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,

Here we start a new month with another issue of Sail Magazine, and yet again, we have two new introductions to the magazine, in an effort to keep growing the magazine and diversify its topics further.

Our first addition to Sail comes in the form of a new advisory board member, Aida AlBusaidy. Aida with her background in journalism, corporate communication, PR, and social media; she will be advising on the monthly content and help cultivate the magazine further.

The second introduction for this month is a new column named “To The Point”, written by Mohammed Kazim. Mohammed’s column aims to openly and honestly target issues around the native culture, society, religion, economy, and policy that have resulted as a consequence of the constantly changing demographics of the region.  The column is characterized by a point-like articulate approach that gives the reader a comprehensive understanding of the discussed issues. I hope you enjoy his column as much as I did.

So without further due, here are this issue’s columns by Sail team:

  • Interview: We interviewed Wael Al Sayegh; owner of AlGhaf intercultural intelligence consultancy, a poet, a martial arts expert, and much more. In this issue we are publishing the first part of the interview on his personal life and the start of his career.
  • Just Another Undergrad: Fatma Bujsaim talks about the problem we face both in high school and university: the mind blockage and lack of the ideas flow.
  • Living Through The Eyes of Art: Hamda Al Hashemi writes how Dubai is growing and changing day by day, but how there are some things that should be preserved.
  • Scenes From Life: Rawan Albina explains the idea of deep conversations, and how can you have one.
  • To The Point: Mohammed Kazim discusses the phenomenon of tribalism in marriage and its consequences on the society.
  • Words, Observations, and Ramblings: Reem Abdalla writes about franchising and give insights on the increase of franchising in the UAE in specific.
  • Spotlights: Derek Sivers talks about the importance of keeping your dreams for yourself.

Here We Start – InterviewJust Another UndergradLiving Through The Eyes of Art
Scenes From Life
To The PointWords, Observations, and RamblingsSpotlights

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I hope you all have a great year ahead.

Enjoy the read.

With warm regards,
Iman Ben Chaibah
Founder/ Editor in Chief

Interview with Wael AlSayegh – Part 1

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)

Wael Al Sayegh is an uprising star in the skies of Dubai. He is a blend of many qualities, the owner of AlGhaf – intercultural intelligence consulting firm-, a poet, a publisher, an expert in martial arts, and much more. He has journeyed through a long tunnel to get where he is, and he is just beginning to come out into the light. To serve him right, the interview with Wael will be split into two parts. The first part in this issue we will be asking him about his background, personal life, and about his start. In the second part of the interview, which will be featured Sail’s next issue, we will be focusing more on AlGhaf, its purpose, and its future.

Interviewed by Iman Ben Chaibah

  • Wael, you are an Edinburgh-born Emirati, tell us more about that.
  • I have an Emirati father and a Bahraini mother. I was born in Edinburgh in Scotland, where my father was continuing his studies, and I spent the bulk of my upbringing in there. Psychologically, the majority of my personality was developed there.

    We came back to Dubai when I was young, and I graduated from a school in Dubai. Then I went back to Scotland, to continue my studies before I finally settled back in Dubai.

  • How did you start your career in Dubai?
  • I always had this fascination with money, and I just wanted to be around money. Since my family came from a very academic background, in which you are either a doctor or a lawyer, I thought the only other traditional occupation that would honor my family at the time was in the financial world.

    Very often you have to discover what you are not, in order to discover what you are. So, I started working in the financial world and was immersed in it.  The management were happy with me, they gave me long term development programs, and I was being paid well with a very bright managerial future. Yet, I found myself not wanting to do this anymore. I thought I wanted this, and I finally achieved it, but I suddenly found myself not wanting to do it anymore.

  • What did you do about it?
  • I needed a change of scenery to try to find my passion, so I decided to go on a trip to South Africa with my friend. It was there that I decided to quit the financial world right then and there. I did not know what I would do; I just knew that I wanted to quit.

    During that same trip I met Shamilla, who later became my wife. I got to know her on that trip and found out that she works in Dubai. I learnt a lot from Shamilla, and reading is one of the things. I never thought I could commit to reading, but she guided me to read in the areas that I actually enjoy in real life, and that is where I began my journey with reading around the age of 25.

  • Geoff Thompson is known to have a big influence on your growth journey. How did that start?
  • As I started my journey with reading, I came across his books, and his background amazed me. He worked as a bouncer in Coventry’s nightclubs, one of the most violent cities in Europe back in the early 1980’s. He risked his life on those nightclub doors, learnt how to defend himself, and witnessed many of his friends getting killed or hospitalized. At some point he reached the realization that he has the ability to do anything after working for 10 years as a bouncer. That is when he started writing, and became an award-winning writer, and a number of his writings were directed into movies.

    I was intrigued by the sincerity in his words, until I eventually took a trip and met him in person. From then on, I started to get to know him personally, and got invited to a couple of his exclusive martial arts training sessions.

    Geoff made me understand what fear is. He says fear is the friend of exceptional people; people do what they do because of their fear not because of their lack of it.

  • What were your main fears back then?
  • My biggest fear was to live an unfulfilled life. Until Geoff’s work, I was just an Emirati. I had the fear of being nothing but a Kandoora (The UAE national dress for men). I wanted to be something, but I had no idea what that something was. That is where reading came in; books drew my roadmap. I was not the only one who did not know what they wanted to do; it is interesting to see how many great legends started with a massive amount of fear.

  • What is fear in your opinion and why do people run away from it?
  • Geoff defines fear as “shadows”. They are the parts that do not serve us well. A shadow is what questions your motives for doing something good and tries to opt you into conforming instead. Some of these shadows are in complete control of us. I believe Islam calls this “the biggest battle” in the name of God (Al Jihad Al Akbar). This battle is ongoing inside all of us all the time. It is the eternal battle between the good and the bad. Faith in goodness cannot grow without a fight, and it feeds on light, which is found through knowledge; meeting people who are doing good things, reading, etc. Shadows do not like the light, because the minute it appears they are exposed, and they do not like to be in the spotlight, so they fight it.

    First of all, we have to acknowledge that this happens inside of us. A lot of people ask me why I practice martial arts when it is a safe country. I think the reason our society is being completely beaten up by luxury, type 2 diabetes, high divorce rates, and all other major issues is because we do not even know who the enemy is. First rule of self-defense is awareness, so how can you defend yourself if you do not even know you are being attacked?

    We tend to forget that we are metaphysical as well as physical beings, and so we have become very imbalanced. There are smart people, whose bodies are completely imbalanced, and there are many people who are physically strong but their minds are immature. We have to regain the balance so we can fight our own shadows and fears.

  • So what happened after your left the financial sector?
  • I worked for 2 years in Mohamed bin Rashid establishment for young business leaders as an investment analyst with my financial background. I worked with entrepreneurs who were making their dreams and ideas become reality. This led me to the decision that I wanted to start my business.

    I believe that the minute you start to really think about it, things will happen. So as I started thinking about what I can do, I got a phone call from a friend of mine who had started giving lectures to expatriates about the culture and history of the region and he had signed a deal with another company to do all the selling. So he wanted me to help him in the lectures, he needed someone who is authentically an Emirati but could speak in English, and so there I was. We started the company and it lasted for about 2 years. Then my partner went to start something else while I wanted to continue these lectures. I sold my shares with him and started my company “AlGhaf” and that grew from cross-culture awareness, which is about explaining the Arabic culture, and inter-cultural intelligence.

In the next issue, Wael will be telling us more about the meaning of the term AlGhaf for him, what is inter-cultural intelligence, how does AlGhaf operate, and much more. Stay Tuned.

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To know more about Wael Al Sayegh and AlGhaf visit the following links:
– Wael’s website: www.waelalsayegh.com
– AlGhaf’s website:
www.alghaf.com
– Twitter: @TheMartialPoet, @AlGhaf
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Here We Start – Interview – Just Another UndergradLiving Through The Eyes of Art
Scenes From Life
To The PointWords, Observations, and RamblingsSpotlights

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University Stress = Mind Block

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)

By Fatma Bujsaim (@Fatma_Bujsaim)

In the past articles from “Just Another Undergrad” column, the light was shed on how high school and university lives are very different from each other; but what we failed to see is how similar they are too. Things are not always completely different; we sometimes find threads of similarities between them.

Regardless of the stress level we go through in both stages, one thing is found in both for sure: the mind blockage we face.  If you are not familiar with the term, it is what we mean when we are out of ideas and our mind refuses to work in any possible way. We seem to fail to write papers or essays, work on projects, study for exams, and even attend the actual classes; our concentration and interest levels in anything school/university-related, in our case, falls down to zero.

We might argue that when a personal goal is very close and within hands-reach, like holidays in our desperate case as students, we stop trying to work for our goal; some of us stop working all together while others just slow down their pace. The point is, we cannot do anything; not because we do not want to, but because we cannot. There is no flow of ideas anymore. But then again, it does not necessarily have to happen because we are close to the goal. Sometimes it happens at the beginning of our journey and sometimes, halfway through, it mainly happens for no apparent reason and at the most random times. We tend to daydream a lot or plan for the future just to escape our current responsibilities. We escape because we know that if we were to face those responsibilities, we may not be able to finish them or even get started with them.

Our different attitude towards our mind blockage has, like everything else, consequences. Surrendering to the blockage and letting it get to us is one of life’s greatest failures; we end up losing a lot of things, such as grades, time, others respect, and our very own success. And because of that, we learn that we must control our thoughts.

Once our thoughts are controlled, our ideas will start to flow. The only way we can control our thoughts is if we stopped thinking about both the past and the future and start thinking of the present instead. As human beings, we keep on remembering the past and trying to build a brighter future; we forget our present, our current moment. Once we live in the “now”, our mind becomes more balanced and it becomes easier for us to focus on what is in front of us at that specific moment.

After we learn how to control our thoughts, the only thing missing is the inspiration. And this leads us to the next lesson: finding the thing or place that pushes our potentials and triggers our ideas. Whether it is sitting alone by a water-fountain or in a crowded coffee shop, or even bungee jumping for some adrenaline rush, we must find our place, our own driving force.

It is not unusual to have no flow of ideas at all and it is not degrading to have a mind blockage. But what becomes a problem is when we decide to do nothing about it. If you ever faced this matter, it is all right, we all did and it is more than normal to feel blank. The secret is finding our very own way of dealing with it and not letting it hold us behind and ruin what we worked so hard for.

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

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Here We StartInterview – Just Another Undergrad – Living Through The Eyes of Art
Scenes From Life
To The PointWords, Observations, and RamblingsSpotlights
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Dubai: What’s Left of my Land

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)

By Hamda AlHashemi (@Hamda_Alhashemi)

When it comes to looking at a work of art, it does not matter if you do not see what everyone else sees. In fact, it is impossible for two viewers to look at a piece of artwork and describe or interpret it in the same way. Without noticing it, our opinions change gradually. Sometimes this change is a result of the change in environment, meeting certain people, or reading something that changed your way of thinking.

When I visited the “Biladi” exhibition in “Tashkeel”, and looked at Reem AlGhaith’s art piece about Dubai, it felt like I am looking at a beautiful, modern city; except it was not the city I knew. I look at this developed city but I can see that so much has changed and I wonder, is this the Dubai I know? Is this the same place I was born and raised in?

Reem AlGhaith is a 24-year-old Emirati artist who studied in the American University in Sharjah. As a visual artist, her work concentrates on the urban and social landscape changes in Dubai and she relates these changes to tradition and history. She illustrates her work using different methods such as photography, printmaking, and graphic design.

The piece I am going to talk about is a 7×6 meters of mixed media installation. The piece is titled “Dubai: What’s Left of my Land”. Looking at the busy piece, I instantly knew it was about Dubai. But reading the title was a completely different experience. After reading the title, some might feel proud, some might feel neutral, and some might feel sad. I consider myself part of the latter.

Dubai- What's left from my land, by Reem AlGhaith

To look at the details of the piece, one has to stand close and stare carefully. Wires and construction elements surrounded all the street names and map details. This reflected exactly how I feel as an individual living in Dubai; living in a place where so much is happening that we feel somewhat forgotten. The most obvious elements in the piece were of three construction men and “Burj Khalifa”. I interpreted that as the investment and effort dedicated to modernization and urbanization rather than investing in what is already there such as the individuals or some of the landmark areas.

At the pace at which Dubai is moving right now, it feels like there is just too much going on. And the “development” part of it all is strenuous in mainly one field. All these development ideas are imported from foreign minds when in fact, we as locals must contribute the most. Why do we seem so proud of someone else’s accomplishments?

Like the tiny light bulbs that illuminated some of the old areas in Dubai in Reem’s piece, some people still see them, some people are still proud of these regions. The old memories they have of “what’s left of Dubai” are still worth something.

Another element of the piece that really interested me was the words and letters distributed all around: “artificial”, “in progress”, “change”, “dreams”. These words relate to the visual representations and deeper meanings. Change, for example, is something that I do not only see physically in the buildings and the foreigners, but it is something psychological as well. Dubai is not ours anymore; we have to share most of it with everyone who comes to enjoy its growth. And that alone causes a lot of emotional distress for many of us as locals. When you feel like you are losing something so precious to someone else that does not appreciate it as much as you do, then you are exposed to feeling sorrow.

New experiences are always welcomed, but by changing some things we force ourselves to let go of memories that shaped who we are. Being a Dubai-ian, I wish I could contribute to developing this wonderful city but at the same time preserve some of its authenticity and originality. I always see Al Bastakiya as a great example of how an old neighborhood became an artistic icon; a place where artists come from different countries and backgrounds, to meet and be inspired by each other. And one of the main reasons for that is its aesthetical and historical value of it. Last but not least, I hope that one day, we as locals, will be able to look at Dubai and say: “we made that happen.”

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Here We StartInterviewJust Another Undergrad – Living Through The Eyes of Art
Scenes From Life
To The PointWords, Observations, and RamblingsSpotlights
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What Is A Deep Conversations

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)

By Rawan Albina (@RawanAlbina)

As a personal development coach I meet a lot of people. What strikes me the most is that 80% of them are longing to find someone they can have a deep conversation with; someone they can share their interests and viewpoints without being judged. People in general are tired of living on the surface and having superficial conversations out of politeness or courtesy. They long to break out of the mold that society has shaped for them.

As little children, we are expected to be who others want us to be and to behave in a certain way. Of course boundaries are very important but it becomes dangerous when these boundaries stop us from blossoming into who we are meant to become. Growing up, in order to please and belong, we give up a part of who we are and we end up conforming and adapting.

Some of us have superficial conversations and pep talk because we want to avoid going into deeper levels. We probably do not trust people too quickly or we do not want to give too much away. Or since everyone seems to be chit chatting, let us not sound too weird by being the “serious” and “boring” ones. Some others just like small talk and do not seem to mind it. There are also those who refuse to have any conversation unless it is deep enough according to their standards.

But what do I really mean by deep conversation? Here is my definition:
A deep conversation is one that goes beyond the superficial and ordinary into the next level. Imagine a conversation unfolding one layer at a time just like peeling an onion. There are essential elements to an interesting deep conversation; one that you would be enjoying so much that you cannot get enough of. Some of these elements are: connection, curiosity, values, passions, common interests, culture, cultivation, knowledge, listening, openness, tolerance and acceptance.

To build a deep conversation, you need to feel a connection with the person in front of you, get curious about who they are, how they think, understand the way they view the world, and get to know the interests & passions you have in common. You cannot establish a deep conversation if you have not got those established.
The person’s culture, intellectual level and knowledge are also essential in determining the direction the conversation will take.

Having deep conversations might sound like a lot of hard work but it really is not. Once you have that connection the conversation simply flows. Have you noticed how it is so much easier to have a meaningful conversation with someone you have known for years? Someone you grew up with maybe? That is because you do not have to keep up pretenses with them. They are your friends and may know you better than you know yourself.

Many people ask me but where can I find like-minded people? There are a lot of events and meet-up groups that bring people together around similar interests. These could be on networking, entertainment, art, hobbies or education and the list goes on.

Finally you cannot have a deep meaningful conversation with anyone if you believe you are the only person with something of value to say. You need to listen twice as much as you talk; having two ears and one mouth is no coincidence. Be open to the other’s point of view and stand in a place of tolerance and acceptance. If the person in front of you feels that you are judging them or criticizing them, you may lose that connection immediately.

The key is not to wait for someone to approach you in order to have a meaningful conversation but to go out there and seek them yourself. The next deep conversation you can have with someone might be closer than you think!

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

– Visiting her website www.leaplifecoach.com
– Follow her on Twitter @RawanAlbina
– Or join her Facebook Fan Page “Life on a Treadmill
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Here We StartInterviewJust Another UndergradLiving Through The Eyes of Art
Scenes From Life – To The PointWords, Observations, and RamblingsSpotlights
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Tribalism, Marriage, & Society

Mohammed Kazim (@MAKazim)

Mohammed Kazim (@MAKazim)

Mohammed, an Emirati involved in healthcare business development, comes with a background in biomedical & clinical engineering, technology management, finance, and business setup related project management. Mohammed has a keen interest in relevant social, religious, economic, and cultural affairs.
Mohammed’s bi-monthly column aims to openly and honestly target issues around the native culture, society, religion, economy, and policy that have resulted as a consequence of the constantly changing demographics of the region. The column is characterized by a point-like articulate approach that gives the reader a comprehensive understanding of the discussed issues.
Mohammed Kazim (@MAKazim)

Latest posts by Mohammed Kazim (@MAKazim) (see all)

By Mohammed Kazim (@MAKazim)

One of the most interesting features of the countries that are located along the coast of the Arabian Gulf, also knows as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, is that they share the same language and religion.  This similarity serves as a wonderful foundation for cooperation in various aspects of life, be it at a socio-political level or at an individual level. However, the discovery of oil and the drastic shift in people’s lifestyles due to the sudden emergence of wealth, I believe, led to a shift in people’s mentalities.  Rather than focusing on things that united the region as people, factors that differentiate the region were actively sought in an effort to create artificial ranks that satisfy each subgroup’s ego. These ranks are numerous and range from boasting ethnic backgrounds and tribal descent to financial status and even skin color.

The importance of a united society has been recognized since the early days of Islam which emerged in Arabia during a time of severe segregation. Islam united the different sub-groups of people (tribes, ranks, gender, etc) under the flag of monotheism.

“ And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah’s favor on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, ye became brethren ,,,”
-The Holy Quran
(3: 103)

Although the “post-oil segregation” in society has manifested itself in many forms, I believe the strongest impact has been on marriage which is the building block of any society. The introduction of tribalism in marriage (making the pre-requisite for marriage to be an individual of a similar tribal descent or ethnic background) has had the largest impact in segregating people in a region that shares both a language and a religion.

First, the mere disqualification of a potential candidate for marriage due to his/her tribal descent creates subgroups in society. Each subgroup begins to believe in the superiority of their tribe against the other. This disqualification leads to negative sentiment in society towards members of different tribal or ethnic backgrounds. The upbringing of children in this segregation leads to the formation of tribally prejudiced mentalities in the long run and affects the way a society functions. An example of this in modern day within the GCC countries can be witnessed in certain companies that are dominated by employees of a particular tribe. In essence, this creates opportunities for one tribe and bars them from another.

The Prophet Mohammed uttered to Abu Dharr who had called a man “O son of a black woman”: O Abu Dharr, you are a man who still has Pre-Islamic Ignorance (Jahiliyya)”
– The Prophet Mohammed (Sahih Muslim: Book of Oaths: 4092)

Second, tribalism in society has led to marriage for incorrect reasons. Marriage, as deemed sacred by religion, always had pre-requisites for approval. Things such as a person’s character, religious commitment, and financial capacity would be examined traditionally in order for marriages to proceed. These factors would ensure the security of a person’s son/daughter and the establishment of a family based on principles that would allow for greater benefit of the society. Unfortunately, with tribalism and ethnic profiling, people began focusing entirely on a person’s tribal background. Due to this, families started turning a blind eye towards any flaws in an individual’s characteristics and religious commitment. A person characterized by domestic abuse and alcoholism suddenly began to have more value than a person who was hard-working and God fearing solely for the reasons of his/her ethnic or tribal background.

“….Choose the one who is religiously-committed, may you prosper”
– The Prophet Mohammed (Sahih al-Bukhaari: Book of Marriage: 27)

Last but not least, the above mentioned points, in their illogical and irrational nature, have in many cases led to unhappy marriages, cheating spouses, broken homes, and high divorce rates. Given the nature of the family as the building block of society, any impact on marriage can lead to much greater social phenomena such as unemployment, injustice, terrorism, and oppression of women. All factors that lead to the loss of a society’s integrity and the loss of a society’s value universally.

“If there comes to you a man whose religious commitment and character you approve of, then [give your daughter’s hand to him] in marriage, and if you don’t there will be tribulations in the land and great corruption.”
– The Prophet Mohammed (Sunan Al-Tirmidhi: 1090-1091)

Although a very complex topic and many extreme examples, I hope it is clear from the above that tribalism is a trait of pre-Islamic ignorance and that its impact on marriage and society as a whole is detrimental. Society, wealth, and peer pressure in the GCC countries have begun to alter decisions and introduce characteristics that are not Islamic nor have any basis in the native culture. Wouldn’t it be great if authentic principles were adhered to and segregation was abolished?  Wouldn’t it be beneficial if society’s demands were disregarded and Divine demands considered? These decisions are for the region’s inhabitants to make.

“….Be ye not afraid of them, but fear Me, if ye have Faith.”
-The Holy Quran
(3: 175)

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Here We StartInterviewJust Another UndergradLiving Through The Eyes of Art
Scenes From Life
– To The Point – Words, Observations, and RamblingsSpotlights
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Franchising with an Emirati twist

Reem Abdalla (@Reem096)

Reem, a 24 years old Emirati female who will stand up for any cause she believes in and is curious by nature. She believes in connecting the dots and coloring the world with her magic markers. As a marketer, she likes to sell her ideas. As a female, she tends to listen and support. As a UAE National, she stands by her country and religion.
Reem aims through her quarterly column to explore issues in society and discuss emerging new trends. Listen to other people’s thought and view their perspectives about the subject. Then raise questions and form unbiased conclusions about it.

Latest posts by Reem Abdalla (@Reem096) (see all)

By Reem Abdalla (@Reem096)

Retail Companies have multiple options for market entry expansion in International territories. They range from: acquisitions, organic growth, joint ventures and in-store concessions. However, many retailers and services choose to operate as a franchise. Franchising is a concept used by many businesses as a mechanism to expand and operate globally. Textbook definition of franchising is “a strategic alliance between groups of people who have specific relationships and responsibilities with a common goal to dominate markets” (www.franchising.com).

The number of franchises has multiplied numerously in the UAE. This resulted in an increase in the number of opportunities which formed a global bridge between the world and the UAE. This bridge grew smaller exposing the UAE culture to different global food, pop culture, fashion, etc. Global companies such as the likes of Louis Vuitton opened their flagship stores in the UAE, while other companies made UAE home to their brands in the Middle East Market. This gives the UAE a cutting edge to expand and get exposed locally and globally.

Franchising is usually derived from changes in global economic environment such as reduced trade barriers, legislation, etc. Looking at the UAE, franchising has not only been in the fashion, food and arts but also in education. As world-class educational facilities have opened their universities and institutes in the UAE, for example, the World-renowned Sorbonne University opened their branch in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Most franchising companies found in the UAE are brought in the UAE from abroad. Hopefully, in the near future, UAE-based companies get to be franchised in other parts of the world as well. Many UAE-based companies have great potential to being international names. Take “Wild Peeta” as an example. It is an Emirarti new age shawarma restaurant that took the traditional shawarma and added a twist to it. They substituted the flat bread with pita bread and offered a choice of sauces varying from traditional ones to those that are not usually used in a shawarma sandwich, such as, alferedo sauce, Indian sauce, Mexican sauce, etc. The owners, Mohammed and Peyman Al Awadhi, have showed interest in opening their joint in Japan. This can be an opportunity of franchising a UAE-based company in international markets.

Franchising makes it easier to enter new markets with the help of local influences and expertise. The chances of success are higher than any other business. As culture works differently in every region and country, franchisors faces challenges to adapt to their culture. Most of the companies that chose to operate in the UAE as a franchise have adapted their advertising, branding and image to suit the UAE culture.

For example, in the UAE we would not see any provocative ads that may have been the positioning of many of the international brands due to the respect to the UAE culture. For instance, AXE deodorant positions itself as a male deodorant that attracts female attention when sprayed. However, when entering the UAE market, AXE ads have been less challenging and more tamed. In addition, some food outlets have also adapted to the UAE by introducing cultural based dishes to suit taste preferences in the country. Given the example of International names such as McDonald’s that have introduced dishes with a local twist to appeal to the local market such as McArabia and KFC with Rizo (a dish with chicken, rice and Arabiatta sauce), etc.

Franchising has given UAE citizens the opportunity to experience different culture, food, art and education and to get introduced to numerous strong and powerful brands in their own country rather than travelling abroad. This opportunity has allowed UAE citizens to excel by being exposed to various nationalities, different cultures and the knowledge that comes with it. This is an advantage to put UAE citizens and the UAE on the map.

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Here We StartInterviewJust Another UndergradLiving Through The Eyes of Art
Scenes From Life
To The Point – Words, Observations, and Ramblings – Spotlights
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Derek Sivers on Keeping Your Goals to Yourself

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)


———-
Here We StartInterviewJust Another UndergradLiving Through The Eyes of Art
Scenes From Life
To The PointWords, Observations, and Ramblings – Spotlights
———-
To receive email notifications on Sail Magazine’s new issues, click here.
———-