No: 17264 Friday, June 23, 2017

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NO: 17264 - Friday, June 23, 2017

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Tight security for qiyam prayers

Worshippers pray at the Grand Mosque in Kuwait City early

yesterday. —  Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat (More pics on Page 9)

By Shakir Reshamwala


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

was banned. 

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.” 

L o c a l

FRIDAY, JUNE 23, 2017

By Muna Al-Fuzai

Local Spotlight


The loss of UNICEF


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

program soon.

Good luck Kuwait!

Photo of items found in the popular Souq Safafir in Sharq, Kuwait City. —  Photo by Mustafa Al-Bader

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