Here We Start – Issue #55

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah, founder of Sail Publishing, a digital publishing house for online magazines and ebooks, and editor in chief of the Emirati Sail Magazine, an online magazine about community and culture written in English by Emirati columnists. Iman is a multi award winner in digital publishing, entrepreneurship, and literature. Iman has also completed the Leadership Strategies in Magazine Media Course in Yale University. Besides her work in publishing, she also lectures in Canadian University in Dubai.
Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)
Reading Time: 7 minutes
Artwork by Maryam Zainal (@Maryam_Zainal)

Artwork by Maryam Zainal (@Maryam_Zainal)

Those who know me personally know that last month I was honored to be chosen as a delegate to the 51st International Achievement Summit. And like all the other delegates and myself before we started the program, it would be safe to say, no one really knew what was this all about, because it’s not one of those summits that you hear all the media frenzy around. So what is it all about?

The International Achievement Summit is hosted by The Academy of Achievement, which was started by Brian Reynolds in 1961, and was later taken over by his son Wayne Reynolds and his wife Catherine Reynolds who carry on Brian’s vision as their own. Brian Reynolds was a freelance photographer for many established publications such as: Time, Life, Sports Illustrated, and many more. Part of his job was to take pictures of many great personalities who have changed our current times, from scientists, Nobel Prize Laureates, to sports athletes, authors, diplomats, presidents, and many more. He realized that those people have much more to offer than just what is being reported on them in the news, and more importantly, the younger generations ought to hear those people’s journey directly from them to be able to make a difference in their own lives. And so he started the summit, to bring the exceptional graduates and the youth who have achieved something significant, together in one place with figures and role models of our current time, people who have changed life as we know it.

There are some key elements in the way the summit is structured that I respected dearly. The first element was that as a delegate, I was in once place with people like Dr. Jim Watson who received the Nobel Prize for discovering the structure of the DNA in the 50s, Dr. Robert Leftkowitz who received the Nobel Prize for discovering receptors in the body that reacts to medication and accordingly shifted the medication industry in the 80s, to Carol Burnett who paved the way for many women into the comedy industry, to George Locus the creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones film series and many more amazing figures for this year’s summit. Names that didn’t just make it in the past few years, names that aren’t particularly popular, names most of which don’t exist on social media and don’t care about a following count, yet names that has changed our lives without us even knowing it. To quote the Academy on the importance of this: “Such personal encounters send an enormously powerful message to the youth raised in a world that so often values the superficial and ephemeral over the monumental and enduring.”

Those amazing figures talked with us in the summit’s symposiums and roundtable discussions about their journeys, and the universal message across all of them through out their different industries is: you will fail, you will be rejected, and you will fail many more times, but you have to keep working hard and believe in what you do, and one day, the success will be on your side. When you hear such message from such figures, you can’t but feel humbled by everything they’ve been through, and be filled with an amazing since of hope and inspiration.

And the last great point I’d like to bring up about the summit is how isolated it is from the media frenzy. Unlike our events that are crazy about media coverage before and after the events, this summit kept away from all that for all those years to maintain the value and quality of what it produces. So people don’t approach and ask to be part of it just to be part of the frenzy, instead, the Academy selects the top-notch achievers and youth to be part of it.

The 51st International Achievement Summit Delegates Group Picture

The 51st International Achievement Summit Delegates’ Group Picture (taken with a drone)

The Achievement Summit experience was beyond extraordinary, and I can’t begin to thank Mr. Wayne & Mrs. Catherine Reynolds enough for hosting such an incredible summit, and bringing such amazing minds in one place. You’ve truly inspired us to bring out the best in us!

 And now to our 55th issue for the month of October 2014:

Hats off to our amazing editorial team: Aida AlBusaidy and Dhabya AlMuhairi. Enjoy our reads, and don’t forget to check out our inspired artworks by our creative team: Dana AlAttar, Hayat AlHassan, Marwa Fuad, led by 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

The Life Changing Praying Mat: @Timez5

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)

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Sponsored Content

Article in brief: The author takes us on an old woman’s journey who had joint and back problems and through her first five days of using the Timez5 prayer mat, and how it changed the way she prayed thereafter.

Artwork by Maryam Zainal (@Maryam_Zainal)

Artwork by Maryam Zainal (@Maryam_Zainal)

The previous two articles related to the Timez5 mat, “Timez5: The Medical Praying Mat” and “Timez5: The Scientific Praying Mat”, looked into issues such as the long-term benefit of using the mat and the science behind its design. This article, the final one in the Timez5 series, will focus on one person’s journey with the mat.

Umm Mohammed is a 50-years-old mother of 4, and grandmother of 2. She was a teacher for 20 years and was dedicated to educating children from grade 1 to 3. As a result of years of raising her kids and 20 other generations of children, she now suffers from chronological backache, joint and muscle ache that led her not to be able to pray while standing anymore; she now prays in a seated position.

Day 1: “The first day was difficult, I was barely able to finish the Duhur* prayers, my knees ached and it was really hard standing up after every Sujood**” – Umm Mohammed.

Analysis: Although expected, the first time is always the hardest as the body is not used to the full movement of the prayer anymore. The leg muscles are week and the knees feel rusty, however the more the mat is used in prayers, the easier it becomes.

Day 2: “Today was better. I was able to perform both Duhur* and Aser*** prayers on the mat although it was painful and at some point I thought I won’t be able to stand up, I eventually did and I was proud and delighted. I haven’t been able to pray on the floor for few years now.” – Umm Mohammed.

Analysis: The mat is designed to absorb the shock from the knees when sitting for Sujood**, this makes the position harmless to the knees hence not hurting as much when standing up again.

Day 3: “I was overwhelmed with joy to see that I am praying now in less pain; I was able to pray comfortably and felt my knees were much lighter even while going up the stairs, I felt they were more flexible.” – Umm Mohammed.

Analysis: The different positions Muslims take while praying on the floor includes moving the joints a lot, specially the knee, and because praying on the mat absorbs the shock and doesn’t injure the joint, the knee is now bending and moving more than it used to, the rust now is wearing off the knees.

Day 4: “I never thought it would be possible for me to pray on the floor 4 days in a row without medication and cushioning my knee with a pillow or towel. Surprisingly enough, instead of the pain growing, which is what usually happens, it is actually decreasing.” – Umm Mohammed.

Analysis: Praying on the mat allows the blood circulation to increase, it also helps in distributing the body weight so there is no one area that takes all the pressure. This allows the body to continue praying on the floor and decrease the pain at the same time as the muscles and joints are getting used to the movement; this is a very similar reaction to what happens when people exercise and workout.

Day 5: “If my life has changed this much in only 5 days, I can’t wait to find out what happens in 3 months! The Timez5 mat truly works.” – Umm Mohammed.

Three weeks after using the mat, the changes were significantly clear. The pain was decreasing, her knee pain while praying is completely gone, moving was easier and last but not least Um Mohammed was able to pray on the floor again.

We hope you’ve benefitted from our Timez5 series through out those 3 months. To know more about the mat and how to purchase yours, go to

Vocabulary used:


    • Literal: Midday.
    • Religious: The Muslim’s second prayers, it is performed during the middle of the day, when the sun is at its highest point.


    • Literal: Prostration.
    • Religious: Also known as “Sajdah”, it is the 4th act in the Muslim’s prayer ritual and it is the position when the forehead, hands and knees all touch the ground together.


    • Literal: Afternoon.
    • Religious: The Muslim’s third prayers, it is performed during the afternoon, in the period of the day between noon and evening.

This article is part 1 of 3 from Timez5 Series, to read the rest:

  1. “Timez5: The Medical Praying Mat”, click here.
  2. “Timez5: The Scientific Praying Mat”, click here.
  3. “Timez5: The Life Changing Praying Mat”, click here.

What Is Children Human Rights? And How We Can Raise Awaerness About It?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Written by Maitha AlShamsi (CEO of Human Rights Sector in CDA)

Article in Brief: A film competition to raise awareness on children human rights is launched by CDA.

Artwork provided by CDA

Artwork provided by CDA

Being a mother of three has made me realize the blessing of having a safe, protective and nurturing environment for my children. Living in the UAE makes me thankful that my children can grow up enjoying all their rights as recognized by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child[1].  Seeing the continued efforts being made in the UAE to invest in its citizens including those most vulnerable gives me great confidence in the future of my children. However, ensuring the protection of our children’s rights is not only the obligation of the country; it’s an individual obligation from me, you, and society at large. There is so only much the government can do, and the rest is in our hands. Family is the first safety net which surrounds our children so teaching the values of human rights will only ensure that my children and everyone else’s can live in peace and tolerance.

To engage the youth sector, the Community Development Authority of Dubai (CDA) has launched a Human Rights Short Film competition to instill human rights values in the youth through engaging them in a creative process. Through this competition and focusing on children’s rights, CDA aims to spread awareness on the main rights categories afforded to children such as the right to education, the right to healthcare, the right to protection from abuse and neglect, and the rights of children with disabilities. CDA hopes that students in universities and higher education institutions will use this opportunity to allow their creative talents to translate those key children’s rights messages in ways which will engage a wider audience and which ultimately contributes to the development of society as a whole. As the CEO of Human Rights Sector in CDA, I speak on CDA’s behalf when I say that we believe in the creative talent of our youth and we believe that they are innovative, resourceful and have a voice that deserves to be heard.

 So you might ask, how do we participate in the competition? The general terms and conditions are simple; the applicant should be a student currently studying at any university or college in the UAE. The timespan of the short film should be between 3-5 minutes. The main subject of the film should be one the themes mentioned above (the right to education, the right to healthcare, the right to protection from abuse and neglect, and the rights of children with disabilities).  A judging panel made up of prominent local directors will judge the submitted films. There will be three winners for each of the mentioned themes, and the first place winner will receive a cash prize of AED 25,000, second place winner will receive a cash prize of AED 20,000, and third place winner will receive a cash prize of AED 15,000. This will bring the total number of winners up to 12 people, increasing the chances for more people to win!

The script, the scenario, and the way the film is directed is entirely up to the students, so if you fit the criteria and you would like to explore your filming talents, join the competition and let your imagination run free to spread more awareness.  We look forward to hearing your voice. Happy filming!

For more information about the general terms and conditions and how to submit your entry please visit:

For further inquiries feel free to contact us at:  or 04-4493251


Interview with @SalehAlBraik, The Man Behind @ThinkUpGCC – 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)
Reading Time: 6 minutes

As Thinkup GCC celebrates its 3rd anniversary, our editor in chief interviews her old friend Saleh AlBraik, the man behind it all. The interview is divided to two parts; the first part is published in October’s issue and will cover Thinkup’s different phases since its launch, while the second part will be published in November’s issue and will be about Saleh himself.

Sail eMagazine: ThinkUp has been known as many different things before. So what is ThinkUp defined as now?

Saleh: We are a social media agency. Our mission is to bridge the gap between the Emiratis and the corporations. We do that through campaigns and events but with the push of social media.

Sail eMagazine: ThinkUp has evolved through different stages since it started. What are those different stages of Thinkup?

Saleh: We had four stages so far. The first stage was the news reporting stage in which every single day you would see about three new stories, whether it’s what Emiratis were doing, projects that were happening, or events that were taking place. So it was very much fast paced.

Then we evolved into the talent agency stage, which came about when I saw the results of the reporting stage and saw all the talents that were around us. I realized these talents need a place in the society and I wanted to represent them. That stage was short lived because there were big fishes in the sea and we had no experience in talent management.

We then evolved into a PR Agency, which was with the push of Mariam bin Fahad who was in Dubai’s Press Club at the time. She had a conference coming up and knew we had the talents but she wanted us as well to execute PR campaigns and events that will make the youth walk in through the doors. We didn’t see ourselves that way at the time, but we realized this is a good challenge that we can take. This phase lived longer than the previous two stages; it stayed with us for a year.

And then, on our third year, we evolved to be a social media agency, which was getting to the truth of who we are.

Sail eMagazine: What caused each of these shifts to ThinkUp’s direction?

Saleh: Each change happened because of two main reasons: The availability of our resources and freelancers was one reason, and the other reason was what people and organizations perceived us as and contracted us to do which helped us see more to ourselves than we did.

Sail eMagazine: How was getting the attention from clients and going into contract negotiations as a small Emirati company?

Saleh: When you go on behalf of another company or establishment that has been there for years, it comes without saying that you are to be paid. However, when you are coming from something that you’ve created in your room, after nights of drawing up on boards; it felt odd to ask for the payment because it’s felt like you are valuing yourself.

So it was hard for me but I got inspired and pushed by the team to demand what we deserve. We were tired of being mentioned as a youth group, a young initiative, and volunteers. So we made sure all our media coverage referred to us as a company instead to ensure we get the credibility we deserve.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sail eMagazine: What is the toughest experience you’ve had throughout ThinkUp’s journey?

Saleh: People often don’t understand the amount of work that goes behind ThinkUp. We are a team of 20 members, we fight like brothers and sisters, we laugh and cry, we’ve had long nights, long fights, situations where we had to sit down, have interventions between the groups, arguments about what is right and what is wrong and what is the direction of the company.

What I feel is the toughest is that we have to continue to revisit our relationship as a group of 20. It can get emotional to some of us to be involved in such change-creating projects. It can cause us to sometimes be either insecure of what we can deliver or sometimes the level of expectations brings some of us down. So we have had times as a group where we all withdrew at the same time from the public and other times we were all front line and center.

Sometimes we are asked where are so and so? It’s because sometimes pressure gets to some of us and we have to understand and tell that person: “we are always here for you; we will love you no matter what. You need a break! You have taken the pressure to another level and it’s coming between your personal life, your social life and your work life, and we know it’s not easy to keep the balance between these three different lives, so take a break and comeback.”

Sail eMagazine: The definition of full circle moments according to Merriam Webster: “a series of developments that lead back to the original source, position, or situation or to a complete reversal of the original position.” What’s your most special full circle moments?

Saleh: It’s a similar story but with two individuals, it happens with quite a few individuals but these two are special. They are Badar Najeeb Al Awadhi and Ali Kashwani, we didn’t even know what we were doing yet they keep saying we’ve changed their lives forever. We didn’t really recognize it until the very far end.

We were hosting, interviewing, and recommending them through ThinkUp. With Bader, all of a sudden he is now filming a fourth show, negotiating his contract, negotiating what he wants, getting his own titles, and he is planning to one day publish his own cookbook. Bader once said that if it wasn’t for ThinkUp, he never would have had the push because he felt insecure about being a male Emirati chef, and now he has been accepted so well into the public.

Same goes with Ali Kashwani who said “I was drawing on Starbucks receipts and now I can say I co-illustrated and fully illustrated two comic books by the government and Watani, and I’ve met HH Sheikh Majid and HH Sheikh Mansour.”

Those are the full circle moment for us, where we have actually affected positively people’s lives and that’s where we feel like yeah it’s never about the money. It’s just the feel good moments where we inspired people around us.

Note: Stay tuned for next month’s part 2 of the interview, with more about Saleh AlBraik’s life and aspirations.


What Are The Causes of An Upset Stomach?

Dr. Mariam Ketait (@ebbbndflow)

Dr. Mariam Ketait (@ebbbndflow)

Dr. Mariam Ketait is a general practitioner specializing in family medicine, with masters in quality in healthcare and various alternative healing certifications including Theta Healing, Spiritual response therapy, Pranic healing and Access consciousness.
Mariam looks at health from a holistic perspective and believes that our bodies respond to our thought patterns and emotional behaviors. She also believes that health is attainable and that a happy life is a healthy one. Mariam created the concept of "ebb and flow" to reflect how we can deal with the various tides of life by flowing in harmony with our inner wellbeing to achieve health. The column will cover common health topics with an approach to conditions in a mind body spirit framework.
Dr. Mariam Ketait (@ebbbndflow)

Latest posts by Dr. Mariam Ketait (@ebbbndflow) (see all)

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Article in brief: A quick look on what causes gastric upsets and problems.

Artwork by Hayat AlHassan (@HayatAlH)

Artwork by Hayat AlHassan (@HayatAlH)

A tummy ache can vary from simple butterflies in your stomach to a full blown stabbing pain, which can be a symptom of a peptic ulcer (a medical condition where the mucous covering of the digestive tract, usually the stomach, develops a lesion).

Today, I will talk about Gastritis: a common medical condition in family practice where the gastric mucosa (the lining of your stomach) is inflamed and irritated resulting in various symptoms ranging from indigestion, heart burn, or stomach aches. If gastritis is left untreated it can lead to serious complications such as a peptic ulcer or stomach cancer.

There are many causes for Gastritis; for example, the food one eats can aggravate the stomach lining and produce those symptoms. Spicy food, caffeine on an empty stomach, fatty foods, along with alcohol, smoking and high levels of stress are all associated with this medical condition. Medications such as Asprin or Brufen have also been shown to cause gastritis or gastritis like symptoms. Sometimes, a bacterial infection can be causing the heart burn and indigestion; H. Pilori, a bacteria that normally resides in the stomach can sometimes flare up and cause an infection in the lining of the stomach when the body is under a lot of stress or the body’s resistance is low.

From a mental perspective, thought patterns identified with people with recurrent gastritis include angry and worrysome thoughts. Angry thoughts can be directed to self or others and can get aggravated to reach an “eating yourself up” with resentment or guilt or anger, which can lead to ulcers flaring up.

Stressing over what might go wrong can also aggravate acidity in some. Our stomach is where we digest food and absorb nutrients, so from an energetic and intuitive perspective, when one can’t “digest” circumstances or “absorb” love from family and friends, an energetic imbalance is created. In the spiritual world the stomach is part of the “Solar Plexus” Chakra, this chakra is usually responsible of control issues: of self, others, and circumstances. When it’s out of balance it can lead to stomach upsets.

It is thus important to address all the different aspects of one’s life experience when dealing with this medical condition. For starters; once an H. Pilori infection is excluded a closer look at eating and lifestyle habits will benefit the patient. Avoiding food that aggravates the symptoms which includes caffeine, spices, fizzy drinks, alcohol and smoking can create a significant shift in the condition.

In parallel, identifying the area which is causing anger or a sense of being out of control in one’s life will create awareness and changing that perspective can be beneficial for the recovery. Releasing anger either by venting out emotions, spiritual practice or by simply redirecting the energy into a constructive outlet such as the gym or a new project can help temporarily. However, for more sustainable results then a thorough and holistic assessment to the anger might be needed. Once anger is resolved, it will be easier to experience relief and allow the healing process to be complete.

In conclusion, your stomach is where you digest life’s circumstances, which will continue to be thrown at you. Being able to let go and have faith creates a great sense of relief as one lets go of the compulsion to control every little detail and “eat themselves up” with anger and resentment. Being able to change this point of view on any life changing experience will allow you to be in the receiving mode of gratitude, love and nurture and to digest everything with ease.

The Fear of Becoming a Loser Freshmen in University

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)
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Article in brief: The author talks about how to perceive transitions as she makes the transition from being a high school student to a university freshman.

Artwork by Dana AlAttar (@DanaAlAttar)

Artwork by Dana AlAttar (@DanaAlAttar)

Growing up, we have always been made to think that transitions are hard. I, personally, despise change. However, as I got older, I only realized that change could in fact be positive if you decide to perceive it so.

In one of my previous articles, I talked about recently graduating from high school. In all honestly, I thought that the switch would be dreadful. I was too afraid of being that loser freshman who was clueless as to what was going to come her way.

I didn’t want people to think I’m still a kid who is suddenly in a place filled with adults. I even refused to ask for directions to my classes because I didn’t want to be thought of as clueless. That was just the beginning and I had a feeling that I was going to get bombarded with responsibilities and endless daunting tasks. However, that all doesn’t matter to me right now because I chose to take this new journey as a positive one.

Yes, graduating from high school does involve a lot of growing up especially in the way you act and think but that’s the best part of it. There’s nothing like the sense of independence, growing as a character and getting to finally experience life instead of hearing about it.

Being a freshman at the American University of Sharjah has surprisingly been a blessing. I feel like I belong in a certain society for the first time in my life and I’m getting the opportunity to actually be myself instead of what I’m expected to be. Usually, in schools you’re expected to follow a certain pattern the administration sets out and there’s not much room to express your individuality. Now I am no longer stressed out by the pressures to be perfect in everything I do like I was in high school.

To deduce in a few simple words, I stand by the words of Tenesse Williams “The future is called ‘perhaps,’ which is the only possible thing to call the future. And the important thing is not to allow that to scare you.”  Nothing is certain so never be afraid of the challenges you may face as you start a new journey in life because it will only benefit you positively. Plus, you wouldn’t know how things would’ve gone about unless you tried.

Perceiving everything in an optimistic manner will help you go a long way. Like I always state, everything is a mental conundrum. If you believe that change is good, then be certain that it will affect your life positively. And if it didn’t, then it will only be a lesson to teach you how to handle life in the future.

The Robin Williams Fluctuation

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.
Omar Al Owais (@OMSAlowais)

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

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Article in brief: Success and happiness are directly proportional, or are they not? 

Artwork by Dana AlAttar (@DanaAlAttar)

Artwork by Dana AlAttar (@DanaAlAttar)

Clarification: This article looks at reasons from a non-professional’s perspective on why individuals may resort to suicide and aims to look at how those reasons can be avoided.

As news spread that Robin Williams committed suicide couple of months ago, the world was shocked. He was a much-loved comedian who entered our hearts through the big screen in movies like Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, Dead Poets Society and many others. In addition to that, he was well reputed in the standup comedy industry and theatre works. Not to mention being nominated for three Academy Awards for best actor, and is a recipient of the Academy Award for best supporting actor, two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, two SAG Awards and five Grammy Awards.

He was successful, appreciated and loved; yet, he suffered from clinical depression for the past ten years before his tragic death. Joining the ranks of the rich and famous that took their own lives, such as Heath Ledger, Marilyn Monroe, Whitney Houston, and Cory Monteith. One can only think, are success and happiness directly proportional? Will I be happier if I am more successful? Not necessarily.

Unquestionably, one of the most common reasons people commit suicide is depression. Depression is a mental illness that can reach people of all ages and achievement levels. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, depression may be defined as a “psychoneurotic or psychotic disorder marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration (…) and suicidal tendencies.” It can last for varying amounts of time; depending on the environment the person is living in and how it is affecting his mental state. It is an illness that requires awareness in order to be eliminated.

What creates depression for many individuals is the feeling of loneliness, but in the presence of religious practicing we are not alone; even though religion isn’t the core reason that holds people’s sanity in place, it can be a good outlet to connect with a higher being and a purpose.

In the UAE, if a suicide attempt is met with failure, it will be met with legal action, according to Article 335 of UAE Federal Penal Law (No. 3 of 1987) the punishment will be maximum six months of jail-time and/or a maximum fine of AED 5,000, but ponder on this thought; will restrictions and punishments decrease one’s willingness to commit suicide?

Though the suicide rates in the UAE are comparatively lower than the global rate, it has been on the rise in the past years. Speaking to The National, Abu Dhabi based lawyer, Nashwa Al Qubaisi said, “After a doctor reports a patient as being suicidal, the patient would then be required by the police to sign a statement that they would never repeat the attempt,” she adds on “This is futile. This issue needs psychological solution more than a legal solution – they need to go to a rehab centre, not prison.”

Robin Williams is a case that many will wonder how they could have helped. In many places of the world, like the U.S., rehab centers and special doctors cater to suicidal victims. What we need is a similar structure here. Suicide is on the rise for many reasons and a lot of times if you have no family or friends around you, knowing there is a professional help around the corner can be helpful.

Speaking as a student, this issue touched me deeply, particularly because I have come across several cases of students committing suicide due to exam results, and the consequences that follow; such as the recent one involving the suicide of a high school student due to his CBSE results, his suicide note was found in his chemistry paper[1]. Board exams, or any ordeal we may pass through, will test our patience and bring us to new personal lows. But such tribulations will only be managed by confidence, diligence and perseverance.


Book Review: Lord of the Flies

Maitha Almuhairi (@Maithani)

Maitha Almuhairi (@Maithani)

Column: Pocket Full of Books
An avid reader, Maitha has always dreamt of being a recognized novelist and poet. For the last decade she focused on HR as a career, which has taken her away from her dream, but it’s never too late. Her column Pocket full of Books focuses on book reviews and doesn’t necessarily focus on a specific genre.
Maitha Almuhairi (@Maithani)

Latest posts by Maitha Almuhairi (@Maithani) (see all)

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Article in brief:  A review about “Lord of the Flies” that was written by Sir William Golding.

"Lord of the Flies" Book Cover by Sir William Golding, published by Turtleback books on 1999

“Lord of the Flies” Book Cover by Sir William Golding, published by Turtleback books on 1999

“Kill the beast. Cut his throat. Spill his blood.” – Sir William Golding

In the absence of rules and culture, would you lose your humanity and allow yourself to be consumed by the law of the jungle? Would you allow violence to be your only chance of survival? Sir William Golding, author of the Lord of the Flies teases us with this possibility. The novel is probably one of the most underrated literary pieces in the modern literature. A book that had not done well in the first decade after its publication, but became so well acclaimed later on that it became a text book in the 60’s, a mythology of survival.

This book is a perfect recipe for adventure; a parody of children adventures’ stories. The book explores the savagery that underlies the most civilized human beings and explores the dark side of humanity. The book’s storyline takes place in the middle of an unknown nuclear war with a predictable storyline where schoolboys are shipwrecked and stranded on a deserted island without the supervision of adults.

In order to set the rules and boundaries of what is fun, the boys elect a leader. Golding had not sugarcoated his novel and instead turned it into a horrifying saga of survival and loss of innocence. The two faces of humanity (savage and civilized) are represented by Jack and Ralph who both fought for the leadership position. The voice of reason was represented by Piggy who was bullied and tormented by everyone.

Piggy and Ralph find a conch on the beach and as the leader, Ralph decides to call for a meeting through blowing the conch that resonates across the island. The conch is a representation of power and leadership. The conch is not meaningful on its own, but it is a tool of power nonetheless, not because of what it is, but because of what they made it to be.

Though the writing style is poetic and beautiful, the goriness below the surface is ominous. If we look closely at the title itself, “Lord” is a synonym of power. The “flies” are a manifestation of death and decay, an obvious representation of the innocence the boys lose throughout the novel. However, put the two words together and the thirst for power and corruption walk hand in hand.

“Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of a true, wise friend called Piggy.” -Sir William Golding

The novel is gory, dark and depressing, but is it worth reading? I say yes! The book is rich with symbolism about leadership, corruption and how savagery is somehow a part of our humanity. It’s gripping, brutal and pessimistic. Rainbows and butterflies may not be our daily cup of tea. Sometimes we understand when society is lost; we all show our fangs and fight for our survival. Personally, I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Self-Esteem is a Lifelong Process

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)

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Article in brief: the author explains how a child living in a nurturing home during his/her early years can develop a strong sense of self-esteem that will reflect on their progress throughout their childhood and prepare them to manage their work and relationships in their adulthood.

Artwork by Marwa Fuad (Twitter: @Marwa_f1, Instagram: @Elmeem_artistry)

Artwork by Marwa Fuad (Twitter: @Marwa_f1, Instagram: @Elmeem_artistry)

“Self-esteem is the sum of self-confidence and self-respect. It reflects your implicit judgment of your ability to cope with the challenges of your life (to understand and master your problems) and your right to be happy (to respect and stand up for your interests and needs)”. [1]

Positive self-esteem is a cardinal requirement of a fulfilling life. How we feel about ourselves affects our experience in life which is engraved during our childhood. It’s very important for any child to feel good about him/herself; this will help him/her feel worthy and competent which can last for a lifetime.

It is easily noticeable when we see adults who always seem to have doubts about their abilities; they cannot function properly when they encounter a new experience since they were not taught how to master life skills during their childhood. The false belief about unworthiness weakens their self-esteem and confidence where they continuously live in doubt.

Those who are convinced that they cannot be loved or considered not good enough may end up in relationships with people who are emotionally abusive which will further damage their self-esteem. Consciously, they might admit that they deserve better, yet they continue to stay with them and try to get their approval because they think that they do love them and the false belief that no one else will. These people suffer from low self-esteem. Not surprisingly, if we could look back to their childhood, we will find out that most of the false beliefs were inferred from behavior of family and events they’ve gone through.

Educators believe that high self-esteem plays an essential role in academic achievement. Students with high self-esteem are capable of influencing others’ opinions; they are able to communicate positive feelings about themselves and they are aware that whatever happens to them is the result of their actions. On the contrary, students with low self-esteem always practice perfectionism, overly dependent on others and have difficulty in making decisions.

Every day in a child’s life there are opportunities to either build or break their self-esteem. Parents can help build their children’s self-esteem by remembering to praise their children for their effort and not only the result of their actions. Parents should avoid saying things like “why didn’t you get a full mark” and instead say “I know how hard you worked, and I’m really proud of the effort you’ve put into your studies this year”.

Children are born without social knowledge or social skills but they imitate both or one of the parents to acquire life skills. For children, parents are considered their first teachers and role models. They usually learn by seeing how their parents behave and treat their surroundings. So if parents are treating others with respect and handling their problems with confidence, children are more likely to respect the feelings of others and handle their problems without any frustrations.

Parents should give children the tools that help them deal with their problems on a daily basis. For instance, if your child fails a test, the best thing is to handle their emotions and make them feel confident that they are in control to get a better grade next time. In this case, parents can empower their kids and teach them the skills they need to handle their disappointments.

Children usually develop self-esteem by doing new hard things and not just doing the same thing over and over again. When they are able to accomplish a new task that is considered very challenging, it builds their self-esteem. But when a child does the same action he used to do repeatedly in the past, it’s no longer a noteworthy action to be proud of and definitely it won’t build their self-esteem.

A child who is living in a nurturing home environment is more likely to learn the actions that support self-esteem along their lifetime. In such an environment, children are given security and opportunity to discover themselves and their world. Help your children to be bright in the future, let them grow up with the idea of having a powerful mind that is a creative gift, which they need to learn to use to work for them and not against them.

[1] Nathaniel Branden (1987). How to Raise Your Self-Esteem. United States and Canada : Richard Rossiter . p5-10.

Written in collaboration with Arabian Child organization. Visit 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.

The Importance of Modern Medicine

Moza Almatrooshi (@mozaalmatrooshi)

Moza Almatrooshi (@mozaalmatrooshi)

Column: The Heart of Making
Moza Almatrooshi is an Emarati artist and designer. After attaining a BA from Zayed University Dubai in Interior Design in June 2013, Moza began her journey in trying to find a place in the creative industry in the UAE, starting with catching a plane to Italy to intern in the UAE Pavilion in the Venice Art Biennale 2013. Since then Moza has dabbled in several experiences such as architecture, design, event planning, art exhibitions, and writing for independent publications. Moza continues to journey through life, art, and design.
With mass production sweeping the globe, artisanal talents struggle to retain relevancy. This column celebrates the beauty and human value added to a product that is created with skilled hands.
Moza Almatrooshi (@mozaalmatrooshi)

Latest posts by Moza Almatrooshi (@mozaalmatrooshi) (see all)

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Article in brief: The author shares how suffering from a fractured arm due to a horse riding accident made her aware of the importance of modern medicine objects used in hospitals today.

Artwork by Moza AlMatrooshi (@MozaAlMatrooshi)

Artwork by Moza AlMatrooshi (@MozaAlMatrooshi)

“Crack”! Was the sound my left arm made as the horse I was riding flung me against the metal fence. The sound was deeply rooted within my body; it was very loud, but only loud enough for me to hear. As I sat up and glanced over my arm, the sight of it reaffirmed what had echoed moments ago: I broke my arm. The events that followed after are too painful to recount, but since the overall purpose of this column is “making” I had to reach far enough to reveal my appreciation for the objects that made my recovery possible.

As I was rolled out of the ambulance and into the ER, the hustle continued into the X-ray room and back into the observation room where a doctor and four male nurses tried their best to piece me back together. Their best method consisted of them pulling me up and down roughly and quickly, while telling me to hold myself together so they can do their job. It didn’t take long for me to feel the weight of the rolled cast that clung very tightly around my arm; in fact, it was so tight that what was exposed of my arm wasted no time in swelling and getting darker in color.  The next day, the doctor informed me that metal plates were the only answer to my ailment. I was told I had to get two plates inserted in place of the fracture and screwed together.

My family thought it might be best to transfer me to another hospital; this is where my fascination with medicine began to stir.  The new doctors that took on my case were alarmed at the poor quality of my cast and sent over a specialized casting technician to release my arm from its gypsum prison. This time around, the new cast was light and much more forgiving; just from the use of minimal casting materials and simpler techniques, thus a big fraction of my pain was alleviated. In the case of the metal plates, I was told I only needed one metal plate; its curved and perforated features shunned the need for screws to be inserted as well. Post-surgery, my room was lined with guests, most of whom shared their recollection of being treated for something and comparing who got what planted in their body and how they dealt with it.

All this has made me grateful for the treatment I received although it is not ideal to live through situations like beeping through airport security for having the metal plate accompanying me in my future travels and writing this article using one arm, but other people had to live with much worse and less tolerable obstacles. It also has made me look into the work of product designers who have created objects such as aesthetically appealing prosthetic wear for those who need it as well as the constant testing of various materials such as 3D printed objects as a substitute and solution for heavier materials used presently. Designing is one of the tools that when used correctly can become a factor in bettering the quality of life.

Note: both hospitals that I have been admitted to were generously provided by the UAE government for the public, the difference in treatments I have received stemmed from one hospital purely exercising better and much more dedicated management.