Dubai announces two-week lockdown to disinfect city around the clock
Emirate announces strict restrictions on movement across the city and legal action” will be taken against violators
The metro and tram services in Dubai will be suspended but buses and taxis will continue to operate
Updated 05 April 2020
DUBAI: Dubai announced a two-week lockdown on Saturday so that the emirate could be disinfected around the clock to fight the spread of coronavirus.
There will be “strict restrictions on movement across the city and legal action” will be taken against violators, Dubai Media Office said.
The measure is effective from 8:00p.m. on Saturday for a period of two weeks.
Supermarkets and pharmacies will be allowed to operate normally and food and medicine deliveries will continue uninterrupted.
Extensive medical testing will be carried out in densely populated areas of the city to stop the spread of the virus and citizens and residents are urged to stay at home.
People can go out only to buy food, receive health care and get tested for coronavirus provided they wear a mask, gloves and maintain social distancing. Shopping should be done by one member of the family only.
A freshly baked Iranian flatbread usually accompanies a piece of feta cheese and sweet tea for breakfast or a plate of kebab for lunch
Updated 29 June 2020
TEHRAN: They bake what Iranians call “the barakat (blessing) of the table,” and it is eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner — traditional breads are a staple of the Iranian diet.
Bakeries are easy to locate in urban centers of Iran where all one has to do is spot a queue spilling onto sidewalks or simply detect the irresistible scent of freshly baked flatbreads.
Exclusively the job of men in the Islamic republic, bakers get up well before the crack of dawn while everyone else is still asleep.
Dressed in all-white clothing that can include caps, they hail from across the country and are usually made up of ethnic Azeris, Kurds and Lurs.
The baker moves and gesticulates constantly as he works in what resembles a dance in front of gas-fired ovens.
He takes a ball of dough and spreads it on a board before placing it on the inside walls of the glowing furnace using a long set of tongs.
Once they are done, the baker again uses the tongs to retrieve the bread, and hangs it on the wall or piles it up.
The walls around them are a patchwork of flatbreads in four different shapes and sizes — barbari, lavash, sangak and taftoon.
But they do not stay there for long, as customers jostling near the entrance are eager to snap them up while they are still hot.
A freshly baked Iranian flatbread usually accompanies a piece of feta cheese and sweet tea for breakfast or a plate of kebab for lunch.
Of the four main traditional types, sangak is the most popular and is seen as Iran’s national bread.
It is made from wholewheat flour and topped with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and sometimes poppy seeds at the customer’s request.
The coronavirus has also affected the bakers’ profession like so many others, and their income has decreased as a result.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, some of our customers who had been quarantined bought ingredients from us to bake bread at home,” said baker Esmail Asghari.
Dressed in all-white clothing that can include caps, the bakers hail from across the country and are usually made up of ethnic Azeris, Kurds and Lurs.
But making traditional bread at home is difficult, meaning customers were quick to return to their local bakery.
“During isolation, I made bread twice at home, but it didn’t go well and I realized it wasn’t a good idea!” said Negar Rezai, a customer clutching some sangak outside a bakery in north Tehran.
“We have bread for breakfast and dinner and often eat rice for lunch,” adds the 50-year-old housewife.
In order to ensure hygiene, one baker has enforced the strict sanitary instructions imposed by the Health Ministry, including social distancing and use of bank cards instead of cash.
“We had a lot of difficulty during the fasting month of Ramadan,” said Mohammad Mirzakhani, a 41-year-old taftoon maker.
“The line became long and many people did not respect (health) protocols.”
The Health Ministry reported in January that on average Iranians consume 310 grams (nearly 11 ounces) of bread per day.
“Bread is the staple and the main food of our people,” it said.
If eating bread is a choice for some, it remains an obligation for others who can’t afford rice, another staple food in Iran.
“Rice has recently become so expensive that we can no longer eat it regularly,” said Mirzakhani. “We now eat most of our food with bread.”