The insider reports on the alarming popularity of self help books in Saudi Arabia and the joys of cake shaped like mice.
Becky Lucas and Jeremy Lawrence
(Saudi) men are from amrs? Who would have thought it – Saudi relationships are in need of a tune-up. Or so it would seem from the soaring sales of US self-help marriage bestseller Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. Aimed at improving husband-wife relations, John Gray’s book explores the idea that men and women are so different that it’s as if they’re from different planets. According to Gray, men moan because they want solutions whereas women’s gripes just need acknowledging. But surely, this ultra-Western pseudo-counselling tome doesn’t wash with Riyadh housewives? ‘You cannot tell me this is Western culture,’ said Akram Al Gil, chief executive at Saudi-based Jarir Bookstores. ‘This is an international culture.’
Is it a bird, is it a pain? In the mean world of property rental, amid scams, corruption and maid’s rooms with no windows, who can we count on to keep our coffers safe and our minds sane? Loukman. Yes, this crusading force for good has been doling out comforting words online for all who, like him, have found it near impossible to get a decent place. Loukman, a Lebanese expat who came to Dubai three years ago, has been such a prolific poster on Dubizzle.com, naming and shaming scammers along with posting legit properties for all to peruse, that his account was temporarily deactivated by the site. ‘The site manager has said “I’m going to watch you”, so I have to be careful now,’ he told us. ‘I want to give people hope, I’m just trying to help people.’ We can now confirm that Loukman is very much back online and posting with abandon.
Mousing off Time Out Towers was sent into delirium this week when we were informed that computer paraphernalia manufacturer Logitech have shipped their billionth computer mouse. Even better, we were alerted by trays of cakes with icing sugar mice perching on top of them. Perhaps the most monumentally absurd press stunt to find its way into our inboxes, we can now rest peacefully in the knowledge that the world has finally gone well and truly bananas. How we rejoiced.