Expats claim UAE is diet-proof

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Exercise in the United Arab Emirates: If more people did it, maybe the UAE wouldn’t be the 18th fattest country in the world. Photo by The National. With the United Arab Emirates boasting one of the world’s highest obesity rates, expatriates working there complain that their adopted country is packing on their pounds. Abu Dhabi-based […]

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East Jerusalem Getting First Mall

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You heard it here when Jenin got a mall-ish furniture superstore. Now East Jerusalem is also joining the trend.  According to Danny Rubinstein at YnetNews, the Nusseibeh family has started work on the A-Dar Mall on Salah-a-Din Street, right outside the Old City in the Sheikh Jarrakh neighborhood (Photo of Salah-a-Din Street from Wiki Images) […]

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Are Suburbs Making Israeli Kids Fat?

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A study released last week shows that more than one in five Israeli schoolchildren is overweight. According to Haaretz, the towns Nahariya (37%), Bat Yam (34%), Or Yehuda (32.6%), Tira (31.1%) and Kalansawa (31%) lead the list. In the Hebrew edition of the same article, a health specialist chalks up the trend to the unsurprising […]

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Lebanese Expats Build Suburbia in Bint Jbeil

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According to Lebanon’s Daily Star, the war-ravaged southern town of Bint Jbeil is remaking itself as a suburban summer getaway for expatriates who left over the last three decades of strife. Suburban living has made deep imprints across the Middle East, particularly in the shopping malls that have sprouted up in the West Bank and […]

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Vauban, the German Suburb without Cars

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Do you ever get the feeling that every time you close your eyes, someone in Europe is doing something brilliant for the environment? Well, the residents of Vauban, Germany live in a suburb where most streets are off-limits to cars and the shops are mixed in with housing. The town’s 5,500 people are packed into […]

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Is Israel on the Brink of a Suburban Sprawl-a-Thon?

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As the Green Prophet’s resident suburbs commentator, I read with interest this week that part of newly elected Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s economic plan includes privatizing the Israel Lands Administration. The ILA was established in Israel’s first Basic Law (1960) as the keeper of the land of the Jewish people. To date, 93 percent of […]

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Life in the Suburbs

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On of the most depressing bus rides I have ever taken in Israel was a late-night local from Kfar Saba to Tel Aviv. In addition to its sheer length (an hour and a half ride for a trip that should take 40 minutes), the bus went from suburb to suburb, revealing identical buildings and streetscapes […]

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