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his Ramadan, Bloomingdale’s is proud to reveal its unique Ramadan windows, in partnership with Bedour Saeed Al Raqbani, Founder and Director of Kalimati Speech & Communication Center. The collaboration on this project serves as the launch of the pilot phase of ‘Yalsatna’, an exciting new community initiative, and the brainchild of Bedour Saeed Al Raqbani. The new window displays are dedicated to showcasing the creative talents of various members of the community, in designing unique benches. The vision of Yalsatna is to promote the importance of “sitting together” as a modern strategy for social communication, in this fast paced, predominantly digital world, through the design and installation of benches in public spaces all over Dubai. It is also aimed at promoting social engagement by involving different community sectors in the design and creation of the benches. With the rich cultural mix that makes up the city’s population, the hope is that people from different walks of life will find themselves sitting together, will put their phone or IPad down and engage face to face, and to learn from and be inspired by one another, in that moment. The initiative falls in line with our President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s declaration that 2017 is ‘the Year of Giving’. “Yalsatna is the Emirati word meaning ‘our seating’ in both the physical and the metaphoric sense”, said Bedour Saeed Al Raqbani. “In Arabian culture, the majlis has always served as the focal point for societal development and engagement. Fast-paced Dubai is a vibrant cosmopolitan city and a melting pot of ethnicities, but leaves little time for communities to come together and appreciate its beautiful surroundings. As an Emirati I wanted to show that by collaborating together, we can build bridges and narrow the gaps.” “Bloomingdale’s is delighted to partner with Yalsatna on this exciting project” said Matteo Magnanini, General Manager Creative Services for Al Tayer Group. “As we all know Ramadan is a time for togetherness & family, but what about new connections, experiences, conversations? This is what we aim to encourage with our collaboration.” Seven teams were formed from organizations that represent different pillar disciplines, and mentored by the Bloomingdale’s Visual Merchandising team, who gave them a simple brief – to develop an original idea for a beautiful bench which can be eventually used in a public space, with some practical considerations, such as its ability to withstand the harsh Dubai summer and also being safe and fit for purpose. The team then took their designs through the production process, resulting in the remarkable window displays seen in store throughout the Holy month of Ramadan.