One of nature’s most perfect foods, the date holds a special place in the history, hearts, and homes of Kuwaitis. Dates were once a vital source of sustenance for desert travelers and a staple commodity of Kuwait’s seafaring trade. Today, the date is still one of the most important cash crops in the region, with between 600 to 700 varieties grown. Of all the traditional foods eaten during Ramadan, nutritious and delicious dates undoubtedly have the most benefits for those who are fasting. With this Ramadan coinciding with the local date harvest, now is the time to enjoy them, whether you are fasting or not. Join local photojournalist Claudia Farkas Al Rashoud for a diwanniya presentation that will immerse you in the fascinating world of dates on August 7th, 2012 at 8:00pm at the AWARE Center premises where you will learn about dates in local tradition, culture, cooking, and agriculture, and sample some of the different types of these healthy fruits of the desert. Originally from California, Claudia Farkas Al Rashoud has enjoyed working as an author and photojournalist in Kuwait since 1979. She was the first female reporter/photographer for the Arab Times newspaper, and her photographs and in-depth feature articles continue to be published in this local daily as well as in many international publications. She has written a number of books, with photographs, about Kuwait which include Kuwait Before and After the Storm, Kuwait’s Age of Sail, Kuwait Kaleidoscope, Dame Violet Dickson (also available in Arabic), and a children’s book about Kuwait’s desert environment and the animals that live in it called What the Camels Said to Santa.