Offbeat, Online Magazine

The Librarian Of Qati


Take a leaf out of Ali Al Herz’s book.

“I would have never guessed that it would get this much attention, to be honest.” Ali Al Herz says humbly, referring to his 30,000 collection of books
that he has assembled in his very own household.

Al Herz, from the city of Qatif, identifies himself as a bibliomaniac, which is defined as love of possessing and collecting books. It is honestly the most beautiful addiction, according to him. He doesn’t only collect books, but also currencies, stamps, ancient documents, newspapers, and magazines.

Before his gathering books era, Al Herz grew up in a farming family. His mom was an avid reader, yet his dad was illiterate. His mother, thus, became his first school. Unfortunately, Al Herz’s father passed away so he had to drop out of school to help his mother. Despite being out of school, Al Herz’s love for books grew as he enjoyed reading books of myths and mysteries. Fast forward to the future, a library grew from a seed. He had 3 halls each named after a Greek philosopher, illustrating his love of philosophy. They are Socrates, Plato, Aristotle; home to thousands of notable and obscure names in the literary world. ali-alhirz-qatif-2018-ab-10

Although he never thought it would develop this fast, he believes it aligns with Sharqiya’s development and its growing interest in knowledge and books.
“Everything starts small then gets bigger. Except for misfortunes, they start big and then get smaller.” Al Herz says, speaking about his library. While he was mentioning the development of his magnificent “garden of curiosity”, I could not help but ask him about the future he sees for his library from now and onwards. Nonetheless, he said that he wants the library to be a back support for future generations and the youth of our beloved country.

“I believe my life consists of many stations. Interests can be interchangeable, from literature to history to religions topolitics to novels to anthropology philosophy.” Al Herz enjoys completing collections and being up to date with leaders in the community. He emphasizes on that by saying, “Usually, for example, if there’s a specific author, I would get all of his books and organize them. Hassan Hanfi for example, and add all his books. Especially if the authors are influential individuals in society.” Nevertheless, he added up his library up to approximately 30,000 books and 100,000 newspapers and magazines, especially ones from previous centuries and with historical value.

Like me, you are probably wondering what kind of genre the book expert recommends to the public. “Every person has a personal interest when it comes to reading books, like, a favorite author, but when it comes to me, I find interest in Russian literature and Philosophy.” But he believes in diversifying interests, of course each individual has their favorite genre, but that should not stop them from exploring new fields. Al Herz speaks of this matter and says, “I have a lot of visitors. Delegations from the country and outside of it. Students. Cultural/knowledge events and forums. Europe. Different countries. India and Africa. I do not want my library to be just a personal one, but also a public one where different people can benefit from it and share the knowledge. As I have been named before as a cultural/knowledge guide.”ali-alhirz-qatif-2018-ab-4

Did Al Herz read all of his books? He answers this question with, “No, unfortunately, there is no way for one human to read this many books in a lifetime. Also, my library includes some dictionaries. And with novels, you have to read it from beginning (suspense) to (problem) end (solution).” So it would be a disgrace to put a book down when you are not even done with it yet. He read almost no less than 70% he has read or went over. Especially when he was 14, he ended up memorizing Arabic literature. He read not less than 8 to 10 hours.

Al Herz’s advice to those interested in reading is that, “Reading is a wide sea, every individual must practice this exercise. It is like working out, but for the brain. You need to work out physically just as much as you need to do so mentally.” Also, a way to make this new generation more knowledgeable.

Al Herz indicates that, “This generation is in fact fond of reading. I recommend students to visit libraries and bookstores more, because it’d plant a seed of love and curiosity for reading when you’resurrounded by books. A lot of book lovers started off that way.”


Business, Business Talks, Interview, Online Magazine

Fashion 101


When Maha Al Qassab met Abdullah Al Zamil.

With a strong passion for fashion, designer Maha Al Qassab struggled to find any training material or fashion courses in Bahrain. So, to pursue her dream she quit her job and earned a master’s degree in collection design from Florence, Italy. She currently owns a boutique in Bahrain called Maw Collection, specializing mostly in abayas and jalabiyas.

Former Lanvin designer, Maria Fors, showcasing her student’s designs.

Former Lanvin designer, Maria Fors, showcasing her student’s designs.

After returning to Bahrain, she wanted to develop a fashion workshop. There were many designers in the area, but there was also a gap in the market. Al Qassab’s goal was to help these designers by creating fashion courses and implementing a European process while utilizing materials that fit within the Arabian culture.

Al Qassab met Al Zamil in Florence, and, to turn her dream into a reality, joined forces with him as a strategic partner.gbntc_source_2017_1

A former designer from Lanvin and a faculty member at a top fashion university in Paris taught the first fashion course in Khobar and it ended up being a huge success. “The fashion training program was an eye-opening experience for us,” said Al Qassab. “People in Saudi really wanted to learn about fashion!”

The goal of the course is to develop your creative process, create or work on your brand and follow the trends. By the end of the third day, attendees created their own portfolios and designed and made three dresses. After finishing seven fashion training courses, they can get certified as fashion designers who can give courses.gbntc_source_2017_2

This fashion training program will be done every week for two months periodically and will expand to Riyadh and Jeddah as well.

Tel: 920017217
Instagram: gbntc
Twitter: gbntc
Facebook: GBNTraningCentre


Online Magazine, Style & Shopping

Original Threads


Celebrating traditional fashion across the Kingdom.

Traditional clothing is an important aspect of Saudi Arabia’s cultural heritage. Yet, in a drive towards modernity, this facet of our heritage is not as celebrated as it should, despite its unquestionable beauty.

In this issue, we pay tribute to the “Original Threads” that have been worn by women of different regions, honor their eclectic fashion sense and celebrate the beautiful diversity of the Kingdom.

Eastern Province “Sharqiya”

original-threads-sharqiya_khobar_2017_aaThe thawb nashal is a familiar piece of the Eastern Province and is made up of a semi-transparent material that can be used through multiple colors of base-clothing fabrics with a differentiation in metal threads and silk embroideries. The translucent style itself is typical of the hot interiors of the Gulf lands and is said to be derived from Najidi origins due to the share of the basic pattern with the age-old cotton thawb.

The festive finery of the traditional garment comprises a sheer overdress accompanied by lavish sleeve openings and a head cloak. Its sequined embroidery holds representational motifs of flowers and birds and includes accent-pattern segments like panels and gussets.

Southern Province “Janoub”

original-threads-janoub_khobar_2017_aa-2The Bayt al Fakih is a southern-Arabian cotton-dress piece originating from Northern Yemen. It holds a societal viewpoint as one of the earliest and the most authentic of pieces in Arabia. The traditional garment itself is seemingly distinct in design due to the astounding elements used through the application of colored braids and silver metal threads that are set to warmly complement the indigo-based cloth. Additionally, the thread used on the nomadic apparel showcases the popular form of the decorative elements used in design within the southern region.original-threads-janoub_khobar_2017_aa

The garment itself is normally slim-fitting in order to enhance the components of the materials used in design. The enrichment of décor applied embodies the traditional and modernized design segments of regional influences ranging from the Sarawat mountains in Asir to the desert terrains in Oman.

Northern Province “Shamaal”

original-threads-shamal-hail_khobar_2017_aaThe traditional thawb styles of the northern region differ from the mainstream portrayal of Bedouin dressing styles as it’s fashioned by the use of hand-loomed wool needed to tailor the deep-red and, at rare occurrences, green materials. The tribal dress of the north holds the finest of subtleties in design with the use of geometrically botanical motifs and embroidery against the ruby-colored fabric.

The thawb itself is beltless and holds grand proportions to ensure loose-fitting features when in wear, similar to an abaya. No waist belts are worn to unveil one’s figures as the conditions within the region are extremely hot and such fastenings wouldn’t ensure comfort when attached. Overall, the fabrication of such a style presents the primary influences of the temperature, terrain and topography of the respective region relative to design.

Central Province “Najd”

original-threads-najd_khobar_2017_aaThe Najdi Bedouin women’s traditional thawb is a unique black garment tailored through the use of fine linen, soft cotton or lightweight wool. The Central Arabian attire is derived from the kaftan, a loose clothing item which holds variance to the robe and tunic, and is worn as an over-garment to one’s clothes in respect to the ruling of the Kingdom upon modest dressing standards, though it was once worn to ease the endurance towards Saudi’s heat through its flair in cool wear.original-threads-najd_khobar_2017_aa-2

Moreover, this conventional piece expresses gracefulness and comfort through the looks of its loose-fitting features and is suited to make the perfect maternity dress. This spectacular gown also provides reminiscence to the romantic tales of the Arabian desert life long ago.

Western Province “Hijaz”

original-threads-hijaz_khobar_2017_aa1The Hijazi women’s traditional thawb is a semi-transparent, capacious gown made up of cotton gauze and is used in the design of multicolored fabrics. Its unique and customary style holds layered clothing items and presents beautiful embroidery components from head to toe. Though the Hijazi thawb is designed using small-scale sizing proportions, it’s cut in a similar manner to the Najdi thawb.

The thawb styles of the western region design their cultural attire in an ideal manner with the intent of initiating one’s attention to the custom-made blouse when worn with the gown. A unique addition to this is the zabun and the mudawwarah – a zabun is a traditional, princess-styled frock that is fashioned in the manner of a collar and is mainly worn by the townswomen of Hijaz while the mudawwarah is a complementary headgear to the outfit with elaborate edging and a diamond broach.


Amina Al Jassim
We would like to express our deep gratitude and appreciation to Saudi Fashion Designer Amina Al Jassim for providing us with traditional clothing from her own designs, through her brand Dar Breesem, for Sharqiya, Janoub, Shamal and Najd clothing and accessories.

Instagram: amina_aljassim

Nadia Halabi
A special thank you to Nadia Halabi for her assistance, and for providing the Hijazi traditional attire.

We wish to also extend our thanks to Shuaa Al Duhailan for hair and makeup through Shuaa Center.

Instagram: shuaa.beautycenter


Offbeat, Online Magazine

Organizational Oasis


Your desk deserves the best.

From colorful highlighters and Post-it notes to fancy journals and calendars, we’re obsessed with stationery. Whether your objective is organization and practicality or simply enhanced aesthetics, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite brands and stores to brighten up your day.

seendesign_source_2017_1Seen Design
Instagram: seendesign

Instagram: qurtsyah

%d9%8a%d8%a8%d8%b3%d9%8a%d8%a8Light Line
Instagram: light_line_shop
Specialized in customizing your stationery!

Instagram: Patterns_sa

%d9%8a%d8%a8%d8%b3%d9%8aThe Stationery
Instagram: the_stationery

Instagram: Khuzama_store

ihaveadream_source_2017_1I Have a Dream
Instagram: ihaveadream_2015

rawans-stationeryRawan’s Stationery
Instagram: rawans_stationery

Instagram: Gheeras

: 20ayar


Food, Online Magazine, Showdown

Hole in the Wall


By Alzahra Al Dawood and Noura Al Joaib

We all know they serve the best food in town.

When we decided to do a feature on the best bufiyah sandwiches in town, we got weird looks from the rest of the team. For those who don’t know what a bufiyah is, it’s colloquial for cafeteria. Derived from Buffet (we assume), they are tiny food counters scattered everywhere and open around the clock.

Admittedly, like any “hole in the wall”, they get a bad rep. Usually located near gas stations or in dingy back allies, this is clearly one of those “there’s more than meets the eye” situations. So sit back, relax, take our word for it and try these super yummy budget-friendly sandwiches:

Omar Bufiyah

Order: Chicken Sandwich
Price: SR 4

Verdict: How can something so small be packed with so much flavor? The sesame bun is lightly toasted and stuffed with succulent pieces of seasoned chicken and green peppers. The chicken is so tender you could almost swear it’s slow cooked.

Location: Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz Rd., Dammam 32247

Aziz Bufiyah

azizbuffet_dammam_2017_aa-3Order: Cheese Burger Aziz with Eggs
Price: SR 5

Verdict: Move over Five Guys, this burger is everything you’d want in one. (Okay, we’re exaggerating a little but this burger is so good.) The patty not too thick, the fried eggs thick enough, topped with mayonnaise, cheese, lettuce and, wait for it, FRIES! Make sure you also order their fresh Melon juice.

Location: 4 St., Al Badiyah, Dammam

Station Bufiyah

stationbuffet_khobar_2017_aa-1Order: Camel Liver Sandwich
Price: SR 5

Verdict: This, dear readers, is the king of bufiyah sandwiches. Poetically situated at a gas station, like filling a car with gas, this sandwich is the gastronomical equivalent. Sizzled to perfection then wrapped in soft Lebanese bread, this high on iron goodness is the fuel you need to kickstart your day.

Location: 8274 Bakr Ibn Hizam St., Abdullah Fuad, Dammam

Banks Bufiyah

Order: Mixed Cheese Sandwich
Price: SR 3

Verdict: After taking a bite of the stuffed bread roll, I had to pause. Beneath the taste of eggs and cheese, you are in for a surprise: the sweet and tangy taste of mixed fruit jam. Hey, it works! Order this with their karak tea. You’ll thank us.

Location: King Saud St., Al Khobar Al Shamalia, Khobar

Happiness Bufiyah

Order: Egg-Cheese Sandwich
Price: SR 3

Verdict: By sheer coincidence, we unknowingly kept the best for last. The combination of melted cheese and eggs is the original bufiyah sandwich filling. Bonus point for the grilled bread. We definitely left happy.

Location: Meshaab St., Al Khobar Al Janubiyah, Khobar


Online Magazine, Things To Do

Save Your Summer!


Believe it or not, there’s a lot to do.

Listen, we just came back from two months in the future and you (yes, you) sent us back with a warning specifically for you:

“I know what you’re doing right now. You’re sitting on the couch all day (and night), watching Netflix, gaming, hanging out, eating junk food and going to bed late. It’s been two months of that and we never got around to any of the cool stuff we wanted to accomplish. So, heed my next words very carefully:

STOP what you’re doing right now and read Destination Sharqiya’s summer guide article, pick out a few options and save yourself. Save yourself from becoming me!”

Wow, deep and strong advice that we think you should definitely heed and we’re here to help. Check out our cool guide below of fun things to do this summer.

Travel Adventures


Ox Adventure

For those seeking a life-altering experience or simply want to quench the thirst of the adventure-seeker in us all, we have you covered. These groups will have you scaling mountains and exploring ocean depths, all the while discovering and pushing your limits. Duration of the trips range from weekend trips to as long as 10 days.

  • Ox Adventure

Designing experiences around the world!
Instagram: oxadventure

  • Husaak Adventures

The change is forever.
Instagram: husaak
Web: husaak.comoxadventures_nepal_source_2

  • Arabian Treks

Explore, Dream, Discover.
Instagram: arabiantreks
Twitter: arabiantreks

  • Qimmam Club

Reaching new heights!
Instagram: qimmamclub

Arts and Languages

alex-jones-6798Creativity, in any form, is one of humanity’s most timeless and priceless endeavors. Art in particular has even been shown to be quite therapeutic. Meanwhile, nothing beats the feeling of spending months learning a new language and then actually having a full conversation with someone you previously could never talk to.

Expand your horizons this summer by creating something new or speaking a whole new language. Listed below are local institutes and groups that could help you achieve these dreams.

  • Pottery and ceramics classes

Check out these two accounts for upcoming pottery and ceramics classes.
Instagram: qatari.huda
Instagram: torab_ceramics

  • Little Picassos

With a mission to renaissance the art.

  • Culture and Arts Association in Dammam

Be on the lookout for upcoming classes and workshops from this Saudi art association.

  • Al Bassam Institute

Proving both business and conversational English courses.

  • Al Khaleej institute

The home for training and development in Sharqiya!

  • Saudi-Chinese Institute

Ever wanted to learn Mandarin? Now’s your chance.

  • Alliance Française  

They say French is the language of love. It’s also the official language of over 29 countries. Need we entice you further?

Indoor & Outdoor Activities

mishalextremeoutdoors_sharqiya_2017_aa-2Whether you’re looking for indoors activities for you and a group of friends, or you’re more of an outdoors type with a hunger for an adrenaline rush, the following places and groups will be right up your alley. Don’t be a lonely couch potato this summer. Get active!

  • Sky Zone

Instagram: skyzoneksa
Location: Al Shati Dist., Dammam  

  • Paint Ball

Instagram: paintballbattle1overboard_source_2

  • Mishal Extreme Outdoors

With Mishal Extreme Outdoors, you won’t know what boredom is.
Instagram: mishalextremeoutdoors

  • Overboard

Activities that will help you discover the great outdoors.
Instagram: overboard_sa

Summer Camps

gymboreeplayandlearn_khobar_2016_aa-3The thing about summer breaks is that they’re long. A little too long, especially for kids (and parents). But, that can be turned into a great thing thanks to the growing number of summer camps in the area, each one specializing on their own unique focus. Take a look at the list of camps and classes we have picked and find the best one for your children this summer.

Orchid Kids

Orchid Kids

  • Orchid Kids

Specializing in culinary classes and storytelling for kids.
Instagram: orchidkids

  • Pequeno

Your kid’s center for fitness and art!
Instagram: pequeno_ksa

  • The Kids Castle

Providing programs for infants up to preschoolers.
Instagram: thekidscastle

  • Kinder Valley

This summer camp hosts kids from the ages of two till 9! Great for siblings within that age range.
Instagram: Kindervally

  • Gymboree

Play and learn!
Instagram: gymboreekhobar

  • Sport-x  

All things sports.
Instagram: sportxclub

  • Arsenal Soccer School

Play the Arsenal way!

  • Fekr Training

A wide range of programs for older kids (some for teens up to the age of 15) in varying developmental focuses such as critical thinking and problem solving.
Instagram: fekrtraining

  • Little Kickers

The home of pre-school football.
Instagram: littlekickers.ksa


Online Magazine, Ramadan, Style & Shopping

Jalabiyat Daze


Different looks for different days!

Every day

jalabiyyat_khobar_2017_aa-5Gown by Trendy Palace by Shaima
Instagram: trendypalace
Also available at @zohaarabia

Small gatherings:

jalabiyyat_khobar_2017_aa-3Gown by Hndl Collection
Instagram: hndlcollection


jalabiyyat_khobar_2017_aa-4Gown by Glory D’arabia
Instagram: zohaarabia


jalabiyyat_khobar_2017_aa-1Gown by Chic Royal Designs
Instagram: chic_royal_designs
Also available at @zohaarabia

Eid Day:

jalabiyyat_khobar_2017_aa-6Gown by The Queen Gallery
Instagram: the_queen_gallery

Eid Evening:

jalabiyyat_khobar_2017_aa-2Gown by White Twig
Instagram: white_twig


Healthy Living, Online Magazine, Wellness

Time is Sacred


By Nourah Al Khunaini

Learn the art of time management during Ramadan.

Between fewer working hours, needing more time for worship and trying to keep up with the overflowing social calendar, it’s no surprise that time becomes the most valuable (and scarce) resource during Ramadan.

Use the following tips to get a handle on your time this holy month:

Set goals for yourself and make them clear:
Be specific about what you want to achieve. Break your goals down into digestible steps to make it easier for you to accomplish.

Plan your day in advance:
Allocate time for your personal goals, work and spirituality. Keeping a planner can definitely help.

  • Try to work on tasks that need a lot of focus and concentration early because that’s when you have the most energy.
  • Take advantage of the early hours of the day when you’re up for suhoor. Might as well use your time efficiently.

Plan your meals:
Write down what you want to make for each day of the week. If you can prepare for the meal a day before, do it.

Three things to avoid:
Procrastination, multi-tasking and complex recipes. All you’ll end up with is a lot of stress, very little productivity and a lingering sense of being overwhelmed. Who wants that while they’re fasting?

Don’t pass up suhoor:
Skipping it is only going to punish your future self the next day with zero energy and a lot more stress.

Prioritize and sacrifice:
You’ll have to sacrifice some of your usual activities in Ramadan. Figure out your priorities and find the balance that works for you.


Food, Online Magazine, Ramadan

Simply Suhoor


By Zonaira Chaudry

Go-to guide for a quick and easy suhoor.

What’s one of your worst fears in Ramadan? If you’re like us, it’s not waking up for suhoor or just waking up five minutes before dawn with no time to prepare something to eat. Well, here are a few quick, power food ideas for your next fuss-free scrumptious and fulfilling suhoor:simplysuhoor_khobar_2017_aa-2


Oatmeal, being low in fat and a rich in fiber is a quick and healthy choice before fasting. You can make it the evening before, store it in the fridge and heat it when required. For extra taste and texture, add some berries or nuts on top. You can also opt for Instant oatmeal; just mix it with some milk, heat it and it’s ready!



A favorite breakfast, eggs are an inexpensive and nutritious alternative that can be made in a variety of ways. From omelets to scrambled and hard-boiled to sunny side up, the choice is yours. Eat it alone or pair it with some leftover salad for a yummy, healthy and smart meal.

Pro tip: Boil eggs the previous night for a super fast option.



Middle Eastern mezze is famous all over the world. When you’re pressed for time, this is an excellent alternative for suhoor that lets you avoid any cooking stress. Enjoy humus, labnah with olives and pita bread and you are good to go.

If you don’t mind a very quick bout of cooking, toss in some foul for the full mezze experience.


Peanut Butter:

This healthy fat makes for an amazingly quick and easy meal. Spread two tablespoons of peanut butter on whole wheat bread and garnish it with some sliced bananas, apples or strawberries. A mouthful of deliciousness and satisfaction guaranteed for an entire day. What more could anyone want?



A favorite tried and true pre-dawn meal. It’ll keep you energized and full throughout the day. Eat it on its own or chop in some fruit or dates for an enhanced tangy taste! If all else fails, there is always flavored yoghurt to turn to.

Happy suhooring!


Online Magazine, Ramadan, Style & Shopping

Sharing is Caring


By Lamies Ali

DS-recommended Eid gifts guide.

For the auntie you’re visiting:

You’re in the Arab world, you can’t show up to someone’s house empty-handed! Kahraman Dates are the perfect go-to gift, striking the right balance between traditional and modern.

Mob: +966-539344566
Instagram: kahraman_dates

For the woman that deserves some pampering:

We all have a sister, mom or friend who needs a break. Well, Treat Nail & Hair Spa now offers gift vouchers! It’s good for the body and soul.

Location: Sihamiya Tower, Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Rd., Khobar
Mob: +966-503837838
Instagram: treat_sa

4For the flower princess:

This person is too cute and sweet to get a plainly-wrapped gift. Make the gift extra special by stopping at Jau’s Flowers and asking them to do their wrapping magic.

Location: Firas ibn Al Nudur St., Khobar
Tel: +966-13-8949096
Mob: +966-538578018
Instagram: Jau_flowers

dressFor the fashion rebel:

Drastic laces, unexpected cutouts and statement pieces. If you know someone with this style, then the only place to find their gifts is OZ Closet. There’s something for every body type.

Location: Khobar Mall (Gate 8), King Fahd Rd., Khobar
Mob: +966541969109
Instagram: theozsisters
Snapchat: ozsisters

For the kid at heart:

Sure, most of us grow out of loving dolls, but thankfully there are still those, like Aisha, that are looking out for the rest of us. Aisha takes custom orders, right down to the clothing and hairstyle.

Location: Dammam
Whatsapp: +966-598698400
Instagram: creative_work_shop
Snapchat: Aish-MAY

For a good cause:

Trahum is a committee which rehabilitates prisoners and released prisoners, as well as helps their families. One of its projects is a booth in Al Rashid Mall that sells gorgeous handmade products made by some inmates or their families.

Location: Al Rashid Mall (2nd floor – Next to Paris Gallery), Firas ibn Al Nudur St., Khobar
Tel: +966-13-8115250