homemade hair cream aroma-zone

So my girlfriend is running a blog over at http://biotytips.wordpress.com which talks about makeup and cosmetics, especially homemade cosmetics.

She is always in the kitchen knocking something together, taking pictures and writing articles about it so I decided to produce a video for her.

If you’re interested why not check out her blog.


24 hours in Aleppo

My French colleague at euronews, Farouk Atig, traveled to Syria to make this report. I then translated and voiced it in English.

Have a look and let me know what you think.

Uganda family planning

In Uganda today family planning is at the top of the agenda. At the moment there are 34 million citizens but the country has one of the fastest growing populations anywhere in the world. On average each woman will give birth to six children.

In villages and communities people gather to listen the presenters of Heart Radio Uganda. Their talk show discusses family planning, covering topics such as contraceptive injections, condoms and how to avoid teenage pregnancy.

Saudi film charms Venice

“Wadjda” is not only one of the first films to come out of Saudi Arabia, even more significantly it is the first feature written and directed by a Saudi Arabian woman, the talented Haifaa Al Mansour.

Saudi Arabia’s first female director has made her debut at the Venice film festival, exploring the limitations placed on women in the conservative Islamic kingdom through the tale of a strong-willed 10-year-old girl living in Riyadh.

The film “Wadjda”, which the director says is the first to have been entirely shot in Saudi Arabia, follows the everyday life of young Wadjda and her attempts to circumvent restrictions and break social barriers – both at school and at home.
Constantly scolded for not wearing a veil, listening to pop music and not hiding in front of men, she uses guile to get her own way.

When she sees a green bicycle for sale that would allow her to race against a male friend, she concocts a plan to raise the money needed to buy it in spite of her mother’s opposition – respectable girls do not cycle in Saudi Arabia.

Haifaa Al Mansour said her aim was to portray the segregation of women in Saudi Arabia: “The situation for women in Saudi Arabia is very difficult and the country is very conservative and denies women a lot of things… To me, making a film is not like saying ‘ah, it’s really dark, it’s really difficult’. I wanted to make a film to say ‘yeah, it’s difficult and everything, but we need to fight’. That’s it.”

Al Mansour said filming in Riyadh was difficult even though she had permission from authorities to do so:

“We did it within the system, it wasn’t like a guerilla style shooting or anything but still people are very conservative. People don’t like cameras in their neighbourhood. Sometimes we would be shooting and in the middle of the scene someone would come and interrupt and they’d want to take the camera and stuff. Being in Saudi Arabia you don’t go to the streets very often as a woman, you have a driver take you everywhere. So for me the knowledge of the streets was something I learned also during that film because I’m not allowed to be there.”

Twelve-year-old Waad Mohammed, who in the film plays Wadjda, said she found her character very realistic: “I like doing simple things. In fact the character in the film is very similar to me. I like bicycles, I like playing football and things like that. I really enjoyed that.”

Al Mansour said the actress is representative of the new Saudi generation: “She doesn’t speak English, she never had access to anything but she loves Justin Bieber and she knows Selena Gomez and they are part of a bigger world. Saudi, as much as it’s closed, the younger generation is totally different and we hope that they see themselves as part of a bigger world and they will try to open up the country even more.”

Under King Abdullah, the Saudi government has pushed for women to have better education and work opportunities and allowed them to vote in future municipal elections, the only public polls held in the kingdom.

Al Mansour’s film, which is not in the main competition in Venice, may have a limited audience in her own country, where movie theatres are illegal. But producers said they hoped to distribute it on DVDs and TV channels.

Romania’s ‘Men in Red’ to the rescue

In Transylvania, in the city of Targu Mures, Northern Romania, is the headquarters of the country’s emergency rescue service SMURD.

It was founded just after the Romanian revolution in 1990 by Raed Arafat, a young intensive care doctor who was shocked by the high mortality rates in the country’s emergency wards.

After leaving the Middle East as a teenager, he studied medicine in Romania. He is now a household name and one of the country’s most popular figures.


IFA Berlin: Eye-controlled TV and more

The IFA in Berlin is one of Europe’s top electronic show, and offers us an idea of what we can expect to see in our living rooms in the future.

Among the many new technologies on display was a state of the art television presented by Chinese company Haier that the viewer can control with a glance.

Eye tracking technology has already been tested for some years, but this TV – according to the manufacturer – is quite innovative. It allows users to change channel and alter the volume simply by moving their eyes. Furthermore, the viewer is able to scroll through text or menus while watching a programme.

Christophe Chancenest, TV Marketing Manager for Haier, said: “The difference compared to the past is that this technology is very intuitive, very fast. Obviously we are working on additional capabilities, including the ability to scroll text at the desired speed by the viewer. In the future, we would like to integrate this technology into a pair of glasses, for example, which will be able to hold a small device that today, in the demo, is placed on the table.”

Energy efficiency is one of the key aims of new technologies and Miele came up with an innovation of its own. They noted that many consumers use a lot of softener in their washing machines with the added purpose of making their clothes smell nice.

This is not only not very ecological but often the scent doesn’t survive the heat of a tumble dryer. For this reason German manufacturer, Miele, presented a new kind of dryer which takes vials containing natural fragrances, so with just a small amount of liquid the clothes stay smelling fresh for up to four weeks.

There was also a very bright little camera on show, the DSC-RX100 from Sony. Despite its small size it has a very powerful sensor which is able to take pictures in extremely low light.