Al Ain Paradise

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           In continuation of our discovering journey to UAE’s sightseeing and attractions, the other day we decided to go in a trip about 130 km from Dubai to relax a bit. As a location, this time we chose  Al Ain… , to be more specific, Al Ain Paradise. After almost 2 hours of going in circles and asking for directions how to get there we finally found it. Even before entering, we were amazed by its attractive beauty… . It really looked like a corner from heaven.

All those nice smelling and beautifully arranged flowers and their so many different patterns were stunning and left us with a forever lasting feeling of relaxation and great joy.

Al Ain Paradise at a glimpse:

– it received the Guinness World Record Certificate for displaying  2,968 floral arrangements, compose from approximately 10 million flowers;

– it is located in Zakhir district;

– Friday is only for family, entry is free and timing is from 9 am to 9 pm;

– probably it is the most important attraction in Al Ain, getting almost 1000 visitors daily.

And the most beautiful sky at sunset I’ve ever seen up to now…even better than the one in Abu Dhabi.

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Paternity

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The days were counting down waiting that specific moment. The Gynecologist warned me that ” Without entering with your wife to the delivery room,  there is No delivery, No baby. You choose!” I was telling myself: ” What the heck! Are you kidding me?!” Then I found out she was so serious, so I started investigating and gathering all the necessary and unnecessary data about this weird thing – for men only – called delivery.

On that day at hospital, I was equipped with everything you can not imagine. When the labor started, I was sitting with my wife in her room trying to uselessly calm her down. It was Monday in the morning, the pain – and of course screaming and cursing me – started to increase. Eventually, We entered to the labor room and by noon we were sitting all the three of us – Mommy, Daddy and the little baby – together for the first time!

To be honest, it was unforgettable experience and full of sentiments, I even couldn’t stop myself from shedding tears just by looking at that small angel. And now, after five weeks, I finally found some time to express my feelings by concluding in two words; Thanks God!

Rai music

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Raï is a music style that originated in Oran,Algeria in the 1930’s,from Bedouin shepherds. It appealed to young people who sought to modernize the traditional Islamic values and attitudes. Regional, secular, and religious drum patterns, melodies, and instruments were blended with Western electric instrumentation.

Singers of raï are called cheb (shabab, young) as opposed to sheikh (shaykh, old), the name given to Chaabi singers.

In the 1980s, raï began its period of peak popularity. Previously, the Algerian government had opposed raï because of its sexually and culturally risque topics, such as alcohol and consumerism, two subjects that were taboo to the traditional Islamic culture.

The government eventually attempted to ban raï, banning the importation of blank cassettes and confiscating the passports of raï musicians. This was done to prevent raï from not only spreading throughout the country, but to prevent it from spreading internationally and from coming in or out of Algeria. Though this limited the professional sales of raï, the music increased in popularity through the illicit sale and exchange of tapes.In the 1990’s, restrictions were placed on raï, and those who did not submit to censorship faced consequences such as exile.

The first musician with international success in the ’80’s was Cheb Khaled followed by Cheb Mami.

Later in 1990’s,  funk, hip hop, and other influences were added to raï, especially by performers like Faudel and Rachid Taha, the latter of whom took raï music and fused it with rock. Taha does not call his creation raï music, but rather describes it as a combination of folk raï and punk.

Henna/mehendi tattoos

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Henna is a flowering plant used since antiquity to dye skin, hair, fingernails, leather and wool. The name is also used for dye preparations derived from the plant, and for the art of temporary tattooing based on those dyes.

Henna powder

For skin dyeing, a paste of ground henna (either prepared from a dried powder or from fresh ground leaves) is placed in contact with the skin from a few hours to overnight. Henna stains can last a few days to a month depending on the quality of the paste, individual skin type, and how long the paste is allowed to stay on the skin.

Henna kit

The Night of the Henna was celebrated by most groups in the areas where henna grew naturally: Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Christians and Zoroastrians, among others, all celebrated marriages by adorning the bride, and often the groom, with henna. It was also used for celebrations as birthdays, circumcision or religious one such as: Eid, Diwali or others. When there was joy, there was henna.

Henna was regarded as having “Barakah”  blessings, and was applied for luck as well as joy and beauty. Brides typically had the most henna, and the most complex patterns, to support their greatest joy, and wishes for luck. The fashion of  “Bridal Mehendi-Henna tattooing”  in Pakistan, Northern Libya and in North Indian Diasporas is currently growing in complexity and elaboration, with new innovations in glitter, gilding, and fine-line work.

Bridal henna designs

Henna patterns

Dubai Festival Centre fireworks- photos

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So here I write from 2012…..

Let me tell you shortly what we did in the last hours of 2011. Unlike most of Dubai inhabitants,and after thinking carefully at our options we decided to spend the last moments of the year at Dubai Festival Centre, instead of Burj Khalifah or Sheikh Zayed Road ( to see Burj Khalifah fireworks but avoid the infernal crowd).

At Festival Centre the show started at 9 pm with live music and continued until a little after 12 am. The sky was on fire from the firework show for 10 great minutes for the delight of the crowd gathered there and moreover as a “bonus” we could also enjoy seeing the show of Burj Khalifah.

After the fireworks and musical show was over many headed home; some to continue the party, while others to  probably sleep, but very few remained to enjoy a coffee or some tea at the cafes near by and talk about their plans for the new year.

This being said I will leave you with some photos of the firework show.

Burj Khalifah on “fire”

Hope you liked it.

Until next time take care!

2011 favorites !!!

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As the story of this chapter in our lives is coming to an end, as the backwards counting and the moment when we shall stand at the crossroads of the years is approaching, I thought that it will be a good idea to share with you what were my favorite  things this year; stuff that made 2011 a little bit sweeter for me, either if it was a movie, a product or a quote.

So here we go as it follows:

-most watched series: GREY’S ANATOMY

-most frequent meal: GRILLED SALMON with RICE and WHITE SAUCE

-favorite restaurant: IKEA and ARZ LEBANON

-favorite clothes and accessories store: MAX and FOREVER 21

-best place to go out: HERITAGE VILLAGE and CREEK PARK (photos here )

-most used body products: FENNEL SHEA BODY BUTTER, FENNEL COCONUT BODY SCRUB and OLIVE OIL

-most loved face products:

-ARGAN OIL  products

-BIOTEN products

-CHANTELLE DEAD SEA MINERAL MUD and AVON PLANET SPA MOISTURIZING MASK

-favorite make-up products:

-mascara and eyeliner:RIMMEL LONDON VOLUME FLASH MASCARA and WET N WILD brown eyeliner

-foundation: NIVEA ENERGY FLASH

-most used nail polishes

-best natural miracle: MARIGOLD cream

-most worn dress

-favorite brooch

-favorite ring

-favorite hijabs

-favorite aromatherapy scents: OCEAN, SPRING, WATERLILLY( CRIN), ALPIN

-most motivating quote:

“YOU DIDN’T LOSE IF YOU WERE DOWN, YOU LOSE IF YOU WON’T GET UP”

What were your favorites that made 2011 better for you?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Goodbye 2011….Welcome 2012!

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  Another year has passed so fast as a blink of an eye, taking with it events that marked our lives in one way or another, either good or bad it’s all just memories from now on. This past year was one of trial and changes, but as everything is left behind now we can just hope for a new year that will be better from any point of view. Many plans, a huge wish list is already made for 2012 but above all one wish is more strong than any other one: health for everyone .

    Don’t you think time goes by so fast that you can’t even realize when another year is gone?! Everything is so strange,  like in a dream it seems like yesterday was last New Year’s Eve and now 12 months later we are preparing again to count backwards the moments till a new chapter of life starts.

     My husband and I, wish you all a Happy New Year, that will be full of health, happiness, good experiences, changes and many accomplishments, but no matter what shall happen don’t ever forget….. EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON!

     Goodbye old 2011……Welcome new 2012!

     Happy New Year!