Monday, April 7, 2014

Nana Diaries: A Girl in Yemen (Part III)

As I was having my brunch after class, Kak Lina who just got back from Jami'ah (university) came over and said that we are going for a mini outing session at Dar Al-Hajr. Since my class was over, I decided to tag along even though I have no idea what Dar Al-Hajr really is. Heheee!

After a half and hour drive from our place, we arrived at a beautiful deserted place on top of a hill. It was so beautiful Mashaa Allah and I thought we were already at Dar Al-Hajr. As I was enjoying myself taking pictures, Kak Lina's husband said "there down there. That's Dar Al-Hajr". I was a bit confused and thought to myself, "where are we? Why are we here and not there?" 15 minutes later, Samy, the driver, took us to the real Dar Al-Hajr which located at Wadi Dhahr Valley. Hahhh, it was just a "teaser" of the real Dar Al-Hajr. I was excited.

So, this is Dar Al-Hajr!

Dar Al-Hajr is an iconic symbol of Yemen. From the stories that were told by one of the keeper of the palace, Dar Al-Hajr which also known as The Imam Rock Palace was built by Yahya Muhammad Hamid Ed-Din in the 1930s. Since there wasn't any king in Yemen in that period, Yemen was governed by a leader called Imam and it is called "Rock Palace" because it was literally built on top of a rock. Just imagine, one huge 5-stories building on a rock, I was in awe!

Dar Al-Hajr (The Imam Rock Palace)

Since one of the palace keeper is Abang Ali's closed friends, we got to the chance to hear stories on how the palace was built, when it was built, the purpose of each rooms, and we even got the chance to enter one of locked rooms, the room of Imam Yahya's beautiful wives. Subhanallah, the building and architecture is so sturdy and was beautifully planned.

The house of the soldiers. These five houses are attached together with one main door.

The scenery from the second floor of the palace.

After spending almost 2 hours, we decided to go for our lunch and headed home. It was an awesome and interesting experience. If you ask what is the most interesting things in Yemen? and I would definitely say a visit to Dar Al- Hajr.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Nana Diaries: A Girl in Yemen (Part II)

Alhamdulillah, my parents and I managed to attend Khansa's (Kak Lina's daughter) aqiqah yesterday. Since it was my first time attending a get-together session with the Malaysian here in Yemen, I was a bit concern and nervous at the same time. Alhamdulillah, they are really nice people Mashaa Allah. They treated me as if they have known me their entire life!

* * * *

Since dad's leg is much better now, he decided to take us to Babul Yaman (Door of Yemen) which located half an hour away from our place. It was a wonderful experience. We arrived at 11AM and started to walk around until 1PM. There are tons of interesting items and old Yemeni buildings to see. I was in awe most of the time.

After taking tons of pictures, it's time for us to do some shopping. Well, this is not a shopping mall so you can't really fine any branded clothes, accessories and whatnot here. It's something like Rantau Panjang in Kelantan but a bit bigger. I wasn't that excited at first as the shops are basically selling clothes but when I stepped into this one sort of empty street, I immediately fell in love. Both on your left and right, you can see tons of rare and interesting items like their traditional daggers in all sort of design and sizes, Yemen old silver accessories and so much more! I'm beginning to love it here.

A week ago, as I was chatting with a friend, she kept on telling me that I must visit Babul Yaman at least once. There are tons of interesting items there. And she kept on insisting that I must look for a lantern shop at the end of the street and I'll love it for sure. Unfortunately I can't seem to find the shop she was talking about as there are so many "end of the street" I lost count. Heheeee. Inshaa Allah I'll come again someday and definitely look for the shop.

Abaya & Scarf: Petitestaz
Handbag: Longchamp

*Some might wonder "is it compulsory to wear niqab in Sana'a?" Well, it depends on you actually. Not everyone in Sana'a is wearing niqab but most of the women here do so, it's a bit odd if you don't especially when you are a foreigner. Therefore, to avoid any misunderstanding and fitnah, why shouldn't I?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Nana Shares: My So-Called Flawless Skin Secret.

I was supposed to write about this ages ago but somehow I kept on postponing it until today. For the past half a year, I've been receiving compliments (alhamdulillah, jazakallahu khairan) and questions regarding my skincare routine, skincare products and everything that is related to skincare.

Alhamdulillah, I am so thankful that I have been given an opportunity by HIM to have a clear looking skin. Some might say I have a flawless skin but rest assured, my skin is not as flawless as it looks. Yes, I do get pimples here and there once or sometimes twice a month but alhamdulillah it's just a temporary thing and it'll disappear after a day or two. 

How do I look after my skin? 
Which skincare products do I use?

I should answer the second question first, shouldn't I? Alhamdulillah I do not need something that is super expensive for maintaining a healthy looking skin. For the past few months, I've been using this one Malaysian skincare product called Wonderglow Gold Set. Being a typical girl surrounded by beautiful people from all over the world most of the time, I was a bit skeptical. Afterall, it is neither well-known nor internationally recognized brand. It was just merely a local brand and it was somewhat new in the market. After a long period of time, I decided to give it a try. After a month of using it, I fell in love. Besides its effectiveness, its small, portable and hassle-free packaging attracts me the most. Not to my surprise, I started recommending it to others too!

Get yours from @hnbbeauty (instashop)
or directly make your order through Whatsapp at 016-2256351

If you've been reading my blog for quite some time, you might know that I was totally head over heel with my previous skincare product which was Laneige. Don't you worry Laneige users, I am not discouraging you nor saying "goodbye" to this wonderful brand. I still love Lenaige and it is still one of my favorites skincare products brands. Unfortunately, they are a bit pricey compared to the one I am currently using. So yea, that's why I decided to switch to Wonderglow which is good too.

So there you go. My not-so-called secret to my so-called flawless skin. 

The next question. How do I look after my skin? That's simple! I do not use any hi-tech, high maintenance stuffs, nor I go for expensive facial treatment every week. I just simply drink lots and lots of water, exercise regularly, clean my face at least once a day and most importantly, minimize the usage of make up and remove my make up before I go to bed. Oh, and exfoliate regularly too. Simple ain't it?

So, what's you secrets to your healthy looking skin?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Nana Diaries: A Girl in Yemen (Part I)

I thought I could give up on blogging and start Dayre-ing. Unfortunately enough, I am not so fond of Dayre right now. It just seems a bit complicated and limited. So yea, I shall stick to this little blog of mine.

As some of you may know, it has been a week since I arrived Sana'a, Yemen. I am here for my Arabic classes. I has always been so interested in languages. It doesn't matter what language it is, as long as it is a L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E. I did learn Chinese (Mandarin), Korean, Japanese and even Spanish. Online and by myself of course! I'm too cheap to attend proper classes. Heheee! Besides Malay and English, the only proper language classes that I ever attended was Arabic. Yes, languages can be the hardest subject to learn and master without proper classes. Even so, I never really into Arabic that much. To me, it was just an old and hard to learn language and who cares, I can speak and understand English well. So why do I even bother studying Arabic.

I started learning Arabic since I was 11 because Arabic has always been one of the important subjects at school. However, I don't really give so much thought into it. Yes, I might be good in Arabic compared to some friends in class but unfortunately enough, no matter how good I was at answering questions in class (mind you I'm not that good. I only got a C in Arabic for SPM), I can never really speak Arabic. Believe it or not I can actually have an hour long conversation (with full of laughter and giggles too) with my new (at that time) Japanese friends who can barely speak English but when it comes to having a conversation in Arabic with my Arabs friends, somehow everything seems so blur! I can't even come up with one proper sentence besides "Hello. How are you? I am fine. Thank you". But mehhh, who cares!

UNTIL ...!!!

A year ago, alhamdulillah my family and I went for our umrah for the second time. It was a good and pleasant experience until one day we were about to go to I-can't-remember-where, and we were explaining to the tour guide where we were planning to go , suddenly a guy said "you Muslims yet you don't know how to speak your own language?!" By own language he meant Arabic. Honestly, it felt like a big giant slap on the face. He continued "you can't even speak Arabic so how can you even understand what the Quran is saying?" Another big giant slap! He was right. How can we understand the Quran if we can't even understand Arabic, yes? Yes, we do have the terjemahan, the translation, but can we REALLY understand the meaning of it (Quran)?

Things got worst. It was our last day in Makkah and we were supposed to be in Jeddah by 8PM. The driver was supposed to be at the hotel lobby at 5PM but he wasn't there til quarter pass 7! Just imagine we only have less than an hour time or we might miss our flight home. We tried to explain to the driver to drive as fast as possible because we needed to be at the airport by 8PM. Unfortunately, he can neither speak nor understand English! AT ALL! It was a disaster.

Alhamdulillah, after hundreds of stupid hand gestures, he managed to understand what we were saying and we managed to arrive at the airport on time. Since those incidents, I always thought to myself, why am I so blinded with worldly stuffs? Why do I even bother learning other languages but Arabic? Why am I so .... stupid?

The morning view of Sana'a right from my room window

Since then, it has always been a dream of mine to be able to once again attend Arabic classes and I promise myself to really learn it well this time. Alhamdulillah, I am so grateful that my dream came true. Here I am today, in one of the best places to learn Arabic, trying my very best to learn and understand Arabic as much as I could. Inshaa Allah :) Wish me luck alright? Heheeee.