Jeddah Blog

Discover the best of Jeddah!

Girls Cake Decoration Course with Wilton Certified Decorator


Get your girls baking with this awesome course tailored for beginners and conducted by a Wilton Certified Decorator.

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Course 1 ( Basic to Intermediate Level)

This course is to impart basic to intermediate level of baking to the participants. They get professional baking tips and techniques which are generally not available. Participants will get the basics of baking framework, recipes and that would lead them into unlimited option of combinations to get a variety of taste. These are covered in 4 sessions of 3 hours each. The contents will be as follows:

• Basics of baking

• Reading recipes,

• Measuring, scaling ingredients,

• Timing

• Pan Preparation

• Baking conversions

• Baking substitutions

• Other tips & techniques

• Four different types of cakes

• American Sponge Cake with whip cream icing

• Butter Cake/Cup cake with praline icing

• Chocolate Cake with chocolate icing

• Carrot muffins/cake with cream cheese

• Other Baking

• Basic Sugar Cookies with citrus icing

• Cinnamon rolls with a special icing

• Donuts

• OPTIONAL : (either one of the group may be selected)

Savoury

Pizza

Baked Pasta Garlic Bread

Desserts

Ice cream Turtle Cake Nanaimo Bars

Peach Streusel Coffee Cake

Course 2 will be offered in October to all Course 1 graduates.

Dates: Sept 3,10,17, 21*

Time: 4:30-7:30pm

Venue: map will be mailed to all students

Cost for Course 1: SR 450

Contact Number: 0580318838

*Sept 21st -date subject to change

1001 Nights Persian Rug Educational Tour


Welcome back after a hot and humid summer! If you are new to the Kingdom, or simply settling back in after the holidays, make sure you visit the blog regularly and bookmark us for lots of local activities, workshops and tours.persian rug

Join this free guided tour in English shedding light on history, making and craftsmanship of Persian rugs. Learn how to identify an antique rug, quality and how to select the perfect rug for your space, care and the story behind the rug. Our exquisite spokesperson comes from a family with generational history in the art of trading rugs.

Date: September 3rd, 2015.

Time: 9:30am to 11:30am

Venue: Hindawiya District-Bukhari Street

Cost-None

For further details and registration, visit the event page on Facebook.

STARZ Play: Your New Online Movies & Series Platform


Honestly it’s time for TV fans to say goodbye to their cable subscriptions and hello to solely streaming their entertainment. With new streaming platforms and VOD (Video On Demand) services, television programs are going to be more available, simple and convenient. STARZ Play is one of the new and powerful subscription video on demand services in the market right now (they have over 57 Million subscribers in the U.S).

Starzplay logoTheir new platform called Starz Play Arabia has recently been launched across 17 territories in the Middle East, beating Netflix to the punch in an area with a population estimated at 370 million and a young, highly wired demographic. Now let’s see what Starz Play can provide to us.

“Starz is very pleased with the launch of the world-class Starz Play Arabia partnership in the Middle East and North Africa,” says Chris Albrecht, Starz CEO. “This is the first time a STARZ-branded service has been launched outside of the United States.”

As you have probably noticed, everything is going the way of streaming these days, so to be sure to have good service you need to choose the right Platform, and Starz Play can feed your starving hunger. It’s super-hard to choose what to watch, because their original content is so different and provides some of the best shows and movies on TV today. Some of their shows like Power, Penny Dreadful, Humans and a lot more have the latest episodes at the same time as the U.S. Their service also includes a wide selection of movie content, licensed from Hollywood, including content from leading pay TV networks.

STARZ Play gives you maximum user control by letting you play, pause and rewind. You can stop watching a movie or show and resume it later, right from where you left off, whenever and wherever you want. STARZ Play uses the most advanced technology to provide you with a superb HD viewing experience. You can enjoy STARZ Play on any device: your PC or Mac as well as on numerous iOS and Android devices. STARZ Play will also be available on the leading Smart TVs and game consoles in the near future.

“STARZ PLAY Arabia has a unique opportunity to fill a market need and offer the growing Internet savvy population of the region the best in TV and movie content, at an affordable price point, and with high-value convenience and control,” explains President and Chief Operating Officer of Starz Play Arabia Maaz Sheikh. “We have aggregated a compelling collection of great original programming including STARZ Original series and movie content from around the world. Our content will be presented in a culturally sensitive way and will be a showcase technologically, with a strong consumer value proposition.”

Starz Play provides an immersive and unique viewing experience offering their subscribers the latest and most acclaimed movies and series as well as a wonderful selection of children’s and family programming exclusively for the Middle East and North Africa. It initially offers more than 3,000 movies and a wide selection of TV series that you can watch for $12.99/month (49SAR/Month). With a 30-day free trial and no monthly contractual obligations, viewers can enjoy watching their favorites programs without any commercial breaks or interruptions.

Now with Starz Play, you can watch fiercely entertaining originals as well as hit movies anywhere you go and anytime you want.

To know more about Starz Play you can visit their website.

– Sponsored article

Taking your Pet Abroad – the Complete Guide


Summer has already begun. Many people have left for vacation, and still more will be ready to head out to cooler pastures after Ramadan. If you would prefer your pet to stay in the Kingdom, then appropriate arrangements must be made. However, if you would like to take your pet along with you, then the idea of travelling abroad with your pet can be quite overwhelming. How much would it cost? How soon should I start processing the papers? Will my pet be onboard with me? What documents do I need?  With the long list of what might seem like a never-ending endeavour, Sonja Svensek sheds some light on what pet owners should do if they wish to take their pet abroad.

Check Whether your Pet will be Allowed to Fly with You

The first thing to bear in mind is that different countries have different rules and regulations regarding the import of a pet.  Check online what is required as rules do change. Note that some exotic animals will not be allowed into specific countries. Parrots for example cannot be brought into Saudi Arabia, and certain animals are prohibited into the EU. Once you have been informed of the countries’ regulations, check with the airline you are flying with to  enquire about cost and whether you can take your pet onboard with you. Generally pets (weighing no more than 6 kilos) can be taken on board with you on most airlines as long as its carrier meets the airlines standards and can be put under the seat in front of you. Some airlines will allow small dogs onboard with you too, but others will not. 

Import Permits

If you are travelling to Europe, countries will require a blood test which should be done at least 3 months before your departure. This is why planning ahead is key-which depends on the destination you are flying to. Some counties will not allow your pet entry unless you show proof of an Import permit which is obtained by a vet in the country you are going to. This means having to research a local vet to fill out forms and send you the original for you to sign via courier mail post. Alternatively you can have a friend or relative pick this up and meet you at the airport to present this import permit. If this is required by law, and you don’t have one, your pet will be held in quarantine until you can present one.

You will need to get your pet microchipped.

Health Certificates

For most countries, your pet needs to be micro chipped and a rabies shot needs to be recent usually within the last 6 months before departure.  A week before you travel, (and not before) you need to obtain a Health certificate from your vet which confirms your pet’s health and that it is fit for travel and that your pet doesn’t have any health issues which would stop it from being allowed into the country. A health certificate usually costs between SR 100-200 from your local vet.

Get the Go Ahead from the Ministry of Agriculture

Once you have the health certificate in hand, head to the Ministry of Agriculture with your pet. It is a new regulation where they require to see your pet. It is a relatively straight forward procedure where a MOA representative will stamp and issue you an Export permit. 24 hours before your flight, head to the customs department at the airport which will issue you with a final export approval. It is always a good idea to inform the airline you are flying with, that you are traveling with a pet, and on the day of your departure to head to the airport at least 3-4 hours prior to your flight to ensure that all goes smoothly.

Your pet may be allowed in the cabin with you.

Boarding the Plane

If flying with Saudi Airlines, the check-in counter will direct you to the appropriate counter to pay for your pet and obtain an additional form which they will help you fill it out. Saudia Airlines charges SR 480 for a cat which is their standard fee however this could be subject to change. Generally cats do not travel well. So it is advised not to feed your cat on the morning of your flight.  Regardless of whether your cat is in the cargo hold or with you in the cabin, have a cloth over the carrier so your cat doesn’t get even more stressed by seeing all the people and movements around. Also ensure your cat carrier has a label with your name and address on it.  If you know your cat will act very stressed and constantly meow and cause disturbances, you might want to consider a mild tranquilizer before travelling. Check with your vet first.

Disembarking

Once you arrive at your destination, no matter how tempting it is to let your pet our of its carrier, only do so in the safety of your home. Give them time to adjust.

Should I ask the Vet to take care of all the Paperwork?

Some vets offer the service of taking care of all the paper work for you at high cost between SR 1500-3000 when you can do so for free if you plan ahead and manage your time in advance. Do seek your vets advice to assist you whenever possible as they can talk you through what is required and when. Its also beneficial to join animal welfare organization groups online where you can network with people who have been through the experience and could give you first hand advice and tips on making it easier for you. Some say certain airlines are better at handling pets than others, so it’s suggested to get advice from those who have flown with their pets abroad.

Give yourself Time to Plan

You hear many stories of people happily travelling with their pet around the world on numerous occasions. The bottom line is you CAN travel with your pet, just do a little research beforehand to learn what is needed and plan ahead.  If time is not on your side, you can ask a veterinary clinic to assist you with boarding your pet and arranging the papers and flight arrangements to send you your pet via cargo hold. Some people have used a relocation agency to take care of all papers which can be helpful for those who don’t have time, but be warned that this service can be quite costly.

Though it might seem like a long process to get your pet’s travel documents sorted, if you plan ahead and make the necessary arrangements well in advance, you will lower any risk of having missed something important that is needed for your pet to travel.

For further information you might find the following articles helpful:

 General information and useful tips about travelling with your cat

 If taking a pet to the United Kingdom

 If travelling with your pet to the States 

Join PIN Care group to network with fellow pet travellers

Ride for Free with icflix and Uber


icflix and Uber promotionicflix and Uber have teamed up to offer their customers a great new promotion. icflix, the Middle East and North Africa’s leading Internet streaming service are rewarding first time subscribers by offering them a premium ride with Uber, the smartphone technology company that links riders to drivers within minutes, when they sign up to icflix.com.

The promotional offer launched just this week will entitle customers to 81.73 SAR off their first ride and will be valid until July 25th 2015.

If you are a new Uber customer ordering your first ride using the Uber app, don’t fret. You can get a one-month icflix subscription for free.

Speaking about this great promotional offer, Carlos Tibi, founder and CEO says, “We like to think outside the box, and are always thinking of innovative ways to reward our customers. New Uber customers will have the chance to experience the service with the added benefit of enjoying movies and TV shows whilst on the move.”

“Technology and innovation sit at the heart of what we do, and something we very much have in common with icflix, especially when it comes to enhancing customer experience,” said Jambu Palaniappan, Regional General Manager for Middle East & Africa.

How Can I Access This Offer?

In case you wish to access this offer the following code must be entered while ordering:

UBERUAE  for the UAE

UBERKSA for the KSA

UBERBAH for Bahrain

UBERLEB for Lebanon

UBERQAT for Qatar.

Enter this code when you sign up to icflix. If you are already a member, simply go to “Your account”, “Manage Subscription” and enter your promo code.

Sponsored article

Ramadan Recipe – Crispy Chicken


We wish Ramadan Kareem to all of our readers!

Ramadan is a blessed and holy month, a time of worship, contemplation, self-reflection and of submission. However, it is also a month of sharing and caring, community and festivity.

In addition to focusing on our fasts and our prayers, at the end of the day we look forward to breaking our fast. Jeddah Blog will be bringing you some exciting new recipes, and our first contribution is from Asma and Aisha, two sisters with a passion for food, who blog at Jet Set Eat. Their unique Crispy Chicken recipe uses traditional Ramadan ingredients of samosa leaves and kunafa dough, but in a very different way.

Do try the recipe and let us know how it turns out.

Crispy Chicken

Crispy Chicken Recipe for Jeddah Blog

Crispy Chicken

Ingredients

500g boneless chicken, cut into 2 inch long strips.

2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

2 tbsp garlic paste

2 eggs

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp tandoori masala powder

Chilli flakes (optional)

1 tbsp white pepper powder

1 pinch red edible food colour

Salt to taste

3 tbsp refined flour

2 tbsp cornflour

Thinly sliced samosa leaves or kunafah dough (hair)

Oil to deep fry

 

Directions

1. Marinate the chicken in sweet chilli sauce, garlic paste, eggs, soy sauce, tandoori masala, chilli flakes, white pepper, red colour and salt for 2 hours.

2. Mix refined flour and cornflour in the chicken marinade and leave for 15 mins.

3. Spread the samosa leaves or kunafa dough (hair) on a plate and roll the marinated chicken in it. Press well with hands so it sticks to the chicken.

4. Heat sufficient oil in a wok and deep fry the chicken until crisp and cooked from inside. Serve with your favourite sauce.

You can follow Jet Set Eat on Instagram: @jet.set.eat

Jeddah is Buzzing in the Lead Up to Ramadan


As Jeddah’s weather has begun to heat up with temperatures hovering around 36C or 97F, so has the atmosphere in Ramadan.  With Arab schools out for the year and most international schools wrapping up this week (Conti still has a week to go), Ramadan is about to go into full swing. Delina Partadiredja from amuslima.com writes today’s guest blog on the current excitement and anticipation of Ramadan, and gives us lots of practical tips on what to do if one is not fasting, what to be aware of especially during Ramadan and how to take advantage of certain goods available only in this festive month.

Ramadan in Jeddah 2015

A wide variety of dates become available during Ramadan.

The Islamic months are based on the Lunar calendar, so the time of year when Ramadan falls changes from year to year, moving back 11 days each year.  This year we are very thankful that although it will be a long and hot day, our children will be able to enjoy Ramadan without the burdens of school and the unbearable heat.

While around the city, several large supermarkets around Jeddah, in anticipation of Ramadan have already started the festivities.  Large signs greet shoppers with Ramadan Kareem and Ramadan Mubarak wishing customers a blessed fast. Colourful ornaments fill the stores and shopping areas.  You should take a moment to enjoy these beautiful decorations!

For those who are new to Jeddah, or are staying in Jeddah for the first time during Ramadan, you may be wondering what is different about this month in comparison to other months on the Islamic calendar. Ramadan (pronounced Ramzan in the Indian subcontinent) is the month where Muslims around the world abstain from food and water from dawn until dusk.  This is the time of abstinence, forgiveness, repentance and patience.  As this is a blessed time, many Muslims from around the world are interested to come for Umrah (the small pilgrimage) to enjoy fasting and praying in Makkah and Madinah.  You may find there is an influx in traffic and visitors from around the world so when venturing out be sure to wear cool clothes, pack water, ice, and wear comfortable shoes.  You may also want to check with the local mosques to find out when prayer starts and ends so that you may avoid traffic.

As a non-Muslim who is not fasting, what should I do?

  • As a mark of respect, please eat and drink indoors and in the confines of your home. Individual muslims usually do not mind if you eat or drink in front of them while they are fasting, but it is considered respectful not to do so.
  • You may want to shift shopping hours to after dhuhur time (around 1pm) mostly until 11 pm where you will find more people and shops open during this time
  • Some of the best dates and sweets are to be found during this time so stock up!
  • This is the time to shop for clothes and other cool things. — You may want to check out deals here
  • For those who are Muslim this is a great time to complete your Umrah.  You may want to check out this travel group.

Heads up!

  • There are many cool items that are for sale only during the time of Ramadan.  These include beautiful lanterns from Egypt.  The cost will vary but averaging around SR 200 + per piece.  Why not join in on the festivities and get one for your own home!
  • As Ramadan is a fasting month, the demand for food actually increases exponentially which in turns drives up the cost of food.  Prices are expected to increase by 30% for typical groceries. For example: SR 5.95/kg is already SR 7.95/kg, lemons were SR 5/kg but now are SR 11/kg, potatoes were SR 3.95/kg and have now become SR 4.95/kg. Meat will see a price hike of about 15%.  You may want to hold off on buying Camel meat as there has been a recent outbreak of MERS affecting camel meat.  The Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) is working hard to put a cap on rising food prices. You can check out prices here

Finally, we at amuslima.com wish you and your family a blessed, safe and relaxed Ramadan.

An Evening in the Company of Nouman Ali Khan


Well-known and loved Islamic speaker Nouman Ali Khan was in Jeddah last week and spoke to a select audience at a local mosque in the run up to Ramadan. JB reader Zainab binte Shahid and Jeddah Blog writer Haris Ali were lucky to be present among the listeners, and they sent us their reviews of the event.

Eloquent and charismatic, Nouman Ali Khan.

Haris Ali

Being Nouman Ali Khan’s biggest fan (I graciously share this position with a several hundred million or so other Muslims), it felt surreal to walk into the lecture hall of the Islamic Education Foundation, and to see the Islamic Speaker in the flesh – in front of my eyes. It is difficult to explain; he surpassed my expectation in terms of his personality, sense of humour and warmth. Witnessing the Ustadh standing at the Mimbar, ready to deliver his speech on the topic of Ramadan, in my heart indeed, I felt I knew him personally.

His judiciously crafted words and the trustworthiness and sincerity in his voice was just the same as I had heard in his YouTube videos in my free time. After listening to his lectures online, I was so keen to understand and apply the concepts in my life, and to strengthen my Ibadah and Yaqeen.  I felt a greater insight into comprehending the meaningfulness of Allah Almighty’s words in the Qur’an, and the explanations of the Qur’anic stories were given so clearly and authentically, that any person would be keen to listen. These are the attributes that have lead a great many hearts young and old – to their settlement, in a world filled with so many unsettling questions.

Nouman Ali Khan speaking about Islam

Nouman Ali Khan speaking to the gathering at the IEF Centre.

Soon into the talk I realized that throughout my run of listening to the Ustadh speak, I had always been so moved by his knowledge and eloquence in Islamic Principles, true Muslim character, and how the Muslim community in particular must act with each other and with those outside it.

He spoke particularly on the occasion, about giving proper Da’wah to non-Muslims, inviting them to Islam through justice and reason, as Islam was a gift to us by our Lord, the Creator, and so it is our duty to respectfully and honestly propagate the True Word of the Merciful Creator, the Eternal to those who are but lost and in a deep abyss of darkness. The Ustadh conveyed, that we need not have endless resources, but only the assurance in our hearts from the Lord, Most Merciful to truly convey the message. As he quoted the Prophet Moses in the Quran, faced with the difficult task of confronting the cruel and self-important tyrant, the Pharaoh:

رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لِي صَدْرِي وَيَسِّرْ لِي أَمْرِي وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِنْ لِسَانِي يَفْقَهُوا قَوْلِي

Rabb-ishrah li sadri, wa yassir li ‘amri, Wah-lul ‘uqdatam-min-li-saani, Yaf-qahuu qawlii

O my Lord! Open for me my chest (grant me self-confidence, contentment, and boldness); Ease my task for me; And remove the impediment from my speech, so they may understand what I say
[Surah Ta-Ha; 20:25-28]

It was indeed a wonderful speech Mashaa’Allah, from Nouman Ali Khan (may Allah grant him and his family Paradise), telling us not to solely focus on ourselves this coming Ramadan the most blessed month of the Qur’an’s revelation, but to spread the brilliant message of Islam, and that is not difficult to do so, as we are in desperate need to ask Allah to ‘open our chests’ and so our task shall be made easy for us Inshaa Allah.

Nouman Ali Khan, inspiring generations.

Zainab binte Shahid

Assalam O Alaikum. My dream, no our dream just came true!! Our Beloved Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan aka NAK was here in Jeddah, and by the grace of Allah I got a chance to visit one of his lectures. Approximately one thousand people attended the event and the whole crowd was excited; I even felt butterflies.

As for those who aren’t familiar with Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan’s work, he is the founder, CEO And lead instructor at Bayyinah Institute, in Dallas.

He discussed topics regarding Ramadan, Dawah and our relationship with the Qur’an with the reference of Surah Taha and Surah Al-Kahf and their linguistic miracles.

He first told the story of Musa (a.s.) which is in Surah Taha. When Musa (a.s.) was sent to the Pharaoh to deliver the message of Allah (swt), Musa (a.s.) was worried that he would be unsuccessful due to the weight of the duty, but he took refuge in the vast grace of his Lord.

“(Moses) said: O my Lord! Expand me my breast;

   Ease my task for me;

   And remove the impediment from my speech.

   So they may understand what I say:” Surah Taha(25-28)

We learn from his story that we should always seek help from Allah in any difficult situation rather than seeking it from the people.

Ustadh Nouman also gave an example from our Prophet’s (saw) life. Princes used to come from Egypt to learn from the Prophet (saw). So when one came in to the Prophet’s congregation wearing those expensive clothing and jewels, seeing the poor people with torn clothes, he refused to sit with them, so Allah (swt) revealed to the Prophet (saw):

“And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance. And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is ever [in] neglect” Surah Al Kahf:28

He (swt) tells the Prophet (saw) not to even look at him and not to even turn his eyes and be with those who call upon their Lord.

Suppose if a man comes to your charity and gives you a big cheque to donate for a masjid, but says I don’t believe in zakat. You may think to yourself that if you engage in discussion with him to teach him about zakat, you won’t get the cheque. You might decide to set religion aside for ten minutes and and take the cheque and teach him later. But no, you can’t do that, not even temporarily. We should not choose the world over Allah. The lesson we learn from this is that we should not prefer worldly resources, rather use the Book of Allah as a resource and seek the company of the believers. Never to compromise Allah when it comes to worldly desires.

His suggestion on making Ramadan productive: choose a surah (chapter) of about 2-3 pages. Find a lecture on it online and recite it day by day and eventually you will start understanding it. By the end of Ramadan you will be one surah closer to Allah.

Everyone was given a free book “Basic Dawah 101” courtesy of the organisers, written by Ryan Fawzi Arab.

Final Exit? Leaving for Vacation this Summer? Have you Made Arrangements for Your Pet Yet?


The summer months usually mean that vacations are being planned, trips aboard being booked and ACs put on full blast. Though it’s a season generally spent relaxing with family and friends, for the expat community it can also be that time of year when people decide to leave and not come back. Work contracts come to an end and tickets are booked one way. On a positive note, it is also a time of blessings through the holy month of Ramadan, where families get together and extend their hearts towards helping communities and those in need. Though summer represents many beautiful aspects, sadly it’s also the time of year where we see an increase in pets being left behind and desperately seeking new homes.

In our latest blog post Sonja Svensek, Jeddah Blog columnist and guardian angel to Jeddah’s pet community, discusses the problem of pets being left behind during the summer, and gives us plenty of practical alternatives to ensure our furry friends stay happy and well-looked after.

dont leave me beind 4

Pets are for life.

Plan in Advance

Currently, at PIN (Pets in Need) we get at least one message per day from someone who wants to give their pet away because the family has decided to leave for the summer and their plans did not include their four-legged friend. Reasons such as ‘we don’t have the time to process Fido’s travel documents’ to ‘we are leaving on final exit’ are quite common during the summer months because people cannot deal with the sudden situation they find themselves in.

There are also cases where the pet is just left behind to fend for themselves because people think there are no other alternatives. One young pup was tied to a dumpster when the individual packed up and left for his vacation last summer. Veterinary clinics usually have a high number of cats at their boarding facilities which never get picked up again because their owners don’t claim them back. What does this mean for your pet?

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Don’t leave me behind. When You Move Away…I Won’t ‘be Alright’!

The sad truth is that your pets are not thought of as a priority and don’t always get another chance of finding a loving home again after you leave. The lucky ones who find another home might take time to readjust, but the others who are not so lucky will either end up at being sold at pet stores, the animal souk or end up being used for breeding and business purposes or simply abandoned where they are at risk of being run over, abused or killed.

We also hear that Pest control carry out more visits during the summer months on compounds where more cats are found left outdoors roaming around because the owners have moved. The only way you can guarantee your pet’s safety and well-being, is to ensure your pet stays with you, or to make well-planned prior arrangements.

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A large number of pets will end up being sold at pet stores, the animal souk or end up being used for breeding.

Boarding Facilities

Many schools have already closed for the summer vacation, and we have consequently seen a huge number of animals being posted looking for new homes. Those working for privately owned and run animal rescue organizations in the Kingdom, are bursting at the seams trying to help every pet they get notified about, but the reality is there simply aren’t enough homes for the animals being left behind. Boarding facilities are limited in their capacity of offering pets a temporary place to stay, and adopters cannot guarantee that the pet will be wanted after they are taken in.

Pet-sitting to Buy Time

I urge pet owners to be responsible in making arrangements for their pet before they travel. Animal welfare groups can encourage you to connect with like minded individuals who might be willing to pet-sit whilst you are away, which you could then return the favour at a later stage. Arrangements with family members, close relatives or friends you trust might be able to assist with travel documents if more time is needed to fly your pet out to you.

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If you know you are leaving the country for good, please take your pet with you.

It’s important to know that domesticated pets will not survive on the streets – regardless of the animal instincts they have. Having experienced a certain routine and been part of family life will not guarantee the same lifestyle in someone else’s home. The simple fact is that owning a pet is a huge lifetime reasonability, meaning that planning ahead is key, and your pet needs to be included in your plans.

If you are in fact spending the summer months in the Kingdom, please take note of the hot weather. Pets left in a hot car or out in the sun can die of heat exhaustion within minutes.

How Can I Help?

For those who are not travelling during the summer, perhaps you can get in touch with PIN and its members to look after someone’s pet? There are people who are in desperate situations, and time is not on their side if they have been informed of a final exit. They may not have the privilege of arranging papers in time, and they can be assisted by people who could help in the meantime.

Be Responsible

If you know you are leaving the country for good, please take your pet with you. If for whatever reason you know you cannot, make the necessary arrangements beforehand, bearing in mind that there are already hundreds of unwanted pets still looking for homes. Summer is supposed to be a season of joyous experiences filled with opportunities of creating good memories, and as a responsible pet owner, you can ensure the same opportunity is offered to your pet.

Useful Links

For more information about Animal up for adoption, please visit PIN on Facebook.

To know more about dogs being rescued and up for adoption, visit Open Paws Jeddah.

For cat rescues and cat adoptions, visit Gus’s Hope.

 

Summer Camps 2015


As we do each year, Jeddah Blog is compiling a list of Summer Camps and activities for 2015. If you are organising a camp and would like us to publish the details, please do get in touch with the details.

My Creative Ramadan Summer Camp

Dates: 21st June – 7th July, 3 days per week: Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday

Time: 12-3pm

Price: SR1200

Ages: 3-7 years

Islamic Hour, Jewelry Making, Arts & Crafts

Ballet – Irish Tap, Cooking, Organic Gardening

Dress-up Story Time and Organic Snacks provided!

Ages 8-15 years:

Islamic Hour, Jewelry Making, Ballet-Irish Tap – Interpretive

Cooking, Organic Gardening, Sewing

Contact 0594846200 or email motion.boutique.jeddah@gmail.com

Summer of Therapies

summer of therapies Hope Center

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Glitter Workshop – 10 Days of Creativeness

For ages 5 years or above.
5 exciting projects. Craft material for each student is included in the package.
Mornings 10am- 12pm
Location: al Hamra, Jeddah
Fee: SR 100
For further details contact 0536330616

glitter workshop

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Ramadan Volunteering Food Distribution Program


volunteering in Ramadan

 Seeking to do good works this Ramadan?
 Wish to give back to the community?
 Looking to volunteer your time for a worthy cause?
 Are you a teen seeking to get involved in social programs? 
 Need community hours for High School graduation and University admissions?

Look no more!

Get Involved with Jeddah’s Premier Volunteering Program for Social Work. The International Community in Jeddah is currently recruiting teens to volunteer for food their Ramadan Food Distribution Program.

Who can participate?

 Adult
 Teens
 Minimum Age 13 years
 Males and females

Days and Times
 1st Ramadan to 30th Ramadan
 4:30 – 6:30 pm daily

Meeting Point
‣ Volunteers will be notified once they have registered.

Distribution Districts
‣ Volunteers will be dispatched in groups under the supervision of a team leader. There will be eight locations as follows: South of Jeddah, Ruwais, Ghulail, Karantina, Gurayat and Balad.

 Certificates to all International Community in Jeddah volunteers stating volunteering hours can be arranged upon request.

Contact Person
 Ally Durvesh: 0599998894

Interview with Faran Tahir: Pakistani-American Muslim in Hollywood


Best known for his role as Raza in Iron Man and Captain Robau in Star Trek, Pakistani-American actor Faran Tahir talks exclusively to Anousha Vakani for Jeddah Blog about his career, his upcoming works and his recent acting workshop conducted right here in Jeddah.

faran-tahir

Faran speaks to Jeddah Blog

Faran Tahir comes from a family of actors and writers, so we asked him what it was like growing up around artists and to what degree that influenced his decision to get into the acting field: “Your environment can of course have a significant influence on who you are, although no one in my family pushed me to pursue this as my career, on some level, I always knew that this is what I wanted to do.” His father, Naeem Tahir, an actor, scholar and dramatist also appeared in the immensely popular Pakistani movie Khuda Ke Liye. In a 2013 interview with Geek Mom, Faran Tahir explains that he loves stories; whether he’s reading them, attempting to write them or bringing them alive onscreen, as it has been a part of him and his family for decades.

Faran Tahir as Raza in Iron Man

Faran Tahir as Raza in Iron Man

Faran Tahir has appeared on stage, alongside drama and films. He has acted in episodes of Law and Order, The West Wing, Charmed and Grey’s Anatomy to name a few. His films include Picture Perfect, Elysium and Escape Plan. When asked which the better experience was, he replied, “To me, it depends what story we are trying to tell. Different stories require different mediums.” He adds that he doesn’t have a favourite role as, “The way I see it is that one should always give everything one has got to every role otherwise you are doing that character a disservice.”

Faran Tahir as Captain Robau in Star Trek

As Captain Robau in Star Trek

The actor also admits that he is careful when choosing roles that may represent religion in a negative light, he goes on to say that while there are challenges to being a Pakistani Muslim in Hollywood, “There are times when one wants to not be labeled as anything but just ‘actor’. However, things are changing. There are better and more layered roles. Part of it is because we are increasing in numbers and because the market has become more global.”

Faran Tahir in Escape Plan [3]-1

Faran in “Escape Plan” with heavyweight icons of action Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger

We asked him about his latest venture Flight World War II opening in cinemas tomorrow, “It’s a science fiction movie. I play a pilot of a commercial airline. We take off from Washington DC for London and are hit by a freak lightening storm which throws us back in the past. The passengers and crew then discover that we are now flying over Nazi Germany during World War II. It is my job to bring the passengers and my crew home safely.”

The trailer for Flight World War II can be viewed below.

About other future projects, “I just did a CBS pilot for the series Super Girl. If that goes to series I might have a recurring role on that. I am starting a movie late summer called The 11th, and later this year, I will go play the title role of Othello in Shakespeare’s Othello.”

Jeddah was great. It has a wonderful artistic pulse. I would love to return if I am invited again.

Faran conducts acting workshops on and off, and he recently conducted a workshop in Jeddah on the invitation of the US consulate, “It is my way of connecting with other artists. It is important that we share our knowledge and experience. Jeddah was great. It has a wonderful artistic pulse. I would love to return if I am invited again.” Stay tuned for the release of Flight World War II on the 2nd of June, which, judging by the trailer, is going to be a thrilling ride.

What about the Moms?


It is all too easy to forget about the Carer, the person who is expected to keep it all together 24/7. For the first time, an event was arranged for mothers of children with special needs at the HOPE Center in April.  Moms were taken completely by surprise with the events of the day as they were pampered and indulged, and returned home feeling calmer and happier, ready to face a new day.

Between 9am-1pm, mothers were guided through a series of events which included counselling activities, group discussion and relaxation. The energy levels gradually increased over the morning, reaching a crescendo with a Zumba session. Thanks to generous sponsorship from local companies, the ladies went home with an ample goodie bag along with a sense of rejuvenation.

The schedule for the day had deliberately been kept secret so as to surprise the mothers, who came with open-minds and open hearts.

Uzma Raheem, The Center Director, said: “We hope this will be a first in a series of workshops for the parents. Our aim is to continue to provide psycho-education, boost morale and build support between the mothers.

Head of student affairs and counseling, Kim Lyon, said: “We did a pre- and post-test to see the change in the mothers’ moods.  The forms showed a significant increase in positive feelings, which was very rewarding for us.

“Every lady who attended said they would like to see more of such workshops, and we believe that these can make a big difference to their general well-being. It is exciting to be facilitating such programs here in Jeddah.”

If you were one of the moms present, we would love to hear your thoughts. Drop a quick comment to let us know. Or even if you were not there, what do you think of this initiative?

Summer Camp: Summer of Therapies


HOPE- For Exceptional Needs presents a one of a kind school for kids this summer.

summer of therapies Hope Center

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✦ Speech Therapy
✦ Physiotherapy
✦ Occupational Therapy (sensory integrated activities)
✦ Therapeutic Sessions (for learning difficulties)

Independent outpatient sessions for the same are open for children in mainstream schools requiring additional assistance in specialized areas.

❯ BOOK YOUR SPOT
Email: info@hopeksa.org
Call us: 0566956887 / 0566631176 / 0598599573

Glitter Workshop for Kids


A 10 day workshop will be held from the 1st – 10th June. There will be two batches: morning and evening.

Glitter Workshop Jeddah

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Morning session – 9:30 am – 12:30 pm.

Evening session – 5-8pm.

4 exciting projects will be covered in these 10 days. All materials will be provided to students including all craft items, paints, canvas, beads etc.

Cost: SR100 per student.

Location: Al Malik al Salih road, Alhamra, Jeddah.

Age: 5 years and above.

For further information call 0536330616, email sanahana210@gmail.com or visit the Glitter Workshop Facebook Page.

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