Monday, July 16, 2012

Ramadan and the London 2012 Olympics

In a few days, Muslims all over the world will enter the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, also known as the Holy Month of Ramadan, when the Quran was revealed by Allah to mankind.

This means that for 30 days, Muslims will be extra devoted to spiritual reflection and practice self-discipline and self-restraint by abstaining from food, liquids and sexual activities from sunrise to sunset.

Since the local calendar is based on the phases of the moon, the first day of Ramadan will only be confirmed once the new moon is sighted. This year, it is anticipated to fall on or around July 20 – right in the middle of crazy hot summer (when the average temperature around here is usually over 40 degrees Celsius) and only a few days away from the beginning of the 2012 Olympics in London.

Can you imagine what it must be like to the approximately 3,500 Muslim athletes competing this year? How will they manage to fast and still have strength to compete?

I actually found an interesting article online that talks about this: How to Compete in the Olympics While Fasting for Ramadan. It explains that there are actually ways around it...

Now, if you are not a Muslim, but are planning to be in the UAE during Ramadan, do remember that rules and regulations also apply to you while in public. So, from dawn to sunset…

NO liquids, not even water
NO food, not even gum
NO show of affection, not even holding hands
NO bad habits, not even one cigarette

For more info, take a look at one of my previous posts: The Holy Month of Ramadan, from September 2010.

Ramadan Kareem (Blessed Ramadan) to all!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The power of branding

In today’s world, more than ever before, businesses understand the power of branding – especially the visual aspect of it, which will promote immediate recognition and generate a series of feelings, reactions and even attitudes towards a product or service.

Living in a foreign country, it is amazing to see how some companies have really managed to create a strong brand identity and awareness. Even if you don’t read Arabic (which is my case), you are able to instantly recognize the company or product just by looking at a specific font or image.

Here are a few good examples I found going around. Look at the images below and see if you can recognize them. The answers are at the bottom, after the last picture.



Answers: Pringles / Fedex / Pizza Hut / Pampers / Coca-Cola / Tide / KFC

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Michel Teló fever reaches the UAE?

I was just flipping through the pages of the latest issue of Friday Magazine and was surprised to see that Michel Teló (Brazilian singer) was part of a playlist put together by a female Emirati Dubai-based artist.

Not only was Michel Teló featured on her playlist, but he was mentioned twice: at number ten with ‘Ai Se Eu Te Pego’ and at number five with the English version of that same song (If I Catch You).

Ok. The song is catchy and sticks like bubble gum, but to go viral and turn into this phenomenon simply because a few athletes, such as Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo and Rafael Nadal, decided to celebrate goals and victories by singing and dancing to its rhythm is a bit too crazy.

The weirdest thing is that the hit has topped radio charts in over 15 countries – including Germany, Holland, Russia, Switzerland, and so many other places, where people don’t speak a word of Portuguese!

Go figure…

For those of you who may not have heard it yet, here is Michel Teló with his ‘Ai Se Eu Te Pego’: