<![CDATA[rss-Lifestyle]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[Lifestyle]]>]]> 100 29 <![CDATA[Zimbabwe holds Miss Albinism beauty pageant to fight stigma]]>
Friday's "Beauty Beyond the Skin" pageant was held in a Harare nightclub, making Zimbabwe the second African country after Kenya to host such an event.

Many African countries have a dark relationship with albinism -- a genetic disorder inherited from parents who both carry a faulty gene that prevents the skin from making melanin properly and thereby giving it colour.

They are hunted down in some African countries by witch doctors for their body parts which are used in potions to bring good luck or riches. Some are even kidnapped and sold by relatives out to make a fast buck.

Mutukura said she entered the pageant to raise awareness.

"The people with disabilities are always looked down upon even in schools. I have gone through a lot but I want people living with albinism to be brave and persevere in life," the social work student at the University of Zimbabwe told AFP after winning the crown.

"We must continue to advocate for our rights and I hope my win will empower the girl child. People with disabilities must not look down upon themselves."

The contestants sashayed down the catwalk in gowns and traditional African robes and were asked an array of questions to decide the winner.

Mutukura won a food hamper and $85 (70 euros) -- a fair bit of money in Zimbabwe.

Pageant organiser Brenda Mudzimu said she was happy to finally host the event as it was postponed last year due to a lack of funds.

- Global pageant -

"The pageant aims to instill confidence in girls living with albinism in Zimbabwe as well as reduce the stigma," Mudzimu said.

"People living with albinism are talented, beautiful and intelligent just like any other normal human being. My experience living with albinism was not easy.I learnt that in life living with albinism you have to persevere and survive in life."

Mudzimu said she hoped to organise a global contest.

"This will be an annual event which will later be advanced to Miss Albinism Africa and Miss Albinism World because we want to reach all corners of the world," she said.

The southern African country has about 39,000 people living with albinism, she said.

Tapuwa Muchemwa, a government representative who was the guest of honour, said Zimbabwean authorities were committed to uphold the rights of albinos.

"We as government strongly advocate that people with albinism deserve their right to life and security and to be protected as well as the right not to be subjected to torture and ill treatment," Muchemwa said.

Albinism groups say more than 90 percent of people with the condition in Africa die before they reach the age of 40. The rate of albinism in Africa is much higher than in other parts of the world.
3/19/2018 12:31:39 PM
<![CDATA[Americans are drinking a daily cup of coffee at the highest level in six years: survey]]>
Sixty-four percent of Americans age 18 or over said they had a cup of coffee the previous day in 2018. That compares with 62 percent in 2017 and was roughly on par with levels last seen in 2012, according to results of a survey commissioned by the National Coffee Association (NCA) released during the group’s annual meeting in New Orleans.

The survey underscores a strong U.S. market for the caffeinated beverage even as demand for soda and juice continues a yearslong decline. Coffee, bottled water and tea have been major growth categories in recent years, the survey showed.

The NCA survey asked about 3,000 respondents what they drank yesterday at different times of day.

Daily coffee consumption declined into the mid-1990s, when Americans drinking coffee on any given day fell below 50 percent, according to results presented at an industry conference in New Orleans.

Coffee is a bright spot for a global food industry facing stagnating demand growth for other products. In the United States, ready-to-drink products are boosting demand. In Brazil, pods and roast coffee are growing market.

“We see the cola industry is declining, (but) coffee is in the front row,” Roberto Vélez, head of the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation, said in a separate presentation.

Among the Americans surveyed, at-home preparation continues to be the dominant spot for demand, with 79 percent of those surveyed saying they had had a cup of coffee at home the previous day. Coffee consumed at cafes and other out-of-home locations totaled 36 percent.

Demand for gourmet coffee, which includes espresso-based beverages and ready-to-drink, was steady relative to 2017 levels. The segment continued to get a boost from younger drinkers, with 48 percent of millennials saying they had a cup of coffee they consider to be gourmet the day before.

“There’s been a huge shift toward gourmet in the U.S.,” market consultant Michael Edwards said in the presentation.

Gourmet represents over half the market, he said. Major coffee roasters have been trying to tap into it. Folgers maker JM Smucker is rolling out a new premium line this year and Nestle last year bought a majority stake in specialty chain Blue Bottle Coffee.

Use of smartphone apps and delivery services remains niche. Nine percent of Americans who drank coffee in the past week said they had ordered it through an app, the survey showed.
3/18/2018 5:50:21 PM
<![CDATA[ IX Special Olympics MENA Games kick off in dazzling ceremony]]>
Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali walked at the forefront of the Egyptian delegation, which comprises of 78 male athletes, 37 female athletes and 40 coaches. The whole parade was led by Special Olympics global ambassador and famous Egyptian actor Hussein Fahmy.

Following the colorful parade and in the midst of the cheers and applauds of the audience, Special Olympics International Chairman Timothy Shriver welcomed the attendees and “the best athletes in the world” in an inspiring speech. “When I look out at this crowd, I see people of openness, people of forgiveness, people of strength, people of compassion and skill. I don’t see people with disabilities. I see people of determination,” Shriver said.

“Athletes, this is your time to prove that you can go for the gold, that you can lead an inclusion revolution. For the rest of us, there is no option. The only question is what role will you play, how will you join, when will you become a part of this inclusion revolution,” he added.

Ayman Abdel Wahab, president and managing director of Special Olympics MENA, started his speech by asking all attendees to stand up in salute for H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

“Your presence means a great deal to all the athletes, their families and all of us in the region, and significantly [supports] our vision of a changing world, a world of common acceptance, inclusion and joyful celebration of the human potential,” he said to all the attendees, from families to volunteers and athletes. “It is our hope that our vision of acceptance will stem from Abu Dhabi and take root in all nations across the world,” Abdel Wahab concluded.

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Egypt Today/Yasmine Hassan

H.E. Shamma El Mazroue, UAE minister of state for youth affairs and chair of the Special Olympics UAE board, affirmed how getting into the preparation process for the games highlighted the many similarities between the vision and the message of Special Olympics movement and the UAE principles.

“Special Olympics carries the torch of a divine message that does not only empower athletes with intellectual disabilities to play but it empowers the character of the athlete and the entire eco system…to become all what they can be. And these are exactly the founding principles of the United Arab Emirates,” she said.

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Egypt Today/Yasmine Hassan

Following the inspirational speeches, Special Olympics athletes lit the “flame of hope”, signaling the start of the regional games that will take place starting Sunday in 16 different sports.

The games will take place in eight different venues, including ADNEC, Zayed Sports City, Yas Marina Circuit, NYUAD, Officer’s Club, Mubadala IPC Arena, Al Jazira Sports Club and Al Forsan Club.

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Egypt Today/Yasmine Hassan

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3/18/2018 12:42:57 AM
<![CDATA[Nestlé inspires the private sector in Egypt]]>
Dr. Nahla Kamal is the Corporate Affairs Head at Nestlé North East Africa Region, responsible for the corporate shared value initiatives. Dr. Kamal, explains the importance of the competition and its alignment with Nestlé’s vision and values to help developing communities across the country.

Dr. Kamal, may you please explain the importance of women empowerment in Nestlé and its impact in Egypt?

Nestlé’s vision is to enhance the quality of life and to contribute to a healthier future. With this in mind, there is continuous effort to support the sustainable development goals that is segregated into 3 main pillars: individuals and families, communities and environmental impact. Under community development values, we value women empowerment as an essential factor to improving communities’ livelihood and achieving economic prosperity in the country.

Adding to that, internally Nestlé is committed to being a diverse work place that respects equal opportunities for both genders. We adopt policies that promote women economic empowerment through positive measures including offering six months of paid maternity leave as well as adopting fair recruitment, promotion and compensation policies based on individual competencies.

Why is this competition an integral part to empowering women in Egypt?

Let’s talk about the Egyptian finalist as an example; “Mumm”, is a startup selling home-made food prepared by housewives and targeting the masses across Cairo. The project has been nominated amongst six finalists, and will compete on the final prize in Brazil. "Mumm" was selected for its social contribution as a platform that supports housewives and women who are unable to find proper job opportunities or have to stay at home due to family responsibilities. Thus, the project offers them an employment opportunity that suits their circumstances; they can work from home and also secure an income that supports them to become more independent. Through their website, the women sell the meals they prepared at reasonable prices and also deliver them to clients. Moreover, “Mumm” went the extra mile and the team was keen to engage female refugees living in Egypt in the project. The Syrian food on Mumm’s menu became very popular and the women can sustain their families and become more independent. With this in consideration, “Mumm” helps communities pursue healthier lifestyles in a time where junk food prevails.

How are Nestlé and “Mumm” working towards aligned goals?

We adopt a sustained community development approach in relation to nutrition, water and rural development. This approach complies with laws and business ethics that are reflected in our daily working routine. To enhance our business operations in the country, we defined and considered these values as core responsibilities that initiate projects to deliver those goals. One of these is the global competition that offers awards to start-ups internationally.

Relative to nutrition, health and wellness, we believe in continuously offering tastier and healthier choices for individuals and families. We have specialized departments in Nestlé that research and develop new and innovative scientific findings to enhance the nutritional value of products produced and sold internationally. With this in mind, we have a particular ambition to inspire people to lead healthier lives by building, sharing and applying nutritional knowledge in communities.

Hence, “Mumm” has goals that are aligned with Nestlé on this strategy specifically. By promoting a diverse set of nutritional options from home-cooked meals, they are collectively offering tastier and healthier choices to their customers to enhance their quality of life. Even though youth and various employees are constantly on-the-go, they are no longer limited with fast food options, and can have their very own home-cooked meal to a healthier lifestyle.

Improving youth employability and encouraging entrepreneurs is another priority in Nestlé, and that it is our company’s duty to play a significant role in addressing the youth unemployment rate, “Mumm” is sharing the same purpose, the owner himself is a young entrepreneur who is supporting the young startups by recruiting them and give them the needed platform through which they are able to grow their businesses.

Why do you think Mumm is offering a unique idea that enabled the project to earn its place as a finalist in the competition?

“Mumm” has employed more than 80 women and created more than 110 sustainable jobs in less than two years with minimal investment. Women working in the business became financially independent while working on a flexible schedule that suits their circumstances. The sustainability factor is quite attractive to any business investor, as they are continuously increasing capacity-building workshops and trainings to increase awareness of their food partners in management of Food &Beverages, pricing and marketing.

If they win the competition, they will be able to increase the capital and hence they can recruit more women and further develop the adopted operating technology in the business. "Mumm" is creating job opportunities for women which directly contributes to the prosperity of the economy in the country.

From this experience, how would you advise women to actively participate in communities from their homes?

I advise women to focus on offering a product or a service that can lead to the development of the entire family. Women should present themselves as role models to their children and teach them that hard work pays off. As a first step, women can make benefit of this modern technology era to enhance their personal capacity and acquire new skills set.

3/15/2018 8:49:39 PM
<![CDATA[Who will get the nod to design Meghan's dress for UK royal wedding?]]>
British newspapers have been rife with rumours that she has chosen the dress and already attended her first fitting, although royal officials are keeping such details a tightly guarded secret.

"We have not put out a statement, nor commented on the wedding dress," a spokeswoman for Harry's office said.

The choice of wedding gown designer has prompted much speculation in newspapers and magazines ever since Harry, the fifth-in-line to the throne, and Markle, 36, announced their engagement last November.

"I think she'll definitely wear a UK designer," Bojana Sentaler, founder and creative director of Canadian label Sentaler, told Reuters. "I'm not sure which one but I think it'll be a UK designer."

One of those whose name has been suggested is Stella McCartney, who was behind British human rights lawyer Amal Clooney's cream-coloured trouser suit for her civil marriage ceremony to U.S. actor George Clooney, as well as the coat Markle wore on a visit to Cardiff earlier this year.

"A wedding is a wedding, it's a beautiful honour and privilege to do anyone's wedding dress," a smiling McCartney told Reuters when asked if she would like to design Markle's outfit.

"I've always loved working on wedding dresses and they're always varied because you have to be really personal about it, you have to really look at the woman and the day," said McCartney, who shares Markle's ethical design and animal cruelty-free stance.

British-Australian brand Ralph & Russo is another that has been mentioned a possible contender for the job after Markle chose a dress made by the duo for her official engagement portraits with Harry.

That dress, and the location of the wedding, Queen Elizabeth's Windsor Castle home to the west of London, might also serve as a good indication of what's to be expected, said Anna McGregor, curator of the London luxury wedding department store, The Wedding Gallery.

"Well, you always have to think about the venue because the dress has to be appropriate for the venue that you're getting married in and of course she's getting married in the chapel at Windsor. So you need to find something that's going to work for that location," she said.

"I think that the Ralph & Russo she wore for the engagement shoot was such a perfect look on her."

For fashion brands, having apparel seen on a member of Britain's royal family can lead to a spike in sales. Prince William's wife Kate has become a fashion icon since she married Harry's elder brother in 2011, with huge interest in her choice of outfits for official engagements.

British retailer Marks & Spencer received a publicity boost in January when Markle was photographed wearing one of its 45-pound ($62) jumpers during a visit to a London radio station.

Similarly, Canadian luxury outerwear brand Sentaler got a lift from the actress in December 2017 when she was pictured wearing one of the label's coats to a Christmas church service attended by the royal family.

The public, and the fashion world, are expected to have to wait until May 19, the day of the wedding, to find out who the designer is. Whichever brand she chooses, nothing should steal the limelight from the bride said Chinese-born, London-based designer Huishan Zhang.

"The whole thing is really creating a relationship with you and the bride, no matter the bride who is she, right?" he said.

"You serve for the bride, for that occasion, it's her special day, you should just treat her as a person, as a bride, who is seeking for a beautiful dress for once in her lifetime."]]>
3/15/2018 1:51:12 PM
<![CDATA[Italy's top pastry chef sweetens visits to the bank]]>MILAN - 13 March 2018: Italy's top pastry chef, Iginio Massari, is banking on his latest patisserie to set a new trend, opening a shop full of sweet delights inside a branch of the country's biggest lender.

Massari, whose treats have been served to movie stars and politicians, has teamed up with Intesa Sanpaolo to add flavour and life to the grey experience of visiting a bank.

Steps from Milan's Duomo Cathedral, delicate pastries, rich fruit tarts and multi-coloured pates de fruits sweets sit side by side with counters and cash machines.

"A bank with cakes!" Massari told Reuters. "It's quite a challenge, but it's also a record as I am the first pastry chef to open in a bank." Italian lenders are cutting thousands of jobs and closing branches, but those that survive are being redesigned to appeal to clientele from a new generation.

"Having a patisserie in a bank is a great idea, it gives you a good reason to go the bank," said Milan resident Alfredo Gentili.

Intesa Sanpaolo's partnership with Massari is part of a 500-million-euro push to turn its branches into modern-day piazzas.

Andrea Lecce, Intesa Sanpaolo's head of marketing, said the aim was to welcome customers to a "homely and simple" space.

"Sweets and pastries are part of the world of dreams," Lecce said. "They evoke moments of joy and celebration, and we believe that we contribute to creating them too -- with home mortgages and student loans."

The pastry shop is Massari's second, after his outlet in the northern city of Brescia that has served delicacies since 1971.

Massari said he had been considering opening in Milan for a long time, and was finally convinced by this idea which he described as "unique"]]>
3/15/2018 1:44:34 PM
<![CDATA[Get to know them: MENA athletes in IX Special Olympics Regional Games]]>
It is time to start a long-term transformation in our attitude toward these special individuals who deserve respect and admiration. This can only be achieved by getting to know them, training them and training ourselves, which is in the core mission of Special Olympics International (SOI).

As we are approaching the 9th regional Special Olympics Games, an event that takes place every two years to celebrate accomplished athletes with intellectual disabilities in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region, here are five inspirational stories of Arab athletes who will be taking part in the upcoming games.

Amr Hassan: Egyptian swimming, hockey and football champion

One of our inspirational champions who will be representing Egypt in the upcoming games, Amr Hassan has already scored several national and international medals in more than one sport, including swimming, hockey and, most recently, football.

Amr Hassan - Photo courtesy of Special Olympics MENA

Born and raised in challenging conditions, with an intellectual disability and in a family with modest financial capacities, Hassan is a great example of perseverance and accomplishment. Apart from his sports achievements, he has also finished his studies at a school of special education. And hHaving lost his father a year ago, he is currently the bread-winner for his family, taking on two jobs, – at a wax workshop in the mornings and a factory in the afternoons.

Although he knew nothing about swimming when he first started, Hassan immediately caught the eyes of his coach when he first joined Special Olympics training centers in affiliation with his school. Seeing his talent and perseverance, the coach gave him special attention until he learned the four different swimming styles, and he would even delegate Hassan to manage the practice and help his colleagues.

DSC_0193 Amr Hassan - Photo courtesy of Special Olympics MENA

In no time, Hassan was winning medals in all kinds of national games and would impress everyone who saw him. In his first regional games in 2004, he won four gold medals. He then went on to represent Egypt in China and the regional games in Dubai, always holding high the Egyptian flag, with a smile of pride and accomplishment.

Taking on another challenge, he started playing hockey and led his team to victory in the Special Olympics Winter Games in Idaho, scoring 13 out of 15 goals in the game against the U.S. team.

Given Hassan’s strong physical build and his talents, he was recently chosen to join the football team. He participated in the summer games in Greece and won the golden medal with his team. He is now getting ready for another win in Abu Dhabi.

DSC_0198 Amr Hassan - Photo courtesy of Special Olympics MENA

Lobna Masfr (Morocco): “They say I have an intellectual disability… But I win medals.”

“They say I have an intellectual disability and I cannot see, but I have hands, ears, legs and a nose, and I win medals by participating in Special Olympics games,” says Lobna Masfr, another inspirational champion getting ready to participate in the regional games.

Masfr remembers how she had to go from school to school, then to workshops and music centers, but never felt bad or not at ease, as she always knew she was learning something new, from cooking to handicrafts, piano and even massage.

لبنى مسفر
Lobna Msfr - Photo courtesy of Special Olympics MENA

“My mom taught me to swim, play guitar and do math… Yes, I have a disability, but it doesn’t stop me and I can do a lot of things,” she recounts.

An international champion, Masfr has won many medals in regional and world games, including two silver medals that she won in 1995 in the world summer games, a golden medal in 1997 and more.

She also received recognition from King Mohammed VI, the Kingof Morocco as an international champion and great athlete.

“Everything around me is gloomy, but in my imagination I know all colors and I can see the beauty around me. I could see once, before I went blind at 20 years old,” Masfr says.

Masfr has participated in several exhibitions for handicrafts, she helps out in music workshops for persons with intellectual disabilities, and she has a diploma in massage… and a lot of clients.

Mohamed Khair Allah aims high at MENA games: a success story from Baghdad, Iraq

Growing up in Baghdad, Iraq, Mohamed Khair Allah had to deal with isolation and harsh stigma that often comes with having a visible intellectual disability. “I am different and I like being who I am and want people to accept this,” Khair Allah says.

Mohamed Kheir Allah- Iraq
Mohamed Kheir Allah - Photo courtesy of Special Olympics MENA

Having joined Special Olympics in 2001, Khair Allah started a new lifestyle. Following a new routine, he started to consume less calories and lose weight (losing about 9 kilograms). Soon he was able to participate in many Special Olympics competitions.

“Special Olympics gave me the chance to develop more confidence, and I am extremely fortunate, as I proudly represent my home country on the international scale,” he says proudly.

Super excited about the opportunity to be part of the Iraqi delegation to the regional games, Mohamed is training very hard to reach his best performance.

In addition to being an extraordinary swimming champion, Khair Allah also leads an independent social life and has a supportive wife with whom he is experiencing joy and happiness.

“I hope to bring home another gold medal to make my wife full of pride of my success. She deserves it, as she has never shown anything but support and motivation,” he adds.

Rabah Kino (Lebanon): An all-time champion, in one sport or another

A multisport athlete, Rabah Kino from Lebanon has excelled at both summer sports, including roller-skating and winter sports, mainly specializing in alpine skiing.

While training for the 2013 World Winter Games, Rabah fell hard and was badly injured. Doctors told him that he’d never ski again, which was tragic news, because for Kino, skiing was life.

However, Special Olympics coaches and volunteers, as well as his supportive family, helped Kino find new hope with a new sport.

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Rabah Kino - Photo courtesy Special Olympics MENA

Kino, who is now in his forties, started a new chapter in his life taking on open swimming. He started getting good, very good; and in no time, he joined Lebanon’s swim team and took part in the 2015 World Games in Los Angeles.

This March, Keno will be competing with talented swimmers from all across the Middle East and North Africa at the 2018 IX Special Olympics MENA Regional Games in Abu Dhabi.And the minute he returns from the 2018 MENA Games, he'll be looking ahead to the 2019 World Games.

Khadija Zein Al Abdeen: Mauritania’s first female tennis athlete in SO games

Twenty-three- year old Khadija Zein Al Abdeen joined Special Olympics Mauritania in 2006. Due to her remarkable performances and achievements, she was then selected to become a board member of Special Olympics Mauritania, where her role is to detect and understand the challenges and hopes of her fellow athletes and bring it all to the table of the board to discuss.

According to Zein Al Abdeen, her 12-year history with Special Olympics has definitely had a great impact on her life, changing her vision to life and expanding her friendships network. She even beats her friends without intellectual disabilities in some matches, Zein Al Abdeen feels they have accepted her, as they are now keen to mingle and chat with her a lot, she says.

Taking part as a table tennis player in IX MENA Regional Games in Abu Dhabi, Zein Al Abdeen is the first female participant from her country to compete in this sport, whether in the regional or world Games. Since table tennis games were restricted to male athletes in her country, Khadija believes her participation this year to be an unprecedented change in the Mauritanian society towards Special Olympics female athletes.

The Special Olympics Middle East/North Africa Regional Games are set to take place in Abu Dhabi between March 14 and 22. A total of 1,000 athletes from 32 Countries will be competing in 16 different Kind of sports including athletics, swimming, cycling, table tennis and basketball.

Athletes stories shared with Egypt Today by Special Olympics MENA

3/14/2018 8:57:11 PM
<![CDATA[I am a proud feminist: Antonio Guterres]]>
Guterres praised the vital role of the CSW as one of the most dynamic intergovernmental bodies to erase stereotypes and fight discrimination limiting women’s and girls’ opportunities.

The U.N. chief said that changing “the unequal power dynamics” underpinning discrimination and violence against women is “the greatest human rights challenge of our time” and a goal that is “in everyone’s interest.”

“Discrimination against women damages communities, organizations, companies, economies and societies,” he added, explaining that such attacks of fundamental rights of women and girls can fuel radicalization and extremism.

On steps taken by the U.N. to mainstream gender, the U.N. chief said that the international organization already reached gender parity in the senior management group for the first time in the U.N. history. He also said that women now fill one-third of positions as heads and deputy heads of peacekeeping missions, and that the organization will continue to work to meet the targets. Moreover, he highlighted the zero tolerance of sexual harassment that he introduced upon his appointment to improve reporting and accountability.

The CSW session of 2018 focuses on “challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment of rural women and girls.” It aims to change existing social norms and prevent violence against rural women and girls. Guterres said that lifting up marginalized women, especially women in rural communities, refugees and migrants, will ensure that no one is left behind and is essential to fulfilling the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to eradicate poverty and create a safer, more sustainable world on a healthy planet. He added that girls born in poverty are at higher risk of dropping out of school, marrying as children, suffering complications during birth, experiencing violence and also passing the legacy to their children.

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Rural women and girls play a critical role in ensuring both food and social security for their families and communities, and they represent the largest source of untapped potential; however, they also face multiple forms of discrimination and violence. This is particularly the case for agricultural workers, indigenous and tribal women, fisherwomen, and informal workers.

They have limited access to and control of land and productive resources, they do most of the unpaid and unrecognized household care, they lack access to information and communications technologies, suffer from legislation that limits their ability to take loans and achieve economic independence, and they are heavily impacted by poor infrastructure, unregulated migration and climate disasters resulting from climate change. This vulnerability is exacerbated by intersecting inequalities against young women and girls, older women, heads of households, women with disabilities, migrants, refugees and internally displaced women.

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Challenges facing rural women and girls include threats to their sexual and reproductive health and rights as a result of cultural and religious norms, leading to unintended pregnancies and complications in pregnancy and childbirth. Gender-based violence (GBV) and other harmful practices, including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and forced marriages of child girls, threaten their well-being. The changing climate further limits their access to land, water and energy, and it increases the time and effort spent by women to secure water and fuel for their families. This is in addition to already limited access to formal and informal education, which leads girls to miss out on education and income-generating opportunities. ]]>
3/13/2018 10:00:50 PM
<![CDATA[Givenchy; his history and impact on the world]]>
Hubert James Taffin de Givenchy was born on February 21, 1927, in Beauvais, Oise in northern France. At the age of 17, he would then move to Paris to pursue his dream as a fashion designer. He took part in an apprenticeship at a couture house, while studying at the École des Beaux-Arts. He would then become Artistic Director of the Schiaparelli boutique the Place Vendôme and is the one responsible for the 1950s and 1960s classical fashion trends while dressing everyone from princesses and first ladies to actors.

Early on in his career, he would work alongside some of fashion’s greatest icons, like Pierre Balmain and Christian Dior, in order to perfect his craft. He would then go on to open his namesake fashion house in 1952 at the age of 25, when he was named the youngest designer in Paris at the time.

His first collection was named “Separates” as it consisted of pieced together classical blouses, polished skirts and tailored lines. He tended to opt for cheaper fabrics to create his creations at the beginning of his career due to finances, but what he lacked in material he made up for in design. Later his creations would earn him a submission into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1970.

Photos via Givenchy official website

When Hubert met Audrey Hepburn in 1957, both of their careers would be set in motion on the big screen and on the runway. Givenchy was the creator of many of Hepburn’s most iconic looks that include the “little black dress” that was worn in the opening scene of “Breakfast at Tiffany's”. Hepburn was not only his muse but also a close friend who was in attendance at his final show in 1995. "His are the only clothes in which I am myself. He is far more than a couturier; he is a creator of personality," she once said about the late designer. Hepburn was also the face of Givenchy’s first fragrance L’Interdit.

Givenchy L'Interdit via Parfumo

In 1969, he created the “Givenchy Gentleman” his men’s ready-to-wear line, which was known as “a balance between classicism and casualness”. The line came after he created two men fragrances; the “Eau de Vetyver” and “Monsieur de Givenchy” in 1959. “I intend to stay classic. My personal taste leans toward structured clothing: I like that rigor. But [structured] often slips into rigidity; I think it should be tempered by casualness — which can also tip into excess. You have to take the best from each style.” (L’Orient – Le Jour, 1982)

The “Givenchy Gentleman” perfume that was created for the collection in 1975 is still available today.

Fashion industry giants LVMH group bought Givenchy in 1988, and in Hubert de Givenchy retired. His successors were some of the youngest, most talented, creative minds that have worked in the fashion industry with the likes of John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Julien MacDonald, and Riccardo Tisci, and currently Clare Waight Keller.

Known for his exquisite style and chic designs, the fashion icon passed away in his sleep on Saturday. According to a statement from the Givenchy fashion house website, “The House of Givenchy is sad to report the passing of its founder Hubert de Givenchy, a major personality of the world of French Haute Couture and a gentleman who symbolized Parisian chic and elegance for more than half a century. He will be greatly missed.”
3/13/2018 4:00:41 PM
<![CDATA[Hepburn and Givenchy, the friendship that changed fashion]]>
The aristocratic French creator, whose death at 91 was announced Monday, at first refused to dress the young Belgian-born actress when they met in 1953, he told AFP.

Only when she took him to dinner and charmed him, did he relent.

"When Audrey came to me to ask me to make her dresses for the film 'Sabrina', I didn't know who she was and I thought she was Katharine Hepburn," he said.

"Then she arrived, so graceful, young and bubbly and dressed like a young girl would be today," he said of her two years ago as an exhibition about their friendship, "To Audrey with love", opened in the Dutch capital, The Hague.

"She was wearing cotton trousers, ballerinas and a T-shirt revealing her belly button, with a Venetian gondolier hat in her hand," he recalled.

Having only launched his own label the previous year, "I was in no position to take on such a big wardrobe for 'Sabrina' and I told her that I couldn't dress her," saying that he did not have enough "petites mains" seamstresses in his studio.

But Hepburn would not take no for an answer, and invited him to dinner, "which was a really surprising thing for a young well-brought-up woman to do in those days."

- Final gift -

Then over the course of the meal, Givenchy, who was only two years her senior, fell under her charm and he ended up asking her to drop round to his Paris studio the next morning.

"She persuaded me and how wise I was to accept," Givenchy told AFP.

Opposite Humphrey Bogart and William Holden in "Sabrina" Hepburn wore a Givenchy ivory ball gown with black embroidered flowers that has gone down in film history.

From then on she asked the designer to make all the clothes for her films, and in 1954, the year "Sabrina" was released, she wore one of Givenchy's dresses to accept her best actress Oscar for "Roman Holiday".

"Audrey's style came with a really different silhouette, really of the moment," Givenchy said of his muse, who he dressed right up to her death in 1993.

Their friendship was based on much more than clothes, however, and Givenchy said he never tried persuade her to wear anything other than "what she liked and what she could wear."

"His are the only clothes in which I am myself. He is far more than a couturier, he is a creator of personality," Hepburn once said of her friend, who was at her bedside at the end of her life in Switzerland.

In those final days he gave her a navy quilted coat, telling her, "When you are unhappy, wear this and it will give you courage."

3/13/2018 1:22:15 PM
<![CDATA[Convicted 'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz' dies aged 96]]>
Oskar Groening was among the last former Nazis to face trial for their roles in World War II, more than 70 years after the conflict, thanks to a landmark case allowing prosecution for aiding and abetting the German killing machine.

He worked as an accountant at Auschwitz, sorting and counting the money taken from those killed or used as slave labour, and shipping it back to his Nazi superiors in Berlin.

He was also on several occasions assigned to "ramp duty", processing deportees as they arrived by rail in cattle cars at the Nazi German death camp in occupied Poland.

Groening was found guilty in July 2015 of being an accessory to the murders of 300,000 Jews at the camp and sentenced to four years in prison.

Germany's constitutional court ruled in late December that he must serve out his sentence, rejecting defenders' argument that imprisonment at such an advanced age would violate his "right to life".

A court doctor determined that he was able to serve his sentence on condition he was given appropriate nursing and medical care but he was never jailed.

As of the time of his death at a German hospital on Friday, according to the weekly Der Spiegel, there had been no response to a formal "request for mercy" filed in January in a last-ditch bid to avoid jail.

One million European Jews died between 1940 and 1945 at Auschwitz before it was liberated by Soviet forces.

- 'Moral guilt' -

Yet, of the camp's 6,500 SS personnel who survived the war, fewer than 50 were ever convicted.

The legal basis for prosecuting former Nazis changed in 2011 with Germany's landmark conviction of former death camp guard John Demjanjuk.

He was sentenced not for atrocities he was known to have committed, but on the basis that he served at the Sobibor camp in occupied Poland -- for having been a cog in the Nazis' killing machine.

This argument also led to Groening's conviction.

During his trial, Groening acknowledged "moral guilt" but said it was up to the court to rule on his legal culpability.

He said he was "very sorry" for his actions. "No one should have taken part in Auschwitz," he said. "I know that. I sincerely regret not having lived up to this realisation earlier and more consistently."]]>
3/13/2018 4:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Legend Hubert de Givenchy dies aged 91]]>
Known for his exquisite style and chic designs, the fashion icon passed away in his sleep on Saturday. According to the news agency AFP, a statement from the Givenchy fashion house announced, "It is with huge sadness that we inform you that Hubert Taffin de Givenchy has died."

Hubert James Taffin de Givenchy was born on February 21, 1927, in Beauvais, Oise in northern France. At the age of 17, he would move to Paris to pursue his dream as a fashion designer at the École des Beaux-Arts, only to become the one responsible for the 1950s and 1960s classical fashion trends while dressing everyone from princesses and first ladies to actors.

Early on in his career, he would work alongside some of fashion’s greatest icons, like Pierre Balmain and Christian Dior, to perfect his craft. He would then go on to open his own fashion house in 1952 at the age of 25, when he was named the youngest designer in Paris at the time. He tended to opt for cheaper fabrics to create his creation in the beginning of his career due to finances, but what he lacked in material he made up for in design. Later his creations would earn him a submission into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1970.

When Hubert met Audrey Hepburn in 1957, both of their careers would be set in motion on the big screen and on the runway. Givenchy was the creator of many of Hepburn’s most iconic looks that include the “little black dress” that was worn in the opening scene of “Breakfast at Tiffany's”. Hepburn was not only his muse but also a close friend who was in attendance at his final show in 1995. "His are the only clothes in which I am myself. He is far more than a couturier; he is a creator of personality," she once said about the late designer.

Quotes by the late designer:

“The dress must follow the body of a woman, not the body following the shape of the dress.” – Hubert de Givenchy

“All a woman needs to be chic is a raincoat, two suits, a pair of trousers and a cashmere sweater.” – Hubert de Givenchy

“I absolutely believe my talent is God-given. I ask God for a lot, but I also thank Him. I'm a very demanding believer.” – Hubert de Givenchy

3/12/2018 7:09:16 PM
<![CDATA[Women's Day campaigns that inspire ]]>

The region’s fastest growing ride hailing app, that has spread across 100 cities in the region, with more than 500,000 captains is fighting the regional stigma that women cannot be drivers. Careem has proven that Pakistan has the largest number of female captains. In Saudi Arabia, Careem signed up 2,000 female captains and launched a female only training and call center. They have now decided to launch a regional campaign #SheDrivesChange in order to change the public's way of thinking, challenge gender stereotypes and create an equal opportunity for men and women. All this while working to achieve their goal of having 20,000 female captains by 2020.


As for the beauty industry, Avon, the company for women, they released a song created by Swedish electro-pop duo Icona Pop that presents Avon’s #Stand4Her movement, which was created to encourage women and endorse social change. The campaign serves as a platform for voices of empowerment.

Avon Egypt celebrated the release of the song on International Women's Day by hosting some of Egypt’s most inspirational women who have broken boundaries and achieved their dreams in different male driven industries. Among the inspirational guests was Egypt’s first ever female bodyguard Hind Wajih who is the first female to become an officially certified bodyguard, she wishes that one day she’ll be able to protect the president himself. She spoke at the event saying that she always aims to be the first in whatever she puts her mind to.

Jude Benhalim

Jude Benhalim recreated selected pieces from her latest collection the

‘Digital Citizen’

in the color red and showcased it in a photoshoot that represents modern day womanhood. The collection was modeled by mothers, sisters, artists, athletes, and poets showing diversity and presence in a male dominated society. In true giving back fashion, Benhalim collaborated with Banati (Abnaa El Ghad), an Egypt based NGO that supports young girls living on the streets of Cairo; 15 percent of all proceeds go to benefit the cause.


Vodafone launched an adorable campaign featuring children questioning everyday gender stereotypes that women go through every day.

“It takes courage and strength to face the enormous hurdles Egyptian women face every day in making a decent living, caring for their children and their elderly, being the source of comfort and refuge for their families, managing households, all the time while negotiating promotions, fending off discrimination, dealing with harassment, and having to work twice as hard to earn the respect they deserve in the workplace. I am inspired by Egyptian women, and women everywhere around the world, who selflessly stay the course and make it easier for all of us to do the same.” —

Shaden Khallaf

3/10/2018 5:19:20 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt struggles to end female genital mutilation]]>
“The midwife came to the house, my mother took off my underwear and the lady said ‘hang in there’,” said Shamekh who grew up in the village of Awlad Serag.

“I felt the razor-blade, and when I saw the blood on the midwife’s hands I was going to die. I spent around a month unable to go to the bathroom because the wound hurt very much if it came in contact with water.”

Genital cutting of girls was banned in Egypt in 2008 and criminalized in 2016. But the practise often referred to as female genital mutilation (FGM) or circumcision remains a rite of passage and is often viewed as a way to promote chastity.

Villagers say husbands prefer wives to be cut and often ask young brides to undergo the procedure before their wedding.

“Every girl must be circumcised so she can get married,” said Amany’s mother Zeinab, who is 51. “It’s our ... tradition.”

Screen Shot 2018-03-09 at 6.14.48 PM
Esraa Salah, 15, looks on at her home in Alwasata village of Assiut Governorate, south of Cairo, Egypt, February 8, 2018. Picture taken February 8, 2018. REUTERS/Hayam Adel

Esraa Salah, 15, looks on at her home in Alwasata village of Assiut Governorate, south of Cairo, Egypt, February 8, 2018. Picture taken February 8, 2018. REUTERS/Hayam Adel
The procedure is performed on both Muslim and Christian girls in Egypt and Sudan, but is rare elsewhere in the Arab world. It is also common in Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia.

A 2016 survey by the U.N. Children’s Fund showed that 87 percent of women and girls aged 15-49 in Egypt have undergone the procedure.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 200 million girls and women have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

In the neighboring village of El-Wasata, Esraa Salah, 15, said her only memories of the night she was circumcised were the embarrassment at being naked before the doctor, fear when her mother and grandmother held her legs apart and extreme pain.

“A girl’s refusal of circumcision is useless because the decision is made since she is born. All a girl can do is to pray that god eases the pain of the operation,” Nada Salah, Esraa’s 14-year-old sister said.

Their grandmother, Mageda, said the practise cannot be stopped because it protects a girl’s chastity.

One of Mageda’s daughters contracted an infection after she was circumcised and cannot bear children. When asked about why she would allow the same to happen to her granddaughters Mageda said: “My dear, it’s all fate”.

Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Patrick Johnston and Matthew Mpoke Bigg]]>
3/9/2018 6:19:48 PM
<![CDATA[Indian acid attack survivors sparkle at fashion show to spotlight equality]]>
Scarred faces held high, 11 members of a non-profit group showcased colorful Indian and Western garments, spoke about confidence and posed for photographs on Wednesday, a day ahead of International Women’s Day.

Laxmi, attacked in 2005 at the age of 15 by a 32-year-old man whose marriage proposal she rejected, was the showstopper of the event, held near India’s financial capital of Mumbai.

“I swept aside notions about the face, which society spoke of, and moved forward in life,” said Laxmi, whose plea against acid attacks prompted India’s Supreme Court to order regulations on the sale of acid in 2013.

“We don’t want respect, we want equality.”

Acid attack survivors walk on the runway during a fashion show to mark International Women's Day in Thane on the outskirts of Mumbai, India, March 7, 2018. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
More than two-thirds of the 1,500 acid attacks worldwide each year are estimated to take place in India, many by enraged family members or jilted partners.

Few victims report the attacks, for fear of reprisals by abusers, even though the resulting disfigurement often brings isolation and rejection.

“What others think about us does not have relevance, what we think about ourselves is only what matters,” said one participant, Deepmala Tiwary, an attack survivor and member of the nonprofit Acid Survivors and Women Welfare Foundation.]]>
3/9/2018 3:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[Saudi women celebrate Women's Day with a jog in Jeddah]]>
Saudi women have had a momentous year as the young, reform-minded Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman lifted a number of key restrictions on their rights. Women can now attend football matches, partake in sports themselves and by the summer will be allowed to drive cars.

Saudi Arabia is still one of the most restrictive countries for women in the world. The deeply conservative kingdom has no women ministers and retains a guardianship system requiring women to have a male relative’s approval for important decisions.

But with even that being chipped away, it is hard to overstate how much Saudi women’s lives are being transformed.

In Jeddah’s historic district, smiling women wearing traditional full-length robes adapted for sports cheered and one even skipped with joy as they pounded through the sleepy alleys past puzzled shopowners.

The government introduced physical education for girls last year and began licensing women’s sports clubs, but Saudis are still coming around to women running in public.

“This is just the beginning of a revolution for women in Saudi Arabia. In jobs, in our lives, in society, everything is going to change for Saudi women,” said one of the joggers, university student Sama Kinsara.

Kinsara is studying film, a major she will be able to use at home this year as Saudi Arabia lifts a 35-year-old ban on cinemas.

Yasmine Hassan, a member of the Bliss Runners group organizing the event, said it was aimed at empowering women.

“This is a message that we would like to send them and say, ‘Come, you’re not alone, we will do this together and the time is now’”.

“Hopefully by next year there are going to be way more rights given to Saudi women, the ones that we deserve,” she said.]]>
3/9/2018 1:23:33 PM
<![CDATA[Op-ed: In celebration of Egyptian women]]>
This year, however, the one year-old reporter in me has decided to celebrate the greatness of Egyptian women in a different way, by doing my best to bring together an overdose of achievement and power in one article, all inspired by stunning female figures, whom I had the chance to meet, interview and admire in 2017.

In most, if not all, stories I took on this past year, at least one mind-blowing female figure would turn it all upside down, overshadowing all other aspects with her own success story or touching experience.

From inspirational young women who have overcome all barriers - from poverty to illiteracy, disability, social barriers - to accomplished Egyptian leaders in international organizations and governmental positions, amazing ladies who have been contributing to the development of underserved areas for decades, athletes who have come to shine as international women champions, young girls working hard in community service organizations, ladies behind renowned brands, programs and initiatives, inspirational scientists who are destined to change the whole world with their discoveries, Egyptian mothers who would fight the whole globe for the sake of their children; and I cannot leave out the beautiful Syrian ladies who came from their war-torn country to join the open community of amazing Egyptian women, mothers and leaders.

It is almost impossible to convey all of the lessons I learned from these ladies in one article, and not even one book; and I honestly really want you to know them all and meet them all. Therefore, I put together all of the clips, photos and messages I found in my archive in this “moderately” short video; so that you can get to know “very few” of the amazing females I had the chance to interview in 2017.

Each of these amazing ladies has inspired me in more than one way; and some of their quotes have become lessons that I ended up adopting as a mission in my life. But since it is almost impossible to sum-it all up in one article, I will leave you with this quote from UNHCR senior policy advisor for the MENA bureau, Shaden Khallaf, who has put together in one paragraph most of the messages I would like to send to all Egyptian women.

“It takes courage and strength to face the enormous hurdles Egyptian women face every day in making a decent living, caring for their children and their elderly, being the source of comfort and refuge for their families, managing households, all the time while negotiating promotions, fending off discrimination, dealing with harassment, and having to work twice as hard to earn the respect they deserve in the workplace. I am inspired by Egyptian women, and women everywhere around the world, who selflessly stay the course and make it easier for all of us to do the same.” — Shaden Khallaf

Happy International Women’s Day!
3/8/2018 6:08:21 PM
<![CDATA[Learn the facts about rural women and girls]]>
The 2018 theme spots the light on the importance of empowering and voicing the needs of rural women across the globe. It highlights the critical role these women and girls play to ensure both food and social security for their families and communities. It also discusses the multiple forms of discrimination and violence that they face, particularly women farmers and agricultural workers, indigenous women, tribal women, fisherwomen and informal women workers.

Rural women and girls have limited access to and control on land and productive resources, they do most of the unpaid and unrecognized household care, they lack access to information and communication technologies, they suffer from legislations that limit their ability to take loans and achieve economic independence, and they are heavily impacted by poor infrastructure, unregulated migration and climate disasters resulting from climate change. This vulnerability is further exacerbated by intersecting inequalities against young women and girls, older women, heads of households, women with disabilities, migrants, refugees and internally displaced women. The status of rural women and girls becomes more vulnerable in contexts of displacement, armed conflict,
militarization and extremism as they create greater opportunities for kidnappings and sexual exploitation.

The UNWOMEN published the following facts on the status of rural women and the challenges they face in labor market, education and health building on several reports published by U.N. organizations and the U.N. Secretary General’s report: Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls.

The share of women working in agriculture by region

Photo credit - UNWOMEN

According to UNWOMEN, agriculture is the main employment sector for women in developing countries and rural areas. This sector falls within the informal economy leading to little social protection and labor rights. Therefore, these women endure lower life standards, poorer wages and health conditions, limited access to social services, restricted mobility and a lack of voice and agency.

Only 13 percent of agricultural landholders are women

Photo credit - UNWOMEN

This fact leads to less income security, less decision making power in private and public spaces, inability to access credit to start a business or improve agricultural productivity.

A rural woman is 38 percent less likely to give birth with a health care worker than an urban woman in low-income countries

Photo credit - UNWOMEN

This leads to increased chances of life-threatening complications, severe bleeding, infection and maternal mortality.

Rural women and girls are often responsible for fetching water

Photo credit - UNWOMEN

Sixty eight percent of the population in urban areas has access to safe and clean drinking water compared to 20 percent in rural areas. This situation increases the burden on women and girls to fetch clean water for the family, leading to barriers to education and employment, more unpaid domestic work, higher risk of maternal mortality and violence as well as psychosocial stress.

A rural girl is two times more likely to get married as a child compared to urban girls

Photo credit - UNWOMEN

Child brides face barriers to education and employment, greater risk for intimate partner violence and domestic violence, early pregnancy that can lead to maternal complications and vulnerability to STDs including HIV.

More than half of all poor rural women lack basic literacy skills

Photo credit - UNWOMEN

This leads to lower-quality jobs and decreased personal well-being.

The majority of rural women and girls are not connected to the internet

Photo credit - UNWOMEN

This leads to limited opportunities to learn new skills and obtain information and knowledge as well as limited economic opportunities.

The UNWOMEN also suggests a group of recommendations to empower rural women and girls including creating decent work opportunities, establishing social protection mechanisms, providing clean waterand sanitation, combating harmful practices and increasing women’s resilience to climate change.

3/8/2018 3:29:06 PM
<![CDATA[Happy International Women’s Day: Lets all press for progress]]>
"Achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls is the unfinished business of our time, and the greatest human rights challenge in our world.” – United Nations (U.N.) Secretary General António Guterres

Despite notable progress since 1909, the year of the first IWD, celebrating this day remains necessary and relevant, as many challenges and struggles still stand in the way of full gender parity, especially since the original aim of the day has not been realized. The World Economic Forum reported in its Global Gender Gap report that gender parity is some 200 years away and the gender gap will not close until 2086.

Inspired by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, the feminist agenda has gone further and is no longer affiliated with any one group, ethnicity, color, background or gender. Women from all over the world are voicing to the world that everyone should act upon issues that continue to stand in the way of gender equality, and that equality benefits everyone in society. The theme for IWD 2018 is “Women Too: Press on to Progress as Game Changers”, aiming to encourage people to take strong action and be vocal to press forward and progress gender parity.

This theme is supported by corporate and non-governmental organizations, while the U.N. supports the theme “Time is Now: Rural and Women’s Activists Transforming Women’s Lives”, connecting women’s struggle to the Sustainable Development Goals (


) and specifically


on Gender Equality.

Global figures on women’s education and health are still worse than that for men

Each year, gender equality advocates and activists come together to coordinate an array of activities that include arts, discussions, rallies, protests and marches to celebrate the achievements of amazing women around the world who inspired generations to overcome gender barriers and say no to deeply rooted inequalities that hold women back, including the gender glass ceiling, gender pay gap, sexual harassment, violence and abuse of power. They also come together to say yes for gender parity and full representation of women in all aspects of life; they say yes for women’s full control over their bodies, minds, choices and future.

How did IWD start?

The roots of IWD can be traced to 1908 when more than 15,000 women marched in

New York City

and struggled for women’s suffrage and economic rights. Later in 1909, the first National Women’s Day was celebrated in the U.S. on February 28. One year later, a woman from Germany named Clara Zetkin proposed the idea of an international Women’s Day and suggested that each country should celebrate women on one day every year to push for their demands.

In 1911, more than 100 women from 17 countries gathered in a conference and agreed on Zetkin’s idea. The day was celebrated for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 19, 1911. In 1913, the day was transferred to March 8 and has been celebrated on that day ever since. It was not until 1975 when the U.N. recognized the day and created an annual theme for the celebration. Ever since, IWD has grown and been celebrated in over 100 countries, having been declared an official holiday in more than 25 countries by 2014.

The annual IWD is just the start of a year-round campaign adopting the annual theme as a direction to guide all groups’ and countries’ collective actions and gender-focused initiatives. There are many ways to celebrate the day and show your support for women’s rights and gender equality. Consider these inspiring examples of positive behaviors proposed by the International Women’s Day website:

• Maintain a gender parity mindset: Question any lack of women’s participation, identify alternatives that are more inclusive, nominate women for opportunities, always include and support women, and think 50/50 as the goal.

• Challenge stereotypes and bias: Question assumptions about women, challenge statements that limit women, always use inclusive language, work to remove barriers to women's progress and buy from retailers who position women in positive ways.

• Forge positive visibility of women: Identify ways to make women more visible, extend opportunities to women first, assume women want opportunities until declined, select women as spokespeople and leaders, and support visible women.

• Influence others’ beliefs/actions: Sportively call-out inappropriate behavior, campaign for equality in meaningful ways, lead by example via inclusive actions, be a role model for equality and actively contribute to changing the status quo.

• Celebrate women’s achievements: Believe achievement comes in many forms, value women's individual and collective success, ensure credit is given for women's contributions, celebrate women role models and their journeys, and support awards showcasing women's success.
3/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[King Farouk’s timepiece up for auction in Dubai ]]>
The historic timepiece has a pre-sale estimate of $400,000 - 800,000; it includes a personalized engraving on the back of the case of the Royal Crown of Egypt, with its three stars and half-moon (also found on the Egyptian flag), and the letter "F" which King Farouk's father considered his lucky letter that he chose names starting with the letter "F" for all of his six children.

“King Farouk’s Patek Phillipe, Reference 1518, is a crowning element of Christie’s Dubai watch sale next month – it is a storied piece with provenance from the Middle Eastern region and is already attracting tremendous interest from the region and beyond,” said Remy Julia, head of watches for Christie’s Middle East, India, and Africa said in a press release.

King Farouk of Egypt’s personalized Patek Philippe - Photo courtesy of Christie’s

King Farouk was the tenth ruler from the Muhammad Ali Dynasty; he held his status for 16 years. King Farouk was the penultimate King of Egypt and Sudan and a renowned collector of fine watches, a passion that was passed down to him from his father.

He had commissioned many of the greatest watchmakers at the time to create for him a one of a kind timepiece such as the Patek Philippe, reference 1518, which was launched in 1941. The Patek Philippe, reference 1518, is a timepiece that is celebrated as the first perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch to be produced in a series by any watch company. It is said that only 281 pieces were created.

“Having previously found a home for this watch at auction several years ago, Christie’s is delighted to be trusted again to offer King Farouk’s timepiece to a new generation of collectors,” Julia added.

King Farouk of Egypt’s personalized Patek Philippe - Photo courtesy of Christie’s

3/8/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Models take a walk through wintry woods for Chanel]]>
On the final day of Paris Fashion Week, the Chanel show featured some impractical attire for a winter’s hike, from golden over-the-knee boots to a little black slip dress worn by 16-year-old model-of-the-moment Kaia Gerber.

But the storied French brand’s latest autumn/winter collection also included more cozy looks, from quilted trousers and fur ponchos to coats with feathered cuffs, and even a chic balaclava - a recurring item on catwalks from Milan to New York in recent weeks.

Chanel’s famed tweed suits made an appearance, some with longer, narrow skirts for the winter months. And long coats with leafy patterns in combinations of blues and pinks, and others in green with hints of orange, were among the show stealers.

Guests including actress Keira Knightley and singer Lilly Allen crouched on benches cut from logs in the glass-domed Grand Palais exhibition hall, which was made to resemble a forest complete with musty smelling leaves and moss on the runway.

The privately owned label is known for its over-the-top displays, which have included a mini-Eiffel tower, a set featuring cliffs and a waterfall, and a Chanel-branded rocket which lifted off from the catwalk.

Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld, sporting a full white beard along with his trademark ponytail and sunglasses, made a brief appearance to wave to the crowd on Tuesday.

The prolific 84-year-old also collaborates with Italian label Fendi, part of the LVMH stable of brands, which presented its show in February.

Paris Fashion Week closes the season of style presentations that have whipped through New York, London and Milan.

February shows are predominantly focused on womenswear for the coming autumn to winter season, though some brands are experimenting by showing menswear at the same time, or offering spring clothes for immediate sale as they try to chase younger customers used to shopping online.

Long the capital of the fashion world, Paris also got a fresh fashion boost on Monday from French President Emmanuel Macron, who invited established designers and up and coming figures to a gala and appealed to more foreign brands to move to France.
3/7/2018 12:41:53 PM
<![CDATA[National anti-HCV campaign resumes, reaps fruit]]>
By the year of 2022, Egypt will be HCV-free, announced Yehiya el-Shazly, president of the National Committee for Fighting Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infections, about a year ago.

The epidemic prevalence of HIV boils down to the use of improperly discharged syringe needles during state-led campaigns launched in the 1960s and 1970s against bilharzia.

Under the directives of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, the Health Ministry announced a comprehensive strategy to eliminate HCV after infection rates were at their highest in Egypt by 2014, according to the World Health Organization, which cited that HCV kills 400,000 Egyptians a year.

Challenges remain:

Infection rates increase by around 150,000 every year, says Gamal Esmat, a professor of hepatology and endemic medicine and member of the National Committee for Liver Disease Control. He attributed such increase to the lack of awareness among Egypt’s population, as most patients are usually unaware that they carry the virus, outward symptoms of which can materialize long after infection occurs.

“We are working on three aspects. First is about offering intensive walk-in campaigns in all governorates. Secondly, there are nation-wide medical centers, labs and NGOs helping citizens figure out whether or not they carry the hepatitis C virus. The third aspect is prompting workers and staff at every workplace across Egypt to get the test,” Esmat stated.

He further illustrated that HCV tends to spread by blood-to-blood contact through shared toothbrushes or equipment used in hair salons and barber shops, like razors, confirming that HCV can rarely be transmitted through direct sexual activities and that infections caused by that reason account for only two percent.

The campaign’s 1st and 2nd phases:

In late February, the Ministry of Health announced the launch of hepatitis C field inspections in the remaining 10 governorates under the ministry’s nation-wide initiative to eliminate the spread of HCV by 2020.

Last week, the ministry announced that 17 governorates have been targeted by the ministry’s walk-in HCV testing.

During a meeting on Thursday, Minister of Health Ahmed Emad el-Din discussed with the ministry’s leaders the progress made thus far in the campaign and the cluster of medical conveys in the new target governorates.

The minister also announced that 79,400 citizens have already been tested by 56 medical convoys during the first phase in 17 governorates.

He also confirmed that remaining governorates include Qalyubia, Kafr el-Sheikh, Alexandria, Matrouh, Ismailia, Suez, South and North Sinai, and New Valley, explaining that there will be 31 walk-in points established and distributed to thoroughly cover the said governorates, along with a total 124 mobile medical vehicles for testing opportunities.

The medical examinations are conducted through the analysis of ELISA screening for hepatitis C using dried blood samples; those found to be HCV-positive are immediately directed to undergo the medical treatment program offered by the ministry that only costs LE 1,500 ($85).

Shazly announced in February 2017 that the ministry was providing alterative treatment courses for 45,000 patients reinfected with the virus.

As for medications, Egyptian pharmaceutical company Pharco managed to develop a new sofosbuvir-based treatment to flush out HCV, which was tested and found to be safe and successful.

International momentum gained:

Argentinean footballer Lionel Messi, during his tour to Egypt last February, prompted the state’s nation-wide campaign against HCV as under the health tourism campaign launched by the Egyptian government called “Tour n' Cure.”

Messi praised Egypt as “the leading example in fighting HCV.”

“Medication against hepatitis C saves lives; let's put an end to the waiting lists,” read a caption of an Instagram picture of Messi at the Pyramids.

“It’s such a success story. The whole thing is something the Egyptians can be really proud of,” said Tim Coleman, an English documentary filmmaker who was fully cured from HCV after taking part in the government’s “Tour and Cure” program.

Director General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom on Tuesday, February 27 hailed the major efforts and achievements realized by Egypt in its wide-scale campaign to fight hepatitis C.

Brazilian footballer Roberto Carlos accompanied the medical convoy sent out to Cairo’s largest slum, Ezbet el-Hagana, to spread awareness about hepatitis C and conduct inspections.

In press remarks, Carlos said that he loves being in Egypt and that his current visit will not be the last, extending his thanks to the Egyptian leadership for its efforts to end the spread of hepatitis C.
3/7/2018 10:46:28 AM
<![CDATA[Mulling buyback, Stella McCartney unveils deconstructed suits]]>
McCartney, known for her understated designs and commitment not to use fur or leather, has an option until March 31 to buy back the 50 percent of her label owned by Kering, according to the terms of their joint venture.

McCartney said she was examining a possible purchase but that nothing was set.

“I have an opportunity to buy 50 percent that Kering have of the Stella McCartney house, it’s an option that I have that I’m looking at, but it’s not defined and it’s not something I can talk about right now,” McCartney said after the show at Paris’ sumptious Opera Garnier.

Kering has confirmed holding talks about its Stella McCartney stake but dismissed reports of a split in the works as speculative, saying the two regularly discussed their partnership.

The conglomerate, controlled by its founding Pinault family and run by scion Francois-Henri Pinault, has had a 50/50 joint venture with the British label since 2001.

After March 31, McCartney has the right to sell her stake, according to company filings.

The label’s latest runway show - the first to mix men and women’s clothing - featured an edgy take on suits, with waistcoasts revealing a bare back, layered shorts over trousers cut from the same cloth, and linings worn as sleeves.

“The inside of things sometimes has a more sensual relationship with the wearer,” McCartney said of the looks, adding she had mixed pieces from men and women’s wardrobes.

“The linings have so much character to them, you never seen them and they’re always so incredible,” the designer, who partly trained with a Savile Row tailor, added.

Looks for next winter included knitwear, such as a chunky striped poncho with layers of different yarns, and dresses in stretchy velour etched with prints from 20th century British artist J.H. Lynch, known for his paintings of sultry women.

The brand does not publish earnings. Kering’s latest financial report said revenue growth at Stella McCartney - a much smaller contributor to its sales than Italy’s Gucci and French label Saint Laurent - was buoyant but had slowed in 2017 compared to previous years.
3/6/2018 12:33:11 PM
<![CDATA[Oscars red carpet glitters in anything-goes fashion attitude]]>
Instead, the film world’s glitterati chose what made them feel best in a celebration of fashion diversity, whether classic shapes or edgier, flesh-baring looks.

From the Louis Vuitton black trousers worn by Emma Stone to the electric pink Michael Kors gown wrapped around Viola Davis, this year’s Oscar runway was a study in contrasts that celebrated individual flair.

The #Metoo movement against sexual harassment did not appear to be taking away from “having fun with fashion,” said Leslie Price, digital director for Instyle, noting: “The two aren’t mutually exclusive.”

Many of the stars wore “Time’s Up” buttons, in solidarity with victims of the sexual abuse that has roiled the entertainment industry.

“There is diversity everywhere - there is no formula anymore,” said Rickie De Sole, W magazine’s fashion director. “It looks like people are embracing personal style more than just wearing a typical dress. It’s kind of whatever goes.”

Presenter Salma Hayek, wearing a lilac Gucci dress with tiers of sequins and rhinestones worthy of “One Thousand and One Arabian Nights,” cited the female solidarity that was changing how Hollywood was run.

“Here we are to celebrate the fact that women will not have to struggle as hard together,” said Hayek. “I know that future generations will have it easier.”

Celebrating her first Oscar nod for her performance in “I, Tonya,” Allison Janney, who went on to win the award for best supporting actress, made a statement in a scarlet red gown from Reem Acra with a deep V neckline and dramatic flared sleeves.

“Get Out” star Allison Williams chose dusty pink with sparkles, a decidedly demure princessy look amid the sea of low-cut gowns. Her co-star Betty Gabriel’s teal Tony Ward bodice left little to the imagination.

Threatened by possible showers, the red carpet instead proceeded under sunny skies, where a host of bold colors in emerald, purple and shocking pink appeared to glow.

Jennifer Garner and Nicole Kidman opted for royal blue, and Ashley Judd wore a strapless amethyst dress. Best-director nominee Greta Gerwig chose orangey-mustard, while Meryl Streep wore classic vermillion.

“I’m humbled by the whole thing,” said Mary J. Blige, nominated for two Oscars for “Mudbound,” wearing a form-fitting white gown with cap sleeves and sequins.

The first Hispanic actress to garner an Academy Award, 86-year-old Rita Moreno returned to the red carpet on Sunday, wearing the same strapless black gown with a ballooning skirt that she wore in 1962 when she won for “West Side Story.”

Celebrating her African heritage was actress Tiffany Haddish, who appeared on the red carpet in an ivory dress embroidered with a geometric pattern and black jacket she described as an “Eritrean authentic princess dress.”

“My father is from Eritrea. He passed away last year and he said one day I would end up here, and if I ever end up at the Oscars, to honor my people, so I’m honoring my fellow Eritreans,” Haddish told ABC, before beginning to ululate.

U.S. skaters Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu brought Olympic flair to the runway, with Rippon giving a nod to bondage with his Moschino tuxedo with leather straps. Neutralizing his edgy look was Nagasu on his arm in a light blue romantic lace look.
3/6/2018 12:26:08 PM
<![CDATA[et Best Dressed: 90th Academy Awards]]>
Abbie Cornish wears an Elie Saab dress, Bulgari jewelry and carries a Roger Vivier clutch. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Abbie Cornish wears an Elie Saab dress, Bulgari jewelry and carries a Roger Vivier clutch - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Alexandra Borbely. REUTERSCarlo Allegri
Alexandra Borbely - Photo Via REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Allison Janney wears Reem Acra with a Roger Vivier bag. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Allison Janney wears Reem Acra with a Roger Vivier bag. -
Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Allison Williams wears Armani Prive and Brian Atwood shoes. REUTERSCarlo Allegri
Allison Williams wears Armani Prive and Brian Atwood shoes - Photo Via REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Andra Day wears Zac Posen. REUTERSCarlo Allegri
Andra Day wears Zac Posen - Photo Via REUTERS/Carlo Allegri.

Ashley Judd in custom Badgley Mischka and Bulgari jewelry with Mira Sorvino in Romona Keveža. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Ashley Judd in custom Badgley Mischka and Bulgari jewelry with Mira Sorvino in Romona Keveža - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Betty Gabriel wears Tony Ward Couture. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Betty Gabriel wears Tony Ward Couture - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Elisabeth Moss wears  Christian Dior, Roger Vivier bag and Brian Atwood shoes. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Elisabeth Moss wears Christian Dior, Roger Vivier bag and Brian Atwood shoes - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Emily Blunt wears Schiaparelli Haute Couture with Chopard jewelry. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Emily Blunt wears Schiaparelli Haute Couture with Chopard jewelry - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Emma Stone wears Louis Vuitton. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Emma Stone wears Louis Vuitton - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Gina Rodriguez Zuhair Murad Couture. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Gina Rodriguez Zuhair Murad Couture - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Haley Bennett wears Christian Dior. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Haley Bennett wears Christian Dior - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Helen Mirren wears Reem Acra. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Helen Mirren wears Reem Acra - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Jane Fonda wears custom Balmain, Chopard jewelry, Perrin bag and Salvatore Ferragamo shoes. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Jane Fonda wears custom Balmain, Chopard jewelry, Perrin bag and Salvatore Ferragamo shoes - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Janet Mock wears Christian Siriano. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Janet Mock wears Christian Siriano - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Jennifer Garner wears Versace and Piaget jewelry. REUTERSCarlo Allegri
Jennifer Garner wears Versace and Piaget jewelry - Photo Via REUTERS/Carlo Allegri.

Jennifer Lawrence wears Christian Dior. REUTERSCarlo Allegri
Jennifer Lawrence wears Christian Dior - Photo Via REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Jordan Peele in Calvin Klein and Jimmy Choo shoes with his wife Chelsea Peretti. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Jordan Peele in Calvin Klein and Jimmy Choo shoes with his wife Chelsea Peretti - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.j

Kelly Marie Tran  in Jenny Packham, Chopard jewelry and Brian Atwood shoes. REUTERSCarlo Allegri
Kelly Marie Tran in Jenny Packham, Chopard jewelry and Brian Atwood shoes - Photo Via REUTERS/Carlo Allegri.

Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Laine Bryant. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Laine Bryant - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Kumail Nanjiani in Ermenegildo Zegna Couture with Emily V. Gordon. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Kumail Nanjiani in Ermenegildo Zegna Couture with Emily V. Gordon - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Laura Dern  in Calvin Klein by Appointment. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Laura Dern in Calvin Klein by Appointment - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Lesley Manville. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Lesley Manville - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Lupita Nyong'o in custom Atelier Versace, Versace bag, Niwaka jewelry and Alexandre Birman shoes, with Winston Duke and Danai Gurira (L to R). REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Lupita Nyong'o in custom Atelier Versace, Versace bag, Niwaka jewelry and Alexandre Birman shoes, with Winston Duke and Danai Gurira (L to R) - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Margot Robbie wears Chanel Haute Couture and Roger Vivier shoes. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Margot Robbie wears Chanel Haute Couture and Roger Vivier shoes - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Mary J. Blige wears Atelier Versace and with a Roger Vivier bag. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Mary J. Blige wears Atelier Versace and with a Roger Vivier bag - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.jpg

Meryl Streep wears Christian Dior Haute Couture, Christian Louboutin bag, Fred Leighton jewelry, and Stuart Weitzman shoes. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Meryl Streep wears Christian Dior Haute Couture, Christian Louboutin bag, Fred Leighton jewelry, and Stuart Weitzman shoes - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Nazanin Mandi and Miguel. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Nazanin Mandi and Miguel - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Nicole Kidman wears Armani Armani Privé, Harry Winston jewelry and Christian Louboutin shoes. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Nicole Kidman wears Armani Armani Privé, Harry Winston jewelry and Christian Louboutin shoes - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Paz Vega wears Christopher Bu and Chopard jewelry. REUTERSCarlo Allegri
Paz Vega wears Christopher Bu and Chopard jewelry - Photo Via REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Phoebe Waller-Bridge wears Vionnet. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Phoebe Waller-Bridge wears Vionnet - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Producer James Ivory. REUTERSCarlo Allegri
Producer James Ivory - Photo Via REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Rita Moreno wears the same dress she wore at the Oscars in 1962 REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Rita Moreno wears the same dress she wore at the Oscars in 1962 - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Salma Hayek in custom Gucci. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Salma Hayek in custom Gucci - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Samara Weaving wears Schiaparelli Couture. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Samara Weaving wears Schiaparelli Couture - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Saoirse Ronan wearsCalvin Klein by Appointment, Cartier jewelry and Christian Louboutin shoes. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Saoirse Ronan wearsCalvin Klein by Appointment, Cartier jewelry and Christian Louboutin shoes - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Skier Lindsey Vonn wears a Christian Siriano dress and Bulgari jewelry. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Skier Lindsey Vonn wears a Christian Siriano dress and Bulgari jewelry - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Sofia Carson wears Giambattista Valli Resort, Chopard jewelry and Jimmy Choo shoes. REUTERSCarlo Allegri
Sofia Carson wears Giambattista Valli Resort, Chopard jewelry and Jimmy Choo shoes - Photo Via REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

St. Vincent wears Saint Laurent. REUTERSCarlo Allegri
St. Vincent wears Saint Laurent - Photo Via REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Taraji P. Henson wears custom Vera Wang. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Taraji P. Henson wears custom Vera Wang - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Timothee Chalamet in Berluti. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Timothee Chalamet in Berluti - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Viola Davis wears Michael Kors Collection and with a Roger Vivier bag. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Viola Davis wears Michael Kors Collection and with a Roger Vivier bag - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Wendi McLendon-Covey. REUTERSCarlo Allegri
Wendi McLendon-Covey - Photo Via REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Whoopi Goldberg wears Christian Siriano. REUTERSCarlo Allegri
Whoopi Goldberg wears Christian Siriano - Photo Via REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Zendaya wears a Giambattista Valli Haute Couture, BVLGARI jewelry and Brian Atwood shoes. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Zendaya wears a Giambattista Valli Haute Couture, BVLGARI jewelry and Brian Atwood shoes - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
3/5/2018 6:38:08 PM
<![CDATA[The Arab designers to watch at the 90th Academy Awards tonight]]>
Tonight the fashion and Arab world’s will be watching the 90th Academy Awards red carpet closely in anticipation of having their favorite Arab designers worn by Hollywood royalty. We have gathered the ultimate guide of Arabs that have been ruling the red carpet this past year and awards season.

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3/4/2018 9:00:20 PM
<![CDATA[Why has the global fashion scene not yet recognized Egypt?]]>
As for here in Egypt, we have an ever growing fashion and design scene where on a daily basis we see an emerging designer or brand announcing their launch. As for Egypt’s representation in the regional or global fashion scene we saw Kojak take his bold taste to the runway at season 10 of Fashion Forward Dubai. As for the accessories, there isn’t one person left that hasn’t heard about Okhetin. They have managed to accessorize Queen B herself (Beyoncé) and Egypt’s first lady.

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Their achievements and industry recognition is simply owed to their social media strategies, networking and collaborations with some of the best and well-connected stylists there are, all the while without any consulting from official organizations. Yet, not many have knowledge of a select group of five people who have formed our very own homegrown EFDC.

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The council members are Fatma Ghali, daughter of Azza Fahmy and the Managing Director of Azza Fahmy Jewellery, Susan Sabet the editor-in-chief of Pashion Magazine a quarterly luxury bilingual fashion magazine, Paul Antaki the man that brought Converse and Daniel Hatcher to Egypt, fashion designer Marie Louis and Abdelmalek Shamsi.

With the background of Saudi getting the opportunity to host Arab Fashion Week, we reached out to the EFDC and asked them why Egypt has never had the opportunity to host an official calendar fashion week despite them following the fashion calendar regionally and globally just as the other fashion councils and organizations have.

As for their goals and objectives, the Council commented saying, “Our goal, as the Egyptian Fashion and Design Council, is to develop and grow our designers to eventually establish the Cairo Fashion Week that will showcase a sufficient number of Egyptian designers to a local and international audience of buyers and press.” They continue to explain, “Those designers will not only be competitive on an international level of quality and creativity but will also be capable of having their collections ready a season ahead and fulfill orders on time.”

In response to why we don’t have any official fashion calendar shows or showcases, they explained that “in order to attract, satisfy and guarantee the return of top international buyers and press requires a lot of funding. To guarantee such funding we have to be able to show our sponsors and a selection of professional Egyptian designers that will represent our industry with international standards.”

The Council had their first meeting around three years ago; it was initially formed by Ghali and Sabet who then gathered the rest of the members. However, three years is a long time for the council to still be in the phase of seeking finances.

There have been many homegrown fashion events held in Cairo over the past couple of years and according to their backdrops, they have no shortage of financing or sponsors.

“There are a lot of other steps that need to be taken to truly support the [Egyptian fashion] industry. Education, mentoring and creating strong networks are the necessary steps to establish a whole ecosystem that truly supports the whole industry. So it’s an important step with hopefully many to follow…The EFDC is creating a healthy ecosystem for the design and fashion industry in Egypt."

We only hope to see the Egyptian fashion industry take a step forward with it's everyday increase in talent and the ever growing need for luxury.
3/4/2018 3:01:23 PM
<![CDATA[Husband's Paris catwalk love letter to 'Queen of Punk' Westwood]]>
The flamboyant Austrian creator -- who many including himself believe is the basis for comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's 2009 fashion satire "Bruno" -- pulled out all the stops in a joyous romp of a collection that put his spin on the Queen of Punk's iconoclastic career.

"I don't like looking back, it's not my way," Kronthaler, who took the reins of the brand two years ago, told AFP.

"But looking at our time together and how many things she has inspired in me and taught me... I just thought, how wonderful."

His notes for the show was a love letter to his wife, citing her golden rule, "When in doubt, dress up!"

"One should never see the brain working in what you wear, and one dresses to be eventually naked... These mantras of yours and so much more became part of my life and work," he wrote.

"I still think to this day you are the best dressed woman in any room. Love you forever," said the designer who met Westwood as a student when he was 25 and she 50.

Westwood, now 76, cheered her husband -- who she has called "the world's greatest designer" -- after the show along with American actress Rose McGowan, who helped launch the #MeToo movement accusing the disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein of rape.

- Impossibly high platform boots -

"That is what (fashion) should be. It was great," she told AFP.

The collection ranged over Westwood's career from the 1970s with lots of feathers and frills to counter its gender fluid side, with three male go-go dancers in impossibly high platform boots and eight male models walking the catwalk along with 20 women.

Kronthaler said he copied two pieces in the collection, a mohair punk sweater that Westwood knitted for herself -- "which says so much about you, and the other is the catsuit which you used to wear when I first met you."

Meanwhile, French designer Veronique Leroy had earlier shown her collection on the screen of a Champs Elysees cinema.

She told AFP her wool-rich autumn-winter range that featured Harris tweed coats and jackets was inspired by country weekends and that she shot the film in rural Burgundy.

"I have been thinking of showing my work for ages in another way other than on the catwalk," she said.

"I said to myself I just can't go on doing the same repetition thing... and in the end I think we showed the clothes and how I came with them better than we could have in a show."

3/4/2018 12:40:02 PM
<![CDATA[Pet cloning is not just for celebrities anymore]]>
Last year, as the 10th anniversary of her daughter's death approached, the dog was nearing 13 and becoming increasingly frail.

"I knew that I was falling apart," said Must.

"The thought of Billy dying was just more than I could handle."

So she decided to clone her.

She paid more than $50,000 for what is essentially an identical twin of Billy, born at a later date.

"I have three other daughters and they thought I had completely lost my mind," Must said.

Cloning animals is hardly new. The first major success was Dolly the sheep, born in 1996 as the first mammal cloned from an adult cell. In 2005, researchers in South Korea cloned the first dog.

But the news this week that singer Barbra Streisand had cloned her dog grabbed international headlines, and sparked fresh outrage from animal rights groups.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) president Ingrid Newkirk issued a statement saying she would "love to have talked her out of cloning," noting that "millions of wonderful adoptable dogs are languishing in animal shelters every year or dying in terrifying ways when abandoned."

Vicki Katrinak, program manager for animal research issues at the Humane Society of the United States, agreed.

Companies that clone animals are "preying on grieving pet owners, giving them a false promise that they are going to replicate their beloved pet," she told AFP.

"Pet cloning doesn't replicate a pet's personality," she said, adding there is "no justification" for the practice.

- Clients rich and poor -

Just how many pets are cloned each year is unclear. The main US company engaged in the practice, ViaGen Pets, declined AFP's requests for comment.

"We have produced thousands of happy, healthy cloned cows and hundreds of cloned horses," says its website, adding that company scientists "have been developing successful animal cloning and reproductive technology for over 15 years."

A former employee of ViaGen, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity, estimated that the Texas-based company has cloned around 100 cats and dogs.

The other main source for cloned pets is the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in Seoul, South Korea, which says it has cloned some 800 pets and charges $100,000 each.

Many companies have tried and failed to make the pet cloning business work.

Ron Gillespie, a former cattle semen salesman, owns a company called PerPETuate, which collects pet DNA for $1,300 plus a storage fee.

They used to do pet cloning, but now farm it out to other companies like ViaGen Pets, he said.

His client list runs the gamut from rich to poor, he said.

"I have a homeless man and I have a celebrity," said Gillespie, adding that the homeless man was not out on the street when he paid for to have his dog's DNA frozen, but fell into dire financial straits afterward.

Now, he desperately wants "to get his dog back," but is unsure if he will ever be able to pay for a clone, Gillespie said.

- How it works -

Dogs can be cloned up to five days after they die and cats up to three, as long as the corpses are kept cool, Gillespie said.

Ideally, though, the pet should be alive when the veterinarian takes a tissue biopsy, a chunk of skin and muscle about the size of a pencil eraser.

The next step is to take an egg cell from a donor dog, remove the egg's nucleus, and insert DNA from the pet to be cloned.

When an embryo develops, it is transplanted in the womb of a surrogate dog.

Animal rights groups say the process causes undue suffering to the dogs that provide the egg cells and carry the embryos.

"Because cloning has a high failure rate, many dogs are caged and tormented for every birth that actually occurs," said Newkirk.

Traits that will carry over can include temperament, physical characteristics and genetic flaws. Coat patterns may differ, and the cloned animal will have no awareness of the life its predecessor lived.

According to Must, the puppy that was cloned from Billy is playful and fearless, like her. They also share the same petite frame, shiny coat and big paws.

"They look exactly alike for sure. She will do things like Billy does, like putting her head down and rolling into your lap," said Must.

She named the puppy Gunni, after the town in Colorado, Gunnison, where her daughter lived, and is grateful for the respite from grief the canine has provided.

She was born the same week as the anniversary of her daughter's passing. The puppy's first ultrasound took place -- coincidentally -- on Miya's birthday.

"It was singularly one of the best decisions that I have made," Must said.

"It has given me a new lease on life."

3/3/2018 12:57:00 PM
<![CDATA[Sweet-toothed fashionistas delight in chocolate clothes]]>
choco 3
A model dressed in an outfit made with chocolate presents a creation at the Brussels chocolate fair, Belgium, March 1, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

The fashion show, which teams designers with chocolatiers and pastry chefs from more than 15 countries, kicked off the annual three-day“Salon du Chocolat” chocolate fair in Belgium’s capital on Thursday evening.

A model dressed in an outfit made with chocolate presents a creation at the Brussels chocolate fair, Belgium, March 1, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Chocolate was molded into whimsical designs from evening gowns to cocktail dresses to hats.

A model dressed in an outfit made with chocolate presents a creation at the Brussels chocolate fair, Belgium, March 1, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

The international fair, where visitors can sample sweets from more than 130 participants, plays to Belgium’s reputation as a leading chocolate maker.

A model dressed in an outfit made with chocolate presents a creation at the Brussels chocolate fair, Belgium, March 1, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

“Once again, it’s a dream that becomes reality and we are salivating already,” Brussels city mayor Philippe Close said in a statement.

A model dressed in an outfit made with chocolate presents a creation at the Brussels chocolate fair, Belgium, March 1, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Reporting by Francois Lenoir; Writing by Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Peter Graff

3/2/2018 8:37:25 PM
<![CDATA[Facebook ends six-country test that split News Feed in two]]>
The test created two streaming series of posts. One was focused on photos and other updates from friends and family, and a second was called an "explore feed." It was dedicated to material from Facebook pages that the user had liked, such as media outlets or sports teams.

The social media network decided to end the test and maintain one feed because people told the company in surveys they did not like the change, Adam Mosseri, head of the News Feed at Facebook, said in a statement.

"People told us they were less satisfied with the posts they were seeing, and having two separate feeds didn't actually help them connect more with friends and family," Mosseri said.

The test began in October and took place in Bolivia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Serbia, Slovakia and Sri Lanka. It quickly affected website traffic for smaller media outlets.

Mosseri said the company had also "received feedback that we made it harder for people in the test countries to access important information, and that we didn't communicate the test clearly."

He said Facebook would, in response, revise how it tests product changes although he did not say how. A Facebook representative did not immediately respond to a request for additional information.

"I hope Facebook will have more interest in what is happening inside its test countries," Slovakian journalist Filip Struhárik, who had earlier criticized the test, said on Twitter on Thursday.

Struhárik said news media websites are stronger now by not relying on Facebook for traffic, and he expects traffic from Facebook to fall further in the long term because of other changes to the News Feed that deemphasize media overall.

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has unveiled other changes to the Facebook News Feed in the past two months to fight sensationalism and prioritize posts from friends and family.

The world's largest social network and its competitors are under pressure from users and government authorities to make their services less addictive and to stem the spread of false news stories and hoaxes. ]]>
3/2/2018 5:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[Burberry picks Riccardo Tisci as new creative officer]]>
The 43-year-old Italian, who was creative director at the famed French fashion house from 2005 to 2017, will take over the reins at Burberry on March 12.

He is credited with reviving Givenchy by cultivating links with celebrities, including by designing stage outfits for the tours of Madonna, Beyonce and Rihanna, and directing the artwork for an album by Jay Z and Kanye West.

Tisci will be based in London and direct all Burberry's collections, presenting his first in September, the company said.

Chief executive Marco Gobbetti said he was "delighted" at the appointment, adding: "Riccardo is one of the most talented designers of our time.

"His designs have an elegance that is contemporary and his skill in blending streetwear with high fashion is highly relevant to today's luxury consumer.

"Riccardo's creative vision will reinforce the ambitions we have for Burberry and position the brand firmly in luxury."

Tisci said he was honoured to take over and pleased to be reuniting with Gobbetti, who was chief executive of Givenchy between 2004 and 2008.

"I have an enormous respect for Burberry's British heritage and global appeal and I am excited about the potential of this exceptional brand," he said.

Bailey presented his final show at last month's London Fashion Week, bowing out after 17 years.

3/1/2018 1:08:44 PM
<![CDATA[Careem and Uber share funniest passenger stories ]]>
Well, we were curious enough to reach out to Careem and Uber and ask their drivers to share with us their funniest passenger stories. From the forgetful parents to the grocery shoppers and the “Mahshy” lunchtime snacks; here they are.


Missing Butter:

“Customer forgot four kilograms of butter in the captain's car, as she was grocery shopping and got out and forgot her butter. The captain offered to pay the customer the price of those four kilograms to be satisfied as he cooked with it in his house, but Careem ended refunding the customer for them instead.”

Baby’s Day Out:

“Captain found a baby in his car’s backseat after dropping a customer off. He was freaked out and called the call center, at the same moment the woman realized she forgot her baby and was calling the call center in hysterics as the captain was not answering, (he was on a call with the call center to call the customer as she took all her bags and forgot her baby in the car). We called the customer and the captain delivered her child safely to her. All of this happened within a very stressful five minutes.”

The Grocery Shopper:

“A ride was booked to a hypermarket, and the captain offered to go to the hypermarket with the customer and drive her back. He got some stuff for himself, helped her carry all the bags to the car, and when she arrived at her drop off location she pretended that she didn’t have enough money to pay him for the trip and took her stuff and the stuff he got for himself as well and just got into her house.”


The Mother:

“A female customer with three kids got in an Uber on a hot summer day. The Uber driver had his AC on and suddenly he smells something weird coming from the backseat. Apparently, the mother started feeding her three kids from a big pot of stuffed cabbage, Mahshy. The driver calmly told the rider to stop doing so as the smell would stick to the car (he had to open the windows to let in some air). She offered him some mahshy and after several discussions she finally put away the mahshy.”

The Conspiracy Theory:

“The Uber driver reached the assigned location but couldn’t find the rider. When he calls her stating the location he’s in, she furiously says “Why did you go to my house? I’m not there now, how did you go to this location? Did Om Mohamed tell you to come here?” After various attempts from the driver to calm her down, stating she mistakenly picked this location, he asked her to order another ride to her current location. Before ending the call she forced the driver to swear that Om Mohamed isn’t involved in this misunderstanding. Obviously, she’s on bad terms with Om Mohamed.”

3/1/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Short shorts lead the way at Saint Laurent's Eiffel Tower display]]>
Spectators and models were shielded from the worst of the freezing weather at the Paris Fashion Week event on Tuesday.

But the styles, by house designer Anthony Vaccarello, featured plenty of bare legs, as mini black leather shorts were paired with sleek jackets and sheer tops for a chic, rock-and-roll look.

Thigh-grazing dresses in an array of flowery patterns, some with structured shoulders and billowing sleeves, closed the catwalk show. Elsewhere, shaggy coats and longer gowns made an appearance, including some with spectacular curved necklines.

Men donned capes and leather jackets; others wore close-cut suits, in black or deep blue velvet, and echoed the sexy, party feel of the collection with sparkling jackets.

The French label - named after its founder Yves Saint Laurent and owned by luxury conglomerate Kering - unveiled its collection on the first full day of Paris Fashion Week, which runs until March 6.

Other stalwarts of the French fashion calendar, including LVMH couture house Dior, are also showcasing their latest looks.

2/28/2018 1:17:42 PM
<![CDATA[et Bites: a quick tour of Egyptian dishes and recipes ]]>
Egyptian cuisine is the most perfect illustration of this fact! Every occasion, feasts and memories are associated with certain foods that have evolved throughout Egyptian history.

In celebration of our rich Egyptian cuisine, I will be taking you on a quick tour of some of our signature appetizers, main dishes and desserts, along with some easy quick recipes for you to taste our must-try Egyptian dishes.

Start off with the appetizers

Egyptian cuisine offers plenty of delicious appetizers, such as tasty pickles, our famous Baladi (Arabic for local) salad, Goulash and Rokak (Arabic for minced meat pies) and many more.

Since it is one of my all-time favourites, I would advise you to try out the Rokak. It is made of very thin bread slices stuffed with minced meat, drizzled by meat broth and baked in the oven until golden and crispy on the outside and very tender in the inside.
If you feel the need for a heart-warming soup, I would also recommend Egyptian lentil soup with some tasty crispy bread, as one amazing dish to start off your meal.

Check the video for a very easy and delicious recipe:

Now to the MAIN dish

Out of so many main dishes in Egyptian cuisine, no one would pass out on some delicious white rice and “Molokhia” the leaves of Corchorus olitorius); and with some crispy chicken, it gets even tastier! Although many Arab countries have it in their cuisines, the Egyptian way is still very unique, and tremendously delicious.
My mother has always told me that it was the first meal I tried at two years old; and since then, I have become addicted. I do not only make it at home, I even order it whenever I am at any Egyptian restaurant!

Another signature dish in Egyptian Cuisine is the taro. Most Egyptians eat it with white rice or Baladi bread and meat but I actually prefer it - or this is how I was raised - with red pasta sauce! I love to mix the green and red sauce together! The taste is beyond delicious and irresistible. Try it! You won’t regret it!

Despite the misconceptions, Egyptian food is not just about fatty and meaty dishes; we also have a lot of vegetarian plates, such as falafel, which is famous worldwide, “Bussara” made of fava beans and greens, aubergine with assorted styles, potatoes in all forms and finally “Kushari”, a vegetarian meal of high nutrition value that contains 13 ingredients.

Signature desserts

Oriental desserts are quite common among Arab cuisines but each country has its own twist and unique taste, and we also have our pure Egyptian dishes like “Om Ali,” made of puff pastry and nuts soaked in milk, covered with fresh cream and baked until golden! The true meaning of comfort food!

As for the Egyptian version of rice pudding, it is way creamier with less rice, topped with cinnamon and nuts and sometimes we add a scoop of fresh cream on top! A GAME CHANGER!

Another one of our signature dishes is the Egyptian version of pumpkin pie; a paste of pumpkin, cinnamon, coconut flakes and raisins, topped with sweet béchamel sauce.

Egyptian cuisine is rich and tasty, and it certainly deserves to be on the must-try cuisines list.

From vegetarian dishes to fatty foods, street foods, fine dining, and finally the recent trends of modernising and adapting different dishes to our own culture, Egyptian cuisine is very unique and matches all tastes.

Follow Dina Hamdy @dinainthekitchen for more ideas, easy recipes and tips about Egyptian cuisine.
2/28/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[MyBeautyFest coming back in March]]>

A soft launching event was held on Tuesday in Dubai; and it was attended by two Egyptian makeup artists, Zeina El Naggar and Logina Salah.

“I’m very excited about the event … don’t miss it; a lot of bloggers will be there, stay tuned” Salah said in a statement posted on My Beauty Fest Instagram account. A gorgeous makeup artist from Alexandria, Salah graduated, and got her professional license, from Beverly international beauty school in New York. With her philosophy that all women are beautiful, she has become an inspirational figure and was featured in Dubai news this year, giving skin tips.

My Beauty Fest’s second edition will be taking place in Dubai between March 9 and 10, while featuring the globally recognized brands and beauty celebrities; including Hrush Achemyan, makeup artist for the Kardashian’s; Fouz, the Middle East most influential makeup artist ; as well as beauty and lifestyle bloggers Sonia and Fayza Ali.

My Beauty Fest event was held for the first time in October 2016, launched in Dubai, with the main aim to celebrate the spirit of beauty and transformation.

Tickets are available on MyBeautyFest official website.

2/27/2018 5:39:02 PM
<![CDATA[Catholic 'fashion' items to be displayed in New York]]>
Items such as papal rings and crowns worn by various popes from the 18th and 19th centuries will go on display, including precious treasures from the famous Sistine Chapel "never seen outside of the Vatican," organisers said.

The exhibition "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination" will feature items spanning a period of more than 15 papacies.

Andrew Bolton, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, said fashion and religion have always inspired and influenced each other.

Designer Donatella Versace and Vogue's Anna Wintour were among those to attend a presentation of the exhibition on Monday in Rome, as well as Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the Vatican's culture minister.

The exhibition at the Met is due to open to the public from May 10 until October 8.
2/27/2018 1:33:05 PM
<![CDATA[Cuban cigar sales hit record as China demand surges]]>
Habanos S.A., a 50-50 joint venture between the Cuban state and Britain's Imperial Brands Plc, said sales in China, its third export market after Spain and France, jumped 33 percent in value in 2017.

"Without doubt, there is potential for China to become the biggest market at a global level," Habanos Vice President of Development Jose María Lopez told Reuters after the company's annual news conference, while puffing on a smoke.

The Cuban monopoly cigar company's hand-rolled cigars, which include brands such as Cohiba, Montecristo and Partagas, are considered by many as the best in the world, and the festival attracts wealthy tobacco aficionados and retailers from all over for a week of extravagant parties and tours of plantations and factories.

Lopez said that growth in global sales of Cuban cigars last year outpaced the luxury goods market, which expanded 5 percent, according to consultancy Bain & Co. He put sales growth down to several good tobacco harvests and new products.

The Habanos executive said the outlook was also positive, given solid demand and "excellent" climatic conditions. Hurricane Irma, which wrought havoc throughout much of Cuba last year, left the western, prime tobacco-growing state of Pinar del Rio mostly unscathed.

Cigars are one of the top exports for the Cuban economy, which is otherwise struggling with decreasing aid from key ally Venezuela, a cash crunch and a pushback against market reforms.

However, the Caribbean island cannot sell its signature export to the biggest market worldwide for cigars, the United States, due to the decades-old U.S. trade embargo.

Improved U.S.-Cuba relations under former U.S. President Barack Obama stoked a boom in international travel to Cuba and boosted cigar sales on the island, with American visitors able to take home as many cigars as they wanted.

Lopez said U.S. President Donald Trump's more hostile policy toward Cuba, including tighter restrictions on U.S. travel, did not appear to have impacted sales so far. Domestic revenue rose around 15 percent last year.

"We trust that despite Trump's measures the Cuban market will continue to grow in 2018," he said.

Cigars have been Cuba's signature product ever since Christopher Columbus saw natives smoking rolled up tobacco leaves when he first sailed to the Caribbean island in 1492.

Late revolutionary leader Fidel Castro was often seen puffing on his favored kind, the long and thin 'lancero', until he quit in 1985.]]>
2/27/2018 4:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Dolce & Gabbana opens the gates of fashion heaven in Milan show]]>
Church chants welcomed guests with the gates of heaven used as a background to the catwalk. “Fashion Devotion” read a golden sign over golden gates and a flurry of angels and clouds.

At the show’s start, bells chimed, the gates opened and drones flew out, carrying the brand’s handbags down the catwalk.

In previous shows the famous designer duo had asked young so-called influencers to showcase their designs, turning to bloggers and Instagrammers who have millions of followers and are seen as style icons by their fans. But this time Dolce & Gabbana returned to professional models.

The collection, rich and opulent as usual by Dolce & Gabbana, featured church-influenced designs such as a big black cape draped over a white t-shirt, a priest collar combined with an elegant damasked tuxedo and a cassock-looking dress with red finishes paired with high-heeled red sandals.

Other references to heaven included cartoon-esque angels wearing sunglasses, which were on skirts and on a ornate bronze bomber jacket, with wings coming out of the model’s back.

“Fashion sinner”, “D&G devotion” and “Santa moda ora pro nobis” – Holy fashion pray for us - read some of the clothes, with reference to prayers.

The fall-winter 2018/19 collection also intertwined all of the fashion house’s iconic traits such as black lace, tight-fitting black dresses, veils, references to Italy’s southern traditions and costumes as well as flowers.

Other designs were bright and glittered and paired with exuberant accessories, such as a big pink wig, glass frames with cartoon exclamations and neon green fur stilettos.

2/26/2018 11:26:28 AM
<![CDATA[Huawei launches new tablet in flagship phone hiatus]]>
The laptop, the Matebook X Pro, and the tablet, the MediaPad M5, were presented on the eve of the opening of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona -- the scene of previous major Huawei launches.

But this year the company will instead present its new flagship smartphone -- the P20 -- on March 27 in Paris, in what is seen as a bid not to be eclipsed by Samsung's launch of its new top end phone later Sunday.

"By launching the new P20 smartphones only a month later in Paris, Huawei will be able to fine tune its marketing message based on how the new Samsung S9 devices are perceived by consumers," said Forrester analyst Thomas Husson.

Both the new Huawei laptop and tablet feature long lasting batteries and quicker charge times and are available in grey and silver.

The laptop's power button doubles as a fingerprint scanner, which Huawei says will start and securely log into Windows in under eight seconds.

Huawei also unveiled what it said is the world's first commercial chipset that meets the standards of the super-fast 5G wireless networks which are poised to start being rolled out.

The company said the chipset can hit download speeds of 2.3 gigabits per second, significantly faster than speeds reached in current 4G networks.

Huawei remained the world's third biggest seller of smartphones in 2017, behind Samsung and Apple.

It boasted a 10.4 percent market share, up from 9.5 percent, according to research firm IDC.

Samsung had a 21.6 percent share while Apple held 14.7 percent.]]>
2/26/2018 6:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Paul Andrew makes elegant Ferragamo debut in Milan]]>
Andrew became creative director of the Florence-based company in October after just over a year as design director for women’s footwear, a mainstay for the brand whose shoes have been worn by Hollywood stars including Audrey Hepburn.

The 90-year old brand is aiming to be more contemporary and is refreshing its look to appeal to a younger clientele, which now represents a third of the global luxury market.

But since launching a new business plan last year, the luxury group’s core profit margins have been falling year-on-year. In December the group said it could not confirm its medium-term targets.

The collection, combining women’s designs with those by the group’s menswear designer Guillaume Meilland, used plush leather, wool and rich silk, to showcase Italian craftsmanship.

Different types of leather was used to clad models from head to toe, in coats, boots, trousers and shoes.

“Familiar forms are stripped back, loosened and elongated with ease and elevated functionality,” a style note said.

Designs were long, bare and smooth, dresses were flared and flowed. The clothes came in shades of green, burgundy, mustard yellow and deep blue, interspersed at times by nude and beige.

Men carried oversize bags and had boots with a golden Ferragamo logo on the heel.

Women wore leather boots and open-heeled shoes with squared golden heels, matched with thick socks. The bold heels echoed Ferragamo’s 1930s styles.]]>
2/25/2018 11:44:33 AM
<![CDATA[Versace rocks Milan's fashion week with loud college style]]>
The loud and colorful looks by creative director Donatella Versace were part of “The Versace clan” collection, showcased in a palazzo overlooking the city’s Duomo cathedral, and picked up on the menswear designs presented in January.

In the first part of the collection, models wore tartan skirts and matching tops, cardigans, berets and football scarves, like college students coming out of classes.

Long brown leather coats were worn with high heeled shoes and camel trousers paired with short leather jackets.

Models strutted in what was once a ballroom on platform shoes, zippered loose boots and stiletto shoes worn with colorful socks.

The fashion house, known for its bold and glamorous designs, did not fail to impress with bright tasseled dresses with matching earrings and short black outfits worn with tight belts with golden buckles.

“The Versace clan dares and says what it believes and sets itself apart from the crowds thanks to its style choices ... there are no in-betweens, no compromises,” a style note by the brand said.
2/24/2018 12:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[Prada brings Milan to its feet, with a collection of bold lines and colors]]>
Prada, who is also co-chief executive of the eponymous luxury group, used Milan Fashion Week to continue her exploration of different facets of femininity, with designs that stood out with their bold colors and stark lines.

Clad in fluorescent pink, orange and green, Prada models danced on a shiny black floor to the rhythm of Blondie. Neon light installations of monkeys, dinosaurs, bananas and aliens playfully displayed outside the building could be seen from the floor to ceiling windows.

Prada hosted the show in the “Torre” building, a modern tower which will be the latest addition to the group’s “Fondazione Prada” art foundation project. The existing Fondazione buildings, once a gin distillery, were turned in the early 1990s into a space dedicated to contemporary art and culture.

“I wanted to have a little revenge on the artwork, occupying the space of the Fondazione with fashion,” Prada told reporters at the end of her show.

The new building will officially open during Milan’s design week, held annually in April, and will be used as an exhibition space.

Models walked with the city skyline and train tracks as a backdrop, wearing oversize nylon and neoprene coats with wide shoulders from which delicate transparent dresses and tulle skirts peeped. All the models wore brightly colored tulle bows around their necks.

“The idea is the constant struggle women have - a duality, between strength and having to protect yourself and what you like as a woman, such as sweetness and femininity,” the designer said.

She explained that the big sporty pieces wanted to symbolically defend the women wearing them while the light details were included for them to be able to express their womanhood.

Black technical material was juxtaposed with fuchsia, yellow and blue. Black stilettos and white boots were paired with fluorescent socks and gaiter-like legwarmers.

Transparent black tulle, decorated with sparkling beading or bright plastic flowers, gently covered tight sheath dresses, while plastic fringed mini-dresses in lime green and white glowed in the night-time setting.

“It’s about women being able to go out at night, even wearing super sexy clothes, without fear,” Prada said.

The collection was well-received by the public on Thursday evening, with the audience bursting into loud applause as the designer reached the runway at the end of the show.

But Prada also voiced concern about the high expectations set on fashion, which she said pushed designers “beyond their job” by the perceived need to engage in political and social issues through their clothes.

2/24/2018 12:09:15 PM
<![CDATA[8 Perfect spring nail polish colors ]]>

Baby blue:

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This color that best fits the ocean and caresses the spirit of the beaches and seas is best recommended to give that sense of calmness. It is perfect for that little spring getaway you have been planning for a while.


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Similar to baby blue, that tropical color instantly transfers you to your favorite beach as you reminisce of the turquoise color of the sea and its waves and that sense of tranquility.

Hot pink:

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Leaning toward the bold and edgy, this color is screaming of fun, summer shenanigans and femininity. It is perfect for a night out with the girls or is a great choice for date night!

Daring red:

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Red has always been the number one choice in lipsticks and nail polish. This spring opt for a more daring red that is guaranteed to make you stand out and shine.

Nude pink:

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Not only does it match almost every outfit there is, it is also classy, chic and elegant. It is perfect for work days or for a simple touch up on formal looks or events.


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Yellow, a spring basic, is guaranteed to put a spring in your step - pun intended, and make you shine more.


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Purple is this year’s Pantone color, making it trendier than ever. Purple, like yellow, is one of the spring favorites, reminding those who see your nails of beautiful flowers and, of course, elegance.


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That warm shade of purple is perfect for those who like faint colors on their nails. It suits all skin tones and matches almost all outfits too.

2/24/2018 11:35:25 AM
<![CDATA[Chocolate and coffee will soon be extinct]]>

As the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration states, cacao can only grow if a stringent set of requirements is met. Cocoa can only grow within around 20 degrees north and south of the equator, the humidity needs to be high and the soil has to be rich; otherwise, the cocoa withers.

A study by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) suggests that farmers will begin to experience an immense decrease in cocoa production by 2030, as most cocoa farms are falling within a volatile temperature region. The constant and unexpected change in temperature will lead to plants’ death.

A new disease has also been spreading and damaging the cocoa harvests in West Africa, which produces 70 percent of the total cocoa production. In addition, the area is facing severe drought.

Thus, it is estimated that by 2050 there will be no more chocolate.


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Caffeine, the world’s most popular psychoactive drug, is expected to go extinct. As the temperatures continue to rise, the quality and quantity of coffee beans produced will gradually decrease. It is expected that by 2080 there will be no more coffee beans available for consumption. Latin America, home to some of the best coffee producing countries in the world, is also expected to have an 88 percent decline in its coffee-growth-suitable fields by 2015.

A 2017 study, published in proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, demonstrates that climate change threatens areas where coffee crops grow and also threatens bees, which are responsible for about 25 percent of coffee bean production.

Climate change has led to rising temperatures and volatile weather, which is set to repel bees with lower heat tolerance from pollinating coffee crops. The issue lies in the importance of bees pollinating coffee beans, as them doing so not only widens the yield of the crops but also increases their quality.]]>
2/23/2018 6:50:45 PM
<![CDATA[et Skin Series: Vitamin B5]]>
It plays many roles regarding your health, such as converting nutrients from food into energy, balancing blood sugar, reducing bad cholesterol, lowering high blood pressure, preventing nerve damage and pain, and preventing heart failure. It also helps maintaining and regulating your metabolism.

Salmon is a good source of vitamin B5. Via CC/Pexels.

A deficiency in vitamin B5 can manifest itself as fatigue, depression, irritability and insomnia, among other symptoms. People at a greater risk of developing a vitamin B5 deficiency include alcoholics, women on oral contraceptives/birth control pills and people with severe malnutrition.

When used in skincare, vitamin B5 is converted to provitamin B5, which is called Panthenol. Panthenol is a fantastic skincare ingredient, as it can help to heal, protect and hydrate the skin. It is a humectant, meaning it can bind water to the skin to increase hydration, and also improve its softness and elasticity. It offers relief from itchiness and pain, and it reduces redness. Wounds treated with provitamin B5 have resulted in regenerated tissue that is more solid and elastic. These properties make it an excellent ingredient for anyone with dry, tight, dehydrated or acneic skin.
2/23/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Saudis promised double the fun in drive to lure back tourist dollars]]>
The state wants to capture up to a quarter of the $20 billion currently spent overseas every year by Saudis seeking entertainment, lifting a ban on cinemas and putting on shows by Western artists.

U.S. rapper Nelly performed in Jeddah in December, albeit to a men-only crowd, and Greek musician Yanni played to a mixed-gender audience.

The gradual relaxing of gender segregation risks causing a backlash from religious conservatives, but public objections to a wider programme of reforms have been more muted in recent months after several critics were arrested.

At an event to launch the 2018 entertainment calendar, Ahmed al-Khatib, chairman of the state-run General Entertainment Authority (GEA), said infrastructure investments over the next decade would reach 240 billion riyals ($64 billion), including an opera house to be completed around 2022.

That will contribute 18 billion riyals to annual GDP and generate 224,000 new jobs by 2030, the GEA said.

"The bridge is starting to reverse," Khatib said, referring to the causeway linking Saudi Arabia with more liberal Bahrain where many Saudis flock for weekend getaways.

"And I promise you that we will reverse this migration, and people from Dubai, Kuwait and Bahrain will come to Saudi."

However, on Thursday night, the Minister of Culture and Information said Khatib's opera plans were an infringement of the role of the General Authority for Culture, a separate government body, the Saudi Press Agency said.

The entertainment plans are largely motivated by economics, part of a reform programme to diversify the economy away from oil and create jobs for young Saudis.

The Vision 2030 plan aims to increase household spending on cultural and entertainment events inside the kingdom to 6 percent by 2030 from 2.9 percent.

"We are bringing the most exciting and famous events to Saudi Arabia this year," Khatib told Reuters in an interview, adding that state-sponsored entertainment events would be staged in 56 cities.

"We are creating new local events with local content," he said. "Almost 80 percent of the calendar (events) are for families."

Saudi Arabia lifted a 35-year ban on cinemas late last year, with plans for regional and global chains to open more than 300 movie theatres by 2030. The first cinemas are expected to start showing films from March.

Last year, the country announced plans to develop resorts on some 50 islands off the Red Sea coast and an entertainment city south of Riyadh featuring golf courses, car racing tracks and a Six Flags theme park. ($1 = 3.7502 riyals)]]>
2/23/2018 5:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[What does your handwriting say about you?]]>
In an interview with Business Insider, McKnight revealed, “Just from analyzing your handwriting, experts can find over 5,000 personality traits.” Egypt Today presents some of these factors and their correlated aspects that you may not have considered before.


Large letters usually indicate that one has a love for attention and self-expression, according to Bright Side. They enjoy socializing, and are people-oriented. They also may tend to put up this fake façade of confidence in order to protect themselves and their feelings. They seek mutual understanding and companionship.

Conversely, Bright Side notes, as does Cosmopolitan’s Kerry Ward, that small letters mean that one can be quite shy, intellectual and reserved. They have this passion for being precise and doing things accurately. They are very diligent, focused and concentrated. Most of the people with small-sized letters might be introverted.

Average letters, as per Ward, on the other hand, show how you have the ability to adapt to any situation, overcome any rough patches in your life, and even turn it to work in your favor. People with average sized handwriting are quite levelheaded and grounded; they know how to make quick decisions.


According to a research carried out by the National Pen Company in the U.S., writing with no slants means that one is probably ruled by logic. People with un-slanted handwriting are usually emotionally stable, pragmatic and practical. They tend to have full control of their emotions.

If one writes with a slant, then one is either an introvert or extrovert, depending on which side their slants favor. Right slants indicate that one is open, sociable and friendly. They can be quite impulsive, but heart-centered; and, they value personal relationships and appreciate close friends and family.

The research suggests that left slants are on the other side of the spectrum. Those who favor the left side are usually those who work behind the scenes. They are introspective and patient. If you are left-handed and write in left slants you might be expressing rebellion.

S p a c I n g:

The study also shows, as does MailOnline’s Victoria Woollaston, that wide spacing reveals one’s love for freedom and their deep hatred for crowds. Interestingly, those with narrow spacing usually do not have the best time management skills. They are afraid of being alone and always want to be in a crowd.

Even spacing in handwriting is usually attributed to those who are levelheaded and aware of boundaries. They also do not like to be overwhelmed with too many events or issues at the same time.


Cosmopolitan, Bright Side, MailOnline and the National Pen Company agree that those who write with heavy pressure usually take things quite seriously and to heart. They usually feel pressured by small incidents, which they later realize should not have pressured them as much as it did. They feel deeply and react quickly.

Those who write with light pressure, on the other hand, usually are very empathetic and active. They want to finish writing quickly so that they can go out and experience the world. They really enjoy moving from one place to another.

2/22/2018 3:13:52 PM
<![CDATA[Pizza is healthier for breakfast than cereal]]>
According to recent research, we are better off eating pizza for breakfast than cereal. Pizza is packed with protein and way less fats and sugar than cereal, making it a healthier alternative for breakfast. Remarkable and shocking, but absolutely true!

Dietitian Chelsey Amer, MS, RDN, CDN, told The Daily Meal that a slice of pizza actually has the same calories as a bowl of cereal. Hence, it is acceptable and even nutritious to substitute cereal for pizza. Since cereals are full of sugars and no fibers, they can cause a sugar crash after a couple of hours of consumption, making you lazy and unproductive throughout your day. Pizza, on the other hand, has more fibers, carbohydrates and less sugar, which will make you active and less likely to feel hungry quickly.

“Because eating a slice of pizza for breakfast when you really want it will prevent you from binging on an entire pie later,” Amer wrote in her blog.

Aligned with Amer’s view, a 2014 study found that people eat up to 132 percent more than the recommended serving of cereal, in turn surpassing the recommended daily sugar intake. Not only that, the study also revealed that this excess amount of cereal is often consumed simply during breakfast or, in other words, in one serving. On the other hand, pizza contains grains, vegetables and proteins, all of which are needed daily food groups.

Still, research reveals that it somewhat depends on the types of pizza and cereal one is consuming, meaning there are cereals that are packed with important and nutritious fibers that would keep you full and are beneficial for your digestive tract. Of course, there are greasy pizzas that are high in fat percentages and result in instant weight gain, in which case cereal would be healthier. In short, eating a healthy cereal is always healthier than pizza, but one is better off eating pizza than sugary cereals.

When the pizza is well-balanced and not too greasy, it is just the right start to the day. However, as mentioned, “Pizzas can be a healthy balance of carbs, fats and protein; so, as long as it doesn’t contain unhealthy additives, who’s to say we can’t eat pizza for breakfast?” Harley Street nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert explained to The Independent.
2/22/2018 12:26:20 PM
<![CDATA[Saudi Arabia is hosting Arab Fashion Week ]]>
This comes as part of the partnership between the British Fashion Council and AFC, which was announced during London Fashion Week.

The AFC launched its regional office in Riyadh with the appointment of H.H. Princess Noura Bint Faisal Al Saud as Honorary President. She commented on the historic announcement, saying, “This is a new era that we are witnessing, an era where ‘only dreamers are welcome to join,’ to use the words of HRH Prince Mohamed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

The Arab Fashion Council was established in 2014 in London, with the license of the International Extraterritorial Authority to develop and regulate the fashion industry in the 22 Arab countries. Arab Fashion Week will be held in Riyadh at the Apex Center, which was designed by the late Dame Zaha Hadid.

Caroline Rush, Princess Noura Bint Faisal Al Saud, Ms Layla Issa Abu Zeid and @jacobabrian in the announcement of the strategic partnership between the Arab Fashion Council and the @britishfashioncouncil in London today, and the launch of the first ever fashion week in the history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh. جاكوب ابريان والسيدة ليلى عيسى أبو زيد وسمو الأميرة نورة بنت فيصل آل سعود والسيدة كارولين رش بعيد إعلان اتفاقية التعاون بين مجلس الأزياء العربي ومجلس الأزياء البريطاني في لندن اليوم وانطلاق اول أسبوع عربي للموضة في الرياض. #jacobabrian #RAFW #AFC #arabfashionweek #arabfashioncouncil #britishfashioncouncil

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Layla Issa Abuzaid, AFC country director for Saudi Arabia, explained that this historic event “will be more than a world-class event; it is a catalyst through which we believe the fashion sector will lead other economic sectors, such as tourism, hospitality, travel and trade.”

The main player that will be showcasing at the event has been announced to be Roberto Cavalli.

Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority stated, “Saudi Arabia’s artistic community has been growing in size and in confidence for a number of years now, and the General Entertainment Authority believes that such an event will allow a proper platform to showcase their fashion and art talents. As the vehicle for a comprehensive range of entertainment options in Saudi Arabia, the General Entertainment Authority is proud to support an event that seeks to bring people together in a mutual appreciation of the power of fashion and art.”

“The launch of the Arab Fashion Week in Riyadh is an unprecedented step for the Arab Fashion Council. This historic move will propel the fashion sector in the Arab world to new heights,” commented Jacob Abrian, founder and chief executive of the Arab Fashion Council, adding, “Today, we are a step forward towards achieving our goals of establishing a solid infrastructure for our regional fashion industry and providing prosperous opportunities for the future generation of Arab designers.”

During the last season of Arab Fashion Week, Tony Ward showcased the spring/summer 2018 Ready-Couture collection at City Walk Dubai.

We only hope to see the Egyptian fashion industry take a step forward such as this, due to its everyday increase in talent and the ever growing need for luxury.

2/21/2018 6:39:02 PM
<![CDATA[Tips to curb water use and protect future generations ]]>
Both governments and communities have an obligation to protect the available water resources. Statistics from the World Bank show that industry and agriculture consume more water than the domestic sector. However, it remains every person’s responsibility to protect the water sources and secure the future of the coming human generations.

According to “Friends of the Earth” association, the average amount of water each human uses every day to wash, cook and clean is about 150 liters. In 2017, the World Health Organization “WHO” and the United Nations Organization for Children “UNICEF” published the results of the first global assessment of safely managed drinking water and sanitation services, which revealed that some three in ten people worldwide lack access to safe, readily available water at home while six in ten people lack safely managed sanitation. The report also reveals that with the current consumption rate, by 2025 two-thirds of the world’s population may face water shortages as the water systems that keep the ecosystems thriving and feed the growing human population will become very stressed as a result of climate change and pollution.

Following very simple daily habits can contribute to saving water even though water doesn’t appear in short supply in Egypt. These habits include:

1. Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth or shave to save up to six liters of water a minute.

2. Fill your kettle with the amount of water you need to save water, energy and money.

3. Reduce the volume of water you flush every time you use the toilet by using a dual-flush device to flush less than the 13 liters for old flushes.

4. Take shorter showers to lower your use of water; every minute you spend in a shower uses up to 17 liters of water. Try using an efficient shower head that combines water and air to save water and money as well.

5. Cut out unnecessary washes by using full machine loads in your washing machine and dishwasher.

6. Fix any leaky taps or pipes and never leave them dripping to stop wasting around 15 liters of water a day.

7. Water your garden with a watering can or a drip irrigation system rather than a hosepipe and water your plants in the early morning and late afternoon to reduce evaporation and save water. And do not water on rainy days.

8. Steam your food to cut water usage. If you prefer to boil, use the remaining water as a stock for soups or to water plants.

9. Use a pool cover to prevent water evaporation.

10. Use a bucket instead of a hose to wash your car, and a broom to clean sidewalks, driveways and parking lots.

11. Defrost food in the fridge or at room temperature, rather than placing it under hot running water.

12. Choose a proper sized pot for cooking, larger pots require more water.

13. Use less dish-washing liquid because the more you use the more water you will need to rinse.

2/21/2018 4:45:27 PM
<![CDATA[Queen Elizabeth makes surprise appearance at London fashion catwalk]]>
The 91-year-old monarch, dressed in a pale blue suit, sat next to Anna Wintour, editor in chief of American Vogue magazine, as models displayed a series of bold and brightly colored designs at the end of London Fashion Week.

She later presented the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design to Quinn.

The Award has been initiated in recognition of the role the fashion industry plays in society and diplomacy, Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

It will be given annually to an emerging British fashion designer who shows exceptional talent and originality, whilst demonstrating value to the community and/or strong sustainable policies, the statement added.

London-born designer Quinn established his namesake label in 2016. The London Fashion Week website said of him: ”Specialising in womenswear and textiles his collections are bold and emotive creating a forward-thinking, unafraid vision.

“Richard creates garments with attention to innovative fabrications, focusing on his ability to combine unique handcrafted skill with a refined high fashion sensibility.”

On Monday, the Queen invited fashion designers and models to a reception at Buckingham Palace, her London home.
2/21/2018 3:37:09 PM
<![CDATA[Moncler bids farewell to catwalk with eight new collections]]>
The Italian clothing designer wowed the fashion crowd on Tuesday with a big reveal of the eight collections, hidden in silver-clad cave-like spaces inside a warehouse on the outskirts of Milan and draped on mannequins, hung from the ceiling, and projected on giant mirrors, rather than worn down a catwalk.

“The concept of the catwalk show doesn’t exist any more for us, it’s a new way of working from now on,” chairman and Chief Executive Remo Ruffini told reporters.

In November, Moncler said it would break with its tradition of presenting two collections a year on catwalks in Milan and Paris.

Last week, it said it would start rolling out clothes and accessories at a faster pace.

Ruffini said that the new strategy, with a collection released to the public each month, was an adaption to the digital age, though he ruled out Moncler turning to the ‘see now, buy now’ model - delivering clothes to shops straight after their presentation.

“We must release new energy each month. The world has changed, people travel, they don’t buy in March and September only like they once did,” Ruffini said.

With a younger and fickle clientele, whose tastes change at the speed of a social media post, fashion houses are being asked to deliver more than just two collections per year.

But the timing of placing products in stores is becoming an experimental battlefield, as the labels have to juggle the constant demand for novelty with the lengthy manufacturing cycles needed to make their high-end clothes and accessories.

Ruffini, credited for turning the traditional French skiwear group into a trendy fashion label, said Moncler would not focus only on young and digital savvy clients - now a third of the luxury market - but had to “chat with different generations”.

From June 15, the brand will launch a collection approximately once per month, with clothes and accessories from its different lines available in boutiques, multi-brand stores and temporary pop-ups.

The collections vary from monastic long looks by Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli, to preppy and more sporty items by Japan’s Hiroshi Fujiwara, to ruffled and layered looks from Simone Rocha.

Under the new strategy, dubbed “Genius”, the group is working with eight different creative directors, including Piccioli, former Gucci menswear designer Sandro Mandrino, and Moncler’s own artistic director Francesco Ragazzi.

Moncler will start off with the “Fragments” collection by Fujiwara.

“It’s a brave and daring project, stylistically challenging. Each designer tells a different story, perspective ... it’s total creative freedom,” Piccioli told Reuters.

Ruffini did not rule out taking on new creative directors, though he suggested that the group was not planning frequent changes.

Milan Fashion Week will run until Feb. 26, with Italy’s biggest names in fashion - such as Prada, Armani, Versace, Cavalli and Dolce & Gabbana - showcasing their products for fall and winter 2018/19.

The six-day extravaganza will see almost 160 new collections and 64 catwalk shows.
2/21/2018 3:32:12 PM
<![CDATA[As China's Year of the Dog begins, imperial Pekingese breed is scarce]]>
After years of turmoil and the 1911 revolution that established China as a republic, however, the dog named after the Chinese capital became available to the masses, and by the 1990s, they were so common that the streets of Beijing, formerly Romanised as Peking, were teaming with strays.

But as the Lunar Year of the Dog begins this month, the most distinctive Chinese canine is almost nowhere to be found. Local pet owners today prefer foreign breeds such as poodles and Chihuahuas.

“Now there really are too few local Pekingese,” said Zhang Lei, a breeder in Beijing.

“If you want a local Pekingese then the only option is to crossbreed them with a foreign Pekingese. A lot of people don’t have them. I think the local Pekingese are now facing a crisis”.

In 2003, Zhang adopted a few stray Pekingese and since then has bred them, mostly as a hobby. Some are for sale, ranging from 1,000-2,500 yuan ($157-$394) each, but he said there are few buyers.


Pekingese were first introduced to Europe when Western armies pillaged the Summer Palace in Beijing and stole several of the Qing court’s dogs during the Second Opium War in the late 1850s. The breed was seen in the West as an exotic luxury and a favorite at dog shows.

Although the local breed is fading from view, some Chinese pet owners are buying longer-haired imported Pekingese because of their perceived purity.

“They have aristocratic mannerisms,” said Beijing native Qian Hao, who takes his four long-haired imported Pekingese on daily walks in a stroller.

A foreign Pekingese can cost as much as 100,000 yuan.

While there are no official statistics on domestic Pekingese ownership, Zhang Xuesong, who has bred imported Pekingese for 26 years, said that the breed’s “bad genes” and a general lack of interest have kept pet owners away from the animal.

After years of inbreeding, local Pekingese are perceived as having an array of health and other issues, including constant shedding, a lack of intelligence, and a susceptibility for slipped spinal discs.

Wang Fei, who owns a four-year-old white local Pekingese named Jianjian, said the breed became a victim of its own popularity.

“In the past, there were way too many local Pekingese. Everyone wants to raise something different. And now there are fewer and fewer local Pekingese. But I think they’ll rise again in popularity,” said Wang Fei.
2/20/2018 1:50:00 PM
<![CDATA[New guard steal the show at London Fashion Week]]>
The designers may not share the same nationality, age or style but they all have one thing in common: all three are alumni of prestigious London fashion school Central Saint Martins.

- Roksanda, abstract elegance -

Since arriving on the scene in 2005, Serbian Roksanda Ilincic has enjoyed uninterrupted success in the British capital.

She now has a presence in 40 countries, a children's line called "Blossom", and regularly dresses famous women from Kate Middleton and Melania Trump to Lady Gaga.

Her show this week was inspired by graphic artist Caroline Denervaud, drawing from her minimalist forms to create a collection full of elegance and fluidity.

The show, on the penultimate day of Fashion Week, was marked by long and luminous dresses, tightly gathered by wide waistbands, decorated with abstract motifs.

There were also striped ponchos, wide, mid-calf length cashmere coats with padded textures and scarves covering the chest.

The palette offered vibrancy and pastels from yellow to flamboyant pink; electric blue to gold and tan.

"I'm a designer that always cares about women and how to dress and how to protect them," she explained backstage.

- Koma, sexy geometry -

Georgian-born David Koma was just 15 years old when he presented his first collection, before moving to London in 2003 and making a name as a specialist in the little evening dress

He then became creative director at Mugler from 2013 to 2017.

His show in a central London church was a magnet for the stars, with models Lara Stone and Jourdan Dunn in the front row.

Faithful to his roots, the designer presented a glamorous and sexy wardrobe for the twilight hours.

The dresses were short and skimpy; tight at the waist and flared on the hips; made from leather, silk and cotton and adorned with feathers and sequins.

Drawing on the work of ethnologist and photographer Edward Curtis, who spent nearly 30 years with the Indian nations of North America, Koma contrasted the sharp cuts of the black, red and indigo dominated garments with black-and-white feather-like fringes.

- Kane, daring in silk and lace -

Considered one of the driving forces behind the new British wave, young Scottish designer Christopher Kane created his own brand in 2006, which became known for its audacious, postmodernist collections.

The designer chose art gallery Tate Britain to present his daring collection.

Kane's models strode the catwalk wearing red mini-dresses made of exquisite lace, exposing their silhouettes, or sleeveless tops adorned with prints showing women in states of ecstasy.

Kane combined lace with silk, decorated with floral prints to create barely-there dresses matched with black boots.

He occasionally veered towards the more sober and enigmatic, and other items seemed inspired by the Milky Way with long, straight black robes smattered with white dots, like stars in the night sky.

2/20/2018 1:41:18 PM
<![CDATA[Spanish cheesemakers defend Manchego from Mexican 'copy']]>
But local producers there are furious with Mexico which they accuse of "crude plagiarism" of their cheese, an issue so touchy it has become a point of discord in drawn-out talks for a new trade deal between the EU and the Latin American country.

"We have to defend our Manchego tooth and nail," says Francisco Tejado, walking through the factory of Spain's biggest cheese producer, Garcia Baquero, in the small town of Alcazar de San Juan, some 150 kilometres (90 miles) south of Madrid.

Tejado, in charge of the ripening stage of the cheese-making process, says he comes to the plant every day to "watch, touch, pamper these cheeses, these living foods" that are maturing in air-conditioned rooms.

- Two different cheeses -

Manchego is an EU Protected Designation of Origin (AOC) product, which is respected within the bloc but not always further afield.

And in Mexico, in particular, manufacturers have used the names of several "European cheeses, including Manchego, to reap profit from crude plagiarism", complains Santiago Altares, head of the group that gives out AOC labels to Manchego producers.

The original and the copy, he stresses, are completely different.

"The Mexican Manchego is made from cow's milk within seven days, and the authentic Manchego with the milk of ewes of 'Manchega' race, is ripened for at least a month."

Such is the controversy over the matter that it has been one of the issues in talks aimed at sealing a new version of an 18-year-old trade deal between the EU and Mexico.

The Europeans want exclusive right to the "Manchego" name, along with other products.

But that is a problem for cheese producers in Latin America's second-largest economy, where Mexican Manchego represents nearly 15 percent of total cheese sales.

So the National Chamber of Dairy Industries in Mexico has said it will continue using Manchego as a name, which it says is "generic".

- Struggling region -

Under the portrait of his late father Hersilio who ventured into producing Manchego in 1962, the head of Garcia Baquero tries to be conciliatory, saying the conflict "is one of the small elements of friction that mark the globalisation process".

"But for us, this protection of Manchego as an AOC product is of utmost importance in a semi-arid, austere, under-populated region," says Miguel Angel Garcia Baquero.

"We can't lose the little we have."

The birthplace of Spain's celebrated film director Pedro Almodovar, La Mancha is known first and foremost for being the scene of the adventures of Don Quixote, the delusional wanna-be knight who stars in Miguel de Cervantes' 1605 novel, in which he eats a lot of cheese.

The Manchego AOC label even includes the silhouette of the wandering knight.

More than 700 Spanish farmers and 65 producers depend on the cheese for their livelihood.

Every year, more than 15,000 tonnes of Manchego are produced -- 60 percent of which is exported.

But "when the $7 Mexican cheese and Spain's $14 Manchego hit the American market, the consumer buys the cheapest", says Altares, denouncing "unfair competition".

- Export to Turkmenistan -

In the town of La Solana, round cheese blocs weighing one, two or three kilos bathe in vats of salt water belonging to the La Caseta family business.

"Our Manchego is 'artisanal' because it is made from unpasteurised milk" in machines, says the owner, Paqui Diaz Pintado Borja, 55.

With its 10 employees, La Caseta is a small structure that exports its cheese to Germany, Britain and even Turkmenistan.

In the afternoon, seven workers are busy milking the 1,500 "Manchega" ewes of their farm.

"They have less wool than the others, no horns, but provide a better quality milk, rich in protein," says one of Paqui's sons, Antonio Araque.

In the name of all such producers, Altares wants a ban on using the name Manchego in Mexico.

"But it's going to be complicated because there are many interests at play in give-and-take negotiations" between the EU and Mexico, he says.]]>
2/18/2018 11:39:39 AM
<![CDATA[Top 6 superstitions you may encounter in Egypt]]>
Whether an occurrence of bad luck is mere coincidence or fate, myths of misfortune are a part of our cultural history. Ancient Egyptian culture held many beliefs related to superstitions that affected their daily lives.

1 - Drink until last drop

This is considered one of the most important Egyptian beliefs, even if there was no clear evidence about their speculation. If you enter an Egyptian house, you must finish your beverage until the last drop, particularly if this house has a single girl – the belief is the bad luck would chase this girl and she would never get married.

Tea during sunset in Aswan July 11, 2008 - CC via Flick/ S J Pinkney
Tea during sunset in Aswan July 11, 2008 - CC via Flick, S J Pinkney

2 - Leaving scissors open brings bad luck

There are Egyptian myths about leaving scissors open, or opening and closing them again without cutting anything; these actions would change happiness into inevitable sadness. The myth depended on scissors’ function – to cut and separate things – hence the relationships would tear and disperse until you close the scissors again.

Open scissors - CC via Pixabay
Open scissors - CC via Pixabay

3 - Black animals

The majority of Egyptian people are afraid of black animals, especially from black cats and crows. They consider black cats as evil creatures because devils live and exist in cats’ bodies.

A crow - CC via Pixabay
A crow - CC via Pixabay

Crows have a complicated relationship with people, as they considered an omen of bad luck. If crows are heard or seen, sickness or death are nearby due to the superstition that says God sent crows to teach Cain how to bury Abel’s body. Therefore, some interpretation made this bird a source and sign of pessimism because they linked crows to unfortunate events that occur to humans.

4 - Footwear can’t be turned upside down

Ancient Egyptian superstition warned that leaving shoes and flip-flops upside down would bring inauspicious events to you, as they considered this as a way of insulting God. However, another explanation for the superstition is that some people are said to have used inverted shoes in black magic and addressing devils.

Upside down footwear - CC via Flick, Mikecogh
Upside-down footwear - CC via Flick/ Mikecogh

5 - Eye twitching

According to belief, if one's right eye twitches, the person would receive happy news, as the right side symbolizes peace and angels. On the other hand, if the left eye twitches, the person would receive unpleasant news, as the thought goes that evils exist in any left side.

Mr. Crabby's eye twitching - Youtube still image
Mr. Crabby's eye twitching - Youtube still image

6 - Don’t cut your nails at night

Egyptians believe that it’s inauspicious act to cut your nails at night, leading to the loss of precious belongings or loved ones.

Clipping nails - CC via Public Domain Pictures
Clipping nails - CC via Public Domain Pictures

2/16/2018 12:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[et Skin Series: Caffeine ]]>
It terms of the health benefits of consuming caffeine internally, it detoxifies the liver, cleanses the colon, and may also help in reducing fatty liver in those who have the condition. Caffeine can reduce the risk of developing diabetes due to the high level of antioxidants found in it. A daily dose of caffeine may also aid cardiovascular health, as research at Brooklyn College found that men who consumed 4 cups of a caffeinated beverage daily are less likely to suffer from heart disease than those who never took a sip. However, excess caffeine intake can make one feel restless, irritable and anxious, so moderation is key, as with all things.

1 (2)
Green tea leaves are a good source of caffeine - Via CC/Pixabay

In addition to all the advantages that caffeine has internally, it’s also a skincare savior with many benefits. The antioxidants contained in caffeine can attack free radicals, which are caused by environmental stressors such as pollution and sun exposure. They are also the cause of wrinkles, fine lines and pigmentation among other skin concerns, and eliminate them. This will improve the overall appearance of your skin. Because of this, caffeine is widely used in anti-ageing day and night creams. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce skin inflammation and redness, therefore helping to even out one’s skin tone and give it a firmer appearance.

One of the most common uses of caffeine is in eye creams reducing dark circles. The substance reduces the accumulation of blood under one’s eyes, which contribute to dark shadows, by constricting the blood vessels. It also stimulates blood flow, preserving vibrant, glowing skin.

2/16/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[et Guide: Valentine’s Day Perfect Gift]]>
The clock is ticking, and before you know, it’ll be Valentine’s Day. Picking the perfect gift for your loved one can be confusing, and quite crucial; you don’t want to see that gift hidden in the back of a closet or exchanged. So if you haven’t picked a gift yet, worry not, Egypt Today has your back; we have assembled some of the best keepsakes in the market that we guarantee will be cherished.

via Egypt Today

2/13/2018 8:10:57 PM
<![CDATA[et Guide: What to wear on date night]]>
A Valentine’s date is a special night, and picking out the perfect outfit can be a daunting task. Whether you’ll be heading out for a night full of dancing, or opting for a quiet, romantic dinner, we have picked out some inspirations for your outfit and hairdo to cut down on the hours spent staring at your closet.

via Egypt Today

2/13/2018 7:54:26 PM
<![CDATA[Interview: Queen of Elegance gives priority to intellectual, cultural elegance]]>
What are the differences between Egypt’s Queen of Elegance Competition and the rest of the world’s beauty contests?

Since the competition was launched three years ago, we have tried to set special and motivational conditions for the female participants to deserve winning the title. The competition gives priority to intellectual, cultural and humanitarian elegance along with the ability to serve the community than the criteria of elegant appearance. Hence, elegance in the competition is a comprehensive concept.

On what basis the competitors are chosen?

They should be intellectual and have a university degree, and should not exceed 33 years old with suitable weight and height. Additionally, having participated in a voluntary work as well as social and sports activities makes them special.

Is it obligatory to be without hijab?

No, the competition is open for every girl and woman, and there are many hijab-wearing women participating in the competition.

How many women participants who reached the competitions’ final round until now?

More than 500 women have participated in the competition for the title and, after being knocked out, they has reached 10 girls who were selected with difficulty after they had been subjected to personal, psychological and cultural tests. The ten girls are Sara Mustafa Hamam, Fatima Basiouni Nasr, Iman Adel Awad, Samar Fouad Mohamed, Heba Alaa Mohamed, Mona Mohamed Abdel Hamid, Nour el-Hoda Abdel Rahman, Alaa Alaa Sherif, Sherihan Wagih Mohamed, Sahar Shehata Hussein.

caption 1
The ten female participants in the festival – Press Photo

What happens after selecting the ten finalists?

They will attend various training courses, including human development, nutrition, fashion, etiquette, positive psychology and care for hair and skin, given by specialized experts. Then, they will undergo other tests to choose miss elegant and four maids for the closing ceremony, which will be held on March 2 after playing off the others.

What characterizes the third season?

Every season has certain changes that differentiate it from previous season. What characterizes this season is that the free training courses have been extended for six months for the participant to benefit from them; in the first and second seasons the training courses were given in only a month. Also, in the first and second seasons, only two maids were chosen; however, four maids will be selected in the third edition.

Tell me more about the judges committee.

In third season, the committee includes famous TV hosts such as Leila Shandoul, Bossy al-Tayyar, the fashion designer Sherif Nasr and a Lebanese beauty expert. During the closing ceremony, fashion shows of famous fashion designers will be presented.

caption 3
Judges Committee of Queen of Elegance Competition – Press Photo

What are the awards given to miss elegant in the competition?

She will be awarded with the Miss Elegance Shield and the four maids will be given valuable gifts such as luxury houses. Besides, many news agencies, newspapers, artists and famous TV hosts will attend the closing ceremony in addition to awarding many artists and fashion designers.

Additional reporting by

Marina Gamil

2/13/2018 9:55:57 AM
<![CDATA[Less-cool Facebook losing youth at fast pace: survey]]>
A report by eMarketer said Snapchat is drawing youths away from Facebook at a quicker clip than Facebook-owned Instagram.

Facebook is still growing in the US market, according to research firm, mainly due to increases in usage by older age groups.

The report is the latest to highlight Facebook's problem with attracting and keeping young people, who have long been a core user base for the world's biggest social network.

The research firm said it expected the first-ever decline in the 18-24 age group in the US, a drop of 5.8 percent this year.

It also said that for the first time since its research began, less than half of the 12-17 age group in the United States would be on Facebook, with a 5.6 percent drop in that segment.

The under-12 age group meanwhile will see a decline of 9.3 percent this year, eMarketer said.

The same trend is expected to continue into 2019 and 2020, with declines in all segments of US users under 25, the report added.

Facebook will lose an estimated two million users under 25 this year, with Snapchat and Instagram the main beneficiaries.

The report said Snapchat will add 1.9 million users under 25 in 2018 and Instagram will add 1.6 million.

Snapchat, which is known for its disappearing messages, will continue to have more users aged 12 to 24 than Instagram, the researchers said.

But Snapchat could end up facing a similar problem as it seeks to increase its user base and reach all ages.

"Snapchat could eventually experience more growth in older age groups, since it's redesigning its platform to be easier to use," eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson said.

"The question will be whether younger users will still find Snapchat cool if more of their parents and grandparents are on it. That's the predicament Facebook is in."

Facebook remains the most popular social network in the US market with an estimated 169.5 million users this year, according to eMarketer.

But faster-growing Instagram will be used by 104.7 million Americans and Snapchat will reach 86.5 million users, according to the forecast.

Last year, eMarketer predicted Facebook would see declines among some youths for the first time in its history.

A report last year by investment firm Piper Jaffray showed Snapchat is the preferred social network for US teens, with 47 percent using the platform.]]>
2/13/2018 3:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[A new take on the French manicure]]>
The French Fade:


Love the ongoing ombre trend? How about you try an ombre French? The French Fade is a great twist on the traditional French manicure, giving you the nude base with a light or white tip albeit with a creative, on trend adaptation.

The Double Line:


Although it only adds a minimalistic extra line to the design, The Double Line gives the conventional French manicure a futuristic, yet elegant feel that makes it a great new adaptation.

The Upside Down:


A post shared by Elena (@nails_gel_lounge) on

Yes, the French manicure can look just as good, maybe even better, upside down. Add a little white polish near your cuticles and get a modern chic look; add a splash of color to the combination and get tasteful, sophisticated design.

The Colored Version:


Using bolder, brighter colors instead of just your plain, old white can breathe back the life into the unadventurous original French. You can really get a contrast by adding colors like black or red, or stay simple and modest with a baby pink.

The Dressed Up Version


It can be achieved by using a glittery polish as opposed to your normal white, adding beads or small sparkles, or even utilizing different designs. This can really indicate your character and be used more as an alternate form of expression.]]>
2/13/2018 1:47:32 AM
<![CDATA[et Bites: Battaw wholesome Egyptian cuisine ]]>
In a cozy yet traditional setting, Battaw has managed to remix the modern day millennial style with an authentic atmosphere in its interior design. While serving traditional Egyptian cuisine, they always add that Battaw touch that fuses their identity with the Egyptian foodie scene.

We all love Egyptian food for all its flaws. We know that it’s fatty but Battaw’s chef Alaa Mohamed has made it healthy and light so that you won’t enter a food coma. We sat down with chef Mohamed to talk about everything foodie and delicious that makes Battaw and Egyptian food special, while also taking a tour of the kitchen and a sneak peek into the magic that goes on behind the stove.

2/12/2018 5:35:47 PM
<![CDATA[Back to basics: Taiwan's industrial chic]]>
The style reflects the island's sprawling cities and aims to breathe new life into mundane materials more often found on building sites or in workshops.

Jewellery and watchmaker Sean Yu uses concrete for his products, starting out by making rings from the material.

After experimenting with different types of concrete, he now uses a mix similar to the formula used to construct buildings.

His latest top-selling item is a mechanical watch with a concrete surface in the shape of a spiral staircase. It launched last year and set a sales record on crowd-funding website Zeczec, raising over Tw$12 million ($400,000) in pre-orders.

Yu says his style is inspired by acclaimed Japanese architect Tadao Ando, known for his masterly use of concrete.

"I design for myself and for like-minded people who are avant-garde and rebellious, and who like novel things," Yu told AFP.

"What attracts me most about concrete is that when you treat an ordinary material well, you can deliver new values."

His products are also on sale in Britain, Japan and the United States.

Plumber-turned-interior designer Daniel Cheng uses iron piping to create everything from lights to shelves and sofa frames.

Cheng branched out into furniture design when he was seeking to expand his business and also uses steel bars, tyres, truck wheel rims and car seats for his creations.

"My inspirations are simple. I was a plumber and it's something I worked with everyday," he said.

"I want to use my imagination to make something interesting and meaningful."

Cheng says most of his clients order custom-made products, with local celebrities among his fans, as well as businesses that have hired him to decorate restaurants, cafes and clothes shops.

Ginger Chang of the Taiwan Design Centre, which promotes local designers and brands, said the industrial look featuring cement, brass, aluminium and granite is increasingly popular as an interior design trend on the island.

"The public like fresh things and they are looking for something special in terms of materials. They like the one-of-a-kind feel," Chang told AFP.

Consumers are also drawn by a green element to some of the industrial chic products.

Balance Wu says he wants to prevent motorcycle seat-pads and scrap leather from ending up as garbage, so uses them to create wallets, bags and accessories.

There's no shortage of material -- Taiwan's cities are clogged with mopeds -- and Wu's creations are now sold in design shops from Taipei to New York.

"Motorcycle leather is a humble and durable material that has to withhold wind, rain and sun every day," says Wu, who co-designs the products with his wife Chin Yang.

"We are turning this durable material into products that can be used for a long time."

2/12/2018 1:20:00 PM
<![CDATA[Oppa Gangneung style! - fashion on show at the Games]]>
With Pyeongchang shaping up to be the coldest Games in decades, furry hats, thick puffer coats and neck warmers are a necessity, but can be stylish too.

Canadian short track speed skater Jamie Macdonald is very happy with her red and black parka which has “Canada” emblazoned across the chest and a white maple leaf on the back.

“I feel like it really embodies the Canadian spirit and I think we all look really good too, so that’s a huge plus,” she told Reuters Television.

Other athletes say comfort is as important as looking good.

“I think it works well,” said Sarah Forster, a Swiss ice hockey player wearing black track pants and a red and white parka with the Swiss cross.

“Usually we always wear jeans to go to work. To be able to walk around in a tracksuit for three weeks, that’s good too,” she said.

At Friday’s icy opening ceremony where teams marched in colorful uniforms in the parade of nations, few could match Tonga’s topless flag-bearer Pita Taufatofua.

The 34-year-old cross-country skier was cheered when he emerged from the tunnel covered in body oil and wearing a grass skirt, sandals and a huge smile.

"Tonga's shirtless flag bearer has done it again," said a headline on Twitter.

By far the most common outfit is the pink and gray worn by the army of volunteers deployed across the venues in Pyeongchang and the coastal town of Gangneung.

Yoon Gun-woo, a South Korean volunteer at the Gangneung Olympic Park, said he liked the job but the uniform was a bit too garish for his taste.

“It’s the colour of meat. It feels a bit strange,” he said.
2/12/2018 12:58:20 PM
<![CDATA[et Guide: Where to go this Valentine’s Day ]]>
Eish & Malh dinner and live music

Conrad Cairo jazz and dance night

Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza


Kempinski Nile Hotel Cairo

Sane Egypt

Fairmont Nile City – Cairo

Hilton Pyramids Golf

JW Marriott Hotel Cairo

Marriott Mena House,Cairo

Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino

Radisson Blu Hotel, Cairo Heliopolis

Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski

Le Méridien Heliopolis

Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino

The Westin Cairo Golf Resort & Spa

Renaissance Cairo Mirage City Hotel

Smart Art

InterContinental Cairo Semiramis

Shakespeare and Co. Egypt

Omar Khairat

Le Meridien Cairo Airport

Anti-Valentin’s day party at Live Sports Bar

Escape all the romance this valentine as Live Sports Bar is celebrating those charming single ladies, gather your friends and Party the night away with live performance of Hisham Tiba and enjoy a complementary welcome drink specially prepared for single ladies.

No hearts. No hugs. No flowers and get ready to smash the heart!
For reservation and more information: +202 22659600

Anti-Valentin’s day party3
Photo Via Le Meridien Cairo Airport


Unlock Romance at Le Meridien Cairo Airport

Spark romance and savor the moment this valentine at EVOO, pamper your significant other with a romantic buffet dinner for 300++ and give your better half a heart-warming experience to remember.

For more info and reservations: +20 2 22659600

wes49rf-226025-Valentines day at PanEVO Restaurant-High
Photo Via Le Meridien Cairo Airport

Last minute reservation at Grand Nile Tower

Grand Nile Tower invites you to the most spectacular and highest restaurant in the Middle East, the Revolving Restaurant, where you can enjoy a memorable candle lit dinner with overwhelming atmosphere of romance, while the music melodies will make it an exceptional romantic night. This entire exquisite experience with an astonishing 360-degree panorama of the Nile and city of Cairo makes the Revolving Restaurant Cairo’s most romantic meeting place this Valentine.

Marquise yacht serves up an intimate dinner with live entertainment while cruising the Nile. Make it an unforgettable night and book a luxurious Nile View room and enjoy the ultimate Valentine experience.

Revolving Restaurant
Photo Via Grand Nile Tower

2/12/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[SHE CAN’18 for Women Entrepreneurship]]>
With the cooperation of The National Council for Women, the summit covers four different industries: Education, Media, Technology and Creative.

With over 40 speakers, several panel discussions, an exhibition area and live music, SHE CAN’18 is setting the bar for women empowerment events in the region. The event will include interactive activities that include one-to-one mentorship clinics provided by over 40 mentors from different fields who will share their experience and answer the attendee’s questions.

The event highlights successful women who have conquered personal, career and gender related obstacles who will share their stories to encourage the next generation. SHE CAN’18 will provide the much-needed networking opportunities for young women, while providing workshops and mentorship clinics that are essential for every woman who wants to start a new business, as well as workshops and mentorship clinics that are essential for a female entrepreneur.

For entertainment, there will be live music, also a kids area, an exhibition area and some tasty food to keep you going during the two days.

“The main idea behind SHE CAN is to help women and girls understand what entrepreneurship is, the opportunities that lie ahead of them in different fields, and how to transform their ideas into real projects having the required knowledge and experience,” Entreprenelle Founder Rania Ayman stated in a press release. “One of the biggest issues that cause a gap in the entrepreneurship field is that women are unaware of the available resources in the market, that’s why Entreprenelle acts as the link connecting women to all available resources in one place.”

2/11/2018 8:53:42 PM
<![CDATA[Bottega Veneta at home on New York runway]]>
The Italian luxury label's Big Apple show, to celebrate the opening of its largest boutique in the world on Madison Avenue, was one of the most coveted tickets in an otherwise flailing Fashion Week as top US talent decamps to Europe.

It was the first runway show in the historic Renaissance Revival building, the ex-headquarters of the American Stock Exchange, reimagined as a cozy chic luxury apartment that advertised understated Italian elegance -- precisely the wares now on sale on Madison.

"The Italian art of living begins and ends in the home," advised the program notes. Guests were given a fake newspaper feting the new store, referred to as "Maison," just to make sure they got the point.

The set was complete with fireplace, easy chairs and elegant dining room, where at the end of the show, models poured into the living area, chatting and sipping wine.

The show itself pulled out all the stops, sending out 65 models in different looks, headlined by Kaia Gerber and Gigi Hadid.

Actresses Priyanka Chopra and Julianne Moore sat front row, Moore making it a fashion hat trick after attending Tom Ford and Tory Burch.

The fall/winter 2018 collection was very sleek, sophisticated and luxurious -- a masterclass in understated European elegance at the expense of headline-grabbing bling with not a puffer coat in sight.

- Herrera farewell -

There were silk pajamas in sumptuous jewel colors worn under exquisitely tailored winter coats. There was animal print and patchworks of color blocks, yet it was never gaudy, never kitsch.

It was an explosion of color -- warm tones for winter, yellow, red and orange, with pointy ankle boots and a copious amount of bags to highlight a mainstay of their global business empire.

CEO Claus-Dietrich Lahrs played down talk of any crisis at Fashion Week, although the relocation to New York was one-time only.

"New York has its place, Milan has its place and Paris has its place," he told AFP.

With 270 shops around the world and another due to open later this year in Tokyo, Lahrs was also confident that bricks-and-mortar shops would survive the e-commerce revolution.

"In the luxury market, the client wants to be known personally," he explained.

Earlier in the day, first lady favorite Carolina Herrera signaled the end of an era, announcing that she would step down from her four-decade-old label and after her own runway show on Monday.

The Venezuelan-born 79-year-old said she had appointed US designer Wes Gordon to take over as creative director after she takes the bow at her fall/winter 2018 fashion show at the Museum of Modern Art.

The London-trained Gordon, who from 2010 to 2016 presented his eponymous womenswear collection in New York, has been creative consultant at Carolina Herrera for a year.

- 'Optimism' -

Tory Burch, the doyenne of preppy chic meets boho insouciance, showcased breezy optimism in a field of pink carnations for a post-#MeToo world.

The stunning set transformed a space under a flyover into a field of 14,000 flowers sprouting from springy moss, light streaming through the windows and the Chamber Orchestra of New York playing Vivaldi.

Her fall/winter 2018 collection was romantic, whimsical and partly inspired by Lee Radziwill, the 84-year-old indomitable American socialite and younger sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

And if there was a hot pink bow blouse and matching skirt, any allusion to the pink pussy hats worn by women marching against the Trump administration was pure coincidence: turns out Radziwill has a hot pink couch in her Paris living room.

"I promise that wasn't in my mind. It really wasn't," laughed 51-year-old Burch, worth an estimated $600 million according to Forbes.

"I'm a big supporter of women and women's issues but that is probably not how I would demonstrate that," she added. "I love the color and pink, we were referencing Lee Radziwill... she had a pink couch."

But Burch is only too happy to see positivity blowing in the winds as the United States navigates the sexual harassment watershed.

"You can read optimism into the whole mood of the collection," she told AFP. "That is a definite direction," she said.
2/11/2018 8:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Herrera to bow out, sea of pink carnations at Tory Burch]]>
The Venezuelan-born 79-year-old Herrera said she had appointed US designer Wes Gordon to take over as creative director after she takes the bow at her fall/winter 2018 fashion show at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan on Monday.

But if she's waving goodbye to the runway, she insisted in an interview with The New York Times that she was not retiring. Instead she will become a global brand ambassador for her fashion label, which has a reported $1.4 billion in annual sales.

"I am so pleased Wes is now part of the Herrera House -- he's the right one for this position to further build on our great momentum," she said in a statement.

Gordon, who studied in London, and from 2010 to 2016 presented his eponymous womenswear collection in New York, has been creative consultant at Carolina Herrera for a year.

Herrera founded her namesake fashion house in 1981, going on to dress first ladies from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to Michelle Obama and Melania Trump, as well as Hollywood actresses like Renee Zellweger, not to mention generations of society women.

"Fashion has changed a lot," Herrera told the Times.

"Women dress in a very strange way. Like clowns. There is a lot of pressure to change all the time. But it's better to wear what suits you."

Tory Burch also knows what suits her, transforming a market space under a flyover into a field of pink carnations sprouting from springy moss, light streaming through the windows and the Chamber Orchestra of New York playing Vivaldi.

Her fall/winter 2018 collection was romantic, whimsical and partly inspired by Lee Radziwill, the 84-year-old indomitable American socialite and younger sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

And if there was a hot pink pussy bow blouse and matching skirt, any allusion to the pink pussy hats worn by women marching against the Trump administration was pure coincidence: turns out Radziwill has a hot pink couch in her Paris living room.

- China market -

"I promise that wasn't in my mind. It really wasn't," laughed 51-year-old Burch, worth an estimated $600 million according to Forbes.

"I'm a big supporter of women and women's issues but that is probably not how I would demonstrate that," she added. "I love the color and pink, we were referencing Lee Radziwill... she had a pink couch."

But she is only too happy to see positivity blowing in the winds as the United States navigates the sexual harassment watershed.

"You can read optimism into the whole mood of the collection," she told AFP. "That is a definite direction," she said.

"Women's rights is the reason I started my company... this has been ingrained in our conversation for 14 years so to see a sea change is pretty spectacular."

Her collection showcased feminine layers mixed with classic tailoring, chintz reimagined and made modern into a floaty dress, scarf hemlines paired with clean-cut tomboy jackets and a blanket poncho reflecting the boho vibe of the label.

There was a handbag named after Lee. Colors were ivory, pale pink, green and navy, with patchworks of florals and stripes, delicate lace and organza, pointy-toed booties.

If New York Fashion Week is struggling to excite buyers and editors as big names sit out the schedule or flee to Europe, Burch is not one of those to defect.

"I love showing in New York," she said. But she is thinking about "more seasonless dressing" -- reflected in the layering, making the clothes wearable in any clime.

It's very useful for a global business: "They're very interested in fashion and also they're traveling a lot," said Burch of the Chinese client. "The China market is very important for us."
2/11/2018 7:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Britain's Kate facing BAFTA black dress 'dilemma']]>
If the red carpet "blackout" at last month's Golden Globes is copied at the February 18 ceremony in London, Prince William's wife Kate may have to decide whether to be seen to be joining in or standing apart.

Royal women traditionally do not wear all-black unless in mourning, and the monarchy avoids public protest.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper said Kate "will be left in a diplomatic minefield... a trickier dilemma than ever" when she accompanies William, the president of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, to the BAFTA bash.

Kate, 36, who is expecting her third child in April, wore a black dress with white flowers at last year's ceremony.

Her Kensington Palace office declined to comment.

The Hollywood Reporter magazine said it had seen a letter addressed to BAFTA guests inviting them to wear black like "our sisters" at the Golden Globes in Los Angeles.

"We feel it is important to make a statement to show global solidarity and that the issue is not being forgotten," it said.

"Wearing black is a strong, unifying and simple statement -- a physical and visual representation of our solidarity with people across all industries who have experienced sexual harassment and abuse."

At the Globes, Hollywood's A-listers turned out en masse wearing black outfits, with only the slightest hints of colour.

It was a sartorial show of force to draw attention to the issue in show business and beyond, a culture of abuse revealed in the downfall of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and others.

Britain's Daily Mail newspaper described the reported BAFTA plan as "virtue signalling, the sequel".

The best actress nominees are Annette Bening, Sally Hawkins, Frances McDormand, Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan.

Allison Janney, Lesley Manville, Laurie Metcalf, Kristin Scott Thomas and Octavia Spencer have been shortlisted for the best supporting actress gong.

"The Shape of Water" leads the BAFTA nominations with 12 nods, ahead of "Darkest Hour" and "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" with nine.
2/10/2018 12:40:00 PM
<![CDATA[New revolution of technology: Token rings ]]>
The ring also acts as a transit card and access card, meaning you can enter your office without the hassle of looking for that sign-in card. In order to produce the ring, Token is collaborating with MasterCard, Microsoft, Visa, HID, FitPay and the FIDO Alliance.

The company produced an elegant and simple design that is capable of keeping your password and security codes secure, while also remaining stylish and easy to handle. The product also aims to increase security, while ensuring that consumers do not waste more time on resetting their passwords constantly and turning on two-factor authentication.

The sterling silver ring contains a fingerprint censor and optical proximity that will not allow any other party to access the user’s biometric information.

Speaking rather fondly about the ring and the increased security standards that it offers, Kiki Del Valle, Senior Vice President, Commerce for Every Device, commented on the device, “at MasterCard, the purpose of our Commerce for Every Device Program is to enable secure payments to a whole new generation of devices — giving consumers more choice in how they pay.”

For Valle, the Token ring is a safe alternative for cash and credit cards, “the Token device provides our card holders a personalized lifestyle accessory that can make simple and safe contactless transactions at millions of merchant locations in 96 countries around the globe.”

Melanie Shaprio, the co-founder and CEO of the company, said in the launching statement, “the way we prove who we are is broken. Token allows you to prove who you are — from your front door to your office to the grocery store — while simultaneously protecting your information with advanced cryptography.” Shaprio spoke about how the internet is an amazing place that almost everyone uses today for free, expressing that many people are fighting for our right for free access.

Still, she pointed out that, as did the Token website, it is not enough to have free access, the internet should also be safe for all that use it. Otherwise, according to the Token website, “the internet can be a place of incredible risk, which limits how comfortable we feel connecting more of our lives to the internet.”
Still, we did have our doubts about the ring: can’t someone steal it and access our information? According to the Token website, it is not possible because there is a series of steps that must be followed to ensure that the identity of the ring matches yours, including the fingerprint censor previously mentioned.

The ring costs $250 and is available in white, black and rose gold, in addition to its original silver color that costs an additional $50.

2/10/2018 12:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[#MeToo NY Fashion show spotlights sexual harassment]]>
Far from the bright lights of the most coveted fashion tickets in town, none of the women were famous. The venue was a room practically given for free by an affordable hotel close to Times Square.

Instead it was an overtly political show organized by advocate and entrepreneur Myriam Chalek, who has made a name for herself by putting marginalized models on the runway during events such as a dwarf show in Dubai.

If labels such as Tom Ford have also referenced women empowerment this week -- the Texan-born designer turned director showcased "Pussy Power" purses -- Chalek says it is the entire point of her show.

"I feel like every woman has some kind of responsibility to do something and contribute to change," she told AFP. "If you are saying it's time to change or time's up, then do something about it."

The clothes were not the star of the show, although the 30-year-old said the mix of fur and leather on the one hand, with silk and tulle on the other aimed to show both the strength and femininity of women.

"The difference with this fashion show is that one of the criteria (for models) is that you had to be a victim of sexual misconduct to take part in this show," she explained.

- Pig's mask -

After walking the runway before the roughly 200 assembled guests, the eight models each took to the microphone in turn, standing next to a man dressed entirely in black, his face covered with a pig's mask.

In a few minutes, they told their story, often years old of how a friend of the family, a boyfriend or an online predator had harassed them, assaulted or even raped them, their voices often breaking.

"I am a little shaken," said one, after recounting in detail how she was raped by a date and didn't dare tell her mother for weeks.

"Standing here and talking about this is so important... I'm really sorry to say 'me too,' but I am really glad we are doing something about it finally," she added to huge applause.

After their remarks, came a period of heavy silence. "I like the silence because I feel you felt it... how they became vulnerable one more time in front of you, a room full of strangers," said Chalek.

"I am not going to say this fashion show is going to change things overnight," she admitted. "But I'm hopeful you are going to leave this room talking about it and being more educated."

"If we can even get just one woman to come out and not repress her feelings anymore, that's already an accomplishment," she said.]]>
2/10/2018 12:15:00 PM
<![CDATA[Why you should drink more tea?]]>

1. Tea keeps your body hydrated

Tea is 99% water and is considered a means of hydration. Drinking on average three to four cups of tea a day positively contributes to daily fluid requirements, helping to promote health and well-being.

2. Tea helps to refresh body and mind

The consumption of tea, both green and black, has been associated with refreshment, relaxation and feelings of satisfaction.

3. Drinking tea increases metabolism

This, in turn, may aid weight loss. The polyphenol found in green tea works to intensify levels of fat oxidation, as well as the rate by which the body turns food into calories.

4. Green tea helps regulate glucose levels

This slows the rise of blood sugar after eating and can prevent high insulin spikes.

5. Protects against the formation of clots, which are the primary cause of heart disease

Scientists have found that Green Tea works on the lining of blood vessels, helping keep them stay relaxed and better able to withstand changes to blood pressure levels. Regular green tea consumption is thought to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.

6. Green Tea helps lower cholesterol

It lowers the levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and raises the levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.

7. Helps to protect brain cells

Tea is said to delay the deterioration caused by Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Studies show that green tea helped protect brain cells from dying and restored damaged brain cells.

8. Oral Health

Studies suggest that the chemical antioxidant “catechin” in tea can help destroy bacteria and viruses that cause throat infections, dental cavities and other dental conditions.

9. Relaxing

Theanine is an amino acid naturally found in tea leaves. This substance is thought to provide a relaxing and tranquilizing effect, serving as a potential great benefit to tea drinkers.

10. Antibacterial and antiviral

Tea catechins are strong antibacterial and antiviral agents, which make them effective for treating everything from influenza to cancer. In some studies, green tea has been shown to inhibit the spread of many diseases.

11. Anti-aging

Green tea can also slow the appearance of signs of aging, which is due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have demonstrated that green tea, applied topically, can reduce sun damage.

2/10/2018 12:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Stuart Weitzman steps out in chunky heels for New York Fashion Week]]>
The fashion world’s first major runway show for the year opened in New York on Thursday, with more than 100 designers expected to present their visions across New York City.

Along with a new location, in downtown Manhattan, this year’s Fashion Week is also expected to be dramatically changed by the #Metoo movement and the ongoing discussion about gender equality, sexual harassment and sexual abuse. Already, the men’s shows that traditionally precede the week opened with a show featuring models who identify as non-binary, that is neither male nor female.

One of the most anticipated runway shows, on Friday, will be dedicated entirely to the #MeToo campaign. The not-for-profit runway show will feature survivors of sexual abuse on the runway.

On Thursday, Weitzman’s new creative director, Giovanni Morelli, the first to succeed the brand’s namesake who stepped down last year, had his eyes firmly on the fashion.

“We believe in the casualization of the shoes,” Morelli said. “I really believe very firmly that our brand should have different kind of shoes for different kind of women.”

Under Morelli’s direction, the high-end footwear company, which is owned by Tapestry Inc, is expanding into more casual flats, sandals, loafers and sneakers.

“We’re not the kind of brand that believes only in the high heel,” Morelli said.

The first day of New York Fashion Week saw red carpet staple Tadashi Shoji delight with sequined gowns, thigh-revealing long slits and bold colors. Juicy Couture, known for its velour tracksuits, was also set to make its return to the runway in New York.

Marvel is also getting in on the fashion game with a show on Monday expected to reveal designs inspired by “Black Panther,” the first black standalone superhero movie by the franchise. Other designers will include Michael Kors, Carolina Herrera and Victoria Beckham for the week.

2/10/2018 11:45:01 AM
<![CDATA[et Skin Series: Niacinamide]]>
It is a water-soluble vitamin that can help improve your skin visibly by improving the appearance of enlarged pores, uneven skin tone, fine lines and wrinkles, dullness, and a weakened surface. It can also reduce the damage that environmental attack can cause.

1 (1)
Mushrooms are a good source of niacinamide. Via CC/Pexels.

What makes niacinamide so versatile is that it is uniquely compatible with any of the products in your skincare routine, including those that contain retinol, peptides, hyaluronic acid, AHAs BHA, and all types of antioxidants. This means it can be used as an ingredient in any step in the routine.

Another helpful benefit of niacinamide is that it can help renew and restore the surface of skin against moisture loss and dehydration. In fact, niacinamide has been shown to boost the hydrating ability of moisturizers, so the skin’s surface learns to resist moisture loss better, meaning less dryness and tightness occurs in your skin. Niacinamide is also an antioxidant, and while many antioxidants prevent damage caused by oxidative stress and environmental factors, niacinamide goes one step further and reverses the visible signs brought about by the onslaught.
2/9/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Chinese police don high-tech glasses to nab suspects]]>
In a scene reminiscent of the dystopian sci-fi television show "Black Mirror", officers in the central city of Zhengzhou are wearing the digital shades amid the crush of travellers heading home during Chinese New Year, the busiest time for the country's transit system.

So far, the technology has allowed police to nab seven suspects accused of crimes ranging from human trafficking to hit and runs, as well as another 26 people who were using fake IDs, according to the state-owned People's Daily, quoting the city's police department.

The system is part of China's efforts to build a digital surveillance system able to use a variety of biometric data -- from photos and iris scans to fingerprints -- to keep close tabs on the movements of the entire population.

The rapid development of the technology has triggered a demand for commercial applications of the technology as well, with gyms, restaurants and even public toilets getting in on the facial recognition game.

The special glasses are being used by four officers positioned at the entrances to Zhengzhou's east station, according to the People's Daily.

The glasses have a camera connected to a smartphone-like device that allows the officers to take mugshots of suspicious individuals and compare them to a database back at headquarters.

The app brings up the suspect's vital information, including name, ethnicity, gender and address.

It also tells officers whether the possible perps are on the run from the law, the address of the hotel where they are staying and information related to their internet usage.

Experts say China is racing ahead of Western countries in deploying facial scanners owing to its comparatively lax privacy laws and because Chinese are used to having their pictures, fingerprints and other personal details taken.

Banks are beginning to use facial recognition instead of cards at cash machines while the travel and leisure industry also sees opportunities -- China Southern Airlines this year began doing away with boarding passes in favour of the scheme.

But the programmes have drawn fierce criticism from human rights organisations and privacy advocates, who are concerned by their potential for abuse.

2/8/2018 8:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[6 things I expect from a man]]>
Today, I share with you the six most important things I expect from my significant other (SO) in hopes of inspiring some, helping others and to be frank, getting it off my chest.

1. Loyalty, loyalty, loyalty…

Loyalty is key in any relationship. It is the fundamental cornerstone on which any relationship is built. I would expect my partner to be loyal to me and true to me, as I would be to him. In an age where technology has made it easier than ever to cheat on you SO or do something behind their back that would upset them without them finding out, loyalty and the feeling of trust has become more important than ever. In short, I need to know and feel my partner's loyalty. Voila, mystery unraveled.

2. Be my best friend:

Make me feel that I can tell you anything and everything. Don’t get all grumpy and bored when I speak to you about my day or how upset I am about the silly coffee spill on my jumper. I know it is silly but I want to share it with you. I want you to listen and share with me. I want to be there for you all the time, like I expect you to be there for me. You will be the first person I think of when I get upset, excited, happy and so on, I would like the same from you.

Being my best friend will certainly make me feel loved without you having to say it. After all, saying 'I love you' a lot takes the meaning out of it. Instead, you can express our love by doing the things that I love with me, and, of course, I will do the same.

Let me know that you love me through your actions. Watch my favorite TV show with me instead of that football match, and expect me to get excited for that football match that you want to watch so much, even if I do not really like football.

3. Balancing honesty and being complementary:

Just because I love compliments doesn’t mean I want to be lied to. I expect my significant other to be honest but kind, truthful my mindful of my feelings, as I would be to him. Moderation is your best friend here. I want you to tell me if I have gained weight or if I do not necessarily look good in this color but I want you to be respectful while telling me and I need you to choose the time and the place to do it. Telling me in the middle of a gathering that yellow is not my color will do nothing but upset me and, frankly, piss me off.

Also, know that I do not need the compliments to survive, I am my own person. I want them. There is a big difference. I want you to notice that I have put in the effort to look good, or wear that article of clothing you like so much. I will do the same to you. Compliments make us feel noticed, that is why I believe in them.

4. Be responsive:

Ever heard of eye contact? Look at my eyes when I speak to you, react when I say something and for the love of God, do not zone out! It is not that hard; trust me. I want to feel that my SO is engaged with me and that they want to listen to me, just like they would want.

5. Safety:

Make me feel safe. Be there for me. You are my shoulder to cry on and the person I will run to when I need help or when someone upsets/hurts me. And no, you are not the only person who would/could help me, but I want YOU to be the one to help me, just like I would want my SO to come to me when they want me.

6. Tend to her:

I needs to know that my SO cares and that he is giving me his all. Our relationship will be a give and take. I will compromise when I need to but they also need to compromise when there is a need to. I need to know that my SO will be there when I am in doubt or a little bit off. I need to know that they won’t walk away.

So, there you have it, the six most important things I want from my significant other. Remember though, every woman is different and wants/needs different things. Simplest way to understand your woman/man? Ask them, speak to them, communicate.
2/7/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[In the battle over his sole, Louboutin loses a round]]>
The French designer went to court in The Netherlands to prevent the Dutch high street chain Van Haren from selling its own versions of his distinctive footwear, a favorite on celebrity red carpets.

But an advocate general at the European Court of Justice advised the court that Louboutin’s trademark protection on the shade of red used on his soles, dating from 2010 and 2013, might be invalid. The judges usually, though not always, follow such advice.

“A trademark combining color and shape may be refused or declared invalid on the grounds set out under EU trademark law,” the ECJ said in a statement, outlining Maciej Szpunar’s advice to the judges hearing the case, which was referred by a Dutch court.

The red color could not be considered apart from the shape of the sole, Szpunar advised, and shapes are usually not protected under EU trade mark law.

Szpunar “expresses doubts as to whether the color red can perform the essential function of a trade mark, that of identifying its proprietor, when that color is used out of context, that is to say, separately from the shape of a sole,” the ECJ said.

Szpunar said his analysis focused exclusively on the issue of the shape of soles and not on the value of the branding of the shoes - he took “no account of (the) attractiveness of the goods flowing from the reputation of the mark or its proprietor”.

“Whilst relevant consumers may instantly recognize a red sole shoe being uniquely associated with Louboutin, trying to persuade the courts to grant monopoly rights with such a ‘badge of origin’ may well be an insurmountable hurdle,” said Sanjay Kapur, partner at intellectual property firm Potter Clarkson LLP.

Kapur said that if the ECJ were to follow Szpunar’s opinion “then this could mean that Louboutin would not be able to stop its competitors, including haute couture fashion houses, from offering shoes with red soles.”

Once the ECJ reaches its verdict, it will be up to the Dutch court that referred the case to take the final decision on whether Louboutin’s red sole can be a trademark.
2/7/2018 8:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Hot tea tied to higher cancer risk for smokers and drinkers]]>
Among Chinese adults who drank at least one beer, cocktail or glass of wine daily, those who also consumed burning hot tea every day were 5 times more likely to develop esophageal cancer than people who drank tea at any temperature less than once a week, the study found.

For current smokers, drinking scalding hot tea every day was associated with roughly twice the risk of esophageal cancer as consuming tea less than weekly.

“Keeping away from both tobacco and excessive alcohol use is the most important means for esophageal cancer prevention,” said study coauthor Dr. Jun Lv of Peking University Health Science Center in China.

“Under this increased risk of esophageal cancer from smoking and drinking alcohol, if people like drinking very hot tea, the risk of developing cancer will be synergistically higher,” Lv said by email.

But by itself, drinking hot tea doesn’t increase cancer risk, Lv said.

China is among the countries with the highest incidence of esophageal cancer, researchers note in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Because tea drinkers in China, especially men, are more likely to drink alcohol and smoke, previous studies haven’t offered a clear picture or whether burning hot tea might be an independent risk factor for esophageal tumors.

While some prior research has suggested tea may help protect against tumors in the digestive tract, other studies have shown repeated consumption of very hot food or drink might damage the esophagus and help tumors take hold, the researchers note.

For the current study, researchers examined data on 456,155 adults ages 30 to 79 who completed questionnaires about their smoking, alcohol and tea habits.

At the start of the study, none of the participants had cancer. Researchers followed half of the participants for at least 9 years. During the study, 1,731 people developed esophageal tumors.

People who drank scalding hot tea, consumed excessive amounts of alcohol and also smoked had more than five times the risk of esophageal cancer than individuals who didn’t do any of these things.

The study wasn’t a controlled experiment designed to prove whether or how the temperature of tea might impact the risk of esophageal tumors.

Another limitation is that study participants reported on their own smoking and drinking habits, and their reports could be unreliable. Researchers also only had data on tea consumption from one point in time, when people joined the study, making it impossible to know how changing habits might have impacted the cancer risk.

“People probably do not estimate their tea temperature perfectly, and this is one of the main limitations of the study,” said Neal Freedman, author of an accompanying editorial and a researcher with the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.

“Drinking tea at a lower temperature should not be considered as a replacement for smoking cessation and limiting alcohol intake,” Freedman said by email. “Nevertheless, accumulating data suggest that drinking very hot tea may also increase the risk of esophageal cancer, and it may be prudent for people who drink very hot beverages to wait until it cools down a bit before drinking, whether or not they also smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol.”
2/7/2018 7:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[5 things in your kitchen that can tackle large pores]]>
Aloe Vera Gel:

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Ancient Egypt called this plant the “plant of immortality” and for good reasons. Aloe Vera has been known to act as a great skin moisturizer, pore and stretch mark eliminator, acne and sun damage healer, and anti-aging agent. Simply by applying it to your face, you’ll see how it soothingly reduces the size of any visible pores. Quick hint: It can be used as a makeup primer, as it leaves a slightly tacky finish, which can help make your makeup last longer.


Yes, it’s as simple as that! Ice is renowned for its tightening effects on skin. It also reduces pimples and inflammations, boosts blood circulation, relieves puffy eyes, delays the appearance of wrinkles and stimulates collagen. Just simply run an ice cube on your face and see its miraculous effects.

Apple Cider Vinegar:

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The raw, organic, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is the one to look out for; it’s the one that will give you the greatest and purest results. It helps reduce fine lines, remove pimples, tighten and clear your skin, minimize large pores, and restore the skin’s pH balance. It is best used when diluted in water, so mix equal amounts of water and vinegar, soak a cotton ball, and smoothly run it all over your face to obtain results. Quick hint: Try directly applying a small undiluted amount of it on unwanted pimples and blemishes.

Egg Whites:

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It was used long ago by ancient civilizations, such as the Egyptians, Chinese and Arabs, to achieve radiant skin and hair. It has amazing properties, such as tightening pores, lifting and tightening saggy skin, reducing excess oils, fighting and preventing both acne and its scars, reducing eye puffiness, eliminating blackheads, and delaying fine lines and wrinkles. Simply whisk an egg white and spread it evenly on your face, cover your skin with pieces of tissue paper and peel them off when the mixture dries. Do this once or twice a week on a regular basis to acquire the greatest results.


Through different masks, sugar can do anything from removing pigmentation marks, dark spots, age spots and freckles to making your skin smooth and flawless. You can use it to exfoliate, hydrate and even tone your skin.

To remove spots and pigmentation:

• Mix 2 spoons of sugar and 4 spoons of lemon juice.
• Rub this mix on your face using your fingertips in an upward motion.
• Rub till sugar granules dissolve completely.
• Wash off with water.

To exfoliate:

• Mix sugar and a heavy face moisturizer, where the amount of sugar granules is suitable for both your liking and your face sensitivity.
• Rub this mixture in an upwards motion for five minutes.
• Wash and cleanse with a face wash and some water until all traces of the mixture is gone.
• Apply a layer of moisturizer (Note: this step is extremely important for your skin’s health, so please don’t skip it).
• Use this a maximum of once a week and a minimum of once every two weeks for the greatest results.

For smooth and radiant skin:

• Mix 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons of honey and ½ cup organic sugar (Note: this will be enough to fill a small container).
• Wash your face and make sure your makeup is completely removed.
• Scoop a little amount and apply all over your face.
• Scrub in a broad, circular motion.
• Rinse off the mixture after about one minute.
• Pat dry your face.
• Apply moisturizer if needed.
• Use this a maximum of once a week and a minimum of once every two weeks for the greatest results.

Hint: this mixture lasts for about 30 days and should not be refrigerated.

2/6/2018 12:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[World says no to violating girls’ bodies]]>
Feb. 6 marks the annual International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, a practice that has harmed about 200 million girls and women alive today around the world, according to the U.N. Unfortunately, despite being globally condemned, girls are still at risk of going through this painful and humiliating procedure unless a positive momentum is built to intensify global action against this human rights violation for the sake of the future of all generations.

This year, the #MeToo campaign against sexual abuse urged people to come forward and use the hashtag #MeTooFGM on Tuesday to raise awareness about the ritual and to call for FGM to be included as a form of abuse against women.

The international day was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 2012. Later in 2014, the U.N. General Assembly adopted a new resolution to intensify global efforts for the elimination of FGM. Moreover, in 2015, upon the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals


, the U.N. member states agreed to include a target calling for “the elimination of all harmful practices, such as FGM and child marriage.”

On this day, activists and human rights defenders from around the world come together to send a message calling for a systematic, coordinated and inclusive process to promote the abandonment of FGM. They also call for actions that focus on human rights and gender equality to address the sexual and reproductive health needs of women and girls who suffer from FGM consequences or are at risk of going under the procedure.

Global calls are launched on this day to urge governments to enact and enforce laws and policies that protect the rights of girls and women and prevent FGM, to create a healthier, better world for all people. Activists also call for more research to be conducted to show people that there are others around the world who reject the practice.

What is FGM ?

FGM is a ritual that involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia. The practice denies females their dignity, endangers their health, and causes needless pain and emotional trauma with consequences that endure for a lifetime and can even be fatal. The practice reflects deep-rooted inequality between sexes, constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women and girls and denying them of ownership of their bodies. The practice also violates their rights to health, security and physical integrity; their right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; and their right to life when the procedure results in death.

In 2017, the executive director of U.N. Women wrote a blog on the occasion of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, saying, “The cutting and sewing of a young child's private parts so that she is substantially damaged for the rest of her life, has no sensation during sex except probably pain, and may well face further damage when she gives birth, is to many an obvious and horrifying violation of that child's rights.”

She continued, “It makes a mockery of the idea of any part being truly private and underlines the institutionalized way in which decisions over her own body have been taken from that girl – one of some 200 million currently.”

FGM is regularly carried out on minors and young girls between infancy and age 15. It is classified into four major types, according to the UN:

• Clitoridectomy: Partial or total removal of the clitoris (a small, sensitive and erectile part of the female genitals) and, in very rare cases, only the prepuce (the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris).
• Excision: Partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (the labia are "the lips" that surround the vagina).
• Infibulation: Narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the inner or outer labia with or without removal of the clitoris.
• Other: All other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area.

The phenomenon is a universal problem, despite its significant spread in Africa – especially the western, eastern and northeastern regions of Africa. It is also practiced in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Furthermore, the practice persists amongst immigrant populations living in Western Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand.

Causes for FGM practice?

According to the 2016 report by the UN Secretary-General, the main reason that FGM continues is “out of a desire for social acceptance and to avoid social stigma.” FGM is often justified for a mix of cultural, religious and social reasons within families and communities. These reasons include social pressure to conform to what the community has been doing; considering FGM as a necessary part of raising a girl properly and a way to prepare her for adulthood and marriage; cultural ideals of modesty; and the power and authority of local structures, such as community leaders, religious leaders, circumcisers and even some medical personnel, who can contribute to upholding the practice.

Status of FGM in Egypt:

Egyptians inherited FGM from the pharaohs and are still practicing it. In 2006, Egypt launched its national anti-FGM strategy. One year later, the country recognized June 14 as the national day to combat FGM; the date was established to honor the 12-year-old “Bodour Shaker”, who died on the same date as a result of an FGM procedure.

In 2008, the FGM procedure was legally criminalized, while the FGM law was toughened in 2016, increasing its degree of crime from a misdemeanor to a felony, punishable by up to five to seven years in prison. According to a report published by the anti-Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) national program sponsored by the National Population Council, the percentage of married women aged 15-49 who have been subjected to FGM dropped to 92 percent in 2014, while it was 97 percent in 2000 as a result of national campaigns and community initiatives to end FGM. The study and statistics from UNICEF also revealed that prevalence of FGM amongst the younger age groups is rather low, reaching 61 percent amongst females aged 15 - 17.

The government in Egypt has followed a holistic approach to end FGM, adopting a prevention and response agenda. On the prevention level, the Ministry of Health is heavily involved, as data from the Demographic and Health Survey revealed that 72 percent of the practice is conducted by medical doctors. The ministry launched a crackdown campaign on physicians proven to be complicit in performing FGM. Such medical practitioners faced intensified prison sentences. In addition, the government constantly works to bring on board all relevant actors to the fight to end FGM. These actors include education institutions and sensitizing curriculums to call for the abandonment of FGM and encourage community members and policymakers to abandon the practice.

Furthermore, for the first time in the history of Egypt, the Ministry of Health dedicated two hotlines for reporting FGM. The ministry also launched a campaign to distribute awareness cards about the dangers of FGM along with female vaccination cards throughout Egypt.
2/6/2018 11:44:12 AM
<![CDATA[Safer Internet Day: Keeping your child safe online]]>
Start discussing online safety at an early age

According to David Emm, the senior security researcher at internet security company Kaspersky Lab, one of the key ways to ensure your children’s safety online is by discussing online safety with them as soon as they start using the internet. Emm assures that making your children aware of what could be out there gives them a better opportunity to evaluate content well, meaning they are less likely to fall prey for the hurtful, damaging content out there.

In a similar vein, Michai Shulman, CTO of network security firm Imperva, suggests that there is a need to teach children to be aware of the “strangers bearing gifts.” In an interview with The Guardian, Shulman expressed his deep concern about children’s vulnerability to cyber attacks.

“My basic belief is that adults have proven once and again vulnerable to cyber attacks and therefore we cannot expect children to be any better – especially given that their sense of curiosity is far more developed and their sense of caution is far less mature.”

Teach them how to behave online

Shulman explained that he has explained to his children that they should not behave online any differently than they do in the real world. The internet expert also explained to his children “about hackers being a type of criminal that breaks into your house through the computer rather than through the window.” Using this analogy makes it easier for them to understand, Shulman explained.

“I also teach them to beware of strangers bearing gifts much like they should in the physical world. For example, I don’t allow my children to open a mail package if they don’t know who sent it (or got my permission to do so) – much the same way, I don’t allow them to open unsolicited email attachments.”

Similarly, Emm suggests that perhaps using the computer with their parents first makes children able to assess content better and offers both parents and children a chance to discuss the things that are there to protect us, like passwords, and how they should not share them with anyone. When it comes time for them to have a little more privacy, Emm suggests that parents should help their children “create a sensible password and explain why they should use different passwords for each account and the possible consequences of not doing so.”

Be careful of what you say online or post

David Robinson, chief security officer at Fujitsu UK & Ireland, perfectly summed up this point to The Guardian, “Once you’ve written something, you can’t delete it.”

“The Internet is a fantastic place,” explained Robinson, “but you have to be careful what you do and say when you are there. Don’t say things which you wouldn’t talk about in conversations with your family, think about what you do and say, you may well regret what you do by hurting someone or being hurt yourself.”

Robinson explains that it is important to caution your children against writing things online because they may not be able to delete them later on. It is true that Google in Europe has blessed internet users with the right to be forgotten, however, this right does not apply everywhere. Something one posts today could possibly harm them or their loved ones years on. “If what you do or say is controversial it will be copied many times and will always come back and bite you, even later inlife when you apply to go to college, university or even a job.”

In an important message to all internet users, Robinson stresses that children should always ask for help when they are uncertain. “Don’t be frightened to ask for help either; there are lots of places and people who can show you what to do and how to behave such as Get Safe On-line, friends and teachers.”

Previously, Chris Hoff, vice president of strategic planning and security at Juniper Networks, has also spoken out about the permanency of things posted or said online.

Monitor their usage

Samantha Humphries-Swift, product manager at cyber security firm McAfee Labs, stresses the importance of educating children“early and often.”

Involvement is everything for Humphries-Swift. In an interview with The Guardian, she spoke about how she monitors the sites that her daughter uses and vets all the applications she downloads personally. “This way, I can keep an eye on security settings and make a judgement on whether I think it’s safe and appropriate for her to use.”

“Communication is key – I like to be open, approachable and understanding about what my daughter is getting up to online. This way it makes it easier for her to come to me with any problems she’s experiencing online, and she’s happy to ask for advice,” she continued.

The McAfee Labs professional also stressed the importance for parents to take a look at resources, online or otherwise, available out there for parents to support their children against all harms online.

Similarly, Tracy Hulver, senior identity specialist for telecom firm Verizon, has expressed his concern regarding people trying to “contact kids by masking as people they are not and ‘infiltrating’ the child’s ‘inner circle’.”

As a parent, she believes that it is your role to monitor your kids and evaluate the people they connect with online. “Ask to see [your child’s] mobile devices periodically. Some children, especially the older they get, will not want Mom and Dad looking at their messages to their friends and that’s OK if the parent doesn’t want to do that. … But if nothing else, look to see what apps are installed, take a mental inventory, and if the parent is not familiar with the app, go online and do investigation. That way you at least know the types of social media services your child is using and to the point earlier, you should at least sign up for that service to see what it’s all about.”

These methods combined ensure that children will be able to stay safe online, protecting them against possible cyber attacks and increasing their awareness of the dangers out there.

2/6/2018 11:14:10 AM
<![CDATA[Why are we scared to be happy?]]>
Cherophobia is different to depression. Depression is characterized is being extremely sad and a feeling of emptiness, while cherophobia is avoiding or dismissing activities that would make you happy or be fun. Individuals suffering from cherophobia gave four reasons: happiness is a waste of time and effort, being happy means something bad will happen shortly after, happiness makes you a bad person, and it is unfair to show happiness while others are suffering.

A 2013 study published in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology has proved that there’s a strong correlation between fear and happiness. It has been also found that this fear of happiness is promoted in fourteen cultures and is passed down from generation to generation. It mainly depends on how those cultures conceive happiness and their beliefs around the idea.

These cultures support beliefs such as: “with the very desire for happiness, out of delusion they destroy their own well-being as if it were their enemy,” from the point of view of Buddhists.

Furthermore, it is commonly believed in Russia that people who pursue success and happiness commonly have immoral goals and seek other’s envy and resentment; hence, Russians believe that it is best not to show happiness.

Due to cherophobia not being yet studied in great detail, it only has a few treatments. The ones available at the moment include relaxation strategies such as deep breathing, cognitive behavioral therapy which helps in identifying and changing faulty lines of thinking, and finally consistent exposure to happiness as mean to prove that misfortune is not always round the corner.
2/6/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Why it’s better to sleep than go to the gym!]]>

Insufficient sleep has been linked to higher body fat percentage, according to Dr. Guy Meadow’s comments to Cosmopolitan. "Sleeping less than seven to eight hours per night is linked to higher percent body fat. Research suggests that people who [sleep] six hours per night [on average] are 27 percent more likely to be overweight," he says. "Those who [sleep] five hours per night [on average] are 73 percent more likely to be overweight," the doctor adds.

The weight gain process is also related to two hormones: Ghrelin which regulates the appetite, and Leptin which tells us when to stop eating. Little and poor sleep causes Ghrelin to increase and Leptin levels to decrease which results into constantly feeling hungry and eating more which leads to weight gain and eventually higher body fat.

“Research suggests that poor sleep causes us to choose higher calorific food. Scientists from Uppsala University in Sweden demonstrated that sleep deprived individuals select foods that are on average nine percent higher in calories than when in a rested state," stated Dr. Meadows. It has also been found that the lack of sleep increases belly fat the most.

"During sleep, muscle tissue repairs and new cells are regenerated, therefore sleep deprivation is the enemy of building that all-important fat burning muscle mass," adds nutritionist Lily Soutter.

Sleep has to be a priority since it is more important than working out. Actually, poor sleep doesn’t only motivate us to eat junk food; it affects our decision-making abilities; leading us to take poor or harmful decisions. Studies have also found that lack of sleep eventually lowers IQ levels and generally impairs the daily learning process.

Sleep deprivation counts as one of the biggest problems among teens and young adults. It also leads to serious health problems including strokes, diabetes, heart attacks, hypertension, and many others. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated that more than 100,000 car accidents and 1,250 auto-related deaths have been related to sleep deprivation.
2/5/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Beauty standards around the world ]]>
Scars in Ethiopia:

It is believed that scars make a woman more pretty and attract husband-material men in Ethiopia’s Karo tribe. These scars are created at childhood on the girl’s stomach and body and are seen as extremely beautiful. This ritual is practiced because tolerating pain shows a girl's maturity and her ability to take responsibility of her children. Another reason is that men of the tribe believe that bare skin is ''ugly''.

Pale skin in Japan, China, and Thailand:

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In many parts of Asia, pale skin is considered a beauty asset. Therefore, whitening creams are abundant in Japan, China, and Thailand and some there avoid sunlight at any cost. Nowadays, however, these countries are now embracing their natural skin and are confident in it.

Facial tattoos in New Zealand:

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Ta-moko tattoos of lips and chins for women are considered beautiful to the Maori people of New Zealand. Blue lips and decorated chins are most prominent.

Brass necks of Thailand and Burma:

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Women of the Kayan Lahwi tribe start wearing those heavy coils as young as five years old. By the time they have matured, these coils can be as much as twenty-five fitted into their necks! The rings make it look as if their necks got taller; however, it creates an illusion since it only creates a load on to the shoulders and collar bone pushing them down.

Full figures of Mauritania:

In the past, women were force-fed up to 16,000 calories a day to help them reach that desirable full figure. Girls were sent to “fat farms” that would fatten them up. Thankfully, the government now prevents force-feeding.

Iran’s surgical bandages:

Pioneers of rhinoplasty in the world are proud to show that they have gone under the knife by wearing surgical bandages sometimes for longer than needed. Both men and women are not scared to show it because it shows that come from a high social status. Even those who haven’t had a rhinoplasty purchase the surgical tape and wear it.

Decorated skin in India:

Henna, nose rings, and bindis are used to decorate women’s skin, as well as red dots of red powder, called kumkum, for brides to adorn them. Henna rituals are sacred and consistent; they aren't just limited to weddings. Henna is applied to the palms, hands, feet, and legs.

Crooked teeth of Japan:

Normally, straight teeth are what people all over the world thrive to have; however, the opposite is the case in Japan since women pay a generous amount of money to have crooked teeth. It is known as ''yaeba'' which translates to ''double tooth''. It had only been practiced in recent years but is spreading to the rest of the world. The procedure is normally done to one or two teeth and is supposed to make the women seem less perfect seeming more ''approachable''. A similar trend with growing popularity in the U.S. is known as ''tooth crowding''.

Foot binding of China:

Foot binding was believed to make a better wife out of the girl as she won't complain too much. Though it was banned in the 1940's, you could still find older women especially in rural areas with misshaped feet. This procedure was done by breaking the child's toes and binding them to the foot and tightening the foot with a cloth around it.

Sharpened teeth of Bali and Indonesia:

This painful practice is called teeth chiseling and women of Indonesian tribes endure it because it shows a higher social status. In Bali, it is believed that teeth represent anger and hatred and sharpening or cutting your teeth can alleviate those negative emotions. Other cultures like the African tribe of Wapare file their teeth to make the warriors look more fearful.
2/5/2018 9:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[How to dress well on a budget]]>
Tip#1: Try to always go for solid colors over prints

Ever wondered why full looks in one color are considered chic and elegant? One of the main reasons is that solid colors have the ability to make any fabric look amazing and clean. They tend to also be a great tool in your closet as you can basically style it any way and with almost anything. While on the other hand, prints may exaggerate the flaws of cheap fabrics, and look extremely off-putting as they tend to attract attention.

Tip#2: Choose simple, clean designs

Clothes that have ruffles, fishnets, or even fancy closures are usually considered fashion pieces which makes them go out of fashion easily. In order to avoid that and get the most out of your money, you should go for cleaner leaner designs that are known to stand the test of time.

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Tip#3: Look for garments that you can combine or layer

Clothes that can be combined with different flannels, cardigans or accessories are a great investment and a huge money saver. You get to spend money on only a few items that in the end can give you endless outfits and boundless possibilities to choose from.

Tip#4: Vary your textures not just your colors

We all get to that time where we get extremely bored and notice that we’ve been wearing the same colors again and again every day. At that point, some of you might hit the shops and invest in a newly colored piece that of course won’t go with your current wardrobe. Consequently, you’ll end up buying more and more of the color to try and fit it in.

This will not only cost you money, but also add to the problem as it’s again the same thing over and over again. Let me suggest sticking to your color pattern, but investing in different textures as they can look extremely different and give you various looks even with them all being the same color.

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Tip#5: Spend more on accessories

Accessories are the reason why you can obtain several looks from the same outfit. You can dress an outfit up with some heels and a nice bag, or dress it down with a cardigan, a backpack, and some sneakers. They are the core of any closet and, in this case, your best friend if you need to look stylish on a budget. Accessories can help you style a basic outfit to fit the never-ending trends.

2/5/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Top 7 Cancer-Fighting Foods]]>
Berries :

Berries are incredibly rich in antioxidants; they supply vitamins such as C, A and Gallic acid. Gallic acid is a natural stimulator for the immune system which is incredibly beneficial when fighting diseases including cancer. It can be of any kind such as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries even cherries. Whether in normal, dried or powder form, berries are still able to maintain their protecting powers.

Bright orange fruits and vegetables :

They include citrus fruits, sweet potato, squash and many more. Their bright colors are a clear tell that they are full phytochemicals especially carotenoid antioxidants. These carotenoids are derivatives of vitamin A. One of the most important carotenoids is the infamous beta-carotene which is significantly important for the immune system. It helps in the immune functioning, maintaining liver health and protecting against cancer in the skin, eyes and organs.

Herbs and spices :

These include fresh garlic, thyme, ginger, cayenne pepper, oregano and many more, but most importantly out of them all is turmeric as it has been proven to have a certain ingredient called curcumin. Curcumin has shown to decrease tumor sizes and help prevent and fight breast and colon cancer. It’s well worthy to add that black pepper aids tremendously in turmeric’s absorption, so they’re best taken together for the greatest effect.

Nuts and Seeds :

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Nuts and seeds are full of rich fatty acids, fibers, and a range of important minerals that help you balance your nutritional intake every day which is an important step to fight cancer. Out of the many nuts and seeds out there chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, almonds and sunflower seeds stand out the most for their nutrient-dense ingredients. They can be a part of any recipe and incorporated in smoothies.


Although there are many types of mushrooms out there, they’ve all proven to be immune-system-enhancers. However, Reishi, maitake and cordyceps particularly showed properties that helped improve the immune system and fight growing tumors. You can find these particular types of mushrooms in tablets or you can even add to some of your at home dishes.

Traditional teas :

Those winter days ❄️ ☕️ #greentea & 🍓#sundaymood #home

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A great reason why most cancer patients die is because of a phase in cancer called Metastasis where the tumor cell begins to migrate and invade surrounding tissue. This is where green tea supposedly helps as it contains major polyphenolic compounds, including epigallocatechin-3-gallate, that inhibit the essential invasion of tumor cells and decrease cancer risks. Although other teas such as black or oolong tea have been reported to have positive effects too, green tea still outshines them with its greatest impact and percentage of polyphenolic compounds, catechin, gallocatechin and EGCG.

Wild caught fish :

It has been proven that wild and especially small fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel have high omega-3 levels that exert high levels of anti-inflammatory ingredients that aid in cancer prevention and in natural enhancement of antitumor therapies. It has also been shown to reduce the side effects usually obtained by receiving chemotherapy as well as preserving muscle mass.
2/4/2018 7:07:11 PM
<![CDATA[World Cancer Day]]>
We all know that catching cancer in its early stages is crucial, yet many people around the world today are not aware of this and seek diagnoses too late rendering the chances of full recovery lower. Governments around the globe are helping in the fight against cancer by placing higher taxes on tobacco and alcohol while campaigning for the public to take on healthy diets and lifestyles. An estimate of 30-50 percent of cancers can be prevented if these are followed, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

“All countries can do more to prevent and treat cancer, we know the main causes. Acting upon them will avoid that many cases occuring in the first place. By strengthening the health system response, we can also ensure earlier diagnosis and better access to affordable treatment by qualified personnel, thereby saving millions of lives,” stated Dr. Etienne Krug, WHO Director for the Department for Management of Noncommunicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention.

Early detection is important to beating cancer but also financially it is cheaper and one can continue living their daily lives by seeking treatment in the early stages. With 8.8 million people dying because of cancer worldwide every year, 4 million die prematurely (30-69 years of age).

World Cancer Day

Cancer is a multifaceted disease, and while medical care forms a big chunk of treatment, nutrition is also key to defeating the disease, dealing with the side effects of the treatment, as well as safeguarding against it.

Nutritionist Dr. Shady Labib

clarifies that while researchers admit that nutrition can’t actually cure the disease, a healthy diet is key to maintaining patients’ strength and weight. With good nutrients, cancer patients manage to defeat the pain and nausea.

While breast cancer is often incorrectly thought to only affect females and the majority of information, awareness campaigns and research on this disease tends to focus on females, breast cancer can also affect males. The month of October is dedicated to breast cancer awareness, and yet, most activities are focused on women. This has led to one of the most common breast cancer myths: that it only affects women.

Accordingly, most males fail to recognize and look for signs and symptoms of breast cancer, and those who do, struggle with feeling ashamed of being associated with a disease perceived as feminine.

Male breast cancer (MBC)

is most common in older males, although it can occur at any age. It is also more common among males with family history of breast cancer, as one in every five males diagnosed with MBC has a first degree male relative who also has a history of breast cancer.

2/4/2018 4:04:50 PM
<![CDATA[Cheating encouraged in new Monopoly version]]>
A new version of the decades-old board game Monopoly encourages players to cheat, but plastic handcuffs will leave them "locked up" if they are caught.

The aim of the game remains as it has been since its creation in 1935: to become the richest player through buying properties and collecting rent.

But a recent study "revealed that nearly half of game players attempt to cheat during Monopoly games, so in 2018, Hasbro decided it was time to give fans what they've been craving all along," a statement from Monopoly's manufacturer said.

The "Cheaters Edition" will be available this autumn.

It adds 15 cheat cards covering the most common types of traditionally unsportsmanlike play such as moving tokens more spaces than allowed by the dice, avoiding rent, or stealing money from the bank.

If they can get away with it before the next players' turn, the "cheaters" will be rewarded with Monopoly money, a hotel, or $200 from the bank.

"But get caught and you'll pay the consequences! Pretend handcuffs will leave offenders "chained" to the board until they are released," Hasbro says.

In another change, there is no longer a designated banker. Each player controls the central money pool during his or her turn -- making it easier to pull off a heist.

While Hasbro says it "has finally decided to embrace our less-than-honest fans by encouraging them to partake in those iconic (yet sometimes unspoken) Monopoly moments," the new version has its detractors.

"Monopoly is a horrible game," and a cheaters' monopoly would be even more so, Edward Castronova, a specialist in media and games at the University of Indiana, told AFP on Friday.

More broadly, the game is "is a completely inaccurate simulation of real economies. If Monopoly's model were accurate, there would only be one company in the world, instead of billions and billions."

More than 275 million copies of Monopoly, in various versions, have been distributed in 114 countries.
2/4/2018 1:40:32 PM
<![CDATA[Jude Benhalim goes digital ]]>Wires, springs, and the revolving hoops show how tangled the world that we live in is. The statement one’s jewelry makes can say a lot about how that person lives their life.

Photo courtesy of Jude Benhalim

The 23-year-old Syrian-Libyan designer said in a previous interview with Egypt Today that her jewelry is not for everyone and because of that, the typical Jude Benhalim woman is someone who wants to stand out by being edgy. Her pieces are a mixture of Arabic calligraphy and modern, sharp designs, combining crescent shapes with tribal, geometric lines.

Her designs also have a feminist touch, as she says she’s inspired by women who wear her jewelry and the strong women she surrounds herself with.

Photo courtesy of Jude Benhalim

The collection is created from 925 sterling silver and gold-plated brass pieces put together by the hands of local craftsmanship, ensuring its high quality.
“Tangled wires, spirals, and hoops, are all fused with jewelry to become an artistic statement about the hold technology has over the human race,” Benhalim stated in a press release about the collection’s inspiration.

2/4/2018 12:41:37 PM
<![CDATA[What does the way you sleep say about you?]]>
Turns out, you don’t sleep in a certain position because you only feel comfortable in it but it is actually that your subconscious guides you into doing that. Be ready to learn a little bit about yourself and see through those unclear and confused emotions you have.

The fetal position:

The fetal position - Photo Via Maxpixel/ CC0 Public Domain

It counts as one of the most common sleeping positions; it is when you sleep with your legs curled inside. It has been found that women sleep that way more than men. People who sleep this way have a strong personality. They tend to be hard on the outside, but soft on the inside; they are shy, but eventually loosen up and become really fun and outgoing, according to a study by Chris Idizikwozski, the director of the UK’s Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service.

Sticking your knees out:

If you sleep on your side with your knees sticking out, it means you are an optimist, a trusting and calm individual who’s able to dodge and deal with any problem thrown at them.

Lying on your stomach:

Lying on your stomach - Photo Via Pxhere/ CC0 Public Domain

If you sleep like this, it means you are a leader, somewhat impulsive, and not scared to take opportunities. You like an organized life and are not a fan of surprises.

Arms stretched out:

If you sleep as if you are reaching out for something, your personality is quite contradicting. You are open-minded and resilient yet extremely sarcastic, cautious when taking decisions yet abiding by them whatever the outcome is.

The log:

Sleeping baby boy - Photo Via CC0/Officer

This sleeping position is when you lie on your side with your arms straight on the side of your body. People who sleep this way tend to be really outgoing, adventurous, trustworthy, and a bit gullible.

Lying on your back:

You are life-loving and like to be the center of attention, a hard worker and stubborn. Your friends are definitely a priority in your life and you tend to be a carefree person.

The pillow huggers:

They value any relationship in their lives the most, whether it is a significant other, a family member or a friend. They swing towards being emotional most of time and they feel things deeply.
2/4/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[How colors define personalities ]]>
How you feel about certain colors evoke from previous experiences that you have had. Mainly in your childhood years as these are years what continue to have an impact on your life. Even if you don’t remember those experiences and events they lie within you subconsciously. Even though, colors evoke subjective feelings, they tend to have universal meanings and interpretations too, according to Very Well website.


Photo Via CC0 Public Domain

Black is interpreted as evil or a sign of death and mourning. Moreover, it depicts superstitious and maleficent characters such witches. In ancient Egypt however, it was a sign of life and rebirth.


Photo Via CC0 Public Domain

White gives a sense of innocence and purity. It is used in rooms to give a sense that the room is spacious but it gives a sense of hostility and emptiness. It is used to paint hospitals as it gives a sense of cleanliness and sterility.


Photo Via Maxpixel/ CC0 Public Domain

Red and warm colors in general give a spectrum of feelings ranging from love to aggression. Red is usually seen as the color of love and evokes very strong feelings to people.


Photo Via CC0 Public Domain

Blue is typically men’s favorite and it is a symbol of calmness and serenity. Blue can also emit sadness and indifference. Don’t use blue to ask if someone is sad ‘’why are you so blue?’’. But research shows that people are most productive in rooms painted blue. Therefore, it is recommended that offices and other work facilities get painted blue.


Photo Via Maxpixel/ CC0 Public Domain

Green symbolizes good luck, health, and fertility. It has an instant calming effect and is said to help in the healing process.


Photo Via Maxpixel/ CC0 Public Domain

It is the most contradicting color you will see as it is considered a happy and cheerful color and attention-grabbing, people often lose their tempers and feel frustrated in it and babies cry more in yellow rooms. I think we conclude to never paint a child’s room yellow.


Photo Via Pixabay/ CC0 License

It is a divine color that is a sign of wisdom and spirituality. Long ago, it signified wealth as it was very hard to dye fabric into purple since there weren’t many things in nature that give off that color.


Photo Via Skitterphoto/ CC0 License

It is the color of Earth (the soil). It is described as natural, humble, can also be seen as sophisticated.
2/3/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Tips all curly-heads should know]]>
Hack#1: Deep Condition

You know how they say nothing some moisture can’t fix, well it’s totally true. By deep conditioning your hair you provide your hair with the moisture it needs to attain a perfect curl pattern, remain knot and frizz free, and be the softest and shiniest it has ever been. Now I know what some of you guys might say how it can be so much work and take so much of your time, as much as I would’ve agreed with you in the past, I think I’ve found a perfect short routine that if done once a week it could transform your hair.

• Cleanse, condition, and detangle your hair at least two hours before you are going to bed
• Apply the deep conditioner to your hair
• Go to bed normally
• Rinse it the next day and style as you normally would

Hack#2: Finish your shower with cold water

I can’t tell you how much this step made a difference to my hair. By just ending my shower with some cold water, even if just a small rinse to my hair, I noticed my hair attains this radiant glow and this clear definition that it didn’t had before.

Hack#3: Never brush when dry

I have put this in here as I still personally meet curly-headed girls that ruin any chance of getting supper defined curls by brushing or detangling their hair when dry. Curly hair is meant to be softly detangled and styled when it’s 50 percent wet or even very gently in the shower. In addition, brushes are extremely terrible for your hair as it causes split ends and breakage; try using a wide tooth comb instead.

Hack#4: Finger comb

Speaking of detangling, how about you try finger combing. Which is basically you running your fingers through your hair very gently from the very ends to the roots, checking for any knots, and softly detangling them. The greatest thing about this is that you can never be too forceful or harsh to your hair as you get to personally feel each strand.

Hack#5: The Pineapple

To avoid waking up with a tousled mess every day and to preserve your curls from the day before, try putting your hair in what is called “The Pineapple”. The Pineapple is a low manipulation hairstyle where you basically take all your hair, put it at the top of your head, and run it through your hair tie once. It keeps the hair away from your face at night and protects your hair from getting all tangled up.

Hack#6: Consider purchasing a diffuser

If you don’t have the time or the patience to air-dry your hair, a great way to do so, without using heat, is by using a diffuser. Just set it on the cold air setting and scrunch your hair till dry.

Hack#7: Stop using a towel to dry your hair

Due to its rough surface, a regular towel can create a great deal of friction with your hair which in turn causes frizz. To combat that you can use anything made of cotton or even a microfiber towel to do the job.
2/3/2018 9:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[High levels of cellphone radiation linked to tumors in rats - U.S. study]]>
Female rats and mice exposed in the same way did not develop tumors, according to the preliminary report from the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP), a part of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

The findings add to years of research meant to help settle the debate over whether cellphone radiation is harmful.

However, NTP scientists and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were quick to say the findings could not be extrapolated to humans and that current safety limits on cellphone radiation are protective.

The 10-year, $25 million studies - the most comprehensive assessments of health effects and exposure to radiofrequency radiation in rats and mice to date - do raise new questions about exposure to the ubiquitous devices.

John Bucher, a senior scientist with NTP, said the tumors seen in the studies are "similar to tumors previously reported in some studies of frequent cellphone users."

Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, noted that the studies were negative for common tumors.

“These draft reports are bound to create a lot of concern, but in fact they won’t change what I tell people: the evidence for an association between cellphones and cancer is weak, and so far, we have not seen a higher cancer risk in people," he said in a statement on Twitter.

Brawley said if cellphone users are concerned about this data in animals they should wear an earpiece.

Unlike ionizing radiation such as that from gamma rays, radon and X-rays, which can break chemical bonds in the body and are known to cause cancer, radiofrequency devices such as cellphones and microwaves emit radiofrequency energy, a form of non-ionizing radiation.

The concern with this type of radiation is that it produces energy in the form of heat, and frequent exposure against the skin could alter brain cell activity, as some studies have suggested.

In the NTP study, rats and mice were exposed to higher levels of radiation for longer periods of time than what people experience with even the highest level of cellphone use, and their entire bodies were exposed all at once, according to the draft report.

Cellphones typically emit lower levels of radiation than maximum levels allowed, the draft report said.

NTP, a part of the National Institutes of Health, will hold an external expert review of its complete findings from these rodent studies on March 26-28.

Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, head of the FDA's radiological health division, said there is not enough evidence to say cellphone use poses health risks to people.

"Even with frequent daily use by the vast majority of adults, we have not seen an increase in events like brain tumors," he said in a statement. "We believe the current safety limits for cellphones are acceptable for protecting the public health."

Nevertheless, the findings are potentially a concern for device makers, especially the world's three biggest smartphone sellers, Apple Inc, Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and China's Huawei Technologies.

The CTIA, the trade association representing AT&T Inc, Verizon Communications Inc, Apple Inc, Sprint Corp, DISH Network Corp, and others, said on Friday that previous studies have shown cellphone RF energy emissions have no known heath risks.

"We understand that the NTP draft reports for its mice and rat studies will be put out for comment and peer review so that their significance can be assessed,” the group said.

Samsung and Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment. ]]>
2/3/2018 6:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[Rihanna vows to 'never stop' fight to put children back in school]]>
Macron co-hosted a conference in Dakar organised by the Global Partnership for Education with Senegalese President Macky Sall, while Rihanna attended as the organisation's global ambassador.

"We have made tremendous progress today but of course our work is never done, we have a long way to go, and this is a fight we are never going to stop fighting, until every boy and every girl has access to education," she told the crowd.

At ease with the African heads of state gathered onstage, Rihanna put her arm around Malian leader Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and joked around with Senegal's President Sall.

Macron spoke with Rihanna on the sidelines of the event after she challenged him to contribute more to the project in a tweet on Thursday, before announcing 200 million euros ($249 million) for the partnership's activities.

The French leader told delegates that countries where the world had witnessed "democracy being rolled back", were also where "girls were being pushed out of school."

The funding promise represents a massive increase on the 17 million euros pledged at the last conference in 2014. It brings France closer to Britain, which contributes $430 million, and the European Union, which gives $400 million.

It is not the first time the young French leader and the singer of "Umbrella" fame have met: she visited the Elysee Palace in July after tweeting him on the same issue.

The Dakar conference, which brings together governments and the private sector, aims to raise $3.1 billion (2.5 billion euros) over the coming three years to support education for 870 million children around the world.

The French presidency said the partnership was "well on the way" to reaching this goal on Friday afternoon.

- Children's futures at stake -

Some 264 million school-age children and youths are living without any education owing to poverty, conflict and social barriers including bias against girls, according to the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef).

"This is one of the, if not the, largest gatherings of its kind to really demonstrate political will, financial investment, the urgency of the education crisis," Alice Albright, CEO of the Global Partnership for Education told AFP.

"We are here to raise money; we are here to build political will; we are here to draw attention to the urgency of the problem," she added.

Partner countries in the GPE scheme are required to earmark 20 percent of their national budgets to education -- a tough goal for developing nations battling jihadists or civil conflicts.

Literacy in sub-Saharan Africa hovers around 65 percent, according to UNESCO, the UN's culture and education agency, and girls lose out disproportionately.

"People feel education is not that important because you are not losing lives", Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore told AFP on Friday.

"But education must be seen with the same urgency," she added. Without it, "you lose a child's future".

- Development and security -

Ahead of the conference, Macron met Sall at the presidential palace in the Senegalese capital and signed agreements on the sale of two Airbus planes for $214 million (171 million euros) and the creation of a Franco-Senegalese university campus.

Senegalese police made several arrests on Friday afternoon when dispersing a protest march by "France Degage", a group which wants the former colonial power to reduce its role in Senegal.

Macron has visited Africa six times already in his nine months as president, spending time in several former French colonies and reaffirming support for the Barkhane counter-terror force rooting out jihadists across the Sahel region.

A rapid reaction force of Senegalese troops was recently deployed to Mali as part of a UN peacekeeping mission with France's blessing, as the international community attempts to contain Al-Qaeda-linked groups wreaking havoc in the unstable desert nation.

Macron will visit the northern Senegalese city of Saint Louis on Saturday, which is threatened by coastal erosion.

He will be accompanied by President Jim Yong Kim of the World Bank, which along with France is financing protective measures for the former capital of what was known until 1902 as French West Africa.]]>
2/3/2018 3:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[et Skin Series: Zinc]]>
Zinc is used for treatment and prevention of zinc deficiency and its consequences, including stunted growth and acute diarrhea in children, and slow wound healing. It is also used for boosting the immune system, treating the common cold and recurrent ear infections, and preventing lower respiratory infections. It is also used for malaria and other diseases caused by parasites.

Dark chocolate is a source of zinc. Via CC/Pixabay

Zinc acts as a regulator for many mechanisms in the body, such as your insulin levels, and, in addition to that, it also helps to regulate your sebum production. This is the oil produced by your skin to keep it moisturized, but overproduction of it can lead to acne and an oily complexion, so zinc helps to moderate that. It is a key mineral in the production of collagen, and it also acts as an anti-inflammatory and healing agent. Zinc aids in healing the skin and prevents acne by regulating the activity of the oil glands. It is also an antioxidant, helping to fight and prevent the formation of free radicals.

Zinc is known to encourage the production of collagen fibers and elastin. Both of these elements help to support the underlying structure of the skin, which reduces the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of ageing, and as an aid to collagen production; therefore, zinc has been linked with the treatment of burns and the reduction of scar tissue for many years.
2/2/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[FFWD will be skipping a season this year]]>
Five years since FFWD first launched, it has launched the careers of many regional and international couturists and ready-to-wear and accessory designers, making it the Middle East’s most anticipated fashion event of the year.

While the wait will be longer this year for season 11, it is all in favor for creating a bigger and better event than previous years.

“After 10 successful seasons, Fashion Forward’s next edition will take place in October 2018, the additional time between events will enable the platform to further evolve as we build upon the new event format launched last season, nurture relationships with exciting new talent, continue to support seasoned designers, and re-energize the fashion design landscape,” Bong Guerrero, CEO and co-founder of FFWD commented to Harpers Bazaar Arabia.

“The next edition of Fashion Forward will be a celebration of fashion. With the shift in global industry trends, and in order to strengthen the program as well as the roster of designers, this move and consolidation will see an even stronger event. To evolve the platform and grow Fashion Forward into a truly remarkable fashion occasion, the team is convening focus groups with key industry stakeholders, media and designers to further understand their objectives, seek feedback, and brainstorm new ideas to enhance what is already a highly credible platform.”

Fashion Forward Dubai Season 11 will be held from 25th – 27th October 2018.

2/2/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[#MeToo movement means changes for Valentine's Day romance]]>
The number of Americans admitting to being in an office romance has fallen, and some feminist activists call that change as well as zero tolerance for unacceptable behavior in the workplace long overdue. The movement is sparking the kind of direct communication essential for love, they say.

“#MeToo will make relationships between men and women more romantic,” said women’s rights activist Jaclyn Friedman.

“If we all become more thoughtful about the care with which we treat our partners, it can only help build trust and intimacy,” said Friedman, a writer whose books include “Yes Means Yes!”

The #MeToo movement has exposed men accused of sexual assault and harassment in fields including entertainment, politics and business. Dozens of prominent men have quit or been fired from high-profile posts, and police have opened investigations into some accusations of sex assault.

The movement is changing dating dynamics in important ways, said Liz Wolfe, managing editor of Young Voices, which distributes opinion pieces written by people younger than 30.

“One good aspect of the #MeToo movement might be an increased emphasis on communication when it comes to sex and romance,” Wolfe said.

#MeToo has dampened one traditional route to dating: Office romances. The percentage of U.S. workers saying they were in one fell to a 10-year-low of 36 percent, according to a Nov. 28-Dec. 20 online Harris Poll of 809 private sector employees sponsored by recruitment site CareerBuilder.

That was down from 41 percent a year earlier, a statistically significant drop in a poll with a 3.45 percent margin of error.

“The #MeToo movement is splashing cold water on whatever embers of romance are struggling to survive between men and women,” said Dr. Carole Lieberman, a psychiatrist and author of “Bad Boys: Why We Love Them.”

Co-workers who start dating stand a good chance of staying together: 31 percent of office romantic relationships lead to marriage, the survey showed.

Given the allegations of sexual assault by prominent men, workers would be wise to proceed slowly on workplace flirtations and ensure that their approaches are open and consented to, said Carrie Lukas, author of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex, and Feminism.”

“Safe romantic gestures - candy, cards, compliments and flowers - might be construed as aggressive and harassment,” said Lukas.
2/2/2018 7:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Kava, the drink soothing the stress of NY millennials]]>
Kava -- a root ground to powder, mixed with water and then strained -- might taste like muddy water and make fans gag without a fruit juice chaser or blended into a "kavatail," but it's the mood enhancer taking the edge off for those struggling to cope with hectic modern life.

The effects include a mild numbing of the tongue and lips, relaxation and euphoria -- feelings in short supply in congested, rat-race New York, a cacophony of noise, sleep deprivation and yelling.

"If any city needs to relax a little bit and calm down, slow down, it's New York," says Harding Stowe, the 31-year-old owner of Brooklyn Kava in the rapidly gentrifying, artistic neighborhood of Bushwick.

"I really think it's going to explode and I think it's starting right now."

Kava may be steeped in tradition and ceremony on Pacific islands such as Fiji, but in the West, it is seen increasingly as a healthier alternative to booze by younger people who want to go out, but not wake up with a hangover the next day.

"It's very relaxing. It's not like alcohol or drugs," says Brooklyn artist Sabrina Cheng, 26, a recent convert.

"I have a very low tolerance for alcohol anyways. But kava, you can hang here all day, read your book, have the laptop, talk."

Harding Stowe, the owner of Brooklyn Kava, pours the trendy drink into a bowl to be served -- he says it's "going to explode" in popularity - Phtot Via AFP / DON EMMERT

With teenagers and millennials drinking less alcohol than their parents, entrepreneurs jumping on the bandwagon believe a less booze-soaked future might be just around the corner.

"It's not as cool anymore to go to bars every night," explains Stowe. "People want something new and they want something healthy."

- Anxiety -

An initial kava boom in the West in the 1990s fueled low-quality exports which -- combined with little understanding of the plant -- led to negative publicity about health concerns and prohibitions in Europe. That all led to a bust.

But while the US Food and Drug Administration warned in 2002 of a "rare" but potential risk of severe liver injury associated with kava-containing products, kava is again seeing another boom, and exports from Fiji alone more than doubled from 2012-16.

"Unlike in the 1990s, the scholarly understanding of the plant is much better. It has been widely studied and it's generally perceived as safe and beneficial," says Zbigniew Dumienski, a researcher at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Kava comes in many varieties, sometimes with a fruit juice chaser or blended into a 'kavatail' - AFP / DON EMMERT

There is a well-established scene in Florida, yet kava has been relatively slow to take root in America's most populous city, where there are only three kava lounges but 10,000 bars, with drinks after work and happy hours part of daily life.

Astonishingly two of the lounges are a short walk from each other in Bushwick, known for its artistic scene and influx of young people drawn by more affordable rents.

This is the perfect breeding ground for the American kava customer: residents in their mid-20s, embarking on stressful careers, navigating relationships, battling chronic subway delays and, in a Democratic city, dealing with Donald Trump blues.

"I went through quite a lot of anxiety with my previous job and this definitely helped a lot," says Phil Mai, 25, a financial analyst at a media firm in Manhattan, sitting at the bar in House of Kava on Ladies Night with his girlfriend Susie.

"I used to drink alcohol two-three times a week and, on a weekend, sometimes binge," he says. "I think I had my last drink probably like two weeks ago."

- Trump effect -

The House of Kava has a string of theme nights to keep people hooked: open-mic nights that bring in rappers, poets and stand-up comics and while most people are in their mid-20s, recently people in their mid-60s have started stopping by.

"I'm from a conservative family and I'm the only liberal, so given the state of the world, that is like the biggest stresser in my life, I would say," says Kellianne Holland, 24, who works for a non-profit when asked what makes her most anxious.

Dimly lit, the bar is incredibly mellow. Susie draws. Another woman is buried in a laptop. Someone else is reading and one couple talk softly to one another. There is none of the yelling synonymous with the New York bar scene.

"As opposed to a normal bar, I haven't had anyone threaten to burn the bar down or start a fight," jokes House of Kava manager Ryan Lloyd.

Business is taking off, he says -- and it's the same vibe over at Stowe's rival Brooklyn Kava.

When Stowe first opened in February 2016, he initially worried he'd made a mistake.

"People didn't know what kava was," Stowe said.

There is a well-established kava scene in Florida, yet it has been relatively slow to take root in New York, where there are only three kava lounges but 10,000 bars - AFP / DON EMMERT

"Lately, it's just been amazing how slammed it gets," he says, believing things really took off about six months ago.

"There are different stressful things that have happened in America, you know with Trump getting elected," he said. "I think all those things have contributed."

Stowe is now busy planning other locations, collaborations and pop-ups -- he is talking to both a yoga studio and a meditation studio about selling it there.

So has President Trump helped his business? "I hate to say it, but probably," he says.

2/2/2018 7:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[To end violence against Colombian women, "look inside homes"]]>
Some 200,000 people were killed and 20,000 cases of sexual violence against women were reported during the half-century of fighting before the accord was signed in 2016 between the government and rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Yet the violence continues, with one woman killed on average every three days and 55 cases of sexual violence reported daily, according to the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences.

Many women are murdered at the hands of husbands, boyfriends and relatives in and around their homes.

"The end of the conflict allows us to focus on other issues, like these," Paula Gaviria, the presidential advisor, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a telephone interview.

"In the private sphere, in the family environment, violence against women is very high," she said. "It's a time to look inside homes, to look deeper inside."

Colombia's macho culture condones violence, blames women for abuse inflicted on them and perpetuates traditional roles that expect women to stay at home and raise children, she said.

Women are believed to "provoke" violence with their behavior such as wearing short skirts and being out at night, Gaviria said.

"Women don't dare to denounce their husbands, or ex-husbands, partners or their relatives," she said.

Women are also among the victims in a wave of killings of human rights activists and land defenders. Gaviria said the government is working to protect activists better and bring perpetrators to justice.

At least six rights defenders have been gunned down in the past month across Colombia.

Gaviria said the government is improving early warning systems to alert authorities quickly when at-risk activists report threats or danger.

More state prosecutors are being sent to Colombia's south and Pacific regions where killings are concentrated, she said.

According to the United Nations' human rights office in Colombia, activists are particularly at risk in regions that were vacated by FARC rebel fighters under the peace agreement, leaving a vacuum of power.

In November, community leader Luz Jenny Montano was shot by men on motorbikes near her home in the town of Tumaco along Colombia's Pacific coast.

Her murder followed the killing in August of rights defender Idaly Castillo, who also was tortured and sexually abused.

Earlier this week, the U.N. and rights groups condemned the murder of land activist Temistocles Machado, shot last Saturday, amid renewed calls on the government to heighten protection of activists.]]>
2/2/2018 4:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Model Kate Upton accuses Guess exec of sexual harassment]]>
Upton, 25, did not cite a specific incident in her criticism Wednesday of Guess co-founder and creative director Marciano, who is 65.

Upton, who was once the face of Guess, became the latest star to add her voice to the global #MeToo campaign against sexual misconduct, that kicked off following accusations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

"It's disappointing that such an iconic women's brand @Guess is still empowering Paul Marciano as their creative director #me too," Upton wrote on Twitter.

She repeated this on Instagram and added: "He shouldn't be allowed to use his power in the industry to sexually and emotionally harass women #metoo."

Marciano co-founded Guess in 1981 and has been its executive chairman and chief creative officer since 2015.

Upton is married to star Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander, and is known for appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated swimsuit editions. She has also done some acting.

She became a celebrity spokesmodel for Guess in 2011. Other models holding that position have included Claudia Schiffer and Cindy Crawford, and more recently Gigi Hadid.

2/1/2018 12:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[Angelina Jolie visits Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp]]>
Jolie took her daughters, Zahara (13) and Shiloh (11), along with her while she visited the camp. “My daughters Zahara and Shiloh asked to come with me today—they’ve spent time today speaking and playing with children their own age who have been forced from their homes, whose family members have been killed or have disappeared, and who are struggling with trauma and illness, but who at the end of the day are just children, with the same hopes and rights as children in any other nation,” Jolie said in a statement released on the UNHCR website.

The Za’atari refugee camp, which is occupied by more than 80,000 Syrians, is the largest refugee camp in the Middle East region.

“We should never forget that the war began with demands by Syrians for greater human rights. Peace in their country has to be built on that.” - Angelina Jolie, today in Zaatari Camp, Jordan. “It cannot be built on impunity for the targeting of civilians by all sides of the conflict, the bombing of schools and hospitals, barrel bombs, torture, chemical weapons and rape used as a weapon of war." . “So, that is my message to the international community today: yes, of course, please do more to help meet the needs of desperate Syrian families and the countries hosting them. But, above all, please provide the leadership and strength needed to negotiate a principled end to this senseless war – without sacrificing the dignity and human rights of Syrian families. That is non-negotiable.” On her fifth visit to Jordan since the beginning of the crisis, UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie visited refugee families living in Za’atari camp, the largest refugee settlement in the Middle East and home to more than 80,000 Syrians. Almost seven years since the start of the conflict, more than 6 million people remain displaced inside Syria and a further 5.48 million have fled to other countries in the region, creating the biggest refugee crisis since the end of World War II. Photo: UNHCR/ @ivorprickett #AngelinaJolie #zaataricamp #jordan #syria #refugees #peace #war #dignity #shilohjoliepitt #zaharajoliepitt #humanrights

A post shared by UN Refugee Agency (@refugees) on

“We should never forget that the war began with demands by Syrians for greater human rights,” she told a news conference at the camp.

“Peace in their country has to be built on that,” Jolie said. “So that is my message to the international community today: yes, of course, please do more to help meet the needs of desperate Syrian families and the countries hosting them. But above all, please provide the leadership and strength needed to negotiate a principled end to this senseless war – without sacrificing the dignity and human rights of Syrian families. That is non-negotiable.”

Seven years since the Syrian conflict began, 6 million people have been displaced in Syria and 5.48 million seek refuge in nearby countries, making it the largest refugee crisis since the end of World War II, according to UNHCR.
2/1/2018 11:59:34 AM
<![CDATA[Talking to 70+ Egyptian U.S. Masters Swimming Champion Nagwa Ghorab ]]>
Nagwa became an inspiration to many people around the world, who blame their failure on their circumstances and the obstacles they face in their lives, believing these obstacles stop them from achieving great things. Nagwa does not believe that there is such thing as “impossible”, thinking it is nothing but an empty word, making her a true icon worldwide for achieving your goals if you believe in them. Ghorab happily told Egypt Today her amazing story.

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Nagwa Ghorab, Feb. 1, 2018 - Photo courtesy of Nagwa Ghorab

ET: How would you introduce yourself?

I am a 100 percent Egyptian woman and I am proud of this. I was born in Damanhur in 1943, and my father, Youssef Ghorab, was a police officer. I had a happy childhood with my tight-knit family. My father always encouraged me to do sports, especially since he was an equestrian Olympics champion, and King Farouk honored him more than once.

I began to love sports, and my family encouraged me to take it up. Therefore, I consider my father my role model and the force behind my success all these years, not only as a swimmer. When I was a child, I practised horse riding, but I was more into swimming as a four-year old, especially since swimming was not as expensive as horse riding. Back then, horse riding was not affordable for us, neither was buying my own horse to practice.

ET: When did you stop participating in swimming world championships?

In swimming, we have “World Championships”, for which the maximum age of participation is 20-25 years. The champion then no longer participates in them, and begins to practice swimming as a physical sport, not a competitive one. Back in the days, this age even used to be 18 years only.

At 18, I won the title of “Champion of the Republic”, and I practised synchronized swimming until I turned 20. I then stopped swimming as per these laws, until a new kind of championships began to be held, that is “Swimming Masters”.

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Nagwa Ghorab, Feb. 1, 2018 - Photo courtesy of Nagwa Ghorab

ET: What does that entail?

Egypt took up this system for the second time in 2004, and it gives “masters” or “seniors” the equal opportunity to participate in swimming championships exactly like “juniors”. World Masters Swimming Championships are held all over the world. When I knew that this system has been enforced in Egypt once again, I did not hesitate to participate. I have always been proud to represent Egypt in international events, and I did gain the first rank in the Championship.

ET: What did you do when you turned 20 and temporarily stopped swimming?

I pursued my academic studies. I loved painting and asked for my father’s approval to let me study it academically, and he did not mind. I studied painting in the Leonardo da Vinci School, which grants a certificate that equals a university graduate certificate. One year after my graduation, I studied French at the Faculty of Arts, graduated and worked as a teacher at the Al-Salaam School. I also got married and had three girls.

ET: How was your journey toward participation in the Masters Swimming Championship? We are talking about a 45-year wait after your last championship!

This is true. I participated in the championship after I retired from my teaching job. I began to retrain at the Heliopolis Sporting Club as a step toward participating in the Championship. I participated in the first one in Turkey. However, the 2010 Sweden World Championship marked a turning point for me, as I came in 11th place. Only then, I realized that I was really close to winning the Championship but need more training and focus. My journey toward international recognition began then. I later participated in Sweden, Austrian, German, French, Italian, Canadian and U.S. Championships.

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Nagwa Ghorab, Feb. 1, 2018 - Photo courtesy of Nagwa Ghorab

“Honoring Egypt was the most important motivation”

ET: What are the most serious difficulties you have faced and how did you overcome them?

I cannot deny that retraining, either physically or psychologically for swimming championships at this age was not easy. However, just dreaming about becoming a world swimming champion can never make it a reality. Believe me, though, the biggest motivation for me was honoring my country again in world championships. I always daydreamed about the national anthem played and the Egyptian flag raised while I received the trophy. I also used to hear some Europeans underestimating Egyptian women swimmers’ abilities, so I decided to prove them wrong, not by words, but by actions. I trained rigorously, not only to prove that Egyptian women can win and that they have outstanding abilities but that they can also outperform others.

ET: Did you seek help from anybody during that period?

Not at all. I believe that when one wants to do something, they will find a way. They just need to strongly believe in it. A strong human being can achieve everything on their own. A human being with will power can do whatever they want.

ET: What was your family’s reaction to your decision to take up this challenge?

I have four grandchildren. Knowing me, my daughters and my grandchildren did not think of it as a “challenge”. They were not surprised. On the contrary, they were extremely proud of me. They knew that swimming was my passion. I was 68 years old when I announced I was going back to participate in world championships. It was in Sweden, and I got the silver medal in the 50-meter freestyle swimming competition, with a time of 42 seconds. I remember all people were amazed at this.

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Nagwa Ghorab, Feb. 1, 2018 - Photo courtesy of Nagwa Ghorab

“Half a banana is enough”

ET: Can you tell us more about your daily training routine?

I follow a strict training schedule and diet. I start my day early and set specific times for everything I do. I wake up, drink my coffee and head to the club for my training. I only eat half a banana before getting into the pool. I train from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., I then have my breakfast, which is usually fruits and yoghurt. I live on yoghurt, fruits and vegetables and have never added sugar to my food or drinks for more than 30 years!

ET: What are the most important championships you have recently won?

I won five medals in five World Championships. I won the gold medal in Russia in 2015 and I was 72 then. I won another two bronze medals too. I also participated in the Nationwide U.S. Masters Swimming Championship (for seniors aged 70-74 years old) in North Carolina and I got three medals, one of them was a silver medal for the 50-meter backstrokes competition. This was amazing, and it proved to America that Egyptian women can take up challenges and win. They were truly astonished when I was on the podium.

ET: Tell us about a moment you can never forget when you participated in one of these championships.

When I was in the French International Championship in 2011, I ranked second in the 50-meter freestyle competition. While I was receiving my silver medal, French people gave me a standing ovation, showing their respect for an Egyptian woman whose country was going through turbulent times, after the January 25 Revolution. This was one of the most difficult and beautiful moments in my life, as I felt appreciated by these noble French people. People do understand everything going on in other countries.

ET: Who do you consider your role model in swimming?

The legendary Abdellatief Abouheif, and when I say “legendary”, I absolutely mean it and I am not using it as a metaphor. This man did the impossible, either on the athletic level, in terms of fitness and ability to compete in world championships, and on the moral level. He has done many great things for his competitors, like for example giving up the prize money to the losing competitor, or sharing the prize money with a colleague going through a difficult time.

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Nagwa Ghorab with her granddaughter, Feb. 1, 2018 - Photo courtesy of Nagwa Ghorab

ET: Have you ever considered retiring from sports?

I do not believe in retiring from sports until death. Humans can give, no matter how old they are. Sports are a great blessing, and people should never stop practicing them throughout their lives.

ET: Are you participating in any future championships?

Yes, in 2019 I will participate in a championship in Korea. I am determined to win a new medal in the competitions for seniors aged 75-79 years old. I have already started training for it.
2/1/2018 10:47:25 AM
<![CDATA[7 habits that ruin your skin]]>
1. Washing your face:

Washing your face more than twice removes the natural oils that your skin requires, causing dryness and even wrinkles. Also, overly scrubbing your skin causes it to become irritated.

wash+ lead pic
Photo Via The Beauty Vanity Instagram

2. Skipping your daily SPF:

Are you ignoring sun screen because the sun is not strong? Well, the harmful UV rays can harm your skin even if it is not very sunny outside. These rays can cause skin wrinkling, fine lines, sagging and even cancer! So stay safe and apply that sunscreen.

3. Neglecting removing your makeup:

It has been a long day and you are super exhausted, so you sleep without removing your makeup. If you do this rarely, then do not worry too much. However, if it becomes a daily habit, you can expect that you will have to deal with a dull skin, clogged pores and acne breakouts.

4. Working with makeup brushes without washing them:

When you work with brushes without washing them, bacteria accumulates on them. These bacteria might cause acne or other infections. So wash your brushes once every two weeks.

5. Not getting your skin checked:

Ignoring moles can be a risky game, because some moles (that look irregular) can be signs of melanoma (skin cancer). So do not take that risk, and if you see anything that is unusual on your skin, book an appointment with your dermatologist immediately.

6. Popping zits:

Popping zits harms the skin, as you tend to push the bacteria deep into the skin, doubling the zit’s lifespan. To treat them, you should use a skin product that contains no more than 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, preferably at night. More than 2.5% of benzoyl peroxide can cause irritation of the skin around the zit, which might eventually lead to scarring.

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7. Junk food:

“You are what you eat.” As much as it is hard to admit it, this saying is true. When you eat junk food that is typically high in sugar, it causes the production of insulin, which in turn stimulates the production of androgens (oil-producing hormones), causing acne breakouts and clogged pores.

2/1/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[How skin undertones can affect your look]]>
Let us start by explaining the huge difference between skin tones and skin undertones.

Your skin tone is the color that you can see prominently appearing on your skin without you thinking too much about it. It usually ranges from very fair to deep dark. Your skin tone can change throughout the seasons, in summer versus in winter, depending on your skin color and how tan you are.

On the other hand, your undertones are the unchanging hidden colors in your skin. They are the reason why your skin might seem rather cool- or warm-toned. They're the underlying reason why your skin looks the way it does.

Why it's important to know your undertone:

Because colors go into everything from clothes to your hair, jewelry and even your makeup selection, determining the ones that suit you best will help elevate and flatter your look, give you a healthy and radiant glow, and help build a generally cohesive appearance.

Quick tests to determine your undertone:

Flattering colors:
For the cool-toned, you should probably stick to cool sea shades and grays, as well as fresh greens, icy purples and pinks, and berry reds. Avoid oranges, corals, yellows and gold, as they tend to wash you out.

As for you warm-toned folks, yellows, oranges, earthy shades of reds, greens and browns make your golden undertones look brilliant. Red violets, corals and peach can also accentuate your skin. Your best blues are periwinkle and teal, and your best neutrals are off whites and warm grays.

Finally, we reach our neutrals. Honestly, there would be no point in me telling which colors suit you best, as you are supposedly lucky enough to be able to rock each and every one of them, but true reds and muted or softened sherbet shades have been known to highlight your balanced skin.

2/1/2018 9:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Cute celeb pregnancy announcements]]>
With the help of her long time friends Laura and Kate Mulleavy, the founders of Rodarte, Kirsten Dunst announced her long time rumored pregnancy by starring in their 2018 Autumn/Winter lookbook while holding her baby bump.

The enchanting lookbook portrait series also starred some of the biggest names in the industry and featured the modeling debut of Reese Witherspoon’s ‘doppelganger’ daughter Ava Philippe.

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We have gathered some of the best celebrity baby announcements that were both cute and hilarious.

Kevin and Danielle Jonas

Prepping for baby number two! #babyjonas2

A post shared by 💋Danielle💋 (@daniellejonas) on

Stacy Keibler

Look what we've got cooking! A Bun'dle of love!

A post shared by Stacy Keibler (@stacykeibler) on

Chanel Smith

Hahahha yep we're pregnant

A post shared by Chanel Smith (@chanelsmith_22) on

Fergie and Josh Duhamel

Josh & Me & BABY makes three!!! #mylovelybabybump

A post shared by Fergie (@fergie) on


Cheryl posted an announcement on her Instagram account in support of the newest L’Oreal campaign that she participates in as an ambassador alongside 14 others. The image shows Cheryl showing her much rumored about baby bump. She doesn’t mention anything about the pregnancy in the post. But we can see it all.

Kelly Rowland

I'll be stuntin like my daddy.....

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Queen B broke the internet when she posted on her Instagram account the most breathtaking baby post to prepare the world for the arrival of her twins.

2/1/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[‘Black Panther’ Royal African premier ]]>
Janelle Monae in Christian Siriano.

David Oyelowo

Issa Rae in Rosie Assoulin.

Janeshia Adams-Ginyard in Tamara Cobus.

Michael B Jordan in Calvin Klein suit with Christian Louboutin shoes.

A post shapurple by @guysandpeople on

Daniel Kaluuya in a traditional Kanzu from Uganda with a Burberry blazer, Christian Louboutin shoes and David Yurman jewelry.

A post shapurple by @guysandpeople on

Angel Parker in a JOVANI gown.

A post shared by @guysandpeople on

Lupita Nyong’o in Versace.

Lupita Nyong'o. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Lupita Nyong'o. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Angela Bassett in Naeem Khan.

Angela Bassett. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Angela Bassett. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Letitia Wright

Letitia Wright Via Black Panther Facebook Page
Letitia Wright Via Black Panther Facebook Page

Ryan Coogler

Ryan Coogler Via Black Panther Facebook
Ryan Coogler Via Black Panther Facebook

Chadwick Boseman in Emporio Armani.

Chadwick Boseman. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Chadwick Boseman. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

“Black Panther” is set to be released on Feb. 16, with record breaking pre-ticket sales more than any other Marvel movie before it. It is expected to make more than $100 million on its opening weekend alone, according to Reuters.

1/31/2018 5:05:41 PM
<![CDATA[et App Review: Habit Bull]]>
Habit Bull is a habit tracking app available exclusively on the App Store, created by AppForge Inc. According to its description, it allows you to organize your life by keeping track of “all your habits, routines and repeated to-dos.”

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Habit Bull Screen shots - Via App Store Official page.

The way it works is that you set up a habit, customized as much as you could probably need, track your habit everyday and habit bull will tell you the success you’ve had with that specific habit over the course of the past period of time.

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Habit Bull Screen shots - Via App Store Official page.

In my experience, the app has a bit of a learning curve when you first start to use it. The number of aspects on each screen is a bit much and it can be confusing at first. But use it once, twice, three times and you’ve got the hang of it. After that it’s a pretty simple app to use. The most difficult part of using it is remembering to actually come back each day and fill in your habits for the day. There’s a setting to "remind you sometimes" but I would have liked to be reminded always.

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Habit Bull Screen shots - Via App Store Official page.

I used it over the course of three weeks, and once I got past the first few uses, I was pleasantly surprised about the ease of use. It was also extremely satisfying seeing my streaks for each habit get longer and longer; it was a motivating factor in continuing to do the habits and continuing to log them in the app. I had such a good time using the app, as its design is also very appealing. It may seem a bit busy at first but once you get used to it, you don’t notice anymore.

Overall, I’d give this app a 4/5 because it’s visually appealing, it incentivized my habits and I enjoyed using it.
1/31/2018 11:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Revlon recruits to reinforce inclusivity]]>
In order to pull off such a moving cause, Revlon had to call in major names of different races, sizes and ages to act as global ambassadors. As a result, the influential Gal Gadot, Ashley Graham, Adwoa Aboah, Imaan Hammam and Raquel Zimmermann all joined Revlon's family and starred along with two other models in their new Live Boldly campaign.

Each of the symbolic ambassadors gave a small commentary on what Live Boldly really means to them and how it affects them personally. Gal Gadot, being the first, mentioned that it is to live confidently and positively with your dreams always in mind. She was then followed by Ashley Graham, an author and model, who stated that Live Boldly is her life's "mantra" and her daily dose of self-empowerment.

Adwoa Aboah, an activist and model, proceeded to state how Live Boldly is just about being true to oneself and being authentic. Model Imaan Hammam subsequently explained the Live Boldly is about empowering young girls and women. Finally, Raquel, who is also a model, added that to Live Boldly is to "push through and believe in yourself and in your dreams."

Although other campaigns are facing a great deal of turmoil and hardship, such as L'Oreal's recent incident with model Amena Khan. This campaign and many more are tremendously pushing the fashion and makeup industry to a place where it can hopefully be a more united and comprehensive platform for all of us.

1/31/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[4 coffees you need to try at Caribou]]>
Each of the four coffees that we tried turned out to be perfect for this gloomy cold weather, and somehow they managed to make us wish that it was always winter so that we could snuggle up in front of the fireplace at their Mohandeseen branch and enjoy the bittersweet mugs of coffee.

1. Campfire Mocha

The Campfire Mocha’s taste can only be described in one word – wintery. It offers a bittersweet feeling, which is owed to the balanced mix between the milk chocolate and espresso. We recommend that you order this in-house and take a seat beside the fireplace while munching away on the marshmallow topping.

Campfire Mocha Photo Via Caribou Coffee

2. Caramel High Rise

When espresso and caramel meet on top of the mountain, they form a captivating hot mug of coffee. From the first sip it will feel like your coffee just gave you a hug from the inside, and instantly the cold winter weather will not bother you anymore.

Caramel High Rise Photo Via Caribou Coffee

3. Turtle mocha

One of the best things about Caribou is that you can choose between milk, dark or white chocolate when it comes to your coffee. The Turtle Mocha is the perfect winter drink that will give you the energy boost to get up and roam around down.

Turtle mocha Photo Via Caribou Coffee

4. Mint Condition Mocha

Served with a kick of chocolate mint, this minty mocha option will give you an unexpected minty kick and a refreshing hug at the same time.

Mint Condition Mocha Photo Via Caribou Coffee

Caribou’s story began in 1990, when the founders went out on an enchanting adventure in Alaska, climbing the Sable Mountain. While embracing the view, the idea of Caribou came to be, as they “believe (that) excellence is a product of hard work, and that life is too short for anything else.”

You will find Caribou at:

Concord Plaza Mall - Road 90, Tivoli Dome – Heliopolis, Mall of Egypt – 6th of October

1/31/2018 9:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Amazon opens its own rainforest in Seattle]]>
Amazon Spheres. Via Reuters/Lindsey Wasson

Amazon has been based in Seattle for over a decade; they have been constantly developing their main campus there, with "The Spheres", as the new complex is called, coming as the latest addition. "The Spheres" consists of three glass domes, containing over 400,000 plants of 400 varying species. Amazon has been known for their intense work culture and this new development is an attempt to change that. Instead of enclosed conference rooms or desks, there are walkways and unconventional meeting spaces with chairs.

Amazon Spheres. Via Reuters/Lindsey Wasson

The opening of "The Spheres" happened by voice command, with founder Jeff Bezos issuing a voice command to Alexa, “Alexa, open The Spheres”. John Schoettler, Amazon’s vice president of global real estate and facilities, said “we wanted to create something really special, something iconic for our campus and for the city of Seattle.”

Amazon Spheres. Via Reuters/Lindsey Wasson

The Spheres, designed by architecture firm NBBJ, will become part of Amazon’s guided campus tours. Members of the public can also visit an exhibit at The Spheres by appointment.

1/31/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA['Super Blue Blood Moon' to light sky on January 31]]>
In North America, Alaska, or Hawaii, the eclipse will be visible before sunrise on January 31. For those in the Middle East, Asia, eastern Russia, Australia and New Zealand, the “Super Blue Blood Moon” can be seen during moonrise in the evening of the 31st, according to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

For the first time since March 31, 1866, we will see a blood moon, a blue moon and a super moon all at once.

Blue moon is the second full moon in a month as usually every month has only one full moon appearing every 29 days. Most of the months are 30 and 31 days; hence, it is possible to have two full moons appear in a single month, according to NASA.

Blue moon-by NASA

Although it is known as a blue moon, the moon’s colors are usually pale gray and white. But, in 1883, the moon has appeared bluish when the volcano Krakatoa in Indonesia erupted. The plumes of ash rose to the top of earth’s atmosphere tuning the sunset and the moon to green and blue all over the world.

People also saw the blue moon after several incidents; such as after the eruption of the El Chichon volcano in Mexico in 1983.

The super moon phenomenon happens when the full moon coincides with the closest point of the moon's orbit to earth. The result is that the moon appears 30 percent brighter than usual and 14 percent bigger than a normal full moon, according to NASA Science Beta. The recent super moon phenomenon was on January 1.

It's nearly impossible to compare the apparent size of the supermoon with a micromoon from memory, but when seen side-by-side as in this graphic, it becomes clear. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The most exciting phenomenon on January 31 will be the total lunar eclipse when the earth comes between the sun and the moon; therefore, the sun's light, which normally shines off the moon, is blocked by our planet. The moon appears in a reddish hue.

“The January 31 full moon is special for three reasons: it’s the third in a series of 'supermoons', when the moon is closer to earth in its orbit -- known as perigee -- and about 14 percent brighter than usual. It’s also the second full moon of the month, commonly known as a 'blue moon'. The super blue moon will pass through earth’s shadow to give viewers in the right location a total lunar eclipse. While the moon is in the earth’s shadow, it will take on a reddish tint, known as a 'blood moon',” according to NASA.]]>
1/30/2018 1:21:57 PM
<![CDATA[10 of the weirdest celebrity baby names out there]]>
1. Apple

Apple is the daughter of Coldplay's lead singer Chris Martin and actress Gwyneth Paltrow. At the time the world was baffled and needed an explanation to why they would possibly name their child after a fruit, Paltrow then answered all questions at an interview with Oprah where she expressed how Chris was the one to come up with the name, but she thought that it "sounded so sweet" and was "biblical".

2. Pilot Inspektor

Yes, you read it correctly Inspektor...with a k. Pilot is the son of actor Jason Lee . Lee. When asked the inevitable question, Jason replied that it was inspired by a song by the band Grandaddy called '"He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's the Pilot"'. I frankly don't know which is weirder the name or the explanation.

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Cast member Jason Lee answers questions during the panel for the NBC series "My Name is Earl" at the Television... July 03, 2012 04:45pm EDT

3. Buddy Bear

Buddy Bear is the son of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and his wife Jools. He's brother to Petal Blossom Rainbow Oliver, Daisy Boo Pamela Oliver, Poppie Honey Rosie Oliver, and River Rocket Oliver. This family is certainly no stranger to unusual names.

A post shared by HELLO! Russia (@hello__ru) on

4. Tu Morrow

You know like tu-morrow...tomorrow, get it? Tu is the daughter of the acclaimed actor Rob Marrow who clearly loved puns enough to actually make his daughter a living breathing one.

5. Moon Unit

Daughter of the renowned musician Frank Zappa, Moon is sister to Dweezil Zappa, Ahmet Zappa, and Diva Zappa. Moon has now grown up to follow the same path as her father and release an album called “My Mother Is a Space Cadet".

6. Makkah

Makkah is the daughter of the legendary football player Mohamed Salah who pleasantly surprised us with this beautiful, yet unusual name that consequently inspired a lot of people to name their children after her.

A post shared by Mohamed Salah (@mosalah22) on

7. Kay

Kay is the daughter of the well-known singer Maya Diab. She's a young fashionista with a promising voice and an incredibly unique name.

A post shared by ❣ K ❣ (@kay.nasser) on

8. Moxie Crimefighter

Moxie is the sister of Zolten Penn Jillette and the daughter of the infamous comedian Penn Jillette. Her father decided to name her that somewhat cruel name in order for her to have the perfect comeback if she was ever stopped by an officer.

Penn Jillette of the comedy/magic duo Penn and Teller, attends a vigil outside University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nevada,... Ethan Miller April 16, 2012 02:53pm EDT

9. Kal-El

Kal-El is the son of the distinguished actor Nicholas Cage. Nicholas has always loved comic books; in fact, he loved them so much he changed his last name from Coppola to Cage to honor the Marvel character Luke Cage. His passion for comic books didn't end there as he named his son after Superman's kryptonian name.

10. Zuma Nesta Rock

Zuma is the son of the glorious singer Gwen Stefani. Although Zuma is a beautiful name of a beach in Malibu, it is also a diminutive form for a horrible gastrointestinal condition, and no one wants that as a name.

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1/30/2018 11:47:29 AM
<![CDATA[5 miraculous hair masks ]]>
Coconut hair mask:

One tablespoon of coconut oil
One tablespoon of honey
One tablespoon of olive oil

Mix the ingredients together in a bowl and microwave them for approximately 20 seconds. Apply it to hair from top to bottom and cover it with a shower cap. Leave it for at least twenty minutes till two hours. This mask helps in reducing and repairing hair masks, along with, moisturizing the hair from its roots.

A post shared by Kylie (@kjndco) on

Mayonnaise hair mask:

Two tablespoons of mayonnaise
One tablespoon of olive oil
One tablespoon of honey

Mix ingredients and apply them. Leave them for 30 minutes. Mayonnaise consists of eggs, which nourish and strengthen your hair, vinegar, which helps maintain a healthy pH level for the hair follicles and restores damaged hair.

A post shared by Karen (@beinghenrysmum) on

Egg hair mask:

One egg
Two tablespoons of castor oil
One table tablespoon of olive oil

Mix all the ingredients until they somewhat combine. Apply for at least 30 minutes. Castor oil and eggs are essential for strengthening the hair follicles and elongating the hair; they also give the hair a beautiful luscious shine. Olive oil hydrates the hair and helps with keeping it moisturized.

Strawberry hair mask:

Six-eight strawberries
One tablespoon of coconut oil
One tablespoon of honey

Mix all ingredients and apply them for at least thirty minutes. The strawberries remove the excess oil or grease in the hair and give it a glossy shine. It is highly recommended for oily hairs and scalps.

A post shared by ぴのさん (@pinoko_lada) on

Brown sugar hair mask:

Two tablespoons of brown sugar
Three tablespoons of olive oil

Mix all the ingredients and apply them for at least 30 minutes and massage your hair for three to five minutes. This hair mask helps get rid of dandruff and any itchiness.

1/30/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[France overturns ban on captive dolphin breeding]]>
The previous Socialist government ordered the ban, which also applied to killer whales, last May after complaints from animal rights groups hoping to end marine and aquarium shows.

But former environment minister Segolene Royale had tightened the ban at the last minute, and failed to consult the public and others on a measure that could have forced aquariums to close.

Aquariums and parks such as Marineland in southern France -- the biggest attraction of its kind in Europe -- have faced growing criticism in recent years over their animals' living conditions.

"This is excellent news for our animals and animal parks in France," said Pascal Picot, managing director at Marineland, which appealed the decision along with the Parc Asterix amusement park north of Paris and the Wild Planet park in Western France.

The new rules would have banned the captivity of all whales, dolphins and porpoises, except for orcas and bottlenose dolphins already held in authorised aquariums -- which would eventually have meant them being phased out altogether.

Marine parks also would have had to increase the size of their pools by at least 150 percent.

Animal rights groups had hailed the measures as a first step toward ending breeding and import programmes for animal shows in France.

But Picot said "significant changes to the rules governing the treatment of our animals should be based on scientific facts, and be carried out as required by law."]]>
1/30/2018 2:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[OPPO Kicks off 2018 with the F5 6GB Red Edition and F5 Youth]]>
With OPPO’s constant efforts to over exceed their customer’s expectations, they released the limited edition F5 6GB Red Edition and the F5 Youth; granting their young customers who loves fashion a wide range of new attractive colors which are Red, Black and Gold. The limited edition F5 6GB introduced the new “Red” color to the F5 series, while the F5 Youth will be released in the colors Black and Gold.

oppo 1

To celebrate the launch of the F5 Red Edition, OPPO hosted a launch event at SASS restaurant on Monday, 22nd of January. The Red-and-Black themed event was attended by Egypt’s top influencers and VIPs. OPPO offered attendees an unforgettable night, with a musical performance by DJ Dina Akladios.

Both the F5 6GB and the F5 Youth apply the groundbreaking A.I. Beauty Technology, which can analyze the face of a subject with more than 200 recognition spots and determine the age, gender, skin type, and skin tone. This produces a customized selfie experience with effortless editing, giving users the most natural and awesome selfie by heightens their natural beauty.

The F5 6GB, however, has a 20MP front camera, while the F5 Youth has a 16MP front camera. An ultra-sensitive F2.0 aperture is set in the front camera. It helps you get gorgeous selfies through all hours. Besides, the new upgraded camera can automatically recognize dark light scenes and intelligently polymerized into the large pixel of 2.0μm, which gives a powerful quadruple capability of sensing light. Combined with the OPPO Screen Flash function, it thus introduces the best you to the world.


The F5 6GB will still have the same features as the standard F5 edition, except for a higher RAM storage with 6 GB RAM instead of 4GB, and a 64 GB internal storage, instead of the F5’s 32GB internal storage, and both phones can host a microSD up to 256 GB. Besides that, all options are the same. As for the prices, the F5 Red Edition is priced at 6960 EGP, while the F5 Youth is priced at 4690 EGP.

The devices have more than 1000 Multiple Curvature Tuning brings out their signature graceful look – an omnidirectional elegance on each curve. Slim and graceful, the silky touch makes it hard for you to put it down. The beauty and dexterity embodied is a joint effect of dazzling your eyes and catering your hold.


1/29/2018 6:01:22 PM
<![CDATA[et Best Dressed: Grammy Awards 2018 ]]>
The red carpet was flooded with white roses as it was chosen as the common theme to support the #MeToo movement. The white roses stand as a symbol for peace, resilience, and hope. Following in the blackout movement that took place at the The 75th Golden Globes red carpet.

1/29/2018 12:47:45 PM
<![CDATA[5 absolutely delicious body detox recipes ]]>
Lemon and lime detox:

A liter and a half of water mixed with lemon and lime slices and a handful mint leaves. This helps the body burn fats faster and overall regulates the digestion process and acts as a potent source of vitamin C.

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Cucumber detox:

A liter and a half of water mixed with slices of lime and cucumber and mint leaves. This helps keep the body and skin hydrated, soothes the skin from the inside out and is full of vitamin B5 which is important for treating and preventing acne.

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Kiwi, strawberry and mint detox:

A liter and a half of water added to slices of kiwi and strawberries and mint leaves. Also slices of lemon may be added. This detox is full of anti-inflammatory ingredients which are great for fighting common cold or flu viruses. It also boosts your digestions and aids in weight loss.

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Pineapple and mango detox:

A liter and a half of water added to slices of mango, pineapple, lime, and basil. In addition to its delicious taste, it makes the weight loss process faster.

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Pomegranate detox:

A liter and a half of water added to pomegranate seeds and strawberry slices. Pomegranate and strawberry are amazing antioxidants and have strong cancer fighting properties that help the liver eliminate body toxins, along with a calming effects found in pomegranate oils.

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1/29/2018 10:47:46 AM
<![CDATA[Uber Eats is finally here ]]>
Four years since Uber launched and two years since Uber Eats, Cairo and Riyadh will be added to the delivery menu joining more than 200 cities around the world very soon.
Uber Eats makes getting food fast and easy for when you are at your hungriest.

After its success in the UAE with more than a thousand restaurants on the menu, Uber has seen the potential in both Egypt’s food industry and its big appetite and will be delivering food to your door step later this year.

“We know that people in Egypt and Saudi Arabia have been calling out for technology to get the food they love delivered for all occasions in any locations for some time now,” Nic Robertson, General Manager, Uber Eats Middle East and Africa, announced in a press release. “We’re thrilled to be answering this demand by partnering with national and local restaurants to bring the convenience of the Uber Eats app to more people in the region.”

The app will also be available in both Arabic and English making it more accessible to everyone and your favorite shawerma place.

“While we’re a global business with a presence in more than 30 countries around the world, our recipe for success is built on catering to the local taste of the cities we operate in. That’s why we’re doubling down on creating a localized version of the app that meets the needs of the Arabic speaking population,” continued Mr. Robertson.

And the fun doesn’t stop ther! Uber will also be launching their ride hailing services in Tanta and Damanhour; creating job opportunities and safe, reliable transportation for the public, located in the Nile Delta area.

Recent statistics released by Uber showed that in 2017, over 150,000 job opportunities were created, of which 50 percent are dependent on Uber for part time work. Uber has proven to become the biggest economic contributor in Egypt as it’s committed to provide youth with job opportunities. 70 percent of drivers on the Uber platform are ranging from 18-35 years old.

“After the success of Uber in Mansoura, we have been on the lookout for other expansion opportunities and finally rested on Tanta and Damanhour as we believe these two cities hold great potential in terms of offering job opportunities for drivers and providing a convenient and accessible transportation service for riders,” Abdellatif Waked, General Manager, Uber Egypt stated about the new expansion.

1/29/2018 10:37:21 AM
<![CDATA[et Opinion: Enough with the Token Inclusion in the Cosmetics Industry]]>
I acknowledge the attempt at diversifying their campaigns: they have multiple ethnicities featured, different age ranges, a man, and different hair textures. But what bothers me is that, while everyone is head over heels over the fact that a hijab-wearing woman was included, no one is mentioning the fact that not one of the ambassadors has a skin tone that could even remotely be labeled darker than a light tan. We’ve drawn in one demographic, only to push out another. Where are the chocolate brown skin tones and their curly kinky hair, the coffee black skin tones and their afros and braids? The one woman who’s black has a caramel skin tone and her hair is dyed blonde and perfectly coiffed.

Elvive chose a group of British ambassadors and influencers including Cheryl, Alexina Graham, Dougie Poynter, Nadine Baggott, and Lydia Millen to celebrate and explore the unique, sometimes complex, but ultimately fascinating relationship they have with their hair. The campaign was photographed and directed by British photographer Rankin, and it is clearly meant to be inclusive, to show the different hair colors and styles and textures of its ambassadors.

The campaign has even gotten a lot of media coverage from publications like The Telegraph and British Vogue because, included in the group of ambassadors—amongst the white women, and the man and the women of Asian descent—is a hijab-wearing woman. Amena Khan, the woman herself, commented to British Vogue, “How many brands are doing things like this? Not many. They’re literally putting a girl in a headscarf—whose hair you can’t see—in a hair campaign. Because what they’re really valuing through the campaign, is the voices that we have.”

The cosmetics industry is great at preaching inclusion and then falling short of it. They make campaigns for everyone, but include only some people. There is a systematic and institutionalized racism and colorism in the cosmetics industry—likely in every industry—and it’s a reflection on society whether they admit it or not and whether they see it or not. Throwing in a veiled woman in this ad campaign and a black woman in that ad campaign doesn’t change anything and it doesn’t help. There needs to be systematic, consistent change or, as consumers, we’re applauding empty gestures and appeasements.

Is there not a black woman on the advertising team at Elvive who could look at the campaign and recognize that she didn't see herself in it? If there was a focus group, were there no black women or men included in it to offer their perspective? I’m speculating but an ad campaign is just the tip of the iceberg and these are questions that need to be asked—and answered.

The same lack of diversity is true of cosmetics brands that sell makeup. Just recently Tarte released two new foundations, with an initial shade range of just 15 shades, only three of which could be considered “dark.” They did announce that they would be releasing more shades, but who wants to be considered an afterthought? There are brands like MAC and Maybelline that release extensive, genuinely inclusive shade ranges for foundations and bases, but they couldn't be called a majority by any means. Considering Rihanna launched her Fenty Beauty line with 40 shades of foundation, clearly it’s possible and clearly it’s a choice.

Grand gestures of inclusivity in ad campaigns will not convince the masses if they are not well thought out and if they are not backed by meaningful change in the industry. More and more consumers are becoming socially aware and refusing to roll over on issues of diversity and equality. If companies want to continue to grow, they need to enact tangible change, not just hide behind facades of social responsibility and awareness.

At time of publishing Amena Khan had withdrawn from the #WorldofCarecampaign following the emergence of ‘anti-Israel’ tweets from 2014, and the resultant backlash. L’Oreal have stated that they support this decision.]

1/29/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[5 essential oils that are perfect for your skin]]>
From the many essential oils out there, here are the ones that’ll give you the greatest results:

Jojoba Oil :

The closest thing out there in texture and use to our skin’s naturally produced sebum. It was used by Native Americans years ago to treat bruises and sores. As it i’s a carrier oil with the same benefits as essential oils; it can be used alone without dilution. It’s been known to be used to treat acne, sunburns, psoriasis, and chapped skin. Jojoba oil can also be used to moisturize your skin, remove wrinkles and even remove makeup. It i’s also quite notorious well known for balancing out the oil production in your skin; thus, removing blackheads.

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Rosehip Oil :

Rosehip oil, also known as Rosehip seed oil, is full of essential fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants that are extremely beneficial for healthy skin. It’s known for repairing sun damage, removing fine lines, stimulating collagen and correcting dark spots, which makes it great for aging skin. Rosehip oil can also be used to boost your immune system. Best results are obtained when diluted.

Sesame Oil :

Although commonly used to season food, sesame oil actually has extraordinary properties that can elevate your skin. A carrier for other essential oils properties, it can be directly on the skin. It’s also utilized to treat alopecia, psoriasis, and eczema. It is used for treating burns and removing its scars, preventing stretch marks and under eye brightening.

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Lavender Oil :

Aside from its therapeutic properties, lavender oil is exceptionally good at reducing the rate at which the skin ages, fighting acne and relieving any inflammation, pain or stress. Its light and relieving consistency allows it to be applied directly to the skin without dilution.

Tea tree Oil :

Also known as melaleuca oil or ti tree oil, Tea tree oil is a strong essential that can be used to soothe chicken pox, remove makeup, aid in acne prevention, and fade scars. It is best used diluted in a carrier oil.

1/28/2018 6:16:07 PM
<![CDATA[Beyoncé's love for Arab designers]]>
It took over 300 hours to tailor the dress and the designers’ main aim was to accentuate Beyoncé's unique and glamorous physique. “We felt so many emotions seeing Beyoncé wearing our creation. But most importantly, we felt honored, proud, happy, and thrilled beyond imagination,” said George Azzi and Assaad Osta to Vogue Arabia.

Beyoncé has managed to impress the world numerous times with her looks designed by Reem Acra, Nicolas Jebran, Yousef al-Jasmi, Bougessa, Zuhair Murad, Elie Saab, Georges Chakra, and Donia Allegue. In addition to her maternity dresses from Dubai and Okhtein handbags from Egypt, Queen B continues to mesmerize us with her Arab designed fashion. It is unforgettable how she stunned in Elie Saab’s gold majestic gown back in the 64th annual Golden Globe in January 2007, in Zuhair Murad's breathtaking floral lace dress from his 2016 spring Couture collection, and in Yousef al-Jasmi’s bodysuit in the Lemonade music video.

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Beyoncé and many other celebrities continue to embed many Arab designers’ work in their wardrobes, often creating daily looks by them and bringing them fame all over the world.
1/28/2018 4:49:59 PM
<![CDATA[All you’ll see at the 2018 Grammy’s are white roses]]>
The theme has been decided after various industry insiders including promoter Karen Rait and industry marketer Meg Harkins sat at a dinner to find a way where it was guaranteed that the movements were represented. It was then broadcasted through an email by Atlantic Records Chair Julie Greenwald, according to Billboard.
Several artists such as Rita Ora, James Cordon and Halsey have already confirmed that they in fact will be wearing white roses to the Grammy’s.

This won’t be the first time where a major event is dominated by one color in favor of the #metoo movement.

The 75th Golden Globes

have broken the internet with celebrities flooding the red carpet with the

color black

; women sporting glamorous black dresses and men suiting up in black suits with the cause’s pins.

75th Golden Globe Awards – Photo Room – Beverly Hills, California, U.S., 07/01/2018 – The cast and producers of "The... LUCY NICHOLSON January 07, 2018 10:24pm EST

With all this happening, what are these movements all about? The #metoo movement is a protest against sexual harassment and violence, originally established by Tarana Burke a decade ago. It only started to make that much of an impact once the actress, Alyssa Milano, tweeted encouraging women to speak out and unite against violence.

Similarly, the Time’s Up movement was founded in response to the #metoo movement to stand with abused women, especially in the entertainment field. Its website has an open letter that has gathered as many as 400 signatures from women in the American and British entertainment industry that all stand to tackle the issue.
1/28/2018 2:31:55 PM
<![CDATA[All about gestational diabetes to enjoy a healthy pregnancy]]>
Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that appears only during pregnancy and can be diagnosed by your doctor. Like any other form of diabetes, it means that you have high blood sugar (or blood glucose) levels that were normal before you were pregnant. Gestational diabetes can be managed through careful monitoring and treatment.

What causes gestational diabetes?

According to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC), up to seven percent of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes. This form of diabetes usually starts between week 24 and week 28 of pregnancy as the hormones from the placenta block the insulin hormone, produced by the pancreas, from regulating the body’s metabolism of carbohydrates and fats to produce energy. As a result, the body is prevented from effectively regulating the increased blood sugar of pregnancy, leading to high levels of sugar in the blood stream that can damage the nerves, blood vessels and organs in the mother’s body.

What are the symptoms of gestational diabetes?

In most cases mothers do not notice any symptoms and consider any change in their bodies as a normal result of pregnancy. However, there are a few symptoms that mothers may experience:

 Unusual thirst.
 Frequent urination in large amounts – different than the frequent but usually light urination of early pregnancy.
 Feeling hungrier and eating more.
 Sugar in the urine, which is detected at a routine prenatal care visit.

What are the risk factors?

There are some factors that can increase the woman’s chance of developing gestational diabetes, including:

 Weight: Becoming pregnant when you have a BMI (body mass index used to measure body fat) of 30 or more is one of the most common risk factors for gestational diabetes, as the extra weight affects the insulin hormone’s ability to properly function and keep blood sugar at normal levels.
 Abdominal fat: If you have higher level of tummy fat during your first trimester of pregnancy, you are more likely to have gestational diabetes later.
 Age: If you get pregnant over the age 35, you have a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes.
 Family history: You can be at higher risk of developing gestational diabetes if diabetes runs in the family.
 Personal history of diabetes: If you had gestational diabetes during previous pregnancies, you are more likely to have it again.
 If your blood sugar levels are slightly elevated before pregnancy.
 If you were ordered to “bed rest” to prevent pre-term birth, this might lead to gestational diabetes as a result of gained weight.
 If you have polycystic ovarian syndrome where you have high levels of male hormones and less female hormones, leading to irregular or rare ovulation.
 If you are generally glucose intolerant.
 If you take medications for asthma, autoimmune disease, high blood pressure, rapid heart rate or drugs for mental health problems.
 If you have given birth to a large baby before – greater than 4 kilos or 9 pounds.
 If you previously had certain birth defects, including delivering a stillborn baby.

How is gestational diabetes diagnosed?

In every prenatal care visit, your doctor will ask you for a urine sample to check for sugar in urine as a sign of gestational diabetes. The reason why your doctor repeats the test every month is because one positive screening of higher sugar levels in your urine does not necessarily mean that you have gestational diabetes.

Between week 24 and week 28 of your pregnancy, your doctor will ask you to drink a sugary drink and perform a blood screening test an hour later to see how your body handled the sugar. If the results show that you developed high sugar levels, your doctor will conduct a three-hour glucose tolerance test while fasting to determine whether you have gestational diabetes or not.

If your results are normal but indicate that you can develop gestational diabetes, your doctor may request a follow-up test later to make sure you still do not have it.

How does gestational diabetes affect you and your baby?

Gestational diabetes can be managed and is not harmful either for the mother or the baby with proper treatment and monitoring by a doctor.

However, the excessive blood sugar in the mother’s blood can enter the fetal circulation through placenta, leading to potential serious problems for the mother and the baby. In case gestational diabetes is not controlled, mothers would risk having too large a baby, leading to C-section, as normal delivery becomes more difficult. Also, in uncontrolled gestational diabetes cases, mothers also are at risk for preeclampsia (sudden high blood pressure) and stillbirth (a baby born dead after 24 completed weeks of pregnancy).

If the gestational diabetes is uncontrolled, it can also lead to potential problems for the baby after birth, including jaundice (a yellow discoloration of the skin), breathing difficulties and low blood sugar levels. The baby can also be at risk for developing type 2 diabetes and to be obese.

After giving birth, the mother’s blood sugar will most likely return to normal quickly. But, in some cases, the mother can develop type 2 diabetes in the future.

What can be done to prevent gestational diabetes?

Keep yourself aware of the risk factors discussed earlier and remember that some of these factors, like the family history or advance maternal age, cannot be prevented or controlled. However, if you are overweight, start to eat healthy and exercise to reduce your chances of developing gestational diabetes.

Here are some tips to help you prevent developing gestational diabetes before and during pregnancy:

 Exercise: Exercise to burn glucose and produce energy even if the insulin in your body is blocked. Exercise can also help keep your blood sugar levels normal. The appropriate type of exercise should be advised by your doctor.
 Healthy diet: Eat healthy and protect yourself and your baby during and after pregnancy. Include vegetables, fruits and healthy protein in your diet, and limit your fat intake. Also, avoid eating sugary and processed food.
 Watch your weight: With the help of your doctor, try to maintain a normal weight and body fat. Make sure to watch that you are gaining the right amount of weight during pregnancy and plan to lose the extra weight after delivery.
 Breastfeed as long as you can: Breastfeeding decreases the mother’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes after gestational diabetes by 50 percent, as it improves glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity.

As for your baby, they should be tested for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) with a simple blood test immediately after delivery. Apply the healthy lifestyle you are following to the whole family and make sure that your child is eating clean and exercising.

How is gestational diabetes treated?

In addition to diet and exercise, your doctor might give you supplementary insulin to control sugar levels in your blood. The supplementary insulin can be given as shots (up to three injections daily) or as oral drugs. Also, your doctor will do fetal monitoring in your third trimester to make sure that the baby’s heart rate and movement are normal.

In case of not feeling well between your regular check up visits or if you notice any unusual symptoms, contact your doctor immediately. These symptoms include: feeling very thirsty, peeing more than usual, fatigue, feeling nauseous and blurred vision.]]>
1/28/2018 1:02:00 PM
<![CDATA[Instagram worst social media platform for mental health - study]]>
It appears that the platform is good for self-expression and identity as well as community building and emotional support but can also cause anxiety, depression, bullying and a “fear of missing out.” The survey included five social media platforms: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. YouTube is the only platform of the five to receive an overall positive score by the participants of the survey.

All the platforms, except YouTube, were associated with feelings of being "left out" and "comparison", and what is called a “compare and despair” mindset according to the #StateofMind report. However, all the platforms received negative marks for sleep quality, bullying, and body image. The #StateofMind report suggests courses of action that include the introduction of heavy-usage warning on social media applications, and highlighting photos that have been digitally altered or manipulated.

According to researchers at UCLA’s Brain Mapping Center, teenagers’ photos which receive many likes on Instagram and other social media apps, elicited the same response in the brain as seeing loved ones and winning money.

Shirley Cramer CBE, chief executive of the RSPH, said: "Social media has been described as more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol, and is now so entrenched in the lives of young people that it is no longer possible to ignore it when talking about young people's mental health issues.”

"It's interesting to see Instagram and Snapchat ranking as the worst for mental health and wellbeing - both platforms are very image-focused and it appears they may be driving feelings of inadequacy and anxiety in young people.”

YouTuber Laci Green, a health vlogger, said, "Platforms like Instagram and Facebook present highly curated versions of the people we know and the world around us. It is easy for our perspective of reality to become distorted." She added that "socializing from behind a screen can also be uniquely isolating, obscuring mental health challenges even more than usual."]]>
1/28/2018 9:03:00 AM
<![CDATA[Nissan releases self-parking slippers in Japan]]>
One hotel is already using the technology, where at the push of a button you can park your slippers at the entrance of the lobby.

Each slipper has two tiny wheels, a motor and sensors to drive across the floor and park into a spot, between the already parked slippers. The same technology is used in the latest version of the Nissan LEAF (Leading, Environmentally Friendly, Affordable, Family) vehicle.

A simplified version of that same technology has been installed at the hotel where Nissan’s first parking slippers can be found. It is located in the resort town of Hakone, around 75 kilometers (47 miles) southwest of Tokyo and famed for its view of Mount Fuji. Guests can begin experiencing the parking slippers as early as March.

Slippers are not the only self-driving technology in the hotel, they also will have self-driving low tables and floor cushions. Many of the world’s top auto brands such as Audi and Tesla are developing self-driving technology. Nissan plans to market a car that can drive itself on city streets by 2020.]]>
1/27/2018 6:27:06 PM
<![CDATA[Tips to keep your little ones protected at home ]]>
As your children grow older and start to walk, they tend to explore the world, which is very vital for their development but also opens up the possibility of a range of accidents. Children’s curiosity can lead to several accidents and injuries that can be avoided most of the time without preventing them from enjoying the experience.

Parents and caregivers must keep in mind that children are more vulnerable to accidents and injuries, either because of their poor coordination and balance, their inability to assess the risks surrounding them, their lack of experience or simply because they have more sensitive skin and leaner bones.

Therefore, to tackle children emergency situations with confidence, parents and caregivers are advised to take courses in first aid to be able to identify and understand the potential risks surrounding their children. These courses enable them to better understand what potential hazards to look for and what measures they can take to make their children’s environment safer. Furthermore, child injury should be elevated as a priority on the global public health and development agenda.

Where do most of children accidents happen?

The truth is that children can be injured anywhere in or around the house. However, most accidents occur inside the house, especially in the living room, with the most dangerous ones occurring in the kitchen and/or on the stairs. Children accidents also rise in the afternoon time, weekends and holidays, especially summer vacations.

Who is most at risk?

Age: Children under five years old are prone to accidental injuries that include burns, scalds, swallowing objects or poisoning, while older children are more likely to experience fractures and broken bones. Most non-fatal accidents result from falling from height, while fire is the main reason for the death or disability of children. In some cases, the design of the house, such as houses with balconies and open staircases, can also contribute to accidents and injuries.

Economic status: Children who live in poorer communities are the most vulnerable to accidents, injuries and the burden of injuries, as they are less likely to benefit from protective measures available to other children who live in better economic situations.

Gender: According to WHO, boys tend to have more frequent and more severe injuries than girls, with 24 percent more deaths from injuries among boys than there are among girls under 15 years.

There are several ways to help prevent injuries to children in the home, including supervising your child, being aware of the risks, creating a safe environment and using safety equipment. In this article we present simple first aid skills to keep your children safe.


According to WHO, 130 children die from falls every day as children start to learn how to climb and explore their surroundings; it is very easy for them to fall off a table, bed, sofa, stairs, window or a balcony. These falls lead to bruises, but most serious injuries can be avoided by:

• Making sure your baby cannot roll off the changing surface.
• Fitting a safety gate at the top and bottom of stairs.
• Repairing or removing any damaged or worn carpet to avoid tripping accidents.
• Not leaving items on the ground that could be stepped on, leading to tripping and falls.
• Fitting safety restrictors to windows so they cannot be opened more than 10 cm.
• Keeping chairs and other climbing objects away from windows and balconies.
• Ensuring there is enough light on the stairs.
• Keeping balcony doors locked to prevent your child from going on it alone.
• Securing any furniture and kitchen appliances if there is a risk they could be pulled over.
• Staying with your child all the time when they are in the bath, as they can lean over to pick up a toy and fall in.
• Making sure they are warm and calling an ambulance in case your child has fallen from height and you are not sure whether you should move them or not.

Suffocating and choking

Children can easily swallow, inhale or choke on small items such as marbles, buttons, peanuts and small toys, so it is best to examine things around them that can lead to suffocating and choking. To prevent this from happening:

• Keep small objects out of the reach of small children.
• Choose toys designed for the age of your child and encourage older children to keep their toys away from their baby sibling.
• Beware of clothing with cords, necklaces and bag straps, as they can be easily pulled tightly on the neck.
• Lay babies on their back in a cot to sleep and never let babies sleep in an adult bed or on the sofa, and do not use pillows, as they can suffocate.
• Keep plastic bags away from children; they can pull them over their heads and suffocate.
• Curtain cords should be kept short and out of reach of children.
• Keep animals, particularly cats, out of your bedrooms, as they could suffocate your child.
• If your child stops breathing, struggles to breathe and their ribcage is sucked in, or they are breathing fast, call an ambulance and/or take them to the hospital.


Domestic fires pose a significant risk to children as a result of them playing with matches and lighters. To prevent a fire starting while you sleep and to ensure you and your children do not breathe in poisonous smoke:

• Install smoke alarms, test them regularly and change the batteries every year, or get alarms that can be plugged into light sockets.
• Switch off electrical items before you go to sleep and close all doors to contain a potential fire.
• Tell your children what to do in case of a fire.
• Always keep a fireguard in the house.
• Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children.
• Extinguish and dispose cigarettes carefully – particularly at night.

Burns and scalds:

According to WHO, 260 children die from burns every day. Hot bath water is the biggest cause of severe and fatal scalding injuries among children. They can also be burnt from cookers, irons, hair straighteners, cigarettes, matches and lighters. To prevent these accidents:

• Before bathing your child, check the water is not too hot by testing it with your elbow.
• Keep hot drinks away from children's reach and never use tablecloths that children can pull at.
• Never drink anything hot with a child on your lap.
• Turn off heated appliances immediately after use and place them out of reach.
• Use the back rings on the cooker whenever possible and turn saucepan handles away from the front of the cooker.
• If possible, keep young children out of the kitchen.


According to WHO, 125 children die from poisoning every day. Most poisoning accidents involve medicines, household products and cosmetics. In some cases, children can suffer from breathing difficulties. In such cases seek medical attention immediately. The following measures can help prevent the poisoning of children:
Keep anything that may be toxic out of reach and sight including medicines and pills and household cleaners – preferably in a locked cupboard.

• Use containers with child resistant tops.
• Keep all dangerous chemicals in their original containers, as children may mistake them for something safe to drink if you use old bottles for example.
• Dispose of unwanted medicines and chemicals.
• Discourage your children from eating any plants or leaves when outside.
• Avoid buying plants with poisonous leaves or berries.

Injuries caused by glass:

A lot of children end up in hospital with serious injuries caused by glass around the home or by broken glasses and bottles.

• Use safety-toughened glass in doors and windows, and make sure any furniture that incorporates glass is safety approved.
• Dispose of broken glass quickly and safely by wrapping it in newspaper before throwing it in the bin.
• Do not let your child hold anything made of glass or anything sharp like scissors.
• If your children cut themselves and it will not stop bleeding, call an ambulance and/or take them to the hospital.


According to WHO, 480 children die from drowning every day. Children can drown in a few centimeters of water (less than three cm); therefore, they should be under constant supervision near water. Parents should:

• Never leave a baby or child in the bath unsupervised, including in a bath seat, not even for a moment and even if an older sibling is watching them.
• Do not leave uncovered bowls, buckets or containers of liquid/water around the house.
• Empty paddling pools and store them away once you are done using them.
• Make sure that your garden pond is securely fenced off and supervise your children while visiting other people’s gardens.

1/27/2018 3:06:43 PM
<![CDATA[Covered on the catwalk: modest fashion struts its stuff in Paris]]>
The event was part of the Oriental Fashion show held on the sidelines of the city’s haute couture fashion week, which showcases designers from Asia and the Middle East.

Organisers said modest fashion had met resistance in France because of its religious associations but there was demand for the styles in the country and beyond.

“We’re French and in France we want to address this French demand, because firstly there’s a French market for this and also an export market,” Oriental Fashion Show general director Hind Joudar told Reuters.

“France’s resistance to modest fashion has nothing to do with the fashion itself it has to do with religion,” Joudar said.

Modest fashion conforms to conservative social standards common in the Middle East. In recent years, it has attracted mainstream interest and brands including Dolce & Gabbana, Uniqlo and Burberry have entered the sector.

Spending by Muslims on clothing and apparel is projected to reach $368 billion by 2021, according to the 2017 Reuters State of the Global Islamic Economy report.

France, under former conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy, was the first European country to pass a law banning burqa and niqab garments that conceal the face in public. Belgium later followed suit, as did the Swiss canton of Ticino.

Authorities said the full-faced veil is a security risk because it inhibit identification. France has the largest Muslim minority in Europe, estimated at 5 million, and some of Europe’s most restrictive laws about expressions of faith in public.]]>
1/27/2018 2:39:00 PM
<![CDATA[Out on a limb: Vanity Fair's curious cover]]>
Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks, Robert de Niro, Nicole Kidman and other stars are grouped for the magazine's "Hollywood Issue" in a photo lavishly retouched -- but forgetting, it seems, to erase an extra leg.

"Well...I guess everybody knows now...I have 3 legs," Witherspoon joked on Twitter.

"I hope you can still accept me for who I am."

After Witherspoon's tweet, Winfrey -- the queen of American television -- raised her hand to comment on another picture taken for the issue by acclaimed photographer Annie Leibovitz.

"I accept your 3d leg. As I know you accept my 3d hand," Winfrey joked.

She was referring to a separate photograph from the shoot, one in which Winfrey indeed seems to have three hands: one at her waist, one around Witherspoon, and a third resting on her own leg.

That picture has now been removed from Vanity Fair's website.

The photographs caused amusement on the internet Friday, and Vanity Fair played along.

"While we would have loved the exclusive on @RWitherspoon's three legs, unfortunately it's just the lining of her dress," the magazine tweeted.

As for Winfrey -- a producer, presenter and actress -- "how can we expect her to juggle it all with just two hands?" Vanity Fair joked, noting that the error was being corrected online.

Actor James Franco was also meant to be part of the Vanity Fair spread but was scrubbed because of "the misconduct allegations against him," The Hollywood Reporter said, citing a Vanity Fair source.

He was reportedly accused by five women of sexually inappropriate behavior after he won a Golden Globe this month for best actor in "The Disaster Artist".

Franco sat for the Vanity Fair photo shoot but was then digitally removed from the cover following the allegations, The Hollywood Reporter said, citing multiple sources.

1/27/2018 2:33:41 PM
<![CDATA[Jean Paul Gaultier gets into swing of the 60s on Paris catwalk]]>
Black-and-white stripped dresses - ingeniously cut to float down the catwalk from the front while revealing a cinched silhouette from behind - mingled with bold pink or yellow pant suits in the collection, unveiled during Haute Couture week.

Jean Paul Gaultier1
A model presents a creation by French designer Jean Paul Gaultier as part of his Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2018 fashion collection in Paris, France January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
Fringes on boots, trousers, dresses and sleeves twisted and turned to the 1960-inspired soundtrack as models strutted down the runway.

Some struck over-the-top poses as they went, like model Coco Rocha, who had spectators swooning as she took to the catwalk with her two-year-old daughter, dressed identically in an asymetric baby-blue gown.

Ninety-five-year-old Cardin, who gave the self-styled bad boy of fashion Gaultier his first stint as an apprentice in 1970, surveyed the show from the front row, with actress Marion Cotillard and singer Paloma Faith also in attendance.

“It’s my beginning. Why not come back to that funny period that was the 1960s,” Gaultier told reporters after the show, adding that he had been in awe of Cardin’s futuristic, geometric designs when he was still a teenager. “Even before I started with him I was looking at magazines, at TV programs on what he was doing.”

Jean Paul Gaultier2
A model presents a creation by French designer Jean Paul Gaultier as part of his Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2018 fashion collection in Paris, France January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
“I was very frightened when he arrived (at the show), I wondered, ‘What will he tell me?'” Gaultier added. “I was like a little student of fashion.”

Gaultier, 65, stopped producing ready-to-wear collections in 2014 to focus on his haute couture line and perfumes. His brand is owned by Spanish perfume group Puig.

The couturier, known for his irreverent and playful style, is preparing a musical stage production, the Jean Paul Gaultier Fashion Freak Show, which is billed as a pop extravaganza showcasing eccentric characters and episodes from his life.

The show, which will run from October to December at the Folies Bergeres music hall in Paris, will feature new Gaultier designs as well as some referencing his most famed creations, such a conical bra worn by singer Madonna on tour in 1990.]]>
1/26/2018 6:15:56 PM
<![CDATA[et Skin Series: Vitamin C]]>
Deficiency of vitamin C is relatively rare, and usually seen in malnourished adults. In extreme cases, it can lead to scurvy, which is characterized by weakness, anemia, bruising, bleeding, and loss of teeth. But topically, the ingredient is just as effective for a different set of concerns.

Oranges, a potent source of vitamin C - CC/Pixabay
Vitamin C is also known as an excellent skincare ingredient. It’s a fantastic anti-aging ingredient, a collagen-booster and a glow enhancer. It’s also an anti-oxidant, which means it prevents free radical damage in your skin caused by environmental stress factors, thereby preventing signs of aging and sunspots. This is done by a process of vitamin C donating electrons to neutralize free radicals created by oxidation. Vitamin C can aid the skin’s ability to heal itself, meaning it can help reduce red and brown spots. It can help reduce inflammation and even out your skin tone.

Lemons, a potent source of vitamin C - CC/Pixabay
Vitamin C comes in many forms in skincare: pure L-asorbic acid, which is the most potent form, and the most researched form, and also many derivatives such as Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Ester-C, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl palmitate and retinyl ascorbate. All forms have the same benefits to varying degrees, and to know which one to use, it’s best to consult your dermatologist.]]>
1/26/2018 5:53:52 PM
<![CDATA[From refugee to chef: Berlin film festival to showcase Syrian cook]]>
The choice of Malakeh Jazmati reflects the mission of the festival, which was set up in 1951 to showcase films that address urgent social and political issues in the world.

The festival devoted its programme to refugees and migration in 2016 after Europe's politics were convulsed by the arrival of more than a million refugees from the Middle East and Africa, including Jazmati herself.

At the Berlin film festival opening reception in February, the 30-year-old chef, who runs a catering business in the German capital with her husband, will be cooking for more than 400 guests attending the opening reception.

"When I went and saw it's not just any film festival but the Berlinale, I was more than happy," she said of her reaction on learning she had been chosen.

"It's like getting to fulfill your dreams."

She will be working under the management of Berlinale's chef Martin Scharff and cooperating with the Lebanese-American cook Barbara Massaad, known for her Syrian cookbook. Her menu will range from Aleppo stuffed aubergine to a Damascene "Syrian pasta", seasoned with tamarind sauce and pomegranate molasses.

"People think about our food that we only have falafel and hummus, but after that they see it's a very big kitchen," Jazmati told Reuters TV.

The festival will open on February 15 with the world premiere of Wes Anderson's animated film Isle of Dogs, staring Hollywood actors such as Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson and Tilda Swinton.]]>
1/25/2018 4:18:45 PM
<![CDATA[Chinese scientists break key barrier by cloning monkeys]]>
Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, two identical long-tailed macaques, were born eight and six weeks ago, making them the first primates -- the order of mammals that includes monkeys, apes and humans -- to be cloned from a non-embryonic cell.

Cloned monkeys Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua are seen at the non-human primate facility at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai, China January 20, 2018, in this handout picture provided by the Institute of Neuroscience of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Chinese Academy of Sciences/Handout via REUTERS
It was achieved through a process called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), which involves transferring the nucleus of a cell, which includes its DNA, into an egg which has had its nucleus removed.

Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Neuroscience in Shanghai said their work should be a boon to medical research by making it possible to study diseases in populations of genetically uniform monkeys.

But it also brings the feasibility of cloning to the doorstep of our own species.

"Humans are primates. So (for) the cloning of primate species, including humans, the technical barrier is now broken," Muming Poo, who helped supervise the programme at the institute, told reporters in a conference call.

"The reason ... we broke this barrier is to produce animal models that are useful for medicine, for human health. There is no intention to apply this method to humans."

Genetically identical animals are useful in research because confounding factors caused by genetic variability in non-cloned animals can complicate experiments. They could be used to test new drugs for a range of diseases before clinical use.

The two newborns are now being bottle fed and are growing normally. The researchers said they expect more macaque clones to be born over the coming months.

Since Dolly - cloning's poster child - was born in Scotland in 1996, scientists have successfully used SCNT to clone more than 20 other species, including cows, pigs, dogs, rabbits, rats and mice.

Similar work in primates, however, had always failed, leading some experts to wonder if primates were resistant.

The new research, published on Wednesday in the journal Cell, shows that is not the case. The Chinese team succeeded, after many attempts, by using modulators to switch on or off certain genes that were inhibiting embryo development.

Even so, their success rate was extremely low and the technique worked only when nuclei were transferred from foetal cells, rather than adult ones, as was the case with Dolly. In all, it took 127 eggs to produce two live macaque births.

"It remains a very inefficient and hazardous procedure," said Robin Lovell-Badge, a cloning expert at the Francis Crick Institute in London, who was not involved in the Chinese work.

"The work in this paper is not a stepping-stone to establishing methods for obtaining live born human clones. This clearly remains a very foolish thing to attempt."

Huah Hua, a cloned long tailed macaque monkey is seen at the Non-Primate facility at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai, China January 10, 2018. Picture taken January 10, 2018. Qiang Sun and Mu-ming Poo, Chinese Academy of Sciences handout from Cell/ via REUTERS
The research underscores China's increasingly important role at the cutting-edge of biosciences, where its scientists have at times pushed ethical boundaries.
Zhong Zhong, a cloned long tailed macaque monkey is seen at the Non-Primate facility at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai, China January 10, 2018. Picture taken January 10, 2018. Qiang Sun and Mu-ming Poo, Chinese Academy of Sciences handout from Cell/ via REUTERS
Three years ago, for example, researchers at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou caused a furore when they reported carrying out the first experiment to edit the DNA of human embryos, although similar work has now been done in the United States.

Scientists at the Shanghai institute said they followed international guidelines for animal research set by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, but called for a debate on what should or should not be acceptable practice in primate cloning.
1/25/2018 2:45:03 PM
<![CDATA[L’Oreal hijabi model quits campaign over ‘Anti-Israel’ tweets]]>
She announced on her official Instagram account that she would step down from the campaign, stating, “With deep regret, I’ve decided to step down from this campaign because the current conversations surrounding it detract from the positive and inclusive sentiment it set out to deliver.” She added, “Championing diversity is one of my passions, I don’t discriminate against anyone.”

A post shared by Amena (@amenaofficial) on

A spokesperson for L'Oreal Paris said to Newsbeat, "We have recently been made aware of a series of tweets posted in 2014 by Amena Khan, who was featured in a UK advertising campaign. We appreciate that Amena has since apologized for the content of these tweets and the offence they have caused,” adding that "L'Oreal Paris is committed to tolerance and respect towards all people. We agree with her decision to step down from the campaign."

The L’Oréal Paris Elvive commercial in which she starred, showed men and women speaking up about their opinion on their hair and hair care. Khan is seen addressing all women about self-care for their hair, by stating, “Whether or not your hair is on display it doesn’t affect how much you care about it,” she continued, “hair is a women’s beauty. Make sure that you look after it.”

This is seen as part of a trend towards the right direction for the beauty industry. In the past year, modest fashion has been wildly successful hand in hand with diverse representation.]]>
1/25/2018 9:03:00 AM
<![CDATA[Muscular Dystrophy explained by Dr. Rasha El-Sherif]]>
Dr. El-Sherif holds a Ph.D. in Neuromuscular disorders; she completed her thesis in Japan under the title “Dystrophin gene analysis in Egyptian patients.” There, she completed her training on molecular genetics of muscle disease as a research fellow in the NCNP department of Neuromuscular disorders in Tokyo, Japan, and is the brains behind setting up Egypt’s leading and first Neurogenetics Lab in Ain Shams University, Neurology Department, for diagnosing neuromuscular disorders in 2000 under the supervision of Professor Etribi, the director of the department at that time.

FILE – Dr. Rasha El-Sherif

To raise awareness, Dr. El-Sheirf has previously coordinated medical convoys to cities in Egypt, including Aswan, Minya and Menoufia to help in diagnosing muscle disease patients and to raise public awareness for the importance of ensuring and applying the standards of care.

In the interview, she explained to us in detail the disease’s origin, impact and the kind of awareness she is trying to raise.

ET: What is muscular dystrophy?

RS: They are a group of inherited diseases that affect the muscles progressively. There are more than 50 types, according to the affected protein or enzyme that is deficient in the body. Most probably it is due to a mutation in one of the genes that is responsible for the proteins that strengthen the muscles. This mutation appears in early age or later in life according to the importance of the deficient protein and its function in the muscle.

For example, there are three types of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). One of the SMA types starts in newborns; neck support is very weak and barely existent at the age of three months, which is when they should be able to hold up their necks, and back support is minimal by six months, which is when they should be able to sit-up with no support. Their respiratory systems are usually affected which results in their frequent trips to the hospital; having a cold often progresses to bigger problems.

There is also Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), which starts to show when children start running, jumping, and climbing staircases. The child usually is able to run and walk but is unable to do the aforementioned due to weak muscles. There are also a lot of adult muscular dystrophy types.

It is important to mention that muscular dystrophy is treatable not curable, but patients can still live a full life with therapy and treatment.

ET: How is it diagnosed?

RS: Now the diagnoses of most muscular dystrophy types can be made through a blood test DNA which shows whether there are mutations in the responsible gene for example in case of SMA the SMN1 gene, which is responsible for making survival motor neuron (SMN) protein or the Dystrophin gene in DMD.

As a start whenever a case is suspected as muscular dystrophy, a blood test, which costs about LE 100 ($5.65) at most, that measures the amount of the Creatine phosphokinase (CPK) enzyme in the body should be done. CPK is mainly in the heart and skeletal muscle and elevated levels of it indicates that one suffers from muscular dystrophy. Normal CPK levels range from 50 to 200 in an individual that does not suffer from muscular dystrophy, however, for those who suffer from it, its levels rise in the blood. The level of CPK is also a marker for specialists, as it also indicates which group of muscular dystrophy the individual suffers from.

ET: What are the symptoms if one is not diagnosed or left untreated?

RS: They start to develop stiffness in the joints, they may have good muscle power but they could be wheelchair-bound simply because of problems with their joints. The joints themselves become contracted. This is a bad quality of life, their muscles would still be healthy and yet, they cannot walk because of lack of diagnosis or treatment.

Then, the heart and respiratory muscles deteriorate, leaving one in need of being under supervision, frequently being hospitalised, and in need of more care. Treating and working to strengthen heart and respiratory muscles from early on can prolong patients’ lives and raise the quality of their lives.

Then, we get problems with the bones, some [types of] patients may develop cataracts, as well as many other diseases and complications that often happen.

ET: Are there treatments?

RS: Thankfully, FDA-approved (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) treatments now exist for some types of muscular dystrophy. And more treatments for other types are now in their third trials and are expected to be approved by the FDA soon. Genetic diagnosis is mandatory now for all cases.

Many patients worldwide are undergoing therapy right now and have developed muscle power and better respiratory muscles, meaning they do not need respiratory support anymore.

There have also been discussions about stem cell therapy, and some claim to use it to treat muscular dystrophy. However, until now, there has not been enough research work done and trials to prove that it does work. So, for me, I cannot say that stem cell therapy works and I would warn patients against it. No research has shown as of yet that stem cell therapy works and research and trials have also shown that it has very severe complications.

All treatments need to be approved by the Ministry of Health, even if the FDA approves them. The ministry does very rigid tests and research on each treatment before its approval, meaning that once it is approved it is 100 percent guaranteed.

ET: Are there medical trials carried out on Egyptians abroad?

RS: In short, no.

For any treatment to be FDA-approved, it needs to be approved via clinical trials but this does not happen unless it is approved by the Ministry of Health, which has very clear, rigid standards to ensure that no one takes advantage of patients.

If any pharmaceutical company offers trials, we have to speak to the ministry and we cannot give out patient information to companies or any entity at all.

There was only one case where an Egyptian living in Egypt did get included in clinical trials, however, they did not get in through a doctor in Egypt. They travelled to the U.S. to do medical checks there and by chance, there was an on-going medical trial, and so, he was offered a place in the trial.

He was also given a list of doctors who he can follow-up with in Egypt, which included my name. And he decided to follow-up with me once he got back. As the medicine is now FDA-approved, he is now being given the medicine for free every six months by the U.S. Institute that carried the trials.

ET: What is it like living with muscular dystrophy?

RS: They lead a very difficult life, and their families [do] too. For children that suffer from muscular dystrophy, the parents need to send them to special schools and there is a need for constant close care, meaning that what often happens is that one of the parents would have to give up their career to take care of the children.

Adults with muscular dystrophy can only do certain jobs that do not require a lot of movement and they need someone to take care of them too and require a career at a certain stage.

Those who have muscular dystrophy can also get married and bear children. With follow-ups, patients now live a normal life span, meaning they can get married and have children.

However, what they need to bear in mind and take account of is genetic counselling when they decide to have children so that we can find out how this disease is inherited. This allows us to know whether he or she is allowed to get married to their cousins or whether their children are allowed to get married to their cousins, as is the case in Egypt often. It also allows us to know the probability of their children suffering from muscular dystrophy and means that they will be able to follow up and do the required tests at a very early stage. Genetic testing is vital.

ET: I know that you were invited to speak in front of the Health Committee in the Parliament about muscular dystrophy. Can you tell me more about this?

RS: I was very proud and happy to be invited to parliament by Dr. Ayman Aboulela, the Vice-President of the Health Committee, to speak in front of the Health Committee about muscular dystrophy about three weeks ago. I spoke about different types that exist and available treatments, as well as giving them information from my registry, which I had been accumulating since 2013.

At the end, I am very happy that they are in the process of including those who suffer from muscular dystrophy as disabled, meaning that they will be able to seek benefits that will facilitate their lives.

I was especially happy that the committee concluded that a fund for those with muscular dystrophy will be launched, like the Tahya Misr (Long Live Egypt) fund. There are a lot of poor people who suffer form this disease and having a fund allocated to them guarantees them a better quality of life, especially since in Egypt, we often find that there are several patients in one family, as it is hereditary.

I am personally looking forward to the Ministry of Health’s move towards including these newly FDA-approved treatments in the new Universal Healthcare System after running their own research and trials, which are to the highest of standards. The Universal Healthcare System is a positive move towards a better quality of living for all Egyptians and is an accomplishment that we should all be proud of.

ET: What is the most important things to overcome muscular dystrophy?

RS: Early diagnosis is key. The earlier we diagnose, the earlier we start therapy and set standards of care, the better for the patient. It can prevent or at the very least delay its progression.

Muscular dystrophy means that the muscles are breaking down, if we start early and do physiotherapy, we will take care of the muscles and ensure their deterioration is slower. We will be able to ensure that the heart and respiratory muscles remain well and healthy, meaning that the patient will live a life with higher quality. In children specially, early diagnosis could mean that the patient will walk until 15 years, instead of being wheelchair-bound at eight or nine years of age.

The second thing, which is as important as early diagnosis, is psychological care. For children who suffer from muscular dystrophy especially, this is important. If a child sees their parents sad all the time, crying or giving up hope, they will give up hope as well. This is also the case for adults who suffer from muscular dystrophy.

FILE – Dr. Rasha El-Sherif
The third thing that I would recommend is swimming. It ensures that muscles remain strong as much as possible, and also reduces the likelihood of developing joint problems, as well as other problems. Plus, psychologically speaking, it is great for both children and adults to feel that they are normal and can go swimming.

ET: What are popular indicators for parents and individuals to look out for?

RS: For parents, my advice would be to go see a muscular dystrophy specialist if your child cannot support their neck or back by three months and six months, respectively. If your toddler cannot climb the stairs like other kids, run or jump, please, please, please seek medical help.

For those over 19 years of age, if you find yourself no longer being able to do sports that you used to, walk as much or climb the stairs like you used to, go to a specialist in muscle dystrophy. In those over 19, you start to gradually lose the ability to do as much sports as you used to or move around as much as you normally would. For adults, it could also present itself via pains in muscles, arms and legs. Sometimes it starts from the arms and the patient cannot raise their arms or carry heavy objects.

A simple blood test that costs only LE 100 done in any lab could mean that the child would be diagnosed early on, which is key to ensure a high quality of living and mitigate, or at the very least reduce, deterioration.

ET: What would you advice patients with muscular dystrophy to eat or stay away from?

RS: Nutrition is very important for muscle dystrophy patients, as is usually the case for patients of any disease or syndrome.

All muscular dystrophy patients have to live a healthy life. The muscles break quickly and so there is a need for a balanced diet, even more than normal. Fruits, vegetables, proteins and vitamins, especially vitamin D, are vital to mitigate quick progression of the disease.

Those who take steroids need to stay away from added salt, preservatives, processed foods and refined sugar to reduce the risk of complications and diabetes. If a patient is not careful while on steroids, they would have to stop taking steroids, which would lead to the fast deterioration of the case. This means that following a healthy regimen is vital.

For children, please do not give them sweets or crisps. I always tell grandmothers that they can give them small toys instead or they can save up the money for sweets with them and get a big toy.

ET: What would you say to those who suffer from muscular dystrophy?

RS: Patients are heroes, and their families too. It takes a lot of mental power to live with muscular dystrophy or have a family member who suffers from this disease.

I also remind them that it is important not to panic when you first find out. There are standards of care in Egypt that ensure that one will live a good quality of life. The Ministry of Health has ensured that standards of care are regulated and are implemented.]]>
1/24/2018 5:21:20 PM
<![CDATA[ET Guide for a Long Weekend Holiday ]]>
We have a few suggestions for you – if you need a little nudge – from art galleries to visit, to a few quirky options for a weekend of “Me Time,” and out of the box activities to guarantee a different and very satisfactory LONG WEEKEND.

  • Art galleries

  • You may or may not know it; but there is a multitude of art galleries and spaces all over Cairo, and all of them have something unique to offer. So if you’re looking for a little culture and sophistication this weekend, this could be the option for you.

    Kick off the holidays this evening, as Room Art Space and Café , in Garden City, is holding a board games night, with Boards Kingdoms; and even more events will be held throughout the weekend. Be sure to ask them about the history of the space if you do go; we heard the Belle Epoque Building was the the British Army's headquarters during World War II and many historical figures have walked through its historical gates ever since.

    If you want a more traditional gallery, try heading to Ubuntu Gallery in Zamalek and enjoy “Together,” an exhibition of sculptures and installations of ceramics creatively designed and executed by Anita Toth and Khaled Sirag.

    And for more interactive artistic activities, try checking out SOMA Art Gallery and maybe attend one of their classes, or courses on visual art. This could be your chance to start a new hobby.

  • Out of the box activities

  • Artiva are holding an Arabic calligraphy workshop on Saturday, where you can learn a new craft with friends.

    Walk like an Egyptian is also holding a Coptic Cairo Walking tour the same day, so you’ll have to choose one or the other.

    The Fustat Carnival for handicrafts is also running until February 2, so you have some extra time to catch that one if you want to. Carrying the ancient name of the city, Souq el-Fustat (Fustat Market) brings about a renaissance of signature Egyptian arts; from leather to glass, mosaic, copper, wood art, Bedouin embroidery, jewelry inspired by diverse traditions and more.

    Screen Shot 2018-01-24 at 4.05.53 PM
    Delta Handmade Glass at Fustat Market - Egypt Today/Yasmine Hassan

    If you want to enjoy a little visual entertainment, the Cairo Opera House has multiple showing this weekend including performances of ‘Ahmose’ and Opera performances of Puccini’s ‘Tosca’.

  • Getaways

  • If you’re up for a quick trip, there’s no better place to go than the familiar Ain Sokhna, for a quick weekend away without the stress of planning ahead. Just quickly book rooms online and in an hour you can be by the beach relaxing. If you want a different option, Fayoum is a popular destination with amazing resorts to stay at, and fantastic views as well.

    Ain Sokhna Porto Sokhna resort. CC via Flickr

  • Pamper yourself

  • The long weekend is the perfect opportunity to pamper yourself and take some time to de-stress before starting your normal schedule again. Even if it’s just getting a haircut or a blow dry and making a change, that would be worth it. For curly-haired girls, you might want to check out the new Curly Studio that recently opened in Mohandesin. For friends and couples that might want to try a day-use, the Sheraton, and the JW Marriott are two great options to go for.

    Standard Room - Courtesy of Sheraton Egypt

  • Shopping

  • If shopping is more up your alley, then there are a few bazaars and sales to take advantage of this weekend. Dejavu is holding an end of season sale, with discounts up to 50 percent so now would be a great time to relax and shop without the stress of the new week looming too close.

    On Saturday, Le Pacha is hosting a City Bazaar with their Winter Sale, and that could be a great place to discover some new local products and designs.

    And though the malls might be crowded this weekend, that doesn’t tend to stop most people, so buckle up and dive into the shops with confidence.

  • Foodie hotspots

  • It’s not a good weekend without good food, so we have a few suggestions for you to make sure you end the weekend satisfied.

    Karvin Masala is a newly opened Indian-International restaurant in Mivida Compound in New Cairo. It offers great food at a reasonable price; you can’t lose.

    If you are on the other side of Cairo, Bar and lounge, La Taverna , is also one of the Sheikh Zayed’s latest additions to its growing hub of hotspots. Although “originally” a bar, the menu is better-rounded than you’d expect. They offer light starters, salads, and time-tested standards such as burger and steaks, and even some out of the box dishes, such as Paella.

    And if you’re simply looking for excellent food in a prime location in Cairo, OPIA is your spot. OPIA is the newest addition to Ramses Hilton’s array of bars and restaurants. Its menu was designed by executive chef Dimitrios Koutsonikolas, with a mind towards catering to the Egyptian taste and Greek culture. It’s a bar and lounge that overlooks Downtown Cairo and the Nile, and on a clear day you can even see the Pyramids.

    OPIA by night - Courtesy of Ramses Hilton

    1/24/2018 5:00:54 PM
    <![CDATA[4 coffee makers to get you going]]>
    1. Ninja Coffee Bar Single-Serve System with Built-In Frother (CF112)

    1 (2)
    Ninja Coffee Bar Single-Serve System with Built-In Frother (CF112) Via Amazon

    Pro’s: Ninja XL hot & cold multi-serve tumbler makes it pod-free with a built-in frother in true ninja fashion, brewing classic, rich, iced or café brews in a single or double, which can fill your travel mug. The auto-iQ one-touch intelligence and hi-tech flavor technology makes it a coffeehouse-style machine.

    Con’s: High maintenance and cleaning.

    2. Nespresso VertuoLine Coffee and Espresso Maker with Aeroccino Plus Milk Frother

    Nespresso VertuoLine Coffee and Espresso Maker with Aeroccino Plus Milk Frother, Black Via Amazon

    Pro’s: It comes with a hot and a cold milk frother that instantly brews both coffee and espresso. With the latest technology it detects what capsule size is used for a large or small. It heats up within 15 seconds and automatically turns off after nine minutes of inactivity.

    Con: Only works with Nespresso VertuoLine capsules.

    3. Nespresso Inissia Espresso Machine by Breville with Aeroccino

    Nespresso Inissia Espresso Machine by Breville with Aeroccino Via Amazon

    Pro’s: It includes an Aeroccino Plus milk frother, which is easy to use and clean with its anti-stick coating. It has a compact brewing system with only a 25-second heat-up time. The 19-bar-high pressure pump and folding cup tray can hold up to 9-11 used capsules in the container. The A-Class energy rating makes it energy efficient, as it also turns off after nine minutes of inactivity. It is easy to operate, with only two buttons, one for Espresso and one for lungo. It is a silent savior with no noise or vibration. It even comes with a welcome set with 16 espresso capsules.

    Con: Uses Espresso coffee capsules only.

    4. De'Longhi Dedica Pump Espresso and Coffee Machine - Red, EC 680.R

    De'Longhi Dedica Pump Espresso and Coffee Machine - Red, EC 680.R Via Souq

    Pro’s: A Coffeehouse-quality machine that will make you feel like a barista. It can easily make everything of a coffee shop menu. It has thermolock heating and 15-bar professional pressure pumps. It uses both pods and ground coffee, making life much easier. The system blends air and steamed milk, all while being easy to use. Its compact design will fit in any kitchen.
    1/24/2018 11:17:46 AM
    <![CDATA[Tips for moms-to-be while driving ]]>
    The modern day lifestyle forced women to carry out a number of chore tasks that require spending some time driving – and these tasks can’t wait for nine months. Whether it’s driving the kids to school, picking them up from training, driving to work, driving to buy groceries or even driving to see the doctor, in all cases, women should prioritize their comfort and health while driving.

    Many health researchers underscored the importance of including safe driving guidelines for pregnant women as part of the prenatal care guidelines, pregnancy books and discussions with the doctors during regular prenatal checkups. Moreover, they called for more emphasis on using seat belts while driving during pregnancies, including developing dedicated awareness raising materials to lower the risk.

    Vehicle accidents can lead to pregnancy loss and miscarriage; which comes some time after the crash, and therefore it is never correlated to the crash, but considered as a natural miscarriage. Such losses can be avoided if women as drivers or passengers were aware that they should have a medical check after the accident even if they thought it is not harmful.

    Which pregnancy trimester is the riskiest for driving?

    According to a report published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal in July 2014, the risk of driving while pregnant is the greatest during the second pregnancy trimester. In this trimester, a woman’s chance for getting into an accident is about the same as someone with sleep apnea due to sharp hormonal changes.

    The same report highlights that the car crash rate during the first trimester is about the same as that before the pregnancy. Then the risk of an accident drops off in the third trimester of pregnancy and women become even more careful on the road after giving birth than before pregnancy.

    In this article we present some tips for future moms to make sure the time they spend driving is as safe as possible for their babies and themselves:

    • Drive carefully and follow the standard safe driving habits. Obey the stop signs, don’t speed and minimize distractions.

    • Always contact your doctor if you were involved in an accident, even if it seems harmless or you don’t feel you’ve been hurt. Your doctor will check the baby’s heartbeat and will make sure that you don’t have placental abruption that can lead to having your baby prematurely.

    • Buckle your seat belt correctly. Keep the seat belt with shoulder portion positioned over the collarbone and the lap portion under the abdomen and across the upper thighs as low as possible on the hips – never on the belly.

    • Make sure your seat belt is snug and that the shoulder strap runs across the center of your chest and to the side of your baby bump – never behind your arm or back.

    • A combination of air bags and seat belts provides the highest level of protection for you and the baby and outweighs the risks.

    • Don’t rest against the side air bag storage compartment, to avoid any sudden bag deployment.

    • Move your seat as far back as comfortably possible and position the steering wheel at least 10 inches (25 cm) away from your breastbone in case the airbag should deploy.

    • Ensure you will be able to reach the pedals appropriately.

    • Tilt your seat slightly away from the steering wheel and make sure that the steering wheel is tilted towards your breastbone rather than your abdomen.

    • Consider buying a cushion that serves as a tummy shield to help you wear the seat belt correctly without pressing on your belly.

    • Limit your travel to a maximum of six hours per day, making plenty of stops to stretch along the way.

    • Prepare for emergencies and always have an emergency first aid kit for the car. Also, make sure you have a charger to ensure you can call help, as well as a flashlight.

    • Talk to your doctor about pregnancy-friendly nausea medications.

    • Let someone know where you are going and what time you are expecting to arrive.

    Lastly, if possible, don’t drive while pregnant and be a passenger or seek alternate arrangements – especially as your pregnancy progresses and your uterus gets closer to the steering wheel. You don’t want to be on the road as you go into labor.

    1/23/2018 4:27:45 PM
    <![CDATA[In Year of the Dog, Malaysia plays down, skirts dog decorations]]>
    Dogs are considered “unclean” under Islamic tradition and Muslims are required to carry out a ritual of washing themselves if they are in contact with the animal.

    Multicultural Malaysia has seen an increasing intolerance toward activities considered insulting to Islam, reflected in protests in recent years of beer festivals and concerts.

    While Muslim Malays are the biggest ethnic group among Malaysia’s 32 million people, Chinese make up the second-biggest group with 23 percent of the population.

    One shopping mall in the popular Kuala Lumpur tourist area of Bukit Bintang did not depict dogs in its decorations ahead of the new year in February, focusing instead on the 10th anniversary theme of the center, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.

    Director of Marketing Kung Suan Ai said religious and cultural sensitivities were a determining factor in conceptualizing decorations. The mall attracts three million people of various backgrounds each month, she said.

    “One of the considerations we take in when we work on decoration concepts for Pavilion KL is to create something highly experiential... and also to be socially accepting (for) all,” she said.

    Twelve animals, including a dog and a pig, another animal Muslims consider as unclean, make up the traditional Chinese zodiac.

    Malaysian Muslim leaders have been vocal about events that involve dogs before. After the 2014 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow, when athletes paraded with a Scottish terrier donning their country’s name, local politicians aired their disproval, calling the stunt “disrespectful”.

    In 2016, religious authorities asked popular pretzel chain Auntie Anne’s to change the name of its “Pretzel Dog” to “Pretzel Sausage”.

    At MyTOWN, another Kuala Lumpur shopping center where half the visitors are Muslim, the mall downplayed the depiction of dogs in its decorations.

    “We have the dogs but it’s in how we (display) them. They are not the main object. They are life size and placed as ambient decorations,” said Head of Marketing Christopher Koh, so that the canine would not appear like an idol.

    “It’s the same with the pig (for the Year of the Boar), Malaysian retailers won’t usually put up a giant pig as a centerpiece.”

    Alex Chow, who runs a company supplying packaging materials, said corporate clients have stuck to generic illustrations for their packaging designs this year.

    Chinese Malaysian Wong Wei-Shen, who has several dogs as pets, said businesses were being “ridiculous”.

    “It’s a shame because Malaysia is a multicultural country. To dismiss the fact that the Chinese have a dog as one of the zodiac animals is unfair,” said Wong.

    “Every zodiac animal has its good attributes, and the dog represents a guide, a best friend, a comforter and loyal friend.” said Wong.]]>
    1/23/2018 3:43:09 PM
    <![CDATA[Hedi Slimanen joins CÉLINE]]>
    “I am delighted to join Bernard Arnault in this all-embracing and fascinating mission for Céline; I greatly look forward to returning to the exciting world of fashion and the dynamism of the ateliers,” Slimane commented in a statement reported by Business of Fashion.

    Slimane started his career as an assistant at Yves Saint Laurent during the 90’s. At Dior, Slimane managed to universalize the skinny silhouette in men’s formal and casual wear; during that period, he also launched the Dior Homme's first fragrance "Higher".

    Pierre Bergé had positioned Slimane as director of the ready-to-wear men's collections at Yves Saint Laurent in 1996. Slimane would go on and return back to Saint Laurent in 2012 as womenswear and menswear lines creative director to finally leave his post in 2016.

    LVMH chairman and chief executive Bernard Arnault commented in a statement, “I am particularly happy that Hedi is back within the LVMH Group and taking the reins of our Céline Maison; he is one of the most talented designers of our time. I have been a great admirer of his work since we collaborated on Dior Homme, which he launched to global critical acclaim in the 2000s. His arrival at Céline reinforces the great ambitions that LVMH has for this maison.”

    Slimane is a successor to Pheobe Philo, who has spent 10 years as Celine’s creative director and empowered women with her minimalist designs such as the Trio and Trapeze.

    Slimane will continue being based in sunny Los Angeles a city which has always inspired him.


    A post shared by Hedi Slimane (@hedislimane) on

    1/23/2018 2:02:45 PM
    <![CDATA[Azza Fahmy goes to London ]]>While building and directing the brand's future designs, the concept store is an element of Fahmy’s plan for total globalization.

    "The store strengthens our existing retail presence in London and the educational contribution London made to my early career path further enhances our connection to the city," Azza Fahmy, founder and CEO, said in a press release.

    It adds to the network of 15 retail doors across the MEA including own brand boutiques and UK stockists, including on-line retailers.

    Azza Fahmy first fell in love with jewelry when she came across an art book on classical jewelry of the Middle Ages in Europe. “The book was in German and cost LE 17.5 — a fortune at the time — but neither language nor price barriers stopped me from buying it,” Fahmy said. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in interior design, Fahmy did something both culturally and socially unacceptable at that time: she decided to become an apprentice in Khan El-Khalili to learn at the hands of skilled masters and craftsmen. “I tied my hair back, put on my overalls and spent my days in a workshop full of men, learning the tricks of the jewelry making trade,” Fahmy said to Egypt Today in a previous interview.

    “We are delighted to make our retail debut in the UK. We have invested in growing the UK audience and our online boutique {www.azzafahmy.com} has witnessed significant UK revenue. This market has become one of our important growth areas outside the MEA region,” Fatma Ghaly, managing director commented in a statement.

    Ghaly is a business development specialist with more than 12 years of experience. Working her way up from marketing executive, she gained experience at a very early age by being part of the family-owned business. Today, she plays a vital role in consolidating the homegrown brand as an international luxury designer name. She is one of the main players who worked hard to bring the brand to where it is today and is currently developing new strategies to globally expand.

    Azza Fahmy boutique at the Burlington Arcade
    Photo courtesy of Azza Fahmy

    1/22/2018 4:07:00 PM
    <![CDATA[et Best Dressed: SAG Awards 2018]]>
    Here are our top 20 favorite looks from last night’s red carpet.

    1/22/2018 2:16:34 PM
    <![CDATA[Craft and tech mingle at French couture house Fournie]]>
    Fournie is one of few designers trying to propel fashion into the modern age, with accessories created from 3D printers and sketches developed virtually.

    Yet Fournie’s high-tech approach is barely noticeable in his latest Asian-inspired collection, on view on Tuesday during Paris’ Spring/Summer Haute Couture Week, one of fashion’s ultimate display of craftsmanship.

    Vintage kimono fabrics are subtly integrated into the designs, some with intricate origami-style adornments.

    “New technology isn’t about doing dresses with blinking lights,” Fournie said in his studio after an afternoon of fittings. “We realized that in fashion, technology is only interesting when it disappears.”

    For his couture house - a small team of seven - that means doing as much of the creative work as possible online, from conceiving looks to exchanging samples with textile suppliers virtually.

    Fournie’s experiments with iPad designs earned him a visit last year from Apple CEO Tim Cook, who came to see how the tools were being used.

    The designer is also collaborating with French 3D engineering and software company Dassault Systemes to develop management systems and printing techniques adapted to the fashion world.

    Fournie has other ventures up his sleeve with technology start-ups, and he said he had designed a soon-to-be unveiled USB stick meant to store and protect cryptocurrencies.

    Fournie’s clothing designs, however, remain at the heart of his business, as do the artisan skills of his team.

    The 42-year-old, known for favoring 1950s-style silhouettes, last year became a permanent member of France’s select Haute Couture club, whose 15 houses include storied names such as Christian Dior and Chanel.

    His clients, more than 90 percent of whom come from the Middle East, seek one-of-kind designs -- validating, in Fournie’s eyes, the role of Haute Couture in an age of fast-fashion high street labels and global luxury brands.

    “I love the idea that Haute Couture is bearing the torch for individuality,” he said.

    Some of the numbers from Fournie’s latest collection, in hues of cherry blossom pinks and deep blues meant to evoke an Asian dreamworld, have already been sold, he said. The price tag remains a secret.
    1/22/2018 12:57:27 PM
    <![CDATA[Uggs, pigs and tartan: the big trends at men's Paris fashion week]]>
    - Men are pigs -

    This was the week when the fashion industry had its Weinstein moment with allegations that two star photographers had harassed and assaulted models.

    Julien David, Walter Van Beirendonck and Comme des Garcons caught the air of the times by putting dog, pig and dinosaur heads on their models, while the American Rick Owens ripped his "clothes in anger... It's draining to watch unhealthy cycles repeat themselves, behaviourally and historically, and it is hard to suppress a howl of rage," he said, with his own president also in his sights.

    Sacai designer Chitose Abe and French brand Etudes also took a stand against Donald Trump by using the New York times "The Truth is Hard" slogan on their clothes to support media outlets Trump has accused of "fake news".

    - Ugg ugly no more? -

    They have been called "Australia's joke on the rest of the world", and many thought they had been confined to fashion Alcatraz. But no, Ugg boots are back and this time they are thigh-high.

    Uber hip Y/Project designer Glenn Martens tried to turn the sheepskin slippers into fetish objects of desire -- although the jury is out.

    Martens described wearing them as putting your "feet in warm butter" and said bringing them to the crotch "keeps your thighs as well as your feet warm".

    More conventional Uggs turned up in the Sacai show with designer Abe admitting "I wear them myself in winter... even outdoors."

    - Check out the tartan -

    There was no doubting the dominant pattern for next winter. The skirl of tartan and check ran through three quarters of the Paris collections, making fashion week sometimes feel like one extended Burn's Night.

    From street style brands like Facetasm and Andrea Crews to White Mountaineering, Henrik Vibskov, Sacai, Agnes b, Thom Browne and the romantic classicism of Alexander McQueen, a tartan army was one the march.

    No more so than with the "Prince of Prints" Dries Van Noten, whose beautiful use of Stewart tartan may have finally rescued it from clutches of Bay City Roller kitsch.

    Ironically, the British heritage brand Dunhill's debut Paris show was a tartan-free zone, proposing instead the shiny leather business suit.

    - Man bags -

    With so much to be money to be made, it is no surprise that fashion keeps insisting that men need the equivalent of handbags. Rare was the show this week that did not have a model holding a manbag, swinging a sack or shoulder bag slung nonchalantly over one arm.

    Even Van Noten, who is normally above such things, included one. While a cat-shaped, highly strokable clutch bag was also spotted on one front row, Loewe won the originally prize for its elephant-shaped manbag which sits on the knee. Clearly a must for the man who cannot fit everything into his trunk.

    - Boots with suits -

    Whether it is the influence of the television series "Peaky Blinders" or to man-up more fey androgynous looks, robust boots walked all over every other form of footwear on the catwalk. Dr. Martens were omnipresent with even Dior paying homage with their own versions of the butch work boots, while Rick Owens won many new fans with his suede "hover bovver" boots with extended soles.

    Boots were almost the rule under well-cut of suits, with John Galliano debuting a male version of the Tabi boot at Margiela as did wunderkind Demna Gvasalia rather cheekily at Vetements.

    And Officine Generale went hell for leather with their vintage Mexican police boots, which designer Pierre Maheo said "became a reference for narco culture when many (officers) crossed over to the dark side."

    1/22/2018 12:46:47 PM
    <![CDATA[On 2017 Women’s march anniversary: Look Back, March Forward]]>

    In the U.S., one year after Trump’s inauguration, the march was more political with protests against Trump and his administration’s policies on health care, reproductive rights, immigration, and other issues. The marches were organized under the theme “Power to the Polls”, encouraging women to run for office and calling for greater women participation in the coming midterm elections. Moreover, the march took place one day after the shutdown of the federal government in the U.S. as the congress failed to reach a compromise on a spending measure. This government shutdown is the first since 2013.

    According to a poll conducted by NBC News and The Washington Post, Trump capped the lowest overall approval ratings of any president in modern history of the U.S. with 39 percent.

    Donald Trump commented on the Women’s March with a tweet through his official Twitter account, saying that the weather is beautiful to celebrate the lowest female unemployment in 18 years.

    The global marches also supported the #MeToo movement and the Hollywood’s “Time’s Up” initiative as both represent a power up force for victims and survivors of sexual misconduct to speak up, say no to social stigma and abuse of power and demand stronger social and political change.

    More events are planned to take place on Sunday, with celebrities to be a big feature including Eva Longoria, Olivia Munn, Scarlett Johansson, Alyssa Milano, Viola Davis and Cher.

    In 2017, hundreds of thousands of women in the U.S. and around the world took to the streets to protest Trump’s inauguration. The 2017 Women’s March was described as the largest day of protests in the U.S. history with the participation of about 4.6 million marchers, according to the Independent. The 2017 women’s marches were also the most talked about event on Facebook globally, according to UN Women.

    In their mission statement, the Women’s March Global describe themselves as: “We are a grassroots coalition and we have together built a network that continues to unite and fight for the freedom and liberation of all people worldwide. This resistance needs all of us, every day, fighting for the collective liberation of all people. Because none of us are free until ALL of us are free.”

    The year 2017 witnessed noteworthy moments for women’s rights and gender equality, including Iceland’s equal pay legislation, several laws’ changes in many countries that aim to hold violence perpetrators accountable for their crimes, Saudi women being able to drive cars for the first time in the Kingdom’s history, and the #MeToo. Women around the world are looking forward to more achievements for women and all human beings and aiming to introduce a new feminist discourse of inclusion and equality that represents all society segments.

    To follow the live update of the 2018 Women’s March; visit:

    1/21/2018 2:07:46 PM
    <![CDATA[Egypt’s 1st Curly Studio opens its doors]]> The Curly Studio hair therapists are specialized in all of the ins and outs of curly hair, making you feel at home once you walk in the door.

    We first came across The Curly Studio on our Facebook newsfeed and as naturally curly haired women, we decided to take a closer look at the studio and find out how its founders Sara Safwat and Nariman el-sadr came up with the idea and what their "hair mission" really is. “The dream was to have a specialized salon in Egypt that is able to provide professional care for curly hair for those who want to embrace their natural curls, which in turn became our mission.”

    What makes The Curly Studio different?

    “The Curly Studio is a chemical, heat free zone that also offers consulting services that makes us stand out from other salons in Egypt. This includes full recovery plans to those who are in their transition phase, while ensuring their hair still looks beautiful with special, harm-free styling techniques,” Sara Safwat told Egypt Today.

    With chemical, heat free treatments, they aim to bring your hair back to life. Beating the heat, they serve up hair styling sessions that will give you hair-dos showcasing your curly locks in the best way possible. Whether you are heading out to a special event or want to try something new, they are experts in everything related to curls. If you are in need of a change in color, they will provide coloring with natural, non-chemical products; they also provide special cutting and trimming because your curls can’t just get any old trim. Each lock needs to be trimmed individually.

    “It is a one stop shop for popular and top reviewed products globally and locally, in addition to special in-house treatment recipes offered with all price ranges to cater to different budgets,” Safwat told Egypt Today.

    It is time to start embracing your natural hair texture, give your curls a chance and nurse them back to health, but first you’ll need consultation to determine your curly hair type.

    'The Curly Studio' officially opened its doors on January 13, 2018, and is now ready to join you on your curly hair journey.
    1/21/2018 1:46:25 PM
    <![CDATA[HRH Queen Rania al-Abdullah, Bella Hadid: Who wore it best? ]]>

    HRH Queen Rania al-Abdullah of Jordan shared on her Instagram account the style moment that she opted for during a meeting with her husband King Abdullah. Her modest professional look was styled with Tom Ford pumps and Celine’s Clasp handbag.

    While Bella Hadid, the new generation supermodel, was seen days later out-and-about in the now popular fur-trim Fendi blazer in her own 90’s vintage style. She matched the blazer with vintage Tommy Hilfiger jeans, Stuart Weitzman boots, a Fendi bag and orange Illesteva glasses.

    The Fendi piece is now sold out, Harpers Bazaar Arabia reported.

    A post shared by Bella Hadid (@jenner_hadids) on

    This isn’t the first time HRH Queen Rania has been spotted style twinning with someone else. Back in December she was spotted in an Alexander McQueen matching with Ivanka Trump.

    Here are some of HRH Queen Rania’s best modest fashion moments from Instagram:

    1/21/2018 12:53:54 PM
    <![CDATA[Dog-A-Porter, the new fashion line for dogs]]>

    The prices of the pieces are just as extravagant as the idea itself. The capes cost $208 and synthetically filled hooded parkas cost $256. In Italy especially there is a market for such expenses. There are 7 million dogs in Italy, and according to ASSALCO, Italians are spending 10 percent more on their dogs now than they were in 2013.

    Giovanna Temellini says that the concept isn’t just a luxury; it has a practical purpose as well. Her clothing line protects dogs from rain and the cold when they go outside, especially if they are house dogs and not used it to. She is also very careful to take into account the movement possible in her clothes; she does not want to constrict dogs in their everyday lives.

    The styles available for dogs even have coordinating options for their owners. The line also has the option to custom tailor pieces for your dog, to suit them perfectly. In Milan, the stores are often asked to do this because made-to-measure clothes are common among professionals, and people want the same for their pets.
    1/20/2018 7:25:27 PM
    <![CDATA[et App Review: Spending Tracker]]>
    1 (2)
    App screenshot via iTunes App Store Official website.

    First of all, visually, it isn’t the most coherent application. Some views are standard, while some views are more designed and themed, and there are about four different fonts used in the application on different pages, which makes for an unpleasant experience.

    On the other hand, using it is actually relatively simple. The concept of the application is that on a view, you have the option to add either an expense or an income. These two categories are then divided into subcategories, such as salary and carry over for income, and entertainment, food, travel and more for expense. The categories are customizable, and to add an item to your account you simply choose one of the categories and add the amount and the details of it if you want.

    2 (1)
    App screenshot via iTunes App Store Official website.

    Two of the screens are essentially replicas of each other, with the same functionality and purpose, but with slightly different views. It’s not the best decision in terms of design, and doesn’t add anything to the application; in fact, it makes it more complicated.
    The graphs that summarize your month also look like they’ve been designed by an entirely different person other than whoever designed the rest of the pages. They show the spending per category, and the spending compared to the income, which is a good choice for summaries. But the view isn’t the most streamlined.

    3 (2)
    App screenshot via iTunes App Store Official website.

    In terms of functionality, the app does what I need it to do, it allows me to track my spending and my income; it’s just not the most elegant option out there. The user experience could be much better and much more engaging and encouraging; it should make me want to be more diligent in recording my daily expenses.

    As is, I’m not using the application as much as I should be for it to become an actual beneficial addition to my life. Overall I’d say it gets a 3/5 rating.

    4 (2)
    App screenshot via iTunes App Store Official website.

    Spending Tracker is a finances app meant to help you keep track of your spending. It was created by MH Riley Ltd and is available on the Apple AppStore.
    1/20/2018 7:18:34 PM
    <![CDATA[Parent reading workshops can help low-income kids learn]]>
    Lots of research has shown that reading to young kids can help improve their language development and cognitive skills. But while programs teaching parents the best ways to read with young kids have proven effective in affluent areas, less is known about how well these interventions work for poor children whose parents have lower levels of education and literacy.

    For the current study, researchers tested a reading program for parents of kids at 22 free child care centers for low-income families in Boa Vista, a city in northern Brazil. At the start of the school year, half of the centers were randomly selected to offer parents the chance to participate in the reading program, while the rest of the centers provided only traditional daycare.

    Families at the centers with reading programs could borrow books each week, and parents could participate in monthly workshops focused on reading aloud and interacting with kids during story time. By the end of the school year, children in these families scored higher in assessments of cognitive skills, language and memory than kids at centers that didn’t offer reading programs.

    “Because books contain language and ideas that are much more diverse and complex than typical speech to children, this increase in shared reading supported children’s learning of new words and concepts as well as their ability to engage in more abstract thinking, which was reflected in tests of vocabulary, memory and IQ,” said lead study author Adriana Weisleder, a pediatrics researcher at New York University School of Medicine.

    Since the families in the study had limited education and income, the results suggest that the intervention might be successfully duplicated in countries where many parents need help learning how to read with their kids, Weisleder said by email.

    “This provides strong experimental evidence that the benefits of parent-child shared reading are observed across countries and cultures,” Weisleder added.

    Altogether, the study included 279 parent-child pairs at centers offering the reading program and a control group of 287 parent-child pairs at centers without the program.

    Most of the parents who joined the study were mothers, and roughly two-thirds of them were married or living with a partner. Half of them earned no more than minimum wage and about 40 percent didn’t finish high school.

    In the reading program, parents attended monthly workshops with a facilitator who guided discussions about reading aloud and other opportunities for interacting with children such as play and talking during everyday routines.

    During each workshop, parents shared their experiences of reading aloud at home, discussed any potential barriers and solutions to reading aloud including challenges with child behavior, and practiced reading aloud with their child.

    One limitation of the study is that it excluded parents who were not available when families were enrolled, which might have skewed the results toward families with parents that had more ability to participate. The study was also limited to children enrolled in daycare, and might not reflect what would happen for kids outside of this setting.

    Even so, the parenting program in the study could be incorporated into existing child care programs and has the potential for widespread dissemination, said Dr. Caroline Kistin, a pediatrics researcher at Boston University School of Medicine who wasn’t involved in the study.

    “Programs such as the workshops studied here can help parents engage and support their children during shared reading and move beyond simply reading the words on the page,” Kistin said by email.

    “Common interactive approaches include asking the child questions about what characters are thinking, letting the child explain the scene, and discussing the meaning of the story after the book is finished,” Kistin added. “These conversations expose children to complex language and ideas, which in turn promote early literacy skills.”
    1/20/2018 12:05:57 PM
    <![CDATA[luxury watchmaker Audemars embraces second-hand]]>
    The company told Reuters it had carried out a test run in one store in Geneva and would launch the business more widely at its outlets in Switzerland this year. If this proved successful, it said it would roll out the operation in the United States and Japan.

    “Second-hand is the next big thing in the watch industry,” Chief Executive Francois-Henry Bennahmias told Reuters in an interview at the SIHH watch fair in Geneva this week.

    Luxury watchmakers have hitherto eschewed the second-hand trade, fearing diluting the exclusivity of their brands and cannibalizing their sales. They have instead ceded the ground to third-party dealers.

    But some are now looking to change tack, driven by an industry-wide sales slowdown combined with a second-hand market that is expanding rapidly, fueled by online platforms like Chrono24 and The RealReal.

    “At the moment, in watches, we leave it to what I call the ‘dark side’ to deal with demand for pre-owned pieces,” added Bennahmias, whose company is known for its octagonal Royal Oak timepieces that sell for 40,000 Swiss francs ($41,680) on average.

    “Anybody but the brands (is selling second hand) - it’s an aberration commercially speaking,” he said, without giving any details about how they would price pre-owned watches.

    Several smaller brands, including H.Moser & Cie and MB&F, have signaled interest in the second-hand trade.

    “It is important to control the sale of second-hand watches to protect the owners and the value of watches already in the market by keeping the grey market in check,” H.Moser & Cie boss Edouard Meylan told Reuters.

    MB&F, which plans to launch second-hand sales via its website this year, told Reuters it expected to typically give a 20-30 percent discount on second-hand watches. A spokesman said customers buying from established watch brands could feel confident they were getting genuine products in good working order and with a valid warranty.

    Bigger brands Rolex, Patek Philippe, Swatch Group, Richemont and Breitling all declined to comment, when asked whether they planned to enter the second-hand market, while LVMH’s watch division was not immediately available.


    Audemars Piguet said it would launch its second-hand business in several, but not all, of its 26 Swiss outlets, but declined to specify how many stores or give a more precise date.

    It will initially allow customers to trade in old Audemars Piguet watches as part-exchange for new ones, and then sell on the second-hand watches. It has not yet decided whether to buy second-hand watches for cash, added the firm, saying its sales had come close to the 1 billion Swiss franc mark last year.

    Experts say the second-hand luxury watches business, mostly done via online platforms or specialized retailers, is growing rapidly as a new generation of customers that values variety more than permanent ownership enters the luxury world.

    In an example of the discounts offered online, a diamond-studded Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “with moderate scratches” sells for $9,450 on The RealReal, about a third of the “estimated retail price”.

    Kepler Cheuvreux analyst Jon Cox said he estimated the size of the second-hand market at around $5 billion a year in revenue, including watches sold at auction, and that it had outperformed the market for new pieces in the last couple of years.

    That is still dwarfed by a new luxury watch sector worth 37 billion euros ($45.3 billion), according to consultancy Bain & Cie. However Swiss watch exports fell 3.3 percent in 2015 and 9.9 percent in 2016 before posting a modest 2.8 percent rise in the first 11 months of 2017.

    The United States, where sales of new watches have been falling for years, is the number one market for pre-owned watches, followed by Britain and Japan, said U.S. retailer Danny Govberg, who sells new watches for Rolex and other brands, but also an increasing number of second-hand timepieces.

    His company said its second-hand sales had grown by 37-40 percent year-on-year over the past five years. In an example of prices, it said it listed a second-hand Audemars Piguet Royal Oak for $24,950 compared with a $32,000 retail price.

    Together with a partner in Hong Kong and a Singapore-based investor, Govberg recently launched global e-commerce platform WatchBox for buying and selling pre-owned luxury watches.

    “People sell us watches by the bucket,” he said.

    He said many people sold watches to buy a new one so the pre-owned market was actually driving new sales, like in the car market. “The brands are still trying to figure it out, they don’t have the solution yet,” he said.

    Audemars Piguet’s Bennahmias said watchmakers had to amend business models to deal with changing consumer habits.

    “We’re witnessing a social and cultural change that forces us to think about what the business will look like in five or 10 years,” he added. “Time flies, we need to watch out.”

    ($1 = 0.9597 Swiss francs; $1 = 0.8173 euros)]]>
    1/19/2018 6:30:00 PM
    <![CDATA[Mother-to-mother training in Malawi helps battle child malnutrition]]>
    The findings showed training mothers and pregnant women in food hygiene and a varied diet by other mothers helped to ward off diseases like diarrhoea and resulted in steady weight gain in young children, Anitha Seetha, who led the study, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    Scaling up this low-cost approach could make a significant contribution to combating malnutrition in Africa, Seetha, of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) said in a statement.

    Under-nutrition is responsible the death of about 3 million children under five every year globally by making them more susceptible to infections and delaying their recovery, said the United Nations' children agency UNICEF.

    In Malawi, one of the world's poorest countries, one out of six children under five are underweight, and nearly half are stunted or shorter than average height, latest figures from UNICEF, the World Health Organization and World Bank show.

    Medical experts say stunting hinders children's cognitive growth and economic potential. Stunted children generally complete fewer years of schooling and earn less as adults and the effects are largely irreversible.

    The study, by ICRISAT and Malawi's Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, focused on 179 mothers of children under two years of age in two districts, where the majority of families are smallholder farmers.

    The researchers developed two porridge recipes using locally available foods such as maize, groundnut, carrots and pigeon peas, and had mothers raising healthy children lead cooking and training sessions for those with undernourished children.

    They recorded daily the children's weight, height, and mid-upper arm circumference - measures of under-nutrition - and the incidence of diseases such as diarrhoea, which the World Health Organization said is the leading cause of malnutrition in children.

    The results showed that children whose mothers received training showed progressive improvements in weight.

    Cases of diarrhoea also disappeared almost entirely, said the study, published the Journal of Public Health Nutrition, Cambridge University Press on Wednesday.]]>
    1/19/2018 3:41:08 PM
    <![CDATA[Craving carbs? Blame your brain, Japan study finds]]>
    The team at Japan's National Institute for Physiological Sciences found that activating neurons known to respond to social stress increased the appetite in mice for carbohydrates.

    Rodents with the neurons activated ate high-carbohydrate food at a rate of three times the mice under normal conditions.

    They also roughly halved their intake of high-fat food, the study found.

    The research is the first to demonstrate the way that the brain plays a role in the preference for carbohydrates or fats, said Yasuhiko Minokoshi, a scientist at the institute, who led the study.

    The teams said the study could help find a way to shift people away from gorging on sugary treats or unhealthy junk food.

    Humans generally select what to eat based on taste, as well as the nutritional state of the body, but the exact mechanism involved in the selection has remained largely a mystery.

    "Many people who eat sweets too much when stressed tend to blame themselves for being unable to control their impulses," Minokoshi told AFP.

    "But if they know it's because of the neurons", they might not be so hard on themselves, he said.

    Minokoshi cautioned that it would be difficult to immediately apply the findings to improving human diets.

    Simply suppressing the neurons could trigger side effects, as they have many other important roles, he said.

    "However, if we could find a particular molecule in the neurons and target it specifically to suppress part of its activities, it could curb excessive eating of carbohydrate-heavy food," he said.

    On the other hand, a substance to activate it could be used to treat people who consume excessive fat.

    The study is to be published in the online edition of the US journal Cell Reports soon.

    Many researchers suspect a certain mechanism could be responsible for prompting some animals to choose high-protein food, but a definitive process has not yet been discovered.]]>
    1/19/2018 2:30:00 PM
    <![CDATA[Hard Candy wants to make a #MeToo line]]>
    It was reported by the magazine “The Cut” that they applied for it on October 20, just days after the movement became popular.

    CEO Jerome Falic told the gossip website “TMZ” that this is not a straight cash grab, adding that the company's intention is to give back to women across the world.

    Also, according to the report of “TMZ”, the plan is to donate proceeds to the #MeToo cause. However, Falic says that they are still in planning stages, and it is unclear which products will be marked with the hashtag if the trademark is approved.

    The movement was started by feminist and women’s rights advocate Tarana Burke over 10 years ago to show solidarity with victims of sexual assault. Burke gave voice to the victims through her website.

    Actress and activist Alyssa Milano revived the “MeToo” movement by encouraging women to speak up about their sexual harassment and assault experiences in an attempt to “give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”

    The popular opinion is that it is inappropriate for a makeup company to produce products under the branding of a hashtag that was used to address sexual harassment and abuse and to empower the victims, no women needs that reminder while she puts on her makeup.

    Social media users have flooded the comment section on the Hard Candy Instagram account with comments expressing their anger and disappointment in the brand, while promising to boycott the brand.

    1/19/2018 1:41:18 PM
    <![CDATA[Gardening may help cancer survivors eat better, feel greater ‘worth’]]>
    Possibly as a result of these healthy behaviors, gardeners in the small study also tended to gain less weight around their waists compared to their counterparts on a waiting list for the gardening intervention, the study team reports.

    It’s estimated there are more than 15 million cancer survivors in the U.S., over two thirds of whom are over age 60, they note in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

    “For cancer survivors, especially those who are older, we look for lifestyle changes that can help them get healthier but are also holistic and have meaning,” said lead author Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, chair of nutrition sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.

    “We can send people to the gym, but that isn’t meaningful, and we can counsel them to eat better, but we want it to be more rewarding, and we want it to be long-term,” Demark-Wahnefried told Reuters Health in a telephone interview. “With gardening, we’ve hit the ball out of the ballpark.”

    Demark-Wahnefried and her colleagues did a pilot study with 42 cancer survivors, randomly assigning half to participate in a year-long gardening program with cooperative extension master gardeners and the other half to be put on a waiting list for the gardening program. All the participants were age 60 or older, lived in Alabama and had been diagnosed with early and mid-stage cancers that have high survival rates - such as localized bladder, breast, prostate or thyroid cancers.

    For the participants in the gardening group, the master gardeners brought raised growing beds as well as plants, seeds and other gardening supplies to each person’s home and helped them establish three seasonal vegetable gardens over the course of the experiment.

    Before and after the year-long study period, researchers assessed the participants’ diets, performed strength and balance tests, as well as blood tests for markers of stress and overall health. They also administered a series of questions to gauge stress levels, quality of life and mental state.

    At the end of the experiment, researchers found that the gardeners were eating, on average, one more fruit or vegetable serving per day than the waitlist participants. Gardeners had also gained, on average, just 2.3 centimeters (0.91 inch) around their waists, versus nearly 8 cm (3.15 inches) in the waitlist group. Blood results showed some lower markers of stress in the gardening group, and while gardeners reported an increased feeling of “worth,” the waitlist participants had a decline in this category.

    Among participants in the gardening group, 91 percent stuck with the program through the one-year follow-up, 70 percent said their experience was “excellent” and 85 percent said they “would do it again.”

    “With more people with cancer surviving and living longer, we need these programs,” Demark-Wahnefried said. “In this and previous studies, we’ve seen people are not only getting their physical functioning back, but it has an impact on quality of life.”

    One limitation of the study is the small size. Physical activity improvements, for example, can be difficult to measure in small numbers, especially with an activity such as gardening that has different intensities, said Miriam Morey of Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina, who wasn’t involved in the study.

    “Some people may spend all day in the garden, but how intense is it? How much exercise is it?” Morey said by phone. “That’s one area where tracking and new technology will enable us to do a better job with research.”

    Other programs exploring the benefits of gardening for cancer survivors include the Garden of Hope, a three-acre farm hosted by The Ohio State University College of Medicine for cancer survivors and caregivers to harvest vegetables grown seasonally by staff and student interns. Last year, 400 cancer survivors visited the farm, which is on the university’s Columbus campus, and participated in studies.

    “Nutrition interns walk around with them in the field, and agriculture folks show them how to harvest and keep plants thriving,” said Colleen Spees, who leads the Garden of Hope program but wasn’t involved in the current study.

    “In the chaos of cancer, people often feel like they control nothing,” Spees told Reuters Health by phone. “When you give them a new skill set, it gives them control over their destiny and a place and space to help them on this journey.”

    SOURCE: bit.ly/2DJsUhj Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, online January 2, 2018.]]>
    1/19/2018 4:30:00 AM
    <![CDATA[Bridal photoshoot takes place in Downtown Cairo]]>

    Photos courtesy of Nineteen84management

    The wedding day is, for many people, one of the most important days in their lives and the pre-wedding photoshoot is just as important, as it will capture the beautiful moments of the day.

    One of Egypt’s most popular wedding photographers, Rimon Markiz has managed to create a unique way of taking pictures of the bride. Before she walked down the aisle, she had a photoshoot in Downtown (Wust El Balad) at an old abandoned embassy.

    Photos courtesy of Nineteen84management

    The photographer captured the transition of the young woman before and after she found love. Hence, the label #HerMetamorphosis. The dress was designed by one of Egypt’s youngest and most successful talents Mohanad Kojak who is known for his sense of taste and provoking fashion creations. The elegant up-do hair style was crafted by Kriss Beauty Salon and the natural, enhancing makeup is by Eman Arafa. The timeless floral bouquet was gathered by Awan El-Ward.

    Photos courtesy of Nineteen84management

    Dress by: @kojakstudio
    Photographer: @remonelmarkiz
    Hair by: @krissbeautysalons
    Make up by: @emanarafa
    Flowers by: @awanelward.official
    Models: @iytstagram
    Project by: @nineteen84management

    1/18/2018 5:05:46 PM
    <![CDATA[Pope performs marriage aboard plane between Chilean cities]]>
    Pope Francis celebrates the marriage of crew members Paula Podest (C) and Carlos Ciufffardi (L) during the flight between Santiago and the northern city of Iquique, Chile January 18, 2018. Osservatore Romano/Handout via REUTERS

    Paula Podest Ruiz, 39, and Carlos Ciuffardi Elorriga, 41, told the pope they had been married in a civil service but their planned religious ceremony in their parish church in Santiago could not take place because it was heavily damaged in the country's 2010 earthquake.

    Pope Francis celebrates the marriage of crew members Paula Podest (C) and Carlos Ciufffardi (L) during the flight between Santiago and the northern city of Iquique, Chile January 18, 2018. Osservatore Romano/Handout via REUTERS

    They asked him to bless their marriage. But he had something else in mind.

    "Do you want me to marry you?" he asked them.

    "Here?" they asked, astonished.

    The pope said yes and he performed a brief ceremony in the front of the plane. An airline executive was the official witness and a document was signed by a Chilean bishop on board.

    Crew members Paula Podest and Carlos Ciufffardi pose after being married on board by Pope Francis during the flight between Santiago and the northern city of Iquique, Chile, January 18, 2018. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

    "Everything is valid. Everything is official," said Vatican spokesman Greg Burke. "We will show you a picture of the document later."

    The ceremony took place while the pope and his entourage were flying from Santiago to the northern city of Iquique.]]>
    1/18/2018 4:39:50 PM
    <![CDATA[Childhood bullying linked to suicide risk for teens]]>
    Researchers examined data on 1,363 children who were surveyed about peer victimization and bullying from ages 6 to 13 and monitored for any mental health issues through age 15. Most participants experienced little or no victimization, but about 26 percent reported some bullying and almost 15 percent said they suffered severe, long-lasting victimization.

    Compared to teens who experienced little or no bullying as kids, adolescents who suffered chronic tormenting by their peers were more than twice as likely to be depressed and more than three times more likely to be anxious or seriously consider suicide, the study found.

    “We found that exposure to peer victimization decreases by the end of childhood,” said lead study author Marie-Claude Geoffroy, a psychiatry researcher at McGill University in Montreal.

    “However, the 15 percent of adolescents exposed to the most severe levels of victimization when they entered kindergarten were still exposed to the highest levels in high school,” Geoffroy said by email.

    All of the kids in the study were born in Quebec in 1997 and 1998.

    Researchers assessed peer victimization based on questionnaires kids completed to detail physical and verbal abuse as well as online bullying. These surveys, done in the second half of the school year, asked kids to detail how often they experienced any victimization since the start of school.

    At age 15, researchers asked teens about the frequency of depression, anxiety, social problems, conduct issues or behavior challenges in the previous 12 months.

    Overall, about 7 percent of the teens exposed to little or no victimization as kids had depression, compared with almost 18 percent of adolescents who had suffered severe bullying by their peers, researchers report in CMAJ.

    At the same time, 7 percent of teens with little or no exposure to bullying had general anxiety, compared with 20 percent of youth who had been constantly victimized by their peers.

    Adolescents who were chronically bullied as kids were also much more likely to experience social anxiety, eating problems, conduct issues and behavior challenges, the study found.

    About 3 percent of teens who had little previous exposure to bullying had suicidal thoughts, compared to 13 percent of teens who had suffered from routine peer victimization growing up.

    The study wasn’t a controlled experiment designed to prove whether or how peer victimization early in childhood might influence mental health in adolescence. Another limitation is that researchers relied on kids to accurately recall and report on any mental health problems or experiences with victimization.

    Still, the findings add to the body of evidence already linking bullying and peer victimization to future mental health problems, said Dieter Wolke, a psychology researcher at the University of Warwick in the UK who wasn’t involved in the study.

    “One of the most painful feelings is to be socially rejected, ridiculed, beaten and embarrassed by other classmates,” Wolke said by email. “If this continues chronically, it not only increases anxiety of social contacts, it leads to defeat and internalization that one is useless, worthless, incapable, not worth loving.”

    The study results underscore the need for teachers, parents and other adults involved in kids’ lives to intervene early to stop any events of victimization from turning into a routine problem, said Bonnie Leadbeater, a psychology researcher at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada who wasn’t involved in the study.

    “Without adult help, victimization can be chronic,” Leadbeater said by email. “Anxiety and depression can also worsen victimization, catching children in a cycle of abuse and mental illness.”

    To avoid this, parents should ask kids about bullying, and let them know that if they experience this, they aren’t alone, said Dr. Matthew Davis of the Ann & Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

    “If your children are being bullied, focus on supporting their sense of self-worth, to help nurture their self-esteem despite bullying,” Davis said by email.
    1/17/2018 2:16:21 PM
    <![CDATA[From Basic to Edgy; Cotton Ball gets Kojak’d]]>

    A post shared by Kojak Studio (@kojakstudio) on

    In this case, Cotton Ball reached out to Kojak, one of Egypt’s most provocative designers, to create a ‘Not So Basic Collection’ in which the designers reveal what each does best.

    “These collaborations are all about talking who we are as Cottonball and adding a new spirit onto it, Kojak is the complete opposite of Cottonball; he’s extremely recognizable and has a strong aesthetic and design, so it was a good place for us to meet in the middle.” Zena Sallam, CCO of Cottonball said in a statement.

    Cotton Ball creates basic and minimal items that everyone needs to have in their closet. The products are 100% Egyptian, starting from the cotton up to the manufacturing process.

    Whereas Kojak is known for his sense of taste and bold fashion that aims to provoke and makes a cultural statement.

    “I wanted to create pieces that are motivational and intimate- just like a fortune cookie, this collection is created out of my everyday comfortable wear.” Mohanad Kojak, Chief designer of Kojak commented on the collaboration.

    The collection’s main player is Egyptian cotton when it comes to fabric and texture. The collection’s pastel colors, classic black and white will catch the attention of any Instagrammer as the skirts, T-shirts, cropped sweaters, suspended pants and skirts are all accompanied with hidden messages like ‘Cauz I got it from my mama’, ‘Cauz I posted’, ‘Cauz lol and ttyn,’ and ‘lol’ to express what it is like to be part of the digital and social media influencer era.

    1/17/2018 2:01:09 PM
    <![CDATA[Breastfeeding for 6 months cuts diabetes risk in half: study]]>
    The findings from a three-decade US study of more than 1,200 white and African-American women were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine.

    "We found a very strong association between breastfeeding duration and lower risk of developing diabetes, even after accounting for all possible confounding risk factors," said lead author Erica Gunderson, senior research scientist with Kaiser Permanente.

    The study showed that women who breastfed for six months or more had a 47 percent reduction in their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, when compared to those who did not breastfeed at all.

    For women who breastfed for six months or less, there was a 25 percent reduction in diabetes risk.

    Researchers suggested that breastfeeding may unleash protective effects via hormones that act in the pancreas, controlling blood insulin levels and blood sugar.

    "The incidence of diabetes decreased in a graded manner as breastfeeding duration increased, regardless of race, gestational diabetes, lifestyle behaviors, body size, and other metabolic risk factors measured before pregnancy, implying the possibility that the underlying mechanism may be biological," Gunderson said.

    Previous research has shown that breastfeeding has other long-term benefits for mothers, including a lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer.]]>
    1/17/2018 11:33:39 AM
    <![CDATA[Tech innovations launched at CES 2018]]>
    Intel, Ford and Huawei took to the CES 2018 keynote stage during the week with corporate showcases. Also, according to a press release, “Intel celebrated innovation, explored what’s next for big data and set a Guinness World Record with its Shooting Star Mini Drone show – the most advanced software fleet of 100 drones controlled without GPS by one pilot. Ford’s opening keynote focused on creating a reliable future of transportation through a systems-based approach for smart cities. Huawei announced the availability of its Mate10 Pro smartphone in the American market next month during its Tuesday afternoon keynote.”

    In the competition between home assistants and artificial intelligence, Amazon Alexa won against Microsoft’s Cortana. Alexa is expanding into headphones, smart watches, cars and TVs, and even ovens and microwaves. In stark contrast, Microsoft has not unveiled any new Cortana devices, with the exception of a thermostat last year.

    In new releases, Lenovo’s new Smart Display wowed the audience. Lishtot Testdrop also impressed, with a guitar pick-shaped device that can test the quality of drinking water by examining the electric field around it. French company Enhancia unveiled a midi-ring which allows a user to trigger musical effects like pitch bends or vibrato by making specific movements while playing a keyboard.

    It is an exciting time for tech fans, and the new year has just begun. CES has given us a glimpse of the possibilities of the coming year.
    1/16/2018 5:39:50 PM
    <![CDATA[18 Egyptian Designers to look out for in 2018]]>

    A post shared by Djewelled (@djewelled) on

    This is a simple, fresh and modern fine jewelry brand offering 18k gold, diamonds and black diamond creations that are adored by the Egyptian starlet Amina Khalil. Dena Essam, Djewelled’s founder, aims to make sure that her line is always developing and always on point with seasonal trends and standards. Plus, it is easy to style and goes great with everything. Djewelled is available in Egypt, UAE and soon to be worldwide.

    Cotton Ball

    Starting from the design up until the manufacturing, Cotton Ball is proud of and rejoices in its use of Egyptian cotton and manufacturing in support of the local market. Established in 2013, Cotton Ball has been creating everything one would need from high-quality basic must-haves to basic apparel. They don’t just offer garments; they offer a lifestyle and tradition.


    A post shared by AMMANII (@ammaniijewelry) on

    The sky is the limit for Amany Shaker, the Los- Angeles-based Egyptian high jewelry designer, who finally came home to Cairo in November to launch her Sa’maa collection. The 18-piece collection showed off fine craftsmanship and storytelling. Her choice of lapis lazuli, metal and silver pays homage to the ancient Egyptian traditions of when silver was favored over gold due to it being rich in substance. We’ll be on the lookout for this celestial dreamer’s next collection.

    Amr Saad

    A post shared by amr saad (@amrsaadartisan) on

    Specializing in innovative handcrafted jewelry and eyewear, Amr Saad’s namesake brand has managed to gain an exclusive list of clientele in a short time with style mavens such as Elisa Sednaoui, Lana El Sahely and many more. He has become the It designer to be Instagrammed in. Saad is expected to be one of the frontrunners in the MENA region to make a statement on the global jewelry and eyewear scene.


    The brand was launched earlier this year by Hisham Wali when he decided to turn his hobby into a business to spread Middle Eastern art and culture through his bespoke pins and cufflinks. Each piece from the collection “El Sand Storm” can adapt to the everyday man’s style, whether it is the daily corporate life, casual hangouts, or elegant night out. HUWA (him) debuted 17 pieces for men and, if styled correctly, can be for her too. Handmade gold, sterling silver and platinum-plated pieces are embellished with black diamonds, emeralds, sapphires and pearls. The brand also offers a private service where clients can bring in their own pieces of solid gold that HUWA can then shape into beautiful bespoke pieces.

    Christine Massarany

    Massarany’s semi-couture creations are only created once, so you can be sure that whatever piece you choose to wear from the collection, you will be the only owning it. Her debut collection was influenced by nature, earthy tones and women’s silhouettes that captured a hard and industrial setting.

    Indira Jewelry

    A post shared by Indira Jewelry (@indira_nyc) on

    What is Indira? It is reviving the art of traditional jewelry by using 100 percent sterling silver, accentuated by colorful materials such as mother of pearl. Founded in 2014 by Egyptian-American designer, Marwa Saadawi, who found inspiration, beauty and simplicity amidst the organized chaos of her two home cities; Cairo and New York. Her pieces are designed with the modern professional woman in mind, while using Saadawi’s signature geometric patterns, mixing Arabesque designs with the edgy, minimalist style of New York. Her vision for Indira is to create jewelry that has universal appeal by collaborating globally with independent designers and artisans. You can find Indira Jewelry online, and in select boutiques in New York, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Cairo.

    Hayden & Co

    Founder and designer Shaddy Elian had an idea to substitute diamonds and gold with a more affordable range of choices. In his latest collection “Love Wear,” Elian mixes old and new to create unique jewelry for the modern women. Hayden & Co’s purpose is to fill the need for special occasion jewelry with accessible prices, and of course for all women to feel special through his jewelry. His pieces are handmade in Belgium from gold and silver-plated rhodium and encrusted with Swarovski crystals.


    A post shared by OKHTEIN (@okhtein) on

    Egyptian sister design duo Aya and Mounaz Abdel Raouf first launched their brand Okhtein (sisters) in 2013. They began to design luxury accessories such as clutches and bags using Egyptian craftsmanship, incorporating handmade embroidery, straw and leather into their designs. Their biggest social media hit came when Beyoncé, the international singer and mother to everything fabulous, posted on her Instagram not one—but three posts—that have now garnered over one million likes, where she is seen wearing the brand’s new classic dome belt and orange shoulder bag from the 2017 spring/summer collection.

    Dina Shaker

    A post shared by dina shaker (@dinashaker) on

    Always looking to inspire and empower women through her wearable deconstructed, asymmetrical, textured and color-blocked designs, Dina Shaker is an interior designer turned avant-garde inventor. While playing on the hard and soft elements with day and night looks, the piece de resistance of her 2017 fall/winter collection “Recomposed Classic” is the winter jacket, which is oversized, deconstructed and a three-in-one transforming piece of edgy wearable art that turns into a skirt or shorts. Her collections are now sold in the fashion capitals of the world such as Milan, London, Beirut and Kuwait.


    • Perspective

    A post shared by UNTY (@untydesigns) on

    Inspired by the street skate-and surf culture, UNTY came to life as a street-wear brand, as “each piece embodies elements of conceptualization, material, cut, print, production and branding,” says Omar Mobarak, one of the label’s founders and designers. UNTY was founded in 2013 by Mobarak and Omar Fayez as a collaboration between art and fashion. Their current collection is their 10th and was inspired by cigarettes and a hidden love. The upcoming 11th collection will feature two hoodies, three sweaters and possibly a special edition t-shirt, to be released later. Mobarak relies heavily on the use of Egyptian cotton for his designs; yet he is open to using more materials in the future. In terms of his brand’s future and where he sees it going, he wholeheartedly believes that it is more important that people who wear his brand find it relatable and not just trendy.

    Les Miniatures

    Lifelong best friends Farah Yasser and Hanna Hazem decided to create wearable art that displays different stories and transformations while staying true to their established identity of high-end luxury bags that can set your outfit apart.

    House of Select

    Founded in 1923 by an Italian expat name Folina, Select is known as one of the oldest jewelry houses in Egypt, carrying pieces of heritage since the time of Egyptian monarchy. The house has dressed some of Egypt’s most notable personage, including King Farouk himself, his wives, children and other members of the Royal Family. After the 1952 revolution, Folina left Egypt and passed on ownership to Samy Abdou Youssef. With focus on staying relevant and adapting to modern fashions they have taken the collaborative approach and partnered up with Okhtein and M Collection for capsule collections.


    A post shared by Kojak Studio (@kojakstudio) on

    A master of mixing both haute couture and ready-to-wear, Mohanad Kojak is fresh off the Fashion Forward Dubai season 10 runway where he showcased his tracksuits mixed with dresses and jackets with his signature Romeo and Juliette goblin fabric, the upholstery fabric he introduced to the fashion scene when he first started his brand. He has dressed many Egyptian celebrities, such as Nahed El-Sebai, Dorra, Hana Shiha and many more. He is, and will go on to push boundaries with his sense of taste and bold fashion statements.

    Reem Jano

    A post shared by Reem Jano (@reemjanojewellery) on

    Jewelry designer Reem Jano has gone on to bling out the stars on the Cairo International Film Festival red carpet, including Mai Omar and Asmaa Galal. All of her designs are handmade and are gold or silver plated, and the namesake brand stands out as a consistent, high-quality and widely loved local favorite.


    A post shared by SANDBOX (@sandboxsu) on

    Jewelry with a cause; Suhayla Al Sheikh created the “Cicatrix” collection to fundraise for Ahl Masr Foundation, to empower women who suffer from physical or psychological scars. Behind every piece is not just an inspiration, but a concept; but her challenge is to bring the conceptual jewelry into the mainstream. Sandbox was first launched in 2014, when Al Sheikh began designing customized pieces for exclusive private clientele.

    Jayda Hany

    A post shared by Jayda Hany™ (@jaydahany) on

    There is an undeniable gap in the Egyptian market for locally made footwear. This architectural engineering student turned- footwear pioneer recently launched her first ready-to-wear autumn/winter 2017 collection Riv-It! After the success of Hany’s first bespoke experimental collection “Connector,” BMW created a car model based on it. Finding the harmony of craftsmanship, structure and 3D technology, Hany is gaining popularity, with her first best seller being The High Bolt high tops.

    Arwa Al Banawi

    A post shared by ARWA AL BANAWI (@arwaalbanawi) on

    She may not be Egyptian but it would be a shame if we did not mention the Saudi-born fashion designer Arwa Al Banawi who made waves on social media in 2015 with her inaugural collection of sharp-tailored suits and tops, only to go on to collaborate with Adidas Originals on a capsule collection, and most recently Levis for Sole DxB. Banawi is loved for her comfortable, feminist and empowering creations.
    1/16/2018 2:04:12 PM
    <![CDATA[Partner's scent eases women’s response to stress]]>
    Stress levels dropped in women who smelled their partner’s shirt during a stress test but rose in women who smelled a stranger’s shirt, researchers found.

    “Many people wear their partner’s shirt or sleep on their partner’s side of the bed when their partner is away but may not realize why they engage in these behaviors,” said lead study author Marlise Hofer, a psychology graduate student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

    “A partner’s scent alone, even without their physical presence, can be a powerful tool to help reduce stress,” Hofer told Reuters Health by email.

    Hofer and colleagues worked with 96 couples, most in their early 20s, to complete the study. They asked the men to wear a white T-shirt for 24 hours without deodorant or scented products. Then the shirts were turned inside out, folded and placed in a sealed plastic freezer bag with the underarm section facing the opening.

    The women participated in the Trier Social Stress Test, which includes a mock job interview and unanticipated mental math question that causes a stress response. They were randomly assigned to smell a single shirt three times before and three times after the stress test. The shirt might have been worn by their romantic partner or a stranger, or it might have been new and unworn.

    The women also completed a questionnaire five times during the experiment to indicate anxiety, physical discomfort, tension, desire to leave the situation and feelings of control. Saliva samples were collected seven times during the experiment to measure levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

    The research team found that perceived stress changed during the experiment for most women, and those who smelled a partner’s shirt felt less stressed both during and after the stress test than those who smelled a stranger’s or unworn shirt.

    The researchers were surprised to find that cortisol levels were higher after the stress test in women who smelled a stranger’s shirt. “These unanticipated findings could serve as a source of future research,” Hofer said.

    Cortisol levels didn’t differ between women who smelled their partner’s shirt and an unworn shirt.

    Dr. Donald McBurney, professor emeritus of the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, has researched olfactory comfort in close relationships. “In our studies, we received many anecdotes, including lovers who mailed worn clothing back and forth between military members and their partners back home,” McBurney, who wasn’t involved in the new study, told Reuters Health by email. “And hospitals give infants items of their mother’s clothing to sleep with.”

    Future research should investigate whether perceived stress and cortisol responses are the same for men and if additional factors could reduce stress for both men and women, said Dr. Sean Mackey of the Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California. Mackey, who wasn’t involved with this study, has researched romantic relationships and experiences of pain.

    “Can we further manipulate this (decreased stress) response and amplify it?” he wrote in an email to Reuters Health. “How does the strength of the (romantic) relationship affect the response?”

    Beyond a controlled laboratory setting, researchers should also study how this works in real-world applications, he added.

    “During times of stress, keep those you love close to you,” Mackey said. ‘If you are going to be away during a stressful period, it may be useful to bring an article of their clothing.”]]>
    1/16/2018 12:36:25 PM
    <![CDATA[8 Foodie Hotspots in Cairo To Try in 2018]]>
    The White Owl

    A homemade pasta hotspot in Maadi, The White Owl serves a variety of signature European dishes. Apart from its epic pasta and flavorful sauces, you can also enjoy an assortment of soups, salads, starters, freshly made juices and yummy desserts. The cozy interior is very urban, its unique vibes complementing the homemade specialties. Foodie flock here for the fresh food, quality ingredients and creative recipes.

    17 Rd. 216, Maadi • Tel: 01211691699 / 01152811501


    Passionate foodies and adventurers might think that in order to reawaken their palates and discover new flavors, they have to go all the way to Mexico and Peru. Mezcal is a much closer option. Original ingredients come straight from their homelands, whether Mexican chipotles and habaneros or Peru’s famous aji amarillo, panca and rocotto chillies. Mezcal’s perfect remix of traditional and modern techniques guarantees one of the best experiences of fine cuisine in Egypt.


    The hotspot for intimate dinners and carefully crafted cocktails, Sachi has perfected the balance of casual and sophisticated dining. It offers impeccable contemporary Mediterranean fusion cuisine using local ingredients with original recipes. For meat lovers, we would highly recommend the special chateaubriand; there’s also a Japanese menu if you’re into sushi.

    3 Cleopatra St., Heliopolis • reservations@sachirestaurant.com • Tel: 01280902028


    Kazoku’s creative, award-winning Japanese cuisine is styled to perfection, with trademark dishes such as miso, new-style sashimi and many more. The contemporary restaurant is a frontrunner for Cairo’s top culinary venue, its attentively designed cocktails giving it a clear edge.

    Swan Lake Compound, 1st Settlement, New Cairo • reservations@kazokuegypt.com • Tel: 0120004877


    A perfect fusion of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine, Izakaya brings to Cairo a variety of local dishes combining the best of both cultures. Imagine the ultimate sensational dish of the freshest Asian delicacies, along with a touch of Peruvian, such as the famed sweet potato; and you get an Izakaya artistic creation. It all started when a migrant Japanese went to Peru and began to work alongside the locals. Nikkei fell in love with the local cuisine and added some of the essence of authentic Japanese. Luckily for us it’s found a home for this great fusion here in Cairo at Izakaya.

    Al Guezira Plaza, Sheikh Zayed • Tel: 01271116223


    This cozy little bohemian restaurant in Maadi is Cairo’s first destination for unique South African cuisine. Created by a South African expat who has been living in Egypt for 10 years, Zulu’s menu includes a variety of the best authentic dishes, from street foods like the famous bunny chow, a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry, to some over-the-top gourmet favorites. The space is chilled, laidback and humble where you can step into a stress-free zone.

    9 Rd. 100, Maadi • 0106 914 6208 • 02 2359 8328


    Olivo has well deservedly earned the title of “Best pizza in town” and is the go-to spot for authentic Italian pizza and drinks. Loud conversations against a background of chillhouse and the occasional burst of laughter will keep you entertained as you enjoy your wine or beer with some best quality Italian pizza.

    • Kattameya Heights Compound, New Cairo). Tel: 0106 8774233 • Arkan Plaza, Sheikh Zayed. Tel: 01220777680 • 18 Taha Hussein St., Zamalek. Tel: 01026444475


    Serving the best quality premium beef burgers, crispy chicken sandwiches, good old hot dogs covered with melting cheese, BBQ pulled beef sandwiches and Mac n’ Cheese, Sliders will leave you with an unforgettable experience. And you don’t want to miss out on the wide variety of toppings like tasty chili beef, caramelized onions, mushrooms, crispy onion rings and much more!

    2 Bahgat Ali St., Zamalek. For delivery call: 01013005090 • 38 Rd. 231, Maadi. For delivery call 01098060403.
    1/15/2018 6:55:07 PM
    <![CDATA[L’Oréal casts the first hijab-wearing model for commercial ]]>
    L’Oréal recruited the hijab-wearing beauty and lifestyle blogger Amena Khan to star amongst the lineup of men and women for a game changing campaign, all while her hair was covered.

    “You have to wonder – why is it presumed that women who don’t show their hair don’t look after it? The opposite of that would be that everyone that does show their hair only looks after it for the sake of showing it to others. And that mindset strips us of our autonomy and our sense of independence. Hair is a big part of self-care,” Khan said to Vogue Arabia.

    The L’Oréal Paris Elvive, commercial showcases men and women speaking up about their opinion on their hair and haircare. Khan is seen addressing all women about self-care for their hair, by stating “Weather or not your hair is on display it doesn’t affect how much you care about it,” she continued “Hair is a women’s beauty. Make sure that you look after it.”

    This is seen as part of a trend toward the right direction for the beauty industry, in the past year modest fashion has been wildly successful hand in hand with diversity representation.

    At the end of last year Barbie released the first ever hijab-wearing doll to honor the bronze medalist Olympian Islamic American fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad. As part of the Sheroes doll collection that was launched in favor for Barbie to recognize real-life female heroes such as gold medalist Olympian Gabby Douglas, writer/director and Academy Award nominee Ava DuVernay, fashion model Ashley Graham and many more.

    The hijab is a sign of modesty worn by Muslim women all around the world; despite being a controversial matter nowadays, the fashion industry decided to fight back against islamophobia and reiterate the message of love, peace and acceptance in their advertising campaigns and on the runway by featuring Hijab-wearing models.

    Technology giant Apple has joined the movement with the release of 12 emoji characters of women wearing a hijab. Earlier in 2017, Condé Nast launched the magazine Vogue Arabia with the supermodel of the this generation, Gigi Hadid, who was born to a Palestinian father and an American mother, on its first cover. All while Halima Aden is the first veiled model to have walked the international catwalk with Max Mara and to be featured in American Eagle's #ICan campaign.

    1/15/2018 5:18:12 PM
    <![CDATA[Toymaker Lego teams up with Chinese internet giant Tencent]]>
    Privately-owned Lego has seen a slowdown in sales growth in recent years, but the Chinese market has been a bright spot with sales growing 25-30 percent in 2016.

    It is competing with Barbie maker Mattel Inc (MAT.O) and Hasbro (HAS.O), the firm behind My Little Pony, for a slice of the $31 billion toys and games market in China.

    Lego said on Monday the partnership with Tencent, China’s biggest social network and gaming company, aimed to create a safe online environment covering content, platforms, and experiences tailored for Chinese children.

    “What we are looking for now with Tencent is just to find more creative ways... (of) reaching children, and creating bespoke content with Tencent, in this case, video games,” Jacob Kragh, head of Lego in China, told Reuters on Monday at joint event with Tencent in Beijing.

    The partnership includes developing a Lego video zone for children on the Tencent video platform, as well as developing and operating Lego branded licensed games, the toymaker said.

    It also includes LEGO BOOST - a building and coding set that lets children turn their brick creations into moving objects - and will explore developing a joint social network for children in China.

    Tencent is Asia’s most valuable company with a market capitalization of $537 billion.

    Last year, Mattel struck deals with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) and online content developer BabyTree to sell interactive learning products based on its Fisher-Price toys.

    Lego has about a 3 percent market share in China, followed by Mattel and Hasbro with around 2 percent and 1 percent, respectively, according to Euromonitor International.

    In November 2016, Lego opened a factory in Jiaxing, China, which it expects to produce 70-80 percent of all Lego products sold in Asia.]]>
    1/15/2018 2:27:36 PM
    <![CDATA[U.S. transport chief to unveil revised self-driving car guidelines]]>
    Chao told a Detroit auto show forum that the revised voluntary guidelines would address not only self-driving automobiles but "barriers to the safe integration of autonomous technology for motor carriers, transit, trucks, infrastructure and other modes."

    Chao said in a Reuters interview the department was preparing for autonomous technology coming rapidly to all transportation modes. "The technology is there, the question is how do we regulate it, how do we continue to promote innovation but also safeguard safety." Chao said.

    General Motors Co, Alphabet Inc, Toyota Motor Corp and many other companies are aggressively pursuing self-driving car technologies and want Congress and regulators to remove barriers to the vehicles.

    Bills in Congress to speed the introduction of self-driving cars do not include commercial trucks. In September, Chao announced the first set of revisions to the guidelines that were unveiled by the Obama administration and now plans a revised version by summer.

    Chao said her goal was to eliminate "unnecessary obstacles to the development and integration of new technology. Our approach will be tech-neutral and flexible — not top-down, or command and control." She added the government would "not be in the business of picking winners or losers, or favoring one form of technology over another."

    In October, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, said it was looking for input on how to remove regulatory roadblocks to self-driving cars.

    NHTSA said in a report that it wanted to find any "unnecessary regulatory barriers" to self-driving cars "particularly those that are not equipped with controls for a human driver."


    The agency also wants comments on what research it needs to conduct before deciding whether to eliminate or rewrite regulations. But it could take the agency years to complete the research and finalize rule changes.

    Automakers must meet nearly 75 auto safety standards, many written with the assumption that a licensed driver will be in control of the vehicle. The agency said in 2016 that current regulations posed "significant" regulatory hurdles to vehicles without human controls.

    Earlier this month, the Transportation Department published notices requesting comments to identify barriers to innovation including one from NHTSA, two from the Federal Transit Administration to address autonomous bus technology and barriers and one from the Federal Highway Administration to address autonomous infrastructure technology. Chao said more were planned.

    Last week, GM filed a petition with NHTSA requesting an exemption to have a small number of autonomous vehicles operate in a ride-share program without steering wheels or human drivers.

    Chao said the "department will review this petition, and give it responsible and careful consideration."

    Chao, who was meeting with automakers privately in Detroit at the show, has made self-driving cars a top priority. She held meetings on the subject in Silicon Valley last year, including with Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

    On Sunday, she urged automakers and tech companies to do more to reassure skeptical Americans about the technology. "They need to be brought along," she said of the public. "Consumer acceptance will be a constraint to growth in this industry." ]]>
    1/15/2018 5:00:00 AM
    <![CDATA[Nelly Karim stuns in new L’Azurde campaign ]]>

    L’Azurde is a Jewelry company that was founded in 1980. It designs and produces jewelry using gold and precious stones; L’Azurde operates mainly in the Middle East, more specifically Egypt, KSA, Qatar and the UAE.

    Being a sign of luxury and elegance, L’Azurde has often chosen elegant, known celebrities such as Nelly Karim and Elissa to star in its campaigns.

    Nelly Karim is well known in the Middle East as an outstanding actress. She has worked in the entertainment industry since her youth; she began working as a ballerina and a theater actress. Her elegance is obvious in all her red-carpet appearances, as she often appears with sultry smoky eyes, exquisite jewelry and beautiful dresses.

    1/14/2018 1:48:21 PM
    <![CDATA[Time with grandparents may impact how kids view the elderly]]>
    Researchers in Belgium asked 1,151 youth ranging in age from 7 to 16 years about the time they spent with grandparents as well as their opinions about aging and the elderly. They found that kids who saw their grandparents at least weekly and described these interactions as happy were much less likely to express ageist views.

    “Previous research had suggested that frequency of contacts with the elderly (time spent together) had no effect on children’s attitudes towards older people, whereas a high quality of contact positively influenced these attitudes,” said lead study author Allison Flamion of the University of Liege.

    But most of this research was done in university students, not in children and teens, Flamion said by email.

    “The children in our study described their relationship with their grandparents very openly, as they perceived it,” Flamion said. “We were somewhat surprised to find such a strong correlation between the children’s perception of grandparents’ contacts and the ageist stereotypes turning up in the questionnaires.”

    In questionnaires, the researchers asked the youths about the health of their own grandparents, how often the two generations met and how the young people felt about their relationships with their grandparents.

    In general, views on the elderly expressed by the children and adolescents were neutral or positive.

    Girls had slightly more positive views than boys, and girls also tended to view their own aging more favorably, the researchers report in Child Development.

    Ageist stereotypes appeared to change at various points in childhood, the study also found.

    The youngest children, from 7 to 9 years old, expressed the most prejudice and kids from 10 to 12 years old had the most acceptance and tolerance.

    Teenagers had more prejudiced notions about aging than pre-teens, but not as much as the youngest children in the study.

    Grandparents’ health may also influence how children think about aging, the study suggests.

    Young people with grandparents in poor health were more likely to believe negative stereotypes about the elderly than children and teens with healthier grandparents.

    The study wasn’t a controlled experiment designed to prove whether or how time with grandparents might impact children’s views on aging.

    Even so, the current study offers fresh evidence that both the frequency and quality of contact with grandparents matters in shaping how children think about age, said Tara Lineweaver, a psychology researcher at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana, who wasn’t involved in the study.

    “The quality of the time children spent with their grandparents mattered most when they also spent more time with their grandparents,” Lineweaver said by email.

    “What I found most valuable and most surprising about their results is that the influence of quality interactions with grandparents was greatest in middle childhood (ages 10-12), when attitudes are already most positive, suggesting that good relationships with grandparents may help explain the positive beliefs about aging that typically accompany this stage of development,” Lineweaver added.

    Growing evidence also suggests that contact between grandchildren and grandparents can be good for both, said Dominic Abrams, a psychology researcher at the University of Kent, in the UK.

    “More time that is enjoyable and positive really makes the biggest difference. I think there are several ways that this works,” Abrams, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.

    “From a strong positive relationship they are more likely to learn things about older people that they might not otherwise have discovered such as their strengths, abilities, breadth of experience, and that they have a range of emotions and knowledge,” Abrams added. “Second, they may meet other older people whilst with their grandparents, giving them greater awareness of other older people in general and making ageing and oldness less strange and perhaps less frightening to the extent that grandparents are able to explain and share their experiences.”
    1/14/2018 1:42:59 PM
    <![CDATA[Dolce & Gabbana's royal flush wows Milan Fashion Week]]>
    The show, "King's Angels", featuring sharp tailored suits embellished with patterned lapels and gold embroidery, took place under an enormous crown with regular appearances of the celestial beings on sleeves, sweatsuits and suede moccasin slippers.

    The Italian label has made millenials (those born between 1980 and 2000) its target market and used several of the generation's more prominent members to show off its latest creations at Milan Men's Fashion Week.

    Internet celebrities such as Kevin Chaplin, grandson of Charlie, Dylan Jagger Lee, son of actress Pamela Anderson and drummer Tommy Lee, Paris Brosnan, son of actor Pierce, and Christian Combs, son of rapper Puff Daddy all took to the catwalk.

    They were joined by the likes of Neels Visser -- he of 2.7 million Instagram followers -- video microblogging app Vine star Cameron Dallas, and musician and actor Austin Mahone.

    Earlier Saturday, the doyen of Italian fashion Giorgio Armani, 83, showed off new creations for his Emporio Armani streetwear brand with a unisex show full of dark block colours and sharp tailoring.

    Donatella Versace introduced riffs on Scottish tartan, also displaying women's outfits at Men's Fashion Week.

    1/14/2018 1:34:12 PM
    <![CDATA[Round up my ride! Bulgarian returns Singapore's damaged rental bikes]]>
    Bulgarian piano teacher Zhivko Girginov, who has lived on the island for nine years, has not been impressed by the broken bicycles he has encountered abandoned by roads and footpaths.

    “My friends complained there were damaged bikes scattered everywhere and there was nothing that can be done,” he said.

    “But I did not agree.”

    The 32-year-old decided to take matters into his own hands, pulling together a team of like-minded individuals to round up and return the bikes to the warehouses of the respective companies.

    Started in September, Girginov’s Volunteer Bike Patrol initiative has taken off, collecting over 400 damaged bikes in about seven trips.

    The group gathers the broken bicycles in one neighborhood, moving them to a central location. Girginov then rents a lorry for $150 a trip to pick up and carry the bikes back.

    Girginov has funded the effort until now, but expansion might prompt him to consider crowd-funding or seek sponsors, he said.

    Singapore’s three main shared-bicycle operators, Ofo, Mobike and domestic firm oBike, appreciate his work.

    “We’re talking to Zhivko about how we can work together to build an even stronger bikesharing environment,” said Sharon Meng, country manager of Mobike Singapore, adding that Mobike has given Girginov an unlimited usage pass to help him retrieve its bikes.

    Singapore has sought to discourage indiscriminate bicycle parking in public spaces. In 2017, the Land Transport Authority marked out 4,000 additional yellow bike parking areas around public housing estates, bus stops and train stations.

    The initiative is one of many similar projects Giriginov has embarked on, and he considers the time and money well-spent.

    In his opinion, such “social experiments” provoke people to consider how they can make an individual contribution to society.

    “Some of my friends tell me my efforts are futile,” he said, after devoting New Year’s Day to a bike retrieval expedition.

    “But I believe we are part of a community and we should do what we can.”

    1/14/2018 1:21:50 PM
    <![CDATA[Daily planners to get your 2018 together ]]>

    1 (1)
    Dots Weekly Planner - Dots Official Website

    Dots offers you the options of their weekly planner and toolkit, or their monthly planner and notebook. They’re both beautifully designed and sturdy, with leather hardcover bindings and unique colorful spines that provide 180 degree opening. The weekly planner has a weekly layout, an end of month review, milestone stickers and much more. It’s a fantastic option to try out.


    2 (1)
    Planit Notebook - Planit Official Facebook Page

    Planit has been a staple planner for years in Cairo, you’ll spot it at universities and cafes all around, and of course there’s a reason for that. It’s an excellent planner with a creative layout. Planit has your typical weekly layout to help plan your week, but it also has blank pages for notes, illustrations to color, inspirational quotes and much more.

    Simple Things

    3 (1)
    Simple Things Undated Planner - Simple Things Official Website

    Simple Things offer different planners for different lifestyles, including ones aimed at study or business as well as a simple undated planner, which lets you start planning at any time of the year. They’re beautifully designed and have add-ons available to expand their functionality. It’s a great flexible option, tailored to your needs.


    4 (1)
    Nootah 2018 Planner - Nootah Official Facebook page

    Nootah is one of the new kids on the block, but their quality is outstanding. Their 2018 planner is colorful and bright and inspires you to get organized. It’s large and spacious, with plenty of room for planning and organizing. It also has inspirational quotes to keep you motivated.


    Space 2018 Agenda - Space Official Facebook page

    Space gives you more than just a planner. It gives you a daily agenda, a sticker booklet, a gift box, a wall planner, 2 coasters and a bookmark. You will not need anything else to get your year off to the right start. All of this is available for a very modest price as well, so you won’t be breaking the bank. It’s a great gift for yourself or a loved one.
    1/13/2018 1:34:38 PM
    <![CDATA[Gourmet chocolate becomes economic lifeline in Venezuela crisis]]>
    Like some 20 recently launched Venezuelan businesses, Silva uses the country’s aromatic cocoa to make gourmet bars of the kind that can fetch more than $10 each in upscale shops in Paris or Tokyo.

    The oil-rich but recession-devastated nation’s Byzantine bureaucracy makes large-scale exports nearly impossible for small businesses.

    As a result, most of her bars are sold locally for less than one U.S. dollar - well out of reach of millions of Venezuelans who earn less than that in a week, but reasonably priced for the well-heeled of an increasingly two-tiered economy.

    But entrepreneurs who have launched new Venezuelan chocolatiers in recent years say producing gourmet bars allows them to make a living amid the collapse of a socialist economic system - and dream of exports as a golden opportunity down the road.

    “Our real oil is cocoa,” said Silva, owner of the chocolatier Kirikire that in 2014 won an award from the prestigious Salon du Chocolat fair in Paris. “In Europe, they’re snatching up these bars.”

    Silva faces constant operational challenges due to hyperinflation and Soviet-style product shortages. But these are offset by steady access to high-quality aromatic cocoa from a cocoa farm in eastern Venezuela owned by her family.

    Her bars are sold in high-end Caracas grocery stores, delis and liquor stores, where everything from staple products to luxury goods are amply available to the well-heeled - in contrast to the long lines and bare shelves of most shops.

    Silva is now focused on getting her chocolate to France, where she once sold a single kilo of her chocolate for the equivalent of 80 euros ($96), which is today the equivalent of five years of minimum wage salary in Venezuela.

    Standing in her way are a range of permits such as customs authorizations and sanitary inspections that take months in Venezuela’s notoriously inefficient bureaucracy.

    The Information Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

    Venezuela was the world’s leading cocoa producer at the end of the 18th century when it was still a Spanish colony, according to Jose Franceschi, who has written books about cocoa and whose great-grandfather founded the Venezuela’s gourmet Franceschi chocolate brand.

    But the cocoa trade was overshadowed by the rise of the oil industry in the early 20th century. Critics say it was further weakened by state takeovers under late President Hugo Chavez, who boosted state involvement in the economy as part of promises to create a society of equals.

    But since the crash of oil markets, Venezuela has become a sharply divided society where oil engineers and public hospital doctors rarely make as much as $50 a month while a small group citizens with access to even modest amounts of hard currency can afford fine dining and gourmet products.


    Output of 16,000 tonnes per year is less than 1 percent of the global total, and less than 10 percent of the production of regional heavyweights Brazil and Ecuador.

    Many gourmet bars made in the United States now prominently advertise the use of Venezuelan cocoa but generally mix in other less-desirable cocoas. Bars made in Venezuela, in contrast, are made with 100 percent local cocoa.

    This gives the new Venezuelan chocolatiers a leg up as they tap into the global ‘bean-to-bar’ movement, in which chocolate makers oversee the entire process of turning cocoa fruit into sellable treats.

    On the second floor of an old mansion in Caracas, economist and chef Giovanni Conversi has been making specialty chocolate for two years under the name Mantuano.

    Sprinkled with sea salt or aromatic fruits from the Amazon, the chocolate bars are a hit in London, Miami and Panama City in specialty chocolate stores or shops that specialize in Latin American food.

    He and four assistants produce 9,000 bars a month in Caracas. He has opened a factory in Argentina that buys cocoa from small-scale producers like Yoffre Echarri, who two decades ago inherited his grandfather’s plantation in the beach town of Caruao.

    He opens the fruit to remove the beans and the accompanying sweet white pulp, which has a strong aroma of tropical fruit and then ferments the mixture in plastic bags buried underground.

    That process retains more aroma than the traditional method of fermenting in wooden boxes.

    He sells the beans to Venezuelan chocolatiers for less than $1 per kilo, about half the international price.

    “Clients can’t get enough. Those who three months ago were asking for five kilos now call for 50,” said Echarri.

    Many small chocolatiers only manage to get products to foreign markets by carrying them in suitcases on commercial flights, though well-established brands such as El Rey have formal export operations to the United States and Europe.

    In Japan, El Rey is represented by the food division Japanese trading house Mitsubishi. Mitsubishi did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Still, some 1,700 people have recently studied artisanal chocolate at the Simon Bolivar University.

    “Everyone wants to give it a shot,” said Rosa Spinosa, the head of the program created two years ago.

    ($1 = 0.8363 euros)]]>
    1/13/2018 1:24:23 PM
    <![CDATA[Saudi women-only motorshow opens in Jeddah]]>
    Pink, orange and yellow balloons hung in the mall’s showroom as women posed for photos and selfies in front of the cars. One woman in the driver’s seat fixed her face cover. Another wrapped her turquoise-painted fingernails around the steering wheel, feeling it out.

    In a decree issued in September, King Salman ordered by June an end to the ban on women drivers, a conservative tradition that has limited women’s mobility and been seen by rights activists as an emblem of their suppression.

    Saudi Arabia is the only country that bans women drivers. The landmark royal decree has been hailed as proof of a new progressive trend in the deeply conservative Muslim kingdom.

    Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 32, is the face of that change. Many young Saudis regard his recent ascent to power as proof their generation is taking a central place in running a country whose patriarchal traditions have for decades made power the province of the old and blocked women’s progress.

    “I’ve always been interested in cars, but we didn’t have the ability to drive,” said Ghada al-Ali, a customer. “And now I‘m very interested in buying a car but I would like the payments and prices to not be very high.”

    Saudi Arabia’s cost of living has risen after the government hiked domestic gas prices and introduced value-added tax (VAT) in January.

    The exhibition focused on fuel-efficient cars and provided a team of saleswomen to help their new customer base. The showroom carried signs emblazoned with the slogan “Drive and Shop”, a play on words in Arabic, using the female form of the verbs.

    “It is known that women are the largest section who shop in malls,” said Sharifa Mohammad, the heads the exhibition’s saleswomen. “This whole mall is run by women anyway. All the cashiers are women. Everyone in the restaurants are women.”

    1/13/2018 1:15:51 PM
    <![CDATA[Saudi women score right to watch men's soccer in stadiums]]>
    As the two teams al-Ahli and al-Batin faced each other in the city of Jeddah, women showed up to their first public sporting event in the Kingdom to support the sides with their spouses, children and friends.

    The General Sports Authority announced in October that stadiums in Jeddah, Dammam and Riyadh will be set up to accommodate families starting in 2018.

    “Honestly this decision should have happened a long time ago,” said Muneera al-Ghamdi, an attendee. “But thank god that it came in the right time, and hopefully what’s to come will be even more beautiful for women.”

    The decision to allow women to attend a mixed public sporting event is one of many changes the country has undergone in recent months, hailed as proof of a new progressive trend in the deeply conservative Muslim Kingdom.

    On Thursday, Jeddah held Saudi Arabia’s first car exhibition aimed at women, a few months after Saudi Arabia announced it would grant them the right to drive..

    A soccer match on Saturday in the capital Riyadh will also be welcoming women fans.

    Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 32, has been hailed as the face of these changes.

    Many young Saudis regard his recent ascent to power as proof their generation is taking a central place in running a country whose patriarchal traditions have for decades made power the province of the old and blocked women’s progress.

    “Today the percentage of those who participate in exercise and sports is only 13 percent,” said Hayfaa al-Sabban, who heads a sport organization.

    “We aim god willing to raise it to 40 percent by 2030, through several events, and today’s is one of these events.”
    1/13/2018 1:11:49 PM
    <![CDATA[H&M trips up with their advert for ‘Monkey’ hoodie]]>
    The company released statements on both their official website and their Instagram. The statement on the website began, “To all customers, staff, media, stakeholders, partners, suppliers, friends and critics. We would like to put on record our position in relation to the image and promotion of a children’s sweater, and the ensuing response and criticism. Our position is simple and unequivocal – we have got this wrong and we are deeply sorry.” It continues, “We have taken down the image and we have removed the garment in question from sale. It will be recycled. […] Racism and bias in any shape or form, conscious or unconscious, deliberate or accidental, are simply unacceptable and need to be eradicated from society. In this instance we have not been sensitive enough to this agenda. Please accept our humble apologies.”

    Their apology post on Instagram received over 59,000 comments, and almost 300,000 likes.

    We have got this wrong and we are deeply sorry. Link in bio.

    A post shared by H&M (@hm) on

    A post shared by H&M (@hm) on

    Among the backlash received by the company, celebrities also joined in on the censure. The Weeknd announced on Twitter that he would no longer be working with the brand, as did rapper, G-Eazy.

    Over the past months I was genuinely excited about launching my upcoming line and collaboration with @HM... Unfortunately, after seeing the disturbing image yesterday, my excitement over our global campaign quickly evaporated, and I've decided at this time our partnership needs to end. Whether an oblivious oversight or not, it's truly sad and disturbing that in 2018, something so racially and culturally insensitive could pass by the eyes of so many (stylist, photographer, creative and marketing teams) and be deemed acceptable. I can't allow for my name and brand to be associated with a company that could let this happen. I hope that this situation will serve as the wake up call that H&M and other companies need to get on track and become racially and culturally aware, as well as more diverse at every level.

    A post shared by G-Eazy (@g_eazy) on

    1/12/2018 6:38:04 PM
    <![CDATA[Saudi Arabia enters new era of cultural, social openness ]]>
    Last December, the Saudi government started to issue licenses for the establishment of cinema halls for the first time in three decades. This decision strongly reflects Saudi Arabia’s desire to kick off its cinematic activities.

    Saudi media announced that “The Emoji” and “Captain Underpants” are the first two movies selected for screening. Riyadh will host the screening of three other movies which are “The Son of Big Foot”, “Smurfs” and “Paddington 2”, between January 18 and 31.
    “The establishment of Saudi cinemas’ decision is the first step towards a strong Saudi cinema industry in the coming years,” recounted the renowned Saudi actor Mohamed Bakhsh in an interview with Okaz newspaper.

    Bakhsh stressed that Saudi film production needs a lot of funding and support to compete in the international cinema industry and to support emerging Saudi talents.
    Bakhsh linked the promotion of a real cinema industry with the establishment of a cinema base that exists in all the countries around the world.

    “We must have a strong cinema base through the establishment of cinema institutes to enhance Saudi artists’ talents, especially since the decision of opening cinema halls needs cinema production, because most of the countries around the world consider cinema as an independent important industry.”

    Bakhsh demanded the establishment of a Saudi media city as the base of a strong Saudi cinema industry.U.S. media paid great attention to the social and cultural change initiated by Saudi Arabia in recent months.

    The Washington Post said that the kingdom's conservative government has become an art sponsor, funding concerts for western celebrities such as Yanni, and promoting comic festivals and book fairs.

    Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman previously issued orders to ease restrictions on women. Of his most prominent reforms is the lifting of the driving ban on women, which is set to be lifted in June. Bin Salman also gave Saudi women the permission to attend the country’s national day last September in Riyadh.

    Also, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to attend a professional football match for the first time in the country’s history on Friday, January 12.
    1/12/2018 5:37:01 PM
    <![CDATA[et Quote: Raf Simons ]]>
    “I'm usually very attracted to things that I can't define. If something's too clear, it's very often not inspiring to me anymore.” - Raf Simons

    Born in 1968 in Neerpelt, Belgium, he originally studied Industrial Design and Furniture, graduating in 1991. His is internship at Walter Van Beirendonck gave him an insight into the fashion world. In 1995, a self-trained Simons launched his namesake label.

    He created menswear collections for Ruffo Research in 1999 spring-summer and autumn-winter 2000. In the same year, he became head professor at the fashion department at The University of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria, a post he left in 2005. During his position at the university, he was awarded the first prize at the Swiss Textiles Award.

    “The fashion world doesn't know the word 'stop,' so you have to make sure there are sublime moments every day.” - Raf Simons

    In celebration of spending a decade in the fashion industry, Simons and Peter De Potter published “Raf Simons Redux” in 2005, documenting Simons’ creative inspiration, imagery, as well as his journey and life in fashion.

    In 2005, he was appointed as Creative Director at Jil Sander for both the men’s and women’s clothing. He left in 2012, heading to Christian Dior as the artistic director for women’s ready-to-wear, accessories and haute-couture.

    “My challenge is to find a beautiful balance: to make women beautiful, to make a woman dream to wear a beautiful outfit.” - Raf Simons

    In 2011, the Hyères 26th International Festival of Fashion and Photography elected him as President of The Fashion Jury.

    He took up the position as Chief Creative Officer at Calvin Klein in 2016. At the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards in 2017, he took home the Best Designer awards for menswear and womenswear for his work at Calvin Klein.

    The Flemish Government, Department Of Culture, Youth and Media awarded him with The Prize for General Cultural Merit at The Ultima’s.

    “I see there is a lot of behavior in men's fashion which is systematic. It's a lot about all these kind of clothes that can be easily combined with each other, and it's less and less, I think, about making a fashion statement.” - Raf Simons