Name: IZASKIN KEREJETA AIERBE
Years in Riyadh: 2 YEARS
Profession: ASSOIATE PROFESSOR AT KING SAUD UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL & CONSULTANT IN OBSTETRIC AND GYNECOLOGY
- Why did you move to Riyadh?
- I moved to Riyadh because my husband was working in Saudi Arabia and I decided to join him. I had an offer in King Saud University Hospital.
- What’s your favorite thing about being an expat in Riyadh?
- I enjoy working as a doctor and teaching in a different country and culture.
- Best restaurant in Riyadh?
- I am coming from a country that in our culture the cuisine is very important . I have to be honest that so far I did not find a good quality restaurant.
- What do you miss most?
- I miss most, the good restaurants and my walks in the mountain.
- Best Arabic food?
- I like kebab and kofta
- Which is the first word you learned in Arabic?
- Which type of date you like most?
- I do not like dates, but If I have to choose one, I would choose Sukar.
- What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
- A Saudi woman invited me to her house to drink camel milk!
- What custom/ habits do you find most strange about your adopted culture?
- The segregation of gender and wearing the abaya.
- What advice would you give other expats?
To come with an open mind and a positive attitude and to be respectful of local traditions.
So, it’s Thursday evening and you want to meet up with your girlfriends for a catch-up after a busy week. You fancy a bright, fresh, funky place – somewhere different, GlowBistro will do just the job. The semi-private booths enable you to sit with a select group of friends while enjoying the bubbling chatter and glimpses of other women having the same fun. The designers have managed to create a tropical atmosphere, and thanks to Glow’s magical, signature, ultra-pink lighting you will all look as radiant as holiday bathing beauties.
So what are you going to eat together? Fresh Mediterranean dishes, something a little more exotic, or for the more daring, Glow’s fusion cuisine? The new menu offers plenty of inspiring choices. You’ll have fun together tasting each other’s dishes too.
Alternatively, there is always that wonderful, lazy Saturday brunch option. With a lovely range of late breakfast options you can indulge your weekend fancies with oriental fool and creamy hummus. If you need comfort food, take the Glow Breakfast – omelette, franks, wedges and assorted bread basket. Be sure to enjoy a steaming hot coffee with their famous baked-to-order nougat cookie….. there is always GlowFit’s gym option to deal with any post-indulgence remorse.
Remember that our Middle East guys are not colour-shy when it comes to pink, or ashamed of their sweet tooth. So tell the man in your life about GlowBistro and their gateaux ….easy to find with his friends right by the single’s area….perfect Friday afternoon relaxation.
A. Leyla wa Leyla.
Open 7 days/week
+966 11 217 0219
Name: Safiye Kücükkaraca
Nationality: Danish Turkish
Years in Riyadh: 3
Profession: Head of Trade Department
1. Why did you move to Riyadh?
– A job opportunity came up with the Danish Embassy.
2. What’s your favorite thing about being an expat in Riyadh?
– I like Saudi Arabia and its people, I have never experienced people who are as generous and being close to Makkah and Madinah is really a privilege.
3. Best restaurant in Riyadh?
– I have 2 favourites: Spazio in the Kingdom Tower. It has good food and the best view in town and the second is Thai Vila – it’s a very local restaurant with hardly any service, very old, but the food and atmosphere is great.
4. What do you miss most?
– The CINEMA!
5. Best Arabic food?
– A good homemade Jarrish is great. Tried it for the first time at Janaderiyah and its still in my top favorite foods
6. Which is the first word you learned in Arabic?
– I already knew basic words like Masallah, Insallah etc. But the first one I learned while being in Saudi Arabia was Sabah Al Khair/Sabah Al Nour (Good Morning).
7. Which type of dates you like most?
– I don’t remember its name, but the ones that has to be in the fridge.
8. What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
– I was in Turkey a few weeks ago and it was snowing, so I fell because it was very slippery and spontaneously I started laughing while calling my cousins to please help me up!
9. What custom/ habits do you find most strange about your adopted culture?
– I find it strange that during the holy month of Ramadan; all of the malls are open during the night and closed during the day.
10. What advice would you give other expats?
– Start with downloading the prayer application and make sure to plan the shopping according to the prayer times.
Other than that, to enjoy their time here because for most of us it’s limited, enjoy the experience, travel the country, go camping in the desert, and make Saudi friends so they really understand the culture and the country.
By Celia Samater
The biggest reaction I get when people know I work in Saudi is one of surprise. Surprise that a woman can work, surprise that a woman with a family can work and surprise that a woman who cannot speak Arabic, nor able to drive, can work. In fact, I work full-time AND run a part-time business from the comfort of my home in Riyadh.
In my mind, anything is possible if you are determined and motivated to make it happen.
My full-time job is working as Executive Assistant to the President of Microsoft Arabia, but my real passion is my part-time business. I am a Business & Lifestyle Coach who takes a 360 approach to an individual. Whereby I look at your whole life, mind, body and soul to help you achieve a healthy body & mind as well as helping you gain financial fulfillment.
I am from the North East of England; I have 2 boys, a husband and a dog and have lived in Riyadh for 5 years. I am a certified Personal Trainer, Nutritionist, Holistic therapist and Stress Management therapist. I am also an International Business Coach for Forever Living products. The company produces products using Aloe Vera (100% pure inner leaf stabilized gel), which focuses on Weight Management, Beauty, Health & Well Being.
I believe 100% in these products, for their health benefits and my whole family uses them as an alternative to medicinal products. Whether it is for weight loss, more youthful skin, and more energy, less illness or simply to use for beautiful make up! The wonders of Aloe Vera have been rejoiced for many centuries, even dating back to Cleopatra who used the aloe Vera as her beauty secret – claiming it was ‘The Elixir of Youth”.
As a Business Coach I mentor people in building their own Forever business to achieve what they desire. It may be a few thousand extra riyals a month or a booming international business which allows them to achieve free holidays, car plan schemes and a share in this $3 billion company. All of this is achievable from the comfort of their own home, anywhere in the world.
Setting up a business in Saudi Arabia has its complications, but it is not insurmountable. I have worked my way through the complexities so my team don’t have to. Transport is easily available; many people are bi/multi-lingual with English being the most common 1st or 2nd language. Customs regulations can create delays, however, Aramax is a wonderful invention!! If you are lucky enough to live on a compound, there is a real community spirit and a support network that is readily available.
I work closely with other countries, including the Middle East Operations Director so we can break down barriers and encourage more women to take the leap of faith and start to realize their own potential and start earning money whilst living in Saudi Arabia. Once they leave Saudi, they can take this business anywhere else in the world and continue to flourish.
For more details about me, my products and services please check out my website:
4evafitness.com – Fitness & Nutrition Coaching
4evaliving.flp.com – Join The Business / Buy Health, Beauty & Well-being Products
Book Review By Saima Bukhtiar
Have you ever been stuck in a tough situation and were ready to give up? Do you sometimes think that life is unfair and nothing could change your circumstance? In “Find Me Unafraid,” an autobiography by Kennedy Odede and Jessica Posner, you find that anything can be achieved when hope and true love are by our side.
Kennedy and Jessica, two people from completely different worlds, come together and with the power of true love, make an invaluable contribution to the community of Kibera, one of the largest slums in Kenya, Africa.
Kennedy, a poor man, raised in Kibera, goes through many ordeals. Despite life’s hardships, Kennedy manages to hold on to hope and perseveres through the toughest of times. Regardless of being homeless, starved, abused and exposed to gangs, he continues to pick himself back up and keeps going. His mother, a strong woman who was his inspiration, believed that:
“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
What further inspired him and gave him hope was a book, A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King. Hopelessness can lead to self-destruction if frustration is not used in a positive way. Kennedy, though feeling trapped by poverty, does not fall prey to despair. He does the best he could with what he has in that moment and uses his positive energy to build and create, benefiting his community by bringing change one step at a time. It all starts when Kennedy buys a soccer ball for 20 cents and starts a youth empowerment program, SHOFCO or Shining Hope for Communities, which brings the people of Kibera together.
Jessica Posner, born in Denver, Colorado, and studying at Wesleyan University, comes to Kenya, for a semester abroad. She is bold, fearless, and persistent. Deeply touched by the harsh living conditions and gender inequality faced by the people of Kibera, Jessica becomes the cofounder of SHOFCO, with the slum’s first free school for girls, Kibera School for Girls, established in 2009. Jessica falls in love with Kennedy. She helps him escape Kenya to protect him from political violence. Through her unwavering persistence, she manages to get Kennedy admission in Wesleyan on full scholarship. Jessica works hand in hand, from the initial stages of offering her labor in the construction of the school, to staying in Kenya to help run the school, while Kennedy finishes his college education.
This book is an unbelievable account of how to face cruel realities of life full of seemingly inescapable poverty, loss and betrayal and yet hold onto hope. To fall and yet have the courage to pick yourself back up and continue to give. It inspires us to take baby steps toward bringing a change and making an impact. Each one of us has the power to make a difference in this world. We must always hold on to hope tightly. We must never give up.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. Faith is taking the first step, even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”
Explore Ladies Golfing at Riyadh’s Dirab Golf and Country Club
The new year is a time for reflection, self improvement, and new beginnings. What better time to explore a new hobby that could enrich your year ahead!
Whether it’s the fitness, socializing, relaxation, or business that draws women to golf, the benefits are plenty. If you are yet to explore the booming sport, Dirab Golf and Country Club is the perfect place to start. Dirab has a vibrant women’s golf group that welcomes both seasoned golfers and near beginners.
Dirab Golf Course is a mature 18 hole Championship Golf Course about an hour drive from Riyadh center. The owner and golf enthusiast, Sheikh Khaled Abunayyan, built the course nearly 25 years ago. It was Saudi Arabia’s first 18 hole grass golf course.
Dirab offers many opportunities for families to socialize, with large sponsored events on the weekends. Events are often open to both men and women golfers of all levels. There is a family atmosphere at the club where the staff and members are very welcoming to newcomers. In addition to golf, Dirab also offers horse back riding.
WSB had to the pleasure to learn about the Dirab Golf Experience from some of the Ladies Group members. When referring to their experiences at Dirab, the most common theme was friendships. As expatriate women, we know that friendships are indeed a lifeline, and joining the golf group helped the ladies make lasting friendships with likeminded women.
The Dirab Ladies Golf Group has helped the members to maintain an active lifestyle. As one member remarked “Golfing a couple of times a week, playing in tournaments on the weekends, and recommendations from the ladies of other exercise groups, keeps me happy and a true life saver for living in Riyadh”.
As the new year is upon us, we wish for everyone to explore what this unique and beautiful country has to offer. Exploring hobbies such as golfing or horseback riding at Dirab Golf and Country Club can be the perfect activities for the new year. We look forward to hearing your experiences!
Ladies Golf Group Captain, Roberta Hobbs email@example.com
Take advantage of the popular Saudi pastime of desert camping. With many camps just 15 minutes north of the airport, its only a short drive for a total change of pace. Relax while the kids run free and enjoy a barbeque with friends and family. Camps can be rented by the hour or day and range in facilities.
Mall Play Areas
Many shopping malls offer play areas for kids to run around and let out their boundless energy! There is a soft play near the food court in Panorama Mall with it’s own special area for babies and toddlers (50 SAR for a day of unlimited play). The play area in Baroue Toy Store in Hayat Mall has a trampoline and huge sand box (incase living in one isn’t enough for you). If you are looking to beat the crowds, be sure to go to in the morning or early afternoon.
Picnic in the Park
Riyadh’s Diplomatic Quarter is the perfect place to go for a picnic with the family. With over 10 parks to explore, you are sure to find the perfect spot to enjoy a few hours in nature. If security is a barrier to entering the DQ, you may have to simultaneously make a visit to your embassy, mention a friend residing in the DQ, or possibly make an appointment at one of the salons within the DQ.
Visit a New Compound
Why not make a trip off the compound, even if it’s to visit another one! Many of Riyadh’s compounds cater to families and are complete with restaurants, cafes, and playgrounds. Various expatriate focused organizations and children’s playgroups meet at different compounds around Riyadh. If you don’t belong to a group or have friends residing on a compound, there are other ways to visit. You could always call a compound and request a tour or make a booking at one of the compound facilities. For example, Mashreq Spa on the luxurious Al Nakhla Resort accepts appointments from western non-residents.
Visit the weekend brunch at Al Faisaliah Resort or The Four Seasons Hotel to find fabulous food and fun for the whole family. Al Faisaliah’s famous restaurant La Cucina offers face painting and pizza making for kids during brunch.
Desert Camp Daily Rental call 0555558760
Unaware of the various children’s playgroups around town? Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Our homes, no matter where they may be in the world, are our sanctuaries. They are places where memories are made and peace is found. As most of you know, deciding where to make our home is not always an easy decision. The guidance of an expert can help us find and secure our ideal home, especially in an unfamiliar city.
For women with an interest in real estate, passion for helping others, and desire for work flexibility, embarking on a career as a Realtor can be a fulfilling path. WSB had the pleasure to learn about what it really takes to break into the real estate field with local real estate expert and licensed realtor Kelly Downing. We hope this interview will inspire you to follow your own passions and craft the career of your dreams!
Can you tell us a little about yourself and what brought you to Riyadh?
I am originally from the Washington, DC area but have lived in Chapel Hill, NC (for university) and Chicago (for work). I first arrived in Riyadh in 2012 after I married my Saudi husband. We now have a toddler son.
What inspired you to embark on a career in real estate?
A lot of things came together that encouraged my real estate career. First, I’ve had an interest in the industry for as long as I can remember. I used to bring home the advertisement magazines and chart out my own subdivisions for fun. Second, I have degrees in economics and business, so have always intended to use these skills for myself. Finally, many of my connections here in KSA were asking for advice on purchasing property in the U.S. That, combined with my own experience in the Riyadh real estate market, showed me that there was really a need for my professional services. This past summer, I fulfilled the licensing requirements and affiliated as a Realtor with Coldwell Banker in Rockville, MD. Now, not only am I continuing to work in the U.S. market from my Riyadh base, I am representing property owners in KSA who require personal service and dedicated service. I am also in the process of establishing my own agency here in Riyadh.
As a mother to a small child, how do you make time for your career?
I am fortunate that I genuinely am energized when I’m juggling different projects that I enjoy. That thrill really keeps me going. But, that isn’t enough to push through every circumstance. I have to manage the unexpected with moderation: I fill my time equally between the various areas of my life (work, baby, husband, socializing, me time, housekeeping). I make sure that they are all getting their fair share of attention. If one area is particularly neglected or demanding, I make sure to plan the following week’s schedule to put it back into balance. I think it’s very important to always be aware of both my priorities and limits. Additionally, I have help around the home which is a luxury we are able to enjoy as part of the lifestyle here.
Do you have tips or recommendations for families considering renting a home in Riyadh outside the compounds?
As cliché as it sounds, the most important thing to look for is location, location, location – and this preference is very personal. Envision where your family will spend the day-to-day but also where you will socialize. Riyadh traffic is pretty dense, so a short commute for all members of the family & their various activities makes a big difference in quality of life. Beyond that, you really can find exactly what you want and need in Riyadh real estate. It just takes more searching and determination than you may be used to. Which is why it really helps to have a true professional looking out for you. I always advise people to identify their 3 must-haves in a property. As long as those needs are met, you can be creative in meeting the others. For example, if your property lacks a driver’s room, you can consider finding one in the neighborhood and calculate that against your budget. If the layout or finishes aren’t just perfect, repurposing and remodeling can be done fairly easily and inexpensively in Riyadh, which is not true in many other markets.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of working in the real estate field?
The biggest benefit to me for working in real estate is that it’s something I truly enjoy. I can’t say it doesn’t feel like work (as the saying goes) but it is fulfilling. To be more general, though, the benefits of a real estate career include the flexibility of setting your own schedule, the ability to work remotely a majority of the time, the potential to earn limitlessly, the excitement of always meeting new people and constantly learning more in order to serve them. The drawbacks would be that there are many upfront costs and even more so if you are licensed in the U.S. Also, the earnings are less consistent and reliable. Additionally, as expats in Riyadh, you have to overcome cultural and language barriers in order to engage with others in the industry and you have to be willing to go out and explore. These may be better described as challenges rather than drawbacks!
What advice would you give to women looking to pursue a career in real estate?
I would welcome you to contact me! I’d be happy to help in any way I can. Additionally, although licensing courses aren’t required in KSA, I would strongly encourage anyone who wants to start a real estate career from scratch to take online courses to learn terminology and become familiar with the different scenarios you will need to navigate as a real estate agent.
Thank you Kelly for giving us insight into a career in the world of real estate!
Follow Kelly on …
Where Gourmet Begins
Review by Maria Cometti
This past weekend we barbequed with friends, and my husband was responsible to bring the meat for grilling. I was expecting the standard quality local beef and packs of marinated chicken from the grocery. To my most pleasant surprise, the meat he served was like nothing I had tasted before in Saudi Arabia. The beef was “melt in your mouth” tender and the chicken and beef sausages were deliciously seasoned. He even grilled stuffed mushrooms and twice baked potato’s that seemed to have been prepared for a fine dining restaurant. I had to find out where my husband bought this delicious fare so I could spread the word!
If you haven’t been to Chopped butchery, consider this a personal invitation to Check It Out! You are sure to feel welcomed by their friendly and knowledgeable English speaking staff. Anyone who appreciates high quality, grass-fed meats and organic chicken will surly fall in love with this Riyadh Butchery. Their daily pre-packed and marinated options are perfect for the barbeque or times you are too busy to cook. Just light up the grill and voila!
WSB had the pleasure to catch up with Mr. Zeid AlAhmad, Chopped’s Managing Director, to learn more about Chopped KSA and their exciting developments here in Riyadh.
What inspired the creation of Chopped KSA?
Pure passion to the products especially high quality beef!! We are all foodies and wanted to share this love with everyone else.
You have only been open one year. What has been the response to Chopped in the local market?
Response has been overwhelming positive. I believe that the support, kind words, and positive feedback we got from Chopped clients this year has built an unbreakable bond between us and our clients. I feel we are more loyal towards them than they are to us and hence keep on pushing us to offer them better quality and service.
What sets Chopped apart from the other butcheries in Riyadh?
Mainly the quality of all products we carry. We pride ourselves in the high quality products we get, and also the highly knowledgeable and experienced staff. We try to create a positive response to every Chopped client not just another ‘quick run to the grocery store’.
What is your most popular meat?
Chopped burger has been our best-selling every month since the day we have opened. We only use the highest quality beef and the best cuts to make the burger.
There is growing concern about meat quality and ensuring animals are humanely raised. Is the care of animals reflected in the taste of meat?
Of course it is, we deal with only the best farms around the world that ensures that the animals are humanely raised. Most of our beef is hormone and antibiotic free. The feed that the cattle eat is of high quality grains or grass which is reflected in the quality. Moreover the cattle stress levels are also monitored by the farms as it reflects on the tenderness of the beef, so they make sure that all cattle is comfortable, and stress free.
You have a new location opening soon, can you tell us about it?
We have upgraded the concept a bit, the focus will always be the butchery but we have added more variety and options for our clients to make their experience more comfortable and easy – one stop shop for all their needs. We have added a deli and filled it with beautiful French, Italian, and local cheeses. It will also have some mouthwatering dried beef and cold cuts. We will have more sauces, more breads, some frozen sea food, and many more surprises that will hopefully meet the standards and expectations of all Chopped clients.
Thank you Mr. Zeid for answering our questions and for bringing Chopped KSA to Riyadh!
Fore more information:
+966 11 415 2168
King Abdul Aziz Rd, Salah Ad Din, Riyadh 12434
HOURS 9am- 10pm
Starting a home-based business can be a great way for women to harness their talent and generate an income. Especially for moms with young children, the flexibility of self-employment can be a major benefit. Social media has created an amazing opportunity for individuals to market their home-based businesses. From showcasing a product or service offering to connecting with potential customers, social media makes it all possible. If you have a talent and some entrepreneurial spirit, a home-based business may be the right move for you.
WSB had the pleasure to learn more about Emma Foster’s popular home based bakery,
Cake & Crumbles.
Can you tell WSB readers about yourself and your home-bakery Cake & Crumbles?
Cake & Crumbles makes bespoke decorated cakes and cupcakes as well as small treats like brownies, biscotti and biscuits.
I grew up in the coastal town of Durban in South Africa. After finishing school I enrolled in the Christina Martin School of Food and Wine and after 1 year of intense study, I qualified as a professional chef. It was during this course that my love of baking and cake decorating was born. My first job as a chef was working at the Victoria & Alfred hotel in Cape Town where I gained valuable experience. I then switched careers and studied and worked as an interior designer for a number of years. In 2003 I moved to London and worked in the interior design industry starting in residential and ending up in restaurant design which I loved as it incorporated my love for food.
It was during this time in London that I met and married my husband who works for the British Army. We have done various postings around the UK and thought an overseas posting would be a good experience for us which is how we ended up in Saudi Arabia.
Having experimented with various flavors and combinations, I would have to say my favorite signature cake is my lime and pistachio, with lime curd filling and lime buttercream. However, my most popular cake is the chocolate fudge cake – who doesn’t love chocolate?
What made you decide to start a home bakery?
As an Army wife I quickly had to get used moving around and it was also around this time that we started a family. As a result, I took a break from Interior Design and decided to combine my creativity and culinary experience and started Cake and Crumbles. So far, it has been a huge success and I am constantly amazed at the high demand for bespoke cakes.
How do you find customers?
Most of my customers come to me through referrals from other customers – never underestimate the power of ‘word of mouth’. Apart from that, customers find me through my Facebook page.
What’s the best part of your work?
The best part of my work is seeing the finished product after hours of work. Many people don’t realize the amount of time and effort it takes to make a cake. Receiving positive feedback from clients is the second best part of my work. Although I love making visually appealing cakes, taste and flavor is very important to me and having clients tell me they loved eating my cakes makes it all worthwhile.
What advice would you give to other women considering starting a home-based business?
If you want to start up your own business I’d say go for it. Have a clear idea of what you want to do. Accept that there will be ups and down but you will always learn from the downs which will make your business stronger. You need self-drive and determination and most of all, love what you do.
Follow Emma and Cake & Crumbles on social media:
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/cakeandcrumblesbyemmafoster
For inquiries and submissions to WSB moms corner, email email@example.com