In with the old: Saudi cafe stands out by promoting sustainability

In with the old: Saudi cafe stands out by promoting sustainability
1 / 15
The cafe is named after the literal and contextual meaning of the word ‘Moknah’: The former from ‘Makan,’ a place of gathering; the latter from ‘Tamkeen,’ or empowerment. (Photos/Huda Bashatah)
In with the old: Saudi cafe stands out by promoting sustainability
2 / 15
The cafe is named after the literal and contextual meaning of the word ‘Moknah’: The former from ‘Makan,’ a place of gathering; the latter from ‘Tamkeen,’ or empowerment. (Photos/Huda Bashatah)
In with the old: Saudi cafe stands out by promoting sustainability
3 / 15
The cafe is named after the literal and contextual meaning of the word ‘Moknah’: The former from ‘Makan,’ a place of gathering; the latter from ‘Tamkeen,’ or empowerment. (Photos/Huda Bashatah)
In with the old: Saudi cafe stands out by promoting sustainability
4 / 15
The cafe is named after the literal and contextual meaning of the word ‘Moknah’: The former from ‘Makan,’ a place of gathering; the latter from ‘Tamkeen,’ or empowerment. (Photos/Huda Bashatah)
In with the old: Saudi cafe stands out by promoting sustainability
5 / 15
The cafe is named after the literal and contextual meaning of the word ‘Moknah’: The former from ‘Makan,’ a place of gathering; the latter from ‘Tamkeen,’ or empowerment. (Photos/Huda Bashatah)
In with the old: Saudi cafe stands out by promoting sustainability
6 / 15
The cafe is named after the literal and contextual meaning of the word ‘Moknah’: The former from ‘Makan,’ a place of gathering; the latter from ‘Tamkeen,’ or empowerment. (Photos/Huda Bashatah)
In with the old: Saudi cafe stands out by promoting sustainability
7 / 15
The cafe is named after the literal and contextual meaning of the word ‘Moknah’: The former from ‘Makan,’ a place of gathering; the latter from ‘Tamkeen,’ or empowerment. (Photos/Huda Bashatah)
In with the old: Saudi cafe stands out by promoting sustainability
8 / 15
The cafe is named after the literal and contextual meaning of the word ‘Moknah’: The former from ‘Makan,’ a place of gathering; the latter from ‘Tamkeen,’ or empowerment. Photos/The cafe is named after the literal and contextual meaning of the word ‘Moknah’: The former from ‘Makan,’ a place of gathering; the latter from ‘Tamkeen,’ or empowerment. (Photos/Huda Bashatah)Huda Bashatah
In with the old: Saudi cafe stands out by promoting sustainability
9 / 15
The cafe is named after the literal and contextual meaning of the word ‘Moknah’: The former from ‘Makan,’ a place of gathering; the latter from ‘Tamkeen,’ or empowerment. (Photos/Huda Bashatah)
In with the old: Saudi cafe stands out by promoting sustainability
10 / 15
The cafe is named after the literal and contextual meaning of the word ‘Moknah’: The former from ‘Makan,’ a place of gathering; the latter from ‘Tamkeen,’ or empowerment. (Photos/Huda Bashatah)
In with the old: Saudi cafe stands out by promoting sustainability
11 / 15
The cafe is named after the literal and contextual meaning of the word ‘Moknah’: The former from ‘Makan,’ a place of gathering; the latter from ‘Tamkeen,’ or empowerment. (Photos/Huda Bashatah)
In with the old: Saudi cafe stands out by promoting sustainability
12 / 15
The cafe is named after the literal and contextual meaning of the word ‘Moknah’: The former from ‘Makan,’ a place of gathering; the latter from ‘Tamkeen,’ or empowerment. (Photos/Huda Bashatah)
In with the old: Saudi cafe stands out by promoting sustainability
13 / 15
The cafe is named after the literal and contextual meaning of the word ‘Moknah’: The former from ‘Makan,’ a place of gathering; the latter from ‘Tamkeen,’ or empowerment. (Photos/Huda Bashatah)
In with the old: Saudi cafe stands out by promoting sustainability
14 / 15
The cafe is named after the literal and contextual meaning of the word ‘Moknah’: The former from ‘Makan,’ a place of gathering; the latter from ‘Tamkeen,’ or empowerment. (Photos/Huda Bashatah)
In with the old: Saudi cafe stands out by promoting sustainability
15 / 15
The cafe is named after the literal and contextual meaning of the word ‘Moknah’: The former from ‘Makan,’ a place of gathering; the latter from ‘Tamkeen,’ or empowerment. (Photos/Huda Bashatah)
Short Url
Updated 05 December 2020

In with the old: Saudi cafe stands out by promoting sustainability

The cafe is named after the literal and contextual meaning of the word ‘Moknah’: The former from ‘Makan,’ a place of gathering; the latter from ‘Tamkeen,’ or empowerment. (Photos/Huda Bashatah)
  • Moknah Cafe is the first of its kind in the Kingdom to use recycled materials in its interior design

JEDDAH: Discarded car seats, ironing boards for tables, a bathtub as a planting pot — recycled materials such as these have transformed one Saudi cafe into a popular and lucrative coffee hub.

Located in the heart of Jeddah, Moknah Cafe is the first gathering spot in the Kingdom to rely heavily on recycled materials for its interior in a move to promote sustainability as a part of daily life.
The idea began brewing in founder Nourah Mohammed Al-Zeer’s mind in late October of last year. After working in human resources for 10 years, Al-Zeer received a contract termination that gave her the freedom to set out on her own. That’s when she began to think of the cafe. She knew she did not want to follow trendy concepts that already existed. She wanted something unique.
“The idea of recycling has always appealed to me, and I have always enjoyed art and interior design, so I brought these hobbies to the project. After doing research as to whether this concept had been done in Saudi Arabia, I made up my mind. I would be bringing what I love into my cafe as well as something different into the market,” she said.
Al-Zeer wanted to do everything herself, from painting the walls to re-setting abandoned furniture and home supplies. What she could not do alone, she did with the help of her friends.


“Fortunately, one day I came across this waste container with washing machines and fridges, and I started collecting these items that no longer served anyone and setting them up in the space I’d rented. I spent a lot of time researching how to recycle these items and after some time, I was coming up with my own ideas,” she said.
The cafe owner later discovered her hunch was correct. Customers flocked to the cafe after finding out what it stood for, or merely for the quirkiness of its interior design. With modified box TVs acting as tables and out-of-order washing machines functioning as display shelves, the cafe invited many curious types.
“Some people stop by, mistaking us for a specialty cafe, but that isn’t what we’re doing. Moknah Cafe is all about living in the moment. We do serve drinks and light meals, but it’s more about making memories, being comfortable in your own company and the company of those you love, rather than dressing up to head somewhere fancy,” Al-Zeer said.
She attributes much of the place’s success to following her instinct in introducing the new theme to Saudi cafes, asserting that vision was the most important part of the process.
“I implore anyone who is embarking on a similar journey to sit and create a vision board. Find something that is entirely you, and do not imitate other people’s ideas in order to succeed,” she said.
Moknah Cafe was designed to inspire people to ask questions and to elicit conversations on the simplicity around them and how they could apply it to their own lives.
The cafe appeals to coffee drinkers passionate about their java and in search of comfortable, quirky spaces. Its walls are lined with sketches and materials used as props for old film reels. Even old glass and wood-paneled doors serve as tables for patrons to sit and enjoy an evening of games. Visitors can also grab a book from the mini-fridge, which was turned into a bookshelf. The place has it all.
The cafe is named after the literal and contextual meaning of the word “Moknah”: the former from “Makan,” a place of gathering; the latter from “Tamkeen,” or empowerment.
Its second story features simple floor seating. With its carrom boards and pool table, it makes the perfect hangout for friends and families.
Performances that go with the vibe of the place are scheduled throughout the week, from instrumental music to soft serenades that fill the space between customers.
“I usually pick performers who blend in with Moknah. Something chill and calm, nothing too rowdy. I would like to have oud and zither players in the future,” Al-Zeer said.
Among its plans for the future, the cafe owner hopes to continue setting up musical nights, workshops and open-mic events that bring people together.


Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia

Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia
Vishing that occurs during a telephone call aims to provoke fear in the victim so that customers will be more susceptible to giving out personal, financial, or security details. (shutterstock)
Updated 18 January 2021

Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia

Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia
  • The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has warned bank customers, both citizens and expatriates, not to fall victim to financial frauds being perpetrated by scammers

JEDDAH: Fraudsters have developed a new scam, contacting residents in Saudi Arabia and pretending to be bank staffers requesting customer details.
A number of Arab News staff have received such calls in recent weeks. One caller spoke Urdu while two other callers posing as senior officials from the headquarters of the bank spoke in English and Arabic with a local accent.
They used phone numbers that appeared to be local numbers but upon calling back, the lines failed to connect.
The racketeers collect phone numbers of customers and ring them up, saying that their bank account or ATM card requires immediate updating. The scammers use the information provided to gain access to their bank accounts.
Speaking to Arab News, Talat Zaki Hafiz, secretary-general of the Media and Banking Awareness Committee of Saudi banks, said: “Saudi banks represented by the Media and Banking Awareness Committee have repeatedly warned bank customers not to react to stray phone calls of any kind coming from unknown sources that ask to update their banking record or personal information.” He further confirmed that banks do not request such information through phone calls or SMS messages.
Mohammed Khurram Khan, a professor of cybersecurity at the King Saud University in Riyadh, told Arab News: “Phishing, an online scam which targets users through emails where individuals are encouraged to click on a link that takes them to fraudulent sites, was troubling people. Now it’s a different kind of scam known as ‘vishing,’ over-the-phone phishing, where scammers persuade users to share their banking information by impersonating a bank official.”

HIGHLIGHT

The racketeers collect phone numbers of customers and ring them up, saying that their bank account or ATM card requires immediate updating. The scammers use the information provided to gain access to their bank accounts.

Vishing that occurs during a telephone call aims to provoke fear in the victim so that customers will be more susceptible to giving out personal, financial, or security details.
Sharing his experience Zafar Hasan, an e-learning consultant in Riyadh, said: “I received a call from someone on an unknown mobile number who introduced himself as a bank employee and told me that my ATM card was going to be blocked. It required an immediate update so I should give my Iqama number (residence permit number) and sixteen-digit ATM card number. I felt something was fishy, so I told him that I would go personally to the bank to update the card.”
The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has warned bank customers, both citizens and expatriates, not to fall victim to financial frauds being perpetrated by scammers.
SAMA called on bank customers to take information only from the official channels of the bodies regulating the Kingdom’s financial and investment sectors and inform the competent security authorities about such fraudulent attempts.