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AED 3 D i s c o v e r i n g w w

m i n d s ,

c o n n e c t i n g s e n s e s December ‘07 - February ‘08


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The Hidden World Plus much more...

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Reg. No. 467

P. O. Box 118858 Dubai - U.A.E, Tel : +971 4 299936/050 8880674 Fax : +971 4 2663027 | E - mail :

4 brothers, entrepreneurs, and business partners tell us what keeps them ‘winning’ together…

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The effect of the psychological state of the human mind on the body may be stronger than any other influence…


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04 Letters 06 Home 10 CAMPUS 12 Interview 14 Self Development 15 TECHNOLOGY 18 Cover Story 22 Competitions 23 Humor 24 REV IT UP 26 Books 27 Poetry 28 DINING 30 Travel 34 Sports 36 Beauty 39 Health 40 Reflections 41 Signs 42 RamblingS


Satisfying taste buds

WINNER The good, the bad and the stinky Jamil Idris Kasmani CEO Younis Abdul Karim Editor-in-Chief Maisoon M. Jamal Editor Maliha Ali Senior Editor Maha Al Kurd Managing Editor Devina Divecha Basma Al-Arnawoot Publishing Editors Naufa Jaffer Associate Editor Madina Yusuf Maria Tariq Zahra Al Yusef Atifa Aleem Editorial Team Amina Banawan Mariam Banawan Shazil Rehman Hanan Fadali Writers Touseef Ashraf Saleh Al Nuaimi Art Directors Syed Ifteqar Graphic Designer Arsalan Pirzada Photographer Sajid T.S Marketing Manager Ayub Kazia Sumaiya Maklai Saadia Tabrez Mahmoud Mazin Circulation Team Muzzamil Ali Mirza Abrar Ali Yaser Ali Fatma Feras Advertisement Team Idris Seraj Public Relations Manager

I would like to share with all Salaam readers that Sharjah Municipality has done a great job by placing recycle bins all around the corniche. Each of these bins have separate sections for paper, glass and tin. I think it’s a very positive move and hope that people frequenting this area can make use of these instead of littering the clean lawns. Old habits do die hard, but these bins are all over the place, so please make use of them. Also, one question: does anyone have any idea why the sprinkler systems all over Sharjah are ‘stinking’? The water being used to irrigate these lawns is not only showering H2O but also exuding methane gas it seems! Someone enlighten me and the municipality. Maria Ali Sharjah

Salaam’s social responsibilities Nice to see Salaam growing! Especially since you are making it a point to emphasize on social issues, like bullying, the ‘social babies’ and on autism (SepNov 2007). It’s up to us, the generation next to pay attention to these issues and take responsibility where we should and whenever we can. Farrukh Salman Dubai

Unique signs You know what’s unique about Salaam? It’s pages like signs! I so enjoyed reading about King Chakrawati Farmas seeing the splitting of the moon. History is so rich in such ‘signs’ one just needs to look. Zamir uddin Sharjah

To start with I would like to thank the editors and writers of Salaam Recommended. I’ve tried many of the featured restaurants and they never let my taste down! I was wondering if you can take things to the next level and include some recipes or cooking tips in your next issue. A lot of readers are interested in the food department and I’m sure many would enjoy this new section! Shanavaz Saidalavi Dubai

Bullying victim speaks out I really liked the cover story on bullying, especially since for 2 years of college I was a victim of bullying. I do feel that this issue needs to be taken up more seriously. The number of people suffering is underestimated. A lot of people need some practical tips on how to cope with bullying. And I request people to send in their experiences to help others. Peter Creado India

High schools demand Salaam Congratulations on your first anniversary! I am glad to have seen Salaam grow and change over the past issues. I’m glad that you respect the feedback of your readers and obviously consider that in making Salaam mature. One more suggestion; please try and circulate to more high schools as lots of my friends would like the magazine to be more easily available. Hafeez Saleh Dubai

Hate it or love it... You got to have something to say We want to know, Send in your emails to

The best letter wins AED 200 cash prize Magazine is a product of the creativity and talent of students in colleges across the U.A.E. It is a ‘by the students, for the students’ enterprise that aims to network young expertise on a professional level. To advertise in Salaam, call us on +971 50 367 2355 or write to


Cover image: Nabeel Baig

P.O.Box: 20165, Ajman, U.A.E Tel: +971 6 7441421 | Fax: +971 6 7441423 | E-mail:

Small things count “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Edmund Burke

Most people spend time talking about a variety of issues that are not in their control. And the things that we can change, we do nothing about hoping that time will just solve everything on its own. Just as time waits for no one, time doesn’t always heal. Sometimes we need to intervene to make things right. A friend who is upset with us because of some silly misunderstanding or a child who is in dire need of blood donations … There are many people who need us and would love to have our help and in some cases, we can actually do something about the problems at hand! Sure, we talk about global warming or terrorism at dinner time for lack of anything else to talk about. What about contributing in our own small way towards saving the environment like taking part in local recycling campaigns or stopping terrorism in our locality like cruel children traumatizing helpless animals on the street? Pointless discussions about what you can’t change are just that: pointless. If you really believe in something, do something about it instead of trying to appear intellectual by indulging in pseudo conversations that go up in smoke after you’re done exhausting the topic. These are just some thoughts to munch on. As for this issue of SALAAM, there is a lot for you to sink your teeth into: find out about the fascinating and frightening in magic and the hidden world. Read on, about what’s happening in our own ‘local’ world, get your health and beauty concerns answered, save money, and win some great prizes! And enjoy, as we discover minds and connect senses!

Freedom. Is it worth fighting for?

Maybe, but are we really free? We’re all tied down to the same basic thoughts and emotions, expressed differently. Maybe true freedom is quiet submission to our helplessness. We’re all in our own cages.

Photo: Arsalan Pirzada


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The masjids, or mosques, of the country glow golden like gems at night. These icons of Islamic architecture are not only eye-catching monuments that display splendid design, but also symbols of serenity that bestow a tranquil environment inviting their visitors to partake in the knowledge and peace that lies within.

The Coffee College! “Wake up and smell the coffee!” I myself, a self-confessed coffee junkie would love to do that everyday: smell the coffee. Which is why when IICBT: International Institute of Coffee and Barista Training opened up in Knowledge Village, Dubai, my curiousity was piqued. However, I never got to satisfy my curiousity till now. An institute that teaches people how to make coffee? That’s a new one isn’t it? I was wondering whether I’d see stacks of Nescafé inside. However, the Head of Operations, Vivek Shukla, explained that IICBT is extremely brand-independent and they don’t sell anything, just the knowledge of coffee preparation. The course covers theory as well as practical aspects, and the classes are interactive where the students have a lot of fun. Half of the institute is a typical college setting with a screen and chairs and tables… but there’s more! A kitchen to actually make the coffee! Who said learning couldn’t be fun? You can actually drink up what you learn… where else do you get to do that??? And after the course your association with IICBT will not end. As alumni, you can come back to the institute during alumni sessions to practice your coffee making skills for free! The students of this institute range from college students, coffee shop employees and anyone who’s just cuckoo about coffee! This institute is the first of its kind in the Middle East and there has already been a healthy interest generated about it. In fact, as Vivek Shukla opined, students can avail of this opportunity, so that if they go abroad and need to work part-time, rather than starting as a cleaner or bus-boy, they can use this course to start out in a better post. After sampling the most amazing cappuccino, I sat down to what could be tantamount to a mini-coffee-fact course (refer to ‘What you didn’t know’). Most coffee lovers like myself would be interested to know it is a mistaken belief that the more coffee beans you use, the better the taste. In fact, it makes the taste worse. An interesting way in which to know the difference between a cappuccino and a café latte is to move the foam frothing at the top of the cup aside. If you can see the milk underneath then it’s a café latte as those are milkier than cappuccinos.

Devina Divecha

One of the most interesting yet amongst the slightly scary coffee facts was about the most expensive coffee in the world: Kopi Luwak from Indonesia. This is coffee made from coffee berries which have been eaten by and defecated by the Asian Palm Civet, after which the beans are harvested for sale. It is estimated that it costs between Dhs 6000 – Dhs 10,000 per kilo!!! Dare you to try that! I can honestly say that I walked into IICBT with a mild curiousity about why any institute would teach people how to make coffee … and walked out with an insatiable urge to take the course myself! COURSE INFO Course : ‘Art of Coffee Making’ When : First Saturday of every month Timings : 9 am – 6 pm At the end of it, you get : A certificate of excellence, course material and a “The Coffee School” t-shirt Price : Dhs 800

What You Didn’t Know • The first coffeehouse was opened in the holy city of Mecca. • Espresso is actually healthier than that normal coffee as it contains only 1/3 caffeine than of regular coffee. • Coffee beans were supposedly discovered by a goat-herd or shepherd in Ethiopia. • Types of coffee are Espresso, Cappuccino, Café Latte, Americano, Mochaccino and Machiatto. • Coffee is also known as The Devil’s Brew. • According to statistics, 500 billion cups of coffee were consumed in 2006 all over the world. • Oxygen is the biggest killer of coffee, so don’t keep your coffee beans out for too long… it’ll spoil the essence. • There are 5 M’s of coffee: Miscela (Blend), Macinazione (Grind), Macchina (Machine), Mano (Skilled hand) and Manutenzione (Maintenance).

25 SECONDS Noor Isaac BBA ty of Dubai American Universi

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What in your opinion is the best way of learning: Class lectures, correspondence courses or e-learning? Class lectures

Maryam Saeed Al-Mesafri, Gulf Medical College, Ajman We have a direct contact with the teacher and can ask doubts on the spot. There is also a set time limit for each topic. Sawsan Sulyeman, University of Sharjah. When you’re in a class setting, you can have better discussions and more interaction between the professors and students. And more importantly, it’s face to face interaction. Suad Al Hosny , University of Sharjah. The truth is, as students, we naturally don’t like to study. Most of us lack self-motivation. We need to report to somebody and have somebody continually check up on our progress. It’s just not the same online or through correspondence letters. Safia Mohammed, University of Sharjah. I’ve tried e-learning and it’s not pleasant. After a while, you just feel like you need to talk to a person! You lose track and it’s really hard to focus. For me, I wouldn’t study for the tests until the last minute

Correspondence/e learning

Sameera Qayyum, Gulf Medical College, Ajman ‘Correspondence’ because in college either we are not taught properly or we don’t attend regularly and then there’s an attendance problem…so it’s better to sit at home and study. Reem , Gulf Medical College, Ajman I prefer e-learning and correspondence because most of the lectures in class are theoretical and a waste of time. I would prefer discussions e.g. some teachers ask questions in such a way so as to make us curious and interested and slowly get to the point…so it’s a better way of understanding the topic. Saad Syed Nasim, Saudi Arabia There could not have been a better way of learning than e-learning. All you have to have is connectivity and you are good to go wherever you are (considering internet access isn’t much of a problem today). It’s just your time investment and your efforts that count.


Maie Hesham El Kattan, Egypt Hands-on experiments are the best. They are never boring and we don’t easily forget the information. Also information is more easily interpreted when it’s supported with real life examples and situations. Samar Habibullah, Dubai Medical College for Girls. A combination of listening to the lecturer speak, jotting down key points in the lecture, watching a movie clip or illustration of what is being taught and also, if possible, practically carrying out the experiment. In this way, you will be stimulating all of your cognitive skills, thus rendering maximum attention. Unfortunately, the learning strategy depends on the nature of the topic being discussed and may not be generalized.


What does XP in windows XP mean? Experience

Noor Dada,Westminster School, Dubai

Excel processor

Deepthi, MAHE, Dubai

Extra profits

Fatimah Saifuddin – MAHE, Dubai

Extra professional

Hassan Ali, Herriot Watt University, Dubai

Extreme programming Shehzan Dada, United Kingdom

What in your opinion is the best way of learning: Class lectures, correspondence courses or e-learning?

What is the funniest excuse you would give to escape a boring lecture? “ I couldn’t find the classroom.” “ I was a ‘guest of honor’ at a party.” “ My phone is ringing, it’s urgent, a matter of life and death.” “ Constipation.” “ I got locked up in the bathroom!” “ It was my uncle’s sister’s daughter’s nephew’s friend’s birthday. Couldn’t miss it for the world.”

Winner Bros. Maliha Ali





Everyone’s heard that two is company and three is a crowd. So how do four young brothers manage seeing eye to eye let alone run a business together? SALAAM met with Waseem, Rizwan, Mohsin and Zahid, brothers and partners of a sporting goods company called WINNER SPORTS. Waseem was just 12 when he started ‘working’ at the store. At the age of 25 he, along with his brothers, has taken over a family business that was started by their grandfather 30 years ago. When I first met them I was impressed by their familial camaraderie and a rare sibling unity that exudes an understanding which is underlined by strong family values.

What prompted you all to join the business at such a young age?

Tell us about a successful/difficult moment?

What are your responsibilities?

What do you do for fun?

Rizwan: Well, all of us frequented the store right from when we were kids. It was like a family hangout for us. We started first helping around with small chores. Waseem started working part time when he was about 13 years old. Seeing my elder brother working motivated me to try and contribute to the store. Soon the shop became our favorite place. Mom would come over every evening. We’d have our family get together in the shop after working hours, so naturally we became attached to that place which gathered us all. Rizwan: Each of us has different responsibilities. We’ve divided the main aspects of the business amongst us. Waseem takes care of the practical work, the machine work, I am with sales, Mohsin takes care of the warehouse and Zahid is on the creative side. The great part is that we hardly have to employ anyone from the outside.

You’ve spent your childhood and youth working and growing up with the store. How did you manage?

Mohsin: Well, our Dad really instilled in us the values that have gotten us so far. We know that we are not complete without the cooperation of the other. Dad taught us that the first thing one must learn is cleaning. So I remember when we got this place, we cleaned it altogether; Waseem assembled the tiles on the floor. So when I saw him doing that, I thought if he can do it why not me? We have influenced each other in many unspoken positive ways.

Do you feel you missed out on something because you started working from such a young age?

Waseem: No regrets. What we missed out on was perhaps some extra fun which we can have anytime. But we look at what we’ve achieved at a young age. We know how to run the business inside out, our Dad has four reliable people to trust, and our family is more inseparable now. The great thing is that our Dad never forced us to work, we just learned to love the store and the work from the time we spent with him there and it felt natural to stay there instead of goofing around when we could.

Do you have any conflicts? And how do you resolve them?

Waseem: Yes, there are conflicts, though fewer now than before. When I initially joined in, I was new to the business so a lot of my ideas conflicted with my Dad’s. Similarly as each of my brothers followed suit, there were enormous differences in working styles and perceptions. But Dad helped us resolve them, peacefully. Dad told us that if the older person loves the younger person and the younger person respects the older one, our relationship at work and at home would be great. And so it is. Also, when we come across a problem, the best solution is to look for the older one, or the most experienced one, and we’re glad that Dad outdoes us in that, so there’s no problem without a solution. Further more any quarrels at home stay there. We have an angel sister who makes sure our quarrels are neutralized plus Mom makes sure we don’t bring shop problems home.

Waseem: There was a time when Dad went for a business trip and since we didn’t have anyone else to look after the store I volunteered. I was twelve and a half, perhaps not even tall enough to be seen from behind the shop counter. While Dad was away, an old customer came over and made a large order. He was disappointed that Dad wasn’t around but insisted the work get done. I accepted and made sure the order was delivered in time. That was a difficult moment that I am glad turned out to be a success… Zahid: We like doing what most people our age enjoy. Waseem’s passion is cars, I love PS2. We all enjoy just going out, relaxing with our friends, trying out new places to eat, having a great night out.

Any advice to our readers?

Waseem: The basic ingredient of success: Hard work and submission to God. Remember, the road to success is always hard, never take the easy way out, it’s usually short-lived.

No regrets. What we missed out on was perhaps some extra fun which we can have anytime. But we look at what we’ve achieved at a young age. What are your future plans/challenges?

Mohsin: Well where the store is concerned there is certainly more competition and to keep a niche in the market we constantly have to have newer ideas and deliver faster. Personally, 3 of us have completed a Bachelors in Business Administration, Zahid has done a designers diploma. I don’t think Waseem would like to work for anyone else, he’s happy taking care of the business. Rizwan plans on taking the business international through the web and on completing a CPA or CA. I look forward to joining a Masters program.

Devina Divecha


ky high rents, school fees, petrol hikes….have all these made a huge cut on your pocket money? Saving isn’t helping anymore? So listen up, because here’s a way to figure out how to make your ends meet by…budgeting! If we never paid attention to it before, when we’re university students the importance of money becomes even more paramount. Whether we get our money in doses from our parents, or from a job that we may be doing, it’s highly important that we figure out a system to save money and budget our way towards escaping ‘being broke’! First of all, if you don’t have any clue where your money is disappearing, track where and how much money everyday. Keep doing this for about a month till you find out what your normal spending patterns in a month are like. You might find many things you never noticed before: like the fact that you go to the cinema around once every week or buy fast-food almost everyday. Apart from bigger things like going for a movie or anything else, most of us fritter away our savings on tiny items like sweets or drinks, so beware: many a time it’s the smaller things that slowly trickle our money away rather than huge, extravagant purchases. Cross out any unnecessary expenses from the list

you’re spending within your means, prepare a budget like the boring ones you learnt in Accounts at school (we finally found a use for those things… who said most of what we learn in school won’t be applied later in life?). Expenses against incoming cash should give you a better idea of how much you’re saving and consequently of how much you’re not! One of students’ most frequent expenses will be study material like textbooks, notebooks, stationery and the like. Notebooks, notepads and other assorted stationery can preferably be bought from a cheaper yet reliable brand…why indulge in fancy pens which cost a bomb and literally burn a hole in your pocket? If you don’t have enough money for textbooks, buy them second-hand or share the cost of the text with a friend so you both can avail of the book.

Things we can save money from: • Eating out everyday (learn to cook yourself!) • Branded coffee (Ummm...why splurge on Starbucks or Costa when you can learn to make it yourself?) • Books i.e. novels etc (join a library and read books instead) • Impulse buys (as said before, see if you really need it, otherwise chuck it)

Things we need to save up for: • Textbooks (how else do you plan to study?) • Food (you need to eat to survive in order to be healthy enough to study!!!) • Clothes (but honestly how many do we actually need? Splurging on designer wear can wait; but make sure you are patient enough to wait for SALES when you really want to buy something!) • Visits to your family/friends (what, did you expect them to pay for it ALL the time???) and you’ll already have started to save money. Be extremely stringent with regard to choice: don’t buy anything and everything that catches your eye. Ask yourself if you honestly need that eyecatching and funky looking item and if it is really worth spending your money over. Prioritize: first buy what you need and not what you want. If you still have money left over which you can afford to spend then think about buying what you want. To find out if

I’ve always noticed that students spend a little generously when initially presented with money (I myself do this with my mobile phone credit!); so much so that towards the end of the month, they have to ration their amounts sparingly. If you have x amount of cash for the whole week or month, average it out to see how much maximum you can spend per day and stick to it! That way you definitely won’t overspend. Improvise! If due to unforeseen circumstances or even special occasions where you went above budget, don’t freak out! Adjust these expenses in the coming week or so, that is to say, if you overspend in week 1, then in week 2 simply spend under your fixed amount. Keep under the radar, so to speak. Don’t forget to have fun at the end of it all! Students are not all about studying and/or working. Set aside money in your budget for entertainment purposes like books or music CDs or such items. Don’t feel guilty about it… Remember that you also need to enjoy in your free time. Even if after all this advice, you run out of cash…calm down!!! Let your parents know and let them bail you out! If you’re hesitant about this for some reason, consider it a loan and pay them back if you must. It is, unfortunately, a material world and all of us need to be quick about our wits with regard to financial matters. If you’re not used to handling your money matters yourself, it’s highly advisable to start right now. Remember, you are self-sufficient and while I’m sure there are always family and friends to help you out, you must always be capable of being independent. Being dependent on others for crucial matters like money will get you nowhere.

TALK BACK How do you think we can control our spending habits? Tell us and win vouchers up to AED 200! Send in your emails to

Farhan Siddique

Mouse or a joystick??? A gamer’s perspective

Ever since the era of 8-bit gaming consoles and PCs came into existence, one lingering question has been left unanswered. Is the PC or the console the ultimate experience in gaming? Although PCs seemed to have an upperhand for a long time, the release of consoles such as XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii and Play station 3 has given the debate a fresh start. We tried battling it out on behalf of both sides, selecting the gamer’s perspective as the criteria for evaluation (because we thought a gamer simply soaks in and appreciates the true gaming experience without allowing preference for specific hardwares or consoles prejudice his decision). After the release of monster consoles in the market by manufacturers such as Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft, consumers were left in a limbo. This prompted PC manufacturers to start thinking of new hardware to gain an edge over competitors. Game consoles are now a style statement. Each one is unique in itself and is often equipped with fantastic graphic resolution and a game line up that one can’t help gaping at! Nintendo Wii introduced a new generation of motion sensing games, Play station 3 released its innovative BLU-RAY capabilities (larger and faster in CD space than any DVD or DVD reader) and XBOX 360 promised the all new idea of browsing hi-speed net (it has an inbuilt browser ) through your home TV. But is the gaming console capable of humbling the front runner PC to its knees? Difficult question, eh?

Round 1: Consoles over PCs

competing OS such as Windows, Linux and Apple MAC OS (c’mon, the feeling of “this game won’t work in my PC” always stalks you during installation, right?). Firstly, a console would be relatively light on your All time favourites such as Mario, Sonic pockets compared to the gamer’s PC. A console the Hedgehog and Final Fantasy have costing anywhere between AED 500 to AED 2,100 garnered their popularity through console would be well within your budget than a PC costing game play, thus preparing the stage for a minimum of AED 2000 (to upto AED 5000) for releasing more hit titles using consoles as a being loaded with decent gaming hardware (an ‘HP medium rather than PCs. Personal Computer’ having sound configuration to play games would cost more than AED 1800). ‘User friendliness’ of consoles attracts gamers from all age groups. Unlike PCs, they do not involve hassles such as wiring up, setting up PCs can be upgraded anytime with operating systems configurations, driver updates more advanced games requiring higher and installations (consider this fact: Playstation 3 capabilities. A standard Nvidia GE FORCE plays games of 128 HDD simply by inserting a DVD, 6330 or ATI radeon graphic card priced whereas the same process in an Intel Core Duo at about AED 300 (helpful in improving would require 15-30 minutes to install). graphics and sound), is a better option than Consoles provide a pure version of “plug and shelling out an extra thousand for another play”, giving an opportunity to try out titles once console offering the same perks (Alladin: “I you have reached home from the store (or the wish my Nintendo 64 becomes as good as temptation to open your XBOX360 would make you Nintendo Wii”, Genie: “That’s one thing I can’t suffer). do sonny, you better go buy a Nintendo Consoles have always been the best platform for Wii”). releasing innovative technologies, such as genre Online gaming has caught up very well oriented joysticks in Nintendo Wii and BLU-RAY disc since almost every urban home has an (can store upto 50GB in one layer, compared to 4.6 internet connection. PC game developers GB in a standard DVD). made full use of the situation by releasing Consoles don’t have compatibility problems expansion packs exclusively for multiplayer and run all games under their names, unlike PCs, (with titles such as Half Life: Team Fortress where game compatibility is a big issue due to 2, Call of Duty: United Offensive Expansion Pack). As for consoles, there is a distinct lack of inter-connectivity between the various brands. When it comes to online play, each console is typically restricted to its own network, whereas successful multiplayer releases for the PC such as ‘Counter Strike: Source and World of Warcraft’ update is expected to maintain an estimated 100,000 gamers online by the end of 2007. PCs thus do justice to the concept of multiplayer gaming as compared to consoles.

Round 2: PCs over Consoles

There is a noticeable difference in the variety of games and genres available in PCs, in contrast to consoles. Certain games may be compatible to a particular type of console but may not be available for other consoles. Among the console brands, Wars are responsible for limiting the number of game releases, thereby restricting variety (to add insult to injury, you are likely to find a PC copy of at least 70% of the games released on consoles). The resolution of any high definition TV does not match up to that of a Viewsonic monitor, that can load up to 6 million colours in games such as ‘Settlers 4’ (now that’s a VERY colourful game you have there!). Coming to PC titans, DELL XPS 710 is loaded with Intel Core 2 Extreme and two 768MB Nvidia cards, lending it the ability to play games double the capacity of PS3 (has the future arrived already??). BLU-RAY is not restricted to PS3 alone, but can also be installed in the all-famous Alienware customized desktops (AED 900). In conclusion, is it a mouse or a joystick? I think I’ll leave that up to you since I’m simply addicted to both!




of the

Future! Yasir Ali

Are you sick and tired of doing the laundry every week? Well, here’s some good news…with the new Airwash system of washing, things are certainly going to change! The ultimate panacea for all, the Airwash is not your typical boring washing machine. With a slim and sleek design, it will become the envy of your neighbours. And behold, this revolutionary machine has much more to offer than just looks. Developed by two students from the National University of Singapore School of Industrial design, this masterpiece is unique, innovative and quite eco-friendly as it cleans clothes without the use of water (a relief for those alarming water bills) as well as saves energy! The technology behind the Airwash is inspired by the waterfall – na-

ture’s negative ion generator and regenerator. The Airwash wields the use of negative ions to the maximum. It cleans clothes with the help of these negative ions, compressed air and deodorants (100% water free process). The negative ions aid the jet action by agglomerating dust, inactivating bacteria and neutralizing odours, giving you clean crisp clothes which are rich in negative ions. Moreover, clothes drenched in negative ions have health benefits as they improve blood circulation and have anti-depressant properties. Suitable for all types of clothes, this is one appliance that should be a part of your house, and will surely make cleaning a more enjoyable and less time, water and energy consuming experience. The only problem that remains is the fact that it will hit the stores in 2020. Till then only 13 more years of dreading doing laundry!

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r look out fo e h t n o e r We a e or Part tim Writers Designers Photographers cutives Marketing Exe xecutives Circulations E

Full time

Well basically if you fit into any of the above and you’re a student up for a resume boosting and fulfilling job, send in your details, photograph and samples of your work to:


Hidden World Amina Banawan Mariam Banawan


itches, demons, voodoo dolls, and wands…humans have been obsessed with magic since the ancient Egyptians who lived thousands of years ago. In fact, Ancient Egyptian records dating as far back as 2494 B.C. have been found, describing magical performances and ordeals conducted in front of Pharoah Cheops. Since then, humans have been toying with magic and its different kinds. And the kind that has intrigued humans the most is magick- spelled with a “k”. To put it simply, magick is not ‘the fluffy white rabbit that pops out from a hat’ kind of magic, but it is instead, the real dark kind of magic that is capable of changing shapes, making people fall out of love, causing people to get sick, causing insanity and even death. Magick is the magic that involves “super natural beings” outside of the human realm, also known as the “Jinn”.

The truth is the jinn have special powers and talents, which humans can only dream about; they can fly, morph into different shapes, and move extremely fast. Yes. The Jinn. Who hasn’t heard of them? A light suddenly explodes, a haunted house, a young girl suddenly goes mad. All of us have heard stories from our grandparents, well meaning uncles and aunts, and friends, or seen something ourselves, but most of us don’t really know that much about them. Who are the jinn? What are they doing here? And where is here, exactly? When it comes to the jinn, there are unlimited questions… Jinns are beings created by God to worship Him. They were created before mankind. Infact Satan is a Jinn. Just like humans, jinns marry and have children, eat, drink, and go about with their lives. And just like humans, the jinn are diverse. There are some good jinn. And there are some not so good jinn. Why are people so interested in them? The truth is the jinn have special powers and talents, which humans can only dream about; they can fly, morph into different shapes, and move extremely fast. Now, how many humans do you know who can fly? Or morph? The world of the jinn also happens to be mysterious and foreign and that’s part of their appeal. As humans, we fear the unknown and that’s exactly what the jinn are to us: unknown. According to Islamic traditions, the jinn live right beside humans but in their own “parallel” world, hidden from human view. We know they’re here, but we can’t see them. Are they watching us? Is there one standing right there next to you? What’s that sound? We just don’t know! Of course, it doesn’t help that sometimes there are unique encounters. Though the majority of humans and jinn live in their own separate

Ten Ways of Protecting One’s Self from the Jinn 1. Pray to God to guard you and protect you from the mischief of the jinn. With Him as a Protector, you’ll have absolutely nothing to be afraid of. 2. Remember God. Just like you can’t start out your day without some morning coffee, make it that you can’t start your morning without some good spiritual fuel. 3. Got any extra pocket money? Planning on eating out? Try spending the money on charity instead. It’ll leave you feeling good about yourself and your heart will be purified. 4. Be sure to read the Chapters Mankind and the Rising Dawn (The Noble Quran). 5. Make sure you have the Verse of the Throne memorized. This verse acts like an amazing shield from the jinn. 6. Take the time to sincerely repent to God from any wrong doings or sins. 7. Don’t just mis call God. Instead, have long conversations with Him, by keeping up the five daily prayers 8. Keep yourself clean, both physically and spiritually. 9. Seize the chance, whenever possible, to perform the extra acts of worship. 10. Pick your friends carefully. Hang out with people who don’t decrease your spirituality, but rather increase it.

worlds, there are those who “bump” into each other… Perhaps the strangest encounters are the ones where the jinn decide to posses a human being. There are a number of reasons why this could happen. One of the most important reasons revolves around the jinn getting fed up of humans intentionally interfering and tampering with their lives. Ironically enough, the jinn may posses a person because they’ve fallen in love with him or her. This time they just can’t get enough of the person. Finally, there’s “payback”; the jinn may posses a human out of revenge. Believe it or not, but in many cases the jinn possess a human who has harmed/ hurt/ or insulted them, either by stepping on them,

pouring hot water on them, etc. (The sad thing is that often the person isn’t even aware she/ he has hurt the jinn.) On the other hand, some humans go out of their way to get in touch with the jinn. From wanting a “medium” to contact the dead to wanting help with fertility problems, people intentionally go to the jinn for all sorts of reasons. They do it because they are desperate to keep their lives and loved ones under control, have given up hope of finding a cure for some medical problem, are overcome with bitterness and hatred against someone, or are just plain curious about their own futures and deaths. The jinn seem to have the solutions for everyone and everything.

For starters, the jinn can begin to take control over your life. And you will not be able to stop them. But do they really? Are the jinn the answer to our problems? The reality isn’t so simple; using the jinn can go horribly wrong. For starters, the jinn can begin to take control over your life. And you will not be able to stop them. Think about it this way: If you ask a friend for a big favor, aren’t you indebted to him or her? Hasn’t good etiquette taught you to give something back? Now, if you ask help from the jinn, do you honestly believe they’re just doing it to be your best buddy? No; they’re doing it so they can get something out of it, and this time it’s your soul and your life. You’ll be chained to what they want done and when they want it done; say goodbye to enjoying your own personal freedom and making your own choices. Now you’ll have to run it by the jinn. It’s serious and it’s scary, especially since they can’t be held accountable if they do commit some wrong doing. Imagine reading this: “Disclaimer: We, the jinn, do not guarantee that we will not a)posses your body and refuse to get out, b) wreck your house, c) cause you physical harm, and d)cause you mental problems. Should any of the above occur, we will not be held responsible.” If you were to come across such a disclaimer, you would probably hear a very loud warning bell go off in your mind, something that could be translated to “Run for your life”. You wouldn’t agree to such lousy and dangerous terms. That’s the way it is with the jinn. As humans, we can’t see them, so taking them to court or having them punished for causing problems is out of the question.

Is it or Isn’t it the Jinn? When something goes wrong, it’s all too easy to assume the jinn had a hand in it. But we shouldn’t just jump to conclusions; we should explore all of the different angles. • Accidents happen. Whether it’s from lack of concentration or just clumsiness, things fall and break. • People get sick; that’s why we are equipped with immune systems in the first place. • People may suffer from mental and nervous illnesses, including epilepsy, depression, and anxiety. That doesn’t mean they’re possessed! It means they need special care and help. • Couples and friends get into fights; every once in a while people, especially those who’ve been in close contact with one another for a long time, are going to disagree about something. Remember, the jinn should be considered innocent until proven guilty, or at least until all other options have been considered!

No matter how seriously they may hurt you. And getting hurt is just one aspect. There’s a whole other aspect that needs to be considered and it’s this: the jinn just don’t have what it takes to fulfill everyone’s wants and needs. Just because they have a few powers, doesn’t mean they have unlimited power. For instance, the jinn actually can’t see into the future; they just use ambiguous terms that can be interpreted in different ways to trick people. The “client” goes home, MAKES a connection with what he heard and what happens, and mistakenly thinks the jinn told him the truth. (Sure, there are a few exceptions when the jinn really do reveal something after overhearing it from the angels, but they still can mix it with a hundred lies.) See, it’s all based on the “power of suggestion”. The jinn’s powers as mediums also work on the same basis and are just as weak; what they actually do is impersonate the deceased person so that the grieved family member thinks he/ she is talking to their loved one but really isn’t. That’s why séances are held in the dark and there are strict rules about asking/ touching the apparition because it’s not really the deceased person. Finally, think about sorcerers. How many of them are beautiful? Rich? Happy? If they’re friends with the jinn and supposedly have unlimited powers at their disposal, why aren’t they ruling the universe? Why aren’t they “living their lives”? Obviously because the jinn just aren’t that powerful! More importantly, when you get down to it, using the jinn and getting what you want may actually be the worst thing that can happen to you. Sounds paradoxical? It’s really not. What it essentially means is that by getting your short term goal/ desire/ need, you may be, in reality, ruining your long term happiness and security. Humans can ask all they want for things to happen but with their limited knowledge, they have no way of guaranteeing that they will get what they actually really want. Instead, a little faith would go a much longer way. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that just beyond our reach, a finger tip away is another world. One that is both startlingly different, and yet, at the same time, strangely similar, full of creatures just like us. Could there be a Fatima, a John, a Pooja, a Faris living right next to you? Just far enough we can’t see them, and yet, close enough, we can almost feel them…maybe we’ll never know. And maybe that’s for the best.

Top Spots/ Times of the Jinn • Although the jinn live with humans on Earth, they do have some favorite spots where they like to gather and meet up that -for humans- would be best to avoid. • The jinn go in great numbers to deserted areas- areas with few houses and people. It’s no surprise then, they often visit graveyards. • They also frequent areas that are unclean such as bathrooms and garbage dumps. • On the other hand, the jinn are known to love marketplaces. • If you’re wondering if they have a favorite time of the day, they do. As far as the devils are concerned, they’re a bit nocturnal. When it’s nighttime, they get really active and begin to spread out.

The jinn actually can’t see into the future; they just use ambiguous terms that can be interpreted in different ways to trick people.

challenge “The more you use your brain, the more brain you will have to use.” George Dorsey HERE ARE SOME MORE CHANCES TO WIN, WIN, WIN! Crossword Find out the different cars manufactured by the companies mentioned in the box and fit them into the crossword! 3 lucky winners get Magrudy’s bestseller books!

ACROSS 1. Toyota 4. Chevrolet 5. Ford 8. Suzuki 9. Honda 10. Daihatsu 11. Porsche 14. Lincoln 16. Mitsubishi

DOWN 2. Nissan 3. Volkswagen 6. Dodge 12. Hyundai 13. Kia 15. GMC

Send your entries to Salaam Crossword P.O. Box: 20165, Ajman, U.A.E. Closing date: 12 February ‘08

WORDS FOR THOUGHT The following words of wisdom are incomplete. Fill in the blanks to win 5 Salaam T-Shirts. 1.Better late than 2. Truth is stranger than 3.Blood is thicker than 4.You can catch more flies with honey than with 5.The pen is mightier than the

Words in a Word:

Try and form as many words as you can from this one word: PERSUASIVELY. Minimum of 7 words. The entry with the most number of words wins a bestseller book! PERSUASIVELY

Try and unscramble the set of letters in each set of brackets to complete these quotations. Good luck!

Win 10 Salaam T-Shirts 1. Live as if you (ERWE) to die (WTMOROOR). Learn as if you were to (LIEV) forever. 2. (FILE) is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome. 3. Well done is (EBETTR) than well said.

Have some more fun with these ANAGRAMS! Let everyone know you are a WINNER. Win exclusive Salaam crystal momentoes 1.Change fade into a word that means you can’t hear.


2.Change aloft into the opposite of sink .


3. Change admirer into the opposite of single.


4. Change alloy into what good friends should be.


5. Change each into a word to do with pain.


Terms & Conditions 1. Incomplete entries will be considered invalid. 2. Each participant is allowed one entry. 3. All correct entries will enter a draw. 4. Decision of the Editor-in-Chief is considered final

Send in your answers to Closing date: 12 February ‘08

ny to celebrate humour in its ma This edition, we have decided or ity ived from reality, stupid different forms whether it’s der in the traditional joke form. -Compiled by Hanan Fadali


lk Double-ta

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Quiz Show Answers

We’ve all gone and done it at some point; given some utterly stupid answer to an insanely simple question. Here’s a list of Q&A presented to contestants on various quiz shows. Host: Where do you think Cambridge University is? Contestant: Geography isn’t my strong point. Host: There’s a clue in the title. Contestant: Leicester. Host: What happened in Dallas on November 22, 1963? Contestant: I don’t know, I wasn’t watching it then. Host: There are three states of matter: solid, liquid and what? Contestant: Jelly. Host: In which country would you spend dinars? Contestant: Holland? Host: Try the next letter of the alphabet. Contestant: Iceland? Ireland? Host: (helpfully): It’s a bad line. Did you say Iraq? Contestant: No.

Ways To Turn Down Unwanted Male Attention!!!

MAN : Can I buy you a coffee? WOMAN : Actually I’d rather have the money. MAN : I’m a photographer. I’ve been looking for a face like yours. WOMAN : I’m a plastic surgeon. I’ve been looking for a face like yours. MAN : How did you get to be so beautiful? WOMAN : I must’ve been given your share. MAN : Go on ,don’t be shy. Ask me out. WOMAN : Okay, get out. MAN : I think I could make you very happy. WOMAN : Why? Are you leaving? MAN : Can I have your name? WOMAN : Why? Don’t you already have one? MAN: Where have you been all my life? WOMAN : Hiding from you. MAN : Haven’t I seen you some place before? WOMAN : Yes. That’s why I don’t go there anymore. MAN : So, what do you do for a living? WOMAN : I’m a female impersonator.

Real-life signs


Philosophy of Ambiguity


rev it up

‘Petrolling’ Nadeem Idris Kasmani

the scene

The Dubai Motor Show … it hit us bigger and better than ever before! The 9th Dubai Motor show was held from 14-18 November 2007. It featured various cars ranging from speedsters to hybrids to classic beauties. The event also had two additional attractions: the Motor Parts & Accessories and MOTORplus. SALAAM gives you a peek at some of the cars that graced the occasion and caused many people to throng the 11 exhibition halls at the Dubai International Convention center:

Bugatti Veyron: What was once the fastest production car in the world has reached a now-average

speed of 253 mph. The Veyron is produced by Volkswagen which is a parent company to Bugatti Automobiles SAS. Its engine is a Quad-turbocharged DOHC 64-valve W16 and accelerates from 0-60 mph in 2.42s, 0-150 mph in 9.8s and 0-250 mph in 15s. Its transmission is a 7-speed DSG sequential manual. The Bugatti Veyron has a total of 8 radiators.

The Mercedes Mclaren SLR 722 is the ultimate racing machine. It has a supercharged 5.5 L V8 engine which is hand built in the AMG engine shop in Affalterbach. This mighty engine generates 478 kW/640hp of power. It increases its speed from 0-100 in just 3.6s, and 0-200 in just 10.2s. It has reached an average maximum speed of 337km/h.

Plug it in and GO VROOOOOOOMMMM. The Chevrolet Volt is a ‘plug in’ electric concept car produced by General Motors. The engine is 1 liter, 7 hp, 3 cylinder producing 120 kW electric. The vehicle runs with the help of on-board batteries for 40 miles (64km). It has a small in-built combustible engine which supplies the batteries and increases the capacity to 640 miles (1030km).

Photos: Nadeem Idris Kasmani

Saab had unveiled the Aero-X at the International Geneva Motor Show in 2006. The Aero-X is a 2 door concept car powered by a 2.8 L twin-turbocharged V6 engine. It has paddles on the steering wheel that control its 7speed automatic transmission. The engine runs purely on ethanol and produces 400hp. It speeds from 0-62 mph in just 4.9s.

Peugeot has finally released the Le Mans style 207 Spider. The engine is a 1.6 litre THP 16v EP6 DTS, developed as part of the co-operation with the BMW Group. The power output is 128 kW, or 175bhp, at 5800 rpm. The maximum engine speed reached is 6500rpm. Its transmission is Sadev 6-speed dog ring sequential gearbox with selection controlled by “paddles” on the steering wheel. The Spider even has a black box that records all engine parameters.

The Ultimate Aero, the world’s fastest production car. The Ultimate Aero beat the 253mph set by Bugatti Veyron and reached an average speed of 255mph. It speeds from 0-60 mph in just 2.78 seconds. It has a 6.35 liter engine producing 880kW at 6950 rpm and a 6 speed transmission control which can re-adjust the car’s speed to above 270 mph.

The Chevrolet Camaro which is expected to be released by the end of 2008 is eagerly awaited considering it was unveiled 2 years back. However, Chevy enthusiasts got a good look at this concept car as the “hero” Bumblebee in the movie Transformers.

ub : Ay hoto

a Kazi


The 2008 Nissan GTR is the much-awaited Japanese super-car which has an all new engine compared to its predecessor. This car is touted to be the competitor of the Porsche Carrera turbo. Photo: Ayub Kazia

books The Year Without Michael By Susan Beth Pfeffer

“Don’t be late for supper, again.” That’s the last thing Jody tells her kid brother, Michael. But he is late. And as the hours and days pass, the family comes to a startling realization: Michael isn’t late. He’s disappeared. Vanished into thin air… Amina Banawan Mariam Banawan

So begins a beautiful and heartbreaking drama of a family struggling to come to terms to life without Michael. Life without a brother, life without a son. Though the questions are many (Where is he? Did he run away? Is he safe? Was there something that could have been done differently?), the central question the family members have is: When is he coming back home? In the meantime, the family tries to cope. But it is daunting. As they look through pictures of muggers, are avoided by friends, and most painful of them all, are forced to identify dead bodies, the family begins to unravel. Linda, Jody’s mom, loses faith and is in a constant battle with Kate, her youngest daughter. Jody’s father, on the other hand, has become frighteningly passive to everything. And so it is up to Jody to keep her family together. To help them keep the love and respect they once had for each other. Even though this is the story of Michael’s disappearance, it is really the story of Jody trying to save her family, trying to answer the question: Can there ever be life after Michael?

“The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle” By Avi

“Not every girl is accused of murder, brought to trial, and found guilty. But I was such a girl…” With such a promisingly suspenseful beginning, it’s no wonder that it’s painfully difficult to put down the novel, “The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle”. Indeed, the entire novel is just as “adrenaline pumping”. The year is 1832 and the novel begins with thirteen year old prim, proper, and genteel Charlotte Doyle, preparing to cross the Atlantic to rejoin her family in Providence, Rhode Island (U.S.A). Despite her father having planned on her having a chaperone, Charlotte finds herself the single female passenger among a dozen or so rough and rowdy crewmen. Her only weapon is a dagger that is given to her by Zachariah, the dark skinned, caring cook who warns her she will need it. Thus begins her voyage. At first, Charlotte stays in her room, having a bad case of sea sickness. Slowly, though, her wobbly legs adjust, and Charlotte starts to notice things around her. Secrets and whispers, the sailors are plotting something. And they aren’t too happy that she’s on board. From murder to mutiny, from sailors who mock her, to ones who come to work with her, respect her, and love her, Charlotte Doyle goes through it all. An incredible adventure of a life time. And she tells it all, the whole truth, as she lives it… Extremely suspenseful and with a strong willed heroine, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle is simply a masterpiece. I must confess I won’t be lending anybody my copy of it any time soon. I want it all to myself!

Bestsellers Fiction Paperbacks 1 The Afghan (By Frederick Forsyth) 2 The Gathering (By Anne Enright) 3 World Without End (By Ken Follett) 4 Girls of Riyadh (By Rajaa Alsanea) 5 Faces (By Martina Cole)

Non-Fiction Paperbacks 1 The Secret (By Rhonda Byrne) 2 The Innocent Man (By John Grisham) 3 Guinness World Records 2008 (By Guinness World Records) 4 Shakespeare: The World as a Stage (By Bill Bryson) 5 And Another Thing: The World According to Clarkson V2 (By Jeremy Clarkson)



Life is a constellation of moments, and it is under the warm shade of these moments that each one of us lives his own life and goes through his own experiences.

The Pregnant Walk

By Kamlesh Acharya

. I’m learning to walk step. I fall at almost every ed and applauded. eer ch is But every step . I’m too slow for people s. with open, inviting arm me for it wa ey th But to them. The wait is a pleasure king. ma e th I’m a toddler in w to walk. I learnt and forgot ho step. ery I almost fall at ev eful sigh. ru a es ok Every step ev . ple peo for w I’m too slo es. an eye on their watch They wait for me with to them. The wait is a burden in the making. n ria na I’m an octoge

Lonely is the night

‘Lonely is the night’ blank space Here’s a line to fill this ife To release the pent up str ong str so ; ons oti Of em old of perception; They surpass the thresh te words. ple om inc d With weak an Lonely is what I feel d… Alone, uncared, unwante the lost o’s wh re Pathetic creatu d an son rea of Comfort Control of reality y habit And succumbs to the onl thought and a feel. a to se rpo pu That lends a Lonely, is my soul… Hard as I try to hide it, ths To fill it with half-tru life of s tie ori pri On the s That promise its happines Lonely is my life…. gementAnother stiff acknowled low hol As stiff and stern and

Cold Can


Here I am By Fatima AbdulRah Enclosed man B arakji in Shadows the sphere of my doubts of the pa st haunt Crouchin ing me g on the frosty flo Surroun or of reali ded by co ty ld ca Breathin g in the m ndles ist The scen t of Lingers in death the air I am the eternall y forgott Dressed in en the gown My frost of my mo bitten li ps still tre rtality Chantin mbling g the son gs o Contemp lating th f my mystified c hil ose who m Those wh ortified m dhood o clouded y life the trut My sava h with t ge spirit heir lies seeking t Winds of he pleasu change st re of ven inging m A luster geance y skin of hope st ill sleeps And yet in my ey sorrow is es my bliss Despair is my hope Weakne ss is my st rength This cold ness is m y warmt And dark h ness is m y light By Sharon A. Mirza

es and curves As these words…solid lin derstanding Drawing a picture of un And meaning? Lonely - another wave thing. Of that doesn’t change a d dea s thi Doesn’t give life to in pa a Expression of history Alive with a memorable y. And a present continuit How amazing – soul, it’s parched cry : That the dryness of my a Of an inarticulate ple ite, For some semblance of resp nd, ha a of th For the warm a frozen tear… The comforting release of How amazing, It’s here, It’s heard, mechanical In the fluency of these , Dry nonchalant words Or is it?

Get your work published! Next issue’s theme: The Environment. The ‘jury’s favourite’ wins 2 cool SALAAM WATCHES! Send in your poems to Closing date for submissions 12th February ‘08

Hanan Fadali


Wafi City, Dubai


ituated in Wafi Mall, Dubai, Wafi Gourmet is a fusion of a bustling marketplace, successful restaurant and a coffee shop. What we expected to be lunch at a popular dining place turned out to be a more exciting experience.

It is certainly the décor and the ambience of Wafi Gourmet that distinguishes it. On entering, ours was a reaction of pleasant surprise and curiosity, an effect that continuously kept us interested, whether in the food, or the surroundings or the myriad activities of this ‘small town’. Once inside, we were welcomed by the aroma of fresh cooking and the colourful sight of a

huge array of different foods categorized neatly into sections. The place was simply buzzing with life. While the ongoing barbecues and grills tantalized our taste buds, we just had to ‘explore’ this restaurant before settling down for lunch. On one side stood numerous barrels right off the set of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ holding a variety of olives, cheese, labneh, pomegranates, chilli, herbs and spices I thought I could only find in the country side. A bakery, an ice cream parlour, a pizza oven blazing away in another corner, and a bright display of baskets overflowing with fresh fruit and vegetables add to the

rustic and natural appeal of this restaurant. As we ventured further, we came across counters with more appetizers than we could count, an enormous selection of main courses plus a grills section where you can select your meat and have it freshly made in front of you. In addition, a tantalizing seafood section awaited with a choice of hammour, salmon, calamari and shrimps all looking up as if to say ‘eat me’! There are many tables scattered as well as bar-stools around some counters where beverages and snacks can be enjoyed. Deep inside, lay the main seating arrangement which was an outdoor, cleverly airconditioned terrace area. It housed a fountain and a selection of antique Arabic lanterns hanging from wooden beams that are supported by huge columns with Ancient Egyptian symbols inscribed on them, consistent with the theme of Wafi Mall itself. Ordering the food was tricky due to the phenomenal selection available, however our waiter was kind enough to accompany us on a tour of the large buffet to take our order. His in-depth knowledge of foods we weren’t familiar with helped make the selection process easier. The cuisine at Wafi Gourmet comprises Arabic as well as European dishes. For appetizers, we ordered hummous, fattoush and kebbeh. We were brought a basket of hot Arabic bread. The hummous was smooth and tangy and lived up to expectations. The fattoush, whilst equally delectable was lacking in the traditional fried bread pieces which was a personal disappointment but nevertheless the dressing was superb. Kebbeh was the star; the meat was clean, finely minced, perfectly seasoned and most pleasing, not overly greasy nor too dry. For main course we attempted Cordon Bleu Chicken, Shrimp, Mahshi and Kebseh. The cordon-bleu chicken was bread crumbed and stuffed with smoked turkey and cheese and came served on a bed of smooth creamy mashed potatoes, full of well-seasoned flavours. The much-anticipated shrimps were fresh, grilled to an outer crunchiness and a tender inside. You may be disappointed if your tastebuds are trained to a certain spicyness, but the shrimp roasted as close to their natural states, seeming bland at first were best palatable dressed in the juice of the accompanying lemon slices.

Mahshi however was a different story. Zuchini (kousa), potato and artichokes stuffed with mince meat, a traditional and popular dish in the Belad-As-Sham region, were cooked here impressively. The vegetables were soft, the meat succulent and I was thrilled by the very fact that artichokes were on the menu to begin with, somewhat of an unfortunate rarity amongst the other Arabic restaurants! It was however, the Kebseh that stole our hearts. We would both order it again and recommend it. The well done meat complemented the beautifully cooked and flavourful rice, soaked full of traditional Kebseh spices and served with yoghurt tainted with just the right amount of garlic- perfect! As I could not find my trademark Pina Colada, for drinks I opted for Strawberry and Orange Mixed Fresh Fruit Juice. Whereas normally the places I order this from either dilute the strawberry juice with too much orange that its too tangy or keep too much strawberry so that the texture is too thick, this place really nailed it to perfection! Almost stuffed, after seeing the mouth-watering selection of Arabic sweets, cakes, and ice-cream we managed to make room for dessert. We ordered Raspberry and Mango Sorbets with fresh fruit in strawberry juice. It was a fulfilling experience and one definitely to be repeated when you are in a state of indulgence! Wafi Gourmet is definitely a place to head to for a special occasion or a celebration treat. With its interesting concept, aesthetically pleasing decor and endless menu you are sure to enjoy an overwhelming dining experience set against the trickling murmur of water fountains. Your experience and expense will depend largely on what you order, however, Wafi Gourmet is truly a place to feast your senses. As far as variety goes, if its Arabic food and you don’t find it in here, don’t bother looking elsewhere! There’s a lot to take in: sights, sounds, smells and tastes but there’s also an equal amount to take out! You will quite literally, be spoiled for choice.

Enchanting Shazil Rehman

Egypt It was time to leave Alexandria and head to the capital city next – Cairo!! Fortunately, Egypt has an excellent, punctual and inexpensive train network. The 220 km journey from Alexandria to Cairo took just 2 hours and cost me just around US$ 7 in first class!


usk was setting in as I reached this massive city in the evening. I was weary and tired but since I had lots to do and just limited time, I decided to start off straight away. With bags in hand I hired a cab from the train station to first see the Cairo Tower in the street of Zamalek in Cairo. This massively tall 120 meter high tower, beautifully built in 1960, is not a monument, but nevertheless, when I stepped out of the lift on

the top floor and looked over the railing, I was speechless. Stunning views of entire Cairo were on offer, and the timing was perfect. The street lights had just been switched on over this sprawling megapolis and they mixed with the receding rays of natural light. As twilight set in, my first impression of Cairo was made; it was beautiful and I just couldn’t wait to see more! The famous River Nile, something that I had heard so much about, was serene in its calmness and beauty and extended in front of me, as pleasure cruise liners made their way slowly along her waters.

My budget hotel in Cairo was called the Sun Hotel, a cute little place located bang in the heart of Cairo in Midan Tahrir. It had great staff and most importantly, it was really cheap at just around US$ 4 per night! Midan Tahrir is where the famous Egyptian Museum is located. Yes, it’s the place with all the dreaded mummies resting peacefully and also proudly displays the famous king Tutankhamen’s tomb. The American University of Cairo is nearby as well and this area is always lively and filled with people. Exploring the famous markets of Khan-El-Khalili was the best thing to do for me that evening in Cairo. As the cab driver drove around the streets, I felt that truly, this city could be called a City of Mosques - there are so many beautiful mosques all over! Khan-El-Khalili itself is home to some of the oldest and finest mosques in Egypt, including the Al-Azhar Mosque and Islamic University (founded in 970 A.D; it is also the world’s oldest university). I explored this massive market and soaked in the sights and sounds as it burst with tourists from all over the world eager to get the best souvenirs. The next day was Eid, so even the Egyptians had joined the tourists in the shopping and festivities. I hungrily gobbled a hot and tasty dinner of sheesh kabab, kofta, hummus (not the paste but a drink!). At 2 am, with Khan-ElKhalili resembling a carnival of sorts, I reluctantly decided to head back to my room. My Eid prayer the next day was at the first mosque to be built in Egypt. It was the Amrbin-Al-Aas mosque (built in 642 A.D) and was situated close to Coptic Cairo. Coptic Cairo is also called Old Cairo and is the Christian area of Cairo. Centuries ago it was called Babylon. This particular mosque was massive. It did not have special architecture as such that distinguished it from any other mosque, it was just simple and big. After prayers, I took a walk around the Coptic area, which has many of the important churches and cathedrals relating to the Christian history of Cairo. From there it was time to board the metro train to a place called Sayedda Zainab, which would connect me to the Islamic section of Cairo. Here also my walk took me through dozens of mosques; this is the area that has a mosque standing every 5 metres or so! I wanted to see the Ibn Tulun mosque (976 A.D), which is one of the biggest and oldest mosques in Cairo, and has some stunning architecture. It was massive, more like a fort than a mosque. It was totally open, with a roofless courtyard in the center and sheltered prayer areas on all four sides. The famous Citadel of Saladin was also in the same area, situated on a hill over looking the city of Cairo. Once again it offered breathtaking views! Next stop was to see the great Pyramids! This historical landmark is located in Giza, a town 18 kms away from Cairo. The Pyramids are the ONLY existing wonder from both the ancient and the modern world. I gasped as I caught my first glimpse of it and goose bumps ran all over me as I came to terms with its massive structure. I was absolutely dumb founded and speechless. My mind was filled with thoughts and tried to go back 4500 years ago when they had been built.

I’ve seen many a magnificent skyscraper around the world, even in Dubai itself. But 4500 years back what did these Egyptians have in terms of equipment and technology to build such precise pyramids (on a perfect square base) that extended into the skies? In the Pyramid complex, everyday from 8am to 1pm sharp, only 150 tickets are given out for going inside the pyramid. I was fortunate enough to get a ticket at 1pm, and made my way inside, along with others. Parallel to the sloping surface of the pyramid around 10 meters from the base is the entrance into the pyramid-a very steep passage way (4 feet height and breadth only!) extending around 100 meters into the center of

Here also my walk took me through dozens of mosques; this is the area that has a mosque standing every 5 metres or so! the pyramid. There are grips for the feet to pull up and forward, and railings to hold onto and hike up each step. The whole exercise was extremely claustrophobic and several people gave up mid way and were coming down the same way squeezing past me as I went up. After around 10 meters of crawling under low passages we stepped into the Tomb of Khufu. It was a poorly lit room, which had a simple tomb devoid of anything else. There was not much to see, but it gave me a sense of immense satisfaction to be deep inside the great pyramid! Back outside, I quickly made my way to the other two smaller pyramids (made for his wife and daughter) and took a short camel ride to the Sphinx, another superb piece of construction that cannot be described in words. The next morning, I headed to the Egyptian Museum to get my dose of mummies. The place was packed with tourists. The highlight of the museum was the world famous Tutankhamen’s treasures. King Tut, as he is fondly known, died early as a Pharaoh, and the discovery of his tomb in 1962 was a big step in archeological history. There is a big room dedicated to his treasures in the museum. To appreciate all of this, it is a must to know a bit about mummification. Thousands of years ago, Egyptians mummified almost everything in sight, including animals, after death. They strongly believed in the “Afterlife”. For instance, after the mummification of King Tut, his body was put into a coffin, then this was kept in a box like structure, and again, two more structures went over this! All of these boxes and structures were made of pure gold and in it were provided all items necessary for a person to live, like gold chairs, tables, cots, slippers, daggers, sticks, rings, masks, toe caps etc..all in pure gold! King Tut’s face was also covered with the famous 11kg gold

Cairo skyline

The Cairo Metro

The Great Sphinx of Giza “death mask” back then and even this has been excavated and put on display now. It is this mask with the unmistakable and thin hanging beard from the chin that is so popular around the world when you think about Egyptian Pharaohs. The Royal Mummy Room in the Egyptian Museum was the most intriguing and scariest room of all. It contained eleven of the most treasured mummies in their full glory. The most important of them is the mummy of King Ramses. Extreme care and caution had been taken to preserve these corpses and maintain them for future generations to see. Each mummy was in a glass casket with its pressure and temperature monitored and controlled. Most of us are accustomed to imagining a mummy as a body with bandages running all over it. However, the reality was a little different. Yes, of course the bandages were there, but over the thousands of years most had been torn and tattered, and they were certainly not white! I was stunned to see the corpses and mummies of Ramses, and other kings and even a few queens, INTACT with some hair, teeth, toe nails and eyes. It was unbelievably mind-boggling. The flesh in their bodies was almost gone, but the bones were still very much intact, though they were charred black in color. It was amazing to see the crooked teeth in the skull amidst the bandages of the mummy. Shivers ran down my spine as I thought about these corpses who were resting peacefully there, well over 4000 years old. Did they know that I

Amr-bin-Al-Aas Mosque

Cairo Museum was there? Did they know I was gaping at them? Words fail me in such situations; it just has to be seen to be experienced! I hadn’t been to the Nile yet and time was running out for me. It was going to be my last stop in Cairo. As I made my way there towards the evening, it seemed like the entire population of Cairo had descended to this area. It was bursting with families and teens who were still enjoying the festivities of Eid. Celebrations were on in full swing and I found myself amidst a sea of humanity!! I joined a big bunch of Egyptians on 2 short ten minute cruises on the beautiful Nile River. It was real fun and I totally enjoyed doing something that the locals enjoyed themselves! Unfortunately, I was running out of time and it was time to make a move. Reluctantly, I trudged my way against the teeming crowds, leaving behind happy faces, celebrations and sounds along the serene River Nile…my mind and heart were telling me not to leave, but such is the life of a wanderer – the show must go on!! Enchanting Egypt, with its rich history and past was a beautiful experience for me. It was now a part of my own history, though the memories were going to be fresh forever.

Cairo Tower

TIPS AND TRICKS • Air Arabia flies regularly from Sharjah to Alexandria’s Al-Nozha airport. • Bargaining is the most important thing to remember while in Egypt. No matter where you’re going or what you’re buying, you can always bargain yourself into a better deal if you are friendly, respectful and persistent enough. • The Cairo Metro and Egyptian intercity trains are quite punctual, reliable and a comfortable way to travel in and around the cities and between them. • The streets of Cairo especially are quite safe because they are patrolled by heavily armed policemen almost always. They are extremely helpful, especially to tourists and will give you valuable tips and directions. Everything is of course, done for “Bakhsheesh” or tips, but if you talk well to them, you can circumvent this. • Apart from usual Arabic food that is delicious and inexpensive, especially in Cairo, do not forget to gorge on Koshary, an Egyptian specialty which is a mix of pasta, rice, minced meat, beans & other vegetables, topped with some spices and fried onions.

Tel: 06 7441421



2008 French Open Tennis

25 May to 8 June Did you know? Defending Justine Henin and Rafael Nadal both have won the last 3 editions of this tournament. Justine will become the first woman to win four French open titles and Rafael will equal Björn Borg’s record of four consecutive titles if they win.

Sports Calendar 2008 US Open Tennis 25 August to 7 September


7th June to 29th June Arguably the most exciting and awaited sporting event of the year, the UEFA EURO 2008 will be jointly hosted by Austria and Switzerland. A total of 16 teams will participate in the tournament with the hosts getting direct qualification to the grand finale.

Beijing Olympics 2008

August 8 to August 24 It can’t get bigger than this, with approximately 10,500 athletes and 302 events in 28 different sports; The Beijing Olympics promises to be a festival of sports everyone is waiting for. The slogan of the games ‘One World, One Dream’ calls for unity in true Olympic spirit.

Asia Cup Cricket 2008 2008 Australian Open Tennis

14 January to 27 January What’s New? The 96th edition of the tournament will be played on a newly relayed Plexicushion surface. The new playing surface will not just be faster, but is also thinner having lower heat retention.

April - May India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will play in Pakistan to find out the supreme winner of the subcontinent.

2008 Wimbledon Championships 23 June to 6 July

Formula 1 2008 promises to be an exciting year for Formula 1 motor sport enthusiasts. With the kind of racing and rivalry seen last season, there is a lot in store with defending champion Kimi Räikkönen fighting it out with Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso for the honors. 2008 Formula 1 Calendar Australia 16 March Malaysia 23 March Bahrain 06 April Spain 27 April Turkey 11 May Monaco 25 May Canada* 8 June France 22 June Great Britain 6 July Germany 20 July Hungary 3 August

Europe*** 24 August Belgium 7 September Italy 14 September Singapore 28 September Japan 12 October China 19 October Brazil 2 November * Provisional ** Subject to circuit approval *** The 2008 European Grand Prix will take place in Valencia.

F1 Grand Prix in the UAE

Abu Dhabi will be part of the Formula 1 calendar 2009 onwards. So then all you F1 fans do not have to wait too long. For more information go to

Did you know?

At the Bahrain Grand Prix, drivers do not spray champagne on the podium, instead a non alcoholic rosewater drink called Waard is sprayed.

A Cut Above The Rest!

Ms. Aliya Dossa of Fringes Beauty Salon writes on Beauty DOs and DON’Ts exclusively for the readers of Salaam. This issue is on ‘Haircuts’.


ave you ever walked into a salon all excited to get your hair cut to look like a celebrity, but by the end of the hour-long session, you leave wanting to burst into tears, disappointed by the outcome? We’ve all probably had it happen at some point. A haircut gone horribly wrong is a living nightmare. What makes it worse is that you can’t do a thing about it. A bad poodle perm can be relaxed, a bad hair colour can be re-dyed but once those scissors chop off those locks, even crazy glue can’t re-attach them. It’s not often we get exactly what we want but don’t worry. Follow the tips below to avoid such mishaps. 1) Identify the ‘right’ stylist. Someone who will give you an honest, realistic consultation. Not everyone can pull of Jennifer Aniston’s cut and the right

stylist won’t be afraid to tell you if that’s what she thinks. 2) A professional stylist will take the time to listen to what the client wants. 3) Ensure your stylist is adequately qualified with substantial experience. This will ensure they are in tune with the latest techniques and understand all aspects of your hair including how to match it to your features. 4) During the consultation discuss the possibility of adding some colour to your style. Perhaps a few highlights or lowlights to enhance your cut or even a semi-permanent colour to add a rich shine and bring out your natural colour. If opting for colour, ensure that a high quality professional colour is utilized in the least damaging way possible. A haircut can make or break your day!

Why Not cut your hair At Home? Maintaining a haircut is easy. You can trim your hair at home at regular intervals to maintain the style and length. Keep in mind three things to do a professional - looking touch-up between cuts. 1. Always use extremely sharp scissors. 2. Prepare the hair. First, thoroughly comb or brush out all the snarls and tangles. Wet thick hair and long hair first. 3. Don’t cut too much. Always cut off less hair than the length you want. Hair will shrink after being trimmed, especially if it is wet when you trim it. Curly haircuts, “cowlicks”, and bangs will shrink the most.

Salon review

What we tried: Vitamin C facial What we got: An hour long facial commences after you are offered a selection of beverages. Fringes uses products from a Swiss company: Histomer. A representative from the actual company greeted us first and explained the scientific basis of Histomer products. Then I was led into a chamber and asked to change into a specially designed outfit. The therapist explained that the facial would commence with cleansing and exfoliation and then a mask would be applied. Unlike the 2 minute cleansing most people do at home, this was a 25 minute cleansing process, at the end of which your face feels...well...really clean! Just when I thought the facial was over, the therapist applied a thick mask with Vitamin C, a great antioxidant that can endow skin with a radiant glow. While the mask was setting, a masseuse entered and performed her magic - a combination of Thai and Reflexology massage techniques were employed. All of that combined with the soothing music in the background and the enchanting candlelight, it’s enough to relax even the most stressed person. Did it really work? The ultimate question! I came out of the facial to be greeted by exclamations of surprise and wonder, “WOW, you’re glowing!”. Well there you have it. My face was radiant and my skin tone definitely seemed improved. The cost: An hour long facial using Histomer products costs between dhs 150250. They offer facials for anti-wrinkle, skin lightening and Vitamin C amongst others.

The haircut I first had a consultation with Barbara Jaron, a hair stylist from Switzerland with over 12 years experience in her field. She listened to what I wanted and offered her expertise and input into what she thought would suit me. Once we agreed on the length and style of hair, we discussed colouring options. She

Hanan Fadali An uber-friendly salon with high standards of hygiene, professional staff and a wide selection of services to choose from, Fringes is located in Bur Dubai. Amongst the standard manicures, pedicures, waxing and threading, Fringes also offers Moroccan baths but they are most famous for their facials and hair services. So we went along to find out if it really was as good as they say it is!

This experience broke a fear I had developed of hair cuts due to past bad incidents

hair cuts and would highly recommend Fringes Beauty Salon for the hospitality and professionalism they offer…oh and the cut above the rest! Have you had an interesting or funny experience at the hairdresser’s? Tell us and if we’re impressed, your story will not only be published but you will also enter a competition to win a FREE manicure or a pedicure at Fringes Beauty Salon! Send in your emails to

Which styles go well with your type of hair?

then brought out colour swatches and • Thin and fine hair: If your hair is we chose 3 colours that would blend thin and fine, keep it short and into my hair and give it a sophisticated fluffy. natural edge without being tacky. I ap• Medium or coarse hair: This hair preciated the in-depth consultation and can handle most styles. attention to detail. She commenced by • Heavy or thick hair: If your hair straightening my hair, cutting it using is heavy or thick, keep it at a latest techniques, moving ahead whilst medium length or it will not asking my opinion. I admired my new hang well. ‘do’ whilst the colours were prepared. Next she layered on the hair dye on some strands, wrapped them in foil and told Some other tips: me to relax for 40 minutes. Eventually came the moment of truth. I had my hair 1. If you are trimming your own washed, blow-dried, then pain-stakingly hair, be sure you have a mirror straightened with irons after applicafor the front and another for the tion of heat protector spray. The colour back. was coming through in sections and the glimpses I got were of beautiful healthy 2. When finished trimming the hair, shiny hair with very subtle colour, just as shave the remaining hair off the I had wanted. Just when I thought she back of the neck with a razor had finished, she clipped some more secor small clippers. Sometimes tions of hair, asked permission to apply this simple step is all that is another shine boosting serum and hey necessary to maintain a wellpresto! groomed appearance between haircuts. This experience broke a fear I had developed of hair cuts due to past bad 3. Maintaining a haircut will be incidents. She cut my hair to the exact much easier if a hairstyle is style I wanted and it suited my features. chosen that allows the hair to do It was thinned, coloured, protected with what it wants to do naturally. A products and styled. I couldn’t have good haircut will fall into place asked for more. In fact I try to be critical even if it is not blown dry in the in my reviews but honestly I couldn’t morning. find any faults in the cut. I’m ecstatic I’ve found a great place to go to for future

Every quarter, SALAAM shares in your concerns, answers your health related questions and gives advice on dealing with your problems. Shayma Al-Fardan MSc Mental Health Studies, Kings College, London writes for the readers of SALAAM lems since en facing lots of prob ar at college. I’ve be ye nd co se having my I’m in and am ng anywhere. Hi. I am 19 years old n’t feel like I’m getti do t bu pe co to not that I’m not ing my d I’ve been try every night. And it’s s ur ho 3 ink about anything an th the past month an re when I try not to th hardly sleep mo en I t ev t ac inf fac .in s… ted … ht us ng nig ha rki n’t stop wo . And I’m so ex difficulty sleeping at I feel like my mind wo self from doing that d my an p ss sto tle I e res for I’m be t y bu something friends tell me I’m sleepy….I am sleep at small things. My unting like to 600 or d co ye on no es an t go d ge I an y; g countin and mood ent, and I mind actually starts last semester assessm come short-tempered be my o up als d e I’v sse ss. me I cla as d at me I lose ncentrate in parents are quite ma is scholarship and if that I’m unable to co my life to getting th t but how can I? My ve ou ill ga I ch t ip. jus rsh to ld d ola ou or t I can’t aff n’t lose my sch stressed out and I sh ching assistant, bu a B average so I do tea st e lea th at as to e job e ad gr tim ep my how to cope. My inuing my partneed to study to ke sed, but I don’t know thinking of discont es str I’m I’m ed tir at th so ow I’m . ucation sort of person. n’t help. I kn it I won’t have an ed myself! I’m not this fall asleep, but it did to ing los ng isi I’m e erc lik ex l ed fee I tri I y ing pills. t honestl ort of funds. of taking some sleep disappoint them, bu right now as I’m sh ld I do? I’m thinking and I don’t want to ou ns sh tio t cta ha W pe . ex me ny lp ck. Please he parents have so ma be fine, back on tra od night’s sleep I’ll go a t ge t jus I if I think is? Would you advice th Stress Mess

Dear Stress-Mess, It seems like you have been suffering for quite a while now. It is clear that there are some stressors in your life that are keeping you on edge. You have to maintain good grades for your scholarship as well as take some of that study time to work to sort out your financial difficulties. Many students in your situation would feel stressed but from what you were describing it seems that the problem may be more than just stress. The difference lies in how you, compared to other students, would handle it. Resorting to taking some sleeping pills would not be the answer and should never be done without consulting a doctor. The way a person copes depends on a mixture of factors, ones biological makeup, ones psychological makeup and ones environment and upbringing. That is why one person might say ‘how come he/she is handling this a lot better than I am’ when another person might be going through the exact same problem. Everyone’s mixture is different so how one responds to the problem would also be different. First and foremost, I would strongly urge you to seek a professional in order to tackle the root of the problem. You may be experiencing some form of anxiety that may have been there for a while. Seeing a psychiatrist or a psychologist would be a step towards treatment and should not be seen as shameful. If one had a tooth ache then it would be best to go to a dentist. Having anxiety should also be treated the same way. Secondly, take a step back and assess the situation. If you feel like you are anxious all the time (day and night) then distractions will temporarily help to minimize the problem. Distractions are anything that would stimulate your mind, such as reading a book or doing a crossword puzzle, not something that you might do regularly, such as household chores or watching the television. In addition, allocate worry time during the day where you can worry all you want about anything you want. If any worries come to you during the day, cast them aside or write them down for your worry time. You have to consciously make a decision not to think about these worries. Make sure that your worry time is not too long, an hour to two hours, and that it is in your free time when you are not at school, studying or working, such as in the evening. You will soon discover that when worry time comes along, there won’t be much to worry about. One activity that you can do during worry time is problem solving. Take a piece of paper and a pen and write down all the problems you are facing. Choose one that is causing you the most amount of distress. Then try coming up with various solutions even if some solutions may seem hard or even ridiculous (you can ask someone close to you to join you if you find it difficult to do on your own). After doing that, choose what you think might be the best solution and try it out. When choosing a solution make sure you break it down into small steps so that you don’t feel so overwhelmed when trying to reach the ultimate goal. Even if it doesn’t turn out to be the best solution, avoid criticizing yourself and try to learn about what went wrong. This way it would be easier to try out another solution. Lastly, taking up exercise was a good idea, but I would encourage you to take up a type of exercise that focuses on breathing techniques, such as yoga.

Say It, Jamil Idris Kasmani


Mean It

amir could not have imagined this day would seal his destiny. What had seemed like a harmless routine; speeding to reach his workplace on time, had dragged him to the gallows. And all that occupied his mind in his final moments was that he hadn’t had the face to say “sorry” to the parents of that fatal accident victim; an innocent child... Sarah knew it was her last chance. It was her final year at university and there was going to be no next time. She desperately wanted to top her class this time. She got what she desired; but it had cost her her friendship with her bosom buddy. She had lied to Janice when the latter approached her for help during the exams...

To err is human. Time and again, we all make mistakes. There may be several occasions where we end up offending somebody, almost everyday. What is worse is that we might give way for misunderstandings to creep into our relationships without even realizing it! Unless somebody points it out and we recognize the wrong we’ve done, we cannot transform ourselves. Some “errors’ are committed intentionally with the sole purpose of belittling a person and getting a kick out of the episode. What we don’t foresee is that our actions might lead to disaster! This might set the ball rolling and prepare the stage for another impending disaster. Many of us have been through this situation. Yet how many times have we accepted responsibility, in retrospect, for having started the wildfire? We hear of people committing the most heinous of crimes, ranging from slander to murder. They continue doing that for their repetitive misdeeds kill their conscience and desensitize their hearts. Yet few ever admit their mistakes before confronting the noose. It is human tendency to overlook our own misdeeds but we jump and take a meticulous note of the smallest errors others commit. We misbehave with relatives, upset our pals, misrepresent colleagues, ridicule the boss and are cold towards strangers. We routinely honk impatiently at already irate drivers caught up in a traffic snarl. In the end, we put it all down to another “bad day”! We always think we are right. That is the problem. We refuse to look at a situation from another’s perspective and circumstance. We have big fat egos. We decide the stance we take and we etch it as truth in our minds. We start believing the

world must obey our covertly selfish, custom made principles. We point fingers at everyone around us. We insist that all our wishes be granted. We forget that circumstance makes one a hero. We find excuses and scapegoats to shoulder the burden of our failures.

We forget that charity begins at home and the first step is introspection; to look within ourselves on a day to day basis, if not more frequently. We must learn to weigh our words, to put ourselves in the other’s shoes and to analyze the manner in which we deal with others. We must also cultivate the habit of making excuses for the other’s ill manners once in a while. Since nobody is perfect, let us be practical and make room for errors in our everyday lives. Let’s try to cope with imperfection. Let us be positive and welcome these stepping stones to success, opportunities to fine tune our speech and actions. Once you’ve realized your mistakes, which won’t take too long, comes the next step; admitting it, trying to undo it and apologizing. For many, this is the most difficult step. Uttering the five letter word is a task few dare to do. It takes a lot of courage and character to say ‘sorry’ and more importantly, to mean it. The essence of every action lies in the intention; hence it is vital that the apology comes from one’s heart. You will never be sorry you were nice and kind! And maybe an apology is a good way to have the last word!! It doesn’t end here. The final step is to learn from your mistakes and take a pledge not to repeat it, for a mistake can be labeled such only if it is committed once. For some, committing ‘mistakes’ becomes a habit and the ‘sorry’ is reduced to being just another word of everyday vocabulary. They have a book full of excuses to justify all their wrongdoings. They keep hurting the others because they are too self centered and routinely take the others for granted. Their apology means nothing, as it probably will not change anything. But there is no importance or weight attached to an apology tendered as a mere formality. In the words of Gilbert K. Chesterton, “A stiff apology is a second insult... The injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged; he wants to be healed because he has been hurt.” Let us all join hands and try to even out the bumps in our short lives. It is pointless waging a battle of “survival of the fittest”. Let us try to keep both our words and actions soft because tomorrow we may have to eat them. We are here to contribute our bit to society, let us stick to the task. It is up to us to try and make our environment a better place to live in.

Hearts find I


n modern age science has been winning its victories in the seeming battles with religion. The evidence has long seemed irrefutable: is life merely a product of blind chance—a cosmic roll of an infinite number of dice across an eternity of time?

But now, in the twenty first century, a startling transformation is taking place in Western scientific and intellectual thought. At its heart is a dawning realization that the universe, far from being a sea of chaos, appears instead to be an intricately tuned mechanism whose every molecule, whose every physical law, was designed from the very first nanosecond of the big bang toward the creation of life. Evidence argues that faith today is not grounded in ignorance. It is where reason has been leading us all along. According to research by David B. Larson, of the American National Health Research Center, and his team, comparisons of devout and non-religious Americans have given very surprising results. For instance, religious people suffer 60% less heart disease than those with little or no religious belief, the suicide rate among them is 100% lower, they suffer far lower levels of high blood pressure, and this ratio is 7:1 among smokers. It was reported in one study published in the International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, an important scientific source in the world of medicine, that people who describe themselves as having no religious beliefs become ill more frequently and have shorter life spans. According to the results of the research, those with no beliefs are twice as likely to suffer stomach-intestine diseases than believers, and their mortality rate from respiratory diseases is 66% times higher than that of believers. Secular psychologists tend to refer to similar figures as “psychological

effects.” This means that belief raises peoples’ spirits, and this contributes to health. This explanation may indeed be reasonable, but a more striking conclusion emerges when the subject is examined. Belief in God is much stronger than any other psychological influence. The wide-ranging research into the connection between religious belief and physical health carried out by Dr. Herbert Benson of the Harvard Medical Faculty has produced surprising conclusions in this area. Despite not being a believer himself, Dr. Benson has concluded that worship and belief in God have a more positive effect on human health than that observed in anything else. Benson states that he has concluded that no belief provides as much mental peace as belief in God. What is the reason for this connection between belief and the human soul and body? The conclusion reached by the secular researcher Benson is, in his own words, that the human body and mind are regulated to believe in God. This fact, which the world of medicine has slowly begun to appreciate, is a secret revealed in the Qur’an in these words: “… Only in the remembrance of Allah can the heart find peace.” (Qur’an, 13:28) The reason why those who believe in God, who pray to and trust in Him, are psychologically and physically healthier is that they behave in accordance with the purpose of their creation. Philosophies and systems which contradict human creation always lead to pain and unhappiness. Modern medicine is now tending towards the realization of this truth. As Patrick Glynn put it: “Scientific research in psychology over the past twenty-five years has demonstrated that,… religious belief is one of the most consistent correlates of overall mental health and happiness.” This article is based on the works of Harun Yahya from www.



tryst with teaching

“Accept the offer, go for it!” urged one pal. “I always knew you were destined to be one,” declared another chum. “Sounds boring,” chipped in a third. And as the days flew by and the world waited with anticipation for my verdict, I started imagining myself as a teacher. Not long ago I went to a school where students believed that teachers were their mentors, the gurus who taught them all that they needed to be equipped with before they could step out into the big world. I contemplated whether I had it in me to play role model for a handful of tomorrow’s generation. I consoled myself that after all, I had been valedictorian at university and my friends had always counted on me to explain mind-boggling theorems. Then there had been my teachers, who had, over the years, generously showered me with adjectives like honest, sincere, hard working, patient, disciplined, sociable. To my advantage, I had also earned the reputation of being a seasoned orator. Besides, I was a relatively fresh graduate and I reminded myself that I had always bonded well with kids anyway. So after two weeks of careful deliberation, I finally began imagining myself tutoring a class full of porous minds, listening with their ears perked and keenly devouring every morsel from the blessed fountain of knowledge. I finally relented, adjusted my spectacles and confidently proceeded to join the teaching guild.

When I entered the class on my first day, I was shocked to find that the students had not bothered to stand up and greet me. I decided that I would bridge the gap between student and teacher. I told myself that the better they liked me, the more agreeable would be their approach towards my subject. Wrong. The moment I let down my guard, the students thought I was cool (like their own selves, they confided in me). So they danced and joked and played musical chairs, while I stood dumbstruck, rooted to the spot where the teacher’s chair once stood. I spent the next forty five minutes yelling “The Weather” as loud as I could, hoping against hope that my voice would be heard in spite of the mayhem. The sound of the bell came to my rescue at last and indicated that it was time for me to move on to my next class. Less than one hour post donning my new avatar, I had learned my lesson for the day. As I walked towards my next venture, I assured myself that handling a pack of fifth graders had to be less daunting a task than controlling the grade seven boys I had just left behind. And lo! This bunch actually greeted me (albeit seated)! After the cordial exchange of pleasantries, I committed the next grave error - my second in a series of mistakes that I would commit every now and then over the next two weeks - I told them that I believed “interaction” between the teacher and students was essential. They agreed with me unanimously. One student raised his hand, cleared his voice, and then revealed, “Never do more than five of us pass in any given subject”. “We don’t like science,” a second child volunteered. “Hope you will let us eat lollipops during class,” said yet another. “Miss, he says he does not fear failing, because his father is rich!” “Care for some gum?!” “I would like to inform you that we can’t draw”. “We advice you to carry your own duster from class to class!!” “Excuse me miss, I think someone has splashed ink all over your back,”… Over the next few days, I was the victim of name calling by a handful of cherubic angels, was attacked twice by the harmless koosh ball, was bombarded with requests to visit the bathroom at an average rate of two students every five minutes, was asked three dozen times what time the lunch hour bell would sound, was pelted with paper bullets launched at me with slings and was made fun of after being caught eating chocolate. Much against will or interest, I learnt to referee a game of football. I also mastered self control and the art of refraining from reprimanding late comers, silently bore the various intentional distortions of my beloved name, became adroit

Naufa Jaffer

at making sense of squiggles and doodles, mastered the skill of dodging paper planes hurled at me from every direction, became adept at mediating fights (I already had two broken pairs of glasses by then) and ultimately, I also became proficient in administering first aid for broken teeth. What’s more, I discovered novel ways of separating bubble gum from shoe sole, a breakthrough which I secretly dream of patenting some day. Two weeks later, I had become disillusioned. I told myself that my fling with this noble profession had certainly ended exactly where it had all my imagination!

By the end of five weeks, I had been reduced to being a shadow of my former self. I was crestfallen. My confidence had gone and along with it some blubber, which my dietician later claimed that I may have lost due to ‘constant high energy demands’ at work. My enthusiasm had hit an all time low. The only element in me which showed the graph rising steadily was my blood pressure. When the much dreaded examinations (for I dreaded testing how much my students knew) were right around the corner, I decided to give advice on some dos and don’ts for the students to attempt passing their papers. “Read the question carefully, over and over, before you attempt to answer,” I warned. “If you are asked to explain the stages in the life cycle of a butterfly, for example, do you know how to go about answering it?” I questioned. “Yes!” pat came the reply in chorus. Then one student raised her hand (yes, I had managed to teach the pupils to first raise a hand, wait for my permission, then stand and speak, ONE at a time, if they had something to ask/say), and she asked , “But what do we write if that question is not asked?!!!!” The majority of my students did scrape through though. Yet, I know my brood only too well to think that none cheated during the exams. But the number of boys versus that of girls caught in the act of copying taught me another lesson- that the girls beat the boys at smartness! The day I announced that I had decided to quit, one of my grade six students handed me a letter. The scrawl ended with the words, “There were times when we understood what you taught. There were also times when you explained over and over again, and we nodded our heads, yet we never understood. But we love you, you are a lovely person and a great teacher. We will miss you.” My tryst with the teaching profession went on for longer than I ever expected. And I have seen life from a child’s perspective, a second time.

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