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Meveg Seminar 2012 - report from the Middle East

Meveg Seminar 2012 – For Better Health & Environment hosted by volunteers of Middle East Veg Group alongside 10th Middle East Natural and Organic Products Exhibition on 27th and 28th November at the Hall 4, Dubai International Exhibition Centre was a resounding success.

The Meveg Seminar 2012 spread over two days and 3 hour-sessions had interactive talks, panel discussions, a poster exhibition and launch of sample vegetarian marketplace – Souq Al Nabati. The panel of speakers consisted of expert doctors, environmentalists, chefs, food sustainability experts and alternative health practitioners amongst all. The Meveg Seminar was attended by people from all walks of life, organic farmers, people from the food industry, students, teachers and residents of the middle east.

Sandhya Prakash – Representative of IVU and Founder-Director Meveg welcoming the attendees of the seminar urged “The United Arab Emirates has the highest incidence of obesity, diabetes and cancer and the country is looking for innovative methods to reduce the same. The time has come to promote a change in human lifestyles, a situation explicitly conjured by Albert Einstein over half a century ago. It is imperative to establish better-organized systems and present a simple whole foods based natural, organic and vegetarian lifestyle as a green, light and healthy choice and as a need for the health and sustainability of life in the Arabian region. Expressing her deep concern for the environment, Sandhya said, ”Environmental awareness in the United Arab Emirates is profound and original, and it stems from the belief of its wise leadership and deep understanding of UAE, especially the founder, his highness, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan – may God rest his soul – who held deep belief in the human capacity to change, and that the responsibility for ensuring quality and prosperous life for future generations cannot be achieved unless the current environmental problems are dealt with immediately and urgently. He was aware of the importance of maintaining the balance between growth and our environment. The right of future generations to benefit from their resources when he said: "our environment and our resources are not ours, it is entrusted to us and we all have the responsibility to take care of, and deliver it safe and free of damage for the generations to come”.

For the first time at Meveg Seminar 2012, International Veg Union felicitated six United Arab Emirates based organizations with “NABATI” certifications for being 100% Vegetarian. The restaurants were Govindas Restaurant in Karama-Dubai, Pure Lotus Restaurant located on Jumeriah Beach Road, Down to Earth Organic Store in Sheikh Hamdaan Centre, Satwa, Sukh Sagar Restaurant on The Walk at Jumeriah Beach Residence, Arya’s Gourmet Restaurant in Bur Dubai and Radhe o Radhe Restaurant in Jebel Ali Freezone- Dubai.

Congratulating in his message to the third Meveg Seminar 2012 organizers, John Davis Manager – IVU’s said, “The rest of the world is ready to work with our friends in the Middle East, and we look forward to holding the IVU World Vegfest in your region in 2016. That will be another first -  IVU was founded in 1908, but after 104 years we have still never held a global event in the Middle East. The time has come to correct that.

Speaking at the Meveg Seminar 2012, Dr.Nandita Shah – Founder of SHARAN emphasized the importance close attention to what we ingest and that the responsibility of health lies in our hands. Diseases can be reversed with ideal combination of food, exercise and managing the mind. She quoted President Bill Clinton’s journey to good health with whole plant based diet as an example worth copying.”

The seminar concluded with a strong message for all attendees to start listening deeply to their unique bodies and instincts, learn from nature rather than follow the masses and do what the world is doing - blindly.

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