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Bellissimo Ice Cream launched at Agora

Kazi Farms Group launched a new and premium line of ice cream brand in Bangladesh, “Bellissimo”, at the Gulshan outlet of Agora on 12 February, 2013.

“Bellissimo Ice Cream is the first locally manufactured ice cream to have 10 per cent milk fat and no vegetable oil, giving it a rich, creamy texture and taste that is equivalent to any international quality ice cream,” said Kazi Zahin Hasan, Director of Kazi Farms Group. Bellissimo Ice Cream recipes are formulated by experts from Germany and Denmark and are available in 10 different flavours and novel combinations, making it a premium brand.

Bellissimo will be available at all Agora outlets and the products will also be available at local stores very soon.

Bubbalicious- the Brunch Program

The Westin Dhaka is introducing Bubbalicious -- the Brunch Program at their fun dining restaurant, Prego. Bubbalicious will deliver culinary highlights combined with amazing entertainment and new food and beverage.

Guests can enjoy this exciting brunch time at Westin's Fun dining restaurant Prego at level 23, every Saturday from 11am to 3pm. Dress code will be smart casual and diners can enjoy this precious brunch time with delectable foods at Tk.4000++. Special discount is available for children under 12.

Enjoy every Saturday with unadulterated fun and merriment with your family and friends.

For more information or reservations please call 989 1988.

Kay Kraft celebrates Ekushey

K's Ekushey collection comprises a limited but powerful colour scheme. Black and white remains as the primary shades, but there is also a profuse use of red. The Bengali alphabets, some in their archaic form, have been used as motifs.

The Kay Kraft Ekushey Collection is available at all their outlets.



Jordan By Road

A few months ago I visited Jordan to do research for a paper I was writing, and I instantly fell in love with the beautiful country. Although the best part for me was the experience of meeting wonderful Jordanians, Palestinians and expatriates, I would vouch for a trip there just to see some truly incredible sites. The best way in my opinion is to rent a car, preferably a jeep, and gather a group to visit the sites.

Start off sightseeing with the Dead Sea. It is the lowest body of water on earth, the lowest point on earth, and the world's richest source of natural salts. A visit to the Dead Sea is almost a spiritual experience in beauty and feels like an escape to serenity.

To reach it from Amman, one has to drive 30 minutes through an unearthly landscape of arid hills and canyons. I used Couchsurfing.org, a unique trust-based networking site for travellers and people who enjoy group activities, to meet my travel companions. On the ride back from the Dead Sea, if you're the kind of adventurer running on high-octane energy, take a hike at Wadi Mujib, one of the beautiful canyons nestled across the sea. There are a few resorts and restaurants here and there which you can book over the phone.

Next, my new friends and I drove to Madaba, the city of the Byzantine. It takes about an hour or two to go south of Amman. The chief attraction in Madaba is the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George with a wonderfully vivid 6th-century Byzantine mosaic map showing the entire region from Jordan and Palestine in the north, to Egypt in the south. I recommend walking around the entire town after a morning visit to these tourist attractions, and then having a wonderful dinner at the gardens of the Hared Jdoudna restaurant.

The day after, a friend and I took a bus to see the Roman ruins in the ancient city of Jerash. Jerash has some of the best preserved Roman ruins in the world and boasts a human life chain dating back 6,500 years. In my opinion, one cannot wish to see a Roman ruins site as extensive as in Jerash. You can truly get a sense of the activity of the place.

After Jerash, drive up to see the Kerak and Shobak castles (as they're easy to reach from Jerash), built during the Crusade period of 1100s. Unfortunately for the castles, time has not been on their side, as the compounds have fallen into a substantial form of ruin. Beautiful architecture still remains, but the original glory has been lost to the ages as I heard.

The biggest, and probably the most expensive, attraction in Jordan is Petra. A world wonder, the “rose-red city” is vast and unique, carved into the sheer rock face by the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people who settled here more than 2000 years ago. The entrance to the city is through the Siq, a narrow gorge over 1 kilometre in length flanked on either side by soaring, 80-metre high cliffs. As I heard from friends, just walking through the Siq is an experience in itself -- the colours and formations of the rocks are dazzling.

For a more relaxed experience, the avid tourist heads to Aqaba -- a fusion of history, nature, and city life surrounded by picturesque mountains and blue sea. Aqaba is known for its lush beaches, water sports and the coral reefs of the Red Sea, home to hundreds of different types of corals and sponges with their wealth of coloured fish.

In Wadi Rum, I had the chance to sleep in a Bedouin camp with nothing but a mattress and a blanket between the chilly winds, the rich darkness of the desert and the infinite stars, twinkling unperturbed by any light pollution. My friends and I were invited to see a Bedouin wedding at Wadi Rum. Bedouins are extraordinarily hospitable and it is easy to access guided tours or contacts that would allow an immersive cultural experience (Check TripAdvisor.com and local travel agencies such as Swiss). Rent a jeep if you'd like to cruise through the desert. My friends and I shooed off warnings of creeping scorpions and took the mattresses laid outside instead of those inside the Bedouin tents. As the night deepened, the stars brightened, perkier and more numerous than any I had ever seen. I woke up before sunrise to a slumbering camp and started walking in a straight line as light began to peep.

If you have some extra time, I'd say finish off your trip by exploring Amman. Like Rome, Amman was originally built on seven hills but is now spread over at least 19, connected by thundering highways. I used to stroll along the leafy Rainbow and Mango Streets, with their twenties villas, cafés and boutiques, perhaps popping into Books@Café to mingle with hip, young Ammanites. Also, head downtown and walk around.

Old Philadelphia, as it is called, lies beneath its streets, although there is now little to see of the Greek. Sometimes I'd sit there at sunset with a friend, when most other visitors had gone to find a quiet corner amidst a symphony of sound as the city's mosques serenading me with the call to Maghrib prayers. Truly one of the most magical experiences in Jordan.

By Dibarah Mahboob
Photo: Dibarah Mahboob


Cameras 101

The abundance of photographers with their SLRs and DSLRs isn't something of a shock. A growing number of people consider their true calling or passion to be photography. So here is a small piece on what to buy, where to buy it, and if you have missed the Valentine's gift bandwagon, then this may be a perfect belated gift for Camera fanatics.

The reigning brands in photography currently are Nikon and Canon. This is not to say that the lesser known ones are not good, but the two mentioned have simply grabbed the market too well.

So where to make these not so cheap purchases -- IDB Bhaban is always a good place to start when looking for any and all types of technological equipment. In one cursory look anyone can tell you that this place holds immense variety in its product line.

But for absolute authentic purchases it's always best to buy from the brands' own distributors, which in this case would be Flora for Nikon and J.A.N. Associates for Canon. That being said, it's also a good idea to buy your cameras and lens along with all other accessories from abroad. Rumour has it that Thailand and Malaysia are cheaper in comparison to other places.

Moving on to the 'what to gift' aspect of this article, it would be a bit less prudent to actually go all out and gift professional cameras as they are excruciatingly expensive. But the accessories aren't that hard on your pockets. Starting from tripods or flash guns, both of which are easily available at Bashundhara City, to backpacks (both branded and non-branded) to carry the large cameras around in; chic, handmade sashes to hook around the camera; or non-shake, hassle-free remote controls which make a photographer's life much easier, none are unreasonable expensive.

All these can be dubbed ideal gifts for someone very special.

Whereas most of the camera accessories are priced between Tk.3000-16,000 the price of the actual body, lens or flash guns aren't. They vary quite a bit according to what model you are planning on buying. It ranges from Tk.40,000-400,000 depending on the product.

Now just a tip for all the photography beginners -- one friend to another -- if you do not at all know what to do with these cameras or where to start on the road to great photography, just Google: aperture, shutter speed and ISO. These happen to be the basic fundamentals.

And if you are currently contemplating buying new lens for your beloved camera then apparently the range of prime lens, tele lens and fisheye lens give you full accessibility to capture all sorts of portraits, landscapes and interiors.

The address of the official distributors of Canon and Nikon in Dhaka are: J.A.N. Associates Ltd.: Surma House, House-25, Road-5,Dhanmondi R/A; Canon Link: Canon Display Centre, SR-28, BCS Computer City, IDB Bhaban; Flora Distributions Limited: Corporate Headquarters Adamjee Court Annex - 2, 4th Floor, 119-120 Motijheel C/A, Dhaka-1000.

By Noshin Nawal

Aarong's Ekushey collection

This Ekushey, Aarong upholds tradition with their extensive line of Ekushey wear in red, black and white. Black and white has been the traditional colours of mourning and red symbolises courage and the zeal of life.

The fabric has been Aarong's quality range of fabrics -- cotton, khaadi, Muslin, and others with embellishments and calligraphy in embroidery, lace.



Black, white, grey -- quintessential colours of Ekushey. But what was once a day of mourning has now turned into a bigger worldwide movement for the celebration of language and our respective mother tongues. Remaining true to their house style, Shadakalo uses sombre shades of grey and white for their Ekushey Collection.

Available at all Shadakalo outlets.

In keeping with our motto to continually reinvent ourselves, we have recently launched our very own Facebook page. Take the time to browse through our content, unseen pictures and much more. Be sure to leave your comments and suggestions.
We hope that our dear readers will not only be part of this change but lead us in new directions by expressing themselves and letting their views and preferences be known.

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