Tag: David Misselbrook

Gulf culture, social eating and health

Bahrain has sometimes been called a string of shopping malls calling itself a country. This is quite a blinkered view. Bahrain is in fact a string of shopping malls and restaurants calling itself a country. Does it matter if we don’t eat together anymore? There are various markers to suggest that it does, particularly for children. The OECD state that students who do not regularly eat with their parents are significantly more likely to truant from school, and this correlates with school performance. And according to the 2014 European Congress on Obesity, children who do not eat dinner with their parents at least twice a week were 40 percent more likely to be overweight.

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First world problems

Summer in the Gulf gets quite warm. “Trailing spouses” (yes, that is the official visa term from the Ministry of Labour) tend to migrate north for the summer. Those of us working have to dash from one air conditioned environment to another.

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Why Slazenger’s cat explains global warming

I admit that Slazenger’s cat is a red herring, but my wife was in a rail carriage a while ago, close to a small group of friends in earnest discussion. One was trying to refer to the paradox of Schrödinger’s cat, but couldn’t quite remember the name, so it came out as Slazenger’s cat, which has remained within our family folklore hereafter. But the cat that explains global warming is owned by a friend, a mathematician rather than a quantum physicist. They were faced with the perennial question – what to do with the cat when they go on...

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Tales of the Saudi causeway

The island Kingdom of Bahrain, sits like a hotter, sandier version of the Isle of Wight in the sparkling blue waters of the Arabian Gulf. It is joined to the Saudi mainland by a 25 kilometer causeway. There is a certain soap opera fascination about driving in Bahrain. Cars weave in and out on the multi-lane highways, undertaking, overtaking, wombling free. I admire their skill. Leave a foot more than a car’s length in front of you and another car will cut in. And before stopping at a red light check in your mirror whether or not the guy...

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The blue pyjama brigade: primary care in Lesotho

Here at RCSI Bahrain our students wear blue scrubs to hospital attachments, but it’s a long time since I have been in scrubs. With some trepidation I had agreed to take four final year RCSI students to work for a fortnight in a small hospital in Lesotho. Lesotho is a small mountainous nation, landlocked within South Africa. 40% of the population live on less than 1 US$ per day and almost a quarter of the adult population is HIV positive. You are 10 times more likely to die in an RTA than in the UK, and 50 times more...

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