Gong Xi Fa Cai & Splashes of Red

ImageIts that wonderful time of the year when one treasures all things Chinese. Normally I would just be talking about food but for once, its about the celebrations all around for Chinese New Year. Its a bit special for me as it is the year of the dragon which has been lucky for me in the past and in 2000, which was the Year of the Double Dragon, my daughter Tash was born. (If you think I have a dynamite personality, you gotta meet this kid who on top of being a Double Dragon was born under the sign of Scorpio). All I can say is OUCH! But I love her and wouldn’t have it any other way as she keeps life exciting and I learn heaps of stuff from her almost every day.

In Malaysia and Singapore, it was so much fun to be around town during this period where for once, the city people actually take time to breath. As a student, I certainly received a lot of ‘Ang Paos’ from my older Chinese friends and absolutely loved the prosperity lunches and dinners. I still have not decided what to give my daughter tonight in her red ang pao packet when I explain the whole concept, cultural significance to her about CNY. I loved the red lanterns and dragon dances in particular during this period  in the KL, PJ and Subang Jaya areas of Malaysia. And Orchard Road in Singapore during this time is magic.

I am glad for once that close friends define me as the diva with splashes of red….during this time, red is meant to be a lucky colour so to add to my red carpets, candles, lamps & cushions and feathers, I am making extra effort to add more red elements into my house for the  next 15 days to celebrate. I wish the dragon on my desk was red and not green but that would totally destroy my feng shui side of things – oh well!

Because I lean more towards Mandarin when addressing all things Chinese, I say Gong Xi Fa Cai as greeting but a few friends of mine are from the Cantonese orientation and they greet friends saying Kung Hei Fat Choi (Philip, note I did remember the phrase this time). I wish my Chinese friends a prosperous new year and I could certainly do with a better year this time around for sure.

Talking about prosperity meals, today I prepared a special prosperity toss (yee sang) which is a combination of fish and vegetables of different colours. I hope this brings me good luck, prosperity, longevity, health and wealth. On Thursday, I will be having a special prosperity meal prepared by my favourite Chinese Chef at Shangri-la Dubai. Cant wait!

Speaking of cultural fusion, NJD and I just returned from the Dubai Berlin fashion show held from 8.30-9pm at the Pavilion. It was cool to see how 8 designers hailing from Germany and UAE used the abaya as their focal point to create designs fusing fabrics, cuts, styles from the 2 countries. Very nice indeed. We certainly love cultural influences on all fronts.

Hope the Water dragon brings happiness and harmony to all. 

High-Level MENA Delegation Scheduled for First-of-its-Kind Visit to ‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’ exhibition in United States

The National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce (NUSACC) and the Union of Arab ICT Associations (IJMA3-USA) are leading a high-level delegation of Arab government officials and business leaders to the “Ingenious Innovations: Islamic Science Rediscovered” exhibition at The Tech Museum in San Jose, California.

The January 16 visit will include more than 50 senior officials and private sector representatives from 13 Arab nations, marking the first visit of its kind to the world renowned traveling exhibition, which is also known as “Sultans of Science”. “Delegates from the Middle East will be enthralled to know the scientific breakthroughs of a remarkable era, which was one of the greatest in the world.

History text books refer to events when Europe slumbered in a period which is commonly known as the Dark Ages, but few people are aware of the tremendous contributions Muslim scholars made in science and technology during the Golden Age of the Islam (7th – 17th Centuries) which helped pave the way for the European Renaissance,” said, Ludo Verheyen, CEO, MTE Studios.

“We are delighted to provide our guests with an opportunity to participate in an exclusive viewing of this remarkable exhibition at The Tech Museum and to find out more about the scientific achievements of the Muslim Civilisation. We look forward to the tour, which has been popular in the USA and Canada since it was first exhibited in New Jersey,” said David Hamod, President and CEO of the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce. Designed to unearth the scientific know-how of an Islamic Golden Age, the exhibition covers main fields of Muslim achievements, from mathematics to navigation, astronomy, medicine, instrument making, fine utilitarian technology, engineering, optics, architecture and flight. It will be displayed at The Tech Museum until the end of February.

“We look forward to the high profile delegates’ visit, and we appreciate NUSACC’s initiative to give this exposure and experience to their guests. The exhibition underscores the roots of Silicon Valley’s innovations, and we would be delighted to work jointly with NUSACC in the future again,” added Verheyen.

Press release issued on behalf of MTE Studios FZ LLC. For further information, please contact Shereen Shabnam on +971 507690087/504828177/shereen@mtestudios.com Or Shamim Kasmani on +971 503461538/ shamim@mtestudios.com

Media Information About ‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’ (‘Sultans of Science’):

‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’ also known as ‘Sultans of Science’ is a global touring exhibition celebrating the contribution of Muslim Scholars in Science and Technology during the Golden Age of the Islamic World and the influence their inventions and contributions has towards modern society. Focused on increasing knowledge and understanding of these invaluable contributions, ‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’ has been created as a global traveling exhibition in order to enable its message to be far reaching through science centers and museums around the world. The exhibition, developed by MTE Studios features interactive displays with information on inventions, innovations and discoveries covering a broad spectrum of science topics such as astronomy, mathematics, medicine, optics amongst others, which were ahead of its time.


The National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce (NUSACC), established over 40 years ago, is America’s longest serving organization dedicated to U.S.-Arab business. NUSACC is widely regarded as the voice of American business in the Arab world and the premier private sector portal to the United States for Arab commercial enterprises. The Chamber is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that is registered under U.S. law as a 501-c-6 chamber of commerce. NUSACC is an independent, membership-driven entity that receives no income from foreign governments. The National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce is the only business entity in the United States that is officially recognized and sanctioned by the League of Arab States and the General Union of Arab Chambers of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture. As such, NUSACC is a “sister chamber” and partner to the national chambers of commerce throughout the Arab world. Visit http://www.nusacc.org/about/index.php for more information.