housands of worshippers thronged the Grand Mosque early yes-
terday to spend the night of the 27th of Ramadan in prayer and
supplication. But the number of attendees was fewer than in pre-
vious years, possibly due to tightened security measures, construction
works and multiple layers of checks. Worshippers had to pass through
metal detectors and undergo body pat downs before entering the
mosque. Streets surrounding the mosque were cordoned off, and
unlike previous years, praying on the streets surrounding the mosque
As on other nights, eight rakaats of tahajjud were performed, fol-
lowed by three rakaats of witr. The first four rakaats were led by Sheikh
Ahmad Al-Nafees, and the remaining by Sheikh Meshari Al-Afasy. In
the interval, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Qattan delivered a short sermon,
extolling the virtues of memorizing the Holy Quran and urging the
Arab and Muslim nation to stay united.
The Grand Mosque in Kuwait is the hub of worship in Kuwait in
Ramadan, and thousands pack its cavernous interiors throughout
Ramadan. Many believe ‘Laylatul Qadr’ (Night of Power or Decree) falls
on night of the 27th of Ramadan, but this is not a confirmed fact as
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) instructed Muslims to hunt for this night
on the odd-numbered nights of the last ten days of Ramadan. Qiyam
ul-layl or special nightly prayers are therefore held during these nights
at the Grand Mosque and many other mosques across Kuwait.
Laylatul Qadr holds great significance for Muslims, and the last ten
nights of Ramadan are spent in prayer and meditation. Ubaadah bin
Saamit (RA) reports that he asked the Prophet (PBUH) about Laylatul
Qadr. He replied: “It is in Ramadan, during the last ten days, on the
unevenly numbered nights, either the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, 29th or
the last night of Ramadan. Whosoever stands in ‘ibaadah’ (worship) on
this night, with sincere faith and with genuine hopes of gaining
reward, his previous sins will be forgiven. Among the signs of this night
is that it is a serene, quiet, shining night, neither hot, nor cold but tem-
perate as if a moon is shining clear, and no meteors are shot at the dev-
ils on that night; it lasts until the break of the dawn. Another sign is
that at morn, the sun rises without any radiant beams of light, appear-
ing rather like the moon in its fullness. On that day, Allah prohibits the
devils from rising up with the sun.”
FRIDAY, JUNE 23, 2017
he United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is
on the verge of freezing its program of assis-
tance to the children of Syria. This is certainly
shocking news. Money is pouring in the coffers of
terrorist organizations and various armed groups in
t h e w o r l d . W e a l t h y m e m b e r s o f t h e M u s l i m
Brotherhood in all parts of the world are living in
comfort and are content with the privileges and
money being collected for them. But the UNICEF is
facing the threat of ending its work due to the lack of
m o n e y a n d s u p p o r t . I t i s u n a b l e t o a c h i e v e i t s
humanitarian goals anymore.
UNICEF announced a week ago that the huge
shortfall in funding could deprive about 9 million
Syrian children of UN aid. UNICEF Regional Director
for the Middle East and North Africa Geert Kapalari
said the funding gap is $220 million, adding that the
crisis is the worst for the organization since the
launch of its operations in Syria.
According to UNICEF, the humanitarian needs in
Syria and neighboring areas are growing and host
communities are facing the risk of being unable to
meet the demands. Records show about 6 million
children need help in Syria, as well as another 2.5 mil-
lion who have found temporary shelter in neighbor-
ing countries. Kapalari said the huge funding gap
threatens to close several aid programs, including
the provision of potable water and sanitation servic-
es to 1.2 million children living in camps, settlements
and host communities, and provision of healthcare
and basic feeding services to 5.4 million children,
including those living in besieged and inaccessible
areas of Syria.
He added the risk will include financial support for
families, which allows them to keep 500,000 children
in schools. The distribution of clothing and blankets
in winter is another factor. UNICEF said it has received
only 25 percent of the $1.4 billion needed from the
donor countries for emergency operations in Syria,
Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and Egypt.
According to UN statistics, one billion children live
in conflict areas, including nearly 300 million children
under the age of five. This is indeed a tragedy and we
are responsible not only to save these children, but
also to stop wars and conflicts in the Arab and Muslim
world because we seem to be the only ones fighting.
It is not only regrettable, but a disgrace to a world
that is generous in the disbursement of money for
cars and clothing, but very treacherous with child-
hood and humanity!
The Syrian child lives in unstable political and eco-
nomic conditions, which reflects on his life and makes
him go through worse situations than those in which
his counterparts live in the rest of the world, includ-
ing the wider Arab world. An international campaign
must be launched to commit all UN organizations to
provide financial support, and UNICEF needs to
review child-related decisions and recruitment of chil-
dren in wars.
Where are the ambassadors of UNICEF - represen-
tatives and actresses - both Arabs and foreigners?
Why are they hiding their heads now? Where are the
foreign ambassadors of UNICEF? Are they absent
because the children of Syria are Muslims and Arabs?
What they are doing?
People also need to be aware to not give money to
unknown and possibly terrorist organizations or even
people who could be connected with these groups -
it is like giving money to kill more innocents. Clearly,
awareness of the seriousness of the issue of lost child-
hood is absent, and everyone is to blame if we let
UNICEF end its aid.
By Sana Kalim
In my view
Death by obesity
he world is getting fatter, but malnutrition is still
widespread. There is a large divide between
overeating and literal starvation. If the world were
100 people, 18 would be obese and one would be starv-
ing. There is a large gap in food being distributed even-
ly. The world has around 2.1 billion overweight people,
and in developing countries, they make up over 50 per-
cent of the population.
Kuwait is officially the most obese country in the
world - and there is no hiding it! Especially with the
recent upsurge of stomach stapling surgeries, in which
Kuwait ranks first as well, with 5,000 stomach staplings
performed every year for a population of only 4 million.
With 42.8 percent (with an estimate 60 percent by
2020) of the population classified as obese in Kuwait,
and 70 percent overweight - it is no surprise that this
condition has been plaguing generations of families in
the state. Worldwide, 13 percent of the population is
obese, out of 7.5 billion people.
This has stemmed from the massive fast food industry
in Kuwait. Some people complain “there is nothing else
to do”, and during Ramadan, we have luqaimat, overly
sugary teas, samosas and a plethora of other unhealthy
food that we eat a lot of. Diabetes levels in Kuwait have
become a growing concern in Kuwait, with type 2 dia-
betes ravaging our children’s lives.
Obesity is an issue affecting people of all ages and
incomes everywhere, and no single country has man-
aged to stop or even slow down the rate of obesity - and
this trend will continue. Overweight people are more
prone to cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes,
osteoarthritis and kidney disease, and the soaring num-
bers are placing a heavy burden on healthcare systems,
according to a study. Worldwide, 3.4 million deaths have
been linked to high body weight, and now children are
starting to die earlier than their parents, a burden the
elderly must bear due to their children being struck by
the effects of being overweight.
Overall, from 188 countries, the rate of overweight
adults has grown by 28 percent, and a horrifying 50 per-
cent for children. In fact, 25 percent (contrasting with 8
percent in 1980) of children are now classified as over-
weight in developing countries, with adolescent girls
being the category of concern in the Middle East.
WHO aims to stop this epidemic by 2050. Kuwait tried
in 2013 to enforce a program dubbed “Kuwait National
Program for Healthy Living: First 5-Year Plan (2013-
2017)” with very recognizable solutions and issues as to
why this is happening - such as the population’s faith,
believing the Creator will lift the burden of being over-
weight, to improving school environments. It has also
provided many goals such as reducing hip to waist ratio.
It will be very interesting to see the conclusion of this
Good luck Kuwait!