Jeddah Blog

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The Best Mom in the World!


HOPE – For Exceptional Needs brings a one-of-a-kind event for Mothers of children with special needs!

Special Needs Mothers

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Date: 25th April, 2015
Time: 9:00am – 1:00pm
Venue: HOPE – For Exceptional Needs

All mothers of children with special needs are welcome.

This event is FREE

Please contact us to book your spot as attendance is limited.

RSVP by 20th April, 2015
Email: info@hopeksa.org
Or call Hope to book your spot for the retreat: 0566956887 / 0566631176 / 0598599573

Mind Over Matter – Losing Weight with Kim Lyon


Would you say you are happy with your current weight? Statistics show that most people feel they are not doing enough to stay healthy. With the searing weather and sedentary lifestyle in Saudi Arabia, the aspiration to lose weight can be an arduous one.

In this month’s mental well-being article, trainee therapist and Jeddah Blog columnist Kim Lyon discusses the obesity crisis in Saudi Arabia. She outlines various methods of weight-loss, with the mind being arguably the most effective of all.

losing weight

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Weight-loss clinics are mushrooming around Jeddah. Some of them arrange specially formulated meals to be delivered to your door. Others promote bariatric surgery, while yet others tout quick fixes using appetite suppressants and magical weight loss pills. There are hundreds of books on the market, countless sites on the web, and increasing numbers of applications we can bring into our homes. Yet, something is amiss.

Saudi Arabia has an alarming obesity rate. In 2008, the WHO cited 43.5% of females over twenty as being obese, and 29.5% of men. Search ‘obesity’ in the local newspaper archives and you’ll find at least one story per week. Obesity and overweight are major risk factors for diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases. Obesity doesn’t do much for our mental well-being, either. It can lower self-esteem, confidence, and contribute to depression.

weight loss exercise

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Healthy Living

There are several routes to weight loss. The first option is healthy living, in which you’ll develop a healthy eating plan that doesn’t require any special foods. It’ll include physical activity which may be a commitment to being more active on a daily basis.

weight loss diet

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Lifestyle Changes

The second option is weight loss through lifestyle changes. This requires a commitment to changing your lifestyle, restricting your food intake and using a more structured fitness regime.

Medication

The third option is adding medication to the weight loss effort, such as ones that reduce appetite or minimize the absorption of specific nutrients. Research has shown that medication is not usually successful if administered without lifestyle changes. With this option it’s particularly important to be monitored by your physician for side effects.

weight loss counselling

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Weight-loss Surgery

The fourth and final option is weight-loss surgery. These surgeries, including the gastric bypass or gastric banding, alters the amount of nutrients you absorb through your intestine, or the amount of food you can consume. Such measures should be the final resort, as long-term medical care is required afterwards. As with all of these options, surgery is not a magic fix, and also demands changes to how and what you eat.

weight loss CBT 2

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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

In trying to lose weight, our self-worth may become tied to the number on the scale. Weight loss isn’t necessarily the best strategy for improving body image, as many people regain at least some of the weight they lose, with an even body image when they’ve gained back even a little weight. Before you know it, your mood starts to yo-yo along with your weight. Research has shown that lasting improvements to body image have resulted from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for body image. This is a method of counselling which helps a person change the way they think about themselves.

weight loss CBT

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There is also mounting evidence for using CBT to aid any attempt of weight loss. Along with changing what you eat, it’s important to change how you think about food. This is particularly important if you use food to combat negative feelings or stress. Working with a counsellor, you’ll set realistic goals and build on them. By tracking your eating behaviours, you’ll be able to identify patterns and tackle them. Being accountable to someone, and having ongoing support in your weight loss journey, is also invaluable.

What do you have to lose?

Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking with Toastmasters


Fear of public speaking can be debilitating for most people. Whether standing in front of a class, giving an office presentation, or simply introducing yourself at a gathering, or within a group of friends. If you are a quiet sufferer, and would like to overcome your fear, Toastmasters may be just the place for you.

Toastmasters is a nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking and leadership skills. This blog post has been written by Jeddah Blog reader and member of the Jeddah Toastmasters, Rayeesa Tabassum.

toastmasters international logo

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Toastmasters International, celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, has been at the forefront in imparting communication and leadership skills to members all around the world.

Saudi Arabia is District 79 and has over 200 clubs though out the Kingdom. Understanding the need for a ladies only club in Jeddah, TM Shanthi Lakshman, an experienced toastmaster since 2000, decided to start “Jeddah Elite Ladies Toastmasters” club in June 2013. It has grown steadily ever since and now boasts of 26 vibrant ladies from different countries like India, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka.

toastmasters 1

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There are lecturers, supervisors, students, doctors and also homemakers giving the club a unique appeal. The atmosphere is very friendly and welcoming, and female guests are warmly invited to attend their meetings, which are held twice every month.

This is a great place to improve our communication and leadership skills to advance in our careers, to gain better confidence and also to improve our language proficiency. With the shortage of social activities in Jeddah, I personally find this an amazing opportunity to meet new people from different cultures and make friends.

toastmasters 2

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In the words of TM Shanti Lakshman “In Toastmasters, there is no instructor, only facilitators”. There is no teacher-student relationship here. It is the perfect place for people who are terrified of public speaking, people who never got a chance to be on the stage and finally want to face their fear. This place provides support, motivation and encouragement; and members take their own time to progress slowly at their own pace and level of comfort.

As a member of Jeddah Elite ladies, I welcome you all to attend our meeting and experience the magic of public speaking and power of leadership. Hope to see you all there!

For more information, contact Toastmasters via Twitter: @eliteladies, email: jeddah.elite.ladies@gmail.com and Facebook: JeddahEliteLadiesTM

Project Mercy: A FREE Screening Event


Project Mercy of Madinah Munawwarah and the HOPE Center in Jeddah present to you the first ever Pediatric Therapeutic Screening Event.

Hope Free Screening

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Date: 28 March, 2015

Time: 8am-3pm

Location: Ad-Daar Hospital (right across the street from Masjid Quba in Madinah Munawwarah)

If you’d like to volunteer, please sign up with name and time slot of your availability. We are looking for more translators and responsible teens to help out with siblings. (For teens, please include age).

There is also space left if you’d like your child to be screened (quick consult with specialists/professionals)

Questions? Confirmations? Email them to madinah@itherapies.info

Time

Jeddah Book Swap


The first Book Swap meetup is tonight March 19th from 7-9pm.  The event will be held at the Cultural Exchange Center.

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How it Works

Please bring in novels you have finished reading and you can trade them for some “new to you” books for FREE!  Please no textbooks or children’s books and all books must be in English.

The Cultural Exchange Center is near the Turkish Embassy. Click here for the Google map coordinates.

Book Club with Kim Lyon


For book lovers who enjoy some discussion and introspection after a read.

Book Club Advert

Hope Receives 3rd Grant from Boeing


Jeddah Blog was truly honoured to receive an invitation to HOPE – For Exceptional Needs’ award ceremony in February, whereby Hope was bestowed its third grant from Boeing. Having visited the HOPE Centre last in the summer of 2014, I was pleasantly surprised to note many improvements from the construction (such as the bridge between both buildings), to the facilities provided to children (for example the much-improved library and the sensory room).

The event itself was not only very well-organised, but I was struck by the politeness, helpfulness and hospitality of all of the Hope staff present. There was a great degree of attention to detail in the table settings, flower arrangements, food menu, down to the perfectly sharpened pencils and writing pads placed on each table for note-taking purposes.

Read more…

Have You Heard of ‘Liquid Gold’? This could be your Secret Weapon.


Our latest beauty writer, the blogger behind Beauty Chronicles was born in Jeddah. She is a business graduate and has been blogging about makeup, skincare, beauty, fitness and lifeystyle on her blog for almost a year. We are happy to announce that she’ll be writing for Jeddah Blog regularly on beauty-related issues. Make sure to subscribe to the blog to receive automatic updates in your inbox.

In her first guest post, she writes about a hot new product called Argan oil. You’ll not only be amazed to hear about the benefits of Argan oil, but she goes further by telling us where it is available. If you’ve tried Argan oil or have a question for her, do leave a comment at the end of this blog post.

In recent years, an incredible oil called Argan oil has become such a hot commodity that New York Times termed it as “liquid gold”. After its recent popularity, Argan oil has been subjected to numerous researches, and proven studies show that the benefits of this honey-coloured oil with hazelnut flavor is quite impressive.

Pure Argan oil is made from the kernels of nuts from argan trees. Generally argan oil comes in two grades: Culinary and cosmetic. The culinary version tastes like a smokier sesame oil and is exceptionally good for internal organs. The cosmetic grade offers benefit to the largest organ of human body, the skin.

argan oil - liquid gold

The oil’s amazing curative properties have been revered for centuries. Pure argan oil if taken internally, has been shown to fight cancer, cardiovascular diseases and many inflammatory disorders. When applied externally, it can heal from scars to infections, from hair frizz to stretch marks.

Let us take a closer look at how this liquid gold proves to be a miracle worker from beauty to health.

Benefits for Skin, Hair, and Nails

Pure Argan oil’s proven and observed benefits for hair, skin, and nails are extensive .It is also called a dry oil because it gets easily absorbed, and it regulates the pH balance of the skin, which in turn protects against sun exposure. It also reduces skin inflammation, and it controls and reverses skin disorders such as eczema. It can heal from scars to infections, from hair frizz to stretch marks. By restoring the skin’s hydro-lipid layer – the layer of skin responsible for softening, nourishing and protecting skin – argan oil is an exceptional skin tonic.

Here are a few more amazing benefits of argan oil relating to different skin types, hair and nails benefits.

Dry Skin

It nourishes and moisturizes dry, scaly, flaky skin and protects against infection. Mix a few drops in your moisturizer or apply directly twice a day to soften the skin and keep dryness at bay.

Oily Skin

Argan oil is very moisturizing yet it also great for healing. For oily skin, it can regulate sebum production to keep the skin’s natural oils at a healthy level. With regular use, the skin will no longer feel too oily. Mix a few drops of argan oil into your favorite toner, and a few spritz of it will give you the benefits without being too oily.

Irritated/Itchy Skin

Argan oil has anti-inflammatory properties. It can protect the skin from allergens that may cause itchiness, and it can also heal up any blemishes and inflammations. Mix a few drops of Argan oil with chamomile cream and apply to relieve itchy skin.

Acne

Yes, it can also be used for acne control! When used in moderation it can control the overproduction of sebum which causes acne, and soothes down the inflammation caused by acne. And guess what? It can also heal those ugly acne scars if you are dealing with post acne pits. Mix in a few drops of this wonder oil with Aloe Vera gel and massage it into the skin. You will feel refreshed while the oil also does its work. Just be sure not to go overboard for oil application. Once a day is sufficient.

Ageing

Argan oil is perhaps highly acclaimed for its anti-ageing and rejuvenating properties. It stimulates renewal of skin cells, defends the skin against free radical damage, cell degeneration and dryness, and it also boosts elasticity while smoothing wrinkles and lines. Mix a few drops of argan oil with honey and apply for 20 minutes and wash off with warm water. It’s a great anti-wrinkle mask. And massage a few drops of oil once a day, to keep the skin wrinkle free.

Sun Damage

The antioxidant rich oil and special compounds called triterpenoids in the oil protect the skin from UV light and restores skin.

Eczema and Psoriasis

Argan oil is also very beneficial for treating eczema; it helps to alleviate symptoms related to eczema, addresses allergies that trigger eczema. It also helps to deal with inflammatory symptoms related to psoriasis.

Hair

Argan oil also has amazing hair restorative properties, it is highly beneficial from improving everything from split ends to dandruff. It can repair damaged hair. Argan oil moisturizes instantly, and prevents split ends while restoring shine. It is an amazing frizz tamer. Create a mixture with one parts of argan oil with two parts of olive and castor oil, use twice a week and see your hair getting thicker, healthier and shinier. Create an easy leave in frizz tamer by mixing a few drops of argan oil with water and store in a water bottle; a few spritz on wet hair works as a great leave in and frizz tamer.

Scalp protector

It keeps the scalp in healthy condition and well nourished. It can also combat dandruff, keeps the roots of hairs hydrated and protected.

Nails:

Keeps nails strong and healthy and restores natural shine while easily resolving brittle nail problems. Strengthens nails and cuticles

Health Benefits of Argan Oil

Now, let’s take a look at the health benefits of Argan oil.

  • Argan oil being high in anti-oxidants especially Vit E and made up of around 80 percent unsaturated fatty acids, is particularly effective as an anti-inflammatory agent. When taken orally it helps to decrease inflammation throughout the body.
  • Argan oil also acts as a heart promoting agent, it helps to lower down cholesterol and it also aids to stimulate circulation.
  • Researches show that argan oil can also help to relive arthiritc and rheumatic conditions, because it dramatically boosts the blood flow. And it is very effective in easing the arthritic pains.
  • Argan oil can stabilize blood sugar. It helps to treat diabetes and hypertension. Argan oil is able to fight insulin resistance, it can also prevent obesity related health issues and it also aids in lowering blood pressure.
  • Argan oil is made up of a unique combination of two rare plant sterols (schottenol and spinasterol)which is not found in any other oil. The combination of these sterols has shown results to stop malignant cancer cells from spreading.
  • Argan oil increases the production of pepsin (the protein that stimulates digestion)in the stomach which aids the digestive process, culinary grade argan oil encourages a healthy digestive system.

HOW TO USE ARGAN OIL

As a food source, the oil is delicious. In Morocco, it is eaten with bread, couscous, salads, and more. You can also try making “Amlou,” – the Moroccan equivalent of peanut butter. Simply grind roasted almonds into pure Argan oil and enjoy the rich taste of this healthy alternative to your favorite nut spread. You can consume up to 1-2 tablespoons of argan oil each day in order to take advantage of its therapeutic or preventative properties.

Many cosmetic companies feature argan oil as a primary ingredient in creams, lotions, shampoos and facial masks, but pure argan oil used alone is also a wonderful option.

In case you have any nut allergies, test argan oil before using. There have been a few cases where it has caused an allergic reaction. You can always test the oil on the inside of your arm to make sure that you do not react to it, and ingest a small amount for oral intake to check reaction and if you are nut allergic its better to avoid taking it internally.

PURCHASING ARGAN OIL

Raw argan oil can have an unpleasant “nutty” flavor, but you can purchase refined argan oil that has undergone a steam process to “deodorize” the oil. The oil slathers on thick, but absorbs quickly, leaving skin soft, smooth and supple..

Now, this is the most important part of the whole page. It is really important to get actual high-quality oil. Unfortunately, there are many companies/vendors who take advantage of consumers by replacing argan oil (in part or in whole) with low quality based oils and create a cheaper version with more quantity. Be careful, cheaper versions will not have the benefits of argan oil. Rather than skimp on quality, it would be better to simply skip argan oil as a whole.

A low-quality oil will not give you the same oil benefits as it will not have the same concentration of nutrients. You get what you pay for. It is definitely worth it to be wary and read labels carefully. When selecting argan oil, look for the percentage of argan oil that is present, and whether it has been cold-pressed. Stay away from unknown random options.

A few of the good options for argan oil are

  1. Josie Maran Argan oil. This is 100% argan oil available at Limited Editions, Sephora website.
  2. Acure argan oil. 100% argan oil available at soap.com, they ship internationally.
  3. Now Foods Argan oil, available at iherbs.com, they ship internationally.
  4. Life-flo Pure Argan Oil, available at soap.com , they ship internationally.
  5. The Body Shop Wild argan oil, available at Body Shop outlets.
  6. Ogx Smooth Hydration Argan Oil & Shea Butter Moisture Restore Weightless Oil. This is a mixture oil and not pure. It is not very promising compared to pure oil, but it is the least expensive version to try. Available at Nazih stores in KSA and at soap.com. International shipping.

Beauty Chronicles is a Saudi-based blog about beauty, health and market/sale updates.

Become Stronger, Healthier and More Confident with Martial Arts


Details of the latest Blue Wave Club Martial Arts are below:

blue wave self defence women

Do we really need Professional Therapy?


In this month’s mental well-being column, trainee therapist Kim Lyon discusses whether we really need professional therapy and points us towards many centres in Jeddah offering help from life coaching to more intense consultations. If you, or someone you know feels they need help to get their life back on track, then do share this post with them.

Imagine you are at a social event, talking to someone new. “What do you do?” They say, “I’m a psychologist.” Do you suddenly find an excuse to move away? The truth is psychology doesn’t have a glamorous reputation. Spread through the media or otherwise, an array of misconceptions exist around psychology and therapy. There is a stigma attached to seeking out a professionally-trained ear when times are tough.

Many people do not question spending a couple of hundred riyal on a personal trainer, or a tutor. Yet when it comes to their mental well-being, there may be a reluctance to spend money. Or, a person may not know where to find the help they’re looking for. They may go to the doctor and take a prescription for Prozac or some such, which may only mask symptoms.

Person Whisperer

Times are changing in Saudi Arabia. In Jeddah there are a growing number of mental health resources, and a far cry from dingy psychiatric wards. Maabar Social Consultancy and the ACT Centre are two such places in Jeddah, where discretion and confidentiality are paramount. Both are private independently run buildings, designed to feel homely and with a relaxing atmosphere. The ACT Center aims to provide a safe space for people to come and talk.

It may come as a surprise to learn of the variety of therapies that are happening in Jeddah. Cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness, meditation, art therapy, family therapy, couples counseling, and play therapy are all on offer. Reiki, energy flow and parenting workshops are also available. The website Psych Central has an excellent description of each type of therapy. Or, if you’re still unsure, stop by for a complimentary consultation.

Defense Mechanism

If you are feeling stuck in an area of your life, or your self-esteem has taken a knock, then perhaps a few sessions of life-coaching could help put you back on track. Change is never easy, but part of a psychologist’s job is to elicit and effect transformation. Many of your resolves for the New Year may have faded, but perhaps it’s time to go back to the drawing board, and make some investment in me, myself and I. Life’s a journey, so clear out some emotional baggage and prepare to travel light!

How to Say ‘No’


I would hazard a guess that most of us suffer from the ‘disease to please’. Learn to say no and to let go, in this invaluable workshop by trainee therapist Kim Lyon.

Learning How To Say No

Martial Arts with the Blue Wave Club


Activities for children are always in demand in Jeddah. Contact 2nd dan black belt Nancy Boydston on the number in the flyer below for details on her martial arts classes.

martial arts flyer

Did You Miss Maisah Sobaihi’s One Woman Show?


Award winning Maisah Sobaihi returns once again to entertain us with her play Head Over Heels in Saudi Arabia at the Effat University. If you missed this talented lady’s past performances, then this is your chance to watch this exhilarating, fun and heart-warming play.

Click here to purchase tickets which will be on sale from the 15th of February. You can choose either the English or Arabic performance (details are below). If you’re still a little unsure then read our review of Head Over Heels here.

I, for one, will be looking forward to Maisah’s performance. If you decide to go, drop us a line and let us know your thoughts.

Head Over Heels English Flyer

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

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