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)
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Dear Sail Readers,

It is always inspiring to see new members enthusiastically joining Sail Magazine writers with new areas to write about.

In December issue, Hamda Al Hashemi is starting a new column in Sail Magazine called “Living Through The Eyes of Art” in which she relates arts to the real life in a very unique way. I hope you find this as I had, a valuable addition to the magazine. I find this column, aside of our other columns, smoothly complements our irregular column “Society of Tomorrow” by Mohammed AlJuneibi in which he relates technology to our real life.

As for our December issue, here are the columns:

  • Interview: We are interviewing Anas Bukhash, one of Ahdaaf Sporting Club’s owners. The first indoor sporting facility in the UAE with AstroTurf fields.
  • Scenes from Life: Rawan Albina talks about how we have grown to take certain joys for granted, and suggests being a child for a day to find our passions again.
  • Just Another Undergrad: Fatma Bujsaim expresses how she learnt to be on time for her classes and what values she gained from that.
  • Living Through The Eyes of Art: Hamda Al Hashemi explains how paintings have a meaning beyond comprehension, and how sometimes we do not need to understand them.
  • Spotlights: Stacey Kramer talks about certain gifts in life that transform our lives to what we want, but come in packages we did not expected.

Here We StartInterviewScenes from Life
Just Another UndergradLiving Through The Eyes of ArtSpotlights

With warm regards,
Iman Ben Chaibah,
Editor in Chief

Ahdaaf Sports Club, Expanding Non-Competitive Sport Facilities in the UAE

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)
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Ahdaaf is the first indoor sporting facility in the UAE to offer its players top-grade astroturf fields. It was launched in January 2009 by its owners: Anas Bukhash, Fahad Kazim, Mustafa Al Hashemi, and Yousef Al Hashimi. For Sail Magazine’s December issue, we had the opportunity to interview Anas Bukhash to tell us more about Ahdaaf.

Interviewed by Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

  • What is Ahdaaf?

Ahdaaf is a sports club that provides people, of all ages, with a high-quality facility to play sports. We found that, in the UAE, if you want to play sports on a non-professional level, you will have limited choices; there are no services or facilities for playing sports in the private sector.

So there was a big gap in the market that we wanted to fill. Our branch in Al-Qouz was the first indoor Astroturf football field in the UAE. It gives the experience of playing outdoors, allowing you to wear your normal football shoes with the cleats in an indoors air-conditioned environment.

  • What are the services provided by Ahdaaf?

Ahdaaf provides many services. One of our services is “Youth Coaching” for kids. It is one of our main goals to provide a more active lifestyle for kids. When we were kids, everyday after school we would finish our homework then play outside till sunset, after that we would go back home. This is no longer the case, the new generations are constantly losing that because means of entertainment are growing through video game consoles, TV shows, shopping malls, smart-phones, and so on.

We have as well the “One on one” personal football training service which is for any age.

Another service is the “Corporate team building”, in which a certain corporate would divide its staff into departmental teams to play a tournament against each other, in order to build team skills and take a break out of the office environment.

Ahdaaf also organizes a yearly Ramadan tournament, which is catered for those who want to play to compete. On top of that, we are going to launch the league very soon in January 2011, which will be longer than a tournament.

Aside of those services we have the general field booking for those who do not want to play to compete, instead they just want to play with their friends or colleagues for fun and pleasure.

  • What are Ahdaaf’s main objectives?

On a business level we want to expand. We are currently expanding our Al-Qouz branch. A new branch is under construction in Al-Warqaa area, which should be ready by the end of the year.

We want to grow into the other emirates, then other countries. We are receiving franchise proposals, but we are taking our time. Hopefully, one day Ahdaaf will be a worldwide recognized franchised brand.

On a health level, we want to be able to contribute in reducing the high rates of obesity, diabetes, and cholesterol that are associated with the UAE’s nation. This requires a change in lifestyles into more active ones. The weather is the main challenge in our region, so it is our responsibility as a nation to provide facilities that people need with maximum convenience.

On another level we need to raise awareness. The more branches we have the more we can promote the healthy lifestyle. We also try on our social media pages to put a daily health or exercise fact to raise awareness about eating well and exercising and so on.

  • How did the idea of Ahdaaf materialize between the partners?

All of us, the partners, had studied abroad between the United States and Canada. We studied entirely different majors, hence we are so different, and each one of us brings something different to the table, and we are all very passionate about sports. While we were abroad, we noticed that there are good sports facilities, and they are well spread. Many of those facilities are privately owned facilities; leading to a higher competition and better quality. All the facilities were air-conditioned and supplied with Astroturf, so we were getting the outdoors quality in an indoor environment, which would definitely work in this region with our hot weather. That was something we really wanted to achieve.

We approached Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development as soon as we came back to the UAE in year 2003. It took us four and a half years to establish Ahdaaf with all the different challenges we faced. However, the most challenging aspect was the location, because at the time we were working on the feasibility study and the business model, all the prices were booming and it was expensive everywhere. Thankfully, our perseverance helped us manage through those times.

  • Had SME establishment declined fund Ahdaaf, what would you have done?

We already had backup plans. We sat down and discussed alternatives. We asked the partners who would be willing to take loans and funds, and we were all on board. We were really convinced with the idea, so there was no going back. It makes a huge difference when the people are really passionate about what they are doing.

  • Ahdaaf has four managing partners. What is the role of each?

We focus on separate and common aspects. I look over the tournaments, coaching, and social media aspects. Mustafa and Yousef handle the daily operations, branch expansions and so on. Fahad manages the financing and accounting aspects. Together we work on business proposals, business expansions, and business development. Thanks to our blackberries, we manage many issues on the blackberry messenger (BBM) groups. We have a group with the full staff and one with the partners only. It is very difficult to sit down in one place with each of us managing their day jobs on the side. We do have our weekly meetings that are concrete, but then on a daily basis we really need to communicate about a lot of things that are happening and the BBM groups help.

  • What are the last words you would like to pass on?

For anyone who wants to follow their dream of a business or whatever it may be, anything can be achieved with passion, a lot of hard work, good strategy, and good planning, because they all work hand in hand. Having just a passion without a plan will take you nowhere, and having a plan without passion will just take you so far. You should not give up. Even if you are rejected 10 times, if you just keep your faith and keep fighting for what you want, you will get it eventually. You may not get it immediately, but if you keep knocking the doors, someone will eventually open up. Ahdaaf, for example, got a lot of rejections in the process but after 4.5 years, on January 2009, Ahdaaf became a reality and was launched, and we have been operating for almost two years now.

To know more about Ahdaaf Sports Club you can view the links below:
– website

– Twitter @ahdaaf
– Facebook Fan page “Ahdaaf

Here We Start – Interview – Scenes from Life
Just Another UndergradLiving Through The Eyes of ArtSpotlights

Why Any Adult Needs To Be a Child For a Day

Rawan Albina (@RawanAlbina)

Rawan, CPCC, ACC, is a Professional Certified Coach, owner of Leap Coaching & Training whose life’s mission is to help women achieve their dreams.
Her strongly positive nature and calm demeanor enables her to gently draw out a person’s full potential as she helps them get in touch with their passions, find their purpose and LEAP into a truly fulfilling and extraordinary life.
Women who are at a crossroads in life, young women ‘Entreprenettes’ and teenagers have all found a strong guide in Rawan who has helped them discover the life skills needed to begin the new phases in their life with confidence.

Latest posts by Rawan Albina (@RawanAlbina) (see all)

Reading Time: 5 minutes

By Rawan Albina ( @RawanAlbina)

I look at my son and I am amazed by the way he views the world and interacts with it. His eyes are always filled with such curiosity. Life is a playground where he experiments through touching, listening, observing, learning and exploring. The sheer excitement about every little new thing he discovers makes me realise how much we, as adults, take for granted.

The small things that used to mean a lot are replaced with the bigger, more materialistic things over time. Small victories and joys are replaced with larger plans and goals and these goals seem to get bigger as we grow older. We train ourselves to keep our eyes on the target so that when we reach it we do not linger; once a goal is achieved we immediately start making new plans and already have our eyes set on the next goal. As a result, we lose sight of what once meant so much, which causes us to feel disoriented and confused.

Do you find yourself sometimes wondering about how you got to be who you are today? Do you catch yourself having an internal dialogue with your ego wondering since when has the dream of owning a sports car or a designer handbag replaced your dream of making a difference in the world? There is nothing wrong with owning expensive and luxurious things as long as you are aware of which part of you they are satisfying. Some of my clients complain that they do not recognize who they are anymore. They thought that once they have achieved a certain social or financial status they would be happy but they realise that they are not. That is because somewhere along the way they have confused their own values with the values of society and the influential few and have traded their passions for the convenience, the comfort and the fame.

So what really happens on our journey in life? How do we change from the curious beings eager to learn and grow to the over-confident beings eager to retire wealthy and grow too… but younger? Somewhere along the way, our goals start losing some of their identity and start looking more and more like the generic goals of our next door neighbour. As humans we have the power to influence each other therefore affecting the choices we make and the decisions we take. Conforming is always easier than rebelling but there is so much more fire in rebellion, so much more passion, do not you agree?

According to an online dictionary, “passion” means “boundless enthusiasm”. It has been described as an intense, driving and overmastering emotion. It is the “energetic, unflagging pursuit of an aim”. When was the last time you practised having “boundless enthusiasm” about anything? Your energy on a daily basis is usually a good way to gage where you are on the passion-meter. When was your passion-meter at 100? A good way to reconnect with your passion is to remember a time in your life where you felt completely alive and every single ounce of your being was tingling with excitement. What were you doing back then? Who were you being and which part of that person is missing in you today? Reconnecting with that missing part of you often holds the key to unlocking your passion. Find it and try to relate to its core values, its dreams and desires. How did that part of you view the world back then and how has that perspective changed from where you are standing today?

Some of you might not be able to relate to what I am saying at all; while it will completely resonate with others who are ready to really look at themselves in the mirror and see what they need to change in order to get that passion out of the closet and move forward on their road to fulfilment. There is no right or wrong, it is really about what feels good for you. So please stop looking around you for approval and validation. Stop conforming and start questioning. I invite you to get curious, carry your passion in your heart and see the world with the eyes of a child if only for a day.

Rawan Albina is a Dubai-based professional coach. You can learn more about her and her work by:
– Visiting her website

– Follow her on Twitter @RawanAlbina
– Or join her Facebook Fan Page “Life on a Treadmill

Here We StartInterview – Scenes from Life
Just Another UndergradLiving Through The Eyes of ArtSpotlights

Being Late for Class is Being Late for Life

Fatma Bujsaim (@FatmaBujsaim)

Senior Editor. Ex- Column: Just Another Undergrad

After graduating with a Bachelor degree in International Studies and a minor in converged media, Fatma still finds herself hungry for knowledge, which led to her enrolling in a postgraduate program. Her passion for both reading and writing has made her extend her stay in Sail eMagazine so that she can learn & develop her skills. When not buried in her books and novels, Fatma is found on tennis courts or in a classroom learning a new language.
She wrote her previous column: “Just another undergrad” hoping she can give what she didn’t have when she was a freshman: comfort and guidance, and also bring back memories to all those graduates out there. She wonders if things are going to be the same after graduation.

Latest posts by Fatma Bujsaim (@FatmaBujsaim) (see all)

Reading Time: 4 minutes

By Fatma Bujsaim (@Fatma_Bujsaim)

Remember those days when we were late to class in high school because we just felt like being late; no responsibility, no extreme consequences. The days when “I was sick” or “My dad’s car broke down” was enough for our absence. Sadly to say, when we move to the next stage in life, which is university, things are not the same. Even if our cat died that day and then our car broke down and when we took a cab, lightening struck and gave us a flat tire. The only reply we will get is “That is not our problem, it is yours. Deal with it”.

James Piecowye, an associate professor in Zayed University’s college of communication and media science, is one of those professors whose class starts at nine thirty a.m. and if we enter the classroom at nine thirty-one we are marked absent. It is very frustrating when that happens in a university that has a strict attendance policy; 4-5 absences and we automatically fail the course. Failure is not something any one of us wants on his/her transcript.

So after a long time of expressing feelings of frustration and annoyance, mostly done in our head or out to our friends, we start to realize that being on time means a lot more than avoiding academic failure. One of those things is showing the respect we have for the person we are meeting at that specific time, whether he/she is a professor or a project partner or a family member.

Everything in life is linked together in one-way or another; the human brain connects things in ways we cannot imagine. Somewhere in sophomore to junior year, when our goals are clearer to us and we know what we want (part of it if not all), we realize that being late or being on time shows the level of commitment we have for things, and how much it means to us. Every action we take or decision we make affects us, our goals, our education, our work and our nation, be it in a positive or negative way.

Through our time in university, we find role models we look up to; people who are a source of inspiration and motivation to us, people who make us strive for excellence no matter how small or big it is. We develop ideas and plans based on their ideologies, their achievements, or merely based on their existence.

Our late father, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, also known as baba Zayed, has worked long and hard to unite our seven Emirates and create this nation. He transformed sand dunes into a heaven on earth, and plain seashores into a land filled with skyscrapers. Nothing more than a dream turned into a reality.

One man, hand in hand with other men, created the county, the nation, the land we live on today. Throughout our days we keep on mentioning how much we owe those great men, especially our baba Zayed, and saying that the things we do and our goals are all aimed to live up to baba Zayed’s legacy, to give back to our own country for educating us, providing us with good healthcare, and a good living. But how much action are we putting into our words?

Our actions show the level of commitment we have for our goals. Everyone can talk, but not everyone can do. To act does not require a lot of effort; it starts with a will that is then transformed into a small action, leading us to acting upon our words. That small action could be showing up in time to a class or a meeting. Taking the responsibility and making an effort shows how much we care. People say little things matter but they do not always bother with them.

No good reason is ever good enough. And no excuse is ever excusable. I found my reason for commitment somewhere in between running to class and being lectured by a professor and writing down my goals and how to achieve them. If you have not found your reason yet, it is not too late; it is never too late to find your source of motivation to pursue your goals.

This, my friends, is what I found out while I am on campus; I wonder if that is going to change after graduation.

Here We StartInterviewScenes from Life
Just Another Undergrad – Living Through The Eyes of ArtSpotlights

A Life Lesson From Picasso

Hamda Al Hashemi (@Hamda_alhashemi)

Column: Art of Living 101. Previously as: Living Through The Eyes of Art
Hamda AlHashemi is a 20 something year old interior design graduate, and an SZHP employee. She appreciates art, food, psychology and culture. For her, Arabic calligraphy is music for the eyes; beautiful and calming. She thrives to become an entrepreneur of her own furniture line and aims to get her Phd on the long run. Hamda’s articles revolve around how our psychological thoughts influence our actions, and how to use them to our advantage.

Latest posts by Hamda Al Hashemi (@Hamda_alhashemi) (see all)

Reading Time: 4 minutes

by Hamda Al Hashemi (@Hamda_AlHashemi)

Albert Camus once said, “A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession.” Whether it was intentional or not, every artist has something to say in their artwork. Every curve, line, color, shadow, and shape tells a story. These artistic aspects are parallel to everything we face in life; the way we interpret a hand gesture, a tone of voice, or someone’s glare. Basically, everything in an art piece is a method of communication that sends a message. The question is, do we listen?

Let’s take Pablo Picasso as an example; he was the most influential artist of the 20th century. Before understanding concepts of art and design I referred to his work as “ugly”. But I now realize my ignorance. Picasso was a man with a troubled soul and hidden pain. And his way of letting out his frustration was through a brush and some paint.

When he was fourteen, he began to learn the basics of art, which he mastered.  Unlike everyone in his time, art was his feelings; painting in black was his way of screaming, painting in red and yellow was his way of saying he’s in love. At the age of sixteen, Picasso rebelled through his art; he used methods that didn’t follow the rules of art. He came up with techniques that weren’t acknowledged at that time. As a result, his father told him to be “normal”. But according to Picasso, no one was normal.

In a few sentences he summarized a lifelong lesson:
“Everyone wants to understand art. Why don’t we try to understand the song of a bird? Why do we love the night, the flowers, everything around us, without trying to understand them? But in the case of a painting, people think they have to understand. If only they would realize above all that an artist works of necessity, that he himself is only an insignificant part of the world, and that no more importance should be attached to him than to plenty of other things which please us in the world though we can’t explain them; people who try to explain pictures are usually barking up the wrong tree.”

People cry, laugh, smile, dance, and frown. But not Picasso, Picasso paints. And nobody can do anything about it.

When I am nervous I bite my nails. When I am sad I barely talk. All of these actions are interpretations of what I am experiencing emotionally. But not everybody knows that. Except for those who listen; they listen to my body language.

When I saw Picasso’s painting Guernica, I listened and I heard pain, suffering, death, and love. I listened to a mother crying over her child, I listened to the cries of dying men, and I listened to the weeps of widows. When Picasso saw what was happening he had to let it all out so he went to his supplies and he picked up the paint and started to draw, what he felt, what he listened to! He had to tell the world or else he would have blown up from the inside. He drew sharp lines, disfigured forms, and communicated everything he felt. He would not have cared if anyone asked him why there were random body parts all over the painting because no one would get it.

“Are we to paint what is on the face, what is inside the face, or what is behind it? “ (Picasso). By looking at the world of Pablo Picasso, I learned a lesson. I should not take everything very seriously to understand what is going on. All I need to do is to pay better attention, open my mind, and let my imagination run wild. I need to listen to life when it speaks to me.  Understanding the world will help us reach our goals and live a healthy life; socially interactive, and psychologically pleasing. I am not a philosopher but the simplest thing can be the most important thing. No one controls the way I think just like no one can control the way Picasso draws; I do not have to be shy to say what I have, I can just say it, whether it is through my drawings or what I write.

Here We StartInterviewScenes from Life
Just Another Undergrad – Living Through The Eyes of Art – Spotlights

Stacey Kramer on Sickness Being Her Life’s Best Gift

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)
Reading Time: 1 minute

In this TED video, Stacey talks about how certain happenings in life regardless of all their negative meanings can still be looked at with a very positive way.

Here We StartInterviewScenes from Life
Just Another UndergradLiving Through The Eyes of Art – Spotlights