’World’s heaviest woman’ dies in Abu Dhabi hospital

(FILES) This file photo taken on July 24, 2017 shows Egyptian national Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty waving during a press conference at the Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi. Aty, once believed to be the 'world's heaviest woman', died on September 25, 2017, of heart and kidney failure at the Abu Dhabi hospital. (AFP)
Updated 25 September 2017
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’World’s heaviest woman’ dies in Abu Dhabi hospital

ABU DHABI: An Egyptian believed to be the world’s heaviest woman died Monday of heart and kidney failure at an Abu Dhabi hospital, following months of treatment to help her lose weight and one day walk again.
A team of more than 20 doctors had been caring for the bedridden Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty, 37, since her arrival at Burjeel Hospital in May.
El Aty first sought treatment in India, traveling from the port city of Alexandria to Mumbai aboard a specially modified Airbus in early February.
She had a long wait as no airlines were willing to fly her due to her health complications.
She had not left home in more than two decades and weighed around 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds).
Her request for an Indian visa was initially denied, but she was granted passage after the doctor who volunteered to do her initial surgery tweeted a plea for help directly to India’s foreign minister, who intervened.
She underwent bariatric surgery — a stomach-shrinking bypass procedure — the following month, initially shedding 100 kilograms at Saifee Hospital.
Her family told the doctor 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.
By the time she left Mumbai, doctors said El Aty had lost more than half her original weight.
El Aty left Mumbai when her sister clashed with the hospital, disputing her progress and treatment.
In Abu Dhabi’s Burjeel Hospital, doctors were hoping to help El Aty walk again, according to a report in the Indian Express.
El Aty celebrated her birthday last month with her family and doctors by her side.
The Alexandria native had dreamed to one day visit the beach again, the Indian Express said, quoting her sister.


The man who leads 10 million chefs from his kitchen in Saudi Arabia

Thomas Gugler (left) is based in Saudi Arabia. (Photo supplied)
Updated 15 July 2018
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The man who leads 10 million chefs from his kitchen in Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: As far as a career in food goes, Thomas Gugler seems to have done it all — from working with five-star hotels and gourmet restaurants to hospitals, airlines, mass catering and teaching in universities. Having worked in 13 different countries across the spectrum of the food and beverage industry, Gugler moved to Saudi Arabia in 2002 to join Saudi Arabian Airlines as their executive master chef. In 2009, he co-founded the Saudi Arabian Chefs Association.

“I knew I wanted to become a chef since I was two,” Gugler told Arab News. “My mother and grandmother were both fantastic cooks and that’s how I fell in love with this profession.”

He’s come a long way since he was two in his 35-year-long career, 17 of which he has spent in Saudi Arabia.

Now, as president of the World Association of Chefs Societies, he is tasked with the significant responsibility of leading more than 10 million members from across 110 countries.

“We organize worldwide cooking competitions and educational programs, as well as look into issues such as sustainability and cultural cooking. Our role is to build bridges between the commercial part and the consumers.”

With the head of such a prestigious global organization being based in Saudi Arabia, the local industry should be poised for growth, but, according to Gugler, there is plenty of room for improvement.

“Generally, the cooking and food standards here are not the best but with time and effort all this will be developed more and more,” he said.

Socio-political changes and the boost to the Saudi tourism sector will go a long way in developing the food and beverage industry, he believes.

“This will motivate and benefit the entire hospitality industry and raise the level, which is necessary. Stricter rules, regulations and food safety practices will encourage young and talented people in the industry to become better. It’s a golden opportunity,” Gugler said

His personal preference in food veers toward the local. “I like Arabic cuisine. The best kind is the cultural ethnic cuisine, the heritage of which can be traced back centuries. The local Hijazi cuisine is something no one should miss,” he said.