DNA workshops and murder mystery by forensic scientist at Bahrain Science Centre

Visiting forensic scientist, Professor Valerie Corfield, explains the intricacies of the DNA spiral to young visitors to the Bahrain Science Centre during a 'DNA Detective' workshop

Visiting forensic scientist, Professor Valerie Corfield, explains the intricacies of the DNA spiral to young visitors to the Bahrain Science Centre during a ‘DNA Detective’ workshop

Bahrain Science Centre, part of the Ministry of Social Development in Bahrain, is  currently hosting a real forensic scientist from the Medical Research Council in South Africa, Dr Valerie Corfield.

Professor Valerie Corfield is a retired medical researcher who is very well known in South Africa for her involvement in informal education on medical issues, including HIV-Aids and the use of DNA in forensic science and genetics. She is holding ‘DNA Detective’ workshops and one ‘DNA Murder Mystery’, which will allow visitors to get involved and discover the wonder of DNA. She will also do staff training on how to use DNA in teaching about forensics and genetics.

The ‘DNA Detective Workshop’ is suitable for visitors aged 9 years and older and the ‘Murder Mystery’ is suitable for visitors 12 years and older.

Later today, a ‘murder’ in a make-believe space ship (BSC 13) will be enacted at the Bahrain Science Centre this Thursday evening and everyone is invited to come along and help solve the ‘crime’.

The Commander of the Space Ship BSC 13, Astro Naut, is mysteriously murdered and every member of the crew is a suspect.

Is the murderer Cosmo Naut, the jealous younger brother of the Commander, or Mike Apollo, a space tourist, or the unhappy wife of the Commander, Countfore Naut, the pompous and unbearable Max D Oderant, sponsor of the space tourists, or the heavily armed Flight Chef Para Noyd? Perhaps it is the programmer of the androids, Maida Blunder, or even one of the androids itself, C3PO. Or maybe it is Detective Conan from the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, who is a guest onboard of ultra rich Lady Bonnie Bigbux, herself a prime suspect?

Date:Time:Venue: 30 May 2013 5: 00 to 7pm pm – Murder Mystery “Death in Orbit “ play

Bahrain Science Centre, Building 334, Road 109, Block 801, Riyadh Avenue, Isa Town, Kingdom of Bahrain.





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.

For more information, please contact:

Shereen Shabnam

BH Mob: +973 39511234

UAE Mob: +971 50 4828177/7690087

My tryst with Porsche Panamera GTS

How beautiful is this car

How beautiful is this car

Last month, my muse was the sportiest Porsche Panamera to ever to hit the road. In true diva like style, the Panamera GTS that I experienced first hand shows that Porsche really has introduced the head-turning variant of the hugely successful Panamera – this was evident in the comments people made when I arrived at work with the cool red Panamera GTS.

The Panamera GTS delivers racetrack performance, with a striking engine sound that turns heads, yet also offers the space and comfort of a four-seater Gran Turismo….I didn’t transfer my 65 pairs of shoes into the boot from my car but could clearly see that if I ever got the car for a few days, my portable shoe rack would fit into it with no problem.

With more power and upgraded brakes and a body lowered by ten millimetres plus a tuned chassis with air suspension and Porsche Active Stability Management (PASM), this model truly is capable of cutting it on the racing circuit. It sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in under 4.5 seconds, and has a top speed of 288 km/h.

I will be honest that I didn’t go that fast simply because I used the swanky red Panamera to get to work on public roads and did not want to risk a face-off between a Fijian diva and RTA or Dubai Police. I decided to stay safe but I did take an earlier version of the Panamera on the YAS Marina racing circuit two years ago with an official gorgeous Belgian Porsche driver trainer as my co-driver. I almost got kicked out of the training after taking the 5th model of a Porsche on the race track but charmed my way in to stay…the 7th model of the Porsche we trained on was a Panamera and collectively everyone agreed that the Panamera is indeed a shark on the tracks. It was a delight to test the engines and the new Panamera GTS was an equal delight for me on the road.

The Panamera GTS reveals its independence with distinctive design features in the front-end, side and rear area, as well as black highlights. The interior is carefully tailored to underline the sporty personality with sports seats, a SportDesign steering wheel with shift paddles, an exclusive GTS leather interior, and Alcantara surfaces.

Featuring a modified 4.8-litre naturally aspirated V8 engine, which delivers a blistering 430 hp at 6,700 rpm, the Panamera GTS trumps the engine in its Panamera S/4S sister models by some 30 hp. Maximum torque is also increased by comparison, from 500 Nm to 520 Nm.

The basic retail price for the new Porsche Panamera GTS in the UAE is AED 512,000. The one I drove was with some additional cool options that made me feel like a queen of the Dubai roads and with all the extra options, it was roughly AED560,000…not bad if you want to make an already cool car into something that car enthusiasts will drool over.

*PS – if you want to see a closer picture of the screen map (GPS), check https://twitter.com/Fijianchick/media/grid. I took a picture of this on the road when I really needed to get to an area in Dubai I didn’t know very well.

*Al Nabooda Automobiles is the official dealer for Porsche in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

Panamera GTS

Panamera GTS Shereen Shabnam

Nissan Middle East projects a positive FY2013

Samir Cherfan

One of the nicest people in the Middle East automotive industry has to be Samir Cherfan, Managing Director Nissan Middle East…a positive down to earth and yet dynamic individual, he is confident and a visionary which is why it was a delight to listen to him last week over lunch talking about Nissan Middle East the 26.2% rise in sales for the 2012 financial year (FY2012) ending 31 March 2013 and what the brand hopes to achieve in the future.

The brand outperformed the overall market trend by 1.1%, following a year of award-winning brand building activities during which five new exciting and innovative models were launched. Nissan Middle East achieved 14.4%* market share, up 0.1% on FY2011.

The performance has led Nissan to predict positive growth 2013 in the Middle East during which it is forecasting a minimum 11.1% rise in sales against expected market growth of 5%*. By the close of FY2013, Nissan Middle East expects a market share across the region to be 15.2%.

Nissan’s strategy in the Middle East is based on the global strategy, ‘Nissan Power 88’, a wide-ranging six-year business plan announced in FY2011 that will accelerate the company’s growth according to Samir. “Based on Power 88, Nissan is aggressively renewing its product line-up in the region and heavily investing in powerful – sometimes record-breaking – brand initiatives. In financial year 2012, Nissan launched a new model almost every two months in the Middle East, all of which were enthusiastically welcomed by car buyers.”

Nissan will enjoy full years sale of the new models introduced in FY2012, which are expected to play a major part in increasing market share. Its leadership in the B/C segment was reinforced with the introduction of an all-new name to arguably the most competitive of segments, the Nissan Sentra small-sedan. In the first 50 days of its availability, nearly 1,500 Sentras were sold, reinforcing Nissan’s position as segment leader.

If you travel as much as I do, you will note that to support Power 88, Nissan launched its first global brand campaign in FY2012, supported in the Middle East with a multi-million dollar campaign in Dubai International Airport. With artwork strategically placed at over 70 chosen locations across the airport, the Nissan brand message will be delivered to all of the 64 million travellers passing through each year. . Fittingly for the Middle East’s most visible brand campaign, it also achieved a Guinness World Record with the accompanying production of the world’s largest indoor illuminated advertising sign – over 174 square meters…check it out the next time you are at Dubai airport.

With a proud racing heritage, Nissan Middle East also escalated its motorsport activity in FY2012. In October 2012 Nissan introduced the unique and highly successful GT Academy to the region, prompting thousands of entrants to compete to fulfil their dreams of turning ‘virtual to reality’ and transforming computer console gaming skills into a career as a professional racing driver. Its support of the region’s most iconic race, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, also reached new heights with the sponsorship of Yahya and Mansoor Belhelei.

Samir also mentioned to me that for the high-end cars, they also customise cars according to individual tastes … most discerning buyers I know value this so I hope 2013 is also a great year for Nissan with more premium clients knocking on their doors.

Get stylish at home with Bentley



I’m in the process of looking for a swanky villa in Dubai to move into and can’t help but spend hours at home furnishing shops in the hope of making my new home fun and stylish. Now I must hold on to my gallivanting around town as Bentley have announced a partnership with Club House Italia for the development of its new Bentley Home Collection.

This exclusive collection of furniture and home-ware will combine the finest quality craftsmanship with exquisite modern design and the luxury finishes which underlie Bentley’s renowned global brand…. I can only imagine how cool and classic the collection will be.

The state-of-the-art collection will combine traditional elements in contemporary contexts to enhance today’s residential, commercial and executive office interiors….if you have been in a Bentley, you would know that they have the finest world-class interiors – now you can have this luxury feel in your home and office.

Club House Italia – which furnishes the finest homes, boardrooms, apartments, hotels, yachts and private jets – will reflect Bentley’s elegant, prestigious and recognisable style in the creation of a range of furniture that combines the highest attention to detail with the finest aesthetic sensibility.

The essence of Club House Italia is expressing the style of desire, giving a shape to luxury through a contemporary art made up of talent, sensitivity and expertise. Combined with Bentley’s legendary style and exquisite craftsmanship, the partnership will offer rare examples of elegance and fine finishes, using the world’s most beautiful materials to bring out unique elements of character and craftsmanship…..can’t wait to see it!

Bahrain Science Centre to host a unique Sound of Music show

Our colleague Mohammed does the Sound of music show at Bahrain Science Centre

Our colleague Mohammed does the Sound of music show at Bahrain Science Centre

Bahrain Science Centre, part of the Ministry of Social Development in Bahrain will actively focus on exploring science shows on music this month sparked by the famous South African science show presenter, Derek Fish who visited the science centre last year.

Derek gave some terrific performances of his ‘Sounds of Music’ show to capacity audiences, encouraging facilitators to teach science using music in Bahrain. Two of the centre’s Facilitators, Mohammed Alkooheji and Hafsa Rahman, have taken the lead in this exciting initiative.

Sound travels in waves, but what do these waves look like?  The centre has bought some software that shows, on the screen, what high and low-pitched sound waves look like. There are already downloaded sounds made by different musical instruments and visitors can watch the waves that they make.

Further research reveals that the shortest strings on string instruments, such as the guitar or violin, produce the highest pitch sounds and the longest strings produce the lowest pitch sounds. Likewise, wind instruments with large or long sound chambers (tuba, baritone saxophone, French horn, trombone) produce deeper sounds than instruments with small or narrow sound chambers (piccolo, flute or clarinet). To learn more, visit the Bahrain Science Centre.

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.

Press release issued on behalf Bahrain Science Centre. For further information, please contact Shereen Shabnam on +971 507690087/ 504828177/ shereen@mtestudios.com. For information on the weekly programmes at the Bahrain Science Centre, please contact Amna Aldoseri at amna@mtestudios.com.


5 Shine Secrets to Let Your Inner Star Shine Bright

Jamal Hammadi – Co-creator of Sunsilk Shine & Strength Range

Jamal Hammadi – Co-creator of Sunsilk Shine & Strength Range

Jamal Hammadi, Sunsilk Shine & Strength co-creator and stylist to the stars, believes natural hair products create natural glow for that superstar look and feel. So when your big break comes along, whether it’s a job interview or a trip abroad, you can ditch sweaty palms and let your inner light shine bright with a few of Jamal’s shine secrets. Because when you feel like a superstar, you are one….check out some awesome tips from Jamal below:

 Secret #1. Keep It Real

Oils are a natural part of our hair’s make-up, so they’re the obvious nourishing ingredient to infuse hair with radiant shine. Products with natural ingredients such as argan, almond and camellia oil are extremely beneficial for the growth of healthy hair. Tea tree oil can also help maintain the balance of your hair’s natural oils.

 TIP: For fabulously soft hair, this recipe is a great and natural DIY alternative: blend egg white, cucumber and a few spoons of coconut oil in a mixer, apply on hair and leave for 40 minutes, then wash out. You’ll love how soft your hair feels!

Secret #2. Keep It Simple

Less is more! Go back to basics as much as possible – avoid hair gels and limit how much you use hair spray. Be careful not to over-colour when dying, as this can rob hair of its natural shine and texture. Using a hot iron to straighten is also better than chemical straightening, which can weaken hair due to chemicals used in the process.

TIP: If you brush your hair before sleep, use a wooden comb to untangle knots rather than a normal plastic one, as these lead to hair breakage. Wooden combs can activate the hair’s natural oil secretion, which lends moisture to the hair. And remember to be gentle when drying your hair after cleaning – rough treatment damages cuticles and roots.

Secret #3. It’s All About Moisture

Moisture is so important for bouncy, thick and shiny hair. But everything we do to our hair depletes moisture: using the wrong shampoo, blow-drying, colouring or straightening.

TIP: Just remember, lack of moisture is curable – you can replenish your natural hair texture with moisturisers and nutrients. You should also rinse with cold water after washing, because this seals the hair cuticles, locking in moisture and shine. And don’t forget to oil your hair every now and then, ensuring to oil the ends as well – argan oil is perfect.

Secret #4. Shea Butter for Sheer Beauty

One of my favourite natural ingredients is shea butter. It provides the perfect amount of nutrients to add that natural sheen. It also protects your hair from the sun and contains vitamins A and E, which are beneficial for dry and sun exposed skin and hair.

TIP: Vitamin A smoothes and has hydrating properties, while vitamin E is vital for luscious shine and is found in foods such as avocados, berries and nuts. It improves scalp circulation and helps decrease greyness.

 Secret #5. Love Your Body, Love The Look

Each strand has to be healthy from the inside to glow with its full brilliance. To achieve this, you need to nourish each hair individually. But you also need a positive attitude and a well-balanced diet!

TIP: Fish and fish oils are key for healthy hair. You can keep your locks nourished with lots of water, vegetables and foods rich in fatty acids such as salmon and beans – and make sure you up your iron intake. You should eat lots of good proteins and vegetables. Iron will give hair a fantastic shine!

I would certainly like Jamal to be my stylist for my next big event 🙂

Another shoe party at Vince Camuto

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My shoe fetish just turned a notch higher as Vince Camuto transitional 2013 brings three new trends, each with an emphasis on ornate detailing, mixed media, jeweled embellishments as well as exotic fabrications.

I realise that after the hassle of looking for a 4 bedroom villa (which the man of the house insists needs an extra room for my shoes) should keep me away from retail therapy but one look at the shoes was enough to melt my heart. I’m sure I could convert the garage into a walk in shoe closet. Western Frontier, Deco Nouveau and Star-Studded Event, each with its own attention to fabrication, ornamentation and modern silhouette, respectively; offer complimentary collections that pay homage to beauty of history in art and craftsmanship.

Western Frontier is the most classic of the transitional collection trends, featuring cut-out, western scalloping, embellished overlays, horse-shoe buckles, starburst studs and ornate harnesses.  For day, standout styles include assorted ankle boots with a western flair in Egyptian blue, true black, smoke taupe, or tie dye, in multi snake or tonal print snake featuring embroidery detail to reflect the craftsmanship of the artisans of the Southwest.

Evening shoes transition seamlessly; including mid-height open toed sandals in soft calf or tonal snake print leather in black, brown or beachwood, saddle.

Star-Studded Event is a more decorated collection, rich in detail, featuring all-over micro beaded leather prints and mini-studded embellishment.  Standout styles include, for day, teal, bamboo and black loafers in luxe true suede and evening styles include ecru, smoke taupe and black vintage goat and true suede open toed booties with ornate beads and studs.  Low-heeled woven scalloped suede sandals in a toasted brown exude a rustic glamour that are both comfortable and enviable.

Deco Nouveau, the most sophisticated trend of the season, offers more feminine silhouettes, including styles such as pointed toe sling-back and mirror metallic multi-strapped low-heeled sandals, both in steel leather, for day.  For evening, a new single-sold pump silhouette, with a slender high-heel, in purple jewel and red wine true suede, is both refreshingly sleek and fashion-forward.  Deco-diamond strappy high-heeled sandals in steel and black mirror metallic and exotic snake, as well as satin and metallic jeweled caged ankle strap evening sandals, are inspired by modern architecture and construction.

I reckon I need to start looking for that ace real estate agent who can find me that perfect villa with a walk in shoe closet. Know anyone???

All images are copyrighted to Vince Camuto :).

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Indulging in Pink at Nayomi

Nayomi_Carla Shereen

Shopping for a fashionable sister about to get married is a fun experience but in the process, you end up falling in love with stuff in shops you normally don’t go in regularly….Nayomi is one such shop where no matter what mood you are in, there is always something pink in there that lifts up your spirits. Their new collection, ‘Carla’ looks set to break my bank this week.

Carla is a beautiful printed collection showcased on sumptuous satin and flowing chiffons making for an elegant range. Delicate lace, bias cut silhouettes and rich pink satins create an undeniable sense of luxury. Flounce hems and sparkling crystal trims add to the attraction of this sophisticated range.

Highly recommend checking out the Carla Pajama Set (satin) which is a Solid satin cami with sweetheart neckline, lace cups, and tapered straps paired with a floral printed pajama pant.

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If you like inner wear to be fun and fabulous, get the Carla Babydoll Set (mesh/lace) – Seductive babydoll with wired, lace cups and boning detail for great support, semi-fitted body with satin ruffles at hem.

My favourite is the Carla Short Dress Set (satin/chiffon) – This pretty short dress set features a printed flounce sleeved chiffon short robe over a pink satin dress.


Her Highness Shaikha Hessa Bint Khalifa Al Khalifa officially opens Bahrain Science Centre

shereen Shabnam

Manama Bahrain: Her Highness Shaikha Hessa Bint Khalifa Al Khalifa, wife of His Highness Shaikh Abdulla Bin Hamed Al Khalifa officially opened the Bahrain Science Centre, which falls under the directorate of Bahrain’s Ministry of Social Development. The venue has hosted over 25,000 visitors since it’s soft launch from all walks of life that include students, teachers, intellectual societies and general public.

Shaika Hessa hopes that science learning through fun and interactivity would encourage youth to be innovative and create an environment that promotes the importance of living sustainable lifestyles amongst people of all ages.

According to the Minister of Social Development, Dr. Fatema Al Balushi, the science centre was set up to contribute to formal and non-formal science education through awareness of science and technology among the youth, families and adults through play, while supporting the school curriculum in science, mathematics and technology.

Khalid Ishaq, Assistant Undersecretary of Community Development of Bahrain’s Ministry of Social Development reiterated the role of the Bahrain Science Centre in strengthening the science and technology culture of Bahrain by providing them with a fun infused interactive platform for games and public debates on topical science, engineering and technology issues.

Currently MTE studios manage and operate the Bahrain Science Centre. The CEO of MTE Studios, Ludo Verheyen adds, “It has been shown worldwide that science centres are one of the most effective ways of bringing science and technology into the mainstream of society and strengthening a country’s science culture. We focus and follow international practices in running the Bahrain Science Centre to be at par with leading science centres globally.”

Early last month, Amal Al Buflasa from the Ministry of Social Development revealed that the Bahrain Science Centre will be an active participant in the worldwide events by the community of science centres.

Under the guidance of MTE Studios Imagineering Director, Prof. Mike Bruton, regular weekly programmes at the Bahrain Science Centre includes science debates, science workshops, static electricity demonstrations, art workshops, MAD Science shows, animal story telling and science talks.

Science centres globally have taken the lead in hands-on, inquiry-based learning, and complement formal education sector. They make science fun and exciting so that school students are more likely to be receptive to formal science teaching in the classroom.

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 +973 3951 1234/ +971 507690087/ +971 504828177/ shereen@mtestudios.com.