Tag Archives: Mums in Dubai

Art Galleries Dubai | Exposure

Image: Untitled, Hasan Hazer Moshar

I think art is an education itself.  I never understood it much as a kid.  However, my school taught me a lot about it.  They taught me simple rules that you don’t have to like it to appreciate it.  There is always something for everyone.  If you have older children or kids in their teenage years, I think a one on one trip to a gallery in Dubai is always lovely.  We are lucky to see incredible art that pass through the UAE from artists from all around the world because some of th犀利士
e world’s largest art collectors live in the Middle East.

If you are interested to take your children to see some exhibitions here are a few galleries to enjoy:

XVA Gallery Dubai April 19 – May 22 2014 Wild Garden

Salim Karami, Davood Koochaki, Hasan Hazer Moshar

Curated by Morteza Zahedi

Contact General Enquiries xva@xvagallery.com

Wild flowers are an unexpected delight in a garden. They are an unknown element without planning or horticultural cultivation. They peek up between flagstones surviving non-ideal conditions to thrive, regardless of the lack of attention by the gardener. Autodidact and self-taught artists, liberated from formal training, current styles and movements in contemporary art, resemble these wild flowers as they continue living their own artistic life. We envy the Outsider Artist, as they are called, their sagacity and creative spirit freed from the shackles of conformity.

XVA Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of Outsider Art, curated by Iranian artist Morteza Zahedi, entitled Wild Ga rden. The aim of this exhibition is to introduce you to three genuine artists from Iran: Hasan Hazer Moshar, Salim Karami, and Davood Koochaki.

Showcase Gallery Dubai 21 April – 18 May 2014 My Univserse of Imaginary Creatures

A solo exhibition by Hadil Moufti

Contact: Info@showcasedubai.com

Join them at the gallery on Monday 21st between 5pm and 9pm to meet the artist.

This April, Showcase Gallery is pleased to present Saudi artist Hadil Moufti and her universe of imaginary creatures.

Having lived in many different countries, Moufti does not feel the belonging to one in particular and therefore recreates through her art a world of her own, between dreams and reality.  Moufti defines her creative process as experimental, mixing materials, textures, objects and applying them to large scale canvases with her hands.

What tops the Dirty Dozen list? | The Dirty Dozen Fruits & Vegetables 2013

What is the Dirty Dozen?

These are fruits and vegetables that have been tested for the amount of pesticide residues in certain fresh crops and since most foods in Dubai have been imported mainly from Europe and US, it is important to know what to select for your children and family.  Going organic can be very expensive in Dubai especially compared to the UK.  When I lived in the UK for over 20 years, I really didn’t appreciate that farms were just down the road growing lovely fresh organic vegetables.   Now that I am a mother living in Dubai, organic really means a lot to my family.  I am relieved that demand for organic in the UAE has boomed and the last 2 years has seen a growth of organic vegetable markets.  There are several options like Ripe Market and Greenheart Organic Markets that also offer home deliveries that sell more affordable vegetables and fruits.

If your budget is tight focus on buying organic with the Dirty Dozen listed below whilst buying conventional from the second group below (The Clean Fifteen).  Please note however that this list does change so please check it directly with the website for more up-to-date lists.

Quoting from the EWG.org website

Some interesting facts

  • Every sample of imported nectarines tested positive for pesticides, followed by apples; 99% of apple samples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue.
  • The average potato had much higher total weight of pesticides than any other food crop.
  • A single grape tested positive for 15 pesticides.  The same was true for a single sweet bell pepper.  Single samples of celery, cherry tomatoes and sweet bells peppers tested positive for 13 different pesticides apeice.

‘EWG analysed pesticide residue testing data from the U.S.Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration to come up with rankings for these popular fresh produce items.  All 12 items are listed below from worst to best. (lower numbers = more pesticides)’

Dirty Dozen 2013

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Cherry Tomatoes
  4. Cucumbers
  5. Grapes
  6. Hot Peppers
  7. Nectarines – imported
  8. Peaches
  9. Potatoes
  10. Spinach
  11. Strawberries
  12. Sweet bell peppers
  13. ++Kale
  14. ++Courgettes

The Clean Fifteen for 2013

  1. Asparagus
  2. Avocadoes
  3. Cabbage
  4. Cantaloupe
  5. Sweet corn
  6. Eggplant
  7. Grapefruit
  8. Kiwi
  9. Mangoes
  10. Mushrooms
  11. Onions
  12. Papayas
  13. Pineapples
  14. Sweet peas (frozen)
  15. Sweet Potatoes

Louise Nichol | Editor of Harper’s Baazar Arabia

Louise Nichol is the Editor-in-Chief of the premier luxury fashion magazine, Harper’s Baazar Arabia.  She is married to Andrew and they have one daughter, born just over a year ago in Dubai, called Leo. Louise is one mother who I admire for countless reasons but, most  of all, I admire her ability to prioritise what is important when it comes to her family and career.  She tells us how she juggles pressures of a demanding career with a young family and she also shares with us about what is important to her when it comes to Leo’s upbringing, her fears and worries, and what qualities she hopes to instill in her little girl.

Congratulations to Andrew and you on Leo’s first birthday.  She is just a gorgeous little girl with an incredible wardrobe!  Thank you so much for taking time out to talk to SOTP.

1.    How would you describe your childhood?  Were your parents strict on you being the oldest?  Do you think your parents became more relax as they got down to number 5?

So strict! I always complain that my sister (who is 12 years younger than me) has the cushtiest ride. But I don’t mind really… Much.

 2.    Has having your own child changed your view of your parents?  What will you take from your mother’s teaching to pass down to Leo.

Mummy is an incredible mother – she still devotes everything to us. I could never hope to replicate her selflessness. She encouraged me to follow my dreams and really supported me in my education and career (journalism is not the best-paid job when you’re starting out). I hope I can do the same for Leo.

3.    What do you vow never to do with Leo? (we will check in on you on 10 years time …HA!)

Plonk her in front of the TV. Let’s see how long this lasts! We are pretty free and easy with letting her loose on our iPhones though; my aim is for her to be writing code by the age of five and running Google by 12, so Andrew and I can retire. Although, while I am definitely pro-technology, if she doesn’t like reading books (or a Kindle), my heart will break.

4.    You look amazing, and Leo is a year old.  How did you get back into shape so quickly?  What is your exercise regime?

I wish that were true. I exercised throughout my pregnancy, which kept my strength up, but I also ate for England, gaining nearly 25 kilos (won’t be doing that again if we have another baby, inshallah). It was hard to get moving again after her birth as breastfeeding Leo was a round-the-clock job but by three months I forced myself to carve out some time for the gym and the occasional run round Safa Park. I now do CrossFit-style workouts. Andrew and I share a trainer, Marlene, and she is completely invested in the health and wellbeing of our family; we are so lucky to have someone as amazing as her in our corner. Leo is a massive motivation as I want us to be active together as a family – and for her to be proud of me come parents’ races at school sports days. I am so taking gold in the egg-and-spoon race!

5.    What kind of parents would you describe Andrew and you?  Do you have the same parenting beliefs or do you slightly differ on certain fundamentals on parenting?

I think we’re pretty similar. He’s very supportive of all my choices, which is invaluable in a partner. Although he would probably prefer it if I spent a bit less on Leo’s clothes!

6.    You have an amazing career so how do you balance Leo, Andrew and work?

I am lucky to have an incredible team at Harper’s Bazaar; without them I couldn’t have returned to work. At home, our nanny Dories is part of the family; we all love her to bits and I have no idea how we functioned without her. Andrew and I try to make sure we have a date night once a week, although, let’s be honest, we end up talking about Leo all night.

 7.    What do you feel most guilty about when it comes to Leo?

Not being there. I time my working day so that I can wake her up at 7am and put her to bed at 6pm each night, but I am still at work from 8am-5pm five days a week. However, even though she took her first steps while I was at the office, it was such a joyous time that I genuinely didn’t mind missing it; I just couldn’t wait for the weekend to get her into the park.

8.    Now that Leo is eating solids, what is your take on organic foods?  What percentage of her food is organic?

We buy organic where there’s an easily available option, but we don’t go out of our way to look for it. I am super-strict on no sugar or processed foods, however, and all of Leo’s food is cooked from scratch (by Dories; I can’t claim credit!). We base her meals on Annabel Karmel recipes, with a few tweaks. I breast-fed her for a year before she lost interest (much to my disappointment, although it was a relief to stop pumping at work), which I hope got her nutrition off to a good start.

9.    Motherhood can sometimes be relentless and isolating for all mums.  Can you describe one of your last mummy meltdowns?  What do you need to do to ‘pull it’ together again?

When Leo was about four months old and I had not slept for longer than an hour uninterrupted since her birth I came fairly close to cracking. The internet was my savior at this time you can always find someone who’s having a tougher time of it. Parenting websites are fantastic for reassurance that you’re not alone and that things will get better. Since the age of six months she has slept like an angel, so we got there in the end.

10.How would you describe your pregnancy and birthing experience? (Not the gory details, of course)  What was your feeling when Leo was first placed in your arms?

I LOVED being pregnant, mainly because of the unfettered access to cake it afforded me. And the excuse to go to bed at 8pm every night (mind you, I still do that now, although I have laid off the cake). I can’t lie, getting to 10cm was pretty hideous, even with an epidural, but the pushing part of the birth was great fun – I assume this was down to some crazy rush of hormones. I wouldn’t put Leo down once she was in my arms. In fact, she pooed all over me and I didn’t let go of her to get into the shower until 24 hours later.

11.As a mother, what are the three qualities you hope to instill in Leo?

Bravery, loyalty and confidence. And curiosity, drive, creativity…. Three isn’t enough!

12.What do you worry about the most about when it comes to Leo?

Getting her into a good school. I am passionate about education.

13.What have you discovered about motherhood that you wish you knew before?

That you can chill out about everything; babies normally get there on their own.

 14.What ‘mothering’ books/websites have you found useful when it comes to pregnancy or childcare?

The best birthing book I read was Birth Skills by Juju Sundin. I read, and got freaked out by, Gina Ford; especially as Leo just would not conform to any sort of timetable. I wish I’d not worried, as eventually she figured it out by herself. I loved kellymom.com for sensible info when Leo was small and I spent all night playing Words With Friends on my iPhone in between feeds.

15.What are some useful websites that you would recommend to any mother?



16.Also, we have to ask the Harper’s Baazar Editor – who are your favourite designers for children?

Chloe for dressing up, Baby Gap for every day and Pablosky for first walking shoes.

Dubai | Thoughts on Play | 10 Things to do with Children Under 5 by Edwina Viel

Thoughts On Play | 10 things to do with children under 5.

Play is an important element of children’s lives, and there is now greater emphasis that children should learn through play.   The REPEY project (Siraj-Blatchford et al, 2002) showed that children who made the most progress had been offered play-based learning opportunities with curriculum, social and positive learning objectives and communication skills.

This is like telling some parents to suck eggs but just bear with me as I do have a point.  I also realised that in some cultures play is not that important.  In Mexico, for example, parents rarely participate playing with children.  Some of us are from cultures where our parents worked and we didn’t grow up with the idyllic family life where our parents got down on their knees to play with us.  That was our reality.

It is not that we don’t want to play with our kids but the question is how?  Sometimes we don’t know how to play with our children.  I noticed my friends who have teaching backgrounds are just incredible and natural at parenthood.  Their house is a replica of a mini nursery and their kids are extremely advanced.  I try to take inspiration from there.

Here are some things I discovered to do with the kids:

  1. Talk to your children all day about everything and anything that interest them.
  2. Cook with them.  Let them learn and touch the food that they eat.
  3. Hide numbers and alphabets around the house and let them hunt them down (gives you 10 minutes for a nice cup of tea)
  4. Bake with your children – it teaches patience and self-control
  5. Get the children to cut up pictures from an old magazine to make their own personal scrapbook. My son just searches for cars.  (teaches co-ordination whilst cutting and sticking)
  6. Reading to the children – the gift of reading is probably the best thing a parent can gift to their child.
  7. Let the child repeat things over and over again (boring for us!) but that is how their minds discover and link things.
  8. Walk in the park to discover and play.  If you live near a forest, park or beach, walks can teach children how to appreciate their environment.
  9. Take empty egg carton, plastic bottles and other such materials to make anything that captures their imagination; pirate ships, mini-castles, dolls beds and jewellery boxes.
  10. Buy some non-toxic face paint and paint at home