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Archive for the ‘Travel & Tourism’ Category

I am so glad my article was published at http://www.bucketlistpublications.com: http://www.bucketlistpublications.com/2012/02/23/skydive-dubai/

Najma Aijaz

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Lesley Carter shares her teaching experience:

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About the writer of this post:

Born in beautiful Norway, I have a background in Graphic Design, the travel business and a Bachelor in Interior Architecture. My home is now in Portugal, where I moved 3 years ago to find the love of my life. Now we live in Algarve where the sun shines most of the time with our two cats Fluffy and Chilli.

My company  Enjoy My Design is the beginning of a dream to start an independent life, where I can work wherever I want. My body likes the sun and gets very cranky in the cold. I studied Interior Architecture in London 5 years ago, that’s about the time I realized I need to slow down. I don’t do very well with stress. But changing something that’s incorporated in your system can take time.

Working and designing in my own time and space works for me, I’m much happier and I feel more energetic.

So, what do I do?

I make art for kids, other passionate paintings , create textiles and much more.  I’m even writing a bookfor kids right now. I also take freelance jobs. Right now I’m testing out factories, print shops etc to deliver my designs to the best price and quality!

Have a magical day, and may all your dreams come true!

Anne Onsøien

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Perfumes are very popular in the Arab world. Back in 2009 my roomie, Sahar,  was from Sudan.  She was very fond of scents.  She used to lit Oud in the evenings and I began liking it. It used to make me feel lighter.

Oud 

Fortunately I have brought Oud with me here in Pakistan. I haven’t used it as yet. I am waiting for a special moment. It’s only now that I am here I realize there are so many little things and details that I know of the Arabic culture. I mean obviously I am born there but it’s only now that these things seem different to me, because they aren’t here. People rarely know stuff called Oud.  Plus here, like my neighbours, use Agarbatti on special occasions. But it’s not the same. I don’t like Agarbattis! 

Agarbatti

Anyway, this isn’t what this post’s about. I used to travel everyday to school and then to college passing by The Perfume Roundabout in Fujairah. I used to think it’s called The Perfume Roundabout because there are perfume shops near by but recently I saw it’s pictures on facebook and realized this is not the reason! And I thought I was observant about things. 🙂 I remember I used to wonder why it’s made this way:

It’s only a few days back I ‘noticed’ that the hand is sprinkling perfume! This is what Arab people often did at their place. They used to use the above object and sprinkle it on people and their homes. Beautiful isn’t it?

The Perfume Roundabout as it looked at night during the UAE 40th National Day celebrations:

Najma Aijaz, 21-2-2012

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Last year during Eid Al Adha holidays I went with my family to visit The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, popularly called the Grand Mosque by local residents. It’s said to be one the most beautiful in the world-  initiated no less by the late president HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who is fondly thought of as the father of the UAE.

Natural materials were chosen for its design and construction due to their long-lasting qualities, including marble, stone, gold, semi-precious stones, crystals and ceramics.

An equally impressive interior design complements the Mosque’s awesome exterior. Italian white marble and inlaid floral designs adorn the prayer halls and the Mosque’s interior walls have decorative gold-glass mosaic features, particularly delicate on the western wall. The main glass door of the Mosque is 12.2 metres high, 7 metres wide and weighs approximately 2.2 tonnes.

The 99 names (qualities) of Allah featured on the Qibla wall exemplify traditional Kufi calligraphy, designed by the prominent UAE calligrapher – Mohammed Mandi. The Qibla wall also features subtle fibre-optic lighting, which is integrated as part of the organic design.

I remember praying here (pic below). Since it was quite hot outside so coming in this room for prayer was pure bliss. We prayed here our Asr prayer:

The best thing I found about the mosque were it’s chandeliers. In fact, one lady (a visitor too) at the mosque told me they were the largest chandeliers in the world. Now, I am not sure whether it’s true but anyway I don’t mind believing that I saw the world’s largest chandelier 🙂 . The Mosque features seven 24-carat gold-plated chandeliers which were imported from Germany, all designed with thousands of Swarovski crystals. The largest of these chandeliers, which hangs from the main dome of the Mosque, is considered the biggest in the world; it measures 10 metres in diameter, 15 metres in height, and eight-to-nine tonnes in weight.

Since it was the holiday season there were many tourists at the mosque. We didn’t really got much information about the mosque and just headed there randomly due to which we had to go through the same places of the mosque 5 times! The mosque’s quite big – The Mosque can accommodate up to 40,960 worshippers from its prayer halls and courtyard.

Najma Aijaz, 20-2-2012

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… I’d have a garden to walk in forever.

I went to Al-Ain Paradise in Al-Ain U.A.E. The place got it’s name in the Guinness world records for the largest display of hanging baskets on 20th March 2010. Here are some pictures I took while we were at the place:

And ‘t is my faith, that every flower enjoys the air it breathes – Willian Wordsworth

Flowers are words even a baby can understand – Quentin Crisp 

Each flower is a soul blossoming out to nature – Gerard de Nerval 

Count the garden by the flowers, never by the leaves that fall. Count your life with smiles and not the tears that roll. – Anonymous

Najma Aijaz

10th February 2012

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I went to Rawalpindi from Karachi, for a cousin’s wedding 3 years back. I went with my relatives and our stay was for one week. The memorable part of the trip was  when me and my cousins sneaked out of the hotel, got a car some how, and went to Islamabad for some hours. ( We did this a day before we left for Karachi by bus).

Peer Sowaha, Islamabad, Pakistan

Faisal Masjid,  Islamabad, Pakistan

Rawal Dam , view from Peer Sowaha Point

Najma Aijaz, February 2nd 2012

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I have been born and brought up in U.A.E.  I  lived there for 20 years until I shifted to my home country, Pakistan,  last year in August.

One of the traits that I loved in the people of U.A.E. was their simplicity. The way they used to sit down and eat rather than eating on a dining table. I have even seen the Sheikhs eating while sitting down on the desert sand. I like the term  عا جزی in Urdu more than it’s meaning, humility,  in English. It describes more of what I am trying to say.

Speaking of which, reminds me that once someone asked me a trait which is found in human beings but not in Allah. I didn’t know the answer plus I got anxious too. I mean what trait could be in human beings but not in HIM (the Almighty). The answer to this was عا جزی (humility).  Beautiful isn’t it?

Here are some pictures which I took at the Hatta museum which demonstrated how Arab people live (even at this day and age).  They may use cars now instead of camels, they may live in air conditioned houses now but they still are so deeply rooted to their traditions and customs and most importantly, their religion, Islam.

Simply beautiful and something that I would want people of my country to have.

Room for guests.

Desert, while going to Dubai

Najma Aijaz  25th January 2012

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