It is high time for the Gulf bikers

Updated 24 October 2012
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It is high time for the Gulf bikers

Once again, bikers from all over Arabia gathered in Dubai for the Gulf Bike Week. The annual event that was born three years ago was filled with petrol fumes, men in their bandanas, heavy guitar tunes, and Harley Davidson logos.
This year’s edition was inaugurated by Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Dubai Events Board, on Oct. 18. The three-day event drew a multitude of manufacturers and bikers alike. While the former came to showcase their latest biking inventions, the latter came to showcase their skills as well as the latest biking customs.
On the manufacturers side, this year’s version of the Gulf Bike Week featured 75 stalls with over 200 brands on display. Leading motor biking industry brand Harley Davidson was there, showcasing their 110th anniversary model. The limited edition bikes come with a whole lot of upgrades, like the H-D Smart Security System and Contrast Chrome Wheel. Gulf Bike Week was the perfect opportunity for renowned racing bikes manufacturer Ducati to promote their latest Monster Diesel range.
Crossing to the other side, bikers were not here only to do their shopping. Some were there to showcase their motor biking skills as they went for hair-raising, highflying stunts, while others displayed their latest custom motorbikes inventions as they participated in the Custom Bike Build Championship.
This year, the 2012 Gulf Bike Week was aiming to attract 40,000 visitors; certainly not all of them were manufacturers and bikers. Gulf Bike Week is more of an event to all sorts of people, where you get to enjoy the day spotting the latest motor biking trends, watching bikers doing crazy stunts, and listening to heavy guitar riffs. Gulf Bike Week has made it a habit to bring international heavy metal acts to perform in Dubai. This year it was the legendary Megadeth along with Daughtry and Razorlight. The crowd went crazy as the heavy metal bands rocked the stage with their tunes.
That is certainly not all when it comes to Gulf Bike Week.
On Oct 19, and right after the Friday prayer, bikers went for the Thunder Parade, where they drove for almost two hours in a long queue of motorbikes. The drive aimed at raising awareness of autism as well as raising funds. GeoWash donated all bike cleaning proceeds to Dubai Autism Center. The drive was simply spectacle.
What started out in the Gulf region as a trend is slowly becoming a culture. Bikers have their own hangouts, run in their own social circles, and now have their own Gulf week festival.

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Grandma Stories: Saudi storyteller teaches values and critical thinking by letting children speak up

Updated 22 April 2018
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Grandma Stories: Saudi storyteller teaches values and critical thinking by letting children speak up

DHAHRAN: You can see children forming a gigantic circle and listening carefully when story time starts. Ghadeer Yamani, the founder of Grandma Stories, found her passion for spreading the love of reading among children and delivering values through her storytelling sessions.
The Grandma Stories initiative started six years ago when Yamani returned home after spending years abroad owing to her husband’s work. Yamani has read stories in both Arabic and English for more than 6,000 children of 15 nationalities all over the Kingdom and the Gulf region, including the UAE and Bahrain.
“The idea of Grandma Stories was not an epiphany; it came to me after I saw how reading was a huge part of children’s life abroad. I used to see children reading in libraries, in bus stops, in hospitals — everywhere. I wanted to help spread reading culture in my society.
“I wanted children back home to love reading! And with the support of my husband and family, I think I was able to do this,” Yamani told Arab News.
With the prevalence of national reading competitions, school contests and reading clubs, awareness among families and society members is growing. “The interaction and excitement of families and children are amazing when it comes to story time,” said Yamani.
About the title of her initiative, she said: “When I was a child I used to visit my father’s grandmother in Madinah who had a phenomenal way of telling stories and riddles. I still remember how the entire family would get around her as she started telling her tales, and in an atmosphere filled with love and contentment.
“No one ever wanted her stories to finish and nothing could ever distract us while listening to her. That is exactly how I want children to feel in Grandma Stories story time.”
Storytelling is not only a fun way to ignite imaginations; it also improves children’s verbal and critical thinking abilities. Yamani allows children to criticize the stories by pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of each one. The advancement in such skills is what inspires Yamani and keeps her going.
“The fondest moments throughout my years in storytelling have been when mothers come and tell me how their children used to be shy and reluctant but have started to become fluent and can express themselves well, and that Grandma Stories is the reason for this great progress.”