500kg Egyptian sheds half her weight after India surgery

A combination of images released on Thursday shows Egyptian patient Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty at her a hospital bed at The Saifee Hospital in Mumbai after an operation on March 8, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 21 April 2017
0

500kg Egyptian sheds half her weight after India surgery

MUMBAI: The “world’s heaviest woman” has shed half her weight — around a quarter of a ton — in the two months she’s been in India for treatment, doctors said.
Egyptian national Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty weighed 500 kilogrammes (1,100 pounds) when she arrived in Mumbai in February on a specially modified plane to undergo emergency weight-loss surgery.
In videos provided this week by the Saifee Hospital, where the 37-year-old successfully had bariatric surgery last month, Abd El Aty can be seen sitting up and smiling while listening to music.
“She looks a happier and slimmer version of her past self. She can finally fit into a wheelchair and sit for a longer period of time, something we never dreamt of three months back,” said a statement from doctors, announcing that she had lost 250 kilos.
Abd El Aty had not left her home in Egypt’s Mediterranean port city of Alexandria for two decades until she arrived in India’s commercial capital on February 11.
She was put on a special liquid diet to get her weight down to a low enough level for doctors to perform bariatric surgery, essentially a stomach-shrinking bypass procedure carried out on those wanting to lose excessive weight.
The diet helped Abd El Aty lose around 100 kilos in a month, allowing doctors to operate on her in early March.
Abd El Aty’s family say that as a child she was diagnosed with elephantiasis, a condition that causes the limbs and other body parts to swell, leaving her almost immobile.
The Egyptian has suffered several strokes and faced a series of other serious ailments owing to her weight including diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension and sleep deprivation. She is unable to speak properly and is partially paralyzed.

“She continues to lose weight rapidly and is awaiting the moment she can fit into a CT scan machine to know the cause of her right-sided paralysis and convulsions,” doctors added in the statement published on the “Save Eman Cause” website Wednesday.
Muffazal Lakdawala, the doctor leading Abd El Aty’s treatment, added in a separate post that they hoped to put her on a trial obesity drug in six months. Doctors are trying to procure it from the United States, he said.
In July last year, the Guinness Book of World Records recorded American Pauline Potter as the world’s heaviest woman at 293 kilos, well above Abd El Aty’s current weight.


Battle of the bakers in Cairo’s ‘kunafa war’

Egypt’s makers of kunafa are battling to outdo each other with the most outlandish creations of the pastry.
Updated 25 min 16 sec ago
0

Battle of the bakers in Cairo’s ‘kunafa war’

  • Egyptian sweet makers are adding a modern spin to the dish that originated in Palestine, adding a range of unusual ingredients to their creations. 
  • Kunafa in Egypt is traditionally crunchy on the top and bottom with sugar or honey sweetening it with fillings in between such as cheese, mixed nuts, raisins and custard.

CAIRO: It has long been a treat savored during Ramadan across the Arab world. But in Egypt, makers of kunafa are battling to outdo each other with the most outlandish creations of the pastry.

Most versions of kunafa appear indulgent to even the most sweet-toothed, with its ingredients of mild cheese covered with layers of shredded phyllo pastry, soaked in a sugar syrup, but its modern interpreters are making it even more of a treat. 

Egyptian sweet makers are adding a modern spin to the dish that originated in Palestine, adding a range of unusual ingredients to their creations. 

“The beauty of kunafa as a pastry is that we can cook it in a variety of options,” Petra Mohamed, a Cairo cook, told Arab News. “You can leave it long, short or broken into pieces, which makes it easier for new ideas. 

“I personally love to serve the trifle kunafa full of mixed fruits. The mix of soft and crunchy is simply amazing.” 

Kunafa in Egypt is traditionally crunchy on the top and bottom with sugar or honey sweetening it with fillings in between such as cheese, mixed nuts, raisins and custard.

A few years ago, a new trend from a younger generation of chefs sent traditionalists into a meltdown.

One particular new favorite has been a combination of mango and whipped cream. 

“The wave started in 2010 with the introduction of mangoes and then seasonal fruits was introduced,” said Mohammed.

“Later, kunafa with Nutella was introduced and people went crazy for it. From then onwards the creation of new ideas didn’t stop: Red velvet kunafa, dates kunafa, kunafa bites with mixed fillings ... the list goes on.”

This year, one Egyptian pastry shop, TBS Fresh introduced its cronafa, a pastry made from croissant rolled in kunafa that comes with a variety of fillings: cream and pistachio, Nutella and nuts, dates and lotus, halawa and sesame.

Another pastry shop, Etoile, introduced the kunafa with avocado, which received mixed reviews.

Nola, a trendy pastry shop, which offers kunafa cupcakes, introduced the kunafa volcano this year, a crusty confection filled with chocolate and custard.

Tasting the new kunafas has become a Ramadan trend with the reactions from sweet-toothed Egyptians providing a great deal of entertainment.

“My blood is full of kunafa,” said Yomna Hassan, a 27-year-old housewife from Cairo.

“Kunafa with cream is the best created invention after the electricity and Messi,” added Mohammed Abdel Megeed.

But for older consumers of the treat, the elaborate incarnations have left them longing for something more traditional.

“We are the generation of kunafa with gee not with mango,” said Yousef Ahmed.

Decoder

The origins of kunafa

The word kunafa comes from the Arabic verb “ka-na-fa” meaning mercy. Originating from Nablus in Palestine, kunafa nablusi is the most famous incarnation of the sweet. Traditional ingredients include nablusi (white brined) cheese, phyllo pastry, pistachio nuts, sugar syrup and rose water.