The Stroller

The advert said, ‘designed for comfort and safety of your precious little one’

Six months later, mom asked,

but where would the baby bag go ?

but where would little johnny’s rattle go, his bottle go, his bibs go, his pacifier, his teddy, his cap, his socks go ?

and his bag of toys ?

and where would the gift box for Anna’s party go ?

and what about the laptop, spare sandals, grocery bags, baby blanket, and what not !!

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A year later …….

Introducing the efficient way to carry it all !!  minus the baby 🙂

the stroller

Just to clarify, We have three children, and our strollers, were homes on wheels to our boys, only when they slept 🙂 The rest of the time, they were used for carrying just about everything under the sky 🙂

Health Remedies.

Alot of people these days have turned to herbal remedies. In my opinion, with the amount of pollution in our air, food and environment, it is really difficult to remain unaffected by toxins ~ they are going to find a way to enter your body !   Although I am a firm believer of “preventive measures” ~ there are rarely any preventive meausures, I practise, myself 🙂 Yes, pretty guilty, I’m afraid !!

Came across this, the other day in my mail box  and wanted to share it with you’ll :-

HEALTHY TIPS

1 Apple /day =No Doctor

1 Tulsi Leaf /Day=No cancer

1 Lemon/Day =No Fat

1 Cup Milk /Day=No Bone Problems.

3 Litres Water/Day=No Diseases.

As I have a young adoloscent in the house knocking on his teenage”hood”, I encourage him to have plenty of water. He does ~ I dont !!

I have been “gifted” oesteoporosis in my mothers side, and still, cant get myself to drink, soya milk or even normal low fat milk, knowing very well, that I already have bone issues !!

And how many coffee’s do I consume in a day ?? and oh yeah ~How much sugar in each cup ??  I dont even want to go there !!

Health and me are really miles away from each other ~ actually continents away !  Just realized ~ this post has been more about naush-bashing rather than healthy tips. 

 In conclusion, taste is really something which is probably going to be responsible for most of our health issues (atleast MY health issues)

Leaving you on that note.

Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful day.

Naush

Victory Heights Craft Fayre 2011

Like I said in my previous post, the fair season is running in full swing. People are holding craft sales in their homes, coffee mornings are hosting table sales and what not. Today we attended the Victory Heights Craft Fayre at the Els Club. It was my first visit to the club and I loved the beautiful lush green grass and the gorgeous golf course was mind blowing. The club ofcourse, was rather small but there was alot of festivities in the atmosphere, with kids playing around, residents and visitors enjoying the many colorful stalls hosting a good variety of goods/products.

Most of the vendors were nice enough to allow me to take pictures. And here they are for those of you who were unable to attend this small but lovely  fayre :-

 

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I hope you guys are inspired by all the glamorous colors and gorgeous creativity in these pics ! I know I am 🙂

See you and have a pleasent weekend.

Till my next post,

Creatively yours

Naush

Market Day at Arabian Ranches 2011

We have already entered the fair (events) season, with the first one being the Arabian Ranches Market Day which was held on the last Friday of October. I was participating in the popular Arabian Ranches Market Day, last year, but this year, my schedule was too tight with the inlaws visiting us from Saudi and all the transformations I am working on at home presently.

 As always the Market Day was excellently organized.  We spend a lovely afternoon finding some amazing stuff and enjoying all the activities organized. Not only did we have over 100 stalls selling clothes, shoes, decoration items, cds, electronics, toys, books, games,  furniture and heaps of many more things, but we also had stalls for games, face painting, rodeo rides and ofcourse tons of more activities. I managed to click a few lovely photos which I am sharing here.  As a community, Arabian Ranches, always amazes me with friendly and mostly helpful residents. 

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Needless to say, I bought myself a heap of lovely stuff from the table top sales !

 

 

Halloween in Dubai ??

  1. What IS with Halloween ?? I mean, celebrating the devils / demons / witches !! And all in the name of calling it childish costume parties ???
  2. If a muslim man/woman wishes to carry out any of his religious practises in a western country, he is easily targetted as being anti-democratic ! However the very same westerners bring and introduce these weird practises here and we are to just accept it ??? As a muslim, I find it appalling.
  3. As an artist, I am even more appalled, becoz Whats worse is the thorough lack of creativity involved ! I mean, if you look around at the Ranches decorations, its really pitiful. Seems like everything is clearly just bought off the Le Marshe shelves. Sad.

Sharing with you’ll the ghastly celebrations !

  

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My son after me . . . .

The past couple of weeks have been full of doctors appointments and follow ups. I have been suffering from various small issues and so has hubby. Alot has been on my mind. I suppose children sense it easily when parents are stressed, upset or simply worried.

My youngest son, 9 years old Eman, has an amazing sense of humor and whats even more remarkable is his timing. He has confidence, he is methodical and he is witty. What a combination of extraordinary traits. Truly quite unlike how I was when I was as old as he is today !  If/when my folks were ill when I was young, I would really panic and hold onto my grandma for support and assurance.  These boys are really far more confident than me when I was old as them 🙂

Today when I was bringing back Eman from his after school activities, there was a silence for sometime from the back seat (quite unlike him) . Then he asked what really had me all mushy inside.

“Mama, what will happen to me, if you pass away ?”

A question every mother dreads yet answers always in the positive with alot of assurance lest her prized possession worries himself.  The question came out of a bolt and in the few seconds that I registered it and formed an appropriate answer in my mind, with “almost tears” building up in my eyes  .. .. ..

He continued to ask with serious concern in his voice, ” I mean, who’s going to teach me how to get a credit card or how to get a drivers licence.?????

It took me a few seconds more to zap back those tears and realize, he had ofcourse pulled off a loaded one on me !!! Kids, I tell you. What worries these little chaps have at age 9 !!!

When he was 7 years old, he has hurt his knee pretty bad, in a soccer game. While the nurse tended to him, without shedding a tear, he asked his class teacher a question, she related to me the following afternoon.  He asked her quite seriously, “Does that mean, its the end of my soccer career ?? Give me the truth Miss ”

We really had a laugh that day thinking of how my 7 year old worries about his soccer career !

Then on another occasion he was asked to sing a couple of songs for a bunch of relatives whom we were visiting in India, whom we knew rather briefly, just to break ice with them we encouraged him to sing a couple of english songs.  Ofcourse, he loves an audience and after his performance, he got a loud applause. He bowed down several times, and blew kisses at everybody saying “Thank you .. thank you … you are too kind … I love this audience. He must have been 7 then. His comments amazed them more than his songs did.

Such is my little son. A witty charmer. So I think, he’s going to do pretty well with me and even after me ! Inshallah.

Eid in Dubai 2011

Like I said in my previous post, Ramadhan this year was exceptionally blissful. And equally blissful was Ramadhan Eid. This year, for the first time, I accompanied Sam and the boys to the morning Eid Prayers. The ambience and atmosphere of the masjid, the khutbah (sermon), ladies and girls with henna on their hands doning gorgeous colorful outfits and men in their fashionable Kurtas ! Everything was so delightful. After prayers ~meeting and greeting all our brothers and sisters in deen, we had to hurry to get some chopped almonds which sam had forgotten to get along with the chopped pistachios, the previous night.

We have a tradition in my moms household which I have carried forward in my own home, is to make Sheer Khorma (A sweet milk drink loaded with dryfruits) and sevian (a sweet vermicilli dish)  Traditionally both these dishes are prepared only for Eid, in our household. Generally it would be ready before sam got home from the morning prayers but since one essential item was missing, we went shopping for it on Eid morning !!!!  Now where in a muslim country, are you going to have a store open on Eid morning, which is a national holiday ??????? Well what do you know !!! In Dubai, ofcourse, since we have gotten so commercial about EVERYTHING.  So we did find it eventually at Union Cooperative Market in Al wasl road although Choithrams had opened, but they were out of stock on the said item.

After getting back home, I had a very looooooong date with my kitchen. 4 Hours later ~ I was ready with my buffet of more than half a dozen dishes !! Yippe … open the gates for the guests 🙂 

Here are a couple of pictures :-

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Drooling ????  70 Chicken sandwiches and it was over before half the guests had arrived !!

Ofcourse the entire day was spent entertaining and with family, friends and relatives. But then all festivities are always about sharing with family, isnt it ?

Please do leave a comment to tell me how you spend your Eid and what are the special dishes you cook.

You can also subscribe to my blog by clicking on the ‘subscribe” icon on the right side bar and alternatively you can also follow my blog by pressing the follow icon on the top left side of this page.

Till we meet again.

Allah Hafiz

Naush

 

 

Ramadhan in Dubai.

Hello everyone ! I hope all of you are having a wonderful year so far ! I know, I have been neglecting this blog a wee bit becoz there have been so many events and things that have been keeping me tied up.

Reasons for delay in updating this blog :-

  • July – Visit to Turkey
  • August – Ramadhan
  • Sept – Visit to Khasab
  • Sept – Schools reopen 😦
  • October – Too many party favor and baby shower orders !!!

If your interested in viewing any of my recent party favors or baby shower pictures, please click Here.

We travelled to Turkey this July. I will be posting several pictures in my next post. To say that its a beautiful place is an understatement. But I’ll keep the details about that for the next post.

We returned to Dubai early August and Ramadhan, the holy month for muslims when they fast from Dawn to Dusk, had already begun. This year’s Ramadhan has probably been the best so far. why ? All the boys fasted with all 5 prayers  …. and Taraveeh  ….. that too ….. 20 rakahs  …… and they also went for Qayam !!!! How awesome is that !!!! Needless to say, I am so so proud of them. Bilal is 12, Sawaab 10 and Eman 9. They were so true to their fast, refraining from music, playstation and even tried to guard their tongue.  Mashallah.

Here is just one of their pics :

Ramadhan in the Gulf is really special. Empty streets at Maghrib, short working hours for all, a lively atmospher in the evening and everyone (muslims and nonmuslims both) refrain from eating in public areas during the day time.  Probably one of the only things that I did not really like about Istanbul.

I’d like to share with you’ll one of our Iftaars ( meals to open the fast taken at dusk) ~ Although every year, we decide that we’re going to stick to fruits followed by a proper meal, invariably we land up having fritters and chaat ! Thats a weird connection between Indian/Pakistanis and Phulkas (fritters) for Iftaar !!! Here is one of the Iftaars :-

What your seeing here are onion fritters, potato fritters, chicken fritters, chilly fritters,  Chana masala (chickpeas masala) and dahi bhallas ( fritters in yoghurt)  Ofcourse we break the fast with a glass of water and some dates, followed by a few of the above items, finish our Maghreb prayers and relax a bit. Again by 9:00 we’re already off for Isha and Taraveeh prayers.  Mostly Sam would have a little something to eat after returning from Taraveeh and then rise again for Fajr.

Ramadhan this year has been especially blessed. I pray Allah swt accepts our duas and fasts and forgives us for all the small and big sins we commit. Ameen.  I hope so much to carry on all the rituals we did this year into next year too. Inshallah.

Thank you for visiting me today.  I hope you visit again.

Before, I forget, You can subsribe to my blog as well, by pressing the icon on the right or follow by pressing the icon in the top left side. Till then. Allah Hafiz

Naush

In the Newspapers.

One of the many things great about living in a community is the “feeling” of belonging, of being a part of the community. One of our proactive residents at the Ranches, has started a blog directory for all the business women in Arabian Ranches. She’s been very enthusiastic and worked very hard to get everyone involved in providing services or exhibiting their talents, into this directory.  What an innovative idea… isn’t it ?

There are few women, who are involved in fashion wear, or accessories, party organizing, jewellry, gifts and handmade stuff. It is, now, so convenient to know exactly,  who is planning what event,  rather than having to go two highways away to pick a special gift !  We now have the information right under our nose and thats just brilliant. Its always that one person who is ready to carry the baton, claim the baton and in this case, pick the baton, that makes all the difference. And for the Ranches, its Clemintina.

Two weeks back, we were interviewed by Express times of Gulf news and finally, the feature appeared in last Thursday’s newspaper. Its such a delight ! I suppose there are several ways of being featured in the Newspaper, unfortunetly one of the many being, in the obituary or having done some thing obsene like straus kahn. But I’m glad in my lifetime, I was fortunate enough to be interviewed by City 7 for a 15 minutes programe and now, I got a chance to have my mug in the newspaper and all for good reasons !!! Alhamduallah.

Here is the link :-

Please visit this link, to read what we had to say, here.

Also, here is our blog directory : Business Women of Arabian Ranches.

Thank you for visiting me today. So glad you dropped by.

Naush

To change or Not to change.

Having lived in the MiddleEast all my life, I have often questioned my own identity.  Sometimes I have to convince myself and look deeper into my roots. The Gulf countries have been our “foster” homes for decades and decades. As much as we have put into them, they have equally benefitted us. It is a foster home, but just how prepared are we, to actually accept our foster home regulations ? 

I can almost never include Dubai as a part of the “rest of the middle east” region. The similarities end with the topography, geography, climate, roads, road signs, bridges, building structures, language, national dress and thats that.  Dubai has been more “accepting” in nature. The local people have opened doors and opened arms to embrace us. Perhaps, more than they should. There are, however  “those differences” between them and the rest,  that really bothers. The difference between the rest and here, is that two most “sinful” things are permitted to be sold over here, which I patiently hope and pray would be abolished inshallah.  

Some more similarities : The joys of hearing the Adhaan at every prescribed time in every corner of the country, the deserted streets at the time of Iftaar in Ramadhan, the fact that every public toilet is equipped with water for istanjah, the freedom of not having to justify being a muslim are just a few of the key points I love about being here.  Dubai pampers us. Us, the expat and us the local community.

However when we came here over 2 decades back, things were not as “naked” as they are … there were’nt so many radio channels “questioning and almost mocking authority” … … .. there was genuine respect for the culture. Radio channels and tv channels, interrupted for the Adhaan break. Today, even the malls dont bother to run the adhaan audio at the prescribed times.  People refrained from eating in Ramadhan becoz they cared for their muslim fellow collegues or friends. Today, lavish iftaar parties are hosted by corporates but if one of the employees keeps a beard, he is easily and totally “targetted on the hit list” as being a “fundamentalist”.  People disregard “Ramadhan courtesies” ~ People conveniently eat and drink on the roads etc without any regard for the authorities.   Non muslims take advantage of the short working hours, eat openly during office meetings infront of muslim fasting collegues and still, grumble that they are inconvienced by the Ramadhan routines !!!

It saddens me to see that inspite the malls displaying graphic images of proper dress code for women, still they conveniently violate rules, “baring” the skin even in winters as a common practise. Do I think, there should be some pressure from the authorities ? Absolutely.

Opening doors, does not constitute dumping our culture from the back door. Why do the visitors forget that we are “VISITORS” ?? Surely no one goes to Spain or Holland and asks them to change their laws to suit our needs ??? Why do the visitors forget that we are in a “rulership state” ~ why does shariah bother them so much ?  Why do you feel democracy is the only answer ? When did Prophet Mohammed sallallahu alaiha wa salam and his believers accept democracy?  Democracy is only a way of getting a bunch of people to set rules for the rest of us to follow. Who is to question them, once they are in power ? Did anyone question George Bush ?  Why should rules that have been laid down from 1400 years back, become “primitive or backward or barbaric ” ?? Anyone knowing that the repercussions of rape would be death by hanging or gunfire, would think, atleast 10 times before commiting it.

It depresses me to see how westerners try to “influence” the culture here. 

One of the main areas of concern to them is that, the laws are strict !!!!! If only they had been to “proper”  Muslim states, they would then know just how liberal Dubai really, is.

We have noted a trend in friends who come here from Europe and Uk, initially they are super excieted and privileged with their jobs coz they benefit with their average education into cushy top notch positions. A sudden influx of luxuries follows, villas in elite properties, four wheel drives for the missus, a maid at hand, and ofcourse, nothing but the best bars and yachts for weekdays and weekends… Life is good indeed. Until, they realize that the color of skin has alot to do with their privileges rather than their qualifications.  I have seen friends who suddenly turn all “thats Dubai for you”  ~or ~ “Only in Dubai”  ~ whether it be, the traffic on sheikh Zayed road or the road safety practises or treatment of maids etc, until, they get so accustomed to being pampered, that alittle inconvenience becomes a statement followed by “thats Dubai for you” ~ they tend to forget where they come from and accept that every place has downfalls.  There is so much generalization and narrow mindedness on their part, that it is totally annoying just to read anything from them in “letter to editor” section of the newspaper especially in 7 days, which tends to add fuel to the whole attitude.

“We” make choices. Thats the choice we made to be a part of the system here. Then I fail to understand, why try to change that system ? Becoz it doesnt suit your convenience or ideals ??? In any case, you should be the one making the change coz you are the one who made the choice to stay here. Remember, there were no guns pointed at you to come here, no one really “forced” you. Its all about the choices “you” made. so while you have made the choice, it would be “ideal” for your own conscience and that of the others, that you learned to praise the candle instead of curing the dark. Learn to respect what you have, rather than constantly whining coz you have nothing else to do !!

A fun July weekend.

July is always a month of celebration in our household. Not only is it celebration coz school’s out, but coz we have 3 huge occasions. Sam and I took our vows on 5th. I was born on 16th, and sawaab, our middle man, arrived in this world on 29th !! Now how special does it get than that ! 

We dont celebrate birthdays etc so last weekend, we took the boys out for movies at Mall Of the Emirates. Yep, its the Transformers part3. I’m not exactly a great fan of 3D, but it was shocking to see that the place was swarming with people. All seats were being sold like hot cakes. So we just had the 3D ones available. Its been ages since we saw a movie and eversince the boys, we’ve only seen the Toy story or Terminator kinda ones !! May be one of these days, we’ll just sneak into one of the Indian movies leaving the boys with their bazookas and car stunts in their theater ! May be, who knows ! Not that, that they’d miss us anyways 🙂

Ok, so back to Transformers. The movie was good. There’s a term we use in slang hindi for a movie as such “paisa wasool” which means, the movie was worth every penny. Ofcourse I love GM cars and the corvettes and cadillacs were simply amazing. The stunts and graphics were mind blowing. Watching in 3D also kinda made it more “REAL”.  We had a blast with the movie and annoyingly I was the one, super excietedly saying awesome or wow or whatever when the stunts took place, while Bilal was simply glued to the movie with ONE expression ~   Talk about being childish 🙂

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Oh yeah, the boys had been craving for some Dubai ski fun, and its really been a long long time since their last visit so we decided to drop them over there too. Now for all those of you who may be interested. There’s a superpass available at Dubai Ski for dhs 200, which gives the child 4 of the major attractions in addition to the snow park. I think, it was totally worth it. The boys could not have enough fun.

They were too tired to go else where for a meal so we settled for chinese in the food court on the first floor. Wow, I was totally exhausted by the time we were home. But amazingly the boys just got so fresh once we were back home, Jumping into their study (I call it gizmo cav, these days) rushing to switch on their computers and PS2 and back to tapping keys and rocking joysticks and whatever till the wee hours of the night ! What I would’nt give to have that kinda energy !

I’m so glad that the summer is going smooth with their swimming and their guy friends visiting us frequently. Every year, I get stressed before the summer holidays worrying what i have to plan for the boys, to keep them occupied. This is the very first year, when they have taken charge of what they’d like to do and I think, they are enjoying it and I think, thats all that counts.

See ya folks ! Hope you all are enjoying you summers too.

Flea Markets in Dubai

Actually, its rather the lack of flea Markets in Dubai !!
 
I know, some of you may have totally different opinions about friends and making “real” friends in the blogosphere, but I have been fortunate enough to have bumped into some very thoughtful and creative friends thru the blog world. Its always a joy when you “meet” someone who is practical, creative, has the same hobby as yourself, and is a mom ! One such friend and I, have been enjoying exchanging a bunch of links.  What links ? you ask ? 
 
Well, one of the most fullfilling feeling I get, is when I see an old piece of furniture get a new lease of life with a fresh coat of paint or a new fabric to cover up old spoils. Things like how you can reuse, recycle or refurbish a room are abosolute joys to me. I used to virtually spend hours dug in, links into links into links ~ lost in a beautiful world where common people like myself are making a difference, one object at a time. One such fantastic site is :http://betterafter.blogspot.com/ Amazing transformations here.
      
(This transformation is an absolute joy from “three boys“. Kindly follow the link to view the other amazing projects too. )
                                            
And another one of those “viewing” passions, is the Flea Markets in America.  Its amazing to visit just a few of them on the web and feel so enchanted by the vast variety of different period furniture, clothes, suitcases, antiques and what not.  It is a such an eye candy just visiting those booths with a cocktail of items from jewellry to boots to a swing !
                                             
In Dubai however, things are different. Being a melting pot of cultures, nationalities, languages and traditions, people of different mentalities feel certain inhibitions towards using second hand stuff. There is a large population of labourers and maids from India, Pakistan, Srilanka, Bangladesh, Philipines, indonesia, Ethopia and a few other countries too.  Then there are the clerical workers, mostly Asians again but not very handsomely paid for their 6 days a week, 10 hour a day job ! If anything, such sales would benefit them the most.
 
One of the most generous groups of people in Dubai are the super affluent locals (Emarati’s), who would generally handover their clothes and accessories to their drivers and maids, while the furniture is traditionally changed every year and the old ones are simply “dumped”. Thats right, you read it right, dumped by the dumpster !  They would generally consider it below their dignity to sell it in the second hand market. 
 
There is a large second hand market in Dubai which caters to mainly furniture goods. Some of the shops in Karama are the favorite haunts for new lower income asians to pick their furniture from. One of the things I love about Dubai ~ theres a place for everyone to find what they’re looking for, be it food, accomodation, grocery or clothes.
 
Ofcourse the advent of “Foreigners” ~ aka Americans, Europeans, Australians, and New Zealanders did bring about the concept of garage sale or yard sales in Dubai. What with ads for garage sales in the Jumeirah and Mirdiff areas in the 1990s and ofcourse with the boom of the property era, areas like the Greens, Marina, Lakes, Arabian Ranches, falcon city ~ have all followed the traditional annual spring cleaning followed by garage sales. These sales are generally community based run by word of mouth or a flyer on the community market notice board or an advert in the local classified section of Gulf News.  They are so popular especially coz nearly everyone is benefiting from them.
 
Our Arabian Ranches Market Day is a huge hit, and you’d find everyone selling and buying toys, clothes, shoes, stuff, that kids have outgrown, or lost interest in, grown up, and sometimes, even unwanted “gifts” !!  People from all walks of life, are seen buzily buying and enjoying the family time together becoz the management sets the school ground as a family day park  for the residents, putting up food stalls and bouncing castles for the children.
                                                              
                                            
For a long period of time, The Feline Friends garage sale was hugely popular. You had people lining up from early hours of a friday morning in the sultry heat, hours before the gates opened at the factory outlet in Al Quoz where they would temporarily pile up heaps and heaps of clothes, toys, shoes, furniture, house decor and so much much more into a dozens of mini mountains. Word spread amongst the labour community and these became very popular. With designer trousers going for dhs 1 !!!!! why wouldnt it !
Now these sales are a rare event in some villa courtyard in Al Barsha, maybe once every couple of months but definetly nowhere close to the amount of stuff and crowd as it used to attract before.
 
                                        
I have been an ardent visitor to the FF Garage sales. It gives me tremendous satisfaction knowing that I have not blown away 3 workers salary on a single branded handbag or an entire years salary of one labour on a pair of branded sandals !! Its truly a joy, knowing your putting in your bit by trying to recylcle and reuse. For whatever reason, those sales are not held anymore, unfortunetly.
 
Generally folks living in villa’s, leaving the country for good, would initially give away most of the things to their maids and helpers and sometimes put up a “Leaving Country” sale. If your lucky, you could hit jackpot. Years back, I remember, I heard of one such sale from a friend of a friend of one Mary who was then running the scrapbookers network in Dubai and when she was leaving her house she put up a sale,  although I was late in attending it, I remember, feeling like I was in a crafters paradise !!!!  
For someone who was looking for clothes, purses and cooking utensils, her crafters scrapbooks or rubberstamps would’ve meant zilch, but to someone who saves for every copic marker, it was BIG !!
 
You’d be amazed at what is seen lying in the bylanes of Umm Sequeim or Jumeirah or Nad Al Sheeba !! To the westerner who cannot even come close to imagining, to what extent the Rich are Rich here, a close up of their garbage bins, is a good place to begin from 🙂
                                         
I remember, in the 2008 economic melt down, we remember, seeing a group of maids rumaging thru a heap of garbage bags in one of the communities of Ranches. On a closer look, I saw one of the maids toss a handbag behind which I recognized was a PRADA. No not the fake ones. Having been gifted the original thing, I knew how to differentiate them.  There were 11 such designer bags in that garbage bag !!!!!!!!   There were several such garbage bags scattered everywhere…  Naturally, they belonged to some filthy rich but unfortunate lady,  who had to leave the country in haste lest she get stuck in the jail for defaulting on her bank loan payments, decided Prada was not worth her freedom !
I was super happy some time back, when they started a flea market, in Safa Park, jumeirah. In the summers, they kept it in the adjacent school auditorium and it was attracting a crowd and people were leaving happy with their shoppings and vendors were not too unhappy too with their sales. It is a good platform. Unfortunetly, I feel they have not really marketted themselves well and I feel, alot of vendors are now bringing stuff from India etc trying to sell it there. Not alot of people are aware of them in the different areas of Dubai. Look them up here at : Dubai Flea Market. Dubai Flea Market
 
I know, there is one store in a small mall in Satwa, where ladies (the super rich class )  who if they wish to give away their “Original & Only Designer ” handbags, scarves, accessories etc can put them up there and they sell them for a relatively good price instead of dumping them in the bin. Imagine a Versace or a Channel, visiting something close to the dump !! Criminal, isnt it ????
 
In my experience, I have found, one good option in selling and buying second hand goods in Dubai is Dubizzle. Thats an online market, where, you just register without having to pay any fees. I have sold my ikea egg chair and a fax machine thru dubizzle and was amazed by the spontaneous response, I got. I never thought it was so popular but I suppose, online shopping has finally caught up in Dubai.
                                        10.1 Flea market,Athens
 
Ofcourse for those of you, who are interested in a good reading, dont forget to join the second hand books fair, that feline friends hold with the Arte Market at Times Square. Imagine a good book, and the proceeds goes in the upkeep and the feline neutering programe.
 
I still feel, there is a huge market here for selling used goods, not necessarily for workers but there are so many many, low income families who would benefit too. Having a proper flea market could and would answer alot of problems. Its a way, in which your trash is going to benefit someone. A hole in a sweater may mean a good bye from you, but for someone who decides that a 20 dhs sweater may be too steep a price,  would be overjoyed to have yours for free or even if it is for dhs 1 or 2 !! Please remember, what you give, (eventually after completing the whole circle) , returns to you.  
 
If you have enjoyed this article or benefitted from it, kindly leave a comment. I would appreciate it alot.
 
Naush
 
Photograpsh: courtesy Google Images.

Toy Garage Sale

Alittle after Sam came home after his surgery, one of the enormous tasks pending on my to-do list was arranging the boys room and organizing the toys. Now organizing the toys also implys getting rid of that huge mountain of toys piled up for the last 2-3 years. Every 8 months, we get rid of toys that have either broken or the boys have just lost interest in them coz they have grown and moved on to a more challenging / attractive toy. There is a very nice masjid in Bur Dubai, close to the Imperial suites, which accepts toys, clothes, household stuff etc. Thats generally where I would donate the toys in good condition.

However, Bilal, having moved on to more gadgety toys, with sawaab in tow, Eman is left with a huge heap of toys. The little guy likes his tiny army men and forts and ofcourse his war hammer and stuff. So we decided to put up a garage sale.

The boys were so excieted. It was decided that the money collected would go into buying playstation cds or computer game cds. Needless to say, they all put up their socks and were fully charged up. We put up the advertisement in Le Marche, on the spinneys board and on the AR Website.  The boys even placed direction posters around the Al Reem area !!  Our sales was to begin from 11 in the morning. Our first “customer” was a couple with 6 kids who had been waiting since 10:15 !!!!!!!!

Please remember, recyling toys is helping the environment. Why dump or throw toys down the garbage bin, when some child can happily enjoy them for a couple of months or even years more.

Here are some of the pictures :

 

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Ofcourse the sale did turn out good enough to help the boys buy a handful of cds, however, it was my first time experience with garage sales and some of the things that i realized are noted below  :

  • Make sure, you have placed all your toys on the tables, shelves, chairs, cartons,  etc a night before instead of waiting for the 11th hour. It helps~ you feel more organized. An organized display is attractive even if someone is not going to pick something. Its like eye candy !
  • Never place your telephone number on the advert. You’ll be strangely surprised as to how many people call for anything but toys, inspite of writing in large bold letters “ONLY TOYS FOR SALE” !!!!
  • Keep the time short. I made the mistake of keeping it on saturday coz friday was the royal wedding so naturally the turnout would be expectedly low. But where I was wrong was that I kept it from 11:00 to 5:00. The real buyers will be there in the first two hours. So the best time for the sale should be kept between 9:00 to 12:00 or even earlier especially for toys.
  • We kept the prices in the range of max dhs 15 for furniture (and otherwise dhs 1 – 5 ) which was “extreme underpricing” .. why ? Becoz people are people and even at that, they wanted to know if it could be negotiated ?????? HELLLLLLLO !! Even a tiny dinosaur the size of my pinky, costs dhs 25 in ELC and here your getting a full size work table and two chair from Ikea in good condition and you want a discount on 15dhs ???? Solution. Dont price it at dhs 15. Keep it at 20-25 so if they insist, you can always throw it down to 15 !! satisfied ? I manged to sell the egg chair thru dubizzle for dhs 25. Original price being dhs 225 from Ikea ! Then again, the idea was not about “making” money.
  • To reduce the confusion and better traffic for the sale, make sure, you draw or print a map of your house location on the advert. Alot of people are visual based and it helps tremendously.
  • Best to keep some water ready at hand in glasses on the kitchen platform instead of rushing into the kitchen everytime someone asks for some water.

These are just a few of the points I figured from our first sale. We still have piles of toys stacked up in boxes which will be going to the Masjid soon enough for donation. But for now, we are a less loaded and crowded home 🙂

Oh and if there is anyone out there who stays in Dubai and is interested in picking up some/any of these toys, feel free to contact me. They will probably be sitting there in the boxes for atleast two weeks before they are donated to the masjid.

I hope this little article helps you in realizing :

  •  the less cluttered our house is, the more space, there is, to grow ~
  •  the more, we are relaxed ~
  •  the more, it is easy to clean and frankly,
  • there are only so many toys, a child can play with !!

If any of the points have :

  • helped you or
  • helped to make your sale successful or
  •  inspired you to put up a sale,

please do leave a comment. Your comments are always precious to me !

For now, thank you for stopping by and sparing my article, some time.

Naush

Birthday Treat bags and A special boy.

May 11 1999 My oldest son, Bilal was born, May 10 2002, exactly 3 years later, my youngest and third son, Eman was born. Now for those of you with kids placed so closely in birth dates, I dont exactly know how you go around making them feel special !  Well, in a way, I’m saved from all those complications coz we dont celebrate birthdays, well atleast not in the traditional way carried out, all over the world ~ Cake, song, birthday bumbs and whats worse is this new ‘thing” about smashing chunks of cake over the birthday persons face, clothes etc, which is not only disgusting but also being ungrateful to the food and the many bounties of the Almighty  (cake in this case).

When the kids were smaller, I would send some goody bags with them to school for their classmates and take them out for a “MOVIE” which we generally watch only on special occasions or visit their favorite activity parks like kidzania, lou lou al dagongs, magic planet etc. Now that Bilal is just entering his teens, its really difficult coz Eman being 9 still wants to do the same things while Bilal would prefer paint ball park or the bowling alley ! Now thats really a row between the two birthday boys.

Truth be told, its a celebration for me. I turned mom for the first time. All those beautiful and traumatic memories of their pregnancy and delivery come, flooding back on these days.  Its really all too special for me coz these guys are exceptionally understanding, well behaved and just a whole bunch of fun to be around with. Ofcourse, there is that one guy who feels totally out of place coz his birthday falls in July ~ he is not made to feel special by his friends becoz schools out for summer holidays. And you see “FRIENDS” is what its all about !!!

Well, for Eman, these are the goody bags I made for his school.

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For a couple of years, after Eman was born, when they didnt understand the concept of birthdays and such,  I used to take the guys to meet this particularly special little chap who has been in Dubai Hospital from alittle after he was born and probably will stay there for the rest of his life.  His name was Aboudi.

I was having a very complicated pregnancy with Eman. I was in my 6th month when they admitted me much against my wishes,  for severe bleeding. Sawaab was just 9 months old while Bilal was around 3 years. Even now as I pass Dubai Hospital, I watch the 5th floor visitors lounge window and remember how helpless, I used to feel, knowing that both my babies were miles apart in the day and were having such a disturbed time in the evening. Those were such desperate times. Sam would struggle to keep some order in our lives between visiting me in the hospital and managing the babies. And then just as things could’nt have gone worse, Sawaab’s bronchitis devoloped into pneumonia. I remember being on the 5th floor pre-delivery ward while my baby was admitted on the second floor. What a rucous I created when I found out that evening !!! Inspite of my state, nothing in the world could hold me back from being with him. I suppose you call that a “maternal thing” but at that point, I just knew I wanted him just as much as he wanted me. What a huge fight I had with my consulting gyne to release me and release I did get !!!!!!

 It was at that time, when I shifted on the 2nd floor to look after Sawaab that I saw little Aboudi. At that time, he must ave been around 3 years. Cerebral palsy. He was tied with bandages to the cot lest he harm himself. A fair child, drooling away with eyes that I felt were imploring. The nurses communicated with him and somehow he did make some movements to respond. A large part of the day we was sitting by the corner of his cot, watching and sometimes even made to sit of the stroller.  He was a futile cause … he was another one of those, children of a lesser God. My heart ached when I saw him for the first time, I remember, hugging him and later crying away when I saw my own child. No one ever gave away any of this background until one day, one of Aboudi’s favorite attendents, who had become very attached to me told me that he was dropped off at the hospital emergency department by a driver late in the night.  What a heartless mother or did I speak too soon ? No . . . .  She was a heartless woman. To dump a 10 day old baby just becoz he was probably never going to be like all the other kids !!!!!  Nobody claimed him. He was a waif. It breaks my heart to think, that no one in this whole world loves  that little tiny boy with such a huge disease. No one even knew of his existence.  No mother to comfort him, no one to hug him, embrace him with kisses upon kisses, no one to wipe his tears and fears. How cruel. 

Aboudi made me realize that I had no pain at all.  Aboudi gave me that first time feeling of what it feels like, to be in this world ALL ALONE with a huge handicap. The sisters in the ward treated him with affection and dignity and I am so grateful that they did not do it as a part of their job but for humanity.

For the next 3 years, I kept visiting Aboudi with my boys and some toys in hand. Until we moved to the Ranches and life took on a different pace all together. Often I have seen in documentaries and movies about orphans, abused children or such and my heart goes out to each one of them but Aboudi was the child who actually made me come face to face with that situation and I realized I was really no match for his spirit and resilience. I believe he has suffered tremendously but as if it is some solace,  in the hereafter, he will be one of Allah swts blessed ones. Inshallah.

Amongst the many many things that Aboudi made me realize long back was also that birthdays, anniversaries are not for spending lavishly on parties but on fullfilling small and big dreams with those who matter the most to us. Spending in the way of the less fortunate, a hospital visit, a trip to the home of seniors and yes, also creating special memories with near and dear ones. Bilal has has only three friends through out the year and he wishes for them to somehow be a part of “his” day while Eman has an entire school which has been his “BEST” friend. Now isnt “that” a task !!

If you are interested in knowing about Aboudi’s present state, please do comment and I shall reply.

Dealing with Hernia.

Five days after returning from Umrah, Sam was admitted for his surgery. We knew what we were up against. His right kidney was removed last year by open surgery. 2 Months later he was diagnosed with a hernia. You see there are several layers of skin, tissue, fat and muscle after which the doctors reach the organs. In sam’s case, a large area had opened from the initial scar. He had around 46 stiches on his abdomin. The scar opening from the stitches was around 9-10 cm long. 20% of his intestines were already out from that opening. Hence when he stood, there was a baseball shaped and size side to his stomach. We were only worried about strangulation in those intestines therefore we delayed the operation till now. The surgeons push the intestines back in, and place a large mesh to keep it from protruding back out. The worse part about this type of hernia is that it can reoccur. The surgeon we had, was exceptionally good, but sam’s case history was not a very encouraging one, so he assured us that he would be trying out his best to do it thru laprocopy and if they were still unable to fix the issue, then they would have to perform an open surgery. Which was the worse case scenario.

This time around, I could sense Sam was far more nervous and had made more preparation with all the house and bank docs etc, Which really puts me in panic mode. Luckily for us, his surgery went very well. The surgery lasted 5 hours and after a stay in the hospital for a week, we could get him home. As in almost all surgeries and especially with a hernia, doctors always advice that the patient should refrain from carrying heavy objects.  Sam still has swelling, probably water retention. Our concern always is that he has only one kidney which also has an arterial block as well. But I am an optimist. I believe in giving the body some time and space to heal. Inshallah. Heal, he will.

Bilal my oldest son born premature. He was underweight like most premature births and unfortunetly devoloped bilateral anguinal hernia at age 2 months. The swelling above private part was very severe. We were asked to have him operated immediately. He was so anemic and underweight that they had to first infuse blood and then perform the surgery. However, it was a simple surgery ~ ofcourse to a first time nervous mom, It was simply a nightmare. Since I had dealt with hernia before, I did a little research about it on the internet as well to keep myself prepared.

What I found strangely annoying later on, is that naturally people are limited by their own knowledge and experience. I had not mentioned about samie’s surgery to alot of people until the day of his surgery. Later however, when I had advised the near and dear ones, I felt so ridiculous when I had one person actually tell me that her cousin had a hernia which takes just half an hour and its ridiculously a simple procedure !!! Inspite of explaining his entire abdomine case, she just kept compairing it to her “cousin”. Honestly, if there is one thing that I have learnt from my experiences in dealing with a traumatic surgery is that when you visit someone who is so seriously ill, it would be best to lend your emotional support (which is so desperately seeked) and BE QUIET !!! It can be so damaging to the relationship, when you tend to belittle a certain situation.  

We have changed quite a bit of sam’s eating habits. Ofcourse he has been on low sodium salt for a little over a year now. He’s having salads for lunch and a healthy breakfast. We have been going on late night walks everyday, Which, I think, is the best part of the evening instead spending the evening being a couch potato.  I suppose dinner is the only meal, when I let him get away with rice. He is a typical rice eater.  He is making several changes, so I think, I am letting him get away with the rice in the night deal !

Here is sam with the boys 3 days after the surgery and the other picture, is that of sam with the boys, 2 weeks after surgery.