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  • Here Is What Travel Will Look Like After Covid-19

    Travel won’t be the same after Covid-19. The pandemic which has impacted the world today has changed the way we think of travel. There are more factors to consider before travelling right now such as hygiene standards, health and security. It also takes time for travel to recover after Covid-19.  Before international travel recovers, we feel that domestic travel and tourism will start to pick up first. People will start travelling within their own country first as it is relatively safer and more secure than international travel. We have come up with the 5Fs that we think will shape what travel will look like after Covid-19 which would gravitate towards domestic travel and tourism.  Here are the 5Fs that we think will shape travel after Covid-19! via GIPHY 1. Family  Image Credit: Kylo on Unsplash Firstly, we feel that travel will be family-oriented. During this Covid-19 situation, as we are advised to stay at home, some of us may not have the opportunity to visit our parents who are living away from us. During this year’s Eid, instead of going house visiting as per usual, most of us stayed at home instead. We used different means to connect with our family during this festive occasion such as having “Virtual Raya”.  With this in mind, travel after Covid-19 would be more family-oriented as many of us will take this opportunity to reconnect with our family members and spend more time with them. One such way is by travelling together with them. This could be done through travelling domestically with the family by going on road trips, visiting relatives back in the hometown, getting together for family events, as well as going on a staycation.   2. Friends  Image Credit: Noorulabdeen Ahmad on Unsplash After months of not spending time with our friends, we will try to find more ways to reconnect with them and enjoy quality time with them as much as possible. Given the uncertainty of international travel, some of us would find domestic travelling a more desired alternative.  Activities that we used to do together with friends such as cycling in the city, going on walking trails, going on picnics as well as going on short staycations, will be increasingly common. These activities are much easier to plan, more affordable and definitely more convenient. Also, as we spend most of our time at home during the quarantine period, many of us start to yearn going outside and to spend time with our friends with activities that may be quite familiar to us prior to the pandemic.  3. Fearless  Image Credit: Jeffrey Eisen on Unsplash Travelling to hidden places and non-touristy destinations is not a new phenomenon. However, after the Covid-19 situation, we feel that this would become more magnified as people become more fearless and motivated to discover new and unknown places. Before moving on to discovering new places overseas, we feel that people will start to explore hidden places and cultures locally. Discovering local places will be common and there will also be this emphasis on "local places for locals" as companies start to promote domestic tourism further before travelling overseas gains traction once again.  As we slowly overcome this tough period, we become more equipped with knowledge and information from the long hours we spend on the Internet. This gives us a new motivation to explore and learn more about the hidden places and cultures we never really knew about, fearlessly. We will see a rise in locals going for road trips with their family and friends to discover new and hidden places within their country.  4. Fulfilment  Image Credit: Meritt Thomas on Unsplash If there’s one thing this quarantine period has taught us, it is that we should appreciate local artisans and services more. As such, when people travel, they travel for fulfilment. This means opting for more localised services that can contribute to the wider society and help local cultures thrive.  Certain communities dependent on tourism for their livelihood may face challenges and a great loss to their income. For some of us who are aware of the difficulties that these communities are facing, we might want to render more support to help them cope and recover from this crisis. One way to do so is to opt for their localised services through travel. While we get to learn more and experience local cultures, we also get a sense of fulfilment as we promote and help these local communities thrive.  5. Freedom  Image Credit: Ilya Zoria on Unsplash We also look for freedom from city life. After being at home for so long, many of us would love to experience something different; breaking free from the mundane routine life. When travelling, some of us would start to consider more authentic local hospitality, instead of the usual pristine hotel experience.  Of course with this desire for freedom, comes certain extra precautions that we start to pay more attention to. Things like hygiene, food, health and so on, become important factors when determining places to travel to. Perhaps in the future, carrying hand sanitizers in your bag and wearing a face mask wherever you go would be the new norm.   There you have it, the 5Fs that we think will shape travel after Covid-19! We hope that with this article, you now have a rough idea of what travel will look like after Covid-19. Perhaps you can take this chance to plan for future travels after Covid-19 better especially with more information and sources readily available on the Internet.  via GIPHY ...

  • Our Collective Responsibility Towards Refugees | Zeenab’s Passage

    Zeenab and her family at their shelter in Zaatari refugee camp, Mafraq Governorate, Jordan. © UNHCR/David Azia In February of 2014, Zeenab and her family embarked on a four-day trek to reach Jordan, eventually relocating to Zaatari Camp, which is close to the country’s northern border and home to some 80,000 refugees. “My house was destroyed, the whole country was destroyed and we really didn’t have a safe place to stay,” said Zeenab, originally from a small town in rural Damascus in Syria. “There were a lot of strikes and children’s dead bodies all around us. I couldn’t bear that sight and I didn’t want my kids to end up like that.” The young mother had seen enough of the raging violence in war-torn Syria and the shelling that decimated her home to know she needed to take action to steer her loved ones out of harm’s way. However, the initial path in search of safety was plotted with significant challenges along the way — namely the lack of supplies to stay warm. “I had five little kids with me and I only brought two changes of clothes for each. It was during winter, and on our way, we had to leave a lot of our belongings because we could not carry them. The journey was very difficult.” Zeenab is now a mother to six children – with another on the way. She is eight months pregnant, and mother to daughter Rahaf, 8, and sons Eskander, 14, Murad, 12, Kais, 10, Laith, 5, and Mohamed, 3. Her family is the recipient of winter cash assistance from UNHCR, providing them with the funds so sorely needed to equip their shelter for the challenging winter conditions. UNHCR has been distributing winter assistance to vulnerable Syrian refugees like Zeenab in both Zaatari and Azraq camps in Jordan reaching more than 24,000 families as of the end of December 2017. Support has come in the form of in-kind and cash assistance, such as money for gas to cover the cost of refills and for shelter maintenance. “Thank God, now the situation is better. At least I feel safe and secure. I can sleep and make sure that my kids are with me.”    How can you support UNHCR’s on-the-ground work with refugees? To facilitate the contributions of Muslims all over the world, UNHCR has launched its Refugee Zakat Fund, a trusted, compliant and effective distributor harnessing the power of Zakat to transform the lives of refugees. Let’s fulfill our responsibility towards refugees.  To learn more and contribute you can visit: *This article is from CrescentRating-UNHCR’s Joint Publication - Forced Displacement : A Reality For Millions Of Women. You can learn more and download the publication here....

  • How Uzbekistan is celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr this year (2020)

    Ramadan and Eid experience is unique this year. Each country is celebrating in different ways. Uzbekistan is one such country where the Ulema Council has given recommendations on how to celebrate Eid this year. Uzbekistan has a population of 34 million with 88% being Muslims.  Acknowledging the current pandemic situation which does not allow Eid al-Fitr prayer to be performed in congregation, the Council of Ulema of the Muslim Board of Uzbekistan have the following recommendations for the celebration of Eid al-Fitr in Uzbekistan:   Pray at Home Taking into account the temporary suspension of public prayers in mosques during the epidemic period, on the basis of the fatwa of the Council of Ulema of the Muslim Board of Uzbekistan, the performance of Eid al-Fitr (Eid al-Fitr) prayers is also exempt from the obligation of Muslims. The brothers and sisters are advised to perform four rakahs of nafl prayer in their homes after the sun rises on the day of Eid.   Talks by Scholars on TV and Social Media The scholars, imams and preachers, in spite of today’s temporary difficulties, have said that the Eid al-Fitr, brings joy to the homes, hearts, blessings to the country and increases the love for each other. The media, television and radio channels are requested to carry out large-scale advocacy work in press and mass media. Conveys the Eid al-Fitr greetings of the Muslim Board of Uzbekistan on May 24, 2020 to the people of Uzbekistan. Have televised interviews by scholars about the virtues of Eid al-Fitr. On the eve of Eid al-Fitr, depending on the Media Plan, the programs planned to be broadcast on all TV channels to be organized and covered by the Qadi,  chief imams of cities and regions and the authoritative religious scholars. The Qadi and the chief imam-khatibs of the cities and regions are recommended to organize "Happy Ramadan!" online lectures on the day of Eid al-Fitr through social networks.   Take Care of the Elderly and Sick On the eve of Eid and during holidays, it is recommended to visit and take care the elderly and the sick and to carry out the traditions of congratulating on Eid and other customs in keeping requirements of quarantine.   Nationwide Eid wishes campaigns To place in the centres of cities signages "Eid al-Fitr - a holiday of generosity", "Eid al-Fitr - a season of joy", "Eid al-Fitr - a great joy". To carry out a nationwide campaign themed "Generosity and Support" with the involvement of sponsors in order to support the needy on the eve of Eid al-Fitr. Their Prayers The Ulema Council makes Dua that our brothers and sisters, in this moment of Allah's mercy and blessings, that our hearts soften and our sincerity grows. May He protect the Uzbekistan people from disasters and calamities, and make the lives even more prosperous.   Ameen!...

  • Eid Mubarak 2020 Wishes from HalalTrip and CrescentRating

    This year’s Eid celebration is a little different because of the current situation. Visiting one another is a little tricky this year, but here at HalalTrip and CrescentRating, we make it work!  For the past few months, we have been diligently working from home. As Ramadan comes to an end, we have always wondered how we could send our greetings and wishes to everyone this coming Eid.  As a team, all of us came up with an idea to record an Eid greeting video through an online platform, Zoom. We had set a date to record this Eid greeting video and gave out instructions beforehand to brief everyone on their respective roles. We decided to record this video while wearing our traditional Eid outfits, each of us wearing bright colors, in order to set the festive mood. One of our colleagues suggested using green packets as a prop, as well as to prepare markers and papers to form the words “Eid Mubarak.” When it came to the recording date, all of us came prepared before our laptops, donning our traditional Eid outfits and holding a green packet each. The process of filming was not easy. Since we were all recording in our respective homes, we had to find ways to coordinate our actions. This took many tries; we made a lot of mistakes, including uncoordinated hand movements when “passing” the green packet.  But eventually, we made it work!  This year’s Eid would be remembered by many as a very unique one because of the current situation. We feel the same way too as there were many things that had to be done differently. But we have found a way to make things work, so we believe you could do it too. Visiting one another on this very special occasion may be a little tricky due to the current situation, but we found a way to make it work! May Allah bring you joy, happiness, peace, and prosperity during this blessed occasion. We at HalalTrip and CrescentRating wish you a very Happy Eid! via GIPHY...

  • Eid 2020 | 5 Tips To Have A Healthy Eid This Year

    The blessed month of Ramadan is coming to an end which means Eid is just around the corner. Despite the Covid-19 bringing about changes to our lives and how we might be celebrating this year's Eid, for example having video calls instead of visiting, we could still enjoy delicious food at the comfort of our own homes. Food and drinks have always been essential in our Eid celebration. Often, we would give or exchange food with our loved ones and neighbors. via GIPHY The typical Eid menu consists of:  Ketupat  Lontong  Rendang  Ayam Masak Merah  Briyani  Sambal Goreng  On top of that, we usually have sweet treats like: Tarts  Sugee Makmur Cornflakes Some very lucky ones would also get to eat savory treats like:  Kerepek  Kuih Siput Rempeyek  All these awesome treats do not go unaccompanied. We would always have drinks to go with the sweet or savory treats. Our typical drinks consist of:  Teh Tarik Coffee  Carbonated drinks Syrup drinks  After a month of fasting, it is important to be kind to your stomach by not over-indulging this Eid even though the food is just too irresistible. Here are some tips on how to have a healthy Eid this year!  via GIPHY 1. Exercise Portion Control Image Credit: Natalia Y on Unsplash Controlling your food portion is of utmost importance as it helps to keep your weight in check. Remember, it is not about being skinny but it is definitely about staying healthy (you could check whether you are in a healthy range here). Image Credit: My Healthy Plate by Health Hub SG You could follow this simple My Healthy Plate guide to see how much food and which kind to put onto your plate for that healthy meal.  Additionally, chewing your food many times slowly can reduce your overall food intake. Take smaller bites so that you do not feel pressured to chew extremely quickly and even swallow before you are done chewing properly. This helps to ensure you have proper digestion and that you could get the nutrients from the food you had just eaten.  2. Add Fruits and Vegetables to your Meal  Image Credit: Stefano Alemani on Unsplash Instead of just adding fruits and vegetables to your menu, be sure to start your meal with fruits and vegetables. This would allow you to consume food that is high in fiber and low in calories. After consuming fresh fruits and vegetables, you are less likely to overeat. On top of that, fruits and vegetables would provide you with natural sugar content that would make you crave the sweet treats lesser (and stay healthier). 3. Drink Water  Image Credit: Jana Sabeth on Unsplash Instead of drinking Teh Tarik or Coffee (caffeinated drinks), carbonated drinks, syrup drinks, and all the other sweet drinks, drink water after your Eid meals. It would be good if you could drink alkaline water (like Zam Zam water) so as to reduce acid reflux. Drinking water is much preferred to drinking all of those drinks mentioned above. Some benefits of drinking water include: Drinking water before, during, and after a meal will help your body break down the food you eat more easily (effective digestion) Water also helps dissolve vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from your food Drinking more water can help you lose some weight too It is important to keep ourselves hydrated during this festive day. If we decide to do some vigorous activity or exercises, remember to drink more water. 4. Exercise Regularly  Image Credit: Kari Shea on Unsplash Even though you are mostly at home on Eid, you could still spend some time to exercise. One such way is to do simple exercises like sit-ups, jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups, and so on. Remember to do warm-up and cool-down stretches so that your muscles are ready to work (after warming up) and cools down well before you hit the showers.  Image Credit: The Ultimate 20 Minutes Workout by Health Hub SG Even doing house chores could be like a simple workout for you. Remember, even prior to doing house chores, you need to warm up your muscles and cool down once you are done.  Another important thing to note is to ensure that you do not sleep right after a meal as this may cause you to feel more tired. Wait for the food to fully digest first which typically takes about 4 hours before it is fully digested. Additionally, do not exercise immediately after your meal as this could cause to either vomit or be too exhausted to move your muscles.  5. Substitution for a Healthier Choice  Image Credit: amoon ra on Unsplash So how to stay awake right after a meal? You could start by looking at the food that you eat. Try to replace the usual ingredients with healthier ones as well as changing some of your usual cooking methods.  Replace Usual Ingredients with Healthier Ones It is good to replace the usual white rice that we consume with brown rice. Brown rice has vitamin B which aids in converting nutrients into energy.  As for Eid dishes, there are also some ingredients used that could be replaced with healthier ones. In lontong, rendang and some other Eid dishes, we would usually use coconut milk to give that creamy taste (which adds the extra tasty flavour). Instead, we could replace the coconut milk with fiber creme (non-dairy) or fresh milk or even a healthier choice of coconut milk (less creamy hence lesser cholesterol). Image Credit: Maksim Shutov on Unsplash Also, instead of eating deep-fried keropok, we could replace such snacks with nuts. Some examples of healthy nuts include almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts. Image Credit: Yulia Khlebnikova on Unsplash As for drinks, we could use fresh milk instead of sweeteners in our hot drinks for a healthier cup of hot Teh Tarik or coffee. Also, we could drink fruit juice instead of carbonated or syrup drinks. One of our highly recommended juices is pomegranate juice. Pomegranate juice has a lot of benefits; it is high in vitamin C, improves digestion, has high antioxidants, and many more.  As for our awesome readers who bake their own sweet/savory Eid treats (salute!), you could replace white sugar in your sweet treats with natural sweeteners (such as honey and stevia). You could also replace butter (which is high in cholesterol) in your cookies with natural oil (like vegetable or olive oil).  Change some Cooking Methods Apart from replacing the usual ingredients with healthier ones, you could also change some cooking methods. Instead of deep-frying, you could switch to air frying. Air fryers require only a fraction of oil that deep fryers require. Therefore, people can have a healthier meal that has similar flavors and textures. This is desirable as air frying lowers a person’s oil intake.    We hope with these simple tips, you could enjoy not just a memorable Eid but also a healthier Eid. Stay home, stay safe, and stay healthy. Eid Mubarak! via GIPHY   ...