5 Essential Indian Spices to Have in Your Kitchen



5 Essential Indian Spices to Have in Your Kitchen

Spices are a defining element of all Indian cuisine. No matter the complexity level of the Indian dish you are preparing, somewhere along the line it will call for a combination of spices. Marrying the flavors of spices in Indian cuisine is something of an art form. Make sure you’re ready for whatever Indian dish you want to prepare by keeping these five essential spices in your kitchen.


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Cumin is a strong aromatic spice, typically sold either as seeds or in a ground form. Cumin is typically used to impart a warm and earthy flavor to many different Indian dishes and is well known for its ability to be paired with other common spices. Its straightforward flavor profile means that it works well on its own with vegetables such as potatoes and carrots and simple meat dishes like chicken.


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One of the most ubiquitous spices used in Indian cuisine, coriander is one of the oldest-known spices in the world. Coriander has a nutty flavor with citrus notes that makes it a key ingredient in spice mixtures such as garam masala and is used heavily to make popular dishes such as chicken tikka masala.


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Instantly recognizable from its bright hue, turmeric is used in many Indian dishes to give it a distinctive color and flavor. Turmeric has an earthy fragrance and a warm, peppery flavor that make it wildly popular in many curries and rice dishes. Turmeric is made from pulverizing rhizome, a relative of ginger, and is also renowned for its many health benefits. It is known to provide anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal benefits for individuals who consume it regularly.

Mustard Seeds

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Another common spice in Indian cooking are black and brown mustard seeds, which can be used interchangeably. These distant cousins to white and yellow mustard seeds, which produce the deli mustard that is common in many American refrigerators, impart a smoky, nutty flavor after they are “bloomed,” a process in which they are heated briefly in oil before they pop open. Their warm flavor makes them a common ingredient in curries and curry powders.


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Like mustard seeds, cardamom comes in two different colors, green and black, both of which are used in Indian cuisine. However, unlike mustard seeds, these different colors are not interchangeable and impart very different flavors to different types of dishes. Green cardamom is the more common type, and it is known to impart a light, sweet flavor with strong eucalyptus and pine notes. It is commonly used by adding whole pods to curries or steamed pots of rice.

On the other hand, black cardamom is a very powerful spice, which must be used with caution to keep it from overpowering the dish. The powerful smoky flavor associated with it is achieved by adding only a few seeds to a dish. If a whole pod is used, it is best to remove the pod before serving as biting into one can be an unpleasant experience for the casual diner.

There are well over a dozen other spices that many Indian dishes call for, and learning how to use all of them in tandem with one another is a skill unto itself. But if you stock these five essential Indian spices in your kitchen, you can be confident in pulling off all of the classic Indian flavors you are hoping to replicate at home.

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The best-selling candy bars of all time



The best-selling candy bars of all time

Dictionary.com boils down the sugar to describe the word “candy” as a single piece of “any of a variety of confections made with sugar [and] syrup” and “often combined with chocolate, fruit, [and/or] nuts.” Sounds pretty good, right?

You’re not alone if your mouth waters when you think about your favorite candy. In fact, candy has become so popular, they have it in bar form now!

Bad jokes aside, candy bars are enjoyed around the world for their unique flavors, appealing ingredient combinations and catchy commercial mascots. Chances are just mentioning the word “candy bar” conjures up flavors of your favorites.

Here’s a quick look at some of the best-selling and most popular candy bars of all time (in no particular order).


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Mars Wrigley Confectionery boasts that Snickers is the world’s best-selling candy bar, and when the candy bar outpaced M&Ms in 2012 (with more than $3 billion in global sales) it was all uphill from there. Snickers bars have done pretty well for a candy bar first made in 1930 and supposedly named after founder Frank Mars’ favorite horse.

Snickers began life as the Marathon bar and only got its now-iconic label in 1990 when the Mars company decided to change the name. Now, Snickers is synonymous with settling your hunger, snacking on the go and chocolate/peanuts/nougat/caramel goodness around the world.

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar

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The classic Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar is almost as nostalgic and delicious as a chocolate bar can get in the United States. The Hershey flagship candy bar is one of the oldest candy bars ever created—with nearly 120 years of history under its belt—and it holds the title of the first mass-produced chocolate in the United States.

In fact, the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar has been so prevalent as a chocolate candy bar in the U.S. throughout history that most Americans associate the taste of chocolate with the Hershey’s Bar. Eater beware, though. Hershey’s isn’t as popular outside of the United States, and many foreign countries would go as far as to say the classic American chocolate flavor tastes like vomit!

Cadbury Dairy Milk

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The Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bar is also among the longest-living candy bars to-date, launching in the United Kingdom in 1905. The now world-renowned bar boasts the use of fresh milk from the British Isles, which gives it its distinct taste and texture.

Just like Hershey’s Bars helped define the taste of chocolate in the U.S., the Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bar has done the same for people in the United Kingdom. Not surprisingly, the chocolate feud between Mondelez International (producers of Cadbury chocolates worldwide) and Hershey (the producer of Cadbury chocolates within the United States) is still a hot topic. Due to a deal in 2015, you shouldn’t expect to see any true-to-the-original-recipe Cadburys imported into the U.S. any time soon.

Kit Kat

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Kit Kat bars were the first candy bars to focus marketing around the idea that sharing is caring, so to speak. “Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar” solidified its place in marketing history as a now instantly recognizable jingle, and sharing Kit Kats has gone global.

Hershey’s and Cadbury carved out their respective corners of the chocolate candy bar market, but Kit Kat was the first candy bar to gain a global following (thanks to the sharing concept). Some might even argue that Kit Kat is the most influential candy bar of all time.

Not a fan of Kit Kat bars? Don’t worry, the Japanese are super fans! You can find a wide variety of unique Kit Kat flavors in Japan like wasabi, sake, rum raisin, banana, apple, and green tea.

Honorable mention: Butterfinger

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Butterfinger is a widely loved, one-of-a-kind “crispety, crunchety, peanut buttery” candy bar, with Butterfinger history stretching as far back as the 1920s. It’s been a staple of Halloween candy bags throughout the years, but you just don’t see them around as much as you used to.

The reason why Butterfinger deserves an honorable mention here, aside from its classic Bart Simpson-starring commercials and irreverent nature as a candy bar outlier, is the new “improved recipe.” “Better” Butterfinger’s new recipe is making waves in candy circles, so much so that it was awarded the 2019 Product of the Year award in the candy bar category.

Honorable mention: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

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While not technically a bar, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups have long been an orange-wrapped neighbor in the candy bar isle, making them worth listing here. Their bite-size iterations topped the list of most-sold snack size chocolate candy brands in 2017, with almost 172 million units sold in the United States alone.

Chocolate candy will continue to settle your sweet tooth

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Every candy bar on this list includes chocolate as a main ingredient, which goes to show that people love settling their sweet tooth with some chocolate. Chocolate candy bars/packs account for almost 25 percent of all sales in convenience stores in the United States. Approximately five billion units of chocolate candy were sold in the United States in 2018, and seasonal chocolate sales in the United States are consistently in the billions of dollars year after year. The uphill affinity toward chocolate (both candy and candy bars) doesn’t show signs of stopping!

Zucchini Caviar from Beyond the Sea — koolkosherkitchen

Tzar Ivan the Terrible was a cruel tyrant. Everybody knows that. And just like many things that “everybody knows” and thus nobody questions, the sobriquet “Terrible” should be taken with a grain of salt. Since we are in the middle of Pesach (Passover), I recommend Kosher for Passover Red Sea Salt. True, he did accidentally kill his son […]

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Mushrooms: they’re more intelligent than you know



Mushrooms: they’re more intelligent than you know

Both inert and anthropomorphic, from your favorite cuisines to countless iterations across popular culture, something about toadstools and chaparrals and shiitakes holds an appeal beyond being simply delicious. Mushrooms are prevalent across countless cultures in both art and cuisine—some savory, some deadly, and some that taste remarkably like chicken. However, there’s much more to mushrooms than meets the eye, both in a literal physical sense an in a deeper mysterious role within the natural kingdom.

Close cousins

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The classical phylogeny of kingdoms is one that most remember, at least vaguely, from their time in high school biology. The five major kingdoms comprise plants, animals, fungi, bacteria, and archaea. Though the tree of life is often amended in light of recent discoveries, these major classifications are rooted in old systems preceding the advent of molecular biology. As such, our classification systems reflect an earlier approach to distinguish life by its appearance, rather than genetic study. One of the more interesting revelations of phylogenetics came with the knowledge that animals and fungi share a common ancestor that branched off from plants some billions of years into our evolution. What this means is that although your favorite mushroom may bear a closer resemblance to broccoli, fungi are in fact more closely related to your cousin Daniel.

Spores of the living dead

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Unlike your cousin, however, fungi have some strange and terrifying abilities. One particular species in the Brazilian rain forest penetrates the nervous system of carpenter ants and compels them to uncharacteristic locomotion and consumption before exploding from within to release their spores onto other unsuspecting members of the ant colony. It turns out that you don’t even have to leave Earth to encounter body snatchers.

Deep roots

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Upon reflection of a slightly less terrifying mental image, in thinking of mushrooms you might conjure a scene of toadstools adorning a root or a tree trunk in the forest. Though iconic, the visible portion of mushrooms that we recognize is only a small portion of the anatomy of fungus known as the fruiting body. These outer structures are used to spread spores for reproduction, but they are connected to a much larger branching network of tissues called the mycelium, which extend underground. One particular species of Armillaria commands the spot of largest organism in the world with a homogeneous network of mycelium spanning 3.7 square miles and an age between 2,000-8,500 years.

Whispers of Mother Earth

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Fungi comprise a diverse kingdom of species, some highly toxic and others savory and delicious. In the natural world, they play a variety of roles and can sometimes be deadly for natural vegetation. However, certain fungi, like many living things, show astonishing examples of symbiosis between their hosts and surroundings. The symbiosis between plants and fungi, referred to as mycorrhiza, have been well-observed since the 19th century, describing mutualism that helps plants absorb nutrients, resist disease, and colonize soil, but there’s also a more fascinating function that these relationships might inspire.

Fungal networks have been long known to span between plants across large distances. Recent studies have shown that these networks drive nutrient and carbon transfer between plants that serve as both a form of mutualistic exchange and even a method of communication. By sending nutrients to young saplings through mycorrhiza, fungi help trees maintain the viability of their saplings. It’s possible that plants can also release chemical signaling through these networks to send signals to other plants of changes in the environment that could prompt distress responses or signals of fruitful circumstances. In a 2008 Ted Talk, Paul Stamets referred to these networks as the Earth’s Natural Internet.

3 Amazing Dishes You Can Only Get in Mali



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3 Amazing Dishes You Can Only Get in Mali

A landlocked country on the western edge of the Sahara Desert, Mali boasts a diverse culinary scene that varies throughout the nation according to tribe and regional ingredients. A traditional Malian meal consists of couscous or rice, or a cereal based porridge topped with a hearty fish or meat sauce garnished with okra, peanuts, sweet potato, or baobab leaves. The meal is also generally accompanied by vegetables, the most easily accessible being tomatoes, onions, plantains, and eggplant. Malian recipes frequently incorporate the use of chicken and lamb – the most popular and readily available meats throughout the nation, as well as an abundance of fresh and smoked fish like catfish and the freshwater Nile perch, due to the Niger River that flows through Mali.

The country’s predominantly Muslim population means fruit juice rather than alcohol is the preferred drink, and the nation’s abundance of fresh mangoes and bananas lend a sweet finish to its meals. Though the opportunity to visit the fabled city of Timbuktu and to explore the grounds of the Great Mosque of Djenné remain top reasons for a journey to Mali, visitors will be pleasantly surprised by its unique only-in-Mali dishes.

Tiguadege Na

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Rich in texture and robust in flavor, Mali’s peanut butter stew is a national favorite. Its origin lies within the Malian ethnic groups of Mandinka and Bambara, whose existence dates back to the 13th century. Utilizing its longstanding primary cash crop of the peanut, tiguadege na is typically prepared with chicken or lamb, made hearty with the presence of large chunks of carrots and potatoes. Consumed and beloved in various forms by Malians, tiguadege na also graces the menus of tourist-oriented restaurants in its capital of Bamako.

Meni Meniyong

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A Malian sesame and honey sweet, the meni meniyong is reminiscent of old-fashioned brittle candy and can easily be found at street markets throughout the nation. A generous serving of sesame seeds are roasted and combined with honey brought to a boil to reach a dark caramel color. Then the fragrant blend is cooled and cut into rectangular shapes. Though the ingredients of meni meniyong are few and simple, achieving its distinct crunchy consistency requires practice—the sweet treat will be rock hard if the honey is left boiling for too long, and soft and toffee-like if it’s been boiled too little.

Malian Jollof Rice

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A staple throughout the nations of West Africa, the proper preparation of jollof rice is a fiercely debatedtopic in the region. The origin of the long grain rice is believed to have come from Senegal’s Wolof tribe, and variants of the dish depend highly on regional preferences. Generally, fluffy jollof rice is prepared in a single pot with tomatoes and tomato paste which results in its red hue, with the addition of a type of meat, vegetables, and fragrant spices like nutmeg and cumin. While Ghanaians enjoy their jollof rice with fried plantains, Nigerians cook the ceremonial version of the dish over firewood to achieve a rich and smoky flavor. And in Mali, less tomato is used and the presence of okra and nuts is common. A widespread West African favorite, there are now many interpretations to the jollof rice recipe.

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Controversy is raging around this tradition, dating back to Middle Ages. Since we have laboriously and thoroughly divested our homes of all leavened bread in order to celebrate Passover, as we are commanded, Jewish women are faced with a task of baking the first challahs of the year. So we get creative and insert a […]

via Shlissel Challah – a Key to Wisdom — koolkosherkitchen

UN Welcomes Saudi, UAE Support for WFP in Yemen



UN Welcomes Saudi, UAE Support for WFP in Yemen

Wednesday, 8 May, 2019 – 09:00
A man carries sacks of grain he received from a distribution center in Bajil, Yemen, December 13, 2018, 2018. (Reuters)
Hodeidah – Asharq Al-Awsat
The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has welcomed a $240 million contribution from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to support the food needs of vulnerable people in Yemen during the holy month of Ramadan.

“The generous contribution will greatly help Yemenis follow their practices and traditions during this important time,” WFP said in a statement.

“WFP plans to use this contribution to provide millions of families with monthly food rations of flour, pulses, vegetable oil, sugar and salt.”

On the other hand, Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen Lise Grande said Tuesday that it is a relief that the UN has finally been given the green light to use an existing corridor to gain access to the Red Sea Mills, adding that it is very positive that the parties have taken this step.

“Securing access to the Mills has been a long, difficult and frustrating process,” she said.

Grande also stressed the importance of doing everything possible to ensure that all humanitarian partners have free, unimpeded and immediate access to people who need and deserve assistance.

“Everyone knows we need the food in the Mills. It’s now a race against time to salvage supplies that can feed 3.7 million people for a month,” she added.

The WFP, for its part, announced that a technical team led by it has gained access to the Red Sea Mills on the eastern outskirts of Hodeidah city as part of initial efforts to salvage a stock of 51,000 tons of wheat flour stored at the facility.

The Mills have been inaccessible for the last eight months due to intense fighting.

“The technical team will remain at the site to clean and service the milling equipment in preparation for the milling and eventual distribution of the wheat,” WFP spokesman Herve Verhoosel explained.

“We will need to send more workers and technical experts to the mills in due course and send supplies to the team now working at the site.”

He noted that in order for works to continue, “ongoing safe access to the Mills, which lie close to sensitive frontline areas” is needed.

In March, the WFP distributed food to more than 10.6 million people in Yemen, the largest number ever reached in a single month.

“We are scaling up to support 12 million people in urgent need of food in the coming months. WFP Operations in Yemen are the biggest for WFP in the world,” the spokesperson added.

WFP explained on its official website that its Deputy Executive Director Amir Abdulla traveled to Yemen on a three-day mission.

He first traveled to Aden, where he met with the legitimate government of the country’s premier and other senior officials before heading to Sanaa, where he met UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths and leaders from the Iran-backed Houthi militias, the statement said.

Cyclone Idai exposes the gap of disaster risk relief financing in Africa




Cyclone Idai exposes the gap of disaster risk relief financing in Africa

Mohamed Beavogui

Cyclone Idai that wreaked havoc on southern Africa is reminding us of the need to quickly devise sustainable solutions to confront climate and natural disaster risks. Right now, the humanitarian community and the governments of Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe are appealing for resources and emergency relief to assist over 3 million affected people.

The United Nations has classified Cyclone Idai as the worst tropical cyclone to have hit the southern Africa region in decades. The strong winds and torrential rains have put the region in a state of crisis, causing huge losses of life; flattening buildings; triggering massive floods that damaged critical infrastructure and farmlands, and submerged entire communities; leaving affected people in desperate situations without shelter, food, safe drinking water, and sanitation and hygiene.

The governments of Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe have mobilized their limited available financial, logistical, and humanitarian resources for early response in the affected areas. The international community has sent in volunteer rescue workers and humanitarian aid to support local efforts. However, governments of affected countries and United Nations agencies are still requesting additional resources to support ravaged communities.

Recently, disasters such as cyclones, droughts, and floods are increasing in both frequency and magnitude. According to U.N. International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, from 1998 to 2017, disaster-hit countries reported direct economic losses of $2.9 trillion, of which climate-related disasters accounted for $2.2 trillion. Africa is one of the most vulnerable regions to natural disasters and the impacts of climate change, despite contributing the least to global warming. Climate-induced disaster effects on the continent are particularly devastating and are mainly caused by drought, flood, and cyclones, as well as outbreaks and epidemics of diseases like Ebola, Lassa Fever, and Marburg. The economic and social burden of natural disaster and disease outbreaks was estimated at $53.19 billion in 2014.

In terms of response, the continent has been struggling to allocate part of its limited resources to disaster preparedness, due to various competing priorities in health, education, infrastructure, and other sectors. Hence, the bulk of interventions in the event of disasters comes from donors. Typically, when a disaster strikes, countries, with the help of the international community, launch humanitarian appeals and work to raise funds to respond to the crisis. Meanwhile, the people affected by the disaster are forced to make difficult decisions that deteriorate their livelihoods and reverse hard-earned development gains, forcing more people into destitution, food insecurity, chronic poverty, and, often, involuntary migration.

To change this paradigm, the African Union Heads of State established the African Risk Capacity (ARC) in 2012 to support the development of better risk management systems on the continent, while simultaneously reducing the dependence of African countries on the international community for disaster relief.

ARC brings together three critical elements of disaster risk management to create a powerful value proposition for its members and partners: early warning systems, response planning based on well-prepared and validated contingency plans, and an index-based insurance and risk pooling mechanism.

Several lessons have emerged during the institution’s first five years. The most important is that the resource gap needed to protect vulnerable populations against disasters can be reduced substantially through a combination of efforts and collaboration between governments, international aid, and the private sector. To build sustainable and country-driven responses, aid resources should support government budgets in financing innovative mechanisms, such as risk transfer, and leverage resources from the private sector through, for example, insurance and bonds.

Right now, less than two-thirds of humanitarian appeals are met and only 8 percent of actual losses are covered by international aid in 77 of the world’s poorest countries. The insurance sector covers only 3 percent of disaster-induced losses through payouts. The share of disaster insurance could be substantially increased using innovative risk transfer mechanisms that incorporate governments, international humanitarian agencies, international financial institutions, nongovernmental organizations, insurance companies, and other private sector companies operating in disaster finance. Through this type of scheme, one dollar used to pay for a premium could generate several fold more dollars through a payout.

This model of collaboration could build a sustainable, inclusive, market-based, and more responsive system to drastically reduce the current resource gap. Moreover, the fact that $1 spent for early intervention can save over $4 in a period of six to nine months means the need for overall resources for response would reduce accordingly. Therefore, the availability of adequate resources for early intervention is a solution to explore not with new financing but with already existing resources pre-earmarked by governments and humanitarian partners.

As per current experimentation at ARC, partners such as humanitarian agencies and NGOs can participate in ARC’s disaster insurance schemes through a program called Replica. With help from the German government, these institutions can access aid resources and sign policies with ARC Ltd., the financial affiliate of the ARC group. Under this scheme, the insurance policy taken out by humanitarian partners replicates the policy signed by the government, hence increasing the coverage of the population insured. The actor and the government implement a common response plan when a disaster strikes and the index-based insurance is triggered. The advantage is the ability to provide larger resources earlier after a disaster strikes since money will be available immediately through payouts. The actor will also be able to not only intervene earlier but also provide assistance through an agreed early response plan, thus giving time for international humanitarian efforts to take action.

The combination of early warning contingency planning and index-based risk transfer and pooling is certainly, among others, a solution that can significantly contribute to the reduction of the gap in disaster protection. A solution to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of humanitarian efforts is in front of us, and all existing actors have a role to play, particularly humanitarian agencies and NGOs.

In Yemen, Lavish Meals for Few, Starvation for Many



In Yemen, Lavish Meals for Few, Starvation for Many and a Dilemma for Reporters

A woman in the poor mountain village of Al Juberia, Yemen.CreditTyler Hicks/The New York Times
A woman in the poor mountain village of Al Juberia, Yemen. Credit Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

SANA, Yemen — At a restaurant in the Yemeni capital, Sana, a waiter brought bowls of slow-cooked lamb served with mounds of rice. For dessert there was kunafa, the classic Arab dish of golden brown pastry filled with cheese.

An hour later I was back at work, in a hushed hospital ward filled with malnourished children with skeletal faces, hanging between life and death for want of money and a good meal.

If that juxtaposition strikes you as jarring, even distasteful, it felt that way to me, too.

Crisis zones are often places of stark contrast, but in Yemen the gulf is particularly uncomfortable. The problem isn’t a lack of food; it’s that few people can afford to buy what food is available.

Years of blockades, bombs and soaring inflation have crushed the economy. A crushed state means there is no safety net.

As a result, beggars congregate outside supermarkets filled with goods; markets are filled with produce in towns where the hungry eat boiled leaves; and restaurants selling rich food are a few hundred yards from hunger wards filled with desperation, pain and death.

For a reporter, that brings a dilemma. Journalists travel with bundles of hard currency, usually dollars, to pay for hotels, transport and translation. A small fraction of that cash might go a long way for a starving family. Should I pause, put down my notebook and offer to help?

It’s a question some readers asked after we published a recent article on Yemen’s looming famine.

Many were touched by a powerful photograph by Tyler Hicks of Amal Hussain, an emaciated 7-year-old girl whose haunting stare brought the war’s human cost into shocking focus.

And many were devastated to learn that, soon after we left, Amal’s mother brought her back to the shabby refugee camp they call home, where she died a few days later.

Amal Hussain, who died at age 7 from malnutrition soon after this photograph was taken.CreditTyler Hicks/The New York Times
Amal Hussain, who died at age 7 from malnutrition soon after this photograph was taken.CreditTyler Hicks/The New York Times

Some, in their anguish, turned the focus back on us.

Why didn’t we do something to save Amal’s life, they wanted to know. Did we just take the photo, conduct the interview and move on? Couldn’t we have somehow ensured that her family would get help?

“You can take the picture AND provide assistance,” one woman said on Twitter. “One doesn’t rule out the other.”

The questions resonated. Reporters are trained to bear witness; aid workers and doctors have the job of helping people.

Donating money, or other forms of assistance, can be fraught with ethical, moral and practical complications. Is it fair to single out one person or family for help? What if they embellish their story for the next foreigner who comes along, thinking they could get more money?

Plus, we have a job to do.

Doctors show us around, and sometimes we end up acting like them — examining stick-like limbs and flaccid skin with clinical detachment; tabulating figures about weight and age; listening as families recount their tragedies with amazing calm. The prospect of death is discussed. We nod sagely, make a note, move on.

But while we may try to mimic a stone, we are not stones, and every day in Yemen someone told me something that made a lump rise in my throat.


Sandra commented November 30

Times Pick

Let’s cut to the chase and get the U.N. and it’s agencies in there. Just do it. The USA should be spear heading the effort. War between armies is one thing. War on starving people is quite another….no grey area! NONE!


Usually it was a mundane detail, like the lack of a few dollars to take a dying child to the hospital. Yemen, you realize, is a country where people are dying for lack of a taxi fare.

An injured Yemeni fighter with the Saudi-led Arab coalition that is battling Iran-allied Houthis for control of Yemen at a field hospital in Durayhimi.CreditTyler Hicks/The New York Times

An injured Yemeni fighter with the Saudi-led Arab coalition that is battling Iran-allied Houthis for control of Yemen at a field hospital in Durayhimi.CreditTyler Hicks/The New York Times

Yemenis have to navigate such terrain, too.

While some are dying, others are getting on with living. One night we returned to our hotel in Hajjah, a town ringed by rocky ridges in a province that has been pummeled by Saudi airstrikes. Lying in bed, I was startled by a loud bang then a burst of light that filled the sky — not a bomb, but fireworks.

Since the start of the war, the rate of marriage in Yemen has gone up. And so, in this town where malnourished infants were perishing at the city hospital, others were dancing and celebrating through the night.

But the surge in weddings, it turned out, was a survival mechanism.

Across the social spectrum, Yemenis are sliding down the poverty ladder. Where once a mother bought a sack of rice to feed her family, now she can afford only a small bag. The hand of a daughter in marriage brings a bride price, and so weddings can be a source of income for stretched families.

Disturbingly, many of the brides are children. According to Unicef, two-thirds of Yemeni girls are married before the age of 18, up from 50 percent before the war.

As we crossed Yemen — from the battle-scarred port of Hudaydah to the Houthi-held mountains — on a bumpy 900-mile journey, we saw scenes of heartbreaking suffering that unfolded against a backdrop of spectacular mountains, and customs that stubbornly endure despite everything.

Every day, town centers bustled with men buying khat, the narcotic leaf beloved by Yemenis. The khat bazaars are a social event. Men, some with guns over their shoulders, gather to trade news, meet friends and prepare for the afternoon chew.

Women in black cloaks flitted between them; in one place, a loud argument erupted into fisticuffs. Even as starvation bites, some are reluctant to cut back on their habit.

In one health clinic, Ibrahim Junaid, a worried father standing over his ailing 5-month-old son, was chewing a lump of khat that left a green stain on his teeth and lips.

Mr. Junaid was 60; his wife, 25, stood silently by his side. The nurses wrapped the boy in a gold foil blanket to keep him warm.

Ibrahim Ali Mohammed Junaid, 60, and his wife Zahra Ali Ahmed, 25, taking their son, Ahmed Ibrahim al Junaid, 5 months old, to a clinic to treat his malnutrition.CreditTyler Hicks/The New York Times

Ibrahim Ali Mohammed Junaid, 60, and his wife Zahra Ali Ahmed, 25, taking their son, Ahmed Ibrahim al Junaid, 5 months old, to a clinic to treat his malnutrition.CreditTyler Hicks/The New York Times

Mr. Junaid regretted that his son hadn’t enough to eat, adding that he had a lot of mouths to feed; he had married twice, and fathered 13 children.

The value of practices like chewing khat may be hard to understand in such turbulent times. But for men like Mr. Junaid, it is an integral part of their day. And it is a mark of the resilience of an ancient society, one of the oldest civilizations of the Middle East.

“People say Yemen is in a state of chaos, but it’s not,” said Thierry Durand, an aid worker who has worked in Yemen since the 1980s, and now runs a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Mocha. “There is still structure.”

“You can’t put it in three lines in your paper or describe it in three minutes on TV,” he continued. “This country is structured by family, tribe, traditions — and despite everything, those structures are still there, and they are strong.”

Still, Yemeni society is being ravaged by war. Airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition, aided by American bombs, have killed thousands of civilians, and displaced many more. But for most Yemenis, war strikes their lives in quieter, more insidious ways.

Bombs blow up bridges or factories, killing jobs, causing the currency to crumble and prices to soar, and forcing families to abstain from meat, then vegetables. Soon, they are dependent on international food aid or, in the worst cases, resort to meals of boiled leaves.

A bridge in Bani Hassan was damaged by a Saudi airstrike.CreditTyler Hicks/The New York Times

A bridge in Bani Hassan was damaged by a Saudi airstrike.CreditTyler Hicks/The New York Times

Small but vital things, like a cab fare, become unattainable.

As we drove away from the small hospital in Aslam, where Amal Hussain was being treated, we passed a young couple hitching a ride on the side of the road. They were holding a small infant. We stopped and offered them a ride.

They squeezed into the passenger seat — the father, Khalil Hadi, enveloped by the black cloak of his wife, Hanna, who held their fragile 9-month-old son, Wejdan, who had just been released from the malnutrition ward.

Theirs was a typical story. Their home near the Saudi border had been bombed, so they rented a room in a house near Aslam. Mr. Hadi tried to earn money driving a motorbike taxi, and by foraging for wood to sell at the market.

But it wasn’t enough, and when he tried to go home, the Houthi soldiers told him the area was a military zone. Their diet was reduced to bread, tea and halas, the vine that grew locally. His wife was four months pregnant with their second child.

Mr. Hadi wasn’t looking for pity; many people were in similar trouble, he said. “I’d do anything to make some money,” he said. “The situation is so hard.”

At a junction in the road, the couple stepped out, offered thanks and began to walk away. Fumbling in my pocket, I called them back.

I pulled out a wad of Yemeni notes — about $15 worth — and pressed it into his hand. It seemed so futile, in the greater scheme of things. What could it buy them? A few days respite, if even that?

Mr. Hadi accepted the money with a gracious smile. As we drove off I saw the couple amble down a dusty road, toward their shelter, their ailing son held tight.

Khalil Hadi and his pregnant wife, Itanna Hassan Massani, carrying their 9-month-old son, Wejdan, from a clinic in Aslam.CreditTyler Hicks/The New York Times

Khalil Hadi and his pregnant wife, Itanna Hassan Massani, carrying their 9-month-old son, Wejdan, from a clinic in Aslam.CreditTyler Hicks/The New York Times

Follow Declan Walsh on Twitter:@declanwalsh

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page A4 of the New York edition with the headline: Contrast in Crushed State Presents Journalists With Ethical Dilemma. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

Donald Trump Says You Need A Picture ID To Buy Groceries In America



Donald Trump Says You Need A Picture ID To Buy Groceries In America

The president made the comment while pushing for voter ID laws at a Florida rally.

President Donald Trump told a crowd in Florida on Tuesday night that buying groceries requires an identification card.

Trump made the comment while pushing for voter ID laws at a rally in Tampa to support Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) in the state’s gubernatorial race. The president touched on a number of his regular talking points, including unemployment rates and tariffs, before talking about voter fraud.

Trump claimed Democrats were attempting to give undocumented immigrants the right to vote.

“Which is why the time has come for voter ID, like everything else,” Trump told the crowd. “You know, if you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card. You need ID.”

Liam Martin


President Trump, at his rally in Tampa, is pushing for voter ID laws and said you need to show an ID to buy groceries.

(You don’t need ID to buy groceries.)

There is no evidence that noncitizen voting is a widespread problem, despite Trump’s claims. Pressed in court earlier this year to offer evidence of widespread noncitizen voting in Kansas, experts whose work Trump has relied on were only able to point to a handful of cases.

To be clear, American citizens do not need a picture ID to buy basic groceries. There are some federal and state regulations that prohibit the sale of alcohol or certain over-the-counter medications without identification, but that does not extend to basic food or cleaning products.

Social media users remarked on Trump’s assertion as “out of touch” and wondered when the billionaire last bought his own groceries.


You need an ID to buy groceries? How out of touch can you be? How much does a loaf of bread cost Trump? Do you know?

Devon Schwab@DevonInSpace

When Trump said you need ID to buy groceries.

Jonathan Allen


Trump says you need photo ID to buy groceries in the U.S. That’s more out of touch than George H.W. Bush’s grocery scanner.

Trump discussed trade deals and immigration before the Tampa crowd using much of his typical rhetoric.

He once again used the term “globalist,” which is often used in xenophobic and anti-Semitic contexts, to refer to lobbyists fighting against his tariffs. Trump also went after Democrats for their views on immigration, including calls to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Trump ended the rally by boasting about the “impact” of his endorsements. He remarked on Brian Kemp’s primary win in Georgia last week in a contentious Republican runoff for governor after he endorsed Kemp.

This story has been updated with information on noncitizen voting.