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Known as the “City of Roses,” Taif is a city located on the slopes of the Hejaz Mountains in Saudi Arabia's province of Makkah. The sixth most popular city in the Kingdom, Taif enjoys moderate weather throughout the year, even in summer — making it a popular summertime destination for Saudis to escape the scorching heat typically experienced in lower-lying regions elsewhere in the Arabian Peninsula.

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Ali Russell is the Chief Marketing Officer of Extreme E. The five-race global electric SUV off-road racing series aims to leverage the power and popularity of motorsports to raise awareness about climate change by holding races in extreme environments around the world which have already been damaged or affected by climate and environmental issues.

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The stunning desert landscapes of AlUla in Saudi Arabia make the perfect setting for the start of the inaugural FIA-backed Extreme E all-electric SUV racing season. The Desert X Prix will take place in AlUla between April 3-4, 2021. Following the Dakar Rally and Formula E, the Kingdom welcomes Extreme E. It's not only a prestigious motorsports event but also a natural partner for advancing the country's own Vision 2030 goals of promoting the​​​​​​​ renewable energy sector, fighting desertification, and placing a strong focus on sustainability.

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"If you want to do something, if you want to be a writer, you've got to write. If you want to be a filmmaker, you have to make films." - Spike Lee, during a talk delivered in San Francisco on June 8, 1996.

These words may seem entirely intuitive and straightforward, but it's funny how we can often lose sight of the truth of this statement.

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Julia Cosgrove is the award-winning Vice President and Editor-in-Chief at AFAR Media, based in San Francisco, which publishes the influential travel magazine AFAR and website. Born in New York and raised in Berkeley, she now lives in Oakland, California – where she's been sheltering in place since the pandemic.

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Ever since moving to Saudi Arabia, I've wanted to visit the enigmatic flower men living in the southern provinces of the country and extending into Yemen. They're the descendants of ancient Tihama and Asir tribes dating back two millennia who are known for wearing colourful and distinctive flower garlands on their heads. They also sport an ornate traditional curved dagger, called the jambiya, over a colourful and multi-patterned wrap-around male skirt known as a futa.

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They say that luck happens when preparation meets opportunity. Well, I recently had to cut short a planned 16-day self-drive tour of Saudi Arabia only on the fourth day due to coronavirus restrictions announced by the government. My original itinerary included mostly hotel stays during the first week and mainly camping on the second week – as I hoped to make my way around remote sites in Tabuk Province.

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One of the things I most looked forward to when visiting Brazil's northern city of Manaus, known as the Gateway to the Amazon Rainforest, was the opportunity to visit some of the aboriginal people living in the Amazon. The opportunity came when we sailed along the Rio Negro river towards a riverside village inhabited by the Tuyuca (Tuyaka) people. They also call themselves Dojkapuara or Utapinõmakãphõná. Their population is concentrated in Brazil and Colombia. Tuyuca is spoken by 500 to 1,000 people in these two South American countries.

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It’s hard to believe that I’ve already crossed the eight-year mark on my third overseas work experience here in Saudi Arabia. Life as an expat offers many fantastic opportunities on various fronts, but it also comes with some challenges.

I recently spoke to a fellow Canadian expat and colleague, Michelle Ponto, for a podcast episode covering a wide range of topics from how to embark on an overseas work adventure, adjusting to life in a new country, and overcoming the stigma of travelling alone.

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Siphesihle (Siphe) November is a dance prodigy from Zolani, in South Africa's Western Cape. Siphe grew up in the small township located about two hours from Cape Town. At the age of 19, in 2017, he joined The National Ballet of Canada as a member of the Corps de Ballet, after graduating from the National Ballet School, skipping the customary apprenticeship route. Two years later, he was promoted to Second Soloist.

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February 17, 2017

Al-Balad: Journey into the heart of old Jeddah

Category: Saudi Arabia
Nearly five years into my experience as an expatriate in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, I can still point to the historical district of Old Jeddah, known as Al-Balad (translates as…
March 02, 2017

Trekking and trail running in the Arabian desert

Category: Saudi Arabia
No expat experience in Saudi Arabia would be truly complete without venturing out into the desert, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. One of the best and most memorable…
June 25, 2016

Cocu: A corner of France in Buenos Aires

Category: Travel
My favorite part of any large city I visit has always been the bohemian neighbourhoods. It’s sacrilegious for me not stop by Soho when in New York City to take in the art…
July 07, 2019

My self-drive adventure in Namibia

Category: Travel
The Republic of Namibia is situated in the south-western part of the African continent. Positioned along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, it’s bordered by the Republic of South…