Picture-Perfect Restaurants

Eat, drink and be merry in stylish spots.


So far, this place has one of the prettiest interiors in Sharqiya. Even though it’s not the first to have a sea view, the coziness you feel when you walk in is a good indication of careful and thorough design. Every little detail tells something and it just feels like you’re in a floating boat right in the middle of the sea. There’s something calming about looking around to see the lapping waves around you while lounging in a room of of rusty yellows, faint blues and defining blacks.

Location: Dughaither Village, Al Sahil, Khobar
Instagram: sunroom_cafe


When you walk into a room and you notice your mood shifting immediately, that’s when you know: this is a well-designed space. The chandelier and velvety chairs in faint shades of pink and blue give it a Victorian vibe – almost like you’ve travelled in time. With an already remarkably pleasant interior, as you walk deeper in it opens up into a bright sky-lit space with bushy green walls and even more velvety chairs.

Location: Corniche Rd., Fouad Center, Khobar
Instagram: creole.alkhobar



You can tell a lot about a place just by its entrance. Walking through Mehraja’s huge ornamented wooden studded gate is enrapturing. The marble fountain, the pointed Indian arches everywhere and the patterns and adornments of the wooden and marble partitions all give the place an emphasized Indian theme. The indoor water element is an especially nice touch as it provides a refreshingly calming effect. Considering all of the above, this is most definitely a picture-perfect restaurant.

Location: Prince Turki St., Movenpick Hotel, Khobar

Vicoli Lounge

vicolilounge_khobar_2017_aa-3The special thing about this place is that corner in it where the sunlight seems to shine through at almost all times of the day. Whites on the walls and floors, shades of blue for the chairs and sofas and potted plants along the large glass windows combine to make it feel like you’re sitting in a little garden. By the way, stand at that same corner spot and turn around. I present you with a space that’s just perfect for your next tea party!

Location: Prince Humud St., Khobar
Instagram: vicolilounge

La Touche

You wouldn’t think you’d be keen on dining in a space with black and white tiles and velvet chairs with gold crowns and legs all in royal shades of red, blue, black and yellow. Yet, this space is, ironically, beautifully designed. There’s this lovely air about it, especially when it comes to the flowers you’re met with once you enter and the glass windows that brighten up the interior.

Location: Al Shriah St., Dammam
Instagram: latouchecafe

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There’s an easy-on-the-eye interplay between the different design elements as you ascend deeper within this space; tiles and polished concrete cover the floor in a remarkably mismatched fashion. Rays of sun shower almost every corner by the end of the day, and the attention paid to the lighting installations and the choice of chairs and tables surely makes this space unique.

Location: Bashar Ibn Burd St., Olaya, Khobar
Instagram: sncafe

Aioli Lounge

A very smooth interior. The whites of the sitting area, the greys of the polished concrete floor, those pretty clustered little dangling lightbulbs at the bar, the ceramics at the corners and the stacks of books here and there give this space a minimalist character. Above all else though, Aoili is a favorite because it has got one of the best sea-view balconies in town.

Location: Dughaither Village, Al Sahil, Khobar
Instagram: aiolilounge


Arabia’s Awesome Attire

The world of bisht-making, then and now.

Origins of the Bisht

Originating in the Arabian Peninsula long before Islam, the bisht was historically called an aba’a. Regardless of social class, Arab men wore the bisht whenever they went out. Today, the bisht is only worn on certain occasions and is considered a much more formal and lavish piece of clothing.bisht_source_5

Originally, the colors of a bisht included black, brown, blonde, milky off-white and white. Light colors would be worn during the day and darker ones at night. Today, alongside Oman, UAE, Kuwait and Iraq, Al Ahsa sits on the list of locations that make the best bishts in the world. Back in the day, poetry was written about the Hasawi Bisht and it was among the main exports from the region.

Leading Families

There were, and still are, leading families that are famous for raising the best bisht tailors in Al Ahsa, including Bu Kannan, Al Qattan, Al Baghli, Al Shawaf, Al Ghazal and Bouholaigah. Performing such an energy- and time-consuming task that required a good eye for detail, bisht tailors were among the highest paid professions around.bisht_source_6

Founder of Abu Dhabi Weaving & Cloak Tailoring Factory, est. 1966, Ali Mohammed Al Eissa Bouholaigah shared a story about an employee of his great grandfather’s: “He had the ability to finish 80 bishts on the way to Hajj, which was a two-month-trip on camel-back. His grandchildren still brag about it!”

Coming from a deep-rooted family history of more than 150 years in bisht-making, Bouholaigah has taken after his ancestors in this craft. In the 1940s, he worked on the kiswah (Ka’aba covering) embroideries in Syria and eventually founded the largest bisht factory in the world and settled down in Abu Dhabi.bisht_source_2

With such a legacy, it’s no wonder that his regular customers include members of the ruling family of the UAE, a sartorial preference which all began with UAE’s founder, Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan.

Bisht Embroidery (Daqqa)

Bisht trading in Al Ahsa centered around the exchange of raw materials, such as handwoven fabrics made from llama and lamb fur, as well as Zari threads which are used for embroidery and usually imported from Germany, France, India and Japan. The highest end of Zari threads can contain up to 10 grams of gold. Other types include silk threads (ebraisem) mixed with components of silver and other elements that give a shiny effect.

The Continuation of a Family Legacy

There’s a piece of clothing similar to the bisht, called a suwayeya, which was worn by the women in the Gulf area of the past. Here, this piece of clothing is rarely worn anymore. Well, Sara Buhlaiqa is reviving this trend as she launches her bisht brand for women, Desert Couture.bisht_source_1

Born in Khobar and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Buhlaiqa cites her grandfather as her inspiration for her line. Seeing how my grandfather loved his bisht, cared for it and wore it all the time made me think of the bisht as a very personal piece of clothing.”

Spreading the idea of wearing the bisht as a abaya is not new. After all, women in the past used to wear a piece of clothing that was just like a bisht, and the suwayeya had been famously tailored by women in Al Ahsa.

“I strongly believe that people of the world tend to connect the most through art, fashion, and food,” said Buhlaiqa, “and mainstreaming the bisht is my way of representing our vivid culture and introducing our part of the globe through this craft.”bish_source

Her idea is to maintain the essential elements of a bisht while changing the fabrics and colors to make it more accessible for daily use, bringing back heritage in a modernized way. “My dream is to one day see the bisht design on runways, fresh from its source in Al Ahsa.”

Desert Couture has two lines: one is the Heritage line, which is inspired from the original suwayeya made of thin fabrics and embroidered in gold Zari for special occasions. The other is the Urban line, which is an everyday-use bisht which can be worn as a abaya.

When asked about future plans, Buhlaiqa said: “We’re currently planning to launch a new collection of seasonally-limited farwa designs for the guys.”bai_6863

Instagram: desert_couture


Who Needs a Library

Cafés to sit and get working.

Haseer Café

Glass exteriors bringing in natural light.

Glass exteriors bringing in natural light.

Haseer is that no fuss, no muss coffee spot. With minimal interiors that lean towards an effortless industrial feel, the setup is perfect to for just plopping your laptop on the table and starting your work as you order copious amounts of coffee to sustain you until you meet that deadline or finish that project.

Bonus Point: Glass exteriors bringing in natural light.

Location: Zaid Ibn Al Khattab St., Olaya, Khobar
Web: hasseer.com

Big Chefs

Whether you’re working over coffee, or intending to nest-in working for the next eight hours, then this is the place for you. Carefully detailed tea and coffee plates that will make you feel like you’re treating yourself to a special occasion, there’s also a range of modern Turkish foods in case you needed to fuel up. All of this is wrapped up in a retro yet cozy space with bookshelves and comfy cushions.

Bonus Point: Accessible electricity outlets for your laptops.

Location: Prince Faisal bin Fahd St., Khobar
Web: bigchefsksa.com

Qaf Café

qafcafe_cafestostudyin_khobar_2017_aa-1The ambience of this place will hit you as soon as you step inside. Open spaces with daylight reaching every corner and floor-based electricity plugs next to tables as well as beside the high chairs facing the glass-walls makes this the place perfect for a take-root and focus kind of mode.

Bonus Point: Access to free refreshing flavored water at their bar at all times.

Location: 21 St., Olaya, Khobar
Web: qafcoffee.com
Instagram: qafcoffee

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They’ve got private rooms if you prefer working in solitude.

They’ve got
private rooms
if you prefer working in

Regardless of how picky you get with your work-mode setups, this place will probably be suitable for you. We’re all for the openness of the place as well as the comfy cushions and outlets along the walls of the cafe.

Bonus Point: They’ve got private rooms if you prefer working in solitude.

Location: Bashar Ibn Burd St., Khobar
Instagram: sncafe


starbuckes_cafestostudyinn_dammam_2017_aa-1Free Wi-Fi, convenient working hours, partitions for more working privacy and variant seating options from sofas to chairs with higher tables. It’s Starbucks, so we all know the coffee is quality.

Bonus Point: You can use the outdoor area upstairs during winter for a change of atmosphere.

Location: Ibn Khaldoun Mall, Airport Rd., Dammam

Baker’s Boutique

Tasty variety of drinks and in-house baked goods.

Tasty variety
of drinks and in-house
baked goods.

This place opens from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 12 a.m. The late hours are especially convenient for your study habits. We appreciate the comfortable height of their tables, the thorough lighting during the day and the accessibility to electricity plugs right from your tables.

Bonus Point: Tasty variety of drinks and in-house baked goods.

Location: Prince Turki St., Al Yarmouk, Khobar
Instagram: bakersboutiqueksa

Gloria Jeans Café

Welcome to Sharqiya’s first branch of what is considered the Dunkin’ Donuts of Sydney, Australia. It’s very quiet, good Wi-Fi, and has private sitting areas that area ideal for study groups.

Bonus Point: Has a great location with minimal traffic around it.

Location: Prince Mohammed bin Fahd Rd., Ash Shati Al Gharbi, Dammam
Instagram: gloria_jeans_dammam

Green Seeds

This place has a good recipe for studying/working. It’s kids’ friendly thanks to its playing corner, has a mini library if you’re in the mood for reading quietly over a cup of coffee, and is surprisingly quiet. We love the efficient lighting, free Wi-Fi and the great parking lot.

Bonus Point: You can even borrow and take home a book from their library.

Location: Khaleej Rd., Qatif
Instagram: greenseedscoffee


Embrace Them Curls!

Your guide to happier curly hair.

Shampoos and Conditioning Products

It all goes back to the basics: using the right shampoo and conditioner will make a huge difference. Shampoos with sulfate in them will cleanse your hair from its natural oils, making it super frizzy and dry. Avoiding substances like sulfate, silicon and paraben in the products you use will leave you with happier curls all the way.

Here are our picks for products to use:

1. SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Replenishing Shampoo
Order from Amazon.shampoo

2. NO-POO Original Zero Lather Conditioning Cleanser
Order from Amazon.71ollbqall-_sl1500_

3. Sauve Coconut Conditioner (yes, you can use a conditioner to cleanse your scalp).
You can find it at Danube.81rmr8g4pnl-_sl1500_

How to get those defined curls?

Keeping your hair moisturized is key to eliminating the frizz and getting defined curls.

Here are our pro tips:

1. Apply coconut oil before showering and overnight for maximum moisturizing effect.
You can find coconut oil in Tamimi and Danube.6172zt59-il-_sl1000_

2. Deep condition your hair before getting in the shower and cover it to lock down the moisture while you wash.aa

3. Focus on cleaning your scalp using your fingers or a scalp-cleansing brush during the shower.scalp-massage-brush

4. Do not detangle your hair after showering; just finger-brush it or use a wide-toothed brush in the shower (you can find these in your local pharmacy or beauty shops such as Sephora).a_1-2

5. Use a cotton t-shirt to dry your hair, let it air-dry, or use a hair diffuser.
You can find one in SACO and Nazeeh stores.a_2

6. Do not use any kind of heat on your hair as it will cause breakage.

7. Before going bed, put your hair into a high pineapple bun, and if you want to go the extra mile, cover your hair with a soft fabric cap.
Find it online on Amazon.silk-sleeping-cap

8. Use a soft fabric (silk or satin) pillowcase.home-bedding-pillowcase-100-silk-pillowcase-19mm-silk-pillowcase-fisher-s-finery-8

  • 9. If your curls are a day or two old and they start to crunch, then spray them with water and drench the ends with coconut oil, styling cream or gel.a_3
  • DEVACURL No-Comb Detangling Spray.
  • SheaMoisture Professional Curl Leave-in Conditioner.cream


The Queen of Resumes

Meet the best weapon for your job hunt.

Need a resume? Then you need Isra’a Garatli and Resume Reborn, the first Saudi-based resume writing service.

How did you come up with the idea of Resume Reborn?
I started working at a young age and was lucky to have a boss, Ahmed Alshargawi, who was patient, supportive and who believed in me. He challenged me to interview tons of applicants for positions I had no idea about.

It was intimidating because I had to interview people with many degrees and years of experience. Eventually my email address went viral and people believed I was a recruiter when I really wasn’t.2016-privat-meeting-with-pepsico-ceo-selfie-riyadh

So, what happened then?
I received many emails with resumes and I started editing to make them more presentable before passing them on to my contacts in contracting companies. Soon after, I received a lot of thank-you emails from the majority of people who ended up getting hired. I did this as a hobby for almost 12 years.

Fast forward to 2013, I had just helped edit and submit a resume for a colleague. Within two minutes, I received a phone call that they wanted to hire her immediately. I wasn’t surprised since she was qualified; however, I was very curious about how they were able to make a decision so quickly.

“We’ve never seen a resume so straight to the point, easy to read, professional looking, and so organized, coming from a Saudi candidate.” This comment made me both happy and sad, but it also made me realize: “Oh! This is MY cupcake!”

Your Cupcake?
(She laughs) Back then cupcakes were trending in a big way. And, I had been worrying that my life was going to be me stuck at my cubicle doing routine work forever. When I got that call, a lightbulb flashed and my cupcake was born: Resume Reborn!

What are the services provided by Resume Reborn?
We’re the first Saudi-based company to provide resume writing services. We cater to people of all backgrounds; whether you’re a fresh graduate or experienced professional, applying for university, jobs or otherwise.2015-astepahead-glowork-panel-dammam

Talk about some of the challenges you faced?
It was a challenge whenever I got resumes for backgrounds I wasn’t familiar with, such as marine engineering, zoology or aviation. I had to do plenty of research to learn all the right keywords and methods to list relevant information under the experience fields.

Time is a challenge too. I started this business independently, and so far, I’m the founder, accountant, communication officer, social media and marketing specialist, resume writer and website developer. I’ve luckily been able to manage everything on my own but obviously it’s extremely time consuming.

Still, it never fails to put a smile on my face every time I write a resume and know I’m helping someone get hired for a job they want.

How do you describe your success so far?
We started slow and simple and let the business gradually expand through word of mouth, so being active on social media helped tremendously. Back in 2014 I was interviewed on MBC, which was a huge boost to my reputation, and in 2015 I received the Women Appreciation Month “WAM” award. Meanwhile, I’m regularly asked to speak about resume writing at career fairs, schools and universities.

What are your future plans for Resume Reborn?
I plan on hiring a staff of young professionals, add in Arabic writing services and eventually expand into headhunting and recruiting.

Email: info@resumereborn.com
Web: resumereborn.com
Instagram: ResumeReborn2015-wam-award-riyadh

Isra’a’s Tips on Resume Writing

  • Keep your resume to one page if you’re a fresh graduate or have minimum experience.
  • Never exceed two pages, no matter how many years of experience you have. You only need to include what is relevant to the job you’re applying for.
  • Begin your resume with a short summary paragraph instead of an objective. This is your elevator pitch where you talk about your core qualifications, areas of expertise and what you bring to the table.
  • Recruiters spend no more than 20 seconds looking at a resume, so make those seconds count by writing a compelling summary that grabs their attention.
  • Avoid using colors and funky fonts! Keep it easy to read with a nice and clean theme.
  • Ask a friend to proofread your resume for spelling and grammar before submitting it.
  • Research the company you’re interested in and use related keywords that apply to you within your resume. You can find such words in their mission and vision statements or job descriptions.
  • Personal information should only be your name, city, country, email address and one phone number. Don’t include irrelevant information such as marital status, government ID or the number of your children.
  • There is no right or wrong way to write a resume; it’s all about how you want to represent yourself on paper. That said, there are best practices and tips and tricks (like this list) to help your resume pass instead of get tossed.


Dream a Little Dream of You

Budoor Shadawi shares her dream social network.

Tell us about yourself.

I was born and raised in Khobar. I’m 35, going on 20! I’m also a certified skydiver, I’ve hiked two of the seven summits, I love kayaking and I love trying out anything new that would give me a rush of excitement.

I did my bachelors in Montreal, Canada majoring in MIS and Marketing, then I finished my MBA in Boston. When I came back, I worked for my family’s business for a while, then I went to work in Microsoft for a couple of years.

I’m currently back working in my family’s business running their marketing department, but the big thing on my plate is that I’m launching a social network Dream@ soon.

Off-Roading in Mongolia. They drove a total of about 3,500 km.

Off-Roading in Mongolia. They drove a total of about 3,500 km.

What is the idea of Dream@?
Dream@ is a free social networking platform that encourages people to live more fulfilled lives. The idea behind Dream@ is to live in the now and focus on doing what we love every day.

How did you come up with the idea?
Even though small and passionate communities in different areas of interest are growing, it feels like the attitude of pursuing your dreams is still deficient in this region. I came up with Dream@ as a way to introduce this whole mentality of taking control of your destiny, becoming more active and giving your life an even richer meaning outside of just amassing material things.

Visiting the Mongolian Kazakh Eagle Hunters during a trip with Husaak Adventures.

Visiting the Mongolian Kazakh Eagle Hunters during a trip with Husaak Adventures.

How does it work?
If Facebook and Pinterest got married, Dream@ would be their love child. There are lots of social networks with the same idea out there, but the difference between them and Dream@ is that Dream@ is bilingual (English and Arabic).

Skydiving in Dubai.

Skydiving in Dubai.

Also, while other social networks tell you what to do and stop there, Dream@ goes the extra mile and assists you in achieving your dreams. We’re like a middle person between the dreamers and the dream makers, and that’s where our value-added services come in. So, if someone says “I want to climb a mountain” and clicks “Seek Help”, we give them different proposals from our dream makers/partners based on the specifics they provide.

The Prehistoric Mural in Vinales is one of the largest in the world and represents the life of the first inhabitants of the Cuban archipelago.

The Prehistoric Mural in Vinales is one of the largest in the world and represents the life of the first inhabitants of the Cuban archipelago.

It’ll begin with nine categories when it launches, with more planned in the future. These include social responsibility and community outreach, self-improvement, learning languages, honing skills and even adventurous activities. We’ll also feature subject experts in short interviews on the website.

What do you attribute your success to?
A passion for living and surrounding myself with inspiring people. Everyone should make a conscious decision to surround themselves with people that push them to do more instead of bring them down.

Tanzania: my eye on the Kilimanjaro summit from one of the lower camps.

Tanzania: my eye on the Kilimanjaro summit from one of the lower camps.

I remember being a couch potato in middle school. One of my closest friends since then, Mona Shihab, came up to me and told me that she’d always wanted to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. She planted the seed in my head, and even though I’d never stepped in a gym before then, I trained heavily just to go on that trip. I struggled, fainted twice on the climb, got altitude sickness and wished the whole thing would be over, but the satisfaction I felt once I got off the mountain made it all worthwhile.

If it wasn’t for Mona, I wouldn’t have gone and had this experience. And because of it, even though it’s tough, I still go five to six days a week to exercise and train. There’s so much to see in life and I want to be around for as long as possible to experience it all!

Khustain National Park and Reserve, the largest wild horses national park in the world.

Khustain National Park and Reserve, the
largest wild horses national park in the world.

What advice can you give to our readers on fulfilling their dreams?
Don’t wait till tomorrow or “that one day” to pursue your dream. Every tomorrow will just become another tomorrow until you run out of them. Why wait? I encourage you to sit down and write out the things you want to do, why you want to do them and why you haven’t done them yet. So often we never pursue our dreams, big or small because we never simply sat down and said, “I’m doing this right now!”



Movers & Shakers: Highlighting Awesome Individuals

A conversation with Sharqiya’s running hero: Somaya Al Ghazali.

Currently studying English Literature at Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University, Somaya Al Ghazali juggles her time between being a student, working her graphic design job, doing social work and running every single day.

Back in 2009, Al Ghazali’s mother pushed her to go out walking or running every day for the sole purpose of being active. “At first, I did it and I didn’t know why,” says

Back in 2009, Al Ghazali’s mother pushed her to go out walking or running every day for the sole purpose of being active. “At first, I did it and I didn’t know why,” says Al Ghazali. “I just did it because my mother pushed me to.”

“After I finished my diploma in computer programming in 2012, I got a job at a school. I wasn’t very happy with it, which made me think of what I really liked and what I really liked and what I didn’t.” she recalls.

When faced with a turning point, she did what she didn’t know she was brave enough to do and quit her job. “I started working on my wellbeing more and going for walks every day. Eventually, this became the focus of my life,” says Al Ghazali.

At first it was difficult for her. She could barely run for three minutes without getting exhausted, and she only went running at Corniche. But, with each day the habit grew on her and she always made time for it.somayhgazali_khobar_2017-2

In 2013, her mother passed away and it was a very difficult time for Al Ghazali. Running every day helped her pick herself up and eventually move on. As she got more and more committed to the lifestyle, she started walking in the streets and used walking as her main means of transportation. She admits that sometimes she’d even walk to work.

Today, Al Ghazali runs an average of 5-10 kilometers every day after an hour of stretching and yoga practice. In the past three years, she has run more than 4,000 kilometers and she hopes to add another 1,200 to that by end of the year.

“If I have to give one reason to why I do it, it’d be that that it brings me peace of mind,” shares Al Ghazali. “It’s also made me a calmer and more in-control as a person.”

When we asked Al Ghazali about the difficulties she faced while running in her abaya, and doing something that is not commonly done by women in public areas, she said that it was all in our heads, and that she simply looked at it as a challenge that she couldn’t help but overcome.

Somaya Al Ghazali is also a part of Ruqi Society and she has been working with their photography team. The program prepares girls for the future by honing their various talents and passions and teaching them how to use their skills to give back to the community.

Learn more of Somaya Al Ghazali’s adventures through her Instagram page: soalghazali


From Dilmun, With Love

Meet Bahrain’s resident travel couple.

Sharing a deep passion for photography, traveling and cultural arts, Maryam Al Arab and Hussain Al Mosawi went on an exciting trek through Kashmir and the Indian Himalayan mountains for their honeymoon in 2012. This trip was a catalyst that transformed their lifestyle in many ways.

First, they started their travel blog in which, and through various creative mediums, they connect intimately with their readers and share stories and highlights from their trips. After a visit to the national museum in Bahrain and learning about how Bahrain’s heritage dates back for more than 10,000 years and is home to the lost empire of Dilmun, they felt compelled to name their blog “The Dilmuni Couple.”img_4156-cced

“When we came back from our honey moon we had lots of stories and experiences to share. We started digging deeper about the travel industry online, and we found different couple travel blogs from around the world like Europe, USA, Asia. Many of whom made a living out of it!”

Still, it wasn’t enough to just share their love of travel through blogging, they also organize tours for tourists and newcomers, taking them to the most unusual or hidden gems in Bahrain as a way to share their love of the country’s heritage and traditions.dsc_5534

They even expanded their scope to include Saudi Arabia and did a 12-day road trip from Bahrain all the way to Madain Saleh. Several trips and blog posts later, they received an invitation from a Qatifi local through Instagram, inviting them to see the unique locations within Qatif and Dareen.

That trip opened their eyes to a whole other world of cool sites, including the historical Abu Luwza Hamam which was built over a water spring, the Dareen airport ruins dating back to WWI in1914 and Tarout Island, complete with a historical castle and ancient homes.3

“We’re very thankful for social media platforms that allow this two-way exchange which really turns travels to even more enriching experiences,” said Al Arab.

When we asked them about what motivates them, they said it was all about stepping out of their comfort zone, trying new things and experiencing everything the world had to offer. “Sometimes it’s a pure desire to explore a place that we had only read about in books or only seen on TV.”2

Travel, in particular, had helped the couple dramatically alter the way they perceive life. “We’ve become a lot less materialistic,” said Al Arab. “We used to think that material things could bring happiness, but this new lifestyle has actually reprioritized things like getting a house or buying a car.”

For 2017, the couple are dedicating their travels towards an education in arts and culture. “It’s going to be the first time we’ll be apart,” Al Arab said. “Hussain is going on a cultural management course with Goethe Institute in Germany and I’ll be joining a “Social Change Through the Arts” program through the US embassy that tours cultural institutions around the US.”1

Finally, just when you thought they weren’t awesome enough, they’re also cultural activists and have exhibited several art and culture projects. “Through these projects, we address personal views to various social and cultural topics.”

“One of our latest exhibited works is titled ‘Matrix Memory’, where we visualize the social fabric of Bahrain through a collection of abstract images.”

In 2016 their project “Concrete Identity” won first prize at the 42nd Annual Fine Art Exhibition of Bahrain.

Web: dilmunicouple.com
Instagram: dilmunicouple


One Plus One = Delicious

Traditional food combos to inspire you this month.

wadma_tfc_khobar_2017_1Wadma, Limes and Rocca

Wadma is made using a young fish dried and crushed. Then you drench it in some lime juice, toss it with a bunch of arugula and you have yourself a classic combo that tastes simply delicious.

datesntahini_tfc_khobar_2017_1Dates and Tahina

Sharqawis can’t survive without their dates, most especially when you need to break fast. If you haven’t tried this yet, put a little bowl of tahina to dip your dates in. Pair it with a piping hot cup of Arabic coffee and you’re good to go.

luqahnredtea_tfc_khobar_2017Tea and Luqah

The mix of red tea and luqah water – which is the liquid from distilled teltal (basically palm tree flowers) – is beloved by all Sharqawis for its distinct flavor and endless benefits.

khubazahmarncheese_alahsa_2017_ha_1Khubz Ahmar and Cheese

This traditional bread that’s mainly made of dates and whole-wheat flour was reintroduced when bakers in Sharqiya (Al Ahsa specifically) started stuffing it with cream cheese. We tell, we show and you judge!

luminharees_tfc_khobar_2017Lumi (Fermented Limes) and Harees Soup

We all love our harees soup a bit sour, but if you haven’t tried it with the Hasawi original lumi juice, then you’re missing out! In Al Ahsa, lumi is traditionally made from lime juice mixed with black pepper and left out in the sun until fermented. The sour and slightly spicy flavor of this lumi hares soup is a particular favorite of mine.

jameednkabsa_tfc_khobar_2017_1Jameed (Lime Molasses) and Kabsa

I always loved a good kabsa (who doesn’t?) but then my grandmother introduced me to kabsa mixed with jameed and I just can’t go back now. This is another traditional combo from Al Ahsa: you add about a tablespoon of jameed (lime molasses) and a few spoons of sugar to around 3-4 cups of kabsa. Add water to adjust the sourness to your taste.


Life is a Journey

Meet Sharqiya’s not-so resident nomad.

Albara Al Ohali is a storyteller on the go, looking at his own life in terms of chapters. “Each of us has a unique story to tell, writing it as we go along. The idea that we’re all a copy of each other is something that I hate so much, so I try to defy it by this storytelling metaphor I live by.”

Al Ohali’s first chapter started with his birth in the US, where he lived for six years before his family moved back to Dhahran. He earned a degree in software engineering from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, and after a year of working with Google in Dubai, he decided to leave everything behind and embark upon a journey of self-discovery. He bought a one-way ticket to Japan with only a backpack and sleeping bag in hand.morocco-desert-trip_byalbara_may2017-3

According to his personal story, Al Ohali is now entering Chapter Six, with the previous chapter encompassing his exploration of Japan for the past four years. “I always tell people to try to let go of something by choice. Sometimes we take settlement for granted, whereas somewhere someone else has lost it and not by choice.”

Al Ohali’s biggest motivation behind choosing this lifestyle is the discovery of new things, feeding his curious mind, and that “aha” moment he gets when he learns about something new in a different culture.

“After spending some time in Japan, most of my travels were short and to places that I’d been to before. But, the only place that I was completely staggered by beside Japan was Sweden. When I got there, it felt like it had been a long time since I’d been to a country where I couldn’t speak a word of their language. It was as if I went back to being a kid and I was completely okay with not understanding everything I saw. I looked at everything as if it were my first time.”morocco-desert-trip_byalbara_may2017-15

Al Ohali’s favorite destination is Hokkaido, Japan. “It’s just so vast and beautiful, and contains numerous elements of nature in one place but still maintains this nifty organized Japan within it.” To him, it felt as if he were outside of Japan but still wasn’t. “The best milk I ever tasted was when I was in Hokkaido.”

Hokkaido happens to be his official first ever adventure-travel trip destination where he went cycling with only a sleeping bag, a tent and a just enough to stay fed for 20 days.morocco-desert-trip_byalbara_may2017-2

His most recent adventure trip was Morocco last month, during which he walked 460 kilometers of the Southern Sahara Desert in just six days.

Hardly his first intensive walking trip, during his time in Japan Al Ohali and his friend Abdulrahman Baatheem walked 800 kilometers from Imari to Tokyo in an 18-day trip. “I don’t get to do this type of traveling a lot, but it’s really nice. It’s literally the way our ancestors used to travel. If you do it walking, it’s slower, but it grants you the chance to see and take in everything that you cross paths with on your way.”morocco-desert-trip_byalbara_may2017-7

A big question on everyone’s mind when they hear his story is how he maintains this lifestyle. “The type of traveling I do is not luxury, so I always do a lot of research, especially when it comes to big ticket items like flights and accommodation.” To him, these are the two main things that affect your travel budget dramatically.

“If you just figure out where you’re going to sleep for cheap (or free) and how you’re going to arrive to that destination without spending much, I think you solved 80 percent of the problem.”morocco-desert-trip_byalbara_may2017-14

“If I can sum up what I learned from traveling to one thing, it would be that we’re all humans and we’re all the same in a way. People who haven’t traveled much have this centric view of ‘we’ and ‘everyone else’. When you travel and meet people, you see their lives and how they look at things and you realize that it’s the same everywhere.”

“I always tell people to go and travel and see the world out there. It’s good for your heart, mind and soul. Traveling is the best school I’ve had in my life. It taught me a lot, shaped who I am today and made me a better human being.”

Instagram: albara
Web: albrara.me