Abaya without Hijaab ? ? ? ?

Eid Mubarak to all my brothers and sisters who visit my site so often and delight me with their presence.

I hope everyone likes the new theme for the site ! Although, I love the birds but dont exactly like the idea of them mingling with a heart inbetween but that was a part of the theme so I had little to no choice in that.

Eid in Dubai is always a grand and lavish affair ~ with all the malls hosting lots of color and decorations for their guests. Dubai is exceptionally busy with the GCC crowd ushering in, in this season.

Watching little girls flaunting their beautiful new dresses with gold and silver ruffles and streamers. Young boys with their Ben10 gadgets and chic looking clothes feeling all-so-speacial are all part of the Eid charm. Cinema halls seem endlessly booked out  !!  People crowding in long queues for taxis and young boys in their starched clothes at all the coffee cafes ~ just some of the many scenes in the malls.

However one of the more unusual but saddening scene was also this :

It is not the first time that I witnessed this confused generation and thankfully, its not a common site, however this particular time, I really felt compelled to write about these sisters who seemed oblivious of the world around them. I would not like to highlight which region these sisters were from ~ “THAT” is rather irrelevant to me, atleast ~ but perhaps that is exactly the statement they seemed to be making.

What was hard to digest was :

  • what was the purpose behind wearing an abaya without a hijaab ?

  • Wearing so much gold cladded bling on the shoulders ?

  • Having their chest open ~ revealing exactly what needed to be veiled !!!

  • They have already failed the real reason behind wearing the hijaab and the abaya. So why bother continuing ??

One wonders what and where do such women fit in ? Modern women ? Muslim women ? Religious women ? Show-off Arab women ?

Honestly , “THAT” did not so concern  me as well, becoz I think, they are virtually fooling themselves into believing that they are following Islamic values. My best guess is that they are trying to be identified as “belonging to a certain region”.

And again, they are attempting to fool people around them, that they are Muslim Arab women. When in fact they are barely clinging onto to either identities !!  Hence I called them the confused lot.

I still simply fail to understand, the purpose behind wearing the Abaya in the first place !! There cant be a customized version of the abaya or hijaab if your not covering the body and head.

Frankly, I pity them and I pity the generation they will be misleading … … … Two generations down the line, I dread the outcome … …  Till then May Allah give them hidayah ~ Ameen.

ps. this amazing digital drawing is courtesy Ms.Ayesha of Mnawrah. You can find her gorgeous works of art on Flickr as well as DeviantArt under the name of Mnawrah.

Faith gives you wings !

This is such an inspirational quote.  I know, so many of you who visit my blog on a regular basis could find some respite in reading this quote if your disillusioned or going thru some trauma (May Allah forbid) ~  I know alot of these quotes sound soothing but it takes REAL FAITH to get you going thru those deliemmas ~ when they do appear.  For me, in my heart, all I believe is that Allah swt is always carrying me.  And I am ALWAYS thanking and praising him for that. To be honest, “Thats” enough for me to believe.

I have had my share of troubles and confusions and even when there was NOT ONE SINGLE SOUL who could guide me, share with me, support me ~ there was Allah swt ALWAYS. Knowing that ~ believing in that ~ made everything so much more “liveable” for me otherwise, I cant imagine what my state would have been then ! 

Everyday, we struggle.  Everyday, we are made to make choices. Everyday, we walk the thin line between haram and halal in small matters and sometimes big ones ~ but truth of the matter is that if you keep Allah swt in the center of all your decisions, you just cant go wrong. Question is “do you before it gets too late ? or Do you when its already too late ?

This world is a wild place and a few wrong steps, a few misplaced trusts can be  “near fatal”.   I know I took the leap knowing very well in my heart that “HE” would teach me how to fly ~ 18 years and counting, I am saying exactly how I felt then and now. Faith gives you wings !

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

 

 

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 !!

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.

Safa Park.

Last Wednesday was Manu’s annual sports day at Safa Park. He was so insistent that I attend, which I managed to easily skip for Bilal and sawaab. But not Manu. He insisted.

It was a very “happy” morning, with clouds looming and the rain had poured earlier that morning, so it smelled and looked so lush and green.

 So anyways while I was finding parking, as usual late, I realized how rarely we, as a family visit parks. Maybe its coz we have a large and beautiful park right infront of our house or maybe, living in a “DESERT” region, we are now more acclamatised to the MALL culture. Which ever, I loved the experience. Met with some other fantastic moms and completly enjoyed the morning.

It also took me to some 19 years back, when i had first arrived in Dubai and my brothers family wanted to take me out to Safa Park being the ” IN THING” those days. I remember, how my sister in law had gone on, about how far it was from town. Ironically I now reside 3 times further and Safa Park almost seems right in city now 🙂

How a city has grown !  One thing peculier I noticed was the park has all of the trees, grown in this region. oh and what I meant by that was that, generally a park would have alot of palm trees but here they had all the different types of arabian trees.

I promised my self to bring everyone in the family for a proper traditional picnic to safa park one of these days, inshallah.

Enjoy the pics.

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Playing Santa in January.

Today was Samie’s last vacation day and lo ! feeling so sad that he wont be enjoying the relaxation with us from tomorrow. This vacation although was the first where we were in Dubai but it was so much fun and calming. There were no obligations, no stress, no forced shopping, and definetly no early mornings !! It was truck loads of fun.

Sam arrived rather late after picking up Eman from school and before I knew it, there were heaps of presents he bought for all of us. Okay so let me start with me, he got me this marinade tray with board, a full set of knife set AND, AND AND ………. He also bought this really handy tool box. You see sam generally offers his salat in my studio and wonders how I manage to create anything in the middle of all the  clutter and chaos in my studio. This nice man wanted to make it easy and get my space alittle organized so voila, what a lovely and thought ful gift.

Oh yeah, and the kids got something too, they love washing Sam and my car, but by the end of it, there are gallons upon gallons spend on the shower so he got them the pressure kit for washing the cars to make the chore fun and more economical for us.

Oh and how could he forget “the other” kids. Pepper has claimed the new catnip and cat scratch tray as his own. He has strongly placed it as not limit zone for poor Keiki. 

There isnt a day that passes by when I dont thank my Allah for blessing me with the most compassionate and thoughtful man. I wanted to share the pictures with you’ll.

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On the other hand, have you wondered why husbands come up with the most practical and productive gifts for their wives and where does all the romance disappear with chocolates and flowers ???

If I were one of em thankless women, I would be thinking there are vibes I am getting from these gifts like

” Lady. We need to eat more bbq meals ! 

” Get your chaos Organized. Woman !!

” Wash the car more often boys” !!

Last but the most important : Get those paws  outta my couch and into your own turf !!

 USE that scratching pad !!!!! 

But thats just the humor in me .. have to have the last laugh now 🙂

New Year’s Eve at The World’s Tallest Tower.

A Very blessed year to all of you reading this post ! 2010 came with a mixed bag of fortunate and very unfortunate events like salt and pepper but finally we can put all that behind us and move forward.

To all those of you, feeling low right now, please remember, it could be worse. Please try to see where you are fortunate in so many other ways and dont despair your situation. There is so much more we should be thankful about. Good health would have to be right there on top of that list ! Loneliness is a dread but atleast being alive and in good health is better than being with selfish and calculating companions. Please friends, Keep the faith.

Well for me the last couple of weeks were total relaxation.

A couple a good news : 

  • I won the basic grey blog candy. Which was a first for me ! If you havent won anything yet or if you have won too, you know exactly how excieting it is winning something. Especially something you really like. It may be sometime before which I receive my prize though.
  • I am cleared of my tumor which I was on treatment for over the last 6 months for. That is really “GREAT” news and a relief !!!

For the last decade we have spend every New Year eve in our home country but really felt so alienated and dependant on others becoz we really were there in our own country only as ‘visitors’ !  And finally this winter we are here and we spend the new years eve watching the fireworks at the super phenomenal Burj Khalifa ! It was just great ! Dubai was chilled cold last night. And just having the freedom to travel anywhere at any hour here, is so so great. We really are fortunate to be living in such a country without fear of carrying our national documents, or fear of being stolen, fear of not carrying enough eatables coz nearly all the petrol pumps have a fantastic grocer which is 24 hours.  Counting small pleasures. 

Here are just a couple of pictures of the celebration last night :

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My Favorite Stores In Dubai.

Due to the wonderful holidays in Dubai and the fact that for once in the last decade we are finally celebrating the winter break her in Dubai, I wanted to share with you’ll some amazing stores in Dubai that I love to visit.  You’ll find they stock up some super duper items of aesthetic and functional values.

The first store for todays post is a store called : Little Luxuries. Like the name suggests, it has a whole lot of goodies for gifts and presents. Indeed you could be gifting yourself as well. Although their prices are alittle on the higher end, it will be well worth a visit and you can decide then. Meanwhile let the photographs speak for themselves.

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Hope you found these pics interesting and worth popping over for. They are located in Jumeriah Center at the ground level, on the Jumeirah Beach road. This is the mall on your left side just alittle after Mercato if you are coming from satwa.

A List Of Narrations on How To Be The Best Muslim . . .

Dear Friends,

Here is a link to a fantastic site where I came across this particular list. I would recommend you visit them on this link for they have scores of excellent articles relating to Islam and Hadith, however you can also see the same list copied and pasted here as well. 

http://blog.iloveallaah.com/2010/04/the-best-of-the-best/

Below, from a choice of hundreds of narrations from our beloved Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, you can find 100 hadiths , in no particular order of merit, detailing ways on exactly how to become the best, how to have the most excellent characteristics, what really will prove most beneficial for us to know, what really are the greatest things to think about and hope for and indeed, how to become the most beloved of people to our Magnificent Creator, Allah, the Most High. Muhammad, peace be upon him, told us:

1. “The best of the Muslims is he from whose hand and tongue the Muslims are safe.” [Muslim]

2. “The best of people are those with the most excellent character.” [Tabarâni, Sahîh]

3. “The best of people are those that bring most benefit to the rest of mankind.” [Dâraqutni, Hasan]

4. “The best of people are those who are best in fulfilling [rights].” [Ibn Mâjah, Sahîh]

5. “The best of people during fitnah is a man who takes up the reins of his horse pursuing the enemies of Allah, causing them fear yet they make him fearful too, or a man who secludes himself in the desert fulfilling the rights of Allah upon him.” [Hâkim, Sahîh]

6. “The best of mankind is my generation, then those that follow them and then those that follow them. Then there shall come a people after them who will become avaricious, who will love gluttony, and who will give witness before they are asked for it.” [Tirmidhî, Sahîh]

7. “The best of people are those who live longest and excel in their deeds, whereas the worst of people are those who live longest and corrupt their deeds.” [Tirmidhî, Sahîh]

8. “The best of women are those that please him [her husband] when he sees her, obeys him when she is commanded, and who does not secretly betray him with regards to herself and her money in that which he dislikes.” [Ahmad, Sahîh]

9. “The best of women are those that please you when you see them, obey you when commanded, and who safeguard themselves and your money in your absence.” [Tabarâni, Sahîh]

10. “The best of marriages are the easiest ones.” [Abu Dâwûd, Sahîh]

11. “The best of your dates is the Borniyyû date; it expels disease yet does not contain any disease itself.” [Hâkim, Hasan]

12. “The best of your garments are those which are white; shroud your dead in them and clothe your living with them. The best of that which you apply to your eyelids is antimony causing the eyelashes to grow and sharpening the eyesight.” [Ibn Hibbân, Sahîh]

13. “The best quality of your religion is scrupulousness.” [Hâkim, Sahîh]

14. “The best of your religion is that which is easiest.” [Ahmad, Sahîh]

15. “The best of the prayer lines for men are the first rows, the worst being the final rows. The best of the prayer lines for women are the final rows and the worst are the first rows.” [Muslim]

16. “The best prayers for women are those performed in the most secluded parts of their houses.” [Ibn Khuzaymah, Sahîh]

17. “The best of you in Islam are those who are most excellent in character as long as you deeply understand the religion.” [Ahmad, Sahîh]

18. “The best of you are the best of you in fulfilling [rights].” [Ahmad, Sahîh]

19. “The best of you are those who are best to their families, and I am the best of you to my family.” [Tirmidhî, Sahîh]

20. “The best of you are my generation, then those that follow them and then those that follow them. Then there shall come after them a people who will betray and be untrustworthy, will give witness even though they have not been asked to, will make vows yet will not fulfil them and obesity will appear amongst them.” [Bukhâri]

21. “The best of you are those who feed others and return greetings.” [Abu Ya’lâ, Hasan]

22. “The best of you is he from whom good is anticipated and safety from his evil is assured; the worst of you is he from whom nothing good is expected and one is not safe from his evil.” [Tirmidhî, Sahîh]

23. “The best thing mankind has been given is excellent character.” [Hâkim, Sahîh]

24. “The best of that which you treat yourself with is cupping.” [Hâkim, Sahîh]

25. “The best of journeys undertaken are to this Masjids of mine and the Ancient House.” [Ahmad, Sahîh]

26. “The best of which man can leave behind for himself are three: a righteous child who supplicates for him, an ongoing charity whose reward continues to reach him and knowledge which others benefit from after him.” [Ibn Hibbân, Hasan]

27. “The best Mosques for women are the most secluded parts of their houses.” [Bayhaqi, Sahîh]

28. “The best of the world’s women are four: Maryum bint ‘Imrân, Khadîjah bint Khuwaylid, Fâtimah bint Muhammad and Âsiyah the wife of Fir’awn.” [Ahmad, Sahîh]

29. “The best of days that you should perform cupping are the 17th, 19th and 21st of the month. I did not pass a single gathering of angels on the night of Isrâ’ except that they would say to me, ‘O Muhammad, perform cupping!'” [Ahmad, Sahîh]

30. “The best day on which the Sun has risen is Friday; on it Âdam was created, on it Âdam was made to enter Paradise and on it he was expelled. The Hour will not be established except on Friday.” [Muslim]

31. “Verily, the best of perfume for men is that which is strong in smell and light in colour, and the best of perfume for women is that which is strong in colour and light in smell.” [Tirmidhî, Sahîh]

32. “The most beloved of religions according to Allah the Most High is the ‘easy and flexible religion.'” [Ahmad, Hasan]

33. “The most beloved of deeds according to Allah are the continuous ones, even if they are little.” [Agreed upon]

34. “The most beloved of names according to Allah are ‘Abd Allah, ‘Abd’l-Rahmân and Hârith.” [Abu Ya’lâ, Sahîh]

35.“The most beloved of deeds according to Allah are the prayer in its right time, then to treat the parents in an excellent manner, and then Jihâd in the path of Allah.” [Agreed upon]

36. “The most beloved of deeds according to Allah is that you die and yet your tongue is still moist from the remembrance of Allah.” [Ibn Hibbân, Hasan]

37. “The most beloved words according to Allah the Most High are four: Subhânallah, Alhamdulillâh, Lâ ilâha illallah and Allahu Akbar; there is no problem with which one you start with.” [Muslim]

38. “The most beloved of speech according to Allah is when the servant says, ‘Subhânallahi wa bihamdihî’ [How Transcendent is Allah and we praise him!].” [Muslim]

39. “The most beloved of speech according to Allah the Most High is that which Allah chose for his Angels: Subhâna Rabbî wa bihamdihî, Subhâna Rabbî wa bihamdihî, Subhâna Rabbî wa bihamdihî.” [Tirmidhî, Sahîh]

40. “The most beloved of people according to Allah is he who brings most benefit, and the most beloved of deeds according to Allah the Mighty, the Magnificent, is that you bring happiness to a fellow Muslim, or relieve him of distress, or pay off his debt or stave away hunger from him. It is more beloved to me that I walk with my brother Muslim in his time of need than I stay secluded in the mosque for a month. Whoever holds back his anger, Allah will cover his faults and whoever suppresses his fury while being able to execute it, Allah will fill his heart with satisfaction on the Day of Standing. Whoever walks with his brother Muslim in need until he establishes that for him, Allah will establish his feet firmly on the day when all feet shall slip. Indeed, bad character ruins deeds just as vinegar ruins honey.” [Tabarâni, Hasan]

41. “The most beloved of people to me is ‘Â’ishah and from the men, Abu Bakr.” [Agreed upon]

42. “The best of people in recitation are those who when they recite, you see that they fear Allah.” [Bayhaqi, Sahîh]

43. “The best of your leaders are those that you love and they love you, you supplicate for them and they supplicate for you. The worst of your leaders are those that you hate and they hate you, you curse them and they curse you.”[Muslim]

44. “The best of you are those who are best in paying off their debts.” [Tahâwi, Sahîh]

45. “The best of you are those with the longest lives and most excellent character.” [Bazzâr, Sahîh]

46. “The best of you are those with the longest lives and best in action.” [Hâkim, Sahîh]

47. “The best of you are those with the softest shoulders during prayer.” [Bayhaqi, Hasan]

48. “The best of you are those who are best to their wives.” [Tirmidhî, Sahîh]

49. “The best of you are those who are best to their families.” [Tabarâni, Sahîh]

50. “The best of you during the ‘Period of Ignorance’ are the best of you in Islam as long as they deeply understand the religion.” [Bukhâri]

51. “The best of you are those who learn the Qur’ân and teach it.” [Dârimi, Sahîh]

52. “The best of companions according to Allah are those who are best to their companion and the best of neighbours according to Allah are those that are best to their neighbour.”[Tirmidhî, Sahîh]

53. “The best of places are the Mosques and the worst of places are the markets.”[Tabarâni, Hasan]

54. “The best supplication on the Day of ‘Arafah and the best thing that I and the Prophets before me ever said was, ‘Lâ ilâha illAllah wahdahû lâ sharîka lahû, lahû’l-mulk wa lahû’l-hamd wa huwa ‘alâ kulli shay’in Qadîr.'” [Tirmidhî, Hasan]

55. “The best of provision is that which suffices.” [Ahmad in ‘Zuhd’, Hasan]

56. “The best testimony is when one gives it before he is asked to do so.” [Tabarâni, Sahîh]

57. “The best of dowries are the easiest.” [Hâkim, Sahîh]

58. “The best of charity is that which still leaves you self-sufficient for the upper hand is better than the lower hand; start with those you are responsible for.” [Tabarâni, Sahîh]

59. “The best of gatherings are those that are most open.” [Abu Dâwûd, Sahîh]

60. “The most beloved deed according to Allah is to have faith in Allah, then to maintain the ties of kinship, and then to command to good and forbid the wrong. The most abhorrent of deeds according to Allah is to associate partners with Him, then to cut the ties of kinship.”[Abu Ya’lâ, Hasan]

61. “The most beloved Jihâd according to Allah is that a word of truth be spoken to a tyrant ruler.” [Tabarâni, Hasan]

62. “The most beloved word according to me is that which is most truthful.” [Bukhâri]

63. “The most beloved fast according to Allah is the fast of Dâwûd; he would fast every alternate day. The most beloved prayer according to Allah is the prayer of Dâwûd; he would sleep half the night, stand a third and then sleep for a sixth.” [Agreed upon]

64. “The most beloved dish according to Allah is that which most hands feed from.” [Ibn Hibbân, Hasan]

65. “The most beloved servant of Allah is he who is most beneficial to his dependents.”[Zawâ’id al-Zuhd, Hasan]

66. “The best of earnings is that of the labourer as long as he tries his best.” [Ahmad, Hasan]

67. “The best of all deeds is to have faith in Allah alone, then Jihâd and then an accepted Hajj; they surpass all other deeds like the distance between the rising and setting of the Sun.”[Ahmad, Sahîh]

68. “The best of all deeds is the Prayer at its earliest time.” [Tirmidhî, Sahîh]

69. “The best of all deeds is the Prayer in its right time, to treat the Parents honourably and Jihâd in the path of Allah.”[al-Khatîb, Sahîh]

70. “The best of all deeds is that you bring happiness to your Muslim brother, pay off his debt or feed him bread.” [Ibn Adiyy, Hasan]

71. “The best of faith is patience and magnanimity.” [Ahmad, Sahîh]

72. “The best of days according to Allah is Friday.” [Bayhaqi, Sahîh]

73. “The best of Jihâd is that man strives against his soul and desires.” [Daylami, Sahîh]

74. “The best Hajj is that with the most raised voices and flowing blood.” [Tirmidhî, Hasan]

75. “The best of supplications is that of on the Day of ‘Arafah, and the best thing that was said by myself and the Prophets before me was, “Lâ ilâha illallah wahdahû lâ sharîka lahû.” [There is nothing worthy of worship except Allah alone, He has no partners.” [Mâlik, Hasan]

76. “The best of dinars are: the dinâr spent by a man upon his dependents, the dinâr spent by a man upon his horse in the path of Allah and the dinâr spent by a man upon his companions in the path of Allah, the Mighty, the Magnificent.”[Muslim]

77. “The best word of remembrance is: Lâ ilâha illallah and the best supplication is: Alhamdulillâh.” [Tirmidhî, Hasan]

78. “The best word of remembrance is: Lâ ilâha illallah and the best [expression of giving] thanks is: Alhamdulillâh.”[Baghawi, Hasan]

79. “The best of hours are those deep in the latter part of the night.” [Tabarâni, Sahîh]

80. “The best of all martyrs are those who fight in the front line; they do not turn their faces away until they are killed. They will be rolling around in the highest rooms of Paradise, their Lord laughing at them – when your Lord laughs at a servant, there is no accounting for him.”[Ahmad, Sahîh]

81. “The best of all martyrs is he whose blood is shed and whose horse is slaughtered.”[Tabarâni, Sahîh]

82. “The best of all charity is the shade of a canopy [provided] in the path of Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent, to gift ones servant in the path of Allah and to gift ones she-camel in the path of Allah.” [Ahmad, Hasan]

83. “The best of all charity is that which is given to the relative that harbours enmity against you.” [Ahmad, Sahîh]

84. “The best of all charity is that you give it while you are healthy and desirous [of that money], hoping to become wealthy but fearing poverty. Don’t delay until you are about to breathe your last and then you say, ‘This is for ‘so and so’ and this is for ‘so and so”, for indeed, it has already been written that ‘so and so’ would receive that.” [Abu Dâwûd, Sahîh]

85. “The best of all charity is when the one with little strives to give; start with those you are responsible for.” [Hâkim, Sahîh]

86. “The best charity is to provide water.” [Ibn Mâjah, Hasan]

87. “The best prayer after the obligatory ones is the prayer in the depth of the night, and the best fast after the month of Ramadhân is the month of Allah, Muharram.” [Muslim]

88.“The best prayer is the prayer of the man in his home except for the obligatory prayer.”[Nasâ’î, Sahîh]

89. “The best prayer is that with the longest standing.” [Muslim]

90. “The best of all prayers according to Allah is the Friday morning prayer in congregation.”[Ibn Nu’aym, Sahîh]

91. “The best fast is the fast of my brother Dâwûd; he would fast every alternate day and he would never flee [the battlefront] when the armies would meet.” [Tirmidhî, Sahîh]

92. “The best of all fasts after Ramadhân is in the month that you call Muharram.” [Nasâ’î, Sahîh]

93. “The best of all worship is supplication.” [Hâkim, Sahîh]

94. “The best deed is the prayer in its right time and Jihâd in the path of Allah.” [Bayhaqi, Sahîh]

95. “The best of the Qur’ân is: “Alhamdulillâhi Rabb’l-‘Âlamîn”. [Hâkim, Sahîh]

96. “The best of earnings is a blessed sale and that which a man earns with his hands.”[Ahmad, Sahîh]

97. “The best of the Believers is the most excellent of them in character.” [Ibn Mâjah, Sahîh]

98. “The best of the Believers with respect to Islam is the one from whose hand and tongue the Muslims are safe; and the best of the Believers with respect to ÃŽmân are the most excellent of them in character; and the best of those who migrate is he who migrates from that which Allah the Most High has prohibited; and the best of Jihâd is when one strives against his soul for the sake of Allah, the Mighty, the Magnificent.” [Tabarâni, Sahîh]

99. “The best of mankind is the believer between two honourable persons.” [Tabarâni, Sahîh]

100. “The best of all days in the world are the ten days [of Dhul Hijjah].” [Bazzâr, Sahîh]

Makeover of Mecca ~ Kaaba.

I bumped into this blog which had a similar subject to what article, I was writing then. It is rather interesting and “Las Vegas of the East” was another insult that the west conveniently finds appropriate for putting up in their newspaper on a certain article relating to the massive constuction around the kaaba.

Please do visit this site to read what some others as well as what the authors point of view is:

http://canterburyblues.wordpress.com/2010/01/02/extreme-makeover-mecca/

Personally, I feel, having all those tall sky scrappers just across the gates of Kaaba are completly unnecessary and a total waste of money. What really are the money mongers selling ? Kaaba view rooms, apartments, duplexes ?????? Shamefull, if you ask me. One travels miles across to spend his precious moments in repentence, in finding peace, in asking forgiveness and feeling that phenomenal feeling that you get no where else in the world but in the Kaaba. That is not the place for the spoilt, the arrogant and the status conscious !! If they cannot give up their luxuries, their comforts and their self proclaimed importance …. what ARE THEY doing there in the first place ??? 

A compact clean room with clean sheets, running hot/cold water and electricity is more than enough when you intend to spend at least 5 salaats if not more in the masjid ! Are you really spending all that money on a five star apartment to please Allah or have a picnic ????? Plenty of places for picnic spots in Mecca, the kaaba not being one of them.

Nobody visits Mecca, to buy exclusive jewellry or watches or to eat out at five star 7 course meals !! What is the purpose of visiting Kaaba ? Is that so lost to the Government ? 

We as muslims are asked to wear the same clothes which is the two unstitched white sheets to cover our bodies for men. That is  a symbol that stands for equality amongst rich, poor, black, white, pink, yellow or turqoise or which ever race we belong to. Then why does the saudi government allow for these unnecessary landmarks when they are blessed with the entire world’s holliest landmark ? If they must have huge and tall buildings (to accomodate the large numbers of pilgrims in Hajj and Ramadhan periods ) then have them atleast 30-40 kms away from the Haram. Why are they so short sighted ? Why are they going against the very principles of Islam which disagrees with extravagance and spending on luxuries when it can easily be spent on uplifting and benefiting the muslim society as such with schools, bridges, hospitals, roads etc …

I completly disagree with the need created for these sky scrappers. And perhaps for once I agree with what the west feel about which direction we are going in or should I say,” that are being lead” !

Regrettably I close my argument here.

If you are going to read the article of which I have provided the link up above, please make sure you also read the youtube slide presentation of what plans Atkins has for the reconstruction of the outer area of Kaaba. which is, as they said, not been approved till now.

Kaaba Pictures 2010

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I came across this really fantastic set of pictures in Facebook and I just had to share the pictures mainly of The Haram ~ Ka’aba with you’ll since a large number of my visitors love to see pictures of the kaaba. The images are phenomenal. I am not certain, which group the pics belong to, but if I do find out, I will surely credit them as well. Meanwhile, please find the blessings and Peace in watching these remarkable pictures.

Naush

Garfield has a new name .. Spike.

Its been 5 1/2 years since we moved to the Ranches. In our first year we adopted Keiki, my first feline baby, the following year, we rescued Pepper, my dominating feisty little tabby.  Life couldnt be better surrounded with the joy of having two young kittens always playing and loving us. However, for the past 2 years, we’ve had an unexpected visitor who has made himself very comfortable in our garage.

Thats Spike for you. Almost garfield looking. He has a sweet meow and even more sweeter purrr. Spike probably adopted US, becoz my husband, darling as he is, is very passionate in looking after the less previleged …  One of his routine morning chores is to feed the birds, fishes, cats etc. ( the fishes in the lake at Arabian Ranches, the birds who visit and wait for him, knowing now very well, when the “bucket man” is going to fill their pales ! 

At that very time, we had a large feral “blackie” who used to visit us and we used to leave him some food in the garage. Naturally Spike enjoyed the opportunity and made himself at home after a few regular bouts of brawls with Blackie, much to the annoyance of my neighbour. Long story short, Blackie was kicked out by my neighbour, whom then on, we never saw again and Spike has won the battle.

Now a little about Spike’s family … His owners are just 2 streets ahead but for what ever reason, inspite of calling them several times and them actually taking him back, Spike always returned. They are nice people but I think between a second cat in their house and spike not getting along, and probably getting fed up with spike always reaching for our house, they’ve probably given up on Spike.

Initially we tried a lot of efforts to shoo him away, stopped feeding for weeks etc but this little fella had already decided what he wanted. Some cats do, you know. So We gave in.

We have stopped pesteringing, Spike’s family and more or less accepted him with open arms, hugs and a nice cozy area, on the sofa that we once wanted to dispose, and is now sitting in the garage, all so that ” poor ol’ spike ” can have a small shelter.

Oh and why did’nt we take him in ? Becoz cats being territorial and all, Pepper had several very nasty brawls with Spike. Almost all of which Pepper won, inspite of being nearly 3 years younger than spike. He is now looked after, loved and fed by us (still not officially though ). Quiet honestly, He gives us all such a lovely welcome as soon as we are home. 

Oh and by the way, We never called him spike, he was always “Ladoo” …for us. For the non-hindi speakers … go figure !

Here’s ladoo on his throne. During the day, he naps over it and during the cold night, he sleeps under the chair, ( which is placed up side down, especially to make it feel like a shelter for him.

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Dubai Tube family has a picnic.

We’re having a 4 day long long loooooooooong weekend and We have been completely enjoying it. Its really very rare to get so many holidays one after the other. First Eid holidays and now the UAE National day weekend have really been stress relievers.

I dont think we are a very traditional or rather conventional family. I realized this truly when on Friday, I suggested that since the weather is so super fantastic, why dont we go to the beach and thats when It popped to me, that we havent had a beach visit or a park visit in like ……… forever. Maybe once when the boys were 4 or 5 ! Thats nearly 5 years back ! Why have we become such a tube family. Mom ~ tube, dad~ tube and kids~tube oriented.

Suddenly there was an urge .. a need to break the spell. Although We were getting a bit late, I decided that we just had to enjoy the cool waters. Some of these pictures speak volumes of the fun that we had this friday. It was such a bliss. Scores and scores of families were there. Some in the water, some playing with the kids, some without families,  were just roaming around aimlessly.  Probably remembering their families and hoping they were here to share the moment with them.

One thing I never understand about some particular arab states of the middle east is their need to always carry the foldable chairs and plonk themselves and their shishas to enjoy any scene. But the good thing about the locals and the GCC folks is that they would carry their beautiful carpets with them and gladly spread it over the sand and enjoy their macrona meals over it. Different people different likes.

When we were a young Indian family living the dream in Kuwait back in the 70s. We carried everything from tea flasks, to soap with us in our tiny japanese cars. I suppose thats where I get it from. I too have my Yukon  stacked up with spare blankets, sheets, pillows, jackets, water and what have you ~ at any given time.   So much has changed, we have achieved so much in terms of progress but quite a bit is lost too. Amongst one of those things is that we have lost interdependence. We are more nuclear now, we prefer to move around as a single family as opposed to how we “needed” to move around as a group of families, dining together as “middle class restaurants” ~ far far from the reach of today’s fast food restaurants,  we found joy in sharing the hot homemade tea’s in thermos’s rather than hoping over to any one of the Eppco/Enoc fuel stations to grab a costa with some fuel ! All cars ran religiously behind one another and if one had a pit stop for the kids to answer the call of nature., everyone would wait coz there were no mobiles to communicate, remember !  And there were no bathrooms either 🙂

 For the older folks, it must be quite a change and they must never end with lines like,” back in our days . . . . . .  .”

 I am fine with whatever, I dont miss much, I am happy as long as “WE” are happy and having fun. To be very honest, I think life is so much more convenient now compared to then when mom used to spend half the night preparing for the picnic and a large part of the early morning packing everything.  It must’ave been so stressful but the women folk would do it ~ they’d do it for the family. If anyone has seen the movie “NAMESAKE” He understands what I mean and if you have not seen this movie, then grab a copy of the dvd at the earliest.

I broke the spell and absolutely enjoyed running, collecting shells, making a complete utter mess in the mud fight, making sand angels and just generally swimming around freely in the beautiful beach. 

By the time, the boys were ready to leave, it was nearly dusk and what a spectacular view we got, on one end, stood the gorgeous Burj Al Arab, and behind us was the magnificient Burj Khalifa. The shots, I got, are nothing short of amazing.

Rediscovering Al Ain in UAE.

This weekend was probably the best in a long long time. Sam planned a fantastic stay at the Mercure Hotel at Jebal Hafeet in Al Ain. The drive was fun and we decided to take the Lisaili Route to Al Ain ~Dubai road. I was visiting Al Ain after nearly 3 years ! Where once it was one of our favorite adventure drives, gradually after the boys came along, it was a trip we took only when we had visitors/guests, who would be fascinated by the Hafeet. Jebal in arabic stands for Mountain, and Hafeet is the name of the mountain. 

Al Ain is the birth place of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Nahyan and also his second son, the present day crown prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Al ain has been projected as the green city of the middle east and for good reason, they have really made remarkable efforts to ensure that every road is lined with trees and grass ! 

Revisiting after nearly 3 years made me realize there were quite a few changes and positive ones at that, that took place here.

The boys were thrilled by the hotel room ! They completly loved the view and the facilities. We had packed a good box for each one of them, which they were in quite a hurry to relish. Ofcourse there were plenty of bonus gifts waiting for my boys. Although the temperatures at the peak of Jebal Hafeet was a good 10C, the winds were so strong, we could barely manage to keep our sweaters on.

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We ate at Pizza hut, checked into the hotel and visited the table top of the mountain in the night. Next morning after a sumptous breakfast which was part of the Bed and Breakfast scheme, the boys went swimming. They must ave been there for hours full of energy and enthusiasm. Later we practised some mini golf !  The hotel has something were strange and beautiful. The walls on the either side of the alcoves were trails of money plant !! Beautifully lined together. I hope I have done justice to the actual view in these pictures.

After checkout in the afternoon, Sam took us over to the Green Mubadzara, which is the natural springs at the foot hill of the mountain. There were several new activities that have popped up over the years one of which was the mini train ride which the kids just flipped over .. no … not literally. They couldnt have just two rides, it was’nt enough !! We all relaxed our feet in one of the many streams which had hot water gushing thru. It was so joyful.

Later before dusk, Sam drove us to the Al Ain zoo, where we were shocked to see some unexpected guests in the bird house … PENGUINS !! Yes, imagine that !! They were in a special enclosure to maintain their subzero temperatures. They are completly fantastic birds.   I hav’nt been  able to upload this fantastic film just to show you’ll how beautifully they respond to human movements. !

Next stop, the Bird show. What fun. Amazing show put up by an super amazing team, But ofcourse the birds of prey themselves stole the show. Watching a vulture hoping right infront of us, or an eagle race to catch a flying prey or an owl fly so soundlessly right above our heads was all a first timer for me and the boys. We were absolutely filled with awe.  It was also the first time we saw white lions ! The Zoo, like most zoo’s are, is huge. By the end of it, we were all just aching for some dinner.

Town Center looked so different from what I saw of it, last time. Pleasently different.  We ate at “Golden Fork” which ofcourse was an unanimous choice and headed back home to Dubai. It was a picture perfect weekend in every sense of the word.

The photographs are just a few of the moments captured.