01/10/2012 04:50 pm ET

One Emirati Woman's Battle With Anorexia

Sitting in the lounge of a Dubai hotel, Samira Murshid Al Romaithi could be any other 28-year-old woman. Clear-skinned and bright-eyed, she smiles as she greets me, exposing a set of pearly white teeth and a long mane of dark hair that falls over a pretty, sensitive face.

Confident without being overbearing, articulate and charming, this is a woman who holds a senior position with the Government in Abu Dhabi; who is the vice president of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu committee and a blue-belt competitor; who is about to launch her own business selling health food snacks; and who not only has a BA and a master's but also is halfway through another master's, in diplomacy and international relations. Her zest for life is obvious.

It's almost impossible to imagine she once suffered from anorexia.

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