Cesar Chelala

55 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.

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Latest by Cesar Chelala


Gideon Levy: A Voice of Sanity from Israel

I first learned of Gideon Levy many years ago, during a casual conversation with my friend Edy Kaufman, an Israeli human rights activist. He told me that he had asked Levy why was he such a serious critic of Israel’s government and its policies with the Palestinians. Levy, whose own father was a German Jewish …

Cesar Chelala

President Donald Trump’s ‘Magical Realism’

It is possible that President Donald Trump never suspected this, but among his many, yet never-acknowledged, talents is that of being a novelist. A novelist in the Latin American tradition of magic, or ‘magical realism.’ Magical realism is a style of fiction writing that combines a realistic view of the modern world while also adding …

Cesar Chelala

Is there an end to tragic fate of Syrian refugees in Lebanon?

The influx of Syrian refugees into Lebanon which started in 2011 following the outbreak of the Syrian civil war has created a serious problem not only for Lebanon but for the refugees themselves. Lebanon currently has the largest number of refugees per capita in the world, with one refugee per four Lebanese. The stress on …

Cesar Chelala

A simple lesson of peace

As a writer on human rights issues, I do not lack reasons for concern. Nowadays, in many countries, human rights are abused, and violence strikes in one of its multiple forms. Although writing topics are plentiful, this situation is especially upsetting for anybody who yearns to live in a peaceful world. At such moments, when …

Cesar Chelala

Life devoted to searching for her abducted granddaughter 

On 20 August 2018, María Isabel Chorobik de Mariani (“Chicha”) died in La Plata, Buenos Aires Province. She was 94-years-old and for 42 years had been searching for her granddaughter Clara Anahí. On 24 November 1976, Clara Anahí had been abducted by the military when they took away her parents and later killed them. Since …

Cesar Chelala

An insatiable salesman

Unexpectedly, a casual incident brightened my life. It was one of the most interesting meetings I had during a recent trip to my native province, Tucumán, located in the north of Argentina. There I met Roberto Espeche, a local notary with a fascinating life history. I met Roberto when I was in a restaurant with …

Cesar Chelala

A small example of peaceful coexistence

Growing up in Tucumán, a town in the north of Argentina, I had the opportunity to see a small example of peaceful coexistence and collaboration between Arabs and Jews. I was reminded of that experience after reading an article by Uri Avnery, one of the leading peace activists in Israel, on the need for a …

Cesar Chelala

Saving the environment, empowering women

Vickie Frémont, a French woman born in Cameroon, is a modern day heroine. For the past several years she has been conducting workshops around the world, using a hands-on approach for the transformation of rejects or trash into useful everyday objects. Included in her workshops—which take place in schools, community centres, universities, and even in …

Cesar Chelala

Alzheimer

How to lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease

New York, NY—In 1901, when Dr Alois Alzheimer started talking to his patient Mrs Auguste Deter, a 50-year-old patient, he immediately realised that there was something wrong with her. Her responses to his questions were not only repetitive and wrong, but she quickly seemed to forget them. Sadly, she seemed to be aware of her …

Cesar Chelala

The biography that Trump could not stop

New York, NY—Rarely was there so much expectation for the appearance of a book as is the case of Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House of the North American journalist Michael Wolff. And never before were so many copies sold so quickly. Before its appearance, the book and its e-book version had reached …

Cesar Chelala

The wisdom of idiots: a brief morality tale

Idries Shah was a teacher in the Sufi tradition whose seminal work was The Sufis. He presented Sufism as a universal form of wisdom that predated Islam. In his writings, he frequently used teaching stories and humour to transmit this philosophy. His stories contained multiple layers of meaning and were written with the idea that …

Cesar Chelala

A word I shouldn’t use

New York—Growing up in Argentina, I had an English teacher named Sarah, a kind and knowledgeable woman. Reading one of my papers, in which I called a character in the story “a despicable man,” she admonished me: “you shouldn’t use that word, César, it is too strong.” Now, decades later, I find that perhaps that …

Cesar Chelala

The Afghan Quagmire

 New York –It is impossible to win a war that you cannot define. That seems to be the main lesson to be drawn from Afghanistan, where a so-called victory seems ever more unreachable. It is also the conclusion of several experts on the region, who fear US forces would be mired forever in that unjustly …

Cesar Chelala

Afghanistan’s dismal health situation

New York – As the war in Afghanistan shows no signs of abating, the health of the people in the country continues to be cause for concern. Afghanistan’s health care system is considered one of the worst in the world, and decades of war and international neglect have contributed to its deterioration. An estimated 6 million …

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