Dubai-based foodie brews up artisanal tea inspired by Japan

Dubai-based foodie brews up artisanal tea inspired by Japan
Haiyatea offers a range of premium teas. Instagram
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Updated 01 September 2021

Dubai-based foodie brews up artisanal tea inspired by Japan

Dubai-based foodie brews up artisanal tea inspired by Japan

DUBAI: Food writer, recipe developer and founder of Instagram blog Pass Me the Dimsum, Haiya Tarik, recently launched her own artisanal tea brand called Haiyatea as a testament to her admiration of Japanese culture and cuisine.

Haiyatea offers a range of teas, including matcha, sencha, gyukoro, hojicha and genmaicha sourced from Japan. The online store offers merchandise like the Komorebi tea leaf strainer, and candles placed inside traditional Japanese tea cups that are stocked in limited quantities. 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by HAIYATEA (@haiyatea)

“The word Haiyatea sounds like ‘Hayati,’ which in Arabic means ‘my life,’ so it was really a very meant to be kind of thing,” the founder told Arab News Japan.

The launch of the brand is rooted in Tarik’s fascination with tea which motivated her to become a certified tea sommelier.

Her sommelier certification was acquired from the International Tea Masters Association, where she was taught by a Japanese tea connoisseur who studied tea for 30 years.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by HAIYATEA (@haiyatea)

Trips to Tencha farms in Kyoto fortified Tarik’s passion for tea and the unique processing methods used in Japan.

“What amazes me about it, is that the time the Japanese tea farmers save through semi-mechanical harvesting and the CTC method of processing” they spend time “perfecting the cultivars and natural flavors of the teas. What makes matcha and gyukoro so special, for example, is that it is shaded for three weeks prior to harvest. The lack of sunlight makes the leaves work harder, makes the roots starchier and therefore concentrates the amino acids, making for a sweeter tea that’s richer in L-theanine. It’s a very involved and mindful process, producing superior and unparalleled quality teas,” Tarik explained.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by HAIYATEA (@haiyatea)

Tarik is from Pakistan, was brought up in Saudi Arabia and moved to Dubai eight years ago. She said her upbringing did not expose her to Japanese culture, but upon learning more about it she resonates with many of its elements.

“I just resonate so much with how committed the Japanese are towards achieving perfection,” she said.

Her appreciation of Japanese culture extends beyond her love of tea as Tarik frequently shares posts about the traditional Japanese dishes she serves up, including chawanmushi, okonomiyaki, katsu curry, onigiri, soba and gyozas.


Models Shanina Shaik, Sara Sampaio touch down in Jeddah 

Models Shanina Shaik, Sara Sampaio touch down in Jeddah 
Updated 30 min 57 sec ago

Models Shanina Shaik, Sara Sampaio touch down in Jeddah 

Models Shanina Shaik, Sara Sampaio touch down in Jeddah 

DUBAI: Models Shanina Shaik and Sara Sampaio touched down in Jeddah just in time for the winter festivities — and they made sure to treat their combined 10 million Instagram followers to glimpses of the Kingdom. 

Shaik, who is of Saudi-Lithuanian-Pakistani-Australian decent, took to Instagram Stories to share snippets of her trip, which included spending time at the F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. 

“Off to the races,” she captioned a photo on her feed, in which she can be seen posing in front of a teal-colored Toyota FJ Cruiser. 

She attended the races as a guest of the Ministry of Sport, according to a pass she showed off on Instagram, and went on to share snaps of the crowded stands at the adrenaline-fueled event. 

The model also shared a short clip featuring Portuguese Victoria’s Secret star Sampaio, who made a cheeky appearance in Shaik’s video.

Earlier in the day, Sampaio shared her own clip alongside Red Sea International Film Festival Chairman Mohammed Al-Turki, who was no doubt gearing up for Jeddah’s inaugural movie festival that kicked off on Monday night. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sara Sampaio (@sarasampaio)

For her part, Shaik seems to be in the middle of a jet-setting period, having just informed her followers on Instagram that she was heading back to London, from her home Los Angeles, for the holiday season. 

The UK trip came just a couple of days after the model celebrated Thanksgiving in the US with her loved ones, including her partner, record label owner Matthew Adesuyan.

According to Shaik, her trip across the Atlantic will not be a brief one. 

“I won’t be back for a long time,” she captioned a picture of her suitcase on Instagram Stories, adding “I didn’t pack light.”

She also shared a snap of her two pet dogs, writing: “So sad! I don’t want to leave my boys.”

The former Victoria’s Secret model told her 2.5 million Instagram followers that it has been a while since she took a long flight.

“Ten-hour flight wow, it’s been a while since I’ve flown that long!” she wrote.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sara Sampaio (@sarasampaio)

Her most recent trips include going to Miami to celebrate the Michael Kors x 007 collection in October and to Ecuador to serve as a bridesmaid for her friend and fellow model Jasmine Tookes’s wedding in September. 

And now the model can add Saudi Arabia to her packed winter itinerary.


‘All the Women Inside Me’ a complex tale of coping with family, society

‘All the Women Inside Me’ a complex tale of coping with family, society
Updated 06 December 2021

‘All the Women Inside Me’ a complex tale of coping with family, society

‘All the Women Inside Me’ a complex tale of coping with family, society

CHICAGO: Shortlisted for the 2021 International Prize for Arabic Fiction is the novel “All the Women Inside Me” by award-winning novelist and journalist Jana ElHassan. The story is about the complex life of a woman and how she copes with her family, society, and the unhappiness that plagues her. Translated into English by Michelle Hartman, ElHassan’s novel is an intimate look at the many things that seem to be out of the young woman’s control and how she navigates a path to help her survive.

Sahar is 30 years old and lives in Tripoli, Lebanon. Her story does not have a linear timeline. Instead, it is told in vignettes of memories: of her leftist father who rejects love, religion, and relationships for the sake of keeping his political persona alive; of her mother who yearns for a love that always seems too distant for her to grasp; of her husband Sami whose love she must now escape from; and of Hala, a friend whose misery matches hers but who gives her the strength to go on.

Admitting as much, Sahar observes her life just like her readers. She is disconnected from reality, which is too harsh and loveless. She believes that those who submit to reality are the ones who are caged and that she is free in her imagination to love and be loved. Although she grows up in a large house, everything has always been closed-off and separated. Each room has always been meticulously kept, not to be lived in but to show a certain decorum, as ElHassan describes: “The place was like a gun with a silencer; there was always continuous pressure on the trigger. Shots were fired and penetrated deep.”

ElHassan seamlessly weaves Sahar’s story into the city of Tripoli and its society. Patriarchy runs deep in the world of her character and so ElHassan’s story is of a woman trying to understand her position in the world, to see where and if she belongs. She explores how society reacts to this woman and pushes to the forefront the choices people have in life. Some live according to their principles, some choose joy, some choose to be miserable and subservient and scoff at those who choose independence. As for Sahar, her choice is to escape.


The hottest tickets at the Red Sea International Film Festival

The hottest tickets at the Red Sea International Film Festival
Updated 06 December 2021

The hottest tickets at the Red Sea International Film Festival

The hottest tickets at the Red Sea International Film Festival
  • Must-see movies at the long-awaited inaugural edition of Saudi Arabia’s first major film festival, which starts December 6

‘Huda’s Salon’

Hany Abu-Assad has long been one of Palestine’s most lauded filmmakers, receiving an Oscar nomination for his now-classic 2005 film “Paradise Now,” and another for 2013’s “Omar.” Both movies chronicled men struggling under occupation, uncertain of how to best live their lives for themselves, their families, or their country. With “Huda’s Salon,” Abu-Assad returns to Palestine for the first time since 2015’s “The Idol” for another true story. This one focuses on the plight of Palestinian women, however, and has been labelled a ‘feminist thriller.’ Abu-Assad’s long-time collaborator Ali Suliman brings his trademark naturalism to the role of Hasan, but it is Maisa Abd Elhadi as Reem and Manal Awad as Huda who shine most brightly, as two women caught in a suspenseful game that pushes past the trappings of the male perspective with intention.

‘Feathers’

It is unlikely that any other Arab film this year will be as hotly debated as the feature debut of Omar El-Zohairy, the latest genuine visionary to emerge from the rich world of Egyptian cinema. With this absurdist satirical drama El-Zohairy has crafted a story in which the circumstances may not resemble our own — in “Feathers,” a woman is forced to support her family after her husband is turned into a chicken — but the struggles certainly do, as the magical realist concept gives way to an unflinching look at modern society, and the very real suffering of women in rural Egypt. Already a big winner at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, the film has caused uproar in El-Zohairy’s home country, which may have denied it a potential Oscar-nomination. But doesn’t make it any less of a must-see on the Red Sea.

‘Casablanca Beats’

Morocco’s official submission for Best International Feature Film at the Academy Awards 2022, “Casablanca Beats” is a lively, often-joyous look into the country’s music culture, following a former rapper named Anas (Anas Basbousi) who takes a job at the Positive School of Hip Hop, a real-life cultural center in Casablanca. Anas’ non-traditional teaching techniques inspire his young students in ways they never thought possible, with each finding their own voice through rap, showing the intense spirit that can follow a dream ignited, as well as the pain of the societal realities that may get in the way.

‘Ghodwa’

Tunisia’s Dhafer L’Abidine has had a career full of twists and turns. Once a professional footballer in his homeland, he moved to London and found success in British film and television before becoming a massive star in Egypt. With “Ghodwa,” his directorial debut, L’Abidine has turned his attention back to Tunisia with a stark and serious look at the political challenges in modern Tunis. The story follows a father (played by L’Abidine) and son for whom Tunisia’s political past and present collide in ways neither is prepared for.

‘The Choice’

Ask any Egyptian director who inspired them to become a filmmaker and there’s one name that you will hear again and again: Youssef Chahine. Thirteen years on from his death, Chahine’s reputation as a chronicler of Egyptian life both big and small who showed generation after generation through his layered melodramas the many facets of what film could accomplish has only grown. If “The Choice” is your first venture into classic Egyptian cinema, you’ve picked a good place to start; this beautifully shot, thrilling adaptation of Nobel Prize-winner Naguib Mahfouz’s novel is Chahine at his best.

‘The Lost Daughter’

Given their ubiquity, we may feel that we know the Gyllenhaal family all too well at this point, but “The Lost Daughter,” the directorial debut of Maggie Gyllenhaal, shows there is plenty left to discover and that the hugely talented actor may also be one of her generation’s best filmmakers. Her adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s novel of the same name features another powerhouse performance from Oscar-winner Olivia Colman (“The Favorite”) and also gets the best out of Dakota Johnson, in this story of a woman who becomes obsessed with another woman while on holiday. It’s a film that becomes just as unsettling as you may expect from that premise.

‘Becoming’

This anthology weaves together stories from five different Saudi filmmakers — Sara Mesfer, Jawaher Alamri, Noor Alameer, Hind Alfahhad and Fatima Al-Banawi — to show different sides of a changing Kingdom. For example, an 11-year-old girl arrives at her aunt’s house one day just before Friday prayers only to find that she can suddenly express everything she had been keeping secret from her conservative parents; a bride disappears on her wedding night; and a divorced mother grapples with an anxiety disorder. The stories are bold and uncompromising, showcasing women who are destined to shape the future of Saudi cinema in front of and behind the camera.

‘The Gravedigger’s Wife’

An audience hit at Cannes, this debut from the Finnish-Somali filmmaker Khadar Ayderus Ahmed follows a man in Djibouti who discovers his beloved, vivacious wife will die unless he can come up with $5,000 for emergency surgery — a sum he has little hope of accumulating. While this intimate film is small in scale, its heart is huge, and the film’s cultural specificity and assured direction make it stand out. It’s an inviting look into an unfamiliar world that is wholly relatable, with characters you won’t soon forget and just enough social satire to leave you with plenty to discuss.

‘Ennio’

Few composers have as outsized a reputation as the late Italian maestro Ennio Morricone, and with good reason — across the 500 films he helped bring to life through his music, many have become cultural milestones, including “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly,” “The Thing,” and “Cinema Paradiso.” When Morricone passed away in 2020, the latter’s director, his old friend and collaborator Giuseppe Tornatore (head of the Red Sea Film Festival’s jury) gathered some of his most famous collaborators, including Quentin Tarantino and Clint Eastwood, for a look back at the life and work of a true genius, with all the joy and emotion that Tornatore and Morricone famously brought to the tear-stained finale of “Cinema Paradiso.”


Lebanese-Australian model Jessica Kahawaty explores Saudi Arabia

Australian-Lebanese model Jessica Kahawaty is no stranger to jetting around the world. File/ Getty Images
Australian-Lebanese model Jessica Kahawaty is no stranger to jetting around the world. File/ Getty Images
Updated 05 December 2021

Lebanese-Australian model Jessica Kahawaty explores Saudi Arabia

Australian-Lebanese model Jessica Kahawaty is no stranger to jetting around the world. File/ Getty Images

DUBAI: Australian-Lebanese model, entrepreneur and influencer Jessica Kahawaty is treating her one million Instagram fans to a tour of Saudi Arabia.

This week, the model hopped between Riyadh and Jeddah, with a pitstop in the Saudi desert, for a number of events.

She hit the ground running in Riyadh with a visit to the Times Square entertainment destination in the capital and stopped off at the Echo Beauty department store and the We Cre8 department store in The Boulevard.

“Riyadh. Wow. What a welcome. Thank you #VedaHolding a pioneer in entrepreneurship in concepts like @wecre8.sa and @echobeauty.sa, for your hospitality and thank you to the people of Riyadh who found me in a quick and quiet visit to Times Square late last night after the desert and gave me the funnest welcome ever!!! Can’t wait for what’s to come soon Saudi (sic),” Kahawaty posted on Instagram alongside a carousel of images and videos of her visit.

For the occasion, she showed off a dazzling pink dress by Miu Miu.

Before her 3 a.m. trip to the mall, Kahawaty enjoyed a traditional dinner in the desert and shared a cozy-looking carousel of photos in which she can be seen enjoying kabsa in a desert camp complete with a roaring fire.

“My first Saudi desert experience with a traditional kabsa dinner (rice with lamb),” she captioned the post on Instagram.

The model, who is also an avid humanitarian, then hopped on a plane to Jeddah, during which she was treated to a meal she had been craving — a McDonald’s burger.

“They asked what cuisine I wanted, I said ‘Le McDonald’s’,” she joked on her Instagram feed.

In Jeddah, Kahawaty received a warm welcome as she arrived to stay with Saudi designer Arwa Al-Banawi before the pair enjoyed a spread of pastries and homemade goodies.

When she’s not jetting around the world, the Dubai-based 32-year-old can be found setting up charitable endeavors — evidenced most recently in her online fundraiser to support those struggling in Lebanon amid the country’s shortage of fuel, medical supplies and food in August.

“My name is Jessica Kahawaty and I, like many Lebanese expats, feel helpless watching my country and people drown in despair,” she wrote at the time.

Kahawaty said that money raised was distributed among nonprofit organizations that she personally vetted, individual families and students.


Review: Final episodes of ‘Money Heist’ are emotional and action-packed

The final episodes of ‘Money Heist’are now streaming on Netflix. (Supplied)
The final episodes of ‘Money Heist’are now streaming on Netflix. (Supplied)
Updated 04 December 2021

Review: Final episodes of ‘Money Heist’ are emotional and action-packed

The final episodes of ‘Money Heist’are now streaming on Netflix. (Supplied)

CHENNAI: A runaway hit, the last five episodes of Spanish series “Money Heist,” created by Alex Pina, were just released on Netflix to international fanfare.

Readers be warned, this review contains spoilers for the first part of season five, which was released three months ago.

Audiences were left on a cliff hanger, with the shocking death of Tokyo (Ursula Corbero) and the emotional run continues in the second part of the season, with the Professor (played by Alvaro Morte) displaying heightened sadness, triumph and nerves in the final episode.

With Tokyo’s death, the Professor is shattered and loses his grip on the situation, which opens him up to risks from all angles. Of particular interest is the developing relationship between detective Alicia Sierra (Najwa Nimri) and the Professor, all with Sierra’s newborn baby in tow. Featuring a newborn innocent in the heady mix of precarious action ups the ante and introduces a heightened level of risk for audiences who will no doubt watch with bated breath.

In the final episodes, the Professor also sees his reasoning questioned by some members of the gang, including Rio (Miguel Herran) who harbors doubts about the morality of stealing gold from the country’s reserves.

On the opposing side, Colonel Tamayo (Fernando Cayo) lost many of his men when he attempted to storm the bank, but is undeterred. He has made his life's mission to get the Professor and his group down on their knees and will stoop low to achieve this, as we come to see. 

“Money Heist” is gripping to the core, and we are so taken in by what is happening on screen that we are willing not only to forgive the misdeeds of the robbers, but also cheer them on. The emotional notes in the final episodes make it all the more magnetically appealing, and allow audiences to wave off the artistic liberties taken by the director with regards to some of the less than believable scenes. 

A particularly noteworthy focus of the latest run is Berlin (Pedro Alonso), whose life is revealed through flashbacks that make up a marvelous character study.

Audiences will be relieved to find a lot of questions are answered, and due the way it ends this global phenomenon is sure to be remembered for a long time.