Inspired by Middle East takes you on a journey through various countries in the Middle East and for unexpected discoveries :
in Jordan, near the Dead Sea, where the natural medicine is practised since the time of Cleopatra, thanks to a land rich in minerals ;
in Kuwait, where the popping and hip-hop dance in general, is growing more and more ;
and the united arab Emirates, where a race of a very special took place along the coastline of the capital.
The dragon boat-Abu Dhabi
The dragon boat race at Abu Dhabi takes place for 11 years and 70 teams from all over the country participate. Beyond the force, the work team is crucial.
With teams composed of 10 to 20 people, the paddlers have to coordinate to propel this ship of 275 kg made of fiber glass.
It can glide at a speed of up to 18 km/h and as we have explained to the members of the Dragons of the desert, the more the team is harmonious on the water, the more likely you are to win the race.
This is the key to success for Anan al-Amri, the only pagayeuse emirati of his multicultural team :
“Everything is in the spirit of the team. This is the best in this sport ! When you sit in this boat, that we are all synchronized, it does not form more than one !“
The tradition of dragon boating would be born there are more than 2000 years in the south of China. The sports version and modern was started in 1976 and it is now a competitive sport popular all around the world.
In the Uae, the discipline has gradually developed thanks to the Canadian Jason McKenzie, an entrepreneur who has started a club of paddlers, there are a dozen years. If at the beginning, Jason was only 20 teams to lead, it’s a whole different story today :
“When we started, nobody had the slightest idea of what was the dragon boat. Since, we are more and more numerous each year and there are now over a hundred teams that participate in competitions throughout the year.“
The united arab Emirates have, for the moment, no national team, but mixed teams of Emirati and expatriates gather at events local and international.
The crew of the Dubai Diggers have even won the world Championship of clubs in Hong Kong in 2012.
“We are the first team in the Middle East to be awarded a gold medal. It was awesome. We have won another victory in Australia, when the race mixed of 2 miles, beating a team in the philippines that was undefeated for 5 years!!!“, says Daniel Wood, a lawyer and member of the team of Diggers.
Aim for the victory, it is also the objective of the women’s team of the Emirates ! The pagayeuses have also shone this season when running the 200 metres in Abu Dhabi.
Melissa O’brien, a mother of two children, is training three times a week for 10 years now. In addition to cups and medals, she found a second family through sport :
“In the team, there are stay at home moms, women who are working… One is nicknamed ‘the blue family’ or ‘sisters ‘ paddle’. There is really a spirit very family friendly, very close-knit. We support and we pay attention to one another.“
The virtues of the Dead Sea
With its crystal clear water and the mountains of the desert, it is one of the greatest treasures of the ecological in the world.
Situated at 430 meters below sea level, the ancient Romans called the place the “Dead Sea”, and no species can survive in water as salty.
Sea water and mud, rich in minerals and vitamins, have long been used to relieve some of the disease. The egyptian queen Cleopatra has even built the first clinic in the world to this place.
More than 2000 years later, Dr Zuhair Bisharat continues to treat his patients with the same traditional practices :
“These unique elements only exist in the Dead sea, all of the salts present in the water of the Dead sea are also found in the mud. We use it to treat skin diseases such as psoriasis, arthritis, and joint disorder.“
Hans, for example, suffers from psoriasis and arthritis. He goes to the clinic every year to take care of their skin :
“In Germany, I was prescribed a lot of pills and creams, but no medicine can really help me. Every time I treat myself here at the Dead Sea, then I’m going to better for months.“
Over the last decade, natural medicine has gained in popularity. The global market for alternative medicine is expected to generate a turnover of 197 billion by 2025. Two-thirds of the world’s population who already use alternative therapies, according to the consulting firm Great Review Research.
In a spice shop in downtown Amman, Mohammad Herzalla prescribed remedies of traditional medicine for 25 years – a know-how transmitted from generation to generation.
“I have prepared remedies to relieve serious diseases such as cancer, but there are also people to treat the common cold, the flu or even upset stomach“, lists the apothecary.
The requirements of Mohammad are based on recipes of ancient muslim scholars. From the Eighth to the Thirteenth century, the arab medicine was the most developed part of the world.
Thanks to the knowledge of the herbs and spices, doctors have pushed the limits of science. The researchers explore and exploit even today their healing properties.
“The wild thyme, for example, allows you to widen the airway and relieve the symptoms of asthma“emphasizes the researcher Sameh Khatabeh.
In the Tenth century, these pharmacies were ubiquitous and free hospitals are open 24h/24.
The hospitals of the time had gardens like this one, where the ointments were prepared and prescribed to patients. Merchants roamed then the silk road, more and more exotic plants were cultivated and new drugs have been discovered.
When Genghis Khan and his mongol army conquered the islamic world in the Thirteenth century, the golden age of science ended, allowing Europe to take the reins of the medicine.
It took a millennium to see the publication of the first dictionary medical Arabic.
“I realized that there was no medical dictionary in the Arabic language. But there are over 400 million Arabs, and most of them do not speak English, he needed a, “explains Dr. Abdelaziz Allabadi, author of the first dictionary in Arabic.
The region had not only need a dictionary, it was missing also references easily accessible online. With his son Jalil, the duet family has launched Altibbi, the first platform for digital health in the Middle East and North Africa.
Kuwait not to step in the dance
After leaving the school of dance in New York following an injury, Sara al-Homood rediscover the scene of his home country :
“Here, there are more different styles, more mixes, as this either hip-hop or other dances. I discovered salsa by example.“
In the capital, the dancer of popping Doss is a true icon and an inspiration for many dancers. The star of Instagram takes advantage of his status to promote development projects for the youth.
“I use social networks to talk about my item This enables you to discover many talents, and not only with young people ! Today, even the older people appreciate my style, “says Doss al-Eidani.
The dancers of Kuwait are struggling to develop their art and integrate it in the real society. Even if it is not completely prohibited, the practice of dance is highly supervised, but the opening of a new cultural centre in the capital gives hope to young artists such as Sara.
“This is the kind of thing that can make art in general more accessible in Kuwait, especially for young people, it is really important. The scene could accommodate all kinds of dance performances. This opens up opportunities, “said the young woman.
The dancer continued her studies in economy, but it has only one dream : to one day open an own studio in his country.