Bahrain This Month - June 2020

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Since 1997

June 2020 | Vol. 24 | Issue 6 | BD2 / SR20 YOUR GUIDE TO A GREAT WAY OF LIFE



Schools and Colleges on What Comes Next

Great Gift Ideas


Craving Chinese? Five Pages of Recommended Delivery Options



First Interview with New Italian Ambassador, HE Paola Amadei

Alison Lawson on Natural Beauty Options

Sahar Al Ajjawi on turning trash into wheelchairs

The Return of Denim Parisian Beauty

Rose Santos tells of feeding her countrymen during the pandemic









Digital Edition

EXPECT MORE FROM US WHEN YOU ARE EXPECTING Our delivery packages start from

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Education Feature

A look at the timeline of COVID-19’s affect on the education sector and how institutions across the spectrum are dealing with the challenges.


16 18 19

Economy and Trade at the Forefront of Bilateral Relations Italian Ambassador, HE Paola Amadei, on how her community is dealing with viral restrictions and the growing Italian commercial interest in Bahrain.

The Kind-Hearted Cook

Rose Santos acts to stave off suffering and hunger due to the coronavirus and its financial impact.

Towards a Better World

Sahar Al Ajjawi of the Bahrain Association for Parents and Friends of the Disabled on the organisation’s twopronged solution to plastic waste.


20 22

Business Bites Understanding The Pieces

Pria Masson Tanwar, continues her ruminations on the post-coronavirus future.








News, trends, styling tips and more.





Naturally Beautiful

Alison Lawson, of The Jamila, talks natural products and organic misconceptions.



Trends, tips and news from across the beauty industry.



Atharie Al Salem of Instagram page @ thebahrainivegan.


Commercial Index bahrainthismonth

Well-being, parenting, food and homes.

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Dick Potter ruminates on the future of car showrooms.

Motors Bites




A roundup of eateries specialising in East Asian cuisines that are currently offering deliveries.



Father’s Day gift ideas.



The best in gadgets, games, websites and apps.



New TV and music to enjoy.

LIFESTYLE bhthismonth


Green goodies, travel and NOT out and about. June 2020 3

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thebhrg 46 June 2018

THE TEAM Publisher and Chairman George F. Middleton

Bahrain This Month June 2020

Editorial Director Liz O’Reilly Contributors Behnaz Sanjana, Dick Potter, Pria Masson Tanwar Ouiam Charkani El Hassani Razan Al Arabi Print Production Manager Sabu Sebastian

Welcome to the June digital edition of Bahrain This Month. We hope you are all staying safe and well and keeping up with the Government’s guidelines on dealing with the coronavirus.

Layout and Graphics Hatem Monem Photography Editor Muna Yousef

With educational institutions having been closed for more than three months now, many of you are currently homeschooling your children or wondering what the future holds for your university-age teens. To keep you informed we have come up with a timeline of the developments so far and have also spoken with a wide cross-section of establishments from pre school to university level to see how they are dealing with the shutdown and what plans they are making for re-opening, when it is judged safe to do so.

Staff Photographers Subeesh Kumar N S Administration and Finance Samson Vaz, Marlyn Ragasa Corporate Affairs Director Bassem A. Al Khabbaz Distribution Team CM Abdul Rahman, Gopal Arul Kumar

And, of course, all that educational activity is sure to build up an appetite. There’s no denying that Far Eastern cuisine is a big favourite on the island. From Chinese to Japanese, Korean to Thai, we’ve rounded up five pages of eateries that are offering takeaway and delivery services and we’ve even recommended some our favourite dishes for you to try.

Distributor Al Hilal Group (Hilal Direct Services)

The interview section this month includes an exclusive first chat with the new Italian Ambassador HE Paola Amadei. We also caught up with Rose Santos, who has taken it upon herself to alleviate the pandemic-created suffering of her hungry countrymen with home-cooked meals. And Sahar Al Ajjawi explains how her organisation is turning plastic trash into custom wheelchairs.


June 21 is Father’s Day, so, to help you pamper the special chap in your life, look no further than our Gift Guide featuring great ideas for presents he’ll love.

DIGITAL & CONTENT MARKETING TEAM Digital Strategy Director Lini Reghunath Digital Marketing & Social Media Executive Farah Baig Art & Animation Director Hatem Monem Videography Danny Sokov

As usual there are roundups of news from the worlds of motoring and business as well ideas for keeping busy during isolation and even some bucket-list travel suggestions, for when we can all get moving again. In the Woman This Month section you’ll find tips on how to achieve Parisian style, discover the latest ways to wear your favourite jeans and learn all about the benefits of organic beauty from Alison Lawson of The Jamila.

Printing Press Union Press, Bahrain

We hope you enjoy the digital edition and urge you to check out and for regular updates throughout the month.

Published monthly by

RED HOUSE MARKETING P.O. Box 20461, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: (+973) 17 813-777, Fax: (+973) 17 813-700 Email: © 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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George F. Middleton Publisher and Chairman

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Gulf and international subscriptions available on request.

May 2020 5

education feature


A TIMELINE OF DEVELOPMENTS ACROSS THE EDUCATION SECTOR It is now more than three months since schools and other educational institutions were forced to close their doors due to the global coronavirus pandemic. Here we set out a timeline of how the situation has developed and, over the following pages, we learn how some of the country’s schools and colleges are coping and preparing for the future.

6 June 2020

education feature February 21 – Bahrain records its first case of coronavirus in a school bus driver returning from Iran.

petitions demanding the fees be reduced since their children have been studying remotely at home.

February 24 – Government announces closure of three schools served by the first patient.

April 11 –

February 25 – Government decrees closure of all public and private schools, initially for two weeks.

Seventy-six private schools have launched online learning for their students.

April 14 –

Many private schools agree to cut fees by five to 10 per cent and delay payments.

April 15 –

Assistant Undersecretary for Planning and Information at the Education Ministry, Nawal Al-Khater, updates figures for the government’s own unique education portal eduNet, during the suspension of classes. According to Google Analytics, a total of 477,012 unique users had entered eduNet between March 14 and April 14. This portal, which was launched in 2015, contains 408,000 digital materials, including 151,000 activities, 60,000 discussions, 74,000 lessons and 124,000 enrichment materials At the time of prepared by teachers writing there had between February 23 and April 14. been a total of 9,962

Early March – Bahrain’s Ministry of Education (MOE) joins forces with the regional unit of the world’s dominant cloud services platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS), to power the Learning Portal for students all over Bahrain. It consists of many educational services that allow students to view lessons, activities, loaded educational materials and solve assignments as well as participate in discussion sessions between them (students) and teachers. The portal offers 372 e-books, 1,030 educational units, 754 previous exams and their answers along with 587 e-lessons, 7,305 discussion panels, 273 educational activities, 6,582 lesson summaries, conducted by teachers, and 30,793 exercises. March 5 –

Schools are told to remain closed for another two weeks.

March 10 –

A proposal to extend school closures until the end of the academic year is rejected by Council of Representatives.

March 14 –

Lawmaker, Adel Al Asoomi, calls for private schools to cut their fees by 65 per cent.

March 17 –

Bahrain TV to broadcast eight hours of lessons according to Bahraini officials.

March 25 –

With schools still shut, Government suggests grades could be calculated based on assignments and previous semester results. No decision yet taken on whether exams will be allowed to go ahead.

March 29 –

Government reports more than 140,000 students in Bahrain are studying online. Both public and private educational institutes are offering lessons online and through broadcast channels. The government’s education portal is being used by 146,498 students and 18,000plus teachers. A total of 75,715 parents have also accessed the resource.

March 30 –

Education Ministry Resources and Services UnderSecretary, Dr Mohammed Mubarak Juma, announces that students will be graded according to portfolio assessments. No conventional tests being conducted.

April 2 –

Remote classes begin for special education pupils.

April 3 –

It was announced that public school students will also be graded for their remote working by uploading their activities into a ‘student portfolio’. The Minister added that students unable to access remote learning have been identified and their parents spoken with to ensure the educational process continues across the various platforms.

April 8 –


confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Bahrain, of which 5,295 have recovered and 15 have died. The rest remain under treatment. There are no readily available statistics for the number of children who have tested positive, but the figures are thought to be low with the majority of cases recorded within the working population.

April 21 –

The Supreme Council for Women begins delivering remote educational support services for the children of the health and medical staff who at the front-line in combating COVID-19.

April 29 –

More than 1,600 teachers and education ministry staff are benefiting from 10 distance-training programmes to develop their technological and creative skills.

May 7 –

Seventy-three of Bahrain›s 76 private schools agree to reduce, postpone or reschedule fees.

May 11 –

The Ministry of Education announces that it has provided 1,162 online lessons in the second semester through the application of Microsoft Teams. Daily student participation has reached 32,000.

May 18 –

The Kingdom’s Education Ministry joins forces with Microsoft to accelerate its E-learning strategy and ease the transition to remote education in the Kingdom. The effort has given public schools free access to Office 365, including Microsoft Teams for students, teachers and faculty to connect, engage and learn.

May 20 –

The Ministry of Education sends a circular to private schools which did not complete assessment procedures, instructing them to implement the formula applied at public schools.


A top-level meeting is called to discuss the issue of school fees after parents launch a number of We’d love to hear from students, teachers and parents about how the virus is affecting your learning experience. Get in touch through social media

bahrainthismonth June 2020 7

education feature

CONTINUED HIGH PERFORMANCE Bahrain Polytechnic’s Deputy CEO of Academic Affairs, Dr Reem Al-Buainain, talks distance learning, now and for the future.

What is the current system and how is it working for students and staff? At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bahrain Polytechnic reacted quickly to ensure the continuation of learning and students’ achievement of course objectives. Currently, teaching staff are utilising a wide range of technologies. By using the Learner Management System (LMS) ‘Moodle’, students and staff can access learning materials for each course and connect with learning communities. The flexibility of the LMS allows lessons to be held synchronously using a tool called Big Blue Button, where tutors and students take part in lessons with live streamed Q & As, breakout rooms for discussion and collaboration, as well as being able to complete group work and projects. Similarly, some tutors use Microsoft Teams for this purpose, with breakout rooms created through team sub-channels. Lessons can also be delivered asynchronously (not in a scheduled class time) – where students complete tasks assigned to them for follow up from their tutor. This could be research, problem-solving or writing, reading or presentation tasks, to name a few possibilities. Asynchronous tasks also facilitate flipped learning, where students bring what they have learned to a synchronous lesson for discussion with their peers and tutors. The transition to online delivery has been swift, and the academic team has worked incredibly hard to manage this change.

We have discovered that both tutors’ and students’ digital literacies are improving considerably because of this learning experience. For students, this includes leading online meetings in environments such as Microsoft Teams, managing and being accountable for shared cloud-based resources and collaborating to solve technical difficulties when they arise. The pandemic has allowed polytechnic academics to consolidate and enhance their skills in online learning 8 June 2020

and teaching. We will continue to build on this capacity with the future success of our students at the heart of everything we aim to achieve. Are you preparing for when the education sector reopens? Bahrain Polytechnic has produced several plans for the coming semester, while factoring in different scenarios that could occur throughout these uncertain times. Part of this includes reopening our campus for students while using virtual learning smartly until business operations resume normally. All this depends on the Government Executive Committee and the development of the pandemic over the coming months. Do you believe future education provision, including extracurricular activities, will be changed? Distance or online learning is very different from traditional learning. At a global level, the COVID-19 outbreak is changing how higher education institutions teach and how students learn. The outbreak will certainly affect a student’s academic profile, extracurricular activities and learning experience outside of the campus. Bahrain Polytechnic’s mission is to produce ‘work-ready graduates’, so extracurricular activities play a vital role in the student’s development and employability skills, such as cultural activities and sports. For example, one of our initiatives included producing several videos focused on home workout routines and health advice from our health and wellness center. Additionally, our student council conducted several sessions on social media platforms covering different extracurricular activities. In an aim to continue our approach of sending our students to work at an organisation as part of their final year projects, we have shifted this to be conducted remotely with their assigned organisations. Not only will this ensure they continue to earn industry experience before they graduate, it will also provide them with the necessary experience of working remotely, especially during times where most organisations are working from home. Another initiative we have conducted to benefit the students and the community during these times is launching our free online course page on our website, which includes videos produced from our very own tutors delivering academic content in different fields to enrich the learning experience. How are registrations looking for the new academic year? The number of applications for this year have exceeded our expectations. This goes to show the reputation, success, and stability of the Polytechnic during COVID-19. How can people register or find out further information? Bahrain Polytechnic’s website is the place where prospective students can apply, all the information is made available. They can find information related to our campus, our programmes, how to apply, and entry tests. In the application stage, the applicant can follow the ‘How to Apply’ manual available in the admissions page.

education feature

FUTURE PLANS AND TECHNOLOGY REQUIREMENTS American School of Bahrain will open later this year catering for children from pre-KG to grade 12. Founding Director Dave McMaster explains what to expect.


merican School of Bahrain (ASB) will open in September 2020, so we do not currently enrol students. As one of 10 Esol Education schools, we have been following the implementation plans of our sister schools carefully. I am in regular communication with the directors at the Esol schools and also meet weekly (online) with principals and heads of private schools in Bahrain.

their sleeves and work alongside the classroom teachers.

What are your plans for when the education sector reopens? This will depend on what the Bahraini Government decides regarding the reopening and the associated guidelines to ensure the safety of everyone on campus. As a brand-new school which has a capacity for 1,200 students, we will be in an enviable position regarding social distancing measures.

Will this experience change the way education is provided and how will extracurricular activities be affected? This experience has already changed the way education is provided and, as any student, teacher or parent can attest, it is challenging and sometimes stressful to operate in a virtual school environment. Some schools around the world have started to go back to class depending on the circumstances in their city/country. Many are doing so in a step-bystep manner and they are determining what works and does not work. The priority is to have students return to classroom learning and their academic programmes in a healthy and safe environment.

We anticipate somewhere between 120-200 students in our first year of operation, so we can easily spread students out according to whatever guidelines the Ministry of Education wants schools to follow. For instance, if we have a class of 20 grade three students, we have enough room to spread them between two adjacent classes and have the grade three teacher and one other staff member teach them. In this instance, staff members like the director, the school principal, the lead early childhood teacher and the admissions manager (an experienced teacher) will roll up

Depending on the specific circumstances of each school, extracurricular activities (ECAs) will unfortunately take a back seat to classroom learning. As important as ECAs are, unless social distancing measures are removed completely, it will be difficult to run these programmes in a normal fashion. It has never been as clear as it is today that schools need to ensure that all students are connected to their school with some sort of device. Even after schools resume in a normal manner, there will surely be future closures and students, parents and teachers need to be able to

connect virtually in a seamless way. We are considering making it mandatory for all KG1 to grade three students to have an iPad which has carefully selected apps and learning software as specified by teachers and technology leaders. Grade four to grade eight students will be required to either have an iPad or preferably an Apple laptop, once again, with carefully selected learning programmes and tools on each device. How are registrations looking for the new academic year? We have received a huge amount of interest in the school ever since we announced its opening last year, the ASB ethos and educational approach has been very well received by parents in Bahrain. As we move closer to our September 2020 opening date, we are currently assessing students and processing more and more applications every day. The COVID-19 situation did slow down the number of applications in February and March, but it has picked up considerably in the past three to four weeks. How can people register or find out further information? Interested parents can visit our website at to find out more information about the application process and more about our exciting school. They can also call our office at 17 211-800.

June 2020 9

education feature

ADVANCED ONLINE SKILLS How are lessons currently being conducted and what are the main challenges? As soon as the closure of university campuses was announced, we switched our teaching from face-to-face to an online mode. We were fortunate that we already made extensive use of the learning platform ‘Blackboard’ to support our classroom teaching, so we were able to use Blackboard’s in-built virtual classroom system, ‘Collaborate Ultra’, to provide an equivalent experience to our students. By using this tool, we were able to maintain our original schedule of classes remotely. One challenge we faced was around exams. As the campus is closed, we could not hold traditional examinations this year. So, it was important to make sure students were assessed in a way that accurately tested their knowledge and understanding, whilst not disadvantaging them. With support from our colleagues at the University of Salford, we were able to convert traditional examinations to other forms of assessment that students could undertake at home, but which had builtin methods to ensure that no one could gain an unfair advantage. This means that our students will be able to progress to their next stage of studies next academic year without disruption. Overall, our experience of remote teaching and assessment has been positive. Our teaching staff were all trained in the use of the technology and quickly adapted to this different way of teaching. Similarly, student attendance at online classes was very good and most responded well to these arrangements. That is not to say that some did not feel a little anxious about these changes, but the staff worked hard to reassure them

British University of Bahrain VP Keith Sharp talks preparedness and contingency plans for reopening with more students opting to stay in the Kingdom.

and support them through their alternative assessments. What are your plans for when the education sector reopens? Once the government considers it safe, we will reopen the BUB campus, putting in place any measures necessary to ensure the safety of our students and staff. We have contingency plans to implement social distancing on campus, for example, and will as always be guided by the advice of the Bahraini authorities. Will this experience change the way education is provided and how will extracurricular activities be affected? It seems likely that there will be some longterm effects and many of these will be positive. Universities and students alike have been forced to re-evaluate the ways in which they teach and learn, and effective learning does not always require traditional classroom attendance. I also expect to see changes in the way work in wider society is organised. For example, most organisations have been conducting meetings using software such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom and most have found this to be an efficient and effective alternative to face-to-face meetings. I would anticipate, therefore, that some of this will continue after the restrictions have been lifted, simply because it is a more efficient way of doing business. As we prepare our students for the future world of work, therefore, it is important that we equip them with advanced online networking skills as well as more traditional forms of knowledge and skillsets. Undoubtedly there has been an effect on extra-

curricular activities, but out Student Affairs team has worked hard to find virtual alternatives to some of the activities that students would otherwise be engaged in. We will shortly be holding a virtual student awards ceremony, for example, in which we recognise their academic and extra-curricular achievements. How are registrations looking for the new academic year? Applications for next academic year are very strong and we expect fewer students than normal will be considering studying abroad. Because BUB offers British degrees from the University of Salford, many applicants see us as a viable alternative to studying in the UK and elsewhere. We are also receiving inquiries from students who have returned from university in the UK and wish to transfer to similar University of Salford programmes at BUB, and from students who wish to commence their degree level study at BUB but transfer to the UK later, once the pandemic has subsided sufficiently. How can people register or find out further information? They can reach out to our Recruitment and Outreach officer, Khurram Salman, at or call 17 130-303, WhatsApp 38 030-303 or visit

10 June 2020

education feature

ON TRACK FROM DAY ONE How are lessons currently being conducted and how is this being received by staff and students? Since the university campuses closed in the Kingdom, AUBH moved to distance learning seamlessly, without missing a day of class. I’m pleased that we have demonstrated the ability and desire to adapt and try new teaching and learning methodologies in these unusual times. We had technologically advanced tools already in place before the pandemic, and this allowed for a quick transition to an online modality. We were also able to provide our students with online exams using ProctorU. AUBH is the first university in Bahrain to use this US-based, AI-enabled, secure, online assessment platform which protects the integrity of online testing. Finally, our staff and students were united through virtual assemblies using Microsoft Teams, a platform that can accommodate up to 5,000 simultaneous participants. What are your plans for when the education sector reopens? Will this experience change the way education is provided and how will extracurricular activities be affected? We can’t wait to welcome AUBH students back on campus! Having said that, safety of staff and students is our first priority. We have been sanitising the campus regularly and are currently working on plans for socially-distanced classrooms and activities

Founding President, Dr Susan E. Saxton, of the American University of Bahrain (AUBH) says use of advanced technology enabled seamless continued learning.

as we adjust to the new COVID-19 reality. We will also employ our innovative technology solutions to host hybrid classroom settings, offering students the choice to join class in-person and/or online, whatever works best for them individually. What is the status of applications for the new academic year? This is an unprecedented time for universities. The winter/spring term has been modified or cancelled completely. Exams have been disrupted. Many international students at universities across the globe have returned to their home countries with no idea when it will be safe to venture back and continue with their academic plans. We understand and are contemplating possible solutions. We are creatively thinking of ways our Americanstyle, flexible learning format can assist students on either a temporary or permanent basis. We are currently evaluating applications for both new and transfer students, some even pending required documents, so we can provide options for students who are eager to return

to class. AUBH is a Cambridge English testing centre and has opened the Linguaskill assessment to the community to support students who wish to take the test as an alternative to the IELTS and other English proficiency tests. Students can now apply to take the Linguaskill test on our secure, AI-enabled proctoring platform, ProctorU. For students who came back from abroad, we are exploring solutions for study in Bahrain with the possibility of earning transfer credit when – or if – they decide to return to their universities outside of their home countries. How can people register for the Linguaskill test, apply or transfer to AUBH, or find out further information about academic offerings? Please visit our website,, and follow AUBH’s social media channels. Our dedicated admissions team is also hosting virtual admission sessions to take students throughout the application process. To book a meeting, please email or call 77 999-997. June 2020 11

education feature

A SUCCESSFUL VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT A spokesman tells us British School Bahrain’s (BSB) virus response has made it more popular than ever.


y immediately switching to real-time teacher-led lessons and live teaching using world-class technology, BSB continues to deliver a full enriching curriculum. Our ethos is not distance learning, we are providing a virtual classroom experience, which incorporates live 1:1 and group interactions with teachers throughout the day. For all students, aged three to 18, BSB immediately implemented a system, known as the BSB Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), designed using the experience and support of the Inspired global education group. All students can maintain their full education through remote access with live teaching and activities that promote independent learning, social development and enhance their 21st century skills. The BSB VLE is also designed to support parents through being flexible and easily accessible, whilst providing documents and videos to enable parents to guide their family’s education at home.


Classroom or more direct teaching through sector-leading BlueJeans video conferencing software. Weekly, year group virtual assemblies provide opportunities to promote the values of the school and for students to engage with each other.

The youngest students access their learning material through a daily academic blog. Teachers set guided reading, literacy, phonics and numeracy activities. In addition, a daily challenge is set that develops 21st century skills and inquiry-based learning. All work submitted gets feedback through online live video conferencing with teachers, or through video feedback being sent to parents to watch with their child. Teachers and learning support assistants meet all pupils in a real-time setting to support the child’s learning through live feedback and reading sessions. A weekly whole school live-streamed assembly is an opportunity to celebrate the hard work, resilience and dedication of the students.




The BSB Junior and Senior School students adhere to their normal school timetable and are greeted by their teacher every morning during ‘tutor time’, where students can log in and speak with their peers and Head of Year. Work is set that supports their learning but also requires limited parental engagement. These activities are designed to promote independent learning, which is supported through daily live-streamed teaching. Teachers use a combination of remote supervision and support through Google 12 June 2020

Whilst BSB has established an outstanding virtual learning environment, the entire school community longs for the return to campusbased education when it is safe to do so. Every aspect of health, safety, education and pastoral support is being discussed and planned for. The school is working through several scenarios ranging from the full immediate return of the entire school to a phased return of students at different times. Each scenario is accompanied by a detailed assessment of risk and will be discussed with parent groups before being implemented.

This experience has already transformed BSB so much including our pedagogical approaches and use of technology to assist learning. The Senior Leadership Team has identified many of the current practices that we will retain even when campuses are open. We believe it is important to continue to develop best practice, whilst also focussing on the future in a world free from COVID-19. Regular constructive feedback from BSB parents and students has shaped our online learning platform. Our use of market-leading assessment software,

Wiseflow, to conduct secure assessments, even whilst students are at home, has been a key development. This cutting-edge technology utilises facial recognition to ensure the student completes the task under examination conditions. This provision will also transform our future assessment systems. At BSB we believe that learning and progress do not stop when lessons end, therefore extracurricular activities are offered as part of the BSB Virtual Learning Environment. The Music, Food Technology, PE and Drama departments have continued to offer extracurricular activities while the campus is temporarily closed.


The national and international success of BSB’s Virtual Learning Environment has further increased the popularity of the school within Bahrain and all around the world. Enrolment for the next academic year is as high as ever, with waiting lists in most year groups and assessments of pupils ongoing. Staff have been asked to present at virtual conferences and support other schools in their pedagogical development. This reputation has led to increased enrolments from both local and expat families as far afield as the UK, South Africa and New Zealand. The establishment of virtual tours and meetings with members of the school’s leadership team have aided families to get a feel of the school and its ethos. If you would like to learn more about BSB, you can book a virtual visit for a personal online introduction to the school.

education feature



tonHouse has, during this difficult period, been supporting its families with educational packs and online learning. At EtonHouse we have an online learning hub that is used by over 20,000 students worldwide during this pandemic. Our staff have created Google Classrooms and Zoom learning for the children, and this has allowed them to have regular contact with the teachers. It is important that we keep the connection and communication open for families during this period. During the last few months, we have also been very busy preparing for September in our Pre School and new Preparatory School both based in Hamala. Our staff are preparing welcome packs for children for September and we have been in communication with present and new students across the globe, who will be joining us in September. We await Government guidance on reopening and have developed a full risk assessment for when children do return to school to ensure their health and well-being

Carol Pedersen, Executive Principal of EtonHouse International Pre School, on how education is continuing and expansion plans for the future.

due to the pandemic. EtonHouse has prepared a virtual tour of the school so prospective parents can see our classrooms and environment, and they are able to book a video call with the Principal to discuss the school. We also have an online facility for paying the registration and school fees, and we are offering a 50-per-cent discount on registration fees and payment plans to support families. EtonHouse educational group is one of the world’s leading educational institutes. We provide an Early Years Programme for children from 15 months to four years in our Pre School, and a Primary Years British curriculum for those aged four to six years in our Preparatory School. Our Primary, for ages seven to 12 years will open in 2021.

learning environment that promotes continuous development of their social, cognitive, emotional, physical and creative strengths. We encourage and promote mindfulness and well-being within our school community for staff and children. Children are offered a range of opportunities to explore values, broaden communication skills, collaborate, make personal choices as well as group problem solving, developing ideas and exploring information. We are the only school in Bahrain offering a Mindfulness Studio, Shadow Light Sensory Studio and an Atileria Studio. We have large extensive outdoor areas for play, several mud kitchens, sand and water play areas, planting and physical activities. Call 17 490-333.

The EtonHouse early childhood curriculum is inspired by internationally accepted best teaching practice from around the world. All EtonHouse children benefit from a

June 2020 13

education feature

VALUING THE SCHOOL EXPERIENCE Dr Simon Watson of St Christopher’s School brings us up to date on how the school is operating during the closure and plans for the future. Virtual learning offers many opportunities while also presenting challenges for families and teachers. At St Christopher’s, our teachers are blending synchronous and asynchronous learning, developing and adapting their strategies to try and meet the needs of individual families. We have had many parents impressed by what we are providing online. We are trying to establish the right balance between an introductory ‘video explainer’ where the teacher will pre-record a video giving clear instructions and then be online for students or parents to ask questions and seek help and support, and ‘live teaching’. The online chat facility in Google Meet is a good opener for students to use, followed up with ‘live’ video where necessary. The ‘video explainer’ has the advantage of students being able to review the explanation given by the teacher if required, while other students can forge ahead at their own speed. For younger children it is more challenging to conduct virtual learning as many of them require the instructions to be repeated. At St Christopher’s we have been providing individualised videos for the youngest children while sharing many additional resources with families. These videos can be paused and rewatched, enabling younger children to benefit from the repetition of rewatching the video. We are about to embark on small ‘live’ video opportunities for the youngest children too. By far the biggest problem for students and staff is the lack of social interaction during this period of closure. It has given all concerned a very clear indication that schools matter and that teachers matter. So, regardless of how much virtual learning takes place in the future, there will always be a case for the human side of learning: encapsulated in the mission of St Christopher’s: Education for a Shared Humanity. When we eventually return back to school, we expect to have to implement social distancing policies. We are planning for various scenarios for when we do return and look forward to receiving news from the Ministry of Education in due course, once the Bahrain Government believes it is safe for students and staff to return. Admissions are open and active as we continue to receive a high number of inquiries both globally and locally from applicants seeking high quality education for their children. All applications are under process with offers being made and accepted where availability arises. Telephone lines for primary and senior admissions are open and we remain available via email. Wait lists and demand for placement remains extremely positive. Call 17 605-000.

14 June 2020

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New Italian Ambassador, HE Paola Amadei, told Liz O’Reilly about how her community is dealing with viral restrictions and the growing Italian commercial attention for Bahrain. How long have you been in Bahrain now and how are you finding it, restrictions aside? I am deeply honoured to have recently presented my credentials to His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and I am proud to represent my country in the Kingdom. I arrived mid-January. I was able to appreciate the great potential that exists in Bahrain when I had the honour to participate as a member of the Italian delegation during a high-level official visit to Rome, led by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, which included meetings between the Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, and HRH the Crown Prince, as well as between the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luigi Di Maio, and former Minister Khaled bin Ahmed Al Khalifa and also between the Bahraini Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, HE Zayed Rashid Alzayani, and the Italian Undersecretary for Cultural Heritage 16 June 2020

and Tourism, Lorenza Bonaccorsi. Approximately how many Italians are living in Bahrain? There are approximately 500 Italians in Bahrain. The Italian Embassy ensures that all their requests are duly addressed. Our focus, in line with the natural vocation of any foreign mission, is to be the first point of reference to our community. How is the embassy supporting them under the current pandemic conditions? The consular services essential to our community are ongoing, in fact just the other week I held a marriage service in compliance with all the preventative provisions on social distancing. For the moment, we operate strictly by appointment, but there is a 24-hour, sevenday-a-week emergency telephone line available. We recommend that all Italian travellers frequently visit our website and the dedicated page of the Italian Ministry of

Foreign Affairs for detailed information on travel advice. We also ensure that our community has the relevant updates on the official preventative measures adopted by Bahrain. In which sectors are they engaged? The Italian community in Bahrain is a very active and well-integrated part of society that offers a valuable and professional contribution to major sectors, including energy, sustainability, infrastructure, engineering, architecture and interior design, food, business consultation, academia, culture and art. We share strategic ideas and projects on how to further develop and strengthen bilateral, economic and trade cooperation. One of the priorities is to expand and strengthen the involvement of several Italian companies that are interested in establishing their own presence in Bahrain through the excellent quality of products and services they provide. Italian companies with the ‘Made in Italy’ trademark can also rely on this support.

interview What are their major concerns? The main concerns are health and safety and restrictions on travel. The very nature of the effects of the virus have a profound impact on sectors that are interconnected globally and, therefore, the recommendations must constantly evolve. Aside from the pandemic, how are relations generally with Bahrain – what are the current trade figures between the two countries and is there scope for improvement on this? Over the past year, Italy has seen further developments in its excellent bilateral relations with Bahrain. The Kingdom is an important political partner for Italy as well as a key regional actor. The inauguration of the Bahraini Embassy in Rome by HRH the Crown Prince, in February this year, provides tangible proof of the growing political cooperation between our two countries and is a valuable platform for further strengthening economic and trade ties. Coming to numbers: the ItalyBahrain exchange reached USD451 million in 2019 and more growth is expected. More and more Italian companies are eager to enhance economic and commercial cooperation with Bahrain. The Kingdom presents many opportunities: a competitive customs regime, skilled labour, important growth support structures, these are the best incentives for Italian companies. The meeting between HRH the Crown Prince and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has further fuelled the dialogue between our governments and represented a significant path for the intensification of bilateral ties. The agreements signed during the important visit marked a milestone in our bilateral relations. Greater cooperation is expected in key sectors such as energy, defence, infrastructure and transport, manufacturing, food, agrobusiness, pharmaceuticals and health, but also financial services, information technology and mutual investment.

If yes, how can this be achieved? We are working on the followup envisaged by the agreements and I am in contact with both the Italian and Bahraini companies and associations. For the time being, we must limit ourselves to video conferencing and I remain confident that when we are able to do so, we will schedule further bilateral meetings and organise trade fairs and other events that will help facilitate interaction amongst the Italian and Bahraini business communities. Can you tell us a bit about the range of agreements that was signed between Bahrain and Italian entities in Rome earlier this year? Agreements worth USD360 million were signed between Italian companies and Bahraini counterparts. Among these were agreements between: Tatweer Petroleum and Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (ENI) Bahrain, Alba and Fluorsid S.p.A, Alba and FATA S.p.A, Alba and Techmo Car S.P.C, Al Salam Bank and OMP Racing S.p.A, GPIC and Saipem/Snamprogetti S.p.A (ENI Group). Memoranda of Understanding were also signed between ICE (Italian Trade Commission) and Bahrain’s Economic Development Board and SACE S.p.A (Export Credit Agency) and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, as well as a Joint Declaration on Tourism between the Ministers of Tourism. An agreement has also been signed between our two governments for the exemption from the visa requirement for holders of diplomatic, special or service passports. The event attracted great interest from Italian companies, which also participated in large numbers. When is the anticipated Italian Trade Agency to open in Bahrain? Provided everything runs smoothly, the ICE office, hosted at the embassy, will open very soon, in the coming weeks. The long-awaited desk office will facilitate economic interest, providing assistance and information to Italian

and Bahraini companies, both in Italy and Bahrain. The services available will be very extensive and will be complemented by numerous and diverse promotional events to increase Italy’s offer in Bahrain and promote a more widespread bilateral business partnership. Are there any more business developments or high-level visits on the horizon? The official meetings in Rome proved to be a qualitative leap forward in bilateral relations, deepening and expanding the fields of cooperation to new sectors, as shown by the agreements on cultural, educational, scientific, technological and information cooperation, air services, health and medical science, as well as the letter of intent between the National Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency on cooperation for civil purposes. Italy is a great productive and technological power, we export machinery and excel in science and innovation, as well as in the defence sector. In this regard, a paradigmatic example is offered by the activity and the extraordinary quality of production of Fincantieri S.p.A, also present here in the GCC, which is a global player in the field of civil and military shipbuilding. On the cultural side, there has long been a history of exchange and cultural tours between the two countries. Is there anything planned for the future? The bilateral agreement signed on cultural, educational, scientific, technological and informational cooperation will definitely open greater possibilities for the future. It is my priority to share more of our culture with Bahrain. I am very keen on seeing ongoing collaboration between museums, art galleries, and more promotion of the Italian language as well as encouraging an appreciation for opera, an extraordinary form of art that I am passionate about. Opera was born in Italy and is a unique heritage: music, singing and acting merge to form extraordinary stories that have always fascinated me.

June 2020 17


THE KINDHEARTED COOK When Filipina, Rose Santos, heard stories of suffering and hunger in her community, due to the coronavirus and its financial impact, she decided to act.


ose, who has been in Bahrain 16 years, is PA to the director of a car leasing company and is currently still working. But she was deeply touched to hear that many of her countrymen and women were going hungry due to layoffs. She explains: “I read in the news about people going hungry and desperate. My friends were telling me the same and I actually met some people who were in dire need. The problem is hunger, I thought, so I’ll cook food to feed people. Simple as that. “Some people are desperate – it may be that it’s too far to shop, they may have no money or may be scared to go out. But mostly [they are] OFW [Overseas Filipino Workers] that have lost their jobs or [are in] no work-no pay scenarios during this difficult time of COVID 19. “I felt like I’m in the Philippines, thinking that many of my compatriots are experiencing helplessness; my husband, Steve Blight, is doing charitable work there, also for the needy, while being stuck there. So, I did the same here.”

18 June 2020


She continues: “I hooked up with an organisation which is also helping groups. They have a database of who is asking for help. They register them as members or colleagues of their members. That’s where I come in. [It’s] people that I personally know or friends of friends who have similar challenges. I personally deliver the hot meals and essential groceries to them. I initially planned to feed 25 people, then it became 30, 50 and 100! “At first, I decided to use my own money to cook meals. I shared this initiative with my group here called ‘The Luscious Ladies of Bahrain’ and slowly kind-hearted people started to share their blessings [with donations] to this cause.”


Rose’s niece, who herself is in a no work-no pay arrangement, is helping and, despite her own job, Rose is also spending a great deal of time in the kitchen. She says: “For 50 persons, I spend three hours cooking, that’s a three-course meal of rice, main dish and veggies, not including shopping, preparation and distribution. One time, I got home at almost 10pm after my last delivery from the furthest corner of Budaiya.” Asked what’s needed to keep the operation running, the kind-hearted cook replies: “Ingredients for the menu, arranging packaging materials, setting up the table, packing. Also arranging some bags of groceries, placing them all into the boxes, arranging contacts and locations, delivery times and whalaaaa, it’s good to go!” She concludes: “As long as friends or friends of friends are willing to share their blessings and people are still asking for help, I’ll keep going.” If anyone would like to help, Rose can be reached on WhatsApp at 33 311-910.



Founding member of the Bahrain Association for Parents and Friends of the Disabled (BAPFD), Sahar Al Ajjawi, spoke to Behnaz Sanjana about the organisation’s two-pronged solution to plastic waste.


hen a friend who had a differently abled child floated the idea of having a formal community for the disabled in Bahrain, Sahar was on board with heart and soul. That was 2003, and the BAPFD began with 50 members. “We are now 200 strong, with the purpose of helping the disabled in whatever capacity we can,” says Sahar, who is the group’s financial controller. “We welcome people across all nationalities with all kinds of disability, their families and friends.” Members have a full year of activities planned. Sahar says: “Every two weeks we have a programme, gathering or seminar. We invite guests and those from within our organisation to speak on relevant topics for the disabled and their caregivers.” When schools are out for summer, the BAPFD runs a summer camp at its space in Salmaniya, where children stay engaged with fun activities and field trips. “We have had 10 successful years of summer camps and, two years ago, BAPFD was proud to be invited to participate at the Bahrain Summer Festival’s Nakhool tent, hosted by the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities,” says Sahar. “Also, during Ramadan we have Gergaoun and Hiya Biya activities for these children. Besides teaching them about our traditional customs, this is also a way for the general public to accept the differently abled as a part of society and involve them in community living.”

Amongst the BAPFD’s most successful endeavours is the plastic project, which started in 2011 when members discussed their concerns about the increase in plastic waste in Bahrain. Brainstorming led to a win-win concept, whereby the association would collect plastic refuse and sell it to a recycling factory. The money accrued would be used to fund customised wheelchairs for the deserving. “We started off on a small scale, collecting whatever plastic waste members brought at our head office in Adliya,” recalls Sahar. Word about the initiative spread quickly and more people started bringing in redundant plastic. “Some members require custom-made wheelchairs, designed to certain specifications. These cost anywhere between BD1,500 to BD4,000,” she says. “The money we earn from selling plastic for recycling is utilised towards funding such wheelchairs. Our mobility unit and professionally qualified social workers collaborate to identify deserving cases. On an average, we can provide around 18 such wheelchairs in a year.” With the support of governmental and private entities, collection points have been set up at Enma and Wadi Al Sail malls, Isa Town, Dohat Arad park and Adliya’s Block 338 amongst others. The challenges, however, are mounting, like logistics and falling prices for plastic. “We require a more sophisticated way of handling the waste, and to make the operation of shredding and compressing it more feasible and profitable. Also, we are eager to have our centre in Salmaniya open all year round for disabled children to go to every day, for which we need financial support. That’s what we are working on for the future.” Contribute towards this cause by adding your plastic waste to the container outside the BAPFD headquarters in Adliya. Check out @bapf_disabled on Instagram

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A MONETARY TIE-UP A new fast and secure contactless payment solution has been integrated into the stc pay app, which enables customers to shop for goods and services online across a wide range of Bahrain-based and worldwide retailers. stc Bahrain has teamed up with NEC Payments to present the stc pay virtual prepaid Mastercard. This partnership allows customers to access a broader range of merchants and conduct transactions in a faster, more efficient and safer way, which has also become a valid requirement in the current challenging times where the use of e-commerce and contactless payments is being encouraged to avoid handling of cash. This novel digital offering empowers customers with no access to credit cards to continue shopping anytime, anywhere and have the items delivered right to their doorstep. All users of stc’s mobile wallet can subscribe to the stc pay prepaid Mastercard at no additional fee with a validity of up to three years. They also have the flexibility to use their current account balance for online purchases.

COMPLETING A MILESTONE Rsquare Technologies, the well-known Bahrain-based software development company, has completed 10 successful years in the Kingdom. Since its inception, the company has supported public and government entities across sectors including oil and gas, insurance, banking, education, automobiles, construction and hospitals, and has emerged a leader in the fintech space, developing 19 innovative IT fintech solutions for more than 400 clients locally. Housed in the region’s largest fintech hub, Bahrain FinTech Bay, Rsquare has participated in several high-level delegations, such as the Singapore FinTech Festival, Bahraini economic delegation to India, Vizag FinTech Festival in Andhra Pradesh and several regional conferences in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Rsquare Technologies founder, chairwoman and Chief Executive, Shanthini Raja said: “We are celebrating 10 years of shaping innovation. Day to day we continue to follow the ethos of building regionally-focused hybrid tech solutions that work for this market, and allow businesses to do more. Our continued success and resilience in the Kingdom reflects Bahrain’s commitment to creating a businessfriendly culture. We were blessed to have a strong foundation for fintech companies, like us, to flourish, with the right infrastructure, tech-friendly regulations and a thriving entrepreneurial community.”

BANKING MADE EASY In the first quarter of 2020, Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB) launched a number of digital products and services as part of its strategy to simplify its customers’ money matters, enabling them to perform a wide range of banking transactions, thereby eliminating the need to visit the branches. In line with BisB’s commitment to ensure the safety of its employees and patrons, it encourages its retail and corporate customers to utilise these digital banking platforms that eliminate the need for queuing up at branches and the subsequent risk of virus exposure. Almost all daily customer transactions can be now conducted online from the safety of customers’ homes. The bank has also recently introduced its latest Open Banking service which provides customers with the transparency and convenience of viewing and managing multiple bank accounts, all through a single streamlined application window. 20 June 2020


REWARD AND RECOGNITION Kanoo IT, a subsidiary of Ebrahim K Kanoo, received the ‘Top Enterprise Partner in Bahrain’ award from Aruba Networks, which is a Hewlett-Packard Enterprise company. The award recognises Kanoo IT’s exceptional performance in terms of increasing Aruba’s sales and customer base in the local market. Speaking on the occasion, Ebrahim K Kanoo Director, Waleed Kanoo, highlighted the achievement and stated: “This award marks a new milestone in Kanoo IT’s professional path and we are extremely proud to be recognised for our efforts.” Drawing attention to the significance of this award, the General Manager of Kanoo IT, Ramgopal Menon, noted: “Kanoo IT is keen to enhance the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector in the Kingdom through partnering with the industry leaders.”

TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE FOOD SECURITY An agreement was recently signed between the Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Ministry agriculture and marine resources agency and Kadi Group of companies for the setting up of a new fish farm in the Southern Governorate near the National Aquaculture Centre in Ras Hayyan. This step has been taken towards the government’s efforts in ensuring food security and self-sufficiency in Bahrain. Ministry Under-Secretary, Dr Nabeel Abu Al Fateh, said: “The agency will provide the private companies with fish fingerlings that are in high demand in the Bahraini market, such as Hammour, Rabbit Fish (Safi) and Emperor Fish.” He added that company operations would be monitored and technical support would be offered to ensure adherence to agency standards. Dr Al Fateh went on to say that fish farming was an important pillar in the strategy aimed at adopting modern agricultural techniques, such as soil-free farming, while also using creative technologies for sustainable production.

TECH-SAVVY MARKETING A virtual meeting was organised by the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) which addressed the topic ‘Optimising Social Media and Digital Marketing During Crisis’. Ali Sabkar, the chairman of the Social Media Club spoke. He said that worldwide, there has been a 16.5-per-cent increase in demand for e-commerce platforms globally in the past few months and that 49 per cent of the world’s population is using some form of social media every day, meaning the number of social media accounts has rapidly increased. During the forum, he shared information on smart marketing solutions and the growing importance of social media channels and platforms. Statistics for Bahrain indicate that 99 per cent of the island’s population is active on some Internet platform, thus there is a high potential for e-commerce and marketing, through which businesses have the opportunity to reach a wider range of customers. He stressed the importance of embracing technology and keeping abreast of e-commerce trends as the way to success in the future.

June 2020 21




ar, n Tanw Masso e postia r P nist, n th r colum tions o Regula s her rumina e continu irus future. v a coron


hile continuing to analyse the situation and understand the many complex issues on the path to recovery, I chose to take a top-down approach – I started with the larger businesses and more capital-intensive, stateowned and -run projects. Every economy had infrastructure planning underway when the pandemic hit us. This was based on the needs of the economy at that point. The question I wanted to then ask was, has the need changed? Do roads, transportation infrastructure, education infrastructure, utilities etc have modified demand? Or do we need to re-think how to provide these and, perhaps, also understand why providing them could be a significant step on the path to recovery? For oil dependent GCC economies, even before the pandemic, there was a clear understanding of the need to diversify revenue sources. Which is why travel and tourism, hospitality, retail, aviation and logistics have been getting varying levels of impetus from the governments and incentives for private investment. But what will the new way be? To my mind, one change could be an increase in public-private partnerships across sectors. 22 June 2020

It’s a common way for governments to undertake large infrastructure projects. How it works is that the government delegates a project – with support – for a price to a private operator on what’s called a buildoperate-transfer model. That means that for a set amount of time, the private operator gets revenue from the project and shares it with the government. This is quite common for toll roads, railways, airports etc and has some application in healthcare, education and waste management. The other change could be more flexibility around the use of existing infrastructure – the fact that this can be done is evident with how efficiently healthcare facilities have been put in place across the region – either by building assets or by utilising existing assets. The same concept can be extended to remunerative uses as well. The third change I’m anticipating is a lot more focus on affordable businesses. With vulnerability to income more exposed than ever, these could see new interest. Two sectors strike out, one is healthcare and the other education. In healthcare, good quality healthcare at an affordable level is a requirement across the world. Government systems cannot always cater to all needs.

There are those that are most vulnerable who need free healthcare. Then there are those that can easily afford private healthcare. It is the zone in between that suffers and will see increased demand. This holds true in education as well. Difficult times call for difficult changes and new partnerships. Perhaps one new partnership should be one between governments and their citizens/residents. The governments have been trying to do what they can to keep us safe. They have provided stimulus and tried to balance the remarkably diverse needs of their countries. If we, as residents, realise that everyone, even the government, is stretched beyond their means, we can be more open to sharing some of the burden and finding new ways to progress together. Pria is an Advisor with JEO Capital Management Consultants (http://www. You can follow Pria at her Instagram handle money_cues or know more about her professional experience at



Dick Potter ruminates on the future of car showrooms.


y life in cars. Indeed. Well, car life has been a whole lot less stressful these past few weeks, that’s for sure. Globally, car traffic has reportedly halved. For those of us that have continued going to work here, I’m sure you’ll agree with me. What a joy to drive with less traffic on the roads! No school runs, lots of people working from home, no non-essential travel… need I go on? Yet, despite my glee at having the roads, mostly, to myself, in line with most industries, COVID-19 brings scant glee to the motor industry. The majority of car buyers – myself included – prefer to kick the tyres (gently!) and test drive their car of choice before buying it. The current social distancing restrictions – and, yes, for sure, finances are another factor – mean that many folks consider a trip to the car showroom off-limits right now. But, if you wanted to buy a Tesla model during this time, you wouldn’t have to go to a showroom. See, unlike traditional dealerships, all Teslas are sold online and delivered to the customer’s doorstep. Their showrooms are limited and situated at high footfall places like shopping malls. The showroom isn’t there to close sales, but to display the product, latest technologies and answer any questions you might have - maybe, “when do I get a chance to kick that tyre?”

By removing franchise dealers from the buying process, Tesla saves money on dealer commissions, for starters! Unsurprisingly, they have shown increasing sales and reported less disruption to their sales supply, (so far) during COVID-19. This is in comparison to their competitors who depend on traditional dealerships. The success of the Tesla business model is likely behind a surge in dealers ramping up their websites to help buyers select their preferred set of wheels, sort out payments and complete that all-important paperwork. Apparently, Mercedes is planning on adopting a similar business model and aims to convert a quarter of sales online by 2025. I wonder how this business model – removing the dealership from the equation – would fare in our neck of the woods? Apart from it being rather nice to wake up and find a new car outside your front door, there would be a lot less traffic on the Sitra causeway! In the likelihood I’ve set off a panic amid the dealerships up Sitra way, I hastily insert that I do have it in good stead that the vast majority of buyers, globally, will continue to use dealerships during the next decade.

through Amwaj lagoon anyone?! No doubt enjoying their quieter environment! I can’t say I was lucky enough to have witnessed it myself, but I saw footage of it. How heartwarming. Dolphins are not the only creatures enjoying the decrease in traffic though – there are reports of less wildlife mortality due to collisions with vehicles, for example, and an increase in reported birdsong! Perhaps, with less traffic about, it’s just that we can now hear them more clearly? I’ll leave you with that cheerful note all – and drive carefully if you do have to drive somewhere.

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Whilst traffic on the roads here may have decreased, there’ve been reports of traffic increase in other areas of our Isle of Paradise. The recent sighting of dolphins swimming June 2020 23

motoring news

SHOWROOM OF THE FUTURE LAUNCHED Infiniti Middle East is set to revolutionise the customer experience in the digital era by launching the ‘showroom of the future’, the INFINITI Configurator. Available in 11 markets across the region, the virtual experience brings the dealership to car buyers wherever they are using high quality, realistic visualisation and customisation content. Through the interactive configuration panel, customers can explore and modify six Infiniti models at the touch of a button, before requesting a quote, booking a test drive or sharing a personalised configuration with anyone to view. The Middle East is the driver and testing ground for the technology which is accessible through dealership websites and

is designed to be engaging, interactive and innovative. Users can explore car models and learn about their features and specs through interactive hotspots. In addition to viewing the car’s exterior and interior in 3D, users can customise the colours

and finishes, hear each car’s unique sound with an engine start-up, and place the model in a true-to-life background to get the car’s perspective in a realistic scenario. It’s available to view at

MIDDLE EAST CAR OF THE YEAR SUV ANNOUNCED Jaguar Land Rover secured one of the most coveted prizes from this year’s Middle East Car of the Year Awards (MECOTY) as the Land Rover Discovery Sport took the top spot for Compact Premium SUV of the Year. The company’s Range Rover Evoque also garnered an honourable mention as one of the top-performing vehicles in the same category. Handpicked to represent 10 Middle East countries, the MECOTY jury – comprised of the most qualified and experienced motoring journalists – is tasked with identifying the region’s most exceptional cars. Each juror is instructed to evaluate nominated and shortlisted vehicles, appraising each entrant for the quality of the consumer experience they provide. The newest member of the Discovery family, the Discovery Sport is the most capable vehicle of its kind. It is more technologically advanced than ever, boasting an enhanced exterior design perfectly complemented by a transformed interior. Its new Premium Transverse Architecture (PTA) accommodates efficient new electrified engines, including a 48-volt mild hybrid to help reduce emissions and fuel consumption. The new body is 13 per cent stiffer than its predecessor, with rigidly-mounted subframes that reduce noise and vibration intrusion into the cabin, improving comfort and providing maximum safety. These enhancements have ensured the fastest-selling Land Rover ever produced, with its new infotainment interface – comprising the latest connectivity – and more flexible seating arrangements distinguishing the model as one of the safest and most comfortable SUVs ever made.

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ARAB MARKET EXCLUSIVE Aston Martin MENA has commissioned a unique specification, the DBS Superleggera ‘Arabesque’, which has been exclusively created for the Middle East region to pay tribute to Arabian art and design. Showcasing new Arabic details and featuring lavish personalisation, via Aston Martin’s bespoke service ‘Q by Aston Martin’, the vehicle incorporates traditional Middle Eastern elements within its signature design codes. These include bespoke materials such as camel hair and silk, as well as unique inlaid Arabesque patterned carbon fibre throughout. The patterned carbon fibre roof, front splitter, diffuser and rear spoiler unite to seamlessly enhance the DBS Superleggera’s refined lines. The Aston Martin wings are crafted in black enamel, each built by hand during a 20-hour process. The duotone interior in Indigo and Coral Sand Bridge of Weir leather delivers an exquisite finish and the Arabesque pattern carries throughout with the quilt pattern on the roof headlining, the seats and head rests, which also feature embroidered Aston Martin wings.

motoring news

BEST SEDAN NAMED The Volvo S60 was named Best Midsize Executive Sedan at the 2020 Middle East Car of the Year Awards. This prestigious recognition comes as the car was introduced in the Middle East in the second half of 2019, garnering critical acclaim for its sporty design, dynamism and technology features. “We are very happy with this award for the S60, reinforced by both the expert opinion of the jury as well as the public votes. The S60 is a unique sedan that offers a remarkable balance between sporty performance, comfort and cutting-edge technology. It is a perfect fit for the Middle East markets and is well-positioned for long-term success,” said Jesus Fernandez de Mesa, MD of Volvo Cars Importers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

CYBERSTER CONCEPT UNVEILED MG Motor has released renderings and first details of a new pure-electric roadster concept car, the MG Cyberster Concept, which has been designed to usher in a new era of stylish and intelligent driving for younger motorists. Introducing a totally new and futuristic take on traditional sports cars, with its smart cockpit, mobile internet functionality and pure-electric technology, the British-born car marque’s roadster concept showcases the brand’s approach to cutting-edge intelligent driving products. The MG Cyberster Concept features the latest 5G connectivity technology and Level 3 autonomous driving features developed by parent company SAIC Motor, a global leader in automotive new energy and intelligent networking technology. Further details of the vehicle will be released later.

FREE DIGITAL ACADEMY TRAINING HYBRID-ELECTRIC CAR LAUNCHED IN BAHRAIN With an eye to the commercial effects of the coronavirus pandemic, luxury vehicle maker, Rolls-Royce, is publishing, for free, its world-class digital skills training programme to help prepare for a potentially digital-centric recovery from COVID-19. Bringing together its trusted training partners and platforms, the first suite of courses includes introductions to data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, coding and digital culture. Courses range from ‘bitesize’ 20-minute sessions, to extended fully certified training programmes. Head of the Digital Academy at Rolls-Royce, Manisha Mistry, said: ““Whether you’re eight, 18 or 80 years old, these training packages will help you during this disruptive period of isolation: whether you need to keep your kids occupied, need new skills for a future job or just want to learn more digital skills in anticipation of the future.” Courses are available to all at products-and-services/digital-academy.aspx.

Ebrahim K. Kanoo has launched the all-new 2020 Toyota C-HR at its showroom in Sitra. The latest in the car company’s lineup of innovative vehicles, the C-HR changes the crossover game with its adventurous design, responsive drive and class-leading eco-friendly technology. The model also reflects Toyota’s long-standing drive for sustainability. Offering the lowest fuel consumption value in its category at 23.9km/l, C-HR enables customers to contribute to a greener future while enjoying the increased driving satisfaction provided by its advanced technologies. C-HR is built on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform. A low centre of gravity and double-wishbone rear suspension contribute to outstanding stability and handling with exceptional ride comfort. Available with a 1.8-litre VVT-i full-hybrid powertrain and automatic CVT transmission, the model is powered by a petrol engine that delivers 97hp and a peak torque of 142Nm, working in tandem with an electric motor that churns out 72hp of power and 16.6kg-m of torque. The hybrid-electric powertrain is equipped with a small, light and powerful lithium-ion battery pack that can efficiently absorb and deliver current, enhancing the electric motive force delivery. The vehicle comes in a choice of 10 exterior colours. June 2020 25

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Digital Edition

dining feature


When the taste buds seek a wonderful balance of sweet, sour, salty, piquant and umami, food from the Far East can satiate the palate and the stomach. Here’s a quick roundup of eateries – from the fancy to the no-frills – specialising in East Asian cuisines and currently offering delivery. And we’ve included a cheat list to their showstopping dishes that are a must-try.



This is where you can sample the mystical flavours of mainland China in a modern setting located in the heart of Bahrain. The menu reflects fare from the Cantonese, Szechuan and Peking regions of this exotic land.

The restaurant has a generic takeaway/delivery menu at the moment, but sushi lovers can rejoice! The hotel offers some of the freshest sushi you can find on the island.

Must Have Dishes: Chinese dim sum and Peking duck are traditionally prepared by a team of renowned Chinese chefs under the able leadership of Chef Ding. Those with a sweet tooth can savour toffee lychees, toffee bananas and banana pancakes. Call 36 445-585 / 36 551-222

Must Have Dishes: California Sushi is a staple with its crabstick, avocado, cucumber and masago orange, while another favourite is Spicy Tuna, with tempura flakes, cucumber, tuna, sesame seeds and Togarashi sauce. Call 17 586-499 or WhatsApp 39 770-525



Can’t make up your mind if it’s Chinese, Thai or Japanese fine dining you want to indulge in? Order in from Keizo, where the chefs use the very best ingredients and skills to prepare delicious Oriental fare.

It’s said guests head there for dazzling views of Manama’s skyline as much as world-renowned Chef Wolfgang Puck’s ingenious culinary rendering of Asian cuisines.

Must Have Dishes: The usual bestsellers include Taisha Maki rolls, Canari Maki rolls, Crispy Crab Salade and Tom Yum Soup, but the signature Panseared Salmon with Bamboo Shoots never fails to hit the spot. Call 17 845-000.

Must Have Dishes: Amongst all the imaginative interpretations of classical dishes, the signature Chili ‘Dan Dan’ Chicken Dumplings with Preserved Vegetables, Sichuan Pepper and Roasted Peanuts is a showstopper. Call 17 115-046.

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dining feature

ROYAL THAI GULF HOTEL BAHRAIN Set in a grand pagoda, this restaurant is a unique setting for authentic Thai fine dining. Guests can expect delectable temptations featuring lobster, crab, snow fish and hammour that can be fried, steamed, curried and spiced to perfection by the culinary team. Must Have Dishes: Gaeng Ped Yang, Masamman Kea, Yum Won Sen Talay and Kao Phad Sapparod Kung are all mouth-wateringly beautiful to look at and eat, and you can end your meal of fantastic flavours with something sweet in the form of Khao Neow Mamuang. Call 36 445-585 / 36 551-222

MAKI BAHRAIN WORLD TRADE CENTRE The modern Japanese gastronomy offered here has been a hit ever since its inception. Patrons have been wowed with the contemporary flavours that underpin traditional Japanese cuisine and keep going back for more. Must Have Dishes: There is a an extensive list of dishes that guests remember long after they leave the venue, and amongst those are Volcano Maki, Issa Mame Maki, Spicy Edamame, Special Filo Prawn Tempura, Wazani II Mame Maki and Salmon Teppanyaki. Call 17 522-733 / 36 999-102

BEIJING RESTAURANT ADLIYA This unassuming Chinese eatery on a lane in the heart of Block 338 has been around for 19 years, serving loyal patrons heartwarming flavours from the extensive menu. Must Have Dishes: In appetisers the Chicken Dumplings and Ginger Coriander Prawns are two dishes that have been hot favourites. Beef in Black Pepper Sauce makes for a great dish for main course, besides the mean Beijing Special Duck on the menu. Call 17 717-969 / 36 529 068


This Asian fusion restaurant is a convenient haunt for busy shoppers when they crave a spot of Southeast Asian fare. It is known to serve delicious dishes that echo the Chinese, tempura and teriyaki culinary styles. Must Have Dishes: Crispy Chicken Fried Rice is a crowd pleaser, while repeat clientele frequently opt for Kai Lo Mein Noodles and Kung Pao Chicken. But before that, they start to whet the appetite with Crispy Spinach with Chicken. Call 77 570-570. 28 June 2020

dining feature





This restaurant was launched over half a decade ago to offer diners true Asian flavours. The chic and colourful setting serves delectable gastronomy from the Far Eastern lands of Thailand, China and Japan. Must Have Dishes: The Chinese noodles are a crowd-puller, and the Chicken and Shrimp Dumplings, Beef with Mushroom and Brocolli, Beef Chilli and Stir-fried Beef all maintain a special place in the hearts of hungry diners. Call 16 010-321.

This small eatery does go big on taste with gems of the sea prepared in robust Thai flavours. The restaurant takes pride in not using any readymade ingredients and only freshlysourced seafood.


Must Have Dishes: The Mixed Sea Food Box is popular, as is the Seafood Tom Yum soup, Big Lobster, Shrimp Tempura, Sushi Volcano Roll and the very beckoning Sushi Lover Roll. Call 37 779-559.


Photo: Bakerella Maki



June 2020 29

dining feature

PEKING TOKYO UMM AL HASSAM A venue known for good food and affordable prices, it’s little wonder that it has become a popular go-to for foodies in the last two years. Must Have Dishes: The Chinese preparations that diners rave about are the dim sum, General Tao’s Chicken, Prawns in Butter Chilli Garlic and Dynamite Shrimps. Japanese favourites include Dragon Maki and Cherry Ashuka Roll. Call 17 472-345.

DA RAE JUNG ADLIYA It may seem humble in appearance, but serves bold Korean flavours and aromas that stay with the palate long after you’ve eaten. Guests flock for Korean-style barbecued meats grilled at your table. Must Have Dishes: Besides succulent beef ribs, guests remember the restaurant for Pa Chicken with Green Onion and Oriental Sauce, Ddukbokgi (a spicy rice cake which is a famous Korean street food staple) and authentic Bibimbap (mixed vegetables in rice and special Korean sauce). Do finish off your meal with Hotteok; pancake with cinnamon. Call 17 002-490.





A fairly new eatery on Juffair’s dining scene, this one is the younger sibling of David’s Stir Fry Crazy. But with food with soul on offer, it lives up to its big brother’s reputation. What you get is street food served with flair in a vibrant bistro-style environment.

This restaurant has stirred up a frenzy among fans of Far Eastern food, with scrumptious choices on the menu, each tastier than the last.

Must Have Dishes: The venue’s One Bowl Wonder is the ultimate comfort food, while the noodle station dishes out handcrafted noodles in rich broths. Call 17 100-188. 30 June 2020

Must Have Dishes: When at David’s, do not miss out on ordering one of the most sought-after Chinese delicacies: The Royal Roast Peking Duck. The fragrant crispy skin and the succulent herby meat rolled into pancakes with plum sauce spread and shredded scallions is a treat for the taste buds. Call 17 540-188 / 17 003-883 for Adliya and 17 760-780 for Riffa

dining feature

HONG KONG RESTAURANT ADLIYA Who doesn’t know of Hong Kong; it’s a landmark of sorts in Bahrain. It started back in 1978 and for the past decades has been serving guests the unmistakable taste of authentic Chinese fare, first from its Umm Al Hassam branch, which has now moved to hip and happening Block 338. Must Have Dishes: The Squirrel Fish is often requested here – deep fried baby hammour with hot bean sauce. Other best sellers are Deep-fried Prawn Balls with Ginger-Garlic Sauce and Chilli Beef. The Shu Mai (steamed dumplings) here are touted to be the best on the island. Call 17 728-700.

NICE SPICE ADLIYA When a quick bite of something cheap and cheerful is the need of the minute, one heads to Nice Spice. This outlet is what used to be First Chinese located on a street in Block 338, but then relocated to a different spot with a different name and updated avatar. Must Have Dishes: Do not miss out on the Zing Zhang Chicken, Dragon Chicken, Schezwan Fried Rice and Chicken in Hot Garlic Sauce. Call 17 713-603.

June 2020 31

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BTM brings you the latest gadgets to push your technological buttons.


This heart rate monitor is compatible with iPhone and Android, and gives you a realtime heart rate with training zones and calories burned visible on your smartphone or tablet. It works with multiple fitness apps and pairs directly with the Apple Watch. Available at:


This multi-use mini massager utilises four pressure points for a rotation massage with optional ‘heat mode’ should you have any aches you want to soothe. The cushion can be used on any part of your body, making it portable, revitalising and relaxing all in one. Available at:


Back when fidget spinners were all the rage, Antsy Lab came up with a clever idea to make something similar, although slightly more stimulating. The Fidget Cube is an unusually addicting, high-quality desk toy designed to help you focus, either at work, in class or even at home. With this, you can click, glide, flip, breathe, roll and spin, all in one. Available at:

This miniature camera shoots in high definition, is waterproof and attaches easily to a helmet, harness, bike or other vehicle. With a built-in 2-inch LCD display, it lets you capture the most daring moments of your life and all the action of your outdoor adventures. Available at:


A solution to all your cold drinks problems, these ice stones keep your beverage ice cold and undiluted for longer. Simply place them in the freezer for a few hours and then add to any cold drink, such as a delicious iced coffee or tea. They help to retain great flavour, and come in a set of nine soapstone cubes. Available at:


Provides the ultimate shock- and element-tested protection for your phone when running, cycling or doing other activities. The neoprene band is designed to fit securely in your hand and allows for full phone functionality including touch screen, talking, headphones and charging functions. Available at:



This is a perfect gift for book lovers and anyone who enjoys reading at night, providing you with a soft, ambient light that’s diffused by the pages and helps you sleep. It’s great for use as a night-light and easily rechargeable via micro USB (not included). Available at: June 2020 33





Axel and Blaze return in Streets of Rage 4, the revival of the classic beat-‘em-up series. Featuring hand-drawn visuals and brutal action, Streets of Rage 4 builds upon the classic trilogy’s gameplay with new mechanics, a fresh story and a gauntlet of dangerous stages with a serious crime problem. Whether players gang up with a friend or clean up the city solo, Streets of Rage 4 is a skull-bashing, chicken-chomping brawl, all set to a thumping soundtrack sure to get your blood pumping!


Move from left to right, punch enemies, destroy objects for points, health and weapon pickups, punch a few more enemies and repeat. It’s simple and unadventurous, and while it expands modestly on combat with a few new skills to master, Streets of Rage 4 definitely prioritises nostalgia over any kind of big modern reinvention. Just like in the old games, each character has a special move that does a lot more damage at the cost of taking a chunk out of your own health bar. However, an added risk-reward twist for this game is that any lost health can potentially be earned back if you string a combo of standard attacks together on top of it.


The plot is wafer-thin and predictably corny, but it’s beautifully presented in a comic book panel style. Within the constraints of the restricted nature of side-scrolling beat-’em-ups, Streets of Rage 4 at least makes an attempt to spice up the level design. Levels like Skytrain and Airplane add little bits of variety (like high-speed train signs flying at you during combat, for example) to keep the environments fresh.


Gears Tactics is a spin-off of the Gears of War franchise and a prequel to the first game. It evolves turn-based tactics games combining signature fast-paced brutal action and character-driven storytelling with customisable squads, upgradable weapons and, of course, massive boss battles. 34 June 2020


A faithful revival of a classic



Trials of Mana is a 3D remake of the hit Japanese classic 1995 RPG Seiken Densetsu 3, the rarely-seen sequel to Secret of Mana. It’s now fully modernised with quality graphics, an upgraded battle system, character voices, a remastered sound track, extra conversation interludes and more. This overlapping story of interwoven destinies changes depending on who you choose out of six main characters and companions.


Moving Out is a chaotic physics-based moving simulator that brings a whole new meaning to ‘couch co-op’. Are you ready for an exciting career in furniture? As a newly certified Furniture Arrangement and Relocation Technician, you’ll take on moving jobs all across the busy town of Packmore. Grow your business to brave new heights, recruit colourful, customisable characters and save your town from furniture peril!



SITE: RATING: VERDICT: A useful tool for finding your next read. WHAT IS IT?

This website is really interesting for someone who loves reading. Have you ever been in a state where you cannot find the next great book you should read? What Should I Read Next fixes that in a single click. Thanks to the huge database and associated data of books and authors, the site can suggest some of the finest books that will entice you next.



The site is really easy to use. It tells you what books you might enjoy based on certain criteria, or you can specifically search for a particular book and you’ll not only get a link to buy the book, but also others like it.


As with all recommendation sites, there are issues in regard to recommending books which are supposedly ‘similar’ but aren’t at all. They run off an algorithm based on users’ clicks and aren’t actually checked. Also, the links to buy don’t show the cheapest or most convenient stores which makes it pretty useless.


Like to draw? Weavesilk lets you create an awesome piece of art in a few single clicks and movements of your mouse interface. Once you have drawn a picture, you can go ahead and share it or save it on your device. No matter how bad you are when it comes to drawing, the final picture looks so abstract and great that this is a real time killer. It’s also available as an app in the App Store.


The AutoCorrect feature in iOS has made more people laugh than any comedian in the world. While it tries to improve your language and vocabulary, it can get you into all sorts of trouble. Do you enjoy finding those grammar fails, especially the funny ones? This site is a compilation website that lists down screenshots of iPhone mishaps. You can keep hitting the Next button until you’ve passed your lunch break.


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Zedge gives you access to a multitude of background wallpapers and cool ringtones for free. Personalise your phone with a HD wallpaper, live wallpaper, alarm sound or ringtone with ease.

resource for ringtone fans.


Zedge gives you an unbelievable number of options to customise the most basic parts of your device. On top of having an exhaustive collection of things, Zedge also promotes various items during holiday seasons making it easy to theme your phone up for Christmas, Halloween and others.


The app does have the occasional bug and some irritating advertisements. Zedge Premium is a new initiative to provide premium content at a reasonable price, but it’ll tell you to join frequently or to fill out surveys to earn Zedge credits.

APP: STELLARIUM Perfect for astronomy buffs, the Stellarium app helps you to explore the night sky to learn all about stars, constellations and planets with just a swipe and a tap. There’s even a GPS feature, allowing you to navigate the stars by waving your phone in different directions.

36 June 2020

APP: WYSA Wysa is a penguin-shaped chatbot that listens to you talk about your feelings. It then offers mental health advice, self-care tips and exercises based on the issues you discussed with it. Wysa also offers a wide variety of coping techniques for its users such as meditation, yoga and breathing exercises.


Kenny Chesney

Here and Now By opening the album with We Do, a song that seems designed to kick off an arena show, Chesney sets the expectation for breezy fun. Despite a couple of moments of twilight contemplation, such as the quiet closer Guys Named Captain, Here and Now generally delivers on this promise of a party, but occasionally the good times arrive with a bit of a melancholy undercurrent. Maybe some regrets flow through these songs, but Chesney is sincere when he sings that his favourite place to be is the here and now. He’s settling into a middle age where he doesn’t stretch himself musically but does explore different emotions, giving Here and Now a quiet but real resonance.


Making a Door Less Open Verdict: Change-up leads to mediocrity

What’s the story? Making a Door Less Open is the 12th studio album by American indie rock band Car Seat Headrest. It marks a distinct stylistic divergence from the band’s previous material. While Car Seat Headrest largely became known for their indie rock sound and use of ‘lo-fi’ aesthetics, the style of the album was largely influenced by experiments with 1 Trait Danger, the electronic side-project of band members Will Toledo and Andrew Katz.

Worth a listen? The album lacks a narrative concept that links the songs; the tracks exist in a similar emotional space, but there’s no through line to this album. If there is a theme to this set of songs, it’s that success hasn’t been everything Toledo was hoping for. While angst has played a big role in his songs from the start, the adolescent anxieties and confusion have been replaced by the uncomfortable emotions of adulthood and a severe wariness of his place in the larger world and the circle where he has placed himself. He’s riddled with self-doubt on the opener Weightlifters, he’s disgusted with the ugly and venal world of Hollywood, he’s at odds with his creative process in Deadline, his fear and depression are vivid in Life Worth Missing, and the title of Famous speaks for itself. In many cases, coming from a place of darkness spawns vivid and amazing work, but not here.

Hirudin Named for an anticoagulant secreted by leeches, Hirudin is an extreme breakup album, reflecting how frontwoman Katie Stelmanis severed ties with all of her romantic and creative partners and sought out new collaborators and experiences. She exalts Austra’s classical and pop sides on Hirudin, whether on the brief flutter of brass and woodwinds of Interlude II or the sensual hooks of It’s Amazing. Though the album is about breaking free from the ugliness of toxic relationships, it’s some of Stelmanis’ loveliest music. Her voice and melodies have rarely sounded as pristine as they do here, and this purity makes the album’s songs all the more transporting. The standout Anywayz is a love song that hinges on loss, with a melody that teeters between worry and hope as Stelmanis realises that the world will go on even if her relationship doesn’t.

American Aquarium

Lamentations Aligning with producer Shooter Jennings does give American Aquarium a jolt of earthiness on Lamentations, a quality that suits the collection of songs BJ Barham wrote for this 2020 album. Barham wears his heart heavily on Lamentations, a fact he takes no pains to disguise. The album opens with the quasi-title track Me + Mine (Lamentations), a weary ballad that stretches out for nearly seven minutes. It’s a foreboding start to an album and, while there are moments of lightness that peek in through the cracks, this is a sombre, serious affair, one that explores the dashed dreams of America at the dawn of the 2020s.

June 2020 37

tv releases

FANCY SOME CHILL-TIME AT HOME? Check out the latest TV series to hit your screens.



Seberg is a political thriller inspired by real events about the French New Wave darling and Breathless star Jean Seberg (Kristen Stewart). The film focuses on Seberg in the late 1960s when she was targeted by Hoover’s FBI, because of her political and romantic involvement with civil rights activist Hakim Jamal (Anthony Mackie).

This sci-fi comedy satire, created by Greg Daniels, is set in a future where humans are able to ‘upload’ themselves into their preferred choice of afterlife. When Nathan (Robbie Amell) meets an early death, he is greeted by Nora in his version of heaven. The series follows the two as Nathan grows accustomed to life away from his loved ones, and the alive Nora struggles to stay afloat working her job alongside Nathan in the afterlife.


Uncut Gems

Charismatic jeweller Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler) makes a high-stakes bet that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime. In a precarious high-wire act, he must balance business, family and adversaries on all sides in pursuit of the ultimate win.

38 June 2020

Martial arts legend Baki Hanma has one wish: to train harder and fight better than his legendary father. Five of death row’s most brutal and violent inmates are gathering in force to take on Baki with the hope that he will annihilate them, having grown bored of their own strength and existence. Baki is joined by his martial artist friends to fight by his side in the world’s deadliest tournament.


Heidi Bergman (Julia Roberts) had been a social worker at the Homecoming Transitional Support Centre, a live-in facility run by the Geist Group; the facility ostensibly helped soldiers transition to civilian life, though why they needed this help is unclear. Four years later, Bergman has started a new life working as a waitress but has difficulty remembering her time at Homecoming.

The Last Days of American Crime

This dark and gritty crime thriller is based on a graphic novel of the same name. Set in the near future, the movie follows career criminal, Graham Bricke (Édgar Ramírez) in a world locked in a death-struggle with crime. As a last-ditch attempt to combat terrorism, the US government plans to pump out a broadcast signal that makes it impossible for anyone to knowingly commit a crime.



Say bye-bye to synthetic bath scrubbers with plastic elements. The exclusive blend of natural fibres in the Evolatree Bath and Shower Loofah Sponge has a breathable mesh design which creates a rich soapy lather and fast dry time. The strong, sustainable fibres soften with each washing without degradation and have just the right amount of texture to give an effective exfoliating scrub. Throw the loofah in the washer and air dry to use it over and over again.

what's green

BTM takes a look at the latest easy-touse, planet-friendly products.


Conventional plastic razors are practically impossible to recycle and end up in landfills and seas. With Bambaw Safety Razors all you need to do is replace the blade, which helps create a cleaner planet. The double-edged safety razors claim to give a closer, smoother, more professional shave without the hassle of irritation or ingrown hairs. Made from high-quality materials, a 100-per-cent bamboo handle and stainless-steel parts, the Bambaw razor is guaranteed to last a lifetime.


Did you know that more than a billion plastic phone cases are produced every single year? If you're looking for a biodegradable, yet effective, phone case, be it for iPhone or Android mobiles, look no further. The ecofriendly options from Pela Case are 100-per-cent compostable, besides being incredibly protective of your phone. Available in a range of colours and styles, this phone cover will return back to the earth gracefully when you're done with it. All you have to do is toss it into a backyard compost bin and wait for it to biodegrade.



Handmade cutlery pouches from Agnes are made from fabric scraps and fastened with a metal press stud. They're designed to reduce the need for plastic cutlery and make it easier for you to take your own with you! They also make the perfect travel companion for your toothbrush. They can be personalised if you choose the plain outer. Available in blue, black, red and cream as the lining or outer, the pouches are suitable for hand and machine wash.

Neon Kactus glass bottles are made from non-permeable, high quality borosilicate glass and are lightweight, robust and durable. They are precisely engineered using the highest quality, food-grade materials perfect for your favourite drinks. The bottles feature a food-grade silicone sleeve with a unique textured anti-slip grip and fully leak-proof bamboo lid, so you can stay hydrated on the go. As only BPA-free and fully recyclable materials are used, the product is 100-per-cent recyclable, allowing you to ditch the disposable and help create a better tomorrow.

June 2020 39


BRYCE & ZION BY MTB Soaring red stone spires and ancient citadels of rich Navajo sandstone give way to haunting hoodoos and curving arches of rock — a geologist’s dream and a mountain biker’s paradise. The rides offer swift lines that wind and wend through deep Alpine meadows and Aspen forests only to spill out onto yawning mesas and buttes. The world-famous trails of Red Canyon’s Thunder Mountain, Cassidy and Casto Canyon, symbolise but a few of this tour’s many highlights. tour/bryce-and-zion-mountainbike-tour/


Big Hole Lodge is clearly defined as one of the great fly-fishing destinations in North America. The wild trophy trout fishing possibilities are unmatched in the West, along with the unpressured fishing experience of Southwestern Montana. This Orvis-endorsed lodge is nestled in a magnificent wilderness setting in the Pioneer Mountains with a beautiful trout stream at its doorstep.

BUCKET LIST ESCAPES Most of us have been dreaming of wide-open spaces and hoping for a time when we can safely travel again. While leisure travel in the near future is unlikely, there is no harm in fantasising about one of these amazing getaways. Even if travel can’t happen anytime soon, the exercise of visualising and planning is good for the soul.


An awe-inspiring expedition cruise to see the ice and wildlife of Antarctica always requires advance planning, and 2021 offers a truly rare experience when a solar eclipse will plunge part of the Southern Ocean into darkness. Adventure Life is booking a selection of ships that will position themselves in the path of totality for the December 4 event.

40 June 2020



Plan an epic bike tour of your own with maps and other resources from the Adventure Cycling Association, which offers more than 77,000km of routes across North America like the TransAmerica Trail and Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. If self-guided isn’t your style, Adventure Cycling also leads a variety of tours every year, from van supported to innto-inn and fully supported. https://www.


Explore Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily on this island-hopping cycling tour being offered by Ride & Seek. The exceptional diversity of the islands is represented through the numerous cultures, amazing gastronomic variations, strikingly rugged interior landscapes paired with stunning coastlines of white beaches and emerald waters, and locals with an incredibly strong sense of place. Mediterranean charm is truly at the heart of this tour tour/3-islands-corsica-sardinia-andsicily/


If outdoor adventures like hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, skiing, snowshoeing or dogsledding are your style, look to visit Big Sky, Montana and stay at The Wilson Hotel. Located on the edge of Yellowstone National Park, the town is home to Big Sky Resort and its 5,850 acres of ski terrain, as well as shaded forests, wildflowerfilled meadows, rocky mountaintops and clear, cool rivers and streams.


Red Reflet Ranch is an all-inclusive 28,000+ acre luxury resort and working ranch on the west slope of the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming. The closest sign of civilizations is a town with a population of about 260. Guests stay in their own private chalets, and familyfriendly activities include horseback riding, ATVing, ziplining, swimming, fishing and indulging in gourmet farmto-table cuisine. The ranch is open for business now.


Just minutes from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Fireside Resort capitalises on the tiny house craze and the classic appeal of rustic cottages by offering 25 pint-size, luxuriously outfitted tiny house rental units designed by Wheelhaus. The resort is located a stone’s throw from Grand Teton National Park and the Jackson Hole ski slopes. It is a great place to post up for a ski trip or a summer getaway. https://www.

June 2020 41

not out & about


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It has turned out that people admit to feeling pressured to be productive during the stay-at-home period to do all the gazillion things they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do. So they’re cooking up a storm and redecorating their spaces and Facetiming extended friends and family like there’s no tomorrow. It’s a rare opportunity, on some days, to savour unstructured hours. Make time for mid-day naps, long baths, walks on the grass and staring into space.


Stilling the mind and engaging with your core self makes tackling life’s realities easier. Many of us have brushed off the idea of meditation for various reasons, the most common one being ‘too busy’. Well, with just a few clicks of the mouse or logging on to a Zoom meeting, you could get closer to inner Zen. For instance, The Art of Living Foundation conducts a threeday online workshop to impart its Happiness Programme.


How many store-bought tubs of ice cream have you downed watching Netflix that are now lounging around your waistline? Make friends with the summer by cooling down with homemade fruit lollies using fresh seasonal produce like watermelon, strawberries, mango and mint. Add Greek yogurt for creaminess.


If there ever was a time to up your skills, even if it is just soft skills like better communication or how to be happier, it is now. An Ivy League certification may have been a distant dream, but is possible online these days, free in many cases. And you can also boast that you learnt the Korean language with none other than boy band BTS via their web series.


World-famous museums, opera houses, botanical gardens, theatres and national parks have virtually opened their doors so that you can indulge in art, culture and nature’s wonders. A virtual tour of the Great Barrier Reef with Sir David Attenborough, anyone? Or for some out-of-this-world amazement, NASA is organising virtual space tours right now. Many museums, galleries and libraries are offering free printable colouring sheets for kids. And, for an adrenaline kick, experience a rollercoaster ride on YouTube. 42 June 2020

Bahrain Edition


June 2020 | Issue 207














Denim Meets Super Tash

Two global icons meet in the latest Levi’s collaboration featuring Nintendo’s mustachioed Italian plumber, Super Mario. In a magical mushroom kingdom, the blueoveralled hero routinely saves a princess from anthropomorphic turtles. But Super Mario is more than just a legendary video game. It’s been a pop cultural sensation for more than 30 years, opening up worlds of imagination and creativity for kids and grown-ups alike. And now comes Levi’s x Super Mario, a stylish, streetwear-inspired collection of denim, tees, hoodies, and accessories that brings together two major cultural icons famous for their youthful energy, nostalgia and love of creativity. The collection features bright, saturated colors and graphics alongside fan-favourite characters like Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, and Princess Peach and Super Mario elements are much in evidence.

Fashion Cares

Mummy and Mini Fashion

It’s time to up the cute factor with Max Fashion’s Twinning collection, a new range of modest dresses, that come in adult and mini-me sizes for girls aged five and up. The collection features matching feminine dresses for mothers and their daughters; perfectly crafted ensembles for every type of mother-and-daughter duo, from the elegant and the modest, to the minimalist and the playful. A brand spokesperson said: "The Twinning collection boasts a range of elegant dresses that mothers and daughters will love wearing both individually and at the same time. Style transcends generations, which is why every piece has been created to be chic, wearable and modest. It is our way of ensuring that our customers can create special and amazing Instagram-worthy memories with their younger ones.” The charming floral print and pastel shades are perfect for Middle Eastern summer.


June 2020

Modest fashion brand, Leem, is donating profits to support COVID-19 through the launch of its limited-edition Tie-Dye kits. In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Saudi Arabia's modest fashion label, which was founded in 2018 and is active throughout the region, launched it's first-ever Mummy and Me Tie-Dye kit to bring joy, bonding and entertainment to the home. Each kit includes one mummy and one 'mini-me' kaftan, along with an array of fabric paints, to help you design your kaftans at home. And even better, all profits go towards supporting the United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organisation. For more information visit:

Upping the Activewear Ante

Eco-conscious fitness fans have a new option with the news that H&M’s highend fashion brand, Cos, has launched a new activewear collection which integrates recycled nylon and polyester, as well as ‘sustainably sourced’ and organic cotton. The new line, Cos Active, will comprise 15 pieces from leggings and sports bras to socks and underwear and is the company’s response to a customer base increasingly hungry for apparel with a reduced environmental impact, leveraging repurposed material in place of virgin content. A company statement said: “The collection offers a range of womenswear pieces that incorporate the brand’s key values of functionality and ease, designed for an active lifestyle.”

Digitise or Die

Online giant Amazon is in discussions with the British Fashion Council (BFC) to sell designs from young British talent. This potential partnership, and another with Vogue and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), ties in with the online retailer’s global push to add luxury clothing to its offering as it aims to grab a foothold in an industry that is looking to digitise or die. If successful, the initiative would see young designers using Amazon Fashion and Amazon Launchpad, a discovery platform, to sell their collections. Additionally, the BFC’s website will host a platform, expected to debut at London Fashion Week, offering a variety of functions, including interviews, wholesaling and a digital storefront. However, tech rivals, including Google, YouTube and Instagram, are also working with the BFC.

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FASHION | get the look







Rene Caovilla

You don’t need to be Gigi Hadid, seen here in Levi’s Ribcage bootcuts, to rock this style. In fact, bootcuts, or good old ‘70s flares, are probably one of the most flattering cuts around. These are called ribcage because they have a super-high waist, but we won’t be straying from our regular mid-height faves. Known and loved for their leg-lengthening properties, they look equally as good dressed down with a plain white tee and boots or up-styled with a bustier, bling and sparkly heels.

Gigi Hadid in Levis


Rubeus Milano


Rag & Bone

If there’s one item in our wardrobes that never goes out of fashion, it’s jeans. From crops and shorts to boyfriends and skinnies, we can’t get enough of them. They’re hardwearing and hard-working, moving easily from weekend down-dressing to office casual. Liz O’Reilly casts an eye over some of the hottest styles of the summer and how you can wear them.


June 2020

Kate Spade

Sofia Vergara in distressed denim


FASHION | get the look

L'Autre Chose CMEO Collective By Far

7 For All Mankind

Namshi, Ella



These were all over the SS20 runways particularly at Brandon Maxwell and Balmain. They’re great for emphasising the shape but, while it’s true that everyone can wear skinnies, the highcut ones are probably best for a longish body and legs as the waistline may shorten the torso. That’s not to say shorter girls can’t get in on the act – a good trick is to go for a regular waist, wear a simple top to give a fluid line and add killer heels. Long-legged lovelies, take inspiration from Maxwell and go all-out with a whole range of eye-catching bling.

Manic Panic Glamnation


To be fair, you can’t really smarten-up distressed denim, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dress it up. Go for Sofia’s relaxed jacketed look but add a bold red lip. Or team with a sequined vest and tanned, toned arms for show-stealing style.


Brandon Maxwell



Kelly & Kati


There once was a time when people chucked or patched jeans when they developed holes – how strange does that seem now? The distressed craze hit a few years ago, and we’ve never looked back. The trend did seem to have passed last year but it’s back in full force for 2020 with celebs and supers alike. Sofia Vergara seems to be particularly obsessed – it’s hard to find her snapped in a pair of hole-free denims. Ragged legwear hit the catwalk at Givenchy and even the usually demure Katie Holmes is getting on the act.

June 2020


FASHION | trends


Boss X Meissen

By Far Yumi


Rene Caovilla

Kate Spade

By Far Dolly

Kate Spade


Rene Caovilla By Far Diana

Mango @ Namshi


From funky heel shapes at By Far to Kate Spade’s smiley faces and DKNY’s neon wedges, there’s something for everyone. Wear them your way, there really are no rules. And, if you’re missing your winter boots, check out these weird but wonderful jewel-heeled socks at Rene Caovilla or the bright skinalikes from Mango.

June 2020



There is so much to love in this season’s handbag collections. Ditch the dull, unless it’s an oversized tote (of which more at a later date) and get your paws on an accessory with attitude. The black Karl Lagerfeld box bag would be perfect for formal situations, with its dazzling blue handle adding the wow factor. And we particularly love Michael J Fox’s face on this offering from Coach.

Mango Les Benjamins


Kate Spade

Coach X Richard Bernstein

Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld

Ted Baker



The shoes and bag you choose can make or break your outfit and this summer’s collections were all about bright colours and interesting shapes. The classic black bag and shoes combi will no longer cut it, so make sure you go for something that will really pop.

FASHION |essentials

10 Things to Try This Month


Funky Feet Jazz up those thongs. Confess girls, in the current circumstances, when was the last time you wore shoes?

3 1

Indulgence Invest in some high-thread-count bed linen – it can’t be just us who’s spending more time there, right?

Colour Pop It’s the perfect time to try a jazzy hair colour and it washes out!


This month we're all about making isolation fun ramp-up the fashion focus with DIY projects, exercise inspiration and a plan to get friends involved.

Lounging Lovelies Pyjamas may be not quite fit for a conference call but are certainly suitable for a daytime girly date – appropriately distanced of course.


Fabric Fun Create your own couture look – then put the curtains back.

6 9


Make Like the Supers Arrange a virtual fashion show with your mates.

Athleisure Audit Just the inspiration to get you back on the mat.


Lockdown Bling!

Jazz It Up Customise a tee.


Corona Couture!

June 2020


PEOPLE | interview

y l l a r u t a l N u f i t u a e B , of wson and a L n o s rt Alistore’s etho e p x e uty he s al bea explains t s. r u t a N mila, at tip The Jas some gre share

How long has The Jamila been running? I’ve been running The Jamila [beautiful in Arabic] for about five years. I started online and occasionally participated in pop-up markets. It was wonderful to meet customers and dispel the myths that organic and natural products don’t work. I was always asked where my store was and I knew there was no one in Bahrain, or the Middle East, that was a dedicated stockist of quality, natural and organic brands. Eventually I decided it was time to open a shop to showcase our products. This enabled me to grow the business to include more brands and branch into other wellbeing products. What gave you the idea for this type of venture and why did you believe it was important? I travelled over 20 years ago and became very sick. Even when my condition improved, I never felt truly well with the energy and vitality I had had before. No doctor that I consulted could offer me any information at all, let alone help. Frustrated at the lack of answers, I went to a medical herbalist in London. I ended up with a list of things I should and shouldn’t eat and drink, tinctures to support me through the detox and various natural supplements. I saw results in no time. My energy returned, my skin glowed and all my symptoms started to disappear. With her help I had healed myself! That was a huge moment of clarity for me. I completely understood that my body was just trying to tell me it wasn’t well and that it needed me to heal. The Jamila is the GCC's only serious source


June 2020

for all natural, organic beauty and wellbeing products. Many of my brands tell me there are very few stores like mine in the whole world. We still are the largest store of high-quality, certified, international, award-winning brands within the Middle East. Many companies have set up since and stock the same range of brands as we do, but I believe that those who know me as a Pilates teacher and health enthusiast trust my knowledge and know that I go the extra mile with my research. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! At The Jamila, we are not just about selling products. This is a space for people to come and ask questions, seek guidance, try samples, read labels and experience the luxury and efficacy of the products we sell. Our philosophy is ‘Your health is Our Passion’. We are here to help. What are some of the misconceptions you’ve come across regarding cruelty-free, planet-friendly products and how have you addressed these? Quality is our number one priority. Not all ‘healthy’ products are created equally. Even with organic products – you need to investigate… I find that there is so much inaccurate information in the public domain that people confuse the definitions of organic, natural, vegan, cruelty-free, halal, eco-friendly and non-toxic. They are all slightly different and are misunderstood. In reality, any company can make unsubstantiated claims. Things to bear in mind when selecting products:

• A vegan or halal product doesn’t mean chemical-free or natural, it can still be filled with chemicals. It simply means it was produced without animal byproducts or animal ingredients – if a product claims this, it should be certified. • Cruelty-free can still be filled with chemicals and bad for you – it just means that the product was made without testing on animals. Make sure it is 100-per-cent cruelty-free, meaning that every ingredient has not been tested on animals – if a product claims this, it should be certified. • Is one per cent of the product or 100 per cent of the product natural or organic? • If the product claims to be organic, has it been internationally certified? • Have the products been made in a sterile, laboratory environment? Or at someone’s kitchen sink with no authentication? • Essences and extracts are not the same – you may think two products contain the same ingredient. An essence is an inferior, weaker and cheaper ingredient than an extract. For example, you can buy Chinese Hyaluronic Acid for USD12 per kg, it’s often used by supermarket and drug store brands. The brands we stock will pay around USD2,800 per kg. With a good quality organic product, you do not need to use so much. They are so potent that a little goes a very long way. Some

PEOPLE | interview products may seem expensive but may last six, nine or even 12 months, so are actually cost effective in the long run. Not all brands make equal products. Many of the products I sell have been copied since I introduced them to the region, with inferior ingredients. Unfortunately unethical people do not make ethical products. What are the main ‘villains’ of the beauty industry, that your products avoid? There are many ingredients that we rule out. • Sulphates that are artificial foaming agents and very drying. • PEGs are generally used for thickening agents that are not natural and can irritate the skin at best and be a carcinogen at worst. • Parabens are used in approximately 80 per cent of commercial brands as a preservative and have been linked to hormone disruption, skin ageing, DNA damage and breast cancer. • Petroleum is often contaminated and can cause irritation and allergies. • Silicones, found in many beauty products, can impair fertility and disrupt hormones. There

are also many natural alternatives, such as Broccoli Seed Oil, that have the same effect and are nutritious. • Aluminium can be found in many beauty products and is believed to have negative effects on your organs and hormones as well as neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s. • Artificial fragrance has been linked to many health problems like asthma, allergies and cancer. • DEA and similar compounds can cause mild to moderate skin and eye irritation and, in laboratory experiments, high doses have been shown to cause liver cancers and precancerous changes in skin and thyroid tissue. Your products seem to be very high quality, is there anything for someone wanting to adopt this lifestyle with a lower budget? Cut down on the number of products you buy and use. Quality over quantity. We sell many different ranges with differing prices but it is worth remembering that the better quality product is very potent and a little goes a long

way. Eating clean, exercising, meditation and a positive mental outlook all serve your overall health too. On the makeup side, does the lack of harmful chemicals lead to a loss in staying power? Generally, I would say no. I use the products I sell every day and rarely need to touch up my makeup at all. Do you ever have visiting experts in-store and demonstrations of the products? This is something we plan on within our [coming] new, larger store. We have more space for workshops and interactive talks and will be bringing internationally renowned experts in. It will be about four times the size of the old store, we are expanding our offering to include more brands and wellbeing products, clothes and accessories, an organic salon and workshop space. I wanted to create a safe, positive space where everyone is welcome.

Alison Recommends SY GREA


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June 2020


BEAUTY | new products


Bronze Goddess Azur, the newest fragrance from the house of Estee Lauder gives a fresh, vibrant, seductive feeling. The sunny citrusfloral fragrance reminds one of the glamour and allure of the Côte d'Azur. From the start, a luxurious citrus signature comes to light with an invigorating blend of notes of Sicilian lemon, Italian bergamot and Calabrian mandarin, recalling the aroma of a majestic Mediterranean garden infused with the salty air of the nearby sea. The scent evokes luminous warmth, like glowing suntanned skin, emanating from Bronze Goddess’ signature creamy notes of coconut milk and glowing musks, further embellished with ambrox and a touch of sultry cedarwood.


The new Le 9 De Givenchy line presents five eye shadow palettes with pigments in four finishes: matte, satin, glittery and metallic. The innovative, incredibly smooth formula glides over the eyelid to deliver softness and richness. Easy to play with, layer and blend, it’s guaranteed to last 12 hours without fading, flaking or losing its intensity. All the options and possible colour combinations the palettes offer allow you to break away from the usual colour codes.


A new, ground-breaking skincare innovation, Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Serum Crystal Elixir, is the supercharged secret to your skin’s best future. It has been formulated by expert scientists with a magic matrix of ingredients blended in a high-performance elixir to give your skin a magic boost. Potent ingredients include Replexium for younger-looking skin, Golden Vitamin C for a brighter-looking complexion, and hydration powerhouse Polyglutamic Acid – a supercharged skincare ingredient that’s over four times more hydrating than hyaluronic acid.


Thin, translucent skin around the eyes is more likely to show discoloration and signs of ageing. Vitamin C is especially important for this delicate area, offering antioxidant defence for brighter, healthier-looking skin. The new Vita-C Eyes Dark Circle Corrector from Murad is formulated to target multiple types of dark circles: blue or purple, caused by low microcirculation and thin skin around the eyes; brown under-eyes due to sun damage, irritation and genetics, resulting in hyperpigmentation; and red bags, triggered by inflammation, irritation and allergies. Murad’s gold-stabilised vitamin C eye serum fights the look of all types of dark circles, while visibly de-puffing and soothing with 86 per cent of users seeing results in just two weeks.


June 2020


When life is hectic, and you’ve not got a second to spare, skip the lengthy pamper session for Lancôme’s new Glow Essentials, infused with the company’s rose water, renowned for its soothing properties, to achieve refreshed, hydrated, glowing skin instantly. The Rose Milk Mist is as hydrating as a cream and light as a cloud; this hydrating solution is infused with hyaluronic acid, acacia honey, sweet almond oil and rose water, for busy, dehydrated skin. The new Rose Sorbet Cryo-Mask contains salicylic acid to reduce the appearance of pores and smooth the skin’s texture, while meadow sweet extract helps skin reset, rewind and re-boot.

BEAUTY | tips


We’ve had enough of the cloth and disposable variety, let’s turn to fun face masks – the types that we slather onto our faces while indulging in self-pampering me-time at the end of a long day or week.

Now, before you denounce the efficacy of anything that doesn’t come in fancy packaging, have tongue-twisting chemical ingredients and cost half the notes in your wallet, get this: many kitchen staples, used regularly, can have glow-tastic results. And many of them do double-duty. Try to resist licking the DIY concoction off the corners of your mouth though. Let’s get mixing!


So you don’t have to build up the foundation One egg white One tablespoon of honey A squeeze of lemon juice Contrary to popular proclamation, you can’t really ‘close’ your pores, but you could minimise their look, even in close-up selfies. Egg white and lemon act as astringents, tightening the skin to shrink their appearance. Honey plays the balancing act, providing moisture and suppleness to skin.

LACKLUSTRE SKIN Bring the glow back

A tablespoon of cacao powder Three tablespoons of mashed papaya A teaspoon of aloe vera (fresh or in gel form) The reason aloe leaves skin radiant is that it’s chockful of vitamins A, C, E, and the range of B vitamins. Its hydrating properties team up with papaya’s exfoliating enzymes that dissolve dead skin cells for a brighter appearance, while cacao works its magic by boosting blood circulation and leaving skin with a plump, more youthful feel.


Because a moisturiser can only do so much Half a mashed avocado A tablespoon of raw honey Two tablespoons crushed oats Everyone knows the rich hydration that avocados can lend us, but quality honey is not only a humectant that retains moisture in the skin, but also helps fade scars and boost tissue generation. Many beauty brands include oats in their products for the humble grain’s nourishing and skin-calming properties.

OILY / COMBINATION AND ACNE-PRONE SKIN The bane of a girl’s life

Two tablespoons of chickpea flour A pinch of turmeric A tablespoon of yogurt A squeeze of lemon juice Chickpea flour’s zinc content has long been harnessed to fight pimple-raising infection and turmeric is a superfood with robust anti-bacterial properties. The lactic acid in yogurt gently sloughs off dead skin cells, preventing new breakouts and vitamin C from lemon juice fades acne scars and pigmentation. On the whole, this mixture draws out excess sebum without overdrying the skin for a clearer complexion.

Remember to apply your homemade facemask on clean skin, keeping it on for 15-20 minutes. Wash off with lukewarm water.

June 2020



One To Watch

Actress Launching CBD Line

A-lister Kristen Bell has announced a partnership with Lord Jones, an industry leader in hemp-derived CBD products. And it’s not a name-only collaboration. Kristen is fully involved in the collection called Happy Dance, which she says was born organically thanks to her own love of the brand. The lineup, which is expected to be budgetfriendly, hasn’t been announced yet but a statement said: “Happy Dance will officially launch its clean, simple, hemp-derived CBD skincare and personal care products later this year.”

We’re all familiar with the regular acids found in skincare products, such as hyaluronic and azelaic, but there’s a new kid on the block in the form of tranexamic acid which is being talked up by dermatologists and facialists for its ability to fade dark spots, minimise pigmentation left behind by acne scars, and help with skin discolouration as a result of melasma. Traditionally used in surgery to stop bleeding, it’s only recently that studies have shown its skincare benefits. It can be used by dermatologists either by injecting into the skin or through oral tablets, but you will also spot it in products such as serums and moisturisers, which aim to brighten the skin.

The Human(ish) Touch Mix Your Own Mask

Launched at the beginning of May, new beauty brand Face-Kit has been several years in the making with founder and CEO Elizabeth Schmidt having spent seven years as a brand consultant and two developing the new concept – a plant-based mask that you mix yourself. On her Instagram @newyorkbitty, she posted: “I created @facekit with the intention of creating a mindful skincare ritual. In times like these, a little extra selfcare goes a long way! The Renew Mask is packed with superfoods [including spirulina, chlorella, parsley leaf, zinc, Butterfly Pea petal and Costa Rican blue clay] and comes with a 10-minute guided meditation. Check out the site, and DM me with questions! I’ll be offering free shipping on all orders”


June 2020

At a time when retail is moving increasingly online, Indian sisters Jyotsna and Santhoshi Reddy aim to restore the human touch with the launch of Twenty Beauty, sold via makeup vending machines. The company wants to push buyers towards making physical beauty purchases and plans to install the machines at locations such as airports, metro stations and shopping malls. Jyotsna’s dream was to ‘curate skinperfect makeup’, which would make any young woman feel good in her own skin. She is a certified chemist who went the extra mile to assure the right formulation of pigments and active ingredients, spending four years crossing the globe to procure enriching beauty ingredients. Her sister and co-founder, Santhoshi, is an avid makeup collector who boasts a 2,150sq/ft vanity room full of products!

Biodegradable Beauty

Say hello to a new vegan beauty brand whose products are delivered in biodegradable seaweed capsules. Website reports that Bolt Beauty has launched with four travel-friendly products: a cleanser, moisturiser, retinol serum and blemishfighting moisturising serum. They all come in single doses packed in the seaweed capsules, which, after use, can be dissolved in water or thrown in a compost bin. All excessive outer packaging has been eliminated and any packaging which is needed, such as for postage, is made with FSC-certified and fully recyclable paper and tissue.






THE SKIN IS EVERYTHING It’s in the French woman’s DNA to go the extra mile for skincare, not so much for makeup. The last thing a Parisian wants is to look cakey or made-up. By following a skin-friendly diet and regular maintenance with facials, high-quality hydration and facemasks (that change seasonally), they spend less time fussing with makeup. They’re big on sunscreen, upping the SPF for a day under clear skies. French

BEAUTY | styling

girls believe in ageing gracefully and pooh-pooh the idea of cosmetic procedures. It’s all about loving your unique features.

Action Plan: Ditch the

foundation, and blend concealer lightly only over imperfections. Or use a light-weight BB Cream. Powder only when necessary. Let a healthy, au natural glow do the talking.

French girls think less is more for an everyday look, so a heavy-duty eye palette is out. But they do believe that the brows frame the face, and tend to spend some time on them.

Action Plan: An eyelash curler and mascara

make bigger, brighter daytime eyes. For an evening look, choose a nude or shimmery colour for the lids, and use a black or brown eye pencil to line the top and outer corners of the lower lids, smoking it out with your fingers or a smudging brush. Fill in the brows where necessary and set in place with clear brow gel.

y l t c e f r Pe

n a i s i r a P

Behnaz Sanjana


So what if you had to can your plan to visit the City of Lights this summer? You can always channel your inner Parisian belle, strolling nonchalantly along the Champs Elysee. Nail French-girl beauty with five easy steps.

Contour? An absolute no-no in keeping with the French girl’s idea of subtle beauty. But blush, yes, that she’s partial to.

Action Plan: A soft rose or warm taupe highlights the cheeks and lends a soft, girlie glow to the face. Swipe the barely-there remnants from your fingers or brush horizontally across the mid-bridge of the nose and on the tip of your chin to look like you’ve just returned from a cruise down the Seine.




Now here is where you can go all out. Nothing screams Parisian chic better than a bold red lip. Play with the shades – cherry, poppy, postbox, crimson, scarlet or ruby – just make it red. Now you know why they balance it out with low-profile eyes.

Psst… the key is to appear effortless; like you woke up looking fabulous. Anything that says that you’ve tried hard is a major faux pas!



The Mane Thing

A bed-head is one of the strongest style statements that French women ace, without breakage and looking poufy.

Action Plan: The secret to easily

achieve out-of-bed hair – don’t brush it. Comb your tresses before a wash, and follow up with a loving dose of hair serum, but no brushing. Let loose knots set in for hair with modish movement.

Action Plan: A long-wear lipstick is a must,

whether couture or drugstore. Forget the lip liner. Just fill your pout in with colour without over-lining. And for that carefree, je ne sais quoi charm, smudge ever so slightly at the borders for lips that don’t look too defined.

June 2020


LIFESTYLE | well-being


Caught yourself eyeing the pudginess this morning and making a mental note to ‘do something’ about it? Before you start, nix these weight-loss myths with Behnaz Sanjana.

Fat-Free is Trouble-Free

is effective and sustainable. Don’t overdo the workouts, get guidance and give yourself adequate rest days.

Because most sinful treats sans the fat are sawdust, manufacturers add other ingredients like flours, thickeners, synthetic flavouring, sugar and salt, that pile on excess calories. Due to reduced- or zero-fat food being less satisfying, portion control tends to be difficult with them. Reach for full-fat, but make sure it’s not artificial, saturated and trans-fat.

A Detox Is Essential

Going Hungry Brings Rewards

Calories are an energy source for the body’s organs and complex systems to do their intended jobs. When the brain is starved for energy (glucose), it translates it as a physiological threat, ringing alarm bells for the body to hold on tight to its fat stores and making you a hangry grouch to be around. Any initial weight loss is just water and lean muscle mass being shed. Ensure an adequate calorie intake for weight loss that is healthy and sustainable.

A Calorie is a Calorie

Your 200-calorie snack can be a chocolate muffin or a fruit salad, but what you choose leads to internal body processes that dictate results. A conventionally-prepared muffin will make your blood sugar rise rapidly (that blissful high after dessert) and then crash just as fast, putting you on the vicious wheel of reaching out for the nearest unhealthy treat. The same calorific value from a bowl of fresh fruit will keep you satiated with fibre and nutrients.


June 2020

Carbs = Cardinal Sin

Nutritionists have been crying themselves hoarse that carbohydrates are the primary energy source for the body, without which you are not going to be standing through the Zumba session you’ve signed up for. There's no concrete evidence that eating gluten causes more weight gain than other foods wholegrains are an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet. Reach for the bread basket, but ensure it’s (mostly) wholegrain and preservative-free for energy, vitamin, mineral and fibre content.

No Pain No Gain

Jumping into bootcamp can lead to injury or burnout, which could derail you from your exercise goals quickly. It could also lead to feeling low and binge eating, defeating the ultimate goal. Gradual tolerance to exercise and muscle building

The initial weight loss from a juice cleanse, or fast, is just the glucose and water leaving your body, and you’ll pack on the pounds as soon as you get back to normal eating. Also, juices don’t provide you with enough energy required to exercise, which is the long-term way to a healthy weight. Chomp on fresh fruit and vegetables instead.

Lifting Weights is Not for Women

You could get sweaty with cardio every day and hit a plateau, or you could incorporate strength training for fat to continue burning even while the body is at rest. Lifting small weights even a couple of times a week will help propel your overall fitness efforts.

Numbers Are Not Everything

The calorie-in-calorie-out idea is deemed outdated and not as straightforward as it sounds. Besides, counting calories is not precise, including on food labels. It also induces stress, leading to spikes in cravings and binges. Instead of obsessing over calories, just eat fresh, wholesome foods as part of a balanced diet. Eat mindfully, regularly and listen to your body to stop when it’s about to feel full.

LIFESTYLE | well-being



A new study from the University of Texas (UT) at Austin suggests that even small bouts of intense exercise can help offset some of the harmful effects of extended periods of sitting. Additionally, these micro workouts also appear to offer different benefits than some longer workouts when done throughout the day. It was found that foursecond sprints conducted five times per hour helped to improve fat metabolism and lower


Is reading one too many articles about coronavirus giving you a racing heart, quickened breath, restlessness, jitters, trouble falling asleep at night or vivid nightmares? This is because when we’re exposed to a stressor ― even indirectly through the media ― our fight-or-flight response turns on, which is our body’s way of dealing with a perceived threat. When people constantly expose themselves to anxiety-inducing news, they’re making their brain perceive a threatening, stressful event over and over. This can take a major toll on health over time, according to Alison Holman, a psychologist and Associate Professor of Nursing at the University of California Irvine. She recommends choosing one or two news sources that are reliable and reputable and checking in a couple times a day, at most.

triglyceride levels in the bloodstream. The study looked at the effects of short bouts of intense exercise over an eight-hour period on specialised exercise bikes that allowed volunteers to hit maximal energy exertion quickly. It was concluded that any type of exercise — including a brisk walk or climbing a few sets of stairs — would be beneficial.

Women consuming one or more sugary drinks per day could be increasing their risk of cardiovascular disease by more than 20 per cent, according to a study published by the Journal of the American Heart Association. Researchers collected data from more than 106,000 women with an average age of 52. None of the participants had been previously diagnosed with heart disease, stroke or diabetes. Researchers found that one or more sugary drinks per day was associated with a 26 per cent higher likelihood of needing a vascularisation procedure, such as angioplasty, and a 21 per cent higher likelihood of having a stroke, compared with those who rarely or never consumed sugar-laden drinks.


Getting less than six hours of sleep a night could double the risk of an early death for chronic disease sufferers, a new study has found. Researchers from the Pennsylvania State College of Medicine sleep-tested 16,000 adults between the ages of 20 and 74 and tracked their health for 20 years. The results, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, revealed that individuals with existing conditions, such as high blood pressure or type-2 diabetes, were twice as likely to suffer a fatal heart attack or stroke if they slept less than six hours a night. Insufficient sleep was also linked to forgetfulness, stress and low mood, alongside heightening the risk of obesity, diabetes and respiratory problems.


A study by a team of researchers from the University of Exeter in England and the UK’s Royal Horticultural Society, has found that having access to a private garden improves people’s health and well-being if they actively make use of it. To conduct the study, Dr de Bell and her team drew on data from a survey that involved a representative sample of almost 8,000 participants from across England. When analysing the data, the team accounted for confounding factors that may relate to health, well-being and garden access. These included gender, socioeconomic status, employment status, marital status, the presence of children in the household, home ownership and dog ownership. June 2020


LIFESTYLE | parenting

THE INESCAPABLE ISSUE Ouiam Charkani El Hassani talks COVID-19 and children.


uddenly all that we know and trust is being put to the test. All that once made us feel safe and enveloped with love is now far away. Like a nightmare that is lasting a little too long. From sipping your morning coffee in your favourite place, with your favourite barista and your favourite nut milk to getting that much needed ‘Me-Time’ at the beauty salon or even a simple human interaction… we are trapped – safe and sound, thankfully, but still trapped – at home, due to something we can’t even see, let alone fight! COVID-19: are you a blessing in disguise, as some might think? Or are you a plain evil force that has wrecked our world, leaving us wondering if tomorrow will ever be brighter? As adults, we have turned our living rooms into offices, and have downloaded multiple apps on our phones, to avoid any possible contact with human beings outside our very small circle of housemates. We’re using and abusing every video chat app that ever existed and are thriving on Tik Tok, Snapchat and Instagram (out of pure boredom!). We’ve opted for pajamas as a daily uniform and have all suddenly turned into connoisseurs in every cuisine. We are slowly – yet surely – finding ways to make this temporary nightmare, a bright reality. Yet I can’t help but think of those who haven’t the brain capacity to understand or to analyse, let alone cope with or manage this crisis. CHILDREN… our children whose brains are still developing and trying to grasp the normal, usual lessons life has to offer them. They are now faced with this complete, absolute nonsense and craziness. Every safety net that had otherwise wrapped their life is gone! No schools, no


June 2020

friends, no family, no outings, no fun, nothing at all! They can only connect with computers, iPads, phones and TVs. They are socialising with pens, paper, toys and kitchenware. Every bit of sanity they have accumulated through the years, is in the process of evaporating and melting away, leaving behind disconnectedness and inconvenience. These little beings need some sort of anchors to be able to navigate through what we are all trying to figure out. We – as parents – are all they have left to hang onto for dear life and, as parents, we are required to put our fears, uncertainties and anxieties aside, to tend to their fears, uncertainties and anxiety… as best as we can! Here are some of the things specialists around the world are recommending, when dealing with children, regarding the coronavirus. Make time to talk and ensure your child knows they can come to you anytime. Make sure you listen to their thoughts, fears and opinions. Remember that children will react to both what you say and how you say it. So, keep calm and composed.

Avoid using angry or strong words, keep it plain and simple. Teach them everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs. Remind them that viruses have existed since life has started. Limit their exposure to media and news, they can only aggravate children's anxiety. Consider reducing screen time – I know it is a tough one, but crucial – and instead try to keep their hands and minds busy. Daily walks, DIY projects, books etc. Screen time can take a toll on their moods, turning them into mini monsters. Try your best to keep them connected with their friends and family, through video calls, messages, emails etc. Take this time with your children as a gift from above, savour every minute. Be thankful that for once in a lifetime you can spend all day, every day watching their every move, step and milestone. And most importantly, be easy on yourself and on them! Chanelmama.




250g salmon 4 cloves garlic 2 tbsp organic tomato paste 10 sun-dried tomatoes 1 pack feta (basil and sun-dried tomato flavour works well, but plain is fine) 1 bunch fresh basil, chopped 2 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp each of oregano, paprika, sea salt.


Mince the garlic cloves and place in an oven dish with the olive oil. Broil the garlic at 250°C for five minutes until golden brown. Place the salmon (skin removed) in the same oven dish and season with sea salt, oregano and paprika. Coat the salmon with the organic tomato paste and the garlic pan juices. Cover the salmon with sundried tomatoes and feta. Cook in the oven at 180°C for 25 minutes. Serve with freshly chopped basil.

A food and wellness writer and pescatarian recipe developer, Razan Al Arabi is certified in cuisine techniques by Le Cordon Bleu (London) and in nutrition for everyday living by London’s College of Naturopathic Medicine. She’s passionate about health and wellbeing and marries her love of great, nutritious food with teaching yoga to both adults and kids. With that kind of combination, you can be guaranteed that the products of her busy kitchen will be both flavourful and healthful. Here she shares two new recipes exclusively for WTM readers.


1 pack turkey bacon 1 pack medjool dates (pitted) 250g garlic and herb cream cheese 2 tsp brown sugar


Place the turkey bacon in an oven dish and season with brown sugar. Cook at 180°C for 15 minutes. Stuff each pitted medjool date with a teaspoon of garlic and herb cream cheese. Wrap each stuffed date with a slice of brown sugar-coated turkey bacon. Stick a toothpick in each date to hold the ingredients together! These make for great canapés!

June 2020





Giorgio Collection

Inspiration WFH. Not only has the abbreviation for Work From Home been thrown around in conversations the world over, it has become a new way of life for a majority of folks everywhere. And those of us who are leaning into foresight, can tell that it might just be the way forward for businesses across the commercial sphere, continuing in post-pandemic times. Even if you don’t have the surplus square metres for an entire spare room, now’s the time to upgrade your home office from the corner of the dining table to a personalised nook that puts the joy back into your job.


June 2020


Incense burner NAMSHI.COM


TICK TOCK Wall clock

Swivel Chair





Clip-up board LIFESTYLE

Desk accessory


Circular photo frame AMAZON.COM







Organiser stand LIFESTYLE



FIND YOUR ZEN Tabletop fountain



June 2020


last word

In Her Shoes Atharie Al Salem, the woman behind Instagram page @thebahrainivegan, shares some secrets.

Flats or heels?

Heels. Being a dancer, I like to be tall and light on my feet, and heels keep those legs toned!

Early bird or night owl?

Night owl for sure! Though I do wish I was an early bird, I love sunrises and yummy breakfasts.

Dream holiday destination (money no object)? Spain for sure, such a beautiful country with even more beautiful people and music.

What three things don’t you leave the house without? My phone, wallet and my favorite pair of sunglasses.

Atharie What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?

Puppies or kittens?

Ziplining + Fear of heights = AHHHHHH!

Puppies, I have two dogs and love them to bits.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

You can do anything you set your mind to. If you are too scared to do something, count in your head or out loud: three, two, one - and then start. All the power you need is within you, you just need to START, everything will flow easily from then on. - Mai Al Umran.

What’s your favourite pizza topping?

Mushrooms, they work so well with some vegan cheese.


June 2020

Book that has most influenced your life?

Fallen by Lauren Kate. I read it as an adolescent and it really shaped my artistic views as the characters were angels and described so elegantly… my artistic aesthetic is based on Daniel’s violet iridescence!

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