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Why everyone needs Buzz

WSB Admin 31/03/2018 0

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by Deepa Thomas-Sutcliffe

Regardless of how small or large your business is you need buzz.  If no one knows you exist, or what your brand signifies, then it is unlikely you will find customers. But to get started with buzzing your business, you need to first define what your brand should stand for and define your ideal customers.

Defining your brand can be done independently but it helps to call in an expert who can advise you and also provide you with an industry landscape so you know best how to position yourself.

Very simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what to expect from your product or services and it also differentiates your offering from the competitors’ offerings. Your brand is thus derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be?

An individual consultant may want to be known as a speedy worker who can meet tight deadlines and is always reliable. Or she may like to be known as an innovator who is very creative.  A product may be the high cost, high quality option or the low cost, high value option or the niche option or the fashionable option etc. You can’t be all things to all people.  A branding expert can help you define your business or service best and then help you shape your buzz campaign to target the right audience.

Of course you need a powerful, compelling logo and tag line, which tells a story about your brand. This can be done best after you know what your brand signifies and what values it must convey.

As part of the branding exercise, you and your expert would have defined your ideal audience. Go beyond the basic demographics and even psychographics and build a profile of Tina or Sara or Robert or Abdul who is your ideal customer. Where does he or she work, what do they do for entertainment, imagine their hobbies, their family & their influencers etc.

Once you know what your ideal customer doing, you can plan your buzz campaign. A young college student is best reach via social media campaigns, contests and instagram and facebook posts. An mid 30s office going professional could be targeted via business magazines and newspaper articles and linked in posts. A young mother may be pressed for time and may prefer an article in a women’s magazine or facebook group for mothers or a short informative newsletter.

Read on to hear more about the world of branding & reputation in future WSB newsletters or reach out to me and we can have a chat over coffee.

Deepa Thomas-Sutcliffe is a storyteller & career communicator. She is available to consult with businesses of all sizes across the GCC during her tenure in the Kingdom. She lives in the DQ with her diplomat husband and two fur babies Sandy & Puppichino. You can visit her profile on linked in. https://www.linkedin.com/in/deepamthomasor email her on deepathomas@gmail.com

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Hobbies keep you happy…by Sameera A.Ansari

WSB Admin 31/03/2018 0

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I believe it is very important to have a hobby, learn an art or a skill/skills in life as these keep your mind and hands busy in creating something that might be useful to you or someone else. It also uplifts your self-esteem and establishes pride in oneself.

It can be something as simple as an art project for your child’s school or as complicated as an intricately knitted baby blanket.

While growing up I always saw my grandmother busy making something. She made lovely dolls from scraps of cloths, tea-cozies, purses and many such beautiful things which she use to gift to family and friends.

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My mother who was a teacher by profession would stitch lovely dresses for my sister and me as kids. Knitting, crochet, embroidery, baking, gardening were a few other things she would do in her free time. Although I believe her all time favorite hobby was reading the News, and I call it a hobby because she really enjoyed herself as each morning she would up dated herself with the current news on all matters be it Politics, History or Entertainment.

Creating objects with your hands researchers say not only keeps you healthy and depression free they can also help you earn a little extra pocket money if you choose to turn your creativity into a business.

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A few years back after enjoying glass painting, gardening and baking I decide to teach myself knitting and instantly fell in love with it. Today, not only do I knit baby booties, blankets, bibs, bookmarks, headbands, coasters, scarves etc. on order but I also offer knitting classes for beginners.

The clam and soothing effect Knitting has on me is amazing. Each time I complete a project I’m astonished at the gift of creating something from nothing that God has given us humans!

img_8812My Facebook page:

https://m.facebook.com/KnitKnots-1596882890621636/?ref=ts&fref=ts

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THE RESPLENDENT SRI LANKA JOURNEY – TEA, SEA AND SAFARI

WSB Admin 31/03/2018 0

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Dilmah Tea, the premier single origin Ceylon Tea, created Resplendent Ceylon to form a portfolio of boutique luxury resorts across Sri Lanka. Ceylon Tea Trails, Cape Weligama and Wild Coast Tented Lodge offer pristine locations and superlative accommodation, service and dining.

Resplendent Ceylon is pleased to offer members of Women’s Skills Bureau the opportunity to discover the best of Sri Lanka on its Resplendent Sri Lanka Journey. Travel as a family, a couple or a group of friends and enjoy 6 luxurious nights for only US$ 4,196 per couple.  You will enjoy 2 nights in each resort and at Ceylon Tea Trails and Wild Coast Tented Lodge, the stay is on a fully inclusive basis. The price includes luxury room or suite, a la carte breakfast, lunch, afternoon cream tea and dinner. Also includes beverages including select spirits & wines, laundry, taxes, WIFI, taxes and service charges. You will also enjoy a complimentary ‘Tea Experience’ tour at Ceylon Tea Trails and one daily game drive at Wild Coast Tented Lodge. Resplendent Ceylon is able to offer a fully flexible experience so the length of stay in each location can be tailored to your individual needs.

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Ceylon Tea Trails is the world’s first tea bungalow resort. Comprising of five restored colonial era tea planter residences, the period furnishings, gracious butler service and gourmet cuisine create an ambience that has made Tea Trails the gold standard for luxury bungalows in Sri Lanka. Situated at an altitude of 1250 metres near Hatton in central Sri Lanka, the resort borders the World Heritage Central Highlands and offers breath taking panoramas of mountains and lush tea fields.

Cape Weligama has become the most celebrated among Sri Lankan Beach Resorts, along this fabled island’s palm fringed shores. Thirty minutes east of Galle, Cape Weligama inhabits 12 manicured acres atop a singular promontory rising 40 metres above the Indian Ocean. Stunning panoramas await you, naturally complementing the 39 private retreats designed by one of Asia’s most celebrated architects, Lek Bunnag.

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Resplendent Ceylon’s latest creation is Wild Coast Tented Lodge, adjacent to the world famous Yala National Park, renowned for its dense leopard population. This spectacular luxury tented camp is situated in a stunning location where the jungle meets a rugged, empty beach, overlooking the Indian Ocean.

For more information on any of the Resplendent Resorts or our Resplendent Sri Lanka Journey, contact mark@thetravelcollection.me   www.resplendentceylon.com

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UNWIDING AT SAMA LOUNGE

WSB Admin 01/03/2018 0

sama-lounge-2Courtesy of The Pink Tarha, thepinktarha.com

The last month was really a stressful one for me and J, and as the new month rolled in, we were eager to embrace any form of relaxation and chill moments that were within reach. Thankfully, the weather is now changing to welcome winter and this makes for a perfect evening out in an al fresco dining space. We may still have Rotana Hotel fever going through our veins after our recent trip to Bahrain so we found ourselves in the Rosh Rayhaan by Rotana in Olaya St. last night, trying out the newest addition to their roster of restaurants, Sama Lounge.

Sama Lounge is located on the 3rd floor of the hotel and is a spacious outdoor terrace for coffee, dining or a simple, intimate evening. A bar area welcomes you on your right while the seating area can be found spread out to your left. The lighting is generally dim, with blue lamps accenting each table and the moonlight sky above adds a sentimental touch to its overall ambiance.

As the name implies, the relaxed setting compels you to lounge quite naturally. As we sat awaiting our service, we could see the Kingdom Tower from where we were seated. We also explored the other side of the lounge where an outdoor swimming pool was adjacent to the nearby Bodylines Gym of the hotel, called Oasis. We were told that guests can also opt to eat poolside if they wished.

The waiter arrived and presented our menus along with a mini-reading light that was clipped to the side. Handy, we thought. Because of how dim the area was, it does make sense to add along this detail for us to have a clearer visual of the menu items. They had a two-page menu: one for the starters, main course and desserts and the next page had the cocktails and coffee that you can choose from.

sama-lounge-1For starters, we chose the Oven Roasted Prawns and Lamb Meatballs and Merguez Sausage, with the Nibbles of Spiced Crispy Corn.

The meatballs were dressed in tomato sauce, mixed with pine seeds, raisins for a sweet note and some crumpled feta cheese tossed on top for a creamy component. J liked the meatballs more while I enjoyed the Merguez sausages. She says the meatball had less of the Arabic spices while I enjoyed it in the sausage. The sauce was mild enough to complement the strong flavors of the meat.

The prawns were a more superior dish for its large portion and fresh seafood flavors. The toastiness from the grill gave it a lot of character and thankfully enough, the chef removed the shell for us as he cooked it making it an easier eating experience. It came in a bed of olives with a side of potato wedges. With three huge prawns for 55SAR, we say not bad at all for value for money.

Our order of the Spiced Crispy Corn Nibbles actually came long after we had finished our main course. We don’t know why, but when it did came it turned out to be a unique recipe on a corn dish. It appears to look like “cornick”, like the ones we have in the Philippines, but in fact, the kettles were doused in batter and deep fried and tossed in a spice mixture. When you bite into it, you get the fleshiness of the of the batter and the corn kettle pops in the middle. By my fifth pop, I already felt full so sorry if we weren’t able to finish that off.

For our cocktails, we ordered the Strawberry Sensation for me and the Sangria for J. The drinks menu is a bit pricey in our opinion but in case you came to just lounge and drink only, then it’s suffice for the added ambiance that surrounds you as you sip on.

For our main course, J and I both chose to have a 225-gram, Wagyu Beef Rib Eye served on Sizzling Hot Rock. We were told that this method is one of the main concepts of the Sama Lounge wherein they store these hot marble rocks in a 400-degree heat oven and you get your meat cooked just the way you like it. We ordered ours for medium and when it got to us, it was already semi-cooked leaving us to attend to it further ourselves. I suppose the only caveat to this method is that since the dining area is very dim, it is a challenge to take note how your meat is doing on the sizzling hot rock, so you might want to request additional lighting to surround you if you order this, so you can manage how far along your steak is cooking.

The rest of the main courses revolve around the Sizzling Hot Rock plates, which offer them in Wagyu Beef Striploin, Wagyu Beef Sirloin, Corn Fed Chicken Breast, Swordfish, Sea Bass Fillet, Salmon Fillet and King Prawns. You may choose your own side dishes and sauces to go along with your selection.

For dessert, we tried their Crispy Bread Pudding and the Banana Cream Pie. J liked her choice because it was not to sweet and not too mushy. She says she was still able to distinguish the bread and that she liked the crispy top. Meanwhile, I marvelled at the simplicity of a banana sliced in half and slightly roasted with sugar on top. It was served in a rather deconstructed manner with the cream pie in a glass, the split banana on the side and a ramekin of sauce on the other.

Price range is above average, and I believe what you will be banking on here is the outdoor dining experience and the intimate setting that it provides. I think it’s perfect for a sweet dinner date with your special someone or a night out with your friends that’d be spent on a long chit-chat. While the weather is this good, we can’t pass it up. The Sama Lounge by the way is open for both singles and families. However, it’s still required for ladies to wear their abayas.

Sama Lounge

3/F, Rosh Rayhaan by Rotana

Open from 12pm – 12am

Olaya St., Al Olaya, Riyadh 12241

Tel: 011-447-9888

Website:https://www.rotanatimes.com/roshrayhaanbyrotana/findoffers/riyadh/dining

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BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018 : CANADA CREATES NEW STAMPS

WSB Admin 01/03/2018 0

RADIO CANADA INTERNATIONAL | Marc Montgomery |

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Canada Post has just issued two new stamps featuring prominent black Canadians as a prelude to February and the annual celebration of Black History Month in this country. February each year marks the celebration of Black History Month in Canada, and although we’re still a week away from the official start, Canada Post has already begun to set the stage.

This year, as they have in past years. Canada Post has released commemorative stamps of two trailblazers in society, both of whom helped to break down barriers for visible minorities in this country.

The Canada Post press release announcing the new stamps noted, “Born in Toronto, Alexander (1922-2012) was a distinguished public servant who championed racial equality, justice and education in Canada for decades. He was the first Black Canadian to be elected to the House of Commons (1968), appointed to the federal cabinet (1979) and named to a vice-regal position in Canada, as Lieutenant Governor of Ontario (1985). He encouraged countless youth to pursue their dreams, often telling them: “I did it. You can. You will.” In recognition of his extraordinary accomplishments, January 21 has been celebrated as Lincoln Alexander Day across Canada since 2015”

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One of the two new stamps features Parliamentarian, Lincoln Alexander (Canada Post)

As for Kathleen (Kay) Livingston, she became a popular personality on radio and activists for black women.  Indeed, she gets credit for coining the now popular and common expression, “visible minority”.

The Canada Post press release says, “In the 1950s, she founded the Canadian Negro Women’s Association. In 1973, she organized the first National Congress of Black Women, and in 1975 launched the Congress of Black Women of Canada, a now nationwide organization dedicated to the welfare of Black women and their families. In 2011, she was named a Person of National Historic Significance by the Government of Canada”.

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Kathleen (Kay) Livingston, was a popular radio host, activist, and organiser in several prominent political and cultural groups (Canada Post)

Born in 1919 in London Ontario, she later hosted her own radio show in Ottawa, then other shows in Toronto, while also persuing prominent roles in several organizations including, the group that developed into the hugely popular Caribana festival, the United Nations Association of Canada,  Appeal Board of Legal Aid, National Black Coalition, and others. She died suddenly in 1975.

Today the The Kay Livingstone Award is given to Black women in Canada to encourage them to “improve the lives of other women of colour and their families”.

 

 

Relevant Links

 

www.Canadapost.ca

 

Black History Month 2018 : Canada creates new stamps

 

http://www.rcinet.ca/bhm-en/2018/01/26/black-history-month-2018-canada-creates-new-stamps/

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13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher – Book Review

WSB Admin 01/03/2018 0

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Book review by Saima Bukhtiar

“No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.”

-The Alchemist

In 13 Reasons why, Jay Asher talks about a couple of very difficult topics; depression and suicide. The book highlights some of the social factors that lead to teenagers committing suicide. Hannah Baker is the main character. She’s new in school and has an opportunity to a fresh start. Alex, whom she considered a friend, makes a list of “who’s hot, who’s not.” Someone decides to put Hanna’s name on the list of “hot people.” It’s supposed to be a joke according to Alex’s perspective, however, due to this list circulating in the school, Hannah’s reputation gets scarred. What was meant as a joke, leads to students behaving unreasonably with Hannah. Instead of treating her like a human, they think of her as an object who is “easy.” Each person contributes in their own way, ultimately making Hannah give up and take her own life.

Before committing suicide, Hannah records 13 reasons why she took her life. Each side of the cassette talks about the role one of the people in her life played in breaking her spirit. She feels so shattered that even though she is surrounded by people who care for her, she feels worthless. Hannah has feelings for Clay, and Clay likes her back, however she pushes him away in the fear of tainting his reputation by being associated with her. She feels she is not worthy of Clay. In one of her classes, the teacher distributes a flyer describing the signs one shows before succumbing to suicide. Hannah unconsciously follows the same steps, but no one around her picks up on these signs.

“And when you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re not messing with just that part. Unfortunately, you can’t be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life.

Everything…affects everything.”

The lesson this books resonates deeply in its readers is to be kinder than necessary, one never knows what sort of challenges someone is going through. Every little act of kindness counts. In addition to depression and suicide, this book addresses themes like bullying and indifference. Things that a person might think are small and insignificant, can be detrimental to the other. 13 Reasons why, is a book for young adults, however, it’s a must read for parents. It makes it easier, as a parent, to understand the social challenges their teenagers might be facing. It makes one aware of what signs to look for and be sensitive to, in order to give emotional support to a struggling child. As adults, we are aware that life phases are temporary and by taking the right steps we can pull ourselves out of any situation. On the other hand, teenagers believe that they will remain stuck in that situation permanently. Hannah believed her reputation was lost forever. Her one chance to start over was gone. There is a Netflix TV series adaptation of the book. The show builds a better understanding of the characters, even though the events have been somewhat changed from the book.

Suicide should never be an option. No matter how convinced you are that you do not matter, look a little harder and you will always find someone who cares, someone who wants to see you smile, someone who wants you in their life.

“To the world you may be one person, but to one person, you may be the world.”

-Dr. Seuss

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FIRST VOLUNTEER WSB RECOGNITION EVENT – SANAD

WSB Admin 01/02/2018 0

By Anya Mohammed

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Someone wise once said that “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic: it takes sweat, determination and handwork.” Well, that sure is true when it comes to the Volunteer Team of WSB who worked hard to bring the Volunteer area into existence. The reward of the combined team work was achieved when Volunteer WSB held its first Volunteer Recognition Event on the 25th of January, 2018 to thank it’s esteemed volunteers and to celebrate it’s success. The event, which was a joint collaboration between WSB and Sanad held at Saudi Heritage House, focused primarily on the volunteers who worked in an Art project for the Children’s Cancer Hospital, under the well-reputed Saudi Artist, Hala Bint Khalid. This project aimed at involving art lovers in painting wall panels which are to be put up in the Children’s Hospital to bring colors and joy to those going through a tough time during a long and painful treatment.

At the event, Sally Kennedy, Founder of WSB, made a speech followed by Reem Al Heglan, CEO, Sanad. A beautiful trophy was handed to the Founder of WSB by Sanad as a token of thank you for the collaboration between the two entities and a symbol of many new joint ventures yet to take place. Certificates were distributed to volunteers from Dar Ul Uloom University and the British School who with their dedication made this project an unbeatable success.

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It was a moment of pride for the entire WSB to see its volunteer area flourishing to heights through hours of hard work, dedication and careful but creative thinking. Not only that, but it was a true motivation for us to deliver many endeavors to our valued expat and local community.

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Inspiring Women “Bringing Colour Into Your Life !” Candles & Chalk Workshops

WSB Admin 01/02/2018 0

By Leigh-Jane Obermayer

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Through her busy, International schedule, Sheelah Arthurs finds time for sharing one of her favourite past times with keen students of the Candles & Chalk workshops. I had the pleasure of visiting the Candles & Chalk Studios, in its beautifully serene setting, perfect for getting the creative paint juices flowing. That morning’s session hosted 5 students, each of which had brought along a piece of furniture to transform into their own masterpiece.

Candles and Chalk started a few years ago with the love of renovating old furniture and transforming rooms, with the help of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint, into something personal and unique. Workshops are hosted from the Candle & Chalk’s delightful store and studio near Panorama Mall, the store is also the home of the ShaMouaee candles, hence the name “Candles & Chalk”.

Each workshop teaches an array of paint and finishing techniques ranging from simple painting to stencilling, decoupage, laser print, waxing to fabric dying using chalk paints, waxes and finishes.

The students each brought a piece of furniture to makeover in any style and colour they wished, no sanding or preparation work was required. What great ideas; transforming a child’s old toy box into a charming lounge side table, a plain old chair and tables into attractive furniture with unique personalised designs and colours.

Step one, deciding on the colours: matching and mixing the chalk paints to the perfect tones. The class worked as a team with Sheelagh’s guidance, all encouraging each other to experiment and go beyond their comfort zones, to choose daring and unusual mix of colours. Chalk Paint is so much fun to work with, the colours available in the Candles & Chalk studio are amazing, deep blues, vibrant greens many more vivid and dazzling.

Step two, choosing a pattern, design or technique. Here, some of the furniture had intricate carvings which made light work of the design stage. Gone were the children’s characters from the toy box after the first layer of paint, and the “old compound” style furniture colour replaced by Islamic patterns using the Studio’s own stencils.

If you’ve ever thought about renovating an old piece of furniture, obviously making sure it’s your own, or wanting to transform a dull, mundane room, painting, stencilling or transfers is an easy, inexpensive, fun way. Personally, when I need to get away from computer and phone screens, I grab a brush, a tin of chalk paint and hunt for a camel stool. The best thing I find about this relaxing pastime, if you make a mistake, simply paint over and start again.

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Candles and Chalk workshops offer classes on a regular basis, with beginners and experienced students sharing ideas and experiences not just of painting but life in the magical kingdom. Sheelagh, having met her Saudi husband, raised children and made Riyadh her home, has many stories and experiences to share.

If you are interested in joining one of the workshops, purchasing products from the ShaMouaee range or simply want to find out more about working with chalk paint and stencils, Candles & Chalk would love to hear from you.

Facebook Messenger: @candlesandchalk Email: candlesandchalk@gmail.com Whatsapp: 050    268    8354

Workshops Schedule for February/March

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