the Rants of Ms. Hala

Simply, Amazing!


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Unexplained Heartache

I have been hurt by heartache for several weeks now. I’ve laid awake trying to understand this hurt, suppress the pain. I didn’t think I can be this hurt by people deciding to let me go without a word.

These are the people that were family by bond, thicker than blood. A lifetime of laughter and tears, love and compassion, memories and journeys shared and forever cherished. In a moment, they let it go. In a moment, they let me go.

How can you love someone so much, expect nothing in return only to easily let them go? Maybe that’s why I’m sitting here hurt, holding back tears as I smile to those I love so they don’t see how easily hurt by love I can be.


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Get Your Gourmet on at the Qatar International Food Festival 2015

Ms. Hala:

Have to share this to all my food lovers out there in Qatar!! Check it out, I sure will! =D

Originally posted on Life on the Wedge:

It started very small a few years ago, but the Qatar international Food Festival has grown in stature each year.It’s now one of the best organized and most anticipated events in Doha.

It’s back again for 2015 from 24 to 28 March at the Museum of Islamic Art Park again and looks set to be equally as good as last year. you can find out information about the various activities on offer here.

But I’m pretty excited about the Dinner in the Sky concept this year which is offering a “Taste of Business Class” from Qatar Airways premium menu.

I will be posting updates as they come, but you can keep up to date with it here as well.

It's back for 2015 It’s back for 2015

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It’s enough for me to be sure that you and I exist at this moment.”  – Gabriel Garcí­a Marquez


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“May you live long and prosper.” -Leonard Nimoy as Spock of Star Trek

LiveLongAndProsper


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“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” – Steve Jobs


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Their Names are Deah, Yusor and Razan

Three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina were heard being killed in their home. They were killed execution style, bullets to the head, by their angry neighbor. I learned of their death from different individuals on Twitter. My heart sank as I have family in North Carolina. I didn’t know them personally but my heart sank deeper, their names are Deah, Yusor and Razan.

They were sisters. They were daughers and sons. They were newly weds. They were aspiring dentists and architects. They were kind and generous. They were the activists many of us aspire to be. They had just taken part in contributing to homeless community with food and dental supplies. They had just traveled were to travel to Turkey to provide Syrian refugees with medical assistance.

As I read of their short lived lives and brutal death through my Twitter feed, none of the tweets came from American mainstream news media. They came from individuals. Sometimes we Americans forget that our mainstream news media is no longer the stations with varying letters of the alphabet. You and I are the mainstream and we need to continue to raise our voices. We need to support our local organizations and communities that strive to defend our rights to do so.

You can not convince me that their death was not an act of hate crime by a terrorist, for lack of a better word. You can not convince me that they were killed over a parking dispute. You can not convince me that they were “at the wrong time and place” when they were in their home. You can not convince me that there is ever an excuse to take another person’s life. There is not.

Lest we forget in our anger to mourn, honor and cherish the devotion these young people had for helping others. Let us keep their legacy alive. Let us not forget that their names are Deah, Yusor and Razan.

Photograph of Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad Barakat, and Razan Mohammad via @JFXM of Twitter.

May the souls of Deah, Yusor and Razan rest in God’s eternal peace and light… Ameen.


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Roger’s Diner – New Menu Review

Roger’s Diner New Menu Taste Testing Event
January 11, 2015

If you follow me on either Instagram, Twitter, FourSquare or Facebook (of course you do!), then you’ve noticed my many checked ins and pictures of our great eats at Roger’s Diner, located on C-Ring, between AlSadd and AlRayyan Road in Doha. My co-workers and I loved the business lunch deal, where you get an appetizer, entree and dessert for only 55QR from 12-3pm.

So when Roger’s Diner invited me along with 3 friends to taste test the new menu on the evening of January 11th, I couldn’t say “no”! My co-workers Sahar and Adel were excited about the invitation and to be able to introduce this amazing place to our friend Dana and our new colleague, Ahmed, whom just landed in Qatar a few months ago. Roger’s was kind enough to stretch our invitation an extra seat so that our two newbies can taste why Roger’s is one of our favorite lunch spots.

From Left to Right: Ahmed, Ms. Hala, Sahar, Dana and Adel.
C/O Roger’s Diner Facebook Page

#VIPLife

SETTING

The entire restaurant was reserved for just the invitees of the new menu taste testers that evening. It made me feel very VIP if you ask me. It surely impressed our group as we walked in, welcomed and our verbal note of an invitation honored.

Roger’s maintains a classic American aviation theme with a large plane propeller and a wide flight wings as decor. From the cushioned booths to the table settings to the menu design, the theme is through out while maintaining the look and feel of a legit American diner. Large TVs are propped throughout the restaurant usually planing an American movie or a soccer (keeping it American) game with popular American 90s music playing in the background.

C/O Roger's Diner Facebook Page

C/O Roger’s Diner Facebook Page

In all honesty, I always feel like I’m in a diner back home in the States on any given day.

MENU

Roger’s previous menu was fairly simply, give or take 5 different kinds of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, hamburgers, pastas and desserts. This new menu has much more options plus the originals still intact which I was so glad to see.

It only made sense for us to order as we usually do: an appetizer, entree and dessert. After asking our hosts what they recommended we try off the new menu,  we made our order. It was great to see our hosts be well aware of the new menu and their excitement over the new dishes they’ve surely tried and enjoyed.

Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup

I took a glance at the prices which seemed to be along the lines of the previous menu. Most dishes ranging from 20 to 70QR. The drinks remained the same though I had hoped for bigger glasses versus those two-sips-your-done they keep serving iced tea in for 24QR. At least offer refills for ice tea and fountain drinks for those cups, please. Pretty please!

TASTE

We were all very pleased with our appetizers. Sahar, Dana and myself ordered varying soups and were very please with the taste, texture and portion. I could have easily been happy with a soup and salad combo, an option I’d like Roger’s to offer at a decent price.

Seasoned Chicken Drumsticks with Rice and Gravy

Seasoned Chicken Drumsticks with Rice and Gravy

Ahmed ordered a mixed fried appetizer dish which was pretty good, ranging from onion rings to calimari. The portion was large and easily shared amongst all 5 of us.

For our entrees, two of us ordered the new sizzling fajitas, and I mean sizzling! I ordered the mixed chicken and shrimp while Ahmed ordered the beef. My dish was very tender, flavorful and the side toppings were more than enough. However, I wish the server hadn’t uncovered my tortilla bin as they cooled down fairly quickly during the 10 or so minutes we were asked to pose for pictures.

Sizzling Fajita Combo, Chicken and Shrimp

Sizzling Fajita Combo, Chicken and Shrimp

Sahar ordered the seasoned chicken drumsticks with rice and gravy. The portion was large and very filling according to her. A dish she would order again.

Adel ordered the salmon and raved at it’s flavor. It took a while longer than the rest of our dishes to come out but he was extremely happy with his dish that my camera missed it.

Dana ordered the beef medallions with steamed vegetables topped with mushroom sauce. She stated it was tender, juicy and cooked to her liking. A dish she recommended we must try on our next visit.

Beef Medallions with Vegetables

Beef Medallions with Vegetables

For dessert, I ordered the Nutella banana crepe, Sahar ordered the Oreo fundant cake and the rest ordered the classic New York cheese cake. I was not happy with my dessert at all. The crepe itself was very doughy, the Nutella not enough spared that I didn’t finish it.

Sahar thought her cake was OK, disappointed that the melted chocolate center that was expected was really just Oreo cookie crumbs. We both thought that something needs to be added to make this Oreo cake sublime.

Nutella Banana Crepe and Oreo Fundant Cake

Nutella Banana Crepe and Oreo Fundant Cake

The rest were very happy with the cheese cakes, a dessert off the classic menu. I’ve always enjoyed the brownie a la mode and recommend it to anyone on any given day. It’s always been my favorite dessert at Roger’s and a part of me wish I had ordered it instead.

OVERALL

Our group had a fantastic evening and truly enjoyed our food! I really hope Roger’s fixes up those dessert recipes as it does have a lot of potential. The ambiance was friendly as always and the service was seriously at it’s best! A special shout out to our waiter Paul, whom really went over and beyond to accommodate us that evening.

Classic New York Cheesecakes

Classic New York Cheesecakes

We’d like to once again thank Qanect and Roger’s Diner for a lovely evening, a great new menu and the overall wonderful food! It was a delight to taste test the new offerings and can’t wait until the business lunches are rebooted!

2015 is the year I shall begin writing a few reviews a month since I’m constantly raving about the amazing eateries here in Qatar. In between reviews, I highly recommend that you check out some of my favorite Qatar based foodie bloggers, Hungry Birds Doha and Life on the Wedge… You’re welcome.

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