What makes King Fahd International Airport special?

Named after the former King of Saudi Arabia Fahd ibn Abdulaziz, the King Fahd International Airport of Saudi Arabia is the largest airport in the world in terms of area. The area of the entire airport property is approximately 776 square kilometres, with an airport building of around m². Situated 31 km away from the city, the airport has three terminal buildings.

It was the U.S. airbase during the Gulf War, but now it oversees commercial operations since 28 November 1999 and has been able to provide connections to 43 destinations. Before the King Fahd International Airport came into existence, the primary airport serving the region was the Dhahran International Airport. It was extremely busy then, but now it has been assigned for military use and is now known as the King Abdulaziz Air Base. The Dammam Airports Company, also known as DACO, has been operating and managing the King Fahd International Airport since July 1, 2017.

It is the third largest airport in the kingdom in terms of passenger volume, that is, more than 10 million passengers use King Airport every year.

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What is the meaning, origin and usage of word ‘Relief’?

Meaning: The word relief corresponds to a feeling of reassurance and relaxation following release from anxiety or distress. It can also be used to denote financial or practical assistance given to those in special need or difficulty.

Origin: The word has been around since the 14th Century and is derived from Anglo-French relif from Old French relief. The meaning "aid to impoverished persons" is attested from around 1400 and from 19th Century it especially specified assistance from governments.

Apart from a brief spike in usage in the first half of the 20th Century, the usage of this word has remained stable over the last 200 years or so.

Usage: The classroom heaved a collective sigh of relief when the teacher announced that the test would be held later.

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What is the meaning, origin and usage of word ‘Fidelity’?

Meaning: This noun refers to the quality or state of being faithful to someone, such as a spouse, or something, such as one's country. Fidelity can also refer to accuracy in details. When applied to electronic devices, fidelity is the degree to which those devices accurately reproduce something, such as sound or images.

Origin: This word came to English by the way of French in the 15th Century and is derived from the Latin root Fidelis which means faithful, loyal or trustworthy. While fidelity was originally exclusively about loyalty, it has for centuries also been used to refer to accuracy.

Usage:  The movie takes full advantage of the film medium while maintaining fidelity to the book.

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What is Roald Dahl most famous for?

Roald Dahl was a British children's author who created world-famous stories such as James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda. His works are globally renowned for inspiring children, and his books have sold more than 250 million copies across the world.

Reading Roald Dahl is like waltzing through an adventure land. You enter a world of magic. Because that's what he does, casting a spell on you by creating bizarre, macabre, yet lovable and entertaining characters.

The British author is a much-loved children's writer whose stories are akin to a carnival town. Anything was possible in his stories. Packed with adventures and peppered with an animated and humorous style of storytelling, Roald Dahl whisks you off to a land of fantasy, much like his character The Big Friendly Giant carries Sophie to a world of adventure. Reading his books and knowing his characters would give you a sense of how imaginative and ludicrous the writer's mind would have been.

Characters such as the clever Mr. Fox, the eccentric Willy Wonka or the villainous Miss Trunchbull who doesn't like pigtails have entertained children through the years.

Magic with words.                                                      

Dahl invented over 500 words and character names, and exaggerated the narratives and characters, making them even more appealing and entertaining to children.

Did you know that there was a Roald Dahl dictionary? The Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary contains all the words coined by the author and was published by the the Oxford University Press.

Early Life

Born on September 13, 1916, in Llandaff, Wales, Dahl wrote books not only for children but also for adults. After finishing his school, he took off for an expedition to Newfoundland, instead of joining college.

When World War II broke out, he enlisted himself in the Royal Air Force (RAF). He sustained injuries whilst flying as a fighter pilot, following a crash landing in Libya.

Foray into the literary world

His experience in the military is reflected in his books. He published many such stories in popular magazines.

His first children's book The Gremlins (1943) narrated the tale of creatures who crash fighter aircraft. He penned a series of military tales in Over to You: Ten Stories of Flyers and Flying (1946).

In the 1950s, he focussed on writing horror stories for adults. The book Someone like You that propelled him to the best-seller category. It was when he started making up bedtime stories for his children that the world of children's literature piqued his interest. The first of his successes was, of course, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964). And soon, many other books with eccentric characters and dark comical settings were published and celebrated. His nonsensical world continues to captivate children and adults alike.

The world of movies

Dahl turned his novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) into a screenplay for the 1971 movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. He wrote the screenplay for the 1967 Bond movie You Only Live Twice and also for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968). Several other works of Dahl were adapted to movies. He also published an autobiography - Boy: Tales of Childhood in 1984. Dahl passed away on November 23, 1990, in Oxford, England.

"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." Roald Dahl.

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What was Louisa May Alcott best known for? How Little Women became big?

Louisa May Alcott's Little Women is a semi-autobiographical American coming-of-age story about four sisters. A critique of the unrealistic perception of blissful female domesticity, this novel has never once been out of print since it was first published in 1868, and has even been adapted for the big screen seven times to date. Let's revisit the classic and look at what makes it relevant even today.

About the author

Louisa May Alcott was the second of four daughters born to Amos Bronson Alcott and Abigail May on November 29, 1839. Her father was an autodidact, which means he taught himself how to read and write. He eventually became a progressive educator and founded the temple school, where he introduced subjects such as art music nature studies, and physical education into the curriculum, in the hope of providing holistic education to the students. However, the school was shut down as most parents at the time were neither familiar nor happy with these subjects. Bronson Alcott's unconventional teaching methods were the reasons why he could never establish a steady source of income and brought his family to the verge of poverty.

Growing up, Louisa's way of thinking was not only shaped by her father’s teaching but also by close interactions with his friends, American authors Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, whom the family befriended upon moving to Concord.

Distressed by her family's financial status, 15-year-old Louisa wrote in her diary "I will do something by and by. Don't care what, teach, sew, act, write anything to help the family and I'll be rich and famous and happy before I die, see if I won't. And she was able to fulfil this, thanks to the massive success of her semi-autobiographical novel Little Women, which was initially published in two parts Little Women (1868) and The Good Wives (1869).

Fortunate accidents

Louisa May Alcott never wanted to write Little Women, as it went against all of her impulses to be taken seriously as a writer and an equal to her male contemporaries but ended up penning the iconic story as a consequence of a series of fortunate accidents.

She was 36 years old and had already published a few books under the pen name A.M. Barnard when her publisher Thomas Niles insisted that her next novel should be about the domestic sphere and cater to young women. Enticing her further, Niles suggested that he would willingly Mr Alcott's philosophy book too if Louisa agreed to this.

Just for the sake of her father, she agreed and wrote what would become her most celebrated book in a 10-week flurry, drawing from her own childhood experiences.

Little Women

The novel chronicles the lives of the Four March sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy as they grow up during the American Civil War, wrestling with the limitations placed on women in the 19th Century. It critiques how women are forced to make cruelly imposed compromises between self-fulfilment and economic and social necessity.

What makes it a classic?

The blueprint of a family

This work of children's fiction has a didactic tone that sets it apart from most of the literature that appeared before it. Louisa's realistic characters and sentimental themes explore how social reform must start at home. Little Women functions as a blueprint of what it takes to have a healthy relationship with your family. Although the story is set in the tumultuous background of the civil war and the scarlet fever outbreak, the connection that the flawed and vulnerable March sisters have and share with the people that surround them is what makes them more life-like, relatable, and relevant. The book celebrates their diverse takes on difficult situations, individual struggles with poverty, and different aspirations in life, highlighting how no two individuals can be the same even if they are raised under the same roof with the same resources.

The matriarch

Through the strong and self-reliant character of Marmee, the author challenges the prevailing assumptions of 19th Century society that saw women as domestic goddesses that were best kept indoors tending to every need of the family.

Marmee is a source of awe and inspiration to her children, who have witnessed her single-handedly manage the household and make a living while their father is away at war. Her unconventional way of thinking, which suggests self-respect, peace, and true love must hold more importance than money and even marriage, motivates her daughters to dream big and accomplish more in their lives.

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