Issue 45 - 18 Apr - 1 May 2013
HERITAGE & LITERATURE Come Together in the Form of Folklore
Discover the History of
PRAYER BEADS MATTAR BIN LAHEJ The Talented and Renowned Sculptor
Students of Al Ain Center for Care and Rehabilitation
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INBOX This page is all about you! Send us your poems, pictures or letters and see them published here, ask us your questions and pick up some handy environmental tips
NEWS All the news from around Al Ain
SPORTS Keep up to date with the latest happenings in Al Ain’s world of sport
FEATURE Students at Al Ain Center for Care and Rehabilitation chat about their outstanding accomplishments and achievements
STUFF FOR MEN Discover the history of prayer beads
AL MAJLIS Meet Mattar bin Lahej the renowned sculptor
EDUCATION The pros and cons of classroom technology
URBAN WOMAN The wonders of coconut oil
DIARY What do you have planned for the next week? Take a look at our diary for the latest happenings around town
BUSINESS Savvy budget tips to help you keep your finances in check
RECIPES Scrumptious seafood recipes for you to try out at home
FEATURE Save the environment and receive a 25% discount
CULTURE & HERITAGE Travel back in time and enjoy the tale of King Nu’man and the Bedouin
MY WORLD An expat family’s journey from Al Ain to Mecca
JUST FOR FUN
Letter from the Editor
arm breezes, spring vacation, gorgeous patio evenings, and if we are lucky, a healthy amount of rainfall to wash away the dust and refresh the spirit – these are the things synonymous with April in Al Ain. It’s the perfect time of year for family gatherings, getting together with friends or venturing out to explore our beautiful surroundings before the temperatures climb back into the stratosphere. Locally, in this week’s issue, we visit the Al Ain Center for Care and Rehabilitation to meet with some extraordinary individuals who have transcended their disabilities and achieved the impossible by participating and winning in Paralympics events. Our deepest and most heartfelt congratulations go out to them for their inspiration and courage. My World takes us to the land of divine revelation and the Holy City of Mecca, as we share one family’s spiritual journey to the birth place of Islam. In Business we focus our attention on the financial woes associated with balancing between incomes and spending. If this describes you then read “The Financial Savvy” for some insight on this dilemma. In case you are new to our wonderful city and have not yet noticed, I will tell you that Al Ain boasts an over 80% Arabic population and is the only place in this unique land that an abundant sense of Emirati culture is still apparent. At The Source we are proud to be part of this culture and as a tribute to our gracious hosts; we are moving our content in a direction that will better define the heritage embracing Al Ain. In this issue we introduce a brand new Heritage and Culture column, dedicated to the exploration of our history. We are excited to embark on this endless journey and invite our friends and readers to join us on the road to discovery.
MANAGING DIRECTOR Mona Hennawi EDITOR IN CHIEF Mahra Saeed Al Muhairi EDITOR Brenda Chandler ASSOCIATE EDITOR Khudayja Saloojee JUNIOR WRITER Mehak Alam GRAPHIC DESIGNER Sikkandar Sharpudeen
ARABIC EDITOR Sami Rashid ASSOCIATE ARABIC EDITOR/ SENIOR TRANSLATOR Hanadi Jamil
FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION MANAGER Haneen Farid SALES & ADVERTISING Farid Nouisser PHOTOGRAPHER Mohsin Saleem
DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Mohammed Saqer
Until next time, peace be upon you!
Sami Rashid Arabic Editor
CONTRIBUTORS Dr. Talal Al Darwiche, Tamer Elhamalawy, Bob Studholme, Alex Hennawi, Etdal Abougouche, Dr. Mohammed Batineh
Al Jimi Mall & Havana Moods Competitions.
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ky c a W ld r o W
The Wandering Souls on Earth With these words "I will be with you Father", We left the river of light. With these words "I am your child", We never realized His love. With these words "Lord, I am in your hands", We never remembered Him. Within the captivity of earth bonds, We never thought of the special bond with our Almighty! Wandering on earth, Wandering for our real home...!
Divorce Calls For
Divya Premchand Raisinghani The Indian High School Dubai, UAE
Burj Khalifa ul. Photo by: Fatima Banu Abd graph. Click & Win Competition winning
Loving it - Great Magazine!!! Christine Petxtine Magazine rocks! D-Pr “One of the best magazines I ever came across in Al Ain.” The Warrior Women of Al Ain By: Kimimila Locke
Divorce is generally associated with anger, regret, an increase of depression and a sense of loss. This wasn’t the case for a 27-year-old elated Saudi woman who hosted a party in honor of her divorce. She invited relatives and friends to help her celebrate this ‘happy occasion.’ The woman claims that her ex-husband was manipulative and only interested in her money; he refused to divorce her until she paid him the handsome sum of SR65000.
ENVIRONMENT TIN CAN HERB POT
There are many little things that we can do at home to help preserve our precious Earth. The next time you decide to throw away your empty aluminum can, instead with a little bit of creativity and imagination, brightly decorate the tin. Next, add some potting soil and plant a herb of your choice to make a charming tin can herb pot. It’s a fantastic recycling project to teach your kids about growing plants and creating new life. 8
Next time you introduce your friend to someone, say
in Arabic prior or post his name. Rabi’ee means – My Friend For example: This is my friend Sultan in Arabic becomes Hada rabi’ee Sultan.
New bus routes for the Garden City Companies set to tap local talents at
Al Ain Career Fair
Under the patronage of HE Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, the fifth edition of the annual Al Ain Education & Career Fair is set to bring the spotlight on job seekers, fresh graduates and school leavers seeking to enhance their professional skills or looking for career opportunities. According to a recent study by Gulftalent. com, the most preferred companies by Emirati graduates include Mubadala and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) both of which will be taking part in the three-day fair. They will be joined by a number of the region’s leading companies including Etihad Airways, Etihad Rail and Senaat.
The event supported by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MOHESR), UAE University and Higher Colleges of Technology has been strategically located in Al Ain due to the city’s large UAE National population and university graduates. According to the Statistics Center-Abu Dhabi there are currently close to 30000 Emirati students enrolled at universities in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. The Al Ain Education & Career Fair will take place from the 22-24 April at the Al Ain Convention Centre and will be inaugurated by HE Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan.
The Department of Transport (DoT) recently announced the expansion of its bus network by adding six new routes in Al Ain, bringing the total number of trips to 180. The new routes in Al Ain are scheduled as follows: Route 360 connects the bus station in Al Ain City with west Nahil City, while Route 380 connects the bus station in Al Ain with Al Faqa Souk, Route 390 connects the bus station in Al Ain with Al Shewaib Souk, while Route 367 connects the mosque of west Nahil City with Sweihan Al Souk. The buses on these routes are available once every two hours. According to the department, Route 495 connects Al Ain Souk with the area of Alia Mosque, from which there will be a bus every hour. Route 496 connects the Poultry Farm with the laborers’ accommodation in Al Yahr north area, of which there will be a bus every 30 minutes.
Alain Visprom Advert_The Source_92.5wx131h.pdf
Region’s first international HR conference at HCT The Higher Colleges of Technology, Al Ain Women's campus will be hosting the region’s first International HR Conference on May 1st. The conference will welcome HR professionals and business leaders from all industries. C
Under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Higher Education & Scientific Research
Al Ain Education & Career Fair
22 – 24 April 2013
The Global Perspective: Managing the Cross-Cultural Workforce themed conference is expecting over 400 participants to attend from all sectors including public, private and governmental. It will be inaugurated by HE Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development and Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology. MY
The Leading Education & Career Exhibition in Al Ain, UAE
Exhibition open daily from 10am – 7pm Ladies Only Tuesday 23 April 10am-2pm
The conference’s keynote speakers will include Dr. Shirley Davis the Vice President of Global Diversity and Inclusion at Society for Human Resource Management, Dr. Elisabeth Kelan the Associate Professor in the Department of Management at King’s College in London and Mr. Saad Ebrahim Abbas the Director of Human Capital Development for the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation. This inaugural conference has no entry fee and encourages local businesses and entrepreneurs to see how much there is to learn from modern academic thinking.
Recognising Heroes in the Community! Upon the directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, who is keen to preserve the legacy of our nation's late father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Government of Abu Dhabi first launched the Abu Dhabi Awards in 2005 to celebrate compassionate individuals who have selflessly volunteered their time to build and support the community of Abu Dhabi. Under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and
Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the Abu Dhabi Awards is designed to recognise everyday heroes in the community. Nominations for the 7th Abu Dhabi awards will open from 21 April-31 May, and anyone who has made a positive impact on the Emirate of Abu Dhabi can be considered for an award.
Ralph Nader attends consumer rights conference Al Ain Business and CIS Departments of the Higher Colleges and Technology attended the Dubai World Conference for Consumer Rights on April 1, 2013 at the Dubai World Trade Center. Hosted by the Department of Economic Development, under the Patronage of HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, the theme of the conference was “Best Practices in Consumer Protection.” The three-day conference focused on the business of consumer protection and retention. Speakers included top international and local CEOs, Senior Government Officials, Management Experts, Enforcement Authorities, Legislators, Attorneys, Scholars, Economists, Industrialists, Consumer
Advocates, and other professionals in consumer protection and privacy. The highlight of the conference was the Keynote Speaker, Mr. Ralph Nader, Consumer Advocate, Lawyer, Author and former American Presidential Candidate. Ralph Nader is America's most renowned and effective crusader for the rights of consumers and the general public, a role that has repeatedly brought him into conflict with both business and government. The conference witnessed 27 regional and international experts who shared their comments on 12 critical issues which included the government’s role in protecting consumer rights, consumer-driven retailing and the importance of integrity in sales promotion, among others.
They can also visit the Abu Dhabi Awards stands in shopping malls across Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region or look out for one of the 90 nomination drop-boxes across the emirate or post a completed nomination form to PO Box 44442, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Nominations can also be submitted online at www.abudhabiawards. ae.
Facilities for special needs students at UAEU The Department of Special Education at United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) has established a new Assessment and Remedial Unit (ARU) for people with disabilities. The ARU will assist all UAEU students with disabilities that will enable them to have access to educational opportunities equal to their fellow students. The faculty members from the Special Education Department offer a wide range of expertise and can provide specialized services for people with special needs. The ARU also plans to host a number of workshops, training and conferences to raise awareness about special education.
ADEC launches “Abu Dhabi Reads” Campaign The Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) recently launched the “Abu Dhabi Reads” campaign which aims to promote reading among school students and community members. His Excellency Dr. Mugheer Al Khaili, Director General of ADEC commented “ADEC is playing a pioneering role by launching this campaign since it will help 10
raise awareness on the importance of reading and on how taking up reading can help shape the character of an individual and the future of a nation.” Activities for “Abu Dhabi Reads” campaign will continue to run throughout the month of April and target Kindergarten and school students across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The campaign’s projects are also integrated
within the Cycle 1 curriculum. The campaign organized by ADEC in collaboration with various government entities and community institutions with University Bookshop-Abu Dhabi as the official sponsor is in line with ADEC’s goals to improve knowledge and skills among students in order to contribute to the UAE’s socio-economic development.
Ainawis Fly High!
Al Ain moved closer to retaining the League title for the second successive season, making things difficult for their rivals following their deserved 3-1 victory over lowly Ittihad Kalba in the Etisalat Pro-League Round 21 encounter held earlier this week, at Kalba Union Sports and Cultural Club Stadium. The winners raised their tally to 55 points to remain on top and ahead of their nearest chasers Al Ahli with a difference of 13 points. This defeat puts Kalba in a critical situation as they currently remain bottom of the ladder on 10 points, struggling hard to avoid relegation especially after their closest competitors Dibba Al Fujairah secured three valuable points in their last game, beating Al Wasl by 3-2.
Al Ain launched a series of continuous forays from the offset endeavoring to score an early goal but the Ittihad Kalba defense held firm to deny them any goal-getting chances, whilst the hosts tried to surprise the visitors with fast attacks through long passes which Al Ain defenders controlled with great confidence.
Emirati Fighters Prove Their Title! The Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2013 and World Jiu-Jitsu Children’s Cup held under the patronage of HH General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, featured the strongest lineup of the world renowned fighters during the biggest fighting event that took place in the Capital last week. The Ultimate Fighting Championship superstars BJ Penn and Demian Maia were amongst a host of new attractions that added to the action-packed family event. It was the 5th Anniversary of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2013 which welcomed hundreds of fighters from over 50 countries to compete in the Jiu-Jitsu World Champion.
Oliver George won the DD2 Rotax MAX championship. Ameer Hassan took second Challenge championship after holding off place while Abdullah Al Rawahi, Valenza’s rivals Sanad Al Rawahi and Arnaud Bouf in biggest rival finished in third. a thrilling season finale. George took the Al Ain International School held a two-day inter-house Swimming Gala last week. Students lead after polesitter Hussain Umid Ali lost In the Junior MAX championship, first excelled in showing off their talents in backstroke and front crawl races, enthralling both the lead due to a gearbox failure at half place went to Pasqual Pook while Taymour parents and teachers with their exceptional performances. distance. Kermanshahchi and Guilil Peroni fought hard for second place with Peroni taking the Students in Key Stages 1 and 2 competed in their house teams with the total points scored In the 125 MAX class, Philippe Valenza title. added together for an overall house team. Less than 10 points separated the first three won a dramatic race and won his first ever houses, with Foxes coming out on top, just ahead of the Camels, Salukis and Falcons.
Unlike past years, the UAE’s fighters closed curtains on solid outing and increased their medal haul to a total of nine medals across different categories during the course of the 3-day event. Ahmed Suhail Al Ketbi who took a six-year break from the fighting ring returned to the scene and edged out Mexican fighter Angelo Gomez in the purple belt 76kg Masters category to clinch a gold medal. Eid Rehaan Al Tenigi defeated Sasa Srndovic in the Maters blue-purple belt open weight category, bringing the UAE’s gold medal count to six on the final day of the championship. Faisal and Tareq Al Ketbi also secured silver and bronze medals, in the purple belt open weight and 64kg purple belt categories, respectively.
I’m Not Disabled! By Haneen Farid
“Disabled!,” “Retard!,” “Abnormal!” are words that agitated me when I heard them being used over and over in mockery of another. I let my imagination run wild with thoughts of a courtroom where I could denounce those who degrade the value of our humanity. We at The Source strongly believe that special needs are not an obstacle on the path to discovering ones talents, so we decided to tackle this topic by visiting to the Al Ain Center for Care and Rehabilitation. Stepping into the center, I had this overwhelming feeling to cry tears of joy. Watching their purity, their innocence and seeing their eyes light up at a new visitor, I realized how deep and amazing their world is.
up and recited a poem entitled “Honor of Generations” with not a word out of place. Imagine how you would feel if you couldn’t convey even the simplest of ideas. Would you feel anger? Would you feel like someone on the outside looking in at a world that does not 'get' you? How sad would you feel if somebody couldn’t understand your inner self? Autistic children face these obstacles every day. The challenge to express what is going on in their world because they live in a shell. In order to penetrate that shell, they have to feel safe and you have to learn how to communicate with them on their terms. Mohammed Zaki Abu Shaheen paints to express his feelings. He paints using crayons, water colors and coal. His teacher sensed a clear progression in his
At the Center I conversed with a number of brilliant students who gladly shared their talents. We laughed and talked together for over an hour. There I met Mubarak Mabrouk Al Tarmakhi, the optimistic personality, a sports lover who takes on the impossible. He plays hockey, handball and badminton. He also represents the UAE on the national special needs bowling and basketball teams. Mubarak talked about his passion for sports and about the honor of representing the UAE abroad. He was a member of the team that placed second in Korea, in hockey and in Syria when they brought home the gold in basketball. Since his childhood, Mubarak’s teachers noticed his passion and love for sports and helped him to discover and develop his talents. He took those talents all the way to Greece where he placed fourth in his first Paralympics. He currently trains at The Al Ain Club in hopes of improving on that showing. “I have a lot of motivation and always can achieve victory.” As Mubarak spoke about his hobbies and awards, Ahmed Al Shamsi sat quietly, listening and smiling. I asked Ahmed about his own talents and hobbies and he began to mimic Mubarak and what he had said. Ahmed has the uncanny talent to imitate others and the ability to memorize poetry and deliver it. As we chatted, he stood 12
Ahmed Al Shamsi recites a poem
feature “I’m not disabled; I’ve overcome the disability that I was born with. I see the world from a different perspective, and because of that they call me ‘disabled!’ I live in a world that I look at differently, but you are also different. When will [people] stop their mockery and when will they be convinced that I’m a part of this community? I have overcome my disability, what about you?" Haneen Farid Mohammed Zaki paints to express his feelings
paintings and encouraged him to participate in many competitions. In 2011, Mohammed won the Sheikha Latifa Award for Creativity in Arts. Mubarak, Ahmed, Mohammed and so many other people with special needs prove that they can achieve “the impossible”. They have uncovered their talents to achieve what so many of us only dream of. One does not need to look too hard to find a person of special needs accomplishing excellence in our community. They have overcome their challenges, but we as a society need to do better. We have to be more accepting of them and shun our instinct to only feel pity for them. While some of them are negatively affected by the way people treat them, a great many more have proved to themselves and others that they are elite members of our society. For too long, I’ve wanted to write about this as it is a topic of personal interest to me. My brother is a person with special needs. When I write about these amazing people I am writing about him too. What I see in them, I see so clearly in him. All you may see is a man in a baby’s form whom nobody notices, but I see his talent. I see it manifest every day, in his ability to love others deeply, to be a loyal friend to those who truly see him. It is difficult knowing that some of the people at the center won't get the opportunity of reading my article, and yet I write this for them as they are very dear to my heart. We all would do well to step back and see that they are an integral part of our community and that they can be productive members of our society. We need to overcome our own disability in not accepting “others” as they accept us. Mubarak Al Tarmakhi is proud of his achievements The Source
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Treasures of a Tradition
stuff for men
By Alex Hennawi
My family roots stem from a small agricultural town in the northern regions of Jordan and during my youth I spent many summers travelling from Canada to visit relatives there. I fondly recall the long walks I would take with my father and uncles through our olive orchards and vegetable patches. They would take the opportunity to try to explain life and the beauty of what we have been provided. I tried my best to listen intently to the many tales but found myself constantly distracted and mesmerized by the string of beads they carried that calmly shifted between their rugged fingers as they spoke. I would look at the beads to try to figure out their purpose. I didn’t remember my father ever using them in Canada and assumed they were indigenous to this small village in Jordan. I had to know and finally I asked. Here is what I was told; these are strings of prayer beads and are called Misbaha or Tasbeh. They come in strands of 33, 66 or 99 beads with a longer imam bead at the top. Their ultimate purpose is to remind the faithful of Allah. These beads are used by Muslims to keep count while reciting the prayers known as 'Tasbih of Fatima'. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) offered as a gift, the prayer 'Tasbih of Fatima', to his daughter Fatima. The prayers are recited as follows, 33 times “Allahu Akbar” (God is the Greatest), 33 times “Al-hamdu lilah” (Praise be to God), and 33 times “Subhan Allah” (Glory be to God). The 99 beads correspond to the 99 names of Allah, and prayer beads where only 33 beads are used, a person would cycle through the beads three times to equal 99. In my opinion the quality of the Misbaha depends on two components; the type of material used, and the craftsmanship. The type of material chosen is a reflection of personal preference and budget. Many people I know prefer the understated beauty of coral (YUSR) in black or the more valuable red. Others prefer the elegant simplicity of agate; the stated choice of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
Bone and ivory are also popular choices but if you are like me, you will gravitate towards a strand crafted from amber. Amber is fossilized tree sap dating back millions of years and comes in a multitude of colors of which blue is the rarest. The most valuable amber comes from two regions, the Baltic and the Dominican Republic and is valued according to its degree of transparency and whether or not inclusions are present. A trapped insect would be an example of such an inclusion. If you are lucky enough to own such a piece of amber you are basically carrying a time capsule millions of years old. However be careful when making an amber purchase. Most of the amber that is being sold is reconstituted, powdered, or just plastic. Reconstituted amber or pressed amber are pieces of amber chips melted and pressed together. Often the shopkeeper will either not reveal this or is too inexperienced to know. Always ask if the beads are carved from one piece of whole untreated amber. If you are not sure walk away, unless this really doesn’t matter to you. In terms of value and collectability, handcrafted is always the best. Imagine the time required to hand shape stone, amber, bone or ivory and even adding inlay of sterling, for example. The number of man hours is really overwhelming. For me, the finest Misbaha masters come from two places; Turkey and Egypt. In both places this is still a well-respected profession, taking years of apprenticeship to become a 'Master'. Personally, when I am looking for quality I look there first. So now that you know what to look for, you’re ready to make that purchase. Chosen well, regardless of material or cost, you can own something that will last a lifetime, fill your life with solace and faith, and if you’re lucky, memories - like walking through a desert watermelon patch listening to people you love explain the things that really matter. The Source 15
A Successful Self-taught Sculptor
MATTAR BIN LAHEJ
By Mehak Alam
self taught-sculptor and artist extraordinaire, Mattar bin Lahej describes his awe inspiring craft as “beauty embracing simplicity”.
degree in psychology as a young man at the UAEU but never lost sight of his dream to make a living creating and inspiring others with his art.
We recently caught up with the 45-year-old Emirati artist at a press conference where he addressed young aspiring local artists. This cheerful and energetic man imparted an extremely clever balance of humor and knowledge to an eager and hungry audience, delivering one of the most impressive and entertaining presentations I had ever experienced.
He spoke of his struggling years and the unconditional love and support received from his family. His mother was an especially positive influence and inspiration who never ceased to boost his morale as he tackled and mastered various mediums of artistic expression.
Mattar bin Lahej’s lack of guidance and formal training did not stand in the way of success and with passion and perseverance he harnessed his God given talents to reach his goals. He earned a 16
Today the accomplished artist boasts a portfolio that embraces painting, sculpting and photography, and he can be very accurately labeled as a “Jack of all art forms”. His expertise in the above mentioned mediums is nothing short of exceptional.
Another recent addition to this multi-faceted artist’s list of achievements is the introduction of his unique and innovative line of furniture introduced at Dubai Design Days during SIKKA 2013. “Globalization has transformed us into free birds flying to the furthest destinations”, states Mattar, who is in constant search of new and formidable opportunities. I marveled at the art work on the business card he handed me and its unique style of brush stroke. He mentioned that although this piece happened to be one of his favorites, the critics did not embrace his effort and went on to say, “These lines have not come from thin air and each stroke reflects the pulse of the artist’s sensitivities and feelings.” Mattar fondly recounted his first major breakthrough in 1994, when his display of classical sculptures garnered him recognition and critical acclaim. From then on there was no looking back. “I like to challenge myself as an artist from time to time and try new things that boost my energy”, he explained. He is one of only two famous artists in the UAE honored with placing his work in the National Gallery. The free-standing steel sculpture, “Rhapsody of Culture” was specially commissioned to commemorate the Abu Dhabi Festival’s 10th landmark edition.
“The work in this piece expresses the mix between technology and art, giving rise to a new phenomenon that is a blend of both. I have tried to express the interaction between these two elements”, he explained. The exceptional and versatile artist is also the first Arabic artist to establish a locally-driven gallery. Marsam Mattar, founded in 2003 to promote and nurture local artistic talent is a project Mattar is very passionate about. He strongly believes that the artistic youth of this country has the potential to be recognized at an international level. Over the years Matter bin Lahej has established himself both locally and internationally and shows no signs of slowing down. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Art. “As an artist I have developed my own unique style while experimenting with different materials and applied this style to my love of painting, sculpting and photography.” Mattar explains that working with steel and stone not only requires a great deal of experience, but is so expensive that many artists shy away from this form of expression. He believes that an artist should always strive to blaze a new trail rather than follow in the footsteps of others. In this way you will increase your chances of being recognized and provide the art world with truly unique contributions. In his personal life, Mattar is busy with six children he adores and is mentoring in hopes they will follow their dreams and establish themselves accordingly. Before wrapping up our interview we requested Mattar bin Lahej to share a few words of wisdom with our readers that would help them with their personal growth and development; this is what he said...
• Support yourself first and then look for those who can support you. • Find your talent and then push yourself to achieve your goals. • Never stop learning. The Source
The Pros and Cons of Classroom Technology
By Bob Studholme
or the vast majority of us, our daily working lives require us to use a wide range of technology, including answering emails, responding to texts, participating in conference calls or video-conferences, preparing spreadsheets, creating Powerpoint presentations, or using a word processor to create or edit documents. Is this use of technology reflected in our schools as well? Many primary and secondary schools are now using SMART Boards in the classroom, which are interactive whiteboards that address multi-sensory learning. A number of universities in UAE have started going paperless â€“ using iPads and other tablet devices to store virtual textbooks and compose written work. But just how much technology do students use in their classrooms? And perhaps more importantly, how much technology should they be using as part of the educational process? Are the nay-sayers of this kind of technology simply out-of-touch with modern-day realities, or do we need to be concerned about what might be lost in this move away from traditional methods of teaching? One advantage of using technology in the classroom is that computers don't tire of presenting the same information over and over again, and can challenge students in new and creative ways. As Fatima, a student at Abu Dhabi University in Al Ain, said about using the Memrise website to study vocabulary, "It tests me in so many more ways than a book could, and it gives me more practice on words that I get wrong. With a book or a teacher, I could not do this type of work over and over again, and I need that kind of repetition in order to learn it properly." 18
Another advantage of modern technology is the ability to have mistakes corrected instantly. According to Maha, "When I make a spelling mistake with Word, it tells me straight away. I write those words in my notebook and use the Spelling City website to help me learn the spelling later. But until then, I am confident that my work has no major mistakes in it when I hand it in." Students also commented on the ease of editing with word processing programs. Second drafts of essays or projects are so much easier and quicker to complete when only the mistakes need to be fixed, rather than having to re-write the entire work in addition to fixing the mistakes. Teachers, too, welcome the end of the red pen and scribbled notes. "It's much easier to correct a Word document," said Michael McGee. "My comments are typed and in the margin. Students can read them and work on just what I commented on. They are often more inclined to correct things when they know they don't have to write out the whole essay again." Of course, another significant benefit of technology is the wealth of knowledge and information that students have available at their fingertips when accessing the Internet. Everyone we spoke to felt that being able to translate words from different languages and check facts quickly were huge advantages when it came to learning and completing schoolwork. This type of instant access to information, however, can also be abused. Many students don't stop at simply reading facts on the Internet; instead, they copy and paste information directly into their essays, which does little to advance the learning or creative process.
education learn spelling, while others believe that the physical act of writing reinforces the correct spelling of words and is a more effective tool.
Some students go even further and attempt to pass whole articles from the Internet off as their own work. Teachers have responded in-kind to this modern-day form of plagiarism, by using online tools such as TurnItin to check whether students have used other peopleâ€™s work in their essays, although some students have met this challenge head-on by simply using an online thesaurus to alter the words slightly so that their plagiarism will not be so easily detected.
Another drawback of the use of technology by students, of course, is the risk of distraction. With Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and numerous other social networking sites at their fingertips all the time, students have an incredible number of online temptations and ways to procrastinate finishing that homework assignment. Wherever a group of students is gathered at computer screens, inevitably some of them will be updating their Facebook statuses.
The use of technology also gives rise to another concern, namely studentsâ€™ increasing lack of skill with a pen. Has technology caused our students to lose the ability to write by hand? As Adnan remarked, "It's great being able to use a word processor, but when I did my IELTS exam, I had to write by hand. My handwriting was awful and I'm not used to writing so much or so fast. I made a lot of mistakes and had to keep crossing them out. It all looked a mess, and I was embarrassed about passing in such untidy work." Penmanship is one thing but the ability to spell is another. Opinion is divided among teachers as to whether writing by hand is an essential part of helping students learn how to spell. Some teachers believe that typing works just as well as writing by hand for students to
As with anything else in life, technology has its positive and negative sides. Modernday technological tools can be used by students to aid and benefit the learning process, but they can also be misused and abused. Given the importance that technology plays in our day-to-day lives in the workforce, it is imperative that children learn how to use technology. vHowever, the key is to know how to use it wisely. Students who can't use technology will, in a real sense, be handicapped for work and modern life. However, students who can only use the tools that technology provides will undoubtedly suffer in other respects. As with most things in life, finding the right balance is key.
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By Etdal Abougouche
Coconut oil is one of those few products that can act as a multipurpose item. It includes many additional health benefits and can be used on almost everything and anything. The major health benefits include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care and bone strength. These are some of my favorite ways of utilizing this extraordinary oil which both you and your family can benefit from. HAIR CARE: Coconut oil is an excellent moisture absorbent. By applying it on your hair, it absorbs the moisture in keeping your hair soft, strong, vitalized and nourished. • Simply apply a small amount to your scalp and massage it on to your head from root to ends; leave it in for 30 minutes and then rinse it out. For a deeper conditioning, apply it before bed and wash out it out in the morning. SKIN: Coconut oil has many benefits for your skin too as it is rich in Vitamin E. By simply applying it under your eyes it will help smooth out the appearance of wrinkles. It also leaves dry spots, smooth, supple and hydrated. COOKING: Coconut oil is new to many people but it is much like olive oil. As a surprisingly healthy and delicious alternative to vegetable oil, butter, and margarine, coconut oil can be used to enhance the flavor in any recipe. HERE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE IDEAS FOR USING COCONUT OIL IN THE KITCHEN: • Toss it into a blender with your favorite fruits to make a refreshing and healthy smoothie. • Add it to your stir fry recipe to infuse veggies with a tropical flavor. • When making popcorn for movie night, add coconut oil instead of greasy butter. • Enhance the flavor of chicken or fish by adding coconut oil before baking or frying. OTHER GREAT TIPS: • Stir a tablespoon of coconut oil into hot tea to help speed your recovery from cold or flu. • Rub coconut oil on your hands after doing dishes to avoid dry skin. • Rub it on your lips as a natural lip balm. • Massage coconut oil on your stomach to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. The possibilities of coconut oil are endless! So go ahead and give it a try and experience the wonderful benefits it has to offer. 20
THE MAIN EVENT
What better way to celebrate St. George's Day on April 23rd, than with a special evening of the finest English food at Horse & Jockey at Danat Al Ain Resort?
UV Party: Get ready to party hard! 19 April, 8pm. Tickets AED60. Golf Club-Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club. Call 03 702 6400 or email golf@aesgc. ae Don Quixote Ballet: Don’t miss the enchanting tale of elegance and grace! 19-20 & 23-26 April, 7:30pm. Admission from AED250. Madinat Theatre, Souk Madinat Jumeriah. Call 04 366 6546 or visit www. madinattheatre.com/show.asp
Mike Greaves, the English Quiz master at Horse & Jockey will present his special Quiz night for the evening in true British Style, with the best of British menu and drinks.
God of Carnage: The multiple award-winning play is ready to wow the audiences. 19-20 & 25-27 April, 8pm. Admission by donation. Al JamJarAl Quoz, Dubai. Call 04 341 7303 or visit www. thejamjardubai.com ST. George’s Day: Celebrate the special Quiz night in true British Style! 23 April, 8pm. Tickets AED50. Horse & Jockey-Danat Al Ain Resort. Call 03 704 6143 or visit www.danathotels.com The Ultimate Variety Show: Enjoy an array of entertaining acts! 24-27 April, 7pm & 10pm. Admission from AED180. Dubai World Trade Centre & Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre. Call 056 625 7173 or visit www.facebook. com/DuventEventsManagement Desert Party: Make a big splash at this year’s liveliest party! 25 April, 7pm-12:30am. Tickets AED50. Zest-Al Ain Rotana. Call 03 754 5111 or visit www. rotanatimes.com Brendan Grace in Dubai: The legendary Irish comedian will have the craic with his audience! 25 & 26 April, 9pm. Tickets AED100. Almas TowerJumeirah Lake Towers. Call 04 378 0800 or visit mcgettigansdubai.com A Walk in the Woods: The tale of missed opportunities hits Dubai. 26 & 27 April 7pm. Admission from AED200. Meydan IMAX Theatre, Dubai. Call 04 800 4629 or visit www.meydanmax.ae Happy Mondays in Dubai: Get ready to rock the night away! 26 April, 9pm. Admission from AED200. Dubai Tennis Stadium. Call 04 361 9999 or visit www. dubaicalendar.ae Fashion Forward: A dynamic platform for top fashion designers! 26-29 April, 11am-10pm. Free Registration. Madinat Jumeirah. Call 04 432 7844 or visit www.fashionforward.ae The Score-Katya Apekisheva: Don’t miss the romantic recitals by the famous Russian pianist. 29 April, 7:45pm. Admission from AED185. Madinat Theatre, Souk Madinat Jumeirah. Call 04 347 7793 or visit www.thescore.ae Zayed University Middle East Film Festival: Celebrate the talent and creativity of the youth. 29 & 30 April, 12(noon) – 8pm. Free Admission. Zayed University Convention Centre, Abu Dhabi. Call 02 599 3111or visit www.zumeff.com Dubai Fashion Awards 2013: Be part of the iconic fashion event! 30 April, 9pm. Tickets AED275. The H Hotel. Call 04 372 1117 or visit www.facebook.com/ DubaiFashionAwards Contemporary Dance Dubai: A treat for both professional and novice dancers! 3 May, 3pm & 8pm. Tickets AED120. DUCTAC-Mall of the Emirates. Call 050 504 3588 or visit www.ductac.org David Guetta Live @ Atlantis 2013: Join the crowd with one of the most in demand DJs. 3 May, 8pm. Admission from AED275. The Palm-Dubai. Call 055 200 4321 or visit www.atlantisthepalm.com Justin Bieber “Believe” World Tour: The teen heartthrob makes his debut performance in Dubai. 5 May, 8pm. Tickets from AED350. The Sevens Stadium. Call 04 439 0900 or visit www. justinbieberdubai.com
The evening kicks-off at 8pm, so book it in your calendar now! The Source gives you a chance to win Dinner for 2 at The Wok Restaurant for the Sushi & Sake Night, by simply answering the following question: Where is St. George's Day being celebrated in Danat Al Ain Resort? Send in the correct answer to email@example.com along with your name, age and contact information and put St. George's Day as the email subject. Winner will be contacted via email! An Evening with John Cleese: This funny man is sure to get you laughing aloud. 7-11 may, 8pm. Admission from AED350. Madinat Theatre, Souk Madinat Jumeirah. Call 04 366 6546 or visit www. madinattheatre.com Fun-Time! 5th Annual Walk for Autism 2013: Help spread Autism awareness with every step you take! 20 April, 5-9pm. Free online registration. Zabeel Park, Gate 3, Dubai. Call 055 558 1809 or visit www. walkforautismdubai.com Abu Dhabi International Environmental Film Festival: Be part of the largest international film and environmental industry gathering! 20-25 April, 10am10pm. Free Admission. Grand Millennium Hotel-Al Wahda. Call 02 665 1213 or visit www.adieff.com Al Ain Career Fair 2013: Discover further education and career opportunities! 22-24 April, 10am-6pm. Free Admission. Al Khabisi Hall-2, Al Ain Convention Centre. Call 03 763 7686 or visit www.adnec.ae/ al-ain-convention-centre/whatson Emirates Skills National Competition 2013: The UAE’s premier event that celebrates Emirati talent in technical & vocational skills. 23-25 April, 9am-5pm. Free Admission. Halls 2-5 & Atrium-ADNEC. Call 02 613 2057 or visit www.emiratesskills.ae Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2013: A treat for book lovers. 24-29 April, 9am-10pm & Friday (4-10pm). Free Admission. Halls 8-11 & ICC-ADNEC. Call 02 657 6180 or visit www.adbookfair.com International Market Consumer Fair 2013: One of the biggest shopping extravaganzas is back in town! 25 April-4 May, timings vary. Free Admission. Halls 6 &7- ADNEC. Call 02 657 6180 or visit www. adbookfair.com Careers UAE 2013: Come join the region’s leading recruitment, education & training event for Emiratis. 30 April-2May, timings vary. Free Admission. Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre. Call 04 332 1000 or visit www.dwtc.com
Sports UAE Jet ski Championship-Heat 3: Come along with family & friends for a day of thrilling fun.19 April, 3-5pm. Free Admission. Abu Dhabi-Breakwater. Call 02 681 8882 or visit www.adimsc.ae Chess Tournament: Chess enthusiasts battle it! 20-27 April. Free Admission. Al Ain Mall. Call 03 766 0333 or visit www.alainmall.net Dubai Desert Road-April 2013: Perfect for both novice and experienced runners! 20 April, 7am. Admission from AED40. The Sevens Stadium. Call 055 889 4568 or visit www.dubairunning.com ISSF World Cup Shotgun: Watch 600 of the world’s best shotgun shooters. Until 24 April, 9am-5pm. Free Admission. Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club. Call 050 702 6500 or visit www.aesgc.ae Celebrating our 1st Anniversary: Add some adventure to your week! 27 April, 8am. Tickets AED25 (Child) & AED50 (Adult). Wadi Adventure. Call 03 781 8422 or visit www.wadiadventure.ae ZSC Sports Relays: Unite through sports and charity! 27 April, 9am-9pm. Tickets AED100 (Child) & AED200 (Adult). Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi. Call 02 403 4200 or visit www.zsc.ae Dubai Golden Cup 2013: Watch 200 of the world’s best figure skaters. 25-27 April, 9:30am-6:30pm. Free Admission. Al Nasr Leisureland, Oud Metha. Call 04 324 4446 or visit www.dubaicalendar.ae Shk. Mubarak bin Mohammed Al Nahyan for Equestrian Champion: Catch all the equestrian action. 3 & 4 May, 8:30am-8:30pm. Free Admission. Al Khatem City, Abu Dhabi. Call 056 621 2224 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Beauty Secrets Show 2013: Featuring the world’s latest beauty products! 1-4 May, 11am-8pm. Free Admission. ADNEC Hall 5. Call 02 444 6900 www. adnec.ae BOLDtalks Woman 2013: The region’s biggest socializing event for women. 4 May, 10am-4pm. Tickets AED200. Madinat Theatre, Souk Madinat Jumeirah. Call 050 352 8876 or visit www.boldtalks. com
+971 3 7668111 0501352965 The Source
ou have a big expense coming up – the kids’ school fees need to be paid, or you need a new car. What do you do? Borrow, borrow, and borrow – right? Wrong.
Variable expenses change from month to month. These expenses include groceries, entertainment, petrol and utility bills. These types of expenses will be important if you need to look at ways to cut back or create savings.
If you create a budget, you will know exactly how much money you have coming in, and how much is going out. If you don’t have a budget, you won’t likely have the big picture regarding your finances and this will only lead to trouble if left unchecked. Instead of being tempted to simply borrow more money, draw up a budget. Creating a budget will help you understand what your expenses are and where your money is going, and following it will help to lead you in the direction of financial security.
Total your monthly income and monthly expenses If your income is greater than your expenses, that’s fantastic! Take any extra income and prioritize it to specific areas of the budget such as increasing your retirement fund, paying off your mortgage early if you can, paying off credit cards to get rid of debt, or creating an emergency fund for those unexpected expenses.
Tracking your spending doesn’t have to be difficult. All you really need is a pencil and a notebook. However, online budgeting tools and apps available for your Smartphone or iPad can make the process even easier, and these tools can often be customized to suit your purposes.
If your expenses exceed your income, like many of us, don’t get discouraged; it just means that you need to adjust your budget going forward, and re-examine your variable expenses. If you are spending AED1000 on dining and entertainment, there’s a good place to start making a change. Your grocery bill is also flexible and may have some room for adjustment, but be realistic and don’t budget AED500 for a family of four.
Here are some tips to get you started, and to help you pave your path to financial success. Keep your financial documents Keep all bank statements, investment account reports, utility bills, invoices, receipts and other documentation relating to your income and expenses. The idea is to create a monthly average, so the more information you have, the better. Record all sources of income Write down your total net income. If you’re self-employed or have any outside sources of income (for example, from rental property), record these as well. Make a list of monthly expenses Create a list of all your expenses each month. This includes car payments, school fees, retirement savings, investment policies that require monthly payments, auto and household insurance, utilities, groceries, dining out at restaurants, entertainment and everything you spend money on. Yes, even those daily cups of coffee! Break expenses into fixed and variable categories Fixed expenses are those that stay the same each month, such as car payments, household insurance, internet/cable service, mortgage payments, personal loan payments and school fees. These expenses are not likely to change. 22
Keep to the plan Once you have a budget in place, try your best to follow it. If you allocated a allowance of AED500 for entertainment for the month and it’s already spent by the middle of the month, resist the urge to spend any more. Don’t be tempted to splurge on unnecessary items simply because they are on sale. This is easier said than done, of course! However, if you keep your budget in mind whenever you do spend money, you will continually move closer to your goals. Remember that a budget is not set in stone The key is to review your budget on a regular basis to ensure you are staying on track. Remember that life is unpredictable, and things do happen that are of out of your control. After the first month of living with your budget, compare your actual expenses to your budget. Keep comparing each month. If you are consistently off in one particular budget category, perhaps you need to re-evaluate the budget. For example, a fuel price increase often results in a domino effect which could affect your grocery bill, or you may need to account for an increase in tuition fees. Your budget is not set in stone and needs to be flexible; adjust the budget to make it work for you. The key is to have a budget in place, and to use it to guide you towards your financial goals!
Tilapia with Creamy Sauce Ingredients 4 tilapia fillets | 4 tsp melted margarine | 7 tbsp lemon juice | 4 tbsp chopped dill weed | 1 tbsp lemon-pepper seasoning | 4 tsp cream cheese | Butter flavored cooking spray Method • Preheat oven to 175 °C. • Grease a baking sheet with the cooking spray and place the tilapia fillets on it. Coat the fillets lightly with the cooking spray. • Spoon the melted margarine over each fillet, then drizzle 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp lemon-pepper seasoning and 2 tbsp dill weed. • Bake the fillets for 15 minutes or until the fish flakes easily. • In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese, 5 tbsp lemon juice and the remaining dill weed and mix well. • Heat the cream sauce for 1 minute in the microwave and stir to blend well. • Place the fillets on a plate and pour the cream sauce over. • Serve hot!
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Cedar Planked Salmon Ingredients
24x8x1 inch untreated cedar plank | 1 tsp coarse salt | 6 salmon fillets | 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil | 1 finely chopped red onion | 1 lemon, sliced | 1/2 tbsp crushed black peppercorns Method • Submerge untreated cedar plank in water and soak it for approximately 12 hours. • Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Place the plank on the grill and sprinkle with coarse salt. Cover the grill and heat the plank for 2-3 minutes until dry. • Rub salmon fillets with olive oil and arrange them on the plank. Top the fillets with red onion, lemon slices and black peppercorns. • Cook the fillets over a medium heat for 10 minutes or until the fish flakes easily. • Serve hot!
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SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT And Receive A 25% Discount!
By Dr. Mohamed Batineh
hat if this were the type of advertisement bombarding the consumer on a daily basis.? Imagine a generous bonus or incentive for being kind to Mother Nature. Sadly enough, positive environmental behavior still does and will, continue to require incentives until a globally desired level of awareness is reached. The preservation of the environment and the attitude necessary to sustain this must be taught and instilled in every human being from early childhood onwards. The fundamentals begin at home and through example from parents, sound environmental behavioral patterns are ushered in. Children will emulate the actions of their parents and once positive and solid foundations are set, it is difficult for habits to change. Now that we’ve managed to create an environmentally friendly populace on the home front, we need to insure that the surrounding community continues to do its part to keep things on track. Schools are the next logical stop for continued enforcement of good environmental habits. Many schools are already playing a very active role in educating students on the importance of preserving the environment and creating the necessary awareness through events such as “The Green Day". On these particular days students and teachers participate in cleaning the school and perhaps even the surrounding
community. A great deal of focus can also be placed on recycling and the proper disposal of certain hazardous waste. For maximum results and collective involvement, schools are well advised to create competitions during these events and thereby generate a hype and willingness for all to participate. For the workWplace the same ethos can be adopted. Committees responsible for affecting change should be an important part of the corporate landscape. Awards and monthly recognition of team players will ensure continuity of environmental programs that are the stepping stones towards inevitable and long-awaited solutions. Imagine the impact on our wonderful planet if everyone played an active role and became part of the solution as opposed to perpetuating the problem. Events such as “Earth Day” and “Earth Hour” are examples of attempts initiated on a global scale to create the necessary awareness and participation required to make a difference. There are those who claim that the harm is already so extensive that we are too late to effectively reverse the damage. This is defeatism and where there is a will there is a way! For the sake of our children and the generations to come we must adopt this will and become part of the solution. As any mother would count on her children to make her proud, Mother Nature is counting on us to sustain and perpetuate the abundance that has been our gift and to pay it forward for an eternity!
culture & heritage
Heritage and Literature
By Dr.Talal Mohammed Al Darwich
eritage can be defined as anything transmitted from the past and handed down by tradition. Like historic buildings and ancient artifacts, literature has been paramount in preserving the tapestry of cultures that populate this planet. Folklore, proverbs, legends and fairy tales are all examples of literature abundant in every culture and used to impart life lessons and wisdom. One of my favorite tales defining Arabic culture and wisdom is that of King Nu’man. This particular story revolves around a bored ruler who alternates the days of his life by bestowing either infinite generosity or cruelty on his subjects. On the days of generosity, anyone encountering the king is showered with riches and hospitality beyond the boundaries of imaginable wealth. However, on the days of misery, any unfortunate soul crossing the ruler's path, would meet a horrifying fate marking the end of their days on earth. The tale begins with a Bedouin venturing out to seek his fortune and while traversing the desert is lured by the smell of grilling meat. He follows his nose to the source, in hope that it may end the hunger pangs of his family. To his horror the Bedouin discovers King Nu’man grilling the flesh of 99 unfortunate souls that are part of a plan to destroy the lives of 100 people on that particular day.
Much to his dismay, the poor man discovers that he is number 100 and is informed by the blood thirsty king to take his rightful place in the fire. Realizing he cannot curb the satanic wishes of his executioner, he pleads for a one week stay of sentence. He requests permission to return to his family and put his house in order before fulfilling his cruel sentence. The king agrees to this on the condition that should he fail to return, the Bedouin must provide a substitute to be executed in his place. Much to the surprise of both king and Bedouin, a minister agrees to suffer the Bedouin’s fate should he fail to return. King Nu’man reminds the minister of the consequences of his decision but he responds with “I trust this man and believe that he will return”. Having satisfied the condition, the king releases the Bedouin to set his house in order. One week later accompanied by the minister and a large group of followers, Nu’man awaits the return of the Bedouin but he is late. As the sun begins to set the king points to the minister and cries “prepare to die.” The minister’s blood runs cold and just as his fate is to be sealed, a figure appears in the distance ushered in by a cloud of dust. It is the Bedouin returning breathless and exhausted to meet his fate. Astonished the king greets the man and asks “Why have you returned from freedom to greet inevitable demise?” The Bedouin proudly raises his head and replies “My lord, I am an Arab driven by faith, honor and my word, and regardless of the circumstances; I can never compromise that which is the essence of my existence”. King Nu’man is so impressed by the dignity and courage of this humble man that he immediately denounces the days of cruelty and misery, and makes it his mission to ensure the future of his people is one of joy and prosperity. Arabic culture boasts a sea of literary works that have contributed to the wealth of their heritage. If you have a vibrant imagination and enjoy reading tales that have withstood the test of time, then immerse yourself in the many stories that define the culture and wisdom of today’s Arabic society. The Source
FAITH By Tamer Elhamalawy
t was 5am on a warm Makkahn morning, the Fajr (dawn) prayer had just completed. My family and I had just arrived in the city after a 30 hour drive from Al Ain, a journey that was filled with anticipation and excitement, and yet was arduous on the five of us. We completed the prayer outside The Mosque and then gathered ourselves to gaze upon the Ka’aba, a first for us. We made our way to the Gate of Peace and entered into the sanctuary. All of us were in awe of the sight in front of us, thousands of people, a sea of white with spatters of colour, circling around a cubic building draped in black with gold lettering. We had finally made it to the point on earth where we faced five times a day in submission to God. We do not worship the Ka’aba, only Allah deserves our worship. It is nothing but bricks and mortar 26
and yet at the same time it is so much more. It is the direction where Prophed Mohammed (PBUH) prayed and placed within it the sacred black stone. It is also the city where he was driven out and years later conquered without shedding blood, and now we were finally here. We stood for a while trying to take mental pictures so we could remember forever what we saw and how we felt. We made our way into the waves of people and joined them in the Tawwaf, the seven counter-clockwise circumambulations around the Ka’aba. We supplicated to the lord of the worlds for forgiveness for our sins. We asked for goodness in this life and the next. We prayed for the wellbeing of our family and friends, and we asked for peace in the four corners of the world.
my world Once we completed the first of our rites of Umrah, (minor pilgrimage) we made our way to perform Sa’i, a rapid walk which is within the sanctuary that is between two hills, Al-Safa and Al-Marwah. We walked between these two hills, seven times in remembrance of the struggle of Hajjar, the wife of Abraham as she desperately looked for any sight of help under the scorching sun for her and her crying infant boy. She walked seven times back and forth running quickly during portions of each trip when her child was out of view. On her seventh trip between the hills, water sprung forth at the feet of her son, giving her great relief. We too experienced great relief at the end of our Sa’i. A long two days with very little sleep and peaks of emotional highs and little to no lows. We were exhausted from our physical and spiritual journey but it was not quite over. We had to perform the last rite before we could be released from our ihram (the physical and mental state one must enter to perform Umrah), we had to trim our hair. My son and I went to one of the many barbers who wait outside the mosque for the pilgrims. After we agreed on a rate, he led us to the salon, and we had our heads shaved. Our rites completed, and thoroughly exhausted, we made our way to the hotel room to shower and then lay down for some well deserved sleep. We spent a few more days praying and taking in the experience that is Makkah. We toured the city with a guide; he showed us all the famous sites that we read about so many times as children and again as adults in greater detail. It is a fulfilling experience to at last view upon the Cave of Hira where Prophed Mohammed (PBUH) first received the command to “Read!”, and Mount Arafat where he gave his farewell sermon. When at last the time came for us to depart, we completed Tawwaf Al Wada’a, the farewell circumambulation. As tears streamed from our eyes, with the sadness of one leaving a dear friend, we prayed that we would be granted the honor of a speedy return. Our prayers were answered quicker than we ever imagined.
Just for fun
ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 20) You may find yourself in a Catch 22 situation leaving you frustrated. Creative thinking will be required on your part to turn things around and don't be afraid to try the unusual. A Libra friend will be there to support you. Don’t forget to keep an eye on your expenses. TAURUS (Apr 21-May 21) Absence makes the heart grow fonder especially if you’re involved with a Scorpio. A decision you made several months ago has an effect on you this month. A problem that arises will be a blessing in disguise. Don’t expect things to move too quickly, expect some delays. A Leo is involved. GEMINI (May22-June 21) A Taurus from your past resurfaces. You’ll find the bull a little deeper than you remember. A deserving mid-month break from your busy schedule will brighten your mood. Don’t be afraid to relax and pamper yourself. A Scorpion will play an important role in your life this month. Let your practical side lead you in your decision making. CANCER (Jun 22-Jul 23) This is a great month and your finances are looking good. Give into your desires and shower yourself in luxury. Don’t be afraid to celebrate. More free time is on the way, so don’t be afraid to take advantage. You can look forward to a very romantic weekend with your loved one. Taurus plays an important role in your life. LEO (Jul 24-Aug 23) Hold on tight to your valuables especially if you’re planning to travel this month. Try to make the best of a bad situation. Take a deep breath and remain positive and focused because it’s going to be a hectic month at work. VIRGO (Aug 24-Sept 23) Your ability to get straight to the point will serve you well at work. Express your feelings because bottling it up will only leave you feeling frustrated. Keep relationships at work strictly professional. This is a good month to meet with old friends. A Leo is highly involved in your life.
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LIBRA (Sept 24-Oct 23) Before searching far for something you need, take a look right in front of you. It may not seem so obvious at first, but it will be crystal clear in time. You’ll be in control when it comes to romance and this will work to your advantage especially if you are romantically involved with a Scorpio. An unusual source will tell you of an investment opportunity. SCORPIO (Oct 24-Nov 22) Take some time out to think through your problems and you’ll be able to resolve them quickly. If you’re in a management position, you may find that it’s lonely at the top. A positive change is imminent in your romantic life. SAGITTARIUS (Nov 23-Dec 21) A career opportunity could come your way when you least expect it. Before brushing it off at face value, take a deeper look because there may be more than meets the eye. A major purchase is on the cards, but be sure to first shop around. Don’t bother writing out any cheque unless you’re getting a good deal. CAPRICORN (Dec 22- Jan 20) Look back to the past to help resolve a current problem. You’ll find that time has a way of repeating itself. A Scorpio will offer some words of wisdom. New romances should be avoided this month – especially with a Virgo. AQUARIUS (Jan 21-Feb19) A friend’s offer of help may not be totally selfless. There could be some ulterior motives you’re not totally aware of. If you’re looking for a new job, this could be a lucky time. Be sure to explore all your options before making any decisions. Your social life becomes hectic so don’t be afraid to have some fun. PISCES (Feb20-Mar 20) Finances will seem tighter especially if you have moved or taken on additional expenses recently. Careful budgeting will get you through. A “to-do” list helps keep you organized at work. Social activities may have to take a back seat to family obligations this month.
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