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E11 UAE’S OFF-BEAT MAGAZINE

From the house of Red Joker, Dubai

FREE

JULY 2013

Behold!

UAE’S favourite Gamer Girl Fifi Prosper Super Ji had?

Need work?

Gradberry is here to help!


Before we begin.

I welcome you to the very first issue of E11. Backed by Red Joker and inspired by so many crazy people I call friends and mentors, E11 aims at covering off-beat stories that UAE has in abundance. E11 perhaps is not your usual review this, review that magazine. When you pick up an E11, you know you are going to get the scoop on some weird things happening in the UAE. Good weird. I have a whole bunch of people to thank. Nabila Sharani who has been constantly critquing this magazine from scratch. Thank you for your patience.Prathima Narayanan, Preethy Sahadevan and Georgina Paul who took time to ‘hunt’ down stories with me. The Red Joker gang, Sarfraz Khan, Rameez Mohammed, Vaishakh Nair and Nadeen Alyas whose timely feedback has been ever so helpful. And yes, this magazine wouldn’t have been possible had Fifi and Ahmed not agreed for interviews. Thank you guys! :) And finally, Megna Kalvani (Project Head, Manipal), who helped make this happen from ideas to finish. Mohammed Ridhan Assadi Editor.


How to photograph children?

Photographing children is not easy. Here are six tips to help you capture these little bundles of joy, without having to make them cry or get yourself frustrated.

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Explore! Try exploring for photo ideas online. Flickr, Instagram, We Heart It are wonderful platforms to begin with. Photos by Ridhan Assadi www.flckr.com/photos/ridzadi

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round Zero: Children, especially babies spend most of their time crawling. Instead of setting them up for photographs, the best idea would be to go down and match their eye level or in other world, be a part of their natural world.

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imic Time! Children are natural mimics. Ask them to mimic how their parents react to bills. Not only are they cute but also do a fantastic job at it. Maybe you should ask them to enact you out.

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nact: Ask children to enact out their favourite story or poem. Infact you should participate as well. Children love imagining. Be extra focused, timeless expressions guaranteed!


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o candid: Perhaps the best and toughest photographs are candids. But fret not. Simple keep children distracted. Engage them in activities (lego bricks, color books etc). Make sure you are at a safe distance.

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ake it fun! Do not enforce rules. Understand their mindset and adapt. Be playful, show them the photographs you take. Ask them to shoot instead. The more comfortable they are with you, they better photographs you are taking home.

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et out! Children love playing outdoors and that means natural light. Try clicking during golden hours and definitely try flash. Natural light makes for perfect exposures. If you are up for it, try silhouettes and bright dreamy shots.

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Super Jihad. Ramzan is around the corner, perhaps the toughest holy month known to mankind. Are you truly ready to experience Ramadan in its true essence?


In order of ranking, Jihad means: • A believer’s internal struggle to live his life as per Allah and his Messenger’s (pbuh) directives (Classified as Greater Jihad) • The struggle to build a good Muslim society (Classified as Greater Jihad) • Holy war: the struggle to defend Islam, with force if necessary (Classified as Lesser Jihad) Unfortunately today, Jihad is a highly misunderstood term both by Muslims and nonMuslims alike. Anyway, I do not want to get into the Holy War side of it. I believe it has been corrupted by so-called Islamic organizations… in the end, it is us Muslims who suffer. But wait... This post is about the wonderful month of Ramadan and the super jihad Muslims go through everyday, for 30 days. With reduced work hours, fasting in the UAE is not exactly a task. Before you even know it, you are done with office, back home, relaxing and it is already time for Iftaar. The challenge although is fulfilling the essence of fasting. When I say essence, I mean the struggle one undergoes in controlling his/her desires. It maybe with food, sex, abuse, pride or just about anything. You see, Ramadan, is the holiest of holies, the super sacred month for Muslims. Prayers, charity, help, any noble

act is rewarded like a gazillion times and sins are forgiven (also gazillion times). Sort of a kindness-overdrive I would say. Ramadan teaches us Muslims to give up negativity in every-way possible. This would mean giving up fights, sorting out mis-understanding, helping those in need, giving charity, no abusing, no backbiting, no fights, no tussles… just patience, perseverance and lots of peace! That is Jihad. And during Ramadan, this Jihad or one’s struggle to fight off inner-evil intensifies. That is why I call it Super Jihad. I have been there and I know how difficult it is to keep a check on one’s desires. Even fighting off gluttony is Jihad. To not trip or make fun of someone when you have an awesome opportunity to do so, is Jihad. To not irritate someone, is Jihad. To keep all that in mind and to mind your business… need I say more? Super Jihad - an intensified struggle to fight off one’s inner-evil. To all my Muslim friends, you have fasted before, this is no different. Try to perfect your fasting and follow the sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh). As for others, DO NOT miss out on the iftaar invitations. The cuisine is heavenly.

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N W O Y R E V S ! ’ L E R A I U G T R E ME GAME

FiFi pro

sper


If you thought gaming was for boys, you are wrong. Meet Fifi Prosper, a well known gamer across the middle east. She can whoop your bottom at almost any genre. Right now, she is in Los Angeles covering E3 for her popular gaming channel, The Region 2 on youtube. So what is it like being a gamer girl? She surprises us with her quirky-ness.

FIFI PROSPER! QUITE THE POSER!

Hi! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

What was the first game you ever played?

I have lived in the UAE most of my life! I love sci fi and in the battle of Star Trek vs Star Wars, I’m proud to say I’m a Trekkie. I am a designer by trade, a gamer at heart.

Well, I have flashbacks of certain games, but I recall playing Monster Truck Madness A LOT as a child. It’s not even considered a good game by any standards, but as a child, your demands are petty and your imagination is much more forgiving. I remember inserting my favourite Metallica CD into the discman and smashing things around in the game for pure fun.

When did you first start playing video games and what got you into them? My gaming started at a young age with the occasional game of Tetris and Super Mario Land on the Game Boy, but I didn’t really start gaming until three years ago when I watched some awesome trailers for upcoming games and was blown away. I thought they were far more exciting than what we usually find in movies or on TV. Needless to say, I was hooked.

Does that leave you a great deal of time to play games? Sadly, not always. I sometimes find myself having to schedule my gaming for the week so I can catch up, even if that forces me to stay up late to get a nice long gaming session!

Are many of your RL friends gamers as well? Do you play with friends (online?) Not all of my friends game. Many stopped when they left high school, but they look back at their time gaming with a certain fondness, though. I believe that everyone loves to game, even professed non-gamers; show them a basic game like Mario Party or Raving Rabbids, and they’re laughing their way to buying their own console. True story :).

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What type of reaction do most people have upon hearing you are into video games? Are people surprised?

consoles is to enjoy the great exclusives like Journey/Flower on the PSN, and Fez on XBL.

Being a girl in the Arab world is still complicated in itself, unfortunately. Sure, in places like Lebanon I faced no problems as a girl gamer, but in the UAE, people are generally surprised at my comfort in admitting that I’m a gamer. this is ultimately a male dominated field, and hobbies like gaming are considered boyish in our part of the world, but the more I talk to people about my passion, the more they accept it. Also, In my stay in the UAE, I hosted a gaming show on the radio that encouraged female gamers to speak up and express their opinions live. There are more girl gamers than you think and in time, they will become their own entity.

Gaming is fairly new to the women here in the Middle East. How do you think this affects their lifestyle?

Do you have a favorite platform that you play games on? And can you explain why it is your favorite? I love all platforms for what they offer: The PC offers great graphics and some awesome indie games, and consoles offer a great selection of games, specially in regards to party games and exclusives. In fact, the only reason I find myself investing on new

“I believe that the issue with sexism has gone overboard in videogames. Yes, a lot of the female protagonists are scantily dressed, but they kick demon asses and save worlds and universes with their wit and power.”

In all honesty, and as I mentioned earlier, there are more women who game in the Arab world than you imagine. In fact, I am willing to bet that some of them can out-game any serious male gamer any time of the day! Gaming is already inbred in their schedule the way it’s for all gamers worldwide, you just don’t know about them.

Do you think an environment like the Middle East holds women back from realizing their true potential when it comes to playing video games? Of course, we live such a lavish lifestyle in the UAE compared to other places. I feel that the options of what women can do in their spare time are endless; videogames.

How do you feel about how women are portrayed in games? I think a smart woman is a beautiful woman, regardless if that means she’s


in a bikini fighting a boss battle or she’s a smart adventurer like Lara Croft. Women possess a power with their beauty and sexuality, and I believe that the issue with sexism has gone overboard in videogames. Yes, a lot of the female protagonists are scantily dressed, but they kick demon asses and save worlds and universes with their wit and power.

The online gaming scene is known for being the perfect place for bullies and perverts to give gamer girls a hard time. While playing, how did you handle this and what advice can you give to all the girls out there that deal with situations like this every day? I do not play online-multiplayer games with people I don’t know,

../Rapid _ Fire _ Round {v1.0} Do you get gamer rage? Yes!! I was stuck at a level in Portal for 2 hours!! I was so angry the second I asked for help, the solution presented itself. Right in front of my face the whole time!! Which are your favorite games? The Portal games, Journey, To the Moon, The Walking Dead. What draws you into a game? Storyline, mechanics and genre. What turns you off of a game? Pointless missions that have me go to the far ends of the world, then

but I have heard some bad stories of online bullying. What I would say to women out there exeriencing this is to take a big breath, aim, and hold the trigger button. Show them who’s boss and know it’s ok to walk out, or disconnect.

Do you do Cosplay? If yes, out of the costumes you’ve put on, which was the most fun to wear and which was the most fun to make? I don’t, but I love Cosplay! I think it’s a ton of fun and if I were to give it a go, I’d probably do April from TMNT, that way I can be in costume and still be able to interview people! This is Fifi Prosper signing out! Gamer Salute -> <(^-^).

return to hand back to the mission giver. No thanks. What game that you’ve not played would you like to pick up? God of War and the Metal Gear franchises. If you were to design a game, what would be the name of the main character? Prosper!!! What game has had the largest impact on your life? Journey. Prosper’s golden words of wisdom: Mechanics make or break a game.

Follow h Twitter er on : @fif iprosp Facebo er ok Youtub : /fifiprospe e: /The r Region 2Show


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Four songs to cheer you up! We all have our bad hair days. Frustrating job schedules, family problems, dwindling finances, break-ups, fights or in some cases, we just like to brood. Fear no more maties! We have compiled four tracks that guarantee to cheer you up in no time.

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Rockstar by Nickelback. | The tracks

pumps your soul into the worldy chase of fame and wealth. Always an adrenaline to listen to.

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Subah subah - I see you. | I think this track

is by far the most soulful Hindi track ever. It is not too desi not too firang. Hits the spot with amazing guitaring!

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Shut up and Drive by Rihanna | Every-

body loves Rihanna and this track is not exactly chic. The video is too hot to handle, the music, WOW!

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Its my life by Bon Jovi | The god of all

tracks that cheer you up. Just listen to it and you can fight the Hulk even!

And once you have cheered up, try this easy DIY memories coffee mug!


Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in a Berry? Well, how about some tasteful careers to begin with?

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Among the plethora of job portals today, one clearly stands out thanks to its yummy name, amazing look and feel and most important of all, its proven track record. Introducing gradberry. com, a rather off-beat career-based web portal that ties up with universities across MENA and helps youth find their way in the corporate rat race.

We got in touch with one of the co-founders, Syed Ahmed and shot a few questions about this initiative. He has some pretty cool answers and a way with words. To warm you up, let me just say this, if I ever getfired from this magazine, I don’t care; I have gradberry.com to show me the way.

Why the name grad ‘berry’?

The name came about from the concept which was to connect graduates and students to prospective employers which lead to fruitful careers. A lot of people confuse us to have come up with the mix from blackberry and graduates but the actual name goes with our tagline of ‘gradberry planting fruitful careers”.

Would this platform help students make quick bucks?

We do have a lot of temporary jobs and paid internships all year around so it’s not just quick bucks but inevitably the real life working experience you gain which helps you get a permanent job in the future.

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SYED AHMED | CO-OWNER, GRADBERRY


With already established platforms, how is gradberry helping? Gradberry is the Middle Easts first Jobs Portal for students and graduates. While there are other older and more established platforms to choose from they don’t cater to students and fresh graduates. Employers that post jobs on our site are specifically looking for graduates and students who have little or no experience. Not only that but we also have an immense number of posts on career advice specific to students and graduates on our blog, the fruitbowl (gradberry.com/ thefruitbowl).

How can students contribute to gradberry? Students can get in touch with us on our email info@gradberry.com and make contributions to the blog or even drop us a line if they want to intern with us, we’re always looking for students to contribute to the portal. The other easy way is to just tweet to us or message us on facebook.

What kind of employers do you look for?

What is gradberry 2.0? Gradberry 2.0 is the up and coming new version of gradberry, the site will be going through a major upgrade very soon both visually and functionally. We’ll be adding numerous new features for both students and employers and will make finding the right job much easier.

You have something called gradberry academy… Tell us a little about it (in layman language please!). Is it free of charge? Gradberry Academy is an extension of gradberry, after we saw that students and graduates lacked some specific skills to get into the working world we launched the academy which is an online learning portal. The site provides online courses on sought after skills that employers want when they look for graduates and students for hire. Some of the courses we provide are in web design, digital marketing, social media and photoshop which is coming very soon. While the courses aren’t free of charge they are very reasonably priced for students and graduates to purchase.

In terms of employers we have almost 500+ and increasing employers who post on our site. We make sure that anyone who posts on the site has a relevant job that targets the students and graduates. We try our best to have a good mix of employers from different fields so to cater to as many university majors as possible.

Any wisdom you would like to share?

How does gradberry help young entrepreneurs?

How do people get in touch with you?

My co-founder and I have been speakers at several events and are actively involved in the startup industry. We’ve been mentors to other young entrepreneurs and have provided help and advice to others at local and international entrepreneurial events. We always present gradberry as a model to follow as we started our business off with just 200$ and grew it from there on and hope that it inspires other young entrepreneurs to start their own businesses.

My biggest advice to anyone who I meet is that you never give up on something that you really want to do no matter what the limitations; this applies to jobs, businesses and life in general. The only thing that can stop you from getting there is yourself so never give up.

They can drop me an email on info@gradberry.com or get in touch with me on twitter @syedahmedz.


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G R A D

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Gradberry.com is a young start-up. (November 2011)

The initial funding was just AED 734/- ($200). (And you complain about being broke)

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R R Y

U N

And over 500 employers scouting for talent (including big guns like IBM, Phillips, Aramex etc)

There are over 8000 registered users on the site! (And counting)

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B E

F

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In 2012, The website won the United Nations ITU Young Innovatorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Competition.

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It is run by two people, Syed Ahmed (@syedahmedz) and Iba Masood (@IbaMasood)

last..

DO NOT TWEET THEM ASKING FOR JOBS! NOT COOL. Logon to www.gradberry.com

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HUMOR

The Gold Class Experience By Ridhan Assadi

Before I share my Gold class experience, I believe it is my moral duty to emphasize on how much the Metro has changed my life. So here it is, • I travel a lot faster (works great because I am lazy and always the last one to reach). • It is very economical (I am cheap, touché!) • Most offices/events that I need to get to are almost next to their closest metro station (which is awesome when you are lazy and cheap) I love the metro! But I was always the silver card guy. The Gold card (for the gold class), for some weird reason seemed like the sinful fruit. Fares are doubled and the pride these gold card holders showed was unbelievable. After a lot of discussing with my miserly self I decided to pick one up and see what this Gold class deal was all about. My experience: No one talks inside the Gold class. How much my school teacher would love these guys.. ‘pin drop silence isstoodaynts! Otherwise I am calling your mummies and daddies!”

Sniff?! If I were a dog, I would permanently damage my ‘sniffing’ ability thanks to the gazillion perfume scents around. o FTV should put up a camera there and call it F Metro. Everyone is impeccably dressed! Me too with my pista green and Colgate white chappals. Call me stupid but everyone is angry! Wherever I look all I see are pissed off people! Had the F Metro cam been around, I’d understand you need to look pissed-off so people look at the dresses and not your face. Me? Well, I was just jollying around, smiling at everyone as though high on some random drug that I cannot name because I might get arrested. Courtesy around here is ‘expected’. A rather young looking lady asked me if I would be a ‘sweetheart’ and offer her my seat. When I declined, she pointed out at the metro sticker that says ‘pregnant women and senior citizens get priority seating’. Now how the hell am I supposed to know you are an elderly woman (as old as my mom) when your make-up screams out for your desperate want to look youthful?Or that you are pregnant with what looks like a corset and not a waist-line. Lesson learnt: I miss the layman class, the stories, the smiles, the loud snores, the nose digging, the pushing, the originality of it all. How was your gold class experience?

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E11 UAEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S OFF-BEAT MAGAZINE

Write to us Rant, advise, inform or just say hi. Write to us at hello.e11@gmail.com

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Like E11? Tell us why! Show us support by following us on Twitter. You may also let us know of any off-beat stuff happening around UAE. We will go and investigate it for you. If we come back alive, we would absolutely publish it. Wish you all a happy Ramadan ahead. Stay blesed, God speed.


E11 Magazine (UAE)