Flour power: Saudi women bakers take Instagram by storm

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Saudi baker Dareen Shakir, who runs the account @dees_cakesnbakes, fuses Middle Eastern-style sweets with Western ones and has 23,000 followers. (Photo courtesy: Omaima Al-Shareef @omi_photography)
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Saudi baker Dareen Shakir, who runs the account @dees_cakesnbakes, fuses Middle Eastern-style sweets with Western ones and has 23,000 followers. (Photo courtesy: Omaima Al-Shareef @omi_photography)
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Saudi baker Dareen Shakir, who runs the account @dees_cakesnbakes, fuses Middle Eastern-style sweets with Western ones and has 23,000 followers. (Photo courtesy: Omaima Al-Shareef @omi_photography)
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Saudi baker Dareen Shakir, who runs the account @dees_cakesnbakes, fuses Middle Eastern-style sweets with Western ones and has 23,000 followers. (Photo courtesy: Omaima Al-Shareef @omi_photography)
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Saudi baker Dareen Shakir, who runs the account @dees_cakesnbakes, fuses Middle Eastern-style sweets with Western ones and has 23,000 followers. (Photo courtesy: Omaima Al-Shareef @omi_photography)
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Saudi entrepreneurs are carving out a niche in the food business with the help of Instagram. (Instagram photo)
Updated 12 March 2018
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Flour power: Saudi women bakers take Instagram by storm

JEDDAH: There had been a dramatic increase in the number of entrepreneurs in the food business section on Instagram in the past five to six years.
The social media application was always famous for the pictures people took of their meals and uploaded to their accounts. This paved the way for the many talented bakers who had the potential to sell their goods.
They would upload the pictures and interested users of the application would order their required delicacy. The account owners usually take the responsibility of delivering it to their addresses.
These foods are unique, have a better variety and a reasonable pricing scheme. Also, these are perfect for people looking for “the taste of home.”
There are all sorts of varieties from savory to sweets. From having an account dedicated to just one item to an account with a range of products.
As time passes there are more and more accounts appearing, each one introducing a newer, more innovative idea.
There are thousands of such accounts based in Jeddah only, and those accounts have tens of thousands of followers.
@biscotti_ksa, who makes all the varieties of cookies and brownies, makes her own creations and has a following of 93,400, whereas Dareen Shakir, a 29-year-old Saudi with an American mother, who runs the account @dees_cakesnbakes, started five years ago in 2013. She fuses Middle Eastern-style sweets with Western ones and has 23,000 followers.

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“I like doing this because I have freedom, I don’t have to stick to work hours, I can take off whenever I want, and I can travel whenever I want,” Dareen said.
“The competition is high, so I can’t linger on just one type of product for too long. I have to keep renewing my products.”
Walaa Al-Sharif, 23, the Saudi girl behind the account @passionbakety.sa, has 10,200 followers. She has also collaborated with Manuel supermarkets and has a permanent spot on the supermarket’s shelves.
“I started in 2014. At that time there weren’t so many bakers, specializing in cookies,” she said.
“When I started it took me five to eight months to have clients. Also I was a student, so I took many days off, but now I am focusing on this and I hope to have a shop soon.”
The hardest part of starting the business is surely the beginning, to convince people about your product. This was properly defined by Jeddah-based Pakistani Hamna Khan, who specializes in cinnamon rolls. She is just starting out on Instagram with the name @thesugarloop.
She said: “The most difficult part is conveying the quality of my products to the people, especially because it is food. It’s not something I can write features about.
“I strongly believe that baking for people should be done with love and commitment, and I am looking forward to whatever the future holds.”


WHO: Alcohol abuse kills 3 million a year, most of them men

The logo of the World Health Organization (WHO) is pictured on the facade of the WHO headquarters on October 24, 2017 in Geneva. (AFP)
Updated 22 September 2018
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WHO: Alcohol abuse kills 3 million a year, most of them men

  • Of all deaths attributable to alcohol, 28 percent were due to injuries, such as traffic accidents and interpersonal violence
  • An estimated 2.3 billion people worldwide drink alcohol, with average daily consumption of people at 33 grams of pure alcohol a day

GENEVA: More than 3 million people died in 2016 due to drinking too much alcohol, meaning one in 20 deaths worldwide was linked to harmful drinking, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.
More than three quarters of these deaths were among men, the UN health agency said. Despite evidence of the health risks it carries, global consumption of alcohol is predicted to rise in the next 10 years.
“It’s time to step up action to prevent this serious threat to the development of healthy societies,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said.
In its “Global status report on alcohol and health 2018,” the WHO said that globally, an estimated 237 million men and 46 million women are problem drinkers or alcohol abusers. The highest prevalence is in Europe and the Americas, and alcohol-use disorders are more common in wealthier countries.
Of all deaths attributable to alcohol, 28 percent were due to injuries, such as traffic accidents and interpersonal violence. Another 21 percent were due to digestive disorders, and 19 percent due to cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes.
An estimated 2.3 billion people worldwide drink alcohol, with average daily consumption of people at 33 grams of pure alcohol a day. This is roughly equivalent to two 150 ml glasses of wine, a large (750 ml) bottle of beer or two 40 ml shots of spirits.
Europe has the highest per person alcohol consumption in the world, even though it has dropped by around 10 percent since 2010. Current trends point to a global rise in per capita consumption in the next 10 years, the report said, particularly in Southeast Asia, the Western Pacific and the Americas.
“All countries can do much more to reduce the health and social costs of the harmful use of alcohol,” said Vladimir Poznyak, of the WHO’s substance abuse unit. He said proven, cost-effective steps included raising alcohol taxes, restricting advertising and limiting easy access to alcohol.
Worldwide, 45 percent of total alcohol consumed is in the form of spirits. Beer is the second most popular, accounting for 34 percent of consumption, followed by wine at 12 percent.
The report found that almost all countries have alcohol excise taxes, but fewer than half of them use other pricing strategies such as banning below-cost sales or bulk buy discounts.