Offbeat

Help Center’s Athletes All Set For Beirut Marathon 2018

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Help Center’s athletes are all set to run faster and farther in the Beirut Marathon 2018.


Help Center is a non-profit philanthropic organization founded by the late Sheikh Ahmad Al Juffali in November 1985. The institute catering to individuals with intellectual disabilities from birth to adulthood and beyond. Their mission is to continually raise awareness and shed light on the abilities and talents of people with intellectual disability by participating in various local and global events. Participation in such events not only promotes a social platform for the athletes to meet fellow athletes from all over the world but also allows them to excel and enhance their athletic capabilities.

Individuals served at the Help Center are taught to be productive, have greater independence and are empowered to contribute to their communities, because every person should be able to follow their dreams, whether it’s taking an exciting art class, baking, performing on stage or trying a new sport. To encourage healthy living through running events, the center enables the special needs athletes to compete in different competitions.

With great pride and joy, Help Center has announced this year’s athletic team. The team of eleven amazing athletes with an intellectual disability, includes Deema Al Zahrani, Shahad Sunbol, Lama Al Dokki, Ahmed Hakim, Anas Bin Rabaa, Ahmad Muqaddam, Mohammed Kwaikbi, Abdullah Al Amiri, Abdulrahman Arab, Mohammed Mokhtar, and Abdulaziz Al-Mubarak.

Previously, the male athletes have competed in several local and international competitions and won the marathon. This year they are introducing their female athletes for the first time competing outside of the kingdom. The team will join the “Beirut Marathon 2018” that is going to be held on Sunday, November 11. The team will take part in the 5-kilometer race that is specially tailored for people with intellectual disabilities.

For more info:
Webhelpcenter.med.sa
Twitter | Instagram

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Travel Trends

Inspired Luxury for the Most Exclusive Setting on the Riviera

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After revealing its new Rotunda and Le Grill restaurant, Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo now reveals the Princess Grace Suite, the most exclusive and exceptional setting on the Riviera, inspired by the timeless elegance and the delicate refinement of Princess Grace of Monaco.


This exceptional Suite, which features a contemporary design and spectacular outdoor spaces, offers a rare and cozy experience for a stay like no other. The new Suite was revealed in a preview showing as part of the transformation of Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, a world-renowned iconic palace which is in the process of being redesigned. And while it is en route to its third plenitude it is about to be turned into a palace-boutique with 50 rooms, until it is fully renovated by end of this year.

The general manager of the Hotel de Paris, Ivan Artolli, recently visited Saudi and spoke to us about the renovation of Hôtel de Paris:01-ho%cc%82tel-de-paris-hall-dentrehp577c

What is your purpose for visiting Saudi Arabia? What is interest does Monte Carlo have in the Kingdom?

First of all, the reason to visit both Jeddah and Riyadh was to thank loyal clients for their customs in recent years and our partners of course. And also to inform all the partners in the travel industry, travel advisors and our clients that refurbishment of the Hôtel de Paris will be coming to an end at the end of this year.

What brought about the renovations and redesign of Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo? What are the key features of the renovation and what can people expect from it?

In recent years, it became evident that the Hôtel de Paris needed to update and the renovation was necessary. Therefore, we looked at the design of the future Hôtel de Paris and the decision was taken to demolish those parts of the hotel that were not considered of historical interest and to rebuild them to upgrade and maintain refurbish the old part of Hôtel de Paris.

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We felt that it is necessary to be offering our clients state of art technology, the best possible comfort and of course personalized proactive service which is brought about a very loyal team of the hotel. It’s very important to point out that the staff was still employed to work in the hotel during this time and the hotel was not closed completely.

What’s the feel and theme the new Princess Grace Suite? What inspired its name and how does it set itself apart from other hotels?

Princess Grace spent a lot of time at Hôtel de Paris. Most of her celebrations, birthdays or wedding anniversary, all were celebrated at the hotel. She was a regular guest at de Paris, which is on the 8th floor with the Princess Grace Suite.

When we first look at the layout and furnishing of the Princess Grace Suite, we could see that there was a feminine presence almost in the suite and the first thought that came to our mind was to celebrate the life of Princess Grace by naming this suite after her. The suite has a direct view of the Prince palace in the old town.suite-princesse-grace-86-1

How does it set the hotel from others? Well, if we are talking about the suite, this is one of the biggest, largest most beautiful suite in the French Riviera. It has ultra-luxury services on two levels, 227 square meters on the 7th floor and 150 square meters of outside space; 245 square meters on the 8th floor and 290square meters of outside space. It’s so beautiful that you can not believe your eyes when you enter the suite.suite-princesse-grace-92

If you are asking me what sets Hôtel de Paris apart from the rest, then I would say that no one enjoys the location and facilities that we enjoy in Monte-Carlo. What really sets us apart from a lot of other hotels is that we will be able to combine state of the art experience with all the 21st-century facilities, quality of material, quality of interior design with very traditional and personalized proactive service. We have been conducting intensive training for our team to be able to deliver empathy to our guests. From the moment they arrive until they leave we really train ourselves to create the best guest experience and make sure that everyone who leaves the Hôtel de Paris will find memories of the principality.

Web: montecarlosbm.com
Instagram: montecarlosbm

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Community, Self Care, Wellness

Tie-up to Bring About Greater Awareness of Breast Cancer

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Houston Methodist extends support to provide better care for breast cancer.


The Houston Methodist Hospital has a legacy of over 90 years of medical milestones that attract patients from around the world and sets a global standard of excellence in patient-centered care, education and training, clinical collaboration, and advisory services.

Recently, Princess Haifa Al-Faisal, chairwoman of the Zahra Breast Cancer Association and Houston Methodist Hospital (HMH) signed a collaborative partnership that aims to provide leadership training for breast cancer professionals to deliver the highest level of care to the patients.

The Zahra Association held a press meeting in Riyadh in the presence of the vice president of the patient services and education department at Houston Methodist Hospital, Summer Dijani, to announce the partnership between Zahra Association and Houston Methodist. The aim of the collaboration is to be able to do three things:

1. Participate in the awareness campaign and join Zahra Association in their journey.

2. Giving the power to women to really take ownership of their health and their bodies and encouraging women to participate in the early diagnosis.

3. To provide training and sharing best practices with the physicians.

“When you share best practices you learn a lot about each other and you are ultimately able to have a better and stronger impact on the patient’s care”. -Summer Dijani

Houston Methodist has also collaborated with King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center (KFSHRC) and the Ministry of Health on a number of projects.

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Interview

A Chat with FS General Manager Didier Jardin

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Is Kuwait City the new hot spot of design? 


Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Alshaya certainly points in that direction. Being declared the Best Business Hotel Kuwait trophy by Business Traveller Middle East Awards 2018, the stunning property features a striking contemporary architecture and avant-garde design cues. Ideally situated for business and pleasure, the guest rooms provide a welcoming haven while rooftop restaurants draw a glittering crowd.

Rising 21 storeys, the property presents a spacious setting for international travellers and locals alike, with 284 guest rooms including 67 suites, multiple restaurants and lounges, nearly 3,000 square metres (31,000 square feet) of function space, a luxury spa with indoor pool and guests-only fitness centre, an outdoor pool, as well as renowned Four Seasons (FS) service.

We got invited to meet the amazing staff behind FS Kuwait in Riyadh and we sat down with the General Manager, Didier Jardin, a person with dedication and a witty personality. What we found very interesting about him was that Mr. Didier has now been in Kuwait for three years and he has probably taken four vacations so far; two of which were in Kuwait. He once took a ten-day vacation to explore the city and now he knows a lot about Kuwait that so many locals themselves wouldn’t know.

How long have you been a part of Four Seasons? Tell us about your journey.

It’s been 25 years; I’ve been with Four Seasons for a quarter of my life now.

I will take you through my FS journey. I joined Four Seasons Maui at Wailea in 1994. I have always been in the food and beverage department since I was 15 years old. I worked as a waiter; a chef; a bartender etc. All this just to understand the hospitality sector. I was in Maui for 5 years and then I moved to FS Chicago as an Assistant Food and Beverage Director. My life has been a lot about food and beverage because of my love for food. I moved to California and joined the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara and was there for three years; then moved to New York; Hawaii; Bora Bora, a private island paradise in the heart of French Polynesia. From Bora Bora, I then moved to the other side of the world; to Cairo as an operational manager, which was my very first experience in the Middle East. After working as a Hotel and Resort manager for three and a half years in Mauritius, I got promoted to the post of the General Manager for the preopening of Four Seasons Kuwait. It has been almost three years since I’ve been in Kuwait now and the hotel has been opened for about one year.

What was one of the most challenging roles you’ve undertaken throughout your career, and what did it teach you?

Any company that has to open a business anywhere has to understand the culture.. the culture of Kuwait and Kuwaitis. One of the challenges for us during the opening was that the opening date kept on changing many times. 5 or 6 times postponed for different reasons like construction etc. However I took it positively since all good & beautiful things take time to happen. FS Kuwait is a piece of art and to create a piece of art it takes time and patience. If you visit the place, you will know what I’m talking about.

Every corner of the hotel is a gem; new and modern yet maintaining the atmosphere of Arabia with the modern glass exterior with mashrabiya latticework in a traditional Arabic pattern.

The highlight of FS Kuwait is a dramatic lobby featuring a 13 meter (43 foot) floating spiral staircase, full height mashrabiya screens and sculptural reception desk; and contemporary artworks throughout. The spiral staircase is lined with illuminated steps that climb to pre-function event space on the first floor.

Every area that you go, whether it’s the rooms, the five restaurants inside the hotel, including the two restaurants on the on the rooftop with a paranormal view of the city gives our guests a true luxury experience and we are totally blessed to have it.

How can Four Seasons Kuwait differentiate itself from the other hotels around the world?

The main thing that makes the true difference is when we talk about service, the guests’ personalized experience. For this we have an expert team under the department of Guest Relation Experience Team, that is there to help every single guest whether its to plan their week or vacation within the hotel and any type of events outside the hotel. Creating this exceptional guest experience is what sets us apart from our competitors.

What one thing would you says makes FS Kuwait different from the other Four Seasons Hotels?

The General Manager. haha!

We agree with Mr. Didier.

I think every Four Seasons you visit, has something special and it’s all about the place, it’s people and culture. We have 50 nationalities of employees working with us. What makes us special is that every single employee was personally interviewed by me. I wanted to know them personally and connect with them. We traveled to 14 different countries to hire people and helping them to come to the hotel. All this because these are the people who are going to interact with our guests and make a difference.

What are some of the most important luxury travel trends in Kuwait to watch out for?

As I arrived in the city, there were a lot of things were happening. For example the beautiful kilometers of parks that were created over a period of 3 or 4 years and it’s just adjacent to the hotel so we have a beautiful view with fountains and greenery. The opera house that opened a couple of years ago has probably the most amazing architecture. The Avenue mall to me is the most beautiful mall with every new phase it’s getting more exciting.

We have a souq called Souq Al-Mubarakiya and we see a lot of Saudi citizens visiting this place. It is known to have the traditional textiles and art.

Kuwait is like a small village with around 1.5 million people, the culture of Kuwait is very close-knit and people open their homes for you.

This is some of what is making Kuwait appear on the luxury travel map.

For more information about Four Seasons Kuwait’s special offers, visit: Stay Longer – Third Night Free 

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Food, Interview

Blazing with the Pizza Whisperer, Chef Brad

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Blaze Pizza is an innovative pizzeria that allows you to create-your-own pizza featuring an interactive open kitchen format that allows guests to customize one of the menu’s generously-sized signature pizzas or create their own, all for one price. Each ingredient and recipe has been perfected by critically acclaimed Executive Chef Bradford Kent (“The Pizza Whisperer”).


His skills and love for making pizza has been transferred to Blaze Pizza.  The concept of fast-fired, ready in minutes, handmade to the customer’s preference is working and producing delectable pizzas.

Recently, we met him at Blaze Pizza’s grand opening in Riyadh where we sat down for a quick interview whatsapp-image-2018-10-14-at-11

Can you tell us a little about yourself?  

As a very young child, I loved to cook and I started cooking professionally when I was in college studying business. From my business experience, I decided to open my own food business and I haven’t looked back. So I’ve been in the food business professionally for over 30 years.

What’s your culinary specialty?

My specialty I would say is Pizza (chuckles).

My goal when I started with the food business was to become an expert in this field. I’ve gone onto getting the education in food science and culinary arts from two different colleges. To think that I’m going to become an expert in food was a ridiculous dream because food is an enormous discipline. You can become an expert in cheese; you can become an expert in olive oil or you can become an expert in the dough. I chose to be an expert in pizza. So I know enough about cheese, about the dough… it’s like a being a doctor; there is a general practitioner and there is a specialist. So I’m a general practitioner of pizza.

Do you have anybody else in your family who was in the food business as well?

Philosophically speaking, in my family, there’s good musical talent, there is good artistic talent and then there’s engineering. When you combine engineering, music and art, ideally the best medium is food. Because food is chemistry.

What sets the Blaze Signature Pizza apart from the other pizzas we’ll find in the dining scene?

We don’t make pizzas in a conveyor oven which makes it different. We have a water filtration system because 50 % of the dough is water. Selecting the right oven, designing the right dough for that oven, picking the right cheese for it because if i selected a different cheese that doesn’t have the same quality, that won’t work in that oven because that oven cooks it in a certain way. So you have to think about everything as an ingredient – including your staff. The staff we have are not chefs. We train for personality only and what we want them to do is follow our lead so there is consistency. Everything at Blaze has been so selected and so designed that anybody can do it.

We have about 300 restaurants around the world and all these restaurants have the same training, the dough press and pretty much the same products used every single day. There’s only one chef for all of the Blaze restaurants, and that’s me. This is why we have consistency.  Everything is done my way and so everything tastes the same.

We make sure our ingredients are fresh and not processed so that when our customers leave the restaurant their stomachs don’t hurt, they don’t get heartburn and feel stuffed. Every bit of the blaze experience from stepping into the restaurant and leaving it, impacts your decision to come back.

How would you describe your passion for pizza in just one line? 

My passion is offering food that feeds people’s souls and we can’t do it any other way.

How would you describe the palate of Saudis when it comes to Pizza? Are there any creations that will be available in the Kingdom

This is where I relied on AlShaya’s expertise in the region to help educate me. It wasn’t just a matter of coming into the country and saying, “okay here are the ingredients and here are the recipes”. I wanted to understand people. I care what goes into my body and I think others are like minded. Andrew was kind enough to take me out to taste the food in the region. We visited all the restaurants and not specifically the competitors because I wanted to see what people were eating. Frankly speaking, I was a little upset because the quality of imported food here was not as good as you deserved. The quality gets affected when you ship ingredients from abroad in a frozen container.

We took things to a different level choosing from a wide selection of fresh, clean ingredients and having consistency, and that is not always easy to find in pizza. I hoping that it will resonate with the people here and they value the freshness, deliciousness, impactful flavors, honesty, and trust.

Check out @blazepizzame on Instagram or Facebook at BlazePizzaMiddleEast.

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Events & Happenings

What’s happening this week in Riyadh

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If you are in Riyadh this season, you need places to go in order to feel in a fresh and happy vibe.


Thanks to the air-conditioned malls, cafes and event spaces that makes it easy for us to get a dose of entertainment and fun during summers in Riyadh.

Here’s what’s happening in Riyadh this week:

Tomorrow (Play)

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An exciting stage play with an idea by Shojoun Al Hajri, written by Sahab, framed by Mohammed Al Sharida, with the lyrics of Sheikh Duwaij Al Khalifa, and directed by Abdullah Abdulreza, with the Kuwaiti rapper “Dafi” as the lead singer and music director.

Get the details here: Tomorrow play

Russia to Riyadh

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If you want to experience the World Cup fever, this might be interesting for you.

Get the details here: From Russia to Riyadh

From last week…

Hollywood Circus

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A month-long treat that covers all of the fun circus activities enjoy the shows and performance and your favorite snacks from the 15th of June till the 14th of July, this event is bound to provide endless fun for all the members of the family.

Get the details here: Hollywood Circus

Moscow Stadium

screen-shot-1439-10-13-at-11-09-49-amYou’ll find a ton of sports activities for your little ones here at Riyadh’s very own world cup. The event offers activities from football to archery and much more.

Get the details here: Moscow Stadium

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Uncategorized

All You Need to Know About the Riyadh International Bookfair

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Riyadh International Bookfair was launched on Wednesday last week and is said to be one of the largest cultural events in the Kingdom.


This year, the bookfair is held under the theme, “Books – Future of Transformation”, and has a collection of books on all subjects in different languages.

Different universities of the Kingdom had their stalls at the event with their representatives answering the visitors’ queries about their institutes and services.

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The fair is organized by the Ministry of Culture and Information and offers more than 60,000 books from a range of genres and for readers of all age groups. In addition to offering the books at a discounted rate, the fair also included literary discussion, seminars, and workshops.

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The event serves as a cultural bridge between the Arab region and the wider world, providing a networking platform for publishers, writers, scholars and academic institutions through quality exchanges between authors, publishers, and readers. One of the main objectives of the fair is to promote literacy amongst young Saudis, in a bid to furthermore develop the Kingdom’s knowledge-based economy. This year’s Guest of Honor is the United Arab Emirates, which is represented by more than 20 publishing houses.

The stunning fusion artwork by the artists is one 0f the main attractions of the event.  The bookfair brought together well-known Saudi calligrapher Shaker Kashgari and Emirati artist Ashwaq Abdulla who collaborated on an acrylic painting of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed.

The Organizing Committee of the bookfair has also announced a photo contest for the visitors to submit their best images of the exhibition. The part of this contest? The winners will be awarded an iPhone.

For more information regarding the competition, click on this link

Gear up and bring your shopping carts if you want to seize this annual opportunity & access hundreds of thousands of books.

The entrance is free and open to the public, making it one of the most accessible events for those looking to add books to their collections.

Location: Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition Center, Gate 2 (See map)
Date: March 14- 24

Fridays: 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Web: riyadhbookfair.org.sa
Instagram:
rybookfair
Twitter:
@rybookfair

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Healthy Living, Online Magazine, Wellness

A Beginner’s Guide to Urban Gardening

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You’ll be snipping fresh herbs and edible plants in your kitchen in no time!


In a concrete desert like Riyadh, a big chunk of the population live in apartments that don’t provide much access to Mother Nature. Here are simple ways to add greens to your otherwise beige existence in the city:

1. Pot ’em up

Before you begin, choose your pot wisely. If the pot is too small, your herbs won’t like it; too big, and it won’t fit the space at home. If you like, choose colorful containers with drainage holes and set them up for a pretty effect.

Make sure you have a saucer under the pots so you don’t ruin your windowsill or furniture.Buy pots from Ikea, Saco or Abyat.

Tip: There are nurseries around the city, you don’t have to go as far as Al Khozama District, just head on out to Murooj.pot-saucer

2. No backyard? No problem!

You can create your own little garden in just a sliver of space. All you need is a sunny windowsill or pop a planter anywhere in your house. If you don’t have a reliably sun-lit window, you will need to provide some type of plant lighting. Lack of sunshine will leave you with spindly, stressed plants, having little flavor.

3. Use potting soil

Use potting soil instead of regular soil from the ground. Potting soil is lighter and well draining. You can buy the potting soil from your local nursery and also ask the gardeners there how much soil each plant needs.urban-gardening-tamimi-november-health-2017-jp6

Tip: If the soil falls out of the draining holes, you can cover them with pieces of small coffee filters.

3. Add herbs

Most herbs are very easy to grow. You can either buy your favorite seedlings from a nursery or buy planting seeds from local supermarkets.

Buy seedlings from: Tamimi Markets, Lulu (Riyadh)slow_release_nitrogen

4. Try a little sunshine

You have to be careful about this bit. Do your research and learn whether your plant likes sun or shade. Vegetables and herbs require a little healthy dose of sunshine.

5. Feed them right

If your plants look like they are struggling, feed them every other month with a fertilizer labeled for use on edible plants. Herbs have more concentrated flavor if they are grown without a lot of fertilizer. Adjust the amount of the fertilizer according to your plant’s needs.urban-gardening-tamimi-november-health-2017-jp1

6. Monitor plants

It takes the plants a while to grow, so, you need to have a bit of patience. Expect the plants to adjust during the first few weeks. Water them when the soil feels dry to the depth of one inch. Since the humidity level is low in Riyadh, make sure you mist the air around plants once a week to boost the humidity level.

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Green Living, Healthy Living, Online Magazine

Urban Gardening

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You’ll be snipping fresh herbs and edible plants in your kitchen in no time.


Living in apartments doesn’t provide much access to Mother Nature. Here are a few tips to green-ify your apartment:

Pot ‘em up

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Size matters when it comes to pots, so be sure that your plants have plenty of room to grow. Add some colorful pots to brighten up the place.

No backyard? No problem!

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Line your plants along a window sill for a prettier effect. If there is no access to enough natural light, make sure to provide plant lighting.

Feed them right

Plants are similar to children, they need to be fed. Adjust the fertilizer according to your plant’s needs.

Use potting soil

Potting soil is better than regular, ground soil. Consult a professional on how much is needed based on plant.

Add herbs

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Herbs are very easy to grow. Seedlings can be found at nurseries or your local supermarket.

*Buy seedlings from Tamimi and Lulu Supermarkets.

Try a little sunshine

Not all plants require the same amount of sunlight. Research your plants’ needs in order for them to grow and flourish.

Monitor plants

Patience, patience, and patience is what you have to learn. Plants take their time growing. Water your plants when needed only. In Riyadh’s humidity, you’ll need to mist the air around the plants to boost humidity level.

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Spirituality

Gorge in Moderation

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Gatherings are all about family and fun, but it’s also largely about food. Without a doubt, sharing a meal is one of the ways we bond as people.


However, if left unchecked, we are prone to overindulgence and overeating, often times to the point of waste. This leads to exactly what we have been warned about:

“…eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess.” [Qur’an, al-A’raf 7:31]

Apart from our spiritual well-being, practicing moderation also benefits our physical health. Food has a dramatic effect on the performance of the body as well as the brain. Over-eating leaves a person feeling tired and bloated, a state that leads to laziness.

What a Muslim must do in this regard is to maintain the one-third rule in eating. All of us have probably heard and read the following hadith a million times but we tend to forget it during meal times.

The Prophet (PBUH) said: “A man does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat enough to keep him alive. But if he must do that, then one-third for his food, one-third for his drink and one-third for his air.” (Tirmidhi).

No one is asking you to stop eating, we prepared a food issue because we know it is one of life’s joys. Obviously we need to eat in order to function. Eat but in moderation and a nutritious, balanced meal that is sufficient in suppressing your hunger.

Cook or order the food as much as you can eat and handle the leftovers safely, if any. Pack it and consume it later or just give it to the needy. There are many food banks and organizations in the region who collect leftovers from individuals, restaurants and private functions and distribute them to people who need it.

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Here are some of the food banks that you can reach out to:

  • Eta’am Saudi food bank 

Web: saudifoodbank.com

Tel: 920008110 

Facebook/Instagram: Saudifoodbank

  • Khiyrat 

Web: khiyrat.org.sa
Mob: +966-537777266
Tel: +966-11-4422220
Snapchat/Instagram/twitter: Khiyrat

  • Your Local Food bank 

Many places in Riyadh have fridges filled with food donated by locals. Placed outside Masajid, residences and malls, these are a great source of food for the needy. The only condition for those who wish to donate food is to make sure that the food is carefully preserved to avoid possible health problems.

Some of the forgotten Sunnahs of eating:

1. Saying ‘bismillah’ before eating and if one forgets then, ‘Bismillaahi awwalahu wa aakhirah’. (Tirmidhi)

2. Eating with the right hand (Muslim)

3. Not criticizing the food (Bukhari)

This is part of good manners, because a person may not like food that others like, but there is nothing wrong with eating anything that is permitted in Islam.

4. Interacting with others

It is arecommended sunnah to talk while eating, so as to put diners at ease and also eat less (Sharh Saheeh Muslim 14/7)

5. Whoever finishes eating and says, ‘Al-hamdu Lillaahi at’amani haadha wa razaqnihi min ghayri hawlin minni wa laa quwwata (Praise be to Allah Who has fed me this and provided me with it with no power or strength on my part),’ his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Tirmidhi, 3458)

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