Here We Go!!

The UAE, Lebanon and Egypt inspired by Diabetes campaigns are launching this weekend for World Diabetes Day. Share with me any other events going on in the Middle East that are meant to raise awareness about diabetes.

http://www.worlddiabetesday.org – check out the International Diabetes Federation’s Unite for Diabetes, Diabetes Day site for information on how you can help alert people to diabetes’ devastating effects on the region.

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Inspired by Diabetes Winners

Below are the biographies of the winners from each of the three Middle East countries. Congratulations to all the winners.

Lebanon

First Place – Children’s Category 

Miss N.H., Age 9, Lebanon

N.H. won in the children’s category with her self-portrait photograph depicting her holding a red rose and an insulin needle.

As someone living with diabetes at a young age and who recognizes the possibility that she will always have the disease, N.H. entered the ‘Inspired by Diabetes’ competition to show that her life is no different than an average girl.

“I wanted to inform people that diabetes is a disease people can live with and that they can still have a normal life, live and play like everyone else,” she says. “I participated in this competition to prove to people that diabetics are as normal as others.”

Through her artwork, N.H. demonstrates that with the use of insulin as a treatment, diabetics can enjoy life just like anyone else.  

Second Place – Children’s Category

Miss G. I., age 12, Lebanon

G.I. painted her picture after learning about diabetes on the internet.  The painting, entitled “Diabetes: your worst enemy – insulin: your best friend” depicts a diabetic injecting insulin in their stomach.

With the help of her parents, G.I. learned that, while diabetes can sometimes be passed down through a person’s genes, the more common type (Type II diabetes) is most often caused by a poor lifestyle.

“Through my art, I wanted to tell diabetics that no matter how sick they are, they should take their insulin and persevere so that they can keep the disease in check and eventually get better,” she says.

First Place – Health Care Professionals

Mr. Tarek El Saleh, Dallaa Hospital

Currently working in Dalaa Hospital as a nurse in the Emergency Room, Tarek finished his nursing degree before traveling to Australia where he researched Type I diabetes. His submission to the contest was a picture of a puzzle, which he says, “is an example of how you can miss something that is important without knowing. Sometimes you can overlook the simple solutions to larger problems but really they are easy to fix.

Having diabetes in his family, Tarek felt compelled to share his knowledge through the contest as he works closely with diabetic patients and hopes he can help raise awareness about the disease.

“In my opinion to solve a problem, we must first know that we have this problem, so education for diabetic patients must be one of our priorities as health care professionals. From my experience in the nursing field I faced a lot of patients who stopped taking their medication without telling their doctors,” he says. “They need people to help treat them as well as educate them.”

Second Place – Health Care Professionals

Mona Nasrallah, AUB Medical Center

Mona was ‘inspired’ to submit to the contest after a former patient, who had lost a leg and was nearly blind from her diabetes, contacted her wanting to deliver a scarf she had knitted.

Knowing how this former patient suffered from diabetes as well as financial problems, Mona was reminded about why she had gone into medicine in the first place.

“Needless to say, I was touched and grateful, firstly for reminding me not to get tangled in the details of everyday medical care, which of course is a necessity, but should not make me lose sight of why I am here. And secondly for showing me that no matter which state the patient is in, I should never underestimate their ability to give,” she explains.

“I was inspired by my patient and decided to share her gift in this contest.”

Egypt  

First Place – Children’s Category – Under 9 years old

Abdel Rahim M

An honour student at his school,  Abdel Ramih loves to play and watch football. He submitted an entry to Inspired by Diabetes as one of his family members has diabetes. “I came up with the idea for my drawing because there were always needles around my house,” he says. “The title ‘Insulin leads children to a safe haven’ made sense because it is true in my house.”

Second Place – Children’s Category – Under 9 years old

Mohamed Y.

Youssef is 4 ½ years old He loves reciting Quran and religious anthems as well as drawing with the help of his older sister. “I love my family and am always excited to explore new things,” he explains. “But I really love computers and could spend hours playing around.” 

First Place – Children’s Category – Over 9 years old

May A.

May, is 12 years old, lives closely with diabetes in her family.. She worked on the srawing with her sister. They both have a real passion for drawing and love spending free time drawing pictures of weddings and other nice scenes.

“Our passion for drawing was our main motivation to participate in the contest,” they said.  “The drawing is mainly inspired by the medical education we received in an education camp we attended.”  For May, diabetes is very easy to control and manage. “All it takes is to know how to manage diabetes and what to do to control it,” she explains. “It is also very important to get regular check ups and blood sugar testing“

Second Place – Children’s Category – Over 9 years old

Amina M.

Amina is a top student in her class.. She loves the sea and uses it as inspiration for her paintings. She really loves sports and long walks.

Her submission to Inspired by Diabetes shows all the ways to manage diabetes, including abiding by the nutrition pyramid, exercising, abiding by doses and measures, foot care and to not over eat.    

UAE

First Place – Children’s Category – Under 9 years old

Fahd and Hamdan  

Fahd, is a 9 year-old who has diabetes in his family. He loves to play football and enjoys drawing. He worked with his classmate Hamdan on a drawing to encourage people to play sports. “I think playing sports is the best way to prevent diabetes,” he says. “Although playing football needs a lot of effort, I encourage everyone to do so as it keeps them fit and happy.”         

Second Place – Children’s Category – Under 9 years old

Maitha

Maitha submitted an entry to Inspired by Diabetes as one of her family members has diabetes and she loves to support diabetics. She has a real passion for drawing and enjoys spending free time drawing pictures.

“I love my family and my dad keeps on alerting me about taking care of my health,” She says. “I play with my friends to protect them and myself from diabetes.” 

First Place – Children’s Category – Over 9 years old

Hadeel, Aseel, and Zainab

Twin sisters Hadeel and Aseel worked together with their friend and classmate Zainab to submit an entry to the Inspired by Diabetes competition. “Our passion for drawing was our main motivation to participate in the contest,” they said.  

They enjoy drawing and are fans of the popular Arabic cartoon ‘Freej’. The drawing shows the four main characters in the cartoon talking about diabetes in a funny and entertaining way. “Since my elder sister is studying nursing, I always hear a lot about diabetes and ways of prevention,” Said Hadeel. “I love drawing and my parents always encourage me to practice drawing and participate in different competitions,” added Aseel. 

Second Place – Children’s Category – Over 9 years old

Mohamed

Mohamed, born in 1997, loves the challenge and enjoys drawing. He participates in all different kinds of competitions especially health related ones. 

His submission to Inspired by Diabetes pictures diabetes as a devil that appears to people who lead inactive lifestyles.

“I like using art as a way to express my thoughts and feelings,” he says. 

First Place – Adults Category

Asma

Asma, a talented student, loves photography and graphic design. She enjoys reading and finds it as a way to enhance her creativity. She participated in this competition to share her work with others and to tell people that diabetes is a preventable disease.

“I participated in this competition to support diabetics and warn others from this disease,” she says. “I encourage such competitions because they raise awareness about diabetes in a very creative and entertaining way.”

Second Place – Adults Category

Henna

Henna is a mother of two who loves to dance despite being born with a genetic hearing impairment. She is a designer and her submission to Inspired by Diabetes demonstrates her talent and knowledge of the disease. “We only have one life,” she says. “Life’s beautiful and it is better to think positive and live in happiness.”

Such is reflected in her submission to the contest. Described by Henna, “you can see the sufferer in blue getting support from others (red). The hearts themselves also represent kidneys.”

Art that inspires healthier lives

Inspired by Diabetes, the unique art contest that challenges people to creatively express the ways that diabetes affects their lives, recently held the award ceremonies for winners in Lebanon and Egypt. Young artists shared their work and were presented with exciting prizes at the events, which also hosted important dignitaries ranging from health ministers to popular artists.  Below are some pictures from the events.

The UAE winners will be attending their award ceremony on June 5 at the popular art gallery, Jam Jar. There will also be a special guest appearance by the popular band ABRI who will play at the event. If you are interested in attending please send me an email at inspiredbydiabetes-me@tbwaraad.com.