Movie Review

Saudi Films: Are they a Creative Rise or a Cultural Demise?

Photo Credit: culturalweekly.com

As a film enthusiast, I find the growth of innovate films and overall artistry in the Kingdom promising. For so long, we have watched and enjoyed films made by non-Saudis.


For the past couple of years, an evident rise in creativity has happened.

I, along many others, applaud it.

There is an immense deal of power that lies in creative enrichment. When the youth are exposed to Saudi talent and artistry, that representation is motivating. Those who view the arts as a cultural demise are not familiar with the true meaning of art. Art, no matter its form is constantly affecting and leaving an impact on its viewers and perceivers.

With films, there’s always that battle of fiction vs. reality. When films portray fictional characters and imaginative story lines, they tend to be denounced as lies and inaccurate representation. That is where the cultural demise argument comes into play. Fictional creations tend to be inspired by one’s life, relations, friendships, struggles and joys. It is a creative process.

Photo Credit: thedissolve.com

Photo Credit: thedissolve.com

A successful example is Wadjda, a feature film directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour and shot entirely in the Kingdom. It was released on August 2012. The buzz that came with the release of the film was significant. Wadjda was recognized and praised regionally and internationally.

A cultural demise is NOT the result of innovative film making. If anything, innovate film making further elevates culture.

Wadjda Trailer:

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Business

Lunch 101 at Work

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Eating lunch at work requires skill and manners.


If you eat lunch at work, make sure you follow the right etiquette.

  • Snacking at work.

If you have the urge to snack on something, then snack on something. Just make sure it’s not annoyingly crunchy.

  • The thing about smelly food.

We don’t mean ‘smelly’ in a bad way; some foods have a strong aroma. Whatever it is that you eat, make sure its smell doesn’t stay lurking in the office all day.

  • Don’t be a selfish co-worker.

For example, if you get a box of cookies share it with your peers. Sharing enhances the ‘unity’ in an office setting.

  • Be aware of allergies.

Be mindful of what you are offering and to whom. They’ll appreciate the thoughtfulness and it avoids disasters.

  • Clean up.

As soon as you finish your lunch, make sure you clean up after yourself, out of respect for your fellow peers. Even if there is an office cleaner, you should clean up like you would at your own house.

  • Staff lunches

In the occasion that the boss invites the entire staff to a restaurant or there’s a work lunch outing, be mindful of your behavior. These are the people you work with so you don’t want to make a fool out of yourself. Maintain the professional behavior.

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Offbeat

How to Survive Orientation Week?

Photo Credit: money.usnews.com

College orientation week is the time when some are listening consciously and deeply, while others are just there to reunite with their friends or simply hang out. Whether you enjoy the mere concept of orientation week or not, here is how to survive it.


  1. First, ATTEND. That may sound silly, but in order to survive orientation week, you must be there. You cannot survive it while skipping the whole week.

  1. Be open to new friendships. You don’t want your college years to be over only to realize that you haven’t put yourself out there to meet new people.

  1. There are several events and announcements so find and listen to them. You don’t want to be shut off and in your own bubble. Be involved.

  1. Many university/college specific clubs tend to make themselves known during orientation week. If you are interested in a group, write your name down and be a part of it. Through clubs, you will meet people who share similar interests. So step out of your comfort zone.

  1. Also, if you are one of those people thinking of attending orientation week physically but will mentally zone out of every part of the week, the only advice is… TRY, at least TRY to be interested. A little bit of effort can go a long way.

  1. Most importantly during your first week, be relaxed and stay calm. You don’t want to stress over the little things, because then you will miss out on all the joys that a college experience brings.

YES YOU CAN. YES YOU CAN SURVIVE ORIENTATION WEEK.

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Online Magazine, Travel Tips, Travel Trends

Regional Adventures All the Way to the Top

to-be-replaced

Hiking and climbing across the Arab world should be on everyone’s bucket-list.


THE MOTHERLAND: SAUDI’S HIDDEN TREASURES

Edge of The WorldIMG_0907

Where: Riyadh
Best Time To Go: Fall and winter; the cooler the better.

The metaphor of Edge of the World perfectly depicts the wondrous mountain, Jabal Tuwaiq, better described as the Tuwaiq escarpment. It adapted the name Edge of the World for its natural aesthetic.

Driving to the location is recommended in a 4×4 vehicle because the road is difficult, rocky and long. Also, climbers should go with a group or someone who has already been to the spot before. Many times, hotels can help with such arrangements. It takes about two hours to get to Tuwaiq, a minimum of two hours to explore the location and two hours to get back. The Tuwaiq escarpment has been compared to the Grand Canyon so it is likely to be just as thrilling.

Note: Using GPS could be tricky as network services could re-appear and disappear the further people go.

Shada Mountain

Where: Al Makhwah
Best Time To Go: Fall, winter or spring; summer could be too hot.

Al Makhwah city is one of Saudi’s most underrated areas. So, it’s time to shed some necessary light. The complete distance of the Shada Mountain is about 7 km with serious inclinations to be considered.

It is the perfect mountain for climbing enthusiasts and those with a thirst for a challenging adventure. One can climb, hike, mountain bike, walk or picnic on this scenic post. The scenery is definitely worth the journey.

Shafa Mountain

shifaWhere: Taif
Best Time To Go: All year round.

The drive to the mountain is long, but definitely worth it. Shafa Mountain is a family friendly place perfect for brief walks and a picnic. It offers a stunning view and great weather. Also, make sure you get a jacket because it can get cold.

Need help?

Arabian Treks
Instagram: arabiantreks

Qimmam Club
Instagram: qimmamclub

Saudi Tourism
Web: sauditourism.sa


THE GLISTENING JORDAN JEWEL

Petra

petraWhere: Southern Jordan
Best Time To Go: October to April

One of Jordan’s historical landmarks is the Lost City of Stone, better known as Petra.

It is the most visited and favorable tourist attraction in Jordan. The hikes, climbs and walks taken, could lead to secretive and exciting trails.. Buildings from centuries ago are still monumentally standing. The Jordan Tourism Board estimates that it would take around four to five days in order to explore every aspect of Petra.

It’s important to note that cars are not allowed in the city. One can either walk or hire a horse-carriage. However, walking is recommended to truly experience the fascinating city.

Need help?

Visit Jordan
Web: visitjordan.com


A DISTINCT EGYPTIAN DEPICTION

Mount Sinai

mount-sinaiWhere: Sinai
Best Time To Go: Fall, winter or spring; summer could be too hot.

This is an uphill battle for an uphill hike. As soon as one gets to the top, watching the sunrise is a definite goal. In fact, it is popular that many people go for the hike before dawn, in order to catch the sunrise.

Mount Catherine

mount-sinai-egyptWhere: Outskirts of Egypt, Saint Catherine City
Best Time To Go: Fall, winter or spring; summer could be too hot.

Mount Catherine is the tallest mountain in Egypt. Surprisingly, its height does not capture as many explorers as Mount Sinai. The views and scenery from Mount Catherine are just as breathtaking. It could be that Mount Catherine is more of a struggle in terms of climbing when compared to Mount Sinai.

Need help?

Dahab Excursions
Web: dahabexcursions.com

The Hiking Club
Instagram: thehikingclubeg


SHEDDING LIGHT ON LEBANESE HEIGHTS

Al Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve

LebanonWhere: Barouk Mountain Slopes, Chouf District
Best Time To Go: All year round

This is one of Lebanon’s largest nature reserves. The reserve is uniquely comprised of four cedar forests. The hikes are refreshing and have been deemed as some of the greatest experiences. The hiking experience has been described as walking amongst and above the clouds.

Jannet Chouwen

Lebanon-1Where:  Ftouh Keserwan, 40 km away from Beirut
Best Time To Go: All year round

For those looking for breathtakingly beautiful scenery and a grand sense of adventure, this one is for you. The hike would take about three hours. The haven is covered in an assortment of beautiful plants with a clear river flowing along, one that can be used for swimming.

Need help?

Vamos Todos
Web: vamos-todos.com

Adventures in Lebanon
Facebook: AdventuresinLebanon


 A TRUE OMANIAN ESCAPADE

Hadash

Hadash-oman-١Where: Hadash
Best Time To Go: Fall, winter or spring; summer could be too hot.

Hadash village is a couple of hours outside Muscat. It’s filled with wondrous mountains. Park your car outside the village and explore a different side of Oman. The views from the mountain are beautiful and highly recommended. Additionally, there are several rock climbs that any adventure junkie would definitely enjoy.

Khubra Canyon

khbrahWhere: An Hour Away From Muscat
Best Time To Go: Fall, winter or spring; summer could be too hot.

It is also known as the “secret canyon.” The weather is beautiful and the climbs are eligible from beginner climbers to advanced ones.

Need help?

Oman Tourism
Web: tourismoman.com.au


ESSENTIALS

– Map, compass and GPS
– Plenty of food and water
– Flashlight
– Warm clothes
– Sunscreen
– First Aid Kit

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Community, Events & Happenings

Calling on the Patriotic Youth!

960-saudi-arabia-announces-vision-2030-envisages-economic-reforms

The “Saudi Landmarks” competition is a contest aimed to encourage the youth’s creativity and patriotism. It has been introduced by Minister of Education, Dr. Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al-Issa.


The aim of the competition as stated by the minister is “…to solidify the concepts of patriotism and the Saudi and Islamic identities… it also aims to direct the creative energy of the youth to strengthen their awareness of the past, to contribute to the future, and motivate the students to learn through entertainment.”

The competition will include the popular video game Minecraft as an education tool to accommodate for the following reasons:

  • Discovering creative talent in Saudi youth
  • Make sure there is a solid interest regarding Saudi culture
  • Involve the youth in generating their own perception of what the 2030 Saudi vision includes and encouraging their creative imagination throughout

As stated under the competition guidelines à “The competition will spark and involve the youth’s attention in a productive cause by creating challenges for users in creating landmarks that fall under one of the following categories”:

  1. Historical Sites
  2. Modern Sites
  3. Futuristic Sits regarding the 2030 vision
  4. Hajj and Umrah Sites

Registration is open from the 10th of August to the 3rd of September
Nominations will be held from the 6th – 10th of September
Then, Boot Camp will be from the 22nd to the 24th of September
Voting – from the 26th of September to the 5th of October
The Final Event’s date is still to be determined

Participants can compete as individuals or groups of 2-4 maximum. Under each of the four categories (historical, modern, futuristic and Hajj & Umrah sites) there will be three winners à one from elementary school, one from intermediate & high school and one group.

To all the youth, unleash your creative tendencies and register for the Saudi Landmarks competition TODAY!

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Activities, Self Care

Shout out to the Men! Spas and Salons for YOUR luxury!

spalounge_6

Women’s salons are everywhere, but what about men?


Hair services, facials and spa services are a good way for men to relax and pamper themselves. It in no way means that a man is less masculine. It just means that they want to take some time for themselves and enjoy the luxury of spas and salons.

Shadow – spa facility, lounge, and restaurant.

Location and Contact:
Rawdah: 012-2614777
Tahleyah: 012-6680200
Web: Shadow Lounge

Enaya Care Salon and Spa – hair services, facial care, spa services, and hand and foot care.

Locations and Contact:

  • Al- Mohamadiya: 012-6945848
  • As-Safa: 012-2719955
  • As-Samer: 012-6781548
  • Al- Fayhaa: 012-6410987
  • Al-Khaldiya: 012-6116685
  • Ash-Shati: 012-6079677

Telphone: 920003687
Web: Eanaya Care

Seba – a Gentlemen’s Sports and Wellness Center under the management of Park Hyatt Jeddah.

Location: Park Hyatt Jeddah – Marina, Club and Spa – Al Hamra District
Contact: 012-2639666
Web: Seb
Email: jedph-seba@hyatt.com

Mihyar – salon, spa and thobe department.

Location: Rawdah Street
Contact: 012-2615197

Saloni – hair salon.

Location: Khaldiya
Contact: 0500983336

Jeddah Hilton Hotel – spa services.

Location: North Corniche Road
Contact: 012-6590000

Did we miss any of your favorites?

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Offbeat, World Trends

Back at it again with the Olympic Games!

rio-2016

RIO 2016 is almost coming to an end. Before it does, here are some updates on records, surprises and some OMG moments.


1. USA remains championing and leading the Olympic games with 30 Gold, 32 Silver and 31 Bronze.

2. Great Britain knocked China from 2nd place to 3rd, topping them with 19 Gold, 19 Silver and 12 Bronze.

3. The unbeatable Michael Phelps won 5 Gold medals in Rio and 1 Silver medal. That silver medal was because of Joseph Schooling.
FUN FACT: The 21 year old Singaporean happens to have met Phelps in 2008 when Schooling was around 8 years old.

schooling-phelps-data

4. Simone Biles dominated the Olympic gymnastics this year, being named the best Olympic gymnast! She won four Gold medals and one Bronze. The bronze was due to the fact that she stumbled on the beam.
Note: she stumbled and STILL managed to get a medal. Simone Biles is a powerhouse.

Photo Credit Fox Sport

Photo Credit Fox Sport

5. Unfortunately, American gymnast Gabby Douglas has been getting a lot of hate on social media for not putting her hand over her heart when the national anthem was playing. In addition, people online have been making extremely rude comments about her hair and skin. From being America’s sweetheart in 2012 to being bullied and criticized 4 years later. RIO 2016 has been very tough for Gabby Douglas.

gabby douglas

Photo Credits: wennermedia

6. Usain Bolt grabbed the Gold for Jamaica once again in the men’s 100m. His performance resulted in an iconic photo. As Bolt was bolting through the race he had the time to look to the side and give a cheeky grin. Since that 100m race, the photo has gone viral.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 14: Usain Bolt of Jamaica competes in the Men's 100 meter semifinal on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Photo Credit: Getty

7. Also, can we talk about that green water? Suddenly, the Olympic pool has mysteriously turned green. No one knew why or how. Apparently, the problem had something to do with hydrogen peroxide and some other scientific talk. Needless to say, it was quite embarrassing for the Olympic officials to have to deal with such an incident.

Photo Credit: Elle

Photo Credit: Elle

8. Now, this fun fact warmed my heart. For the first time in Olympic history, the games had triplets competing together, the three of them taking part in the marathon. They called themselves the “trio to Rio”.

Photo Credit: Business Insider

Photo Credit: Business Insider

9. Allyson Felix in the women’s 400m race was predicted to win Gold but won the Silver instead. Her silver was due to her opponent diving over the finish line, with a difference of 0.07 seconds.

Allyson_2.0

Photo Credit: sbnation

Time to get patriotic! Here’s an update on what happened with our Saudi athletes.

1. Sultan Mubarak Al-Dawoodi ranked 33 overall in the men’s discus throw

Photo credit :Getty images

Photo credit :Getty images

2. After her performance in the 800m 4 years ago, Sarah Attar took part in the marathon and ranked 132, second to last.

sarah attar-rio

Photo credit: yahoo

3.Tariq Al-Amri also competed in the men’s 5,000m race and ranked 43rd with a time of 14:26.90
4. Abdullah Abkar Mohammed competed in the men’s 100m and ranked 34th overall

,ohammed rio

5. Mukhlid Al-Otaibi competed in the men’s 5,000m race and ranked 41st with a time of 14:18.48
6. Kariman Abuljadayel was 7th in her heat ranked 23rd in the women’s 100m. She is the first Saudi woman to represent in the women’s 100m.

karaman

Photo Credit: TheSun

All Saudi athletes have competed at this point.
Despite no medals being won, one cannot help but feel proud of the effort and the representation. By having Saudi men and women represent, it gives the youth role models that inspire them to aspire.

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Business

Are Internships Worth It?

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Internships are great, but are they worth the time and effort?


When I was a junior in college, I dedicated my entire summer to an internship. I finished my Spring semester and jumped right into working as an unpaid intern. This meant two months of my summer was booked and only my weekends were my holiday. I don’t regret it; I gained confidence, skills and made great connections.

While many recognize the merits, too many college students are unenthusiastic about getting into internship programs, especially in Saudi. I’ve struggled to understand why considering internships are the perfect way to get your foot in the door. Perhaps companies don’t advertise opportunities properly or the students associate internship with boring unpaid work. In general, though, summer jobs and training programs don’t seem to be a priority when the summer can be spent travelling the world. Both have its merits, of course, but what lasts long term?

The best reason to do an internship is to get experience in the professional field of your choice. In fact, if you’re unsure about your career path, do an internship in the field of your interest before you choose that as your major. It could only be a couple of weeks, but those weeks will help you know more about the field. This will make your CV stronger and give you better insight for the future.

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Most college programs incorporate internships in the academic plans. This is an excellent move that most students don’t appreciate. Through this internship you can get in touch with many potential employers. Not everyone wants to get a job after college, but the work experience and formal environment does not hurt. One drawback of college internships is the huge tuition fees that come with it. I personally don’t understand why internships are marked with credit hours; it comes off as a moneymaking scheme.

IP

More on the professional environment; if you have a family business don’t work for your Dad as an intern – it’s likely you will be too comfortable. It’s essential for interns to experience the professional and formal code of conduct; this can really prepare them for the future. This is one of the top reasons internships are a win-win for both the employer and the intern.

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The benefits include you learning to be punctual, maintaining professional decorum and practicing skills you already have and discovering new ones. As an intern I discovered my passion for editing texts and working in the publishing world. Moreover, you could land a fulltime position. I know quite a few students who were offered fulltime jobs for when they graduate.

I urge teenagers and college-goers to get internships before they even consider establishing themselves as employees or business owners. Here are my top guidelines for every intern:

  • Be punctual.
  • Keep your phone away unless you need it for work.
  • Always ask for more work.
  • Try to learn new skills.
  • Get involved in different departments.

Internship programs to consider: Aramco, Unilever, and GE. Local newspapers like Saudi Gazette and Arab News offer internship positions as well.

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Fashion Trends, Style & Shopping

Fashion Alert KENZO x H&M Collab Coming Soon

Photo Credit: cantstyle.com

KENZO x HM is an exciting and inventive collaboration revealing three looks that encompass individuality and creativity.


The collection is available in over 250 H&M stores worldwide starting on the 3rd of November. The lookbook showcases a diverse group of artists, young creatives and activists who are modeling the clothing, each an ambassador for KENZO x H&M.

Photo Credit: hm.com

Photo Credit: hm.com

Amy Sall, Isamaya French and Oko Ebombo are three of the collaborators showcased in the look book. They extend from New York, London and Paris. Photographer Oliver Hadlee Pearch captured their unique personalities and individuality of the clothing exceptionally!

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Fitness, News, World Trends

Sarah Attar: First Female Saudi in Olympics

sarah attar

The name we first heard in the Olympics 2012. Sarah Attar was one of the first two women to historically represent Saudi Arabia in the Olympics.


She was born and raised in the US to an American mother and a Saudi father. Just a couple of months before her Olympic participation, she was just another student at Pepperdine university, a part of her school’s cross-country team.

Attar was only requested and told about her London 2012 Olympic participation a few months before the games. She went there to participate and not compete. Her participation was for the women in Saudi Arabia and for the mere purpose of representation.

In London 2012, she ran the 800 m, a race that she personally knew she was not fit for. Her training was strictly in long distance running.

Fast-forward to Rio, Sarah Attar is back in the spotlight. This time, she took part in the marathon. A track course that she has the potential to excel in.

A day before competing in the marathon, Attar wrote an instagram post saying:

“… My marathon PR is 3:11:27, twenty-six minutes off the Olympic qualifying mark, but this is bigger than myself or my time. I am here on a wildcard because right now participation for women in Saudi Arabia is what matters most…”

In Attar’s marathon participation, she completed the race with a large smile and a time of 3:16:11. She was ranked 132.

sarah-attar

Attar is aware of her current capabilities and the reality of the situation. Due to the lack of athletic Saudi support for women, it is no surprise that the training is behind. However, it’s admirable optimism like Sarah Attar’s that gives Saudi women hope for the future of sports in the country.

Hopefully one day, Saudi women are not only participating as wild cards but as major competitors.

Show support and follow her on Twitter: @theSarahAttar and Instagram: sarahattar.

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