Photo Story – 7 of 7

Middle East Living
The modern lifestyle of many Middle East Arabs is far from healthy. Night time can often involve hanging out in cafes or restaurants to watch a televised football match while smoking flavoured shisha. There is a misconception among many that because the smoke is forced through the water pipe that it is somehow less toxic. But research shows that the sweet smelling smoke is even more harmful that normal cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoking itself is also far more extensive than back in MB’s homeland.

The historic activity of nomadic desert migration is long since replaced by the wandering from the Baskin & Robbins oasis to McDonald’s to Dunkin Donut and others in search of the nightly fix. Very often the Arab driver will honk the car horn outside the restaurant of choice and the restaurant workers will rush out to take the order. They will return again minutes later with the high carb food, ensuring that Mohammad didn’t even have to take the short walk from car to counter before he wolfed it down.

The climate of course isn’t conducive to physical activity for much of the year. But there are at least 5 to 6 months when the weather is excellent for an evening stroll or jog, or any other kind of sporting activity you care to mention. There is no historical culture of sport however, so participation levels by locals are very low, as much as MB has observed. The Dubai marathon each year for example, has thousands of participants, but native numbers are lamentably poor, despite the best efforts of the Government to encourage local participation. The present nightly summer temps are in the mid thirties but the only joggers that MB sees on his nightly outings are fellow Westies.

Eating habits are also a cause of concern. The month of fasting from sunrise to sunset that is called Ramadan actually witnesses many Arabs gaining weight, as they gorge themselves at the evening ‘Iftar’ meal and the body is just unable to burn off the calories consumed during the following very shortened working day of that month. Eating to excess is commonplace even throughout the remainder of the year, as the traditional evening meal involves many and varied starters which must each be sampled, followed by large plates of meat and rice with various yoghurts, and a desert course. Then a creamy mocha or cappuccino to wash it all down following by the obligatory puffing of the hooka pipe. The incidence of diabetes, for all the above reasons, has risen dramatically in recent years and regional health authorities speak of a diabetes epidemic in the coming years.

All in all, many similarities with many western countries as you can see!



6 Comments on “Photo Story – 7 of 7

  1. That was a surprisingly fair and interesting post to be recommended for middle east dwellers to read. I am not sure that kind advise would be taken but at least attempt was good. I believe that even 5-6 months of harsh blistering scorcher is not an excuse of lazy lifestyle as many high tech gyms are available. Of course here there is no such quality like in Rio.
    Once I met fellow Sao Paolian who was invited and very well paid to teach brazilian jiujitsu for government officers in Abu-Dhabi


    • Your Ruskie comments are noted with both amusement and thanks Mr R. You are no doubt blessed with much gold to be able to travel to remote and exotic locations such as Rio. Praise the good Lord and wish MB was so lucky. The jujitsu idea no doubt appealed to a man such as yourself from a country of much military adventure, misadventure and sad defeat. MB will endeavour to keep producing the “surprisingly fair and interesting” posts that has aroused you so much on this occasion. Keep those comments coming Mr R. And keep well.


  2. Are women not allowed to gather at cafes during the evening hours?

    I live in pure ignorance of the Middle Eastern Lifestyles, mainly for fear that if I search to read about it I will be considered a person of interest…while living in a my native country that espouses freedoms galore.

    Sad and pathetic, I find this morally corrupt, for wouldn’t we all be better stewards of humanity if we threw open the windows of our minds and set out to discover the wonder, uniqueness and the similarities that we share?

    My glass is always half full, and I live to see the day where we might turn the tide, reaching out to one another, building bridges rather than burning them.


    • Interesting question CG. Depends on which country you live in and how high up the social/financial tree you are. Your question prompts me to write a separate post on the subject in which I will try to answer you more fully. Must also look up my photo library in relation to same.
      As for becoming ‘a person of interest’, that is a sad fact of modern life in most countries as much as I can see. Our electronic footprint is always viewable so thus it is. Same in my region as yours.
      Anyway CG, thanks for the query and watch this space!

      Liked by 1 person

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