“Idealist” Hearts in the world found

hmn.png(Photo Courtesy: The Daily Mail) 

A research published on Friday has suggested that Tsimane people have the “healthiest hearts” in the world.

The study, published in the Lancet, found that Tsimane had the lowest signs of clogged up arteries and live somewhat of a healthful life with very few cardiovascular risk factors.

Tsimane is a Bolivian population of about 16,000 that are living a lifestyle of hunting, gathering, fishing and farming.

Researchers chose to examine the indigenous population to better understand the correlation between industrial lifestyles and the persistent risks of coronary artery diseases.

The study cross-examined and focused on Tsimane individuals, aged 40 years and older, who self-identified as part of the indigenous tribe.

“It’s an incredible population” with radically different diets and ways of living, said the researchers.

Many associate the tribe’s lifestyle and way of living to a human civilization dating back to thousands of years ago – their lifestyle is simplistic and largely based on food gathering and hunting.

Nearly 9 in 10 Tsimane individuals had no risk of heart disease (596 of 705 people, or 85%), 13% had low risk and 3% had moderate or high risk, according to the Lancet study.

Among those aged 75 or older, nearly two-thirds (31 of 48, or 65%) had almost no risk and 8% had moderate or high risk — the lowest recorded levels of coronary artery disease of any population, the researchers said.

According to CBC, the amazon men studied in the research aged 80 and above have showed to have the hearts of Americans in their 50s.

The reason behind disease free hearts is partly due to the daily movement of the tribe – an average Tsimane man walks about 17,000 steps a day while women walk an average of 16,000 steps.

As for the Tsimane diet, about 17% consists of peccary wild pigs, monkeys, rodents, deers and pheasant-like birds and another 7% of their food intake is freshwater fish, including piranha and large catfish.

However, another bulk of their other calorie intake is from plants, rice, maize, manioc root and plantains.

“I am not surprised that a simplistic way of life has caused the Tsimane people to have the healthiest hearts. Certain unhealthy lifestyles have become so normalized – so many people adopt unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking and make it a regular habit of theirs here,” said Hauwa Buhari, an AUD student.

The scientists scanned 705 people’s hearts in a CT scanner and found that at the age of 45, almost no Tsimane had clogged up blood vessels or problems in their arteries.

Also, by the time they reach the age of 75, two-thirds of Tsimane individuals were completely healthy.

Professor Naveed Sattar, from the University of Glasgow, told the BBC: “This is a beautiful real life study which reaffirms all we understand about preventing heart disease.”

“Simply put, eating a healthy diet very low in saturated fat and full of unprocessed products, not smoking and being active life long, is associated with the lowest risk of having furring up of blood vessels,” he added.

Fadeke Lipede, another AUD student, said: “There is so much pollution in the world, so maybe its not only the lifestyles of these indigenous people but its probably where they live that have helped them be so healthy.”

“Living in an amazon probably allows the Tsimane people to get a lot of fresh air, free from toxins and smoke.”

“They also probably walk miles a day just to gather their necessities and this all aids in maintaining one’s health,” Fadeke concluded.


The UN raises awareness for Youth engagement in the region

(Photo Courtesy: Lara Obeidat)

The American University of Dubai, in association with the UN, organized a conference, which tackled the Global refugee crisis by spreading awareness on the importance of youth engagement on Monday.

More specifically, the Youth engagement and the Global Refugee Crisis event, focused on exploring the importance of mobilizing the youth to lead and drive humanitarian efforts with the help of students at AUD.

Coinciding with International Happiness day, the conference discussed how governments, the private sector, academia and the NGOs would facilitate and further encourage the involvement of the young in public services and to build effective programs in response to the global crisis.

Amongst the topics discussed were: how can communities come together to aid refugees, how students can network and use social media to improve the lives of refugees by promoting positive images and how the government’s engagement can encourage youth aid and volunteer work.

The American University in Dubai had set up flyers around the campus, two huge UN printed tents, large printed brochures and a dedicated information and registration website two weeks prior to the event in efforts to call on its students to engage and attend the conference.

Untitlerdd(Photo Courtesy: Lara Obeidat)


As a result, many attendees, including high school students and different university students were available at the conference along with invitees, professors and the press.

Noor Hayani, an AUD student and volunteer at the event, said: “I like that we get to help the refugees around the world but we’re mainly focused on the Syrian refugees.”

“The conference is mostly here to help individuals understand what is happening around them and build an awareness on the severity and magnitude of this global crisis,” she added.

Many speakers attended the conference, amongst them were: Mr. Hussain Al Hammadi (Minister of Education in the UAE), Christos Stylianides (European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management), Mr. Amin Awad (Director of the Middle East and North Africa Bureau and Regional Refugee Coordinator for the Iraq and Syria Situations, UNHCR) and Dr. Lance E. De Masi (President of AUD).

The event included many discussion panels and Q&A sessions and was shedding light on an ongoing global refugee and human rights crisis – research has found that numerous countries were affected by human rights crisis in 2016, some of the crisis-torn countries include: Syria, Iraq, Ethiopia, the Ivory Coast, Costra Rica, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and South Sudan to name a few.

Moreover, Commissioner Christos Stylianides, during the Government panel, said that he wants to increase European funding to refugees by almost 60%.

Pamela Chrabieh, Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at AUD, helped write the concept note for the event but more specifically the youth panel, told reporters:

“This is a major event and a timeless issue that affects all of us as individuals and as communities, regardless of where we are living because we are all connected in one way or another.”

While, The Office of the United Nations High Commissione for Refugees (UNHCR) says the world is currently facing the highest levels of displacement ever in history, with an unprecedented 65.3 million people forced out of their homes by war, internal conflicts, drought or poor economies – among these are 21.3 million refugees, over half are under the age of 18.

“The situation is so dire and 38% of people displaced in the world are in the Middle East and North Africa, out of more than 65 million worldwide,” said Toby Harward, head of UNHCR Abu Dhabi to the National.

Syria has already witnessed 6 years of bloodshed and war that has caused an estimated 11 million Syrians to fled their country since 2011 and now in the sixth year of war, 13.5 million are in need of humanitarian assistance within the country, while almost 500,000 have been killed already – 55,000 of them were just children.

With the UNHCR stating that Africa is the most affected by the refugee crisis – Ethiopia hosts nearly 740,000 refugees, mostly from Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan and South Sudan and more than 500,000 refugees from neighboring countries, including Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, have settled in Uganda.

Tareq Al Gurg, Chief executive officer of Dubai cares, told attendees at the end of the Government panel, “current youths are the leaders of tomorrow” in efforts to encourage youth engagement and volunteer work.

Research says South Korean women will top highest life expectancy by 2030


A new study released on Wednesday suggests that South Korean women will break the world average life expectancy and succeed the age of 90.

The study, conducted by the Imperial College London and the World Health Organization, has been analyzing the average lifespan of genders around the world and its recent research analyzed the lifespan of men and women in 35 countries.

The life longevity research found that people’s lifespan is increasing and will continue to do so for the next 13 years with a closing gap between men and women that had previously not existed.

South Korea, Japan, Australia, Canada, Chile, UK and the US were amongst the countries factored into the study.

However, according to a professor, South Korea’s attitude towards life has increased the country’s likelihood of a longer elderly lifespan.

Majid Ezzati, a professor, told BBC, “South Korea has gotten a lot of things right. They seem to have been a more equal place and things that have benefited people – education [and] nutrition – have benefited most people.”

South Korea with almost 25 million residents is the world’s sixth leading global city, holds the world’s fourth largest economy and is the world’s seventh largest sustainable city and now holds the world’s highest life expectancy rate amongst men and women.

The country ranked ninth in 2013 for a life expectancy of 82 and fourth in 2015 for an age of 85.

The study also suggested that South Korea and France are to take the life expectancy title from Japan, who will fall down the global ranking by 2030.

Adding that Japanese women would have had the highest expectancy level but will soon drop, while Japanese men will descend from fourth place to eleventh place out of the countries considered in the study.

Published last week, the study already points to a decrease in the gap between genders with women catching up to the previous life expectancy of men.

“[Men] smoked and drank more and had more road traffic accidents and homicides, however, as lifestyles becomes more similar between men and women, so does their longevity,” said Professor Ezzati to the BBC.

By putting together 21 separate mathematical models that analyzed past trends, the research was able to make projections for the future that accepted many different factors, such as: smoking rates, medical advances and obesity patterns that all affect the life longevity of a country.

The UAE was not one factored in the study, but previous researchers suggest that the country is the fifth most obese country in the world according to a study published by a BMC Public Health Journal.

Adding that 44.5% of women in the UAE will move up the obesity rank to third place in the next three years, according to Gulf News.

“Tackling population fatness may be critical to world food security and ecological sustainability,” the research by BMC said in response to this issue being a major threat to food security in the future.

The study concluded that an adult in the UAE consumes 20% above the average 2500-2000 calorie intake that is recommended daily.

“Since I’ve been in the UAE, I haven’t really noticed any unhealthy food habits but on the contrary, I come from Italy, which is a country that heavily consumes carbs on a daily basis,” said Iva Miloshevska, a foreign exchange student at the American University in Dubai.

“I haven’t really noticed many obese women or children here yet, probably because of the vast abundance of food choices,” she added.

However, one local man living in the country begs to differ on the eating lifestyle of Emarati women,

“They strategically dress to conceal their bodies with their black abayas, so perhaps that’s why one might not come across many obese Emarati women here,” said Khalifa AlAhbabi.

“But their lifestyle and eating habits are very unhealthy and very quantity-based,” he concluded.

Coffee’s Ancient Job in Future Telling


Stressful family issues, long work hours and failed relationships are just the few misfortunes that many people have to come to terms with on a daily basis.

This could, however, leave many people wondering what the next step might be, leaving many to turn to options like yoga, vacations, online dating etc… in efforts of self-betterment.

However, a century old tradition has kept many traditionalists at ease by giving them a little insight into what their future might hold for them.

The future telling process is a diverse world on its own and can differ depending on the practice of the skill – it can either be through reading a regular Turkish coffee cup, looking at the palm of a hand, sensing the energies surrounding the subject or by shuffling around some tarot cards.

The art of reading coffee cups, or Tasseography as some might call it, is an aged method of fortune telling, usually practiced by older generations and is more commonly a skill passed down by a grandmother to her daughter and so on.

The century-old tradition is more common than one would think and can be found in many diverse regions in the world – Turkish, Greek, Cypriot, Armenian, Croatian, Macedonian, Serbian, Arabic, Iranian, Azerbaijani, and Russian communities are amongst the most practiced in this field.

The process uses a simple cup of Turkish coffee as a tool of mediumistic channels between the energies of the coffee drinker and the coffee reader – it starts simply by drinking the coffee and leaving some coffee grounds behind.

After drinking most of the liquid in the coffee, one must cover the cup with the upside-down saucer and then swirl it three times and by setting the cup aside for a short amount of time, shapes and figures start taking form within the remaining coffee residue.

Most have associated this traditional technique with a religious tradition or an artistic format; for the practitioner it’s a method of storytelling and a chance for the coffee drinker to par-take in the process – this is due to the shapes that show themselves after the cup has been set aside.

According to the website Coffee cup readings online; lines, triangles, smudges, dots, letters and symbols, especially on their location inside or around the cup all have different interpretations and can be defined differently for each person.

Though generally, examples of a few might include: a triangle that might signify a life change, a circle might mean a life accomplishment and a star might mean an investment.

While for some, the images seen are shapes to be interpreted, for others its actual letters of a name, a personality characteristic or a meaningful symbol.

“When I got my coffee cup read for the first time, I wasn’t expecting to be put into a surreal situation of having someone who was a complete stranger tell me things about me and my family that only I knew about at the time,” said Fatma Khademi, a previous student at the American University in Dubai.

“She told me that someone in my family was expecting twins and I don’t know how she could have known because my uncle and his wife had been trying for so long and we didn’t tell anyone as to not jinx the conception,” she added.

For many religions and cultures, the practice of this method can differ greatly – for some it’s the simplest concoction of Turkish coffee while for others the preparation is an art form in itself.

For the practitioners of Sufism, the process first started as a means of meditation and consisted of grinding up fresh coffee cherries, boiling them in water and drinking them during the night to extend their prayers and meditations.

What might have once started as a meditation tool, Tasseography is now a cultural tradition and practiced by many as a means of entertainment and an artistic medium of storytelling.

However, the UAE rejects relations to any fortune-telling practice as Dubai police deem it “stranger and illegal.”

They had also warned against frauds disguising themselves as psychics, tarot readers and palm readers who claimed to see the “future” for some and were deceiving people out of a lot of money back in 2015 with some ranking in almost 75,000 DHS, according to 7Days.

An Iranian source that spoke under the condition of anonymity said, “I don’t read coffee cups for business, I just read the cups of my friends and my daughter’s friends and I never accept money.”

“I read cups because my grandmother taught me and it’s an old tradition practiced in my family so to me the practice should never be a business – it holds greater values than what money can offer.”

However one might deal with stressful or happy issues, going to a fortune-teller should never be a life changing decision according to the source, “you never know what their intentions are or how they acquired the information. So you need to be extra careful by going to someone you trust and feel comfortable discussing your life with.”

“Besides no coffee reader can actually predict the future,” she added.

So the next time you sip on your cup of coffee, keep an eye out for any symbols that might appear and maybe you can decipher your own future. Because who else is better fit at telling your future than yourself?





Reducing colds with vitamin Ds


A newly released research study suggests that incorporating vitamin D in your diet may reduce any likelihood of colds and flus in the UK each year.

The study published on Wednesday by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) argues that foods should be provided with this vitamin as a protection against attacks.

Adding that vitamin D supplements could reduce the effect of any respiratory tract infections.

Previously the immune system was known to utilize vitamin D as ammunition that attacked viruses and bacteria in a manner that “poked holes” in fighting efforts.

One report published by NHS UK says that cows’ milk in the UK, amongst many other countries, is generally not a good source of vitamin D due to the unfortified nature of the dairy.

According to NHS UK, vitamin D has been proven to help regulate the calcium and phosphate levels in the body, which keeps your bones, teeth and muscles healthy.

The study by the BMJ suggests that it may help residents of cold countries due to the reasoning that vitamin D is mostly absorbed by the skin while out in the sun and less during the winter seasons.

However, the nutrient can be found in smaller dosages in a number of common foods, such as: oily fish, red meat, liver, egg yolks, fat spreads and some cereals.

But when taking such a vitamin, there must be a balance – too much vitamin D in ones diet can lead to high levels of calcium, which can eventually cause heart and kidney problems.

To test whether or not adding a vitamin supplement directly in your food, trials and testing has been done to establish a link – researchers have gathered data acquired from 11,321 people from 25 different trials in order to do so, according to the BBC.

The results found that one person would develop immunity to the common cold for every 33 people consuming the vitamin as part of their diet – contrary to vaccine shots that find one person immune to the flu to every 40 people.

Aisha Buhari, a student at the American University in Dubai, said: “I think that if they added vitamin D into some foods, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea.”

Adding, “Because you would be spending less on vitamin supplements and the probability of you catching a flu would be less.”

Prof Adrian Martineau, one of the BMJ researchers, told the BBC, “Assuming a UK population of 65 million, and that 70% have at least one acute respiratory infection each year, then daily or weekly vitamin D supplements will mean 3.25 million fewer people would get at least one acute respiratory infection a year.”

However, not everyone thinks incorporating vitamin D into foods is a good idea, “I don’t think they should fortify foods with Vitamin D, although it may be harmless, anything could happen to the consumer as a reaction,” said Zeinab Dakik, another student at AUD.

Breaking the norms with a “Breaking Bad” inspired Café


New news for any Walter White fans, a Breaking Bad coffee shop has made its way to Dubai’s largest mall and was inspired by the award-winning TV series.

Walter’s Coffee Roastery, which opened last month in Dubai mall, is one of the many crazy coffee shops one would find in the city and is the first coffee shop to be modeled solely after a TV series.

The roastery is modeled after the extreme life of Walter White, a Chemistry teacher with stage 3 Terminal Lung Cancer, who turns to a life of crime to make and distribute his unique form of crystal meth in order to financially support his family.

The coffee shop is already a hit in New York and Istanbul due to its unique methods of coffee making – they turn regular coffee orders into a chemistry project in a meth-themed science lab.

The Dubai mall is the first UAE-based location of the coffee shop. This is not all surprising, as it is one of the largest malls found in the region and provides an endless variety of customers due to Dubai’s tourist-based atmosphere.

The waiters are dressed in hazmat suits, staying true to the show’s overall theme and as a tribute to the role of Walter White as a drug chemist.

Highly decorated as a chemistry lab with a periodic table inspired menu, beakers, flasks and vials as the shop’s serving cups and resonating metallic and yellow decorations, all of which aid Waler’s Coffee Roastery in providing the customer with the realest experience they can provide while maintaining a non-threatening ambiance.

Coffee is not only their specialty, the Roastery’s pancakes have also gone viral as they are sugar-ly dusted and imprinted with Walter’s iconic bald head and mustache-d face.

Deniz Kosan, CEO and founder of the Breaking Bad inspired coffee shop, told What’s on, “We take coffee seriously – it’s a magical commodity.”

The coffee shop has an average spend of 100 DHS with menu items ranging from the common Flat white, Americano and Espresso to Dirty Chai, Chemex and LemonBrew – the drink’s names are designed to be the Symbol and the prices to be the atomic number of the “chemical” drinks found on the periodic table in the shop.

“The coffee was really good, the overall experience was great and the staff was really friendly,” said Alara Dural, a customer at Walter’s Coffee Roastery.

However, she added that the concept in their Dubai branch was different than the one she had visited in Turkey because the customers actually get to go inside the brewing machines in Istanbul.

Whether you are a fan of the show, Walter White or just enjoy an exotic cup of coffee, Walter’s Coffee Roastery might just get you hooked.




A Greener Route on Car Free Day


The American University in Dubai was amongst the many companies who participated in the Car Free Day initiative on Sunday in response to raised awareness by Dubai Municipality and commitment towards the environment.

Many people left their cars behind on Sunday and opted for different methods of transportation in what had originally started in 2010 by Dubai Municipality as “Car Free Day” is considered a unique initiative of its kind in the region.

The initiative was said to establish Dubai as a global sustainable city as well as to show the city’s commitment towards applicable environmental conventions in an overall endeavor to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the city.

Gulf News had reported that almost 2500 businesses, 200 major government departments and private firms took part in this year’s 8th annual Car Free Day.

Adding that this year’s annual day was even more important than any other of its kind because the Dubai Municipality would be raising and giving away any donations received to charity organization and towards the plantation of trees all over Dubai.

“Dubai Municipality launched the initiative to explain to the people how important it is to reduce the use of cars on the street and use the public transport,” said Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality, to Gulf News.

“We have a high quality public transportation [system] and we feel we have a lot of possibilities, with the cooperation of all, in reducing the carbon emission and the effect on the environment,” he added.

The initiative is part of Dubai’s Expo 2020 program that aims to provide a platform that fosters creativity, innovation and global partnerships and accelerate the development of cutting-edge solutions.

While according to their website, Car Free day aims at to achieve the goals set forth by the Expo program, to create an excellence for the Emirate, to raise awareness and usage of public transportation and finally to protect the environment and natural resources.

Tala Hajj, a regular user of the metro said: “I think the initiative is a good idea but I think it needs to be on a bigger scale and perhaps include other cities within the UAE for the awareness to truly have an impact on the environment and the country’s residents.”

According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year while NASA reporting that Carbon dioxide levels in the air are at the highest they’ve ever been in 650,000 years.

Greenhouse gas emissions and the excess in carbon dioxide footprint, in accordance with NASA, has caused: nine out of 10 of the warmest years to occur between the year 2000 onwards and the Arctic sea ice to shrink to the lowest extent its ever been at in 2012.

Numerous people in Dubai opted for the metro with some choosing other methods of transportation such as public buses, carpooling and even cycling in response to the awareness.

AUD was one of the institutes whom encouraged many of its faculty members, staff and students to ditch their cars and find a greener route to work and school on Sunday.

Professor Yasmine Bahrani was one of the faculty members who received the email about Car Free day and said: “I think it’s an excellent idea because I care about the environment and I think car [gas] emissions have negative impacts on the environment.”

“So any steps that we take, no matter how small they may be to help us have cleaner air, are good steps by my standards.”

Starbucks’ CEO to employ thousands of refugees as future employees


Amid Donald Trump’s “Refugee Ban,” Starbuck’s CEO said he has decided to expand his employee base by hiring 10,000 refugees in the upcoming years, US media reported on Monday.

Starbucks, a beverage company that often gets many names wrong on their endless coffee lists, has done something right according to common feedback.

Howard Mr. Schultz, Chief executive of the multi-million dollar beverage company, wrote to his staff in a company letter that Donald Trump’s new decision has caused “confusion, surprise and opposition.” (BBC)

Starbucks, which first opened in 1971, has been many people’s coffee pit stop globally for 46 years and is now a multi-million dollar empire operating in 72 countries with over 25,000 stores as of 2016.

He is the first US business corporate Chief to condemn President-elect Donald Trump’s recent refugee ban.

Mr. Schultz added that the recruitment plan will gradually expand over the next five years and will expand globally, saying in a statement:

“A concerted effort to welcome and seek opportunities for those fleeing war, violence, persecution and discrimination.”

But the letter stated that the plan will initially start in the US with a focus on ex-military personnel seeking job opportunities.

Earlier this week, Donald trump had announced a travel ban on refugees from seven-Muslim majority countries, including: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, BBC reported.

The travel ban, which came into effect earlier in the week, has already caused anger after many airlines and airports turned away refugees, asylum seekers, and visa-holders from those nations.

Donald Trump had justified his ban of the US Refugee Admissions Programme and will continue to do so for a total of 120 days.

Adding that the ban was “needed” to give the US government proper time to develop stricter filtering systems of those who pose as national threats to the country.

A former Starbucks employee, who spoke under anonymity, said: “in my opinion, whether it’s a marketing stunt or not as long as the company follows through with their initiative and really does employ these refugees then that would be a positive step for humanity.”

However, Starbucks was not the only corporation who has voiced its opinion regarding the ban.

BBC reported that Facebook, Google, and Tesla were amongst the companies who publicly made statements concerning the issue.

On the other hand, a popular housing website, AirBnB, has offered free housing and accommodation to any person(s) affected by the US President’s recent travel limitations.

Hadi Ayedh, an AUD student and regular Starbucks consumer, stated: “I think it’s a good idea but I don’t know how comfortable I would feel knowing that a refugee from a war-torn country is making my caramel macchiatto.”

“You never know what their intentions are or whether or not they would be making anyone’s drink properly,” he added.

“Nevertheless, it’s a notable decision but a fuzzy line still exits and this might backlash in the future.”

Goodbye Nutella?


Nutella’s manufacturer, Ferrero, has shut down recent claims after reports released last week declared the famous hazelnut chocolate spread to be cancerous.

Palm oil, the reason behind Nutella’s famous shine, smooth texture and shelf life has been studied for correlations to the big C.

The European Food Safety Authority stated in a report that Palm oil has been found to be the most carcinogenic out of the entire oil family.

Since the rumor’s circulation, the Italian manufacturing company has admitted to have under gone a 3% hit in sales.

However, the international company has been combatting the rumors with ad campaigns in efforts to clarify and explain publicly the company’s safe usage of the oil.

Ferrero is campaigning to inform the consumers that Nutella’s byproducts are completely safe, adding that the spread would lose its famous “Nutella-ness” without palm oil as the main ingredient.

“I don’t really like chocolate and I have never had a big sweet tooth but I am generally against manufactured sweets because of the large amounts of sugar they add.” Said Deena Salloum, a student at AUD.

“If the oil in Nutella isn’t bad for you, then the high amount of added sugar is.” She added.

The company had studied a switch in ingredients but stated that palm oil is the cheapest oil in the market, adding to the statement that any switch in the recipe would cost a surplus of $8-22 million a year.

This could potentially lead to an increase in the market price of what many around the world call comfort food.

The EFSA report, published back in May of 2016, said that the oil is only more dangerous than others if reached above temperatures of 200C and could be more harmful than other vegetable oils if and only if the temperatures exceed that limit.

However the report also stated that any users of Palm oil, amongst other products, must higher the temperature of the oil to remove the “natural red color and neutralize the smell.”

Moreover, further explanation of this process states that a fatty acid called GE can form and break up during digestion, which could eventually release “Glycidol” – a substance believed to produce tumors.

Sarab Sahni, a communications student at AUD said: “I don’t think Nutella is cancerous because I grew up eating it day and night as a child and nothing has ever happened to me.”

“I’ve never felt ill after consuming Nutella in any form, so this new finding is very shocking and weird to me but I guess ill just wait for further updates on the topic,” she added.

Ferrero has shut down the rumors of the manufacturing process as “[the company] uses an industrial process that combines a temperature of just below 200C and extremely low pressure to minimize contaminants.”

“Making Nutella without Palm oil would produce an inferior substitute for the real product, it would be a step backward.” Said Ferrero’s purchasing manager Vincenzo Tapella to Reuters.

The debacle has even made its way here with Dubai municipality’s issuance of a statement that said:

“In response to what was circulated about the palm oil in Nutella, Dubai Municipality represented by Food Safety Department is developing regular programs specialized in assessing the seriousness of the food products in terms of their consumption. It is not proven that Nutella contains carcinogens, so this rumor is not right. Based on the international approved notifications, No decisions were issued regarding palm oil or any of the product’s components. This product is safe based on the production and the processing bases.”



Whether the rumors are true or not, perhaps one thing is for certain, more studies are needed to prove or put this controversy to sleep once and for all.

And what’s next, toasted bread?

To stress or not to stress?


In a city that fosters the world’s tallest sky-scrapper, a man-made palm-shaped island, the world’s largest indoor theme park and town sized malls and the infamous desert skyline – Dubai, a relatively new city, has become the definition of luxury in the region.

Simultaneously, in a city where time is money, many residents undergo certain pressures in effort to maintain the status-co and can eventually encounter somewhat of a stressful lifestyle.

Thus, in efforts to maintain a modern life, the challenges of balancing work, health and personal lives can eventually become overwhelming and stressful.

Stress is a mental state of tensed circumstances that may sometimes lead to physical or mental obstacles.

One study by The American Psychology Association (APA) has shown that money, work and family were the top sources of significant stress in 2015.

Also, within the past year, a quarter of UK employees took time off of work due to stress, according to another study.

While many of them reported the idea of approaching their boss with a stress-related work problem to have negatively added to their dilemma.

Ultimately, combining to a total loss of 13.7 million working days each year of stress-related problems in the UK.

Dr. Jigar Rasiklal Jogia, a researcher and Associate Professor at the American University of Dubai (AUD) affirmed that stress sees no boundaries and affects many of us worldwide,

“Stress is the body’s response to any kind of demand or threat or event called stressors that we appraise as threatening or challenging. When you feel threatened, your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones.”

“It could be found in all regions and areas of work, households or the public and could affect people in different intensities,” Dr. Jogia added.

There is, however, a stigma towards admitting that any kind of mental dilemma exists in the region, with many attributing stress to prehistoric ways of life and just a passing phase,

“I don’t really believe that stress can affect a person’s life greatly.”

“All our ancestors and grandparents have undergone even more stressful environments, such as wars, famine or immigration to foreign countries without half of the facilities available to us today. Somehow they have managed to continue with their lives regardless,” said Erik Makhul, a recent graduate from the American University of Beirut.

Yet studies have shown that some people are more vulnerable to the effects of stress than others and can experience it at different phases in life – APA has reported that U.S teens between 9th and 12th grade experience stress that may bear long term implications.

In other recent cases has been the U.S elections and the win of President-elect Donald Trump that has caused stress amongst U.S adults.

With a heated presidential campaign between the two electors during the past year, Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump have caused almost 52% of Americans to report feelings of stress towards the U.S election.

“We’re seeing that it doesn’t matter whether you’re registered as a Democrat or Republican — U.S. adults say they are experiencing significant stress from the current election,” says APA’s associated executive director, Lynn Bufka, on the website.

“Election stress becomes exacerbated by arguments, stories, images and videos on social media that can heighten concern and frustration, particularly with thousands of comments that can range from factual to hostile or even inflammatory,” she added.

Nonetheless, an uncommon idea is the notion that stress may not necessarily be a bad thing,

“Extreme or prolonged stress can cause harm in numerous ways and lead to poor health and well being but a certain amount of stress has been said to build resilience.” Dr. Jigar Jogia said.

With Dr. Jogia concluding that certain amounts of stress might help others thrive in areas such as the workplace or institutions, “where a level of competitiveness may unlock creativity, endurance and improve overall performance.”

Students at the American University of Dubai also reported feelings of stress during the school year like Sarah Skaf, who said,

“Stress has a big impact on my life, it affects me negatively sometimes and slows me down when I am trying to get things done in time. It also stresses me out when the job I hand in isn’t perfect or up to my standards.”

Other students think a stressful educational environment is actually the only way to go,

“Stress can make me feel really good, I do feel pressured but I end up getting a lot of work done. It gives me a sense of urgency and fulfillment, especially when the task is completed,“ said Dana Hachwa.

“It’s as if my brain is doing cardio and it feels refreshing!” She added.

If not handled properly, stress can have detrimental impacts on our moods and actions, which is why many professionals recommend adding healthy habits and avoiding caffeine, alcohol and nicotine, talking to someone about it and finally getting enough sleep.

Just like Aisha Buhari, a student at the American University concluded,

“Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I make sure I take some time to relax and catch up on some sleep for a bit before I jump back into my deadlines and submissions.”

Whether you’re feeling stressed at work, in school or in life, treat yourself to some time off and catch up on your favorite show, visit a nearby park or keep hitting that snooze button because it has never been a bad idea to just unwind and relax!