December 25, 2014

A Christmas Story

On Christmas day, I wanted to share a story that I came across a few days ago – and it moved me immensely.  Brought to popularity this year by Sainsbury’s, this advertisement was made in partnership with the Royal British Legion commemorating the events of the Christmas Day truce in 1914. It is especially poignant due to the fact that this year marks the centenary of the First World War  It is said that in a historic display of humanity, at around midnight on Christmas eve in 1914, German and Allied armies began to sing ‘Silent Night’ and the original ‘Stille Nacht’ from opposite sides of the battlefield. Nobody knows…

December 19, 2014

Polska!

When I first told people around me that I was going to Poland for the Eid holidays, there was more than one raised eyebrow. To start with, it made me a little sceptical, but my mind was made up, to visit. The country wears its charms lightly – so much that it doesn’t draw the attention of the average Euro-tripper. But step in, venture into its heart and you’ll find medieval cities, fairy-tale castles and untouched wilderness, served with an invigorating shot of vodka. We drove over the Polish border from Prague, headed to Kraków, the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. We had hired a…

November 13, 2014

Never Again.

“So, let us be alert in a twofold sense: Since Auschwitz we know what man is capable of. And since Hiroshima we know what is at stake.” ― Viktor E. Frankl Wars are never good. But there are worse things, and until the year 1940 – probably nobody knew of them. Even as we march proudly through the 21st century, making ungodly advancements almost every single day, some parts of this discomfiting past are being left behind. In school, we were taught about the World Wars, but I have no recollection of discussing the Holocaust. Most of my education was at home, through my father – who has passionately read…

November 6, 2014

A Bohemian Rhapsody

Since I moved to Muscat two years ago and found a lot more time (i.e. earned leave) and funds to my disposal, it was a part of the agenda to ensure that I take an annual trip with the folk to places we have always talked about. Jet. Set. Go! We got our Schengen visas a day before we were to travel – so yeah, a couple of very tense weeks.. In 2013, we covered a lot of Western Europe in a rather rushed manner and this time around, I wanted to do it differently. Also because the agenda here was different; the trip was woven around my father’s wish…

September 21, 2013

Paris je t’aime

Destination next was ‘La Ville-Lumière’ or the City of Light, better known to us as Paris! It is a pity that we could only visit the capital city this trip, the whole of the country is so beautiful and full of history, it would need probably a fortnight or more to skim through.   I have absolutely no recollections of the time when I first visited Paris, so was obviously very excited to step foot in this city that had been the centre of European monarchy and power in the 17th century. The legacy of the French kings had always fascinated me, especially that of Louis the fourteenth – who…