Jeddah Blog

Discover the best of Jeddah!

How To Walk Off Your Stress


Kim Lyon is a trainee therapist at the ACT Center. Each month she’ll be writing for Jeddah Blog about a particular  aspect of mental well-being. She offers counselling services to the expat community in Jeddah, helping to ease the stresses of moving abroad through workshops and individual sessions. An expat herself, Kim is in a good position to understand the difficulties an expat may face.

In this first blog post, Kim will be talking about the health benefits of exercise and giving us some great tips on how we can take steps to keep fit. If you are like many of us who have transportation constraints and find it difficult to get to a gym, Kim will give you some great ideas on how to get moving without even leaving your living room.

If you have any questions for Kim, leave them at the end of this blog post, and she’ll get back to you.

2015 has arrived, and no doubt many of us are resolving to be healthier this year.  Gym owners delight as people flock to sign up for memberships. While you are thinking about your good intentions for the coming months, consider also the mental benefits of working out.

Exercise is a great stress reliever. It releases feel good chemicals, endorphins, into our blood and lowers levels of cortisol, a stress-related hormone. Studies have shown that exercise can boost our memories and levels of self-confidence. Team sports can be an opportunity to socialize and learn new skills. Using energy gives us energy, though sometimes it’s a matter of getting started.

brain exercise

There are an increasing number of gyms in Jeddah, including chains such as Fitness First, Fitness Time, and Gold’s Gym. A quick Google search reveals many independent gyms across the city, too. For women, Olympia (behind Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital), Gold’s Gym and some of the high-end hotels have gyms, although memberships are extremely expensive.

Thankfully, incorporating exercise into your lifestyle doesn’t have to mean long sweaty hours at the gym or spending lots of money on equipment. The Middle Corniche and Main Corniche are excellent, safe places to walk, often with the added benefit of a breeze.  Walkways have become quite popular and the promenade along the Flood Canal Street in Rawdah is a great place to walk.  If mall-walking appeals, head to Al Salaam Mall or the Mall of Arabia. Both are usually quiet in the mornings and can offer a good walk. If you fancy hiking in the desert, look up Jeddah Backpackers or the Hash Harriers. Research has shown that walking can increase our immunity, bone density and mood. It also can act as a free insurance policy against heart disease and obesity.

“Using energy gives us energy”

You don’t even need to leave your living room. Second-hand fitness equipment can be found online at sites such as expatriates.com, while fitness DVDs are available at Virgin Megastore. You may also want to check expat groups for fitness instructors offering private classes.

Youtube is a surprisingly great resource. Type in salsa, kick-boxing, tae bo, step-intervals – anything you are interested in – and you’ll likely find a workout or two! FitnessBlender has a huge selection of no-nonsense workouts catering for all levels of fitness.

While yoga is typically hailed as good for relaxation, we don’t all have the inclination to become human pretzels, and that’s ok. However, I would urge you to try it, because it’s such an excellent mind-body workout. Yogadownload.com has an amazing selection of different types of classes which you can stream or download, and is well-worth checking out no matter your age or ability.

Great weather for an evening walk.

Jeddah walkways are great for an evening walk or jog.

If you consider yourself a diehard couch potato, hopefully this article will prompt you to think again. Don’t follow the crowd or fitness trends. Think about what you like to do.  Extroverts might be more attracted to fitness with a social element, so might consider dance, tennis or team games, while introverts might prefer more solitary pursuits like swimming and hiking.

Please do consult your physician if you haven’t exercised in a long time. Don’t rush into a fitness program, and don’t push yourself to workout intensely everyday. Build up slowly from twenty minutes of exercise, two or three times a week. Aim to include activities you enjoy.  As with any commitment to a healthier lifestyle, it’s important to build sustainable habits.

Apply Now: Young Saudi Artists 2015


 

Athr Gallery is calling out to young Saudi-based artists between the age of 15 and 30. Follow the link below for details on how to apply. Applications will be assessed by a panel of judges.young saudi artists 2015 athr gallery

 

OBJECTIVE & THEME

Athr Gallery is proud to announce its 4th edition of YSA — a biannual call-out for talented young Saudi-based artists. The call-out is open to both Saudi nationals and residents living in Saudi that are between the age of 15 and 30.  Athr is searching for up-and-coming local artists who work across a range of styles and mediums. The Athr team and a group of influential judges will carefully select the winning artworks. The selected works will be presented in a highly-sought out group exhibition in April, 2015.

This year’s exhibition is centered on:

60%

How do we critically examine the “culture of the youth” in Saudi?

According to statistics, we, the youth, make up more than 60% of Saudi’s total population. To many, the youth culture is perceived as a public issue: an image that is constantly perpetuated on society. There have been numerous studies that address our state: a preoccupation that has even included examining how satisfied we are with our lives.  The “issue” is an exhausted topic, but why?

We are at a defining tipping point between the old generation and the new. Our perception and outlook of society, and the direction it’s heading towards, differs from theirs in more ways than one. Technology and modern-day communication are prominent factors that have molded us into who we are today; it’s made us both disconnected and connected to our society and the world at large.  We are subjects of an indefinite limbo status.

60% will be a re-introduction to the youth; a time capsule that will capture our pulse.

APPLY NOW!

ATHR-YSA.SUBMITTABLE.COM

DEADLINE: 15 FEB 2015

Hamleys Toy Store Comes to Jeddah


The much-awaited Hamleys Toy Store has opened up in the Mall of Arabia. There is a severe dearth of good quality toy stores in Jeddah and we’ve been hoping that this shop will break the mould. Who could be better to review the store than a teenager? Jeddah Blog persuaded fifteen-year old Haris Ali to review Hamleys for us after a recent visit. Read on to find out what this astute teenager thought of the shop, and whether in his opinion, it shaped up to its parent store in London.

A family visit to Mall of Arabia (Mujamma’ Al Arab) today reminded me of a brilliant nostalgia-filled trip to Hamleys Toy Shop of Regent Street, London. Hamleys Jeddah is located on the second floor of the Mall, directly above HyperPanda supermarket, comfortably nestled between Gates 5 and 6.

Hamley's Jeddah, Mall of Arabia

Hamley’s located on the first floor in Mall of Arabia.

As a family including two teenagers and a pre-teen, we were delighted to see the ghost of the world-renowned Hamleys we had visited a couple of years ago in the flesh. The original London store was truly a magnificent toy store unlike any that exists in Jeddah; storey upon storey of toys of excellent quality, interactivity and a sense of excitement for the younger ones.

Hamleys Jeddah, although much smaller in size, spanning maybe four shops in the Mall, has toys for all children; boys and girls alike. Within are Flying UFOs, Magic Blackboards and vintage boardgames like Chess, Chinese Checkers, and Solitaire. There is also a section dedicated to action figures, dolls and laughing Despicable Me’s Minions!

Plenty of variety to choose from.

Plenty of variety to choose from.

Official Lego bricks are sold there too, an unusual sight for Jeddah, apparently, as I haven’t found Lego here for over ten years. One of the coolest tech-toys present was the Hex-Bug, a miniature vibrating coloured insect that zooms around its track randomly, a fun toy to watch.

The store stocks toys and board games of all kinds, and not limited only to Hamleys merchandise, but also includes non-branded foam guns, 3D architectural puzzles and a selection of model and remote control cars and helicopters available at other local toy shops too. There are plenty of Barbie supplies and makeup kits for little girls, but they need to increase their variety for older girls. “Hamleys is a good store for younger children, but not for someone my age,” says Suha, my thirteen year old sister. “I like magic stuff, so I would be more interested maybe if they had better magic kits. The only thing I liked was the ripstick.”

Display Hamley's Jeddah

Display stands.

Display tables spread across the store with some of the Hamleys toys laid out on them for the children to give a try are a great idea, and chairs are laid out around a round table for children to play sitting down.

Guitar lego

How cute is this? Build your own Lego mini guitar, one of the items available for under SR100.

A fun addition is the track painted onto the floor for kids to whizz around the store on one of Hamleys two wheel skateboards or tricycles. Prices are a little high for most items, but there are lots of pocket-money items children can pick up for SR75 and under. The test to differentiate Hamleys from local toy shops will be in the quality of its products.

Hamley's customer Jeddah

A very satisfied customer.

All in all, I feel it is a definite improvement on the general standard of toy shops in Jeddah. Even though I would have liked to see many more toys and board games for older children, it is still a great addition to the Mall of Arabia, making us feel one tiny step closer to the World’s Finest Toy Store.

Reclaim Your Heart by Yasmin Mogahed


For a very good cause, obtain your very own signed copy of Reclaim Your Heart, personal insights on breaking free from life’s shackles, by Yasmin Mogahed.

All funds will be used for children with special needs at Hope – for Exceptional Needs.

Hope Centre Yasmin Mogahed book

 

 

 

2014: Our Year in Review


We’re kicking off the blog for the New Year, and have lots of articles, reviews and giveaways planned for 2015. First though, a look back at last year’s activity on Jeddah Blog. Thanks to the WordPress.com stats helpers who have been busy preparing a summary of our most popular posts, top commenters, referrers and much more. Click on the link below if you’d like to take a peek at what we got up to last year.

We would love to have your feedback on how you think the blog has been doing, and what you hope to see this year. Do leave a comment at the end of this post, and let us know what you think.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 160,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 7 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Little Big Memories With Anchor


Anchor Little Big MomentsChildhood is the best stage of our lives and the more you grow the more you miss all these memories of your childhood. All parents want to save a trace of the best moments and the good times they have spent with their kids, to be part of their lives for a long time, Anchor comes today to allow you to celebrate the little big moments of your children by offering you, a new application on Facebook.

Anchor is a brand that was created in 1886 and owned by the New Zealand based international exporter Fonterra Co−operative Group, Fonterra is one of the largest producers and distributors of dairy and food around the world, Anchor offers a range of powdered milks, ready-to-drink milks, yoghurts, cheeses and butter in countries across Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Anchor takes care and improves the quality of its milk, it’s a source of naturally occurring dairy nutrients such as proteins, iron and minerals such as calcium to help build strong bones and teeth, plus vitamins such as B vitamins which are essential for growth and development of your child.

With the new Facebook application that Anchor offers, it will allow you to turn all the most beautiful moments of your child into an amazing and unique video, creating a fantastic little masterpiece that makes you feel happy and proud of your kids. Also, it allows you to save those sweet moments for a long time and share it with your kids once they grow up. If you have some beautiful photos of your child in your phone or on your computer and want to share them with your friends, Anchor App will help you to make a wonderful video.

Anchor Logo

.

Little Big Moments app of Anchor is more easier, more secure, more organized, and more fun way to create sweet moments that our children will always remember, all you have to do is to connect to Facebook and launch the Application, choose all the interesting photos, milestones and great moments of your child and upload them via the application. Once finished, you can add a small comment and share it with your beloved and your family with the following hashtag : #LittleBigMoments.

So dear parents, every child is entitled to a beautiful childhood, and every little big moment needs to be remembered, so let’s imagine those moments and create a memory!

Click on this link to use the Application.

- Sponsored article

Arabian Jewel Master Class in Documentary Film-making


Aspiring film-makers take note! Arabian Jewel is organising a documentary film-making class for community members with a keen sense of film-making.

Arabian JewelThe first-ever, highly interactive documentary genre master class in Jeddah, KSA is to be led by world renowned film directors producing award winning films and a combined 70 years of film making and directing experience.

The directors have worked with BBC, Nat Geo and Channel 4 and Discovery channels; they have held multiple photo exhibitions and workshops across the world, travelled over 60 countries, acted in foreign films and worked with notable individuals globally.

“The directors are well-known experts in this field”, says Arabian Jewel, “and we genuinely feel we will be able to empower talented individuals in our communities”.

The organisers are also involved in providing footage for a documentary film in New Zealand; the  New Zealand producer will take excellent work from the master class student to include in her documentary which will be aired on prime time in New Zealand channels.Master Class-2 film-making

Target audience

Amateur film-makers, students, professionals, photographers, directors and anyone with a zeal for documentary film-making.

Dates

26-28 Jan, 2015 (subject to slight changes ahead)

Timings

3-4 hours a day.

Location

To be announced shortly.

How Do I Register?

Follow this link to register.

By the end of the course, you’ll be proficient in:

- A brief history of the documentary genre

- Genre and style

- Audio-visual language: Image & Sound

- Music in documentary

- Structure & narrative

The course will include:

- Q & A session with the students

- Research and writing

- Pre-production (selecting the location, budget & production schedule, checking the equipment),

- Equipment: camera & lenses, sound, lighting, grip,

- Production (call sheet, coordination with the film crew),

- Setting up and filming an interview (eye-line & framing the subject)

- Post Production: editing, voice over & music recording

Practical Work

- Practical exercise
– Editing the footage
– Screening of students work and discussion
– Screening of two of our documentaries (one medium production and one mega production)

How do I Register?

Step 1:

Register here.

Step 2:

Pay through this Discount link (please create a paypal account).

What is the Age Limit?

Children aged 10 upwards should be able to understand the content and practical work if intensely passionate about the topic. However, the content language is not specifically drawn up for children. But it is certainly ideal for 16-19 year olds.
We have special discount for mom-daughter/son and father – daughter/son duo.

Apart from the Master Class, directors will continue to act as mentors and provide feedback on student’s work via Arabian Jewel.

Lifeguard Training and Rescue Course for Teens


A great new initiative to teach vital skills. Take advantage of this new lifeguard training and rescue skills course put together by the International Community in Jeddah beginning 4th January, 2015. There will be six sessions in total conducted at 1.5 hours per session. Details are below.

junior lifeguard JeddahCost

400 per student.

Location

Outdoor Pool facility. A map will be sent to registrants.

Gender

Males, 13-18 yrs old.

Itinerary

Day 1- – Swim level test. Introduction to rescue and methods to secure bodies
Day 2- Rescue theory and practical skills –
Day 3- Rescue training skills
Day 4 – Life saving training skills
Day 5- Practical skills first aid
Day 6- Test to determine rescue level

A signed level of completion document will be awarded for successful completion of training.

About the Trainer

* 15 years teaching experience n the field of swimming
* Bachelor of Physical Education
* Master’s Degree in Swimming
* Teacher preparation certification for diving and rescue

For more information, click on the Facebook event page.

Pets in Need: What Happens to an Unwanted Pet?


A pet comes with a great deal of responsibility. For most people, a pet is for life, and is part of the family, but for some they have to face a difficult decision due to their circumstances. What happens when a once much-loved cute little kitten or puppy grows up and is not so small and cute any more? Sometimes the arrival of a new baby in the family results in a change in priorities, or extended travelling during the holiday season can mean that a pet becomes too much trouble to look after.

In the blog post, Sonja Svensek, Founder of PIN (Pets in Need), addresses the harsh reality when a pet is unwanted and abandoned. It is a difficult topic, but one that needs to be discussed in light of how many animals end up suffering on the streets. Sonja gives us lots of tips on how to plan, and avoid simply discarding your pet. If you have any questions, please leave a comment after this post, and we will ensure that it gets answered.

Picture the scenario; you have had your pet for years, he/she has become part of your family and you pride yourself on taking good care of your pet. Then suddenly you are faced with an unexpected circumstance where Fido’s future becomes uncertain, as you don’t know whether you can keep him/her anymore.

Why Pets are Abandoned

Pets in Need PINThere are many reasons why people suddenly have to part with their pet. It has always been debated whether there are any legit reasons why your pet has to be given away, since after all, if you adopt a pet, it’s a commitment you make for life, regardless of the personal challenges you might face. At PIN, we come across many different reasons why pet owners say they cant keep their pet anymore. Whether it is because they are getting married and their spouse will not accept pets in the house, or because they have realized they aren’t giving their pet all the care and attention it deserves or perhaps because they are leaving the country and the paperwork included is too costly and time consuming, or maybe because they are going on vacation or realized that they have suddenly formed allergies and keeping a pet is too much of a hassle.

It is important to note that your pet’s future depends on the actions and steps you decide to take. If you adopt a pet with the notion that it’s a responsibility you’ll have for the long-term right from the start, you can always prepare well in advance of any unexpected circumstances that could arise. Just like you would do for any other member of the family. For example, you could make arrangements of who would look after your cat if you go on vacation via a trusted friend, neighbor or by contacting local cat/ dog sitters, or by ensuring your pet is micro-chipped and getting the paperwork finalized before you take him/her with you abroad and so on.

The good news is that there are always ways towards a solution. Sometimes people can be misinformed and believe that you cannot live with a pet if you suffer from allergies, or if a woman is pregnant she shouldn’t be around cats. Animal support groups serve a purpose to help educate people and to offer advice and help when needed.   But what if someone gets bored of their pet after it’s grown out of it’s cute size? Or can’t afford to look after him anymore, or are forced to ‘get rid of him/her’ through circumstances out of their control? What will become of the pet then?

dogs Pets in Need Jeddah

Waiting for their owner who may never return.

Countless animals get left behind when people travel – especially during the summer months, school holidays or when exiting the country. It’s all too common to see that in desperation pet owners either leave their pet at a veterinarian clinic for boarding, with no intention to collect him/her back, or are desperately trying to find someone who can take him/her literally a few days before their departure or as a last resort. Some even abandon the pet on the street believing that as an animal, they would be able to survive on the streets and fend for themselves.

It only takes a short trip to Obhur or the Corniche to see the amount of abandoned cats and dogs left to their own devices. This is not always commonly seen by people, but they are there, wandering the areas searching for their next meal. These abandoned animals are easy targets for abuse, getting run over by a car, attacked by other animals or die from starvation or dehydration. A lot of these animals were someone’s pets once. Domesticated animals don’t know how to fend for themselves on the streets. As animal rescuers we have found countless pets, some which were still wearing a collar, run over by a car.

will love for food

Once-loved, yet abandoned pet.

But these aren’t the only risks we put the unwanted pets in. Some are left at vet clinics which are put up for adoption or sale, and others are sold directly to pet stores. Some are collected only to be sold to animal markets. Next time you see an older dog for sale in a pet shop, there is a chance that he/she had a home before. It’s harder to tell with cats since pet stores still sell ‘grown up’ cats which can be sold as younger ones. Unwanted pets could also be taken in by overly interested people who use them for breeding and business purposes.

Fostering

Those who are actively involved in rescuing animals first hand, know that there are more unwanted abandoned pets than there are homes offered to take them in. Is this due to a lack of commitment we have towards pets? Or maybe because we don’t know where to turn to for help? Perhaps it’s because it might be ‘easier’ to make it someone else’s responsibility or maybe it’s a combination of all the above? Since official registered shelters do not operate here, (yet!) some people have decided to offer their homes as foster care till other homes become available. But this isn’t a long term solution, nor a sustainable one since it means many pets will inevitably be put down to sleep, or be put at risk of an uncertain situation.

Residents of compounds or villas might leave their cats behind to live ‘freely’ in the area and these animals could have the same fate, not to mention reproducing more litters and increasing the number of cats in the area in the process. There are also cases where owners have no choice but to put the pet to sleep.

We might choose to turn a blind eye, but the more we are open about this and learn the reality of what could happen to the unwanted pets, the more we can make positive changes to ensure that pets don’t get abandoned, and are given a chance to continue living happy healthy lives and that productive steps can take place to find good forever homes.

How to find a new home for your pet

It is heartbreaking to say the least, when a pet owner finds him/herself with no choices but to give their pet up for adoption. It’s not always an easy option, but one that may be their only option. But there are steps to take that can help the pet find a new home and also give pet owners peace of mind. If for whatever reason you know you have to give your pet for adoption, make sure he/she is spayed/neutered first and foremost. Apart from the health benefits this has for the animal, this will ensure they cannot be used for breeding regardless of which situation they are in.

Second, plan ahead as much as possible. Join local animal welfare groups where there are people looking to adopt a pet and where you have a better chance of connecting with animal lovers who would rather adopt, than shop for a pet. Spreading the word amongst neighbors, friends and family that your pet is looking for a home. The more awareness we spread, the more chance it could reach the people who would like to adopt or foster a pet. During my years of helping animals, I’ve learnt that we cannot assume that people know where to get a pet from. Though getting one from a pet shop is known to all, many are not aware that there are many animals through people you might know that are looking to be adopted. If there are ways where you could take your pet with you, veterinarian clinics will help with the paper work required and inform you of the process. It can and has been done many times and should be the first thing to consider doing when knowing that you are leaving the country.

Planning ahead is key. This helps your pet get the best chance of finding a home. If you are not prepared to take your pet with you or cannot afford to look after your pet anymore, a tough question should be asked. What will become of your pet? Some people have resorted to euthanasia because they couldn’t find an alternative. The topic of putting an animal to sleep has never been easily accepted for the many different views people have, but if you cannot be certain of your pet’s future, safety and well-being, then perhaps this should be considered as a humane approach to end a possible life of suffering in uncertain situations.

There are a lot of supportive members from many different animal rescue groups, and these groups help people with tips, information and possible solutions that could guide you to come up with solutions and deciding factors. A lot of animals have been saved through informing the public of animal welfare in general, and the more people we reach through education and guidance, the more lives we will be able to help and save.

Contact the following groups on Facebook for additional information:

-PIN (Pets in Need) for fostering and/or adopting pets, help and information.

-Open Paws Jeddah which focuses primarily on dogs for adoption

-Gus’s Hope which focuses primarily on cats for adoption.

ICFLIX releases HIV, a first original production


icflix

ICFLIX [pronounced “I-see-flix”] has released the first of their original productions today to their global audience, exclusively on the online streaming service. The movie, entitled HIV, has been produced entirely in Egypt by a handpicked team of fresh, young talent from the region. In addition to the original version in Arabic the movie is also available with English and French subtitles, making it accessible to all audiences.

HIV ICFLIX

ICFLIX is the first subscription-based online streaming service of its kind and offers movies, TV series, cartoons, and documentaries. The service is currently available on over 900 different mobile and fixed Internet enabled devices including PCs, Macs, smart phones, tablets, smart TVs and gaming consoles.

HIV is the first of 12 original productions to be released by ICFLIX in the coming year. Each film will tackle a different topic with social relevance to audiences across the Middle East. The drama explores the social repercussions experienced by those infected with HIV through the eyes of a young man, Youssef. As he struggles to reclaim the life he once had, Youssef takes the audience on an emotional journey as he realizes the social stigma associated with the disease. Director Mohammad Adel, headed a team of talented young stars, including lead actor Mohammad Al Sharnouby and his love interest in the film, actress Alia Assaf.

Watch the trailer here:

The film can be viewed by ICFLIX subscribers on their website or any of the free apps, available for smartphones, smart TVs, tablets and soon, gaming consoles. Click here to go straight to the movie. ICFLIX provides its users with access to its Jazwood (Arabic), Hollywood and Bollywood content and kids’ cartoons and shows with an unlimited access, including the largest library of Arabic movies and shows available online. Additionally, subtitles and alternative audio options are available for a majority of the content, making it accessible for French, Arabic and English speakers. Aside from its UAE headquarters, ICFLIX has offices in Dubai, Cairo, Prague, Casablanca, Tunis and USA

- Sponsored article

CH Grand Tour Limited Edition Fragrance


Carolina Herrera Golden Age of Travel

The new Grand Tour limited edition fragrances for men and women by Carolina Herrera, will take you on a tropical journey through South America. Composed of aromatic scents of Brazilian citrus fruits, iris flowers and orange blossom, this mesmerising fragrance for women will allure everyone around you.

The male version is composed of vibrant incense, along with hints of deep mahogany and suede leather. Its black crocodile skin bottle is reminiscent of an old suitcase, designed for men who appreciate classic, vintage designs.

Carolina Herrera Grand Tour Fragrances

There is much more to this limited edition collection than meets the eye. Carolina Herrera is giving people the chance to enter an exciting competition! Users just need to access the CH Grand Tour homepage and they will be presented with two universes of the Grand Tour experience: the Grand Tour and the Blue Train.

The Grand Tour experience consists of an online game about a suitcase robbery, in order to win a special Carolina Herrera gift. Once the game is completed, the user needs to fill in their personal details, which will then direct them to a list of nearby Carolina Herrera stores where their gift can be collected.

The Blue Train contest involves purchasing a Carolina Herrera perfume in order to win a trip to South Africa. Users need to fill in an online form of their purchase details of the fragrance by entering an EAN code. People will then have the opportunity to visit the breathtaking cities of Pretoria and Cape Town, as well as enjoy a memorable safari.

Carolina Herrera always knows how to turn a simple product into an exciting adventure. So, hop on board the train and experience the imaginative world of Carolina Herrera’s Grand Tour.

- Sponsored article

Unleash the Full Potential of your Engine


Total logo, Jeddah, Saudi ArabiaJeddah is known to be the major urban centre of western Saudi Arabia and the second largest city in Saudi Arabia after the capital, Riyadh. Many young males residing in Jeddah enjoy activities such as desert safaris and driving high-end cars, which are known to require a lot of work to maintain its engine quality.

A joint venture between Total Middle East and Zahid Group Holding Company allowed the manufacturing and marketing of lubricants to take place locally within Saudi Arabia. Saudi Total is the product of this joint venture and produces products such as engine oils and gear oils.

total ad Jeddah Saudi Arabia

The top-of-the-line lubricants for your car are now composed of lubricants using synthetic technology, which involve chemical ingredients that improve your engine’s thermal stability. It also provides a greater life span for the oil and preservation over time.

The Total Quartz 9000 range are more beneficial for your vehicle because it provides the highest level of protection for your engine, provides a maximum engine compression ratio and allows your engine to start easily, even in extreme weather conditions.

Total Jeddah Saudi Arabia

Driving up and down those huge sand dunes in the desert causes a lot more damage to your car than you think. Has there ever been a time after you’ve gone to the desert that you haven’t needed to take your car to the garage? The Total Quartz 9000 range and the Total Quartz INEO will not only make the quality of your engine last longer, but will also save you a lot of unwanted trips to the garage.

- Sponsored article

Karimah’s Fig Frangipane Tart


KARIMAH NUTRI CARD texcorrectSweet, succulent figs, I find, are an absolute delight. When they are in season in Jeddah, I can’t get enough of them. I love their simplicity – no peeling, nor preparing. Just a quick wash, and then enjoy the freshness and richness of flavour packed with nutritional goodness which is totally unlike any other fruit.

On the way back from my local store, having indulged in figs galore, I emailed Karimah bint Dawoud, clinical nutritionist and guest blogger at JB, and author of Heavenly Bites, the Best of Muslim Home Cooking, asking if she would share a recipe from her new book, Happy Healthy Halal. Kind soul that she is, she promptly sent me the most delicious Fig Frangipane Tart recipe, exclusively to share with Jeddah Blog readers.

Find out more about Karimah, best-selling author, photographer, former model and makeup artist who converted to Islam eleven years ago on her website. She is a sought-after nutrition coach and is working on her new book, Happy Healthy Halal.

At-Teen in Arabic means “fig”. The fig is symbolic of the lands that it grows in, mainly Turkey, Palestine and Syria. We often think of figs as part of various sweets and biscuits, but these interesting fruits also have amazing medical properties.

  • They help lower high blood pressure
  • They a sweet way to lose weight; nibble on a dried fig with a cup of tea rather than biscuits.
  • They are a fast food; carry dry figs around when you are out and about and on the go outside the home.
  • They contain fibre that protects against postmenopausal breast cancer
  • They promote bone density
  • They protect against macular/eye degeneration

This recipe is part of my new book Happy Healthy Halal that features foods of the Holy Quran, and their contemporary uses. The fig is such a special fruit that it has its own chapter in the Quran called Surat At-Teen, chapter 95.

fig frangipane raw

Delicious fresh figs – Photo by Karimah bint Dawoud

Almond is a flavour that perfectly complements figs, and ground almond flour is used in the baking of many praline patisseries. Now frangipani is a sponge mix using ground almonds or pistachio nuts as well as flour, to form the sponge mix which is used as a tart filling. Frangipane or franchipane is said to have originated from France. Frangipani compliments fresh figs beautifully, and with the clever, skillful use of eastern spices we can elevate this exquisite French celebratory patisserie to a heavenly helwiyat (dessert).

Desserts are generally not healthy, however in nutrition circles there is a 80/20 rule that allows 20% of naughtiness and this dessert is certainly cheeky. As a nutritionist, I advise home baking rather than shop bought cakes as it is less convenient to make cake. You can’t just go to the cupboard whenever you feel like it and eat. You are sure of the ingredients when you bake at home, and you can always gather friends and family to sample your delicious delights.

Try the Fig Frangipane Tart recipe below and leave a comment to tell me how it turned out.

fig frangipane

Mouthwatering Fig Frangipane Tart – Photo by Karimah bint Dawoud

Fig Frangipane Tart

Preparation time 45 minutes

Serves 8

Ingredients

For The Pastry Crust

  • 375g/13¼oz/1.5 cups unbleached all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 15g/½oz sugar
  • 125g/8oz /1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 free-range egg
  • 5 tbsp ice-cold water
  • 1 tsp of mixed spice

For The Frangipane Filling

  • 200g/7¼oz unsalted butter
  • 200g/7¼oz  sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 200g/7¼oz ground almonds
  • 45ml/3 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 tsp of powdered ginger
  • 1 tsp of turmeric
  • 1 tsp powdered cinnamon

For The Tart Filling

  • 4-7 ripe black figs, washed and cut in half

Preparation Of Sweet Short Crust Pastry

  1. For the pastry, sieve the flour and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add spices. Cube the butter and add to the flour spice mix. Rub the butter and the flour between your thumb and fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. If you have hot hands use 2 knives to cross chop butter and flour mix.
  1. In a jug or small bowl, beat the egg together with 4-5 tablespoons of ice-cold water. Pour into the flour mixture.
  2. Slowly bring the ingredients together with your hands or metal utensils to form a dough, do not overwork it, short crust should be made quick and kept cool or it becomes elastic.
  3. Knead the dough lightly on a clean, floured work surface, then wrap it in cling film and put in the fridge at least 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Dust the work surface with flour and roll out the chilled pastry to about ½ cm/1/4 inch. Use it to line one large 25cm/10in tart ring. Trim away any excess. Don’t worry if your pastry is falling apart. This happens sometimes with short crust. Short crust pastry can be a bit crumbly and you may need to patchwork your pastry into the greased backing tin, pressing in evenly, then trim off excess around the edges. Don’t worry, it will be super when it comes out of the oven, insha’allah.
  5. You are going to have to do blind baking, which means make the tart without filling and bake first before adding the filling. This is to stop the base of the tart rising or going soggy and not cooking properly, in this case when a wet filling is used.
  6. Line the inside of the tart case with a circle of greaseproof paper and put some dried beans on top like kidney beans to weigh the paper down. Place in the oven at 180C/350F/Gas 4 for 15 minutes.
  7. Take out and cool for 10 minutes.
fig frangipane blind baking

Blind baking the tart base – Photo by Karimah bint Dawoud

The Frangipane Almond Tart Filling

  1. For the frangipane, beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until light and creamy. Crack the eggs into the bowl one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the ground almonds, flour and spices and mix well until combined. This is in effect a sponge mixture.
  2. Spoon the frangipane into the tart case so that it comes about halfway up the sides. Smooth over the surface with a spatula. Place the halved figs, seed side up evenly on top of the frangipane and press down lightly. The almond filling will lightly rise around it.
  3. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the sponge is golden-brown, a skewer or tip of a knife is placed inside sponge and comes out clean and the fruit is tender.
  4. When the tart has cooled to warm temperature, add a glaze of apricot or similar smooth jam using an icing spatula or blunt knife to smooth it over the surface of the tart.
fig frangipane glaze

Fig Frangipane Glaze – Photo by Karimah bint Dawoud

Enjoy alone or serve warm with healthy crème fraîche.

fig frangipane slice

A slice of heavenly Fig Frangipane Tart – Photo by Karimah bint Dawoud


 

Read up on Karimah’s previous blog posts at Jeddah Blog:

Karimah’s Guide to a Healthier Ramadan

and

Jewels of the Desert, Saviours of Ramadan

 

Meena (Market) Bazaar


An upcoming opportunity for fun and shopping, and for home businesses to book their stalls and sell their wares.

Meena Bazaar

Experience Chocolate Magic at Le Concheur


Le Concheur has slowly and steadily been making its presence felt in Jeddah. Although they are still at their soft opening stage, constantly adapting and refining their menu to customer feedback, they are already gaining a base of loyal customers in the city.

A few days ago, my children received a very special invitation from the Kids’ Party Consultant at Le Concheur, Kathy Bacchus. To their absolute delight, they were asked if they would like to attend an exclusive chocolate cup making activity with a group of other children. And if you know the JB family, when it comes to sampling dessert, you don’t need to ask us twice… Needless to say, my children were more than crazily-excited and confirmed their attendance on the spot.

Le Concheur - Front

The impressive shop front of Le Concheur.

We arrived enthusiastically half an hour early, were warmly welcomed by the staff, and ordered a berry crepe while waiting for the event to begin. The crepe was a hit with the kids; they commented on the freshness of the fruits in the crepe and proceeded to wipe the plate clean.

Le Concheur event

Children excited and ready to get started.

Once the activity began upstairs, all of the children were given aprons and chef hats. Despite having a larger attendance than expected, the activity was well-organised and ran quite smoothly.

Le Concheur, Kathy chocolate machine

Kathy explaining how the chocolate machine works.

Kathy and her helpful assistant Franko explained the importance of using tempered chocolate to ensure the chocolate cups stay intact.

Now hold your breath for the next picture…

Le Concheur pouring chocolate

Pouring tempered chocolate.

They showed us the machine used to temper the chocolate by keeping it at a very precise temperature. The flow of chocolate is controlled by a foot pedal, and filled trays are placed for a few seconds on a vibrating stand to pop any air bubbles.

Le Concheur chocolate machine

Kids’ Lab Manager, Kathy, operating the chocolate machine.

Kathy demonstrated to the children how to operate the machine. It’s not as easy as it looks!

Le Concheur, chocolate in mould

Chocolate cups setting in the moulds.

It was very hard to resist, but the chocolate cups had to be left alone for a while to set in their moulds, after which Franko gave a helping hand to the kids in turning out the moulds.

Le Concheur, Franko

Franko turning out the chocolate moulds.

Once the chocolate saucers and cups were set, the children carefully piped chocolate mousse into the little cups. They all did a great job.

Piping the chocolate mousse into the prepared chocolate cups.

Piping the chocolate mousse into the prepared chocolate cups.

The junior chefs topped off the mousse with raisins and chocolate covered nuts (the hazelnuts are my favourite!), and proudly wrapped their creations in plastic and ribbons to take home.

Le Concheur final chocolate cup

The final chocolate cup.

It was a wonderful event, thoroughly enjoyed by all of the children present and I can see this activity becoming very popular for birthdays and other private parties. Special thanks to Erik Van Der Veken, rock star chocolatier and creator of the amazing chocolate sculptures displayed instore for his hospitality and good grace.

Chocolate Sculpture

One of Erik’s beautiful chocolate creations.

Exciting information that I can reveal exclusively to Jeddah Blog readers is that Erik is working with renowned Saudi couture and bridal fashion designer Reem Faisal on a project that will be unveiled at their Grand Opening, planned for the 24th of November.

Le Concheur can be found close to Sari Bridge, at the intersection of Prince Sultan Street and Kayyal Street and can be followed on Instagram via @leconcheur and @erikvandv

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