Jeddah Blog

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Eid ul-Fitr in Jeddah


In a day or two, depending on the sighting of the moon, Ramadan will be over, and Eid celebrations will be in full swing. Eid ul-Fitr, (Festival of the Fast) marks the end of the month of fasting for Muslims. For most of us in Jeddah this will mean three days of celebrations with family. For expats it may be quite different as they will be spending time away from family back home.

http://jeddahblogdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/4131c-eid_mubarak.jpg?w=383&h=274

The most popular greeting heard will be ‘Kul ‘am wa antum bikhair’ meaning ‘May every year find you in good health”. The easier greeting regardless of one’s native language is ‘Eid Mubarak’ or ‘Blessed Eid’.

Zakat-uk-Fitr rice Jeddah Saudi Arabia

Rice can be bought for distribution to the needy.

In case you are wondering about the stalls selling bags of rice popping up all over Jeddah, these can be bought and distributed to the needy as ‘fitrah’, or the charitable amount which is obligatory for Muslims to give to the needy before Eid ul-fitr so that they may also participate in the festivities of Eid. Fitrah is also known as ‘fitrana’ or ‘zakat ul-fitr’. This article gives details on the Zakat ul-fitr and its calculations.

Whether resident or expat, teen or adult, we would love to know how YOU plan to celebrate Eid this year. Leave a comment and let us know.

 

 

 

Shaikh Arshad Basheer Madani in Jeddah


An Islamic lecture by Arshad Basheer Madani, founder and director of AskIslamPedia.com, followed by Iftar and dinner will be held on the 22nd July, 2014 in Jeddah from 4:30-8pm.

Lessons From Each Surah

(30th Parah: Surah Naba to Surah Naas)

(Quran 18:23,24)

Shaikh Arshad Basheer Madani in Jeddah

Lessons from Each Surah Dr. Shaik Nowhera

 

Treasure Island Festival


A Jeddah Blog reader has sent in the below information about a festival taking place from the 2nd day of Eid until the 11th day of Eid.

Be sure to book your tickets now as seats are limited.

The Treasure Island Festival will include daily gifts and a lucky draw and a treasure hunt. There will be special surprise gifts for the first 50 passes. Activities include: jet ski, banana boat, desert bikes, segmented shopping arcade and a night to remember featuring national and international artists.

It sounds like a fun day to be enjoyed with your family and friends.

Treasure Island Festival, Durat ul Aroos

Contact 0563235353 for tickets.

Jewels of the Desert, Saviours of Ramadan


Imagine my surprise when, while browsing the blogosphere this Ramadan, I came across a drink called Date Nabeez. Living in Jeddah for more than a decade, and I had never even heard of nabeez before, so on reading further I discovered that this was not only highly nutritious, but it was a favourite drink of the Prophet Muhammad (saw). Thanks to the wonderful author of said blog Karimah Bint Dawoud, I tried making the juice and fell in love with it. I even passed on the recipe to my Dad who is now blitzing it up regularly. Suffice to say, it is fast becoming a family favourite for Ramadan.

In keeping with the Ramadan theme in this blog post, Karimah explores the history of the date palm in the Saudi region. She brings to light the amazing nutritional benefits of this fruit, and its references in Qur’an and Sunnah. Finally, she discloses her recipe for Date Nabeez. Try it, and tell us what you think.

The date palm is the symbol of Saudi Arabia and for good reason. It has been in the land for over 10, 000 years, taken by Alexander the Great to Pakistan, and the Khalifa Abdualrahman Aldakel to Spain, Andalusia. The date palm tree and two swords in saltire underneath, are the emblem of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Dates were  central to the Saudi economy long before oil.  Saudi Arabia, along with its sister country Egypt, are the top date producing countries in the world, and have been for hundreds if not thousands of years. The largest oasis in the world is in Saudi Arabia. It’s located in Al-Hassa , in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. There they grow, process, pack and worldwide-export Saudi Arabian dates of different varieties. There are over 300 varieties of dates in Saudi Arabia alone.

The Al-Ahsa region boasts over 10 million palm trees. The Ministry of Agriculture has set up a factory to process its rich output of dates, amounting to five tons daily, mashallah!

date nabeez prep 14 014

Photo credit: Karimah bint Dawoud

The date palm is part of the Phoenix  family of trees. Phoeonix is the Latin name for a classification of trees that grow in various parts of the world. Like the phoenix bird in ancient roman and  Greek mythology, a bird that arises from the fire, these amazing trees often arise out of hot arid land to produce the most exquisite sweet fruits that are like multivitamin and minerals packaged in a convenient carry case. Dates are essential to have in your house during Ramadan. It is said in Islam that a house with dates will not go hungry.

You cannot have Islam without dates, they go hand in hand. They are sacred foods mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah.

“It is He Who sends down water (rain) from the sky, and with it We bring forth vegetation of all kinds, and out of it We bring forth green stalks, from which We bring forth thick clustered grain. And out of the date-palm and its spathe come forth clusters of dates hanging low and near, and gardens of grapes, olives and pomegranates, each similar (in kind) yet different (in variety and taste). Look at their fruits when they begin to bear, and the ripeness thereof. Verily! In these things there are signs for people who believe.” – (  سورةالأنعام  , Al-Anaam, Chapter #6, Verse #99)

“And shake the trunk of date-palm towards you, it will let fall fresh ripe-dates upon you.” – (  سورةمريم  , Maryam, Chapter #19, Verse #25)

Fasting and Dates

The Messenger of Allah, salah la alaihi wa salem, said: “If one of you is fasting, he should break his fast with dates. If dates are not available, then with water, for water is purifying.” [Ahmad]

Salman ibn Amir Dhabi related that the Prophet said: “Break your fast with dates, or else with water, for it is pure.” (Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi).

Nutrition in Dates

Narrated Sa’d: The Prophet said, “If somebody takes some ‘Ajwa dates every morning, he will not be effected by poison or magic on that day till night.” (Another narrator said seven dates). (Sahih Bukhari)

How do we make this relative to the 21st century and Ramadan?

There is wisdom in everything the Prophet Muhammad (salah la alaihi wa salem) did,  and now we have the scientific evidence to back it up. Dates are a super food and here’s why:

Dates contain significant amounts of vitamins  A and K. Vitamin A is good for your eyes’ mucous membranes that get de-hydrated during fasting. They even contain chemical that protect the mouth the lungs from cancer, maasha’Allah. Vitamin K is essential for helping to regulate the consistency of the blood and helping it clot.

There is something in the fibre of the dates that binds it to cancer forming substances in the intestine. They also contain loads of minerals that each have their own unique healing powers; calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin. For example the potassium in dates is an electrolyte, which helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure that can be affected by dehydration. Potassium is also essential for regulating the body’s water balance and  building proteins and muscle, affected by fasting. Potassium also metabolizes carbohydrates and controls your acid-base balance.

The combination of  fibre minerals  and vitamins in dates are an excellent natural way to combat strokes, heart problems, stomach and indigestion as well as giving you a fat-free energy boost.

date nabeez prep 14 032

Photo credit: Karimah bint Dawoud

Nabeez (Nabidh, Nabeeth)

Every morning I soak 7 dates per person in 500ml water after rinsing them and taking out the stones. I leave them until a couple of hours before Maghrib, then blitz them in the blender, adding more water if necessary. A wonderful cream coloured, cloudy, frothy drink appears, then separates after it has been left in the fridge a while. This nutritious drink is known as nabeez, nabeth or nabidh. It is also part of the  Sunnah, the traditional ways of the Prophet Muhammad.

The Prophet Drinks Nabidh

In ‘The Book of Marriage’, in the chapter on ‘The Women Standing And Serving the Men at Wedding Celebrations’, and in ‘The Book of The Dried Fruit and Drinking what does not Intoxicate at Weddings’, al-Bukhari reported: From Abu Hazin from Sahl: “When Abu Usayd al-Sa’idi got married, he invited the Prophet (S.A.W.) and his companions. None prepared the food for them and brought it to them but his wife, Umm Usayd. She soaked some dates in water in a stone pot overnight, and when the Prophet (S.A.W.) had finished his food, she provided him with that drink (of soaked dates)”.

date nabeez melon juice

Photo credit: Karimah bint Dawoud

Muslim narrated this report under “The Book of Drinks”, in the chapter on “The Permissibility of [drinking] Nabidh which has not Fermented nor become an Intoxicant”. From here, the drinking of nabidh began and the rulers allowed the drinking of wine, claiming it was permissible as long as it did not intoxicate.

It is not a wine in the European sense of wine because it is not drunk when it has been fermented to the point of fermentation where alcohol is present. Islamically, this is not allowed nor necessary for optimum nutrition.  The Hadith says in  the  Translation of Sahih Muslim, Book 23:

The Book of Drinks (Kitab Al-Ashriba) “Book 023, Number 4954:

Ibn Buraida, on the authority of his father, reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: “I had forbidden you from the drinking (and preparation of) Nabidh in the vessels made out of leather, but (now) you may drink in all vessels, but you do not drink an intoxicant.”

It is best on all levels, mind, body and  soul, to drink fresh nabeez. It has been reported in Tibb Nabawi circles, by Indian workers on the Saudi Arabian oil rigs, that this drink is one of the best things to get a person though the day while fasting.

Mixed with blended water melon at iftar time it provides the most natural best drink for revitalizing the kidneys and refreshing all the body’s organs and cells. Drunk  freshly blended, it is reminiscent of caramelized toffee in a drink form, It is lovely and this is one drink I will not put down insha’Allah.

 

The Language of Human Consciousness


An upcoming exhibition this month by the Athr Gallery in Jeddah will be delivering the largest exhibition in Saudi Arabia on arts inspired by the study of geometry.

The Language of Human Conciousness - Athr Art Gallery

Dates and Timings

Jul 10 – Oct 10, 2014

Saturday to Thursday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm (Ramadan Time: 12 – 5 pm / 9.30 pm – 12 am)

Location

Athr Gallery

5th & RF Floors, Serafi Mega Mall, Tahlia St, Jeddah,

For thousands of years, the question of whether the basics of geometry came naturally to all humans or if they had to be taught; has been explored. According to Plato’s writings, Socrates attempted to determine how well an uneducated slave in a Greek household understood geometry, and eventually concluded that the slave’s soul ‘must have always possessed this knowledge’.

In the midst of startling havoc; humans by this very instinct seek to find order in this chaos, to reason with it; translating it to a language that is perhaps visual and universal is a common field of exploration for scientists and artists alike.

Athr Gallery will deliver a groundbreaking exhibition titled The Language of Human Consciousness in July 2014 and will include work by over 40 artists from around the world. Most of these artists will be exhibiting work for the first time in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East at large. To inaugurate the opening on July 10, Director of TATE Modern London, Chris Dercon will moderate a discussion with pioneering artists in the field.

Athr Gallery has established itself as a leading cultural institution, in which providing a platform for local Saudi artists is at its core. Through this exhibition – in which both local and international artists will be showcased side-by-side – the intended impact and potential benefits are twofold: establish an association between local Saudi artists and leading international artists, and provide an opportunity for the public to experience international culture through a local exhibition.

The Language of Human Consciousness takes geometry as a starting point, accepting its heritage as a symbol of purity, intelligence and perfection and bringing it towards a more contemporary interpretation as a language for exploring the atypical, the imperfect and the alternative. Works are brought together that seek to dissect segments of times, contexts and places and open them up to universal interpretation. The works, in the potency of the contradiction between their infinite possibilities as geometric compositions and the range of their references – social, political, art historical or other – are reduced to a neutral ground: to a human and conceivable form.

The exhibition will examine geometry in a comprehensive exhibition that showcases a multitude of applications in geometry. The dynamic exhibition will include sacred geometry as well as work that unconventionally utilizes geometry, an example of the latter would be the work of Sama Mara, who will present a series titled A Hidden Order, a culmination of several years of collaboration between composer Lee Westwood and artist Sama Mara; where they attempted to interpret music into a visual geometric form. To realise this ambitious exhibition, Athr Gallery has collaborated with over 20 leading galleries around the world – From Lisson Gallery in London to Galleria Continua in San Gimignano and The Third Line in Dubai.

Image and text courtesy of Athr Gallery

YIG Ramadan Volunteering Food Distribution Program


YIG Ramadan Volunteering Food Program

  • 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 further – Get Involved with YIG: Jeddah’s Premier Volunteering Program for Social Work

Who can participate?
-Adult
-Teens
-Minimum Age 13 yrs
-Males & Female

Days and Times
-1st Ramadan to 30th Ramadan
-4:30-6:30 PM Daily

Meeting Point
Daily at Park Hayyat, Jeddah

Distribution Districts
Volunteers will be dispatched in groups from Park Hayatt under the supervision of a team leader.

Locations

8 locations, South of Jeddah, Ruwais, Ghulail, Karantina, Gurayat, Balad

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

Contact Persons

For more information, visit the Event page.
Mohammed: 0566714188
Ally Durvesh: 0599998894

Stay three nights in a Radisson Blu Hotel in Saudi Arabia and enjoy an exciting one night stay in Dubai


Radisson Blu

Summer for the Radisson Blu Hotels has always been the season for big opportunities and exciting experiences. The 2014’s summer season isn’t absolutely an exception. Radisson Blu, one of the world’s leading brands located in different prime locations including major cities, airports, gateways and leisure destinations around the world launched for this summer a special offer for its customers in KSA allowing many of them to enjoy the Radisson Blu’s hospitality and relaxation.

If you are planning to stay for three nights in one of the Saudi Arabian Radisson Blu Hotels then be ready to win a free weekend night in Dubai. The lucky winners will enjoy the charm of a unique experience that combines world-class travel with unprecedented personal service that will make every guest feel both comfortable and taken care of thanks to the attentive hospitality and high quality service.

Haven’t you decided yet where to stay in KSA? There is no need to be confused. All you have to do is to click on the following link: www.radissonblu.com/ksahoteldeals and get your hotel booked in one of the most special places in Saudi Arabia. Once the booking is validated for three nights then you will have a certain opportunity to win a free night stay in Dubai for an astonishing experience that will certainly mark your summer.

- Sponsored by Radisson Blu

Karimah’s Guide to a Healthier Ramadan


KARIMAH NUTRI CARD texcorrect For the very first time, I am not only thrilled to introduce our newest guest contributor to Jeddah Blog, but also totally in awe of her life story. Karimah bint Dawoud is the author of Amazon best-selling cookbook Heavenly Bites, the Best of Muslim Home Cooking and is winner of the Gourmand award Paris, France for the best Arab Cookbook of 2013.  Karimah is a Muslim Chaplain and Clinical Nutritionist who converted to Islam almost 14 years ago in her search for the truth. She was a fashion model and makeup artist in London, Paris, Munich and Zurich.

Karimah is a recently qualified clinical nutritionist, and is studying for her Master’s degree in Islamic Studies in the UK. She is a mother and a grandmother, and strongly believes that we can grow old gracefully by giving our body its rights, which includes healthy food and gentle regular exercise.

Heavenly Bites - Karimah bint Dawoud“I was  surprised and honoured that  Jeddah Blog liked my cook book post and would like to make links with my sisters across the desert sands”, says Karimah. “I love Saudi Arabia and the lovely friendly people mashallah. I went there to do my umrah, and inshallah I will come again to do health workshops and consult with individuals and companies on optimum nutrition.”

In this blog post, Karimah takes nutrition during Ramadan to the next level, and leads us through an optimum nutrition schedule during this month of fasting.

WELCOME RAMADAN!

Alhamdulillah, all praise is due to Allah, the Creator of the heaven and earth and everything in between. As the month of  Ramadan is moving backwards through solar calendar once again, Ramadan begins in the heat of summer, longer days and shorter nights. And this year, inshallah, God willing, the days are going to be even longer. It’s the perfect time to take our deen, our Islamic lifestyle to another level, that includes nutrition.

SAY FAREWELL TO FRIED FOOD

It’s time to say good bye to junk foods, toxins and bad habits. Fried foods are essentially junk food in comparison to an Islamic “halal and tayyib” diet.I  know that some cultures think they wouldn’t be able to live without fried pakoras or samosas, especially at iftar time, however these fried foods do nothing for you except indulge your taste buds.

We need to think about quality a bit more and embrace a more global healthy diet. Food studies reveal that fried foods damage your body and brain in many ways. They clog arteries and lead to strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, inflamed joints, heart attacks, aneurysms and blood pressure. This is no surprise when most corn oil and rape seed oil(canola)is GMO, contain pesticides and more toxic than soya oil.[1]

PURIFY THE BODY, ILLUMINATE THE SOUL

Islam is a complete religion for the mind body and soul. We have been gifted  with an amazing body. Alhamdulilah, praise God.

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith (volume 7.book of wedlock, hadith 127).

Narrated `Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al−`As: Allah’s Apostle( Muhammad) said, “O `Abdullah! Have I not been formed that you fast all the day and stand in prayer all night?”  I said, “Yes, O Allah’s Apostle!” He said, “Do not do that! Observe the fast sometimes and also leave them (the fast) at other times; stand up for the prayer at night and also sleep at night. Your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you and your wife has a right over you.”[2]

It is clear from the above hadith, that our body has rights over us.

The body needs the right fuel, to run at optimum performance. Food that provides long, slow release energy as well as vital vitamins and minerals.

SACRED FOODS – NINE HOUR WINDOW

All foods mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah are beneficial for our health. They are “halal and tayib” meaning they are lawful and pure, whole meal, quality foods that complement the body.

They are fresh foods, full of sun-fired vitality. However the wrong combinations of healthy foods can be unhealthy. There is a difference of opinion about Food Combining theory between qualified nutritionists and vegan raw foodies whose business often depends on them justifying mixing fruits and nuts and vegetables, and scientists who are usually paid by Big Pharma and the processed food industry.

Islamically, we are allowed to eat meat. Meat is part of the food combining equation. With a little skill and know-how we can eat from all food groups. This year we are going to try something that seems radical. This is going to take a real shift for some of us .I know many Arabs eat through the night till fajr. That’s not new, however  I am going to introduce good nutrition and food combining into this 9 hour window in which we can eat. This 9 hour, healthy banquet is a long meal. Starting with fluid and more fluid, soups, starters and salad and then the main course at suhour. What, no dessert? No dessert! Let’s save that for Eid insha’allah.

BREAKING THE FAST

First and most important is water. Hydration is going to be the key factor in this year’s Ramadhan nutrition. We are going to have to monitor and regulate and force ourselves to drink. It is essential during this 9 hour window that we drink at least 2 litres/ 3 ½  pints of water .It can be broken down like this:

  • Iftar  500 ml water and dates, personally I will be adding a spoon of honey to my iftar water, not just for the energy but also for the healing anti-bacterial ,anti-fungal properties as well as much more.
  • Every hour after that 300ml/10oz water including suhour.

There is a wisdom in why we eat dates. They are sun-fired packages of high energy, multivitamin and minerals, mashallah. Educate yourself to love them, they are a super food.

Watery drinks do not include tea or coffee as these will deplete your body of  essential vitamins and minerals like magnesium. Magnesium helps the brain make the right connection. Coffee and tea also dehydrate you. If you must drink these things, then have an additional mug of water, and make sure you take a vegan multivitamin and mineral supplement.

There is a wisdom in why we eat dates. They are sun-fired packages of high energy, multivitamin and minerals. Educate yourself to love them, they are a super food.

Photo credit: Karimah bint Dawoud

Photo credit: Karimah bint Dawoud

FRUITS FIRST

Even if you must eat fried foods or soup at iftar, please make sure you eat Fruit First. Fruits are so special that they will be in paradise. The Holy Quran mentions fruits “ fakihah” as a generic term, in Arabic 14 times.[3]

1. And for them there is fruit, and for them there is what they ask for. [36:57]

2. Therein they will recline; therein they will call for fruit in abundance and drinks. [38:51]

3. Therein for you will be fruit in plenty, of which you will eat (as you desire). [43:73].

Banana, dates, grapes, figs and pomegranate are individually mentioned in other surahs (chapters).

Fruits are sun-fired foods that have a high water content as well as essential vitamins and minerals. Fruits digest quicker than vegetables, opening the digestive canal, providing energy, vitamins and minerals to the organs. Some people are more thirsty than hungry at iftar, so have water melon smoothie; agua fresca, with honey and lemon then have  another type of fruits smoothie. Melons are the quickest of fruits to digest, taking 20 minutes. Water melon can be blended or juiced including the skin and seeds which contains the minerals; magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, iron, potassium and copper. Essential!

Eat some sort of fruit salad, fruit juice or smoothie  after breaking  fast with water and dates. If time is not on your side, buy pressed fruit juice with bits, not smooth and not concentrate. If you are making it at home, smoothies are better than juices because they contain soluble and insoluble fibre. Fibre is good to combat constipation, encouraging elimination of toxins. It’s good for the digestion and the circulation systems of the body.

Keep the smoothies just fruits – no nuts, no dairy, no veggies.

Then pray Maghreb prayer. This will give your digestive tract time to open up, absorb these essential sugars, vitamins and minerals, and give you energy for the rest of the evening Insha’Allah. Sensible humans eat fruit salad for starter not dessert.

Photo credit: Karimah bint Dawoud

Photo credit: Karimah bint Dawoud

VEGGIE-LICIOUS

Remember to drink more water while you are preparing this next part of the meal.

Herbage is mentioned a few times in the Quran. Herbage can mean “the succulent part of herbaceous vegetation,”[4]  All edible plants are considered to be herbage.[5].

Surat  Az-Zumar Chapter 39, Verse 21

“Seest thou not that Allah sends down water from the clouds, then makes it go down into the earth in springs, then brings forth therewith herbage of various hues; then it withers so that thou seest it turn yellow, then He makes it chaff? Surely there is a reminder in this for men of understanding.”

After maghrib prayer, eat something veggie, healthy and tasty. Have high fibre salads with an amazing dressing and/or soup. Raw vegetables also have high water mineral and vitamin content. This is where you can also eat your starchy carbs. We can have vegetable curry and rice, whole meal pasta with zucchini and tomato sauce, rice flour pancakes (substitute soaked flax seeds for egg to bind), Mediterranean rice salad with scrumptious asparagus and  artichokes. Check out some vegan recipes.

Photo credit: Karimah bint Dawoud

Photo credit: Karimah bint Dawoud

There is so much choice BUT no protein at his point. Look at this list of amazing veggies from Allah’s Bounty Store.

PLUS STARCHY CARBS

A wonderful Saudi recipe is mahshay djajj but a combination of meat and carbohydrates is unhealthy. Yes, I know you have survived this long as a race but just think how much more fantastic you would be if we took this to another level. All the fantastic spices and nuts and raisins in mahshay but a veggie version, stuffed sweet bell peepers  and save the chicken for suhour time. This is where you get to eat your starchy carbs; black, brown, red rice , whole meal bread ,whole meal barley, oats and pasta. White flour white sugar, white rice are all refined processed foods and should be avoided for optimum nutrition.

The Prophet Muhammad, salah la alaihi wa salem never ate white flour even though it was available. In this day and age every intelligent person should know whole meal grains are best.

Narrated Abu Hazim: I asked Sahl bin Sad, “Did Allah’s Apostle ever eat white flour?” Sahl said, “Allah’s Apostle never saw white flour since Allah sent him as an Apostle till He took him unto Him.” I asked, “Did the people have (use) sieves during the lifetime of Allah’s Apostle?” Sahl said, “Allah’s Apostle never saw (used) a sieve since Allah sent him as an Apostle until He took him unto Him,” I said, “How could you eat barley unsifted?” he said, “We used to grind it and then blow off its husk, and after the husk flew away, we used to prepare the dough (bake) and eat it.”  Sahih Bukhari and Tirmidhi .

This is the best time for your healthy oils.  Olive oil is sacred oil, once again mentioned in the Quran. Use olive oil  for cooking or salad dressings. Healthy oils are essential for good mental health, helping the brain make the right connection, joint mobility, lubrication of internal mucous membranes ,everything internal, even the cell walls need oil.

Keep drinking water, maybe add a little honey. Date nabeez  is a wonderful energizing drink to have during breaks in taraweeh. If you are going to sleep for a few hours, please drink water beforehand. Allow the previous food consumption at least 2-3 hours to digest before eating again but still drink water.

SUHOUR MORNING MEAL

This meal needs to be animal protein and vegetables but not starchy carbs like rice, pasta or bread for optimum nutrition. You could eat your mahshay chicken here but without the rice chicken with bamia or spinach would be great. Or you could have maqluba and once again eat the rice with veggies at iftar and the meat with veggie at suhour. I told you this was going to be a paradigm shift for us all.

Photo credit: Karimah bint Dawoud

Photo credit: Karimah bint Dawoud

Test show for the same calorific value, protein gives the most sustained energy. Meat takes 16 hours to digest. Animal protein is best at this time. In accordance with the Quran and Sunnah it’s best if the meat is halal and free range, free from growth hormones and antibiotics.

Animal protein contains a special iron called heme iron which is 15% more absorbent than non-heme (plant) iron. Heme iron actually helps the absorption of non-heme iron; therefore, it is a good idea to combine foods from the plant and animal kingdoms for the best balance and benefit. [6]

Photo credit: Karimah bint Dawoud

Photo credit: Karimah bint Dawoud

Iron is essential for the blood and transportation of oxygen round the body. Suggested meals are vegetable omelet and salad, Thai fish veggie soup, kofta in sauce and cooked spinach, grilled chicken and garlic beans, mince lamb and okra salad or lamb tagine with loads of cooked veg. These can be prepared earlier. I know it’s really tempting to eat starchy carbs like bread or rice with these meals, it’s a habit, a tradition, and it’s a pattern we need to break.

Starchy carbs need an alkaline stomach environment to enable the produce enzyme “amylase” to work.  The gastric enzyme “pepsin” is used to break down proteins; it cannot do so in an alkaline environment, the conflicting chemicals needed to breakdown these different food groups are disabled by the presence of the other, causing fermentation of the foods in the digestive tracts.[7] The knock on effect of this is bloating, heart burn, indigestion and wind. Worst of all, the optimum absorption of all the nutrients of the consumed food is inferior. Date nabeez is also good to drink at this time , providing pure sun-fired energy for the day ahead.

Please use the food combining chart, illustrating food groups combinations for  optimum nutrition and digestion. Optimum nutrition means optimum ibada, (worship).

And remember, “He who fails to plan, plans to fail”. May Allah make this Ramadan easy for us and a benefit to us all in this life and in Jannah, ameen.

Karimah blogs at Karimah’s Cuisina and  the muslim vegetarian, and is managed by http://www.1stwitness.co.uk

 

[1] http://www.creationsmagazine.com/articles/C126/Horowitz.html[onl;ine 13 th June 2014]

[2] http://muttaqun.com/files/PDF/sahih-bukhari.pdf      [online 13th march 2014]

[3] Quranic_Food.pdf.

[4] 0xford dictionary.http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/herbage[online 13th june 2014]

[5] http://www.faculty.ucr.edu/~legneref/botany/vegetab.htm

[6]Karimah Burns. http://www.islamawareness.net/Nature/existence.html

[7] http://www.naturalnews.com/025651_food_protein_foods.html

Arabian Jewel Embrace Culture Initiative: Ramadan Nights in Balad


Come, come whoever you are… expat, bedu, merchant or royal…

Balad’s enticing yearly Ramadan Festivities await you. Experience Ramadan by visiting Balad with your friends and family on the day(s) of your choice.

Historical Balad Cultural Initiative

Photo credit: Helmy Saggaf

Dates

1-RAMADAN EXPERIENCE
Daily 1st Ramadan to 20th Ramadan
10pm to 2am

2-EID EXPERIENCE
Daily 25th of Ramadan to 5th *Shawwal
10pm to 2am

Location: Historic Balad District (please see map)

Please note:

1) This is not a guided tour.

2) No charges, no entry fee, no tour fees. This is open to ALL at NO COST.


Come, come, whoever you are,
Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving.
It doesn’t matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vows
a thousand times.
Come, yet again, come, come.
(Jalauddin Rumi)

Arabian JewelThank you to Arabian Jewel in cooperation with Jeddah’s Heart, for bringing us this event. You can visit the event page for further details.

*Shawwal: month following Ramadan.

Al Baik: The Mann-o-Salwa of Modern Arabia


My very good friend Ms. Q, a regular contributor to Jeddah Blog and an expert on all things Saudi recently began her own blog Quezz Lifestyle. Having moved away from the Kingdom, she has been looking back with nostalgia on the most memorable parts of Jeddah, one of the most important being Al Baik fried chicken.

In her latest blog post which she has very kindly agreed to share here on Jeddah Blog, she not only takes a delicious trip down chicken memory lane, but even tries out a home made recipe, which she then generously shares with her readers.

Read through the post below, and if your cravings get the better of you and you do attempt the recipe, leave us a comment and let us know if it worked its magic.

(Editor’s note: I love Al Baik’s burger buns, split in half, toasted and buttered. Closest thing I’ve had to a bagel here in Jeddah).

Think Arabia… imagine dates, qahwa , exotic dishes, roasted lambs. What one does not imagine is Fried Chicken!

A standard Al Baik takeaway box.

A standard Al Baik takeaway box.

Al Baik has taken the lead in the Makkah region, by serving fried chicken with a tangy Garlic Sauce, for over two decades. I grew up with memories of us buying a box of Al-Baik, which would have half of a chicken, lumpy fries and a bun, with Garlic sauce, and driving to the sea side for an instant picnic. Anyone visiting us for Umrah would surely be treated to this food of the land, and told, “No Al Baik means that pilgrimage is incomplete” (just joking ). I would even further the comical situation by retelling, how my younger brother and I, when taken on Hajj, would say “Al-Baik, Al-Baik” instead of “Lab-Baik, Lab-Baik” at times of eating. Please note that, we were both in our teens and meant no blasphemy.

Coming back to the present day, Al Baik has evolved to include Fish and Shrimps, along with the choice of purchasing extra Garlic Sauce. You cannot even imagine the evils that come forward in all Al Baik eaters at the time when the last Garlic Sauce is to be snagged. In my last few days in Saudi, Al Baik was one of the few must-eat items on my list. However, having arrived in Canada, and tried all versions of halal fried chicken, I took on the quest for making a home-made version. Back in Saudi, I would have scoffed at this notion!

Being part of a wonderful cooking group called ‘Indulge Spices’ on Facebook, I was soon gifted by a fail-proof recipe. This recipe came from a fellow cook Rabia Jurial. I tried and I was converted!

The recipe is copied as is from the group page:

METHOD

1 chicken, cut into 8-10 pieces (with or without skin, up to you)

Wash and drain the chicken well. Using a fork, prick the chicken pieces all over.

Then marinate them in:

INGREDIENTS

1 beaten egg
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp corn flour
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tbsp paprika
salt to taste
½ tsp Chinese salt
½ tsp black pepper powder

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cover with cling film and put the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  2. Next, mix half a cup of flour with half tsp. salt and half tsp. chili powder. Put this in a plastic bag.
  3. Now, 2 pieces at a time, put the chicken in the flour bag and shake to make sure each piece is well coated with the flour. This helps give the chicken a perfect rough and crispy surface.
  4. Heat oil on high, add the chicken pieces without crowding the pan. You can do them in 2-3 batches. Lower the heat and deep-fry each batch for about 15 minutes, making sure to turn the chicken pieces once or twice in the oil in order to get them golden on all sides.
  5. Drain on kitchen towels and serve with fries and some garlic sauce!

My results are as follows:

Ms. Q's perfectly home-fried chicken.

Ms. Q’s perfectly home-fried chicken.

The Garlic Sauce I use is as follows:

1 whole boiled potato, peeled and cooled. I put it in blender with a clove of garlic, pinch of salt, and some vinegar to blend. Then I add around 1/2 cup of Vegetable oil till its creamy and fluffy.

If you fancy a visit to the actual menu, check their website.

In meanwhile, tell me how your Al Baik chicken turned out  :)

*For those curious about the title, Mann-o-Salwa means ‘heavenly food’.

3Km Speed Skating Race


Thanks to the International Community in Jeddah for letting us know about this event. An exciting 3 km speed skating race will be held at the following time and location:

Time : 4:30pm – 7pm

Date : Friday 20 June 2014

Location : North area of Aya Mall, Al Mohamadiah District. Google maps : 21.661177, 39.120895

speed skating event, Jeddah

Participation : Open for All. To participate in the race you need to register here.

Awards : Special Awards from SAMSUNG. Event Organized by : Top Sport Mr. Baddr Marzoug

For further details, visit their Facebook Event Page.

Pixels Photography Workshop


Pixels is a 1 day workshop about the basics of photography being held on Friday, 20th of June, 2014 in Jeddah.

Pixels Photography Workshop Jeddah

For further details and registration, call Waqas Bashir on 0561832843. Only 15 seats available.

“Arabian Horses” by Andreas Haberbeck


The weather is heating up, and so are the number of events to attend and things to do. Coming up is a one-of-a-kind presentation by Andreas Haberbeck on the Arabian Horses and their influences on other breeds, to be held this Tuesday June 17, 2014.

Date: 7pm

Venue: Shamia Theater Jeddah

Click here to register at the event site.

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This event is free of charge.

FREE Tour of Balad – Not to be Missed!


If you live in Jeddah, a historical tour of Balad is a must-do event. We had to do a double-take when we saw this excellent tour being offered completely FREE.

Date: 19th June, 2014

Time: 4:45 – 7pm. Tour starts at 5pm

Register on the Arabian Jewel Event Page to express interest. All ages welcome.

 

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Fresh From Sundance


After its new deal last January with AMC/Sundance Channel Global to launch Sundance Channel HD in the Middle East and North Africa region. OSN comes again with interesting news, this time the channel will offer award-winning independent films that come straight from Sundance Film Festival and these exclusive films will be broadcasted every Friday night of June 2014 on Sundance Channel HD on OSN.

Sundance Channel is an American digital cable and satellite television network that is owned by AMC Networks.

SundanceTV is making and celebrating television as distinctive as the best independent films, It was founded by Robert Redford in the USA and is available in the Middle East for the first time on the OSN platform since January 2014.

OSN Sundance Channel HD

 

The international division of AMC Networks had signed a deal to launch Sundance Channel HD in the Middle East and North Africa region, the regional version of the Sundance Film Festival-affiliated channel brings a new excitement to this part of the world.

The new channel, which celebrates independent feature films, world cinema, documentaries, short films, series and original programmes, is available both in the content’s original language and with Arabic subtitling and it is offering the brand’s trademark mix of independent films and TV series, many taken from the Sundance networks in the U.S.

Sundance Channel HD on OSN has announced an interesting program to be launched this month, the channel allow their viewers to see exclusively critically acclaimed films from Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival, award-­winning independent films  such as To Kill A Man, The Disobedient, “Liar’s Dice” and more classic films, fresh from the festivals.

You can watch acclaimed award-winning films every Friday night of June on Sundance channel only on OSN, from 6 to 27 June 2014 you can watch classic independent films from all eras from some of the biggest names in independent cinema, selected from Sundance Film Festival, the programming that Sundance Channel offers is not seen on other broadcasters and has wide appeal among adult audiences, Sundance Channel is available to OSN subscribers on the Platinum HD and Premier HD packages and movie buffs can access Sundance Channel HD’s award-winning content anytime, anywhere via OSN Play, the region’s first online TV viewing platform.

- Sponsored article

 

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