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The Issue 7 • 19 April 2012

Source FULFILLING A LEGACY AT AL AIN ZOO

Shining a Light on Autism

Zahra Lari

The Emirati Ice-Princess


Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Higher Education & Scientific Research

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Contents Issue 7 ▪ 19 April 2012

5 8

NEWS FEATURE Preserving a legacy at Al Ain Zoo

10 SPORTS

11 STUFF FOR MEN A Man’s best friend

12 HEALTH & FITNESS Yoga - What’s it all about? 13 URBAN WOMEN Diamonds are forever

14 AL MAJLIS The Ice Princess Zahra Lari chats to us about her hectic life of skating and studying 16 EDUCATION Shining a light on Autism 18 CALENDAR OF EVENTS MOVIE LISTINGS 20 FROM OUR READERS

The weather has been a little bit crazy this week don’t you think? Sandstorms, dust, clouds and drizzle, and that was only Friday! It seems like we’re having a bit of a winter relapse. Not to worry though, The Source is back to add a little sunshine to your week. On Wednesday, we took a trip to Al Ain Zoo, where we were given the pleasure of a private guided tour around the facilities and the chance to get up close and personal with some of the animals and the dedicated staff that make all the magic happen. With tigers, giraffes, monkeys, rhinos, snakes and so much more to see, it really is a place you can visit again and again. In Al Majlis this week, we met with Zahra Lari, the Emirati Ice Princess making big things happen in the ice-skating circuit. In Urban Woman we look at two things close to women’s hearts, diamonds and cars. Yes, cars, they’re not always just reserved for the men’s column you know. Talking of men, we look at their ‘best friends’ and the loyalties between dogs and their masters. With April being International Autism Awareness month, we use our education pages to look closer at the disorder and those affected by it. In My World, we say ‘Namaste’ in Nepal, and we take a look at the beautiful Green Mubazzarah right here in Al Ain. A dollop of news, sports and local information as well as some contributions from our dedicated readers pretty much sums up another week. Happy reading! Hayley Skirka (Editor)

21 NEED TO KNOW 22 BE INSPIRED Is there a budding writer in you? We meet with The Sand Writing Group based in Al Ain 24 MY WORLD Getting back to nature in Nepal

26 MY CITY Green Mubazarah - A welcome haven of green 27 BUSINESS Social networking for your business To Contact Us

+971 3 7668111 info@thesourceuae.com www.thesourceuae.com

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Managing Director Mona Hennawi | Editor In Chief Mahra Saeed Al Muhairi | Creative Director Frank Meyer Editor Hayley Skirka | Associate Editor Khudayja Saloojee | Junior Writer Mehak Alam | Photography & Graphic Design Ghulmiyyah Ghulmiyyah Senior Arabic Editor Sami Rashid | Senior Translator Narmeen Al Assad | Translator Hanadi Jamil | Administration Manager Haneen Farid Advertising Sales Executive Jo Matthew | Advertising Sales Executive Farid Nouisser | Distribution Manager Jeff Grigsby Contributing Writers | Rachel Duggan, Emily Marosi, Alex Hennawi, Bob Studholme, Clive Parker Marwan Daoud No part of this publication or content, thereof may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the permission of The Source Magazine, published by Smart Design Publishing, in writing. The Source Magazine and Smart Design Publishing accept no responsibility, however caused, for errors or omissions contained in this publication. Any articles and/or images included in this publication and/or views and opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the views of The Source Magazine and Smart Design Publishing, and any of its affiliates, but remain solely those of the author(s). Such publications have been included for general reference and the purpose of fair review. Copyright © 2011 by The Source and Smart Design Publishing, and its affiliates. All rights reserved.

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NEWS

CHD Diagnostic Tests Important for Newborn Babies Al Ain’s Tawam Hospital last week announced the results of its Newborn Screening for Congenital Heart Diseases’ program. This initiative, the first of its kind in the UAE, saw over 4,000 infants screened, of which approximately 1 per cent were diagnosed with congenital heart disease (CHD) with 0.3 - 0.5 per cent being diagnosed with the critical form.

The scheme used the non-invasive and cost effective Pulse Oximetery method as it is more accurate than other methods of detection. The procedure works by placing a sensor on the baby’s feet the day following their birth which monitors the level of oxygen in the child’s blood and, if inconsistencies are found, alerts medical staff. The Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) issued standards for newborn screening

requirements in August 2011. Infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit were excluded from the program and those with irregular oxygen saturations, were referred for ultrasounds before being released from the hospital. Other medical facilities have been urged to adopt the same program as CHD is the most recurring abnormality in newborns.

Al Ain Colleges Host 9th National Educational Conference On Wednesday, Mr. Tim Smith, Director of Al Ain Higher Colleges of Technology, opened the 9th National Education Conference, entitled ‘Adding Value to Education in the UAE’. The conference attracted a huge number of education specialists from different institutions in the UAE. Featured speaker Dame Geraldine Keegan, presented a case study of how St. Mary’s College, a poor-performing school in Northern Ireland, had steadily improved by incorporating certain leadership practices into their system. She emphasized the importance of a mutual working force, driven by the faculty, students and parents and explained how it can bring about a huge change in elevating a school’s educational system and how this model could be implemented in the UAE. She also spoke about the need for a collaborative force between school faculty,

students, parents and the community to implement practical ways of improving the education system and making it everyone’s responsibility. Mr. Tim Smith, meanwhile, addressed the significance on the need to change the educational system at both primary and secondary levels in the UAE, in order to meet the demands of modern society. He declared, “This climate of change is not without challenge to us all, but within a strong professional community that promotes a culture of collaboration, these obstacles can be overcome by the creation of positive learning environments and innovations.” The event aimed to address problems that teachers and students are facing in their daily schedules and routines. Many principals took the opportunity to voice their concern about their lack of authority in implementing changes whilst teachers gave their opinion on how they struggle to

follow the directions set by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) without proper direction and consultation. Dr. Matthew Glen, the director of curriculum development at ADEC, explained that as time passed and, with proper planning, schools and teachers would be given the authority for implementing their own ideas in improving the education system at ground level. He also reiterated that ADEC would gradually decrease its control in schools, passing power to the educators themselves. However, he failed to give an exact date as to when such a change would happen, explaining instead that the transfer of such ‘western concepts’ of leadership had historically been problematic in the Arab region. thesourceuae.com

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NEWS

HCT Students Head to Sri Lanka Al Ain Higher Colleges of Technology is organizing a humanitarian trip to southern Sri Lanka for their Emirati students. The project is fully funded by students’ organized fundraising activities on both the male and female campuses.

provide assistance at the Home for the Blind in nearby Galle. Furthermore, they’ll be painting a school, distributing supplies and learning about the educational system as well as delivering some much needed assistance at the elderly home.

The trip will take place between April 27 and May 3, 2012 and 10 students will participate.

The aim of the trip is to expose the students to rural Sri Lankan culture and lifestyle. Furthermore, it will provide students an opportunity to work together and use teamwork to help solve real life problems, test their ability to work under pressure and give them experience in working in less than favorable conditions.

The students will deliver aid to village school, Boosa Maha Vidiyala, and to the Wijeratne home for the elderly, both in Boosa, southern Sri Lanka. They will also

It will also give them a better appreciation of the things they have been lucky to be blessed with in the UAE. As part of the trip, the students are seeking donations of the following: • First Aid Kits • Antiseptic Wipes • Bandages • Band Aids • Cotton Wool • Calcium tablets • Multivitamin tablets • Ointment or cream for rheumatism Donations can be accepted between 8am and 5pm until April 25th, at Al Ain Men’s College, near the Zoo Roundabout.

Promoting Emirati Identity Salem Al Remeithi & Helal Al Kuwaiti are two of the students taking part

Cosmetic Ban Deemed a Success The Al Ain Municipality’s drive to remove harmful and dangerous products from the city’s shops and salons was deemed successful. The month-long campaign was initiated to raise public awareness about harmful products and to discourage the sale of banned cosmetics. According to Gulf News, Latifa Al Beloushi, Head of Guidance Unit at the Municipality’s Health Department said, “The drive helped in educating people on the safe use of cosmetics and successfully removing the banned products from the shelves.”

Approximately 300 shops in the city were given an updated list of 105 banned cosmetics and were asked to remove them from their shelves within three days. Inspectors from the Public Health Department of Al Ain Municipality conducted surprise visits to shops and salons and found no stores continuing to sell the banned products. Over the last few years the Public Health Department has implemented a number of measures to enforce safety and health regulations at all salons and shops in Al Ain.

A new campaign ‘Our Character is our Identity’ has been initiated by the Dubai Municipality to promote Emirati identity among staff, clients and the general public. According to the Khaleej Times, the Director General of the Dubai Municipality, Hussain Nasser Lootah, said “We have our great religion, culture and rich tradition. Our nationalistic concepts and values as well as our economical and social development all join together to embody the great Emirati identity.” As part of the new initiative, commercial establishments and restaurants will be asked to emphasize the Arabic language on their boards and on menus. The Corporate Marketing and Relations Department at the Municipality are also planning to host seminars, lectures and other programs to further promote the campaign. Employees at the municipality will wear the national dress and preference will be given to the Arabic language in personal and official communications. Mr. Lootah further reiterated, “We would like to urge our employees and clients as well as the public to be characterized with the very identity and to practice it in words and deeds with its full sense and spirit.”

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FEATURE

Fulfilling A Legacy Founded by the nation’s father, Al Ain Zoo continues its efforts to educate and inform By Hayley Skirka The late Sheikh Zayed (may God rest his soul), founder of the UAE, had a true passion for many things in life. He loved his people, he loved his country and he loved the animals that are a part of that country. Born and raised in the garden city of Al Ain, he once said “On land and in the sea our forefathers lived and survived in this environment. They were able to do so because they recognized the need to conserve it, to take from it only what they needed to live and to preserve it for succeeding generations.” Following the example of his forefathers, in 1968, just before the formation of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed, may God rest his soul, founded Al Ain Zoo. In doing so he had a vision. That vision was to create a place where animals could live freely in land replicating their natural habitats and to sustain a place where conservation and preservation could be acutely undertaken. We decided to take a trip to Al Ain Zoo, to see the facilities, the animals and to meet with Majid Sultan Al Qassimi, an Emirati Veterinarian who has been working there for over a year. With accelerating rates of species extinction and habitat loss throughout the world, conservation initiatives, like those in place at Al Ain Zoo, have become increasingly important. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the world’s largest global environmental network of which Al Ain Zoo is a proud member. The IUCN has compiled a scale that rates animals according to their risk of global extinction. At Al Ain Zoo, each animal enclosure has this information detailed on their respective exhibition sign, so that the general public can see exactly how the animal is faring in the world.

edged horns they are a graceful looking species. Their distinct beauty however, also makes them highly visible and they are fairly slow animals making them a prime target for hunters, which lead to the fact that they became almost extinct in the wild. In 1968, the late Sheikh Zayed (may God rest his soul) ordered the capture of four Arabian oryx in order to preserve the species by starting a captive breeding initiative Majid is one of a team of professionals at Al Ain Zoo. Thanks to working relentlessly at the Zoo the dedication, hard work and foresight of everyone involved in the program, the UAE is now home to the largest population of Arabian oryx in the world, with over 3000 animals recorded. In 2007, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, followed in the footsteps of his father to create an Arabian oryx release program. The five year plan, due to come to fruition this year, was substantially supported by Al Ain Zoo who donated a group of animals and provided essential veterinary support. Through these efforts, and immense international endeavors, the Arabian oryx became the first animal to receive ‘Vulnerable’ status again after being listed as ‘Extinct in the Wild’. The Arabian oryx is not the only endangered animal, in fact far from it. “Around the world,” Majid explains, “there are all sorts of species that are in the same situation. We’re fortunate here to be able to be involved in this kind of work.” And involved they are. As well as the aforementioned conservation efforts, Al Ain Zoo runs countless educational initiatives, linked with both ADEC and international curricula. Every day, yellow school buses descend upon the zoo from Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, Dubai and, of course, Al Ain. Schools are given guided tours and up close encounters with the animals in order to educate the youth of today about the importance of nature and conservation of animals.

The Arabian oryx is one of the largest desert mammals in the Arab region and used to be abundant in the UAE. Covered in pure white fur, with brown stripes on their legs and face and long, sharp8

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Taking us into the reptile house and through to the treatment room, Majid picks up a tiny Albino hedgehog. As it burrows into his hands he gently holds it up for us to see, it is super cute. After telling us a little bit about him and posing for a few photographs,


FEATURE

The welfare of the animals is top priority at Al Ain Zoo

the little guy is placed gently back into his box as Majid decides he’s probably had enough excitement for one day. That’s one of the most impressive aspects about the zoo; despite how open they are to the public, the animals’ welfare always comes first.

launch of the Al Ain Zoo Photo contest, where participants have the chance to get involved in creating the Zoo Calendar for 2013, another opportunity for the general public to make their own mark on the community.

Continuing our tour, we drive up a small hill, towards a semiconstructed building in the middle of the premises. As part of their ongoing commitment to inform and educate the public, the Zoo has launched one of the most ambitious expansion projects in the world, called the Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort, and this building, to be known as the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre, is a major element of the expansion. Visitors will be able to take advantage of world-class tourist facilities and come explore nature and the desert world. As well as safaris, talks on the animals and the existing zoo enclosures, guests will be able to interact in the learning centre, which will feature interpretive displays, interactive exhibits and demonstrative talks. The site will also boast dining and leisure options and the aim is that people will come and spend a few days experiencing all the wildlife park has to offer.

Through dedication, hard work and the staff pulling twice their weight, Al Ain Zoo is striving to fulfill the legacy of the nation’s father, the late Sheikh Zayed (may God rest his soul). And, if you ask me, I’d say they’re doing a pretty good job of it.

Climbing back aboard our golf buggy, we headed for the nearby enclosure. There, prowling slowly around, was a majestic tiger. “Rocky, Rocky” called Majid gently, imitating the purr of a tiger. Pausing for a moment, ‘Rocky’ glanced slowly in our direction, before continuing on his daily amble. Many of the animals have names, whether they’ve been given by the staff, the keepers or the public. One giraffe, whose mother unfortunately died shortly after he was born, had to be bottle fed by the animal keepers at the Zoo, something that is unheard of when it comes to these mammals. Thanks to the dedication and commitment of the team, and the courageous spirit shown by the young calf, he survived and was hence named ‘Hafeet’, after the towering mountain sheltering the park. Many of the new animals do not yet have names, clarified Majid, as “We want the public to get involved in naming them” in order to create a sense of ownership. After all, “the Zoo is ultimately for the people.” Last week also saw the thesourceuae.com

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SPORTS

UAE Hopeful in 2012 Snooker Championship

The Ainawis’ Stay on Top! Snatching glory from the hands of Al Wasl with a late penalty, Al Ain secured a 2-2 draw to see them retain their spot at the top of the table, eight points clear of second placed Al Jazira. The game wasn’t short of drama and old tensions between Al Wasl’s coach Diego Maradona and Al Ain’s Olario ran high. Al Ain’s Asamoah Gyan, worked off Saudi teammate Yasser Al Gahtani’s back header to fire the first shot home for the Al Ain side, sending them towards victory at the Zabeel Stadium in Dubai. Their joy was short-lived as Al Wasl retaliated with a goal from Mohammed Ridha Khalatbari and another, a few minutes later by Oliveira to put them into the lead.

Vipers U9’s Claim Gold A big day of hockey was played by the UAE’s Under-9s in Al Ain at Hili on Friday, April 13th. Three divisions were competing for hockey glory during the daylong event. Al Ain Vipers, Abu Dhabi Storms, and the Dubai Sandstorms came prepared to take their chances at U9 supremacy. In the end, the home team, Vipers, were successful in their quest for gold as they topped their division. Going into their final game full of confidence they grabbed an early 4-0 lead before going on to win 7-2. The Vipers led by goals from MVP Alex Murphy and Samip Patra, as well as outstanding goalkeeping by Mahmoud Hennawi. Coaches Boucher and Stone were extremely pleased at the sportsmanship 10

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Al Ain fought back hard with Ignacio Scocco just shooting wide Gyan’s well delivered pass. With just four minutes remaining, Al Wasl’s Tariq Hassan was sent off for pushing Al Ain’s Gyan who went on to convert the awarded penalty to a goal, firing it straight at the back of the net. Not only did this equal the scoreline, it also gave Gyan his 17th goal of the season. Al Wasl now has 25 points and lie in sixth position. Maradona, known for his fiery persona, stormed onto the pitch as the game came to an end, for a heated debate with referee Abdallah which could see him face disciplinary action, not for the first time, from the footballing authorities.

Photography by Sharon Lyn Coady

The Asian Snooker Championship 2012, organized by the Asian Confederation of Billiard Sports, will take place in Doha, Qatar from 20-28 April. The UAE’s two top-notch snooker players Mohammed Mustafa Shehab and Mohammed Al Joaker will be sponsored by Ahmed Seddiqui and Sons. Corporate and After Sales Director, Abdul Wahed Al Suwaidi, has high hopes for the players and believes they will do well in this important event. According to Mohammed Tamjid Abdulla, Vice President of the UAE Billiards and Snooker Association, the association are doing all they can to provide the players with the best facilities possible. Joining hands with leading professional snooker coach, JP Nolan of Ireland, the association provided the country’s top two players with a week long training session in order to prepare them for the tournament. A total of 52 players from 23 countries as well as the hosts, Qatar, are participating in the championship. UAE’s Shehab, the 2007 Macau Asian Indoor Games gold medalist, has been placed in Group H for the first round and is expected to make it to the last sixteen. Mohammed Al Joaker, however, has been drawn in Group D, the toughest of all groups for the first round competitions and has a fierce battle ahead.

The Under 9 Al Ain Vipers Shehab is expected to go far

and hard work shown by their side during the event. “Every player played their best and enjoyed getting the chance to win in their home rink”, said Coach Boucher. Coach Stone added “it was exciting to see so many of our younger players getting the opportunity to shine out there, they played brilliantly.” In other play, the Dubai Sandstorms topped their division.

Photography byUAE Billiards & Snooker Association


STUFF for men

Man’s Best Friend By Marwan Daoud George Graham Vest, an American Politician in the late eighteen hundreds said, “The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog.” For many years, dogs have been known as ‘Man’s Best friend’; a title they have truly earned through their nature and relationship with us humans.

This relationship with dogs goes back thousands of years. Throughout history, dogs have helped humans in their everyday lives. In military services, police assistance, search and rescue, airport security, guarding, herding, hunting and guiding, dogs play a major role in helping people. Yet, their biggest attribute to a human’s life, is more than simply helping them with work; it’s the companionship, loyalty and unconditional love that they give to their masters, which creates a unique bond between the two. To own a dog is a commitment and a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. It’s hugely demanding and requires a lot of time and hard work, especially when it comes to puppies. Dogs require more than just water and food; they need daily exercise, adequate shelter, training, healthcare, grooming and affection. However, the return you’ll get for this investment is tenfold. Having a loving, loyal companion, desperate to spend time with you at any given opportunity is, in my

opinion, worth the hard work. And, if you ask Drak, my 7-year-old Rottweiler, I’m sure he would agree. If you’re thinking about getting a dog, here are a few tips to get you started. 1. If you’re looking for a purebred, make sure you research the breed. There are many breeds and they come in all shapes and sizes. Remember, there is no bad breed, just bad owners! 2. Find out about the breeder, it’s important to go with a reputable breeder and not a puppy mill or backyard breeder who’s just looking to make a quick buck. 3. Adopt! There are many non-profit, animal rescue organizations in the UAE crying out for adoptive parents. 4. Consult with a vet regarding vaccinations, best breed and which sex of pet to choose. 5. If you get a puppy, make sure you have the time to train it properly and get him suitably socially acquainted.

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HEALTH & FITNESS

YOGA

An Ancient Technique By Clive Graham Parker

Yoga is several thousand years old. For ancient yogis, it was a path to spiritual enlightenment which comprised not only the practice of physical postures or asanas, but also a rigorous discipline of meditation and philosophical study. Over the last century yoga has found its way to the West where the system of physical postures or Hatha yoga has caught the imagination of the current estimated 250 million practitioners. Modern Hatha yoga has developed into several major styles, Bikram, Ashtanga, Kripalu, Vinyasa flow and Iyengar to name a few, with each offering a different interpretation and practice of the system of asanas. Concurrent with this growth in the popularity of yoga, has come a commercialization; it now supports a massive spin-off industry of books, clothes, DVDs etc. alongside a vast literature of the benefits of this or that style of yoga practice. Beginners to the game are sometimes overwhelmed when it comes to separating fact from fiction or choosing a style or teacher to help them access the activity. There are several things you should keep in mind when embarking on your yoga journey: •

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treat yoga seriously - it requires commitment and thought to derive its benefits it is your personal journey and one that requires a lot of patience and selfunderstanding

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understand your limitations and learn how to work gently with breathing techniques

don’t be driven by the desire to be a guru by tomorrow and avoid trying to get good as fast as someone else

find a teacher with solid credentials and experience who is sensitive to your limitations and aware of the dangers of pushing people to far or too fast: a lot of injuries stem from over-zealous teachers or practitioners

be very gentle, relaxed and thoughtful when practicing - too many injuries occur when people throw themselves in and out of postures without consciousness

be very attentive to alignment; your body is designed to flex in certain ways and mal-alignment in postures can cause severe damage

• you should never feel pain - if you do, back-off and go into the pose more lightly Granted, there are dangers in yoga, but with careful instruction and steady practice the rewards are huge; it can become a life-time companion that will greatly help sustain both your mental and physical health.

I like to Move it, Move it! As sunbathing season approaches and days at the pool or trips to the beach become more frequent, we often become a bit more aware of our bodies. No-one wants to be lying on the sand feeling entirely self conscious. With this in mind, we take a quick fire look at the best exercises for calorie burning. These activities combine both cardio and toning aspects to get you in shape and produce results fast. Our top four calorie burning exercises are: Step Aerobics: Burning up to 800 calories an hour and targeting legs, hips and bums: the key areas that many woman want to tone, attending a few step aerobics classes every week is a great way to get in shape. Cycling: Depending on how fast you go, this activity can burn up to 1,000 calories per hour. Riding outside is always enjoyable and allows your body to soak up some fresh air. However, if you’re a little pushed for time, a session on a good quality exercise bike will provide the same calorie shedding assistance. Swimming: One of the best exercises you can choose to help you to lose weight and here, in the UAE, we’re lucky enough to be able to swim outdoors all year round. Doing lengths in the pool for half an hour will burn around 400 calories and tone your whole body. Give yourself fifteen minutes in the Jacuzzi when you finish as a little treat to keep you motivated. Running: A great choice as it doesn’t really require any special equipment, asides some good quality shoes, and you can do it just about any time or anywhere. The climate in the UAE may mean that you have to time your outdoor runs in the morning or when the cooler evenings come around but there’s nothing to stop you hopping on the treadmill anytime of the day. You can burn about 600 calories by jogging for an hour. Just be careful if you have joint problems as running is a high impact activity.


URBAN Woman

Fast & Fashionable The RangeRover Evoque

By Hayley Skirka

Cars. Not usually something that we’d feature in Urban Woman but, in this case, I decided to make an exception and take a look at the beautiful Evoque Range Rover, designed by none other than fashionista Victoria Beckham.

really pretty, especially the Almond/Espresso color choice. It has a funky, rotary dial gearchanger that pops up out of the centre console when you start the car and a nice big touch screen monitor to adjust the car’s infotainment system.

The Evoque is the ‘greenest’ Range Rover so far produced and is available in both four wheel and two wheel drive. According to design director, Gerry McGovern, the company hoped that the smaller, stylish and sporty car would attract a new group of customers, who may not have considered a Range Rover before and it certainly got my attention.

Right now, I’m the proud owner of a moonstone blue Kia Soul, lovingly termed Eddie which was perhaps influenced by a certain ghostly colored vampire who goes by the name of Edward Cullen. I love my car, really I do. He’s reliable, nippy and a great place to store extra shoes, brushes and scarves or anything else I may unexpectedly require. However, as much as I love him, I have to admit that I sometimes wish he had a little more ‘je ne sais quoi’.

With a bold, sophisticated design and a sleek, stylish interior the Evoque reflects Victoria’s own fashion collection by commanding unprecedented presence. It is cosmopolitan and, put simply,

And the Evoque, thanks to Mrs. Beckham, has plenty of that.

Diamonds Are Forever By Rachel Duggan

That being said, our love for jewelry goes so much further than these beloved precious stones. Jewelry choice has never been as vast as it is right now with high street stores offering on-trend costume jewelry and fine jewelry masters introducing seasonal collections as well as local designers creating stunning, handmade pieces. To match the bold color-blocking trend sweeping the fashion world, strong statement jewels are the perfect accessory. Cocktail rings have been in fashion for a number of years and are worth the investment. One covetable piece is the YSL arty ring or grab a pocket friendly alternative available from Parfois, Aldo or Topshop.

Perfect for dressing up a simple t-shirt or shift dress are collar & bib necklaces. Whether a flat Peter Pan piece or a structured traditional collar, it’s a must to add statement & color to your outfit. Spanish fashion giants, Zara, have a great variety available nationwide. Cuff bracelets are the perfect arm candy and come in a variety of styles. From elegant silver cuffs by Tiffany & Co. to monochrome Perspex from Chanel, they never go out of fashion and are the ideal simple accessory. Designers are also looking to become a little more adventurous and are playing around with texture, and adding leather and furs. To turn heads for all the right reasons, opt for quirky & eclectic pieces by international designers like Tom Binns and Joanne

Hynes who offer original, dramatic styles featuring everything from bunny rabbits to spray painted diamond necklaces. Dubai designer, Anne Gedeon from GRIN, creates pieces collaborating art and fashion to offer what is termed wearable art. Emirati gemologist, Amal Haliq, uses some of the most magnificent precious stones and metals to create contemporary fine jewellery. While Azza Al Qubaisi creates a stunning range of jewelry from souvenir pieces to beautiful prayer beads. Whether you are looking at it as an investment or some fashionable fun, jewelry is the perfect accessory to compliment all your updated looks.

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Al Majlis

Sliding & Gliding With Zahra Lari

By Mehak Alam

It came as a surprise to me when I first heard about this young lady in her teens; 17 to be precise. With her ice-skates on she glides and swirls, timing her moves perfectly with the music thumping in the background. It’s hard to believe that, at such a tender age, this talented young lady has made such an impact on the skating world. Zahra Lari, an Emirati teen from Abu Dhabi, has emerged as a highly promising figure skater in the sporting arena. She has just represented the UAE on a national level, competing in the European Cup in Canazei, Italy, and in doing so has inscribed her name in the history books as being the first female Emirati figure skater to compete in an international tournament. While other girls her age are busy shopping for funky accessories, playing with makeup and trying to look cool, Zahra is busy sliding and gliding her way across the ice. Ever since watching the movie ‘The Ice Princess’ when she was just 11-years-old, her love for the sport began to develop. Figure skating is not very popular throughout the UAE, and, when it comes to female skaters, it is entirely rare. Yet for Zahra, being Emirati was never an obstacle in her pursuit to become a skater. Although she tells us that her father was initially a little apprehensive, she didn’t encounter any problems culturally or traditionally. Born to an American mother, I wonder aloud if Zahra thinks that this helped her convince her father to let her skate. She laughs, “It’s funny you ask that as she [her mother] was against it from the beginning. She thought it was too dangerous. It was my father who arranged for me to take lessons at Zayed Sports City as he loves me and realized that this was my passion.” Her mother, however, has moved past her initial fears and is now a true supporter of her daughter, turning up to every practice and competition, sitting on the sidelines each morning and afternoon and giving her the support and encouragement she needs. Her father is also one of her most avid fans. Besides the love and support of her parents, Zahra gives a special mention to Noemi Bedo, the head coach at Zayed Sports City, with whom she has worked since she first began skating. He is there to offer support and guidance and mentor her through the pitfalls of professional skating, all the while helping her to master those tricky stunts and daring moves and make them appear effortless. So influenced she is by Bedo, that Zahra has future plans to become a coach herself, when her competing days are over. At the moment however, her other focus in life is her education. Waking up before the sun, around half past four every day, she heads to the rink for her morning training. Next, she zooms over to the American International School in Abu Dhabi. After a day of lessons, lectures and studying she heads back to Zayed Sports City for her evening training session. “The balance between 14

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skating and studying is not that hard,” she says happily, “I’m an honor roll student and it all comes down to time management and dedication. As the saying goes, where’s there’s a will there’s a way.” Her studies are clearly unaffected by her love for her sport as she is due to commence university later this year. Chatting about how her country has developed over the years, it is clear to see Zahra’s enthusiasm towards progressive change, especially with regards to the advances made in the sporting world. She is thrilled to be representing her country in Italy and thinks the event is an excellent time to showcase that “the UAE is a country that supports its female citizens.” She continues, “I am blessed to be a UAE citizen and have such great leadership and I


Al Majlis The 17-year-old is honored to represent the UAE

am honored to represent the UAE internationally.”

edge closer to her dreams.

Zahra’s greatest dream is to represent her country in the Olympics, a goal that got an immense boost when legendary skater and Olympic champion, Evan Lysine, visited Zayed Spots City. “I was able to skate and train with him and that was AMAZING!” she grins.

Asking Zahra if she had any lessons that she would like to pass onto other youngsters, who may be interested in getting involved in the sporting world, or any other activity that requires dedication, she keenly told us,

To succeed in becoming one of the top names in the skating world, hard work, effort and sacrifice will be required. The young lady is very aware of this and is committed to doing all she can to make her ambitions come true. She has a deep-rooted passion for skating, which propels her to go the extra distance in order to

• •

Hard work is the only way to succeed in anything you do, so work hard and don’t give up. If you fall, get right back up again.

Zahra acknowledges the support of her family, her coach, teammates, Zayed Sports City and the Abu Dhabi Sports Council. thesourceuae.com

15


EDUCATION

What is Autism? By Khudayja Saloojee

The UAE, along with the worldwide community, recently joined together to mark World Autism Day. Since the 1970’s, the United States has gone one step further to make April National Autism Awareness Month. In the UAE, a number of leading organizations have partnered together in support of Autism Awareness UAE, with the aim of shedding light on the condition. Denise Wheeler, Business Development Director at Stepping Stones Center for Autistic Spectrum Disorders, said “This year Autism Awareness UAE was formed to bring together service providers in the UAE to help shine a light on autism.” Autism Speaks, a non-profit organization based in the States, has initiated a global concept called the “Light it up Blue Campaign.” The campaign was launched three years ago as a global effort to raise awareness on autism. Global iconic buildings such as the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, the Empire State Building in New York and the Sydney Opera House in Australia are lit up with blue lights to commemorate the 2012 campaign for World Autism Day. In the Middle East Region there has been a prevalent increase in autistic children. According to experts, in the UAE a child is diagnosed with autism every 20 minutes. In 2009 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested that as many as one out of every 110 children worldwide is diagnosed with autism.

What is autism?

with people and show unusual displays of behavior. Some people will also have impaired intellectual disability. Asperger’s Disorder - People with Asperger’s normally display a milder form of autism. For, example, they have difficulties with social interaction and display unusual behavior, however, they generally don’t have intellectual or language delays. Pervasive Developmental Disorder - This spectrum is also known as ‘atypical autism’. Children are diagnosed with this if they meet some of the criteria for Asperger’s or autistic disorder but not all of them. These individuals may have milder and fewer symptoms than those with autistic disorder. They may only struggle with language or social interaction problems.

Understanding autism A child with autism has trouble making sense of the everyday world. Most people’s brains can easily interpret sights, sounds and smells, but children with autism, depending on how affected they are, have difficulty in functioning and making sense of our everyday world. Autistic children experience the world differently from most kids. It’s often difficult for them to socialize and interact with other people because they cannot use words to express themselves. They have trouble linking words and their meanings. Generally, kids with autism will keep to themselves and many will require special help to communicate.

Autism is a developmental disability that Children with autism also tend to behave happens during the first three years of strangely and may react unexpectedly to childhood. It is a neurological disorder their surroundings or to what’s going that affects the normal functioning of on around them. For example, they are highly sensitive to certain sounds, the brain. For some reason, the area of textures, lights, tastes and smells. What the brain that connects communication does not develop properly or gets Wear a brightly coloured ribbon to support autism we would consider as a normal sound, may bother them so much that they damaged in some way. As a result, have to cover their ears. They may even there are delays and difficulties in areas of communication, developing emotions and senses, and social feel uncomfortable with a gentle hug. interaction abilities. Autistic kids are unable to differentiate feelings and emotions Autism is also known as a ‘Spectrum Disorder’ (ASD) because it unless they are specifically made aware of them. Most people affects individuals differently and by varying degrees. They are know that, generally, when someone smiles that person is happy detailed as follows: or friendly. For an autistic kid, they could have trouble making the connection that a smiling person is a happy person. Autistic Disorder (also known as ‘classic disorder’) - People with this ASD have major delays in language, difficulties communicating Unusual behavior is another characteristic of autism. For example, 16

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EDUCATION autistic children may flap their hands, consistently repeat certain words or choose to only play with one particular toy. They also tend to be choosy about routines and prefer schedules to always stay the same. They are assertive and insistent about the way their toys are arranged. If they have been moved they can get very upset and they are often prone to temper tantrums.

Trust Foundation (ATF) will open up a centre next year to diagnose and treat nationals diagnosed with autism. The center will provide a variety of services including initial and specific diagnoses, treatment of speech problems, behavioral rehabilitation, training for individuals above 18 suffering from autism and training for the families of autistic children.

22-year-old journalism student, Shellique Carby from South Africa, was recently diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. She addressed a group of parents at an autism meeting, talking about her difficult and abusive childhood which was a direct result of her family and teachers completely failing to recognize her autism.

Right now, there is hope for both autistic children and their parents. Autism is treatable and, with early intervention, children can grow and learn new skills. The aim of the autistic initiatives being set in place throughout the country are to teach children, who have the disorder, the skills needed to enjoy life, such as talking, playing, learning, social interaction and the ability to take care of their own needs. With the overwhelming support of the government and the cooperation of the community, autistic children, in the UAE and worldwide, can become fully contributing members of society.

Her teachers would continually reprimand her for bad behavior and she was labeled from a very young age, anything from “retard, undisciplined and rude” to “insensitive, and a spoiled brat.” As a child she was often seeing climbing over the neighbor’s wall, getting involved in fights and being disruptive in class with a very poor concentration span. She was often the butt of a joke in the playground as, because of her Asperger’s, she was more gullible and disposed to believing stories other students conjured up. She was also very stubborn and resistant to people’s advice, throwing temper tantrums if she didn’t get her way.

The Burj Al Arab is lit in blue marking World Autism Day

Her parents were also harsh in dishing out punishments. As a result, and out of frustration at not being able to understand her actions, she ended up in a rehabilitation center for teenagers who had drug and alcohol related problems where she simply did not fit in. After being diagnosed, she admitted that she wanted to take revenge on everyone she felt had abused her. “It was, however, a defining moment not only for her but also for her parents and her teachers.” Despite her troubled youth and the scars of her past, the journey she has chosen has helped her discover her talents, embrace herself, stay positive and grow to exude confidence and an impeccable attitude. This however, has not been a walk in the park as, to this day, she still faces an obsessive compulsion with routine whether that be in relation to mealtimes, exercise or work and she suffers from poor concentration and a phobia of social interaction. Shellique’s case is not unique. One of the greatest hurdles facing children with autism is the lack of education on the topic. A recent survey, conducted by Emirates 24/7, in the UAE indicated that only 6 per cent out of the people questioned had any awareness about autism. This is one of the reasons that the Dubai Autism Center are running their month long awareness campaign, ‘Accept, Embrace and Empower’. Dr Ayesha Abdullah, Managing Director of Dubai Healthcare City further reiterated, “Understanding the needs of an autistic child is just the beginning of their development. For parents, there are many other challenges that appear as the child gets older such as their behavior, sibling interaction, finding a suitable school, health and hygiene, screenings, vaccinations and nutrition.” The UAE is taking a proactive role in raising awareness and providing a support system for parents who face difficulties and challenges with their autistic children. A collaborative project between the Community Development Authority and the Autism

Photography by Delores Johnson | The National

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CALENDAR OF EVENTS

18

APRIL 19TH

APRIL 19TH

South African Party at The Hilton

Dance, Unwind & Party at Pool-a-Palooza

The Hilton Hotel in Al Ain will host a South African Party in collaboration with the South African Embassy to celebrate Freedom Day. With one of South Africa’s best known artists, Dawnay, and his six-piece band providing entertainment, traditional food stalls and a DJ to continue the party. It’s set to be a fun evening. Tickets: AED 75 (inclusive of 1 drink). Call 03 706 7006

Al Ain Rotana hosts a fabulous pool party with DJ Paul Hamilton playing music to get you grooving. Tickets: AED 50 per person including 2 drinks. For more information call 03 754 5111 or fb.alain@rotana.com

APRIL 20TH

APRIL 20TH

Anzac’s Day Lunch Buffet

Al Ain Mall 2012 Fashion Show

Al Ain Equestrian Shooting and Golf Club’s Palm Greens Restaurant is hosting Anzac’s Lunch Buffet in honor of the Australians and New Zealanders who were involved in the war. Buffet starts at AED 75 per person with a 50% discount for children aged 5 to 12. Time 11:30am-4pm. For more information call 03 702 6425 or visit www. aesgclub.com

Stars Court in the new extension at Al Ain Mall are hosting a Fashion Show every Friday until 11 May, 2012. For more information call 03 766 0333 or email at info@alainmall.net

APRIL 20TH

APRIL 21ST

The Chill Out Festival

Delightful Breakfast

The Amphitheater in Dubai Media City is all set to host the 6th Annual Chill Out Festival on the 20 and 21 April. The event features performances by musicians like The Kooks, Rachid Taha, De La Soul, Tony Allen, Hamadan Al Abri and many more. Book Tickets Online. Timing: 4pm11pm (for the main event which is open to all ages) & 10pm - 3am (Electric Chill open to 21+ audiences). For more information visit www.chilloutfestivaldubai.com

Tamra Café at Ayla Hotel gives you the chance to enjoy an affordable and delightful breakfast with family and friends. Take advantage of the free internet access while you munch on cakes and coffee. AED 25 only. For more information call 03 746 0903 or f.b@aylahotels.com

APRIL 21ST

APRIL 21ST

2012 Photography Contest at Al Ain Zoo

American Football at AESGC

Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort hosts the 2012 Photography Contest at Al Ain Zoo. Open to participants age seven and above, contestants can submit up to 10 photos from various categories and win the chance to see their work featured in the 2013 Al Ain Zoo Calender. Contest runs from 15 April-12 May. Email photographs to zoophoto@awpr.ae and for more information check out www.alainzoo.ae

The UAE Falcons American Football team are hosting an open day on Saturday from 2pm - 5pm at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club. Anyone (aged 14+) interested in playing is invited to come along and test their skills at the mini camp and play with the Falcons in a game of flag football. Admission is free.

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CALENDAR OF EVENTS APRIL 22ND

APRIL 23RD

Green Week 2012

St. George’s Day

Higher Colleges of Technology Al Ain celebrate five days of eco-friendly activities, tree planting, photo contests, quizzes, prizes and giveaways. The event takes place from 22-26 April and features guest speakers including Ali Al Saloom (Ask Ali) talking about carbon foot prints and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) speaking about endangered species and exotic pets. For more information call 03 782 0777

The Horse and Jockey Pub at Danat Al Ain Resort celebrates the English St. George’s Day with a Pie and Pint night starting at AED 59 per person. For more information call 03 704 6000

APRIL 24TH

APRIL 26TH

Exporting for SME's, Abu Dhabi Chamber

4th Abu Dhabi Salsa festival

The Al Ain branch of the Abu Dhabi Chamber are hosting an event for small and medium enterprises (SME's). Aimed at supporting businesses in the community, it will explore exporting strategies from key players including talks from Dr. Adeeb Al Afifi, Eng. Abdullal Al Shammari and other distinguished guests. Timing 10am-12:30pm. 3 talks in Arabic/1 in English. To register call 03 707 6680 or email wendy@adcci.gov.ae

Yas Island Rotana Hotel and the Etoiles club at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi will host a spectacular 3-day event where you can learn Salsa, watch dance shows and join in massive dance parties. Running from 26-28 April, the event will feature the best international Latin dance artists from around the world. For more information call Jihad Shaban Director and Producer on 050 692 3421 or visit www.abudhabi-salsafestival.com

OSCAR CINEMA, AL FOAH MALL, Al AIN Tel: +971 3 784 3535 1. BATTLESHIP: 11:30, 14:00, 16:30, 19:00, 21:30, 24:00 2. THE CABIN IN THE WOODS: 11:10, 13:20, 15:30, 17:40, 19:50, 22:00, 00:10 3. OUTBACK: 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00, 20:00, 22:00, 24:00 4. MARGIN CALL: 11:15, 13:45, 16:30, 19:10, 21:20, 23:50 5. TACTICAL FORCE: 11:00, 13:00, 15:00, 17:00, 19:00, 21:00, 23:00

ROTANA HOTEL, ZAYED IBN SULTAN St., AL AIN Tel: +971 3 754 4447 1. BATTLESHIP: 11:30, 14:00, 16:30, 19:00, 21:30, 24:00 2. CABIN IN THE WOODS: 11:00, 13:10, 15:20, 17:30, 19:40, 21:50, 24:00 3. OUTBACK 3D: 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00 3. TACTICAL FORCE: 20:00, 22:00, 24:00 4. THE LORAX: 11:30, 13:30, 15:30 4. MARGIN CALL: 17:30, 19:30, 21:45, 24:00

Movie Listings GRAND BAWADI, BAWADI MALL, AL AIN Tel: +971 3 784 0300

GRAND AL AIN CINEPLEX AL AIN MALL, AL AIN Tel: +971 3 751 1228

1. BATTLESHIP: 11:30, 14:00, 16:30, 19:00, 21:30, 24:00 2. CABIN IN THE WOODS: 11:00, 13:10, 15:20, 17:30, 19:40, 21:50, 24:00 3. OUTBACK 3D: 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00 3. TACTICAL FORCE: 20:00, 22:00, 24:00 4. STREET DANCE 2 (3D): 11:30, 13:30, 15:30, 17:30, 19:30, 21:30, 23:30 5. HOUSE FULL 2: 11:00, 14:00, 17:00, 20:00, 23:00 6. HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION: 10:00, 14:00, 18:00, 22:00 6. THE RAVEN: 12:00, 14:00, 20:00, 24:00 7. THE LORAX: 11:00, 13:00, 15:00, 17:00 7. MARGIN CALL: 19:30, 21:45, 24:00 GRAND CLASS: BATTLESHIP: 10:30, 13:00, 15:30, 18:00, 20:30, 23:00

1. BATTLESHIP: 11:30, 14:00, 16:30, 19:00, 21:30, 24:00 2. CABIN IN THE WOODS: 11:00, 13:10, 15:20, 17:30, 19:40, 21:50, 24:00 3. OUTBACK 3D: 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00 3. TACTICAL FORCE: 20:00, 22:00, 24:00 4. THE LORAX: 11:30, 13:30, 15:30 4. MARGIN CALL: 17:30, 19:30, 21:45, 24:00

The movie listings are valid from Thursday to Wednesday every week. thesourceuae.com

19


FROM OUR READERS

Chinese Glass Noodle Soup Hello! My name is Bai Chung and I’ve been living in the UAE with my family for six years. There are very few authentic Chinese restaurants where one can find soup with real Chinese spices in it. The recipe I am about to share with you reminds me of home, has an authentic Chinese taste and is very easy to make.

Ingredients 1 packet of uncooked noodles 4 cups of chicken broth 1 large clove garlic, minced 2 tablespoons fresh ginger root, cut into thin strips 4 2-inch pieces fresh lemongrass, minced 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2-inch strips 6 large shrimps, peeled and chopped 2 tablespoons lime juice 2 tablespoons fish sauce 1 jalapeno pepper, cut into thin slices 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander Salt to taste

Method 1. Soak the noodles in a large bowl of hot water for 15 minutes or until soft. 2. Drain, and cut into bite-size lengths. Divide the noodles into 4 bowls. 3. In a saucepan, boil the chicken broth, garlic, ginger, and lemongrass on medium heat. 4. Cook for 15 minutes until the mixture gives off a fragrant smell. 5. Add the chicken and shrimp to the soup. 6. Cook until the chicken pieces are cooked thoroughly. 7. Stir the lime juice and fish sauce through the soup. 8. Pour the soup over the noodles; top with jalapeno pepper slices and coriander leaves to serve.

Submit your creativity. Photos, drawings or even poetry Email: content@thesourceuae.com

YOU ARE THE SOURCE! 20

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HAVE A QUESTION WE HAVE THE ANSWER ASK THE SOURCE

?

NEED TO KNOW

I’m moving house in a few weeks and need a reliable moving company. Any suggestions? If you’re getting set to move house and need a professional, efficient and reliable moving service in Al Ain then contact the following companies. Al Ain Movers Smart and Safe - 050 375 3955 | Al Marazeeq Movers - 050 518 0866 | Fine Star Movers Packers - 050 253 0810 If you are looking for international or inter-emirate removals you can call, Delight International Movers toll free on 800 1626

GREEN UP ON EARTH DAY

ENVIRONMENTAL

UAE celebrates World Earth Day April 22nd commemorates the 42nd anniversary of World Earth Day. This year’s theme is ‘Mobilize the earth’ and it focuses on proving the point that the earth won’t wait. In the midst of the global recession, environmental issues seem to have been put on the back burner but this is something we cannot afford to do and that’s what Earth Day 2012 hopes to highlight. Over a billion people, from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities, will join forces to elevate the importance of continuous work towards saving the planet. The campaign hopes to record ‘A Billion Acts of Green’ across the world and it’s very easy to get involved and play your part. In the UAE, Bee’ah, The Sharjah Environment Company, has organized a 3km ‘Mobilize the Earth’ walkathon to highlight the importance of recycling waste and protecting the environment. Participants will aim to cross the finish line of a synthetic track made, appropriately, from over 6,000 recycled tires. In Al Ain, the

Higher Colleges of Technology will be extending celebrations to cover an entire ‘Green Week’. Themed “One Earth, One Chance” the campus will be buzzing with various environmentally based activities organized by students. Each day will focus on a different theme, including Recycle, Reuse, Reduce, Rejuvenate or Refuse. Ali Al Saloom, perhaps better known as ‘Ask Ali’, will be hosting an insightful talk called ‘Ali’s Carbon Footprint Challenge’ discussing the why and how of carbon footprints. In Dubai, many schools will celebrate by planting trees on campuses in support of The Billion Tree Campaign, a United Nations project widely supported by the UAE. Here, at The Source, we’ve decided to get involved and, on 22nd April, we pledge that we will • Only print TOP, ESSENTIAL documents • Raise the A/C temperature by at least 2° C • Plant some seeds to grow our own plants Let us know what you’re doing for Earth Day, tell us on Facebook or send us a tweet. And remember, Earth won’t wait.

Day

Fajr

  Sunrise

Dhuhr

  Asr

Maghrib

Isha

Thursday

4:30

5:51

12:16

3:44

6:41

8:11

Friday

4:29

5:50

12:16

3:44

6:42

8:12

Saturday

4:28

5:50

12:16

3:44

6:42

8:12

Sunday

4:27

5:49

12:16

3:44

6:42

8:12

Monday

4:26

5:48

12:16

3:43

6:43

8:13

Tuesday

4:25

5:47

12:16

3:43

6:43

8:13

Wednesday

4:24

5:46

12:15

3:43

6:44

8:14

PRAYER

TIMES

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21


BE INSPIRED

Sand, but not as we know it! By Bob Studholme

Do you know about Sand? This might not seem a very bright question for people who live in the middle of the desert however; we aren’t talking about sand, but rather Sand. They are a dynamic writing group that started in Al Ain, who now have international membership and are busy taking part in the digital revolution that is changing how books are made and sold. Alistair Vogan is the group’s founder and I met with him to discover what the group is all about. Alistair works full time as an English lecturer at UAE University and has been a writer most of his life, having contributed to the cult comedy shows ‘Kids in the Hall’ and ‘Saturday Night Live’. He decided to start Sand as a traditional writers’ group with the aim of meeting weekly at someone’s house in order to read samples of one another’s writing and get comments and suggestions for improvement from other members. Upon discovering the Heritage Village he decided to move the group there and now members come on a Friday morning, early or late depending on how well they deal with Friday mornings, to share ideas and discuss their work, receive opinions, put their heads down and get on with their writing. At some point, there is usually a pause in activities for a general discussion about the group’s upcoming plans. Jokingly, Alistair tells me that this is only a small part of Sand’s plans for World Domination. The group has a lot of international members connected through their Facebook page, where they share ideas for publishing their work digitally, getting material seen and getting it read. One of their many big ideas is an anthology of the group’s writings, working around the theme ‘Nice to Meet You’. Once complete, this will be published by the group and distributed via the web, through such sites as Amazon. The old route into publishing, Alistair continues, is increasingly restricted by the needs of an industry to make a lot of money. Story-tellers can no longer simply be good in order to get published; nowadays they need to be huge. This is fine if you are the next big thing, shiny vampire boyfriends seem to be petering out, while dystopian or end of the world fiction is coming in, but not so good if you aren’t the flavor of the month. Even multimillion selling ‘Harry Potter’ author, JK Rowling, was rejected several times before she finally got a publishing deal. Why? Simply because agents just weren’t looking for stories about boy wizards at that time. 22

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A person that the group regards as a mentor on the subject of selfpublishing is Dubai-based writer, Alexander McNabb. His book ‘Olives’, set in Jordan and characterized by Palestinians, is now selling well throughout the Middle East. McNabb got so tired of being rejected by agents after the 82nd rejection letter landed in his PO Box, that he decided to publish his work himself. The official who granted permission for publication in the UAE was so impressed by the voice that ‘Olives’ gives to the Palestinian people, that he paid its publication fees from his own pocket. Hardly a sign, says Alistair, of a story that doesn’t deserve to be read. As more members arrive, order coffees and breakfast and get out their laptops, there’s chatter about work and children before the heads go down and fingers start tapping on keyboards. Occasionally, overseas members will join by Skype to discuss Sand’s publication plans. Several of the members have completed and digitally published novels and Sand plan to publish their writers’ work through various social media outlets. There are a host of existing blogs set up solely to review independently produced work and Alistair recognizes their importance. He has known writers who chose this route over the typical agent/contract/publisher route and believes the only difference is that, rather than getting a mere 13 per cent of the royalties, the self-publishers commanded a whopping 70 per cent! There is a bigger aspect to all of this. Once upon a time, says Alistair, story-tellers were the people who put you to bed at night, or the ones at the corner of the table who could get people to listen. Then printing came along, and the ones who excelled in the craft began to get paid for what they’d previously done for fun. Allowing money into it, left a lot of people out of it. Not necessarily because they were bad, but often just because they weren’t commercial enough. The Internet is now returning the keys to the story-tellers and, if you’re interested in stories, that can only be a good thing.

If you are a budding writer, and would like the support of a weekly writing group feel free to contact Alistair at pincecrestpictures@gmail.com


" "

:

2012 12:30 –

: 24 : 10:00

: : 3 **

To Register for this event: Call +971 (0)3 707 6680 Or e.mail : wendy@adcci.gov.ae

**


MY WORLD

Namaste!

Nepal: a country where the ice-cold mountains meet the steamy-hot Indian plains By Emily Marosi

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MY WORLD Namaste; the universal greeting of Nepal, meaning ‘I bow to the light within you,’ perfectly captures the hospitable and spiritual nature of the country’s people. A nation blessed with beautiful natural and stunning manmade wonders, from the monstrous Himalayas to the ancient temples; it is a melting pot of cultures, tribes and religions, which makes it a diverse and interesting place to visit. From witnessing the incredible scene of the Kathmandu Valley to the plethora of amazing trekking opportunities or the fascinating experience of riding elephants through the jungle of Chitwan National Park, there is something in this country for all types of travelers. The Kathmandu Valley is divided into three unique areas: Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. Our journey began in Kathmandu. In the 60’s and 70’s, this area was a hippie enclave and remnants of these days still exist, with the likes of Freak Street, the stylish flair of cafes and the laid back atmosphere in the streets of Thamel. It’s no wonder that international artists, such as Cat Stevens and Bob Seger, chose to sing about this magical city in the 1970s. Although Kathmandu is a feast for the senses, it is also quite chaotic so a few days to explore its treasures will suffice. It’s best to travel around on foot, as the traffic is very congested and you’ll discover more by simply meandering through the colorful markets. The three areas of the Kathmandu Valley have a Durbar Square (the Nepalese term for plazas opposite old royal palaces) all of which are UNESCO world heritage sights. The architecture in each is phenomenal, Patan having The Ancient Royal Palace and Bhaktapur boasting one of the tallest temples in the valley, Nyatapola Temple. Boudhanath and Swayambunath stupas, or holy Buddhist sites, are a must-see on your trip. Since the Dalai Lama’s exile from Tibet in 1959, many followers came as refugees to Nepal. Both these areas have incredible monasteries and you’ll see the maroonrobed monks roaming around going about their daily business. The Tibetan people, who exude an aura of peacefulness, circle the temple with their prayer beads, all the while reciting their mantras. They spin the prayer wheels for their well-being and spiritual blessings.

on the rooftop terrace. In one of his famous novels, Rudyard Kipling wrote, ‘the steamy jungles of southern Nepal are home to some of the best wildlife watching in Asia, if not the world.’ The inspiration for such a grand statement can be found just south of Pokhara, at the beautiful Royal Chitwan National Park. Excursions here can be booked from most agencies in the Kathmandu Valley and Pokhara. There is a wide range of accommodation, but your best option is to indulge and stay at one of the luxury lodges deep inside the park. From here, you’ll head out on elephant safaris into the beautiful grasslands in hopes of spotting tigers, elephants, leopards and rhinos. Sauraha is a tiny village close by that has all the amenities you need and is a good alternative if you’re looking for something a little less expensive. If you are philanthropically inclined, there’s a huge host of volunteering opportunities here from teaching English to children to helping out at an animal sanctuary. On the road back to Kathmandu lies Manakamana Temple. With ‘Mana’ meaning heart and ‘Kamana’ meaning wish, the temple is named after a Hindu goddess who was believed to fulfill the wishes of the people. Travelers come from afar to make offerings to the goddess in the hope that their wishes will then be granted. It is one of the main tourist attractions in Nepal. The journey itself is an adventure with a cable car bringing you across the river, up a steep hillside and through the clouds to reach the ancient temple. The view from the top is breathtaking and it’s well worth spending a couple of hours exploring this mountainside hamlet. Finally, be sure to stop at Nagarkot for the breathtaking, panoramic view over the Himalayas. It is renowned for its spectacular sunrises and sunsets over the mountains. Located just 30km from Kathmandu, it’s a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. A journey to Nepal is an enriching, fulfilling holiday and one you’re sure to leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated with some wonderful memories to boot. With direct flights from Abu Dhabi taking less than five hours, the natural beauty of Nepal is just waiting for you to go and find it!

Be sure to take the time to relax on one of the many rooftop restaurants in the Kathmandu Valley, especially on a clear day when you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view of the Himalayas. There is also a thriving music scene with many budding musicians, so keep your ears open and try to catch a show. Head west from the capital, towards the mountains, to get back to nature. The lakeside town of Pokhara is picturesque and the Annapurna Mountain range above the Northern skyline makes for a stunning view. Machapuchare, known as the fishtail mountain, stands over 6000m high, and spikes proudly into the sky. It is forbidden to climb this mountain, as the locals view it as sacred to the Lord Shiva. Pokhara is a great base for trekking due to its close proximity to the mountains and there are many agencies in the city happy to organize all types of excursions for you, from rafting to paragliding. There is a myriad of amazing restaurants to choose from in Pokhara, but the Moondance café is a favorite amongst travelers and locals alike. Under Nepali-Canadian ownership, the food is delicious and if you’re lucky, there may even be live music thesourceuae.com

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MY CITY

Family Fun at Green Mubazzarah Al Ain is known as “The Garden City”. In order to really appreciate the beauty of the place and get a spectacular view of the city, take a drive up its most famous landmark, Jebel Hafeet, standing at over 1,200 meters high. At the foothills of Jebel Hafeet lies the unique and beautiful Green Mubazzarah. It is a popular picnic and barbeque spot where many families spend their weekends and evenings. It is also well-known for its natural hot springs and outdoor hot water pools where you can dip your tired feet. Some people even believe that the hot springs have healing properties. If you prefer to skip the streams, there are four natural hot water indoor swimming pools, two for men and children and two for women.

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The well-equipped playground will keep tots entertained for hours, and the camel and horse rides will excite little ones no end. For those of you looking for an adrenaline rush, the park offers activities such as sand skiing, rope climbing and hiking through special trails. If your kids are feeling adventurous, they can always hop on the toboggan, and take a fun-filled ride to the top of the hill. So, if you’re looking for some outdoor fun with the family or just a break from the normal weekly routine, the Green Mubazzarah is surely worth a visit. Entrance fee for the indoor pools: AED 5


BUSINESS

Social Media for Your Business By Mona Hennawi

In 2012, people keep asking the question, “To buy or not to buy?” Consumers are so much smarter than before. If a brand does not fully understand and integrate relationship marketing and social media, savvy consumers just say “NEXT!” It’s not enough to talk the talk of being a social business; you absolutely MUST walk the walk too, or your prospective customers will see right through your incongruence. Businesses of all sizes are building large, loyal communities on the major social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+, as well as on the countless new sites springing up, such as Pinterest, a mood board creation site. However, the biggest problem most businesses and brands are facing is that they are still using a “shotgun” approach to their social media marketing and they’re all still scrambling to find something that sticks and actually brings in a solid ROI (return on investment). A lot of businesses fail at social media. Even though you might have a presence on Twitter or Facebook, you still may not be considered “social.” If you don’t engage your customers and fail to create two-way communication then what’s the point? You’re simply using social media as an advertising channel, rather than a relationshipbuilder. Social media is like email marketing. Can you reach a new audience with your email marketing? Probably not. But email marketing nurtures and engages your existing audience. Sure, an email may get forwarded or shared with someone new, but that person isn’t likely to engage with you and instantly become a customer. When you decided you wanted to implement social media marketing into your company, you probably did so as a means to contact as many people as possible, right? Well, even if they are already a customer, people need reasons to remain loyal and keep returning to your company. The only way to ensure you’re not just jumping on the social media marketing bandwagon is to firstly consider the following.

Getting started First, you must determine the value of your customer. To do this, you need to figure out the total lifetime profit of an average customer. How much do they spend? How much of that is profit for you? Next, determine the value of a prospect. Then, think about how much you would be willing to spend on a prospect to convert them to a customer. Let’s say the average customer is worth AED 1800, and it costs you AED 75 in advertising or marketing. Worth it? I think so!

Entice customers with incentives Imagine you arrived early to a movie. You’re watching the advertisements, and one comes up that says, “Like us on Facebook now to get free popcorn for your movie!” Would you do it? Probably. Or perhaps you’re in a restaurant and see a message on the wall that says, “Like us to get a free dessert.” Either way, you’d probably take a few seconds to whip out your Smartphone and “like” their Facebook page in order to get the coupon. Whatever the incentive, be it discounts, coupons or a contest, get your customers (or potential customers) to engage so you can remarket to them again later. Make your business better and build a business social media strategy: There are hundreds of social networks available; understand and improve your business by having a well-thought-out social media approach to identify the best channels for your business. Consider the following: 1. Strategy • Establish your objectives for using social media – increase sales, promote events, communications, build customer relations or build reputation? • Who are your target markets? • How and who will manage and measure your online activity? • Establish social media guidelines for online interactions. 2. Find the conversation • Where is your target audience online? Do they use blogs? Forums? Join them. • Active communities - Facebook? Twitter? Geographical check-ins? 3. Listen • Listen to what your audience is saying. • Observe what is missing from networks - Information? Advice? Vision? 4. Engage with your audience • Consistently engage with relevant unique content on your networks • Integrate traditional and digital campaigns. Although many businesses are getting on board with social media, others are still cautious of completely breaking away from traditional media outlets and embracing the change. But can your company really afford to ignore social media, given its unquestionable assets? I think not. Get online, get listening and have fun with content and interaction, and you’ll soon discover the benefits for yourself. thesourceuae.com

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SUDOKU Easy

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FIND YOUR WAY TO FREEDOM!

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DOTS & BOXES 2 CAN PLAY THIS GAME!

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The Source Magazine - Issue 7 - English  

The Source is a FREE, bi-lingual (English & Arabic) weekly magazine. Al Ain's first weekly magazine. Bringing you what's happening, before...

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