The Physical Benefits of Fasting

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It protects the body from tumors.

Fasting provides protection against cancerous tumors. Similar to the surgeon’s scalpel, it removes cancerous tumors and damaged or dead cells. The hunger imposed on the body invokes the internal systems to regenerate weak cells in order to adapt to hunger. This presents the body with a golden opportunity to regain its energy and health. Fasting also protects the body from the harm of stones, calcium deposits, adenoids, cysts, and tumors in their early formations.

It protects the body from sugar.

Fasting lowers blood sugar, giving the pancreas a break. Decreasing food intake for ten hours or more means less food in the body, which means less need for insulin released by the pancreas. Thus, the pancreas relaxes, sugar levels balance, and the body regains its health.

It protects against joint pain.

Although joint pain is considered incurable, studies have proven that fasting for at least three consecutive weeks is an effective treatment for joint pain because it rids the body of poisons.


This is an excerpt of an Arabic article by Duha Isma’il published on

Syrian Cuisine and the Strange Names of its Dishes

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Syrians take pride in their cuisine among Arab countries as it is very rich and has not become a commercial and touristic exporte like the Moroccan or Lebanese cuisines, for example. It remained a hidden gem that you’ll only taste if you visit Syria or a Syrian home.

Syrians have dispersed because of the war and carried their cuisine with them to the countries of refuge.

Forget the dishes that first come to mind when thinking of Syrian cusine — Shawerma, Hummus, and Kubbeh. These are typical dishes and ones the Syrian kitchen shares with the rest of the Arab world.

We are talking about local dishes sung by the locals while many wonder whether they are really names of dishes or television competitions: Shish Barak, Al- Basha wa ‘Asakro, Ash Shakriyeh, Haraq Usaba’o, Sheikh al-Mahshi, Kishk al-Fuqara’, and others with strange names.

“These dishes cannot be older than the 17th century,” says Rita Barish, Syrian cuisine expert currently living in Berlin. She explains that in recent centuries, nutrition has turned into more of a luxury in terms of the ingredients with the development of factors that led to an increase in production and abundance, in addition to the world’s introduction to potatoes and tomatoes following the discovery of the two Americas, which changed the world’s cuisines.”


This is an excerpt of an article by Islam al-Kalhi. Read the full original Arabic article on Raseef 22.

children of heaven still

Children of Heaven Film Review

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بفيلم (أطفال الجنة) للمخرج مجيد مجيدي ستعيش حياة واقعية وبسيطة لم تحظ  بها يومًا في تاريخ مشاهداتك تقريبًا، في هذا الفيلم بدأت السينما الإيرانية في الوصول والمنافسة بشكل جدّي بالمهرجانات العالمية، حيث ترشح هذا الفيلم لجائزتي كان وأوسكار وفاز بجوائز عديدة أخرى في مهرجانات أيضًا كبرى كمونتريال ووارسو وغيرها. هذا النوع من القصص يلامس القلب؛ لأنّه بسيط ويصور الحياة الواقعية في ظروفها المعتادة، ويقدّم من خلال ذلك رموزًا ومعالجات إنسانية من خلال أحداثٍ مشوقة ومثيرة تتوالى عليك بطريقة سلسة ومؤثرة للغاية


In Children of Heaven for producer Majid Majidi, you’ll live a realistic and simple life; one you’ve never experienced in a movie before. This movie introduced the world to Iranian cinema and allowed it to seriously compete in international festivals. It was nominated for a Cannes Award and an Oscar and won many other prizes at major festivals such as in Montreal, Warsaw, and others. This type of story is heartwarming because it is simple and depicts real life and its circumstances shown through symbols and humane treatments through an exciting and touching series of events.

Read Mohammad Ibrahim Bin Omran’s full review of the movie on Arageek.

The Benefits of Silence

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Learn About the Many Benefits of Silence

Al-Araby al-Jadid

6 May 2017

We live in a world full of sounds; some are melodious and others are noisy, but rarely do we experience silence. Is this important? Actually, it is. According to the website Psychology Today, silence has several benefits, below are some.

  1. Silence contributes the development of the brain. A 2013 study about the brain’s structure and functions showed that at least two hours of silence can lead to the development of new brain cells related to learning and memory.
  2. Noise affects our stress levels through increasing cortisol and adrenaline. A study in 2006 found that silence can decrease stress within just two minutes.
  3. Silence helps the body and mind relax more than listening to music, as indicated through lower blood pressure and an increase of blood flow to the brain.
  4. Periods of silence improve sleep.
  5. 20th century studies linked between noise pollution and higher percentages of heart disease and ringing in the ear (Tinnitus). The World Health Organization likened this pollution to a “modern plague”.
  6. Conor O’Shea, who interviewed 100 people on a retreat, found that they had increased levels of awareness and gave more time to reflection. Everyone should listen to their inner voice before making decisions.
  7. Silence helps increase our ability to think. This might seem obvious but often we find ourselves forced to finish a report amidst noise and some people study while listening to music; several studies have shown that this is not [productive for focusing].
  8. Caroline Myss says, “The soul always knows exactly what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to quiet the mind.” How to achieve that is up to you. For example, you can meditate for 10 minutes in complete silence and this might help you calm down and think of what to do. Give priority to what matters, then, the secondary details will be what you always wanted them to be, secondary.
  9. Abraham Lincoln says, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” We must realize that silence is many times the best strategy, not jut for ourselves, but for others as well. Not everyone wants to hear your opinion. Before you speak, ask yourself, “Is this beneficial? Do I have to say this?

This is a translation of an Arabic report that appeared on Al-Araby al-Jadid.

A Japanese Surprise…Beware of the Victory Sign

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In a strange piece of news, the National Institute of Information in Japan announced that making the v-sign in photos is not recommended, in fact completely unsafe,  as it may lead to identity theft.

According to DP Review, a website concerned with the latest technologies in the world of photography, a report issued by the Institute said that the technology of determining fingerprints has become so unbelievably advanced that it can now determine the hand- or fingerprints of any individual through a simple photo published on SnapChat or any other social media network. They warned that the technology is widely available and easy to use.

According to the Institute, this advancement is thanks to smart phones with high resolution cameras that can capture much detail. Researchers were able to copy fingerprints from a photo that was taken using a mobile phone three meters away from the subject. However, naturally, the copying requires that the fingerprints be clear in the photo and that the photo be taken somewhere bright and that it meets a certain size and quality.


Read the original Arabic article published on Al Arabiya on 19 January, 2017.

Palestinian-Icelandic Author Mazen Maarouf Wins AlMultaqa Short Story Prize

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الفلسطيني مازن معروف يفوز بجائزة (الملتقى) للقصة القصيرة في الكويت


من محمود حربي


الكويت (رويترز) – فاز الفلسطيني مازن معروف يوم الاثنين بجائزة (الملتقى) للقصة القصيرة العربية في الكويت في دورتها الأولى عن مجموعته (نكات للمسلحين) وقيمتها 20 ألف دولار.


وتتضمن المجموعة الفائزة 14 قصة قصيرة تسرد الواقع غير المنطقي من وجهة نظر طفل يعيش حياته اليومية في ظل حرب لا تتصدر موضوع القصص إنما تعتبره واقعا فانتازيا يعيشه الطفل ومن خلاله يقص المؤلف الرؤى الإنسانية والمفارقات والدعابات الساخرة.


والمجموعة الصادرة عن دار رياض الريس للكتب والنشر في بيروت هي الأولى للمؤلف الفلسطيني/الأيسلندي الذي ولد في لبنان عام 1978 لعائلة فلسطينية. وحصل معروف على بكالوريوس في الكيمياء من كلية العلوم بالجامعة اللبنانية وعمل لعدة سنوات بتدريس الكيمياء قبل أن يبدأ مشواره الأدبي في 2008 وصدرت له سابقا ثلاث مجموعات شعرية.


وقال معروف لرويتز بعد تسلمه الجائزة “لهذه الجائزة رمزية كبيرة لأنها ترد الاعتبار لأدب القصة القصيرة وهي تعزز المشهد الثقافي الفلسطيني وتكرم الكاتب الفلسطيني فأنا مولود في الشتات ولم أزر فلسطين إلا مؤخرا.”



Palestinian Mazen Maarouf Al Multaqa Arabic Short Story Prize in Kuwait

Kuwait (Reuters)- Palestinian Mazen Maarouf won on Monday, 5 December, the Al-Multaqa Arabic Short Story Prize of $20,000 in Kuwait. Maarouf received the first edition of the Prize for his collection “Jokes of the Gunmen”.

The winning collection includes 14 short stories that narrate the senseless reality from the point of view of a child living his everyday life amidst a war that is not the subject of the stories, but is rather seen as a fantasy reality the child lives and through which the author illustrates human visions, paradoxes, and sarcastic jokes.

The collection published by Riad El-Rayyes for Books and Publishing in Beirut is the Palestinian-Icelandic author’s first. Maarouf was born in Lebanon in 1978 to a Palestinian family. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the School of Sciences at the Lebanese University and worked as a chemistry teacher for a few years before starting his journey in literature and writing in 2008. He has three poetry collections published previously.

Upon receiving the Prize, Maarouf told Reuters that “this Prize has a major symbolic meaning as it brings back esteem to the short story, strengthens the Palestinian cultural scene, and honors the Palestinian writer; I was born in the diaspora and did not visit Palestine until recently.”

Read the full Reuters article by Mahmoud Harbi.

Egyptian Globe-Trotter: “The most dangerous and difficult journey I embarked on was the journey of discovering myself, my inner journey.”

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Egyptian globe-trotter Islam Kamel embarked on many adventures. He climbed the world’s most famous mountains, swam with white sharks in the Atlantic, walked alongside lions in the jungles of Zambia, befriended the gorillas of the Congo mountains, and crossed the world’s most turbulent rivers in a rubber boat. He is also the first Arab to dive under the Antarctic ice sheet, among many other adventures. But when we asked him about the most difficult adventure he has had, his answer is unexpected: “The most dangerous and difficult journey I embarked on was the journey of discovering myself, my inner journey.”

Islam finds that travel gives him the chance to rediscover himself. He says, “I find that during travel, no matter how strange the destination is, it’s another journey to the inside, to discover the self, challenge it, test the limits of its skill; it is a chance to develop and grow into a better human being on several levels. I used to fear, water, dogs, and even cats! Then, in one moment, I decided to face all these fears, to push past their limits. For example, if I feared sharks, then I would have to swim with them and so in constantly pushing the limits of what I thought were my maximum abilities. I started testing myself in different situations when I found that only when we give ourselves the chance to try are we really surprised with what we can do. That is the basis of my philosophy in life now.”

To view more of Islam Kamel’s adventures visit The Adrenaline Blog’s Facebook page and website.

Read the full Arabic article by Mustafa Fathi.