Jeddah Blog

Discover the best of Jeddah!

PMP Training Course


The Project Management Professional (PMP) Course is designed to demonstrate a strong level of project management leadership skills. PMP is now being offered in Jeddah and the next course begins on 13 February 2012. Details are below.

PMP-Jeddah - 13 Feb

Family Festival


For some family entertainment, consider visiting the Family Festival planned for the 31st of January 2013 at the Seasons Restaurant, opposite Al Baik on Siteen Street – next to Zahid Tractors Head Office. There will be stalls for ladies’ cosmetics, jewellery, clothing, abaayas and food. The event will begin at 5pm and will end at 11:30pm.

For directions or other enquiries, call on 0555246018.

 

familyfestival

Dinner in Honour of Shahid Afridi


Since our last blog post on Pakistani cricket icon Shahid Afridi’s visit to Jeddah, we have had numerous comments and emails from readers asking for more information. We can now share further details with you, thanks to our friend and SCC advisor Rohail Khan.

Le Meridien Hotel in Jeddah was the venue for a dinner in honour of former captain Shahid Afridi, and hosted by the Saudi Cricket Centre (SCC) on Thursday 17th January 2012. Shahid Afridi disclosed that he was impressed by the seniors’ trials and said that the SCC “is breaking new grounds for the development of cricket in the Kingdom”. He went on to add, “I am impressed by the senior players here. As for the under-19 group, it needs more attention, coaching and training”.

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L to R: Tahseem Haqqi (Vice Consul (Welfare) Pakistan Consulate Jeddah), Rohail Khan, Shahid Afridi and Junaid Khan (Pakistan Consulate Jeddah).

Rohail Khan presented ajrak shawls, bouquets and souvenir gifts to Shahid Afridi, Iqbal Sikander, Tahseem Haqqi, Hasan Kabir, and Nadeem Nadwi in acknowledgement of their services to promote cricket in Saudi Arabia.

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Rohail Khan presenting gifts to Shahid Afridi amidst the gathering of VIPs.

 

25000 Hits!


Jeddah Blog 25000 hits

Thank you to all our lovely readers for supporting us over the years. We have reached 25000 hits in just over 6 months and we have over 500 followers. We will continue to do our best to try to bring you posts that are informative, intelligent and positive.

– Image  by Suha Ali

 

Caving Trip to Umm Jirsan


The Arabian Treks Team are organizing a 2 day Caving Trip to Umm Jirsan Cave on 31 January 2013. The cave is 620 km north of Jeddah in a volcanic and rocky area that is defined by its underground caves that were created thousands of years ago as a result of volcanic eruptions. It is one of the largest caves in the Middle East. Participants will be caving, camping and stargazing and fees include an individual dome-style tent, all full meals, drinks and snacks.

The floor is composed of evenly-spaced “domes” of hard mud

The floor is composed of evenly-spaced “domes” of hard mud

Photo credit: http://explorecavernsnow.com/caverns/umm-jirsan-saudi-arabia/

The costs are SAR 750 if you require transportation, or SAR 600 if you are driving your own SUV. The last date for joining is 26 January 2013.

For further details contact info@ArabianTreks.com, call Mazin on 0566660530 or you can visit their Facebook event group.

A Spanking New Logo and other changes


As you all know, we initially began this blog in 2008 on a very small scale thinking that we were the only ones reading it. Mainly due to the lack of available and current information on Jeddah, it began to take off and steadily gained a large readership. In mid-2012, spurred on by our readers, we moved to our very own dedicated WordPress site and received a bunch of stats for the last 6 months of 2012. This is what WordPress tells us:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 21,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 5 Film Festivals

It’s a great start, and we’ve been recently scouting around for graphic designers to make us our very own logo.

I am very excited to present our Jeddah Blog logo to you all put together by two very young and talented chaps. Ibrahim and Abdullah Siddiqui are a team of brothers with a keen interest in IT and design. They have very aesthetically incorporated the major landmarks in Jeddah, including the proposed Kingdom Tower.

And here it is:

Jeddah Blog Logo

We’d love to hear feedback on what you think of our logo. We are also discussing a new banner for the blog. If you have any ideas then let us know.

On another front, we are sad to say good-bye to Naima Rashid who has been writing for us under the Arts & Culture banner. We wish her the very best in whatever she plans to do next.

If you would like to get in touch with us as an aspiring writer, or simply to provide your feedback, you can email us on team.jeddah.blog@gmail.com

Ibrahim and Abdullah Siddiqui can be contacted at  ibrahim.siddiqui7@gmail.com

Jeddah Corniche Renovated


Jeddah Blog reader Muhammad Abdul Nasir, has visited the newly-renovated Corniche which has been updated at a cost of SR 185 million, and has captured the following scenes for us. Have you taken a trip to the seaside lately? What do you think of the improvements? Leave a comment and let us know.

Corniche 1

The new railing ensures safety without compromising the view of the sea.

Corniche 2

An area for families to sit, relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the sea.

Corniche 3

The newly-constructed parking area, surrounded by well-lit trees, grass and lighting.

Corniche 4

The footpath built for pedestrians to enjoy the view and an evening walk can be seen here.

Sunset at the Jeddah Corniche.

Sunset at the Jeddah Corniche.

– Courtesty M.A.N. Photography

A Journey of Belonging


Athr Gallery proudly presents Saudi Artist Manal Al Dowayan’s first solo exhibition titled ‘A Journey of Belonging’ beginning 15th January and running until 15th February, 2013.

Athr A Journey of Belonging

Athr Gallery is proud to usher in the new year with renowned Saudi artist Manal Al-Dowayan’s first solo exhibition in Saudi Arabia A Journey of Belonging, introducing new work by the artist as well as seminal work from her previous series. The exhibition explores the artist’s frequent voyages into the past in search of understanding and mutual acceptance.

Photographer, visual poet, and artist Manal Al Dowayan is one of the most recognizable and critically acclaimed of the new wave of Saudi contemporary artists.  She has exhibited globally, from Belgium to Bahrain, and has been acquired by collections such as the British Museum, Nadour, Barjeel and the Jordan National Museum of Fine Art, amongst many others. Her show at Athr Gallery emphasizes not only her profound achievement and success, but re-affirms the Jeddah gallery’s commitment to supporting and showcasing the most innovative and thoughtful art of the region.

With the intersecting of key works from the artist’s different series under one roof, a pattern emerges, a common thread weaves itself through the works, one that gradually alters and transforms but remains unbroken. A journey comes to light.  A Journey of Belonging allows the viewer to approach Al-Dowayan’s work from a new perspective. There is a paradigm shift in focus, with controversial issues of women’s rights and identity, normally associated with the artist’s work, fading into the background, and the artist’s personal fears and obsessions coming to the fore.

The artist was raised in a land whose modus operandi revolves around the repulsion and dismissal of women. Specializing in photography, her varied series consistently present meditations on the complex textures of a paradoxically evolving and traditional society, along with a distinct, deep-rooted sense of personal and collective history. Thus, the exhibited works reveal a young woman’s obsession with preservation and remembrance, and constitutes a fight against rejection and disappearance. They are an exploration of ways to exist somewhere that doesn’t want you.

Featured series such as ‘Pointing To The Future’, ‘Look Beyond The Veil’, ‘Landscapes Of The Mind’, ‘And We Had No Shared Dreams’ and ‘Blinded By Tradition’ display Al Dowayan’s progression and creative evolution over the years. Through these discrete series of works, Al Dowayan not only explores the role of women in Saudi Arabia, but reflects upon a wider reality in which gender equality is symptomatic of power hierarchies, religious dogmas, interplays with foreign cultures and shifting domestic social attitudes. Whilst her primary medium is photography, series such as ‘Point To The Future’ further demonstrate how the artist amplifies her characteristically monochrome compositions with lyrical visual language. Enriched by this poetic slant, the added layers allow her to weave a rich tapestry of cultural and formal styles that invite deeper consideration of the central themes.

Another recurring topic in Al Dowayan’s work is the relationship of the individual to their environment. For instance, Al Dowayan explores manifestations of progress and change in the physical textures of the country’s geography in ‘Landscapes Of The Mind’, which uses various locations around the country to frame deft, simple glyphs representing the self, and the individual’s relationship with her surroundings. The artist places herself amidst these symbols, relenting her hold upon her own identity and becoming undefinable and ephemeral against monumental natural and urban settings.

Similarly, the series ‘We Had No Shared Dreams’ is a conversation between the inhabitant and the landscape in which she lives, but to which she longs to belong. The inhabitant, like an abandoned child, desperately seeks acceptance, but the city only exhales in response..

‘If I Forget You, Don’t Forget Me’ reflects on the profound shifts in Saudi society over the past fifty years, documenting the rise of the oil industry through the individuals who were there at the start of the oil boom. But in this series, Al Dowayan goes beyond a narrative re-telling of contemporary social evolution and instead looks for her own identity and self amidst the turbulent histories of immediately preceding generations, hoping to discover amidst the plenitude of the past, clues and possibilities for the uncertain future.

In her latest body of work, Al Dowayan continues to explore the practice of preservation via one of the oldest and time-tested means of documentation, language. In particular, Arabic, a language lauded for its beauty and complexity. The artist adopts as a case study Abu Mansour Al-Tha’alby Al-Naysaboury’s “Jurisprudence of a Language: The Secrets of Arabic”, a 10th century Abassid tome that contains detailed categorizations of thousands of Arabic words. In the process, she discovers that what is not rendered useful, is actively erased over time, bringing her to question even herself;

“In my fervour to document my present, am I contributing to a failed formula?”

Aldowayan’s new work investigates what Nietzsche termed “active forgetting” and is a warning against the act of labelling diverse collectives that efface the singular, for by attempting to preserve by creating our own version of history, we are in fact contributing to the erasure of others.

Al Dowayan’s work reacts vividly to the restrictions imposed upon women in 21st century Saudi Arabia. This is powerfully evident in ‘A Journey Of Belonging’.  Athr Gallery have selected works that show Al Dowayan’s evolution as an artist, as a Saudi woman and as a lightening rod for sparks and flashes of progress and change within the strictures of her environment.  However, ultimately, it gives a unique and candid perspective of the intense and idiosyncratic relationship that exists between a woman and her homeland, exploring feelings of alienation, belonging, identity, even self-doubt, but above all, love.

 –   Image and text by Athr  Gallery

Historic Balad Tour


Experience Balad like never before!

Your True Nature is organizing their third historic tour of Balad on the 13th of January, 2012. This is a professional tour service for expats and it includes a 4 hour tour, presentation, food and visit to a museum. The cost per person is SR 275.

The tour is open to families and you will probably want to take your cameras along to take photographs of the beautiful old buildings and streets of Balad. “This is our third successful tour of Balad and it is vital for our cultural awareness to learn about the heritage and culture of the land we are living in”, says Alicia of Your True Nature. She goes on to add, “Jeddah, and this region in particular, goes back to the beginning of time. It is significant to the history of mankind. However, with little emphasis on heritage,  we miss out on a lot. Recent discoveries tell us that this region houses Mount Sinai. So Balad is just a starting point of activating an interest in the rich history of this land.”

If you would like to attend this unique tour, send your confirmations to essentialfitra@yahoo.ca including your name, contact number and total number of participants.

A video link of their last tour can be viewed here.

Shahid Afridi in Jeddah!


Sporting fans will be excited to learn that cricket star Shahid Afridi is currently on a visit to Saudi Arabia to spot talent for the Saudi Cricket Center (SCC). We can reveal that the talent selection will be held in four cities across Saudi Arabia from 15th – 21st January 2013 (Jeddah, Yanbu, Riyadh and Dammam) and the talent hunt in Jeddah will be held on the 16th and 17th of January.

Rohail standing next to cricket superstar Shahid Afridi on his current visit to the Kingdom.

Enthuses Shahid Afridi: “I am very glad I will be able to perform an instrumental role in finding out the best cricket talent from all over the Kingdom”.

Rohail Khan, a senior banker with a keen interest in culture and philanthropy, is supporting the cricket talent promotion in consultation with Shahid Afridi as SCC Advisor. Rohail discloses to Jeddah Blog that other cricketing heroes and socialites will be engaged in the future to promote and develop cricket in Saudi Arabia.

“Developing a strong well-trained “Saudi National Cricket Team” will enhance the Kingdom’s international image and would be beneficial for Saudi and expatriate cricket players and cricket lovers,” asserts Rohail.

How To Register

All cricket players (residents of Saudi Arabia), regardless of age or nationality, from all cricket clubs and leagues (whether affiliated with SCC or not) are equally entitled to participate and compete for the selection. If you are interested in participating in the try-outs then register on this dedicated site.

Jeddah Blog wishes all the best to Rohail and the SCC on this excellent initiative, and will continue to keep you all informed on the progress made by the SCC. Be sure to check back with us regularly for updates.

A Tribute to the Father of Urdu


Rohail A. Khan Event Sponsor

Rohail A. Khan – Event Sponsor

Rohail A. Khan, senior banker and finance director, has been living in Saudi Arabia since 1993 and is developing communities through literature, culture and philanthropy. As chief guest of the memorial service of the Father of Urdu, Rohail Khan reports the success and conclusions of the event for Jeddah Blog.

For the first time in Saudi Arabia, a grand event was organized in the memory of Baba-e-Urdu (Father of Urdu), Dr. Moulvi Abdul Haq, to commemorate his 140th birthday and to propagate his message. Jeddah has rarely witnessed such extraordinary enthusiasm and exemplary love for Urdu.

Who was Baba-e-Urdu?

Baba-e-Urdu (1872-1961) was an acclaimed Urdu educator, writer, critic, linguist, lexicographer, editor, compiler, translator, etymologist, biographer and grammarian. He authored more than 20 books on these areas. Having realized the slow demise of the Persian language, Moulvi Abdul Haq devoted his entire life to making Urdu the primary language of the sub-continent and to placing it head-to-head with English and Arabic. He founded and managed Anjuman Taraqqi-e-Urdu, an organization dedicated to the promotion of Urdu language and literature, for 50 years pre-partition. During his migration in 1947, he carried 15,000 rare Urdu books from Delhi to Karachi. He was the moving spirit behind the establishment of the Osmania University in Hyderabad, Deccan, where Urdu is still one of the mediums of instruction. The world’s largest Urdu Translation Centre was established where rare Urdu books and Deccani manuscripts were translated and published. He was also instrumental in setting up the world’s first Islamia College for Women, Lahore in 1939, and Pakistan’s first Urdu College in Karachi (1949). He was the creator of the world’s largest Urdu-English Dictionary (1930) and in 1959 initiated the grand project of compiling a Modern Urdu Dictionary in 22 volumes. This project was completed three years ago under the Urdu Dictionary Board, Pakistan.

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The Memorial Event

The memorial event was held at Lasani Restaurant on the evening of 21st November, 2012. The successful event had been organized by the Aalmi Urdu Markaz and welcomed more than 275 guests from all walks of life. Men, women and especially youngsters hailing from assorted nationalities all gathered together to commemorate Baba-e-Urdu’s 140th birthday. Multi-cultural community leaders, social workers, businessmen and literary figures added to the light of the event. The audience were treated to a four-hour literary discussions and poetic recitations and warmly applauded the proceedings.

A very diverse audience commemorating the 140th birthday of the Father of Urdu.

A very diverse audience commemorating the 140th birthday of the Father of Urdu.

The event took off with a short video containing a speech by Baba-e-Urdu and his life story with rare pictures, before the poetry recitals and literary discussions.

On stage from left: V.P. of Aalmi Urdu Markaz, Rohail A. Khan, Hon. Tahseem ul-Haq, President of Aalmi Urdu Markaz and poet Anwar Ansari with the Executive Team from Aalmi Urdu Markaz.

On stage from left: V.P. of Aalmi Urdu Markaz, Rohail A. Khan, Hon. Tahseem ul-Haq, President of Aalmi Urdu Markaz and poet Anwar Ansari with the Executive Team from Aalmi Urdu Markaz.

Chief Guest, Rohail Khan, shared his thoughts on Baba-e-Urdu with the organizers and participants, and offered practical suggestions to promote and protect Urdu.

“Architect and saviour of Urdu language and literature, Baba-e-Urdu, Dr. Moulvi Abdul Haq’s lifetime services to protect and promote Urdu are spread over 75 years. He proved a Prophet of Urdu and his message must be adequately propagated for the benefit of current and future generations. Le us not forget that Urdu, 4th largest language, is spoken by over 100 million people across 5 continents.”

7 Steps to Promote Urdu

Rohail A. Khan suggested seven projects to promote Urdu:

  1. Renew the Anjuman-e-Taraqqi-e-Urdu and propagate its mission across the globe by supporting tertiary local and international Urdu-serving institutions.
  2. Promote the importance of Urdu as a means to enhance our knowledge about Islam.
  3. Build the brand of Urdu world-wide through the proactive use of social media.
  4. Studying Baba-e-Urdu’s works and achievements and spreading his message by establishing Urdu faculties and research chairs at Ivy League Universities for the award of doctorate degrees on Urdu.
  5. Launch new Urdu periodicals, Urdu dictionaries and encyclopaedia.
  6. Identify and promote upcoming Urdu writers and poets.
  7. Launch “Urdu Academy International” as a global think-tank to incubate new ideas and projects to promote and protect Urdu.

The first goal is to launch the cause of making Urdu one of the official languages of Facebook. Rohail Khan can be reached at rohailkhan00@gmail.com and on Facebook.

– compiled by Anousha Vakani

Massive Puma Competition – We Have a Winner!


http://jeddahblogdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/winner-illustration1.jpg?w=184&h=148Last Tuesday we ran our exclusive Massive Puma Competition where we promised to give away a coveted Puma Collector’s Item to one lucky reader. We had lots of responses – thank you to all who participated.

This is the question we asked:

EvoSpeed collection was inspired by the fastest man in the world.

Who is he? 

a.) Tyson Gay
b.) Usain Bolt
c.) Nesta Carter

The answer was b.) Usain Bolt

Now coming to the results of the contest,

We used Random.org to choose a winner for us out of all the entries and this is what it came up with:

Our Puma Competition winner as selected by Random.org

Jeddah Blog Puma Competition winner as selected by Random.org

CONGRATULATIONS to Nabiha Khan !!

Nabiha, please get in touch with us so that we can arrange for your unique Puma Collector’s Item to be delivered to you.

To all the rest, stay tuned! – there will be more competitions and opportunities to win in the future.

Bronze Medal – Thank You !!!


We received the amazing news that Jeddah Blog was voted third in the Expat Blog Awards 2012 for Saudi Arabia. We are proudly displaying the bronze medal given to us (in the right-hand column) and want to say a big thank you to those of you who voted for us and left such amazing comments and reviews about our blog. We had a whopping 51 votes and comments, which is much, much more than most gold winners of other categories. We are also proud to say that we are the top blog from Jeddah; the first and second place were both bagged by Riyadh-based blogs. Also a big thank you to Expats Blog for hosting the awards.

Massive Puma Competition


A couple of weeks ago we announced that we’d be hosting a very exclusive competition at the Blog. There was much excitement and anticipation, and we are now finally able to give you the details. We are also thrilled that Jeddah Blog is the only blog in Jeddah to be given a chance to host this amazing contest!

We’re giving you, dear Reader, the chance to win a Puma Collector’s item! World’s leading sports retailer Puma is giving away a massive shoe from the Puma EvoSpeed collection. This was inspired by the fastest man in the world and is a groundbreaking collection that answers every athlete’s need for speed. This model (which is about 2 feet long) is 100% exclusive to the Middle East and not available for sale anywhere!
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The shoe on the right is an adult shoe. The HUGE one on the left is the collector's item you can win!

The shoe on the right is an adult shoe. The HUGE one on the left is the collector’s item you can win!

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To get your hands on it, follow these simple steps:
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1. Follow this blog by clicking on the ‘Follow’ button to the right of this blog post.
2. Email your answer to the question below to team.jeddah.blog@gmail.com
3. Leave a comment at the end of this post.
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We mentioned that the EvoSpeed collection was inspired by the fastest man in the world. Who is he? 
 
a.) Tyson Gay
b.) Usain Bolt
c.) Nesta Carter
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Please note: Participants must be living in Saudi Arabia and must be able to either provide a delivery address, or arrange pickup of the prize in Jeddah. The last date to get your entries in is Monday, 10th December 2012 and the winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries. The model of the shoe the winner will receive will be extremely similar, but may not be identical to the one in the photo as there are four different models in the collection.
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Special thanks to Puma and to Razan Karim at Sticky Ginger.
The results are out. The winning name can be found here.

Book Vending Machines – a Novel Invention


All kinds of products are sold in vending machines, from umbrellas to vegetables, and ties to flowers.  At a recent visit to the Mall of Arabia, we stumbled upon a completely novel idea  – a book vending machine. It’s the first one we’ve seen in Jeddah, so we promptly set about taking pictures to share with you all.

The book vending machine standing to the left of Centrepoint.

The Logo.

Instructions on how to buy the books.

If you look very closely at the next photo, you might be able to spot our reflections in the glass.

Most of the books were in Arabic, but some were in English.

We think it’s a great idea. It makes books much more accessible, especially in a city where libraries are scarce. Which books would you like to see displayed in these literary stands?

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