Ajwa dates contain cancer-preventing property

Updated 05 October 2013
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Ajwa dates contain cancer-preventing property

A new research says it has found evidence that the Ajwa date from Madinah contains active elements useful in the prevention of diseases like cancer.
The research was carried out in Riyadh-based King Saud University (KSU) to discover the health benefits of Ajwa dates, which resulted in the finding that the fruit has anti-inflammatory properties similar to commercially available drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin.
The study found that the inhibition rate in Ajwa was equal to existing commercial anti-oxidant products available in the market. The research was published in the 61st issue of the US-based journal for agriculture and food chemistry, a KSU official said.
The official said that professor Muraleedharan Nair, head of the natural materials laboratory at the University of Michigan, conducted the research in collaboration with KSU’s date palm research chair. A number of researchers from both the universities participated in the study.
Saleh A. Aldosari, the chair’s supervisor, said the research was the first among a series of studies being conducted at the center to study the main types of dates found in Saudi Arabia. The research projects are supported by KSU as well as King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and the Kingdom’s national plan for research projects.
King Saud University has adopted a policy of pursuing scientific leadership through its many scientific research chairs, which are sponsored by the university’s agency for graduate studies and scientific research.
The dark brown Ajwa date from the Madinah region of the Kingdom is known for its softness, dryness and high price in the Kingdom’s date market.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also mentioned the benefits of the Ajwa, saying they prevent certain diseases.
According to health experts, Ajwa dates contain many flavonoid glycosides, which have anti-oxidant properties. Beyond the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, the sugar in Ajwa dates is only monosaccharaides, making the date beneficial for people who suffer from Type 2 diabetes.
Ajwa dates are also found to have a cyclo-oxygenase inhibitory effect that is similar to commercial anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, celebrex and naproxen.


Saudis recall history’s greatest TV event: Apollo moon landing

Updated 20 July 2019
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Saudis recall history’s greatest TV event: Apollo moon landing

  • The TV images beamed from 320,000km away in space left viewers astounded but happy
  • The TV coverage influenced thinking and attitudes in the Kingdom just like everywhere else

DUBAI: It was a sleepy afternoon in Saudi Arabia, just days before the end of the school vacation, and Saudis had their eyes glued to their TV sets as they waited for live coverage of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Before July 20, 1969, the idea of a human walking on the moon was the stuff of science fiction. However, almost overnight, sci-fi had turned into reality with a live broadcast showing American astronaut Neil Armstrong’s dramatic descent onto the empty lunar landscape.

Between science fiction and science fact, the live coverage of the lunar landing amounted to an unusual fusion of news and entertainment.

Saudi TV technicians bring the first live images of Neil Armstrong’s 1969 moon landing to
viewers around the Kingdom. (Supplied photo)

The historic images — beamed back to Earth more than 320,000 km away — left Saudi viewers astounded and confused, but mostly elated to be witnessing such an epoch-making event.

The event was covered live on television and radio stations in Saudi Arabia. Most Saudis and residents living in the Kingdom watched it on Saudi channels 1 and 3, owned by Saudi Aramco.

Hessah Al-Sobaie, a housewife from Al-Dawadmi, recalled watching the moon landing from her grandparents’ backyard as an 11-year-old.

“It felt weird watching a human walk on the moon,” she told Arab News. “I remember the endless questions I asked as a child.”

While most people were aware that going to the moon was risky, many Saudis believed that such a journey was impossible and all but unthinkable.


EVENTS WATCH

1. NASA’s Apollo 11 mission control room in Houston has been restored to its 1969 condition and regular tours
will be conducted by the Johnson Space Center.

2. NASA ‘Science Live’ will have a special edition on July 23 on board the aircraft carrier that recovered the Apollo 11 capsule.

3. A summer moon festival and family street fair will be held in Wapakoneta, Ohio, from July 17-20.

4. Downtown Houston’s Discovery green will host a free public screening of the ‘Apollo 11’ documentary, with an appearance by NASA astronaut Steve Bowen.

5. Amateur radio operators will host a series of events on July 20-21.

6. The US Space and Rocket Center is staging a special ‘Rockets on Parade’ exhibition.


The Apollo 11 mission prompted discussions across the Middle East over the reality of what people saw on their TV screens. Some Saudi scholars found it hard to believe their eyes.

“I watched it, and I clearly remember each and every detail of the coverage,” Hayat Al-Bokhari, 68, a retired school principal in Jeddah, said.

“My father, Abdul, was 56 at the time. He said the landing was faked. He couldn’t believe or accept that a human could go to the moon.”

Khaled Almasud, 70, a retired university lecturer, was a student in the US state of Oregon at the time of the mission. “Americans were stunned and over the moon, happy with their national achievement. But many Saudis like me were either in denial or insisting on more proof.”

Since the beginning of the 1960s, King Faisal had been rapidly transforming Saudi Arabia, inviting foreign-trained experts to help build a modern country with world-class infrastructure.

Billie Tanner, now 90, lived in the Kingdom for many years with her husband, Larry, and their two children, Laurie and Scott, aged six and four. The family had just arrived in Saudi Arabia and headed to the Aramco compound in Ras Tanura in the Eastern Province.

A screengrab of video of the first lunar landing beamed toward Earth and shown on television worldwide. 

“We were going through a culture shock,” she told Arab News. “I wasn’t thinking of the moon landing, but we heard about it on the news from Dhahran.

“My kids tried to see the astronauts on the moon with their binoculars and said they could see them walking around.”

The Apollo 11 spaceflight has become a milestone in the annals of human history and science. Since 1969 space exploration has greatly expanded man’s knowledge of the universe, far beyond Earth’s limits.

The captivating live coverage of the moon landing inspired millions of people around the world, profoundly influencing their thinking and attitudes.

The people of Saudi Arabia were no exception.