travel

Salep aka Saloop

Salep is a very traditional drink which is well known in Turkey! What you don’t know is that it was also a famous drink in England after it spread! It was known as Saloop in England.

Sahlep flour is made by tubers of orchid and the ingredients to make the famous drink is as follows:

200ml Skimmed milk

1 Tablespoon Salep flour or as alternative ½ Tablespoon Rice flour and ½ Tablespoon Potato starch

Sugar

Cinnamon for strewing

The popularity of this expensive drink declined in England because it was used to treat venereal disease (sexually transmitted disease) and drinking this in public became shameful! In Turkey however, this drink is highly popular! Bare in mind that it is quite heavy! 

travel

Travel! – But Locally too! (Blakesley Hall Museum)

As a resident of Birmingham, I have not spent much time exploring my own city. I know how to get to places but have never visited or looked at what is around me. So one day, I called up a friend who lives on the next road and said “Lets go for a walk”. This is exactly what we did…

The first stop was a lovely park in which we walked full of trees and cyclist and picnic makers. Across my road is a Lovely Museum which I can see from my bedroom window – Blakesley Hall Museum. Now, local schools normally take you to visit this beauty as part of an educational trip. It had been so long (Over 15 years!) so I decided its time to have a visit.

The first thing you see is the shop of the Museum and a noticeboard which lists all of the events happening. There are loads of events for everyone of all ages! This month (month of July) was Lavender Month! The tea shop at Blakesley Hall was also offering Lavender infused snacks and drinks to go with the theme. It was lovely.

Blakesley Hall is a beautiful Tudor house and is one of the oldest buildings of Birmingham. It was built in 1590 by Richard Smallbrook who was a farmer and a man of local importance. This hidden gem, is filled with furniture giving it the 17th century look. After 1935, the hall became a museum run by the Birmingham Museums trust.

Blakesley Hall is a must visit in Birmingham. Surrounded by a beautiful garden. It is the perfect place to have a picnic, a nice afternoon tea or even host a wedding/party. The beauty is magnificent. You can find out more by visiting their website: http://www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/blakesley


 

Anxiety · Depression · Education · life · travel

What you should not say to someone with anxiety – experiences 

Yes- anxiety is something we all have but as psychologists and any psychologist will explain to you is that we can all take in different amounts of stress. Some can take in a very small amount and for them that is the breaking point, whilst some can take a load and they are fine! There’s things we say to eachother and it’s not fine and not cool. We all need to be trained and understanding. 

1. “A lot of people have it worse” 

Going back to the point I made, worse for them may be easier for them to deal with than our situation. Firstly, you don’t know the full situation and detail of what goes on in a persons mind for you to understand how it’s impacting them! You don’t know how bad the situation is and how people take it! Everyone has different levels of sensitivity. You may think that this will help – it won’t! An anxious person will feel that they are not trying as hard or that their situation doesn’t matter!

2. “Everything will be alright”

What guarantee can you give and why does saying that help at all? They already are trying to get their minds to work and think like this which is causing anxiety and worrying thoughts to occur. Your reminder is unnecessary and may just cause extra worry!

3. “Just be Happy”

Happiness is an emotion! It is not something you can decide. You cannot force yourself to be happy! Similarly you can’t force yourself to cry/laugh/be angry! Instead ask what you can do to make them happier! The above is totally ignorant 

4. “It’s all in your head!”

Ofcourse it is. Our brain controls everything and the way we think! It’s in the mind which means it’s in the body! This also means it’s hard to get rid of! Try and help a friend get their mind of the situation.

5. “What reasons do you have for your anxiety?” 

The worst one! This causes further issues. Rather than asking this, say “if you want to discuss we can talk about your anxiety” 

6. “Why are you ignoring me?”

At times people just want to disappear from the face of the earth but it’s okay! Give them time! They’ll come round! Do not take it personally.

7. “And your starting like that again / attention seeking”

Seriously, is the worst thing you can say! That person will never trust you or want to discuss anything with you ever again! Remenber chemical imbalances she medical reasons also cause anxiety so you must be understanding. Choose your words carefully! 

history · Holidays · Islam · life · travel

Aurangzeb – A Mughal Emporer

Aurangzeb (3rd November 1618- 3rd March 1707) was the 6th Mughal Emperor and ruled for 49 Years. The Mughal Empire maximised and reached its biggest success during the reign of Aurangzeb. His father was Shah Jahan, the builder of the Taj Mahal in Aghra. Growing up he was educated in Islam and had learnt calligraphy and some of his work can still be seen today! One of his goals was to bring Islamic governance to the Mughal Empire. Aurangzeb had good relationships with Hindus and Sikhs by giving them much respect. Aurangzeb died from a natural death at the age of 88 in 1707.

Food · travel

Arabic Food Taste 😊

Recently I went to an Arabic cafe that served a variety of things. The cafe “Damascena” located in Moseley Village in Birmingham offers a new type of cuisine for the city. 

The seating is quite traditional. I would say Arabic food is bland! But… that’s what makes it traditional and healthy and unique! But then again…. I am used to the Pakistani spices because of my ethnicity which means I enjoy very spicy food!

In the cafe, there were a selection of wonderful hot and cold drinks. There were mezzes, cakes, shawarma, Baklava and much more! There was so much to choose from. Furthermore, it was served beautifully which made the experience more unique. 

I enjoyed the cuisine and the food! Definitely would visit again 😊.

Architecture · Art · historical · history · ottoman empire · Ottomans · tour · travel · turkey

Miniaturists and Art 

As I recall, miniature art dates back to the Medievel ages. Miniature art is a form of art (usually painting, engraving and sculpting) that depicts a certain scene or small figure. 

My favourite type of miniature art is that from the Mughal and ottoman period. Ottoman miniaturist would create artwork making you imagine or see certain situations. Many that I have seen include the wars, dinner with guests, the harem and princesses. This form of art is beautiful in it self and for Sultans, the best miniaturist of the land was required.  

Architecture · historical · history · Islam · life · ottoman empire · Ottomans · tour · travel · turkey · Uncategorized

Master of Architecture… Mimar Sinan!

To list the beautiful structures first… You may have heard of or have seen the following Master Pieces:


Suleymaniye Mosque:  My favourite Camii (Mosque) in Istanbul: As the second largest mosque in Istanbul it is attractive to tourists who visit the city. The construction started in 1550 and finished in 1557. This Mosque was built for Suleyman The Magnificent (An Ottoman Sultan) and here lies Suleyman’s tomb as well has his daughter (Mihrimah Sultan) and his wife (Hurrem Sultan).

Selimiye Mosque: In Erdine, this Mosque was commissioned by Sultan Selim II between 1569 and 1575. Sinan considered this Mosque to be his masterpiece and one of the greatest achievements of Islamic Architecture.

Mihrimah Sultan Mosque: Designed especially for Mihrimah Sultan (Daughter of Suleyman the Magnificent), the construction took place from 1562 to 1565… It is an amazing landmark in Istanbul.

and many others…. I have just named the ones which appealed to me (Not biased!) because all of his work is original and beautiful and there is not one fault in any.

Mimar Sinan himself…


Mimar was the Chief Ottoman Architect. You can imagine the responsibilities and importance he had in this 16th Century. Furthermore, he was also a Civil Engineer for Suleyman the Magnificent, Selim II and Murad III. 

Mimar himself has lived from 1489 to 1588 which is nearly 100 years. Responsible for over 300 projects, he inspired and taught apprentices his skills. Many structures after his death such as the SultanAhmet mosque were designed by his apprentices. Even the Taj Mahal was designed with aid from his apprentice.

Mimar is the most influential Ottoman Architect. His work is loved by millions and tourists love to come and visit structures that were designed by him. He has a high importance in the world of Islamic Architecture. Sinan is buried outside the walls of Suleymaniye Mosque –  one of his favorite and well-known projects.

Click to see Suleymaniye Mosque in Detail
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Britain · England · historical · Historicaly · history · travel · Tudors

The fate of Catherine of Aragon

Catherine of Aragon was the first wife of Henry VII who was famous for having six wives. The fates of the six wives are told by a rhyme : Divorced Beheaded Died, Divorced Beheaded Survived

Now going back to Catherine of Aragon who was initially arranged to marry Henrys older brother Arthur, we find that Arthur passed away soon after marriage therefore leaving Catherine of Aragon as a young widow. Henry began following in love with Catherine and much to his fathers disapproval. After the death of his father, at age 18, he married Catherine of Aragon who was 23 years old at the time. They were madly in love and the only thing the new queen wanted was respect for her self as queen and also an heir to the throne.

Catherine of-course got pregnant and during her first pregnancy had a problem where by the doctor insisted that it was ok and a possible twin may have died. In fact it turned out despite going into confinement, there was no baby and she had an infection.

She did of-course get pregnant again with a baby boy being delivered however, the baby named Henry died 7 weeks after birth due to illness. Henry was staring to get agitated… Catherine did give birth again to a daughter named Mary however it was not the boy that Henry wanted. Because Catherine did not give birth to a living boy, and Henry was infatuated with Anne Boleyn, Henry attempted to annul the marriage to which the pope declined. Henry saw him self as superior even over religious affairs and in 1533 the marriage was declared invalid.

Education · history · Islam · Pakistan · Politics · tour · travel

Happy Birthday Jinnah

Today (25th December) marks the 141th Birthday of Muhammad Ali Jinnah- the founder of Pakistan. Born on December 25th 1876, Jinnah was to make a massive change to History and accomplish many things.

He was born in Karachi, what was then British Controlled India and is now Pakistan. Jinnah was a member of the Indian National Congress, which was working for autonomy from the British Rule. He joined the Muslim league in 1913 which were for the Indian Muslims in British Controlled India.

In 1937, the relationships between Muslims and Hindus began to deteriorate. This was after the provincial election where by the congress refused to form coalition with the Muslim League in mixed areas. It was in 1940, when the Indian Muslims demanded a partition of India and the creation of a New State so that Muslims felt safe and had freedom in their own country.

After demands and insisting, the British Government negotiated, resulting in the partition of India. Pakistan formed on 14th August 1947 and Independence is celebrated on this day every year. This emergence remains one of the major political achievements of modern Muslim History.

It was Chaudhary Rahmat Ali, a Muslim Nationalist from Punjab who created the name “Pakistan”- The name: Pak is a Persian word (now also an Urdu word) which means hold/pure/clean. The word Istan comes from the Hindi word meaning “Place of Birth” but the name Pakistan literally means “The land of the Pure”

Some Powerful Quotes by Jinnah:

“No nation can rise to a height of glory unless your women are side by side with you”

“Think 100 times before you take a decision, But once that decision is taken, stand by it as one man”

“Failure is a word unknown to me”

“Expect the Best, Prepare for the Worst”

 

 

Anxiety · Education · history · Holidays · Literature · Politics · travel · Uncategorized

The effects of Travelling on Education

As a student, we have too much to deal with. From when we start our GCSEs is when it gets serious and we work our way up the ladder to A Levels (the biggest jump) and then to University.

As stressful as education can be, the best way to deal with it is to take a break…. even a few days away can cause you to take all that built up stress away. But … I have to say that by travelling, I have learned the most. When you meet people, engage in languages and cultures,  you get to learn so much. The history has a special high importance.

Thanks to my parents and my child hood experience and recent travel trips, everything I have learnt from travelling is not forgotten. Most surprising it is the most powerful tool which can even increase your grades. I have used my gain knowledge in English, History, Business and others.  Not only do my essays become more engaging but they become unique and full of different areas of information.

I think the education system lacks this interactivity and there should be more international visits and trips so students can learn more. I also think students should be able to take time away for holidays during term time without having to deal with consequence. Afterall, travel is a form of education…