Local Designers, Online Magazine, Style & Shopping

The Jewelers

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By Anousha Vakani

Although we have plenty of noteworthy jewelry designers in Jeddah, we caught up with just a few to get their inside stories.

 

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SABAH JEWELRY

Name: Sabah Maqolah
Title: Jewelry Designer

Instagram: sabah_jewelry
Twitter: sabah_Moagolah

Location: Red Sea Mall, Gate 2

 

What’s your brand and how would you describe your designs?

My brand name is Sabah Jewelry. I have a great passion for gemstones, so I work mostly with them. I buy mainly from the International Gem and Jewelry Show, which is usually held in different states of the US. I try to attend the largest show possible with the largest number of exhibitors from of all over the world so I can have a rich collection of beautiful and rare gemstones.

Where can we find your collections?

My collections are found at my shop in the Red Sea Mall in Jeddah and we are currently working on opening a new branch in Jeddah Mall.

Who’s your icon/favorite jewelry brand?

I love the work of most of the famous jewelry designers but as for the old houses I love the designs of Van Cleef & Arples and Cartier. In more recent designs I love the work of Cathy Waterman, Gurhan and Marco Bicego who plays with gemstones and pearls in an elegant way.

Favorite stone?

My favorite gemstone is Diamond, which is also my birthstone. But like most Saudi women, I love ruby. I also adore Labradorite stone – it enchants me.

 

 

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CHARMALEENA JEWELLERY

Name: Leena Mohamed EL Khereiji and Hala Mohamed El Khereiji
Leena: Co-Owner and Designer
Hala: Co-Owner and Business Developer

Instagram: charmaleena
Tel: +966-12-6121377
Email: info@charmaleena.com
Web: charmaleena.com

 

How would you describe your designs?

Charmaleena always pushes boundaries and aims to fascinate even more. Our collections celebrate the joy of love, freedom, strength and growth through the journey of life. Not forgetting the poetry that shapes our search and appreciation of true love with words that will never fail to charm.

What are you working on right now? What’s the inspiration for your upcoming collection?

I like the element of surprise, I’m working on the next collection that I will launch in April 2016 at the same exhibition where I was awarded first place, the International Jewelry Salon Exhibition in Jeddah and Riyadh. As a Saudi jewelry designer, a lot of my art pieces are inspired by my heritage, Arabic poetry and calligraphy, and captures influences from time spent abroad.

Who’s your icon/favorite jewelry brand?

A few jewelry houses that are personal favorites include Degrisogono for their creative different pieces, Bogart classic and artistic Van Cleef & Arples and Cartier’s eternity.

Where can we find your collections?

You can view all our collections by visiting our website or our Jeddah Showroom located in Al Rawdah Street in El Khereiji Group Building. We also ship within the Middle East and Europe.

 

 

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TASNEEM ESHKI

Name: Tasneem Eshki
Title: Brand Owner/Designer

Instagram: tasneemeshki
Email: info@tasneemeshki.com

 

What’s your brand and how would you describe your designs?

My brand is TasneemEshki. My designs are inspired by prayer beads so each piece holds 33 or 99 beads. My pieces can be used for spiritual meditation or simply enjoyed for their artistic design.

Where can we find your collections?

You can find and purchase my pieces at Etre department store in Red Sea Mall, and view them on my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pintrest accounts.

What are you working on right now? What’s the inspiration for your upcoming collection?

I am currently working on Hajj/Summer collection. Nature, people, conversations, relationships and ideas always inspire my designs.

Upcoming trend you’re excited about?

I am excited about the autumn color trend this year, some of which include shades of pink for emotions, shades of red for humanity and shades of blue for dreams.

Who’s your icon/favorite jewelry brand?

I love jewelry that hold meanings and pieces that are inspired by cultures or by art like Frey Wille.

 

 

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Lillian Ismail

Name: Lillian Ismail
Title: Brand Owner/Designer

Instagram: lillianismail
Email: info@lillianismail.com
Web: lillianismail.com

 

What’s your brand and how would you describe your designs?

Lillian Ismail is the brand name I started as my graduation project in Dar AlFikr when I was a senior in high school. Through my designs, I try “to bring the past to present in a reflection of a jewel.” In other words, my designs are all inspired by traditional jewelry with a modern twist to them. My pieces make the buyer and the owner proud of where they come from, or at least appreciate culture and tradition.

What are you working on right now?

My team and I want to expand Jadela within the country and around the Gulf. I will be focusing on my last two years of college which will be very tough and challenging as I get closer to graduation. We hope to produce a new collection in 2016. Finally, a small surprise for our customers: we are happy to bring back our coin pieces in the near future!

Where can we find your collections?

The full women’s collection from Jadela is available at AlNadera Jewelry in Tahlia. To support Saudi entrepreneurs and websites, I am currently selling my pieces through Stylana.com and soon Artistia.com. As for the men’s pieces, they can be found at Lomar.

One essential piece of jewelry you can’t leave the house without?

One piece that I can’t leave the house without is a diamond ring I received as a gift from my father in my early teenage years. It is not only a sentimental and valuable piece, wearing it has become a habit. I love seeing a diamond sparkle on my hand everyday.

 

 

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Yataghan Jewellery

Name: Sarah Abudawood
Title: Owner and Designer

Instagram: myyataghan
Twitter: myyataghan

Mob: +971-505050749
Email: s@yataghanjewellery.com

 

How would you describe your designs?

My designs are traditionally classic and timeless, yet they are modern and wearable wrapped in a contemporary artistic aesthetic. I am inspired by my love for architectural photography and try to infuse that with aesthetics from my heritage, I am especially mesmerized by Arabic typography. Yataghan is about celebrating your individuality and I believe culture is a big part of who you are. I believe that jewelry should be powerful and glamorous – a reflection of the women in this region.

Tell us more about your collections.

We create pieces mainly customized to truly reflect the spirit and the unique taste and individuality of a person. My first collection was the Allah collection as I believe everything should start with faith. The second collection is “Isme,” which is a play on the words “is me” and also translates to “my name” in Arabic.

I believe jewelry should be unique and customized because that’s how people figure out who you are. The “Harfi” collection, which translates to “my letter,” consists of lighter, more affordable pieces. I am also working on collections that continue to reflect women’s strength and empowerment.

Where can we find your collections?

Yataghan can be found in our showroom on the first floor of The Store (Homegrown Market). Instagram is our main platform and all orders are placed through email and Whatsapp.

One essential piece of jewelry you can’t leave the house without?

I always like to have one sentimental piece on me, whether it’s from my mother, father or my husband as it reminds me of who I am and where I come from.


 

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Online Magazine, Spirituality

Pay It Forward

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By Rakan Tarabzoni

Pay it Forward is a movement based on repaying good deeds forward to others rather than the original benefactor.

 

Islam, like many other civilizations, realized this from the very beginning and made sure of its implementation. Hence, giving to charity is one of the main five pillars of the religion, making Zakat obligatory for all Muslims.

 

Here are some ideas to get you started:

 

Set Aside a Certain Amount for Helping Others

In Islam, we are asked to give out 2.5 percent as Zakat, so why not make it a habit to give out 2.5 percent of any income you make. Personally, I adapted the idea, and made a monthly habit.

 

Don’t Just Give Out Your Old Clothes

Try setting a fixed number of items you have and always maintain that number. For example, if you have 15 pairs of shoes, make sure they remain 15, so if you buy a new one, you must give one out to charity. The point is to have a fixed number and not go over it.

 

Family Comes First

You will be surprised to know that often your relatives, close or distant, qualify for the help. And if that is the case, they come foremost.

 

It’s Not Always About the Money

Time is more valuable than materials, so taking time out and donating one hour a month is also considered a great act of giving. Some ideas off the top of my head would be to volunteer at a children’s hospital, or go out and visit the poorest parts of your town and help distribute food and clothes with one of the community charities. Or volunteer with the local high schools and teach some skills or career planning trainings to kids who would benefit from such practices.

 

What to do With the Extra Food?

Most of us face the issue of having ordered/cooked too much food that gets beyond the need of the family. I would suggest making it a habit to give away the extra food especially when it is extra food after a party.

 

In all cases, the act of giving is an enriching experience all by itself. So make it a habit, add one more reminder into your smartphone to give back to the community. One final note, always remember Prophet Mohammed’s saying: “The wealth of a man never diminishes by giving to the needy.”


 

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Business, Business Talks, Online Magazine

WeCritique: Bringing Mystery Shopping to Saudi Arabia

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By Aabiya Baqai

Ghaida Fatany gives us insight into what mystery shopping is all about and how she got into this field.

 

Tell us about what you do.

I am and always will be a market researcher; helping clients by arming them with the knowledge they need to achieve their goals (increase sales, understand the market, improve service or even know how people perceive them). We are the voice of the public communicated to companies and governments. After 17 years of experience in social and market research, in 2013 Research Corner was established, with two brands under its umbrella, InLight Consultancy focusing on Social and Market Research consultancy and WeCritique specializing in Mystery Shopping.

 

What exactly is mystery shopping?

Although mystery shopping has been around for more than 70 years, many people have never heard of this type of service. Mystery shopping is an area of work which is rapidly growing in popularity for organizations.

Every mystery shopping project have the same goals working covertly to increase an entity’s sales, reduce risk of liability, making employees more aware of their customers, and improving customer experience and satisfaction. All of this is done using a special process in which the mystery visitor/shopper would take on an assignment, go to the business anonymously, and note very specific elements of their entire experience, be it about products or services.

 

All visit data/information is then gathered, analyzed and reported back to the client with a plan or recommendations on improving and/or maintaining their performance.

 

How did Research Corner (WeCritique and Inlight Consultancy) come about?

Market research has always been my passion. I started my career at Savola research unit then joined Synovate International for 14 years (a UK based research firm). In 2013, I decided to go solo and open my own entity after identifying specific market gaps. Mystery Shopping can work for any business, it’s a strong tool used to assist clients improve their business in various ways. The consumer is becoming more and more demanding and there is higher competition in all fields of sales increasing by the day.

 

“As a Saudi, I aim to promote the importance of market research in our society from small business to government entities to improve and upgrade the services and offerings around us.” – Ghaida Fatany

 

How is WeCritique different from other mystery shopper companies?

I would say our local knowledge and expertise combined with the international standards we apply is where we stand out. We take pride in the service we offer our clients, we work closely with them until the implementation phase and monitoring its effect over time, so we witness first hand their success stories.

 

What is the key to becoming a successful mystery shopper?

Being an anonymous visitor requires full awareness of the objectives in hand and paying attention to details so their feedback form serves the analysis phase effectively. That is why all our mystery shoppers/visitors go under tailored training for each project separately.

 

Is mystery shopping a common service around the GCC?

Many governments, like the UAE for example, conduct on-going mystery visits to improve and maintain the service they offer. This is not uncommon for many countries around the world. We hope that this culture is fully adapted in our country on various levels. We take pride in assisting governments and the private sector in improving what they have to offer creating a better customer experience.

 

Word of advice for businesses looking to improve their sales and customer loyalty?

It is all about your customer experience and building your customer loyalty. They can become your ambassadors to moving forward or your enemy in pushing you back. Word of mouth is a very strong tool in Saudi Arabia.

 

Although in many countries this culture is very popular, here not so much. We work together with many clients in different industries and sectors to reflect the knowledge we gain into doable solutions. We believe we make a big impact on the businesses we touch. I really hope we are able to increase awareness on this amazing method of research across many more entities.

 

“Any recommendation we provide needs to be solid for implementation and will play a role in the company’s future success.” – Ghaida Fatany


Email: gfatany@wecritique.com
Web: wecritique.com

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Healthy Living, Online Magazine, Wellness

Don’t Be a Victim of Food Poisoning

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By Massa Bitar

How to avoid food poisoning both at home and when eating out.

 

A few months ago, more than 2,000 restaurants in Jeddah were shut down due to unsanitary food practices and an ascending number of food-poisoning cases. In fact, food in most of these restaurants was contaminated with more than 11 types of harmful bacteria.

Bacteria multiply faster in hot and humid weathers, which create the perfect breeding grounds for bacteria to grow in food. If this food ends up in our systems, food poisoning is an unavoidable consequence.

 

Symptoms of Food Poisoning

Symptoms can start at any point between a few hours to several weeks later. Most common symptoms are: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, lack of energy, lack of appetite, fever, aching muscles and chills. Symptoms are stronger in children, elderly, pregnant women and people with immunodeficiency.

 

Prevention

Follow these tips when handling food at home:

  • Keep it away from all sorts of contaminants (raw meats or eggs, dirty surfaces, unwashed hands, dirty equipment, poor personal hygiene in staff, pests, cleaning cloths and cleaning chemicals).
  • Wash and disinfect all utensils and surfaces before and after food preparation.
  • Make sure that the food doesn’t stay at room temperature for more than two hours.
  • Throw the food if it stays for more than four hours at room temperature.
  • Wash your hands very well before touching any food product.
  • When you buy food at the supermarket, take it home as quickly as possible.
  • Do not leave hot food to cool at room-temperature, wait till no more steam is rising and cool it rapidly by dipping the container in ice water bath.
  • Do not over pack your refrigerator.

 

What to Avoid When Eating Out

  • Raw or undercooked: meat, poultry, eggs, fish or shellfish or any foods containing them.
  • Raw or unpasteurized milk, cheese, fruit or vegetable juices.
  • Soft cheeses made with unpasteurized milk such as feta, Brie, Camembert, and Mexican-style.
  • Avoid water if it’s not straight from a sealed bottle (beware of ice cubes- ice machines can be loaded with bacteria).

 

How do you know if a restaurant follows proper food safety practices?

  • Check if the restaurant holds any food safety certification.
  • Check bathrooms: they are a good indicator for the overall cleanliness of a place.
  • Scan the employees (clean uniform, hair pulled back, clean fingernails, no uncovered cuts, no sign of sickness- coughing or runny nose, have Baladiah cards).

 

When in doubt, avoid it. After all, it’s not worth the risk.


2The Author:
Massa Bitar, MSc. RD.
Registered Clinical Dietitian and Food Safety Expert MSc in Nutrition from King’s College London
Instagram: Massa.nutriclub
Facebook: Massa’s nutriclub

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Artist & Musicians, Arts & Music, Online Magazine

Jahanamiya

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By Sahrish Ali

Founder and editor in chief of a unique online platform for Saudi women, Ahd Niazy, gives us some perspective in this heart to heart.

The Backstory

“There were two things that happened around the same time that led to the creation of Jahanamiya. The first was that I was taking a class on Orientalism, which is the way the west has historically represented the Middle East and Asia in a manner that is stereotypical. I began thinking a lot about identity, representation, and particularly self-representation.

The second was that I came upon a website that claimed to empower Iraqi women by telling their stories. At first, I was excited by such a feminist concept, but as I started reading, I realized something was wrong. I looked into its background and found that the site was founded by a group of western women who were telling the stories of Iraqi women, in order to empower them. To me, there’s nothing empowering about someone else telling your story.”

 

The Name: Jahanamiya

Niazy’s mentor, Majed Munshi, was actually the one who suggested “Jahanamiya.”

“At the time, I had never heard the name before, but it immediately gripped me. I liked the way it sounded. And once I learned which plant it was, I knew it was the right name.”

Jahanamiya is the Arabic name of the Bougainvillea, which grows locally. The plant has bright fuchsia flowers, and it thrives despite the Saudi heat. It takes care of itself, adds beauty and color to our often-bare streets, and most importantly – no two of its flowers are the same. Much like Saudi women.

 

On Challenges

The magazine started out as just me working on the project, as well as juggling my course load – I’m a full time student at Emory University. This involved sending a lot of emails to potential contributors (writers and artists) between classes, and quickly learning the value of follow-up emails.

Through all the networking I did to find contributors, I met many inspirational Saudis. This is what I have been most grateful for throughout this process – all the people who encouraged me to pursue Jahanamiya, to ensure it reached its full potential.

 

4Themes

Each issue revolves around a particular theme. Choosing themes is tricky because they are based on elements of Saudi culture without being too broad, or too specific.

 

What makes Jahanamiya different?

Jahanamiya is unique because it uses storytelling to achieve two things:

  • To learn more about Saudi culture – which is very complicated – through the eyes of the women experiencing it. And in turn, to celebrate our diversity.
  • To shatter western stereotypes of oppressed, burka-clad Saudi women who barely breathe without the permission of a man. To focus on the experiences that Saudi women want to talk about, instead of those that others want to talk about for them.

 

Goals for the Future of Jahanamiya

I hope there is a larger range of voices presented from all over the Kingdom in each of our future issues. I hope Jahanamiya becomes a literary archive of the experiences of Saudi women, narrated by the women themselves.


Web: jahanamiya.com
Instagram: Jahanamiya
Twitter: Jahanamiya
Facebook: Jahanamiya

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Artist & Musicians, Arts & Music, Online Magazine

Soulful Art with Sara Abdu

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By Sahrish Ali

We speak about the monsters and oddball creatures that Sara Abdu creates.

 

Adventures in Art Exploration

Growing up watching Tim Burton’s works and such had a pivotal effect on how Abdu creates art now. As with the beginning of all things, there are a lot of trials. After experimenting different styles, she eventually started shaping her identity as an artist at the age of 16.

“That’s when I came up with these creatures. Most of my artwork includes writing as well. I have always wanted to find a balance between words and illustration, and my work focuses on their cohesive existence.”

 

On Creativity and Art

Her creativity originates from personal experiences, a memory or ideas that illustrate certain situations. Abdu begins her creative process by organizing her thoughts, refining the idea then putting it in the form of a quote. Then she spends some time with that and sketches out the idea until she manifests it on canvas.

Turning words into visuals and emotions into shapes is a complicated process. “On paper I use a bic pen to draw with, on canvas I use mixed media.”

 

On Inspiration

It’s important to create something honest with which people can relate. It shows the many languages an artwork can speak. Departure, solitude, love, fear, the meaning of existence, God’s creation and music are all sources of my inspiration. “There is a concept I have been trying to identify in my work for years and it’s ‘beauty of ugliness.’ The word ‘ugly’ has always bothered me, where things are labeled and classified according to their appearance.”

 

How would you define your art?

What I do can be classified as pop surrealism art. It has a dark childish sense I am kind of stuck in between. Most if not all of my artworks have white backgrounds so my main focus is intensified on my characters and what I want to deliver through them.

 

When did you start exhibiting your work?

I first exhibited my work at the Saudi Art Center at the age of 14. That was a time when I was still learning new techniques and developing my identity.

 

After Athr Gallery approached me, I exhibited at many other places including Dubai Art Fair, Abu Dhabi Art Fair and START Art Fair in London. My very first solo show, “The Intangible Bonds In Our Existence,” was held at Athr last year.

 

Art in Pieces

While speaking about her art pieces, Abdu elaborates how every piece was a different experience. That is the most enjoyable part: creating something that sets you in a unique state of mind.

“When it comes to executing, I am very critical about my work and I think the rest of my life will be an attempt to create the best I can. If my work can inspire others, if it can really touch them and open a true conversation with their soul, then there’s nothing else I need.”


Facebook: Sara.Abdu.Art
nstagram: citizen_saraabdu

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Fitness, Healthy Living, Online Magazine

The Fitness Myth Series: Ab Exercises Give You Packs!

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By Mirvat Ammouri

Our focus is to turn the light on these hard-held beliefs on fitness, training, and health and to shed away the misconceptions that, despite the wealth of knowledge in the wellness industry, still exist today.

 

Myth

Doing crunches, sit-ups, and planks will slim my waist and show my packs.

 

Truth

Muscles and fat are two different things in your body. One doesn’t turn to the other. Doing exercises like crunches or resistance training using weights strengthens the muscles making them look strong and toned.

For the muscles to show however, you need to shed off the layers of fat under the skin that hide them away. And to do that, a good high intensity cardio regimen must be a part of your overall workout routine.

 

Conclusion

Having washboard abs that your friends would envy is more than just abs exercises. In addition to a healthy nutritious diet, exercises focusing on fat burning are essential.

 

Recommendation

  • Eat clean: Healthy fats, well-sourced proteins and complex organic carbs.
  • Have a well-rounded weight training/resistance training program targeting all muscles.
  • 2-3 times per week of high intensity cardio (30 minutes is enough). Get your heart really pumping and break a real sweat.

 

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Explore KSA, Historic Saudi, Online Magazine

Prophet Shuaib’s Ancient Town

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By Mohammed Mirza

This ancient dwelling near the town of Al Bad was home to the Midianites, the people to whom Prophet Shuaib (AS) was sent.

 

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Prophet Shuaib is one of the four Arabian Prophets mentioned in the Qur’an. Archaeologists believe that this site, also known as Madain Shuaib, dates back to the 2nd millennium BC. Sitting around 170 kilometers from the city of Tabuk, Al Bad is easily accessible by car. The site is located around 100 meters off the road.

 

9The dwelling here has a striking contrast to the other Nabataean cities of Petra and Madain Saleh. This town, hand-carved out of the pink sandstone mountains manages to display its former glory and subsequent desolation both at the same time.

 

Newly constructed steps take visitors to the upper portions, where these dwellings carved in stone stand. These dwellings have elaborately designed facades.

 

10What’s notable here apart from the carved façade is the remarkable size of the edifice. The interior of the edifices surprisingly, are unadorned – a striking opposite to the ornate exteriors.

 

Archeological artifacts and other important finds from the site are currently housed in the Tayma museum.


HOW TO GET THERE
Coordinates: 28.48823, 34.99920

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Online Magazine, Showdown

The Early Years of the Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich Where Did it Come From?

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Italian brothers Pat and Harry Olivieri invented the world famous Philly cheesesteak sandwich and it all started with a hot dog stand in South Philadelphia. As with most genius inventions, the sandwich was initially an experiment.

A passing by cab driver was offered half a sandwich by Pat Olivieri. The brothers received great feedback from people and were advised to start selling the sandwiches. And so began the journey of the Philly Cheesesteak sandwich, originally named Philadelphia Steak Sandwich.

The sandwich gained immediate success. The brothers opened a restaurant and named it Pat’s King of Steak. The sandwich was so popular that soon restaurants around the city added their own touches like varieties of cheese, bell peppers and mushrooms.

Originally the sandwich consisted of chopped steak meat and grilled onions, and the bread used was the traditional Italian Amoroso. The steak has to be thinly shredded, cooked till brown and scrambled into smaller pieces. The sandwich, of course, gets its name from the steak meat used and the city it was invented in.

The brothers incorporated cheese later on. At first it would be added on to the meat while grilling but melting it was time consuming. In 1953, Cheese Whiz, (a ready to use melted cheese became the practical solution to the problem.

 

Today, Pat and Harry’s restaurant can be found open 24/7 for lovers of the Philly Cheesesteak. And now you know, the Philly Cheesesteak sandwich is of Italian origins.

 

22Philly Cheesesteak Quest in Jeddah

Where do you get your Philly sandwiches here?

23The Local Twist at Steakhouse
Steakhouse is one of the first restaurants in Jeddah to have served the Philly Cheesesteak. They serve the sandwich in soft bread, which is not the usual custom.

The steak used, sirloin steak, is deliciously packed with flavor and complemented by creamy cheese. The grilled onions and bell peppers were a little under cooked but all in all the sandwich is delicious and definitely recommended.

24The Real Deal at South Street
The name of the restaurant was inspired by the street the Philly Cheesesteak was invented in. South Street claims to have created the original Philly Cheesesteak right here in Jeddah.
The steak is juicy and perfectly shredded, but a little less flavored than the Sirloin steak. Bell peppers and mushrooms can be added to the perfectly grilled onions. It is served with a side of homemade fries, sauces and jalapeno.

A special Italian chef bakes the bread, which is like the Amoroso, and apparently it’s better in Jeddah because it’s baked several times a day. South Street also offers Provolone Cheese or Cheese Whiz to be added to the sandwich. They also offer Harisa, which is a North African condiment typically served in the authentic Philly cheesesteak in Philadelphia.


DJ-64-79-161The Author:
Ahmad Mesawa, food critic and a member of the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ).
Instagram: ahmadmesawa
Twitter: ahmadmesawa
Facebook: ahmad-mesawa 

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Business, Business Talks, Online Magazine

The Best Taxi Services In Jeddah

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By Sahrish Ali

Since getting around town is always an issue (especially for women), we rounded up some of the most used transportation services available.


optimized-uberUber

Uber is an internationally renowned service. However, you need to sign up with your credit card, as it doesn’t accept any other form of payment. It is definitely more expensive than other transportation services around. There’s always a water bottle in your ride. For long trips around and outside the city, they have fixed flat rates. There are two car options: low cost Uber X starts with a base rate of SR 6 and adds 0.50 per minute. Minimum fare is SR 12. Uber black is the original Uber, which starts its base rate at SR 9 with a minimum fare
of SR 20.

Payment: Credit
Web: uber.com

Mondo Ride

If you don’t mind taking a taxi instead of riding in a private car, Mondo Ride is the service to use. They screen their drivers and cars fairly well; so far we haven’t had to ride a beat up limousine from their fleet. Their GPS drop pin is quite accurate in the city, which means less hassle in needing to call the driver and giving the exact location. The prices can be metered or you can try your hand at negotiating. What makes Mondo Ride a good option is their consistency in getting clean-cut drivers and cars as compared to other similar services. They do have fewer cars compared to the next one on the list, so it’s best to use when you have a few minutes of waiting time to spare.

Payment: Cash
Web: mondoride.com/

optimized-careemCareem

Careem provides easy sign up and bookings with their app, which is available for download on all platforms. It’s very straightforward and easy to use. Once you sign up, they prompt you if you need to be picked up right at the moment or if you would like to book a ride for later. If you have chosen a drop-off location, the app shows you an estimate amount, of course depending on the type of car you have chosen.

Most of their cars are on time and the chauffeurs are very well mannered.

Payment: Cash or credit
Web: careem.com

optimized-taxi-pixiTaxi Pixi

Taxi Pixi uses the same concept as Careem. However, the app interface is a bit cluttered. They have two kinds of trips: one way or car rentals. Each kind of trip offers four different types of cars. Cars can also be rented for 4 hours, 8 hours or for a full day. Prices depend on your location but often start at above SR 18. They give you a receipt either by email or on your app itself after completing a trip. Cars are always clean and the drivers courteous.

Payment: Cash
Web: taxipixi.com

optimized-easy-taxiEasy Taxi

If you don’t mind taking a taxi instead of riding in a private car, Easy Taxi is the service to use. We haven’t come across any other taxi services with such fast arriving cars. There’s always a 100 percent guarantee that a cab will reach you within minutes of requesting one. The taxis are mostly clean, however, not always.
At first they didn’t really have a dedicated system for fares: you could either negotiate the prices or go along with the meter system. Fare rate is around 5-10 riyals more than what you would pay a normal cab.

Payment: Cash or credit
Web: easytaxi.com

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