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The ‘Infiltrator:’ A Palestinian’s journey to Haifa

Sunday, 1 April 2018

As a 26-year-old guy, my dreams were born and raised in a village between others scattered in the northern hills of Tulkarm (West Bank). There is one persistent dream that is sealed with a high wall and metal thistles. My grandfather would always tell me about Haifa (now Israel) and how it was the most beautiful city in the world, even though he never saw the world’s cities and I had never seen Haifa. My purpose in getting to Haifa and the other occupied cities is now mixed with childhood ...

Survey finds parents of toddlers are ‘the happiest of all,’ but is that true?

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Lifting my head off the pillow to yell: “Go back to sleep, it’s not morning yet,” I grimace. It’s unlikely my toddler will do as I ask and after six hours of broken sleep, the inevitable trudge to the kitchen to make breakfast and answer one thousand questions before 6am awaits. It’s at times like these when I miss my old life. The carefree days when I’d sleep, felt sane, when I had clean hair and my go-to outfit wasn’t leggings. So I was really ...

Finding the courage to live your life, your way

Monday, 19 March 2018

I was ten years old when I looked into the mirror one day after being bullied at school and said to myself “You’re too plain and there’s nothing special about you. You’re not gonna amount to much.” With an incredibly warm family, who has embraced me at my best and at my worst, I now find it difficult to link the source of these poisonous thoughts to some random bullying. It was deeply rooted in my subconscious mind because I remember having this conversation with ...

WATCH: Six of the best TRX exercises for beginners

Sunday, 18 March 2018

TRX is a unique training tool, for the reason that, instead of using exercise machines or hand-held weights, you are using your own body weight and gravity to perform a particular exercise.It is especially effective in developing strength, balance, flexibility, movement, and stability - the best part is that you can control the angles and movements yourself, therefore it can work for all fitness levels.1. Low pulley rowStart by facing the TRX anchor point – take hold of the handles with a ...

The voice from the hospital basement in eastern Ghouta

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Most people in East Ghouta live underground. Medical care is increasingly provided in basements. What is happening there cannot bear the light of day.I recently spoke to one of the directors of a hospital MSF has been supporting since 2013 in East Ghouta. The discomfort of sitting in a safe office in Brussels grew as she described the detail of her and her colleagues’ struggle.This young, confident doctor explained that the last five years of siege and on-off bombing and shelling have been ...

Should teachers be allowed to tell ‘police’ your kids’ lunchboxes?

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Should teachers be allowed to influence the diet of the children in their care? It’s a question that’s been asked just recently as a school was slammed by parents for allegedly not allowing children to eat unhealthy snacks from their lunchboxes, and offering them fruit instead. Abbey Hulton Primary School, in Stoke-on-Trent in the UK said it was trying to promote good health and was working hard to keep children fit and healthy while at school. Nevertheless, parents have hit the ...

Time for something sweet? Here are the UAE’s most ‘Instagrammable’ desserts

Saturday, 17 February 2018

‘Tis the month of love… the love of dessert, we say. Yes, yes. It’s February. Valentine’s Day has come and gone. But the month also marks ‘Madly in Love with Me Day’, ‘World Nutella Day’, ‘Chocolate Fondue Day’ and ‘Eat Ice-cream for Breakfast Day’. So, it would be a disservice to chefs across the region to not celebrate all of this with a bit of sweet stuff? Right? Right? We knew you didn’t need much convincing. ...

Children of divorced expats between the law and choosing who to live with

Thursday, 15 February 2018

With divorce comes repercussions, perhaps the heaviest of it all falls upon the shoulders of children. In the Middle East, particularly, children remain in the custody of their mother until they reach puberty. It varies between each country at which age a teen may become under the custody of the father. Some laws have been modified to allow teens between the age of 15-18 to choose one of their parents as their guardian. The peculiar case of divorce among expats where both parents are residents ...

Do you know what it takes to really love yourself?

Monday, 5 February 2018

Do you love yourself? As I was waiting at a clinic in Dubai, the nurse noticed that it was my birthday and asked “What do you wish for now that you’re 35?” I answered, “To love myself”. She looked at me strangely and said “I thought you already did!” I explained that when I allow myself to be hurt by someone else’s actions, I don’t love myself. When I let myself be in an unpleasant company of people, I don’t love myself. When I eat ...

The need for better children’s books for Arabs who live abroad

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

As soon as my husband and I found out we were pregnant with our daughter Samya, who was born last March, we knew we wanted to raise her to speak Arabic. Since my husband is a midwestern from Kansas who didn’t know what zaatar was and refused to eat plain yogurt until he met me, we decided we were going to follow the OPOL method. One parent one language. I would speak to her in Arabic and my husband would speak to her in English. (Check back with me in two years to see if it works!) ...

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