Moza Wa Khamis – A Burst of New Nostalgia

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Growing up, I was a HUGE fan of Arabic dubbed anime! It was a big thing in my generation and I bet that you won’t find a single person around my age who cant at recite the theme from “ra3d el 3imlaq” or “grandizer”. I bet some of you are humming to them right now!

This new place that opened up at the Best Western plays to the awesome nostalgic notes that just make me smile! Moza Wa Khamis is a new kind of Omani Restaurant….its not typical Omani food and its not a traditional atmosphere….its a new fun place that im really excited about!
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The restaurant revives a few old cartoons that have been forgotten for a while! the beauty about this place for me is just that……..you know whats even better? you know how I said that most of you that saw the cartoons will be humming the themes? well thats what I started doing there! the ambiance of the place will instantly kick you off to a happy place while playing the theme songs from your favorite 80’s / 90’s cartoons!
I even called my mom and got her to hear those themes!

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I got the opportunity to sneak in a meal before the place opens up on Monday (9th Feb) and im so happy to say that the theme isn’t the only thing that will pull me here! Some of the things are creative and ull have to trust the chef and just try em, and others are perfectly executed classics.
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So lets start with the first things that came! The Shuwa salad was one of those things that looked strange at first but was very unique and well balanced. The strange part for me when it came was that it had ‘Chips Oman’ in it! but it mixed in very well! the shuwa meat itself was well cooked and my friends who tried another shuwa dish loved it as well! (id plan ahead though as its only available on Thursday for now)DSC_9601

We also explored my love of cheese with the cheese platter, It was a pretty good selection but it needed crackers….the dates were a wonderful complement!DSC_9616

The mains came around and my partner ordered the Kebab….I had a bite and the meat was bursting with the flavors, and I dont mean that it was hidden with spices and herbs….This was proper meat that tasted exactly how it should! I’m surely going to order this one of the times im back here.

Oh and the sauce that it came with is a tomato sauce that was tangy and had just the amount of spices in it…..I haven’t had a chance to explore much of the menu yet but I sure hope that this sauce comes with more dishes!
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I see mushrooms and I order the dish that they come with 😛  So naturally my choice was a mushroom burger!
This came with the ‘Chips Oman’ twist and I really took a second to realize that after I bit into the burger…..I Absolutely loved it! the sauce was just the right consistency and the chips brought a nice zing to it……….again the big highlight for me was the meat itself! the burger patty was flavored very well and balanced between the taste of the meat and seasoning….the different elements mixed very well and it really did feel that this burger was engineered to perfection!
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Before I dive into the sweet stuff, id absolutely love to talk about the drinks here…….they have some really amazing coffee creations done with Omani touches.

The Rose frappe is something that ud love if you like rose water taste….you can really taste it and I wouldn’t mind ordering this to go when I spend a day on the beach because this drink is absolutely refreshing.

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My favorite thing though would be the qahwa frappe! I absolutely love coffee, especially Omani coffee so when the owner suggested this I was pretty excited!
When it came, I could immediately smell the strong flavorsome smell of Omani qahwa…..I actually wondered why wasnt this done before? if you had to order just one drink from the menu, id suggest this would be the one.

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By the time the desserts came, we were stuffed! We couldn’t finish our luqaimat (photo cred: Anna Chesalina) but they were divine! I was told that next time I should try the halwa spring rolls or the date pancakes! it would be good to see how they compare to silk route’s date pancakes (my favorite dessert) or shuwa expresses halwa spring rolls!
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The place itself has a very fun vibe and atmosphere…..the cartoon themes will just make you smile if not sing along and the food will bring you back for more!

Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to explore the menu much yet…..but fortunately I will come back to surely be pleasantly surprised with more awesome dishes…..and you know what? next time I go, ill bring my mom along for all the nostalgia overload!

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Being a Motivational Speaker

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I really love doing motivational talks! there is something about being on stage that fires me up and gets me really excited!

I recently did a talk for the American Women’s Group….and I realized a few things on why I really enjoy it!

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For one, i’m talking about one of the best parts of my life! it was a long and hard year but the result was the Antarctic….and sharing the photos alone gets me very nostalgic and excited!

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Secondly, sometimes…..I see the change in people’s eyes, when I talk about plastic bags, the look of shock and immediate action just appears on people’s faces!

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Its always fun though……the experience of the freezer gives people something to talk about! and its a good escape from the heat!

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But you know? it wasn’t always like this……I remember the first time I had to present to an audience.

That was back at uni, and it was a class of 10 people……I was so nervous that I felt ill! I couldn’t stop shaking and I almost murmured all my words!

Then again, when I had left for Australia, I was a very shy introverted guy that was too shy to hold a conversation. It was troublesome for me being in a new place, not knowing anyone AND being introverted and shy…….so I got myself a job in a suit shop where I had to talk to strangers and strike up a conversation ALL the time! it wasn’t easy to start but then I started loving it!

As for motivational speaking? that just happened after I came back from Antarctica during my press conference…..that was the first time I stood in front of people to share my story and I guess that’s how it happened!

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Most of all, I love doing my talks at schools……In my opinion that’s what makes a change! young kids really are impressionable and when they hear why they should care, they start persuading their families!

If you ever have the time, please do come to one of my talks and tell me what you think!……and make sure you bring a jacket 😉

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A TALE OF PHOTOS – PART 2

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I wanted to revisit some old photos for this post but for some reason, only one place has been on my mind….. The 7th continent,

Its been 492 days since I stepped onto Antarctica the day that I wrote this post, my journey was a year before that and it was long and difficult. I faced issues with funding, training, acceptance and failed friendships…..kinda shows you who your real friends are. And it shaped my life, in more ways than the obvious.

One of the unexpected ways is that before Antarctica, I was stuck in a dead end job that I hated and I lost my eye for photography….when I was doing my research for getting myself there, something happened….. I started to grab my camera after it having collected dust on my shelf, I started buying books and reading things, I was becoming a photographer again!

I practiced so that I could get it right in Antarctica…and when I got there, it paid off!! It started with Argentina! My camera was always an arms length (photo cred, Ameer Abdulhussein, my edit)

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A Chair With a View

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This was a beautiful day, the first day meeting our teams! I had just met a group of people who would be my life long Antarctic companions. The amazing thing was, during my time in Oman I thought I was an alien with this hard mission ahead…..but when I met Alice, Swati, Oli, Arriane, Subash, Omar, Millie and everyone else…..it felt like we knew each other for years, and we all knew what it took to get there. we instantly bonded and became a family in the strangest most natural way…all in a few minutes.

We all hung around the hotel lobby looking at the gorgeous beagle channel in awe….you know, places like this are so beautiful that you really get blown away and that’s what happened to me! I just had to capture that view! That lobby was a perfect excuse for me…..I sat in that chair sending my photos to the media in Oman and updating my blog, but it was much more than that…..the lobby was the place where everyone came out of their hiding spots rooms and was the perfect place to get to know the people who had to really work hard to get here.

First Sight

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Now, this isn’t a particularly impressive photo on its own right….but by far one of my all time favorites!

After a year of preparations and difficulties, it didn’t seem real….not even when I got on to the Sea Spirit. actually…..I talked to many people, and the feeling was the same, Antarctica still seemed like it was a world away but when ‘Jumper‘s’ voice popped on the PA telling us all that there is an iceberg ahead, it really hit me……Im really there….

So I took my big lens out and rushed with the others to see my first iceberg, it was amazing…..seeing a block of ice float on water may not sound that magical but when you see it….you feel an immense passion and your mind starts thinking….is this real?

That feeling lasted my whole time there and this photo, whenever I look at it, reminds me of the first time in my life that I felt that shock and awe…..

The grandness beyond your mind’s comprehension that a floating block of ice could inspire so much beauty ……