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Estoy disfrutando español

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I started Spanish lessons about a year ago and am really enjoying it. Our class is small, just about 7 people so we have almost a one-to-one relationship with our teacher Niurka who is a Cuban married to a Bahraini. We take the lessons every Saturday morning at the Hiraf Aldiyar in Muharraq. It’s part of the Shaikh Ebrahim conglomerate. I’m going to write some more about my experience with this later, for now, I want …

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Outliers. How Success is a Community Sport

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell is an interesting read. It provides a different interpretation on the reasons for success and emphasises the fact of how wrong the adage “self made man/woman” is. Gladwell argues that success is never overnight but is deeply dependent on several factors from culture, society, education, and even the year of birth and then the preceding hard and dedicated work of some 10,000 hours required to achieve mastery. Then and only then having …

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Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks

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Tom Hanks doesn’t much act in his movies and is not type-cast. He is just a naturally good human being! That’s the simple fact, and his writing completely confirms this too. As I read his stories in Uncommon Type, I was almost urging him to put in some drama at this point, or do a plot twist there, to no avail though, as the stories are just “nice”, and some would say rather bland. We’re trained …

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Why 56? Why?

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To anyone who has spent even a little time in Bahrain recently, they would probably be familiar with, or have been taken to the now pretty famous closed shop in the old Manama souq to stand against it and take some pictures. The abandoned shop’s door was taken over by Bahraini artist Ahmed Anan as an art installation. In the artist’s mind, he was asking the question “why” the shop was closed? The artist artfully depicts …

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A Global Perspective Photography Exhibition

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I consider my photography exhibition currently at Mashq Art Space entitled A Global Perspective as my first “real” exhibition. I’m happy with the impact it has had and the number of visitors who have dropped in. I’m also thrilled to have received some valuable feedback and comments from visitors. I highly value their opinions. I also want to make it clear that I am not discounting the smaller exhibition I have held at More Words Pop-up …

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First Photography Exhibition

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I’m thrilled to announce that a collection of my photography will be exhibited from 11 – 14 April 2018 at Words Bookstore & Café in Palm Square on the Budaiya highway. Please visit if you can. A Global Perspective: A collection of photographs from around the world by Mahmood Al-Yousif A photograph is a deeply intimate look at the subject being photographed; it is a discovery of the person behind the lens too. Through specially curated …

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Art. As a utility to fill space.

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Art is in the eye of the beholder. True. No one can define what is and what is not art either as it is a very subjective and emotive thing.To me, art must serve a purpose. And it must raise more questions than provide answers. It is this particular faculty that elevates a society; when even just one person within it starts questioning accepted norms as a result of witnessing, interacting or engaging with art. …

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Scratching head and wondering if that is Art.

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Help. I’m confused. Is this really art?This is an honest question. I have no answer other than being left wondering what is art in general, and if this “work” and others like it actually lowers the bar of what should be regarded as art. To me, it a badly shot and edited video that would not have gain more than a few views on YouTube, yet, a whole section of Alrewaq – a well known …

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Reel Bad Arabs. The propagation of discrimination

My son Arif’s Christmas gift to me was the book “Reel Bad Arabs, how Hollywood vilifies a people” by Jack Shaheen (it was made into a film as well – vimeo). It is a fascinating reference which took the author more than two decades to compile. In it, he reviewed over 1,000 Hollywood films which have denigrated Arabs, our culture and traditions, religion and way of life. The films reviewed were from the start of the …

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#TryThisThursday

#TryThisThursday is an opportunity for people to try something different, to expand their horizons and take them out of their own boxes. It is to get people to stretch beyond their comfort zones and move away from their usual routines, and to have a bit of fun too! Every Thursday, Frances urges her Meditation classes at Serenity Meditation, Yoga and Reiki Centre to try something new. She is expanding that now and inviting members of this …

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