Battle of the Bulge: Obesity in the Gaza Strip on the rise

Published March 24th, 2015 - 07:44 GMT

Gaza's weight-loss centers

Despite the deteriorating economic situation in the Gaza Strip, residents’ awareness of the danger of obesity has pushed many to seek out the services of weight-loss centers to help them overcome the disease, Mohammed Othman reports.

In the Gaza Strip, a high proportion of people suffer from obesity. “Only 18% to 25% of the Strip’s residents have a normal weight," Ata Qaisi, health care consultant and owner of Gaza City's Diet Center told Al Monitor. "The rest are suffering from obesity because of the nature of our life pattern, in addition to the unbalanced social lifestyle, bad eating habits, food traditions and dessert consumption.”

He added, “Such a large proportion is the result of common diseases such as diabetes, stress, cancer and rheumatism. If, for example, the proportion of patients with high blood pressure is 30% of the population, know that 97% of them are due to obesity and the rest are due to accidental causes.”

Source: Al Monitor


How Economics Could Destroy IS

While the West is using military resources to fight the Islamic State (IS, also known as Daesh), the secret to defeating the rampaging group may be economics, according to Heather Hartlaub.

Although no one really knows how much IS is worth, the organization’s reserves must be impressive, considering its expenses: it pays combatants approximately $400 a month, purchases weapons on the black market or from corrupt officials, and provides social services in the areas it controls, including schools and welfare for the poor and widowed.

The Washington Post revealed how cash from looted antiquities and other economic activities have contributed to IS’s strength. In February 2015, the Financial Action Task Force, an international agency that fights terror financing, released a report that said U.S. airstrikes on oil refineries combined with dropping gas prices had reduced IS’s oil revenues.

In addition to these efforts, the United States and UK have been pushing other European countries to refuse to pay ransoms for hostages, a tactic which earned IS at least twenty million dollars last year alone.

If the anti-IS coalition can continue to strange the Islamic State’s three main funding sources, it may be possible to induce the group’s internal collapse faster than military force could achieve, while also avoiding a campaign that could attract more international fighters to the group.

Source: Your Middle East


Tunisian activists fear rights setbacks after Bardo Museum attack

Tunisian activists and bloggers have been expressing concerns over rights setbacks in the aftermath of the deadly attack on the Bardo Museum, in Tunis, on Wednesday. In the attack, claimed by ISIS on 19 March, 20 tourists and a Tunisian police officer lost their lives. The two attackers were killed by police.

Following the attack, statements made by politicians and individuals calling for restrictions on rights and liberties and the use of capital punishment raised eyebrows among human rights activists.

Source: Global Voices


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