What I’ve been up to – June

Believe me, I’ve been intending to write this post about half a month ago. Or actually, by the end of June I was already thinking I should prepare my write-up about that month, before July passes and I haven’t told you yet about the events I attended and articles I wrote. It happened to me before, you know.

Come July 19, and I still haven’t posted you about what I’ve been up to last month. The truth is: Every week I had something (I thought) more interesting to talk about, such as my tips for a happy Ramadan, my trip in June to Singapore, and, not to forget, my birthday. But, no worries, ’cause here is an overview of the articles I wrote this month.

Art & Culture

Caribbean beats at the French Consulate

Caribbean beats at the French Consulate

The most spectacular event of the month was the opening of World Cup at the French Consulate. It was probably more swinging than the Brazilian one in Sao Paulo. Though the Caribbean beats and dance were not exactly “Saudi-proof,” I wrote about it in the paper. Of course, with some self-censure applied.

Landscape impressions by Idris Al-Daw

Landscape impressions by Idris Al-Daw

The French Consulate did not organize only this event, however. Throughout the year, it has been giving French, Saudi, other Arab, and even African artists the chance to showcase their work at the consulate. Two exhibitions I covered were the one about landscape impressions and women expressions as well as the first African art exhibition.

The Italian football team

The Italian football team

And as we’re talking about football, the Italians and British decided to challenge each other on the evening before the game in Brazil. Guess what? The British beat the Italians easily. Luckily, for the Italians, this was not an omen for the ‘real’ game in Manaus.

Performance during the celebration of the Italian National Day

Performance during the celebration of the Italian National Day

The Italians were more successful during the celebration of their national day on June 2, though, truth be told, they had some technical issues as well. Read about it in my article.

Graphic Design exhibition at Dar Al-Hekma University

Graphic Design exhibition at Dar Al-Hekma University

And, lastly, I covered a graphic design exhibition at one of Jeddah’s major private universities, where I saw some impressive work by senior students.

Food

Faris Al-Torki, owner of #F6_or Faris - a breakfast joint born out of a hashtag

Faris Al-Torki, owner of #F6_or Faris – a breakfast joint born out of a hashtag

Earlier this year, I did a restaurant review for a very special place in Jeddah: a small joint on Tahlia Street that was born out of a hashtag called #F6or_Faris (pronounce Futoor Faris, which translates as Faris’ Breakfast). It’s a very interesting story and the owner was simply amazing! He is an example for many Saudi entrepreneurs.

Breakfast at F6or_Faris

Breakfast at F6or_Faris

Plus his breakfast isn’t bad, either! Faris is opening a second branch now on King Road.

Breakfast at F6or_Faris

Breakfast at F6or_Faris

After writing the article, I realized breakfast joints have been mushrooming in the city in the last few years and decided to write about it.

World Cup nights at Park Hyatt

World Cup nights at Park Hyatt

Another food and World Cup-related article was my piece about Park Hyatt, which organized special “World Cup nights” at their Andalusia Restaurant, including the possibility to watch the matches with colleagues or family in one of the air-conditioned tents.

Travel

Bratislava Old Town

Bratislava Old Town

About a year ago, I traveled to Vienna and Bratislava to accompany my husband on a business trip. I had been to both cities before, I was impressed by both cities, and I wrote an article about both for the Saudi Gazette. The one about the Slovakian capital came out this month.

Health

DSC_0560

I wrote quite a lot on health-related issues. One thing I thought would be nice to cover is the pre-holiday stress many people experience. I did my research and wrote about the topic in my article “Relax! Holiday season is almost there.”

Another thing I thought would be interesting is a plea for a healthy diet. You know, there are so many diets these days – paleo, vegan, intermittent fasting, gluten-free – while in the end being healthy shouldn’t be that complicated. I believe the secret lies in just a little bit of everything: No forbidden foods or combinations, just common sense. Easy, right? (That does not mean I don’t support certain diets. For me, following a vegetarian diet is very easy, and I do it for ethical and environmental reasons. However, when talking purely about health, I think eating a bit of everything is most beneficial.)

With Ramadan around the corner, I also decided to tackle some issues regarding this holy month. One such topic I had been wanting to cover for years was whether diabetics should or should not fast. I got good feedback about the article.

Secondly, I wanted to stress on the impact of giving and charity on our well-being. I figured Ramadan was the perfect time of the year to write about that.

Miscellaneous

A front page story about a Dutch politician who converted to Islam and is to establish the first Islamic political party in Europe appeared in the Saudi Gazette on 22 October.

My manager has been encouraging me to start doing business interviews. While I still need to get into the routine of approaching CEOs and other business people I did make an attempt this month during an interview with the CEO and General Manager of Mercedes-Benz Saudi Arabia.

Lastly, you may have heard about the row between Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands due to an anti-Islam sticker by a very stupid Dutch parliamentarian. Much has been said about the issue, but I felt I wanted to have a word as well, given my position as a Dutch married to a Saudi. Plus, most opinions are either totally pro-Dutch of pro-Saudi, and I felt a more balanced argument was needed. Hence, I wrote an opinion article for the Saudi Gazette on the matter.

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