Page Turner Kuwait

Happy new year dear readers! The last day of the 2016 was so hectic for me, my husband and I enrolled in gym, for me to lose weight and for him to gain muscles. We spent the day on the beach, had lunch in Pizza Express (our favorite) and did some shopping.

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But what was so interesting that day is that I got my first Kuwaiti blogging/social media gift from a juvenile startup business run by young girls who love books. They sell used or previously owned books and buy your old books, kind of a recycling website. This website is called Page Turner Kuwait, which finds new homes for old books.

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The girls run their own website, do their own delivery and orders personally. I didn’t know that when the assignment came my way, but when I received my package yesterday I learned much about this new promising business.

Mais Dawleh sent me an instagram message back in early December saying:

Hello Dana!

We’ve noticed that we share a passion for books and reading and we would like to introduce ourselves. Page Turner is a new online platform for people across Kuwait to sell and buy books and is run by a group of students and alumni. Page Turner’s objective is to encourage people of all ages to become as passionate as we are and develop a love for reading books in addition to increasing the level of readership in Kuwait.

We’re fans of both your blog Dana’s Sanctuary and Instagram and would be delighted to offer you the chance to order a book via Page Turner (free of charge) to allow us the opportunity to present to you all that Page Turner has to offer.

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To encourage them to success, I order three extra books, but I think for used books the prices should be lower, even if they are like new.

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I got The Summer of Good Intentions by Wendy Francis, The Sweet Spot by Stephanie Evanovich, If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins,and Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl by Tracy Quan. But there was a complication in delivery time punctuality, though the cute packaging made up for that.

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It’s great to encourage startup businesses to success, I hope everyone would visit their website and check what they have to offer!

Happy New Year and keep on reading! x

The Air & I

It’s a cold winter night in mid December, the last day of the full moon, as the year is folding into a new one, the world seems to freeze and sit still, not moving a finger or wiggle a toe.

Cold toes, warm mugs, heaters on, heavy sweaters, comfy blankets, christmas lights, cinnamon and ginger cookies, and fanciful dreams that only visit in December.

I sit here, wearing layers, thinking of all the people I love, close and far, writing my wishes for them for the next year, dreaming dreams of what would be. The window is hazing over, my breath is beating on the glass with a silent breath, making heat shapes while the street lights twinkle like little stars.

Adele is singing Million Years Ago over and over again, and the words blend with music creating feelings, words no longer are comprehended, nor understood, lost all meanings until I concentrate and listen:

I wish I could live a little more
Look up to the sky not just the floor
I feel like my life is flashing by
And all I can do is watch and cry
I miss the air, I miss my friends
I miss my mother, I miss it when
Life was a party to be thrown
But that was a million years ago

How ironic I think, I miss my mother too. Opening the window I take a sniff of the cold air greeting me like an old friend whispering “Hello, Dana.” I whisper back “Hello, Air.” I take another inbreathe and I smell rain, heavy, waiting, not falling yet, the clouds clinging to the drops not letting go. I whisper “Let go, fall.” A cold breeze whispers back near my ear “it’s not your call to make.”

It’s not, and yet, the rain and I are very old friends. I remember an old poem:

“because some things
sometimes
aren’t ours to hold,
but just beautiful
to listen to.”

Rain is like that, trink trunk tronk, when it falls, splish splosh splash, it says. Drum drom drem, it demands. Rain is gentle, overpowering and consuming, tip top tap, it dances.

I take another drag from my fresh dose of opium, the air shushes me, I stand still, letting the freezing breath leave my mouth, my chest full of cold air. I back away, enter the warm room, closing the window after me, and tickle my book spines, asking “which one of you will I read next?”, the air and I never say goodbye.

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Graffiti from Amman to Kuwait

Since I was raised in an artistic house, with a talented mother, I always looked for art in everything from books, music to raindrops and galleries, and for some years I started looking for street art. I find it so raw and honest, expressing the youth of the society they decorate for, for free.

“People say graffiti is ugly, irresponsible and childish… but that’s only if it’s done properly.” ― Banksy, Wall and Piece

I know graffiti is considered vandalism and a kind of art of lower value, but I don’t see it this way. I love how an old building, a bridge, a road sign could change from an old or boring sight to something spectacular by an anonymous artist.

“Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don’t come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make someone smile while they’re having a piss.” ― Banksy, Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall

So I’m always in the hunt, it could be a print, a calligraphy, a sign, a whole wall of expressive art… absolutely anything; I found amazing things in Amman, Beirut, Cairo, and lately Kuwait. Sadly, I lost most of my photos in a hard drive crash circa 2015!

“I spray the sky fast. Eyes ahead and behind. Looking for cops. Looking for anyone I don’t want to be here. Paint sails and the things that kick in my head scream from can to brick. See this, see this. See me emptied onto a wall.” ― Cath Crowley, Graffiti Moon

I wanted to share in this post my appreciation for these individuals… I love what you’re doing! Color all those concrete gray streets and evade cops… you’re making history, they just don’t see it yet.

“Art is an evolutionary act. The shape of art and its role in society is constantly changing. At no point is art static. There are no rules.” ― Raymond Salvatore Harmon, BOMB: A Manifesto of Art Terrorism

If you know any location that has some interesting art I would love to see it for myself, even if it’s around the world, I will add it to my list, so please share your favorites. x

“Some people become cops because they want to make the world a better place. Some people become vandals because they want to make the world a better looking place.” ― Banksy, Wall and Piece

P.S. Of course, most of the best photos of me are taken by my handsome talented husband who loves me so much he indulges all my obsessions…. I LOVE you baby! So this post ends and begins with you.

“I like that about art, that what you see is sometimes more about who you are than what’s on the wall.” ― Cath Crowley, Graffiti Moon

From Amman to Kuwait: 4 Suitcases | 3 Weekenders | 1 Husband

As I moved my life from Amman to Kuwait, leaving home behind and carrying my dear possessions from clothes to shoes, accessories to jewelry, perfumes to makeup, I found myself in QAIA carrying an overload of 4 huge suitcases, stuffed 3 weekenders and my handsome hubby, my best accessory, trying to help me stop weeping while saying goodbye to my dear ones. The two of us were a picture. Picture perfect.

I not only looked horrible in my “goodbye photos”, I totally ruined my style! I had runny mascara, smudged red lipstick, red nose, messy hair and sad eyes.

Half of a good style is a smile; haven’t you heard “happy girls are the prettiest girls”? But, ugh, life happens!

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It was cold in Amman so I had on my H&M army green leather sleeved parka jacket with faux white hood fur and snap button fastenings through front, four pockets full of tissues, inner drawstring at waist to warm me as we waited in the air-conditioned airport.

Underneath I wore an American Eagle long-sleeved soft royal blue sweater with H&M half leather, half lycra leggings with ankle boots with four-inch H&M heels, carrying my leather Aldo bag that looks a bit like a Kelly. Have “Really Red” manicure and pedicure nail polish from Essie. Adorned with my Azza Fahmy wedding band, a breathtaking necklace, bracelet and ring from Swarovski, and a delicate Omega gold watch.

I went to the ladies room before heading on board, reapplied my MAC lipstick and added a splash of Chance Chanel perfume, walked out and got ready for my next adventure in Kuwait with style.

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Planet of The East | كوكب الشرق

Being one of the few fashion and lifestyle bloggers in Jordan was a bit risky but lots of fun. I got to do some of the most amazing activities, attend the best events, get invited to openings and shows, shown first collection before they hit the racks and do amazing things like become a face connected to a local brand. At least for one t-shirt.

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When Sarah phoned me and told me about this small photoshoot I got super excited. I wanted to do it right away. I adore her photography and sense of creativity and Jobedu’s is such a cool, fun and youthful brand.

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I’ve always wanted to be one of the models for a brand! Thanks Sarah Sharif and Jo Bedu for the chance!! LOVE my photo and this shirt! This t-shirt is a tribute to Umm Kulthum “Planet of The East”, the greatest Arabian Female singer of all time designed by Mothanna Hussein. If you want one like mine, check the shirt here!

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All in all, it was an amazing opportunity and I still love to rock this shirt and accessorize it a bit. I’m playing an outfit in my mind right now!

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Ravenous for More

I just had one of those days, too much thinking and not much doing and I distaste such days. They had been frequent visitors to me these past few weeks. It’s not that I hate using my head, it’s just not in my nature to dwell over things, I just crave action.

Thoughts sometimes feel like words, empty and promising like a far blue cold cup of water in a dry hot summer day that on closer inspection is empty and has no water in it. I’m thirsty for more. Words no longer fill me. I’m ravenous.

The cold misty drizzle of spring rain is filling me with hopeful glee to mysterious things yet to arrive. It’s as if hope is a real living creature within me, and it’s conjured by the cold drops that made my hair and clothes stick all over my body while I walked for miles thinking.

I do that sometimes, think and walk, walk and think until I feel I no longer can sit in a close space, until my dearest friends, my books feel like paper and ink.

Why does everything feel out of reach? Did the innocent drops wake a monster within me named ‘Hope’? What does ‘Hope’ crave I wonder?

One word echoes inside me ‘More’.

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Dana’s Sanctuary Nominated for Liebster Award

A year or so ago, I received my first Liebster Award nomination but I was going through a phase and I didn’t respond. This award is for bloggers online, the word Lienster comes from German origins which means: dearest, sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, etc… in short it means, receiving an award for the loveliest blog.

I’m not sure what winning such award entitles but I’m in. I want to thank the two lovely ladies that nominated me last year and this year: Amriaa’s blog and Drown in Melancholy. Two beautifully composed blogs, I would surely recommend and nominate.

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If I was painted/sketched right now, that would be me smiling and writing on my white desk.

The rules for participating are as follows:

  • Share 10 facts about yourself
  • Answer 10 questions set to you
  • Come up with 10 more questions
  • Nominate 10 other bloggers to take part

10 Facts About Dana Al-Basha

  1. My name is Dana Al-Basha. I’m 27 years old going on 28 in August 6.
  2. Number 6 seems to be my lucky number. I was born in August 6, 1986. On 6 O’Clock.
  3. I live in Jordan, we are originally from Palestine. We lived like gypsies for a few years when I was young because of war and politics in the Arabic world. Which makes me very opinionated and patriotic.
  4. I’m a family person. I love my family and I cherish my time with them. I can’t wait to have a family of my own. In my opinion, the larger the family the better.
  5. My love for the written word started from my first memories of books. My mom used to read for me and my brother constantly and even create stories for us and letting us take part and sometimes act them. I guess that’s where I started loving to write. I can’t like a house or a place that doesn’t have books, I can’t be at ease. A person with no passion for knowledge seems dangerous to me.
  6. I’m Muslim and for the past few years I feel more attached to this fact then I was when I was born. I no longer take knowledge as I receive it, I love to research, read, think and decide on my own. I am a thinker and I’m proud to be a Muslim girl. I love praying and my time with Allah, my faith is my strength.
  7. I love fashion, clothes, shoes, accessories… and I’m thankful that I was born a girl, so I can enjoy wearing dresses and strutting in heels… if it were to me, I would wear dresses every single day. With as many colorful fabrics and original styles as possible.
  8. I’m an eyeliner girl. I love to emphasis my dreamy eyes and make them look brighter with a glint of a naughty charm. There is always red lipstick and gloss in my bag and perfume is essential. I take so much care of my appearance and hygiene.
  9. I’m obsessed with anything related to Jane Austen and Wallis Simpson. I have a need to read history and learn as much as I can about anything or anyone I find interesting but only few become an addiction.
  10. The day I decided to create this blog was the luckiest turn of events in my life. Who knew that following your passion and heart could turn a hobby into a career? I thank God for bestowing upon me the gift of the written word and I want to thank all my readers and followers, you make my day brighter all the time. Thank you.
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I’m a girl with long hair, every time I cut my hair I get depressed, I love tea as well, especially with mint and sage.

10 Questions Set by Drown in Melancholy

  1. Who is your favorite author? Difficult one. I have many. But I’ll pick Stephenie Meyer. Her Twilight saga books changed my life and her story is close to mine, I dream stories all the time.
  2. If you could choose a celebrity as your boyfriend/husband who would it be? Can they be fictional? LOL, mmm, let’s see, I have many such as Royals, dead and alive and imaginary characters. If I have to pick one I would pick Richard Armitage, I love his voice, I just watched the last kissing scene in North & South, he’s to melt over.
  3. What do you like most about blogging? It feels like a mix between a public diary and keeping history of every day’s life. I love writing even about nonsense it feels like practicing a hobby until the real deal is done. You know, finish a book and publishing it.
  4. Have you already blogged somewhere else before starting this blog? Yes, I had two or three blogs, but I wasn’t as serious as I am now about this one. This one is my baby.
  5. Where was the last place you traveled to? Lebanon.
  6. What is your favorite alcoholic beverage? I don’t drink. But if you asked me about my favorite beverage the answer would probably be tea.
  7. What’s your favorite cake? I’m not a sweet-loving-person, but I guess chocolate cake. I love making cake though.
  8. What was your favorite subject at school? Literature, creative writing and history… oh and art class.
  9. What kind of cell phone/smartphone are you using? Samsung Galaxy S4.
  10. Japanese Food or Italian Food? Which one do you like better? I love both but pasta is probably my favorite dish, in any form or with any sauce, so Italian.
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Some books just take you places that would never exist but in the pages of a book. I really have a HUGE urge to travel and see the world, this urge grows more profoundly from reading my dear books.

10 Questions to the Nominated Bloggers

  1. Where are you from?
  2. What is your blog mainly about?
  3. Do you think your blog is sending a positive message in the internet?
  4. What is the main point for blogging to you? Is it for fun or for building a career?
  5. Beside blogging and writing, what other skills do you possess?
  6. What is the book you’ve read and changed your life?
  7. What inspires you?
  8. What kind of job do you have at the moment?
  9. How did you come up with your blog’s title?
  10. Why do you want to win this award?
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I’m a girl of colors, I love colors, flowers, pink and happiness. I like to spread happiness just as I walk by any door.

10 Blogs/Bloggers Nominated by Dana’s Sanctuary

  1. Amriaa’s blog
  2. Drown in Melancholy
  3. Rethinking Nasserism
  4. Cheeks & Heels
  5. Confessions of a Hawaiian Princess: One Woman’s Journey to Greater Health
  6. About Fashion and Travel
  7. KellyVision
  8. Vintage Reflection
  9. A Pretty Penny
  10. The Domestic Man
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Let’s not forget: long hair, manicure, sunglasses, accessories and oh RINGS!

Happy (We Are From Amman)

It might seem crazy what I’m about to say
Sunshine she’s here, you can take away
I’m a hot air balloon, I could go to space
With the air, like I don’t care baby by the way

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Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

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Here come bad news talking this and that
Yeah, give me all you got, don’t hold back
Yeah, well I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine
Yeah, no offense to you don’t waste your time
Here’s why

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Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

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Happy, bring me down
Can’t nothing, bring me down
Love is too happy to bring me down
Can’t nothing, bring me down
I said bring me down
Can’t nothing, bring me down
Love is too happy to bring me down
Can’t nothing, bring me down
I said

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Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

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Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

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Happy, bring me down
Can’t nothing, bring me down
Love is too happy to bring me down
Can’t nothing, bring me down
I said

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Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

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Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

Creative Brainstorming

Thanks to Allah… I am feeling slightly better. Not much. But this bit is better than nothing. So a few weeks ago, a dear friend of mine contacted me and suggested that I enter into a drawing/graphic/writing competition. And I have been wanting to do that. But since that day, I never had alone time, and in the alone time I was so sick to be creative.

Now that I am feeling a little better, I am brainstorming to try to find the style/way I will go for… Not sure what I will pick yet. Writing or drawing?

It could be both… something close to a poster I guess.

I got to participate. I need to do something creative. It will make me happier and more satisfied.

Let’s see what I will come up with.

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لأجلك يا بلدي

ايد على ايد همتنا بتزيد لاجلك يا بلدي

This is ad was shot for King Abdulla’s Birthday in my second year at college at ASU. I acted in the Drama club and a Jordanian director thought I am a good example to represent the youth in Jordan, so I acted in this local ad, I just video taped it by my phone… a friend [and my mom] really wanted to see it 🙂

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