Jeddah Blog

Discover the best of Jeddah!

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

Free Screening for Children at Hope for Exceptional Needs


As a continuation of its tireless efforts, the Hope Centre is holding a free screening event for parents who feel that there may be some problems with their child’s speech, posture, reading, writing or memory.

This should come as welcome relief to parents who suspect their child may be struggling in any of the above areas, and would like a professional opinion on the condition of their child. Hope will also be conducting diagnostics to check if any child is on the spectrum or displaying sings of ADHD, or any other kind of disability or disorder of any kind.

Free Screening for Kids at Hope

What is free screening?

Free screening means assessing your child to see if he/she has any kind of disability or disorder or delay in milestones. Since there is no lab or blood test to tell if your child may have a developmental delay, speech or physical problem the screening will help tell, if your child needs to see a specialist for further tests.

What happens in free screening?

The child gets diagnosed to find out if s/he has any developmental delay, speech, physical or psychological problem.

How does it help?

When any disability is not recognized early, it becomes difficult for children to get the help they need. Many children have delays in language and/or other areas. But, less than half of the children with problems are identified before starting school. During this time, if the child could have received help for these problems he/she may have entered school more ready to learn.

Who needs screening?

Children who show hyperactivity and attention problems, have problems with reading, spellings and retaining matter, writing problems like illegible writing, children showing delay in speech and delay in physical milestones are the people who need screening.

What are HOPE doing?

The Hope Centre is conducting a simple diagnosis for the children to find out whether they need any sort of assistance in the 4 major areas of speech, physiotherapy, psychological and educational.

They are also conducting IQ testing and checking to diagnose for any kind of disability or disorder.

The event is open to all. Call the Hope Centre to book a slot. All details are in the flyer above.

Artisans of Love: Hidden Jewel Tour Series


Arabian Jewel is organising an exclusive visit to Saudi Arabia’s most exclusive interior designer. The pictures below speak for themselves.

Arabian Jewel Tour, JeddahGuided tour
A treasure cove for art and design enthusiasts. Displaying art, interior design, exclusive fabrics, unique furniture and an unmatchable ambiance. Find out from the artist himself what inspires his work, how to integrate stylish interiors and find your personal decor style in your space.

Arabian Jewel Tour 2Hidden Jewel Speaks
“My inspiration is driven from the hidden soul and beauty that relies in all my surroundings. The warmth of desert sand dunes, the calmness of the sea, the rigidness of stones and musical rhythms of nature… Anything that triggers the senses, and challenges the thought.”

Arabian Jewel Tour 3

Date: 12 November at 10:45–12:30

Unique Opportunity
Meet with the artist
Ask questions
Shop for unique interiors
Discover beauty in the heart of Jeddah
Arabian Jewel Tour 4

Register your interest on this event page.

First 6 to RSVP will be granted tour pass
LIMITED audience: 10 participants max
RSVP: By November 7th
All confirmed attendees will be privately emailed map and directions

Papaya: Restaurant Review


A friend and I were due to meet up for breakfast earlier this week, and decided to try someplace new and exciting. I had heard about Papaya from another very close friend who is passionate about everything food-related just a day before, and listening to her rave about Papaya resolved to visit and try it out.

Papaya is located next to Souk Shatee close to Malik Road. From the outside, the restaurant is completely unassuming. If I wasn’t looking out for it, I would probably have just passed it by without another thought. I walked around through the side gate and came to a wooden door. I cautiously opened the door, stepped in and was immediately taken by surprise.

Papaya overview

Spacious with high ceilings.

I had been told that Papaya housed many plants and was unique in its decor, but I was still unprepared for the scene that welcomed me; not only was the seating area huge, it was awash in beautiful, natural light flooding in from the high glass ceiling. I have never seen so much greenery in one space before in Jeddah with foliage growing abundantly throughout the restaurant. Add to that the sounds of trickling water from various water features scattered within and the sounds of birds chirping – it was like stepping through a portal and walking straight into a tropical rainforest.

Papaya light

Flooded in natural light and surrounded by water features.

At this point, I was thinking that even if the food was not up to scratch, it would still have been worth visiting just to experience its ambience. While I was waiting for my friend to arrive the waiters handed me the menu and came back again to ask if I would like to order a drink while I was waiting.

Papaya 2

Comfortable and clean seating.

When my breakfast companion arrived, thanks to suggestions on the buzzing Jeddah Foodies Facebook group, we opted for the cheese and zaatar manaeesh and the cinnamon pancakes. The fresh juice list was quite extensive, and we both decided to try the pinacoladas.

Papaya pancakes

Cinnamon pancakes and Pinacolada.

We were not disappointed in the least. The stack of cinnamon pancakes were topped with just the right amount of cream cheese frosting and extra pancake syrup on the side. They were the fluffiest pancakes I have ever eaten and we both agreed that they were delicious.

Papaya Manaeesh

Cheese and Zaatar manaeesh.

The cheese and zaatar manaeesh was very fresh-tasting and the flat bread was soft and not dry as I have found to be the case in many other eateries.

With just the right combination of pineapple and coconut, the pinacolada was refreshing and hit all the right tastebuds. One of the best I’ve tasted here in Jeddah.

The service was very good with waiters greeting us as we entered and making sure we had everything we needed. Prices were very reasonable at SR 60 per head. Portion sizes were generous, as we even had some pancakes left over to take away.

While browsing the menu I noticed an extensive lunch and dinner selection. I would be interested to find out how those meals would compare. Sadly for me there was no wifi, but overall it was a great dining experience and one I look forward to repeating soon.

If you’ve been to Papaya and would like to share your experience, let us know in the comments below.

Top Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy


Please join me in welcoming our newest guest writer to Jeddah Blog, Dr. Saba Aslam Epthorp. Dr Saba is a gynaecologist from Delhi, North India and has worked at Al Abeer medical centre as a specialist from 2007-2012. She has a number of versatile interests which we will persuade her to discuss with us at some point in the future, but for now she has very kindly agreed to share her tips and information on pregnancy – a must read for all expectant mums (and dads), especially for first-time parents-to-be.

pregnancy-test

To experience pregnancy is every woman’s dream come true. Some conceive naturally and others through lots of treatment and struggle.

On a visit to the doctor during pregnancy, a couple may harbour many questions, such as whether it will be a normal delivery or whether it will be a C- section. One of the most common questions patients ask me is whether they can know the sex of the baby.

Well my dear ladies, the whole process of pregnancy is much more than knowing the gender of the baby or what kind of delivery you will have. You have a full 38 weeks to carry this pregnancy, in other words it is a 9 month process. No doctor in the world can tell you on your first visit whether it will be a girl or boy, or whether you will deliver normally, or otherwise. Especially if it is your first baby, keep in mind that each course of pregnancy is different. Even if your first child was delivered normally, the second is not guaranteed to also be a normal delivery. It all depends on a variety of factors.

Baby feet

THINGS TO REMEMBER ON YOUR FIRST VISIT

1) Confirm your pregnancy with a blood test if you have missed your periods for over 5 weeks. Always tell your doctor about your last menstrual date (if you remember).

2) If the test shows up negative you should still wait for ten days and do not take any medicines to start your periods, because sometimes, even if it is negative, you still could be pregnant.

3)  Likewise, if the home urine pregnancy test shows up as positive, that also does not confirm that you are pregnant.

4) Always confirm with a Serum Pregnancy Test which will show beta hCG hormones which are produced in large quantities in the blood during pregnancy. Non-pregnant levels are too low to show up in the test, so if this hormone level has increased and you have missed your periods, it confirms that you are pregnant.

5) Once it is confirmed that you are pregnant ladies, the next step is that you have to get your blood work done. This means that you need to get your Complete Blood Count, Routine Urine Test, Blood Group and Rh type. And you will need your screening for HIV, HbsAg, HCV and Random Blood Sugar Test.

6) All patients ask me why they must undergo these tests. Well dear ladies, it is for your own good and for the baby. When the doctor asks you for these tests, she is assessing your baseline which in medical terms we call pre-pregnancy blood work. Pregnancy brings about lots of changes in a woman, other than weight gain. For example, the heart changes, kidney function changes, blood volume , Haemoglobin, protein and liver. In non-medical language ladies, your entire body changes with the growing fetus.

7) Therefore always listen to your doctor when he/she asks you to get your investigation done. It for your own good and for baby. Regarding HIV/ HCV/ HBsAg,  it is a must-do test, which is made mandatory by the American Society and Royal Obstetrics Societies and WHO as HIV is a silent and dangerous disease which affects the baby too. If not detected during the screening in early pregnancy, and discovered only later in pregnancy then not only you but even the unborn baby is at high risk. You doctor will ask you to get yourself screened as there are ways to prevent transmission from mother to baby.

The next question I am asked by patients is why the blood group test is required. Blood group type and Rh is important in order to know your haemoglobin levels. Rh type decides whether you are A+ OR B+ OR AB+. In the event of any bleeding or complications during pregnancy, the doctor should be able to inform the blood bank in the hospital to keep your blood type ready in case you need a transfusion. Please note that this test is done only once. You don’t need to repeat it for each pregnancy.

8) HIV HCV and HBsAG is done every two years. Not more frequently than that.

9) Always be cooperative with your visiting doctor when you are asked to be examined for your blood pressure, pulse rate, temperature and weight. All this is important for your doctor to have your baseline. When you visit next, she will know how well your pregnancy is advancing.

10) Now coming to how often you should visit the doctor. It all depends on whether you are experiencing any symptoms of vomiting, abdomen pain, cramping or spotting etc. The warning signs will ascertain when you have to return for a follow-up.

11) According to the WHO and ACOG a woman must be registered. This means that you must go to the hospital and register yourself with your doctor. You must then complete at least three visits in the first three months, at least two visits in your second trimester and two in your last trimester.

In simple terms, make sure to visit your doctor every month in your first three months. Once you reach your fourth month, you have to visit twice; once in your fifth month and then in your sixth month.

12) Each visit you have to bring your previous visit reports and scan reports. The first scan is very important as it will give a clear idea of how old your baby is, and to check for any signs of any abnormality. So NEVER ignore your first scan. Even if the doctor has not specified it, as a patient you can ask your doctor to refer you for an early pregnancy scan if you are over seven weeks due.

13) Please take your medicines prescribed by your attending doctor. Do not ignore them. Apart from folic acid 5mg after food, you can take any other supplements, but avoid any other paracetamol or antibiotics as it does affect the growth of the baby.

14) If you have sadly had an early abortion in the past, or your baby had been born dead, or the baby died after giving birth, or even died after 4 years, you must tell your doctor. Giving all of your history to your doctor is absolutely vital as she will be better equipped to take care of you and your baby in this pregnancy. She will be able to advise you about precautions or don’ts in this pregnancy.

15) The most important thing is to trust your doctor because during the 9 month period it is important for us to develop a healthy relationship with the patient. In case you feel you cannot trust your doctor, then go ahead and change her.

I always tell my patients that if they think I’m not doing my job as a doctor then they can visit someone else. Since the role of the doctor is to take care of not only the mother but the growing baby too, if you cannot trust her advice and opinion then change the doctor. Of utmost importance is the health of you and your baby.

newborn-mother-hand-pa1

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS/ WARNING SIGNS TO VISIT YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY

If you get any of the following signs or symptoms in first three months go visit your doctor immediately, irrespective of time and day. Do not delay.

1. Pain Abdomen; cramps, or backache.

2. Vomiting more than 3 times in a day.

3. Spotting/ Brownish red color discharge/ single episode of fresh bleeding.

4. Severe nausea, loss of appetite, severe gastritis or acid reflux.

Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms from 4-6 months of pregnancy

1. Any fresh bleeding or lower abdomen pain

2. Hardening of your abdomen. Very frequent or any watery discharge or fresh water.

3. Fetal movement less than 10 times a day, ie you haven’t felt your baby move at least 10 times in a day.

Symptoms which warrant a visit to the doctor in the last three months, during which you must visit the doctor every fortnight

1. Keep a watch on any watery fluid being discharged.

2. Fresh bleeding.

3. Severe cramps at regular intervals accompanied by bleeding.

If you have any questions that have not been covered by Dr. Saba in this blog post, leave a comment at the end of this post and we will pass them on to her. Good luck – we wish you all bouncing, healthy babies!

Upcoming Exhibitions at Athr


Athr Gallery will be showcasing three solo artists, Faisal Almalki, Sara Abdu and Ramy Alqthami in the beginning of November. Read on for details.

Faisal Almalki Solo Show

 

LONE CANYON

Faisal Almalki Solo Show

Opening: Sunday, 2nd of November, 2014

03 November, 2014 – 10 January, 2015

Space 01, 5th Floor, Athr Gallery

Faisal Almalki’s upcoming show titled Lone Canyon explores that tiny space between a woman and her veil as the artist encourages the public to see things the way she does.

Sara Abdu Solo Show

 

THE INTANGIBLE BONDS IN OUR EXISTENCE

Sara Abdu Solo Show

Opening: Sunday, 2nd of November, 2014

03 November, 2014 – 10 January, 2015

Space 03, RF Floor, Athr Gallery

In her first solo show titled The Intangible Bonds In Our Existence, Sara realizes the bonds that exist between humans and their surroundings; bonds that link any human to their emotions, realities and dreams; bonds that play an integral role that shape and affect us. She realizes these bonds as a co-existent consciousness within our own existence.

Ramy Alqthami Solo Show

 

AL BITRA

Ramy Alqthami Video Screening

Opening: Sunday, 2nd of November, 2014

03 November – 03 December, 2014

Space 05, 5th Floor, Athr Gallery

Ramy Alqthami revisits ‘Al Bitra’- the concrete block which was given to his family at random by the leaders of his tribe in Taif that bordered his land; a numbered block that easily identified this land as his. In his simple video of its removal, he reexamines the ‘Bitra’ as a representation of an economical, sociopolitical phenomenon that has consumed the state of humans. He poses the removal of a tangible concrete object with the removal of a metaphorical notion of borders and identity.

Ziad Antar Expired Series

 

PREVIEW OF ZIAD ANTAR’S EXPIRED SERIES 

02 November – 03 December, 2014

Space 02, RF Floor, Athr Gallery

Captions (top to bottom)

- Faisal Almalki, Mirror, 2014

- Sara Abdu, A Sleepless Savior Within A Dream Part II, 2014

- Ramy Alqthami, Image still of Al Bitra, 2014

- Ziad Antar, Mecca I, 2012

Copyright © 2014 Athr Gallery.

Jeddah Youth Baseball League


Thanks to Amy for letting us know about this event. Registration is now open for the Jeddah Youth Baseball League. Details are in the flyer below:

Jeddah Youth Baseball League Registration

Textile Workshop


A 3-day workshop teaching a variety of silk painting techniques will be held from the 13th-15th October, 2014.

Some of the techniques that will be taught are:

1. The Serti Technique

2. Salt work

3. Lahorei Salt Work

4. Thick Gutta work

5. Sugar Syrup work

6. Water bath work

7. Tjanting work (complete usage)

8. Fan brush work

9. Batik work including Crush n Crack.

10. Introduction to alcohol usage in silk painting

11. Poppy painting

12. Rozette painting

13. Water spray work

14. Shimmer work

15. Embosse work

16. Foam brush

17. Vinegar work

18. Steam fixing complete

…and many other techniques

Charges: SR 400 which includes all supplies and equipment

Location: Rehab near Pisj-es

Contact number: 0501632765

Click here for registration and further details.

 

Jeddah Food: Beyond Fast Food and Five Star Hotels


Regular readers of Jeddah Blog will know by now that we adore anything to do with food. We’ve covered a range of eateries from business lunches to Teayana, PF Chang’s and Al Baik and we love them all. But where is the local food, I hear you ask?

What is especially exciting about this particular blog post is that it has been written by a true insider of Jeddah. A person who has lived here for nearly all of her life, and who knows Jeddah like the back of her hand.

Today’s guest blogger Qurratulain Sikander lets us in on her favourite haunts where real, local food is served. If you want to experience Jeddah the way that locals do, then you just might want to bookmark this page.

With unlimited social posts, and physical presence of International Food Chains and high-end restaurants in Jeddah, it is no wonder, that one is led to believe that good food is only available in these dine-in scenarios.

Do not underestimate the power of local food and non-international food places to get your taste buds dancing. Today, I will share a select few of my favorite food places, which apologetically do not necessarily host a luxurious interior, but serve up delish food!

  1. Foul and Tameez from your local street vendor

Residing in Al Zahra District, we had a local place which served foul (pronounced ‘fool’), as well as, hot yummy crisp bread called tameez. You do not really need a brand to find this local food. Check your area and for sure you can find one shop selling it. Mostly, it is eaten for breakfast, but can be partaken at any possible time. Priced at less than SR 10 for bread and the lentil (foul), you really can’t go wrong with it! To get an extra kick try squeezing lemon on top of the foul, and pairing the food with an ice cold laban. Simple and yum!

  1. Nakheel Super Market

You can find these non-auspicious grocery stores throughout Jeddah. Despite its humble setting, the bakery serves up some zesty spinach fataeer! These are bread triangles baked with a zesty spinach filling. You can walk in in the morning and request a fresh one to be made.

Zaatar Manaeesh

                        Zaatar Manaeesh

While you’re there, ask for a Manaeesh Labnah; a thin round bread topped with a yoghurt consistency cheese. To get the real local taste, ask for zaatar atop the labneh. Zaatar is a dry herb, which will add several levels of flavor to your Manaeesh. A good point to note, zaatar is known to be great for weight loss. So yes ladies, you can have this with no-guilt. Just do not over-eat the yummy carbs. Pair this with a chilled mushshakil (mixed) juice from the juice section.

  1. Wazzan for fast shawarma and quick fresh juice

Located just across from Ikea on Tahlia Street, this place is no small fish, but considering its presence for more than two decades, it’s definitely worth mentioning. Known to serve up Lebanese cuisine, you can opt to dine in or take-away. The Shawarma is juicy and well paired with pickle and thoum (garlic). I usually do not leave without a tray of Falafeel and Wark-el-Anab (stuffed grape leaves). The taste has been consistently good quality, and considering its long-time presence, I doubt any local who may not have eaten here. So to be a true Jeddahian, hop on to the band-wagon as well!

  1. Kudu for its no-nonsense value breakfast, and a mean Quatro

An Arab brand, you can see Kudu throughout Jeddah, as both stand-alone and food court counters. The breakfast is surely sufficient and value for money. On days of an early morning shopping spree, this was my best choice to eat and hop to retail therapy, while remaining within the mall. Nothing lavish, but simple and clean. What did make Kudu stand out for me, is their introduction of Quatro Sandwich. Now this is not really a local cuisine, but the spicy chicken stuffed into the bun with creamy sauce, is both an ordeal to finish, and a struggle to leave unfinished. Do make sure you get the meal, otherwise, you may regret not having a drink to stop the fire on your tongue. Do not let this stop you though! It is a flavour-bursting wonder!

  1. Ruz Bukhari from the local road shop

Another value for money, with simple succulent meal offering, is the Ruz-Bukhari (ruz is Arabic for rice). This is a pairing of cooked rice, with either grilled whole or half chicken. This comes with sauces like tomato sauce and Tahini (sesame seed) sauce, and the usual salad of onion rings and gerger.

ruz bukhari

The meal is a perfectly satisfying mix for dinner, where the serving is sufficient for more than one person. Make it your weekly take-out. My place of choice was a local shop in Al- Zahra, and before that, in Al-Azizia. So shop around and look for a local provider. This meal is a yummy quick buy and completely satisfies meat eaters.

  1. Mandi

Now Mandi can be either chicken, lamb or even a camel! It’s cooked such that the meat is so tender that it literally slides off the bones.

Chicken and Lamb Mandi

Chicken and Lamb Mandi

The traditional way is to cook the meat while buried in the ground in the desert. However, in the city, pressure cookers seem to be doing this job for the sellers. In terms of where I like my Mandi from, I am loyal to Raydan Mandi. You can find several shops throughout the city. The one I frequent is on Heera Street. Your meat will come with abundant rice, and of course the sauces and salad. Another meal with completely different flavorus to enjoy.

The above are just some of my local treats. What are your local foods of choice? Leave a comment and let us know!

Qurratulain Sikander blogs at Quezz Lifestyle.

Post Navigation

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,558 other followers

%d bloggers like this: