Inspired by Diabetes at Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai

This week, Inspired by Diabetes in the UAE is partnering with Ibn Battuta Mall’s Unite for Diabetes awareness week. Come by and spend some time getting your blood sugars checked, enjoy some fun activities and learn about the disease that is affecting 1 out of every 5 people in the country.

Visit us at the Inspired by Diabetes art area and use our supplies to make your diabetes-inspired creation. You will have the chance to enter it into the competition even before the official launch.

The event continues from 3pm until the mall closes from the 10-15. Bring your friends.

http://www.ibnbattutamall.com/

And the winner is…

Ok well we don’t know yet, but the judging has been successfully completed in Egypt and Lebanon and will take place in the UAE this Thursday. We are glad to inform you that the Inspired by Diabetes Middle East contest received a total of 10 submissions from Lebanon, 150 from Egypt and 120 from the UAE.

Here is a list of our fantastic judges:

Egypt:  ·        Mrs Nahed Hamza, Deputy Chief Editor, Al Akhbar·        Mr Nabil Shawky, Artist

·        Representatives from the Ministry of Health

Lebanon:

·        Members of the Lebanese Diabetes Society

·        Members of the Lebanese Society of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Lipids

UAE:

·        Members of local musicians, ABRI

·        Saeed Shalash, Editor, Zahrat Al Khaleej magazine

·        Rachael Brown, Jam Jar

 Stay tuned as I will announce winners here probably before the official site does. 🙂

Good News and Better News

So ‘Inspired by Diabetes’ is nearly finished!!! You’ll notice that I’m writing that it’s nearly finished on the supposed deadline. So you know what that means? Yup, the deadline has been extended. The new deadline for the Middle East is now January 31, 2008, a whole 11 days extension. Now you have more reasons to finish up that song, drawing, poem, etc. The global deadline has been pushed back two months to March 31, 2008. Visit www.inspiredbydiabetes-me.com or www.inspiredbydiabetes.com for information on the regional and global competition.

So all three regions for the regional competition have been really busy.

In Lebanon, Eli Lilly and the Lebanese Diabetes Society gave a presentation to patients and staff at the Mount Lebanon Hospital in Beirut. There has since been plenty of press and TV interviews with IBD spokespeople.

In Egypt, there was a large press conference and double the expected media showed up. We have since been receiving great coverage online, through print and broadcast.

In UAE, as is described below in an earlier post, Rock/Funk group ABRI have signed on as regional judges for the competition. This news has also spread quickly and is starting to proliferate online through Zawya, Eye of Dubai and Dubai Bands. Interviews are planned this week for many magazines so keep your eyes (and ears) open for that.

So keep spreading the word and keep on submitting to the competition. Let’s raise awareness together so that we can all be ‘inspired’.

Makin’ noise: Dubai’s up-and-coming rock stars, ABRI, support IBD

ABRI

If you haven’t heard of them then you live under a rock! ABRI, the Dubai band that is clearing the desert sand from the ears of music lovers across the Middle East are breaking out with their debut album, ‘Sunchild’, released on November 1st, 2007. Recently, the band has garnered plenty of press, a rowing fan base and has played with international music acts such as Shaggy, the Fun Loving Criminals and Arrested Development.

And now they are joining ‘Inspired by Diabetes’!!! ABRI has offered to lend their support to this great initiative by offering their talents as celebrity judges for the competition. Those of you who submit your artwork to the contest will be sure to have the eyes and ears of this one-of-a-kind band look at your work….which is pretty cool!

Hamdan Al Abri, the band’s vocalist has a history of diabetes in his family and he offered good advice to those of you who are finding it hard to find inspiration.

“My cousin also has diabetes,” says Hamdan. “She has to take insulin injections every day. At first I thought it was strange and kind of intense but it seemed to blend right into her life and never slowed her down. She would sometimes pass out at school. Most people would be embarrassed in a situation like that but she just showed up the next day like nothing happened.”Looking back now, the funk/soul singer can recognize how even something like diabetes, which is called ‘the silent killer’, can be inspirational. If you take a step backwards, he says, you can see more clearly the things that are invisible because they are so close to you.

 “That’s why I encourage people to take a moment and think about how diabetes affects them,” He says. “It opens your eyes. Put yourself in their shoes, see their life. How would it be? What would you change? By changing your perspective you can truly be inspired.”Visit www.inspiredbydiabetes-me.com to find the rules and submission forms. Spend some time this holiday season to think about the people around you. Even if they don’t have diabetes, what would it be like if they did? Get Inspired!

Take a listen to ABRI’s music online at www.myspace.com/AbriMusic 

Happy holidays.

What makes you aware?

The Burj Al Arab turned blue for diabetesThe Burj Al Arab turned blue for diabetesThe Burj Al Arab turned blue for diabetes

Recently in the UAE there have been a number of diabetes awareness initiatives, mostly launching around World Diabetes Day on November 14. Many landmarks, such as the Burj Al Arab, have agreed to light up in blue to mark the occasion and to grab people’s attention. Other initiatives include Ibn Battuta Mall’s awareness month, where shoppers can stop by the diabetes booth and get a quick blood sugar test. Or there is the recent walk-a-thon in Abu Dhabi that was organized by the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, where thousands turned up to walk in support of those living with diabetes.

 While all of these initiatives help to turn people’s thoughts towards the disease and it’s impact on our family, friends and society as a whole, I wonder how much it is actually affecting people to make positive lifestyle changes. Often, I find these sorts of awareness campaigns to be flashes in the pan. By that I mean everyone tunes in, jumps on the band wagon, makes a little noise and then goes back to their normal routines. Very few people actively discuss the issues and how it affects them or sits and thinks about what diabetes is and does to the body. They simply drive by a blue building while eating a cheeseburger and think, ‘that’s for diabetes.’ But do they know what diabetes is? How it slowly starves your body? That once you get diabetes it will be with you forever? That nearly one out of every two of their friends either has it or will have it in 10 years? I doubt it. Not to say it isn’t great to support the cause and help spread awareness in any way possible, but people need to be engaged on a personal level, educated about facts, and to actively talk about it with family, friends and work colleagues.

That’s why I feel so strongly about the Inspired by Diabetes campaign. It is very different. It is more of a grassroots initiative that forces people to think about how their lives are affected by the disease. It gets kids asking questions to parents and teachers. It lets people express their feelings about the disease in a creative, personal way which can then be used to educate others.

So what would help make you aware?

Tonight on Nightline with James Piecowye

Tonight James Piecowye will be speaking with one of the UAE’s most respected diabetes specialists, Dr. Amel B El Tayeb, Director of the Diabetes & Endocrine Center at Dubai Healthcare City and formerly of Hammersmith Hospital UK & Dubai Hospital. Dr. Tayeb, whose research interests include diabetes, cholesterol & heart disease, obesity, thyroid disorders & osteoporosis will answer caller questions about diabetes and specifically, the cultural and environmental factors that make this region one of the worst in the world for cases of the disease.

Tune into Dubai Eye 103.8 tonight, November 27 between 8 and 10 p.m. and join in the discussion.