Here We Start – 3rd Anniversray – Issue #36

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)
Artwork by AlAnoud AlMadhi (@ALANOUD_auh)

Artwork by AlAnoud AlMadhi (@ALANOUD_auh)

 

Dear Sail Readers,

With our 36th issue, we are celebrating our 3rd anniversary and starting our 4th year of running Sail eMagazine. Our journey has been a beautiful one, with many ups and downs along the way. Starting with only 2 members to now reach almost 25 members between writers, editors, and illustrators. Some members are still with us since the first year, some have left, some has rejoined, and new members are always joining us and adding new flavors to the team.

What started as a simple idea to bring back the reading and writing in the community has outgrown itself into having an amazing creative art team, strong editorial team, and a versatile team of writers from all aspects of life and all ages, and of course, an amazing community of supporters who believed in what Sail eMagazine is about, and always looked forward to viewing the new issues month by month.

No words can describe how grateful and humbled I am by where we reached. And I’m hoping together we will reach further and newer heights always.

We are planning to host a bi-annual discussion forum in which we will have Sail team panels discussing their articles, artworks, and editorial views, and allowing the audience to ask the team and discuss with them their points as well. The dates are still not decided on, but make sure you subscribe with us (by filling this form here) and follow our social media accounts to stay updated with our news and upcoming event.

In this month we have 2 new members joining our creative team: Anood AlMulla & Mai. You will see their creative artwork brightening from this issue onwards.

Also in this issue we have 2 guest entries. Our advisory member, Aida AlBusaidi with her timely entry about Expo2020 & Dubai’s bid. The second entry is by Abdullah AlSuwaidi about how we manage our everyday with technologies.

Here is our content’s listing for March 2013 – Issue #36:

We hope you enjoy the reads and don’t forget to check out our illustrations by Fatma AlHashemi, Anood AlMulla, & Mai.

Warm regards,
Iman Ben Chaibah
Editor in Chief

Expo 2020: Why not Dubai?

Aida AlBusaidy (@AidaAlBusaidy)

Aida AlBusaidy (@AidaAlBusaidy)

Developmental Editor.
Aida has more than a decade experience in the communications, and mastering ceremonies field, she worked in private and public sectors, and now heads the Stakeholder Communications in Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing in Dubai. Aida was a columnist in few of the local newspapers, a TV co-host of a community talk show, and cofounded with friends a community platform: “Promise Of A Generation”.
Aida AlBusaidy (@AidaAlBusaidy)

Latest posts by Aida AlBusaidy (@AidaAlBusaidy) (see all)

expo_be_part_of_it_

In 2008, an interview was conducted by CBS with our ruler in Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum as part of the 60-minute show to showcase Dubai and what it has done.

Dubai was at its’ peak and you know what happens when anything, or anyone for that matter, is constantly successful in a short period of time; they get subjected to hatred and spews of negativity. A simple reason for this is that people and/or countries/nations are jealous; “Why did Dubai get there so fast when it took us decades or a century or however many years?” It’s visionary leaders and the will to be different and take risks. If you don’t take a risk, then you have not lived.

The interviewer asked Sheikh Mohammed, “why do you want the tallest building and the biggest this, etc.?” to which Sheikh Mohammed responded by saying two words: “Why not?” This famous question back to the interviewer from Sheikh Mohammed sent a positive ripple effect across the city of Dubai where everyone responded to anything negative from anyone with “Why not?”

The same can be said for the entire UAE. Our rulers want us to have it all today and not 50 years from today. We are blessed to have oil but from that we have diversified our economy. We are blessed to have excellent geographical proximity whereby we could enhance our trade missions and increase tourism, and knowing that we took to building trade ports and infrastructure to support it all. The world today is more connected than it ever was and we’ve constantly strived to learn and better ourselves. We’ve secured competitive advantages in different sectors so that we can grasp and maintain leadership stake as well as share knowledge on a global level.

In the world today, no one can work or even live in a silo; integration is what will help us and keep us on the wave of success.

Who would have though that in just under half a century we could have managed to grow cities out of deserts, match our GDP with the developed world and produce many firsts where others were too afraid to take risks because they felt they have taken all the risks and got too comfortable.

Our nation is a young one and so are our people. We are energetic, committed, dedicated, and most of all motivated. Good is just not good enough. We strive to be and stay on top of the game at all times. If anyone were to go around now and ask anyone living here what it means to live here, you would hear words like “melting pot”, “diversified”, “future” and many more positive things.

It’s been over a year now where we’ve expressed our intent and now are bidding to host the World Expo 2020 in Dubai. Inaugurated in London back in 1851, World Expos are considered the trademark of events where nations through their pavilions connect with the greatest of minds and businesses as well as explore cultural, social, economic and technological strengths. World Expos are held every five years for a period of six months and attract millions of visitors. The World Expo has never been held in the Middle East, Africa and South East Asia in the history of the event.

The UAE has selected the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” for its bid for Expo 2020 and will further explore subthemes that cover issues of “Sustainability” by looking into intelligent sources of energy and water; “Mobility” by exploring new systems of logistics and transportation, and “Opportunity” by delving into new paths to economic development.

This is what we have been working towards. No one can contest that work, development and growth of the UAE has not prepared it to host World Expo 2020.

Going back to Dubai; a city with over 200 nationalities, is tolerant of all religions, welcomed over 50 million passengers through the Dubai International Airport in 2012 and one of the most innovative cities in the world where great minds come to meet through various conferences to exchange ideas, learn from one another and develop new plans to meet the future needs of its’ people and the world.

My Dubai is just what I have described and with 8 million others, we support and can’t wait to have the World Expo 2020 come to Dubai. I grew up here and I can guarantee you that in no other globalized and developed city in the world will you find people who will tell you, we not only saw history being made, we actually worked on making that history. We don’t have to read it in our history books, we can tell the history to our children and our childrens’ children because we are being equipped with the tools to build our city and our nation by making history day by day.

So, support our bid and come on down to Dubai to see for yourself what we’re talking about. We’ve always been a global city with welcoming arms and we will continue to always be one.

The post is also published on Aida AlBusaidi’s blog (http://aidaalb.posterous.com/)

What You See is a Reflection of Your State of Mind

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)

There was a legend of an ancient castle that had a thousand mirrors in one of its halls. So one of the village men heard of this legend and decided to go and see if it was true. He entered the castle as exhilarated as a man can be, and when he entered the hall, he saw a thousand smiling faces staring at him. Another man heard of the incident and decided to go as well, he entered the hall with a frown, and to his disappointment he saw a thousand frowning faces staring at him.

We always hear people say that each person sees the world from his or her own eyes, but how often do we consider the fact that each person also sees him or herself in others? This mirror effect explains the reason why we all experience things and people differently. Dr. Khalid AlManif, a Kuwaiti author once wrote: “All faces are a mirror reflection, which reflection do you see?”

In 1678, King Louis XIV ordered the construction of the hall of mirrors in the Palace of Versailles. He ordered that the hall must have a good view of the palace gardens, and he ordered the installation of 21 mirrors. Everyday he’d pass by and enjoy the beautiful reflections of the garden.

Hall Of Mirrors

Hall Of Mirrors

Imagine how amazing it would be, to see everything so beautiful all the time. But the truth is that if we are put in a situation where we should experience joy while our mood is a bit rocky, that joyful experience will be disrupted.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”

There was a psychological test I once had where I was presented with three different words: fire, stone, and water. I had to respond with one word for each of those three words. The word I chose would explain my state at that moment. For example, if my response to fire was “warmth”, then that would mean that I was in a positive and happy state. While if my response was something like “death”, then that would mean I was in a very negative state.

I never noticed how important it is to be aware of your emotions and how you see things until I started working recently. Fortunately, my colleagues are as positive as can be. While I was working with them I never complained because I never heard them complain, and not once did they badmouth someone else in the working place. But as I started mingling with co-workers from other departments, I heard the most negative comments one can imagine. To be honest it got to me at first, but then I realized that in the end it’s up to me whether I choose to have a healthy relationship with those around me or not.

Frances Burnett once said, “If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” We can’t always be a bundle of joy in order to live a happy life. But it’s very important to know that we can’t blame everyone for everything. Sometimes, it is simply in our head. When all reflections seem unpleasant, then we need to look into the eyes of the one staring at those reflections, ourselves.

Artwork by Mai

Artwork by Mai

A Suggestion for Tackling Obesity in the UAE

Shaima Al Tamimi (@iamshaima)

Shaima Al Tamimi (@iamshaima)

Shaima, a 20 something year old who loves to immerse herself in all things fresh and interesting. She loves to travel, observe people and experience new cultures. Her quarterly column “Food for Thought” discusses important social topics from thought provoking perspectives. Shaima is also a food blogger
Shaima Al Tamimi (@iamshaima)
Artwork by Anood AlMulla (@anoodalmulla_)

Artwork by Anood AlMulla (@anoodalmulla_)

For the past couple of years, we have all been hearing about how figures of obesity in the UAE are sky rocketing. Not to mention how well it pairs with chronic illnesses like diabetes. As an individual who is somewhat conscious about health, I promised to make 2013 my fitness year. We’ve all slacked enough and procrastinated enough with eating healthy and working out. But alas, I’m done with the constant regrets.

Looking back into the history of health statistics, we know it only took two decades for this country to witness a deteriorating health demographic. Part of the blame goes to technology for making our lives so easy with gadgets that once required our physical input, and part of the blame goes to our rather luxurious and comfortable lifestyle, poor diet choices and lack of exercise.

If scientific studies and research conducted by various institutions in the UAE reveal that more than 60% per cent of Emiratis are overweight, what is being done to combat this deadly illness? Sure, schools have stopped selling fizzy drinks and some universities have integrated health awareness classes and seminars as part of the student’s first year curriculum, but are they enough?

I don’t claim to have an answer to this rather horrific epidemic; however, I do know that the measures taken are by and large, not enough. Living between Abu Dhabi and Doha, I realized that both countries are going through the same health issues. If we were to benchmark best practices in attempts at health awareness campaigns globally, I would look at Japan, Canada and Qatar for having inaugurated concepts that are deemed as positive and effective moves toward the right direction by marking one calendar day as a National Sports Day. Let’s take a look at Qatar for instance, currently in its second year, the Qatar National Sports Day is an annual event where private and public corporations are mandated by the government to initiate outdoor and indoor sports activities for their employees and families.

Apart from getting people active and encouraging them towards adopting a healthier lifestyle, this move is also great chance for sports clubs and health organizations in the country to promote their services and encourage people to take up interesting activities like volleyball, cricket, kayaking, martial arts, shooting, horse riding, weight lifting, rock climbing and many more.

The beauty of this day is that such activities are not limited to white collar workers on Sports Day, but also open to children, blue collar workers in industrial and off shore areas, and even the elderly and physically disabled people. Ever thought how much a wheel chair race could be fun?

Whilst many people would like to think of this day as an official holiday, it is not! An employee who doesn’t participate or volunteer gets penalized by having one day taken of his leave balance (that includes people on top management i.e. directors, heads of departments and CEO’s). It is evident how an event like this not only gets people active and interested in taking up a sport in the long run but also brings the community together.

The UAE has been blessed with great leadership who strive on improving on every aspect of the economic and social sector, and one can only hope that it will also consider learning from such practices in the region and invest in its people for a brighter future and a healthier nation.

My Technology Fast

By Abdullah AlSuwaidi (@Aabo0)

Artwork by Mai

Artwork by Mai

Life without certain technologies is always a topic that is tossed around during daily conversations. When these discussions come up, I’m always quick to point out that we need to use them properly, as tools that enhance our lives, and not get too dependent on them; because change happens whether we like it or not.

It can be anything, like the electricity going out or the undersea cables that keep us connected getting cut by a ship’s anchor, or an elderly woman looking for materials to recycle snapping some copper rods that happened to be lying on the ground. Luckily for you, I experienced this thanks to my self-imposed “technology fast” that I went through in 2011.
The idea came to me after I made the mistake of typing on my iPhone 4, a device whose casing is glass on both sides, while leaning on the guard rails at The Dubai Mall. The result of that unwise decision was a calamity caused by clammy hands. I found myself back on my previous device, my trusty Nokia 6630; I had sold my iPhone.

The shock was instant! I had to push buttons down. It was mind-boggling; my fingers had gotten so used to tapping and swiping that it took me a moment to force a push. It has been two years, and I still can’t articulate the feeling I had at that moment, you need to experience it yourself.

After settling down, I wondered how my life would be without the internet and I challenged myself to go for a month without it and other devices.

It was a tough adjustment to make to my daily routine. When I don’t catch up with my feeds on Google Reader, I get the same feeling you get when you leave the house and forget to put on your watch. The idea that I wasn’t updated on the things I cared about and the news in general was scary. It took some work, but I did manage to wean myself off of it and other things that I won’t mention. Because, my point here isn’t just to tell you “Oh, if you quit all that technology, your life will get so much better.”

The point is: we’re in March. Are you still sticking to the things you said you would change about yourself? Have you done some personal spring cleaning? We’re two months in and it would be a great time to check up on how you’re doing so far. The conveniences provided by modern technology makes us susceptible to losing the ability of readjusting to losing it. Cutting ourselves off from it allows us to exercise a form of self-maintenance like reassessing how we spend our time.

I managed to cut quite a lot of fat from my day to day activities and gain more time to engage myself in new experiences; like, have you ever gone on a walk before sunrise? It’s quite easy to do at this time of the year. Also, you could take the time to finally make your tweeting experience better by unfollowing a bunch of people? Oh look, there’s a trash bin, perhaps you should pull over and make use of the many ENOC bags that litter the back of your car?

The gist of the matter is: if you stop for a moment and shed everything down to the bare essentials, you always leave something you decide was pointless to begin with; so, moving forward, you’re pulling out of the pit-stop refreshed and much efficient than you previously were.

The Selective Amnesia Elixir: Choosing to Forget Bad Memories

Budoor Al Yousuf (@BAlYousuf)

Budoor Al Yousuf (@BAlYousuf)

Budoor takes a unique look at the world around her. She applies a sense of the mystical to everyday happenstance and turns it on its head. The result is her column: “Mental Pondering”.
With a background in communications, her passion for writing is driven by the need to voice her thoughts. Budoor also hold an eMBA in innovation and Entrepreneurship, other than writing, her interests include reading and traveling.
Budoor Al Yousuf (@BAlYousuf)

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Artwork by Fatma Al Hashemi (@F_Fotography)

Artwork by Fatma Al Hashemi (@F_Fotography)

People are blessed and burdened by their memories. The happy ones make them smile, help them live a happier life, and remind them of the good times. The sad memories, however, draw a different picture.

Everyone has been in a place where their sadness has taken hold of them, shadowing their lives, and taking them into a dark place where the light of happiness is so dimmed it is almost impossible to see. This is when people should consider change.

“Selective Amnesia Elixir” is a life choice that is designed to help overcome bad days and bad memories by choosing to forget, to not remember specific things that pull one down, and to stop oneself from overthinking about something that has a negative effect.

The choice isn’t about removing these memories or feelings forever or removing all memories and feelings, but choosing to forget they exist at some point. It is a choice made by someone who wants to kick away the cloud of depression and let the sun shine again. How to make the change isn’t the difficult part; the difficult part is making the choice.

Why is “Selective Amnesia Elixir” important and why is it difficult to choose? Because if people don’t choose to change they forget to smile; they don’t appreciate what they truly have and misunderstand their surroundings. They continue to live in a dark place where even the happy moments are blocked and all they feel is sadness and depression. They become a burden to themselves and the people around them; because they walk around with this dark aura, people will eventually stop wanting them around. It is difficult because it takes a lot of effort and willpower to decide to take a deep breath and smile in the face all the pain.

The day the choice is made, the person will be able to find the small things in life that makes them happy and will discover what truly makes them smile. The easiest way to do this is to break routine, forget the bad, and concentrate on the good. Other ways, like going out with friends and laughing until everyone’s stomach hurts, is a must. The trick is to never wait for someone to make you happy or make you laugh and to take the initiative and change the surroundings.

When the fog has finally lifted and the sky is clear again, that person will realize that half the problem was in their own heads and that it wasn’t worth all the sadness and depression. They will feel light hearted, ready to smile at the world, and leave their worries behind; even if it is for a few hours, it is worth the effort. Although some memories and emotions are easier to let go of than others, they will eventually fall in the same box where the “Selective Amnesia Elixir” is used.

The best place to start using the “Selective Amnesia Elixir” is by waking up and smiling to the world challenging what it throws and knowing that overcoming it is a choice.

Dictionary:

Selective: having the function or power of selecting; making a selection.

Amnesia: a defect in memory.

Elixir: Also called “Elixir of life” is an alchemic preparation formerly believed to be capable of prolonging life.

Mind Programming: The Ultimate Source of Power (Part One)

Khaled Bin Hamad (@KBinHamad)

Khaled Bin Hamad (@KBinHamad)

Khaled holds a Masters degree in marketing from Japan, and studied manga arts in Japan while doing so. He is the creator of the upcoming graphic novel Naser’s secrets (writing & drawing) coming on the 13th of January, 2013. Former writer in Al-Mijhar medical magazine about health and fitness and many other articles online. Artist in oil painting, pastel, charcoal, iPad arts and digital arts since the age of 16. Heavy reader in psychology, philosophy, history and literature. Khaled is currently dedicated to working on the graphic novel and starting his own business.
He explores in his column history, self development and enlightenment.
Khaled Bin Hamad (@KBinHamad)

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Artwork by Fatma Al Hashemi (@F_Fotography)

Artwork by Fatma Al Hashemi (@F_Fotography)

A sad and true story happened a long time ago. A man was locked in a refrigerator car by accident for an hour and froze to death. When they found his dead body, everybody, including the police, were puzzled by his death mainly because the refrigerator in that car was broken.

What happened to that man was sad for sure but the lesson learned from that story was how fear played a role in turning fiction into reality in that poor man’s mind.

I don’t intend for my article to be one of those depressing articles that makes you feel bad. It’s more about how to use that power of the mind to our advantage. Instead, here we will tackle the issues that you face in your life such as: diseases, weight issues, successes in life, having a dead end job, and financial problems. It is about that simple situation that you have on hand but never realized or paid attention to.

One of my gym friends goes to the gym three times a week. Normally, people would describe him as a lazy person in general. But whenever he drinks an energy drink, he immediately transforms. He runs nonstop for an hour, lifts weights that he couldn’t lift before, and works out hard as if his children’s lives depend on it.

One day, a short, round, chubby, depressed looking guy joined the gym. My friend and I started talking to him while my friend was drinking his energy drink. The new gym member looked at my friend and the energy drink with disgust and said confidently (as if he studied the science of health for at least 10 years): “You drink that poison? How can you do that to your body? I would never ever do that to myself. ” He turned to his side a little, stood arrogantly posing like Superman and proudly added: “I am always careful with what I drink and eat. Plus, it doesn’t even give any energy. It’s all lies I tell you. It is only smart marketing.”

I tried so hard to stop myself from laughing. Not because of the information he generously gave us, but because of the irony of the situation. It was like a blind man describing the beauty of “The Mona Lisa.” I looked at my friend and he had the exact opposite reaction. He looked shocked as if he heard that information for the very first time. In a matter of seconds, his face changed from disbelief to disappointment. He felt down and his workout session was lazy and pointless. From that moment on, the energy drink lost its power no matter how many cans he drank. What happened was that the new depressed gym member planted the idea of energy drinks being useless in my friend’s mind. My friend believed it and his mind reacted to that new information.

The idea of mind programming might seem strange to many but it is more common than you think. Below are common examples of how the brain is programmed to believe certain ideas:

  • The friend who always says: “I eat a lot but for some reason I never gain weight”
  • When your mother says: “I told you if you ate too much chocolate you will get sick, look at you now”
  • Your brother saying: “I always get lost wherever I go, I don’t know why”
  • Your colleague telling you: “I can’t lose weight, every time I start my diet I gain more weight instead”

Imagine what would happen if you programmed the mind with positive thoughts or ideas. You could easily turn the impossible to a list of achievements.

An Uncertain State of Mind Breeds Contempt

Moadh Bukhash (@MoadhBukhash)

Moadh Bukhash (@MoadhBukhash)

A brand manager by day and a ‘wannabe’ philosopher by night, Moadh graduated from the American University in Dubai with a degree in Marketing. All about logical discourse and self improvement, his aim is to be a 21st century iconoclast. Though born and raised in Dubai, Moadh aims to develop and nurture global identities built around shared humanistic values. A writer of his own blog, which bears the column’s name, Moadh’s ultimate ambition is to be the spark of a positive change in any individuals who come across his words.
Moadh Bukhash (@MoadhBukhash)

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Artwork by Mai

Artwork by Mai

A common occurrence that we happen to see more and more of, especially in the digital age, is the popularization of conspiracy theories and, of course, the conspiracy theorists behind those theories. While this type of phenomenon is anything but new, the Internet and the availability of so many tidbits of information across the web has allowed conspiracy theorists to draw parallels and connect dots (for better or worse, be it true or false). While I do not intend to focus on the phenomenon of conspiracy theories, and the mindsets that set about to create them, I’d like to focus on the mechanism and methodology that they use to come up with their assumptions and conclusions.

Drawing on the largely unknown, or little known, conspiracy theorists connect pieces of information that would otherwise never be connected and attempt to draw a logical line between them – again, I’m not here to debate the truthfulness of this method or to condemn it either; however, the process of creating a space that would otherwise –naturally- wouldn’t exist creates a gap of knowledge for the viewer. That gap, then, for the viewer, becomes an area of little expertise and knowledge; and without that knowledge, it is thrown up in the air to be tossed around illogically, completely subject to interpretation. What this process shows us is that in the event that the viewer or reader was more knowledgeable about that ‘gap’, the importance of the interpretation process would have been largely reduced in place of logic and evidence.

Now, let’s take this a step further. Any surviving species, by its nature, tends to gravitate towards the negative, the skeptical, and the cautious before digesting the information and potentially turning towards the positive. This isn’t a far-fetched idea; if we take two human (or non-human, for that matter) characters in the wild, both at the danger of being attacked by a dangerous animal, and one of them initially gravitated towards the negative while the other tended to begin with the positive. The negative-first individual would think “I better be careful and take precaution”, while the other individual would think “don’t worry be happy” and would likely not survive. So, in essence, it is within our nature to question first and give faith second.

Now take those two fundamentals together: the unknown being always up for interpretation by the individual and our negative-first nature, we end up with a dangerous concoction. This combination can be behind the anger, rage, and sometimes violence that we find with societies and communities rebelling against an idea, thought, or even the state. If a person is unsure as to where his or her future lies, he or she then tends to formulate opinions and ideas about where the person in charge of his or her future would like to guide them – and as shown, that tends to be negative more often than positive.

Enter transparency. The way to eradicate this extremely unpredictable and unstable state is to state intentions clearly, early, and without hesitation or much deliberation. Nothing eases an uneasy mind like confirmation of information. Ask any person that was going through an end of a relationship how they felt before they got closure; it’s a terrible state to be in, not knowing where you stand, what is next, and where the mindset of your counterpart lies. And yet, once closure comes through, even as hard is it may be, it gives us the ability to solidify our thoughts and feelings with the issue and move past it.

I find that, in my daily life, be it with personal relationships or professional – the practice of stating things outwardly benefits me greatly. People are comforted by dealing with me and the game of politics is thrown in the bin – right where it belongs.

Performance Enhancing Drugs in the Sports World

Khalifa Al Hajeri

Khalifa Al Hajeri

Column: Tifosi
Khalifa was born and raised in the UAE, with a 4 and bit years university stint in the Canadian lands, before coming back home to work for one of the investment arms of the Abu Dhabi government. Inspired to be the Ray Romano of the magazine, only as a sports journalist that is.
Khalifa believes the world of sports never gets the credit it deserves for its impact on this world. For some, its mere entertainment, but for some its soul therapy and sometimes, survival. In this sports universe, deep in its pockets, he was able to find a lot of pleasure reading for sports journalists like Phil Ball, Gabriel Marcotti, among many others. Considering some of his favorite literature comes from sports writers, he will use this column titled “Tifosi”, which stands for “fan” in Italian, to share this passion with others by discussing sport events that can relate to both fanatics and non fanatics.
Khalifa Al Hajeri

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Artwork by Anood AlMulla (@anoodalmulla_)

Artwork by Anood AlMulla (@anoodalmulla_)

We have all had our encounters with an act of dishonesty. Most, if not all of us, enjoy a little masquerade called ‘getting away with it’. Being innocently part of something frowned upon and seeing how far you can go without being noticed is a thrill we develop since early childhood. From being the last one found in a game of hide and seek to copying homework from a classmate. Somehow, these adventures are the sedimentary roots of receiving satisfaction from accomplishment without being caught or laboring towards its achievement. The less effort we put into an accomplishment, is an accomplishment by itself.

Hence, we look for shortcuts on our daily route for work or try to master the process of elimination on our multiple-choice exams. With this behavioral conditioning and our quest of attaining success with the least effort, comes the common moral dilemma of gaining ground using unethical means and the same situations are often encountered by sports professionals which forces them to use performance enhancing drugs, better known as doping.

Splashed over the news frontier over the past few months has been the scandalous demise of one of the greatest athletes to ever live, Lance Armstrong, who was the shining star of one of the best-orchestrated stories in the world of sports. An aspiring cyclist who got diagnosed with cancer, only to overcome it and make his way back into the sport by winning a series of Tour de France titles, one of the most enduring competitions in the sports world. After reaching the pinnacle, lauded as the crème de la crème of cyclists and being the poster boy of adversity, he now finds himself as the poster boy of doping.

This is not the first time that sporting icons are found guilty as previously there was Maradona, Ben Johnson, among many others that resorted to using Performance Enhancing Drugs.

Now why do such athletes choose this path? One of the main reasons rests in the primary nature of the world of sports, which is the high level of competition. Records are getting better, talent is identified earlier and the sports training regime is constantly improving, leaving athletes with little room to being successful or even staying at the top.

In this hub of fierce competition, professional athletes have to start working in their teens for many years to have very few chances to achieve their goals and to get that edge; they seek help from the dark side which is available to them in using performance enhancing drugs such as Erythropoietin (EPO), testosterone, blood transfusions, to name a few. In the Armstrong defamation, and under medical supervision, blood transfusions were exercised by extracting blood, fusing it, and re-inserting this cold blood into their shivering bodies a month later to boost the rider’s oxygen carrying capacity which effectively improves stamina.

Darwinian theory is built in our societies by promoting survival of the fittest. In our upbringing, we are pushed to be the best. We teach our kids to be the best students, go to the best schools, drive the best cars, have the nicest homes and the list goes on. Naturally, as we breed this foundation in our society, it will not only become sports professionals that will find themselves forced to become obsessed with victory even if obtained illegally, but it will eventually transmit to other sects of our world as well.

Walking for Education with Dubai Cares

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.

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Artwork by Anood AlMulla (@anoodalmulla_)

Artwork by Anood AlMulla (@anoodalmulla_)

Let’s just say waking up at 5.30 a.m. is not really my usual Friday mornings. My usual Friday mornings consists of lazily waking up at 11 am so I can rush to go visit my grandmother.  However, this time I was waking up to be part of a good cause. I was volunteering with Dubai Cares- Walk for Education.

“Walk For Education” is an event held by Dubai Cares to highlight the importance of primary education, which can also lead to decreasing in the cycle of poverty. This walk also raises awareness for children in developing countries who don’t have access to quality primary education.

The 3 km walk is what a child in a developing country walk on average everyday in order to reach his/her school. So Dubai Cares Walk for Education is a symbolic walk to provide the UAE community a first-hand experience of the hardship a child endure to get his/her education.

By 6 am, I grabbed my steaming hot cup of coffee and drove in the beautiful violet stricken sunrise to Jumeirah Beach Park. It was a chilly but beautiful morning to be part of a charitable event. Once I got there, I wore my volunteer’s shirt behind the trees in the parking lot, and then walked to the park to fulfill my part as a good citizen.

We were assigned our team leaders, I was glad to get a friend as my leader. It is always better when you have an upper hand with your boss; in my case, the team leader. I was then sent to my table with a cash box, money and wrist bracelets for the walkers. As the clock was about to strike 8 a.m., people began to arrive. I was the third table from the starting point; soon we were flooded by the amount of people walking in.

I was delighted to see the number of people joining us from various nationalities and all ages. All these people sacrificed their morning sleep to join us to raise funds for the unprivileged children and help in providing them education. There were mothers with their toddlers, school children, couples and many more from the UAE community.

In the background, I can hear the sound of the African drums blasting through the now crowded park, kids running around with their colorful Dubai Cares branded shirts on, and soon before the walk started, my 100 tickets were sold; raising AED 3,000 in one hour is a great achievement for the foundation. Now, I see an array of balloons set free to signal the start of the 3 km walk.

Around 9 am, volunteers gathered their cash boxes and gave them to their team leaders, then headed to join the thousand of people gathered to walk for education. After our 3 km walk, it was time to gather around in the park, join in the activities and have our breakfast since we were starving and needed some warm food.

It was beautiful to see the passion people have for charity and to be part of a good cause. I can rest assured that there are still good people out there and our world is safe.

Photography of Dubai Cares - Walk For Education

Photography of Dubai Cares – Walk For Education. For more images of #WalkForEducation check Dubai Cares’ facebook page by click on this image