Archive for ‘Gaafar J. Uherbelau’

June 22, 2013

Pride beriou

By Gaafar Uherbelau —-

As you may know or have studied in history, many developed nations around the world had experienced civil wars or conflicts in their early days. These wars ultimately led to their formal establishment as world nations and the creation of their constitutions and national laws. Even in the Pacific in recent years we’ve seen ethnic tensions and rebellion in Fiji and the Solomon Islands where violence and suffering had traumatized many people.

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June 15, 2013

As the world turns.

By Gaafar Uherbelau —-

While growing up I don’t ever recall having read about or even hearing it from elders the concept of “Palauan Time” – this habit that we’ve adapted as a “culture” of being late for everything and accepting it because it’s socially expected. Similarly, I don’t ever recall a time when my parents or grandparents allowed me to curse in the house or in public as if it were perfectly normal.

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June 5, 2013

Ng kmal di one…

Column from the forum pages of Tia Belau: A kora di melekoi (I’m just saying)…

By Gaafar Uherbelau —-

Last week we talked about all the wonderful excuses, oh sorry, “reasons” why we don’t exercise on the streets. This week ask yourself this: how many times have you told a friend or family member that you’ve decided to quit chewing or decided to go on a diet and they look at you like you’re crazy?

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May 23, 2013

Merur el exercise


Ak kora di melekoi (I’m just saying)…


By Gaafar J. Uherbelau —-

Unless you’re a baseball or basketball player, a member of the canoe team or a member of Team Palau then you shouldn’t be on the road right? I mean who in their rightful mind would agree to buy and put on brand new sneakers and exercise clothes and be seen walking down the main road? Only Seabees, foreigners, athletes, and “regulars” can exercise on the streets and at the brand new exercise stations and not be talked about right?

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May 16, 2013

A Culture of One

The following is an inaugural article of a new Tia Belau op-ed column  “Ak kora di melekoi (I’m just saying)… by Gaafar Uherbelau —- 

It was about three years ago at the Belau National Hospital when I heard a woman complain about the cost of her daughter’s medical bill, which she had no choice but to pay. A few minutes later, at a nearby store, the same lady with daughter in hand came in while I was paying for gas. The little girl went to the fridge and got a can of juice and pulled on her mom’s shirt for her approval. She scolded the little girl and told her it was too expensive and that she’d already spent her money paying for her hospital bill. She then turned to the cashier and asked for two packs of cigarettes.

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December 13, 2007

Rocks from the dark…

Fr. Francis X. Hezel, S.J., a man widely considered to be a very valuable asset to the Micronesian region recently delivered a keynote speech i Koror, talking about how Palau has changed since his first visit to thenation over forty years ago. Speaking about culture, health, and tradition, he delivered his insights on Palau’s advancements as well as its shortcomings.Fr. Hezel spoke about “Highs” – betel nut, drugs; “Food” – how food has traditionally been part of our culture; “Sex” – teen pregnancies, STDs; “Competition” – how Palauans are well known competitors; and “The Gender Divide & Mental Health” – talking about the high cases of mental illnesses in Palau. Most of these topics raise health concerns, which are well understood by citizens and foreign residents alike in Palau. However, despite knowing these concerns, we somehow tend to let the message out the other ear whilst we turn the other cheek.

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