Nature

In the word “Similarity”

We find symmetry in our world, and the outer world

In places where serenity prevails…

The ocean is right in front of my eyes

How many people used it as a “trope” to tell how they felt?

How marvelous is it to catch someone with that gaze…

The same glimpse of the ocean that we all catch… Even for few seconds

I could have settled for that too

I took off my glasses, my head bent down as I was walking towards the sea

I could have settled for that too… But a whole other thought struck me

Steps on the sands

As I looked around, I saw sands

I saw its grains volatilizing with the wind

A ball hits the ground, its atoms dissociates with each hit, and drops out in different spaces

The grits that get stuck on a ball or a flip flop that people carry away with, when those atoms become irreplaceable

We resemble the sands,

When someone sits for a long time, and their place digs deeper as they sit longer

As they leave after then, it takes a while for its surface to be level again…

Some of it from a breeze moves in a beautiful way, and with the wind… It flies in a frightening way… Perhaps, lead to a hurricane… Just as we do when we hear what soothes us, or when we get hurt…

We resemble the sands…

Maybe we are created out of it for a reason

And we’ll end to be those atoms…

The plant that grows in the middle of an empty place

Like the marks that are left in our hearts

The traces of wheels that remain… Those who mess with and rip us vainly…

Steady rocks, dived into the sands… Just as we do when get stone hearted

In the word similarity

We find symmetry in our world, and the outer world

Right now, I know we resemble the sands, as much as we resemble the oceans…

In places where serenity prevails

Perhaps, to nature, we’re much more related than we think… We’re more associated

Perhaps, we’re more connected…  But we just need to be mused.

Waldorf Astoria- A Home Away from Home (@WaldorfRAK, @raktourism)

Ideal for a staycation, the Waldorf Astoria in Ras Al Khaimah is less than an hour drive away from Dubai and is located right at the edge of Ras Al Khaimah in Al Hamra Village. Escaping the hustle and bustle of the city, the property has a lot to offer for those that are looking for a rejuvenating getaway without having to travel far.

Upon entering the property going for a stroll to admire the wonderful pieces of art surrounding the lobby and getting to know the Waldorf’s story is just one of the unique aspects of the property and what it has to offer is highly recommended. Beautifully designed in a light blue and beige color scheme, the interior design resembles the property’s prime location which lays on the shorelines of the Arabian Sea.

waldorf-astoria-ras-al-khaimah-peacock-alley-dec-2013_

Strolling down Peacock Alley, which has been a Waldorf trademark since the 19th century and the famous clock that is located amidst the lobby, representing the Arabic culture by displaying the five daily prayers are only a fraction of Waldorf’s remarkable and rich history that takes you on a journey through time and space.

The guest rooms and suites are spacious and possess over a variety of comforts such as a walk in wardrobe and large balconies with outstanding views overlooking the clear blue ocean and the majestic Arabian Gulf. A personal concierge is available upon request ensuring that all your needs are not only met but exceeded.

rktwa-july-2013-junior-suite-sea-view-balcony-day_

The property has plenty more to offer and regardless if you choose an afternoon of relaxation in one of the exclusive garden huts surrounded by greenery pure, or in the cabanas at the adult pool overlooking the ocean, plenty of outdoor activities give visitors the chance to enjoy the facilities to the fullest. A variety of water sports activities is available on the resort’s resident water sports center that is located right on the resorts strip of private beach.

If you are traveling with children, the extensive family pool offers plenty of fun and the integrated restaurant is ideal for a family lunch without having to walk far.

waldorf-astoria-ras-al-khaimah-pool_

For a quieter lunch, the Azure restaurant offers a variety of delicacies, and the atmosphere gives off an authentic Mediterranean flair.

The chef’s specialty the Asian chicken salad is certainly recommended as a light lunch. The hotel offers a variety of dining options, so make sure to leave enough space for what is yet to come.

Regardless if you are looking to end a beautiful afternoon with a stroll along the resort’s beautiful white beaches or with one of the signature massages at the Waldorf Astoria Spa, rest assured that you will be rejuvenated in no time. The spa has separate facilities for females and males and a well-equipped gym overlooking the resort’s lush gardens is available for hotel guests to use.

A Waldorf experience wouldn’t be complete without dining at one of the resorts’ exclusive restaurants and the options are plenty.

The award-winning Marjan restaurant, located on the 16th floor of the exclusive Waldorf Astoria hotel in Ras Al Khaimah is recommended to anyone who is looking to experience authentic mouth-watering Middle Eastern delicacies in a highly exclusive setting. Pre-booked private dining rooms are available offering guests the option to enjoy an exclusive and intimate dining experience.

UMI is a trendy Japanese restaurant and is the ideal venue for sushi lovers. The attached authentic Japanese balcony garden allows guests to enjoy a fresh breeze while overlooking the beautiful Marjan Island lid up at night.

Last but not least, the property has a variety of business centers and conference rooms, so even for the busiest amongst us, there are ways to relax while taking care of business, leaving you with no excuses to not book for a few days and enjoy exquisite Waldorf Astoria hospitality.


For information and bookings, call 07 203 55 or

email rasalkhaimah.info@waldorfastoria.com

A Cliché

You ever hear the phrase “life goes on” and think duh, what a cliché!

But if you really think about it, you’ll realize that this quote is actually onto something. Sometimes, life gets the wind knocked out of us, and it becomes so hard to breathe. It simply becomes impossible to get back up and move on. Think of the friend that betrayed your trust, the person who broke your heart, or the passing of someone so dear to you.

Somehow, you have managed to survive all of those. Even when it felt like you would never be able to get over such a thing, you were convinced that you could never recover from this.

Maybe you still do.

Yet, here you are. You’ve made it out alright, and it doesn’t hurt as much, might not even hurt at all anymore. It has become something that you went through… once upon a time.

Because just like the “clichéd” saying life goes on.

And so do you.

Muslim Women Playing The Beautiful Game

Despite their conservative reputation, a growing number of veiled Muslim women are taking up football… and giving men a run for their money.

img-20140207-wa019_scene

There is a general perception across the globe that if you are a Muslim woman who covers her hair, then you are restricted in the sports you can play – or that you are not allowed to play sports at all. While this is the case among the most conservative, many hijabbed Muslim women play sports, including professionally.
Lena Rodgers is of Syrian and British descent who resides and works in Dubai, UAE, as a social media executive during the day but in the evenings and at weekends, she laces up her boots and turns her attention to football – her hobby and passion. “As a child, I was an all-rounder at sports,” recalls Lena.

At the age of nine, Lena first encountered the beautiful game when she accompanied her mother to her younger brother’s football practice. “I felt this instinctive urge to play too,” she recounts. Lena soon discovered that football had a more powerful pull on her than any other activity, toys or games, and it rapidly became her primary source of fun.Luckily, rather than informing Lena that girls don’t play football, her mother encouraged her talent. Lena began training with a professional coach who was an injured ex-footballer and it was he who helped develop her skills. A few years later, Lena started to learn advanced football skills on her own and through practice games.le

Luckily, rather than informing Lena that girls don’t play football, her mother encouraged her talent. Lena began training with a professional coach who was an injured ex-footballer and it was he who helped develop her skills. A few years later, Lena started to learn advanced football skills on her own and through practice games.At first, other girls were unaware that Lena was playing football, as it was still an unfamiliar concept for girls to play such sports around where she lived. It was only when she began secondary school that Lena started playing in a girls’ team.

At first, other girls were unaware that Lena was playing football, as it was still an unfamiliar concept for girls to play such sports around where she lived. It was only when she began secondary school that Lena started playing in a girls’ team.Fortunately for the upcoming generation, the situation in Dubai has changed considerably since Lena’s pioneering days. “I currently coach girls in skills that I didn’t learn until my 20s, and they are only 4-12 years of age,” observes Lena. “It makes me sad to think how many skills I could have been taught that would have enabled me to become natural at them if I’d been able to start younger.”

Fortunately for the upcoming generation, the situation in Dubai has changed considerably since Lena’s pioneering days. “I currently coach girls in skills that I didn’t learn until my 20s, and they are only 4-12 years of age,” observes Lena. “It makes me sad to think how many skills I could have been taught that would have enabled me to become natural at them if I’d been able to start younger.”From the start of her footballing career, Lena was lucky to enjoy the full support of her family, although she admits that she still gets surprised looks when she informs her extended family that she plays football. “They see a girl, and they just don’t think you’re any good,” she explains.

From the start of her footballing career, Lena was lucky to enjoy the full support of her family, although she admits that she still gets surprised looks when she informs her extended family that she plays football. “They see a girl, and they just don’t think you’re any good,” she explains.In reality, Lena was always as good as her siblings and better in certain positions, especially defence.

img-20150131-wa016_medals

In reality, Lena was always as good as her siblings and better in certain positions, especially defence.Football was traditionally a working-class sport played mainly by men. Although this has changed considerably in the West, in the Arab world the sport was almost exclusively male. Lena’s instincts and abilities prompted her to push back the boundaries and to break with tradition. “I found myself good at it, sometimes better than the boys, so it made sense to continue,” she points out. “I was also the star of the defence, so the praise I got for that kept me going. I

Football was traditionally a working-class sport played mainly by men. Although this has changed considerably in the West, in the Arab world the sport was almost exclusively male. Lena’s instincts and abilities prompted her to push back the boundaries and to break with tradition. “I found myself good at it, sometimes better than the boys, so it made sense to continue,” she points out. “I was also the star of the defence, so the praise I got for that kept me going. I was depended on, and I felt useful.”

Her passion, talent and determination led Lena to play in the Dubai Football Women’s Association amateur league. She helped her previous team, the Arabian Leopards, to become league champions before moving to her current club, Sandstorm. Lena also plays in a mixed league and takes part in tournaments, which is a new trend that started last year.Lena has been pleased by people’s positive reaction to women’s football team. “Off the pitch, they are usually impressed and don’t expect it when I say I play football,” Lena describes. But there is a lot of pressure to perform. “You almost feel like you have to justify to them that you are good and just as good as the guys, or even better. The standard is set in their eyes as soon as they see a girl, and a veiled one at that, which makes the task of the female footballer much harder than her male counterpart, as she needs to do double the effort to earn the audience’s respect in a way.”

Lena has been pleased by people’s positive reaction to women’s football team. “Off the pitch, they are usually impressed and don’t expect it when I say I play football,” Lena describes. But there is a lot of pressure to perform. “You almost feel like you have to justify to them that you are good and just as good as the guys, or even better. The standard is set in their eyes as soon as they see a girl, and a veiled one at that, which makes the task of the female footballer much harder than her male counterpart, as she needs to do double the effort to earn the audience’s respect in a way.”On the pitch, though, it is a different story. Male footballers tend to hold back because they are afraid of hurting the female players. “Some think that they shouldn’t challenge you – somehow they do it sympathetically, and some just refuse to play with girls because they think that they are not going to get a tough game out of it,” says Lena. “Also the more annoying part is when they don’t pass to you as much because they think you are going to cost them the game.”

On the pitch, though, it is a different story. Male footballers tend to hold back because they are afraid of hurting the female players. “Some think that they shouldn’t challenge you – somehow they do it sympathetically, and some just refuse to play with girls because they think that they are not going to get a tough game out of it,” says Lena. “Also the more annoying part is when they don’t pass to you as much because they think you are going to cost them the game.”Ultimately, however, Lena believes that her gender and religion do not, and should not, play a role in her sport. “At the end of the day, if you play well, no one cares where you’re from or what you are wearing,” she insists, “they are greedy for your talent and contribution.”

Ultimately, however, Lena believes that her gender and religion do not, and should not, play a role in her sport. “At the end of the day, if you play well, no one cares where you’re from or what you are wearing,” she insists, “they are greedy for your talent and contribution.”

Lena regards football as both a hobby and a way of life, and, as a coach, a profession too. She loves everything about football because “it teaches you teamwork, reflection, improvement, fitness, excitement, urgency, awareness of your surroundings, concentration, handling situations under pressure – almost everything.””It also makes me incredibly happy, so I am so committed to it,” she adds.

“It also makes me incredibly happy, so I am so committed to it,” she adds.The dream of playing football professionally is what keeps Lena’s ambition going, but she is quick to point out that “I am where I am right now because I have got a bit of everything in my life – football, photography, social media, coaching.”

The dream of playing football professionally is what keeps Lena’s ambition going, but she is quick to point out that “I am where I am right now because I have got a bit of everything in my life – football, photography, social media, coaching.”Football can affect one’s personal life, especially for women. Lena recognises that time management “is going to be a big factor in my life, knowing when to say no to football (which is extremely hard). I have to fight for time with my

Football can affect one’s personal life, especially for women. Lena recognises that time management “is going to be a big factor in my life, knowing when to say no to football (which is extremely hard). I have to fight for time with my family, because I recognise how important they are in my life and they shouldn’t be taken for granted.” Lena sees a bright future for Arab and Muslim women’s football. “I think it is definitely on the rise and inshallah there will be more professional cups, leagues and tournaments because there is such a high demand for it.”

Lena sees a bright future for Arab and Muslim women’s football. “I think it is definitely on the rise and inshallah there will be more professional cups, leagues and tournaments because there is such a high demand for it.”