Here We Start

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah, founder of Sail Publishing, a digital publishing house for online magazines and ebooks, and editor in chief of the Emirati Sail Magazine, an online magazine about community and culture written in English by Emirati columnists. Iman is a multi award winner in digital publishing, entrepreneurship, and literature. Iman has also completed the Leadership Strategies in Magazine Media Course in Yale University. Besides her work in publishing, she also lectures in Canadian University in Dubai.
Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Dear Sail Readers,

After a long delay, here we launch the August issue of Sail Magazine. As some of you know, I had some personal issues because of which this delay occurred in this month. I thank you all for your constant support and encouragement.

This month has an interesting mix in its content:

  • Think Aloud: The holy month of Ramadan. Now that Ramdan is around the corner, we thought about talking about it, the traditions of Ramadan, some history on Ramadan as a month and on fasting.
  • Interview: This issue’s interview is with Hala Kazim, the owner of “Journey Through Change”. A remarkable woman with a remarkable journey. How she found a business from what she enjoys doing the most.
  • Culture: A group of Emiratis recently went on a trip to China to explore its culture. Wael Al Sayegh, who was among the group, is sharing with us two poems he was inspired to write on this experience.
  • Spotlight: A TED talk by Dr. Naif Al Muttawa, in which he talks about the importance of superheroes for any generation.

Here We StartThink AloudInterviewCultureSpotlights

I hope you enjoy the read.

Please note, we may not launch a September issue, but we are working on introducing new columns for new issues. So stay tuned as always.

I know many of you are asking for a newsletter subscription to notify you with new issues as they are published. Though we did launch a form for that purpose last month, for some technical issues out of our control, it got removed. However, for now, as an intermediate solution, please do send us on sail.emagazine@gmail.com so that we can notify you on the next issue.

Many thanks to all of you.

With warm regards,
Iman Ben Chaibah

Ramadan is Round The Corner

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah, founder of Sail Publishing, a digital publishing house for online magazines and ebooks, and editor in chief of the Emirati Sail Magazine, an online magazine about community and culture written in English by Emirati columnists. Iman is a multi award winner in digital publishing, entrepreneurship, and literature. Iman has also completed the Leadership Strategies in Magazine Media Course in Yale University. Besides her work in publishing, she also lectures in Canadian University in Dubai.
Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

By Iman Ben Chaibah

Ramadan is just around the corner; coming back to us on its yearly visit. Yet the visits are never quite the same. The traditions and habits change across the years, making it interesting to explore what has changed and what had stayed. So in this month’s issue, we will talk a little on how Ramadan has been, the history of fasting and more about Ramadan’s spirit and traditions.

The main aspect of this month for non-Muslims is the fasting; in which Muslims completely refrain from eating and drinking from the break of dawn (in which the meal prior to that is called sohoor) till sunset (in which the meal after it is called iftar). But in reality, it is more than just that.

This month brings with it spiritual change and boost. In this month we strengthen our bonds with God, self, and families. The month, in which we become humble, understand the suffering of the poor and needy, we start more charitable deeds and donate more generously. We start forgiving people around us in the spirit of Ramadan along with the Godly forgiveness we receive in this month.

It is the month of sharing, so you start seeing little kids running around the neighborhood minutes before sunset prayer time, to deliver the covered food plates their mothers sent through them to the neighbors. The month that you find the whole family gathering on one meal again, when modern life had differed the family members’ lunch times, leading some to have their lunch at work and some to have it at different timings at home.

This blessed month brings out the culinary skills in girls; they get creative in making dessert dishes to impress their families and the neighbors. The boys compete to head to taraweeh prayers (the special Ramadan prayers that comes after the ishaa prayers around 8.30pm). Families start to visit each other after taraweeh prayers and stay well into the night.

Also, during Ramadan, there is what we call “Mawaed Al Rahman”, which means the servings of the merciful. In which at the sunset prayer time, many volunteers bring in dates, water glasses, and cooked meals to the mosques; so that whoever is dropping by the mosque at that time can break their fast along with their prayers.

Its worth mentioning that fasting, though regulated on Muslims after 15 years from the start of Islam, it is not something new for humanity. Fasting was known in previous civilizations. It was also mandated in Judaism and Christianity. Aside of the mandated fasting, people used to fast for different reasons; to thank God for something or as a way to get closer to sincere faith by experiencing humbleness and conquer their humanly desires.

However, Islam added more to Ramadan than just fasting. God and his prophet Mohammed (PBUH) promised Muslims with a lot of things in Ramadan. Some of those promises are: whatever you do from worship in this blessed month, you will be rewarded generously. Fasting on its own adds to the balance of Muslims’ good deeds, but to add to that, a Muslim can gain double the good deeds just by inviting another Muslim for iftar. This encourages Muslims to invite each other over iftar and to donate iftar for the poor. This is also one of the main reasons behind “Mawaed Al Rahman” mentioned earlier.

However, sadly, some people misrepresent Ramadan by the way they respond to their fasting. You see them becoming short tempered, spend the day lazily, and refuse to be productive. This is a mere reflection of a person’s ability of self-discipline. History proves that in the prophet’s (PBUH) days, the main wars and battles were won during the month of Ramadan itself, for what internal strength fasting bring out. The process of fasting along with the spirit of Ramadan is claimed by Islamic scholars to stir constant thinking, more responsive memory, and makes work more efficient by eliminating a lot of distractions.

Lets embrace that spirit again, bring back some positive habits, and share with others our true culture to help them understand the beauty of this month.

May you all have a blessed Ramadan.

Here We StartThink AloudInterviewCultureSpotlights

Interview with the Emirati Life Organizer Hala Kazim (@HalaKazim)

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah, founder of Sail Publishing, a digital publishing house for online magazines and ebooks, and editor in chief of the Emirati Sail Magazine, an online magazine about community and culture written in English by Emirati columnists. Iman is a multi award winner in digital publishing, entrepreneurship, and literature. Iman has also completed the Leadership Strategies in Magazine Media Course in Yale University. Besides her work in publishing, she also lectures in Canadian University in Dubai.
Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Interviewed by Shaima Al Tamimi

Hala Kazim, a lady that is passionate about showing people the path into untangling their lives, through de-cluttering, and getting in touch with all that nature can provide. From her passion she started her business “Journey Through Change”.

  • Tell us more about yourself and your decision to start “Journey Through Change”?
  • I am a mother, a wife, an artist, a life organizer and a traveler.  My recent decision to become a life organizer came about as a push from my friends, who have witnessed my meticulous skill and habit of being extremely organized in my day-to-day life. I have always been very organized in everything. If you come to my house anytime and open any drawers or cupboards and see the way my children live, you will notice that there is a system in the house.

    I am very good in de-cluttering and sitting with people to tackle aspects of their lives that they feel stuck with.

  • So when did you start as a business?
  • Just recently! I started a few months ago even though it was something I did for my friends and other people who seek my help.  That is when I realized there was a market for such a service. I am still fine-tuning certain aspects of the business, but I am already blessed with satisfied clients who recommend me to their friends and family through word of mouth and that has been the strongest marketing tool so far.

  • What is the process of service from A to Z that you provide your clients?
  • It all depends on what I am being hired for and it starts with a free consultation that allows me, along with my prospective client, to assess what they need. The clients have to be present throughout the service, because it is not about me cleaning their wardrobe and getting paid for it. It is about showing them the steps and the system they need to follow in order for them to benefit and feel confident to continue alone onwards.

  • As a start up, how do you measure the success of what you do?
  • I love helping people and I enjoy talking to them. When I see that someone is doing well after seeking my help that is my high. That is where I feel a sense of fulfillment.

  • What about your travels, how does that fit into your life?
  • I use traveling as a means to explore myself through nature. My way of traveling is very different from the way most Khaleejis (GCC citizens) travel. I do not shop and spend most of my time abroad at glitzy shopping malls and commercialized tourist areas. I like to see a country for what it is, and explore it through walking. Walking is my passion and when I do it in the right place, it helps me connect with myself and the nature surrounding me. Sometimes, I join groups or walk by myself across countries like Spain, Italy, India, Thailand, Yemen and Austria. I walk for hours, from village to villages, over mountains and forests and lakes. The experience is extremely invigorating and refreshing.

  • When did you start exploring and traveling around the world?
  • I started few years ago. I felt like I wanted to experience life in a different way and go for walking trips around the world, hike my way up to mountains, learn about people and cultures, and just take in the beauty of what we call life. Watching people is something that fascinates me. I can sit in a café for hours and just observe how people behave. We are after all, the most complicated creatures.

  • How often do you travel?
  • Wow, I actually go whenever I get the chance; so a few times a year. If I have the time and money, I make it a point to get away from routine. Take this advice from me as a woman, you will be a spouse, a parent, a friend, a housewife or a career person and within all these roles, you also need to be you and do things that make you happy as an individual, aside from the other roles in your life. Never compromise yourself to people at your own expense; it will lead to nothing but depression and ungratefulness.

  • Do you find that some of your Arabs friends criticize your need to travel just to walk?
  • The mixed reactions are always there. There are some who are surprised at what I do and would like to know more. Then, there are some who encourage me. However I do get the occasional “walking? Seriously? Why do you not just walk around the neighborhood instead of travel across the continent just to do that?” They do not understand the point of it and I just laugh. You need to keep an open mind about it and only then will you understand the magnitude of what it can do.

  • What kind of services do you provide within “Journey through Change”?
  • Oh plenty, my areas of expertise are in the following:
    – General De-cluttering
    – Wardrobe reorganization
    – One on One cooking lessons
    – Decorating advice
    – Image consultation
    – Shopping guidance

    One of the services that I will soon start offering is self-exploration through travel. I am taking a group of ladies with me to Austria next month and I guarantee that this trip will make “ a new you”. It is not easy to believe me until you go and experience it for what it is. It will blow you away; walking through nature, lying down on the green grass, screaming from the top of your lungs and not feeling caged because of the culture or people staring. It is just about letting go and feeling free.

    People take the feeling of freedom for granted when it is the most important thing that anybody and everybody looks for. You look for it in your room, in your work place, with friends and with yourself as well. It is the start of being you and feeling “I can be me and I do not have to put a mask”. Sadly this caged feeling is very prevalent in our Arabic society and it saddens me that even though we travel extensively around the world, we do not do it properly, nor make the most out of the beauty that has been created for us by Allah to enjoy.

  • Finally, What message do you want to give to the Arab community?
  • I want to say this, we Arabs have so much money and spend it all on material things. There is so much more to life than the Champs Elysees and Oxford Street and Harrods. Get yourself a backpack and go explore the world. I just wish if people would do that. This is really my message. It will teach you how to be flexible, much tolerant and cleanse yourself instead of spending aimless hours in the mall or in front of the TV wasting time and not achieving anything. I am not saying you have to camp outside You can still sleep in proper hotels or B&B’s (Breakfast & Bed) and take up activities like cooking, painting, hiking, or anything. Learn to explore and satisfy yourself through the nature that was created for us.

Here We StartThink AloudInterviewCultureSpotlights

Poems Inspired from China by Wael Al Sayegh

These poems were written whilst visiting Mainland China in June 2010 on a trip organized by POAG. As a poet I sometimes write and gift poems to people and who have in some way inspired me.

“Shanghai Whispers” and “We Stand United” were written whilst in Shanghai.

I hope you enjoy these poems.

All the best,
Wael Al Sayegh

*************************

SHANGHAI WHISPERS
(Better city Better life
Better human better universe)

If a single drop of water is the ocean
And a seed is the forest
You, one of a billion, are life.

The dragon twists and turns, flies up and drops down, has moods, personalities and cultural dimensions.
Pursue your dream like the dragon.  Don’t venture down the city’s dark alleys.  Persist, be strong, be focused.

If they say you are ugly, no matter. If they say you’re a freak, who cares?
There is always the sunrise of a better tomorrow, and the chance that someone
is travelling just to find you, to harness your talent for the world.

Be humble and kind
and  let the wisdom of the Chinese willow be always with you.

WE STAND UNITED

From the open mind of Deng Xiaoping came the open city of Shanghai
From the open heart of Sheikh Zayed comes the UAE
Wherever I travel, what I wear or see,
I am ever proud to call myself an Emirati.

If you come from China, Puerto Rico, Mexico,
the USA, India, Germany, Iran
or everything in-between
You can feel and live the Emirati vibe
And dance to the beat of its drum.

We stand united in mind, body, soul
amongst our many tribes, nationalities
and colourful cultures
The UAE’s heart opens to you,
and is honoured to have your help to grow.
It’s not about oil or money,
But developing the human soul

Long live the UAE!

Here We StartThink AloudInterviewCultureSpotlights

Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa and Superheroes Inspired by Islam

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah, founder of Sail Publishing, a digital publishing house for online magazines and ebooks, and editor in chief of the Emirati Sail Magazine, an online magazine about community and culture written in English by Emirati columnists. Iman is a multi award winner in digital publishing, entrepreneurship, and literature. Iman has also completed the Leadership Strategies in Magazine Media Course in Yale University. Besides her work in publishing, she also lectures in Canadian University in Dubai.
Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Dr. Naif Al Muttawa, the creator of “The 99” comics,  was one of the TEDGlobal 2010 talkers. He talked about the importance of role models to represent Islam in a positive image for both, Mulsims and non-Muslims.

For more TED talks videos. visit www.TED.com

Here We StartThink AloudInterviewCultureSpotlights