Cesar Chelala

34 Articles

Cesar Chelala, MD, PhD, is an international public health consultant who has conducted health-related missions in over 50 countries worldwide. He is also a winner of an Overseas Press Club of America award.

Advertising Area




Latest by Cesar Chelala


Gazans are the victims of their own and Israel’s leadership

The curtailing of electricity to Gaza conducted by the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah in connivance with Israeli authorities seriously hurts the people of that region. They have become the victims of the political fighting between the PA, ruled by Fatah, and the Palestinian leadership in Gaza, ruled by Hamas. The PA pays Israel for …

Cesar Chelala

Gazans are the victims of their own and Israel’s leadership

The curtailing of electricity to Gaza conducted by the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah in connivance with Israeli authorities seriously hurts the people of that region. They have become the victims of the political fighting between the Palestinian Authority (PA) ruled by Fatah, and the Palestinian leadership in Gaza ruled by Hamas. The PA pays Israel …

Cesar Chelala

Solving Donald Trump’s Mystery

Recently, as I picked up a book from my bookcase, I realised that one word in its title had the answer to a problem that had been bothering me for months. The book is “The Voice Imitator” by Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard. And the word that solved the mystery, you may already have guessed it, …

Cesar Chelala

A Story of Courage, Creativity and Survival

In 1939, the relentless Nazi bombardment of Warsaw destroyed the city’s zoo. What the Nazis didn’t know, however, is that what they had destroyed was not an ordinary zoo, but the extraordinary creation of an unusual Christian Polish couple, Jan and Antonina Zabinski. Thanks to them and their son Ryszard’s efforts, approximately 300 Jewish women, …

Cesar Chelala

Two historical moments in Syria

The photograph is the image of desolation. In a room that seems to have been devastated by a hurricane, shattered windows and furniture, debris everywhere, and a few torn and winding curtains that remain as mute witnesses to the disaster, a man sitting on his bedroom bed smokes a pipe while listening to a record. …

Cesar Chelala

The best way to aid Africa

New York—Drought in Somalia threatens the lives of almost half the population, according to Somalia’s prime minister Hassan Ali Khaire. Over a two-day span, at least 110 people died of hunger in just a single region in the country. This highlights the tremendous needs Somalia and other African countries have for immediate help. In the …

Cesar Chelala

Questioning the rigid application of the Goldwater Rule 

In 1964, the magazine Fact published the article “The Unconscious of a Conservative: A Special Issue on the Mind of Barry Goldwater.” The article included the results of a poll among psychiatrists questioning them if then senator Barry Goldwater was fit to be president. Of the 2,147 who responded, 657 said that he was fit and 1,189 …

Cesar Chelala

A Psychological Portrait of President Trump

Last October, before Donald Trump was elected as the US president, I, among others, put forward the hypothesis that Mr. Trump is a narcissist. I based my interpretation on the fact that he fulfilled practically all the criteria included in the classification of narcissism established by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). …

Cesar Chelala

Donald Trump v the arts

Among the victims of president Donald Trump’s ban on refugees and immigrants from seven Middle Eastern countries is Kinan Azmeh, a noted Syrian clarinettist and composer. Presently, Azmeh is stuck in Beirut, even though he has an EB-1 “alien with extraordinary abilities” visa and has lived in New York for the past 16 years. The US government’s prohibition for Azmeh …

Cesar Chelala

Donald Trump’s concerning views on torture

US president Donald Trump has repeatedly stated his belief in the usefulness of torture and waterboarding, raising concern among human rights advocates. When asked if the US should use waterboarding to extract confessions from prisoners, Trump said: “I like it a lot. I don’t think it’s tough enough.” It was a worrisome statement by the new US …

Cesar Chelala

US abstention on Israeli settlement resolution too little, too late

The United States’ abstention from voting on the UN security council’s anti-settlement resolution is a serious blow to prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policy of annexation in the West Bank. The bureau of Israel’s prime minister said that “Israel rejects the contemptible, anti-Israel UN resolution and will not subordinate itself to it.” The decision to abstain from voting is the …

Cesar Chelala

Poverty: the dark side of the American empire

If we have learned anything from this last presidential election, it is that poverty continues to be a concept ignored by president-elect Donald Trump and by United States politicians. Although both avoid using the word like a naked man avoids a poisonous snake, poverty is integral to the current reality of the US socio-political landscape. …

Cesar Chelala

Meeting Fidel

As a young medical student in Argentina, I had been fascinated by Fidel Castro and his rebel combatants. I followed with interest their advance from the mountains to the plains to the capital city of Havana. I longed to visit the island but the US blockade made it extremely difficult to travel to Cuba. Then, …

Cesar Chelala

Equality for women can reduce world hunger

  Giving women the same tools and resources as men, such as financial support, education, and access to markets, could reduce the number of hungry people worldwide by up to 150 million. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and other humanitarian agencies estimate that 925 million people across the world are undernourished. Of this number, …

Cesar Chelala

Hamilton v Trump

“Apologise!” was president-elect Donald Trump’s conclusion of two messages he wrote to the cast of Hamilton, one of the most successful Broadway musicals in recent times. He was thus responding to the incident in which actor Brandon Victor Dixon, who plays former vice president Aaron Burr, addressed the audience of the show. At the end …

Cesar Chelala

I am one of your ‘bad hombres’, señor Trump

During the last presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Trump said: “we have some bad hombres here”. This was said in clear reference to the Latinos coming to the United States (US). As CNN commentator Van Jones explained: “The only time this man has used Spanish in the entire election was used to stereotype …

Cesar Chelala

Embargo on Cuba is an embarrassment for the United States

  The United States’ abstention on a resolution to end its economic embargo on Cuba—a first  after opposing it for 24 years—is an implicit acknowledgement of the wrongfulness of such a measure. It has brought considerable and unnecessary suffering to the Cuban people and hasn’t brought any positive results to the US. Cuba’s foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez said …

Cesar Chelala

Military regimes should not be recognised 

The military upheaval in Turkey, of which the final consequences are yet to be seen, highlights a major weakness in worldwide efforts to promote democracy. This event underscores the need to establish binding international legal principles to ban the recognition of military regimes as a result of coups d’état. Establishment of such principles, and the creation …

Cesar Chelala

Mr. Trump is a toy soldier

Toy soldiers (miniature figurines representing real soldiers) have a long history. They have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs, and have since appeared in many cultures and eras. During the 18th century, toy soldiers became very popular, inspired by the military exploits of Frederik the Great, the King of Prussia. An important producer of plastic soldiers in …

Cesar Chelala

Chasing fried eggs with Jorge Luis Borges

During a recent trip to Argentina I was talking to an old friend, a successful psychiatrist, about Jorge Luis Borges, the famous Argentine writer considered by many as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. She told me about the only time she had met him. “I had gone to a lecture by Borges at …

Cesar Chelala

A discovery of poetry

Some people’s lives are marked by their concern for others. That is the case for my friend Janet Brof, whom I have known for many years. She is the equivalent of any heroine from old times. In her, there is an ingrained love for those less favoured in life, an unbending urge for justice and …

Cesar Chelala

India needs to take action against systematic gender discrimination

The barbaric rape and setting fire to a 15-year-old girl in India is just the latest in a continuous series of rapes across the country. Repeated cases of gang rape in India are not isolated incidents, but rather a reflection of widespread gender discrimination in the country. It is difficult to equate India’s rapid economic and technological development with such …

Cesar Chelala

Deconstructing Donald Trump

Those who quickly dismissed Donald Trump’s bid for the presidency are wrong. As his nomination as the Republican candidate for the presidency is becoming increasingly possible, it is worth analysing his announcement as a candidate, since it offers an insight into the main tenets on which his presidency will be based. Rather than being a …

Cesar Chelala

Humanitarian ceasefire in Yemen is urgently needed

As war continues to rage uninterrupted in Yemen and the country spirals into chaos, a humanitarian ceasefire has become an ever more pressing need to tend to the swaths of the civilian population devastated in the wake of the increasing militarisation that are in need of urgent middle care. Restrictions on access to medical supplies and …

Cesar Chelala

Education is critical for children’s health

Several studies have shown that there is a relationship between education and health. A strong positive correlation between a woman’s level of education and her general health has been observed. It has been found that better education, particularly among mothers, is widely associated with better children’s health. In addition, education for women is closely associated …

Cesar Chelala

Netanyahu rewrites history

In Shakespeare’s famous play “King Lear”, Lear himself says, “When we are born, we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools.” I was reminded of these words after reading Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu state that the late grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al-Husseini, an Arab nationalist and a zealous foe of …

Cesar Chelala

Cultural treasures are also victims of war

The “Islamic State” militant group recently smashed several art pieces at the Palmyra UNESCO World Heritage site, in the Syrian city of that name. Even more brutally, they beheaded 82-year-old Khaled Al-Assad, one of Syria’s most respected archaeologists, who had been the keeper of Palmyra for more than 50 years. In Yemen, the damage to three out of …

Cesar Chelala

Cruelty is not a human right

From 1 January to 18 August 2015, the Israeli police demolished 331 Palestinian structures in Area C (not including East Jerusalem) and 457 people, including 263 children, lost their precarious homes, according to data from the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights organisation

Cesar Chelala