For the Love of Pizza


When authenticity, passion, and experience meet.

They say to always follow your passion, and chase after your dreams. This is what consultant, traveler, gastronome, and chef Mohammed Abdalaziz Salamah decided to do.f97d297f-d99a-4c03-a69a-5076253e98e9-copy

Originally from Madinah, born in Khobar, and living in Jeddah, he graduated from King Abdulaziz University with a Bachelors in Business Management, with a major in Marketing back in 2004.

After graduation, he began his journey within the marketing industry, starting with advertising, and eventually becoming a brand manager.c290dea2-30fe-4cb3-a7cf-401f3f53cdd6-copy

While working with a family business in 2010, which owned several restaurants, including an Italian, Lebanese, and Indian restaurants; his passion for cooking and learning new recipes took him to learn these different cuisines, and most importantly learning pizza making at the Italian Restaurant, Rosso. With lots of trial and error, he was able to learn the making of a Neapolitan Pizza which is handmade, and also a Romana Pizza. 12bf8820-ef83-444e-ad7f-0bccb56ec26d-copy

He later on stumbled upon a marketing opportunity for a burger place, called 20 Minutes Burger. Mohammed was a partner, but also took on marketing. After a while, he wanted to get out of the burger craze, and delve into the world of pizzas instead; strictly for his love and enjoyment in it.

In 2018, Mohammed traveled to attend the Pizza World Championship in Parma, Italy, which consisted of 15 different competitions for different types of pizza making. With a point grading system, the experience wasn’t easy, yet he crafted his own pizza, and obtained a certificate of attendance. Out of 1500 contestants, Mohammed received a certificate stating that he is the first Saudi to master making Neapolitan pizza.7c5c85fc-b64d-47a0-9b9f-c8082cdfca3f-copy

He intends on opening an Italian Pizzeria soon, to redefine what an original, Italian pizza means.

The concept, execution, and even the menu is done by him. Mohammed explained that working in the Marketing industry has opened his eyes and made him gain a vast experience. Negotiating when renting a space, knowing the cost of construction, in addition to learning details about the space itself, are very essential to starting a business. Motivation, dedication are passion is what is driving Mohammed everyday.3cf4458e-0003-4a53-bf5b-7cb0173c8fea-copy

His restaurant will include Pizzas and Pastas as well. With a signature pizza being on the menu, which consists of 4 ingredients only.

He eventually hopes on expanding and opening branches in different cities, while hiring local talents.

“Customers can customize their own pizzas, they can choose the crispiness, and the type of toppings they want to add; I want my customers to be happy”, Mohammed said with enthusiasm.


Destination #TGIT: What’s Going On, Sharqiya?


Hello Sharqawies!

Here are your updates for the weekend and the upcoming week, of what’s happening in Sharqiya.

Events of the Week:

Advancing Women – The Power of Choice

Hosted and organized by Asharqia Chamber, The Executive Board of Businesswomen is conducting a lecture titled: Advancing Women – The Power of Choice, in cooperation with Korn Ferry. An exciting opportunity for those who want to advance in their careers, and excel in what they do.

The lecture is open for males and females.

Date: July 7
Time: 5:00 PM – 7 PM
Location: King Fahd Rd., Al Hussam Dist., Dammam (See map)
Instagram: asharqiachamber

30 x 30 Exhibition


Art is a way to enjoy life, a way of expression, and a way of living.

Held at The Society for Culture and Arts, 30 x 30 Exhibition will host many artists from the region.

Date: July 4 – July 9
Time: 7:30 PM
Location: Saudi Arabia Society for Culture and Arts, Al Athir Dist., Dammam (See map)
Instagram: sasca_dmm

Must See Movie at the Cinema


X-Men: Dark Phoenix

For all X-Men fanatics, the wait is finally over!

In this movie, Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. In turn, the XMen will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth it.

Spoiler alert: We hate to break it to you, but Wolverine is no longer in it.

Good news is, it is still as amazing as the previous X-Men Movie Series.

50 SAR Standard Ticket

70 SAR  IMAX Ticket

Location: West Avenue Mall, Omar Ibn Al Khattab St., Faysaliyah Dist., Dammam (See map)
Instagram: vox_cinemas_ksa
Web: VOXcinemas

What to Do:

Are you bored this summer?

Want to do something fun? You can learn the basics of French at Prince Sultan Fund for Women Development. From grammar rules to speaking, and practicing multiple exercises.


Date: Starting Sunday, July 7 (not inclusive of weekends)
Duration: 1 month
Time: 10 AM – 12 PM
Location: Ibn Al Baytar St., Industrial City, Dammam
Instagram: psfw

Where to Go:


Sunset Beach Resort has announced the opening of their park for families.

Enjoy a family day at the resort, with water activities at the swimming pool and the beach; in addition to a variety of activities for children during the summer break.

Location: Sunset Blvd., Al Tahliyah Dist., Khobar (See map)
Tel: +966-13-8902000
Instagram: sunsetbeachalkhobar

Cafe to Try this Weekend

Hermoso Cafe

If you want to escape to an artsy getaway this weekend, Hermoso is the place.

You will be taken away by the art installments, and paintings on the wall by local talented artists.

With a variety of delicious drinks, in addition to selected delicious desserts; it’s definitely worth stopping by.

Location: Bashar Ibn Burd St., Ulaya, Khobar (See map)
Instagram: hermoso_sa


Destination #TGIT: What’s Going On, Sharqiya?


Hello Sharqawies! Here’s what’s happening in Sharqiya this week.

Events of the week

Raksh Art Show

For all the art lovers out there

A 3-day event showcasing different art pieces from multiple artists within the region. 

Dates: June 27 – June 29

Time: 5 PM

Entry Fee: 25 SAR (sold at Desert Designs)

Location: Desert Designs, Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques Rd., Aqrabiyah, Khobar (See link)

Instagram: ddartgallery


A collective Fine Art Exhibition

With 12 different female artists in Sharqiya, this 5-day event will exhibit the works of creative artists.

Date: June 27 – July 1st

Time: 6 PM – 10 PM

Location: Abdullah Alshaikh Art Hall,

Saudi Arabia Society for Culture and Arts, Al Athir Dist., Dammam (See link)

Instagram: sasca_dmm

What to do

A perfect family event – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 

Take your family this weekend and enjoy attending a theatrical play; a lively stage show, inspired by the events of the famous Snow White story. 

Date: June 27 –  June 29

Time: 4:30 PM – 10 PM

Location: King Abdullah Cultural Center, Al Nakheel Rd., Mutrafiyah Dist., Jubail (See link)

Instagram: enjoy_saudi


Are you a movie lover? Have you always wondered how films are made? At Reportage Hidden Cinema tricks, optical illusion, and many more tricks that will be revealed.

Date: June 27 – July 6

Time: 5 PM – 11 PM

Location: The land opposite of AlRashid Town Square, King Saud Rd., Al Qadisiyah Dist., Al Mubarraz

Instagram: enjoy_saudi

Where to go 

The Scientific Dome Program at Scitech


Watch IMAX scientific movies for the month of June at Scitech. These movies include Wild Africa, Journey to the Space, The Enchanted Reef, and Oceans.

Date: Throughout the month of June.

Time: Different timings, 45 minutes per each movie.

Location: Scitech IMAX Cinema, Corniche Rd., Khobar (see link)

Instagram: scitech_edu

Ithra – Kalimat Literary Open Meeting

Any bibliophiles around here? Kalimat Literary group is hosting a discussion on the book When Days Get Harder, For writer Wafaa Khalid. The meeting is open for males and females.

Interested? Register through the link on their account. 

Language used: Arabic

Date: June 27

Time: 6 PM – 8 PM

Location: King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, Ithra Library, Ring Rd., Gharb Al Dhahran (See link)

Instagram: kalimatliterary

Must See Movie at the Cinema


Sharqawies, don’t have plans this weekend? Well, now you do! We finally have a Cinema in town. Enjoy the latest movies at Vox Cinemas in Dammam, at West Avenue Mall.

Our recommendation: Men in Black: International 

Book your tickets through the website.


50 SAR Standard Ticket

70 SAR  IMAX Ticket

Location: West Avenue Mall, Omar Ibn Al Khattab St., Faysaliyah Dist., Dammam (See link)

Instagram: vox_cinemas_ksa

Web: ksa.voxcinemas

People of interest 

Jwa Band

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Jwa جَوَى (@jwaband) on

One of the Sharqiya-based bands that are impacting the music scene. Jwa are an Indie band based in Dhahran, usually performing live music at multiple events and locations; adding some cool vibes to the community.

Instagram: jwaband

Restaurant to try this weekend



All the way from the UAE, teabucks is now open in Dammam!

Serving delicious breakfast daily, in addition to great lunch options. Don’t miss out on this newly-opened restaurant.

Hours: 7 AM – 2 PM.

Location: Prince Mohammed bin Fahd St., Al Shati Dist., Dammam (See link)

Instagram: teabucksksa



Turning Pain Into Beautiful Art

Photo by Mohamed Fawzy

Hanna Shahbar’s Journey.

Hanaa Shahbar was focused on her goals and career, holding a prominent position at an architectural engineering firm, when her life changed so abruptly in 2016 upon discovering that she had Stage 3 breast cancer. She spiraled into grief and pain, and even as her family showered her with love, she was acutely aware of being treated by everyone around her as a “sick person.”

She eventually began painting, expressing what she was going through – all the emotions that reflected her state of mind as she adjusted and tried living with her cancer. When she started attending art events and collaborating with other artists, she found that it helped her overcome the initial depression and sadness that came with having cancer.


“I turn these feelings into visible works of art, highlighting the importance of finding happiness from within, despite what I go through,” Hanaa says.

“The first piece of work I finished, Silence of the Frightened, left me upset and confused. It expressed a combination of fear, anticipation, and a longing for silence. I ended up destroying the artwork.” Hanaa tried again soon afterwards, confronting herself and her fears, and sharing Confrontation with her family. “This time, it was all about acceptance – it’s okay to wear a wig and faux lashes, it’s okay to live for yourself. We need to love ourselves, before expecting others to,” she adds.


After a spate of treatments, Hanaa battled her cancer successfully. In celebration, she created Success to reflect laughter, happiness, and her gratitude. “I’m currently under treatment still, but I always remember to be grateful to God.”


She shares, “We all have difficulties in our lives. Cancer patients who have a positive perspective, like Shaima Eidi and Hana Iskandar, are sources of inspiration for all of us.”

She aspires to be one such person, too; she learned motion graphics to produce her full story on video and share it with others, and she created a page dedicated to supporting other survivors.

Instagram:  hanno_2018 / hanno_art_


Half and Half: Dr. Layla Abu Al Saud & Eng. Ahmed Al Khabbaz


What happens when two people find their balance and perfect mate? They become the best versions of themselves, individually and as a unit. Here are some couples we spoke to who are definitely our #RelationshipGoals.

When Layla and Ahmed first met, they didn’t expect that their career paths would one day completely shift, leading them to being genuinely happy and successful in what they do.

Layla went to Medical School at the Arabian Gulf University in Bahrain. Having always had a passion for fashion, she took on the hobby of dress designing while still studying. Upon graduating, she decided to pursue her dream and go on the journey of bridal fashion design, eventually creating her brand Chic Design Bridal.dsc09729-copy

Ahmed graduated as a Mechanical Engineer from Jubail Industrial College in 2010. Growing up, he was involved in a family business Vision House, which he later took over to fully lead, handling eyeglasses, optical frames, and sunglasses.

In 2011, Ahmed started designing his own frames and glasses under his brand Rose Du Monde, at four store branches in Sharqiya.

Layla and Ahmed admit that they’re both workaholics, and that the secret to their success is loving what they do, fueling their drive every day. However, they do make sure that, especially on stressful days, they take the time to treat themselves to a romantic dinner, watch a movie, or go on a short getaway, and just generally wind down by connecting with each other, talking about their day and what’s on their minds. As a creative couple, Layla and Ahmed both share a love for art. They believe that art is important, and that it contributes to improving the general taste of the society. They plan on opening an art gallery devoted to all kinds of art and artists.

“Marry your best friend, your intellectual match.” Dr. Layla Abu Al Saud

Instagram: chicdesignbridal
Instagram: visionhouse


Ahmed Monshi, 19


Dominance in sport goes beyond the physical; consistent, dedicated training requires mental discipline.

Sport: Boxing
No. of years in sport: 4
Stats: 3-Time National Champion, National Youth Championship – 2016, National Elite Championship – 2017 and National Open Championship – 2018

Ahmed started on his boxing journey when, growing up in the UK without his father’s presence, he felt the need to learn skills to protect his family. He tried boxing, inspired by his older brother who was also a boxer, and he instantly fell in love with the sport.

Ahmed has successfully won the National Championship 3 times so far, and yet the achievement that means most to him is how fighting (in the ring) has helped him get over his fears and deal with issues that were impacting him negatively.

“Fighting saved me. If I don’t get punched, I don’t feel good! We fight, we shout, and then we go have a meal together while limping,” he laughs. “The boxing community is filled with so much energy, I love it.”

He admits that, because many people believe that fighting is an unnecessary sport, he didn’t get much support in the beginning. “Boxing is an aggressive sport, sure, but when I’m in the ring, the last thing I feel is aggression,” he explains. “Instead I feel passion, a burst of energy. Tough beats tough, it’s never anger beats anger.” One of the best things he has learned from the sport is self-control, and he hopes that society starts to see all these values as part of boxing, instead of its perceived violence.

Ahmed trains hard to improve his boxing technique, and his regimen is diverse; it includes dancing and yoga. He certainly feels more physically capable now than when he first started out, and he is grateful for the growing support of those around him. Training with Nettles Nasser, who participated in the previous Mohammed Ali Trophy competition, Ahmed aims to become world champion, and his journey will start in Saudi.

Instagram: ahmed_monshi


Mohammed Basheer “Crymba” Alshenqiti, 27


Dominance in sport goes beyond the physical; consistent, dedicated training requires mental discipline.

Sport: Calisthenics
No. of years in sport: 5 years bodybuilding, 3 years calisthenics
Stats: 1st Place at GACC and 2nd Place at ACCS

27-year-old Mohammed had been involved in the world of bodybuilding for five straight years when he decided to change gears and pursue pure calisthenics 3 years ago, a sport featuring a variety of movements that include jumping, bending, grasping, pushing, and pulling, while focusing mostly on the athlete’s body weight. Calisthenics, which nurtures health, flexibility, and body strength, is the “street” version of gymnastics, with which it shares similarities.

Mohammed’s journey began in November 2015 when he attended The Calisthenics World Cup in Bahrain. Seeing how involved, enthusiastic, and euphoric the competitors were, especially when completing, so inspired Mohammed that he decided to pursue it and reach their level. “I thought, if they could do it, so could I; it’s all about discipline,” he says.

In 2017, he achieved his ultimate goal of participating in the GACC (Gulf Amateur Calisthenics Championship) Kuwait, in which he succeeded and won 1st place. The following year, won 2nd place in Australia at the ACCS (Australian Calisthenics Championship).

Also a physiotherapist, Mohammed aspires to find a lifestyle he truly enjoys, and it includes doing calisthenics, improving himself day by day and working out mostly on weekdays. “My weekends are my days off, which I admit is sometimes the reason I dislike weekends!” On the weekends that he does decide to work out, he keeps it moderate and gives his body some time to recover. “Resting is, in itself, a big part of the training.”

Instagram: crymba


Dina Al Tayeb: Ironwoman


Dina is a dentist, and an owner of a clinic. But her love for sports lead her to be Ironman Athlete of 2017 and 2018.

Dina’s love for being active started at a young age, from taking on swimming, bicycling, tennis playing, and even martial arts. Growing up, her dream was to finish medical school, and so after graduating from Dental School at Tufts University, while juggling her studies and her marriage, Dina went back to her hometown Jeddah to open her clinic Dentalia with 3 other partners. She’s a consultant periodontist – a gum specialist.

Aside from running her own dental clinic, she serves on the Dental Advisory Board and as a trustee at Tufts University. Yet her passion for sports never waned. In 2002, she entered the world of triathlons, and in 2005 was invited to participate in the Ironman Marathon in Canada, what Dina calls the crème de la crème of sports.

With 14 Ironman races and 100 triathlons under her belt, she has also won the title of Ironman Athlete of the Year in 2017 and 2018.

Dina goes through serious preparations for all her Ironman triathlons, which may require up to a year, from physical, to mental, and nutritional preparations. Doing daily activities to prepare for a race while having discipline is Dina’s method and lifestyle. Her activities in include core and strength training, mobility, yoga, and meditation.

Between having short and long-term goals, a proper plan, and with the right time management skills, Dina was able to stay motivated throughout the process of having her own business, and being an athlete as well. Dina also enrolled in Ironman Coaching University, and she’s currently a certified Ironman Coach. She wants to help other athletes, to go after their dreams.

Instagram: arabiantrieagle


Dania Nassief & Danya Alhamrani

Dania Nassief / Danya Alhamrani

Dania had the planning skills while Danya had the creativity. Toegther they started Eggdancer, a production company that produced their passion project, A Silent Revolution.

Dania Nassief
Film producer

After getting a degree in Math, Dania obtained her Master’s in Management Information System and then started working at Dar Al Hekma University, which led her to discover her passion for project management. As she was planning to start her own event management company, Danya reached out to her about starting a production company. The two had known each other since 10th grade.

“We complemented each other’s personalities, and it worked for us – Danya has the creativity it takes to be a director, and I had the planning skills to be a producer. It made sense to join forces,” Dania says.

While they have  accomplished a lot in the past decade, Dania admits it’s easy to be frustrated and demotivated when necessary support in their industry is lacking, especially when they strive to produce important films, such as their documentary A Silent Revolution/Rise.

Recently, they had the opportunity to screen the film for a limited time at the King Abdullah Economic City, and the feedback they received from the audience inspired Dania and reminded her of the reasons she is doing this work. “Any work that affects people positively, even adding a bit of knowledge they didn’t know about, or giving them motivation to continue what they’re doing, makes me happy,” she says. “I want the film community to come together, work as a team; we have to create our own umbrella, and support each other.”

Instagram: eggdancer

Danya Alhamrani
Film director

Danya graduated with a degree in English literature and linguistics, but has always wanted to be in the film industry from a very young age. It was a different time back then – she was told that film could be a hobby but one that doesn’t have a real future. But she pursued her Masters in Counseling Psychology at the University of San Diego, California, and then eventually got a graduate degree in filmmaking from San Diego State University in 2004.

In 2006, she started Eggdancer Productions with Dania Nassief, and together, they produced Khosh Al Matbakh, a cooking show, in the hopes of selling it to a broadcaster, but that didn’t pan out. Soon after, they started working with international companies on commission, like the BBC and The Travel Channel. They also took on corporate work, including documentaries and TV shows such as Akla W Hekaya on Saudi TV, and Fattabeouni on Iqra.

“One of our challenges with filmmaking is financing,” says Danya. “We like to do documentaries that tell authentic stories of real people, but those aren’t seen as valuable or sellable as other film genres.”

One of their passion projects was A Silent Revolution/Rise, a groundbreaking documentary film they worked on for five years, that tells the story of women pioneers in Saudi Arabia. The film not only sheds light on the plight of Saudi women in the past few decades, it is also an important historical record, especially as there isn’t much that exists in archives of Saudi women. “We have to start telling and documenting our stories now – these will be reference points for future generations,” Danya explains.


Dar Al Hekma’s Dukkan Supports Their Own!

Photo Credit:

Dukkan DAH, a concept store started by Dar Al Hekma (DAH) University’s Visual Communication Department, aims to promote the startup young designers of the DAH community to get recognition in the marketplace.

At the store, graphic designers, fashion designers, interior designers, and different artists at the university have the opportunity to showcase their creations.

Instagram: Shaima Qadi

Instagram: Shaima Qadi

You can shop books, planners, fashionable pieces, jewelry, and stationery items – all created by the university’s students and alumni. Some notable designers include Dalia Chawany (owner of Hijaz), Alaa Balkhy (owner of Fyunka), and Sara Reyess (owner of Foulard).

Instagram: Lina Kurdi

Instagram: Lina Kurdi

After its successful launch at the Westbay event in February 2018, Dukkan opened its first official shop on campus along with its online store.

The concept store gives visitors more reasons to spend time shopping there, with new artistic pieces regularly added to both the online and in-person stores, from emerging designers who are just starting out, or want to build more on their careers.

Designed by Wegdan Ba Sondawah

Designed by Wegdan Ba Sondawah

The shop also aims to raise funds to help support the Dar Al Hekma University scholarship fund. This past year, Dukkan DAH managed to sponsor one student through the sales of their items.

Editor’s Pick

Instagram: N. Merve Goknil

Instagram: N. Merve Goknil

We fell in love with this beach-themed cheese/bread service platter from Dukkan Dar Al Hekma! Designed by N. Merve Goknil, Dar Al Hekma University graduate and faculty member in the Interior Design department, this plate is coated with resin and topped with micro glitter – it will definitely add a touch of glam to your gatherings.

Location: Dar Al Hekma University, Fayhaa Dist., Jeddah
Instagram: dukkan_dah