Friday, 22 June 2018

Attawasol Insaniy Singapore sets up farm in Indonesia

Source: Attawasol Insaniy Singapore Facebook page. Attawasol Farm in Indonesia.
Source: Attawasol Insaniy Singapore Facebook page. Attawasol Farm in Indonesia.

Attawasol Insaniy Singapore has started running its own farm in Indonesia, Attawasol Farm. 

The Islamic education consultant has been working to create the farm since May 2017 to offer Singaporeans and Indonesians their own qurban and aqiqah services.

The land for Attawasol Farm is registered under PT Attawasol Insaniy Indonesia.


Like the Attawasol Insaniy Singapore F acebook page

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Tailored wellness programmes at the Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara

Source: Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara. The Balance Wellness by Anantara programme includes specially-designed vegan cuisine.
Source: Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara. The
Balance Wellness by Anantara programme includes
specially-designed vegan cuisine.
Luxury private pool villa resort Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara has launched a new wellness programme featuring an ala carte concept.

Nestled between a private beach and a freshwater lagoon in Salalah, Oman, Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara allows guests to pursue their wellbeing goals in an idyllic environment. Delivering wellness packages tailored to each guest, the Balance Wellness by Anantara programme kicks off with a consultation to ascertain the needs and goals of the individual. Depending on the length of the stay, guests can then choose from a wide array of healthy cuisine, as well as activities, and therapies to suit them based on guidance from trained experts.

“In line with our fundamental approach to customer service at Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara, we really wanted to provide a bespoke experience for our wellness guests,” said Virginia Cogliati, Director of Spa at Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara. “In addition, we have the unique offering of private pool villas in which guests seeking more solitude on their journey to wellbeing can enjoy activities and meals on their own personal pool terrace.”

Available in three, five or seven-day packages, the retreats include rejuvenating spa treatments, purification therapy and nutritious cuisine along with individual activity sessions such as yoga and hiking the mountainous coast of Salalah. Full board dining centred on nutrition is designed to encourage good health and fuel the body efficiently. Guests will also receive additional discounts on all spa and wellness treatments depending on the length of their stay.

The Balance Wellness by Anantara menu has been created by Italian vegan chef Valeria Agnelutto. Designed to detoxify and energise the system while delivering maximum flavour, dishes include Italian pasta e fagioli (beans) and chickpea burgers with rosemary and parsley and veggie mayo. The three-course meals also include  starters such as avocado tartare with cucumber and dates and raw tiramisu for dessert. Each dish comes with a detailed nutritional breakdown and is accompanied by vitamin-packed raw juice.

One highlight of the wellness programme is experiencing Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara's luxury hammam (steam bath), the only one in the region. The ritual starts with a steam bath in preparation for a black soap cleansing and kessa mitt* exfoliation to sweep impurities. Once steamed and scrubbed, a Moroccan Rhassoul** treatment nourishes and rehydrates skin.


The Balance Wellness by Anantara packages at Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara start from RO154.

Call +968 2322 8222 to book a Balance Wellness by Anantara package.

*Black soap is made from black olives and oil. The kessa glove, used for exfoliation, is often used in Morocco and Turkey.

**Rhassoul clay comes from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Eid al-Fitr hours reported for Sultan Armed Forces Museum, Oman

The Sultan Armed Forces (SAF) Museum, the only military museum in Oman, will be open for all citizens and residents in the sultanate of Oman over the Eid al-Fitr holidays, the Oman News Agency has reported.

It will be open: 

16 June 
9 am to 1.30 pm 

17 and 18 June
7.30 am to 1.30 pm 

The Museum will then resume receiving visitors from 23 June, opening from 9 am to 2 pm, and from 3 pm to 6 pm. 

It will be open from Sunday through Thursday of each week thereafter, from 7.30 am to 1.30 pm.

The museum is at Fort Al Falaj House in Ruwi, Muscat. The museum accommodates weapons, clothing, instruments, and other defence systems that chart the development of the Omani armed forces from pre-Islamic Oman until the Renaissance period, when HM ascended the throne. 

Outdoor exhibits include military equipment which have been used in the Sultan's Armed Forces, such as vehicles, tanks and aircraft and ships.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Royal meal on selected MAS flights for Eid

In conjunction with the upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri (Eid al-Fitr), Malaysia Airlines will be serving a royal menu by the Raja Muda of Perlis, Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail and his consort, Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Raja Puan Muda Tuanku Hajah Lailatul Shahreen Akashah Khalil. 

The royal dishes will be served onboard selected flights from 15 to 17 June 2018.

The menu is part of the airline’s Best of Malaysia initiative, under which the airline introduces authentic and traditional Malaysian meals in-flight and on the ground.

The kurma daging Perlis will be served to passengers flying First and Business Class on MH2 and MH4 from Kuala Lumpur to London, UK, as well as Business Class on MH150 from Kuala Lumpur to Jeddah, KSA and MH112 and MH196 from Kuala Lumpur to Dhaka, Bangladesh. Business Class passengers flying from Kuala Lumpur to Sabah, Sarawak and ASEAN destinations will also get to enjoy the dish.

The recipe is a favourite at Istana Arau, the official residence of the Perlis royal family, and is being served onboard as part of an initiative to promote Perlis cuisine both locally and internationally. The initiative was personally spearheaded by the royal couple themselves.

Passengers flying Economy Class on the above routes can also savour the kurma ayam Perlis, which features the same recipe but with chicken instead of beef. Both dishes are available on the first three days of Aidilfitri.

Alongside this, and to coincide with the Aidilfitri holidays, Malaysia Airlines passengers will be able to receive the special kids activity pack or Pilot Parker baby bib when they book their child meal beforehand. The Pilot Parker activity pack includes an activity book, stickers, and stationery to keep children occupied on-board. These items will be available until 30 June 2018.

For Aidilfitri, Malaysia Airlines is also providing traditional Raya meals for lunch and dinner at the Golden Lounge. Guests can savour nasi tomato, lemang and rendang, and sayur lodeh, as well as tart nenas, kuih bahulu and dodol before their flights.
Ahead of the Hari Raya holidays, Malaysia Airlines would like to advise passengers to arrive early at KLIA. Those travelling this Hari Raya are encouraged to arrive 3 hours prior to their scheduled time of departure to avoid congestion. Passengers may also check in 48-hours prior to their flight via web check-in at or via MHmobile.

To ensure seamless travel, MAS highlights that:

- Check-in counters will close 60 minutes before flight departure.

- Immigration and security clearance is an estimated 45 minutes.

- Have the required travelling documents ready.

- The boarding gate will close 20 minutes prior to departure.


View pictures of the in-flight dishes

Hashtags: #MalaysiaAirlines, #MalaysianHospitality

Emirates celebrates Eid with customers for the first time

For the first time, Emirates is extending its Ramadhan service to celebrate Eid as well.

There is a 20% discount for onboard duty free purchases over US$95 up to 15 June.

From 14 to 17 June, customers can look forward to sweet treats on selected flights. In Economy Class, customers will be served Eid cookies, while in First and Business Class, customers will receive a box of chocolates. In addition, First Class customers can enjoy a special Eid edition of Lakrids candy. Lakrids Crispy Rose flavoured liquorice will be offered in  all regions during Ramadhan and Eid.

As a global airline, Emirates has been delighting customers’ palates with regionally-inspired cuisine and special seasonal menus for widely celebrated events like Chinese New Year, Christmas, Diwali, and Ramadhan. Its signature Ramadan service with special iftar meals has been a mainstay for over 20 years and illustrates the airline’s commitment to providing customers a comfortable journey throughout the month.

Oman accepts e-payments on new zakat portal

The Oman Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs has launched an e-payments system for collecting zakat (زكاة‎‎) as part of digital transformation initiatives to facilitate services for beneficiaries and simplify procedures, the Oman News Agency has reported. Zakat is an annual payment, obligatory for Muslims, whose amount is calculated on the value of selected assets. The money is used for specific charitable and religious purposes.

Sultan bin Said al-Hinai, General Supervisor of the Zakat e-system said the system helps to manage zakat affairs for four stakeholders: the zakat payer, which could be an individual or an institution; the the beneficiaries of zakat, which could be an individual or a family; local zakat committees, and the Islamic banks which contribute to facilitating zakat services.

Services include a zakat calculator, and reliable acceptance of zakat payments. Zakat payments are credited to the general account for zakat in the sultanate, to the relevant account in wilayah, or to eligible individuals. It also allows payment of general or current alms, kaffarat or zakat al-fitr*. It also enables the delivery of in kind zakat, such as fruits, animals and others. 

To date, 1,120 users have taken advantage of the e-payment service.

*Kaffarat (كفارة) refers to payments made in lieu of fasts missed un-necessarily during Ramadhan. This is to be distinguished from fidyat (الفدية), or payments made in lieu of fasts missed because the person is too old or too sick, and cannot make up for it later. Zakat al-fitr is a compulsory amount to be paid before Eid prayers, either in the form of food or money, and meant as charity to be distributed at the end of the last fast in Ramadhan. The money helps the poor who may not have been able to engage in the Eid celebrations and also provides the giver with an opportunity to be forgiven for sins made during Ramadhan.

Education and national economic success linked for young Muslim women

Source: Pew Research Fact Tank. Scatterplot on educational attainment of young Muslim women versus economic output.
Source: Pew Research Fact Tank. Scatterplot on educational attainment of young Muslim women versus economic output.

Pew Research suggests that the state of women's education in Muslim societies today boils down to economic success, and not religion in a new analysis of Pew Research Center data on educational attainment and religion.

"It’s true that, historically, Muslim women have received less schooling than females of other major religions (except Hindus); they also have lagged behind Muslim men in educational attainment, according to previous analysis by Pew Research Center. More recently, however, Muslim women have been catching up – not only with Muslim men but also with other women around the world," said Conrad Hackett, a Senior Demographer and Associate Director of research at Pew Research Center, and Dalia Fahmy, Senior Writer/Editor at Pew Research Center, in a Fact Tank article.

The new study*, co-authored by Hackett, analyses the Center’s education data and appears in the Population and Development Review. The analysis shows that a country’s wealth is the most important factor determining how much education a woman receives.

For example, young Muslim women who are Saudi citizens, defined as those born between 1976 and 1985 in KSA have an average of 11.5 years of schooling, compared with 11.8 years for the country’s young men and two years of education for older Muslim women, defined as those born between 1935 and 1955. 

Researchers also examined factors in Muslim communities that might play a role in influencing education for women, such as the degree of gender discrimination in a country’s family laws, the percentage of its population that is Muslim and the share of Muslims who reported that religion is very important to them. "The study finds that none of these elements had a significant impact on the results," said Hackett.

*The study was by David McClendon, Hackett, Michaela Potančoková, Marcin Stonawski and Vegard Skirbekk. McClendon is a former Research Associate at the Center.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Jordan receives aid package from KSA, Kuwait, UAE

KSA, Kuwait and the UAE will provide economic aid worth US$2.5 billion to Jordan, the Saudi Press Agency has reported. The decision was made after a meeting in Makkah, KSA to discuss the economic crisis in Jordan attended by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of KSA, King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah of Kuwait and VP and PM Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Makhtoum of the UAE, who is also Ruler of Dubai.

Based on the bonds among the four countries as well as the Arab and Islamic values and principles, the three countries will:

- Make a deposit at the Jordanian Central Bank.

- Provide guarantees for the World Bank in the interest of Jordan.

- Support the Jordanian government’s budget annually over the coming five years.

- Finance developmental projects.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Pakistan Ulema Council Association backs KSA on status quo

The Pakistan Ulema Council Association has praised KSA's role, led by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud; and HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Crown Prince and VP of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Defense, in support of Muslim countries and defense of Muslims and Islamic issues as well as its commitment to preserving the security and stability in the region.

According to the report by the Saudi Press Agency, the statement was made at the Conference on the Protection of the Three Holy Mosques of Makkah, Madinah and Al-Aqsa of Jerusalem Al-Quds held in the Pakistani city of Lahore.

The delegates expressed support for KSA in its quest to protect the country from the attacks by the Iran-backed Houthi militias, and rejected calls to politicise the Hajj and umrah, reaffirming that KSA has the capabilities to oversee Islamic activities in the sacred places throughout the year.

KSRelief distributes aid and iftar meals in Yemen

The Riyadh-based King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) has distributed housing aid in Sana'a, Al-Bayda, Luhaj, and Taiz governorates in Yemen to 42,579 beneficiaries, says the Saudi Press Agency.

Nine hundred iftar meals were also distributed in Abyan to 800 displaced people and 100 hospital patients. KSRelief aims to serve 264,080 iftar meals targeting 13 Yemeni governorates on 24 Ramadhan. A further 1,300 iftar meals were given out in Shabwah to displaced people, and 1,245 meals to 250 displaced people, 250 people with special needs, 570 hospital patients, and 175 students in Ma'rib.

The moves are part of the 262 humanitarian initiatives to support Yemeni people, which have so far reached 262.

Friday, 8 June 2018

Bank Sohar celebrates Qaranqasho

As part of its annual Qaranqasho celebrations, Bank Sohar organised three different programmes: a Qaranqasho gathering for customers and the general public at Bank Sohar’s branch in the Avenues Mall; another event for employees and their families at the Jungles Restaurant; and finally a bank-sponsored event for the Oman Association for the Disabled.

Ahmed Al Musalmi, CEO, Bank Sohar, said, “Qaranqasho is a very special event for families across the region, and as a community-focused organisation, we consider it our duty to preserve and nurture Oman’s heritage for future generations. With many customers and employees in attendance with their families, Qaranqasho formed a splendid opportunity to enhance the bank’s engagement and sociability with local communities, staff and good will associations.”

The bank’s branch in the Avenues Mall featured family activities at photo booths and performances, including traditional songs by children, while the gathering at the Oman Association for the Disabled saw children take to the stage dressed in colourful costumes, singing and dancing.

Qaranqasho is a way to reward children for fasting through the first half of Ramadhan. Traditionally observed on the 14th night of Ramadhan, children across the Gulf celebrate Qaranqasho (Garangao in Qatar) by visiting neighbours in their community singing songs in traditional outfits. Going door-to-door throughout nearby neighbourhoods youngsters collect sweets and halwa, echoing an age-old tradition that used to include makeshift musical instruments. In the past, children would carry seashells instead and beat them together whilst singing “Qaranqasho”.

View pictures of the event on Facebook

Hashtags: #BankSohar, #Ramadan, #Qaranqasho, #RamadanNights

Twitter shares Malaysian plans for Ramadhan

Source: Twitter. Ramadhan hashtag emojis.
Source: Twitter. Ramadhan hashtag emojis.
Twitter is #WhatsHappening during #Ramadhan. According to the social networking platform, two-thirds (67%) of Twitter users surveyed in Malaysia said they would tweet during the month.

While religion takes the top spot, comedy ranks among Malaysia's most enjoyed Ramadhan content on Twitter according to the research. The top five content topics on Twitter for Malaysia during Ramadhan are:

1. Religious

2. Food/cooking

3. Travel destinations

4. Health/wellness

5. Comedy

Besides tweeting about their latest updates, 66% of users plan to watch video on the platform - in fact, 65% of users are interested in watching livestreamed exclusive show on Twitter during Ramadhan. Another key research highlight for Malaysians during Ramadhan is shopping.

Twitter currently has several custom emojis for the season in force till 14 June, including the newly-designed crescent moon emoji, for tweeting with hashtags about Ramadhan in different languages, including #Ramdan, #Puasa and #Ramazan.

Another emoji now appearing is an illustration of a date with a glass of yogurt, a dish commonly consumed during iftar, while a third emoji is that of a Ramadhan-themed lantern.

Source: Twitter Malaysia. For #Ramadan2018 in Malaysia, users listed what content they enjoyed most on Twitter, what they liked on TV, and how they would engage with Twitter during Ramadhan.
Source: Twitter Malaysia. For #Ramadan2018 in Malaysia, users listed what content they enjoyed most on Twitter, what they liked on TV, and how they would engage with Twitter during Ramadhan.


View Ramadhan and Raya ads for 2018, many of which are quite funny

Hashtags: #Ramadan2018

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Etihad marks Zayed Humanitarian Day

The Etihad Aviation Group has launched an array of community and humanitarian initiatives to mark Zayed Humanitarian Day, which falls on 19 Ramadhan (4 June).

The programme, which includes food donations, community activities and charity campaigns, demonstrates Etihad’s commitment to local and global humanitarian activities, reflecting a spirit of sharing during Ramadhan and the Year of Zayed.

As part of its corporate social responsibility, the UAE national airline has carried out a number of projects and initiatives including treating 10 elderly people from the Old People’s Home in Sharjah to a flight simulator experience, iftar and Eid gifts in a family setting together with some of the airline’s pilots.

In line with its ongoing commitment to support underprivileged children, Etihad has teamed up with the Emirates Red Crescent to distribute Eid gifts to 600 orphans in Kerala, India. It has also donated school bags, stationery items and clothes to an orphanage of 240 children in Vietnam.

In Sri Lanka, 136 children from orphanages and children’s homes enjoyed a Movie Night on board an Etihad Airways’ aircraft, and enjoyed activities and meals.

Khaled AlMehairbi, Senior VP and GM, Etihad Airport Services Ground – Abu Dhabi Hub and CSR Strategy, said, “We are excited to announce this large-scale programme, boosting our charitable and community footprint locally and globally. The Zayed Humanitarian Day is very special this year as we celebrate the Year of Zayed in 2018. We are inspired by the late founding father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to give back and bring smiles to those who are less fortunate.

“With a strong global presence and extensive network, Etihad Airways is ideally positioned to reach out to vulnerable communities in different parts of the world and to make a lasting and positive impact through initiatives that span education, food donations, orphan support and relief aid.”

The company also announced an initiative for guest miles donations which will be channelled to sponsor iftar meals for Rohingya children and families, and the promotion of child education across the world.

Etihad Aviation Group has partnered with Emirates Red Crescent over several community projects to mark the Zayed Humanitarian Day: 

- Donating dry food parcels to more than 1,300 families in India
- Donating dry food parcels to 1,000 families in Sri Lanka
- Supporting 1,000 Syrian refugees at Ritsona camp in Greece with brand new clothing and Eid gifts
- Distributing dates to 73 outstations for charity
- Distributing iftar boxes to the workforce during the month of Ramadhan, with an expected 8,000 meals to be donated to housekeeping, security and maintenance workers based at Etihad offices.
- Distributing wheelchairs to the Specialist Center for Children with Disabilities in Sharjah, which provides regular care and treatment for children up to 18 years old.

In late May, Etihad Cargo, the cargo division of Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, has launched its first humanitarian freighter missions as part of the group’s Year of Zayed programme.

The specially branded Year of Zayed Boeing 777 freighter aircraft departed Abu Dhabi – first to Almaty in Kazakhstan and then to Hyderabad in India – carrying provisions to be distributed to those in need during Ramadhan.

The humanitarian missions are taking place throughout the year in collaboration with the Khalifa Foundation, the Red Crescent, and His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan Humanitarian & Scientific Foundation. These missions represent the Year of Zayed theme of respect, one of the four key themes of Etihad’s Year of Zayed activation plan.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ CEO said: “We are pleased to have commenced our first Year of Zayed humanitarian operations with our cargo aircraft which is crossing the globe to deliver vital items to help people most in need.

“The humanitarian missions embody the spirit and values of the UAE’s founding father, HH Sheikh Zayed, and we are proud to play a small role in carrying forward his legacy and supporting people in need from around the globe.”

Faris Saif Al Mazrouei, GM, The Founder's Office, said: “The Founder’s Office is proud to support Etihad Airways’ humanitarian efforts, which will bring relief to thousands during the holy month of Ramadhan.

“The late Sheikh Zayed initiated countless philanthropic and charitable endeavours throughout his lifetime. His spirit of altruism and generosity transcended borders, and laid the foundations for the UAE’s ongoing role as a leading provider of international aid.

“This worthy initiative upholds his legacy, reflecting one of the central themes of our Year of Zayed campaign which is to reinforce the spirit of solidarity amongst community members through selfless giving, and globally extending a helping hand to all those in need.”
Last month, Etihad also launched a community drive to donate 150,000 inflight meals to charity in 2018, and for every year in the future.