Prepare Your Car For The Monsoon

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AdBuzz LeadAlthough the monsoon brings much-needed respite from the intense heat wave that has gripped Pakistan of late, it is likely that your car may break down during heavy rains.

Here is how you can prevent mechanical failures during the rainy season:  

1. Tyres. Ensure that all tyres – including the spare – are properly inflated as low pressure tyres puncture easily, especially if you drive on pothole-ridden roads. Tyres that are not properly inflated are also likely to cause damage to the rim flanges (the protective layer that covers the wheel’s rim) which can result in a breakdown.

2. Wipers. Check the rubber on the wiper blades for cracks or any other damage. It is best to replace wipers at the slightest hint of damage as they are crucial to your visibility, whether it is during a light drizzle or a heavy downpour. Ensure that the water bottle (located in the bonnet) is always full and that the sprayers are working properly. Continue reading

Say ‘No’ To Zombie Projects

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Careers
Management consultants Scott Anthony, David Duncan Pontus and M.A. Siren coined the term ‘zombie projects’ earlier this year to refer to projects that fail to fulfil their potential, yet are not shelved by management. As a result, resources are drained unnecessarily in order to sustain such initiatives.

Here are four ways of preventing the occurrence of ‘zombie projects’ at your workplace: 

1. Establish project criteria. Before a project is sanctioned, clearly determine ‘why’ the project is being pursued, what business goals it will help achieve or what problems it will resolve. Ensure that no project kicks off based solely on assumptions of expected outcomes. Quantify targets (where possible) and outline the project’s milestones. Having a set criterion for deciding which projects are approved or rejected ensures that it is the project’s merits and not personal preferences that become the deciding factor when it comes to pursuing it. Continue reading

Amin Jaffer selects one of Lawrence of Arabia’s Daggers

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CKS_10455_0047

 

The last of T.E. Lawrence’s Arabian daggers
known to survive in private hands

A silver-gilt mounted Arab Jambiya dagger
Ornately-tooled hilt and scabbard; curved blade
Length: 30 centimetres (11.8 inches)
Estimated price: £60,000-90,000

A chance encounter between Kathleen Scott, later Lady Kennet, and T.E. Lawrence at Waterloo Station gave the sculptress and society hostess an opportunity to request a sitting from the man she had once spied once at the ballet – “You had a turban on and I think I thought you had been born in it,” she would write to him – without having known his identity. The resulting sculpture depicted him as Colonel Lawrence, in full Arab dress, dagger at his waist. Of the sitting on February 9, 1921, Scott wrote: “We had great fun about dressing Col. Lawrence up in his Arabian clothes.”

After his final sitting on February 20, he left the present dagger and robes with Kathleen, so that she might continue her work, while he sailed to Cairo; it would be over a year later, on August 28, 1922, that he would write to request their return and later mentioning in a letter to Lionel Curtis in 1929 that the dagger still remained in the possession of Lady Kennet. No such retrieval was made, and the dagger and the robes have remained in the possession of the family since then.

Returning to Cairo in July 1917 from the coup de main against Aqaba that would forever gild his reputation as the daring hero of Arabia, Lawrence found himself “daggerless”, as he would write to Lionel Curtis. Sherif Abdullah, elder brother of Feisal and future ruler of the Transjordan, had presented Lawrence with his first dagger of silver gilt in Wadi Ais.

Lawrence of Arabia had three daggers – his first dagger he presented as a gift to the Howeitat chiefs in the Wadi Sirhan – an investment lavishly rewarded by the support of the Bedouin in the assault on Aqaba. Returning triumphant, anxious for a replacement, Lawrence travelled quickly to Jidda and then returned to Aqaba, where Sherif Nasir presented him with the present dagger, an honorific gift. It was referred to as ‘Dagger III’, for he had taken advantage of his time in Jidda to commission another – small, gold – dagger (‘Dagger II’).

Christie’s Valuable Books and Manuscripts Including Cartography Sale will be held in London on July 15, 2015. For more information, please visit http://www.christies.com.

Eid Shopping At H-Block Market

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Plenty of restaurants

If you live in Lahore and are thinking about venturing out for a shopping marathon for Eid, or a casual evening during the last days of Ramazan, consider heading to H-Block Market, located on Khayaban-e-Jinnah.

Eid shopping at its best… Several high-end retail stores are located in H-Block Market and you can source most Eid essentials there, be they fabrics, shoes or accessories. If you are looking for a tailor, or someone to embroider intricate patterns on your clothes to give them that Eid oomph, the Market also houses several embroidery and tailoring shops. There are also home stores where you can find the accessories you need to add a little pizzazz to your home, be they lighting fixtures, decorations or colourful cushions. While there, take the opportunity to stock up on groceries at one of the supermarkets.

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Fixtures for your home

Casual dining from the East and West… Over the last five years, the Market’s culinary range has expanded significantly with several eateries catering to both the desi and angrez in you and includes kababs, tikkas and shawarmas or burgers and fried chicken. Top off your meal with a few cupcakes at Frosted Fantasies, a trendy little bakery that has opened recently. If it is a fine-dining experience that you seek, MM Alam Road’s high-end restaurants are a short drive away.

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Shoe and clothes shopping

The real estate take… Due to a prime location in Lahore’s upscale DHA, commercial property in
H-Block market is in high demand. Property options include standalone shops and retail space in low-rise buildings.  Prices increase by 20 to 25% every year and rentals by 20 to 30%. The area is completely built-up.

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A good meal

In the nutshell… Thanks to an increasing number of shopping and dining options, H-Block Market is one of Lahore’s popular shopping and dining
go-to places.

– Syed Wajeeh ul Hassan Naqvi

Increasing Productivity During Ramazan

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CareersAccording to a survey published by the BBC, as well as a study conducted by the Cairo Institute of Social Sciences, employee productivity during Ramazan decreases by 50%, thereby affecting organisational performance negatively. So no wonder that one of the biggest challenges for organisations during Ramazan is to maintain employee productivity despite reduced working hours and low energy levels.

Yet, Ramazan can be a productive month if the following steps are adhered to by HR managers and employees:

1. Flexible timings. Organisations should allow employees to select their own timings, based on when they are at their most productive. This can either mean coming to work earlier, soon after sehri, or much later. This will ensure that the quality of work does not suffer.

2. Work from home. Employees can be given the option to work from home at least once or twice a week. However, this should be managed in a way that all key employees from the same department are not away from the office on the same day. Another option worth considering is allowing employees to leave the office early, and work from home for the remaining hours.

3. Say no to multitasking. Employees often multitask during Ramazan due to shorter working hours. However, this can result in wasting energy and time. It is recommended that each assignment is completed before moving on to the next one.

4. Plan and prioritise. Plan and prioritise your daily work list according to how much focus and energy are required to complete each task. For example, tasks which require more energy and attention should be completed earlier in the morning (or when you are at your most productive), while tasks which require less focus should be left for later. Furthermore, meetings should be kept as short as possible as this will save a lot of time in the long-run.

– Zeeshan Lakhpaty
The writer is a professional corporate trainer and international speaker. zeeshan@peopleexcellence.biz

               

The Magna Carta Turns 800

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3rd boxJune 15 marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta (Latin for the ‘Great Charter’) signed between King John (who ruled England during the 12th century) and his nobles who had earlier rebelled against his tyrannical rule, which included the absence of any adherence to law, seizure of people’s assets and a general disregard for the safety and well-being of the people. The Charter was drafted in an effort to restore peace and order to the land. Continue reading

Mum-Friendly Work Practices

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CareersToday, the number of mothers who work in Pakistan is greater than ever before. Yet, despite this, they continue to face tremendous challenges.

Not only are they often viewed as lacking the determination to move ahead, they may also be regarded as breaching social norms by failing to be ‘ideal mothers’ – that is, putting their work before their children.

Furthermore, working mothers’ contributions are generally undervalued because the barometer for productivity is hours logged in the office and not actual work delivered. However, working mothers work extra hard to meet deadlines because they have a very powerful motivation to do so – they want to make sure they can leave to have dinner ready, pick their children up from school/day care, manage their households and business goals. Continue reading

Brain Training

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Regardless of age, your grey matter has the ability to shrink or thicken; new neurons and new neural pathways (connections) are created throughout your life. When you have a new experience or think in new ways, new pathways are formed. Changes in the physical brain are manifested in changes in our abilities. For instance, if you learn a new word, it reflects a change in your physical brain. With repetition, this pathway is strengthened.  Continue reading

Listen Up! Turn Down The Volume

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mp3

According to research conducted at Penn State College of Medicine in December 2013, one in six teenagers suffers from a degree of preventable hearing loss due to constantly being ‘plugged’ to their music devices, such as MP3 players and iPods.

Similarly, the I Hear Report (compiled by the National Acoustic Laboratory) concludes that 64% of the 1,400 people who were tested, suffered from a constant ringing sound in their ears caused by a condition called tinnitus, which is believed to be the precursor to hearing loss and is on the rise in people between the ages of 11 and 35. Caused by listening to loud music, tinnitus can also lead to depression, poor concentration and sleeping difficulties. Continue reading

Investing In Penthouses

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Real LeadUntil the early noughties, penthouses were primarily limited to Karachi. However, over the last five years, their construction has increased in Islamabad, and recently in Lahore, due to an increasing annual demand of five to eight percent. No wonder then, penthouses are gaining traction among investors and homeowners alike.

Continue reading

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