BEIRUT: From the crowded streets of the city to the silent alleys of the villages, pink billboards, products, and ribbons can almost be found everywhere. Lebanon once again puts on its pink coat to welcome October: the officially acclaimed breast cancer awareness month.
The yearly global health campaign aims at constructing awareness about the disease, raising funds for further research and treatments, and enforcing the importance of early detection.
Lebanon’s organizations will be participating in this year’s campaign either through hosting events, or through initiating small gestures in hope of generating funds.
After having to deal with breast cancer herself and then getting cured, the Lebanese singer Elissa’s dedication and persistence to fight cancer lives on. Elissa will be taking part in the national awareness campaign hosted by the Ministry of Health on October 13 and 14 in Horsh Beirut. The two-day event will offer women the chance to get a free mammography and will provide each participating woman and her family with all the information they need to know about breast cancer.
Keeping pace with informative-style events, Etam, a lingerie brand, is also hosting an awareness rendezvous on October 10 in Le Mall Dbayeh. Running form 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., their two-hour program will familiarize attendees with prevention methods and techniques and present them with all the required tests that should be taken to detect cancer.
The brand will also introduce the Lebanese Breast Cancer Foundation (LBCF), an NGO established in 2011 in the American University of Beirut Medical Center to raise awareness about the disease and provide support to its’ patients.
“The events taking place this month play a huge role in raising awareness about breast cancer and the importance of early detection,” Mirna Sabbah, LBCF Vice President, told Annahar. “We are participating in several of these events to make sure that people are aware that the earlier they get detected, the higher chance they might have in getting cured.”
From informative speeches and educational days to fun activities and fundraising events, a three-hour Zumba class will take place in Phoenicia Hotel on October 14. The event will feature Lebanese singer Marc Hatem and Zin instructors who will lead the participating team. All the ticket proceeds will be granted to the Lebanese Breast Cancer Foundation.
Other happenings will include a Gala Dinner to be held on October 24 in Music Hall and a Marathon organized under the patronage of Prime Minster Saad El Hariri on October 7.
While running and attending educational lectures, fancy dinners, and dance sessions are one way to participate in the all-pink month, other ways include gesture-like contributions accommodated and offered by brands.
Better from Scratch will be providing kick boxing classes entitled “Fight like a Woman.” These kick boxing classes aim at empowering women to fight through breast cancer. The baking store is also collaborating with university students to conduct bake sales to raise money for breast cancer treatments.
“Integrating the youth is a form of spreading awareness about the issue as well,” Owner of Better from Scratch Nahlan Saade told Annahar. “It would help them accept the disease and thus, grow informed and well aware about it too.”
From boutique stores to shopping centers, CityMall has also set up a donation booth and is offering a free pampering session in return to every donation equivalent to or more than LBP 10,000.
When it comes to fashion with a statement, LBCF collaborated with Claude Bejjani and Danielle Sfeir to create a T-shirt line titled “No Drama.” The shirt, which is currently being sold to raise money for patient’s treatment, reflects the importance of early detection to avoid the drama associated with breast cancer.
“People are still afraid to talk about cancer making it feel like a taboo,” said Sabbah. “The shirt has been created in a way to shock people and to make them think and consider the topic further.”
Sabbah added that the shirt has received several complains claiming that the image presented is harsh for viewers.
“We are trying to make people sense how harsh the topic is,” she told Annahar, “it’s only a way to reflect a reality that can be avoided by early detection. The shirt will make people talk about the issue and thus, raise further awareness.”
Welcome to “Naya,” the newest addition to Annahar’s coverage. This section aims at fortifying Lebanese women’s voices by highlighting their talents, challenges, innovations, and women’s empowerment. We will also be reporting on the world of work, family, style, health, and culture. Naya is devoted to women of all generations — Naya Editor, Sally Farhat: Sally.firstname.lastname@example.org
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