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Tips for Touring Historic Philadelphia with Kids

As the birthplace of America, Philadelphia is teeming with interesting historical sites and attractions. The Declaration of Independence and Constitution were both signed here, and symbols of American history and freedom exist throughout Philadelphia’s famous Old City.  It’s a fun and exciting place to learn about history and take in the amazing sites. To ensure a fun-filled trip for you and the kids, consider these tips from Hussain al Nowais:

  1. Learn about America’s history before you go

Get the kids excited about the trip and teach them a little about America’s history before you go. You can teach them fun facts about America’s founding, and switch up their bedtime stories with tales of the founding fathers and the signing of the Declaration of Independence. This will help them understand what they’re seeing when they get there.

  1. Get your tickets in advance

You’ll need tickets to visit Independence Hall and the Constitution Center. Tickets can sell out, so be sure to purchase them in advance. If you are unable to get tickets in advance, then have someone in your party pick up tickets at 8:30 a.m. when they open. Keep in mind that everyone in your party will need a ticket, and the tickets will have timed entries.

  1. Stay nearby

If you’re spending the night in Philadelphia, stay somewhere nearby. This way can get an early start and don’t need to worry about walking too far or driving in the city. There are plenty of great hotels in Old City.

  1. Get an early start

With so much to see, you’ll want to get an early start to ensure you have enough time for everything on your list. This gives you plenty of time to see the most popular attractions, like the Constitution Center, Independence Hall, and the Liberty Bell, while having extra time to stop by Ben Franklin’s grave, the Betsey Ross House, and other must-see sites.

  1. Visit the Liberty Bell first

Once you have your tickets for the Constitution Center and Independence Hall, it’s best to stop by the Liberty Bell. The line to see the Liberty Bell only gets longer as the day goes on. If you don’t have time to wait for the Liberty Bell, you can see it through the glass from outside the building.



Top Exhibits to See in Philly Right Now

Whether you’re into history, pop culture, or science and technology, Philadelphia’s museums have something for everyone. Check out these top-rated museum exhibits from Hussain al Nowais.

Bill Graham and the Rock and Roll Revolution at the National Museum of American Jewish History

A notable manager and promoter, Bill Graham worked with a ton of rock and roll icons, including Jimi Hendrix, Santana and The Rolling Stones, and helped launch the careers of many rock and rock greats in the 1960s. The National Museum of American Jewish History explores the life of Billy Graham, as well as the cultural transformations that occurred during the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s in the world of rock and roll. The exhibit, which runs until Monday, January 16, 2017, features rock and roll memorabilia, photographs, psychedelic art and more.

Magic in the Ancient World at the Penn Museum

In ancient societies magic was deeply intertwined with science and religion and a major part of everyday life. Ancient magic addressed a lot of the hopes, dreams and passions people grapple with today, such as the desire for good health and fortune, protection from evil and even revenge. Magic in the Ancient World features 81 ancient artifacts, including magical stones, protective amulets, and curse tablets, and explores the role magic played in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome. The exhibit will be on display until September 4, 2017.

Robot Revolution at the Franklin Institute

From self-driving cars, to scientific research, surgical assistance, and rescue missions, robots are here to help improve our lives. At Robot Revolution, you can come face to face with some of the most cutting-edge robots used to enhance human life. Supported by and The Boeing Company, Robot Revolution features a collection of 40 innovative robots curated from some of the most advanced global robotics companies and universities. More than half of the robots can be operated or interacted with. The exhibit will be on display until April 2, 2017.



Three Essential Holiday Attractions in Philadelphia

There’s nothing quite like the holidays in Philadelphia. From ice skating on the waterfront, to shopping artesian gems, to gazing at the amazing light displays, there are tons of iconic attractions to enjoy this time of year. Here are the top three holiday attractions in Philadelphia, according to Hussain al Nowais:

Blue Cross River Rink Winterfest

Penn’s Landing has been transformed into a winter wonderland for Winterfest. Ice skate on the Olympic-size ice rink, which overlooks the Delaware River and is surrounded by a winter garden with holiday trees.  When you’re done skating, grab a bite to eat inside the ski resort-style lodge, or sit by a fire pit with a refreshing cup of hot coco.

The Christmas Village

This year the beloved Christmas Village is happening at City Hall while its usual destination, Love Park, undergoes renovations. The open-air market is outfitted in charming holiday décor and features over 80 vendors selling a wide array of gifts. New this year is a holiday-themed carousel in the courtyard of City Hall.

The Comcast Spectacular

The Comcast Spectacular is one of the world’s highest resolution LED displays, which shines bright on the Comcast Experience video wall. The 15-minute show features dancers from the Pennsylvania Ballet, a magical sleigh and more, supported by your favorite seasonal songs.


Must-See Exhibitions in Philadelphia This November

Aside from its professional sports teams and famous cheesesteaks, Philadelphia is famed for its world-renowned museums. From the Franklin Institute Science Museum, to the National Constitution Center, to the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Penn Museum), the City of Brotherly Love has something that caters to everyone. Whether you’re interested in science and technology or history, Hussain al Nowais recommends seeing these exhibitions that are currently or soon-to-be-displayed at Philadelphia’s world-class museums.

Jurassic World at The Franklin Institute

November 25, 2016 – April 23, 2017

Starting this November, the Franklin Institute will date back to prehistoric times with the unveiling of the Jurassic World exhibition. Fans of the Jurassic Park movie series will be in awe of the 15,000-square-foot exhibition featuring a life-like animatronic 25-foot-long Brachiosaurus, 24-foot tall T. Rex, and other Jurassic giants.

Headed to the White House at the National Constitution Center

Now – December 31, 2016

In honor of Election Day, the National Constitution Center is featuring an interactive exhibition that examines the U.S. election system. Visitors can explore multimedia, artifacts, and more to learn about everything from campaigning to Presidential Inaugurations.

The Golden Age of King Midas at the Penn Museum

NowNovember 27, 2016

Head to the Penn Museum to explore the one-and-only King Midas, the famous Greek mythological figure who could turn everything he touched into gold. The real King Midas resided in Gordion; in 1957, Penn’s archeological team discovered his father’s tomb there. They collected more than 120 objects that are featured in this exhibition to tell the story of King Midas and his life in Gordion over 3,000 years ago.

Three Reasons Everyone Loves Philadelphia

Philadelphia Cityscape, Medium View

Known for its dedicated sports fans, rich history, and the world famous Philly cheesesteak, the City of Brotherly Love is a sought-after city to live and visit. While there are countless reasons to fall in love with Philadelphia, here are a few favorites from Hussain al Nowais.


Philadelphians are notorious for being very dedicated sports fans. With their deep commitment to their sports teams, it’s no wonder their MBL team mascot is called the Phillie Phanatic. Whether it’s the NFL Eagles, NBA 76ers, NHL Flyers, or MLS Union, you can always count on Philadelphians to be rooting hard for the home team. Unlike other sports crazed cities, Philadelphia has all of their sports stadiums conveniently located in the South Philadelphia Sports Complex.


Philadelphia is rightfully nicknamed the Birthplace of America. The city was where the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were both written, as well as the nation’s first capital. Philadelphia is a history buff’s dream, as it houses many iconic landmarks, including the National Constitution Center, Liberty Bell, Betsy Ross House, Philadelphia Art Museum and much more.


You can’t go to Philadelphia without trying the world famous Philly Cheesesteak, though there’s a great debate whether the best is from Pat’s or Geno’s. Aside from cheesesteaks, the city offers countless restaurants offering all types of authentic cuisines, from French and Irish to Asian and Spanish. Then, of course there’s Reading Terminal, a foodie paradise with a variety of delicious foods, sweets, and coffee.




4 Great Dog Breeds for Apartment Living


Just because you live in an apartment doesn’t mean you can’t experience the great pleasures of owning a dog. While some dog breeds need a great deal of exercise and plenty of room to run around, others have low energy levels and are perfect for apartment living. So, if you’re a dog lover who lives in an apartment or condo, Hussain al Nowais recommends choosing one of the following dog breeds:

  1. Mastiff – While Mastiffs are a larger breed, their gentle temperament and moderate energy level make them the perfect companion for someone living in an apartment or condo. They are very friendly, calm and quiet dogs that love being with people and prefer the comforts of home. Mastiffs tend to drool, so be sure to have paper towels and cleaning products handy to keep your walls and surfaces clean.
  1. Pekingese – An imperial dog originally from China, the Pekingese is a social and quiet breed that requires little exercise. While they like lots of love, they won’t mind being left alone while you’re at work and will likely relax and sleep the day away until you return. They also make great watch dogs, without being super yappy. The breed’s flat face makes them prone to respiratory distress, so be sure to keep the apartment at a comfortable, cool temperature.
  1. French Bull Dog – Their small size and quite temperament make the French Bull Dog a popular choice among apartment dwellers. Frenchies are friendly, have a short coat that’s easy to maintain, and don’t require a lot of exercise. Similar to the Pekingese, you want maintain a cool, comfortable environment for your Frenchie.
  1. Greyhound – A greyhound’s ability to run up to 45 miles per hour may make you believe they need tons of exercise and space. However, they are laidback dogs are content spending most of their time curled up on the couch. A short walk is sufficient exercise for a greyhound. Better yet, greyhounds don’t bark a lot and their short, smooth coats make grooming a breeze.

Which apartment-friendly dog breed is your favorite?

Hussain al Nowais Discusses Whether We’re Seeing the Phillies’ Future Now

If you’ve been away for the last month, you have missed a bit of a renaissance in Phillies baseball. Since the All-Star Break, the Phillies have compiled a 16-5 record, which is the best in Major League Baseball. If they continue at this rate for the rest of the season, they will actually finish the year above .500. Okay, maybe we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves, but this is a complete turn-around from what was going on in the beginning of the season. Can the Phillies compete sooner than we think? Hussain al Nowais offers some thoughts on the Phillies:


In a Grantland article by Jonah Keri posted this week, Keri notes that the Phillies have seen a resurgence with their bats from the kids, which has helped to spur the wins. Odubel Herrera, for example, a guy nobody really thought would do much in the major leagues is hitting for power and legging out in-field singles. Cesar Hernandez is proving to be an adequate replacement so far in the infield for some pretty big names. While he has played for Utley in the past, he is currently at SS as Chase has returned to the lineup, so the Phillies can showcase his bat. Finally, there is Maikel Franco. Franco. Franco is known for his power, but he is getting smarter with his at-bats. He’s walking more and striking out less.


With the Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon trades, the Phillies are clearly in a rebuilding stage. In the next year or two, we should see the exits of Utley, Howard, and Ruiz too, meaning there will be nobody on the 2008 team. Although nostalgia is good, Hussain al Nowais urges Phillies fans to look at the present and future too. There is a lot of young talent on the team right now, and we could see the Phillies back in the driver seat of the NL East before we know it. That’s not to say that Ruben shouldn’t leave. The recent moves are definitely the product of Andy MacPhail and Pat Gillick. Don’t expect Ruben to stay on after this year.



Five Tips to Take Care of Your Dog in the Summer by Hussain al Nowais


Hussain al Nowais lives in Philadelphia, and he can attest to the fact that it gets very hot during summer. As we head into August, the temperatures can easily get over 90 degrees and 100 degree days are not out of the question. While you make an effort to keep cook, just remember to take care of your dog and make sure they’re not exposed to the heat either. Your dog won’t be able to tell you that he or she is overheated. It’s up to you to make sure that your dog is protected in the summer. Here are a few tips to help you take care of your dog:

Never Leave Your Dog in the Car: Not even for a second as you go in to pick up a cup of coffee.That cup of coffee may take ten or fifteen minutes if there’s a line. Even a few minutes of exposure could cause your dog to overheat.

Make Sure Your Dog Has Enough Water: Remember to keep a full bowl of water with your dog at all times. If it’s a really warm day, put a few ice cubes in his or her bowl.

Keep the Dog off of Asphalt in the Middle of the Day: Asphalt can be very hot in afternoon. So hot in fact that it can burn your dog’s paws. Keep the dog off asphalt and only walk him or her when it’s cooler outside, like at night or the early morning.

If the Dog Does Need to Be Outside, Provide Him or Her with Access to Shade.

Have Your Dog’s Fur Groomed If He or She Is Long-haired:  Consult your veterinarian to make sure it makes sense for your dog’s coat shaved or trimmed.

As the summer heats up, Hussain al Nowais wants you to remember to take care of you and your pets. If you are hot, it’s very likely that your dog is even hotter.

A Look at the Phillies from Hussain al Nowais

Just how tough is it to be a Phillies fan these days? Well, they have lost 19 out of the last 22 games. They are in last place in the division by a mile. Cole Hamels for some reason still is here, and Chase Utley looks like he should have retired before the season even started. Still, the most embarrassing thing of this year could have happened Tuesday night when Jeff Francouer came in as a relief pitcher.


It’s not that he pitched that bad. In fact, he only allowed two runs, which was the lowest number among all of the Phillies pitchers who played that night. No, the problem was that he had to pitch two innings instead of one because Pitching Coach Bob McClure couldn’t contact the bullpen. Why you may ask? Because the phone was off the hook. It appears that nobody wanted to pitch that game. McClure even tried to wave a white towel to get the bullpen’s attention. It might be a good idea to wave a white towel for the Phillies for the entire season.


Hussain al Nowais has been a Phillies fan all of his life, but even he is starting to get restless thinking about the team’s prospects. Cliff Lee is still a month away from throwing at all. Dominic Brown is struggling again. The team’s nucleus is aging and not aging well at that. The General Manager inspires confidence to nobody with his decision making. And the manager, himself, looks lost and really has not brought any fire to the team whatsoever.


But still, Nowais urges, fans must remember that the Phillies brought us a championship, which no other Philadelphia team has since 1983. 2008 was a magical year, and some of the players on our current team were part of that team. Although fans may want to boo, those players should get a pass for life. Utley, Howard, Ruiz, and Hamels were a major reason why we won that year, and fans should never forget that.


So even though this year may be rough, Hussain al Nowais wants you to remember that it’s just baseball. There’s nothing better than a game on a warm summer afternoon, so although we won’t be playing in October, that doesn’t mean you can’t fun at a game. Oh and Amaro needs to go as soon as possible.

Five Books You Should Read this Summer by Hussain al Nowais

This Monday is Memorial Day, which means summer is here. One of my favorite parts of summer is grabbing a book and burying myself in it for like 5 hours. Although I do plan on networking this summer and completing some other projects, I, Hussain al Nowais, will also finish my summer reading list. My list includes a biography or two, some fiction, non-fiction and other books I have wanted to read for a while. If you are looking at a few books to read this summer on the beach, here are several you may want to put on your Amazon Wish List.

Go Set a Watchman: This is the sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s supposed to take place 20 years after the events of Lee’s first and before this book’s release only novel. I loved To Kill a Mockingbird when I was a child, and I look forward to seeing where Scout is now.

A Game of Thrones: I love the show, but I have always wanted to sit down and see how Martin’s books differ. Apparently, especially with this current season, a lot has changed. A Game of Thrones is the first book in the Song of Fire and Ice series, and at more than 800 pages, is not a quick read. Still, I do want to see if Jon Snow is a little more interesting in the books.

The Wright Brothers: David McCullough is our foremost popular historian, and his newest biography on the fathers of aviation certainly looks to be among his best. Their wiki doesn’t do them justice. If you’re new to McCullough, I would suggest his biographies on John Adams and Harry Truman besides this one.

Cat’s Cradle: Vonnegut is one of my favorite writers of all time, and I’ve been trying to make a point to reread one of his books. Cat’s Cradle stayed with me even more so than Slaughterhouse-Five. Did you know that Vonnegut used the manuscript to this book for his Master’s Thesis? I hope he graduated at the top of his class.

Wyrd Sisters: Not every story needs to be a depressing one. If you haven’t read anything from Terry Practchett and his Discworld universe, you are really missing out. Pratchett died this year, and although I will never get the chance to read a new Terry Pratchett, that doesn’t mean I can’t cherish the ones written. I would check out his wiki to see which book matches your taste and sense of humor. This one is a spoof of Shakespeare with special attention paid to “Hamlet” and “Macbeth.”