Win 10,000 AED with Pizza Express

In the spirit of giving back this Ramadan, PizzaExpress has launched their ‘Golden Ticket’ campaign, where every pizza delivery box is accompanied by a gold, silver, bronze or white ticket to reveal prizes such as a free brunch for four people, your height in pizza or an iPhone 6s.

The first ‘Golden Ticket’ winner, Laura Chamberlain, 40, a British marketing expert living in Dubai, was announced by PizzaExpress yesterday. Winning the top prize from the Jumeirah branch following a delivery order for the classic ‘Margherita Romana’, Chamberlain was ecstatic to see she was the first of the possible two winners to pick up 10,000 AED in holiday vouchers.

“I just couldn’t believe it; this is the biggest prize I have ever won! It’s mine and my husband’s 12-year anniversary so an Eid trip is definitely on the cards and then we are going to use the rest for a trip to South Africa’: – said Chamberlain, who collected the prize at the branch yesterday.

Well folks, there are two more Golden Tickets left to be won, one for a year’s supply of pizza and the other is for the second 10,000 AED holiday voucher. The campaign will run until the end of Ramadan and deliveries are available in all areas of Dubai so get ordering!

RAMADAN OPENING HOURS: 12pm – 12am

LOCATIONS: Jazz@PizzaExpress – Cluster A, Jumeirah Lakes Towers open all day

PizzaExpress – Al Safa, Al Wasl Road (open until 11.30pm) only deliveries and takeout available during the day

PizzaExpress – Near Trade Centre, Sheikh Zayed Rd only deliveries and takeout available during the day

PizzaExpress – Ibn Battuta Mall (open until 1am) only deliveries and takeout available during the day

CONTACT DETAILS: www.pizzaexpressuae.com
ADDITIONAL DETAILS: Instagram: @PizzaExpressuae / Facebook: PizzaExpressUAE / Snapchat @PizzaExpressuae

RWAQ, Ramadan at The Walk JBR

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I went to The Walk JBR with some friends to check out RWAQ the Ramadan event and we had a really lovely evening. Its an interactive event which is split into five zones including contemporary food, retail, art installations and exhibitions. I enjoyed the retail aspect as they featured some really nice modest wear. I was lucky enough to meet the owners of Lomar, a lovely married couple who created an abaya, accessories and perfume store. They told me how the name Lomar is a blend of both of their names and that their brand was born out of love. They began with designing and manufacturing pieces in their house and now manufacture more then 125,000 pieces. They had a really nice selection and the traditional arabic perfumes were deliciously woody and fragrant. They gifted me some beautiful rose quartz and moonstone prayer beads that can also be worn as a bracelet making it easy to pray on the go, plus they look beautiful 🙂

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The stores have beautiful unique pieces, I also loved Searinas store, her pieces are vibrant and colourful, perfect for the summer. I spotted some of Rula Galayini’s fabulous bags and some other really nice items dotted around.

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The restaurants offer iftar and capture the essence of ramadan, the event brings to life the region’s rich heritage, connecting residents and tourists to the spirit of the Holy Month through an exceptional experience. Tahir Sultan and Loop.pH have designed a unique visual interpretation of Ramadan. The first installation, titled “1001 Nights, Alf Laila wa Laila”, is a full-scale light installation of larger-than-life 3D stars. The second installation is the Lunar Dome designed by Loop.pH. The dynamic and slowly moving light is reminiscent of the ever-changing moon light and represents the passing of time during the Holy Month.

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They had street vendors selling delicious snacks, my favourite was sunny’s popcorn. The popcorn came in all kinds of flavours such as bubblegum and three cheese however I loved the salted caramel. The packaging and stall was so cute too, definitely worth a pit-stop! There is also a live Oud player and many other activities and activations you can take part in. Make sure you check it out while you have the chance, It is on until the 25th July and open from 7pm-2am or 2pm-2am on Eid.

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10 Reasons For Fasting In Ramadan

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10 REASONS FOR FASTING IN RAMADHAN

Reasons for Fasting in Ramadan, #1: A Pillar of Islam

The foundation of Islamic spiritual practice is known as the Five Pillars of Islam, which form the basis for a spiritual culture designed to provide an ideal environment for personal growth and spiritual evolution.

Fasting in Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, constituting one of the most valuable spiritual practices designed to empower a human being in overcoming the self and transcending the ego, the one true veil between a human being and his or her Creator.

Reasons for Fasting in Ramadan, #2: Spiritual Purification

One of the primary benefits of fasting in Ramadan is spiritual purification, the essential goal of Islamic Spirituality.

Although we tend to think of the mind, body and spirit as separate components, in reality they are all connected and interrelated, and improvement in any one naturally effects improvement in the others as well.

Fasting in Ramadan purifies the mind, body and spirit, leading to greater clarity, sensitivity and health.

Reasons for Fasting in Ramadan, #3: Health

10 Reasons for Fasting in Ramadan : Pretty Healthy has now been scientifically documented and demonstrated that one of the most effective factors in improving human health and longevity is the reduction of intake and consumption.

Fasting in Ramadan allows the digestive system, the engine of the body, to rest from the normal demands of processing and breaking down food, freeing up system resources to cleanse and purify the body of accumulated toxins, thereby allowing more effective healing and tissue repair.

Fasting in Ramadan keeps the body healthy and youthful (provided one does not overindulge when breaking fast).

Reasons for Fasting in Ramadan, #4: Family and Community

One of the greatest benefits and reasons for fasting in Ramadan is renewing solidarity and cultivating positive relationships with one’s family and community.

Only one who observes fasting in Ramadan can truly know the beauty and joy of breaking fast with others, celebrating the gift of life daily for thirty days with loved ones.

Fasting in Ramadan is truly one of the greatest social experiences a human being will ever have, and this is one of the most important aspects of this unique pillar of Islamic practice.

Reasons for Fasting in Ramadan, #5: Gratitude

It’s true that one generally does not realize what he or she has until it’s gone or not available, and by fasting in Ramadan, Muslims become acutely aware of the unlimited abundance of divine favor God Almighty has blessed humanity with, particularly with regards to sustenance.

The cultivation of gratitude is a core purpose of Islam, and few spiritual practices cultivate gratitude as does fasting in Ramadan!

Reasons for Fasting in Ramadan, #6: Humility and Selflessness

By fasting in Ramadan, a Muslim realizes how totally dependent we as human beings are upon the divine grace of God for survival, and humility is a natural result of this realization.

Generally, we take things for granted and become heedless as a result of living in the world, dunya, yet by fasting in Ramadan, we are continually reminded of our frailty and dependence upon the Divine, leading us to humility, reverence, piety and selflessness — primary goals of Islamic Spirituality.

Reasons for Fasting in Ramadan, #7: Empathy and Compassion

10 Reasons for Fasting in Ramadan : Empathy and Compassion Although we live in a world of natural abundance, of divine grace and providence, unfortunately due to a lack of empathy, compassion and solidarity among human beings, there are many throughout the globe who still struggle with hunger, poverty, lack and scarcity.

When a Muslim observes fasting in Ramadan, he or she feels the hunger that many experience daily as a normal consequence of their circumstances.

By fasting in Ramadan, we develop the holy qualities of empathy and compassion, becoming more aware of our intrinsic connection and oneness with all human beings regardless of borders or labels that create artificial separation among the citizens of the human race.

This then leads us to greater contribution and selflessness in the service of our fellow human beings, constituting one of the most valuable reasons for fasting in Ramadan.

Reasons for Fasting in Ramadan, #8: Restraint and Self-Discipline

The modern world and its culture are largely defined by materialism, consumption and instant gratification of desires. This results in the diminishment of human consciousness, the regression of planetary culture and the suppression of the soul.

Yet by fasting in Ramadan, a Muslim consciously curtails this unhealthy norm by intentionally practicing restraint and self-discipline, separating him or herself from the animal kingdom which is governed by the unconscious drive to satiate one’s immediate physical needs and desires.

Fasting in Ramadan is thus an essential practice for attaining true freedom and independence from dunya, the external world of form and appearances, and for the liberation of the soul from the self, the mind-body that is unconsciously driven by fear and the struggle survival.

Reasons for Fasting in Ramadan, #9: Simplicity and Non-Attachment

When living without discipline and restraint, life quickly becomes overly complicated, leading to a heavy burden that results in unnecessary stress, anxiety, unhappiness and difficulty.

By fasting in Ramadan, we limit excess and indulgence, facilitating the return to simplicity and non-attachment, releasing one from dependence on dunya and so contributing to psychological health and happiness, and practical wellness and balance.

Reasons for Fasting in Ramadan, #10: Focus

With the constant demands of modern life, it’s all too easy to become lost and forget who we are, and so to unconsciously forget our divine purpose and destiny.

Without constant reminder, we become lost in the dream of dunya-material life and become disconnected from reality.

Fasting in Ramadan for thirty days is a powerful practice in restoring and strengthening focus, direction, balance and purpose to our lives.
Fasting in Ramadan is a Gift from God

The opportunity to observe fasting in Ramadan is a gift from God, allowing us to grow and develop as human beings, enabling us to become more compassionate, caring, kind and grateful.

Fasting in Ramadan is a unique opportunity to develop spiritually and gain strength and control over our selves, our egos, the nafs, the unconscious automatic primitive nature that tends to dominate our lives when unchecked.

By observing fasting in Ramadan, a Muslim has a profound and unique opportunity to become more peaceful, present and spiritual — the very goal of Islam.
By IHSAN on August 1, 2011 in SPIRITUALITY

The Purpose of Ramadan

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So we’re already a week into Ramadan, Its flying by! I started fasting when I was 8 or 9, at that time I had no idea why I was fasting I just did it because my older brother and my cousins used to. Many muslims grow up fasting but what I find surprising is that a lot of muslims don’t know why they are fasting as adults. I guess its like religion, sometimes your born into a religion and you don’t really know much about it but your just labelled that religion. I think beliefs are fundamental to who you are and blind faith is very ignorant. Do things because you believe and understand them. I was listening to the radio in the car last night, an Arabic singer said, “I come to Dubai for Ramadan because its fun and Ramadan is all about enjoying yourself and having good food with family and friends” I was shocked!

The purpose of Ramadan is to rid us of bad habits that we accumulate throughout the year, its a spiritual detox. It is supposed to prepare you for the next 11 months by practicing discipline and self control. There are many things forbidden during daylight hours and eating and drinking are just two of them. Allah gave humans all sorts of desires that are usually permissiable however if you can control those during this month it will strengthen your will power which should in turn allow you to control yourself from doing things that are forbidden (haraam) in the remaining months.

This month is very fruitful for muslims, rewards are abundant through worship and self control. In this month we are given many opportunities to reform ourselves and seek forgiveness for our bad sins. This is a month of reformation and self reflection, where a believer can ponder over spirituality and piety and bring a change for the better. The Prophet of Allah صلي الله عليه و سلم has clearly stated:

مَنْ لَمْ يَدَعْ قَوْلَ الزُّورِ وَالْعَمَلَ بِهِ فَلَيْسَ لِلَّهِ حَاجَةٌ فِي أَنْ يَدَعَ طَعَامَهُ وَشَرَابَهُ
“Whoever does not give up lying and evil actions, then Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink” [Saheeh al-Bukhari]

Basically if you just starve yourself from sunrise to sunset it is unneccessary unless you understand why and pair this with working towards being a better person. Its about purifying your mind and soul as well as your body.

In summary, the month of Ramadan is about self reflection and changing yourself for the better. Its also about how you can contribute positively to the human race, it is obligatory to give to charity during this month. I find myself thinking a lot about people in need, when I’m fasting and I get hungry or thirsty I think of those people who have been starving for days on end and I feel selfish for even feeling hunger or thirst. I think of what I can do to help. As well as giving the needy money or food I send them prayers and positive energy everyday, I pray for them to find strength, for Allah to make there suffering bearable and I pray that those blessed with abundance share some of their wealth. This month is about worship, asking forgiveness for sins and seeking guidance to follow a path that will lead you to a better future in this life and the next.

Wishing you a blessed Ramadan,

Zohra x

 

 

Force Feeding at Guantanamo – Sign The Petition!

Islamic community leaders are calling on the Obama administration to rethink its policy of force-feeding hunger-striking detainees in Guantánamo during the month-long fast of Ramadan that begins on Monday.

The US government has said that barring “unforeseen emergency or operational issues” it will respect the daylight fast by trying only to force feed 45 detainees at night. Muslim groups say that by refusing to suspend the practice during Ramadan the US is adding insult to injury.

“We believe it’s wrong to force feed at any time but it is particularly upsetting to do it through Ramadan,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman of the largest US Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, the Council On American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). He said the situation was Kafkaesque: “It’s not just a religious issue, it’s also a human rights issue in violation of international norms and medical ethics.”

To mark the beginning of Ramadan, the human rights group Reprieve has released  a video in which the actor and rapper Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) submits himself to the enteral feeding imposed in Guantánamo.

The star said that he volunteered to be force-fed by two volunteer doctors to highlight what was happening to the hunger strikers in Guantánamo.

The four-minute video, directed by Bafta award-winning filmmaker Asif Kapadia, seeks to reconstruct the specific force-feeding instructions set out in standard operating guidelines from Guantánamo leaked to al-Jazeera. It shows a plastic tube being inserted through Bey’s nostril into his stomach. The “Medical Management Standard Operating Procedure” document leaked from the detention camp defines a hunger striker as a detainee who has missed at least nine consecutive meals or whose weight has fallen to less than 85% of his ideal body weight.

If force feeding is deemed medically necessary, medical personnel shackle the detainee “and a mask is placed over the detainee’s mouth to prevent spitting and biting”. A feeding tube is then passed through the detainee’s nostril into the stomach.

The process takes about 20 to 30 minutes but they can be required to stay in the restraint chair for up to two hours until a chest x-ray confirms the nutrient has reached their stomach.

The prisoner is then removed from restraint chair to “dry cell” where they are observed by a guard for up to an hour “for any indication of vomiting or attempts to induce vomiting”. If they do vomit, they are returned to the restraint chair for the entire duration of the observation period in subsequent feeds.

If they bite the tube, the guards hold their head still for “as long as necessary for the detainee to relax his jaw”.

Zizzle agrees with Bishop Richard Pates (chair of the committee on international justice and peace for the US conference of Catholic bishops) he wrote to the defence secretary Chuck Hagel noting the opposition of the International Committee of the Red Cross to force-feeding. “Rather than resorting to such measures, our nation should first do everything it can to address the conditions of despair that have led to this protest.”

In this video a lawyer to the prisoners describes how they are treated like animals

Source: The Guardian
What Can You Do To Make A Change??
Well there is a petition that I found, when I signed it they still needed 73,000 signatures. CLICK HERE to sign it. Morris Davis created the petition, he served 25 years in the US Air Force and was the Chief Prosecutor for the Terrorism Trials at Guantanamo Bay for more than two years.
More than 160 men who have never been charged with any offense, much less convicted of a war crime, remain at Guantanamo with no end in sight. MAKE A DIFFERENCE, you never know what your signature could mean! I would be really interested to know if you did, please leave comments and thoughts!
Zohra x