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The UAE is preparing to make history with its first space mission and the two Emirati astronauts chosen for the job are doing their best to stay fit and focused.  The UAE’s first astronaut, Major Hazza Al Mansouri, takes off for the eight-day mission on September 25 at 5.56pm. When his spacecraft docks with the International Space Station (ISS) at midnight, he will become the first Arab to set foot there.  Al Mansouri and his...

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While many people tend to put off altruism for various reasons, we often forget that an act of kindness can have a ripple effect on the community around us. Even less well-known is the power that selfless acts have to positively affect not only the recipients of those good deeds, but our own health and wellbeing. It might  seem counterintuitive, since altruism is about giving to others without getting or expecting anything in return (think,...

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Many parents are on the lookout to identify any particular talents their child may have from an early age — hoping they may have an elite athlete in the making. If you feel your student is physically gifted, or has a tendency to excel at particular sports, there are several aspects you can focus on that will give your child every chance to succeed. Nothing can guarantee success, however, and you want to keep a...

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Some of the key ways of ageing well without cosmetic help are well-documented: avoid the sun, quit nicotine, cut back on alcohol and eat a well-balanced diet. But there is an even better way: a holistic health approach that goes far beyond the doctor’s office or surgery.  “Holistic health – I get asked a lot about its meaning by my patients,” says Dr Hoda Makkawi, a consultant in family medicine, integrative holistic medicine and an anti-ageing...

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This might seem like a strange topic to tackle in an Abu Dhabi August, but let’s talk about hygge. Pronounced hoo-GA, this fun-to-say Danish word is used to describe an all-encompassing feeling of coziness and happiness. Although many people think of warmth when they hear it, in reality hygge is achieved through different activities and aims at an overall contentment in life. And why talk about it now, when we can barely handle a few moments...

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Oral hygiene is as important as a healthy lifestyle and it all starts with you, because children adopt what they see. Here’s how to get a head start — and keep it up.  Children should see a dentist early They should have their first dental visit within six months of their first tooth coming in or at 12 months of age, whichever happens first. Taking them to the dentist at this young age not only...

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Have you ever been at the grocery store or standing in line somewhere and someone else backs into you? Chances are, you find yourself saying “I’m sorry” even though you didn’t do anything. I used to be the person who would apologize if someone stomped on my foot while walking past, or knocked into me and spilled my drink. I’m still that person sometimes. It might seem like manners, but apologizing for our very existence...

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When Renos Fountoulakis headed from Dubai to Zanzibar in 2016, he was hoping to unwind from his job in the financial services sector and enjoy the beauty of the beaches and resorts with his wife and brother.  Yet something the 36-year-old from Greece saw during a trip to the village of Kizimkazi, where families of eight lived in small houses made of mud and palm fronds, changed him forever. “I looked around and saw some...

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A visit to the plant souk at Abu Dhabi’s Mina Zayed, particularly in the depths of summer, can be like a breath of fresh air — believe or not. Sure, you have to shimmy through narrow alleys lined with giant bags of soil and assorted greenery. You have to step around watering hoses, navigate a street cat or two and even a mechanical butterfly. But at the end you are likely to come away with a...

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Growing up in Europe as a Greek Orthodox Christian, we never really thought about who was a member of what religion. It didn’t matter anyway. But frequent visits to a country like Lebanon always ensured I felt the difference with my Muslim friends. The small Mediterranean nation officially recognizes 18 religious denominations, including four Muslim and 12 Christian sects, among others. Most Lebanese would be able to guess which branch of which religion you belonged...

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As the old Arabian proverb says, “A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.” And what better time than the hot, slow summer to take this “garden” out of your pocket and lose yourself in an imaginary world? Besides the sheer enjoyment of it, research, such as a 2015 study by the UK’s Reading Agency, shows the multiple benefits of reading for pleasure: increased empathy, improved relationships with others through better communication, reduced symptoms...