My Stay at the Palace

I landed on the dusty Cairo International airport in the spring of 10 th of April, excited to be received by my dear father who was standing at the immigrations.The calmness on his face gave me an impression that he actually is the native of this place.

I’ve always loved Egypt, its a place after my own heart.I could distinctly see how worn-out the place was, quite but not strange to me.Showed my passport to the officer who found it difficult to believe that I was not an Egyptian National.

Next, I showed my passport to the officer who found it difficult to believe that I was not an Egyptian National.

Accompanied by my dad, we sat in the Chauffeur driven car and headed to the  Cairo Marriott Hotel and Omar Khayyam Casino in the posh district of  Zamalek.It was a 30 minutes ride.

Egypt has been through a lot of political turmoil recently and it was evident from the all the buildings and monuments we passed.seeing the police stationed gave me the creeps.

As my Mercedes-Benz entered the gate , I was transformed to another era.Amazing architecture and beauty surpassing anything like it in the city of Cairo.And the history is equally spectacular.


I felt home, checked into the best room in the hotel and the rest is history.The ambience the food and above all the hospitality is impeccable.

The ambience the food and above all the hospitality is impeccable and the historical story behind the place itself made me feel that I am indeed blessed to be a part of it.

morning from my balcony Cairo Mariott

A view from my window of the famous Cairo Tower or’BURG QAHIRA’

History of the Palace

Built by Khedive Ismail as a guest palace for the Suez Canal inauguration celebrations in 1869, the historic Palace Al Gezirah in Cairo, Egypt, has housed European monarchs, including Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III. It was to be the venue of the first performance of Verdi’s Opera Aida.


I come from an architecturally obsessed family , so cannot help to talk about the hotel’s architecture.

The architecture and construction of the ancient palace reflected Khedive’s passion for neoclassical style, as popularized in Europe. He engaged the services of Austrian Architect Julius Franz , who also designed the Abdin Palace.

German architect Carl von Diebitsch was contracted as the palace’s interior designer. He designed the décor and prefabricated the furniture, draperies, and other internal fittings.And the palace still maintains its glory.

The palace has hosted several historic ceremonies throughout the years, including the wedding of Khedive Ismail’s son, which lasted 40 days.

It was confiscated by the state due to outstanding debts, acquired by the Egyptian Hotels Company.In 1919, the hotel was sold to Habib Lotfallah, a Syrian landlord who had settled in Cairo. In 1961, during the time of President Gamal Abdel Nasser, the palace was nationalized and became the Omar Khayyam Hotel.



Interior of Gezirah Palace

In the 1970s, the property was handed over to Marriott International for management. They restored the original palace, furnishing it with amenities befitting a five-star hotel .

Today, the palace is all that remains of the estate. Many of its rooms and furniture have been preserved and restored to their historic splendor, and now serve as reception rooms and lounges. Many of the decorative elements that can be seen in several locations throughout the hotel.IMG_0507


Happy Doctor’s Day

March 30th has been set aside to honour America’s physican.It is the anniversary of the day in 1842 on which Dr. Crawford W. Long removed a tumor from the neck of a man while the patient was anesthetized by ether.

The American Medical Association promotes various activities to mark this day, including walk-a-thons and blood drives.


American Medical Association

515 N. State St.

Chicago, IL 60610


Jeddah Chapter Success at Staybridge


A group photograph was taken on the 28th of October ‘ 2017 KSAALT TESOL Jeddah Chapter 1st PD event of the year at Staybridge Suites, AlAndulas Mall- Jeddah. L-R: Presenter Mrs. Sara ANsari, Ksaalt secretary Bushra Latif; CEO of MEET Mrs. Fatmah Azam Ali; KSAALT member at Large Ms. Jamila M.Othman Ali;(standing) Princess Othman,  Presenter Ms. Amreen Najmi; Mrs. Hussam Rajab; Ksaalt Treasurer Ms. Dalal AlSharif and Mrs. Maha Marzouki (KAU).

The PINK Event

                                October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease.

Breast cancer awareness is an effort to raise awareness and reduce the stigma of breast cancer through education on symptoms and treatment. Supporters hope that greater knowledge will lead to earlier detection of breast cancer, which is associated with higher long-term survival rates, and that money raised for breast cancer will produce a reliable, permanent cure.

Breast cancer advocacy and awareness efforts are a type of health advocacy. Breast cancer advocates raise funds and lobby for better care, more knowledge, and more patient empowerment. They may conduct educational campaigns or provide free or low-cost services. Breast cancer culture, sometimes called pink ribbon culture, is the cultural outgrowth of breast cancer advocacy, the social movement that supports it, and the larger women’s health movement.

The pink ribbon is the most prominent symbol of breast cancer awareness, and in many countries, the month of October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

As a cancer advocate, I have had the pleasure to organize and host the event, from designing the set to answering questions the event was successful and people have expressed their huge support and liking.

Students were given a lecture; shown videos and tips how to take care of their health from a very early age. Students asked questions regarding the topic. Activities and games were played along with songs and music.Our mission is to help those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education and support services.

Our mission is to help those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education and support services.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Architect ‘Prince’ By Jamy Khan

Tribute to  my dear father on his 1st Death Anniversary. You are missed tremendously.

The handsome prince she had married …..

Who remained handsome even in his death …. Subhan Allah


Coming from an aristocratic family of Arab roots, Mir Osman Ali Khan grew up disciplined, with high moral values, etiquettes, education, and sportsmanship. The architect raised his daughters in the same way.


IMG_6711   During his school and University days, he was a talented cricketer, Six feet 12 in height he went school and played with Former Captain Azharuddin but chose to study Architecture and travel to Saudia rather than joining Indian cricket team. Khan was also a great fan of Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi and loved the wrestler Mohammed Ali.


Khan’s father, Mir Hussein Ali Khan Bahadur was his role model. A noble man himself an accomplished lawyer, wealthy landlord and a successful poet who recited with Prince Moazam Jah of Deccan. Khan admired his maternal grandmother she was an heiress and influenced his taste in arts and antiquities.

After graduating he migrated from a very modern but economically struggling Hyderabad in the mid-70s with his siblings to a completely new booming Saudi Arabia to pursue his career and leave a mark in this world. Within five years he and his family settled and went on to be famously called ‘The Mazda Family’; because all the 3 brothers were in the same business and had the latest Mazda model cars.

Today one can see his projects all over the kingdom as a symbol of his dedication and love for his new country. Mir Osman Ali Khan’s career has seen one of the greatest and prestigious projects of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Architect started his career with his friend Engr. Hassan Omar Assad, and designed many buildings, flats and mosques and schools in Jeddah. Villas in Durrat Al Arus and King Abdullah Economic City, Jeddah and the University in KAUST .

When most of Khan’s friends opt to leave the country during the 1992 Gulf War, he and his family stayed in the Kingdom witnessed it.

As the economy boomed his portfolio included The Saudi German Medical Tower, Jeddah and Abha; Saudi businessman centre, Jeddah; He got certified from the Saudi Ministry of Health and went on to head projects like Umul Qura Teaching Hospital in Makkah; such was his devotion to development that he travelled to Rafha and Turaif to undertake the construction and supervision of the 400 bed government hospitals.

Every time a new project, a new city Khan and his family kept moving and experienced each and every corner of Saudi Arabia.Living three years in Madina, he supervised the King Abdullah Endowment Project that included the King’s personal floor and the Anwar Al-Madina Movenpick Hotel, located in front of the Masjid Al Nabawi.Khan was able to live and experience the real ‘taqwa’ and the holiness and hospitality of the city of the Prophet. He and his family became extremely close to the city and the mosque.

In 1999, on the occasion of the Kingdom’s centenary celebration, Khan celebrated this historical event in his own style. He held an Art and photo exhibition of his daughters. The great event was held at the Saudi German Hospital Tower and was inaugurated by the Honorary President of the Shoura Council, Dr Abdullah Omer Naseef. The 20 paintings reflected on Saudi culture and architecture and were entitled ‘Saudi Arabia Past and Present’. The photographs on display were from his private collection, depicting the historical collaboration of Hyderabad Deccan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He extremely connected to this country and what was happening in his surroundings. Khan liked being well-informed of the current affairs.

Prince’ he was affectionately addressed by his friends and associates due to his privileged background and very humble nature. Mir Osman always believed that the more riches one possess, the more humble you should be with Allah’s creation.

Mir Osman Ali Khan passed away peacefully on the 22nd of August ‘2016 and is buried in Riyadh, after devoting more than three decades of his life to his passion of building. The architect was heading the one and only prestigious project -The Dallah Medical Complex in Riyadh.

Mir Osman Ali Khan is one of the last people who had actually lived in two eras, 1950 to this day, the world has gone through enormous transitions both economically, and culturally. He survived to see four kings of Saudi Arabia; attended the funeral of the last Nizam of Hyderabad; the fall of USSR, and witnessed the Bosnian war, survived the Gulf War, and the historical introduction of Euro currency in Europe just to name a few main events of this century.

He is survived by his wife and two daughters Sahebzadi Jamila Mir Osman and Sahebzadi Nusrath Mir Osman Ali Khan. Both his daughters studied in London and are active educators in the Kingdom. His eldest daughter has a passion for art and writing.

Always a doting father, he raised his two daughters in the best manner and completely neutralised them in the Saudi culture and etiquettes by being their teacher, mentor in life and now he has become their inspiration. Khan’s daughters have dedicated a memorial foundation in his honour and doing charity work to continue what their father had started in his last days. Mir Osman Ali Khan was in the process of drafting his memoir when he passed away. His eldest daughter plans to release a biography of her father soon.

The Enthusiastic KSAALT at UBT, Dhahban- KSA

The recent KSAALT Mini-Conference was next to amazing. As a member of the organising committee and as a presenter, I was extremely overwhelmed. We got a very encouraging response on the event day by our host; The University of Business and Technology, UBT Dahban Campus, Makkah –KSA.

Everyone arrived on schedule although; it was a 35 minute, early morning ride from Jeddah. Smooth registered by the dedicated KSAALT team made it easy to enjoy the workshops presented by able and experienced educators from around the Kingdom.

The Welcome speech was delivered by Dr. Aiman A. Magrabi, General Director of ELA- UBT followed by a plenary by Dr. Hussian Al-Salahi from KAU on English Literacy Refined.

There were 15 workshops and lectures respectively, commencing at 9:20 am and finishing at 2;30 pm. Workshop presenters included Dr. Catherine Roy from King Abdul Aziz University; Ms. Karen Palmer and Ms. Ghada ElKoussy from Dar Al-Hekmah. Ms. Warqa Hamiddin from UBT gave a workshop entitled Don’t be Outdated Be Updated  and many more.

Ms. Asma Hakami also from UBT presented an amazing interactive workshop on Teaching Vocabulary Through Drawings and Storytelling.

A very energetic and enthusiastic workshop entitled, Flashcards as an Engaging Tool in the EFL Classroom was thoroughly applauded. It was presented by Ms. Bushra Latif, ESL instructor from the King Abdul Aziz University- ELI, Head Master Trainer at Master English Training and one of the KSAALT’s enthusiastic organising members.

Presenters and attendees had the facility of tea, coffee and snacks early morning and a sandwich lunch break before closing. UBT volunteers made sure of the smooth commotion of guests, presenters and attendees through the campus.

At 2:30 Presenters were given a tour of the whole campus and its exceptional facilities as a complimentary gesture.

KSAALT TESOL (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Association of Language Teachers), a non-profit professional service organisation for English language teachers, created in 2006 with a handful of dedicated educators who had a desire to serve, educate, and connect English language teachers in Saudi Arabia through professional development.

KSAALT became an affiliate of TESOL International in 2007, an associate of IATEFL in 2010, and an affiliate of TESOL Arabia in 2015.

KSAALT’s upcoming event is entitled:  A Teacher’s Retreat: Professional Development Day at Dar Al Hekmah University – Jeddah. It will be held on Saturday, March 25th at Dar Al-Hekmah Campus, Jeddah from 8:00 to 1:00.

Register online: