Sweet Middle East: Anissa Helou

I have a strong sweet tooth and often say it’s because my family name, Helou, means “sweet” in Arabic. In truth, that has nothing to do with it. Most people in the Middle East and North Africa have a serious penchant for all things sugary. Sweets occupy an important place in our lives, and every…

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In 2015, I had done a series where I illustrated new year resolutions for people. While most of them remained more or less similar, what I know for sure is, that for most of us, the same lists still apply and we seem to still be struggling. Take a look at the list above and…

Bread and Salt

Bread, called nan in Persian, is the staple food of Iran in all regions except around the Caspian, where rice supplants it. Nan is a Persian word first used in Achaemenid Iran (550-330 BCE), from which all other languages borrowed it. In Iran, bread and salt are treated with great respect. The main Persian breads are flat breads but…

Persian Tea

Tea was discovered about 5000 years ago in China. In the early 17th century, tea was introduced to England and its Chinese name, tay, changed to the English name tea. In England, tea was brewed in china teapots. The English believed that a drop of milk in the teapot would prevent it from breaking and thus…

Romanesque Architecture : St-Nectaire

Regional Developments in France The emergence of Romanesque architecture was not a simple, linear process. Rather, during the tenth and eleventh centuries, the region that is now France served as a fertile experimental ground. The separate regions exhibited tendencies toward different architectural forms, and their sacred as well as secular institutions also pursued a variety…

The confused discovery of chilli. Or was it?

  The United Salad of America By Act of Congress, the phrase E pluribus unum (Latin for ‘out of many, one’) was adopted as one of the mottos on the seal of the infant USA. The phrase derives from one used in ‘Moretum’, a Latin poem attributed to Virgil (70-19 BC): It manus in gyrum;…

Let Them Eat Salmon…

In Old Mortality, Sir Walter Scott’s 1816 novel set at the time of the Covenanter Rising of 1679, the author describes how salmon was not always regarded as a luxury: A large boiled salmon would now-a-days have indicated a more liberal housekeeping; but at that period, salmon was caught in such plenty in the considerable rivers of…

Win a personalized New Year Resolution Doodle!

So we all make resolutions and they probably are the same every year. All of us want to get fit, learn the meaning of life strolling in the park eating a doughnut and get discovered on American Idol (ok fine, so I have dreams!). (Oprah voice): Why are so many of us unable to accomplish our goals? Brian Tracy, in…

That time of the day…

Everyday holds magic and there’s a certain time, that special moment during the day when we feel good about everything. This ‘feeling good’ has nothing to do with external events. It is something that comes from within. That special time for me is in the afternoon. That’s why I prefer walking around the city during this time. I…

Fresh from the Tandoor

As a little break from architecture and knick knacks, I decided to sketch something in between. A little eatery around the Auliya Masjid area called Wasim Hotel (Jaipur, Rajasthan, India) caught my attention where heaps of tandoori rotis (bread) were selling out every second! The person at the tandoor expertly rolled out the dough and as someone called out for…

Coffee cups, mail and cereal boxes

I have been drawing from the time I was little. Sometimes I drew a lot and at other times, not so much. The same pattern continues today. I drew things on newspapers, old diaries, envelopes lying on the table waiting to be checked…anything. These things often get discarded and you end up losing a frame from…

Sketch of the day- Jaipur

M.I.Road is one of my most favorite places here in Jaipur. Streets lined with shops selling clothes, jewelry, kebabs, dry fruits, shoes and whatnot! I often go there, sit for a while and sketch. It’s a very busy area so you either have to go early in the morning when most shops are closed or…