Death is imminent and grieving can take many forms

My daughter and I spent some time earlier writing condolence tributes to children of an awesome woman who was my angel when I was new and pregnant as an expat in UAE with absolutely no clue about motherhood. It has been a shocking time for us this weekend and a wake up call that death indeed is imminent and can happen at any time and how sometimes we take people for granted in our lives knowing they are always there and not appreciating them enough.

Nicola (RIP) was the most dynamic woman we have come across amongst parents in Tasha’s school. Before Tash was born, she organised all our mother to mother events, she helped me draw up the letter to the hospital that I wanted a natural birth with no epidural (I didn’t even know what an epidural was), She introduced me to other mothers who later became my information hub for raising Tash and where I needed to go for good doctors, clothes etc.

What is tragic is that this healthy, slim, on the go committed mum and art educator took a tablet that she didn’t realise she was allergic to and this caused a cardiac arrest and she died in the hospital on the way to the hospital. How much difference can an hour make to a person’s life is unbelievable. But I was always told when my mum passed away that God almost always takes amazing people like Nicola first because they are so good and so loved by him.

Lots of memories come flooding now with talk about how the big church was overflowing because Nicola had touched so many hearts. I remember walking down the Coral Coast streets a week after my mum’s funeral and someone who knew I didn’t make it to the funeral came and hugged me and said, ‘Never in this town the police had to monitor traffic because of a funeral but for your mum, they had to. Always remember that – so many people came from so many places because she was an amazing woman who always did things for everyone and was the first one to help people.” That was a beautiful thing to hear and I always think of that when i miss her.

I don’t know why I didn’t see so much of my mum in Nicola before. Afterall, in my mum’s absence, she stepped in to be my guide when I knew no one in the UAE. This incident has also made me realise that often in the rat race, I end up focussing on things that in the end don’t really matter – it’s the real things like people around us that matter.

When I saw a message this morning from Nicola’s daughter to Tash, seeing how strong she and her brother who is Tasha’s age are, I feel proud of them. I was not half as strong as them and its so heartening to see them write notes to their mum, their feelings and how they celebrate the amazing life she led in terms of bringing them up and giving them the best…these are times when we as adults have a lot to learn from the younger generation. Today I feel blessed for everything my mum did for me and the fact that I am the person I am today because of her…Nicola’s death has been very untimely but it has helped us appreciate people around us so much more. RIP Nicola… we will always remember you as the first person who came through the hospital door to see how i was doing after NJD was born.



Bahrain Science Centre to focus on Arab innovations

Kids learn via interactives, talks, debates and workshops at Bahrain Science Centre

The theme of activities in the Bahrain Science Centre during December 2012 and January 2013 will be ‘Bahraini Innovation’, but this topic will be broadened to also include innovations and superlatives from the whole Arab world.

Bahrain boasts many superlatives of its own. It has archaeological records of one of the oldest known civilizations (Dilmun), and the largest number of burial mounds in the world (originally over 85 000). It also features in the world’s oldest and most enduring piece of literature, the ‘Epic of Gilgamesh’, in which Bahrain was the home of eternal youth.

The first oil strike in the Middle East was made in Bahrain (1931/32) and the first oil exports from an Arab country were from Bahrain (1930s). Bahrain was also the first Arab country to begin diversifying its economy away from total dependence on oil and gas (ca 1975).

In the fields of scientific discovery and technological innovation, Arab countries can boast many firsts through the pioneering works of the Abbas bin Firnas, al-Kindi, the Banu Musa brothers, al-Razi, al-Muradi, al-Jazari, Ibn Khaldun, Ibn al-Haitham, Taqi al-Din and many others, but that’s another story.

The Arab world today boasts many world firsts and superlatives on the engineering front. These include the first city (Uruk in Iraq; 3200 BC), earliest high-rise building city (Shibam in Yemen; 16th century), tallest building in the world (Burj Khalifa in Dubai; 828 m), tallest hotel as part of a multiplex (Makkah Royal Clock Hotel; Saudi Arabia), tallest all-hotel building (Rose Rayhaan by Rotana in Dubai; 333 m), tallest hotel atrium (180 m; Burj al Arab in Dubai), tallest residential building (413.4 m; Princess Tower in Dubai) and the largest shopping mall in the world (Dubai Mall; 548 127 m²).

Then there is the 50 floor Bahrain World Trade Centre which is the first skyscraper in the world to integrate wind turbines into its design. Hence the building has received several awards for sustainability as the sail-shaped buildings on either side are designed to channel wind through the gap to provide accelerated wind passing through the turbines.  Tests show that the building shape has the potential to generate electricity.

The largest airport in the world is King Fahd International Airport (DMM) near Damman in eastern Saudi Arabia. Its area (780 km²) is greater than that of Bahrain! The largest alternative energy city is Masdar City in Abu Dhabi (6 km²; started in 2006) and the longest driverless metro network in the world is the Dubai Metro (74.694 km).

The largest draped flag is in Rayak, Lebanon (325 x 203 m) and the longest straight road (240 km) is in Saudi Arabia (Harad to Badha). The Qatar-Bahrain Friendship Causeway (40 km) will be the longest causeway in the world when it is completed (the King Fahd Causeway, at 27 km, is currently the third longest marine causeway in the world).

Join us at the Bahrain Science Centre in December and January as we celebrate Bahraini, and Arab, contributions to the world!

The Bahrain Science Centre is located in Building 334, Road 109, Block 801, Riyadh Avenue, Isa Town, Kingdom of Bahrain and can be contacted on 17686466.

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Press release issued on behalf Bahrain Science Centre. For further information, please contact Shereen Shabnam on +971 507690087/ 504828177/

About Bahrain Science Centre (BSC):

The Bahrain Science Centre (BSC) is an interactive educational facility that targets children, youth and families of Bahrain. It is located in building 334, Road 109, Block 801, Riyadh Avenue, Isa Town, Kingdom of Bahrain. The science centre has six interactive exhibition galleries, an auditorium, four laboratories and a café/shop.

The role of the BSC is to promote awareness of the importance of science and technology, complement the school curriculum, stimulate curiosity and innovation, and create a forum for public debate on science and technology issues. The topics covered by current exhibitions include junior engineering, human health, the five senses, earth sciences and biodiversity.

Focusing on hands-on learning using interactive displays and people-centred programmes, such as science shows, Bahrain Science Centre also strongly promotes creativity and innovation as well as cross-generational learning. The science centre will also endeavour to promote an awareness of Bahrain’s contributions to science and technology and a strong Bahraini identity. It is an ideal family edutainment destination.

‘Sultans of Science’ to fascinate audiences at Petrosains, Kuala Lumpur

MTE Studios Sultans of Science Exhibition attracts large audiences 🙂

Travelling exhibition has attracted thousands visitors since its debut in Asia

Currently touring Asia, ‘Sultans of Science’ will be hosted at Petrosains, The Discovery Centre, located at the PETRONAS Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur to captivate audiences in Malaysia as the third venue for the exhibition since its Asian debut. The global travelling exhibition, also known as ‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’ will open in mid December 2012 in Kuala Lumpur until mid June 2013, showcasing the significant contributions Muslim scholars have made to science and technology.

Tengku Nasariah Tengku Syed Ibrahim, CEO from Petrosains Sdn Bhd said, “‘Sultans of Science’ corresponds well with our aim to enhance science literacy and instill a passion for acquiring scientific knowledge emphasising on the excitement of learning rather than on the rigorous memorisation of scientific facts. We have followed its success in the last few years and believe the subject is perfect for all generations of visitors we get at Petrosains”

“We are excited to showcase Sultans of Science in Petrosains, which brings to life scientific principles by engaging and educating visitors through numerous interactive hands-on experiences. With the message that science and technology is a universal language, the exhibition has more than 50 exhibits in areas such as architecture, arts, astronomy, engineering, explorers, flight, mathematics, medicine, optics and water control, revealing astounding historical legacy of Muslim science, technology and inventions to the Malaysian audience,” added Ludo Verheyen, CEO of MTE Studios.

‘Sultans of Science’ exhibition was created after Dubai, Bahrain and Cape Town based MTE Studios was tasked with theming Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai. The company researched on the technologies invented by Muslim scholars of the Golden Age of Islam (700 – 1700 CE), such as the Elephant Water Clock before creating it for the Mall.

Enjoying enormous success over the last 8 months and enlightening Asian audiences on the important scientific and cultural achievements of the Arab & Muslim scholars, a prestigious venue like Petrosains is perfect for this blockbuster event.

The exhibits were designed in Dubai and created in Cape Town with the exception of the replica of surgical instruments designed by Muslim scientists in the 14th century. These were made of silver and were crafted by jewelers in Egypt. ‘Sultans of Science’ has been displayed at prestigious venues including the MTN Science centre in Cape Town, South Africa; the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey, USA; Ontario Science Center in Canada; TELUS World Of Science in Edmonton, Canada; Tech Museum in San Jose, Science Centre Singapore and National Science Museum in Thailand. With the opening at Petrosains, The Discovery Science Centre, the exhibition will continue traveling across the globe.

Press release issued on behalf of MTE Studios FZ LLC. For further information, please contact Shereen Shabnam on +971 507690087/504828177/

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

‘Sultans of Science’ also known as ‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’ 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 content 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. Visit for more information.

About MTE Studios:

MTE Studios is a specialized consultancy firm focused on themed architecture and interactive learning experiences. The firm designs, prototypes and manufactures inspiring interactive exhibits for science centers, museums, shopping malls and corporate environments.

MTE Studios translates unique residential, commercial, educational and leisure projects into stimulating lifescapes.  Its scope of services ranges from creating a storyline, concept and detail design, documentation, project management and art direction during construction. MTE’s portfolio of completed projects includes museums, shopping malls, theme parks, FEC’s and residential developments.

Recently Bahrain’s Ministry of Human Rights and Social Development has appointed MTE Studios to manage and run operations of the new state-of-the-art Bahrain Science Centre. One of the firm’s recent projects was the development of the Museum of Science and Technology in Islam at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia.

With offices in Dubai, UAE and Cape Town, South Africa, MTE Studios has an interdisciplinary team of over 50 specialists, including architects, art directors, artists, engineers and interactive designers from over 12 countries. Visit for more information.

About Petrosains, The Discovery Centre:

Petrosains is a Science Discovery Centre that uses an exciting and interactive approach to tell the story of the science and technology of the petroleum industry. Its concept and contents revolve specifically around the science of petroleum, yet embrace all the general sciences. The hands-on approach adopted by Petrosains puts an emphasis on the fun and excitement of learning rather than on the rigorous memorisation of scientific facts.

Petrosains Sdn. Bhd. was incorporated to extend PETRONAS’ commitment as a socially responsible corporate citizen in providing a rich and stimulating environment aimed to enhance science literacy and instill in Malaysians a passion for acquiring scientific knowledge. In addition to opening a window of information on the history and development of petroleum and its related products, the centre also creates more awareness on the enormous career opportunities in the industry.

Petrosains is housed in the world’s tallest twin towers, the PETRONAS Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur. Occupying levels 4 and 5 of both Tower 1 and Tower 2 of the Twin Towers, Petrosains covers a total exhibit area of more than 70,000 square feet. Entrance to Petrosains is through Level 4 of the Suria KLCC mall. The mall is accessible via various modes of public transportation. Visit for more information.