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September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘WHO’

UN Health Assembly, Syria, Slam ‘Inhuman Israeli Practices’

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

The annual assembly of the UN’s World Health Organization today adopted a resolution criticizing Israel — in the organization’s only debate on a specific country — with Syria protesting “inhuman Israeli practices” that target “the health of Syrian citizens.” Click here for links to documents.

The WHO resolution against Israel was not yet published, but was likely a copy of last year’s condemnation.

Observers of the world body in Geneva said the annual hypocrisy nevertheless reached a new low this year.

“To see the Assad regime point the finger at Israel out of professed concern for the health of Syrians is, frankly, a sick joke,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, a non-governmental monitoring group accredited to the UN.

“They’ve slaughtered 80,000 of their own people, and are now busy destroying the lives of millions more. The real question is this: Why is the UN allowing mass murderers to deflect attention from their crimes by scapegoating democracies?”

“A world health assembly should be about Hippocrates, not hypocrisy,” said Neuer.

Syria’s report expressed concern that “the health conditions of the Syrian population in the occupied Golan continue to deteriorate, as a result of the suppressive practices of the Israeli occupation.”

Out of 25 agenda items on the WHO’s conference agenda, all but one address global themes.

The exception, today’s Item No. 20 — entitled “Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan” — turned a spotlight on one specific country: Israel. No other country in the world — not Mexico, Russia, Syria, or anywhere else — is treated this way.

Despite what’s being said at the UN, the Palestinians’ own health minister recently acknowledged Israel’s extensive medical care for Palestinian children and its training of Palestinian doctors.

The UN debate also failed to mention that only last week, an Israeli hospital saved the life of a four-year-old Syrian girl, in a successful operation for a deadly heart condition.

Israeli Teens 3rd Happiest Youths in the World

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

Israeli teens are the third happiest group of adolescents in the world, according to the findings of the Happiness Index, the results of which will be released later this month by the World Health Organization.

Israel tied for third place with Holland, Iceland and Spain, being outranked only by Armenian and Macedonian kids.

The study showed that 51% of Israeli girls reported being happy, compared to 47% of boys.  Israeli Arabs were even happier than their Jewish counterparts, with 55% of girls and 47% of boys saying they are happy.

Ironically, Israeli teens also ranked as the fifth angriest group of adolescents in the world, ranking behind Turkey, Greece, Romania, and Armenia.

Countries with the lowest happiness rankings are Turkey, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, and Canada.

The WHO research was compiled over four years and across 34 countries.

Twisted Media: The Skinny Truth

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

I’m going to tell you something that the media doesn’t want you to know. The image of the perfect woman they promote as healthy – That’s not actually that healthy. I mean, we all want to look good and feel good, but the body image that the media shows today is truly horrible. Despite what it wants us to think, we don’t need our bones showing, or knees that are wider than our thighs. Of course, it’s important to exercise and eat healthy (fruits, vegetables, protein, etc.) and stay in shape, but we definitely do not need to take it to the anorexic level.

Just a few hundred years ago, and even in some countries today, being plump indicated that one had the ability to afford good food, and was therefore wealthy; because of this, voluptuous women were considered beautiful. If you look at sculptures and paintings created by artists like Michelangelo, you can see that the women they portrayed were actually pretty big! Back then, if you were skinny, people assumed you were poor, and therefore not desirable. Obviously, I am not suggesting that people gain unnecessary weight – nowadays we know that there can be related health issues – but just think about the fact that society once said that being fat is good, and being skinny is bad. I’m a normal teenage girl, and I want to stay thin too, but it makes you think about our perception of beauty, even just a little.

I think nowadays people are just trying so hard to be just like celebrities. You know what? Stars are people too. Magazines occasionally show them without makeup, and it’s a shock to see that many of them don’t have natural beauty – it’s all makeup, all airbrushed! That’s not real beauty. Real beauty is when it shines just as much from inside you as it does from the outside. It’s when you look at someone without any makeup on, even someone who doesn’t conform to our culture’s beauty ideals, and they still look beautiful.

It’s funny, since I’m almost contradicting myself, because I give a lot of importance to physical appearance. But when you think about it, it doesn’t make sense. I admit it, I try SO hard to stay thin and follow all the celebrities. A lot of you probably do the same. But honestly, WHO are we trying to impress? That boy from shul, that snob from school, our older brother’s friends, or just our older sister? Do we really want to try so hard to impress them with how we look? Do we really want to try so hard to impress them, period?

Don’t look at the “beauty” of some of these celebrities, because it isn’t real. Focus on whatever’s beautiful for you. If wearing last year’s scarf makes you feel good, go ahead and wear it. Who cares? It’s your style. If you want to wear a long skirt, a short skirt, a sweater, even if it isn’t the latest fashion or what your group of friends or that snobby clique in your class are wearing, who cares? What’s the difference? It’s all about what makes you happy.

Don’t go crazy with health either. If you just want to look and feel good like any other normal person, have fun with it! Don’t go crazy and starve yourself, don’t go on the treadmill for 5 hours, but be HEALTHY. Just make healthier choices. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Eat a yummy granola bar instead of a candy bar. Just be yourself. You are who you are. No one can tell you how to dress and act. Be healthy and beautiful. Or in other words, just be you.

Look Out – Real Life Ahead!

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

After returning from a year of studying in seminary in Eretz Yisrael, Feigi was ready to join the “real world.” Seminary had been a wonderful, spiritually uplifting experience, but now it was time to settle down, find a job, and think about what she wanted to do with the rest of her life. Feigi started job hunting. She had excellent credentials and was perfectly qualified to start a career in any of a variety of fields. Yet despite her intelligence and willingness to work, she was unable to focus on a clear sense of direction. She felt uneasy in the “real world,” with its unique pressures and expectations. Feige was obviously bright and personable. Yet she was lacking some of the basic life skills she would need to cope with unfamiliar social situations.

Feigi is not alone. Like many other young adults who are just beginning to enter the “real world,” she is at a loss. The dramatic transition from the protective cocoon of Bais Yaakov schools to independence can be overwhelming. Feigi and others like her may have underlying self-esteem issues. They may be overly dependent. Or they may simply be fearful of the unknown. Either way, chances are good that they can be helped. It’s never too late to begin coaching life skills and training our young people to meet the challenges that may come their way.

An extensive study conducted by the World Health Organization cites several aspects of behavior crucial for young people to master in order to face adult life. Decision-making and problem solving are of the most important of these is. As strange as it may seem, members of this coming-of-age generation are ill equipped to deal with this basic coping skill. After all, their well-meaning parents (and teachers/rebbeim) have been guiding them and making decisions for them all of their lives. It’s wonderful to be so loved, cared for and protected during childhood and adolescence. The problem is that when it’s time to cut the apron strings, some of our young adults are simply at a loss. It has nothing to do with how bright, intelligent or popular they have been until now. At this point, they’re being confronted with a new set of rules and for many, navigating these choppy seas can be confusing and frightening.

According to the WHO study, creative thinking is another coping skill that is essential for success in life. “Creative thinking,” it states, “enables youngsters to explore the available alternatives and various consequences of their actions and non-actions. Creative thinking helps them to respond adaptively and with flexibility to the evolving circumstances of their daily lives.” In other words, when you’re in a jam or when life throws you a curve ball, creative thinking is the essential tool you need to solve the problem and overcome the crisis.

Most important of all, according to the study, is effective communication. People who can successfully convey their feelings both verbally and non-verbally, have an excellent chance of fostering good relationships with others. When young people are trained to communicate properly, they are able to articulate their opinions, their desires, their needs, and their feelings. These skills are, of course, important in developing friendships as well as in the workplace. When it comes to marriage, they are absolutely essential.

A good therapist or social skills coach can make a dramatic difference in the lives of young people. They can be empowered to achieve the skills outlined above as well as other valuable life skills. They can be trained to recognize the differences between passive, aggressive and assertive behavior. They can learn the practical applications of maintaining eye contact, giving appropriate responses, and recognizing various verbal and non-verbal communication cues. They can practice essential behaviors such as introducing one’s self to others, keeping one’s conversation interesting, and thanking others whenever appropriate.

To some of us, this may all seem elementary. We picked up these skills as we were growing up. And if there are those who didn’t, then isn’t it possible that they missed the boat? I get this question from worried parents all the time. Is my child destined to live like this forever? The answer is no. With proper guidance and regular sessions, these valuable skills can certainly be learned and internalized. I’ve seen tremendous improvement in so many of my young adult clients.

Like Feigi, a significant number of young adults lack a certain self-awareness. They are not in touch with their strengths and weaknesses, with their character and personality, with their likes and dislikes. Development of self-awareness makes a big difference in the life of a young person, especially when coping with the challenges of the shidduch world. If you know where you’re coming from, you’ll be better able to pinpoint your needs and expectations from a spouse. How many of our young men and women are having difficulties with dating simply because they haven’t a clue of who they really are?

The transition from adolescence to adulthood is not an easy process, even though some of our teens do seem to have it easier than others. If someone you know seems to be “stuck” or is having a hard time making that leap there’s nothing wrong with taking them for help. We’re all so eager to send our school age children to therapists and counselors in order to help them achieve their personal best. Why aren’t we just as eager to send them when they’re about to embark on the journey that will shape the rest of their lives?

Don’t let your daughter or son struggle through this stage of life needlessly. Stay on top of the situation and recognize the signals of a young person reaching out for help. Suggest to your child that it might be a good idea to schedule a meeting or a session with someone who can help them cope with the challenges of adulthood and who will give them the tools to acquire essential skills that will accompany them throughout their adult life. Chances are that they will readily agree and will be relieved to know that somebody out there can actually help.

As for Feigi, she has certainly come a long way. After a series of sessions, it was easy to see a marked improvement in her behavior and social skills. Her self-confidence and self-esteem grew, her thinking became more focused, and she was better able to communicate her emotions and feelings to others. Best of all, Feigi is really beginning to get to know herself. She understands who she is and is better equipped than ever to begin searching for her life’s partner.

Can we really teach “social skills”? Absolutely. Does it make a difference? It certainly does. It’s a big world out there and nobody knows what challenges or obstacles tomorrow may bring. But one thing’s for sure. Those who have the tools to cope with life have a better chance at achieving success and happiness in all their endeavors. Just ask Feigi.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/look-out-real-life-ahead/2009/08/19/

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