PARIS: UNESCO has included mansaf, the national dish of Jordan, on its list of intangible cultural heritage.
A file was submitted to the organization, “Mansaf in Jordan: A Ceremonial Feast and Its Social and Cultural Connotations,” in March 2021, in a bid to include the dish on the list, the Jordan News Agency reported.
Makram Qaisi, Jordan’s permanent representative to UNESCO, said that the addition was announced during the 17th session of the intergovernmental committee for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage, being held in Rabat, Morocco, from Nov. 27 to Dec. 3.
Mansaf plays a central role in Jordan’s sense of identity and is linked to the country’s lifestyle, in which meat and dairy are abundant.
Qaisi praised the efforts of the Jordanian public and private institutions, in collaboration with the permanent delegation to UNESCO, for helping to obtain recognition for the dish.
Other additions such as the oud, Khawlani coffee, and holy festivals, from Saudi Arabia, Oman, the UAE, and Egypt, have also been added to the UNESCO list in 2022.
’Constant danger’: Life after leprosy, a long neglected disease
Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, has been haunting humanity for at least 4,000 years, often affecting the poorest communities
Updated 30 January 2023
PARIS: Dan Izzett has lived with leprosy’s effects on his body for 70 years, and has lost much to what he calls an “ancient, fascinating, very unkind disease.”
The Zimbabwean former civil engineering technician and pastor was diagnosed at the age of 25 in 1972, but first contracted the disease when he was just five.
That long incubation period gave the bacteria that causes leprosy, Mycobacterium leprae, lots of time to spread through his body.
His right leg was amputated in 1980 in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare. Now 75, Izzett has no feeling above his elbows, below his knees or in 70 percent of his face.
That lack of feeling poses a “constant danger,” Izzett told AFP in a phone call from his home in southwest England.
In October 2020, “I put my hands on a hot plate and hadn’t noticed it until I could smell my flesh burning,” he said, leading to the amputation of the middle finger of his right hand.
The following year, the little toe on his left foot was amputated. Last month, he lost another toe.
Izzett said he chose to speak out about his experience because millions of survivors who were less well off were unable to, partly because of the stigma and discrimination that still surrounds the disease.
Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, has been haunting humanity for at least 4,000 years, often affecting the poorest communities.
It is a considered a neglected tropical disease by the World Health Organization, and remains under researched and little discussed compared to many other illnesses.
In 2021, more than 140,500 new cases were detected worldwide, nearly three quarters of them in Brazil, India and Indonesia, according to the WHO.
However pandemic-related disruptions have led to nearly 40 percent fewer cases being detected a year, with fears that tens of thousands have gone undiagnosed.
Even before the pandemic, the official numbers likely did not reflect reality.
“We know the number of patients who have been tested, but we do not count the forgotten, undetected patients,” said Bertrand Cauchoix, a leprosy specialist at the Raoul Follereau Foundation in France.
This is in part because the disease’s incubation period can last up to 20 years. Testing and diagnosis also takes time, during which patients could potentially infect their family members.
Before he received his diagnosis, said Izzett, “my wife got the disease from me.”
Back in the 1970s, Izzett was given the antibiotic Dapsone, which was then a lifetime treatment.
In the mid-80s, a combination of drugs including Dapsone known as multidrug therapy (MDT) became available. It can cure leprosy over a 12-month course — though nerve damage and other remnants of the disease remain.
Mathias Duck, a former chaplain in Paraguay’s capital Asuncion, only needed six-months of MDT after being diagnosed with leprosy in 2010.
“I consider myself the luckiest person affected by leprosy because I was diagnosed and treated in time and so I have no impairments whatsoever,” the 44-year-old told AFP.
The WHO provides MDT to patients worldwide for free, with Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis donating doses since 2000.
However there has been little progress for new treatments.
“There is no money for leprosy, only charitable donations,” Cauchoix said.
Alexandra Aubry, a specialist at the Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases in France, evaluates whether every new antibiotic developed for other illnesses could also be used for leprosy.
Her laboratory is one of the few in the world able to carry out tests on the leprosy bacteria, which does not survive in a petri dish.
They are trying to find a way to “simplify” treatment so it can take less than six months, she said.
There are also a couple of vaccines being developed, though they remain in early phases of human testing.
“It is very complex to get funding for this,” Aubry said.
“To assess the effectiveness of a vaccine, you have to follow the vaccinated population for 10 to 15 years,” with the timeframe extended further by the disease’s long incubation period, she said.
In comparison to how swiftly the world responded to Covid, leprosy efforts are “a drop in the bucket,” Duck said, calling for far more research and political action.
But he added that there is something everyone can do for World Leprosy Day on Sunday — stop using the word “leper.”
“We call it the ‘L word’,” Duck said, describing it as discriminatory.
“It’s a little step that most people can do,” he added, “to give people affected by leprosy “the dignity they deserve.”
The menu also offers dishes inspired by countries around the globe including egg-bun sliders and eggs benedict, egg tornado served the Asian way, and Italian pesto sandwiches
Updated 29 January 2023
Very few things brighten up the day like enjoying breakfast and coffee with friends at a bright and beautiful cafe. Newly opened on King Abdulaziz Road in Al-Shati district, Trieste has it all.
The cafe offers both outdoor and indoor seating options and an impressive international breakfast and brunch menu with plenty of choices.
The name is inspired by an eponymous seaport in northeast Italy. The eatery has bright walls enhanced by the sunlight streaming in through the tall windows. The high-ceiling interiors have a European and Nordic vibe that comes from the combination of rustic and modern aesthetics. The cafe’s musical playlist completes the mood.
For a refreshing early morning drink, I ordered Bungalow, a thirst-quenching mojito with passionfruit and mango. My breakfast involved two different options of the Trieste tartine, a French-style open sandwich. The first was a slice of sourdough bread topped with fried halloumi, labneh, figs and apples, and drizzled with sweet and sour balsamic sauce.
The tartine avocado was a sourdough bread paired with guacamole, creamy feta cheese, and roasted hazelnut, which added some exciting crunch to the dish. This was topped with a sprinkling of pomegranate and molasses.
The menu also offers dishes inspired by countries around the globe including egg-bun sliders and eggs benedict, egg tornado served the Asian way, and Italian pesto sandwiches. There are also Middle Eastern falafel bites, which are cheesy falafel balls served with pesto tahini sauce and a salad mix.
It’s hard to miss out on coffee and dessert at Trieste. I ordered a caffe latte to start the day along with the Trieste pancake which is covered with fresh blackberry jam, sprinkled with toasted oats, and topped with melted butter and labneh cream. The pancakes are served on a plate with a maple syrup base to double the joy in every bite.
Trieste has four branches in Riyadh. For more information visit their Instagram @trieste_sa.
JEDDAH: MYLK cafe in Alkhobar aims to provide customers with a relaxing environment in which to work or unwind.
Located in Pepsi Street, the modern bakery has a European-style interior and offers products made using ingredients sourced from local family-owned farms including baked goods, pastries, seasonal fruit jams, and dairy items.
Its chewy, rich New York chocolate chip cookies are irresistible, and the strawberry, peach, and mango jam brioche topped with fresh sour cream is a tasty combination of flavors.
Special winter treats include hot chocolate with torched marshmallows, cheesecake s’mores, and The Cube, a piece of brioche topped with fresh vanilla ice cream.
MYLK also offers freshly made granola options that can be accompanied with a bowl of milk and topped with mini marshmallows, caramelized rice crispy hazelnut, and mini meringue.
As the name of the cafe implies, milk is prominent on its menu, with fresh milk served in glass bottles, a peanut butter milkshake being its signature drink, and almond milk available as a non-dairy option.
Review: Shababik Restaurant — follow in Ronaldo’s footsteps at this authentic Lebanese hotspot in Saudi Arabia
Updated 26 January 2023
RIYADH: Shababik restaurant’s pop-up location in Diriyah, Riyadh, made headlines recently when Portuguese football legend Cristiano Ronaldo, who recently signed for local team Al Nassr, stopped by for dinner with Saudi Minister for Sport Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal.
Shababik serves authentic Levantine cuisine. It launched in 2014 in Jeddah, and the pop-up will be open until Feb. 22 as part of Diriyah Nights.
Shababik’s outdoor terrace makes it an ideal place to visit while the weather is cool (there are heaters provided to make sure it’s not too chilly). Sitting outside gives you the opportunity to take in the surrounding palm trees and urban art, and the nearby architecture, which is inspired by the traditional Najdi style. It’s a relaxed, peaceful atmosphere — although the restaurant does occasionally host live music.
We visited earlier this month to sample a little of the Ronaldo lifestyle.
For starters, we selected the hummus with meat. It was fresh and tasty, but lacked the all-important final touch: a drizzle of olive oil. The Fattah — a staple dish of cooked eggplant and toasted croutons — was a great way to begin the meal, and we also enjoyed the cheese roll, which was dusted in wild thyme and served grilled rather than fried, giving it that slight crunch without the grease.
The oriental potatoes were fine, if a little lackluster. They needed more flavor to really bring the dish to life.
From the seafood menu, we selected the grilled prawns in a marinade of buttery garlic and lemon sauce with chopped cilantro. The prawns were tender and beautifully cooked, and the sauce complemented them well.
The highlight of the meal was the lamb shank oriental rice wrapped in pita bread. The cinnamon-and-pistachio aftertaste was especially interesting and really worked to enhance the flavors of the meat.