Offbeat, Online Magazine

Let’s Rise With Nün Academy

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For their third annual school show, the production team at Nün Academy started with a vision of writing a script that would embrace every  single one of their school values. A script that would eventually be titled “With our Values we Rise”.


They dreamt of a show that would embed these values deeper into the fabric of learning that happens in and outside the classroom while at once giving students the opportunity to experience the many benefits that are gained from developing a healthy appreciation of and participation in the Performing Arts. “With Our Values, We Rise” not only celebrated these values but gave all those involved a chance to truly live the values over the course of what was almost a year of preparations. dscf6132-copy

The show takes us on a visit with Nün Academy students to their grandparent’s home, where they reunite with their cousin Hanif, visiting from Canada. Their grandparents used their time together to connect the children with the values presented in the Quran and modelled by the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), the children in turn make the connections between the stories of the past and their very own school values. These connections help them to develop an understanding that while their school values are rooted in the wisdom of the ages, they remain relevant to their day to day lives. dscf6010-1-copy

Every member of Nün Academy, from the students to the staff, set High Expectations for themselves and others. They strived for excellence from the moment the idea of tonight’s event was born. Staying true to their value of “Glocal” Education, each scene was played out in Arabic, which was also the language of choice for their narrators. At Nün Academy they believe that All People are Different, and because of that each member of the team took on a different role which suited them. They truly felt that this production was the definition of Education for Life and Beyond, giving them the opportunity to use the skills they’ve developed– confidence, public speaking, responsibility, resilience and independence. The idea of social responsibility and hence their values of Humane Consciousness was installed through the themes of different scenes. By the time the audience got up they could definitely feel the last and  most important value of all Life is What I Make It!

Location: 7639 Omair Ibn Abi Waqqas, Al Murjan District, Jeddah 23715
Web: www.nunacademy.com
Instagram: nunacademy

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Business, Community, Online Magazine

Poised For Success

Photo by Blossom Mena

Blossom inspires confidence in all Saudi women.


For the third time, Blossom organized Thiqah, their women-empowerment event, in honor of International Women’s Month, bringing together a network of Saudi women who are working professionals, entrepreneurs and founders, and community members seeking value creation and growth.

Blossom’s CEO and Founder Emon Shakoor explains that they help women realize their full potential through their accelerator, activities, and events, such as this one.

Photo by Blossom Mena

Photo by Blossom Mena

At the event, four inspirational speakers – Vicky Mathews, Sarah Khonkar, Marriam Mossali, and Loulwa Al Sharif – shared their stories and what they do every day to build confidence in themselves. There were deep-dive workshops, where each speaker discussed what confidence meant, and encouraged the audience to build connections and network.

Previous attendees have successfully made connections and received job opportunities, and many were motivated to start or progress in their own business after attending the event. Blossom has more events coming up; their goal is to create a platform and network for every Saudi woman to prosper, grow, and ‘blossom.’

“Thiqah coincided with International Women’s Month, but at Blossom we empower and honor women every single day,” says Emon.

Web: blossommena.com
Instagram: blossom_mena

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Fitness, Healthy Living, Online Magazine, Wellness

Uniting the Kingdom in One Beat

The Saudi men’s team wins the gold medal during the relay.

Saudi Arabia’s Special Olympics Athletes.


When 50 Saudi athletes arrived home from the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, hearts around the Kingdom beat as one in celebration of their return. They were welcomed back as the heroes they are; airports across the Kingdom hosted jubilant family members, friends, co-workers, government officials, and royal family members, all excited to applaud the phenomenal efforts of the team who gave it their all to bring pride to their country and us all.

At the World Games, Saudi Arabia was represented by 21 women and 29 men. Throughout the week-long competition, the athletes created inspiring moments of sheer passion, skill, and joy, culminating in a life-changing experience for everyone that was involved.

It’s these moments that are important, even more so than the 40 medals won by Saudi Arabia’s athletes during the World Games, as they represent the real heart and soul of the Special Olympics. For several of the athletes, this was their first time competing outside of the Kingdom. For others, it was their first time to visit Abu Dhabi. Every moment, in the lead-up to and during the World Games, has created a lasting experience that every athlete, family member, volunteer, and spectator will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

For Faiz AlShehri, Assistant to the Head of Saudi Arabia’s delegation, the most overwhelming moment of the World Games was when the they entered the Zayed Sports City stadium during the opening ceremony. “We were representing Saudi Arabia with the biggest delegation to date, including female athletes for the first time, and I felt so happy and proud to be there.”

The Saudi women’s Basketball team imbibes the spirit of the games as they assist an injured opposing player.

The Saudi women’s Basketball team imbibes the spirit of the games as they assist an injured opposing player.

Having spent a lot of time with the athletes during the course of the World Games week, Faiz saw the impact participating in such an event had on them. “They met new people, made new friends. This is what the Games were founded for and what they encourage – friendships and inclusion of athletes with intellectual disabilities, and the opportunity to meet their peers from other countries and different cultures.”
There are hundreds of unsung heroes who gave their time, talent, and love into making the journey possible. Accompanying Saudi Arabia’s team were family members, coaches, doctors, and nutritionists, as well as representatives from the Special Olympics Saudi Arabia Federation.

One of the parents at the World Games was Heba Al Shawli’s mother, Reem Abdulrazzak. Heba participated in several athletics events, winning gold and bronze medals. “My daughter’s achievements give me a great sense of pride, and I am also proud of all of the other athletes,” she said. “More than being a success just for Heba, I see the participation of all of our athletes as a national achievement.  The Special Olympics World Games is a platform that promotes respect of the differences we all have, and it proves that people with intellectual disabilities – people with disabilities in general – have amazing skills that should be nurtured and invested in.”

More than the excitement of winning, though, is the opportunities for growth that the World Games offered to Heba, and many other athletes. “These Games have strengthened her courage, and she has become more disciplined and committed to her daily routine, which now includes exercise and training.”

Athlete Heba Shawli embraces her coach in celebration.

Athlete Heba Shawli embraces her coach in celebration.

The sentiment was echoed by Mona Albaiti, who coached the award-winning women’s bocce team. “The World Games has had such a major positive impact on the athletes, especially in terms of boosting their self-confidence and their enthusiasm for participating in sport.” It was an emotional experience for Mona herself.

“I cannot describe how I feel, being part of a team that has grown to be more like a family. For months, our athletes have worked hard, supporting one another through the highs and lows that come with being international athletes. Watching them grow together and become more confident in themselves and their abilities, seeing the hard work and effort come to fruition, and getting such a positive response from the media – it was all beyond our expectations.”

Volunteers from Saudi Arabia also travelled to the UAE to join thousands more from around the world who donated their time to make the Special Olympics an incredible experience. The ecosystem of support extends beyond the attendees; it includes the communities in which the athletes were raised, and the educational and rehabilitation centers around the Kingdom which play such an important role in providing education and opportunities to people with intellectual disabilities. The Help Center in Jeddah, for example, is where the women’s unified basketball team began its gold-medal journey.

It also includes the companies that embrace diversity and practice inclusion by employing people with disabilities, and everyone who takes the time to engage with a post featuring Special Olympics Saudi Arabia on social media. Every little moment counts and contributes towards the creation of a nationwide environment that supports and celebrates everyone.

If there’s one thing that our athletes have shown us, it’s that the support of the community can help everyone shine. As the dust settles on the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, the athletes have been welcomed back and celebrated into their everyday lives, with the knowledge that they’ve made their country proud, and the understanding that this is far from the end of their story. Their experiences have made them stronger and more confident, they’ve made friends from around the world, and they’ve proven that it’s possible to make dreams come true.

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Hair & Makeup, Online Magazine, Self Care, Skin Care

Spa Retreats in Saudi Arabia

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Here’s a roundup of our favorite spas in the Kingdom to get pampered this Eid.


JEDDAH

1- Assila Spa

dvv1hssx0ac9c-gA sensory sanctuary for women on the 17th floor of Assila Hotel, this spa is operated by Mermaid Salon and Spa and guarantees a journey of rejuvenation.

There are individual treatment rooms offering a collection of wellness treatments, and relaxation rooms to ensure the ultimate spa day. The spa ensures tranquility overlooking the city of Jeddah, while providing guests with the best facilities—from steam rooms, to salons, and a top of the line fitness center. Assila also hosts a spa for men on the 18th floor.

Location: Assila Towers, Tahliya St.
Instagram: assilahotel

2- Oriana Salon & Spa

photo-0125-1Launched in 2007, Oriana Salon and Spa has become one of Jeddah’s most beloved, known for its comfortable environment and top-notch services.

Their menu runs the gamut from facials to massages by specialized experts, making it a great escape for their customers to enjoy its serene and tranquil atmosphere. In a city as cosmopolitan as Jeddah, Oriana has managed to grow a strong following among elite female guests.

It offers an assorted and exquisite range of services and innovative techniques for their skin and hair treatments, while maintaining their authenticity by being one of very few local brands in the Kingdom. Amidst an elegant ambience, the services provided allows guests to unwind, indulge, and rejuvenate themselves, making their visit one that has a lasting experience.

Not only does it offer a dozen different massages with special Moroccan bath packages, there’s also semi-permanent makeup application, wraps, scrubs and nail treatments, special bridal services, and lots more.

Location: Al Kurnaysh Rd, Atallah Commercial Center, Jeddah
Web: oriana-sa.com
Instagram: oriana_salonandspa

3- Manna Beauty Center 3w7a8474

Going through Manna Center’s menu, one is spoiled for choice with various relaxing options, from mani-pedis and hair treatments to facials and massages.

Manna Center is committed to providing its customers with a full-body pampering. With a dozen different massages available for anyone wanting their knots kneaded, one of their most popular treatments is reflexology, designed to stimulate reflexes for the mind and body through a therapeutic acupressure massage, a perfect remedy for aching souls. The spa treatments also include soothing Swedish massage, exfoliations, hot stone therapy, and the luxurious Moroccan bath and massage to follow making it a heavenly indulgence. Offering a choice of different Moroccan baths ranging from regular hammam to a special one called Al-Maliki, designed for a special retreat, Manna Center’s qualified specialists cater to every need to leave you feeling relaxed and calm. Besides a long list of beauty therapies, Manna Center has a solid selection of facial treatments too, such as a deep-cleaning facial and aroma facial.

Location: Abdullah Aba Al Khayl, Al Khalidiyyah, Jeddah
Instagram: mannacenter

RIYADH

4- Aurora Spa By Joelle

34984803_1665536890162800_9041202364794535936_oFaithful to its brand, this spa at the ground floor of the Movenpick Riyadh is where specialists design a special journey of rejuvenation. The spa is a lavish, tranquil hideaway with six individual therapy rooms, offering a wide variety of tailored treatments designed to help you unwind, balance, and uplift.

Location: King Fahd Rd, An Namudhajiyah, Mövenpick Hotel, Riyadh
Instagram: movenpickriyadh
For reservations, call: +966 11 457 9999

SHARQIYA

5- Jolie Dame

26068656_321740995008119_7784936014241333248_nThis salon is known for its chic hairdos, highlights, and a whole host of face and nail touch-ups. If bags under your eyes have enhanced during the sleepless nights of Ramadan, this salon also offers the Thalgo eye treatment that reduces the appearance of wrinkles and dark circles.

Location: Makkah Al Mukarramah St., Al Aqrabiya, Khobar
Instagram: joliedame_sa

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Online Magazine, Things To Do, Travel Stories, Travel Trends

Traveling in Saudi Arabia

Photos by Qairawan

DESTINATION  X  QAIRAWAN
Photos by Qairawan

Saudi Arabia, the fifth largest country in the continent of Asia, is a land of wonders that not many have ventured to discover. As travelers, we get a kick out of discovering places, from big cities with breathtaking skyscrapers to places that are raw and full of wilderness. We search relentlessly for those unique experiences all around us and beyond, and Saudi Arabia never ceases to fail us when it comes to that.


Traveling around Saudi Arabia is an exceptional experience because you are always on a new path. Starting with a big city, between the tall buildings and busy streets, you will find the old parts of the city that represent the heart of Saudi culture with its old and historical structures. We tend to overlook these simple, beautiful things in our everyday life that speak about Saudi’s history and cultural significance. Getting out of the city to detach from all that is modern and get some peace of mind in the tranquility of nature isn’t hard, and can be a short distance away.

Photos by Qairawan  A massive area of black dunes from volcanic materials; East of Umluj

A massive area of black dunes from volcanic materials; East of Umluj

As soon as you get on the road, the landscape and scenery changes. Mountains and hills start to appear and in between them rises into view small villages with as little as ten houses huddled together, creating a scene of a simpler life that you don’t get to see every day. Passing through the villages and out, an expanse of wilderness awaits to be discovered. Going into the wilderness can be challenging – not all the roads lead to your destination. You might find yourself making your own path into the desert to reach a place like no other in the world. This lack of services and directions along the way make this experience beautiful, an opportunity to explore and make the whole journey an experience rather than just the destination.

Photos by Qairawan  Wadi Al Disah; Tabuk Region (Photo Credits: Houssam Saba)

Wadi Al Disah; Tabuk Region (Photo Credits: Houssam Saba)

In traveling to new places, you are bound to get lost, but that is not a bad thing! You might end up experiencing the hospitality rooted deep in the Arab culture.

Photos by Qairawan  Georgios Shipwreck: Haql, Tabuk Region (Photo Credits: Houssam Saba)

Georgios Shipwreck: Haql, Tabuk Region (Photo Credits: Houssam Saba)

There isn’t a wrong destination when you are traveling the roads of Saudi Arabia, because every turn is a destination.

It might be scary at first, but traveling responsibly and with a group (like us!) can make your exploration of the Kingdom an authentic and ultimately enjoyable experience.

Photos by Qairawan  Catalina Seaplane from the 1930s; Ras Al Sheikh Hamid, Tabuk Region (Photo Credits: Houssam Saba)

Catalina Seaplane from the 1930s; Ras Al Sheikh Hamid, Tabuk Region (Photo Credits: Houssam Saba)

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Online Magazine, Shop In Jeddah, Shop In Riyadh, Style & Shopping

The Way of Living With Elegant Home

Hooker Furniture at Elegant Home

When it comes to crafting the perfect home, every design enthusiast knows that furniture can make or break a space. Choosing the right pieces of furniture can elevate your entire home aesthetic.


Elegant Home’s main vision is to enhance the customer’s “Way of Living” by transforming their living space to create harmony and balance at their homes.

Visiting Elegant Home showroom, whether you are a home-owner or a professional designer, you will find a variety of styles and colors that are distinctive from what you usually see.

Bernhardt at Elegant Home

Bernhardt at Elegant Home

The selection at Elegant Home is inspired by the latest trends, is renewed frequently, and offers different styles to ensure that there is something for all tastes.

If you are looking for uniqueness and difference, you’re welcome to visit any of Elegant Home showrooms and follow their social media accounts!

Web: eleganthome.com.sa
Instagram: eleganthome_ksa

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Online Magazine, Shop In Riyadh, Style & Shopping

The Pieces Concept

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When style and sophistication meet.


Pieces is not your typical furniture store. Having been around since 2012, it was opened to provide customers with classic, modern, contemporary, and luxury artisan furniture pieces and home accessories, all catering to different tastes. Their unique mix of thoughtfully selected products influence everything they offer in their collections. By selecting suppliers very carefully, they provide the highest quality of products to their customers.0q1a1838-copy

Deema, the founder of Pieces, started Concept for her love and passion for home décor and furniture. “We buy pieces for our home that must look and feel good,” she says. Deema believes that our homes must have a dash of authenticity and a hint of style, as they are a reflection of who we are. She personally buys and chooses each piece to be displayed in the store.0q1a1916-copy

“Our home tells a story of who we are, and how we live with the things we love the most. We must feel the love with every piece we add.” She adds that what’s beautiful about home decor is that you can truly get creative – there are no limits to creativity, to having your surroundings reflect your style and personality. Pieces goes beyond home accessories and furniture pieces – their unique items have also been made for special events as they have a service for wedding planners and event planners to customize special pieces for their happy, special occasions.0q1a2104-copy

Location: Prince Turki Bin Abdelaziz Al Awwal St., Hittin Dist., Riyadh
Web: pieces-sa.com
Instagram: pieces_sa

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Artist & Musicians, Arts & Music, Galleries, Online Magazine

Embracing Saudi Artistry At Marriott DQ

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Collaborating with Hewar Gallery, Marriott champions Saudi creativity.


Throughout the world, Marriott has been a patron of the arts among 5-star hotels, celebrating the masterpieces and heritage unique to its every address and cultural host.

The newest addition to the Marriott collection is nestled at the heart of the Diplomatic Quarters, one of the most sought-after districts in Riyadh. Its strategic location is near key embassies and government institutions.

Inspired by the scenic and fertile Wadi Hanifa, the low-rise hotel resembles the smooth, dry canyon terrain of the valley. Once you step inside, the waterways guide your way, ushering guests through the arrival court and into the palm dotted oasis at its center. Seeking to provide guests with an exceptional experience and introduction to the local culture while championing the creativity of Saudi talents, Marriott Riyadh has collaborated with Hewar Art Gallery to showcase local art on its property walls. Utilizing their breadth of experience in art consultancy and curation, the gallery has commissioned Saudi artists to create bespoke pieces for the hotel. image-10-copy

Marriott DQ is a premium and trusted extended-stay experience, in the heart of Riyadh’s Diplomatic Quarter. Strategically located, our luxury apartments are within easy reach to the city’s many embassies and corporate head offices and only a 30min drive from Riyadh’s King Khaled International Airport. Our 140 five-star serviced apartments are tastefully furnished and feature fully equipped kitchens with modern appliances. Sophisticated style and tailored services provide an ambiance where you can connect, accomplish and explore. Co-located under one roof with the Riyadh Marriott Hotel Diplomatic Quarter you can take advantage of a variety of amenities, such as unique restaurants and lounges, a state-of-the-art fitness center and flexible event space. Leading with innovative design and inspired by the ambiance of Wadi Hanifa, the complex features a protected micro-climate, links existing road and pedestrian city networks and creates an abundant oasis within the buzzing city of Riyadh.image6-copy

Marriott DQ
Gallery Artists

Sameer AlDaham

Sameer is a renowned artist whose contributions are recognized in the art scene for the past 30 years. His abstract artworks beautifully narrate the tales of the Saudi community and the small details of the society, displaying his deep love and affection towards his traditions and heritage.

Mohammed Al Rubat

A prominent name in the Saudi fine arts scene since the mid-90s, his artistic journey is a combination of meditation and experience, and further strengthening his skills with diligent practice and passion.

Ahmed Al Khazmari

Ahmed is one of the important Saudi artists who engraved a distinctive mark in the world of art and ideology, in a way that reflects the depth of his 25 years of artistic experience, making him an icon in the fine art arena. He embodies his historical identity and mimics visual heritage on his paintings, using techniques and brush strokes in a process that only experts can master.

Tel: +966-11-8353000
Instagram: marriottriyadhdq

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Food, Food News, Online Magazine, Showdown

Arabian Nights with Rosewood Jeddah

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Ramadan is a month where sharing means more for the entire community, a reminder to celebrate and accept diversity, and get more in tune with our humanity and spirituality.


Families everywhere gather and bond over Ramadan traditions, creating memories for generations. Rosewood understands the value of these treasured memories, and wants to be part of their creation by providing a most authentic Ramadan experience.

Situated in one of the Middle East’s culturally rich cities, Rosewood Hotel in Jeddah offers a unique Arabesque atmosphere for Iftar this Ramadan in both its restaurants – Soleil and Habsburg. You can expect Middle Eastern cuisine featuring food varieties from Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon. soleil-1-copy

Soleil Lounge, with its oasis-inspired decor, will immediately give you a sense of tranquility, sanctuary, and abundance as you step in. Countless lanterns and draped tents in Habsburg restaurant, on the other hand, will take you back in time to experience the charm of Old Arabia. Endless views of the Red Sea, exquisitely prepared food, and the Rosewood staff’s expertise all make Iftar and Suhoor at Rosewood a must-try for discerning diners in Jeddah. Both restaurants can accommodate up to 200 people and cater to group reservations and parties as well.

With individual Iftar at 330 SAR, individual Sohour at 250 SAR per person, and group Iftar / Sohour menus tailored to suit all budgets and requirements, break your fast with some of the most delicious food in town, and share unforgettable memories with family and friends. From Rosewood’s tables to yours – Ramadan Kareem!

Web: rosewoodhotels.com/Jeddah
Tel: +966-12-2607111
Facebook: RosewoodJeddah
Instagram: rwjeddah

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Food, Food News, Online Magazine, Showdown

Ramadan Hits Home At Assila Hotel

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Experience the taste of authenticity and the spirit of the season.


Home is where the heart is, and the fastest way to anyone’s heart, honestly, is through their stomachs. Homemade food brings families together, is comforting, and floods us with nostalgic memories of people and places. There’s no better time to savor homemade food than Ramadan for the obvious reasons. It’s the epitome of spiritual introspection, unity, mending relationships, patience, charity, and celebratory feasts.

The minute you set foot into Assila Hotel you feel at home. The hospitality is outstanding and the contemporary classic decor is utterly captivating and relatable. The hotel showcases around 2,000 works of art by Saudi talents. It’s no different behind their kitchens’ swinging doors, where more than 35 Saudi chefs can be seen diligently pouring their hearts out into whipping up local favorites. When asked what makes the cuisine at Assila Hotel stand out amidst competition, chef Amal Salamah stated that it’s the Chefs’ skill set, quality ingredients, and the careful combination of spices that deliver the authentic taste of home. “Cumin, coriander, and cinnamon claim the throne when it comes to Saudi food”, she added.img_20190404_152253-copy

Chef Amal has been cooking for more than 20 years and her eldest encouraged her to pursue cooking as a profession. “The ladies of Madinah are famous for being terrific cooks and I learned a great deal from my aunts”, she remarked with a giggle. She hopes to one day see that the Saudi cuisine be adopted by hotel restaurants around the world, and she aspires to continue to create contemporary Saudi dishes that match international standards of culinary distinction.

This Ramadan, head for a homey iftar in Assila ballroom with family and friends to indulge in local dishes perfected by local expertise. Maybe even treat yourself and your loved ones to a fulfilling Suhoor after taraweeh prayers at Aubergine restaurant (a la carte) or Twenty Four restaurant (buffet).

Chef Hassan Gashgary, who has been supervising Ramadan’s food operations since 2017 at the hotel, tells us that everything is prepared from scratch, and all ingredients are fresh. The Hijazi theme has gained wide acceptance in previous years and the atmosphere has always been lively and heartwarming. Chef Hassan had trained in Australia and worked for several restaurateurs for 8 years after realising that cooking was his true passion.

Assila Hotel, your destination for hearty and satisfying Saudi meals this Ramadan. Welcome home, and from our family to yours we wish you a blessed Holy Month.

Location: Assila Hotel, Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz St, Al Andalus
Web: assilahotel.com.sa
Instagram: assilahotel

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