It recently occurred to me that I have yet to blog about PLAY. Shocking!
If you know me personally you know that PLAY has been a HUGE part of my life, consuming most of my waking hours (as well as many dreams).
For those of you who don't know me personally or live on a planet other than Earth (laugh) I should introduce you to my third child (a true labor of love)... PLAY!
PLAY is the brainchild of my dear friend Sama Yateem and myself. Last Summer while hanging out at the Yateem Gardens pool watching our children swim, we discussed the SERIOUS need for more indoor entertainment options for children in Bahrain. We also agreed that we wished there was something educational for kids, something similar to the amazing Children's Museums that we had both visited in the United States and Europe.
The following week we got together and started brainstorming in hopes to create the perfect indoor educational and imaginative play-center. Weeks later we were approaching the Board of Directors of several local Manama malls. In the end we chose Seef Mall for location and business potential.
We acquired the super creative minds of 3Di, who helped us design the facility. I believe the design team enjoyed the project as mush as we did. At first they were a little confused when we asked them to make 4.5 foot doors and windows that begin 2 feet off the ground. By the end of the project they couldn't wait to show off the tiny grocery store checkout counter. There were several exciting months of making design, color, texture, hardware and soft supply selections as well as educational supplies and toys... SO MUCH FUN! I have discovered that I have a passion for the design development process.
Months later we were ready to reveal our dream to the Kingdom of Bahrain. Sama and I hired an amazing staff and were ready for the soft opening of PLAY on May 25. Surprisingly, we had a family show up the night prior to opening PLAY to buy a monthly membership... this had to be a sign... we WOULD be successful!!! PLAY would meet the needs of the parents in Bahrain, we just couldn't wait to see what the following day would bring.
Imagine the looks on our faces the following morning when we had a line of people waiting to enter the facility, it was so exciting that we opened the front doors 15 minutes early.
Two weeks later we were honored to celebrate our Grand Opening with the lovely Sheikha Hessa bint Khalifa Al-Khalifa, the Executive Director of inJAz Bahrain. We were thrilled to show Sheikha Hessa and her guests around the facility and welcome them to a reception following the ceremonial ribbon cutting and tour.
PLAY has now been open for nearly 3 months and I still have to pinch myself to make sure I haven't dreamt the whole experience... PLAY really IS a dream come true and I am so very blessed to have been a part of it.