By Duha Ali

We know that exercising can be exhausting at times, but let us all be clear – it is essential. For the body to look good and in shape you need to get up from that comfy couch that you’ve been sitting on all day.

Being consistent is difficult when you constantly have distractions from family and work. Your body can easily lose its shape without you even realizing it.

One first and simple step you can do is to stay away from processed foods. Write down what you eat and keep track of calories. You will slowly find your body transforming into the shape you always dreamed of.

Why are women’s nutritional needs different from men’s?

Men and women both hit puberty, but when this happens, females develop a distinctive nutritional requirement. As women grow, their bodies tend to go through physical and hormonal changes.

The demand for vitamins and minerals is higher mainly because women are going through menstruation, childbirth, and menopause. That means they are also at risk of anemia, weak bones, and osteoporosis.

Have a look at the chart below to know the most important nutrients required for women:


Overall, stay positive. A region of the brain associated with a cheerful attitude produces greater amounts of flu antibodies. Keeping your immune system clean from bacteria and viruses will help the body take in all the nutrients and stay healthy.




By Duha Ali

Konta strives on clay at the Madrid Open in the first round after a third-set surrender against Laura Siegemund.

The tournament’s sixth seed, Johanna Konta, was 3-0 up in the decider but German Siegemund reeled off five games straight and took a 3-6 7-5 6-4 win. The match ended at 02:17 am local time.

Victory means British world number seven, Konta, has been a real force in the women’s tour over the last 18 months, but she won just three games in her career.

Konta joked: “I think the biggest troupers, were the 10 people who watched…. There were 40?? I think they did solid, pretty impressive!” Sometimes, the conditions are “unfortunate,” she added.

“Every match was over two hours, so it was one of those things you can’t predict. But both of us were in the same boat. It was actually quite sad because we played a good match, entertaining, good match. It was a pity no-one knew we had played!”

Johanna Konta

Johanna Konta fell at the first stage of the Madrid Open


Siegemund was a tough opponent as she won Stuttgart last week, sharing the field with strong competitors including Angelique Kerber, Simona Halep, Konta and Maria Sharapova.

Konta broke the serve twice to take the opening set at the Spanish capital, which was a poor start for Siegemund, but then she fought back to claim a tie-break.

Siegemund will go against Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit or American Coco Vandeweghe.

Angelique Kerber, world number two, won over Hungary’s Times Babos with a convincing 6-4 6-2.



By Duha Ali

“There’s a change happening in the world,” Al-Haddad says. “You can see it when a big brand like Nike creates a sports hijab.” Amna Al Haddad, a 27-year-old weightlifter from the UAE, inspired the $27 billion sportswear giant to create a breathable and lightweight sports hijab.

Many have divided opinions about the US-based company manufacturing a performance hijab and Nike has faced much criticism regarding this matter. When they first announced the news of launching a hijab for female Muslim athletes, people have come up with the idea that Nike is supporting the oppression of women.

Muslim women come from a region that discourages them from doing sports and becoming athletes and requires them to adhere to the religious modest dress code. It is not easy walking around with a head scarf all day. Especially in the summer time. So how do you think that people who run, workout, lift weights and swim with a headscarf will feel? They need to be noticed and heard. They need something to make their performance better while doing what they love.

Al Haddad defended the sports brand’s hijab launch, addressing it as getting “mixed reactions” after Nike came under siege on social media. Critics on Twitter also joined in and shared multiple opinions surrounding the topic.

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Amna, who is sponsored by Nike, told FEMAIL: “I felt that people were confused by the launch and I was inspired to raise awareness that with such a product Nike isn’t dismissing anyone else’s previous work, or oppressing women, that it is simply including Muslim female athletes who require such a product. It’s an expansion and a beautiful one that Nike is becoming a well-rounded brand that caters to everyone and all sports.”

The inspiration came from Sarah Attar, an Olympic runner from Saudi Arabia who participated while wearing a hijab. Nike also worked alongside Amna Al Haddad who nearly made it to the Rio Olympics, but a back injury got in the way of her dream. “We worked with Amna and a variety of other athletes to see what they needed and wanted in a performance hijab,” a spokesman told Al Arabiya English. “What we heard was that women were looking for a lightweight and breathable solution that would stay in place without concern of shifting.”

It is insane that many people on social media are taking this the wrong way by saying Nike is enforcing women to wear a headscarf. On the contrary, others have applauded Nike for producing an inclusive commodity. This will help women to compete effectively.

The sports hijab has existed years before Nike decided to make one. But, this will surely encourage new generations of athletes to pursue sports professionally. The product has also been tested by figure skater Zahra Lari. Lari is from Abu Dhabi and represents the United Arab Emirates. She will hopefully compete in the Winter Olympics next year in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

“Can’t believe this is finally here!!” she wrote on her Instagram page.

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Spring in London


Photographer: Lamya Alfaify | Model: Duha Ali

I have always wanted to take a picture like this.

But then again I have wanted, for the longest time, to experience spring in Japan (mostly in cities like Tokyo, Kyoto or Osaka) but have encountered the beautiful season here, in London.

The picturesque cherry blossom trees attract young photographers or any passer-by, similarly to the way it attracts bees. However, they are not easy to find. I had to walk for an hour in Hyde Park to find one. My love for cherry blossom trees is eternal. I succeeded in finding more than one, surprisingly. White and pink cherry blossom trees were all around the park if you know where to look. They are scattered in different places and only the lucky ones get to picture them. As the flowers tend to fall pretty quickly. In full bloom, the trees are simply hard to miss. If you are not a fan of Hyde Park, Holland Park is the best option for you. The park has beautiful forest like views, colourful plants and shrubs, neatly chopped wood on the ground, which I am sure is for decorative purposes only and peacocks. Yes, you read that right. And no, you are not allowed to feed them.

“Contained within the park is the beautiful Kyoto Garden; a Japanese garden donated by the Chamber of Commerce of Kyoto in 1991.”  The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

The parks are filled with people. Some would have a picnic with family and friends, others would ride their bikes. Older people will be sitting on benches, reading or otherwise staring at the lake in front of them. You will see more of the active groups – doing what they love; skating, running or yoga. Others just simply like to have a walk and enjoy the warm breeze. Like my friend and I. We tried jogging just for the fun of it and oh boy! that was embarrassingly awful! We had to stop every half a minute! We were so bad at it.

I would normally get a cup of coffee and a chocolate brownie and walk with my friend till sunset. We try our best not to let time pass without us making memories. We would take lots of photos and videos. Funny or serious. We would remember every single moment spent that day. The parks of London have joined many people together, from long-lost friendships to loved ones. I would find markings on trees and benches of initials and a heart symbol and be inquisitive about their story. How many have passed by and left a mark on wooden canvases just to be remembered? It triggers curiosity and makes myself and people wonder.

History of Art


Museum of Islamic Art, Doha

Since I was a child, I wasn’t really interested in our culture, traditions and customs. I’ve been going to an English school my whole life and did not take Arabic or Islamic classes. I lived like a foreigner in my own country. I remember when I used to shop and ask for a specific item, the saleslady would stare at me and asked if I was Qatari. I would reply: “Yes I am” with a smile on my face seeing her astonished expression.

In 2008 a museum opened here in Doha. It’s all about Islamic architecture. It was the first in the Middle East and contains many spectacular Islamic arts. The museum also has a library and many restaurants. It is located on the edge of Doha harbour. The man who designed it took about six months to travel and learn about the Muslim world.

The entrance is beautiful, with all the palm trees on your right and left-hand side with winds blowing through them. And let’s not forget the water fountain, hearing the sound of little drops splash into the water and rise again. You walk up ahead and turn to your left and see these high buildings that weren’t there years ago, this gives me the feeling of pride.


The interior is amazingly designed with Islamic patterns, and when I got to the third floor and look down there’s this wonderful view of the whole building from inside. The way I.M. Pei designed the steps is rather intriguing. My personal favourite was the ceiling! When I stood near the steps and looked up, I was awestruck.

The works on display were stunning indeed. I loved the warm lighting and feel of the room. The collection of objects really suited the theme of the museum. In our religion, the colour green is the colour of heaven. I saw two masterful pieces, the green dagger and the green necklace. The handle of the dagger was made beautifully with olive green marble, covered with tiny flowers which had ruby stones. The dagger looked very sharp and had a green cover. The start and end of the cover were gold with beautiful details. As for the necklace, it was truly amazing, made out of gold with white pearls all around it, and then came dangling stones which looked like transparent marbles but with a touch of green. There was another set of dangling marbles which were medium forest green and had little bubbles in them. The marble in the middle was a little lighter in colour than the other, but seeing it as a whole makes you want to own one.


Overall, I really liked what I saw. The museum was pretty neat and clean. The setting and the way the objects were placed caught my attention the most. Every time you enter a room there is a different smell and feeling. It’s a lovely place to visit; I would totally recommend it to newcomers.

More information here.

Radio – the good, the bad and the surprise!


Whoa! I never thought I’d enjoy Audio classes as much as I did this one.

As I missed the first lesson on Audio, I was quite terrified. I just couldn’t wake up that Tuesday morning! And I knew that’s when they introduce us to the subject, equipment and programmes we were going to use for the assessments. I was like a lost puppy. But at the end, I figured things out – thanks to my colleagues.

How I felt about it?


It was something quite enjoyable and new to me. I learned that Radio is not only about ‘talking’ behind a mic, or ‘just reading’ something of a paper and it’s definitely not something easy. Reading the news, keeping up with it and evaluating what other journalists wrote was something I really took pleasure in.

The good?


One Tuesday, I was so exhausted I couldn’t even bother showing up to class. I forced myself because of my attendance. To my surprise, it was the day where we were put into groups and had to talk about six news stories. In my head I was thinking “no way – this is not happening…” We, however, did not get to choose our own groups, they were chosen for us by our professor. Thankfully, I knew two of the students who were with me – and the other two were a joy to work with, honestly. Even though we never shared a conversation, it was easy, unchallenging (which was another surprise to me) and we managed to finish our news bulletin without any problems. I have gotten many compliments on my voice since I started Audio. People said it was calming to listen to – that put a smile on my face. Many people are not fond of listening to their own voice, and I for one would cringe. For our final assessment, we had to do a feature. I was literally freaking out when I read the slides. I thought I would not come up with good ideas, or I’d be lacking in the creativity department. But, my idea just came to me while I was laying in bed, really. From there I thought of how I could make it interesting and just came up with this speculation that if I go with something that intrigued me I’m sure I’ll be able to grab the listeners attention. From that, I added my personal experience to give it more meaning.

The bad?

giphy-214The class was such a delight, I only faced two challenges. My pronunciation of some words and Adobe Audition. As I mentioned earlier, I did not attend the first Audio lesson, and I’m pretty sure that’s when they taught the class the basics of how to use the program. When I first launched the application, I was so lost. I did not have a single clue of what to do. I asked my friends for help and later got the hang of it. I managed to edit two of my audio’s alone. To me, that was an accomplishment! I very much enjoyed this class, nonetheless, I need to work on my speech. How to add emphasis on certain words and make them more dramatic when needed. Also, talk a little louder. I have tried many times but failed as if this is the maximum my voice can go. But I do get many people saying that they find my voice relaxing, so I guess that’s one advantage to it.

Foreigner’s impact on local communities


Foreigners are everywhere these days. Some come as tourists and others stay for a while. By coming to your country, they bring a little of their ways with them. And you ask yourself if what they are doing is right due to what you believe in. So the question is: “Do foreigners influence local communities?”

Some might agree and some might not, it all depends on how they were raised. In Qatar, for example, some families are very strict on how their children grow up to be. From day one they plan the child’s future. The parents also choose one of their relatives to be their future life partner. This is also known as ‘arranged marriage’. Hearing such stories makes one feel sorry for them. However, many other families do not pay any attention to their children. This leads teenagers to think that they are old enough to do what pleases them and that they can handle anything that comes their way. Teenagers get these influences from what they see around them and from social media platforms. This is where the foreigner’s impact comes in.

A few days ago I interviewed a lovely housewife, Angel Carvalho. She is a mother of two and is currently working to make money for her daughter’s wedding. I asked her “how did foreigners effect your country?” which is India. She replied straight away with a smile on her face: “Business people from all over the world had brought wealth to this country.” Indians are known to be the best at information technology. She added that foreign students visit India to study and learn about its culture and old history. India was ruled by Britain back then. “I have seen foreign students run around with their notebooks all over the place” Carvalho said. They explore ancient buildings and write about what was once there and how it ended up being like this today. It was interesting to know that foreigners, so many of them come to learn about the country’s traditional dances, arts and how Indians use herbs as medicine. The native word for that is “Ayurveda.” Making medicine and learning natural massage techniques and yoga is the main reason why many foreigners visit this country. Let’s not forget about India’s beautiful nature which fills the heart with awe. “There are many lakes, rivers, mountains and greenery that will make you feel as if you are in heaven” she said. Carvalho did not mention anything about how foreigners effect the local community. She said that Indians stick to their culture, traditions and beliefs. Carvalho ended the interview by saying “anyone who follows people such as these is not considered as family.”

Some may say it is the parents’ fault but I say otherwise. If a child wants to do something, nothing can get in their way. They make and plan their own lives as they grow. I know from self-experience.