Hello Sail By The Masses

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)

As you all know, I’ve been running Sail eMagazine (I’ll refer to it hereafter as Sail) for 4 years now. We made a name out of that many aspire to be part of. Sail is an Emarati monthly online magazine (potentially soon to be bi-monthly). This meant few things:

  • Writers and illustrators have to be Emaratis
  • The writers, illustrators, editors, have to commit to monthly editorial cycles
  • Articles have to talk about the community, culture, or creativity

But with the growth of the magazine, more people were approaching us to join, whether Emaratis with different genres of writing, Emaratis who couldn’t exactly commit to monthly submissions, or even non-Emaratis with good content.

As the demand grew across time, we decided to expand to “Sail By The Masses”, which would be different in the following aspects:

  • The frequency of publishing will depend on the amount of articles submitted across time, it can be daily, weekly, or every few days. This keeps the readers on their toes to keep coming back and read what’s new
  • The sent articles will not go through the same thorough editorial process that Sail goes through, instead it will be published as is, except of course, if it crosses censorship limits of politics, religion, or sexual matters.
  • The publishing door will be open for any kind of writing genre.
  • No regular submission commitment is mandated, writers can submit as and when they wish.
  • Anyone can publish with us, regardless of nationality and country of residence.
  • In terms of illustration, the door is also opened for illustrators and graphic designers. If they read an article that they liked, they can email us to ask to illustrate it, and if we confirm that no other artist is already working on it, then they can reserve it to illustrate for it, and the resultant artwork will be added to the article along with the artist’s name.

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As with Sail though, some commonalities still exist:

  • The readers can participate with their opinion commenting on the articles, and can suggest constructive feedback to the writer on the topic and style of writing
  • The piece published with By The Masses shouldn’t be published on another publication, with the exception of the writer’s personal blog if the writer wished to publish it there as well.

I truly believe in the power of writing! And I truly believe even more in the power of reading! So let’s make more of those two, and lets bring it to more than just me and you, let’s bring all the writing and reading to the world! Let’s read and write more!

Join us and send your contributions or queries to ByTheMasses.info@SailEMagazine.com

We can’t wait to hear from you!

Here We Start – 50th Issue!

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)

It’s our 50th issue! What a milestone and what a journey! And we have so much to update you with.

Artwork by Maryam Zainal (@Maryam_Zainal)

Artwork by Maryam Zainal (@Maryam_Zainal)

As most of our readers know, Sail won the award of Digital Publishing Entrepreneurship in the UAE for the year 2014 about a month ago. This entailed in sending me on a trip to the UK to exchange experiences with the other digital publisher winners from across the world and also to meet with the pioneers of the industry in the UK and learn some more from them. And so I came back bearing gifts, two of which to be announced in this issue, the rest will announced in the coming few months.

The first announcement is, we will be launching a sister website to Sail and it will be named “By The Masses”. By The Masses is going to be completely different in content, and most importantly, it will be open to all to publish on, directly, with no editing or filtering, and no enforced commitment! Obviously there will be a certain level of censorship, but that is only expected from such an independent publication. By The Masses will be launched by mid of May inshalla. However, if you’d like your writings to be part of the inauguration of the new publication, then get a head start and send it to ByTheMasses.info@sailemagazine.com along with your name and social media handles.

The second announcement is: the launch of our new design. We have heard your feedback and we have responded. After researching the market to know what are the new design trends, we are re-launching with a new look that is fresher and more dynamic, and we hope this makes you enjoy your reading experience even further!

There is also couple of internal announcements about our team:

Our Managing Editor Fatma Bujsaim is stepping down from the management team, and we are joined with a new member: Dhabya Al Mehairi, who will be taking up the role of the Managing Editor. Dhabya comes with a background in Journalism and we are sure she’ll bring with her a fresh look to our content.

Also, Fatma AlHashemi is stepping down from her role as the Head of Creative Team, and Maryam Zainal is now assigned to take the role of Head of Creative Team. Congrats Maryam, and we are sure you will be bringing a fresh look to our creative side of the magazine.

And our final news in this issue, we have an exciting collaboration with the Entrepreneur Middle East Magazine! In this issue we are publishing an article written by Fida Chaaban, the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East Magazine, in exchange of me writing a collaboration article to be published in the Entrepreneur Middle East’s May issue as well! I hope you enjoy her article published with us here, and make sure you grab a copy of the Entrepreneur Middle East’s May issue to read what I had to say about running an online magazine

And now to our issue #50 – May 2014 in brief:

Hats off to our editorial team: Aida AlBusaidy, Amel Shaheen, and Fatma Bujsaim. Enjoy our reads, and don’t forget to check out our illustrations by our creative team: Anood AlMulla, Dana Al Attar, Fatma AlHashemi, Hayat AlHassan, and Maryam Zainal.

To keep up with our monthly-published issues and to know about any of our coming events, make sure you register with us by clicking here

Help us spread the word about the magazine and share the articles with your friends!

Warm regards,
Iman Ben Chaibah
Editor in Chief

My Experience at MFECC

Written by: Raihana Al Hashemi (@rai7ana)

Article in brief: the author writes about her experience of visiting the Middle East Film & Comic Con exhibition that was held in April this year, and how it reflects the home grown talents in the country.

Artwork by Anood AlMulla (@AnoodAlMulla_)

Artwork by Anood AlMulla (@AnoodAlMulla_)

I’m not a geek, but I work with them; I work for them, and enjoy their company very much. They can talk non-stop about their passion no matter what it is and I enjoy every bit of it. And like every geek and friends of geeks, to us, Comic-Con was the most anticipated event of the year. It’s the day where fans of different types of entertainment outlets gather to celebrate their love for fiction, meet celebrities, and embody their favorite characters by cos-playing during the event; dressing up and pretending to be a fictional character usually a sci-fi, comic book, or anime character.

On the Day

That Friday afternoon I walked into the World Trade Center shoulder to shoulder to a bunch of zombies with ripped clothes and blood stained bodies. I saw Riku from Death Note just standing in the corner with an apple in his hands, and Call of Duty snipers posing with fans in front of a camera. MFECC is the only place where Otaku haven all come to life be it Anime, Video game, TV-Show, and movies. It’s a time where finally what may seemingly be the outcasts of a popular culture celebrate their own interests with the rest of the world. It’s like that time you bought tickets for that thing that none of your friends wanted to see but ended up going anyway thinking you’re the only person who’s interested in this stuff, well it turns out – you’re not alone

The Talents

It was a lot to take in as you walked through the masses of people trying to go through the various kiosks with the most awesome merchandise you can get around town. I personally have eyed the T-shirts businesses most notably @hudoob featuring one of my favorite local artists @khaloodies. As well as a Lebanese based T-shirt design company that had Captain tsubasa (Majid) on one of the shirts covering his mouth with a local patterned scarf.

But my absolute favorite part of the MFECC booths were the UAE based talents that showcased their art, merchandise; sitting in smaller tables neighboring each other. I went through each looking carefully at the young entrepreneurs who expanded their creativity into goods and services that appeal to the passers.

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A great booth was the ThinkUp row at the artists ally in MEFCC; amazing talents, visibility and command. Some of the talents that were available are Ali Kashwani, Yasmeen Al Shyoukh, Aisha Al Suwaidi, Fay Al-Sultan, Majida Al Musalli, Ahlam Al Qasim, Maraim Al Zaabi, Bader Al Shirawi, Osha Al Qasimi and Ahmed Al Nazari. I’d like to take a moment to recognize how amazing the ThinkUp team is, their support for Emarati talents, their resilience in making an impact towards showcasing creative content and giving back to the community with their proactive campaigns and seeding volunteers to different charitable causes. You can check out Think up latest activities and projects here www.thinkup.ae and on their social media accounts: @ThinkUpGCC

The Last day of MFECC, I was able to chat with a few UAE talents that created card games, board games and manga. One that caught my attention was Psycho-Kinetic by Saeed ali. An exciting board game designed to battle in tournament style. For more info contact Saed Ali at psycho-Kinetic@live.com

All good things must come to an end. As MEFCC ended I realized how much we need this outlet to showcase and release the nerd energy this youth has in this region. Honestly, I vote for two MEFCC per year. Because one just isn’t enough!

Ladies & Gents of the UAE, You’re Making Me Proud

Written by: Fida Chaaban (Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East Magazine)

Artwork by Maryam Zainal (@Maryam_Zainal)

Artwork by Maryam Zainal (@Maryam_Zainal)

When I first found out about Sail eMagazine’s Editor in Chief, Iman Ben Chaibah, through the jury of the Young Creative Entrepreneur Award from the British Council I was inspired. This prompted me to reach out to this ballsy female entrepreneur and propose that we execute a content partnership. She responded enthusiastically, throwing out ideas in a decisive and positive chain of emails. I explained to her that prior to Entrepreneur Middle East,I’d been with an arts and culture-oriented magazine focusing on that specific sort of content and that the shift was pretty big in terms of content and direction. Here are three things that I’ve observed in my new position thus far.

1)     Women are tough as nails

At my previous magazine, many of the women who interacted with the magazine on social media used me as a benchmark for being firm and proactive. I wasn’t posing provocatively or wearing the least amount of clothing for the camera, and besides, we as the staff set the standard for women who could be looked at in Lebanon for more than just our physical attributes. I’m nicely saying that we set established roles for future powerful females and less of a Kim Kardashian wannabe. In my new position, I’m surrounded by business-minded women, and damn it feels good! No Kardashian-lovers here; and don’t mind my saying so, but it feels freaking amazing! My old readership of smart girls has more or less stayed the course with me and I think they like my new work as much as they like my old work.

2)     Men are surprising

I had to exert my personality to have men in the industry take the magazine I previously worked at seriously. Whether it was the mindset in Lebanon’s mainstream media or just good ole’ macho overdrive, I can’t say. At Entrepreneur and in the UAE, men are constantly yet pleasantly surprising me for seeing eye-to-eye with me; and in general, just enjoying the positive business ride that we at Entrepreneur endeavor to provide.

One significant detail to note – No one cares that I’m a woman! The readers don’t see my gender and neither do my many media colleagues. Glory, glory and watch me throw up my hands in happiness every single day. One more thing I love? No one comments about my appearance and no one asks if I’m in a relationship – believe me, it used to happen quite often. The UAE seems to foster respectful boundaries that make me feel better as a woman in business. Refreshing.

3)     Engagement is as engagement does

I was told that when we launched Entrepreneur, we wouldn’t have the kind of fun interaction on social media that my previous publication did. I’ve managed to prove all the naysayers wrong. Sure, my previous publication was about pop culture, music and all kinds of madness that prompted people to talk to us on Twitter and write letters to me, but my current publication does that too – albeit differently. On a daily basis, I have tons of people tweeting images of the magazine when they get their hands on a hard copy and sharing our articles online with their own commentary interjected. There is a sick (in a good way) dialogue going and it’s because business doesn’t have to be boring. Business content, on the contrary, can be just as interesting as everything else, and with the right spin doctor on the job, you can do wonders.

What’s the most relevant lesson I’ve learned at Entrepreneur thus far? That Dubai in specific and the UAE as a whole, wants you to succeed. The people here just want to move forward, no matter what their nationality is. They want to see you do well and they celebrate when you do. I saw Iman do well and I celebrated the fact that she did. I want to be part of the rush and “when in Rome…”

I’ll see you on the interwebs and I look forward to hearing about your personal successes, both big and small.

Landmark Renovations By Italian Brands

Reem Al Suwaidi (@LumeiRee)

Reem Al Suwaidi (@LumeiRee)

Column: Habillez-Moi (which means “dress me” in French)
Reem is a fashion fanatic. She used her talents of critiquing to start a blog called “We Voice Fashion” along with a partner that shares her views on the world of fashion and design. Through her column, she likes to explore fashion in a philosophical way at times.
http://wevoicefashion.com
Reem Al Suwaidi (@LumeiRee)

Article in brief: The author observes how Italian brands contribute to renovating Rome.

Artwork by Anood AlMulla (@AnoodAlMulla_)

Artwork by Anood AlMulla (@AnoodAlMulla_)

A strong heritage and national pride is all it takes for Italian design houses to give back to their beloved Roman city. It’s a matter of luxury groups paying dues to the capital that contributed to their founding or maybe it’s loyalty. A connection to their origins is carefully played out as brands like Bulgari, Tod’s and Fendi have all funded refurbishments for tourist destinations. Although they’ve garnered much attention and received praise for their efforts, do these brands capitalize on such refurbishments?

Late in March it was reported that Bulgari was planning to repair the Spanish Steps which links the Trinita dei Monti church with the Piazza di Spagna. The reason for the steps’ “makeover” is simply because of the jewelry brand’s 130th anniversary. This renovation of the Spanish Steps includes “cleaning the travertine steps, removing plants that have sprung up in cracks, and repairing steps that have been chipped.”

It’s a move towards maintaining an Italian monument; but does exploitation play a role in this involvement? Although there is no fee for visiting the steps, the Bulgari store is just down the street from it which raises the question of their sincerity in the investment. Also, let’s not forget that the Prime Minister was looking for help in funding. Bvlgari is reported to spend 1.5 million euros towards the restoration that will commence in 2015.

Another brand that has undertook a sponsorship for renovation is Tod’s. It is widespread knowledge that the Colosseum is over a thousand years old, being built first during 70-80 AD. An urgent cry for help occurred when news broke that small pieces of the historical site fell which pressed for it to be marked as a red zone for people’s safety. And because the Italian government cut the budget to less than a half (from 2 billion to 1.42 billion), it has led to the cultural sector pleading for help in the private sector.

That was when Tod’s CEO and president Diego Della Valle decided to sponsor the project offering 25 million euros to help repair the Colosseum. In Tod’s situation, the house agreed on the condition of promotion. It was stated that the brand’s logo would be placed on the ticket and not on huge posters hanging from the arena.

As generous as it may seem, publicity was clearly a top priority for Della Valle. First of all, it proves as a great investment to the company since it would attract media attention from the start (the announcement). Second of all, it would be a great opportunity for Tod’s to put its “stamp” on one of Italy’s most celebrated spots. Another important point to note is that Della Valle would be relieved from any taxes in 8 million euros because of this sponsorship.

Another brand that followed suit was Fendi. The Italian house, still managed by the founding family, also expressed their interest in contributing to the reconstruction of the Italian heritage. The repairs amount to 2.12 million euros and are expected to be ready by 2015. Like Tod’s, Fendi will get their fair share of publicity. Unlike Tod’s, Fendi will be able to display their brand signs on the Trevi fountain.

One could say their actions are worthy, several citizens disapprove of these kinds of sponsorships. Carlo Rienzi, head of consumer association Codacons claims: “This is not a sponsorship, it’s a fire sale,” he tells the Euronews reporter, “For a few sets we sell off a private monument that represents Italy, and can be used for advertising and commercial operations”. Others also fear that the true purpose of these asserted finances is simply for their own benefit and not for preserving Italy’s finest pieces.

Although I value sincerity, I think it is important that these historical sites be taken care of. When other companies have ignored the calls of heritage, who else would help fund these certain type of projects? Putting capitalization and exploitation aside, I think it’s great that the Italian luxury companies are taking the liberty of helping their country maintain its famous locations. The way I see it, both sides win.

The Benefits of Reading

Alia Al Hazami (@AliaAlHazami)

Alia Al Hazami (@AliaAlHazami)

Column: Hidden Promises
Alia is an AUS student double majoring in International Studies and English literature. She is also the author of Alatash fictional novel. Her main goal is to make a change and empower the youth. Her column is meant to help the younger generations deal with tough situations. It was given that title as hidden promises is what us teenagers often believe; false promises.
Alia Al Hazami (@AliaAlHazami)

Article in brief: Everyone has a different perspective, and from the writer’s perspective; reading is the only way we can go far in life.

Artwork by Maryam Zainal (@Maryam_Zainal)

Artwork by Maryam Zainal (@Maryam_Zainal)

Interests vary; some people have perforations that others don’t. However, that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t venture into different fields.

With reading, our society is divided into two parts; the people who like to read and the people who don’t. Sadly, we rarely find an in-between. Reading has several benefits, such as relieving stress, the possibility of preventing Alzheimer’s and Dementia, improving our memory, providing knowledge as well as help in vocabulary expansion.

Unfortunately, most people look past all of those advantages and concentrate on the fact that they have to read long sentences with no pictures. Poignant how such minds refuse to comprehend that our society will only improve by reading, as simple as that.

It’s quite displeasing how they can go a whole year with the equivalent of zero books read. Reading has several effects on humankind, and it definitely changes the way a certain society thinks and acts. Heck, it can change a complete culture.

It’s safe to say that the way we live has been changed immensely, and it’s all thanks to the knowledge we have obtained from books. Books help broaden the mind; they make positive change possible.

Looking back at several statistics, it has been proven that illiterate countries have a higher rate of poverty and crimes, and we definitely don’t need that.  To prevent it, we need to raise awareness about how literacy matters.

We live in a country that defines dreams. We have many young achievers and they all happen to be readers. Coincidence? I think not. Getting to know different aspects of life and various experiences and adventures is key to opening up our mind.

Some consider reading a daunting task, to the extent where they relate it to work. Some teenagers absolutely reject living a new world through books because they believe that it’s boring, useless and a waste of time. “We’ll wait for the movie to come out.” is what they say.

I was one of those people, until a relative of mine told me to at least try reading before badmouthing it. Honestly, I wouldn’t be half the writer I am if it wasn’t for that day. Now, I’m absolutely in love with reading, it’s what I occupy my free time with.

Disappointedly, the current generation has many people with talents but they don’t bother to live up to their full potential. Instead, they fill their minds with nothing but mundane topics such as silly gossiping. They’d rather know who’s wearing who, rather than knowing who’s wearing enough courage to change the world.

What’s more upsetting is that they have the audacity to call this generation irritating and childish where they’re the cause of it. For every action, there are consequences so they should think twice before uttering a word.

This all happened due to abandoning books, and let me tell you that it will be our downfall. Leisure reading dropped so low, it’s completely unsettling. Reading is declining significantly, and that will only endanger our species.

What differentiates us from other living things is our ability to think, so we should work upon that. If you’re not a fan of books, read articles or newspapers; you have to be informed. Without reading, nothing will be special about us! We’ll simply be mindless organisms trying to find another task in our routine to get done.

The need to read is built in us, we only have to work on it. Make time for reading, even if it was for as short as thirty minutes a day or week. You will notice how the way you think changes and improves overtime.

The Difference Between Being Happy And Joyful

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)

Latest posts by Budoor Al Yousuf (@BAlYousuf) (see all)

Article in brief: delight, joy, gladness and cheerfulness are different words to describe one emotion: being Happy, however, are there different levels of happiness? And can they be defined be a word?

Artwork by Dana AlAttar (@DanaAlAttar)

Artwork by Dana AlAttar (@DanaAlAttar)

There are many ways to describe happiness. Sometimes people laugh excessively, some use words, and others cry. Happiness has different levels; one can be happy about cooking a wonderful meal however, feeling ‘Joyful’ has a different meaning all together.

Although ‘Joy’ is more difficult to achieve than ‘Happiness’, it is the preferred emotion as it gives a high boost of positivity and helps get through difficult times.

The below table shows the difference between the two and helps define the ‘Happy’ moments from the ‘Joyful’ ones:

Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 12.04.10 AM

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Note from the writer: Use the above parameters to list items that make you ‘Happy’ in one column and things that make you feel ‘Joyful’ in the other. Although the latter will be a shorter list, it will be the one that holds the most value.

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Dictionary:

  • Happy: delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing.
  • Joyful: a source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated

  ————————–

References:

  • “Happiness vs Joy.” – Difference and Comparison. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Apr. 2014. <http://www.diffen.com/difference/Happiness_vs_Joy>.
  • “happy.” Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com, n.d. Web. 9 Apr. 2014. <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/happy>.
  • “joy.” Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com, n.d. Web. 9 Apr. 2014. <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/joy>.

Lessons I’ve lerned from Delhi

Omar Al Owais (@OMSAlowais)

Omar Al Owais (@OMSAlowais)

Omar is an International Relations Student at the American University of Sharjah, with a passion towards politics and a devotion towards the rhythmic arts of poetry and prose.
https://omaralowais.wordpress.com
Omar Al Owais (@OMSAlowais)

Latest posts by Omar Al Owais (@OMSAlowais) (see all)

Article in brief: Omar Al Owais shares valuable lessons he learnt from holidays spent in India.

Artwork by Hayat AlHassan (@HayatAlH)

Artwork by Hayat AlHassan (@HayatAlH)

I’ve been a regular visitor to India for the past few years to the extent that it’s safe now to call it my second home. I’d like to consider my visits there as educational opportunities; from India’s heritage and history, its palaces and museums, and most importantly, its streets and its people.

You see, India isn’t all glitz and glamor. It has a huge gap between the high class and low class; the middle class is slowly ceasing to exist.

As I make my way through my daily errands on the streets, I encounter the humble low class; I see beggars, I see those in need of medical attention, and I see communal dwelling in the form of slums. I also see smiles, games and friendships that appear to be as thick as the trunks of the trees that fill this beautiful country. From them I learn that happiness lies not in material possessions, but rather in the simplest things in life.

I have learnt that strength lies not in physical capability and material possessions, but rather in the ability to live happily amongst the ruins; forgetting your misfortunes, forgetting those who let you down, and focusing on what you have rather than what you don’t have. I learnt what “much ado about nothing” really meant. I learnt the most essential step in order to live happily, gratitude.

We occasionally associate happiness with certain people, products and places. We often fall sad if we’re not with that friend or not having dinner at that restaurant or not owning the latest phone.

Well, life’s short.

Don’t waste your life dwelling on your misfortunes. Count your blessings, remind yourself countless times a day how fortunate you are to be in your current state, because many would kill to walk in your shoes. The more you remind yourself of what you don’t have, the more your heart gets attached to it; hence, you will forget what you do have and may not realize its true value until it is lost.

Another lesson this country taught me was that life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. I’ve seen children as young as myself, if not younger, engaged in child labor, in occupations such as cobblers, shoe-shiners and shopkeepers. This by no means indicates that I agree with child labor. Their situation forced them to resort to something nobody would normally think of doing. The moral of the story is, we won’t always get what we want and we’ll be put in situations in which we will need to make compromises. As we swallow our pride and adhere to these compromises, we need to keep in mind that all these sacrifices will eventually pay off in the future.

My mother always reminds me of a saying by an Islamic scholar which states that in matters of material, look at those whom are below you, in matters of achievement, look at those whom are higher than you.

Protect Children From Cyber Crimes

Ayesha AlJanahi (@_AyeshaAlJanahi)

Ayesha AlJanahi (@_AyeshaAlJanahi)

Column: The First Years Last Forever
A loving mother of a son who has changed her life and put it into perspective. Ayesha is a senior social media specialist, a Global Leader for young children in the Arab region, and a writer in few Arabic publications. Her column is written in collaboration with the Arabian Child organization, and offers inspiration and an in-depth exploration of early childhood development.
Ayesha AlJanahi (@_AyeshaAlJanahi)

Latest posts by Ayesha AlJanahi (@_AyeshaAlJanahi) (see all)

Article in brief: children who are able to face challenges and negative situations in real life are more able to be in control and manage the stressful situations that can occur in the virtual world.

Artwork by Fatma AlHashemi (@F_Fotography)

Artwork by Fatma AlHashemi (@F_Fotography)

“I am scared because there are photos of me on the internet that other paedophiles know what I look like, I don’t know if they know where I live”, Child victim of sexual abuse recorded in indecent imagery – NSPCC, 2014).

Privacy is an issue for everyone today with the fast development of the Internet and other new technologies. It’s shocking how high the numbers have grown in terms of risks that children may face constantly on the Internet. And if children don’t have a supportive adult in their lives who can effectively guide and answer their questions and concerns, they might be more likely to encounter offenders and cyberbullies through communicating and sharing content online.

One of the main domains of cybercrimes against children is called content risks, which is simply described as the act of sharing illegal or harmful content online.

Children may inadvertently share personal information without realizing that they may become an easy target for predators, or they might be disclosing content that might not reflect well on them in the future since it could be put up on hundreds of websites.

Some children don’t have the tendency to seek out inappropriate or illegal content, but they may accept or download some of these files while conducting some online searches that could be referred by others.

Just as you might not want your children to watch TV programs or read magazines that are meant for adults, you may want to be as concerned about their exposure to harmful content in the Internet, their mobile phones or games. Children might incorrectly type a web address or click on a pop-up ad out of curiosity, resulting in seeing something that could be traumatizing, distressing or upsetting for their age.

Being children in the Internet without the supervision of parents is like a home without a roof. Children and young teens may receive some harmful advice from strangers in online chat rooms to view some pornographic movies that might harm them.

They might be easily given harmful advice in virtual networks from paedophiles or predators who try to contact young people for cyber stalking, pornography or cybersex which is very dangerous for children.

Internet risks that children might encounter online could be avoided if parents put effort in encouraging their children’s schools to embed stronger and more effective Internet Safety programs starting in the early years. Parents then also need to complement this learning at home by listening and discussing internet dangers with their children at home and taking the necessary precautions by limiting their access to wifi and placing computers in family rooms and not in closed bedrooms.

Sadly, when children see or witness inappropriate things online, even in small doses, it can have a long lasting impact on their mental health development and by building their resilience, communication skills, and family bond, we can better equip children to face these possible challenges.

Resilience is being able to cope after facing negative and difficult situations and to go back to nearly the same emotional wellbeing level. We should teach our children to perceive situations positively to help them be in control and have a much better chance of not falling victim to online dangers.

You can initially start building up your children’s resilience in the real world, which will help them be in more control and enable them to bounce back from adversities in the virtual world.

Written in collaboration with Arabian Child organization. Visit www.arabianchild.org for more information about early childhood education in the United Arab Emirates.

© No portion of this publication may be copied, reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the author.

Negative Thinking Can Kill You Slowly

Salma Bin Faqqas (@SalmaOA_)

Salma Bin Faqqas, an aspiring 17 years old chemical engineering student that took a leap of faith into the unknown where she found out what she is truly capable of becoming. She believes that people too weak to pursue their own dreams will always find a way to discourage hers. An official addict to positivity and spreading joy. Through her column: "To a better tomorrow" she focuses on common problems found in our society and psychologically analyses them. It also gives simple solutions to the raised issues in order to make the community a better place to live in.

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Article in brief: Thoughts have the power to do anything. But when they are negative, can they lead to our own destruction? What are the effects of negative thoughts and how can we get over them?

Artwork by Dana AlAttar (@DanaAlAttar)

Artwork by Dana AlAttar (@DanaAlAttar)

“Nobody likes me!”, “I am such a loser!”,  “I will fail this semester!” Those are a few common phrases we hear from people. People go on saying these things all the time without thinking about the consequence and effects it has on them as individuals.

Negative thinking is the pessimism in seeing things and exaggeration in the evaluation of conditions and situations. Those negative auto-responding thoughts are in everyone’s mind, they influence our actions and our conclusions. Most of us don’t have a clear understanding or full awareness of a negative thought’s role in our minds and impact in our lives.

Our thoughts usually generate our feelings and attitude. While doing so, they will also have their effect on our perceptions, relationships and maybe become a part of our personality and mental compositions.

The causes of these negative thoughts vary from one person to another. Some people were raised in a way where there is excessive monitoring and control on their actions; everything they do is followed by strict negative criticism with deep magnifying of mistakes. Other people just over criticize and detract themselves because, for some reason, they think they aren’t good enough.

There are hundreds of causes, but there are only some common serious effects. Our bodies are nothing but servants to our minds. Negative thoughts have the ability to demoralize our bodies, lower the immune system defenses and therefore, turn us into easy preys for long lasting diseases. Negative thoughts are so powerful that they can cause and cure cancer.

Nowadays, many hospitals are curing cancer with nothing but ‘positive thinking’. After admitting the cancer patients, they implant in them positive thinking, and with the care of professionals, they shield them from facing their cancer by redirecting them to positive thinking. Many people became cancer-free after this experiment.

Negativity also causes a huge lack of interest, determination, ambition and productivity which leads to frequent failures in life.

Leaving aside the negative effects it has on us, our negativity also affects others. Negativity spreads to people we hang out with causing them to also see life from a dull perspective.

Getting rid of the negativity is very hard, but it’s a must. We have to train ourselves to take responsibility and accountability towards our mistakes; we also have to take a look at our accomplishments and believe in ourselves and encourage ourselves to do more. Look at things positively, no matter how bad they may seem. Engage yourself in new hobbies; do things you have always wanted to do. Stop criticizing your actions. Learn from your mistakes instead of letting them take over your mind.

Don’t allow your negativity to spoil your happiness. Your thoughts can either be your worst enemy or your best friend. Always remember that after all, you are what you think.

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