TECHNOLOGY - ENTERTAINMENT - DINING
February 2021 | Vol. 25
| Issue 2 | BD2 / SR20
YOUR GUIDE TO A GREAT WAY OF LIFE
VALENTINE’S DAY SPECIAL
Where to Eat this Valentine’s Day
Dick Potter tells us about Fangio
We Dine at Kyro
Motoring News to get you up to speed
Instilling the Rule of Law with Ali Aljabal
An insightful chat with Fleur Hassan-Nahoum
The Indian Ambassador, HE Piyush Srivastava on bolstering historic relations
Dr. Jarmo T. Kotilaine on his new, reflective book
Fashionable in the colours of the year
How A Box of Goodness is helping the community
11:00 am to 2:30 pm lunch 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm dinner
CELEBRATE LOVE THIS
Chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of bubbly? Yes please. Indulge your loved one with a romantic city getaway. Enjoy a host of lush delights as you let the hustle and bustle of the world fade away behind you in the privacy of our villas.
Included In-Villa Breakfast & Dinner at Keizo Restaurant, Decoration for One bedroom Villa for 2 persons & Aromatherapy Bath Valid from 11th February - 14th February
THE TEAM Publisher and Chairman George F. Middleton
Bahrain This Month February 2021
Editor Farah Baig Contributors Behnaz Sanjana, Kristian Harrison, Dick Potter, Pria Masson Tanwar, Ouiam Charkani El Hassani, Bill Grieve Editorial Consultant Ahdeya Ahmed
elcome to our special Valentine’s Day issue of Bahrain This Month, once again in digital and print format too! We all looked forward to 2021 with increased optimism, but we have to remind ourselves that we must power on to fight the current pandemic and avoid being complacent.
Print Production Manager Sabu Sebastian Art Director Hatem Monem
While the Kingdom seemed to show a marked decline in December and at the start of January, the revelation of new strains has proved to be quite challenging with cases now climbing at a steady pace. Nevertheless, all hope is not lost. There’s no reason you can’t celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, even with indoor dining suspended! Our team has put together seven ways in which you can make this year’s celebration one to remember aside from a bunch of exciting outdoor dining options.
Webmaster Nishad Eapen CRM & Database Coordinator Muna Yousef Staff Photographer Subeesh Kumar N S
This month, we enjoyed conversations with several prolific personalities starting with Dr. Jarmo T. Kotilaine with whom we spoke about his recently released and highly relevant new book. We also had the opportunity to talk with Mr. Ali Aljabal, a renowned law practitioner in Bahrain who was recently named the International Association of Lawyers (UIA) Regional Secretary in the Middle East, once more.
Administration and Finance Samson Vaz, Marlyn Ragasa Corporate Affairs Director Bassem A. Al Khabbaz Distribution Team CM Abdul Rahman, Gopal Arul Kumar
We also enjoyed a conversation with the Ambassador of India, HE Piyush Srivasta who aims to further bolster historic relations between the Republic of India and the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Distributor Al Hilal Group (Hilal Direct Services) Media Sales Anuradha Manhas email@example.com
Another interviewee this month is the thoughtful young woman, Miranthi ‘Miro’ Dole, who started the charity initiative, ‘A Box of Goodness’ in Bahrain that has come to the aid of over 3,000 less fortunate individuals over the last four years.
DIGITAL & CONTENT MARKETING TEAM Digital Strategy Director Lini Reghunath Digital Marketing & Social Media Executive Farah Baig
In our Motoring section, Dick Potter shares his thoughts on the F1 marvel that was Juan Manuel Fangio while our team has put together a selection of Motoring news to get you up to speed with the industry. In Woman This Month, you’ll find our interview with Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, Jerusalem’s Deputy Mayor for Foreign Relations, Economic Development and Tourism. She talks about her aim to build commercial relations in the region and her passionate battles for equality and plurality in her adopted homeland. As always, in this month’s issue, you’ll get a first-hand look at some of the best fashion trends, accessories and beauty essentials too!
Printing Press Union Press, Bahrain
We’re sure you’ll enjoy this issue and, if you want more of the same, don’t forget to subscribe and follow us on our official social media channels while doing so! Until next month, remember; you can always count on ‘Your Guide to a Great Way of Life’.
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RED HOUSE MARKETING P.O. Box 20461, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: (+973) 17 813-777, Fax: (+973) 17 813-700 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.bahrainthismonth.com © Copyright Reserved 2005-2020 The concept, content, style and design of this publication remain the exclusive property of Red House Marketing (Jersey) Ltd. and must not be reproduced in any form whatsoever without prior written permission. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication. However, Red House Marketing cannot accept legal responsibility for any error or omission. • Views expressed in this magazine by journalists and writers are not necessarily those of the publishers of Bahrain This Month. Licensed by the Ministry of Information Publication Code: TA001 ISBN 1 899 348 09 3
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Valentine’s Day Special
George F. Middleton Publisher and Chairman
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February 2021 5
THE BEST SOURCE FOR ALL THINGS GIRLY AND FABULOUS
Beauty Fashion Home Wellbeing Local Issues www.womanthismonth.com
6 February 2021
Exploring Pantone’s colours of the year through fashion
We speak to Jerusalem’s Deputy Mayor for Foreign Relations, Economic Development and Tourism,
How to decorate your home with Pantone’s 2021 colours
www.bahrainthismonth.com bahrainthismonth www.bahrainthismonth.com
The latest Skincare and Makeup products
Ouiam El Hassani urges mothers to tend to their own needs.
Discovering the Silver Lining
Instilling the Rule of Law
Bolstering Historic Relations
Dr. Jarmo T. Kotilaine on his new, reflective book
We speak to renowned law professional, Mr. Ali Aljabal A conversation with the Indian Ambassador, HE Piyush Srivastava
How ‘A Box of Goodness’ changed the lives of over 3000 people
Love in the Time of COVID-19
WOMAN THIS MONTH 18 CONTENTS
How to celebrate this very unique Valentine’s Day
We review KYRO – an exciting dining concept! The best of dining options this Valentine’s Day
My Life in Cars
Dick Potter tells us about Fangio
Business Bites Contactless Convenience
Business Expert, Pria Masson Tanwar, the new world of payments February 2021 7
DISCOVERING THE SILVER LINING Congratulations on releasing your new book! What gave you the inspiration to write it, and why did you decide to focus on the effects of COVID-19? I had already been thinking about the broader issues around economic development and change, and of course the conversation across the region has increasingly shifted toward the realisation that the future of energy markets will not look like the past. With strategies such as Saudi Vision 2030 and the growing interest in economic diversification, this is more apparent than ever. 8 February 2021
As the world continues to be plunged into economic and social difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bahrain has won international praise for its response to the crisis. Kristian Harrison spoke to Dr. Jarmo T. Kotilaine, the Chief of Planning and Monitoring of Tamkeen, fresh after launching his latest book: Trials of Resilience: How COVID19 is driving economic change in the Arab Gulf.
Then, COVID-19 hit and the earlier agenda was no longer quite as timely, but it offered a new perspective to think about these issues. A colleague of mine suggested that I delve into how COVID-19 would affect the region and so I decided to write about it as I had a lot of the material ready, mainly concerned with how the virus is a stress test and a catalyst for change. Can you explain what exactly this â€˜changeâ€™ entails? If there was any doubt that the region would have to change its economic strategy and
people wanted proof that we now live in an uncertain world and we need to build a resilient, diverse and productive economic base, this is it. The way forward has actually been understood for some time, but until now the broader buyin for these changes has been coming somewhat gradually. The pandemic has brought this sense of urgency home to ordinary people and highlighted the importance of change. COVID-19 is obviously bad for everybody with plenty of disruption and human suffering. www.bahrainthismonth.com
interview However, in the context of the Gulf, it has been strengthening the sense of purpose around changes that had been spoken about for years. In a way, this growing determination is a silver lining to the whole crisis. How do you think the economic focus has shifted in the past year? One of the important aspects is that it has underscored the importance of nimbleness after decades of growth that relied on an evolving combination of oil revenues, government spending, and infrastructure investments. Businesses had easy access to low-cost labour and various subsidies, while many sectors saw brisk growth in demand and prices. Now in this new world, things are less predictable and COVID-19 has underscored the importance of thinking ahead. Alas, it is unlikely to be the last shock to the global economy in the 21st century so people need to think about a Plan B. The tendency to assume that the future is always like the past needs to change because productivity comes from looking at alternatives and new ways to manage costs and increase revenues. For economic growth to accelerate, we need to think beyond past practices and focus on productivity. The global experience shows that this is good news for living standards. By contrast, if growth is achieved purely from additional inputs – labour and capital – the impact is less clear. It stands to reason if you bring in more people, you are pushing up the numerator and the denominator at the same time. What effects has the COVID-19 pandemic had on the Gulf region, especially compared to the Western world? The effects on the Gulf region have in some ways been more profound than the Western world because the shift in the corporate environment has been startling compared to, say, Europe, where businesses are used to being on their toes because of economic cycles, tough competition, evolving regulations, new government taxes and trade unions, which are things which force you to keep thinking ahead. One of the areas in which Gulf countries have been channelling revenues into is tourism, which is changing in a way that is unprecedented. The product offering and touristic experience will likely keep evolving and call for new thinking in terms of making capital investments such as resorts, hotels and making them fit for purpose. Recent years have seen huge investments in sectors such as retail. It seems quite clear that e-commerce has been a lifeline for retail companies during this crisis and fundamentally reshaped people’s attitudes because it has offered people a much more convenient way of getting the goods that they want. This does, however, raise questions about how we enable shopping malls and other physical retail facilities to adapt and compete, and how www.bahrainthismonth.com
we enable local businesses to benefit from the rise of e-commerce. How do you feel that the workplace environment has changed since the pandemic hit? The nature of the workplace is changing, with the whole “9-5 model” of coming to the office, doing your work and going home being challenged. Instead, we’ve arrived at a situation where people have worked from home and life has gone on. Many people are working in a way which is much more flexible in terms of hours and availability. If remote work becomes the new norm, which I think it will, what happens to all these offices around? More by default than by design, companies have been forced to invest in digitisation, especially in the service sector with more money invested in technology than in low-cost labour which is great for productivity and also means there is now an alternative to reliance on it. What changes do you expect in the labour market, especially with regards to women? If the labour market becomes more flexible, local talent will be able to offer a better value proposition than the traditional reliance on low-cost labour. Look at female participation for example; women are typically better educated than men in the region but are less likely to join certain sectors in the market for a number of cultural reasons. If we can move to a world where it’s possible for women to become economically active without having to leave home, then a lot of the traditional restrictions ease away because if they can work in a flexible manner, they no longer have the binary choice between their
career and their family. If we move towards this model where we have more people who are working as independent professionals, many companies can reduce the pressure on in-house resources which are not always cost-effective, especially for smaller businesses. Finally, how do you feel Bahrain has handled the COVID-19 situation so far, and how does this bode for the future? I think Bahrain has handled this well and in a way that deserves international recognition. You can see there was a realistic plan and the response in the Gulf has been especially effective by being pragmatic thanks to the readiness to learn to live with this threat rather than shutting down and waiting for it to go away. In places such as Europe, firstly it didn’t go away and then you had everyone playing catch up when restrictions were lifted. Here, lockdowns were short and even more importantly, Bahrain built up huge testing capacity quickly with some of the highest testing rates in the world. This gave Bahrain information about where the virus was spreading and where outbreaks were so they could be contained quickly. The knock-on effect of this was that economic activity could normalise to a very high degree. Obviously ensuring proper compliance with the rules still remains important. But overall, I believe this pragmatic approach has been the right one and now that the Kingdom is moving to scale up on vaccinations quickly, it will create confidence and further facilitate the process of normalising economic activity.
February 2021 9
INSTILLING THE RULE OF LAW An Estonian proverb beautifully states that the law is three days older than the Earth. The rule of law has undoubtedly served as a guiding light for civilisations over time leading to substantial changes and progression in the way countries are governed. With this in mind, Bahrain This Month’s Farah Baig set out to discuss the state of law in the region with Mr. Ali Aljabal – the Founder and Managing Partner at Aljabal Consultancy Company. Mr. Aljabal who is licensed to practice law in Bahrain, is a certified Arbitrator and mediator through the courts in Bahrain, the GCC Commercial Arbitration Centre, a private notary in Arabic and English, and is a fully licensed lawyer in the Sultanate of Oman. Given his prolific career, spanning over 28 years, the International Association of Lawyers (UIA) recently renewed Mr. Aljabal’s position as the UIA Regional Secretary in the Middle East.
THE STATE OF LAW IN THE REGION
Many countries in the Middle East, including the Kingdom of Bahrain, realised the importance of comprehensive legal systems over the past decades, leading to the promotion of the rule of law and development of legislation to match global movements. “This is especially on the economic level, the Kingdom and other Gulf Countries focused on economic issues and attempted to build economies of strength by enacting important initiatives in trade liberalisation, development of the financial sector, labour regulations, human rights and other remarkable changes of policies,” says Mr. Aljabal. “Currently, it is fair to say that these countries enjoy advanced legal systems, a strong rule of law and enforcement mechanisms which highly contributed towards the evolution of those states and their strength,” he added. One of the many benefits of being a lawyer is 10 February 2021
the mental stimulation an attorney experiences when working through complex legal theories, statutes, and case law to find a solution to a legal question. “Most lawyers possess exceptional analytical skills including reading and writing skills as practicing law allows you to use your mental skills each day in effective ways to solve problems. In Bahrain and other Gulf Countries, we adapt a unique legal system that is a mixture of civil law, common law and Shari’a - this exceptional system opens doors of experience and knowledge to the practitioner in the region which cannot be found in other legal systems,” he explains.
property, real estate regulations and cybersecurity laws,” he says. The legal system has also seen a digital transformation so individuals can raise a lawsuit online, submit requests to courts over a website and even take legal enforcement actions. “These changes have not only made it easier for the lawyer, but also greatly contributed to expediting litigation procedures and ruling on cases more quickly, where the Judiciary system in Bahrain became distinguished by speed and accuracy,” he explains.
However, albeit being a noble profession, being a lawyer is also one of the most serious and complex professions in the region with the changing dynamics of law making it quite challenging. “With technological advancements, governments started placing new regulations
Over the last few years, the region has seen unprecedented regional and national laws and regulations which filled great legal gaps which existed before. “This includes laws concerning the protection of personal data, intellectual
interview which have changed existing practices and are expected to change even further. This in turn brings newer and newer regulations making it a big challenge for legal practitioners,” explains Mr. Aljabal , adding that there will always be challenges facing the industry with 2020 being no exception. While none of these challenges are insurmountable, some of them can only be addressed in the long term, including those presented by rapid technological advancements in the past decade. “The ascendancy of information technology and the availability of communication tools have transformed the practice of law. Hence, in my opinion, rapidly evolving technological advances, changing expectations on the part of the public concerning access to information and services, as well as sociologic and economic globalisation, combine to require a reconsideration of traditional ethical rules and regulation mechanisms for the legal profession,” says Mr. Aljabal.
NETWORKING AS A LEGAL PRACTITIONER
Being a member of the UIA gives legal practitioners the opportunity to build a network of over one million lawyers and legal practitioners from more than 120 countries around the world, while being internationally
recognized in the field. “As a regional secretary of the UIA in the Middle East region, it is my responsibility to support the national committee presidents and national representatives of the UIA in the region. I’m also a member of the Governing Board which supervises the implementation of the decisions made by the General Assembly and ensures the smooth running of the association,” he states. UIA members are also updated with the frequent changes of laws and their impact on the profession. “Most importantly, membership in the UIA is a great way to support the legal profession and the protection of lawyers and human rights initiatives worldwide, where lawyers from all countries are united under one roof to protect and enhance the profession,” he says.
KEEPING UP WITH THE DEVELOPMENTS IN LAW The UIA organizes seminars and training sessions regularly in order to keep up with the rapid developments of laws and legal issues around the world. However, due to the current situation of COVID-19 and the restrictions imposed on travel and movement, UIA events are being held online during the current year. “There are around three to four monthly webinars scheduled for this year which concern topics such as issues related to digital
transformation, the role of women lawyers, international commercial arbitration, and biotechnology law, the schedule for which is available on the UIA website,” says Mr. Aljabal.
THE WAY FORWARD FOR YOUTH
A source of pride for Mr. Aljabal is the fact that his consultancy has trained numerous lawyers and legal professionals who are now judges, parliament members and successful lawyers managing law firms. “There are many new faces popping up in the legal profession. However, for the youth to prove themselves different from the big reputed lawyers, it is important for them to work hard in their specialised area, thereby giving them an ‘edge’ in a highly competitive market,” says Mr. Aljabal. The capabilities of newly onboarded professionals needs to be developed through their ongoing personal development. “Possessing the right attitude and working hard to remain stable in the market may be quite challenging for the youth; so, they need to evaluate all the pros and cons and ensure that are aware with updates, developments and amendments in law, even if those updates are beyond the scope of their specialisation; a lawyer needs to be well informed and prepared, always.” he concludes.
February 2021 11
BOLSTERING HISTORIC RELATIONS
The Kingdom of Bahrain and Republic of India have enjoyed cordial relations, bilateral trade and cooperation that has been firmly rooted in history. Ahead of the Indian Republic Day, which is marked on January 26 every year, we met with the prolific individual responsible for representing the 350,000 Indians residing in Bahrain - the Ambassador of India, HE Piyush Srivastava. Having significant experience in the diplomatic field, including being stationed in Berlin and Ghana, HE aims to apply his understanding of global and regional issues during his tenure in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Working closely with Bahrain’s leadership and government, HE aims to further strengthen the multi-faceted ties between the two countries in all spheres including political, security, 12 February 2021
economic and trade, and social and cultural. CURRENT STATUS AND DEVELOPMENT OF TRADE In the present context, both countries have bolstered excellent trade and economic relations. “Key sectors include IT, construction and real estate, food products, iron ore and aluminum, energy, health and financial services. Though I must add that a huge potential is still untapped,” says HE. With Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030, the gateway to the GCC market, has embarked on the journey of diversification of its economy with liberalisation of foreign direct investment (FDI) regime in a number of promising sectors such as financial services, ICT, logistics,
manufacturing and tourism. “Several transformative economic reform measures and initiatives, taken recently by both governments for economic revival in the post COVID-19 scenario, have opened up new opportunities for bilateral trade and investment,” HE explains. In addition, India’s ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat (SelfReliant India)’ policy aims to make India a much stronger part of the global supply and value chain. “These developments have created a new, dynamic synergy between the two countries and have led to the opening up of new avenues for enhanced economic cooperation in sectors such as IT, Fintech, health and pharmaceuticals, defence, space, infrastructure and construction, and energy including solar or renewable energy,” HE adds. www.bahrainthismonth.com
interview BILATERAL TRADE FIGURES “The bilateral trade and investment between India and Bahrain have shown a steady growth in recent years with our bilateral trade amounting to around US$ one billion in 201920,” highlights HE. India is the largest investor in Bahrain with a total investment of about US$ 1.74 billion, including the investment made by the Indian community in Bahrain, as of 2019. “Bahrain is the fourth largest investor in India from the GCC with an investment of US$ 180 million in 2019,” HE states. THE ‘PHARMACY OF THE WORLD’ India is the largest global supplier of generic drugs, and also the largest vaccine producer in the world. Hence, the country’s health and pharmaceutical sector has acquired special significance in the post COVID-19 scenario. “During the pandemic, India has come to be known as the ‘Pharmacy of the world’ having supplied necessary medicines including paracetamol and hydroxychloroquine to over 150 countries around the globe,” HE states. With more than 3000 pharmaceutical companies producing quality and cost-effective drugs, India has become a global player with a presence in all pharma segments: patented, generic and over-the-counter. “This sector has huge potential of increasing bilateral trade and investment. This is evident from the fact that about ninety Indian and Bahraini pharmaceutical companies participated in the virtual B2B meeting organised by the Embassy in October 2020,” HE says.
and other necessary support to the Indian community in Bahrain aside from support and facilitation for repatriation of Indian nationals from Bahrain. “In addition, the government of Bahrain had also announced the amnesty scheme till December 31, 2020 to enable relaxation in stay for illegal expats including Indian expats in Bahrain,” HE says. “We remain thankful to the leadership and government of the Kingdom for the exceptional care taken by them of the Indian community during these difficult times,” HE stresses. The government of India provided 1.5 million Hydroxychloroquine tablets to Bahrain, besides facilitating a special flight to bring Indian nurses and medical professionals to Bahrain for treatment of COVID-19 patients in Bahrain. INDIAN COMMUNITY IN BAHRAIN To date, the Indian community constitutes over 25 percent of Bahrain’s population and form an important link between the two countries. “The Kingdom’s liberal and tolerant policies and welcoming society has made it the preferred destination among Indians which is reflective in the steady growth of the Indian community in Bahrain,” says HE Srivastava. While a significant number of the Indian community members are employed in blue collar jobs in construction and maintenance, the growing community also consists of a
sizeable number of professionals including doctors, engineers, chartered accountants, bankers, managers, nurses and other professionals. “This is in addition to leading individuals at top businesses in Bahrain. The vibrant and dynamic Indian community has contributed to the economic development of the Kingdom, which has been publicly acknowledged by the leadership of Bahrain on several occasions,” HE added. SUPPORTING THE COMMUNITY Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, the Embassy continued to provide various services to the Indian community in Bahrain, besides providing medical, food and other necessary support. “The Embassy works closely with Indian associations and other organisations to support and help the community. In addition, we receive full cooperation from the concerned agencies of the government of Bahrain in this regard,” HE says. All necessary information, awareness and decisions taken by both governments are published on the Embassy’s website as well as its official social media accounts. “As we are now learning to live with this pandemic and the situation is somewhat stabilised, many Indians have returned to Bahrain. Others who have gone back are also willing to return to Bahrain for employment,” HE concluded.
WEATHERING THE PANDEMIC HE states that India and Bahrain have cooperated and coordinated their efforts in fighting the pandemic. “The Indian community, too, has shown tremendous resilience and came together to help the needy members of our community during this time,” HE says. With the support of the Government of Bahrain, under the Government of India’s ‘Vande Bharat Mission’, over 50,000 Indian nationals travelled back to India from Bahrain. “Since September, both countries have also implemented the ‘Air Bubble’ arrangement under which national carriers of both countries are operating a specified number of flights both ways. Over 23,000 Indian nationals have travelled back to Bahrain from India under this arrangement,” HE states. COOPERATION DURING THE PANDEMIC The Government of Bahrain provided medical www.bahrainthismonth.com
February 2021 13
Malaysian Embassy Annual Dinner Party
The Embassy of Malaysia and the Embassyâ€™ Ladies Association jointly organised the annual dinner party on January 28, 2021 at the Swiss-Belresidences Juffair. Everyone present was dressed in a cowboy outfit as per the eveningâ€™s theme.
World Hindi Day at the Indian Embassy
The Embassy of India in Bahrain marked World Hindi Day or Vishwa Hindi Divas, which is celebrated on January 10 annually, at the embassy premises. During the event, students and teachers received awards for their exceptional use of the Hindi language. World Hindi Day is celebrated with the aim of promoting the use of Hindi worldwide and presenting it as an international language.
14 February 2021
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas at the Indian Embassy of Bahrain
The Indian Embassy in Bahrain held a celebratory event to mark Pravasi Bharatiya Divas at the embassy premises in the presence of invited guests, while following all necessary COVID-19 protocols. During the event, the Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of Bahrain, HE Piyush Srivastava awarded the highly-coveted Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award 2021 to QEL Managing Director, Babu Rajan K G. The celebratory day, observed on January 9 by the Republic of India, marks the contribution of the overseas Indian community towards the development of India. The day commemorates the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to Mumbai on January 9, 1915.
February 2021 15
g n i r Shsasings Ble
Bahrain This Month’s Farah Baig finds out how ‘A Box of Goodness’ has changed the lives of over 3000 individuals Random acts of kindness, charitable giving and a generous heart have the power to change the world. There’s no doubt in our mind that every bit of effort goes a long way when it comes to making a change. Here’s where a visionary young Sri Lankan Malay, Miranthi ‘Miro’ Dole comes in. The young woman is the heart and soul behind ‘A Box of Goodness’ - a charitable initiative which has positively impacted the lives of over 3000 less fortunate individuals in the Kingdom of Bahrain over the last four years.
OW IT ALL STARTED
Miro moved to Bahrain in 2015 after a family visit gave her some insight into the Kingdom’s calm and grounded pace of life. “I was active within the Rotaract youth movement in Colombo and social service was always something I was interested in. I wanted to contribute to society in a positive manner and as such I began to think of how I can give back,” says Miro, who started A Box of Goodness in 2016. “The charity started off small as a simple exercise to create the habit of giving, and has grown to enrich more lives over the years. We encouraged people to add one item to a box daily; at the end of a month, they had a box of goodness to donate to someone in need,” she explains. 16 February 2021
The fundamental concept of the charity has been to inculcate the habit of sharing blessings with the less fortunate. “Our belief is that there are ample provisions in this world to go around for everyone - if we only shared,” she says. KEY INITIATIVES The charity aims to enrich local communities, save the environment and reach out to the less fortunate through food drives and emergency relief efforts. “We actively work towards feeding the hungry with the support of our donors who always donate in kind. We aid both: locals and expat workers, without any discrimination. However, we aim to help the most deserving and seek out those who are
the most in need of aid,” she says. Families, individuals, blue collar workers and daily wage earners have all been supported through donations of dry food items, clothing, furniture and toiletries. “We also actively work with local imams in villages to support families with food, baby items, clothing and occasionally, during Gurgaon, toys for children on the streets,’ she says. The charity’s annual projects include a Ramadan Food Drive and a Winter Appeal which are supported by local companies and schools. “Every year we organise a Ramadan Food Drive to aid Muslims observing the fast,” she says, adding that the charity has also assisted the Migrant Workers Protection Society (MWPS) in the past by providing food, clothing and toiletries for migrant workers. www.bahrainthismonth.com
interview “We also generated and shared extensive aid with the Asian workers whose building collapsed in Salmabad in October, 2018. We provided not only dry food items but also toiletries, linen, clothing and more for these workers to get back on their feet,” she explains, highlighting the charity’s response to emergency relief requests when staff accommodations are burnt down or when staff are unpaid for prolonged periods of time. A Box of Goodness supports Al Sanabel Orphan Care Society too, often contributing furniture, clothing and toys to the families in addition to organising group birthday parties for the children. “We also aim to take care of the environment and organise beach cleanups regularly. The plastic we collect off the beaches are donated to the Bahrain Association for the Parents & Friends of the Disabled; who in turn use the funds from the sale of plastic to recycling plants to purchase wheelchairs for the disabled in Bahrain,’ she explains. A RAY OF LIGHT DURING THE PANDEMIC As COVID-19 hit Bahrain and businesses shut down, the charity began a food drive to collect dry food items for those affected. “Our main focus in 2020 was to help as many individuals and families whose livelihood has been compromised due to the global pandemic,” she says. With shop and business closures, many were asked to take unpaid leave and/or have been made redundant. She explains that large numbers of daily wage earners no longer have work and are severely affected. “We have now exceeded our humble expectations and assisted over 1500 people with relief packs including dry food items, cloth masks, milk powder and diapers for infants, toiletries and sanitary products for ladies,” she says, adding that the Kingdom has also provided relief to its citizens and residents, easing the burden of many. “Yet we continue in our efforts to help people with basic food items so that they have one less expense to worry about,” she adds. As the charity is not registered, it is unable to
assist people financially and instead provides aid in kind. “Despite sharing food and other essentials with people; there is a need for financial assistance. People who lost their jobs or who are on salary cuts, still need to pay school fees and rents to sustain themselves and their families,” she says, adding that while many want to continue to live here others have made the hard decision to return to their home countries.
not only fueled hunger but kept spirits alive during difficult times. This project provided relief to so many and we are so grateful to our donors for keeping the spirit of humanity and togetherness alive,” she concluded.
The charity encourages donors to shop and support local businesses so the local economy is supported, and jobs and small businesses can stay afloat. “I myself have opted to shop from local brands, support new businesses and the local youth as opposed to buying from international brands. We have also assisted Shamsaha, previously Women›s Crisis International, with approximately sixty food packs, each sufficient for a family of four, for women in need who appealed to them during the pandemic,” she says. The emergency relief project during COVID-19 provided much needed relief to people who lost their livelihood overnight. “The generosity of our donors encouraged us to extend the project further than we had ever anticipated,” she says. “This was a time when people from all walks of life required our help and we were so blessed to be able to support them. The food we distributed
To get in touch, volunteer or donate to the cause, check out @aboxofgoodness on Facebook or Instagram. To read the full interview, visit www.bahrainthismonth.com.
February 2021 17
Love in the Time of feature
Seven Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day (Safely)
Valentine’s Day can be a bit typical in the sense of how we celebrate, but 2020 and this year too are far from typical, which means that COVID-19 has definitely thrown a wrench in the works. Does it mean you can’t celebrate the one day a year that’s solely dedicated to love? No. Does that mean your Valentine’s Day can’t be special? Absolutely not. We’ve come up with seven ways in which you can make your Valentine’s Day special, while staying safe, and truly make it a day to remember!
Have Your Flowers Delivered Straight to Your Door
What would Valentine’s Day be without flowers? It just wouldn’t feel right… but, naturally, you wouldn’t want to find yourself in a crowded shop at a time like this. So, tap into a bit of premium convenience with the online floristry- Floward where everything is put together safely with all necessary precautions in place. You can just pop onto their website and pick one of their stunning arrangements and get them delivered straight to your valentine’s door. To add to the convenience, Floward has curated a range of stunning packages which could also include high-end perfumes, yummy chocolates, bags, cosmetics and more as gift options, all beautifully put together with an aesthetic arrangement of flowers. To place your order, visit www.floward.com.
18 February 2021
Enjoy a Romantic Getaway with a Brew!
Alternatively, if you’d like to gift a hug in a cup, check out Nespresso’s new World Explorations collection which has six distinct brews. You can’t travel around the world this Valentine’s, but you can order the World Explorations sleeves online and have them delivered straight to your door! Frankly, we quite love that option. Visit www.buynespresso.com for more information.
Treat Each Other with a Surprise Gift
A gift doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive, but perhaps it could be timeless! We’ve been eyeing the range of watches at Ambassador Stores, so be sure to take a look. Check out @ambassadorstores on Instagram for more information.
Enjoy a Hearty Meal at Bambudha!
Indoor dining is off the books once again, in light of the recent developments with COVID-19, but that won’t stop you from being able to book a lovely meal out with your significant other. Bambudha by David and Anne in Juffair has a lovely outdoor seating area and follows all the necessary precautions to keep diners safe. The best part is there’s no shortage of delicious food including their Katsu Chicken, Korean Bulgogi, Citrus Honey-Garlic Shrimp and more! To book your table, call 17 100-188.
Book Yourself a Staycation at Ramee Grand
If you’d like a change of scene, you can book yourself a room at Ramee Grand for an attractive price and enjoy some rest and relaxation with your loved one in the heart of the city. The property offers beautiful views of the city and you can probably enjoy some time by the pool too! Call 17 111-999 for more information.
Order in Some Delicious Indian Food
There’s not a doubt in our mind that you can get some of the best Indian food at Lanterns. So why not order in an amazing spread of mouthwatering tandoori chicken, curries, freshly made naan and perhaps some Rasmalai to end things on a sweet note? Call 17 250-999 for more information.
Curl Up on the Couch and Watch a Movie
Turn the lights down, get some snacks and enjoy a nice movie with your valentine. Just because you can’t go to the cinema, doesn’t mean you can’t recreate the same feeling at home. You’ll find plenty of inspiration in our TV and Film section.
February 2021 19
A Gourmet Dream!
With thousands of restaurants, cafes and lounges dotted across the Kingdom, we’re constantly looking for a concept that will pique our interest. Something that’s not just good, but checks several essential boxes: unique food, beautiful ambience, excellent service and a great vibe. So, you can imagine our pure happiness when we came across Kyro in Adliya, which seemed to offer all that and more!
When visiting Kyro, we were delighted to be seated on the terrace, basking in the pleasant winter sun while watching cars go by. It certainly set the mood for a fabulous lunch prepared by the team headed by Chef Amer Alhawaj who has over ten years of worldly culinary experience.
Baig Farahrs Kyro’s l e discovlly flavourfu a artistic menu.
To start our gastronomical adventure, we were served two appetisers: Arancini and an Artichoke Dip. The Arancini was the perfect mix of textures and literally provided layers of flavour. The classic saffron risotto balls are stuffed with mozzarella and flaky beef that’s been slow-cooked for eight hours. To add to the depth of flavour, it’s served on a bed of flavourful Napoletana sauce, made in-house. The Artichoke Dip, which is quite easily one of the best we’ve had, is topped with pomodoro salsa and sun-dried tomato with a side of crispy garlic baguette. We basked in the pure cheesiness of the dip which prepped our tastebuds for the mains. Chef Amer explained that all their pasta is made from scratch at the restaurant while other ingredients are sourced from around the world – resulting in a very special flavour profile. So naturally, we had to give their pasta a try! The Mushroom and Truffle Agnolotti, which is filled with four kinds of mushroom, is one of the chef’s specials and very highly recommended. We loved the pillowy softness of the hand-rolled Agnolotti and thrived on the pleasant burst of rich mushroom filling… all brought together with an absolutely delicious, creamy black truffle sauce. Next, we tucked into a plate of Mama’s Pasta which is a classic rigatoni pasta dish, tossed in a generous helping of creamy tomato sauce and topped with pine nuts and parmesan. We loved the fact that it was perfectly al dente and that we got to enjoy freshly-made pasta.
The absolute piece de resistance of our experience had to be Chef Amer’s fresh take on a crowd pleaser – ribs. Quite contrary to the usual style of ribs you find in Bahrain, Chef Amer harnesses the effects of technique and refines the ‘Signature Ribs’ while staying true to its meaty goodness. The braised short-ribs are cooked sous vide for 48 hours resulting in a unique texture with just the right amount of bite to it. This is accompanied by a generous helping of mashed potato with authentic French butter, grilled vegetables and a quintessentially Bahraini sauce that has pleasant hints of black lemon, cumin and other familiar flavours – a very welcome touch! To sweeten the experience, Chef Amer recommended the Panna Cotta – a traditional Italian cream dessert to which he adds a hint of nostalgia with delectable raspberry and passion fruit purées, and vibrant edible flowers. We even had the pleasure of diving into the Cinco Leches Sponge Cake which is a five-milk-soaked sponge cake dusted with cinnamon and bedazzled with edible gold leaf. 20 February 2021
We selected a range of delectable mocktails including ‘Delightful’ and ‘Passion Pleasure’, each a creative stroke of artistic genius put together by their experienced mixologist. Kyro is undoubtedly the fresh dining experience that Bahrain needed – one that makes you appreciate technique, experimental flavours and 5-star eats in a unique setting. www.bahrainthismonth.com
FEASTING THIS FEBRUARY! Good food is certainly not a scarcity on the island. Here are some places you can grab a wonderful meal this Valentine’s Day and otherwise too!
g n i n i D c i t Roman
CELEBRATING AMOUR This Valentines, indulge your loved one with some fine-dining at the classy Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain. Relish a ﬁve-course set menu paired with grape as you sway to live musical entertainment. Leave enough room to help yourself to your heart’s desire from the dessert selection. The evening costs BD69 per couple. Early booking is recommended to avoid disappointment. Call 17 460-017..
REIGNITE YOUR ROMANCE
LOVE-LY HIGH TEA
It’s a fantastic opportunity to woo your special someone under the stars on February 14, from 7pm – 11pm. Discover an immersive evening intertwined with a truly romantic, candle-lit ambiance, as Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa’s award-winning restaurant, Fiamma, returns with its trademark San Valentino Dinner. Guests will be offered the finest selection of authentic Italian delicacies. Your intimate evening is further amped up with splendid melodic performances to elevate your dining experience in well-protected ALL SAFE environs. The evening is priced at BD100 per couple, inclusive of a set menu with selected beverages and a bottle of grape. Call or WhatsApp 38 885-789..
This year, celebrate Valentine’s Day with a special themed teatime menu at Bay View, at the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay from February 14 – 20, from noon to 9pm. Guests will be treated to a choice between 18 looseleaf teas, an array of sandwiches and freshly baked scones, presented with clotted cream along with Bay View’s homemade jams. Expect some delicious patisseries by Executive Chef Imad, and a complimentary glass of rose juice and a chocolate box to take home. This delicious experience is priced at BD17 per person, or BD31.500 per couple
SHARE THE LOVE On February 14, from 7pm – 11pm, Crowne Plaza’s La Mosaique Restaurant offers lovebirds an alfresco dining experience around the pool, dinner under the stars and celebration of your love with an intimate 5-course sharing meal infused with aphrodisiac flavours. The meal is priced at BD50 per couple, including soft beverages and a complimentary room with breakfast, or BD80 per couple including unlimited bubbly and a complimentary room with breakfast. Call 17 531-122 / 39 242-391. .
Call 17 115-500.
A ROYAL SERENADE Jumeirah Royal Saray invites you to a romantic candle light dinner on February 14, from 6pm – 11pm, at Brasserie Royale to spoil your loved one with a unique dining experience, where delicious food and picturesque views under the glistening chandeliers will leave you more than satisfied. The meal is priced at BD55 per couple, inclusive of soft drinks, BD60 per couple, inclusive of two glasses of bubbly, or BD70 per couple, inclusive of a bottle of bubbly. WhatsApp 66 720-062..
February 2021 21
TOAST TO TRUE LOVE
Saraya, Fiamma and Rivaaj restaurants at the Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea and Spa will set the stage for a Grand Friday Valentine’s Brunch on February 12, from 12.30pm – 3.30pm. This dreamy escapade is elevated with sensational live entertainment acts that will make you fall in love all over again as you indulge in culinary wonders from across the world. The hotel devotedly follows Ministry of Health safety guidelines and elevated ALL SAFE protocols, accredited by Bureau Veritas, as everyone’s safety is its top priority. The brunch costs BD36, inclusive of selected beverages, and children from 6 to 12 years of age enjoy a 50-per-cent discount. Call or WhatsApp 38 885-789.
ROMANCE AT THE BEACH Sweep your significant other off their feet this Valentine’s Day from 7pm onwards at Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, with the ultimate quality time. Let your private butler serve your intimate five-course dinner on a secluded stretch of beach as you enjoy the soulful serenade by a live band and saxophonist. Surprise your love with a bouquet of fresh roses and a delectable box of chocolates. The unforgettable evening is priced at BD145 per couple, inclusive of soft beverages (welcome mocktail and one bottle of sparkling rose juice), or BD195 per couple, inclusive of extended beverages (welcome drink and one bottle from a selection on the menu). Guests can also benefit with two complimentary day passes to the beach and spa wellness facilities, along with a 20- per-cent discount voucher on any spa treatment. Call 17 115-500.
UNDER THE STARS Al Areen Palace & Spa by Accor will be staging the perfect evening for the most romantic day of the year. Dine under the stars with an exclusive set menu package for BD28 per person, set amidst the lush green backdrop of Keizo garden. Call 36 057-494.
BE MY VALENTINE The Merchant House will host a delightful Valentine’s Day escape at Indigo Terrace, where couples can enjoy a 4-course set dinner menu with a glass of sparkling grape, while they are entertained by the well-known Mo Zowayed, from 8pm – 11pm. The pleasant evening is priced at BD39 per person. Call 16 671-000. 22 February 2021
A SPANISH AFFAIR The newly-opened Salero Spanish Restaurant at The Westin CityuCentre Bahrain invites you to savour a sumptuous Valentine’s Dinner on February 14. A special set-menu will be prepared by Chef Juan Perez for this occasion. The price per couple is BD24, with soft beverages, or BD30 per couple with selected beverages. The dinner will be on from 7pm - 11pm. Call 17 171-300. .
ROMANTIC DINNER IN LEGENDZ Make Valentine’s Day the perfect occasion by experiencing the culinary delights at Legendz Steakhouse, at the InterContinental Regency, Bahrain with your significant other in a stylish, relaxed atmosphere. Relish the chef’s creation of five courses, priced at BD59 for two persons, from 6pm – 10.30pm. Call 17 227-777..
AN INTIMATE CULINARY EXPERIENCE This Valentine›s day, treat your other half to an exclusive dining experience at the luxurious Al Hadiqa private pool cabanas with your personal butler service at the Jumeirah Royal Saray. The evening extends from 6pm – 11pm, and costs BD175 per couple, including selected beverages. WhatsApp 66 720-062..
SWEET AND SIMPLE ROMANTIC CABANA DINNER This Valentine’s Day, fall in love with your special one all over again under a beautifully lit cabana near the poolside at Elements Pool and Lounge, at the InterContinental Regency, Bahrain in a private, romantic ambience. Couples can savour an exquisite dinner with unlimited pink drinks and bites, priced at BD59 for two persons, from 6pm – 10.30pm. Call 17 227-777..
Head to Crossroads for an elegant dining experience. The outlet, located in Juffair offers a four-course set menu and a signature Valentine’s Day mocktail to guests, all for BD34 per couple Call 17 363-999. .
February 2021 23
A NEW ADDITION Enjoy the unique ambience of the Rotunda at Furn Bakery, located at The Westin City Centre Bahrain, while you sample Furn Frappé, a brand-new addition on the outlet’s menu. Take your pick from the selection that includes Mocha Frappé, Caramel Frappé, Toffee Frappé and Matcha Frappé. Pair your treat with mouthwatering goodies from the Furn Bakery display, any time between 8am – 11pm. Call 17 171-144..
VERY JAPANESE Elements, at the InterContinental Regency, Bahrain, presents a new Sushi Brunch. Here is where guests can unwind on a relaxed Saturday by the poolside, between 12.30pm – 4pm, while treating the taste buds to an ‘all-you-can-eat’ Asian brunch served at their table. Dishes include a range of Sushi rolls, Sashimi, roba, bao and Asian influenced desserts. The brunch is priced at BD16 for the Unlimited Sushi Package, BD19 for the Unlimited Buffet Package, or BD29 for the Selected Beverage Package. Call 17 227-777..
LADIES’ DAY OUT Ladies, head to the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, where CUT By Wolfgang Puck hosts a spectacular ladies brunch every Friday, from 12.30pm – 3.30pm. Have a delightful afternoon as delicious dishes crafted by the talented Wolfgang Puck team, unlimited beverages and catching up with your tribe make for the best brunch ever. Enjoy your time on the terrace or indoors, overlooking the best views of the Four Seasons island and Bahrain Bay. The meal is priced at BD34, inclusive of food and complimentary extended beverages for ladies, or BD48 for the extended beverage package Call 17 115-044..
FOR THE LOVE OF PIE Its Pie Day Sunday at The Backyard and Harvesters, Crowne Plaza Bahrain. From 3pm – 11pm every Sunday, get a homemade pie in flaky pastry from a great selection, along with mash or chips topped with brown onion gravy. This hearty meal will be combined with a selected cold pint or house grape, all for BD7. Call 17 531-122 / 39 920-163. 24 February 2021
A SPECIAL CURATION Banish the boredom on Friday, February 12, and head to brunch at the exotic Al Areen Palace & Spa by Accor. The lavish brunch beckons amongst astounding views and good food that will leave you completely satiated. Call 36 057-494..
THE CHOICE IS YOURS nّ terContinental Regency, Bahrain’s Selections Restaurant is a chic outlet that offers a wide range of delicious European, Asian and Middle Eastern dishes. Fisherman & Butcher is a special evening featuring seafood and meat selections from a lavish display along with a set starter and dessert menu. For those who cannot decide between seafood or meat, and want to take their love for both to the next level, this offer is on every Thursday from 7pm – 10.30pm and is priced at BD19 for the Soft Beverage Package, or BD29 for the Selected Beverage Package. Call 17 227-777..
February 2021 25
Adamas Bahrain Motors Opens Service Centre Adamas Bahrain Motors has opened its stateof-the-art Service Centre in the Kingdom, ahead of the highly anticipated showroom unveiling scheduled for April 2021. Adamas Motors enters the Kingdom with three iconic marque’s, Aston Martin, Lotus Cars and Morgan Motors with a fourth to follow. The service centre located in Nuwaidrat will service all brands under the Adamas Motors umbrella as well housing a temporary showroom in the leadup to its Moda Mall opening at the end of this quarter. Due to COVID-19 restrictions no official inauguration took place but instead a very careful one on one round table appointment adhering to all
26 February 2021
COVID-19 protocols. During the meetings, Adamas Motors Operations Director Chris Buxton, said: “We are very pleased to have opened this fantastic authorized service centre for Aston Martin, Lotus and Morgan Motor Company and are ready to welcome existing and new customers.” Commenting on the opening, Karl Hamer CEO Adamas Motors said: “We are very proud to open this facility and invest in Bahrain. It is the precursor to our main showroom in Moda Mall. We are honoured with the welcome we have been given in the Kingdom and I am grateful for the hard work and support our team have shown to date.”
A LIFE OF SPEED
Dick Potter reflects on the F1 marvel that was Juan Manuel Fangio
ne name in motorsport racing. It evokes awe in race drivers. Fangio.
Apart from cars, sport is a huge interest in my life. Golf, tennis, football and F1, to name a few, are just some of the interests I while away my time with- I’m a dab hand with the ironing also mind you - not that the missus would concur with that! Thankfully, F1 has survived many of the sports denied our access due to COVID-19 restrictions. Now, love it or hate it, F1 is a glamour sport. The noise, colour and - let’s not forget the money - all add up to theatre on four wheels perchance its survival in COVID-19 times?! Undoubtedly, F1 has served up many moments that shall be forever etched in the minds of F1 fans. F1 has also provided some brilliant race car themed movies - Ferrari v Ford, Rush and Senna, to name a few. However, a recent, and truly enjoyable Netflix offering that recently caught my eye, was that about Juan Manuel Fangio called, ‘A Life of Speed: Juan Manuel Fangio Story’, which was only enhanced by the narration provided by Jackie (ahem, “Sir” Jackie Stewart). In an era when comparisons of sporting greats across various time periods are often made think Woods or Nicklaus, Federer or Laver - you get my drift, such comparisons also occur within F1, especially given the unfortunate enforced retirement of the great Schumi and the modern-day acclaim of Sir Lewis. Although Fangio’s star was at its zenith many www.bahrainthismonth.com
moons ago, there are a vast percentage of F1 fans that might consider Juan Fangio the man to be right up there and, were he here today, to be in front of, or at least nipping at the tail lights, of the aforementioned racing drivers. I think one of Fangio’s races that makes one stand back and simply think “wow”, was the German Grand Prix in 1957 at Nürburgring. In case you weren’t a spectator-no, I wasn’t either- let me refresh your memory. The race consisted of 22 laps of a grueling 28km circuit. Fangio noticed the Ferraris were starting on full tanks and planning zero pit stops so he started with a lighter half tank and soft tyres. The purpose of this of course was to make his car faster. He had built a lead of 30 seconds by the time he pitted, but a disastrous lost wheel nut cost him precious time. Getting back out, he was now a full minute behind the leader, only a chap named Mike Hawthorne. Fangio broke the track record nine times and drove like the devil to sneak in a victory by three seconds. Fangio was - quite understandably - exhausted for 48 hours after this feat. However, I’m sure his fatigue was somewhat alleviated on hearing that the race he had won was - at that time - acclaimed as the greatest race of modern times!
Fangio is accredited with having the highest win percentage ever, with a whopping 46.15 per cent of his races being victories and his career earned him five world championships with three different car manufacturers. Not even Sir Lewis has emulated this .... yet.
Liked reading about Fangio? You can reach out on email@example.com. February 2021 27
LAYING FOUNDATIONS Bentley Motors has celebrated the official opening of its new campus – with the company’s entire industry-leading facilities now encompassed within a single site in Crewe, England. A convoy of Bentley cars marked the occasion as the 1929 4½-litre supercharged Team Car, the Blower Continuation Series ‘Car Zero’ and a range of current generation Bentleys paraded down Pyms Lane. Commenting on Bentley’s investment and continued commitment to Crewe, Peter Bosch, Member of the Board for Manufacturing, said: “Bentley is in a period of significant and rapid redefinition; transforming a 101-year-old luxury car company into a new, sustainable, wholly ethical role model. We are accelerating our path to electrification and end-to-end carbon neutrality, and we can only achieve these ambitions through world-class facilities that elevate our status as the leader in sustainable luxury mobility,” The creation of the campus, home to around 4,000 Bentley colleagues, follows years of planning, consultation and positive support from Cheshire East Council. Bentley’s November Beyond100 announcement committed to offer sustainable luxury. This includes switching its model range to offer exclusively plug-in hybrid or battery electric vehicles by 2026, and full electric vehicles only by 2030.
Jaguar Classic is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the legendary C-type sports racer by creating a strictly limited production run of new C-type Continuation cars, which will be hand built at Jaguar’s world-class Classic Works facility. The C-type Continuation programme will allow historic motor racing enthusiasts to purchase a new factory-built example of the ultimate 1953 disc-braked ‘works’ C-type direct from Jaguar for the first time. The C-type, which was originally made between 1951-53, was famed for its exceptionally fluid shape and also won the gruelling Le Mans 24 Hours on its debut in 1951, scoring the first of Jaguar’s seven outright wins at the French endurance race. Eight new C-type Continuation cars will be built ahead of a racinginspired celebration event for their owners in 2022. Each example will reflect the 1953 Le Mans-winning works team car specification, including 3.4-litre straight-six engine with triple Weber 40DCO3 carburettors for 220bhp and disc brakes.
Porsche is celebrating the 25th birthday of its roadster family with a special anniversary model: the Boxster 25 Years. The limited edition is restricted to 1,250 units worldwide and is based on the GTS 4.0 model, which is powered by a 4.0-litre six-cylinder boxer engine with 400 PS (294 kW). It makes reference to numerous design features of the Boxster concept car that heralded the success story of the open-top two-seater at the 1993 Detroit Motor Show. One of the most striking features of the special model is the reinterpreted colour Neodyme, a copper-like shimmering brown. In keeping with the style of the historic original, the special model combines a Bordeaux leather interior with a red fabric convertible top. With effortless response, exceptional power delivery and a rich sound, the high-revving 400 PS (294 kW) naturally aspirated engine guarantees an especially emotive driving experience. Porsche is offering the Boxster 25 Years with a manual six-speed transmission and a seven-speed Porsche dual-clutch transmission (PDK). The special-edition model reaches a top speed of 293 km/h and, in combination with the PDK gearbox and standard Sport Chrono package, sprints from zero to 100 km/h in four seconds. First units are expected to arrive in the market end of April 2021. 28 February 2021
BREAKING NEW GROUND The Jeep brand continues to shatter expectations of the full-size SUV segment with the all-new 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L, which for the first time ever, seats seven. The newest iteration is designed and engineered to deliver an unmatched combination of even more legendary 4x4 capability, superior on-road refinement, premium styling and craftsmanship inside and out, and a host of advanced safety and technology features. The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L delivers improved unrivaled capability along with composed on-road driving dynamics. Legendary off-road capability begins courtesy of three 4x4 systems – Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II with rear electronic limited slip-differential (eLSD). It offers buyers a choice of two powerful, fuel-efficient and refined engines with proven performance for any driving situation. In addition, it receives a multitude of improvements to optimize ride, handling and quiet sound, while also reducing weight and improving fuel economy. Notably, the all-new 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L offers more than 110 safety and security features, including innovative applications of technologies that refine the connection between driver, vehicle and the road.
A STRONG DEBUT
Behbehani Brothers announces the addition of two new models to its ŠKODA model range available in the kingdom: the ŠKODA KAMIQ and ŠKODA SCALA.
The ŠKODA KAMIQ blends the typical advantages of the SUV segment, such as increased ground clearance and a raised seat position with the agility of a compact car and ŠKODA’s characteristic emotive design. It boasts state-of-the-art assistance and infotainment systems, a generous amount of space and numerous Simply Clever features. The new KAMIQ’s split headlights feature daytime running lights above the main headlights, creating new, distinctive visual highlights. The new SCALA is setting new benchmarks in the compact segment by incorporating new technology, an emotive design, a high degree of functionality and state-of-the-art connectivity. The ŠKODA SCALA is equipped with a high level of active and passive safety, as well as full LED headlights and tail lights, plenty of space and a wealth of Simply Clever features. Felix Miranda, General Manager, ŠKODA Bahrain said: “I am confident the new KAMIQ will make a strong debut in the dynamic, growing city SUV segment as it has everything it needs to win over a great number of new customers.” “The new ŠKODA SCALA is setting standards in the compact segment in terms of technology, safety and design and is sure to be widely welcomed in the kingdom.” he added. Both models are now available at the ŠKODA showroom in Sitra.
A GRAND START!
Formula 1 has announced that the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship will open its season in Bahrain. This follows the postponement of the Australian Grand Prix due to the current situation regarding COVID-19, with the season now starting a week later. The Melbourne race has been rescheduled and will now take place November 18 to 21 following an agreement between F1 and Australian authorities. The move is part of a series of changes on the 23-race F1 calendar confirmed today by F1. Whilst the dates for the Bahrain race will remain as previously announced, these changes will mean that the 2021 season will be the third time that the F1 season will be starting at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC). The championship-opener was also previously held at BIC in 2006 and 2010. More details on the 2021 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix will be announced in due course. BIC Chief Executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa said: “We thank F1 for trusting us with hosting the 2021 season-opener under the revised schedule. It is an honour to be kicking off the new season and we look forward to welcoming back the F1 family to Bahrain. “We are also pleased to see Australia on the calendar later in the year and wish them and everyone else in F1 the very best as we prepare for the new season.” For more information, visit bahraingp.com. www.bahrainthismonth.com
February 2021 29
BAHRAIN MAKES STRIDES IN ADOPTING CRYPTOCURRENCIES Economic expert, Ammar Awachi, has highlighted that the kingdom, through the Central Bank of Bahrain, has made strides towards understanding, enabling, and localising the cryptocurrency industry continuing the path of success achieved by the field of FinTech. He stressed the importance of boosting awareness about the concept of digital currencies, including Bitcoin, among the Bahraini community considering the significant increase in Bitcoin’s value recently. “Bitcoin is described now as ‘Digital Gold’, referring to investors› reliance on it as a store of value in times of crisis, similar to what happens with gold. Digital currencies are not expected to replace their traditional counterparts during the next five years at least, but they will strengthen their position as a store of value,” explained Mr. Awachi.
“It is imperative that people understand the definition of its working mechanism and how it is used and traded, in addition to digital wallets dedicated that exist in diverse forms of software or electronic services that can store cryptocurrency and conduct transactions,” he concluded.
AND THE AWARD GOES TO…
GOOD MANUFACTURING PRACTICES IN BAHRAIN
One of the leading Bahraini financial institutions in the field of Islamic banking, Al Baraka Islamic Bank (AIB), has been awarded the ‘Best Islamic Retail Bank for Social Responsibility Award 2020’ and ‘Best Islamic Retail Banking Product (Assets Side) 2020 for Tamkeen Finance’ by the Awards Committee of the Islamic Retail Banking Awards (IRBA). The Online Awards Ceremony (OAC) of the 6th
edition was held live on December 15 and broadcasted through multiple online channels. Chief Executive Officer of Al Baraka Islamic Bank, Hamad Abdulla Al Oqab, said: «We are extremely honored and proud of receiving these awards from this prestigious institution, and we perceive it as an added motivation for us to continue improving our retail banking portfolio and creating value-added products, along with offering the best Sharia-compliant banking services around.» The Islamic Retail Banking Awards (IRBA) is the first-of-its-kind Islamic banking awards program based on the most academically rigorous analysis of global Islamic banking efficiency performance. ‘Tamkeen Finance’ allows entrepreneurs to grow their businesses further with fully Shari’a-compliant finance facilities from Al Baraka Islamic Bank in partnership with Tamkeen.
REINFORCE BAHRAIN’S LEADERSHIP IN HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INDEX
Intertek, a Total Quality Assurance provider to industries worldwide, has announced that it has awarded Arabian German Manufacturing Company W.L.L in Bahrain (AGMA), the ISO 22716:2007 certification for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for cleaning products. AGMA is one of the main producers of cleaning products in Bahrain, and has achieved certification for the ISO 22716:2007 standard for the first time. The award was presented to Head of Quality at AGMA, Sana A. Aleem Abdullah, by Area Manager at Intertek Business Assurance Bahrain & KSA Western Region, Hesham Abbas. ISO 22716:2007 is an international standard for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) that provides guidelines and requirements which an organisation must meet to assure its products meet industry standards. ISO 22716 introduces a management systems approach to documenting and regulating the production, control, storage, and shipment of products. The ISO standard’s guidelines also provide manufacturers with practical methods for managing the many factors that can affect product quality and is aimed at enhancing the safety and quality of the products.
Chairman of the Bahrain Society of the Private Training Institutes (BSPTI), Nawaf Mohammed Al Jishi, affirmed that training institutes can play a prominent role in promoting the Kingdom’s leadership in the Human Development Index (HDI) of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
training, in addition to training of Bahrainis helps them improve their income levels by finding a job opportunity or career advancement. In addition, women represent the most extensive part of the total number of trainees, which qualifies them for greater participation in the labor market,” said Mr. Al Jishi.
«Bahrain has maintained its position in the ‘very high human development’ category of the index, based on its average income, education, and the participation of women in the workforce. Training institutes play a significant role in linking education and practical
In UNDP’s report which was recently released, it indicated that between 2014 and 2019, Bahrain has gone up six positions, making it the Arab country with the second-largest upwards leap in terms of the HDI ranking.
30 February 2021
A VALUABLE PARTNERSHIP One of the leading card processing services providers in the Middle East and Africa, SINNAD, signed its successful processing agreement with a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, Ithmaar Bank. The partnership intends to allow Ithmaar Bank to operate its cards services through unparalleled, state-of-the-art system and services, facilitating card processing businesses with ease and convenience. General Manager, Retail Banking Group, Mohamed Janahi said: “The Bank›s ambitions combined with
SINNAD’s expertise in this field, shall enable us to introduce new products and services in a safer and more protected environment.” General Manager of SINNAD, Rana Almaeeli said: “Gaining one of the largest Islamic Banks in Bahrain on SINNAD’s platform is a major milestone in our strategic expansion plan. As we have always aimed to diversify our services, SINNAD has adopted all Sharia-compliant concepts to better cater to our banks’ needs through a wide variety of services and products.”
Promoting Innovation and Economic Growth
GROWTH IN CYBERCRIME IN THE MIDDLE EAST
The American Chamber of Commerce in Bahrain (AmCham) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Entrepreneurs Organization Bahrain Chapter (EO) that aims to further the purpose of both organizations by combining their strengths and actively seeking avenues of cooperation amongst their esteemed members and extended circles to promote new relationships, innovation, and economic growth. This MoU was signed by President of EO, Mohanned Al-Anni, and President of AmCham, Qays Zu’bi. Also present to witness the signing were EO Board Members; Feryal Nass and Fareed Bader, and AmCham Executive Director, Mary McGinnis. www.bahrainthismonth.com
Experts at the global cybersecurity company Kaspersky expect growing economic turbulence, along with the impact of COVID19, to contribute to an increase in cybercrime across the Middle East. These and other findings are documented in Kaspersky’s new report Kaspersky Security Bulletin: Cyber threat estimates for 2021 in META region. “Even though every country globally has had to deal with the pandemic in its own way, developing economies across Middle East have been especially hard hit by national lockdowns and limited business activity. Thanks to the increased connectedness of people, the rise in unemployment will not only see a spike in traditional crime, but this will also extend to the digital environment – something we are already seeing,” said cybersecurity expert for Kaspersky, Dmitry Galov. Adding further pressure to this melting pot of cyberattacks is an expected rise, along with changes in strategy, in Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs). Compounding this is the concern around hackers-for-hire and cyber mercenary groups targeting SMEs and financial institutions. February 2021 31
CONTACTLESS CONVENIENCE Business expert, Pria Masson Tanwar, talks about contactless, app-based payments
ust today, I had forgotten my wallet at home and had to pay for groceries. I however did have my phone. So, I asked for the option to pay for with any of the popular local wallet apps: b-wallet, Viva Cash or Benefit Pay. The store promptly offered me the option to use one of the above and when there was an issue, the cashier offered to allow me to transfer to her number and she would settle with the store. If I look back to our lives before contactless, app-based systems, this interaction would have been one out of a sci-fi novel. These systems are the part of the fintech ecosystem that touches our lives daily and in multiple forms. The wi-fi enabled credit and debit cards, the telecom operators that now allow us to add money to our mobile accounts have begun to establish payment gateways and systems for everyday interactions.
This allows them to reduce the costs at each stage of customer interaction. Core telecom operators like Batelco and Viva front end as a payment gateway with backend tie-ups. So, while they act like payment gateways, they are simply linked through bank accounts, to the various vendors. When you add to the wallet account, the money is stored in the operators’ own account and is available for use by them – unless you spend it. Even if you spend 80% of what is in your telecom wallet, they still get an additional 20% per user. That multiplies into a lot of money that is then available for their cash management and usage.
Technology has been a gift through the pandemic, but nothing has permeated our lives as much as electronic payment systems. That is the broad area that all these payment systems fall under. An electronic payment system is inherently contactless, usually mobile, and always accountable. It has gained traction over 2020 and new entrants and innovative systems are emerging rapidly.
New businesses are also emerging as part of this ecosystem. Standalone, independent electronic payment gateways are also gaining headwinds in Bahrain. BenefitPay is a popular payment gateway that operates in the B2C area as well while gateways like NEC payments or even Gatee that focus on the B2B segment. Of the many advantages of these independent systems, the one that benefits the end user the most is probably that they can interact with a variety of banks and vendors. It also eases the load on the core banking operations and gives banks additional ways to access customers.
Companies are doing this to either consolidate their supply chains by integrating into product lines that are linked to their core offerings; or, to access customers in ways they could not earlier.
These businesses however are capital intensive, and the fixed costs are very high. Data storage, encryption and security are the bedrocks of these businesses just as factory and equipment are to
32 February 2021
manufacturing facilities. Tie-ups and marketing form the other end of the whole eco-system. Even in the world of technology and contactless interaction, it’s ultimately relationships, agreements and personal interactions that create that ecosystem and allow it to operate the way it does. Why a particular store prefers one app to another, why they accept some cards and not others and how much all this adds to the final consumers experience and convenience – that is the core focus of any electronics payments gateway. Rather, it is the core of any business irrespective of its dependence on technology. Pria is a business consultant and advisor. You can follow Pria at her Instagram handle businessclues33 or read more of her articles at www.business-clues.com
A birthday party was held for Maya with invited friends at Al Ghawiâ€™s residence in ERA Tower.
Farewell Dinner with Alfred Simms-Protz
Alfred Simms-Protz hosted a small farewell dinner for his friends at the Swiss Belresidences in Juffair.
February 2021 33
BTM brings you the latest gadgets to push your technological buttons.
NIX digital photo frame There are high-tech options out there that change the traditional, static photo frame into something more interactive and able to show more than just one snapshot of a favourite memory, place or person. You may want to consider the NIX digital photo frame for a gift this Valentine’s Day; not only is it available in 8- to 15.6-inch models, but the plugand-play photo frame is also controllable via motion or remote control and can be used in both portrait and landscape settings.
Wacom Bamboo Folio Scribble sweet nothings for your partner on this smart pad. You can use the pen to write on any paper you like, then use the companion app to convert it into a digital version which you can send to your loved one. You can even create a shopping list for Valentine’s Day on it and make sure your better half walks through the door bearing bags of goodies. Anything more important can also be saved to other cloud services like Dropbox. 34 February 2021
Skullcandy Sesh wireless earbuds An affordable gift this Valentine’s Day for music lovers is the Skullcandy Sesh, a pair of wireless earbuds in three different colours. These budget-friendly earbuds come in a case containing a rechargeable battery and once paired with your mobile device, you can expect up to 10 hours of playback.
One gift that’s sure to make your significant other’s eyes light up (with colour) is the Nanoleaf Canvas. This is a set of square light panels that add life to any old boring wall and make it interactive. Not only will the lights dance to those love songs you’ll be listening to on Valentine’s Day, you and your partner can even play some games on them as they’re touch-sensitive. You can either create your own light patterns and games, or choose from thousands already available on the app. www.bahrainthismonth.com
Folding book lamp Smart Oil Diffuser Candles and scents can help create a relaxing environment at home, and if your other half agrees with this statement, perhaps a smart oil diffuser could be a valued gift this Valentine’s Day. Maxcio’s Wi-Fi oil diffuser is able to diffuse up to 400ml of oil in your home on either low or high settings. You can also schedule the device via a mobile application and the diffuser has controllable LED lights as an accompanying touch.
If your better half is a book lover, this gift will be a very sweet addition to their bedside table – a portable lamp that looks exactly like a real book. Thanks to its adaptable design, the lamp can be opened up to reveal pages or stored away as a closed novel. It even opens up into a full circle like a round folding fan.
Perfect Drink Pro Cocktail fans, rejoice: a smart scale and app combination to help you master the perfect drink. Named the Perfect Drink Pro, this Wi-Fi and Bluetoothenabled product contains over 400 recipes. As you add each ingredient to the glass, the scale measures up and tells you when to stop. You can also scale up the measurements depending on how many people you are creating a cocktail for.
Technology doesn’t automatically have to be unromantic, and the Lovebox proves it. This cute gift idea is a digital message system which allows you to use a mobile app to send a note, message or drawing remotely to the box. The heart on the front spins when a message is received.
SodaStream Source Element A great way to enjoy Valentine’s Day evening is to relax at home with your special someone and enjoy a drink, or two. SodaStream’s Source Element has three levels of fizz to tingle your taste buds, available right there on the appliance’s LED display. The carbon dioxide canister is refillable so join your partner in keeping the planet plastic free this Valentine’s Day and gift them a SodaStream. www.bahrainthismonth.com
All these nifty gadgets are available on
February 2021 35
Immortals Fenyx Rising VERDICT:
A fun mythological adventure
WHAT IS IT?
Immortals Fenyx Rising is an action-adventure video game developed by Ubisoft. You play as Fenyx, a new winged demigod, on a quest to save the Greek gods and their home from a dark curse. Take on mythological beasts, master the legendary powers of the gods and defeat Typhon, the deadliest Titan in Greek mythology, in an epic fight for the ages.
Fenyx can traverse the world quickly through climbing cliffs, riding on a mount, and flying using the wings of Daedalus. He is also accompanied by a companion bird named Phosphor, which can identify locations of interest on the map. Players can explore the world and find rifts which teleport them to the Vaults of Tartaros, which are a series of platforming challenges that require players to utilise both Fenyx’s combat and traversal abilities. The world of the Golden Isles are occupied with various enemies inspired by Greek mythology, including minotaurs to cyclopes. There are two modes of melee attack; light attacks with a sword which are fast but weak, and heavy attacks with an axe which are slow but strong. Fenyx can also use bows and arrows to defeat enemies.
The game is set in a large open world, consisting of seven distinct regions inspired by the Greek gods. The Golden Isle is a pretty alluring destination. Immortals’ oil-painting esque presentation can be quite striking as you gallop through lush meadows or take in the sights from a cliff top, while the day/night cycle ensures the tone of the landscape is always evolving.
Hitman 3 is the dramatic conclusion to the World of Assassination trilogy. Agent 47 returns as a ruthless professional for the most important contracts of his entire career on this globetrotting adventure. Like its predecessors, Hitman 3 is a stealth game played from a third-person perspective and players will travel to various locations and carry out contracted assassinations in places such as Dubai, Dartmoor, Berlin, and Chongqing.
PERSONA 5 STRIKERS
Persona 5 Strikers is a gameplay crossover between Koei Tecmo’s hack and slash Dynasty Warriors series, and Atlus’s role-playing game Persona series. It features elements from both franchises, such as the real-time action combat of the former with the turnbased Persona-battling aspect of the latter. Joker, the game’s protagonist, is able to wield multiple Personas, which are gained through random drops or by defeating named mini-bosses in dungeons. These Personas can then be brought to the Velvet Room, where they can be fused to create new Personas. 36 February 2021
The Medium is a psychological horror game played in thirdperson as Marianne, a medium who can travel into the spirit realm. The game is built around a central motif: how your perspective changes your perception. Being able to inhabit both worlds aids puzzle solving. Her psychic abilities may also be used against hostile forces and are recharged by interacting with energy spots called spirit wells. www.bahrainthismonth.com
websites Exploring the wonderful world of the internet? Check out these sites that we find quite useful! www.gifts.com/ redenvelope
Stuck for Valentine’s Day gift ideas? The gorgeous scrapbook-style images on Red Envelope should provide some inspiration. The site specialises in romantic gifts year round, but they also have a specific Valentine’s Day section.
www.organicbouquet.com There are a lot of online flower delivery services, but Organic Bouquet is one of the best in terms of sheer visual impact. Their site uses a lot of rich colours and highdefinition photographs that do a great job of selling their product.
This craft-oriented online shop and blog is everything that a craft website should be: colourful, whimsical, and full of Pinterestworthy images. They also do a good job of blogging about seasonal crafts and currently have posts on rainbow loom Valentine’s bracelets and Valentine’s cards.
Why do you need to destroy the environment just to tell your other half how special they are? There are lots of great e-card websites, but Paperless Post is one of the best. It offers a large selection of cards with an option to pre-programme delivery for the day itself.
ORDERS AND RESERAVTIONS, CALL +973 17522733 NEW: Najia Maki
February 2021 37
VALENTINE’S DAY IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER. HERE ARE SOME APPS THAT CAN HELP YOU MAKE IT A MEMORABLE ONE!
ALLRECIPES DINNER SPINNER
HEART LIVE WALLPAPER
Allrecipes Dinner Spinner is a great app if you’re staying in for Valentine’s Day. It has a virtual ton of recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and more. The app lets you save your favourite recipes, check out step-by-step cooking videos (for those of us who are culinary challenged), and you can add ingredients to a built-in shopping list to make things easier. Whether it’s dinner the night before or breakfast the morning after, this app has you covered. It’s one of the essential Valentine’s Day apps for those planning a date at home.
Holiday-themed live wallpapers are a popular and fun way to decorate your phone and there are quite a few live wallpapers themed for Valentine’s Day. It features dark backgrounds with a customisable heart image that can be made to do all kinds of stuff. The app also features a countdown timer to Valentine’s Day and the background can be almost any colour you want. It looks good and suits the holiday perfectly. You can never customise your phone too much.
IHEARTRADIO It has been said that music is what emotions sound like and on Valentine’s Day there are a lot of emotions flying around. Whether you need something upbeat and fun or something slow and romantic, iHeartRadio almost definitely has a music station to suit your needs. To add to the harmonious feelings, the icon is a big, giant heart. It couldn’t be more perfect.
38 February 2021
VALENTINE’S DAY SPECIAL If you want to stretch Valentine’s Day across a whole week, this app from Greetings Card Creator is a nice pick. You can send quotes, cards and other loving mementos to your loved one at the touch of a button. You can use a photo from your camera or select an image from the gallery, add a Valentine’s Day frame or perhaps a sticker, save and then share it on social media.
Introducing Impeccably produced in rich analogue glory, this 12-song set dials in on Frazer’s strengths as a vocalist, propped up on a platform of horn-assisted, rhythmically pleasing classic soul, R&B and light funk. Having already proven that he can nail a vintage sound and feel, he wisely sets his sights on song craft, populating his debut with a host of memorable, well-written songs that fit the ‘60/’70s vibe while adding some personality to the mix..
Paul McCartney McCartney III Verdict:
The legend is still going strong.
What’s the story? McCartney III is the 18th solo album by English musician Paul McCartney. It serves as a continuation to his solo albums McCartney (1970) and McCartney II (1980). Like those albums, McCartney III features the former Beatle on all instruments. The album was recorded in early 2020 at McCartney’s studio in Sussex, England while in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. McCartney began by recording the instrument he wrote the song on, then added further layers.
Worth a listen? McCartney III doesn’t quite have the shock of the new the way that the homespun McCartney and synth-laden McCartney II do; he’s not attempting new forms or ideas, instead returning to themes that have served him well over the years, whether they’re plucked acoustic ditties, plaintive piano ballads or stomping rockers. Execution makes a big difference, though. McCartney III is constructed at a modest scale, the arrangements so uncluttered that it’s easy to hear the years on McCartney’s voice. Maybe he can’t hit the high notes the way he used to, maybe he sounds a bit weathered, but the change in his singing has a profoundly humanising effect, especially when heard in conjunction with his distinctive drumming and fuzzed-out guitars. Despite these signs of age, McCartney III isn’t an album about mortality, it’s about finding sustenance in rough times.
10 Years Gone While plotting a worldwide tour to celebrate their tenth anniversary, the pandemic hit and Deafheaven were left with unfulfilled plans. The band’s solution was to record eight songs live in studio in a single setting drawn from the material they were going to tour. This album offers an imperfect yet stellar balance of instrumental grandeur and uncontrollable emotion. Lead singer George Clarke’s screaming gives his vulnerable lyrics authority in league with the group’s extreme, yet cannily precise, approach. 10 Years Gone is essentially a live greatest-hits package that the band delivers with emotional heft and breadth by employing expansive sonic perceptions of dynamically rendered nuance, imaginative textures and a virtually limitless technical mastery.
Whole Lotta Red Most of this hour-long album is comprised of a background of chaotic synthesisers and distorted bass while Carti rushes chaotically through a frenzy of ideas. Tracks like “New Tank,” “Stop Breathing,” and “JumpOutTheHouse” are violent in a way that pushes beyond the menace of everyday rap brags and bravado, tapping into something more immediate and frightening than lyrics about guns and money. It’s an album that’s bound to be polarising and will likely alienate fans looking for the quirky fun of earlier releases. While losing some of the pop appeal of his previous work, Whole Lotta Red represents Playboi Carti coming into a new phase of his artistry, however jagged and disorienting the process may be. February 2021 39
Staying in this valentine’s day? Here are some of our top movies you can watch with your significant other.
Thanks For Sharing
Because I Said So
Oscar-winner Diane Keaton takes on the role of an overbearing mum intent on finding a match for her youngest daughter (Mandy Moore). What could possibly go wrong? Lauren Graham and Piper Perabo play Moore’s married sisters.
This indie comedy-drama shows how love can bloom under the most trying circumstances. Mark Ruffalo is a sex addict who has been ‘sober’ for five years. Gwyneth Paltrow is a breast-cancer survivor with an alcoholic ex. They fall for each other, but the road to happiness isn’t clear. Tim Robbins and Josh Gad co-star as Ruffalo’s fellow 12-steppers.
Wandavision Marvel Studios presents WandaVision, a blend of classic television and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) – two super-powered beings living idealised suburban lives – begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems. The new series is directed by Matt Shakman.
Malcolm and Marie Firefly Lane
Based on the novel of the same name, this series will be your next obsession particularly if you enjoy shows like Virgin River or Sweet Magnolias. The series follows two friends through several decades and how they stick together through thick and thin. Among the cast for the series includes Katherine Heigl, Sarah Chalke, Ben Lawson, Beau Garrett and Alissa Skovbye. 40 February 2021
Zendaya and John David Washington feature in this black and white film that was filmed through the pandemic at Caterpillar House in California. The movie follows a filmmaker returning home as the pair’s relationship problems come to the surface during a tense evening.
Flora & Ulysses Based on the book by Kate DiCamillo, Flora & Ulysses tells the story of 10-year-old Flora, an avid comic book fan and a self-avowed cynic, who saves a squirrel she names Ulysses only to have its unique superhero powers wreak havoc in a series of humorous, antic-filled adventures that ultimately change Flora’s life – and her outlook – forever.
BEAUTY | FASHION | HOME | WELLBEING | LOCAL ISSUES
February 2021 | Issue 214
Our top picks for Valentineâ€™s Day
LIFESTYLE Pantone inspired decor
Fleur Hassan-Nahoum on commercial relations and her battles for equality and plurality
OUIAM URGES MOTHERS TO TEND TO THEIR OWN NEEDS EMAN DEABIL EXAMINES BOARDROOM DIVERSITY
CHANNELING THE 2021 MOOD IN COLOURS www.womanthismonth.com
THE COLOURS OF 2021
FASHION | fashion forward
POWERFUL AND OPTIMISTIC!
2020 was a challenging year (to say the least) and we had been looking forward to a new year for the longest time â€“ all in the hopes that 2021 would help us start things off with a fresh slate. In the ever-exciting world of colour, Pantone aimed to capture this sentiment with two colours: Illuminating (a bright shade of yellow) and Ultimate Gray (a rock-solid tone). Itâ€™s a palate top work with that signifies a message of happiness supported by fortitude. So, this month we put together a collection of our favourite looks from the runway that will have you wearing your emotions on your sleeve. Powerful looks to get your started on a high note! Remember to play around with textures, structure and layering for a powerful statement.
Michael Kors Michael Kors
FASHION | fashion forward
PEOPLE | interview
THE WOMAN AT THE HEART OF
BAHRAIN-ISRAELI RELATIONS During her recent visit to Bahrain, British Gibraltar-born Fleur HassanNahoum, Jerusalem’s Deputy Mayor for Foreign Relations, Economic Development and Tourism, spoke with George Middleton about building commercial relations and her passionate battles for equality and plurality in her adopted homeland. Following the announcement of the Abraham Accords, which introduced an era of peaceful collaboration between Israel and several Arab nations, Ms. Hassan-Nahoum, who is one of Jerusalem’s six deputy mayors and tipped for high office, visited the Kingdom for a series of discussions on trade and tourism.
I do believe that we'd have much more peace if women were the leaders. Absolutely, a hundred percent, I believe that that's it.”
PEOPLE | interview
Ms. Fleur at a dinner hosted by Bahrain Journalists Association President, Ahdeya Ahmed, on the occasion of her visit to Bahrain.
COMMERCIAL EXCHANGE She explains: “In principle, I want to encourage tourism. I am also the founder of the UAE-Israel Business Council which laid the infrastructure for the two countries to do business together. People here have an interest in doing business with Israel, but the question is how? “We have done it successfully in the UAE – with an online platform that already has thousands of members. We know what people are interested in because that’s what we ask when they join. I think we can do something similar here, which is what I’m hoping to explore. “I don't think we're talking about investment as much as we're talking about joint ventures and the purchasing of technology. I tell the Israelis all the time, ‘nobody is waiting for you with open cheques here, but if you have a technology that's going to make an existing Bahraini company more efficient, then they'll buy that from you’. And I think that's what we're looking at. Again, the collaboration of www.womanthismonth.com
tourism and culture, academic collaboration, research collaboration, putting all that in terms of business, I see much more the exchange of know-how technologies. In Bahrain, people build and plan well, while in Israel, we have good technology solving mutual challenges; agritech, water tech, that type of thing.”
LONG-TERM PEACE In terms of how this could affect the future of Israeli-Palestinian relations, she adds: “I believe these accords might encourage the Israelis and Palestinians to sit down and talk together after a long period of intransigence. I believe in self-determination for the Palestinian people whether that is in the form of a two-state solution or not depends on the final negotiated settlement.” “Most people want prosperity, good lives and opportunities for their children; that’s certainly what my Arab friends in Israel want for themselves, as well as some sort of self-determination of government. Everyone deserves that. Let’s see.
“I want the best arrangement possible for the Palestinian people. Self-determination is a wide word which can be interpreted many ways. The point is, they should be able to govern themselves. Whether that should be as part of two states or one state , subject to negotiation, depends on the outcome.”
EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES Having studied law and practiced as a barrister in London, Ms. Hassan-Nahoum had been living in Israel for several years before she became involved in politics, running for the Jerusalem City Council in a bid to address issues of inequality and opportunity across religious and ethnic divides. During the 2018 municipal elections, her candidacy drew some opposition and the local Jerusalem branch of Likud [the major centreright political party in Israel] called on Prime Minister Netanyahu to retract his support of Zeev Elkin for Mayor when she was included on his electoral list! She says: “I actually think local politics is a February 2021
PEOPLE | interview much purer form of politics as you're really dealing with people's day-to-day education, their transport, small businesses, their health. It's the things that really affect people and that's why I ended up running for city council. That's how I started. “Also, the Arabs in my city are all residents of the city and they're under my municipality as well. I have a big motivation today to develop East Jerusalem and bring prosperity and better job opportunities and close social gaps, which there are. There's a good population of Jewish people who are very marginalised economically, the ultra-orthodox, and then we have the Arabs who are also marginalised economically. I want to close those gaps. “A big part of my family development work is in East Jerusalem and creating more opportunities and quality employment for the Arabs.”
“I've always believed in giving a voice to the people who have difficulty finding their own. In Jerusalem, it's the marginalised populations who need support the most. I'm a big believer in equal opportunity, give children equal playing fields; that's Arab children, ultra-orthodox children, Ethiopian children. These are the children who have less opportunity than, maybe, the other children. And so, I want everybody to have the same opportunities that I can give my children.”
LEVEL PLAYING FIELD
As well as championing minorities Ms. Hassan-Nahoum is an outspoken advocate for women saying that despite equal rights being enshrined in Israeli law, equality of opportunity and representation still have some way to go. She is particularly keen on the promotion of good role models for women and girls allowing them to visualise their future in top-flight roles both in politics and elsewhere in society.
“I think, in general, we have equal rights, but sometimes we don't have equal opportunities and the opportunities don't just come from the fact that a woman can run for office whenever she wants,” she says. “Opportunities also come from role modelling [so] women see that women can be leaders. I'm big into the idea that little girls should see females in key political positions.” Having seen no images of female societal leaders alongside the men on the walls in her daughter’s school, she launched a successful social media campaign which resulted in more than 250 schools agreeing to show images of Israel’s female chief justice and the female governor of the Bank of Israel. And she adds, with feeling: “I do believe that we'd have much more peace if women were the leaders. Absolutely, a hundred percent, I believe that that's it.”
Ms. Fleur with Bahrain Journalists Association President, Ahdeya Ahmed.
PEOPLE | interview
Ms. Fleur with member of the Shura Council in Bahrain, Ebrahim Dahood Nonoo.
Looking to the future in terms of international relations, the deputy mayor believes both the region and the new US administration have joint interests in seeing the fledgling relationships develop, despite their close association with the previous president. She says: “I think Biden is a man of peace. I know that he came out with a supportive statement when the normalisation was signed. So, I don't see why he wouldn't support this. I also think that this has got its own momentum now, nobody's going to stop this since it's kind of picked up its own speed. It's exciting. People are talking about lots of business prospects, prospects of mutual economic prosperity, tourism... So, I think it's got its own legs now. “The worrying thing is really what's going to happen with Iran, whether he is going to go back to the JCPOA (the Iran nuclear deal) and whether Biden's going to believe that the Iranians are negotiating in good faith. That's really the question here. I think that's what's pushed us all together. Let's be honest. I think www.womanthismonth.com
the Middle East is realigning itself into the people wanting peace and the people who want a belligerent policy. That's really where it's at. And I truly believe in peace through economic development. I believe that with the Palestinians and the Arabs as well, in Israel, I really do. I truly believe when you give people better prospects, a better life, they're much more likely to sit with you and talk peace in a different way.” Citing Israel’s recent decision, following a letter from the UAE, to allow Palestinian farmers back onto land they have not accessed for many years, the deputy mayor, once again, makes an impassioned plea for direct negotiations saying: “Well look, as we know, the UAE wrote a letter asking Israel not to annex certain parts of the Jordan Valley. Then the agreements assigning the understanding were frozen. So, it's already had an effect if you want to look at it that way. “Ultimately, I don't think there's any other way than Israel sitting and talking with the Palestinians to deal with any of these issues. The road to peace is not through Manama
or Abu Dhabi; it has to be direct. It has to be sitting together because we can only have an agreement with the Palestinians. We need to have a friendly peace rather than a cold peace because the two countries are too integrated.”
She adds that the process has special resonance in her own city, concluding, “What motivates me [is a] pluralistic Jerusalem, because I believe that everybody belongs to Jerusalem. When King David built Jerusalem two and a half thousand years ago, he built it because it wasn't a home to any one of the tribes. All tribes could gather. So, I believe that the DNA of Jerusalem shows that we are the most diverse city in the country, and I believe that the DNA of Jerusalem has to remain diverse. And for that, I have to fight the forces of those trying to make Jerusalem, all religious. So pluralistic means there's a place for everybody. Sometimes there is tacit pressure from the ultra-orthodox to make Jerusalem a little bit more ultra-orthodox and I'm one of those people that, as a feminist and as a woman, is holding back on that.” February 2021
BEAUTY | news
THE POWER OF LIPSTICK WITH GIORGIO ARMANI
Giorgio Armani unveils LIP POWER – the new long wear lipstick that lends a vivid intensity to lip colour, captured in a formula that feels light and comfortable to wear. With a flattering satin finish, LIP POWER meets every lip colour expectation: the matte colour users looking for more comfort, the shine lovers looking for longer wear. With its bold colour intensity and enduring coverage, the wearer doesn’t need to give their lip colour another thought with this product! The LIP POWER collection is composed of a rich palette developed so that there is a shade to reveal each wearer’s individuality, allowing for the ultimate in self-expression. Wearers can enjoy 25 diverse shades including a variant of beiges, corals, reds, oinks and plums.
As women, we’re constantly taking care of the ones we love around us, so don’t be afraid to put together a little Wishlist this Valentine’s Day! Here are our top picks from the beauty industry that you can drop hints about to your special someone, or perhaps even treat yourselves too.
Giorgio Armani’s Lip Power is available at all leading beauty retailers.
GLOW ON WITH CHARLOTTE TILBURY!
Inspired by social media filters and Hollywood lights, Charlotte has bottled real-life confidence glow filters to give you the best glow of your life! Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter blurs, smooths and illuminates for younger-looking skin. The product moisturises the skin for up to 24 hours and can be worn on its own, under foundation, mixed with foundation or applied to illuminate specific points on the face. It has the versatility of a primer, the mega-watt glow of a highlighter and the perfecting properties of a digital filter. The Hollywood Flawless Filter now comes in 12 shades.
BEAUTY | news
BRIGHTEN AND GLOW WITH THIS VITAMIN C MASK
GOING MATTE THE GUERLAIN WAY
While they are adored for their sophisticated finish and unique result, matte lipsticks tend to dry out lips. Enter Guerlain. The renowned perfumery, cosmetics and skincare house has revealed their range of lipsticks: KISSKISS TENDER MATTE, an addictive must-wear formula. The new collection is available in 15 shades and gives you 16 hours of lasting comfort. Its formula contains three actives: hyaluronic acid, shea butter and rose petal extract which regenerate while colouring lips which ward off the feeling of tightness generally associated with matte lipsticks. Shea butter paired with rose petal extract serves up an extra dose of tenderness for 16 hours of lasting comfort. Add to that hyaluronic acid and lips are left smooth, plumped, inner moisturized and absolutely pout-perfect. From nude to rosewood, pink to coral and red, each pigment used in this new palette of 15 shades rivals the others for the most delicateness, finesse and tenderness.
What’s the first step to looking beautiful and just having a stunning glow in general? An effective skincare routine! Kick start your day with a glow- boosting facial to brighten, soften and improve skin clarity with This Works Morning Expert Vitamin C Power Mask. This exfoliating balm contains water activated vitamin C granules to exfoliate away dullness, reduce uneven skin tone and tackle signs of premature ageing, whilst Jojoba and sweet almond oil nourish and cleanse. This Works products are available from Faces Middle East, Watsons (MOE), That Concept Store (MOE) and online on Ounass.ae and Beautysotions-me.com. For more information please visit www.eu.thisworks.com.
BE A DELICATE PETAL WITH CHANEL
For the Spring-Summer 2021 collection, Chanel explored the world of flowers to create a divine new colour scheme and range of effects. The collection is light and luminous, mixing warm with cool, and sparkles with the subtlety of earthy brown undertones. For a radiant sun-kissed glow, the exclusive creation FLEURS DE PRINTEMPS sculpts the face. The coral blush enhances the complexion, and the highlighter adorns it with ultra-fine golden particles, providing a touch of fresh, subtle and elegant colour. For a healthy glow, apply blush high on the cheeks and highlighter on the cheekbones, or on the areas where you wish to attract light. Or, try mixing the shades together with a brush. For a fresh, sunkissed effect, sweep the brush along the bridge of the nose and the places where the sun naturally hits the face.
GIVENCHY PRESENTS L’INTERDIT EAU DE PARFUM INTENSE
L’Interdit, created in 1957 by Hubert de Givenchy, was the Maison’s first bold fragrance, the Eau de Parfum launched in 2019 embodying a whole new liberating thrill. Today, the new Eau de Parfum Intense takes the L’Interdit thrill to new heights. The Eau de Parfum Intense is a tribute to the colour black, bringing a new mysterious and sensual touch to the L’Interdit franchise. The fragrance seamlessly combines the divine scents of white bouquet and orange blossom. The woody base turns oriental with smoky, underground notes from vetiver and patchouli, and reveals more notes through a suave and intense vanilla bean. The leather and amber facets of this black gold hypnotise, captivating the senses. Its magnetism brings the fragrance to life, blending together with the unexpected salty notes of toasted black sesame absolute. www.womanthismonth.com
WOMEN’S PATH TO THE BOARDROOM (Part 1 of 2)
Accredited Chartered Manager (CMI), Eman Deabil, examines boardroom diversity in Bahrain
t’s no secret that the business case for boardroom diversity has been examined carefully in numerous studies and publications by many global firms such as McKinsey & Company, Deloitte and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) – to name a few. In addition, it is clearly obvious that there are many women who dream of climbing up the ladder in the corporate world and reserving a seat in the boardroom, which is why they study, work extremely hard to widen their experience, progress in their higher degrees, pursue careers in a wide-spectrum of fields, juggle many balls and do their best to balance Sector
Aviation/Airlines Services Education Family/Group/Holding Financial Services Government/Public Sector Health Services Hotels and Tourism Industrial/Manufacturing Energy and Resources Telecommunications Other Services Totals
their work-life responsibilities. However, for any dream to materialise it has to start by ‘planting the seeds and watering the garden’, yet studying the ‘climate’ is also essential to make sure that the ‘seeds’ have the right ‘atmosphere’ to grow and prosper. Hence, I decided to scan the environment, conduct a study, and support it with facts and figures to see if the dream is possible! The study is based on a dataset covering a sample of 117 organisations in Bahrain with data compiled from the official websites of % of Total No. of Organizations
Total No. of Directors
No. of Men Directors
No. of Women Directors
% of Board Seats Held by Women
4 11 17 54 9 2 4 5 3 2 6 117
3% 9% 15% 46% 8% 2% 3% 4% 3% 2% 5% 100%
31 103 132 433 100 19 33 46 14 14 46 971
31 82 115 405 84 15 32 42 14 13 43 876
0 21 17 28 16 4 1 4 0 1 3 95
0% 20% 13% 6% 16% 21% 3% 9% 0% 7% 7% 9.8%
· There is a total of 971 directorships, where
876 seats (90.2%) are covered by male directors, and 95 seats (9.8%) are attributed to women directors. · More than half (56.4% being 66 Boards out of the 117 sampled organisations) have no women representation (0%). February 2021
Sector classifications were grouped into eleven different sectors. For each sector the percentage of women serving on the boards was calculated - the findings are shown in the table below:
No. of Organizations
From the table above, we can conclude the following:
the sampled business organisations in the time period from December 9 to December 13, 2020 with the assumption that the information provided by these websites was accurate, up to date and reliable.
· 68.5% of the organisations (a total of 37 out
of 54) in the Financial Services sector have no women representation (0%). · Only 2 out of 117 organisations (1.7%) have more than 50% of women holding positions in the boardroom. Both are family-owned companies in which those ladies are part of
the family: company X with 2 women out of 3 board members (67%), and company Y with 7 women out of 13 board members (54%). • But what does that mean? Do we have hope, as women, to be in the boardroom? • The answer to this question is ‘YES’ and ‘NO’. www.womanthismonth.com
There is a positive outlook on our horizon, especially when we consider the initiatives taken by our country to empower women and position them as an integral part of the society. This includes the Supreme Council for Women (SCW) and the broad initiatives undertaken by it, such as launching the National Model of Gender Balance. Another example is ‘Women in FinTech Bahrain’ – the professional network founded under the umbrella of the Economic Development Board (EDB) to raise awareness of women’s role in FinTech. Nevertheless, by looking at the statistics and figures – 90.2% men to 9.8% women in a sample of 117 organizations (public/private) in December 2020 who are Board Members demonstrates the current situation clearly. Deloitte’s sixth edition report titled ‘Women in the boardroom: A global perspective’ issued in 2019, quotes Dan Konigsburg, “These statistics are hardly encouraging for those who believe in the value of board diversity. At this rate, we – or our children and grandchildren – will have to wait until 2052 to reach anything close to parity”. Similarly, by looking at the global perspective as an indication, the average increase of women representation in boardrooms is around 1% every year. So, if we do the math, we will require around 40 years to reach a women representation of 50% in boardrooms globally.
I personally believe that women are a key to economic development, given that women make up a large portion of the customer market, yet they are barely represented in boardrooms. Ignoring this portion of our population will certainly deprive us universally from reaching the gender diversity we are aspiring to achieve, which in turn may have a negative impact on organisations in terms of business outcomes, strategic decision making, profit margins, workplace culture, innovation, and even reflect on their reputations when they communicate about values (e.g. gender diversity) that are not practiced at senior levels.
take to be a board member? Eman is an accredited Chartered Manager (CMI), professional management consultant and a published author. She is a certified PMP, PRINCE2, COBIT5, CGEIT and the first Bahraini
Be sure to read the next issue of Woman This Month to explore Part 2 of The Path to the Boardroom.
This leads to some other big questions such as: Despite all these national efforts to empower women, why do boardroom figures not reflect this? What gets in the way of women? Do nations require a quota for women in boardrooms to make it possible? What does it
In Deloitte’s report published in 2019, it also stated that globally, women hold just 16.9% of board seats. This indicates that we are below the global rate by 7.1%. However, our numbers are better than some of the countries in the GCC and Middle East. www.womanthismonth.com
It’s Essential! Discover the benefits of essential oils for your hair and scalp For many years, essential oils have been known for their aromatic and homeopathic capabilities on our bodies and have been used as a natural remedy in Middle Eastern cultures, thanks to its effectiveness and little to no side effects. But did you know that essential oils can be equally beneficial for the hair and scalp? Yes, you heard that right! Some essential oils can help improve the health of your hair and treat major issues such as inflammation, dandruff and hair loss. While others can bring back the shine and strengthen your hair. If having strong and lustrous locks is one of your New Year’s resolutions for 2021, then here are some tips and tricks on the ideal ways to use essential oils and maximise their benefits at home from The Hair Addict, a leading brand for natural hair treatments and solutions:
1. Always use essential oils diluted in a carrier oil at a concentration of no more than 3-5%.
2. For maximum benefits use a diluted essential oil of your choice followed by a thorough scalp massage. Wait for two hours before washing your hair.
3. If you have a busy schedule and don’t have the time for oil treatments,
add your favourite essential oil to your shampoo and leave it in for a few minutes before rinsing.
4. To maximise the effect of your essential oil treatment, it’s advisable to use a heating cap such as The Hair Addict Infusion Hood, which will enhance the penetration of the essential oils in your scalp.
The Hair Addict products are available for purchase from the website with international shipping. For more information about The Hair Addict and to place international orders to the GCC, visit www.thehairaddict.net
WOMAN THIS MONTH GOES MULTI-PLATFORM Read Woman This Month in any format convenient to you • Print • Online • Digital • Social media to keep you abreast of everything that’s happening in and about town.
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LIFESTYLE | home
A CHEERFUL CONTRAST
The colour visionaries at Pantone have spoken! After leaving behind the cloud of blue that last year brought us, it’s time for a killer colour combination that both the heart and mind need – Illuminating Yellow and Ultimate Grey. Yellow signals hope, warmth, an uplifted spirit and soft sunshine. The hues of grey evoke thoughts of rocksolid dependability, composure and stability. Juxtapose these two tones in your home décor for a really happy 2021.
Fringe Benefits Ottoman Lifestyle
Pretty Pattern Rug Desertcart, Bahrain Oriental Allure Decorative jar THE One Sweet Dreams Bed and linen Home Box
Just Throw It On Throw THE One
LIFESTYLE | home Feet Up! Push back recliner Home Box
Elegant Onlooker Side Table Colgrave Holmes Creations
Precious Light Wall Lamp Insidherland
Twirling Around Candle stand Colgrave Holmes Creations
Cushy Comfort Cushions Lifestyle
Cushy Comfort Cushions Lifestyle
Summer Vibes Crockery Home Centre
â€¦and Chill! Sofa Home Box
DO YOU KNOW HOW TO TAKE?
Ouiam El Hassani urges mothers to tend to their own needs.
he art of giving is engraved with the identity that we all embrace once we become mothers. We take pleasure in eliminating our needs and wants, in canceling our pre-babies’ identities, and immersing ourselves in this role of THE CAREGIVER! This tiny human being totally helpless, and absolutely gorgeous, is now completely dependent on you, each and every minute of the day, leaving you no choice but to press the pause button when it comes to your own life. We are the ones who carry the load, sacrifice and power through. We are the ones who cancel appointments when the husband has extra work. We are the ones eating cold food and drinking cold coffee. We are the ones who are always giving putting everyone’s needs above ours... all the time. We do it all gladly and lovingly, however, it has a huge impact! Despite doing it all our pre-babies’ era, now we somehow are incapable of ‘taking’. Somehow, we have completely forgotten how to put ourselves first. As mothers we find it difficult to take, especially in the time of a pandemic. That’s exactly why lots of women are currently going through burnouts, because of the incredible mental load we each carry willingly. The pandemic didn’t create this problem, but it definitely put an emphasis on it. Once you are a mother, you focus on giving and lose the ability to take. More women are currently silently grieving a loss of a self that they bled and fought to earn, years before they started a family, an identity that seemingly disappeared overnight thanks to COVID-19, especially for working moms, who are now juggling work and family at home. More
women are grieving the absence of any form of alone time because they are now suddenly expected to be chefs, teachers, nannies, employees, and much more, while their own needs are lost somewhere amidst the chaos. I don't know who needs to hear this, but mothers can't continue to be the ones trying to juggle everything. Especially when COVID-19 burdened everyone in one way or another. Mothers haven’t seen family members in months, they haven’t seen a friend in a while, their mental health is already at risk - that is a fact! Partners can sometimes miss meetings too; they can cancel appointments or make dinners and lunches. I assure you they can, even if it is once in a while so YOU can take! Partners can hold the fort for a while, they can give as much as they have been taking for a bit; they can sleep a little less some nights, and stretch their days a little
more, just once in a while, so YOU can take! Mothers need to rewire themselves and learn all over again, how to take. How to put themselves first, how to equally share the load with their partners, and balance the whole dance of give and take. Let’s face it - even if we had the faintest hope that one day women can have it all, can balance everything, and be everywhere, COVID-19 shamelessly eradicated any trace of that hope. Learning how to take, doesn’t make you any less of a mom, if anything it helps you see yourself as an equal and tend to your needs just like you do for others. It gives you the opportunity to be whole and worthy of your own attention. So, for once, give less, and take more!
In Her Shoes
This month, we got to know a woman that does it all – Veronica Neira. The creatively curious Veronica is a professional photographer, social media manager and visual content creator, copywriter, graphic designer and videographer who specialised in Fashion Photography in Madrid, Spain. Name three things you never leave the house without.
My blessings, my camera and my phone.
Which song is guaranteed to make you get up and dance? Even though I don’t know Hindi, there is this song that always makes me feel like moving my bones crazy - Manali Trance by The Shaukeens.
What’s the best advice you have ever received? I have received tons of great advice, but one that I find very original is this one: Suricate! - Just one word that meant a lot. Meerkat or Suricate are little desert mammals whose survival depends on being in a state of constant awareness, a kind reminder as I sometimes live in my own world.
What’s your favourite movie of all time and why? Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind. It is a beautiful film with a philosophical meaning behind it. Our negative experiences are just as important as the positive ones, we need them to grow.
When cooking, what’s your signature dish? Pasta Bolognese - simple to make but after doing it so many times I have mastered it.
What is your greatest aspiration? To become an internationally recognized photographer.
What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done? Oh my! Little boat adventure expedition turned near-death experience in the Gulf of Fonseca, Nicaragua. A terrible storm caught us, there were lightning strikes happening near us, the waves were tall. When we finally returned the whole town was waving happy and clapping as they all also thought we were not coming back. www.womanthismonth.com
What would your life be incomplete without? My Parents.
Check out Veronica’s photography on @veroneiraphoto. February 2021
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58 February 2021
4 IBC, 58 BC 6
Now you’ve seen your regular issue, which we hope you enjoyed, make sure to check out our websites and social media for daily updates of what’s happening across the Kingdom. You can find us at:
Al Haddad Motors (Mercedes) . . . . . . .
Restaurants & Cafes David’s Stir Fry Crazy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Maki . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Lanterns Restaurant & Lounge . . .
Vol.25 - Issue 12 - Your guide to a great way of life