Buhaisa Al Arabi’s Volunteering Journey an Inspiring Tale

Be inspired by one woman’s volunteering journey.

Almost a year ago, a picture of a girl who had donated all her wedding money to people in need in Africa had went viral on social media and was broadcasted all over the news. Today, Buhaisa Al Arabi tells us how this was one of the most precious moments of her life.2016-02-29-photo-00000155

Tell us about yourself.

I’m a kindergarten teacher with the most adventurous soul, who also has many hobbies such as volunteering, reading and public speaking. I am an active member in several associations and clubs, including the Toastmasters Club and the Eastern Province Literary Club. I was also involved in campaigns supporting Syrian refugees in Jordan and Turkey in 2013.2016-02-29-photo-00003729-2

Tell us about your volunteering journey.

I was strongly influenced by seeing my father helping others with contributions and helping out at the neighborhood mosque. As a child, my first volunteering work was being my father’s kitchen assistant. Later after my college graduation, I started a reading session for children at a cafe in Khobar, every Thursday at 8 a.m. I’ve met a lot of amazing people who share the same interest and passion of helping others, which led me to joining all the volunteering clubs I could find.2016-02-29-photo-00004234-2

What is your biggest achievement?

I’ve got three: making my parents proud and happy, having my husband as my partner and being the person I am today.

What’s the most memorable moment of your journey?

My most memorable and joyful moments were from my “African Wedding,” as I like to call it, in Djibouti, Africa. My husband and I decided to skip having a big wedding and donate all the wedding money to families living in a village in Djibouti. Later on, when we visited there, everyone was very welcoming and kind to us. We helped to develop the water system and water supply of the village and to rebuild some of the houses of those families.2016-02-29-photo-00003722

What are your hopes for the future?

I am always optimistic about the future, and in all the work that I do and I plan for I always seek to be one step closer to Allah.

Email: buhaisaa@hotmail.com
Instagram: Buhaisa


Organic is the New Black

Quick look at local Rayana Organic Farm.

Rayana Organic Farm is the Balghunaim family farm in Al Ahsa. Fahad Balghunaim has been working for years to build his own farm. Always environmentally conscious, he even decided to go organic. With the help of his daughter Amal and after two years of work, Rayana Organic Farm was certified by The Saudi Organic Farming Association and has acquired Kiwa BCS Organic Certification for 10 years.chamomile_rayanaorganicfarm_alahsa_2017_haa-2

Today, Rayana Farm is a well-developed organic farm, producing a variety of grains, vegetables, herbal plants and dates. Still, it’s very challenging maintaining a regular farm, let alone an organic one. There’s a lot more planning involved with organic farming, and simple tasks have to be done more carefully, such as manually removing weeds. Also, while conventional farmers use pesticides and toxic chemicals to fight insects and viruses, an organic farmer would use plant-derived products to fight such problems.fenugreek_rayanaorganicfarm_alahsa_2017_haa-2

The Balghunaims are very committed to organic farming and to supply the community with clean and healthy products which makes them very conscious about the methods they use.

One of Rayana’s philosophies is having a relationship with their customers and community, educating them on what organic food is all about. They encourage people to come and see the farm in action, including the harvesting, the animals and all the labor involved.rayanaorganicfarm_alahsa_2017_haa-1

You can buy some of their products online through Khodarji.com (only in Riyadh for now) or the W99l app, or you can contact them directly by phone or email. They offer home delivery in Riyadh, Al Ahsa, Qatif, Khobar and Dammam and they ship to all regions in the Kingdom.rayanaorganicfarm_alahsa_2017_haa-6

“I see it in my daughter,” said Amal Balghunaim. “When we get up in the morning, she picks her eggs and we cook it together for breakfast. Knowing that she is the one who got the eggs, she’ll grow up with respect about where food comes from. She’ll appreciate the story, the environment and what it has to offer for us. When you care for something, it gives back.”

Mob: +966-504164451
Email: amal@rayanaorganic.com
Instagram: RayanaOrganic


When Memories Disappear

How to care for yourself and others against Alzhemier’s.

Imagine waking up one day and your mind is just blank. It’s a frightening and increasingly common experience. Recent statistics claim that Alzheimer’s disease now affects more than 40 million people worldwide.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disease that causes damage to the areas of the brain responsible for memory, thinking skills and language. It is the most common type of dementia.

But, this disease is a lot more than just simple memory loss. It also affects your mood and emotions. You could have sudden mood swings, suffer from anxiety and stress or even experience depression. Your behavior would change too, causing you to become more aggressive and hostile. Such changes can be very challenging and difficult to handle for both the patient and their caregivers and loved ones, which could lead to stress, tension or even a breakdown in communication and care.

Therefore, it’s important for a caregiver to understand their patient’s behavior, what causes their mood changes and be able to adapt to it and compromise. Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s can be extremely hard but we have to stay strong for our loved ones.

Atheer Alkhashram is one of our talented local graphic designers here in Sharqiya. Her senior project at Dammam University focused on educating the caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s. She created a kit that includes a guidebook with information and tips on home-care and methods to help the caregiver, a stress-relief ball and a planner to help arrange schedules between caregivers. She also created an app where they can record their best memories and which also has a planner and a series of educational clips.

Abdulrahman Sundakji

Abdulrahman Sundakji

Earlier this year, Saudi filmmaker Abdulrahman Sundakji directed a film about Alzheimer’s, showcasing the reality of the disease and heartbreaking cases of it in the Kingdom. The film won the bronze aware at the 2016 Saudi Film Festival, and during the film’s tour in Dhahran last May, the Saudi Alzheimer’s Association recognized Atheer’s efforts with her app and guidebook.

Alzheimer’s disease was first discovered by German psychiatrist Dr. Alois Alzheimer in the early 1900s. A century later, researchers have yet to find an actual cure. Still, recent studies have shown that changing your everyday lifestyle choices could reduce your risk factors. This includes:

  • Eating a healthy diet that’s rich in vegetables, beans, leafy greens, nuts and omega-3 foods.
  • Doing regular aerobic exercises that reduce your stress levels and body fat, while also promoting better sleep. Even a daily walk routine will help.
  • Doing regular mental exercises, such as crossword puzzles, stimulating games, reading books and learning new skills or languages. Anything to keep your brain active and engaged.