Wednesday, December 15, 2010



وين ما كنّا... العيد عيدنا
كتبت: سارة الشمايلة

يتم الاحتفال بعيد الميلاد الذي يوافق يوم 25 من كانون الأوّل، وهوالاحتفال بذكرى ميلاد المسيح، بطرقٍ مختلفة فـي أقطار العالم المتعدّدة. دعونا نتعرّف على مظاهر الاحتفال بالعيد فـي مختلف دول العالم.

فـي الأردن
فـي نهاية تشرين الثاني، تبدأ الكثير من المنازل والمحالّ التجارية بتزيين زجاج النوافذ والواجهات بأضواءَ ملوّنة. بحلول وقت الظهيرة قُبيْل عشيّة عيد الميلاد، تبدأ الاحتفالات برفقة بابا نويل الذي يجلب الهدايا للصغار؛ ويتمّ ذلك فـي العادة بأن يرتدي أحد أفراد العائلة زِيَّ بابا نويل. يجلس الجميع حول شجرة عيد الميلاد، وقد يتمّ فتح بعض الهدايا مباشرة أو أنّها تُحفَظ إلى الصباح التالي. العشاء التقليدي فـي أُمسية عيد الميلاد يتألّف من الديك الروميّ المحشُوّ بالأرُزّ واللحم المفروم وحبّ الصَّنوْبَر والكستناء. حساء الدّجاج مع كرات اللحم الصغيرة والأرُزّ، والمُزيَّن بالبقدونس، يُقدَّم على المائدة إلى جانب الأطباق الأخرى. يعقِب العشاء قُداس منتصف الليل. هذا الطَّقس يوثِّق لبداية يوم الميلاد، وينتهي فـي الساعة الثانية صباحًا. ويتمّ الاحتفال بيوم الميلاد بالمزيد من الشوكولاتة والخمور المُنكّهة
والقهوة. وتجتمع العائلات على غداء يوم الميلاد، ويقوم الضيوف والأصدقاء بالزيارات وقت الظهيرة.

فـي مصر
تحتفل الكنيسة القبطيّة (الأرثوذكسيّة) بعيد الميلاد، فـي السابع من كانون الثاني. خلال الأربعين يومًا السابقة للمناسبة، يُتوقّع أن يمتنع النّاس عن تناوُل اللحوم والدواجن ومشتقات الألبان، مع أنّ البعض يصوم فقط فـي الأسبوع الأخير من هذه الفترة، التي تسمّى كذلك «أيّام الحلول» (Advent )، وهي الآحاد الأربعة التي تسبق الميلاد أو حلول المسيح ثانية. فـي عشيّة عيد الميلاد يذهب الجميع إلى الكنيسة، وهم يرتدون أطقمًا جديدة. بعد انتهاء الصلاة العامّة، يذهب الناس إلى بيوتهم ليتناولوا وجبة خاصّة تسمّى «الفتّة»، تتألّف من الخبز والأرُزّ والثّوم واللحم المسلوق. فـي صباح يوم الميلاد، يبدأ الأقارب والأصدقاء بالتزاوُر، وتُقدَّم أصناف مختلفة من المُعجّنات الحُلوة والمالحة والأخباز و«الشربات» (العصائر المُحَضّرة من الفواكه ورحيق الأزهار).

فـي العراق
طقوس غير معتادة -فـي أماكن أخرى- تُجرى فـي أفنية منازل المسيحيّين عشيّة عيد الميلاد فـي العراق. أحد أطفال العائلة يقوم بقراءة قصّة ميلاد المسيح من الإنجيل. أمّا أفراد العائلة الآخرون، فـيحملون شموعًا مُضاءة. وبمجرّد أن تتمّ قراءة القصّة، تُضرَم نار فـي إحدى زوايا فناء البيت؛ ويكون وقود النّار من أشجار الزعرور الشوكيّة الجافّة، حيث يعتمد مستقبل البيت فـي السنة القادمة على كيفـيّة اشتعال النار. إذا احترق الحطب الشوكي إلى مرحلة الرماد، فإنّ العائلة ستحظى بحُسن الطالع؛ وفـي أثناء اشتعال النار تُنشَد الترانيم. عندما تحرق النار كلّ شيء، يقوم كل فرد من العائلة بالقفز ثلاث مرّات فوق الرماد، ثمّ يتمنون أمنية. فـي يوم الميلاد يتمّ إشعال نارٍ مشابهة فـي الكنيسة. وفـي أثناء اشتعال النار، يقوم الرجال من رعايا الكنيسة بأداء ترنيمة. ثمّ يتقدّم موكب، يقوم فـيه موظفو الكنيسة بالسّيْر بانتظام وراء الأُسقف الذي يحمل صورة ليسوع الطفل على وسادة قرمزيّة اللون. هذه الصلاة الطويلة فـي يوم الميلاد تنتهي عادة بأن يقوم الأُسقف بمباركة أحد رعايا الكنيسة بلمسة من يده. ويقوم الشخص نفسه بلمس الشخص الذي يليه، وهكذا حتى يكون الجميع قد استلموا «لمسة السلام».

فـي لبنان
قبل ما يقرُب من أسبوعيْن من عيد الميلاد، يقوم الناس فـي لبنان –كما فـي أماكن كثيرة أخرى من الشرق الأوسط- بزراعة بذور نباتيّة، مثل البازيلاء والقمح والفاصوليا والعدس، فـي لبّادات قطنيّة. وهم يقومون بسقْيِِِ البذور كلّ يوم، وبحلول عيد الميلاد تكون البذور قد نمت إلى ارتفاع 15 سنتيمترًا تقريبًا. وتُستخدَم هذه النبتات للتزيين حول مِعْلف الدوابّ (المِذوَد) فـي واحد من مشاهد ميلاد المسيح. تُصنع مجسّمات الأشخاص من الورق البنّيّ، وتُثبَّت نجمة فوق المشهد. يتزاور الأصدقاء فـي صباح يوم الميلاد، ويقدّمون لبعضهم القهوة والخمور وحلوى اللّوز المغطّى بالسكّر. غداء يوم الميلاد هو أهمّ وجبة فـي الموسم، حيث تجتمع العائلة كاملةً من أجله، فـي بيت الأجداد فـي العادة أو فـي بيت الابن الأكبر. تتألّف الوجبة من الدجاج والأرُزّ و«الكُبِّة» التي تتكوّن من القمح المسحوق المسلوق -أو البرغل- المخلوط مع اللحم والبصل والملح والفلفل الأسود.

فـي سوريا
الاحتفالات فـي سوريا مشابهة لتلك التي تُجرى فـي العراق. فـي السادس من كانون الأوّل يُجرى قُداس كبير فـي الكنائس على شرف القدّيس نيكولاس توماتارغوس. وحسب الأسطورة، فقد كان القدّيس نيكولاس رجلاً طيّبًا وكريمًا، وعُرف أيضًا باسم سانتا كلوز (بابا نويل). فـي عشيّة عيد الميلاد يحمل كلّ واحد من أفراد العائلة شمعةً مضاءة، ويتجمّعون حول نار غير مُشعَلة خارج بيتهم. يقوم أصغر طفل فـي العائلة –وهو فـي الغالب ذكَر- بقراءة قصّة ميلاد المسيح، وبعد ذلك يتمّ إشعال النار. الطريقة التي تنتشر فـيها ألسنة اللهب تحدّد الطالع لهذا البيت فـي السنة المُقبلة. وفـي أثناء اشتعال النار تُتلى الترانيم، وعندما تهمد يقوم كل فرد بالقفز عنها مع طلب أمنيات. فـي الصباح الباكر من يوم الميلاد، يذهب الجميع إلى القُداس. نارٌ أخرى يتمّ إشعالها فـي وسط المكان. وفـي أثناء اضطرام الحطب، تتمّ تلاوة الترانيم القديمة، وتمثالٌ يجسّد السيّد المسيح طفلاً يتمّ الطواف به فـي أنحاء الكنيسة. يقوم الأُسقف بعد ذلك بلمس أقرب شخص من الرعايا بالأسلوب نفسه الذي يُمارَس فـي العراق عند نشر «لمسة السلام»، حيث يتمّ تمريرها من شخص إلى آخر حتّى تعمّ الجميع. ويتألّف عشاء الميلاد من الدجاج والبرتقال والمكسّرات والمعجّنات.

فـي الصين
يقوم المسيحيّون فـي الصين بتزيين أشجارهم بزينة مصنوعة من الورق، على أشكال الأزهار والمصابيح. وتُسمّى شجرة الميلاد بـ»شجرة النّور». وتُعلّق الجوارب الخاصّة على أمل أن يأتي دون تشي لاو رِن (Dun Che Lao Ren- Santa Claus ) ليملأها بالهدايا.

فـي فرنسا
كلّ بيتٍ فرنسيّ تقريبًا، يعرض أنموذج «مغارة الميلاد» (Crèche ) خلال عيد الميلاد. وهذا الأنموذج فـي الغالب مأهول بمجسّمات صغيرة من الطين تُسمّى بـ»القدّيسين الصغار» (Santons ). وتُُباع المجسّمات، على مدار كانون الأوّل، فـي مهرجانات عيد الميلاد السنويّة فـي مختلف أنحاء فرنسا. فـي عشيّة عيد الميلاد، يترك الأطفال أحذيتهم بجانب الموقِد، حتى تُملأ بالهدايا من قِبل بيير نويل (Father Christmas ). فـي مربّعات الكاتدرائيّات، تتمّ إعادة تمثيل قصّة ميلاد المسيح، بأداء ممثّلين أو باستخدام الدمى، وذلك على مدار فترة الميلاد. ويُعدّ الفرنسيّون كعكة الميلاد التقليديّة على شكل قطعة الحطب، ويسمّونها «حطبة عيد الميلاد» (Bûche de Noel ). وتُقدّم الكعكة على عشاء متأخّر جدًّا (Réveillon )، بعد قُداس منتصف الليل عشيّة عيد الميلاد.

فـي اليونان
فـي عشيّة عيد الميلاد، يُنشد الأولاد الصغار عادة ترنيمات مرحة، مصحوبة بقرع الطبول ورنين المثلّثات الموسيقيّة. ويتنقّل هؤلاء من بيت إلى بيت حيث يحصلون على التين المُجفّف واللوز والجوز والكثير من الحلوى، وأحيانًا بعض الهدايا. بعد 40 يومًا من الصيام، فإنّ عيد الميلاد يترقّبه البالغون والصغار مع التوقّعات والآمال العريضة. وتُذبح الخنازير، وتُوضع أرغفة خبز عيد الميلاد على كلّ مائدة تقريبًا. وهذا الخبز يُعدّ بأشكال مختلفة؛ وتكون القشرة الخارجيّة محفورة ومُزيّنة بأسلوب يعكس مهنة العائلة. أشجار عيد الميلاد لا تُستَخدَم بشكل شائع فـي اليونان. وفـي كلّ بيت تقريبًا يكون رمز الموسم هو زبديّة خشبيّة قليلة العُمق مع قطعة من سلك مثبّتة بشكل تقاطعي على الإطار؛ وهناك غصن من الريحان ملفوف على صليب خشبي يتدلّى من السلك؛ كما أنّ مقدارًا قليلاً من الماء يُترَك فـي الزبدية لإبقاء الريحانة حيّة ويانعة. فـي أحد الأيام؛ يقوم فرد من العائلة، وهو فـي العادة الأمّ، بتغطيس الصليب والريحانة فـي الماء المقدّس، ثمّ تستخدم الماء عبر رشّه فـي كل غرف البيت من أجل البركة. ويُعتقَد أنّ هذا الطقس يعمل على إبقاء العفاريت والأرواح (التي تظهر فـي فترة الـ12 يومًا، بين الخامس والعشرين من كانون الأول وبين عيد الغطاس فـي السادس من كانون الثاني) خارج البيت، وتُسمّى «Killantzario ».

فـي الولايات المتحدة
تتنوّع الاحتفالات بعيد الميلاد بشكل كبير، بين المناطق فـي الولايات المتحدة. وهي تبدأ مع عشيّة الميلاد بقداس منتصف الليل. معظم الناس يتبادلون الهدايا ويتزاورون مع أقاربهم وأصدقائهم. عشاء عيد الميلاد فـي الغالب يتألّف من الديك الرومي المشوي -أو الإوزّ أو البطّ أو فخذ الخنزير المملّح- مع صلصة التوت البرّي، متبوعًا بحلوى الخوخ وفطيرة القرع، ثمّ بالمكسّرات والفواكه. وتُزيَّن البيوت بنبات الدبق وأغصان الأشجار، ومعظمها يُعدّ شجرة عيد الميلاد المزيّنة بالأضواء الكهربائيّة وأعواد الحلوى السكّريّة.

فـي إيطاليا
يبدأ موسم عيد الميلاد فـي إيطاليا قبل يوم الميلاد بثمانية أيّام، ويستمرّ لثلاثة أسابيع. خلال هذه الفترة، يتنقّل الأطفال بين البيوت، يتلون قصائد عيد الميلاد ويؤدون أغانيه؛ وبعضهم يرتدون ملابس الرُّعاة ويعزفون الناي، ويُعطَوْن النقود ليشتروا الهدايا. فـي بعض الأنحاء يُحضر الرعاة أدوات موسيقيّة إلى القرى ويعزفون ويغنّون أغاني عيد الميلاد. ويُلاحظ أنّ صيامًا مشدّدًا يُمارَس قبل عشيّة الميلاد بأربعٍ وعشرين ساعة، ويكون متبوعًا بوجبة احتفاليّة، يتخلّلها كعكة ميلانيّة (نسبة إلى مدينة ميلاني) خفـيفة تُسمّى «Panettone »، وتُقدَّم كذلك الشوكولاتة. الهدايا والصناديق الفارغة يتمّ سحبُها من جرّة القَدَر- وهي مغطس الحظّ الذي يحتوي على هديّة لكلّ شخص. بحلول الفجر، تضاء الشموع حول المهد، وتُسمّى «Presepio »، وتُتلى الصلوات، ويلقي الأطفال الأشعار. فـي ظهيرة يوم الميلاد، يمنح البابا بركاته للحشود المجتمعة فـي مربّع الفاتيكان الشاسع. وينتظر الأطفال إلى أن يحل عيد الغطّاس فـي السادس من كانون الثاني، من أجل هداياهم. بحسب المعتقدات التقليديّة، فإنّ الهدايا جاءت عن طريق ساحرة طيّبة بشعة تُدعى بيفانا، وتصل على عصا مكنسة. يُقال إنّها حين أُخبرت بواسطة الملوك الثلاثة أن الطفل عيسى قد وُلد، كانت مشغولة وتأخّرت عن زيارة الطفل. ثمّ فقدت النجمة الدّالة على الطريق، فأضاعت الاتجاهات؛ وأصبحت منذ ذلك الحين تطير فـي الأنحاء وتترك الهدايا فـي كلّ بيت، لعلّ الطفل عيسى يكون فـي أحدها. وهي تنزلق من خلال مداخن المنازل وتملأ الجوارب بالهدايا، والأحذية بالأشياء الجيّدة للأطفال الصالحين؛ ولكن يُقال إنّها تترك الفحم للأطفال الذين لا يُحسنون التصرّف.

مع أنّ كلّ بلد له عاداته المختلفة، فإنّ عيد الميلاد هو مناسبة يتمّ ترقّبُها والاحتفال بها فـي جميع أنحاء العالم! لمساعدتكم فـي الاحتفال بطريقة مختلفة هذه السنة، فقد وضعنا لكم تشكيلة من الوصفات القادمة من بلدان مختلفة، على موقعنا على الإنترنت.
عيد ميلاد مجيد.. لكم جميعًا!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

WIN!


** COMPETITION **
Want to win a complimentary one night stay for two at the Movenpick Resort & Spa at the Dead sea?
Tell us about your 2010 success story, whether it's at work or at home! Must be 18+ to enter. Submit your entry to: ourmailbag@familyflavours.com.
Get writing!
** COMPETITION **
Kids: Tell us about the best Christmas you've ever had!
Send your entry to scrapbook@familyflavours.com, along with your name, age and photo.
The first entries in each age group (3 - 7, 8 - 12, 13 - 16) will receive a 40 JD gift voucher from Hamley's. Four additional lucky winners will receive a 20 JD gift voucher!
What are you waiting for??


Monday, December 6, 2010


Living With

HIV/AIDS

By Sheela Sheth


World AIDS Day—1 December—is an opportunity to raise awareness

about the fatal disease and shed light on the impact it has on those who are diagnosed with it—both physically and socially. This year, the day has a theme of "Universal Access and Human Rights.”


HIV/AIDS in Jordan

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) attacks the body’s immune system of the body, causing Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) by damaging the immune system cells until they can no longer fight off infections that would normally be easy to prevent. HIV is most commonly transmitted through unprotected sex with an infected person; contact with infected blood and sharing unsterilized injections that have been used by someone infected, The disease can also be passed from mother to child during pregnancy, labour and delivery or breastfeeding. According to Dr Bassam Hajawi, Director of the Primary Health Care Administration and the National AIDS Program at the Ministry of Health in Jordan, around 753 cases of HIV/AIDS have been recorded in Jordan between 1986 and 2010. "The Kingdom is considered to be a low prevalence country,” he explains, “where prevention efforts focus on sex workers, homosexuals and injecting drug users." In Jordan, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) focuses on raising awareness about HIV/AIDS among young adults and reducing the stigma surrounding the disease. “Teenagers are actors of change and are role models for their friends; we have adolescents teach their peers on issues such as HIV/AIDS," says Jumana Haj Ahmad, UNICEF Adolescents Specialist.


The latest on HIV/AIDS

“A male patient can experience spontaneous, periodic shedding of HIV into his seminal fluid despite having consistently undetectable viral load levels in his blood,” warns Prameet Sheth, a researcher from the Department of Medical Sciences at the University of Toronto. Patients with HIV receive highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Effective HAART can reduce HIV levels in blood so far that it is below the limit of detection. Some patients whose blood shows no sign of HIV, however, had isolated shedding episodes of HIV into their semen. This recent finding demonstrates the risk of HIV transmission through unprotected sex even when the virus is undetected in the blood.


Who gets HIV?

When it was first discovered, HIV was referred to as GRID (gayrelated immune deficiency) or sometimes even as “gay cancer.” We now know, however, that HIV does not discriminate; everyone is at risk regardless of sexual preference, age, race, class, income or religion. Ziad is a young, married Jordanian doctor who became infected with HIV after accidentally pricking his finger with a needle while drawing blood from an HIV-infected patient. Although he received immediate treatment with antiretrovirals, he was diagnosed as HIV positive. Upon finding out he had contracted the disease, Ziad and his wife were, in their own words, “devastated”. Abdullah, a husband and father of five who comes from a middle-class family, was an active gofer, spending his days at work running up and down five flights of stairs doing errands. At the age of 45, he suddenly started experiencing bouts of extreme exhaustion, a persistent cough, unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite. He was hospitalized and is now being treated for tuberculosis, one of the main side effects of AIDS. He now spends his days in a hospital bed, emaciated and, according to those who know him, barely recognisable. “I did not know that my lifestyle could lead to this,” says Abdullah.


What you can expect in Jordan

The Jordanian Ministry of Health provides free, anonymous and confidential counselling and testing for anyone who suspects he or she has contracted HIV. Along with social support, treatment for HIV-related infections is covered by the public health insurance plan. Non-Jordanian spouses of Jordanian citizens are included in this coverage and have access to HIV treatment. Jordan has a policy of promoting HIVprevention among young people most at risk, both in and out of school. According to personnel at the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education has included HIV/AIDS education in the middle and secondary school curricula to raise awareness about the disease.


Facts

HIV becomes AIDS when your CD4 cell count (helper cells of the immune system that are attacked by HIV) falls below 200/mm3. HIV is not a gay man’s disease; 95% of HIV transmission occurs between heterosexual couples. The presence of sexually transmitted diseases increases the likelihood of HIV transmission during sexual contact. Condoms (both male and female) are the most effective at preventing HIV transmission. Women between the ages of 15 and 24 are more at risk of becoming infected with HIV than older women.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Taste of Family Flavours: An Intern's Tale

By Leila Meglio

Three months ago, I packed up all my most essential belongings, kissed my family goodbye, and traveled halfway across the world from Boston, Massachusetts to Amman, Jordan. I came here to study Arabic, to listen and learn from lilting accents and try to understand a new way of life.

A few months ago, I learned of this amazing opportunity to intern for a real Jordanian magazine: Family Flavours. I was excited and felt so lucky; I study literature at my university in the States and hope to one day work in the publishing industry, so I felt it would be a perfect fit. I remember how nervous I was, too, before coming in that first day: here I was, my wearing my favorite shirt and best shoes, trying to look and act adult yet feeling like a child on her first day of school.

But the nerves didn't last long. Very quickly I began to feel at home in the office, comfortable speaking to everyone. It was helped by the way I was treated; from the start, it was made very clear that I was not just an intern who would make coffee and file papers, I would receive the work--and respect--of any other employee. It made me relax when I felt I was treated in the same way as the others, and I wanted to be worthy of that respect. I think this was one of the most beneficial aspects of my time in Jordan, for I had never felt as though anyone considered me a serious adult, even at 20 years old. All of my jobs previously had treated me well enough, certainly, but here at Family Flavours I was regarded an equal.

It was also eye opening to see all the work that goes into composing a well-rounded and engaging magazine. I would edit once, twice, three times--to make sure everything, from the cover article to the shortest caption to professional advertisements, was perfect. Those pages which looked so glossy and easy, welcoming covers inviting me to read, were actually alive with the effort and careful planning of designers, writers and editors. I remember sitting in on my first ideas meeting, listening to all the writers different concepts for articles, being invited to share my own ideas. Isn't it amazing how one simple idea can turn into an article, complete with perfect photos and a by-line, how a thought can travel from one mind into the homes and hands of many?

It's December now, and my finals are approaching. Soon I will say goodbye to Amman, my home away from home, and say goodbye to Family Flavours. I am of course excited to see my family and my friends back in the States, but I can't help but feel that the time has passed too quickly. I wish I could live in two places at once: stay here and continue this life I've been developing without abandoning everything waiting for me. I feel so privileged to have had this experience, both in this country and in this magazine. I have learned and seen things that people twice my age have never been exposed to; I have seen the whirring of printing presses churning out thousands of magazines and I have felt, for the first time, the pride that comes with seeing my very own words laid out and ready to be printed for mass consumption.

Thank you, Family Flavours. Thank you, Jordan. I will soon be far away--but know you are close in my heart.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Events Around Amman

Wondering what sort of things are happening soon? Maybe you're interested in a family outing, or just something different for a change. We've been looking around and these events in Amman (with links, of course!) caught our eye.

-December 3: Wadi Maen Hiking and Canyoning trip
This full-day event includes meals and even a chance to take a dip in the hot springs. There are trails for different levels of participants, so even those who have never hiked before can enjoy themselves. The program promises beautiful views, dancing, and lots of fun.

-December 4-10: 3rd Annual Amman Stand-Up Comedy Festival
Need a little laughter in your life? Buy tickets to a night of this festival, which offers a line up of comedians bound to keep you in stitches. The two hour shows are held in Al Hussein Cultural center in Ras El Ein.

-December 5-8: The Family Library
This book festival offers books for as little as 350 fils in various subject matters including culture, history, and children's books in order to support reading and family libraries throughout Jordan. The event takes place in the city's governorate in the National Library Department. And it isn't just in Amman--the fair is also being offered at Ministry of Culture centres across Jordan. It's a great way to stock up on books and teach your family the importance of reading.

December 15- Amman Symphony Orchestra presents A New Night with Waltzes
Listen to the sweet sounds of classical music as played on the viola, including such seasonal fare as the Nutcracker and other classics. This also takes place at the Al Hussein Cultural centre.

December 18 - The Children's Museum's Annual Christmas Party
Bring your children to greet Santa, participate in crafts activities, sing seasonal songs and meet other children their age. Check out the full list of events at the Children's Museum to get your children involved in educational fun.

Have a fun December!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Taste of Today!

We want to hear your thoughts!

In our November issue of Family Flavours, we follow a father, his son and some friends to King Hussein Bin Talal Mosque. How do you introduce the subject of religion to your children? Do you teach them about religion in little bits every day or did you have one big discussion? How do you explain your religion and why it is important to you to a child?
Let us know by adding a comment (Just click the button in the right-hand corner)! We want to hear your approach with your children, or your ideas on how the issue should be handled in general.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

COMPETITION!

****WIN!!****
Who wants new toys???
One lucky winner will win a 40 JD voucher to Hamleys!
Just tell us in 250 words or less who you love the most. You must be age 3-16 to enter. Please attach a photograph of yourself!
Send your entry to scrapbook@familyflavours.com--we can't wait to read them!


Sweet As Honey...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Taste of Today

In our November issue of Nakahat 'Ailiyeht, we ran an article on infidelity:

(Check out the second page of the article here, on our Facebook page.)

We want to hear your take on it. What do you think about infidelity and "cheaters"? Do they deserve a second chance, and if so, when? Can "cheaters" change their ways, or will they never learn to be faithful? We want to hear your perspective!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Caring for Orphans
By Munib Arrabi

If you asked any given Muslim about his wish for the afterlife, he would surely summarize it in one word: Heaven! Heaven, according to Islam, compromises multiple levels—and a Muslim cannot earn the privilege of reaching the highest level, where one is closest to Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him (PBUH), unless he fosters an orphan. Prophet Mohammad himself (PBUH) said that those who care for orphaned children will be in Heaven with him, gesturing to show that they would be as close as two fingers of the same hand.
Why such a high ranking?
Those who assume responsibility for the well-being of orphans are rewarded so greatly because, by fostering an orphan—bringing him up, fulfilling his psychological and physical needs and providing him with food, shelter and clothes—they serve as an example and a guiding light to those around them, just as Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) did.

Islam and adoption'Kafala'—bringing up and caring for a child—is not prohibited by Islam; in fact, adoption is encouraged as both a humane act and a great social service. In Islam, however, it is unlawful to claim a biological relationship to one’s adopted child, as the religion seeks to safeguard biological lineage. Chidlren under 'kafala' retain their own family identity, never assuming the name of their surrogate parents.

Orphans in the Koran
In Islam, Muslims are not only urged to care for orphans, but are warned against treating them with cruelty or injustice. Orphans are mentioned 24 times in the Koran, appearing in a variety of different verses and contexts. One verse urging people to foster orphans, for example, reads: “They ask you as to what they should spend. Say: whatever wealth you spend, it is for the parents and the near of kin and the orphans” (Surat Baqara 215). Another verse warns against mistreating orphans explaining that, “[As for] those who swallow the property of the orphans unjustly, surely they only swallow fire into their bellies and they shall enter a burning fire” (Surat Nisa’a 10). Another verse further clarifies this, merely stating: “Therefore treat not the orphan with harshness” (Surat Duha 9).

How can you foster orphans?
You can foster orphans through 'kafala' by making them a part of your family, raising them, caring for them and educating them as if they were your own. I once heard a man with three children of his own and three foster children exclaim, “If you asked me who my biological children are and who my foster children are, I wouldn’t really know!”

Dr Husam Din Affaneh, Professor of Fiqh (Islamic Law) at Al Qudus University in Palestine, believes that this type of orphan care prevailed during the time of the Prophet’s companions, as made evident by the Hadith on orphan care.


Sponsoring orphans
If you do not wish to bring an orphan into your home personally, you can still sponsor one, supporting his present needs as well as his future hopes and deeds. Many charitable people support orphans through sponsorship.

Other ways of helping orphans
- Preparing treats and taking them to an orphanage.
- Distributing presents to orphans during Eid.
- Participating in activities and excursions held for orphans.
- Reading stories to them on a monthly basis—especially if you are good at storytelling.

Are you looking for a way to soften your heart?
The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Bring the orphan close to you, wipe his head and give him some of your food, for that will soften your heart and fulfill your need.” (Narrated by Tabarani).
Adoption: A Stiarway To Heaven
By Munther Shahatit
As Christians, understanding adoption from a biblical point of view is important, as it motivates us to love and care for each and every child who is in need of a father or mother. Adoption is designed to bring healing to a child that has been abused, neglected, abandoned or simply denied the care of his biological parents. We must, in turn, think of ways to bring healing to those children in need of our help.

Genuine religion
Have you ever asked yourself, as a Christian, what God considers to be pure and genuine religion? The answer can be found in the Book of James, verse 1:27, which reads: "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world". God Himself places the highest importance on their pain and suffering, their emotional and physical needs and their need to be loved.

God’s Idea
Adoption is God's idea—not ours. In the gospel, the term "heavenly Father" is often used to describe God (Matthew 5: 48, 6:14). Furthermore, The Lord's Prayer, the best-known prayer in Christianity, starts out: “Our Father who art in heaven”. Clearly, fatherhood is one of God’s main characteristics and, as such, He encourages us to in turn be fathers to the fatherless and mothers to the motherless. Such is evident in this verse about God almighty: "As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you" (Isaiah 66:13).
Further explaining God’s role as our adoptive father, Ephesians, verse 1:4-5, reads: "For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love, He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will".
As John Piper, the Pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, so eloquently puts it, "Adoption is greater than the universe. Adoption was part of God's plan. It was His idea, His purpose. It was not an afterthought. He didn't discover one day that, against His plan and foreknowledge, humans had sinned and orphaned themselves in the world and then come up with the idea of adopting them into His family. No, Paul says, He predestined adoption. He planned it".

Helping orphans
There are many ways in which to help orphans in need of financial and emotional support. A woman who used to visit orphanages told me that she once came upon a child who was crying loudly, taking him in her arms to calm him. Even if you cannot provide financial assistance, a hug goes a long way.

Things to remember
· We adopt a child not for our own glory but for God’s glory: all good things we do in this life should be not for bragging rights and personal glory, but for the glory of God. The Bible explains: "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you" (Matthew 6:3-4).
· With adoption, we model the mercy and justice of God for others—it is a clear message that we care about what God cares about.
·Caring for children in any capacity can certainly bring heartache, stress and suffering, but it also brings joy.

There are many ways in which you can bring sunshine into an orphan’s life. Just think, pray and be creative and you are sure to find a way.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Very Daring Confession

By Anonymous

I have been reading your magazine for the past two years, never missing an issue, and have enjoyed the many topics you cover that are of particular interest to women—pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. You give great tips to new mothers and your advice to parents is invaluable. However, there is a sensitive subject that you have not yet breached: an unwanted pregnancy. Therefore, I have decided to share my painful, life-changing story with you.
A dreaded discoveryI stood, my feet shaking, holding the plastic stick in my hand. Tears started rolling down my face as I saw two red lines materialize on the home pregnancy test strip—I was pregnant! I felt guilty as I thought of all the women out there who would have given anything to be in my shoes at that very moment. But as a working mama of four, with my youngest just 11 months old at the time, getting pregnant was not really an option—especially as my husband was between jobs, rendering our financial situation uncertain.
My husband and I had discussed the size of our family and we were both content with the two girls and two boys God had already blessed us with. We did not plan on expanding our family and were very cautious when it came to contraception. However, in that area, we did not have many choices: because I had varicose veins, I could not take contraceptive pills and since I had my four children by Caesarean section, the loop was hardly an ideal choice. We resorted to condoms. The fact that they are not 100 per cent effective in preventing pregnancy had become all too clear.
My reactionFor two days and two nights I cried like a baby. Through my tears, I discussed the subject with my husband who, though as shocked as I was at first, had started warming up to the idea of having another child. I, on the other hand, could not face the idea of pregnancy—I was as sure as anything that I would never survive it. My pregnancies had always been very difficult and, when I came around from the anaesthetic after giving birth, I had always felt like I was rising from the dead.
There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to terminate the pregnancy. I broke the news to my husband and, when he saw how devastated I was, he agreed.
Going through with itFinding a gynaecologist to carry out the abortion was no easy task. My gynaecologist refused to do it, trying to talk me into keeping the baby, but I had already made up my mind. Finally, I found a doctor who agreed to perform the abortion, saying that she believed it was my right to terminate the pregnancy if I so desired. She did an ultrasound to confirm that I was, in fact, pregnant and it was then that I heard the sound I least wanted to hear—the sound that ripped my insides apart and still haunts me today: the sound of the foetus’ heartbeat. Each beat was like a stab to my own heart.
OverAfter going through the painful procedure, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief—relief that the ordeal was over and that my life would soon go back to normal.
What I was not prepared for was my husband’s attitude. He was with me the entire time and had heard the heartbeat as well. His eyes were the first thing I saw when I woke up; in them, I saw a light that was fading. For days after the operation, he barely talked to me, refusing to look me in the eye and acting angry most of the time. I was devastated at the time—I really needed his support. I knew it was my decision to terminate the pregnancy, but it was not easy and I still needed support; I needed to feel loved and accepted. Because we never told our children what had happened, I was completely alone with my thoughts and feelings. It was such a difficult time.
Moving onOne year has passed; my husband has finally gotten over his deep anger and is back to loving me the way he did before the abortion. We are even more cautious than ever when it comes to contraception now because making the same mistake twice would be fatal. I love my children and I even love the one I aborted, but I know that I would not have been a good mother if I had to look after another child. I hope that God will protect my family and I will always strive to be the best mama I can be. And I pray that the little angel whose heartbeat I heard can forgive me.

Let's Give Thanks

By Lisa Schutz-Bentaieb

It was the last Thursday of November 2009, Thanksgiving Day. I was motivated to make my children a proper Thanksgiving dinner, since they had never experienced the all-American tradition. It has been hard to hold on to family traditions while living overseas for the last ten years, but although some customs are lost or warped, new ones from other cultures have happily become a patchwork of current family traditions. Nevertheless, for my own peace of mind, I needed to at least expose my four young children to this holiday tradition.

Americans have plenty of so-called “hallmark holidays,” on which they celebrate anything and everything: Mother's Day, Father's Day, Halloween, Valentine's Day, National Secretaries Day, Children's Day and my personal favourite, National Grammar Day. Of course, in true American fashion, there are greeting cards galore, themed gadgets and gizmos and loads of décor to properly mark the occasion. There are so many of these “holidays,” in fact, that it is dizzying! Some holidays, however, never lose their importance; Thanksgiving is one of them. Celebrated by families of all races, backgrounds and religions, Thanksgiving Day is marked by an elaborate Thursday meal, football matches and a long weekend of massive parades with elaborate floats and marching bands.

So, what is the idea behind Thanksgiving? Although there are many ideas about how the first Thanksgiving Dinner was celebrated, most Americans believe it to be the first meal during which early American settlers and Native American Indians broke bread together under peaceful terms. From the history books I read as a young, Midwestern schoolgirl, their menu comprised an elaborate spread of the fruits of the land—wild game turkey, fall vegetables and a dessert of seasonal fruit. The intent of Thanksgiving today is not to replicate this meal; it is following the Pilgrims' example of sitting down together with family and friends to partake in a meal of thanks. There it is…THANKS! Thankfulness is all relative but, nevertheless, thanks. Sure, it could be thankfulness for wealth and riches earned via a healthy stock portfolio or wild success found via the fruits of labour, but mostly, it is thanks for all that God has given us—health, home, family and friends.

After significant meal preparation and careful consideration as to how to make this Thanksgiving both interesting and engaging for my four children, the table was set with the finest the Bentaieb household had to offer. No guests were invited because of my fears about improperly cooking the beast and timing its fixings. With the excitement of preparation and help from my eldest to youngest, it was clear that something good was in the works. No one would have been able to guess in what direction this would lead.

In today's culture of abundance, many families use Thanksgiving as a tool to get back to the basics and remember all that we have (and all that we can give). Some families ask their children to come to the Thanksgiving dinner table with a list of things for which they are thankful. I decided to take the more spontaneous route, opting for fresh, innocent and untainted accounts of my children's thankfulness. As I expected, their responses were sweet, loving and, at times, a bit silly. In addition to being thankful for food, clothing, lodging, transportation, Hamleys and education, they were overwhelmingly grateful for my blind father's guide dog, Intrigue. They were also appreciative of ‘mansaf’ (Jordan’s traditional dish), hair and eyebrows, sushi, paint, footballs, thunderstorms, turtles, tennis…the list seemed endless. It was gratifying and refreshing, however, to see the enthusiasm of their thankfulness

When I explained Thanksgiving to the children, the immediate response of Alexandre, my eldest, was that of bewilderment. He found the holiday to be such a wonderful idea that he was saddened to learn it was celebrated only one time a year. He begged me to begin a monthly Thanksgiving—not only for the tasty food, but to remind ourselves of how fortunate we are. Regardless of the painful logistics of the Thanksgiving feast, I had no other option but to concede.

Nearly a year has passed since then. Even with our busy lives, we have managed to cling to our new-found tradition as ambassadors of the Thanksgiving spirit. Our friends now happily help us celebrate every month by joining us around a table at which we laugh, reflect and give thanks. Although we still reflect on the things we are grateful for, we have shifted the theme slightly to be a Thanks for Giving feast, discussing the contributions—both large and small—that we can make.

Sure, there is the occasional difficulty in locating the “turkey of the month,” but I have managed to convince local grocers that there is no season for turkey—it's not just a November meat anymore. And, as a purveyor of fine cuisine (though I am far from Martha Stewart) I amuse myself with variations on the vegetable dishes that accompany the bird.

For our family, a new tradition has been created by tweaking old traditions, making the Thanksgiving feast more frequent, but nonetheless full of meaning!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Getting Ready For Eid!


What are your plans for Eid al-Adha? Are you traveling anywhere or staying at home to relax and enjoy the time with your family?
If you're traveling, check out this article for useful packing tips --a must read for any traveler wanting to travel in style!

To view the story in a larger size, please go to photos on Facebook--click here! -- and while you're at it, "Like" our Facebook page for more handy updates!

Do you have any tips for travelling? Know the best way to travel with kids, or have some special traditions that you always do when you travel somewhere new? Let us know by posting a comment - just click the light purple button on the right-hand side of the post!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Get Out Before It Gets Too Cold!

The rain hasn't begun--yet! Get your kids running and exercising in the open air before it gets too cold for you to enjoy it! Or pack a picnic lunch and a jacket and relax with your friends. We all need a little nature in our lives! Try The King Hussein National Park in Amman -- check out the website and some beautiful photos on the official website at http://alturl.com/e5ve3.

Have any other favorite spots to take your children to, or to just enjoy the open skies and a refreshing breeze? Let us know in the comments.

Taste of Today

Wise Ingredients:


In today's day and age, healthy food has become more and more important for everyone! Now that we know so much more about different foods' effects on the body, we can make wiser food choices, whether we're diabetic, watching our weight, or just trying to keep ourselves energetic and strong! Check out the article on our website for some recipes that deliver some serious taste without adding unhealthy ingredients -- http://familyflavours.com/familyflavours/public/DefaultDetails.aspx?id=107&type=article


But now we want to hear from you!

What are your favorite healthy recipes? Got any special ways to make the kids eat their vegetables--and like them? Let us know what tastes so good, you forget it's good for you!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon?

Check out 'Baba Hajj,' a shadow and puppet show at Children's Museum Jordan! It's great way to introduce theatre to the little ones. Keep them happy and busy, before or during Eid. Sit back and let the story of a young child and his father, who goes to Hajj, inform and entertain your children. It's a touching and age-appropriate way to get the kids out of the house and into the arts!

For more information on showtimes and ticket reservations, go to Children's Museum Jordan's website here! http://www.cmj.jo/en/whats_new/15701

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

WIN! WIN! WIN!

Congratulations Zaid Samer Al-Bazian!
He is the winner of the Hamley's competition listed in our October issue.


Make sure you enter November's competition! Kiddos tell us in 250 words or less all about the person you LOVE the most! Send us your submission at ourmailbag@familyflavours.com!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Go, Mama, Go!


By Austen Murrow


Football, gymnastics, basketball, dance, swimming: how many mothers can actually take their children to so many activities, one after the other? The sporty mamas we talked with somehow manage to fit everything in—and enjoy themselves along the way.


Loving it

Dana Barhoush is the mother of three active children; Raad (10) Jenna (8) and Adam (7). Although she works on projects here and there, her primary occupation is ‘dedicated mother’. Dana takes each of her children to basketball twice a week, sometimes waiting for all three to practise in a row, which takes up to three hours. She always stays to watch her young ones play because she enjoys watching them progress. “I remember when my son, Raad, was in KG playing sports,” she reminisces. “It has been eight years now and I have loved watching him improve his skills.” On top of basketball, her children practise boxing at home with their father and also go horseback riding. “It was my idea to get them into sports, starting with Raad, our eldest,” she explains. “I really had to push him to get where he is today.” Dana’s support clearly paid off, as both Raad and his younger siblings love sports now.

The only hectic part for this mother is trying to get everyone out of the house on time, especially on days when she knows she will be gone for three hours straight. Her first priority is making sure homework is done before sports practice so that when they all get back home, they can relax. And what about lunch and dinner? “When my children were younger, I brought sandwiches for the child who was not playing,” she explains, “so when we got home, everyone had been fed.” Since her children are getting older and are now practising until eight on some nights, Dana makes sure the two younger ones eat before going to the gym. “I am thankful that my husband is at home at night to help out while I watch whoever is still practising.”

Dana is very fond of watching her children do what they love. “I think I will miss it when they’re older—when they don’t want me to take them. I’ll give up my time now to be here while they still need me,” concludes the soft-spoken mama.


No other way

Dana Khazendar, full-time mother of Zeena (9) and Yezen (7), spends six days a week—approximately two hours a day—at her children’s sports activities. “Each sport is unique and I like to watch them all,” Dana explains. In addition to dance, both children participate in football and basketball and take guitar lessons. “When the children were younger, it was my idea to encourage them to play sports,” explains the relaxed mama. Her husband supported the idea too. “Even though I needed to really push them at first,” she remembers, “they now love it and cannot imagine their life without sports.”

Why is she so supportive? Dana knows that encouraging her children is a great way to make sure, as she says, that “they are doing something useful with their time” and hopes it will be a productive outlet for them in their teenage years. Dana is a role model too, as she herself does Pilates.

And just how does this organized mother keep track of all the activities? With a calendar that shows her exactly what she needs to do each day and which activities her children have. This way, she is prepared. “I make sure I carry the right amount of food with me,” she explains, “so that Zeena and Yezen can eat after school or between practices.” Although she admits to being stressed out from the full schedule on some days, this lucky mama is often able to socialize with friends who are also watching their children. Her advice for other mothers? “Just enjoy it; it’s fun for the kids.”


A time for everything

Aydah Tubeileh Odeh manages multiple activities for her four children: Aetedal (12), Hussein (11), Hassan (5) and Hamzah (3). Though she recently completed her PhD in Educational Administration, she still managed to support her children, who participate in volleyball, football, basketball and swimming. While chatting with Aydah at her son’s football practice, she tells us: “I have to stay because they feel comfortable and happy when I am here watching.” Aydah loves to watch her children play basketball, as she used to play it herself when she was at school. It was a collective family decision to be involved in sports,. “I knew I should push them to participate because sports are important for their physical and emotional health.” As a mother, she sets an example by partaking in swimming and Ping-Pong herself.

Aydah ensures that the activities are fun and stress-free for her and her children by keeping everyone on track. “There is a time for everything,” she stresses, “a time for lunch, a time for television and a time for sports”. Her advice to mothers who feel overwhelmed? “You can find the time for everything if you manage your time properly.”

Unlimited support

Sameera Al Khuffash is mama to three girls: Tala (11) Sara (8) and Maya (3.5). She supports them daily as they practise gymnastics at both a local gym and their school. On Saturdays, Sameera accompanies her girls to dance class, always staying to watch because she thinks that their dancing is beautiful.

This chic mama attends all of her daughters’ competitions and performances. She loves to see them succeed in what they are doing and it makes her proud that they have already won medals at such a young age. “It was the girls’ idea to do gymnastics,” Sameera beams, “and I love that.” She herself participated in ballet when she was younger, so she knows how important it is to keep fit.

“It’s great watching them at gymnastics; it gives them flexibility and beautiful strong bodies,” she explains, smiling from ear to ear. “I’m proud of them,” she states. Does Sameera have any regrets? Not having her girls start gymnastics early enough—they began just three years ago. She is determined that her youngest, Maya, will start as early as possible: at the young age of four.

How does this mama feel about the time commitment? “It’s hard sometimes; I don’t have a lot of time between school, studying and gymnastics,” she admits, “but I’m happy; it’s no problem for me.” Glancing at her daughters, she says: “I will support them in everything they like to do if it’s good for them.” When asked if her support will continue into their teenage years, she answers without hesitation: “Of course!”

Taste of Today

Tell Family Flavours about a time when a child in your life competed in a competition.
Did they win or lose? How did they handle it?

Hooray for November!

Enjoy the savoury treats in the November issue Family Flavours!


Diabetes Awareness - Adha Mubarak - Go, Go Mamas - At Home Headache Cures - New Beginnings For University Students



Wednesday, October 27, 2010

We're on YouTube!

Find out who we are at Family Flavours!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Taste of Today

We want to hear from you!

What is your favourite kind of weather?
Rainy? Sunny? Snowy? Windy?

Answer by posting in your comment box below!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Taste of Today

Do you have a pet? Tell us about him/her.

Leave a comment on this blog or visit our Facebook page!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Contests from Family Flavours!

Win a complimentary one night stay for two at the Mövenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea!
If you are 18+, simply tell us about your winter vacation days at the Dead Sea by writing to:
ourmailbag@familyflavours.com
............................................................................
WIN
A Miraculous Make-Over
Do you know an overworked mama that would love to be pampered and indulged? Win her a professional make-over, which we will share with you on
our pages! In 250 words or less, simply tell us why she deserves this special treat
by writing to us at
ourmailbag@familyflavours.com

Please note:
Unfortunately, this contest is open to only those who reside in Jordan.
............................................................................
Calling all kids and teenagers ages 6 to 16!
Have you ever been to a restaurant only to find that the children’s menu is too boring and limited, but that the adult menu is too complicated? Are you looking for an exciting, easy-to-read menu? If so, let us know.

We want to hear YOUR ideas for the Tala Bay Beach Club Aqaba menu! Simply write in and tell us which 10 meals you would like to see on our menu and you could WIN a two-hour professional scuba diving and snorkelling session in Aqaba! The runner-up will win a meal at the Tala Bay Beach Club worth JD100!
Send your suggestions to
ourmailbag@familyflavours.com
............................................................................
Win 40 JDs from Hamley's!
What are you waiting for? Hurry up and send us your entry!
Celebrate Halloween by sending us your best spooky story or spooky drawing!

The Power of Pink: Breast Cancer Essentials

Have you browsed through our stylish, sweet, and sassy breast cancer essentials?

Click the photo gallery on our homepage or pick up the October issue of Family Flavours!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Family Chefs: Sudanese Delights!

By Sheela Sheth

A large country with geographic extremes ranging from forests to deserts, Sudan values hospitality as much as we do here in the Arab world. Throughout history, Sudan has been influenced by people of many backgrounds—and this is reflected in its cooking. Showing us how to prepare authentic Sudanese dishes, fit to serve any guest that may enter your home, are Nazik Makkawi and her three daughters: Sarah (12), Samar (10) and Noon (8).
Aseeda and mullah are the most popular Sudanese delicacies, made from powdered dry okra (okra is dried and then ground to a powder) and minced meat. In Sudan, aseeda and mullah are eaten together as a main course as they both complement each other, providing a nutritious meal. Okra is known to help control blood sugar, prevent acid reflux, cure dysuria (painful or difficult urination) and is useful for plasma replacement and as a blood volume expander. Its rich calcium and potassium content help in delaying osteoporosis.
Aseeda
Ingredients
1 cup white flour
1 cup yoghurt
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste

Directions
  1. Whisk together white flour and yoghurt.
  2. In a pan, cook it on a low heat, stirring continuously.
  3. Add salt and beat until mixture comes away from side of pan and forms a smooth ball.
  4. Add oil and stir until smooth.
  5. Set aside.

Mullah
Ingredients
300 g minced meat
2 onions, grated
1 tsp coriander powder
4 tbsp dry okra powder
3 tbsp tomato purée
½ cup water
Salt and red pepper powder to taste
Directions
  1. Brown onions in oil.
  2. Add minced meat and cook until slightly browned.
  3. Add tomato purée, salt, coriander powder and red pepper powder, water and stir.
  4. When the mixture boils, add the okra powder and stir for five minutes.
  5. Arrange the aseeda in the centre of a platter, surrounded by the mullah.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Take It To the Top!

By Rima Amer

At one time, rock climbing brought to mind images of daredevils hanging precariously over the edge of cliffs—no wonder, then, that it was considered to be an extreme sport. Nowadays, however, introducing your child to the fun of rock climbing is easier and safer than ever.

All about climbing
For beginners, indoor rock climbing is considered safer—it takes place in a controlled environment. Here, your child can safely learn how to climb under the supervision and guidance of qualified instructors.

Climbing walls are constructed to be mimic real outdoor structures, such as mountains and hills. In addition, the walls have special holds for hands and feet and places to attach climbing ropes. With difficulty levels to suit all ages and degrees of expertise, you are bound to find something perfect for your child.

Getting started
At the beginning, your child will be taught how to use the safety equipment correctly. After mastering that, she will be taken under the wing of an instructor, who will direct her in the next steps of climbing. The climbs, of course, start out easy, getting more difficult as your child becomes more experienced. When your child becomes confident enough, she may want to try outdoor climbing as well. Wadi Rum in Jordan is a great place to go—the climbing is excellent and the scenery is breathtaking!

Benefits
Rock climbing offers your child many benefits:
  • It develops hand-eye coordination.
  • It develops mental and physical skills.
  • It develops flexibility and strength.
  • It can be practised all year round (in an indoor facility).
  • It is fun and exciting!

Things to remember
Rock climbing is more difficult than it may appear. It is a physically demanding sport that requires a lot of stamina—your child may tire easily at the beginning.


Where to go
Climbat Amman

For further information, please turn to page 128.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

October 16-17 @ The Children's Museum : “Prehistory playroom and archaeologist kit”

Bring your kids to The Children's Museum October 16-17 for a fun-filled, interactive workshop to learn about prehistory!

"In a country like Jordan which is situated in a region with one of the most ancient prehistory and archaeological ruins of the world we found it very instructive to hold this activity here with two objectives: that children get to know the progress of mankind and to do so with the awareness that Spain is a country with great researchers and archaeologists specialized in this field."
-Instituto Cervantes in Amman


Dates:
16/10/2010 (11:00 h)
17/10/2010 (15:00 h)

Location:
The Children´s Museum (Jordan) - Exposition Room
P.O.Box: 386
11831 Amman
(JORDAN)

Also Instituto Cervantes in Amman, the Atapuerca Foundation and the Embassy of Spain are for the exhibition Rainbow of Prehistory, in which the artist Fernando Fueyo illustrates the route of humanity from its ancient origins. This exhibition is from 16 October until 15 November.

Fernando Fueyo was born in 1945 in Spain and he is considered one of the most important illustrators of the Spanish nature. He collaborates with some magazines also. He has exhibited in Japan, Germany or Portugal. In this exhibition he exhibit watercolour paintings about the archaeological site of Atapuerca in Spain (you can find information in this web: http://www.atapuerca.org/ ).

See website for more event information: http://amman.cervantes.es/FichasCultura/Ficha66315_05_2.htm

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Flower Power

By Bushra Shakhshir


Leila Shamma-Shakhshir is a firm believer in the saying, “love is in the details”. So, whenever she hosts an event at her home, she spends hours upon hours planning every aspect of the evening—from the food and table settings to the music and decorations. It is the latter category, however, in which she truly outdoes herself. Being artistic by nature—a gift that, to her dismay, none of her children have inherited—she generally prefers to create centrepiece decorations from scratch. “This particular piece was a favourite with friends and family,” says the vivacious mama of two. “It is very easy to make and is guaranteed to impress your guests.”

Materials:

Scissors

Crepe paper

Flower tape, available at florists

Pencils

Ribbons

An old stand

Artificial flower stems


Directions:


1. Cut some petal stencils out of cardboard; two different sizes are needed.
2. Fold the crepe paper into approximately 20 folds.
3. Use the petal stencils to cut out the petals, as shown.
4. To make the flower’s centre, wrap the crepe paper with flower tape.
5. Add the petals to the centre, starting with the smaller ones.
6. Once the smaller petals are done, use ribbon to tie the petals to the centre.
7. Start adding the larger petals in the same manner that you added the smaller ones. Tie them at the stalk.
8. Add the green petals (the sepals) to the bottom of the flower.
9. Use a barbeque stick to shape the petals.

10. Attach the flower to an old stand you have lying around at home or to a stem from any old artificial flower. If neither is available, you can substitute a bunch of wires wrapped with flower tape.

Leila’s tips:


Here are some great ideas for some great centrepieces:

- Make sure your hands are clean before you start working on your flower—that way, you will avoid getting any stains on the structure.

- Try spraying your favourite fragrance on the flower; because of the nature of the paper, your flower will smell great for days!

- Consider giving the centrepiece as a gift instead of a usual bouquet of flowers. Your friends and family are sure to value the fact that your gift is hand-made!

- Never throw out leftover pieces of paper; they can always be used to make smaller flowers or for the flower’s centre. In fact, the yellow flower was made entirely out of leftovers!

Monday, October 4, 2010

October Issue



October issue should be out on the shelves by the end of the week! Get excite for the new articles!!!

Contests from Family Flavours!

Win a complimentary one night stay for two at the Mövenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea!
If you are 18+, simply tell us about your winter vacation days at the Dead Sea by writing to: ourmailbag@familyflavours.com
............................................................................
WIN
A Miraculous Make-Over
Do you know an overworked mama that would love to be pampered and indulged? Win her a professional make-over, which we will share with you on
our pages! In 250 words or less, simply tell us why she deserves this special treat
by writing to us at
ourmailbag@familyflavours.com

Please note:
Unfortunately, this contest is open to only those who reside in Jordan.
............................................................................
Calling all kids and teenagers ages 6 to 16!
Have you ever been to a restaurant only to find that the children’s menu is too boring and limited, but that the adult menu is too complicated? Are you looking for an exciting, easy-to-read menu? If so, let us know.

We want to hear YOUR ideas for the Tala Bay Beach Club Aqaba menu! Simply write in and tell us which 10 meals you would like to see on our menu and you could WIN a two-hour professional scuba diving and snorkelling session in Aqaba! The runner-up will win a meal at the Tala Bay Beach Club worth JD100!
Send your suggestions to
ourmailbag@familyflavours.com
............................................................................
Win 40 JDs from Hamley's!
What are you waiting for? Hurry up and send us your entry!
Celebrate Halloween by sending us your best spooky story or spooky drawing!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Growing Pains

By Bushra Shakhshir

With the exception of Peter Pan perhaps, none of us can evade growing old. Faced with the uselessness that many believe comes hand in hand with old age, it is often seen as an incurable disease. Jamila Al Naber Haddadin, though, believes otherwise. "With some adaptations,” she explains, “this stage of one’s life can be as fulfilling as any previous stage. In fact, I find this stage the most rewarding."


Her best achievementSitting in her favourite armchair with freshly coiffed hair and a bright pink shirt, 86-year-old Jamila has a strong, yet maternal, presence. As a mama of 12 and teta of 29, Jamila considers raising her children to be her proudest achievement:"Part of the reason why I am so content and happy at this age,” she says, “is because I have such wonderful children.” Smiling proudly, she recounts the successes in their lives, telling about their support of her and of each other.

Challenges and how to overcome them“Growing old isn’t without challenges,” Jamila is quick to add. “There are some major changes that occur to your body, which you must adapt to.”
According to Dr Suhaila Twal, the most significant of these changes is the declining efficiency of one’s muscles. “This means your heart is less able to pump large quantities of blood around the body and your blood vessels lose their elasticity,” explains Twal. As a result, high blood pressure and heart problems are fairly common among the elderly.

Loss of bone density—a phenomenon more prevalent in women than men—is another important change to expect. Experts advise older women to take special care by following a diet high in calcium and vitamin D and testing for osteoporosis, especially if there is a family history.
“It is important to remember,” Twal reassures, “that the negative physiological changes that occur can be significantly minimised.” Such can be achieved simply by coupling appropriate exercise with a healthy diet. Jamila gets her exercise by walking around her neighbourhood—a part of her daily routine that she looks forward to.

Besides walking, Jamila’s favourite pastime is reading. She has read everything from Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables to most of Agatha Christie’s novels. She also loves solving puzzles and crosswords. “These not only keep me entertained,” she explains, “but I think that they have played a role in the fact that I have an impeccable memory.”
Twal agrees: “Your mind is just like anything else in your body—the more you use it, the stronger it becomes.”

Mind over matterExplaining her approach to old age, Jamila quotes Mark Twain, saying, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” She believes that remaining positive and living life to the fullest each and every day is very important. “Besides,” she adds with a twinkle in her eye, “this is my time to truly enjoy life. I have worked hard most of my life and I am now reaping the rewards.”

When Jamila is not spending time with her family and grandchildren, she can usually be found planning trips to different parts of the world. “Right now,” she discloses, “I am planning a vacation to Turkey. I absolutely love to travel and I’ve been lucky enough to visit many wonderful parts of the world.”

It has been said that fear is the single most powerful agent in making what we fear come true. The best way to beat aging, then, is to embrace it—something Jamila is doing gracefully.