WHO’S WHO: Reach for the Stars


Mishaal Ashemimry talks about her inspiration and fight for science.

The Unaizah desert is located close to the Saudi city of Unaizah in the Najd province. While unknown to many around the world, this desert is actually very close to Mishaal Ashemimry’s heart. The American-Saudi aerospace engineer and founder of MISHAAL Aerospace, a company based in Miami, Florida in the US that specializes in launch vehicle/rocket development for space applications, recalls the moment during her childhood in Saudi that sparked something in her. “It was dark and cool with the faint whispers of the camels in the distance. I looked up at the sky; it was illuminated with very dense stars. And that’s how I was inspired.”

Inquisitive as a child, Ashemimry couldn’t stop asking questions about the stars that had become her biggest curiosity. She wanted to know what the stars were. “The best way to know them is to go to space, and how do you do that? Rockets can take you there,” she said. This childhood curiosity grew into an education and profession. When asked if she’d revisited Unaizah desert, Ashemimry lit up with a smile and said, “I have never been back there since that moment, so I need to revisit. I would absolutely go in a heartbeat.” na17-misk

Ashemimry is based in Miami, Florida, where she founded MISHAAL Aerospace in 2010 to pursue her ultimate dream of building rockets. She is currently looking for investors for her company. Talking about her plans, Ashemimry says, “If things don’t go the way I want them to then I will most likely go back to get my PhD. If things do go well, I’d be really interested in seeing some space-related items in the Middle East and the Gulf in general. It would be nice to see a space agency or something space-related happen here.”

However, certain restrictions on American companies would make it difficult for Ashemimry to bring her company here. “There are a lot of policies, especially in aerospace. It’s a very sensitive and regulated field.”

Ashemimry, who herself faced sexism and ageism, believes that aspiring Saudi scientists should not let obstacles stop them from achieving their dreams. “You’re going to face some very complex and difficult obstacles along the way, especially as a woman, that may deter you from where you need to go. You just need to focus on your vision. People who face criticism and are put down, they are the ones who get there. They’re the determined ones.”slide-4

The highlight of Ashemimry’s trip was the event at Dar Al Hekma University where she gave a talk on her work and journey in aerospace. “People seemed very receptive. I felt like they had something to gain from it, which to me is the whole purpose of having a strong online presence.”

The young aerospace engineer believes in taking initiative and fighting for what makes your heart beat. “Essentially from a passion perspective, because a lot of the time the world around us can hinder that. What’s interesting to me is that some people are not even aware of these sciences that are out there. When they discover it and like it, they start reading more and it creates this bug, this spark that makes them yearn to learn more.”

That spark for Mishaal Ashemimry was looking at the sky in the Unaizah desert. “All I needed was the stars to inspire me. I think all I needed was the stars.”

Mishaal Ashemimry worked on a NASA Marshall Space Flight Center project on nuclear thermal propulsion.

Snapchat & Twitter: mashemimry
YouTubeMishaal Ashemimry


Social Stars at TEDxAlhamraa


The stage belonged to the inspiring women of Jeddah.

November’s Tedx AlHamraa Women event was a motivational highlight for active Jeddawis, and for delegate students of Al Hamraa School, who got the opportunity to interact with and interview some of their favorite locals. Hosted at Waad Academy, many inspirational Saudi women took to the stage to address important social issues and matters that affect our society. The talks were beneficial for people for a variety of reasons – from getting them a step closer to their business goals to giving them insight in dealing with the emotional baggage of life. TEDxAlhamraa beautifully instilled a sense of optimism, self-awareness, and social responsibility. It was a much-needed event that gave attendees the reflective boost they need to end the year with a positive spirit.

Maria Mahdaly

Maria Mahdaly

Destination’s own Maria Mahdaly was one of the speakers; her thoughtful idea helped people realize the power that is in their hands, as individuals and a community, to be a medium – every one of us has a message to spread to the world.


Amal Dokhan

Founder of Emkan Education Basma Bushnak spoke about the negative stigma attached to divorce and how her personal experience affected her life. Bushnak’s podcast, Iqleb Al Saf’ha (Turn the Page) offers a moral support system for women dealing with divorce. Another voice of optimism was Asma Fatani, a woman who has fought to achieve her goals and helped her audience see how they could do the same.

Nouf Hakeem

Nouf Hakeem

Khayra Bundakji, co-founder of the youthful Mstdfr podcast, gave a cheerful and uplifting talk about authenticity of the self and defying gender stereotypes. Nouf Hakeem, creator of The Lighthouse Concept, spoke on self-love and acceptance, and confronting ill feelings one might have about themselves. Hakeem inspired the audience to face their true emotions and make peace with their true self.

Khayra Bundakji

Khayra Bundakji

The star of Saudi film Barakah Meets Barakah and the founder of The Other Story Project Fatima Al Banawi addressed the issue of our cultural identity and how it’s negatively affected by the portrayal of Arabs in western media. Amal Dokhan added a little bravery to the evening by asking the audience to try something new: each member of the audience drew the person sitting next to them in 10 seconds. This exercise dared them to do something they might otherwise have hesitated to attempt.

Fatima Al Banawi

Fatima Al Banawi

Many more hardworking and inspiring women brightened up the TEDxAlhamraa stage with their ideas. More power to them!


Tasmeem Art & Design Fair


An intersection of art, architecture, and interior design.

Tasmeem Fair, The Saudi Art Council’s latest initiative, was an artistic tribute to architecture and interior design. The exhibition, which ran from Nov. 18-28, featured a number of architects and interior design professionals who constructed evocative art pieces and installments. The theme of Tasmeem was to reflect on the multi-dimensional spaces that we inhabit, and to celebrate the intersection of surface forms and the internal layers of life.

Amar Omar Alamdar

Amar Omar Alamdar

The line-up of artists included Malak Masallati, Payman Moshfeghi, and Ahmad Angawi. Angawi showcased Shai (meaning object), a series of multipurpose furniture designs composed using three basic kinds of plywood units that were arranged to form platforms, seats, and shelves. This one’s for lovers of Islamic art and geometric patterns.

The Pavilion by Amar Omar Alamdar was the Tasmeem exhibit we kept going back to. The breathtaking passage through the Pavilion is an experience carefully curated by Alamdar. “The Pavilion is a metaphor for the beauty of architecture that is disappearing and our heritage that is fading away. My exhibit is based on stages that entice you to feel and contemplate,” he explains. dsc01131

Experiencing the philosophical depth of the Pavilion begins when you set your eyes on the tantalizing fabrics that form its walls. Alamdar elaborates, “The concept starts with the delicate fabrics and the powerful image (of architectural structure) that they represent. Their transparency creates an illusion where things appear to be but are not there.”

Alamdar’s Pavilion encourages visitors to reach into its depths, to reflect upon every pattern or motif and every detail that was chosen by the artist. “Entering the Pavilion is a nostalgia-driven experience, it’s a look back at our heritage and history. I’m a cancer survivor, and I created the Pavilion from a place of appreciation, for life and nature.”dsc01159

From developing the concept to creating every detail that goes into the making of the Pavilion, Alamdar has established himself as an artist and interior designer to look out for.


Web: tasmeemfair.com
Instagram: saudiartcouncil


Our Country Calls On Us


Exploring 13 regions of the Kingdom.

On National Day weekend, students and staff of Jeddah College of Advertising (JCA) turned the patriotic occasion into an exploration of Saudi Arabia’s major regions with their travel campaign Our Country Calls On Us.

Salwa Bankhar, Head of Industry Relations, explained, “Traveling helps in self-development, and we as a society tend to lean towards exploring other countries. With this initiative, we are bringing self-development to our local grounds. The youth play a big part in the country’s development, and in order to develop it they need to grasp its beauty.“06-dj-nov-2017-80-96-32

13 groups of 8 students, staff and faculty, set off to explore and document the major sites in 13 regions of the Kingdom – Jeddah, Makkah, Madina, Riyadh, Dammam, Hail, Tabuk, Al Jouf, Arar, Jizan, Abha, Baha and Al Qasim.

Dr. Haneen Mohammed Shoaib, Dean of JCA, explained the campaign’s inspiration, “The initiative comes from the vision of the Chair of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Abdullah Sadeq Dahlan, to contribute in promoting internal tourism as a national duty. Through this, the university expresses its loyalty and belonging to Saudi Arabia and its leadership. We hope this campaign becomes the catalyst of many creative campaigns to celebrate the wonderful Kingdom.”06-dj-nov-2017-80-96-34

Our Country Calls On Us was able to deeply influence the youth’s sense of patriotism and their pride in their nation. During their trip, the students documented their experience on social media and on STC’s website Unveil Saudi. Dr. Shoaib comments, “All of them felt a sense of duty to bring out the best of the region they were visiting. That mission made them put all their efforts into completing their tasks in the best way possible.”

The overall aim of the travel campaign is to engage students to explore and share their experience with the public. Creative Design Lecturer Sarah Zuhairy comments, “The show of excitement and adventure in such an experience will definitely encourage others to follow the JCA youth’s footsteps in discovering Saudi Arabia’s true beauty.”06-dj-nov-2017-80-96-31

Our Country Calls On Us hopes to change people’s perception and attitude about tourism in Saudi Arabia. Perhaps the shining jewel of this campaign is that it was initiated by the students themselves in an attempt to create a concept that would reflect their pride in the Kingdom.

Look out for future issues of the magazine for insightful coverage from each of the regions visited by JCA students and staff!


5 Organic Places Everyone In Jeddah Needs To Know About!


Free-range eggs can be found in most outlets these days. Manuel and Danube have a wide range of organic products and healthy varieties of food. Abazeer and Mother Nature are also good options that you can look into.


organicaLocation: Al Imam Al Hanafi St., Rawdah Dist.
Mob: +966-561619933
Instagram: organicaksa


abazeerLocation: Madinah Rd., Hamra Dist.
Tel: +966-12-6635275
Web: abazeer.com
Facebook:Abazeer Showroom

Instagram: abazeer_organic

Watania Agri

wataniyaLocation: Umm Al Qura St., Safa Dist.
Tel: +966-12-2713604
Web: watania-agri.com

Instagram: wataniaagri

Saudi Herb

saudiherbDelivery: +966-562013780
Web: saudiherb.com

Facebook: saudiherb

Tala Diet

slide3Location: Siteen St., Nuzhah Dist.
Web: taladiet.com
Facebook: taladiet

Instagram: taladiet


Yalla Cook, Jeddah’s Popular Healthy Cooking Course


It’ll change your approach to eating!

Yalla Cook is a healthy cooking program developed by health enthusiast Jon Dean. Here’s everything you need to know:

  1. Yalla Cook offers a simple approach to healthy cooking.
  2. It’s all about making every bite count.
  3. The current Yalla Cook course offers six classes.
  4. You learn a main dish in every class along with two more variations using the same ingredients.
  5. Every class has 8-12 participants which ensures a more personalized learning experience.
  6. Dean combines nutritional instruction with hands-on cooking experience.
  7. In a typical session you will learn the best products to use for your cooking, how they contribute to your health and tricks to develop better eating habits.
  8. Overall, Yalla Cook is about understanding how to craft your diet to suit your lifestyle needs.

dsc_1408To register: +966-561318718
Instagram: yallacook, thejondean


Local Experts On Making Your Food Look Pretty


Trust me, you’ll want to save this list for later.

Depending on what you’ve cooked, there are several ways to make your meal look its best. Here are the top tips from local chefs and food stylists:

  1. Mayada Badr, pastry chef and founder of Pink Camel

img_3756Mayada Badr believes that creating pastries is easier and often more creative with the use of molds. Molds can help you achieve intricate designs or shapes with much ease. Avoid using marzipan and go for more natural decoration like berries or flowers.

  1. Nouf Masoud, founder of Debyazah

img_3551According to Nouf Masoud, to make things easier while setting up a dinner you can make smart use of pre-packaged items to add a bit of flair to your presentation. For example, fill a pretty cup with pre-packaged caramel popcorn alongside your main desserts.

  1. Badr Fayez, chef and chairman at Midwam

img_4062We learned about food painting from Badr Fayez. With food paining you have a much bigger canvas to work on, as opposed to using plates. The food is arranged on a large platform or table. Colors, height and texture are some elements that enhance the look.

  1. Raneen Joudah, food blogger.

img_3203Before quitting her job to focus entirely on blogging, Joudah would work late at night because cooking and styling is a relaxing process for her. In order to make the plates look clean, Joudah uses vinegar to remove oil stains from the rims by dabbing it with a tissue. She believes that when it comes to food presentation and styling, it’s best to not play around too much and keep it very natural so people eat what they see.


IKEA’s New Catalogue is Here!


Everyone loves flipping through IKEA’s catalogue.

IKEA’s 2018 catalogue has arrived. We have all spent hours looking through the products and imagining our perfect décor. It’s time to explore what’s new and what’s cheaper! Here’s what you need to know:

  1. New products.

There are more than 1500 new products.

  1. Lower prices.

And around 1500 old favorites are being sold at lower prices.

  1. Loaded with Info.

The catalogue features details that will help you select your new furniture and home accessories from the comforts of your own home.

  1. No risk of turning back disappointed.

In fact, you can go through the IKEA website online to see if the product you want is available at the local stores. Inventory is listed!

  1. Ideas everywhere.

And of course, the cool thing about IKEA is you get so many décor ideas. The catalogue is filled with stunning new images of ideal living spaces.

  1. A LOT of catalogues.

Each year the IKEA catalogue is launched in 48 countries and 32 languages. It’s estimated that an approximate 180 million copies are published every year.

So, have you been to the new IKEA store yet?! It’s located in Jeddah – Al Salaam Mall in the Andalus District.


Did You Say You Have Leftover food?


Whether it’s leftovers from a party or a dinner at a restaurant, it’s our responsibility to make sure food doesn’t go to waste. If you paid for it, then it’s yours, so you should never feel awkward about asking to get your food packed.

If you’re planning a big party you can contact these two groups to help you make sure your leftovers don’t go to waste:

Etaam (Saudi Food Bank)

A non-profit organization established by a group of businessmen in Sharqiya hoping to spread the culture of food preservation and reduce the amount of food waste, they currently have six locations in the country. Just provide your contact information, type of occasion and hour of pick-up.

Web: saudifoodbank.com

Alhaflat (iOS App)

leftover1An application that specializes in event planning and also offers food preservation services in different cities throughout Saudi. You can choose a location, call and arrange for any excess food that you have post-event.

Tell us what you do with your leftovers!


Reasons Why Dahban Is Seafood Lovers’ Paradise


Warm your seafood heart at Dahban.

Dahban is a popular destination for seafood lovers, and it’s only about an hour’s drive north of Jeddah. We recently went on an afternoon trip to Dahban’s Al Sharah Resort. Based on our experience, here are some reasons to make Dahban your next seafood destination:al-shara-dahban-jeddah-2017-lm-01

  1. There are a lot of restaurant-resorts to choose from. You’ll find a list at the end of this article.
  2. The drive to Dahban will take you about 40 minutes – not too far or too close to the city. Enjoy music on the way to set the mood for an indoor picnic.
  3. At the resorts you’ll find various kinds of seating arrangements. Whether you prefer traditional floor seating or a more contemporary sofa set-up, the resorts will have something for you!
  4. Choosing the fish is a fun process; most resorts have a facility where you handpick the fish of your choice.
  5. There’s a lot of privacy for diners at Dahban. At Al Sharah Resort, we had the room to ourselves and were not interrupted by any staff except to deliver our food.
  6. You can even watch a movie with the feast; many rooms have a TV installed. Make sure to bring your entertainment in a USB.
  7. You can take a walk around the resort after your meal, Al Sharah Resort is decked up with plants and flowers, making it a very pleasant evening route.
  8. Even if you don’t like seafood, you should tag along to give it a try. The fried fish is soft and actually delicious with flavored rice. Plus, it doesn’t smell at all!

Restaurant-Resorts of Dahban

Al Sharah Resort
Mob: +966-555698993
Open until 2 a.m.

Al Anbariya Sea Food Park
Mob: +966-505607615
Instagram: alanbariya
Open until 2 a.m. on weekends, 12 a.m. on weekdays.

Twina Park
: +966-557272991
Facebook: twinapark

Web: twina.net
Open until 1:30 a.m.

Sultana Sea Food
: +966-551441423
Open until 3 a.m.

: +966-556648900
Facebook: caviar.jeddah