you’re nine, to sing at church, on tables at restaurants, at family functions, just about anywhere.” Perhaps it was all that singing everywhere caught the attention of rock veterans in Nashville. Katy was 15 when they moved her to Nashville to train her and she released a self-titled album called Katy Hudson in 2001. The album featured gospel rock songs and was not a commercial success. Over the course of the years, Katie slowly moved away from gospel music and entered the mainstream music scene. In 2006, Katy was dropped by her then music label, Columbia. As she puts it, “I gave myself until I turned 25 to make it. And if it didn’t happen, I thought I’d just try to find a nice husband.” Luckily for Katy she didn’t have to settle for a ‘nice husband’. Executives at Columbia recommended Katy to the Virgin Records chairman, who recognised her for what she was; a commericial success just waiting to happen. And the rest, as they say, is history. Today she’s one of the most dedicated artistes in the music industry, preferring to let her life take a backseat to her career, or at least for the moment. “I sacrifice in my love life and my social life, but those things will be there in three or four years. This is a really important time in my life. I can’t just be the girl who sang I Kissed

a Girl. I have to leave a legacy.” Although she works hard, she also knows when it’s time to have fun. Her wardrobe provides some insight perhaps into the sparkling star’s personality. Katy says, “I have multi-personality disorder - in a very good way, of course - when it comes to my fashion choices. When I first started playing around with my look, it was more of a Dita Von Teese pinup thing. Dita’s really dedicated.” Eclectic is the word for it, or as she puts it, “I really like to look like a history book. I can look 1940s, I can look 1970s hippiechic, or sometimes I’ll pull that ‘80s Brooklyn hip-hop kid with the door-knocker earrings.” She’s colourful, sings like an angel and rocks like a kid newly alone in a room with a brand new shiny air guitar. She knows she’s queen at the moment that much is obvious by the sparkling eyes and the absolutely gleeful tongue- in-cheek music playing on billboard charts across the world, including her new single Wide Awake which she debuted at The Billboards awards recently. We have a sneaking suspicion that Ms. Perry’s is laughing at us and with us and for us; she’s just having a damn good time! Will this month’s super star stay at the top though? We’ll let her answer that one; “I want to push the envelope and I want to do something different and exciting and keep people on their toes at all times.” You’re already there Katy, you’re already there! Pop on!



This one is a totally down-to-earth gal! When Carrie Underwood is not spending the bulk of her time on the road or in the studio, what does she do? Wait, hold your breath… no, you didn’t expect this! She spends it at the laundromat! The country superstar says she insists on doing her own laundry and grocery shopping, even while on the road. The star doesn’t like other people doing her laundry because it ‘freaks her out’! Well, we can’t fault her for being a ‘grounded’ person and not just a star!


Have you seen pictures of Stacy Keibler recently? The star’s flaunting her hot bod all over the place. And why shouldn’t she? She’s worked hard to maintain her fit figure and is now basking in the attention. So, how does she do it? The same hard way! “Being healthy and living a healthy lifestyle has always been very important to me. I pride myself in taking care of my mind, body and soul, and not just exercise,” she told a magazine recently. She also said that she makes sure that she gets enough sleep, eats nutritious and organic meals and takes good care of her skin. And well, she works out for the energy. Well, don’t we all know, there are no shortcuts if you want a lean and fit body! Sigh! Only if all of us were as sensible as Stacy! 50 JUNE 2012



Actress Jessica Alba recently posed with her two adorable daughters Honor Marie and Haven Garner for a photoshoot. While the sisters donned wore pink and white dresses, Alba looked every inch the stunning star in a meloncoloured blazer, white top, super short cobalt bottoms, thigh high socks, and black patent heels. She does take her mommy role very seriously and has co-founded The Honest Company, a line of eco-friendly baby and household products. It also has a colourful yet chemical-free diaper collection of which Alba says: “You spend more time changing your kid’s diapers every single day than anything else. Why not have it more pleasant?” We can’t agree more, super mum!

It’s buddy-buddy time in Bollywood these days! Did you know that John Abraham recently gifted his buddy Askhay Kumar with a high-end motorbike since their last release together was a success? Well, Akshay was overwhelmed and penned a sweet note in return. And some of the lines in the letter went like this: “I can count on one hand how many genuine gifts I’ve been given since my time in this industry. John’s I must say, means a lot not because it’s a bike (though it helps) but because I know much it means to him giving it to me.” In fickle times, let’s hope this friendship stays strong and forever!


What’s with actresses and the ‘weight’ factor? Gossip’s doing the rounds that Egyptian actress Wafaa Amer has refused to gain weight for her role as the famous Egyptian belly dancer Taheyya Kareokka. So, the filmmakers have very readily agreed to put Wafaa into a special bodysuit to look the part. But then, aren’t actresses supposed to live their part through the making of a film? What about being ‘real’ about the role? Well, some stars like Wafaa have it easy! What do you think?


All you singles out there, take heart! The gorgeous Katrina Kaif is still waiting for her Mr. Right. When questioned on her single status, she said: “To get married, one has to be asked. When I am asked, I will let you know. I have no idea who I am waiting for.” The actress has been linked with Salman Khan and Randhir Kapoor in the past but it’s the rumours with Salman that are still going strong. But whatever it is, Kat’s still got the cream of Bollywood behind her!


Are you ready? Lebanese singer Elissa is all set to release her new album this month. This is the singer’s first album in two years. The last one was Bitsada Bi Meen (Who do you believe?) released in 2010 under the production of ‘Rotana.’ The new album features 11 songs sung in the Egyptian and Lebanese dialects. Check out her Twitter feeds and Facebook page to learn more. We can’t wait to hear this one!



How to protect your eyes from the summer heat and other eye care tips from Dr. Bernardita Sekito, Muscat Eye Laser Center


unlight is one of the greatest healing remedies that you can find in nature, but only when used in moderation. Just as unprotected exposure to the sun can damage your skin; it can be just as offensive to your eyes. Particularly in Oman, where the temperature during summer may touch 50 degrees C, the amount of toxic UV rays we receive from the sun can cause a ‘burn’ to the eyes just like sunburn to the skin. UV radiation is invisible to the eyes. Too much unprotected exposure to this harmful light can cause the following damage to your eyes: • Cataract formation or clouding of the eye’s natural lens that can blur the vision. • Damage in the retina which is a thin layer of tissue that lines the back of the eye and plays a vital role in vision. • Pterygium, a fleshy growth that grows over the cornea (the transparent dome at the front of the eye) and may cause redness and irritation. • Photokeratitis or an inflammation of the cornea that may be painful and result in symptoms such as red eyes. 52 JUNE 2012

• Others include foreign body sensation, extreme sensitivity to light and skin cancer of the eyelids. However, it’s never too late to begin protecting the eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. Here are some ways to protect your eyes from the sun: • Anyone who works or spends a number of hours outdoors each day should wear sunglasses, preferably with ultraviolet protection in the lenses, free of image and colour distortion and grey in colour for proper colour recognition. Wrap around frames offer more protection from the sun. • If you are wearing prescription glasses or contact lens, request for lenses with UVA/UVB protection. However, even if you are wearing contact lenses that have UV protection, you still need to wear sunglasses. UV rays are likely to affect the eye tissue that is not covered by the contacts. • Train children and young people to make it a habit to wear sunglasses when they are outdoors. • Wearing hats that shade the face and eyes will also help reduce chances of sun damage to the eyes. • Sunlight is at its most intense between the hours of 10 in the morning to two in the afternoon. That means ultraviolet exposure

is the most dangerous during this period. Avoid going out during this time. • For those who like to go swimming in the pool or in the sea, make sure to wear good quality goggles all the time to protect the eyes. • Avoid staring directly into the sun. However, it is not only the intense UV rays that we should be wary of during summer but also the dust, heat and pollen. Heat and dust can cause dry eyes which may result in foreign body sensation and burning of eyes. Moreover, dust heat and pollen pre-dispose to eye allergies which may be in the form of marked itching, redness and tearing. If you have any of the following symptoms during summer, the following tips may help you: • Limit the use of contact lenses in dusty environments. • Do not rub your eyes. • Do not direct the AC towards your face or eyes. • Drink lots of water to avoid dehydration that can aggravate dry eyes. • Lessen the use of bukhoor that may further cause dryness in eyes and irritation. • If there is any itching in and around your eyes refrain from

applying excessive eye make-up. • Use preservative-free lubrication eye drops prescribed by an eye doctor. If your symptoms persist, consult an eye doctor at the earliest. Enjoying the outdoors during summer appeals to many people. There are also a lot of occupations that require outdoor work and exposure to the sun. Awareness about the need for adequate eye protection is vital to enjoy a safe summer. Next time, you head outside, do not only remember to cover up or to put on some skin sun block but also remember to wear sunglasses and follow other eye tips to protect your eyes.


Your Health Have 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.

Dr. Smita Lulla MBBS, M.D., D.G.O (Gold Medallist) is Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at Qurum Clinic, Muscat

Q. I am 28 years old and

Q. If I’m not ovulating, what

have been married for three years. I had a miscarriage two years ago. My periods are quite regular and I’ve been trying to conceive since the last one-and-a-half years. I had a HSG test done and no blockage was noticed. The doctor advised Ovofar (3-7 days) and Duphaston (16-25th day) for three months. Even after taking them, I have not been able to conceive. A. What is your husband’s semen result? Also, after taking Ovofar, have a scan done on the 10th day of the period to check whether you are ovulating or not. Let me know the result, so I can advise you further.

should I do to make it happen? A. Have an ultrasound done on day 12 of the cycle and again on day 15 to check whether the follicle (egg) is growing or not and whether you are ovulating. If not, consult your doctor and take Clomid tablets during the next cycle and again repeat the ultrasound on day 12 and 15. If you are still not ovulating, do a FSH, LH and TSH done on day two of the cycle and let me know the results, so I can advise you further.

Q. I’ve been having irregular periods since the last two months. My doctor prescribed Duphaston and I’ve been taking one every day for the past 10 days. I want to conceive and so can you tell me when ovulation happens? A. In a woman with a 30-day cycle, ovulation occurs between day 10 and 18 of the cycle. The best method to detect ovulation would be to do an ultrasound on day 12 of the period and repeat it after three days to check that the follicle has grown to 18 or 20 mm.

Q. I am 21 years old and I’ve had irregular periods since the age of 11. I’ve been married for over a year now and want to conceive. I consulted a gynaecologist who said that I’ve small cysts because of the irregularity of my periods. She prescribed Dopergin and Progyluton and said I could conceive after taking these medicines. A. I presume you have been told that you have PCO (Polycystic Ovaries) where there are many small cysts in the ovary. Progyluton will only help to regularise your periods. Dopergin is usually given if your prolactin hormone is high. What is your prolactin level? Also, what is your FSH and LH hormone level done

on day two of the cycle? After you have completed the Progyluton, you should do an ultrasound on day 10 of the cycle to determine whether you are ovulating or not. If you are not, you would need to take tablets like Clomid in the next cycle. Let me know the results, so I can advise you further.

Q. I am 16 weeks pregnant and am having a yellow discharge that causes itchiness from the eighth week of my pregnancy. I did a swap and culture but the results came back normal. My doctor prescribed Travocort cream to be used twice daily for five days as pessaries are unsafe to use during the first trimester, according to her. My condition remained the same until now and the doctor has asked me to continue with the cream. I would apply Travocort cream for a day to soothe the itch when it comes back every two to three days. What’s causing this problem and is Travocort cream safe to use during this period of pregnancy? A. Repeat the culture and sensitivity test on the vaginal discharge and take treatment accordingly. You can try Canesten - 6 vaginal pessaries as they are safe during pregnancy.

Find more questions and answers fielded by Dr Smita Lulla at



Dr. Sian Morris, Principal Scientist, Skin Care Olay Research and Development underlines some skincare tips that you simply must follow this summer...

With the heat now well and truly upon us, it’s also time to address those summer skincare woes. Right from dry and chapping skin, sunburn, and other blemishes, the harmful UV rays can also wreak havoc in many other ways. Apart from following a normal healthy summer routine that includes staying hydrated at all times, wearing sunglasses and dressing appropriately, our skin needs a lot of pampering too. Make sure that you include these in your summer skincare regimen: • Be consistent; skin really benefits from regular care and from products you love to use, and enjoy the feel, texture and application. Don’t switch and change your skincare constantly, unless you feel your skin needs change. Also remember that it’s not just

enough to use a product, but also in the right amount. • Follow a good cleansing and moisturising routine everyday but don’t stick to the same cleanser you used in your teens if your skin needs change. In Europe, 97 per cent of dermatologists agree that the right cleanser is important for great-looking skin. • Use a moisturiser with a minimum of SPF15 and UVA protection every single day. If you skip daily SPF15 occasionally try and recover through a high level SPF protection. Research shows that regular SPF15 care is more effective than an occasional use of higher SPF’s. • Choose your skincare products based on your skin’s needs and not just based on your age. But also remember that we all age differently. We know 35-year-

olds with great skin and 20-yearolds with some brown spots or wrinkles due to their skin lifestyle or sun exposure. Your mirror is your best friend that will tell you the truth about your skin’s needs. Once you understand this, then it will help you choose the right skincare products. • To keep your body skin silky and smooth in summer, it’s important to use the right body cleanser and also a good moisturiser. Many women in this region say that showering can leave skin feeling a little dry so using a shower gel (rather than a soap bar) and one that contains a moisturising ingredient like Petrolatum (much loved by dermatologists especially for the body) that helps skin lock in moisture is a wonderful first step. Try a product like Olay Ribbons and once you have finished your shower and your skin feels better, dab on a good moisturiser. Make sure you use a moisturiser that’s designed for the body because it’s definitely different than the ones you use for your face. But don’t forget that our necks, décolletage and even hands are important

calling cards for us – for these, it’s worth using a specific product designed to be a little richer to keep skin firm and radiant. You could try something like the Olay Microsculpting cream or add a serum under your current cream. (they spread really well across the skin especially the larger area of the chest). • Just as we care for our skin during the day, it’s also important that skin receives proper attention and pampering at night too. Use a night moisturising antiageing cream that when applied methodically and consistently, can be outstandingly effective at doing just that. • Night-time is when our skin’s natural rejuvenating processes are at their highest and night creams will help to enhance these natural processes. So, using a night time skincare cream to complement a day cream gives round-the-clock skin care. It also complements the skin’s natural biological rhythms and processes coordinated by an internal biological clock called circadian rhythms.


Dr. Prema Seshadri is a psychologist, writer and entrepreneur

Be Happy! Weather cannot be allowed to dictate and control the way we feel, says Dr. Prema Seshadri


rom as far back as I can remember, heat and I have never been able to get along. My constitution has been such that I would probably perspire sitting atop a giant iceberg! And ironically, I found myself in a region that boasted of temperatures over 50°C. I experienced a combination of the dry, hot winds of the Arabian desert, and the humid, body drenching heat that every little movement brought. I had to redefine heat and summer! My nature being one of fortitude and determination, running away was never an option. The next best thing I could think of doing was to look for a way to fortify myself with some armour that would help me deal with the long summer that forms the fabric of the Arabian world. But first I had to understand what was really happening at not only the physical level but also at the deeper emotional level. It was important because whatever the temperature, interactions and life have to go on!

extremely enervating and draining. There is known to be an increase in the incidence of headaches. Direct exposure to the heat and sun is extremely dangerous and is known to lead to sunstrokes. There is a decided lack of energy too. There is the tremendous urge to just lie in a cool room and actually do nothing.

The first thing that is noticeable during summer is this sudden pressure that is felt on the breathing and the odd breathlessness that comes with the choking heat. It is akin to the feeling that you experience when you suddenly come into a highaltitude place.

But the weather cannot be allowed to dictate and control the way we feel. Weather is unchangeable and way beyond our control but we can find ways to boost our moods. The two critical components to cope with the summer heat are the two things that we tend to run from: sensible activity and diet. Fight the urge to be a sloth and exercise. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important that we incorporate smart exercise into our daily schedule as opposed to manic exercise. The idea is to keep the metabolism at a balanced level, burn those extra calories and sweat out both the toxins and the stress. Once the body

Then there is the strange combo of the chapping and burning of the skin that happens simultaneously every time we are outdoors. The humid air also makes the very hot temperatures of the regional summer even hotter and can be

Just as much as the physical disorders in summer are worrying, so is its impact at the mental and emotional levels. Extreme heat tends to bring the spirits down and can often make people more violent and irritable. This is evident in the impatience and rage seen on the roads. There is a tendency to feel sleepy specially when caught driving during the afternoons through slow-moving traffic. Extreme heat tends to slow reaction time, induces a dulled memory and leads to a generally worsened mood. In hot regions, people tend to be more grouchy and unenthusiastic in summers than in winters.

has understood the signals of perspiration, the sweating induced by the high temperatures of summer doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t traumatise it. Yoga is a gentle and a complete way to exercise and detox the body. Just half-an-hour of yoga will keep the body fit and the mind calm. A few minutes of meditation will give the mind a chance to switch off from everything and rejuvenate body and mind to cope with the demands of daily summer life. Keep food to the barest minimum and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t overload the system. It has enough on its plate already coping with the heat. Eat proteins that are easy to break down and digest, lots of vegetables and fruits which have high water content, carbohydrates that are not refined, and most importantly, drink plenty of water. Avoid carbonated drinks and caffeine, which can leave you more parched than ever. Socialise, meet and talk to people, and do things that keep you calm and happy. Summers can be a happy time!


Balance of life

Yoga is not mere exercise, it’s the way you live. Kamlesh Barwal of the Art of Living explains...


n the fast-paced world we live in, both physical fitness and mental well-being is of utmost importance. In essence, it’s all about wellness in every sense.

She travels around the world teaching people from all backgrounds and cultures how to effectively manage their mind and emotions, eliminates stress, live in harmony amid diversity and bring greater peace and joy into their lives through simple yet profound yoga techniques. Kamlesh Barwal is Director, Sri Sri Yoga, Sri Sri Yoga Teachers’ Trainer, and Yoga Alliance eRYT500. She is an International Trainer with the Art of Living Foundation and for the past twelve years with the Art of Living Foundation, has taught extensively in India, Kazakhstan, the Middle East, China and Russia.

Apart from teaching a wide range of Art of Living courses, she specialises in training teachers in Sri Sri Yoga. Born in the Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh in India, Kamlesh holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. This is where she turned to the Art of Living Foundation to find means of dealing with the stress, anxiety and challenges that her college years brought about. But, what began as a mere practice for a healthy body and relaxed mind, soon became a lifestyle and there was no looking back. Known for her graceful asana practice, her classes are a blend of simplicity, fun, humour and lot of well explained yoga philosophy and knowledge. A multi-faceted Kamlesh not only teaches yoga and meditation but with her management skills has also successfully headed the Human Resources for The Art of

Living International Centre in Bangalore, India for over two years. She has coordinated five International Women’s Conferences since 2005 bringing thousands of women leaders together to deliberate and discuss ways for the empowerment of women. In an interview with The Woman, she speaks of yoga and its benefits and touches upon Sri Sri Yoga and underlines some basic yoga techniques that can change our lives…


As babies, we have all done simple yoga poses. Yoga is not mere exercise; it’s the way you live. It is a holistic approach of bringing harmony into life. Yoga means uniting the body, mind and spirit. Owing to the continuous thought process of the mind, this natural union is disturbed and yoga practices help re-establish the union. Only if the body is fit and disease-free and the mind stress-free and calm; can we experience the union. This union ensures a state of total well-being which is not just a healthy body, but a healthy mind and enthusiastic, uplifted spirit too.


All ailments, diseases are manifestations of imbalances in the body. They are the body’s way of calling attention for ‘more care’. Yoga and its postures provide simple and practical solutions to all your daily problems. Physically, yoga postures improve the flexibility of the muscles and the joints. They also massage the organs, thus improving their functionality. Yoga heals various chronic illnesses in a natural and simple way and also improves the body’s immunity. Meditation being one of the main aspects of yoga, it’s essential that you sit for meditation after practising yoga and pranayama (breathing techniques). In meditation one delves deep into the self. In an extremely subtle and effortless manner, yoga and yoga postures make you more contented and happy. Overall the body feels healthier and more energetic. It becomes less

prone to diseases and effects of day-to-day stress. When the yoga poses are coordinated with the breath, the practice becomes effortless.


Increased competition, inter-personal relationship problems or miscommunication can cause a lot of unrest in the mind. Apart from these, odd working hours, which lead to an unhealthy lifestyle and food habits, take a toll on our body. So the stress in both body and mind reduces our efficiency. Reduced efficiency in turn leads to increased stress and inability to make right choices and prioritise life activities. Eliminating stress becomes absolutely important. Yoga teaches us to manage our mind, de-clutter and relax. Through simple breathing techniques and meditation, yoga teaches us to use our full potential effortlessly. In today’s fast paced world, when the mind has much more to process, the need to relax has gone up, making meditation a necessity.


Have you ever noticed how the breathing pattern changes with the change in emotions or feelings? Our breath is fast when we’re angry, heavy when sad and calm and smooth when peaceful. Just as

our mind influences the breath, breath influences the mind. Through the pranayama taught in yoga, the mind becomes calmer, peaceful and alert, helping us to make better decisions. Some common pranayamas include Bhastrika and Alternate nostril pranayama. Regular practice increases and enhances the quantity and quality of life force, and results in the practitioner feeling energetic, enthusiastic and positive. We can practice pranayama and deep breathing for at least for 10 minutes each day. A day well begun with the practice of yoga asanas, keeps us energetic, enthusiastic and fresh till the sky darkens. Most people are now aware of the Sun Salutations (12 poses). It’s good to start our day with few rounds of these or some other stretches. Once the mind and body starts to rest you may close your eyes and meditate for some time.


Sri Sri Yoga is a discipline that is both gentle and powerful for uniting body, breath and mind in awareness. It integrates elements from all the different paths of yoga mentioned earlier. In Sri Sri Yoga, the wisdom and techniques of yoga are brought to you in a very joyful manner. It is a beautiful combination of disciplined practices, wisdom, and fun. Thus, Sri Sri Yoga is an integrated path that contains all the elements necessary for the full blossoming of human potential. Sri Sri Yoga brings you back to your natural self thereby nurturing all the virtues that you are born with.


Everything we do in life is to be happy. But are we happy? Happiness isn’t somewhere out in the world. It’s our very nature. All we need to do is to get connected to our true nature. Yoga helps you do that. Look at children, they are always happy, rejoicing and celebrating the moment and not waiting for a better tomorrow. We hide our true nature under different layers of ignorance and complications as we grow up. If we can drop these layers and go back to being simple, then that is the key to everlasting joy and happiness. This process of union is called yoga or the Art of Living.


WHERE HAS ALL THE MONEY GONE? Sarabhjit Kaur lists out ten reasons why we overspend…

This is something, most of us are not exactly excited about. Come on, we don’t want to be told we are overspending, do we? But then to be money wise, we need to know exactly where our money is going. Which means we not only need to take a stock of our finances but also our spending habits. You may spend on a whim, but the consequences in the long run, may be disastrous. Where and how do we overspend? Here’s a list to ponder over… As they say sometimes, a little self-introspection can do a whole lot of good…

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So you totally dig that fab bag your colleague has… and you want to exchange your dull black bag for something new and trendy! Can’t blame you! Surveys show that friends influence excessive spending. Not surprisingly, this phenomenon is particularly true for young women – either at the workplace, or at college.

There are advertisements all around us – from movies and television to malls and roads. Have you at least once added yet another bottle of shampoo to the row of bottles in your bathroom? But hey! This one promises a ‘total repair of all five hair problems’. Exactly. Like that the last one did not, and promised you dry, brittle, toothbrush-like hair.



Blame it on media – television, fashion magazines or the latest movie in town – but we are often egged on to buy new stuff to be in line with the latest trends.

When I am getting another black shirt at a whopping discount, why not buy it now? Well, the ugly truth is that sales and promotions often tempt us into buying stuff we do not really need. It is interesting – it can tempt us into picking up colours we will never really wear, or pick up an oven when we don’t really cook. I recently went to the newly opened cosmetics chain in town and bought two body mist sprays, because there was a ‘buy two - get 1 free’ offer. Now I have three sprays which I probably don’t need.

ON A BINGE Now, you’ve heard of binge-eating, but whatever is binge-shopping? But, believe it or not, we tend to shop and overspend when we are lonely, angry or depressed. Also termed, ‘compulsive shopping’ it serves as a pick-me-up, just as a warm waffle served with dark chocolate icecream would do.

IT’S CONVENIENT TO FORGET Disorganised behaviour is another reason for binge shopping. Sometimes, we forget that we already have that item in our closet. Ever bought another red scarf, with one stashed under your pile of clothes at home?

LACK OF DISCIPLINED INVESTMENT HABITS We often steer clear of the latest IPO or other wealth management measures, often for lack of financial knowledge and techniques. After all, did you not hear what our primary school teacher would say: that a diamond in hand is worth money in the bank!

BUT THERE’S LIGHT AT THE END OF THE OVERSPENDING TUNNEL! HERE ARE FIVE WAYS TO RESIST THE URGE TO GO ON THAT BINGE… • Know how much you spend. Figure out your fixed and variable expenses for a month. Set aside a fixed amount for investing; as Warren Buffet says: “It is better to invest first and spend the balance, rather than spend first and invest the balance.” The author is an investment professional working in Muscat. All the views and and opinions expressed in the article are solely those of the author.

• Be honest with yourself. Do you really think that this dress will help you look slimmer? • Resist the urge to

pay with your cards. Try using cash. • Avoid sales time and window-shop through the window only! • Maintain a healthier lifestyle. If you already have five bottles of shampoo, the sixth one probably won’t get you the perfect mane. Maybe it’s a balanced diet, or exercise that you need. Take a walk or exercise when you have an urge to shop.

SECONDARY SOURCE OF INCOME When women are not the primary bread earners in a family, they do not have the direct financial responsibility of paying the bills or the loan installments. This often leads to a tendency to put to money to other, (ahem!) arguably better, uses.

OUT OF DUTY AND LOVE Birthdays or anniversaries, Mother’s day or Valentine’s Day, we often pamper our loved ones with gifts they don’t need, but want. Sometimes, we measure and value gifts and gestures against their absolute monetary value.

THE CARD TRAP Believe it or not, one main reason we tend to over-spend is modern day usage of plastic money. In old times, people had their money in their accounts, withdrew cash for rent, bills and other fixed expenses, and set aside money for other uses. In today’s electronic world, our payments are deducted electronically and we just have to carry those light cards in our purses. Sure, we don’t dirty our hands with old paper bills and greasy coins. But, we lose track of our monthly expenditure. Without that dwindling pile of money, we cannot see our decreasing bank balance. And what we can’t see, we can’t feel, or rationalise.


WHAT A SPLASH! Colour can set the tone and mood for every room in your home. The trick of course, is figuring out which colours to use where and how. M.R. Kamat, Divisional Manager â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Paints Division, Khimji Ramdas has the right advice

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hoosing the right paint colour can really be a challenge when it comes to decorating your home. While you may feel that there are a number of choices, but when it comes to actually deciding what to choose, you may get confused and won’t sometimes know where to start. Here are a few tips that will help you along the way.

use different colours on the same wall, or for a subtle effect you can use different finishes. For example, try painting a wall in a flat finish and then stenciling a design (such as damask) overcoat with a glossy paint. The effect is subtle yet elegant. Consider which paint finish might be best for your project. These wall finishes determine how much shine you want. Matte or flat finishes hide wall imperfections, but glossier finishes will reflect more light.

DEFINE THE MOOD What would you like a particular space to convey? Do you want a restful feel in the bedroom, or an energising feel to the family room? The mood will lay the groundwork for the desired visual impact of a chosen paint colour palette.

SIZE OF THE ROOM Even if you’re not even considering using a darker tone; look at all the colours carefully. Place underlying tones of different shades of a colour on a full sample strip of coordinated colours. Remember that cool colours recede and warm colours advance. Decide which makes you the most comfortable, and which works best for your room since they can easily cheer you up on a sullen day. Orange, red, and pink are considered ‘warm’ colours that can brighten up a dark room while blues, greens, and violet are thought to be ‘cool’ that open up a small space. Use the deeper or brighter tones for accents throughout the room or adjacent spaces to create illusion of a large room by dark colours. Ignore conventional advice that says you should always paint small rooms with light colours. Go ahead and indulge and create a theatrical backdrop for your furniture pieces. Not all strong colours are stimulating. Contrast the wall colour with the furniture pieces.

MATCH POINT Develop an overall room scheme. Paint is available in an infinite array of colours and is the most versatile element of your room decor, the easiest to change, and the least expensive. Make the final decision after rugs, wallpaper, carpet, tile and fabrics are finalised. Select the coordinating wall paint colour from the background of the print that is used in the upholstery. Make sure there is enough contrast and that all your existing furniture pieces and wall decorations do not blend in or disappear into the new colour background. Take stock of all the key elements in your house. Do you have carpeting, hardwood floors, modern or antique furniture? The colour of the flooring is an important consideration when you choose colours because it anchors the room and can impact the colour on the wall due to reflections. COLOUR, COLOUR WHICH COLOUR In the 1800s, most Americans painted their walls white. Only wealthy people had colour in their rooms, because coloured paint was very expensive. Today, colour is accessible to everyone and it can make a room come alive. Decide which family of colours is most suited to your home. Visit Permoglaze Colourline Centres which are exclusive shops offering a wide range of colours and help in customer requirements. This is in keeping with the objective for Colourline – ‘for your colour creations’. PAINT EFFECTS Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and try some different paint effects. There’s a lot you can do with paint so there’s no need to do the walls all in the same colour. You can

LIGHT OF THE DAY Watch how the colour changes as the sun moves across the sky and the amount of light in the room changes. Your lighting is likely to be different from the store’s lighting, and your lighting will vary at different times of the day. The best way to get a true view of a paint colour is to look at it in many lights. Take the paint chip outside to see it in natural light. Look at in under an incandescent and fluorescent light. Best yet, take the paint chip, fabrics, and accessories to the room which is to be painted. CALL AND ASK Painting your home can be a hassle sometimes. When you think of the last painting of your house, you will remember the concerns regarding the painting, right from choosing the right colour to deciding the type of paint to be used. And more importantly, getting the right painting contractor who does a quality job within the budget and time. Khimji Ramdas has been a pioneer in bringing about ‘Paint

a Home’ service in Oman. It is one of the first companies to start customised painting solutions to its customers. As one the most preferred paint brands in Oman for over four decades, Khimji Paints has pioneered the ‘Paint a Home’ service in Oman. A world class painting service, that takes care of all painting related concerns of customers from quotations to painting works, depending on their budget. Executed by trained and certified paint professionals, the service targets new home owners and those who want to repaint homes. The customers who want to avail this service have to just call or SMS to 99425937 or 99289903.

Khimji Permoglaze is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Khimji Ramdas group and a well-known name for the manufacture and supply of quality paints to the Omani market over the years. Product innovation, continuous improvement and service excellence are the pillars of quality and customer satisfaction at Khimji Paints. Managing the customer experience and operating to a clearly defined set of values have been the critical success factors for the steady growth of the company. As part of the customer education programme, the company conducts regular seminars and workshops for Ministries with a view to offer more durable and cost-effective solutions to its customers. Further, regular painter meets, and meetings with consultants, contractors and other end users/ influencers in the market are conducted on a regular basis.


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ll of destinations r, the world’s fu fo ing ok lo , enjoyable re ge you’ are enlightening lture and herita periences that Of a past ex y. l fu or st er If it’s history, cu a nd is wo e soak in some onument or sit n m ca e, u ur yo ct e ru er st wh each as well. Behind e present. and educative le in shaping th ro t ea gr a ed that has play tory… s steeped in his m five countrie Take a pick fro


From the north to the south and the east to the west, India abounds in destinations that takes you through history in myriad ways. It’s not called Incredible India for nothing. Perhaps the first name that comes to mind is the Taj Mahal in Agra, Emperor Shah Jahan’s tribute of love for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. The Ajanta and Ellora caves are known for its amazing architecture and date back to the sixth and 11th centuries AD. The capital New Delhi is home to the Qutub Minar, a UNESCO World Heritage monument and a fine example of Indo-Islamic architecture. Matching its grandiosity is the Red Fort on the banks of the river Yamuna. Further down South is another UNESCO World Heritage site at Mahabalipuram where the biggest attraction is the spectacular Shore Temple. Other must-see attractions on your Indian historical itinerary are the Sun Temple at Konark, the Buddhist monuments at Sanchi, the Elephanta Caves at Mumbai and many more. One trip is simply not enough!

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The United Kingdom

Britain has a rich and diverse history and since the beginning of civilisation has seen the rise and fall of tribes, kingdoms, empires and nations. They are both diverse and wondrous and encompass the length and breadth of the land. The Tower of London is a 900-year-old palace and fortress at the heart of which is the White Tower with its ornate fairy-tale turret roofs. The Edinburgh Castle was one of Scotland’s foremost royal castles during the Middle Ages and now encloses the National War Museum of Scotland, two regimental museums and the Scottish National War Memorial. Besides these, walk down literary lane at the Shakespeare Houses at Stratford that will captivate both readers and history buffs. The Buckingham Palace is of course one of the touristy things you must do. Built in 1703, the castle became the royal family’s residence in 1837. Then there’s the Stonehenge, Britain’s national icon and consistently voted ‘Britain’s Best Historic Site’ which is surrounded by the remains of ceremonial and domestic structures and covers some 2,600 hectares and 400 scheduled monuments. Learn some of the world’s most famous history lessons here, in the UK.


Say China and it’s impossible not to say, ‘The Great Wall of China’. From Shanhaiguan, northeast of Qinhuangdao City in Hebei Province on the east coast, the Great Wall rises and falls with the contours of the mountains westwards, crossing nine provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions over 6,700 kilometres, to end at Jiayuguan, southwest of Jiayuguan City in Gansu Province. The Forbidden City also called the Imperial Palace, located in the heart of the capital Beijing is another top historical attraction. If you are the intrepid traveller, do make it a point to visit the Yungang Grottoes situated in the southern foot of Wuzhou Mountains that constitutes 252 caves and 51,000 statues. Also worth a visit is the old town of Pingyao, a town in central Shanxi province that dates back to 2,700 years. It’s an extremely wellpreserved example of a traditional Han Chinese city. Other Chinese attractions include the Taoist buildings in Hubei province, the Classic Gardens in Suzhou and the ancient town of Lijiang at the bottom of the Yulong Snow Mountain.

Italy If you want fascinating history, make some short stops around some famous Italian cities. In Italy you can soak in as much as history, culture and heritage as you want, and so it’s difficult to narrow down the best but we’ll try anyway. The Coliseum at Rome is imposing indeed. Standing 165 feet tall and measuring 600 feet long, this legendary historical site was the scene of many gladiator combats. The ruins of Pompeii have, over the last 200 years been excavated to reveal an incredibly preserved city that’s both fascinating and haunting as well. Florence is home to the Basilica di San Miniato al Monte, a beautiful church is one of the most tranquil cities of the country. And who can forget the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a marvellous architectural and engineering feat? And if it’s the wonders of water you seek to drown yourself in, you can cruise down the Grand Canal in Venice in water taxis or the gondolas.

Peru Think Peru, think Inca. Peru symbolises the Inca civilisation and therefore is a treasure-trove of archaeological wonders. The most well-known of them all is the Machu Picchu one of the most interesting creations of the Inca empire that stands 2,430m above sea level. It has giant walls, terraces and ramps that seem to have been cut naturally in the continuous rock escarpments. The ArequipaColca Valley also known as the White City stands out for its beautiful colonial homes, churches and monasteries. Lima, the capital has some beautiful colonial constructions, famous museums and some pre-Hispanic archaeological locations such as the Caral. A visit to Peru is incomplete without a trip to Trujillo, a city of old colonial heritage, an excellent destination for archaeological tourism.

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l u f t h g i l e D ah q y a D W

adi Dayqah Dam is a shimmering emerald nestled amidst stark brown mountains and can be rightly called as one of the most beautiful and natural wonders of Oman. If seeing is believing then you need to make a trip to Wadi Dayqah Dam to believe that a desert country like Oman can have a dam built across a wadi which stores enough water to quench the thirst of Muscat and Quriyat residents.

Before the dam was built to harvest the perennial stream of water, Wadi Dayqah’s allure was limited because of the lack of a proper access road. Situated deep in the Eastern Hajar mountains, Wadi Dayqah Dam is however, today, easily accessible by road and offers a visual paradise for those seeking a quick getaway from the monotony of work and be far away from the madding crowd. This is the place to enjoy the awesome raw natural beauty of tall knife-edged mountains, a massive dam built across a huge expanse of cool aquamarine waters, extensive green date palms and dollops of serene silence. For those interested in bit of geology, the water that flows into Wadi Dayqah Dam emerges at a point known as A'Seeh and Mazara. The upstream water cuts through ordovician limestones and shales that are about 450 million years old. These stones are home to some interesting fossils such as trilobite

fragments, brachiopods, nautiloids (orthoceras) and crinoids (sea-lilies).

On the business front, Wadi Dayqah dam is the biggest dam in Oman and more importantly has water all year round. The dam will contribute towards achieving a qualitative leap in the implementation of water projects in the country by providing drinking water to Quriyat and Muscat, according to news reports. The dam has a centre for visitors; spread over 1,281 sq m that allows them to have a bird’s-eye view of the whole site. The entire expanse has been provided with shaded seating areas, water fountains, paved internal roads and car parks. The dam has a walkway for people to go halfway across the dam and have a feel of its massive height of more than 70 metres. You can take pictures from the middle of the dam. Wadi Dayqah dam is about 130 kms from Muscat. Take the Quriyat-Sur coastal road from Muscat and turn right at the first sign which shows the Quriyat exit and follow the directions to Misfah. After that you will see a sign showing left to Mazara. From here it’s a magnificent roller coaster-drive through the mountains of the Eastern Hajar range. Keep following the road and you will reach the dam. Keep this info handy… and when the weather gets cooler… plan a quick getaway. The view from up there, we must tell you, is simply breath-taking!

Tall knife-edged mountains, a massive dam, green date palms and silence… Visvas Paul D Karra enjoys the beauty that is Wadi Dayqah Dam


PINNING IT! A virtual pinboard, Pinterest lets you organise and share all the beautiful things you find in life. Olga Kubrak gives you some lessons…


any of us have flipped through magazines and found quotes that inspire us, images of places we wish to travel to or clothes we wish to purchase. Often, these ‘eye candy’ shots are carefully cut out and saved in a notebook or hung on a wall for all to see. Others take it further and create pin boards or entire mind maps of images that are motivating, delicious and even sacred. This scrapbooking practice has been taken a step further and is now widely available on the internet in the form of an absolutely addictive website- Pinterest. In an age when everyone is ‘online’, creating a pin board that allows users to pin likeable images on the internet has become inevitable and even crucial. If you are one of those people who constantly save images found online in various folders on your computer in havoc

68 JUNE 2012

and complete randomness then Pinterest might just be your saviour. The charm of the website is in its simple user friendly design and the straightforward purpose - to gather ideas and images. Every saved image has a link that takes you back to the website where it was found, whether it’s a recipe or a DIY holiday project. The ability to attribute images to dedicated boards helps users to keep their images classified and organised under different topics such as ‘Projects’, ‘Wardrobe’ or ‘Quotations’. Other users can be invited to a board once it has been created which is a neat idea if you are looking for your friends’ help to plan a party or for others to contribute to your collection of pictures. Moreover the Pinterest account can be linked to a Facebook or Twitter account for all to see what you have been pinning! Pinterest is a helpful tool for those:

Redecorating their home: Your home is a blank canvas that is awaiting you to fill it with titbits, colours and patterns that reflect your personality to the core. You can find inspiration to decorate and advice on ‘how’ to simply create a board and pin the images that catch your eye. These can be anything from wallpaper patterns to the dishwasher

you wish to have. Seeing all these images on the monitor in front of you will give you a fairly good idea of what works and what doesn’t, which colours you should avoid and which textiles will go perfectly with the ambience. This tool works for both, homes that are currently being decorated and those that for now are mere products of the imagination.

Planning a wedding: The bride and the groom can save themselves many hours of browsing and negotiating by creating a shared pinboard filled with their ideas and favourite images. Inspirations for bridal bouquets or wedding photography which can be later referred to make this magical day absolutely perfect. Moreover, Pinterest allows users to leave comments below each image so family and friends can advise the couple on their choices of venues, decorations, cakes, flowers and clothing. Venturing on an adventure: There is nothing more pleasant than day dreaming of a vacation you may soon embark on. If the destination has already been decided on, go ahead and create a board on which you can save all the places you wish to see, the cuisine you would like to try, the activities you mustn’t miss out on and the people you wish to meet! Whether it’s a romantic sunset set on the beach, an elephant ride or a tantalising pastry – save each image to make sure you don’t miss out on what you wanted to try! Putting together a new wardrobe: Cutting out that cute dress and carrying the crammed image in your wallet while you go shopping is no longer necessary! Pinterest can help you put together entire outfits for separate occasions! Create a board and make it ‘My Style’ and pin away the skirts, heels, bags and scarves

that you wish for someone to become the proud owner of! Take it a step further and collect images of hairstyles and make-up trends that are hot and happening to make sure you are always looking your best! There are countless other ways Pinterest can be used and enjoyed, I have personally used it to help 0plan my baby shower, to collect recipes of canapés, to fantasise about my dream home and to put together my perfect ‘imaginary’ wardrobe. Everyone will find something on Pinterest that they will enjoy- go on and give it a try! A picture is worth a thousand words but a pinned picture will save you a thousand words! (



INDULGENCE We take the Hyundai Centennial for a spin and find it to be a dream on wheels that promises to spoil you for choices


A little pampering goes a long way with women and as they say, ‘a lady can live on flowers, chocolates, compliments and gifts.’ Intrigued about the way a woman would like to be pampered in a car, we ran a Google search. After all, we spend enough time in them ferrying kids, lugging groceries and commuting to office. The least

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that we deserve is some comfort. The search threw up some interesting choices. Heated seats seems to be the outright favourite followed by leather interiors, massage seats, a rocking sound system, rear-view camera systems, keyless entry and start, automatic parallel parking, one-touch up/down windows and

rear hatch. Phew! While getting this laundry list of luxuries in one car may be a tough ask, we found one that offered all these and more – The Hyundai Centennial.


luxury auto giants. After test driving the Centennial on the roads of Muscat we can safely conclude that it’s a good buy for those who want value for money but don’t want to spend an exorbitant sum of money on German brands.

The Centennial has been conceptualised by Hyundai as an ultra-luxury sedan to compete with vehicles manufactured by German

Plush interiors (has four roomy leather seats) with wood grain panels, a massage system in the

right rear VIP seat, active head rest, driver memory seat, rain sensor for windshield wipers, 17 speaker Lexicon audio system and numerous other features will leave you basking in the luxury of the car. Take for example, the seating which has been made into a science. Redefining the sumptuous inside in the Centennial, every seat is a masterpiece of design and engineering. An interior environment with the finest comfort and convenience is provided from structural aesthetics through the appropriate arrangement of genuine materials. Seat climate is controlled by thermo-electric devices in the seat back and cushion that regulate the temperature and humidity, thereby maximising comfort and optimising freshness for the occupants. The headrests have wing sections that can be adjusted up to 30 degrees for passenger comfort. The whole ambience is one of pure, but practical, opulence.

SAFELY COCOONED When you take into account the safety features loaded into the car and the smart cruise control which brakes and accelerates intelligently when it detects

obstacles in front of you, cruising on any road, whether tough city roads or leisurely highways, is a sheer pleasure. Nine airbags mean additional safety inside the Centennial. Front side and full-length curtain airbags are supplemented by a driver's knee airbag and side airbags for the rear seat passengers. Working together with the pre-safe seatbelts and electronic active headrests, they provide a cocoon of maximum safety. Electronic continuous damping control in real time keeps the Centennial stable, steady and smooth, by increasing or decreasing ride height for varying road conditions. Disc brakes with ABS, TCS and BAS combined with a presafe seatbelt means you are always in the safest position. A 3.5-inch TFT LCD monitor for detailed information is built into the supervision cluster. On it, information is displayed in coloured text or icon images with sounds. The screen not only displays the view from the front and rear cameras, it superimposes in simple graphic form the perfect guidelines to park. Simply follow them for totally problem-free parking. Our final take - The Centennialâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s middle name could easily be - convenience, luxury and safety.




s r e l o o C

Pineapple & Peri-Peri Parfait Serves: 4

200 ml water 130 gm sugar (to make 200 ml stock syrup) 1 vanilla pod, halved 500 ml double cream 2 pineapples (or use tinned pineapple) 3 red chillies, finely chopped 8 egg yolks 1 tbsp Nando’s Sweet Peri-Peri Sauce

This is not required if you are using tinned pineapples.

Place the pineapple in a blender and blend to a pulp. Place the pineapples and the chillies in a pan and simmer until the pineapples are soft.

Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, whisk the egg yolks until ribbon stage. In a separate bowl, whip the cream to a similar consistency.

72 JUNE 2012

To make the stock syrup Pour sugar and water into a saucepan and heat gently to dissolve sugar (test the sugar has dissolved using a wooden spoon - not metal). Bring to the boil and bubble for five minutes without stirring. Take off heat and set aside.

Return the stock syrup to a high heat, add the vanilla pod and reduce the liquid down to 175ml. Set the mixer on slow speed and carefully drizzle the hot stock syrup into the egg mixture (avoiding the beaters and bowl) and continue whisking until cool. Fold the pineapples, chilli and Peri-Peri sauce into the egg mixture. Then gently fold in the cream mixture and pour into a two litre terrine mould lined with ding film. Freeze overnight then remove from the mould and serve in slices. Recipe courtesy: Nando’s


Italian Soda Serves: 1

Ice cubes Torani syrups of choice (available at Second Cup outlets) 1 can soda Fill a glass with ice up to the top. Add any Torani syrups of choice. You could choose from strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, cherry, peach, lime, kiwi, watermelon and passion fruit. Fill the cup with soda water. Recipe courtesy: Second Cup

Strawberry Sorbet Serves: 2

1/2 cup sugar 1 cup water 4 cups fresh strawberries, washed and hulled 1 tbsp lemon juice Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer until a syrup forms in about 10 minutes. Add strawberries and lemon juice to the syrup. PurĂŠe in a food processor. Strain. Process in an ice cream machine according to manufacturerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s instructions.

74 MARCH 2012

Mocha Delight Serves: 4

85 gm plain chocolate 1 tbsp coffee granules 700 ml milk 4 scoops vanilla ice-cream Roughly chop 75 gm of the chocolate and put into a large jug with the coffee. Bring 300 ml of the milk just to boil, then pour over the chocolate and coffee mix, stirring to melt. Once melted, allow to cool. Tip the cooled mocha milk into the blender with the ice cream and remaining milk. Mix until blended, then pour into four tall glasses. Add an extra scoop of ice cream if you like and grate the remaining chocolate on top.


Chedi Muscat Wadi Cake and raisins. Whisk 195 gm of egg white and add sugar to make the French meringue. Incorporate the French meringue to the first mixture. Pour into a square frame and bake at 170 degrees for around 30 minutes. Allow to cool and cut a rectangle base for the cake.

FOR THE DATE AND COCONUT BISCUIT 60 gm fresh coconut flesh 60 gm coconut powder 55 gm brown sugar 55 gm sugar 10 gm flour ½ gm baking powder 135 gm soft butter 95 gm egg white 150 gm dates 55 gm golden raisins 195 gm whipped egg whites 40 gm sugar

FOR THE GOAT CHEESE MOUSSE 330 gm fresh goat cheese log 70 gm sugar 1 gm Arabic spice mix 7 gelatine leaves 330 gm whipped cream

Place the first seven ingredients in a cutter and blend. Take care not to melt the butter by over-mixing. Add the egg white and give another quick mix. Add the chopped dates

Beat the goat cheese to make it soft. Add sugar, spices and melted gelatine. Whip the cream to obtain soft whipping cream

and add it to the goat cheese mixture. Pour mousse inside soft silicone moulds and freeze. FOR THE OMANI SPICES CRUMBLE 15 gm almond powder 50 gm icing sugar 120 gm flour 60 gm butter Mix all together, and keep adding butter until it comes to crumble form. For this use a machine. Glaze the mouse with netural glaze, place over biscuit rectangle and finally decorate with Omani spices crumble. Serve with coconut sorbet. The recipe serves 10.



Fresh & Flavoursome A simple, colourful and easy-to-make salad for lunch or dinner…

American Sweet Corn Salad Serves: 2

1 cup sweet corn (steamed) ¼ cup spring onion, chopped ¼ cup cucumber, chopped ½ cup red & green peppers, chopped 1 tomato, chopped (optional) For the dressing: 1 tbsp olive oil ½ tsp honey ½ tsp parsley, chopped ½ tsp vinegar Salt & pepper to taste In a bowl add in olive oil, honey, parsley, vinegar and salt and pepper. Mix well and keep in a cool place. In a salad bowl, add the sweet corn, spring onion, cucumber, tomatoes and peppers. Dribble the dressing and toss well.

The Woman has tied up with In House Recipes group on Facebook (www.facebook. com/groups/131611993572601/) for a monthly recipe contest. Do visit the page to know the monthly theme and contribute your recipes. Great gifts are also up for grabs. The theme for June was ‘Cool summer salads’ and the winner is Rashmi D’Souza. More details will be announced on the Facebook page.


JUST FOR KIDS Gangsta Granny by David Williams Ben has the most boring grandma ever! All she wants to do is play Scrabble and eat cabbage soup. And Ben has to stay with her and he’s sure he would be bored beyond belief. But granny is not all that boring! And then there are things that Ben doesn’t know about her. She was once an international jewel thief and she needs Ben’s help for something. What trick has granny up her sleeve? And will Ben love the way things will turn around? Read David William’s best-seller for more.

Just books

Some compelling reads for all ages… FOR YOUNG ADULTS The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer What’s teen reading without a vampire or two or more? This summer, revisit vampire fiction with the best-selling saga of them all – The Twilight series. There’s romance, chills, spills and thrills all within a so-called believable high school setting. Legends, myths and fantasies can be engrossing indeed!

The Summer I Learned to Fly by Dana Reinhardt Drew is a loner who’s quite content with her pet cat, her dead father’s Book of Lists and her passion for cheese which comes from working at her mom’s cheese shop. Her dreary days end when she meets a strange boy in the alley named Emmett Crane. A story of true friendship and adventure.

78 JUNE 2012

Painting the Wind by Patricia & Emily Maclachlan and Katy Schneider This is the perfect summer book! It’s a story of a boy and his dog, waiting for summer and to learn from artists who come to the island. Beautifully illustrated by Katy Schneider, it captures lots of unforgettable summer moments. Enjoy!

FOR ADULTS Home Front by Kristin Hannah It’s a timely portrait of hope, honour, loss, forgiveness and love. The book’s all about Michael and Joleen Zarkades who seem to have it all, a solid marriage, exciting careers and great children. But life takes a turn when the Iraq war begins and the family must grapple with the worst and live in fear of the future. A gripping read!

11/22/63 by Stephen King Jake Epping is an English teacher who travels back in time by way of a time portal. His mission is to try to stop the John F. Kennedy assassination and stop Lee Harvey Oswald. On his way, the chara cter crosses paths with a pair of characters from his own 1986 book, It. Like all Stephen King offerings, this one too is simply ‘unputdownable’.


FOOD & FUN Saanika Venkatesh translates her passion for food into an interesting website for teens…


o if you thought your average teenager rarely went beyond a microwaved coffee, a hastily slappedtogether sandwich or a pack of noodles, it’s time to think again. This teenager loves her food, makes it too, and posts them online. Meet Saanika Venkatesh, a student of American British Academy who has come up with an innovative website, ‘Teen Kitchen’ at http://teenkitchen.weebly. com/. It’s a pot-pourri of popular and interesting recipes teens can cook up in their kitchen. Here’s more on Saanika and how she cooks up a storm, in both the real and virtual worlds… The birth of an idea… It comes from my passion to try out new things. I think this has influenced my cooking because cooking is all about creating the right blend and experimenting with one’s taste buds. I got an opportunity at school to do a project on something that interested me. I used to help my mother in the kitchen and bake a cake once in a while but I never really took it to the next level. When the time came to choose a topic for the project, I was really keen to do something which appealed to the teens. I realised most of us liked food, especially the recipes that are not common. So I designed a cookery website especially for teens with unique, simple, easy; yet delicious recipes.

Are you a foodie? Food has always been my passion. I love to eat a variety of good food from all over the world but cooking on my own is something I started only a couple of years ago. I initially started with baking because it gave me an opportunity to indulge in chocolate as I am a chocolate addict. Gradually, my interest grew and I started experimenting with new styles of cooking. Why a website… A website is one of the fastest ways to communicate with your audience. I had initially planned to write a cookbook but then I realised, reaching it to a target audience was going to be a very difficult task. With a website, regular updates of recipes can be done in a jiffy. The web has also given me the opportunity to experiment with food photography. Though, I consider myself a novice, I make sure that I take all photographs that go into the website myself and in the process, have learnt a lot about food presentation, lighting, using the right crockery and cutlery, etc. Where do you source your recipes from? I source my recipes from different websites but there was this one website called ‘My Diverse Kitchen’ which I frequented a lot. It is a top class food blog by Aparna who started it to share special cuisines of South India. She then started sharing other styles of cooking too. I simply love the baking section. The recipes are different and unique. Her food

photography is also brilliant! I drew a lot of inspiration from this website. I however did not use any of these recipes as they were, but brought about variations in its ingredients or methods to make it palatable to my taste or rather the taste of teenagers. Is it just a pastime or do you plan to take it forward... as a career? I consider cooking as a way to relax and unwind. I prefer cooking slowly and when I am in the mood rather than in haste because my food tends to taste better that way. I think cooking is a way of relaxing your mind and this is only possible if you take the time to enjoy your cooking. I don’t think I will ever enjoy a ‘production line’ type of cooking which you see in hotels and restaurants. Therefore cooking as a career is definitely a no for me. Who has been your support/ encouragement? My family is full of passionate foodies. I have uncles, aunts and cousins who say that they ‘live to eat rather than eat to live’. Therefore good food is always a big talking point at home. All of us cook and any recipe which comes out well is greatly encouraged and appreciated. To be honest, my parents are the ones who gave me the idea of creating a culinary website for my project. My mother helped me a lot on the cooking front and my father gave me ideas for the website. Also, my twin sister, Raadhika and I tried some of the recipes together. I am also thankful to my school for giving their students an opportunity to explore different interests.














This is the month when new interests, projects and learning come into focus. For those in communications, you are likely to come across professional pressures or challenges. Your work will take you places, so look forward to combining business with pleasure. Do look for opportunities to expand your knowledge and skills.

You are on a roll in June as new opportunities will bring you new friends and connections. Some might bring creative energy or skills to a group setting. But take care of your health and listen to the many signs your body is giving you. Your ambition to improve your income is very strong… so act on your instincts.

A lot is at risk this month, relationships, money and matters relating to the workplace. Choose to be tactful and diplomatic at all times and do take some time and energy out towards forming or enhancing warm close relationships and partnerships. It’s also time to make some resolutions that will make things clear and focus on them till the end of the year.

A significant bonus is going to come your way this month adding to your earning power. But that doesn’t mean that you overspend. It’s also time to save for a rainy day. Curb your inclination to spend and look at financial options that may bring favourable results. After all, it’s money that you need to make the world go around.

Travel is high on the cards and it will boost your professional life and take your reputation to new heights. Business-related travel will open up new vistas and this can be a time of career advancement and success in business. Happiness comes in many forms and your family will be a perennial source of joy for you.

All your health-related worries can be put to rest this month. Things are looking better and brighter. Don’t take on too much but learn to enjoy every moment. Work will be rewarding so that will put you at ease and bring relaxation to the mind. Take some time to indulge in a sport, that for as they say, well-being is both of the mind and body.

Your self-confidence is on a high in June as both personal and professional relationships bring new and glad tidings. A partner is especially supportive and problems that have you holding back are likely to lift this year. But keep a close watch on some friendships, some of them are likely to cause heartache.

Tame your restlessness and take life easy. While there’s a lot of time to expand your horizons, go slow in whatever is that you are trying to do. Look at other options in your career that can bring you joy. Listen to your heart for a change and your future will thank you for it.

The beginning of the month will see you explore your creativity like never before. You will find new avenues for entertainment and self-expression. But there may be some friction with someone close to you. The key to clearing misunderstandings is to listen without blowing your cool.

Life has so much more to offer you this year, dear Cancer. You will find the ‘joy of giving’ in helping others and volunteering for a cause you love. Your spiritual strength will put things into perspective especially when the going gets tough. Your career will be demanding and striking that work-life balance may not be easy.

This month, life may take you down the hectic lane, particularly on the social level. You will be the life of many parties and a quick getaway with a loved one is also on the cards. Your investments may yield quick results and it would be wise to reinvest. However, avoid jumping into new endeavours. While your enthusiasm may be infectious, you may not be able to cope up with the fast pace.

Relationships are moving forward in the direction you want them to, dear Pisces so it’s time to realise that family also plays an important role in what you are. Sort out workplace issues so that you can spend more time with your loved ones. If you plan to invest in real estate, the time’s just right.

What the stars foretell... 80 JUNE 2012


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