Here We Start – Issue # 59 – 5th Anniversary Invite

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 Maryam Zainal (@Maryam_Zainal)

Artwork by Maryam Zainal (@Maryam_Zainal)

It’s almost that time of the year again, the time we celebrate our anniversary with all our readers and loyal audience. I’m more than honored and excited to finally officially invite you all to our 5TH ANNIVERSARY!! Please mark your calendar to join us:

  • Date: Saturday, 21st of February 2015

  • Time: 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM

  • Venue: Dubai International Writers Center (newly opened just beside Heritage Village) Map

  • RSVP on: RSVP@SailEMagazine.com

In the anniversary, aside of the main agenda that will be shared soon on our social media accounts, we will also be announcing many new developments in Sail, and so we’d love to have you all there.

As you know from our previous months announcements, we’ve now expanded into digital books publishing. Our first published book was “Alayah”, details in our previous month’s editorial. Our second book published just few days ago is called “Just Read It”, written by Omar AlBusaidy. The book is a day-to-day guide on self-development and touches upon the topics of emotional and social intelligence. It is addressed to the youth as well as professionals who wish to pursue greater achievements in both their personal and professional lives.

The book is now available on iBooks & Kindle. You can also leave your reviews on either of the platforms or on GoodReads. Get your digital copy of the book, and let us know what you think!

Just Read It - Omar Busaidy_ Book cover  mini

And now to our 59th issue for the month of February 2015:

Hats off to our incredible editorial team: Aida Al Busaidy, Dhabya AlMuhairi, and Deena Rashid. Enjoy our reads, and don’t forget to check out the inspired artworks by our talented creative team: 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

My Social Media Suicide Farewell Letter

Alia Al Shamsi (@aliaalshamsi)

Emarati Author and Photographer from Dubai. After receiving a BA in Photography from Griffith University she worked as a photojournalist for local newspapers covering regional and international news. In 2008 she gained a MA in Photo-Image from Durham University and has lectured photography as an adjunct at the American University of Sharjah. Her photography has been exhibited internationally and holds awards including: EDAAD Scholarship 2007, British Council Cultural Leadership International 2010 and 2011 Emirates Woman Artist of the Year.
Al Shamsi’s recently published book Alayah by Sail Publishinghas been awarded the support from Dubai Culture part of their printing and publishing movement “Reading in Arabic Challenge”.

Latest posts by Alia Al Shamsi (@aliaalshamsi) (see all)

Article in brief: The author explains the reasoning behind her decision to completely disconnect from social media for a while.

Guest Article, Social Media Suicide

Social Media suicide is a very peculiar behavior, one which I have personally contemplated over and over again. I’ve seen it done before, I’ve read extensively on it. The idea of disconnecting leaves me wondering, is it an attempt to attract attention? Or can pain override every other emotion erasing the will to carry on expressing oneself?

I’ve gone and interviewed a few social media suicide victims. Their responses altered between the search of true meaning of human relationships, to the need to quit the addiction and therefore gaining more time that could be put in better use. But of course, there were some who wanted to be heard; wanted to be tagged to once again resurrect from their social media deaths. Then, there are other suicide victims that didn’t just end in the social media strata sphere, but extended into the social life arena. Slowly, these suicides evolved into the real life, with the need to be removed entirely from all social interactions.

But why I ask in a time when through social media one could connect to everyone anywhere everywhere at anytime, and not to mention the career opportunities one could cultivate through online resume databases, why at a time when you don’t have to ever feel alone or bored does one need to give up on social media?

I addressed these concerns of mine to a friend who without delay went on a pro-social media life campaign condemning any act of social media suicide as an attention seeker. However, in the midst of his social media propaganda rampage, he brought up a very unusual word: escapism. This word lingered while the rest of his speech muted away.

I looked up the word escapism on the Merriam and Webster:

es·cap·ism

noun \is-ˈkā-ˌpi-zəm\

an activity or form of entertainment that allows people to forget about the real problems of life

I asked myself the question: How many times have I reached to my mobile in order to avoid an inconvenient confrontation, whether a confrontation with others, or indeed confrontations with my own thoughts?

I have been through a very hard year, and a lot of challenges were swung my way. It became second nature, the moment I would wake up and was confronted with the sound of reality I picked up my mobile and went onto Instagram. Every time I was rejected and heard a no for a project or a research, I would end up hours on Pinterest looking for inspirational quotes. If I ever found myself in a room filled with strangers or a room filled with acquaintances on their phones, I cut the awkward silence and whatsapped every possible person until someone replied.

I avoided my real problem. My real problem was the need to face these problems, not to bandage them up with inspirational quotes.

The very nature of social media is in its accessibility and availability. Unlike a book or a movie it does not have an ending. You can easily have enough content to last you an entire lifetime and everyone can BRB. There is no disruption unless disconnected.

To add on to the point I’m trying to make, I couldn’t have said it any better than Prince Ea did in this video:

And so I disconnected.


 To read the author’s reflection post the disconnection phase, click here.

Review On Beauty Products ( Frank Body Scrub & Make Up Eraser Towel)

Deema Al Mheiri (@deedeee_)

Deema is a Visual Artist who expresses herself through different mediums that vary from paint to cosmetics. Just like a palette, experimenting with products is key to a colorful canvas. Her column is a collection of tried and tested beauty tips and tricks of the trade that will assist in emphasizing your beautiful features.

Latest posts by Deema Al Mheiri (@deedeee_) (see all)

Article in brief: The author discusses two hype-worthy beauty products.

Artwork by Hayat AlHassan (@HayatAlH)

Artwork by Hayat AlHassan (@HayatAlH)

Most beauty products are well advertised for, but are they worth the hype? I decided to test two products that have been causing a flare in the beauty world; I was stunned by the quality and results of both of them.

The Frank scrub gained major attention in the past several months and for good reasons. This body scrub comes in 4 different scents, and it is an exfoliant that targets what women thought couldn’t be targeted, stretch marks, cellulite, eczema, burns and rosacea. It does wonders for your face and body in terms of smoothing, moisturizing the skin, reducing pigmentation, and acne. The variety in scents makes it easier for customers to choose from. In order for the scrub to work, the targeted area has to be scrubbed well for 3 minutes, and then kept on for 5-10 minutes.

Frank body scrub- coconut & grapeseed AED 120 from estilo.ae

Frank body scrub- coconut & grapeseed
AED 120 from estilo.ae

The instagram page for Frank scrub (@frankfeedback) shows various before & after pictures and the results are unbelievable. I noticed it reduced the sensitivity of my skin, and added a glow to my complexion without the use of makeup. You will notice an instant difference in the smoothness of your skin within the first use, but in order to see major results, it is advised to use it for at least 2-4 times a week ongoing.

Another product that gained notice is the “Makeup Eraser” towel. I cannot stress the importance of this product in every makeup-oriented girl’s life. It is truly a one of a kind, easy to use product that has made my makeup removal process much easier. In a few minutes, this fine cloth will remove every trace of makeup, including waterproof products off your skin – the best part is it only requires water to be activated. The hassle of buying makeup removers and cotton pads can finally come to an end.

Make Up Eraser towel AED 75 from estilo.ae

Make Up Eraser towel
AED 75 from estilo.ae

The “Makeup Eraser” can last up to 1,000 washes or more, and is easy to clean. It leaves your skin with a clean, fresh feeling after use since it is completely water based. Say goodbye to other makeup removers, because with this product you will no longer need one. An eco-friendly product that saves time, money and effort has finally made its way to consumers. Consider this to be your best friend in terms of products because it is definitely mine.

You can easily find both products on www.estilo.ae which is a cash on delivery website and it will be delivered to your doorstep within 2 working days in the UAE.


References:

Considering Children’s Lives

Ahlam Bolooki (@AhlamBolooki)

Ahlam Bolooki (@AhlamBolooki)

Ahlam holds a Bachelor's Degree in International Hospitality Management and started her career Marketing Jumeirah Group restaurants for four years. She currently oversees communications for Dubai Events, working to strengthen the Emirate’s growing profile, locally and internationally, as a dynamic events and festival destination.She is an aspiring writer contributing to Gulf News, and does not go through a single day without reading a section of the Complete Works of Khalil Gibran.
Sharing emotions are often perceived as vulnerable and weak; however her column will plant seeds of bravery in sharing the truth in its stripped down core through digestible, yet impactful anecdotes.
Ahlam Bolooki (@AhlamBolooki)

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Article in brief: This article explores the pre-destined circumstances children are brought into, and the considerations of bringing human life into the world.

ArtWork by Marwa Fuad (Twitter: @Marwa_f1, Instagram: @Elmeem_Artistry)

ArtWork by Marwa Fuad (Twitter: @Marwah_f1, Instagram: @Elmeem_Artistry)

When children are born, they are pre-destined to enter the world into various roles. They become new additions to already existing families, followers of certain beliefs, and new purpose to the lives of those who brought them into the world. Sometimes, they are born to serve more complex purposes like gluing together flawed marriages, filling empty voids in their guardians’ lives or carrying forward the family reign. Other factors such as quality of life, wealth and political situation in their surroundings, are also determined before the baby even feels his or her mother’s touch for the very first time. Genetic traits of both parents are combined and passed onto this new creation resulted from the joint decision to bring a new human life into this world. Some children then have to go through life-altering circumstances such as abandonment, adoption and single parenthood from their early days. Others are blessed to be raised in healthier family environments, with strong educational privileges and live more sustainable lives.

Human life is not brought into this world through any will of its own, but hypothetically, given the choice to decide, would the ‘pre-birth considerations’ not include all of the above factors? In reality, there is no choice given to those brought into the world. Is it then not the responsibility of potential parents to weigh all the consequences? If having children is not for everybody, should married couples not evaluate the true purpose they chose to have children? If two people are unable to provide a healthy environment for a child, does that alarm them to reconsider having children? Or do pressures of experiencing parenthood, biological clocks, and society overpower them, urging them to do so anyway? Is it concerning the norms of most societies around the world, that they expect marriage and reproduction from the mass majority?

In casual conversations with parents in our surroundings, it is almost second nature and even noble to hear about the sacrifices made to provide good lives for their children. With all due respect to the difficulties good parents go through to raise children to the finest of their abilities, when I think about the best way to fulfill my only life, I do wonder if it’s through the sacrifices associated with parenthood. Is there a conscious decision made by parents before having children to accept those sacrifices? If so, then are they still considered sacrifices or lifestyle choices? And had it not been a conscious decision, is it then fair for children to carry the burden of their parents’ sacrifices in the lifelong debt of giving back to what should have been the thought out decision of two adults who understood the magnitude of what it means to have a child?

Sacrifices are translated to tokens of love, and the love therefore, a residing memory of the hardships. When the hardships wear off, and children of the world grow older, does a love that has coincided with sacrifice for so long allow for detached individuality? Above all strengths required for good parenthood, the most powerful credit goes to the moment parents are able to let go of the selfish need to have their children close, to the gift of liberation, finally, allowing them the overdue right of choice in their existence in the world.

How To Avoid Pink Eyes?

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)

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Article in brief: why you get pink eyes and how to manage it.

Artwork by Maryam Zainal (@Maryam_Zainal)

Artwork by Maryam Zainal (@Maryam_Zainal)

Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is a medical condition where the whites of the eyes turn pink. This is usually very irritating and causes a lot of discomfort, as eyes get watery, itchy and very sensitive to light.

Medically, the conjunctiva can get irritated by dust or various allergens causing similar symptoms. However, a pink eye can also be caused by a bacterial or viral infections. This can result in discharge and a lot of discomfort. The good news is: pink eye is very common and easily managed.

In dealing with a pink eye we need to look at the following to achieve a holistic approach to its recovery:

  1. Body:

Look at the cause:

  • If it is an allergic reaction, avoid dust and irritants. This can also mean contact lenses as they can get infected and aggravate the eyes.
  • If it is an infection, then antibiotic drops and ointments might be needed. An important point to note is that when using the drops you must always complete the course even after the symptoms have resolved to avoid a recurrence.
  • Always make sure your eyes are protected from direct sunlight and that your body is hydrated and your eyes moist.
  1. Mind:

Look at what is going on in your life. Your eyes are very sensitive to light, and to energy. Are you over exposing them to the LCD screen? Are you focusing on one topic without looking at the big picture? Are you maintaining a wider view of life and your goals and objectives?

Focusing on one issue usually causes increased levels of stress and can lower your immunity and render you more susceptible to infections. It is always a good idea to look at the horizon every now and then to be able to release the stress on your eyes from having to focus on one point for a long time. So if you have a desk job, or work for long hours in front of a screen, please make it a habit to look away every 30-40 minutes to relax your eye muscles and breathe.

  1. Spirit:

Your eyes are the windows to your soul – not only do we receive information from looking around, but we also connect to each other on a deeper level by maintaining eye contact. Having a clear insight on your life and how you relate to others and how you perceive them and are perceived by them can help create a clearer vision on a spiritual level.

Avoid worrying as it limits your view of the bigger picture and disconnects you from the stream of wellness that is flowing to you with each breath.

Lastly, being in a state of gratitude, and looking around to find objects to appreciate in your life and in others around you, helps achieve a more complete healing and resolution.

The Old Mosque in Fujairah

Abdulla Alwahedi (@Alwahedi)

Abdulla Alwahedi (@Alwahedi)

Column: Emirati Reflections
Abdulla holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s in Business Administration. His abstract passion for history and literature with a hint of photography adds to his noble enduring quality. Abdulla enjoys visiting museums, art exhibitions and likes to spend his spare time in the outdoors. His column “Emirati Reflections” is a mixture of stories from the past and insights of the present, which blend together and formulate his understanding of the UAE’s culture.
Abdulla Alwahedi (@Alwahedi)

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Article in brief: The author talks about his experience in visiting different mosques in the UAE and the importance of preserving old mosques.

Habhab Mosque - Taken by Abdulla AlWahedi

Habhab Mosque – Taken by Abdulla AlWahedi

According to the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, there are 4915 mosques in the UAE. The number of mosques has increased drastically in the recent years with the increase of population and the country’s development. New mosques design have been influenced by Turkish and Egyptian architecture which makes them so unique in the region. Today, the grand mosque in Abu Dhabi, besides its spiritual importance for Muslims, stands as a magnificent example of beauty and architectural design.

On my visits to various cities in the UAE, I search for old mosques as their simple structures and basic designs attract me. Mosques in the past were very simple in design with a capacity of 20 to 30 worshipers, with the exception of mosques inside the city, which tend to be larger in size.

In a recent visit to Habhab, a small village in the outskirts of Fujairah, I found an old mosque in between the farms. The mosque was small, built with stones and palm tree wood. The square shape “mihrab” was carved carefully in the wall allowing enough space for the “imam” to lead the prayer and had little windows for air circulation. The mosque didn’t have a minaret like modern mosques, as traditionally small mosques were built without it. Unfortunately, the mosque was in a bad condition and needed immediate maintenance. Given that it was still possible to pray in it.

Initially, I thought that this was an abandoned mosque and no one would pray in it. However, around Maghreb Prayer I noticed an old man leaving a nearby farm and going towards the mosque. I greeted him and introduced myself and we started talking. Sultan is a 50 years old farmer from Pakistan who has been living in Habhab for the last 25 years. I asked him about the mosque and he said: “This is a very old mosque, no one knows when it was built. Look at its condition and the material used to build it. This must be at least 200 years old”. I was a bit curious about his reasons to pray in this old mosque when the new mosque is not that far. However, Sultan didn’t answer me and instead said: “I go to the other mosque also, but I like to pray here.” Praying in the old mosque with Sultan was very spiritual. The mosque did bring a high level of peace to myself.

The sad part is that the mosque was not maintained and may collapse at any point of time. This mosque like many other traditional mosques in the country needs attention as they have both religious and historical importance.

Sultan may not be able to rebuild the mosque, but by praying in the old mosque he brings life to it. We need more people like Sultan; therefore I urge you all to look for the oldest mosque in your neighborhood and find out what it is that is needed to continue its role as a place of worship. Let’s us work together in serving our faith and protecting our history.

The Joy Of Admitting You’re Not Happy

Haif Zamzam (@haifnothaifa)

Haif Zamzam (@haifnothaifa)

Column: Joie de Vivre, Ex-Column: Sense and Sustainability
Haif Zamzam is a bon viveur who just can’t get enough of life. Her inflexibility for the norm coupled with her constant hunt for a challenge pushed her to the private sector where she is a professional in a top-tier consulting firm. Haif has an MBA from INSEAD and a Bachelors degree from the AUS. Through her column, Joie de Vivre, French for “Joy of Living,” Haif hopes to show how living with your head in the clouds is highly underrated.
Haif Zamzam (@haifnothaifa)

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Article in brief: The author discusses the joy she found during a short time of unhappiness.

Artwork by Fatma AlAHashemi (@f_fotography)

Artwork by Fatma AlAHashemi (@f_fotography)

September 2014 was when it hit me; I was unhappy. At that moment, my life seemed like a constant merry-go-round of working, commuting and socializing to the point of numbing exhaustion. It seemed that anytime the ride was nearing the end, my mind would insert more tokens in fear of being alone with my thoughts, my worries, and my anxieties. I sat there in my hotel room and gasped for breath through the tears that streamed down my face. In that moment, I felt hopeless.

The alarm rang and I was on autopilot again. I grabbed my carry-on to head to the airport where I was on the red eye flight to Europe for a week-long training course. I settled into my seat trying to logically make sense of the state of mind I found myself in. I pulled out a pen and paper and jotted down all the worries that I had filed under “will think about how to deal with this later”. Over the course of the next week, I carefully examined each one of the issues I jotted down and had a heart-to-heart with myself. I was making my own peace with all the noise in my head. I was setting myself free.

When I felt somewhat content that I had at the very least addressed a certain issue that I had buried previously, I moved onto the next. The exercise was hard; most likely the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my life to date. It is not an easy task to set aside your emotions and try to regain control of your life. Whenever I found that my heart started to race and I tried to forcefully suppress the emotions that were waiting to spew out of me, I would take a deep breath, reach for my phone and call my family or friends. Talking about an issue makes it real. Talking about an issue to someone other than yourself makes it solvable.

The core of all my issues was really very simple; my childhood expectations were left unmet with the realities of life. The person I had dreamed of becoming was not the person who I was today. What I realized during the months since facing my issues is that the person I became is different, but in no way inferior to the person I dreamt of. I weighed myself down by all the things I did not achieve from my childhood expectations and forgot to include the things I did not ever dream of achieving.

That, coupled with the hesitation of our society to acknowledge anything that vaguely resembles “the west’s” wave of anxiety and depression, puts people in the state I found myself in; a whirlwind of confusion, panic and to a certain extent, shame. The truth is that those two mental states are real and does not mean that people are taking all the blessings in their life for granted. It just means that they need to speak to someone, a friend, a family member, or a therapist. Someone who will be able to tell them that everything is going to be ok, and that it is ok to feel this way every now and then.

My silver lining stems from the fact that I have been reassured that I have an incredibly solid support network who recognized my need for help. They kept reassuring me that everything is really not that bad. They reminded me to just take a deep breath and believe that everything is falling into place. Sometimes, that’s all you need.

That is the joy I found from admitting I wasn’t happy.

Hoping For A Better Year

Alwid Lootah (@AlwidLootah)

Column: Lost in Reverie
Alwid is a young lady who aims to become the change she wants to see in this world by spreading positivity and leading youth towards the road of unlimited possibilities. She recently founded her own website hearmyeche.com through which she aims to become the voice of youth and share unrecognized talents. Her column “Lost in reverie” is a place where she allows her thoughts and emotions to flow and a place where she can hopefully create a change.

Latest posts by Alwid Lootah (@AlwidLootah) (see all)

Article in brief: When it finally hits you that a new year have arrived, it’s time to sum up 2014 and hope for a better new year.

Artwork by Maryam Zainal (@Maryam_Zainal)

Artwork by Maryam Zainal (@Maryam_Zainal)

7th of January is when it first hit me that 2014 is over and yet a new chapter, as they all say, is opened for us to scribble new moments in. In 5 years, what will I remember about 2014? I asked myself and the moments that came to my mind, those were the moments that are the most valuable.

They tell me years are just numbers, yet birthdays are celebrated based on a number. You see, a year might be a number, but when you’ll look back, you’ll say 2014 was a good year because so and so.

For me, 2014 wasn’t necessarily good, it had its moments just like any year but it’s not a year that I am mostly proud of. In 2014, I allowed myself to break; I know that even the best of us break, but I shattered yet I smiled and pretended that my mind wasn’t going through a hurricane. Allah specifically tells us that one shouldn’t hold more than they can carry, and that’s where I went wrong. They told me that life goes on, so I kept that in mind, and whenever something I didn’t like happened, I would carry it on my shoulders, smile, and move on. Yes, life goes on, but issues are not meant to remain unsolved based on the fact that days will pass.

I listed my issues, and I realized how very blessed I am. I was instantly thankful for every little thing, because even though I have always had extreme trust in Allah’s plan, I’ve just only realized how everything takes time to become as clear as the sun. You might believe in your heart that what has happened to you is what’s best for you, but when you begin to draw your life in front of your eyes, you’ll realize how it’s all happening for your own good.

Like puzzle pieces, moments of your life come together to form a masterpiece. The good and the bad seem to fit perfectly together, and at times that could be hard to accept, but you will get there, trust me. You’ll get to a point where a part of your puzzle would be complete, you’ll feel proud, and you’ll continue living your life as a different person.

5 Lessons From Being An Entreprenur

Sidiqa Sohail (@sid_90)

Sidiqa Sohail (@sid_90)

Column: Musings of An Entrepreneur

Sidiqa is 25 years old and is half-Emirati and half-Pakistani. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the American University of Sharjah and a Master’s degree in Conflict Prevention, Sustainable Peace, and Security from the University of Durham in the UK. Sidiqa owns and manages the boutique-café concept store “Spontiphoria” in Wasl Square, Jumeirah.
Sidiqa Sohail (@sid_90)

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Article in brief: the author shares 5 lessons she learnt within the first two months of starting a business.

Artwork by Hayat AlHassan (@HayatAlH)

Artwork by Hayat AlHassan (@HayatAlH)

Don’t you find that the E-word is thrown around very loosely nowadays? It seems that anyone who starts a business of any kind can claim the right to call themselves that. “Entrepreneur” is so often misappropriated to a degree that it undermines those who really do deserve to be given that title. The word evokes someone who has filled a gap in the society- not the market, and someone who has contributed to the development and increased efficiency of societies. As a boutique-and-café concept store owner, I do not claim to do either; yet I am using the word entrepreneur in this new column for lack of a more succinct term that is easily understood in today’s popular culture – hence the inverted commas.

In the past 14 months that my store has been open (and the 14 months that preceded it of government approvals, meetings with fitout contractors, and various other development stages) I have learnt on-the-job what it takes to get a business up and running. I’ve learnt more about myself than I ever did, and I have learnt tons about human psychology – which definitely comes in handy. In one word, running a business means turning into an Energizer bunny constantly managing every tiny aspect involved. In this new column, I’ll be sharing insights and reflections of what it takes to manage a business here in Dubai, and I hope that many of you in the same boat will be able to share many of my sentiments and thoughts. So without further ado, here are some of the things I learnt within the first two months of opening Spontiphoria:

It will become your life.

You will eat, sleep, and breathe your business. There will be times when you won’t be able to fall asleep because your head is so full of numbers, bills, things to get done, and ideas. You will not be able to sit down for a quick 20 minute dinner in front of the television because you will inevitably get a phone call that needs to be dealt with immediately. You will dream it. At times, it will be what pushes you to keep going and at times it will be what makes you want to curl up in a dark corner and never come out. Be prepared.

There is no point doing something that’s already being done.

Don’t start a business unless you’re giving something unique to society or the market. There has to be something unique that sets you apart and that “something” has to be very easily visible. But if you are going to do something that’s already being done, make sure you open in a location where the same goods or service isn’t available for at least several miles.

You will wear many hats.

You will learn to be the manager, the salesperson, the advertiser, the logistical person, and the technical person. Even if you have staff handling these aspects for you, you will still learn how to do each one. You’ll learn how to use awesome little things you’d never even thought of learning, like a till machine or that little plastic gun that sticks tags on to clothes. It is extremely important to be skilled in the industry or field that your business is in. I had to be the chef for one whole month when we opened and were still between staff.

Your set-up costs are a long-term investment.

Set a 3-4 year goal for covering these and don’t let this initial cost preoccupy you. Focus on providing a good product and breaking even each month. Covering your set up costs will thus come eventually and automatically.

Avoid that big initial hype- the bubble will burst.

So many businesses that open are preoccupied with getting a huge buzz and being the talk of the town. This will get you nowhere. Things like this are temporary, and if you don’t have a product that’s unique enough and worth going back for, this initial buzz, no matter how big, will just pop.

 Click here for part 2 of this article.

How Chemicals Between People Affect Their Conversation

Mustafa Abbas (@MustafaAbbas)

Mustafa Abbas (@MustafaAbbas)

Mustafa is an award-winning film-maker whose short films have screened in local festivals such as Dubai International Film Festival and the Gulf Film Festival, as well as international film festivals including the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. Currently he is working on numerous projects both within and outside of UAE. Through his bi-monthly column “Notes of The Night”, he ponders upon different matters of our daily lives.
Mustafa Abbas (@MustafaAbbas)

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Article in brief: The author stresses on the fact that people’s friends represent who they are.

ArtWork by Marwa Fuad (Twitter: @Marwa_f1, Instagram: @Elmeem_Artistry)

ArtWork by Marwa Fuad (Twitter: @Marwah_f1, Instagram: @Elmeem_Artistry)

“Chemistry” is not just a term, but actual chemicals attracted to one another that bring people close. Not necessarily in the romantic sense, but also in friendship and the people we choose to have around. It is also possible that when people lose touch after a certain point for no particular reason, it’s because the chemicals did not match. This does not mean anything negative. People are just different, and there are all kinds of people in this world.

Naturally, there are many factors that make people spend time with each other: similarities, likes and dislikes, and sometimes just plain old good rapport. Their dialogues complement each other, and they blend in, so to speak. Familiarity, too, can play a big part. And in most cases, these things all come together. And we “get along” as we say.

But it is possible that it goes beyond choice, isn’t it?

When we meet a person for the first time, we want to know what they are like, and who they are to decide a number of things, including getting to know them more, how much time we’d like to give them if at all, and whether or not it’s going to be a long-lasting friendship or relationship. Meeting people, especially for extroverts, is one of the biggest joys of life, so these points or concerns are often raised.

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” –Anais Nin

However, there are unique situations where people are caught up in circles they don’t necessarily belong to – still, who the person’s closest two or three friends are will give us a clearer picture.

In my opinion, who our families are will say a little about us, but I believe who our friends are will say a whole lot more. After all, our friends don’t just represent us, but our values and morals too.

As I mentioned earlier, people spend time based on their similarities, but what if there is something greater than we can see or touch? Something deeper within us that makes some people connect and others disconnect? Something that goes beyond our conscious and outward similarities?

“Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are.” -Arabic proverb