Sweden’s Abisko National Park

Abisko National Park pic

Abisko National Park
Image: tripadvisor.com

As senior sales manager of operations and strategy at the Nutrition Products Division of Abbott Laboratories, Zariq Siddiqui is in charge of full-cycle sales operations. Outside of work, Zariq Siddiqui enjoys traveling and has visited Sweden.

One of the popular tourist destinations in Sweden is Abisko National Park. Having an area spanning 77 square kilometers, the park is within the Arctic Circle. It is also inside the auroral oval, an area where there is a greater chance of experiencing the Northern Lights.

Inside the park hovers Mt. Njullá where the Aurora Sky Station is situated. The station was chosen by travel magazine Lonely Planet as the best location in the world to witness the Northern Lights. In summer the area experiences 24-hour daylight which goes on for several weeks. Aside from natural lights displays, the area is also well-known for its Nordic wildlife and great natural beauty. It is Sweden’s driest area as well, allowing for a long hiking season.

Around 100 kilometers to the east is the municipality of Kiruna, which has regular flights to Stockholm. From Kiruna, the park can be reached by taxi, bus, or train.

Sherwood Forest Camping Ground


Heifer International Assists in Recovery Following Quake in Ecuador

Heifer International pic

Heifer International
Image: heifer.org

A pharmaceutical sales executive, Zariq Siddiqui has worked as senior manager of sales operations and strategy at Abbott Laboratories in Chicago since 1999. Alongside his professional activities, Zariq Siddiqui supports Heifer International, a nonprofit that oversees a variety of assistance services worldwide.

Heifer International has been hard at work in Ecuador recently assisting those affected by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that shook the country on April 16, 2016. The quake, which was followed by hundreds of aftershocks, destroyed buildings, homes, and infrastructure and caused the deaths of more than 500 people.

The Heifer team on the ground in the country focused on building community shelters for the many Ecuadorians who were left without a home. The group also has worked to distribute water, food, and health products such as vitamins, bug repellent, and antibiotics.

Heifer International is in need of a variety items and asking for donations to support its efforts. For more information, or to make a donation, visit www.heifer.org.

Chicago’s Distinctive Deep-Dish Take on Pizza


Chicago Deep Dish Pizza pic

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
Image: pizza.about.com

Zariq Siddiqui is senior manager of sales operation and strategy with Abbott Laboratories, guiding company efforts throughout the Chicago area. Zariq Siddiqui is a fan of American cooking and particularly enjoys classic comfort foods such as hamburgers and pizza.

The home to many Italian immigrants from the late 19th century on, Chicago is known for a distinctive take on pizza, the deep-dish. With pizza well-rooted as a local cuisine by the 1940s, entrepreneurs Ric Riccardo and Ike Sewell launched Pizzeria Uno on the city’s North Side and featured a new style of pizza with a cracker-like crust and a deeper dish.

For a classic deep-dish pizza, the pan is similar to that used for cakes and gets covered with olive oil. A semolina and white flour dough is then pressed along the edges and bottom. The olive oil acts as a frying agent and provides the dough with its distinctively crunchy, golden texture.

Offering more depth than traditional pizza, the deep-dish pizza features inverted layers, with the cheese placed inside to prevent burning. The finished pizza requires serious cutting through successive layers of vegetables, meat, pizza sauce, and mozzarella, as well as the hard bottom crust.

Pizza in the United States


Image: history.com

Zariq Siddiqui began working for Chicago’s Abbott Laboratories, Inc., in 1999. Zariq Siddiqui particularly enjoys American food, especially the American version of pizza.

Inexpensive and easy to prepare, pizza probably originated in Naples, Italy, around the end of the 18th century. Italian immigrants to the United States brought their traditional foods with them, and in 1905 immigrant Gennaro Lombardi started selling pizza at his grocery store in New York City’s Little Italy neighborhood. He sold only one kind of pie; it had tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.

Although the number of restaurants serving pizza grew quickly within New York City, the first pizzeria outside the city didn’t open until 1925, when Frank Pepe started his Pizzeria Napoletana in New Haven, Connecticut. In the 1940s, the dish began to expand beyond New York and New England. One of the iconic establishments of American pizza, Pizzeria Uno opened in Chicago in 1943.

The pies offered at these early outlets were similar, though not identical. East Coast pizza generally consisted of a thin or thick crust with a topping of tomatoes and cheese, as well as optional additional toppings. Chicago pies were baked in a pan, not on a sheet, and featured much thicker layers of toppings that have been likened to a casserole.

Another major development in pizza occurred in California in the early 1980s, when Alice Waters sold pizza made with organic ingredients and gourmet toppings at her Chez Panisse Café in Berkeley. Other restaurants emulated her offerings, and California pizza quickly became known for its limitless variety of unconventional toppings, including such ingredients as pineapple, barbecued chicken, spinach, artichoke hearts, and truffles.

Unbound’s Nine Pillars of Change

Unbound pic

Image: unbound.org

Zariq Siddiqui is the senior manager of sales operation and strategy at Abbott Laboratories Inc.’s Nutrition Products Division. Aside from his responsibilities in the global company’s nutrition product sales, Zariq Siddiqui is a philanthropist who has donated significantly to Unbound and its fight against poverty in 20 countries worldwide.

Unbound is a global nonprofit that helps marginalized communities by bringing them together to work on innovative income generating activities. It is through these activities that the organization manages to change the lives of the communities for the better.

Unbound fosters change in the community through nine pillars:

Economic self-sufficiency – The families on Unbound’s support roll depend on the organization and their own income to meet their needs. The organization supports these activities so that the families gradually move away from material support to rely on their own income-creating activities.

Mutual support – The member families are encouraged to form support groups to help each other grow and to support each other in their economic activities.

Capacity building – The Unbound program is centered on the idea that families can be supported to become independent, self-sustaining units, not dependent on handouts and material donations.

Devolved decision-making – The supported families are given decision-making responsibilities in a supportive environment with internal checks and balances.

Empowerment – Marginalized groups are accorded an environment to enhance unity, justice, and equality. This is done by addressing social imbalances to foster non-violent change that is long-term.

Goal orientation – Unbound fosters a support environment where individual families have clearly defined goals and are accorded realistic opportunities to attain those goals.

Learning culture – Sponsored families define the actions they wish to take to achieve self-reliance, measure their outcomes, and use the results to continuously improve their economic livelihoods.

Sustainability – Unbound inculcates a sense of self-reliance in the sponsored families so that in the end, the families themselves manage different elements of the programs. Eventually, the entire community is empowered enough to develop programs independently.

Worldwide – The supported families are encouraged to view empowerment globally and to play a part in uplifting the lives of their neighbors.

Unbound’s Charitable Programs

Unbound pic

Image: unbound.org

Based in Chicago, Zariq Saddiqui serves as the senior manager of sales operation and strategy for the Nutrition Products Division of Abbott Laboratories, Inc., a global health care company. In his personal life, Zariq Saddiqui supports the international charity Unbound.

Unbound, formerly known as the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging, is an international nonprofit organization founded in 1981 by lay Catholics in the United States. The organization focuses on help people living in poverty and bridging divisions among the world’s people.

With its sponsorship program, Unbound provides food, clothing, medical care, schooling, and other basic necessities to children and the elderly; it also, in some cases, furnishes livelihood support to families. As the relationships between sponsors and sponsored friends develop, Unbound offers sponsors the opportunity to go on awareness trips to meet their friends at home and in person. With the support of more than 260,000 sponsors in the United States, the group currently helps over 300,000 children and elderly people in 20 countries around the world.

Unbound also offers a scholarship program to aid students. Recipients are chosen on the basis of their financial need, their commitment to their education, and their interest in community service. As a requirement of the program, they must perform service work.