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.”

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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. 🙂

A monster let loose in the Middle East to treat diabetics

Gila Monster

Ok well it isn’t a monster, but a new treatment derived from the venom of a Gila Monster, a large poisonous lizard, is now available in the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait. It is really quite interesting because the treatment, Byetta, has been available in the West for a long time now and it has already received rave reviews from people suffering from Type 2 diabetes.  It has only been released just recently in this region, which is a blessing given the high rates we’re seeing.

Byetta (Exenatide), mimics a hormone in the body that promotes the production of insulin and helps regulate blood sugars. It does so without the usual highs and lows you get from insulin. There is also a real benefit of weight-loss associated with Byetta, which is great because Type-2 diabetes go hand in hand. Here is an article from Gulf News on Byetta.

Artificial venom aids fight against diabetes in UAE

02/20/2008 01:12 AM | By Dina El Shammaa, Staff ReporterAbu Dhabi: A lizard’s venom helped to give birth to a new Type 2 diabetes drug, which is now available in the UAE.

The drug, Exenatide (Byetta), is an artificial version of the venom found in the Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum).

The saliva of the two-feet long pink and black lizard, native to the US, contains a chemical exendin-4, similar to a human hormone to help regulate blood sugar.

Byetta has proven effective in the control of Type 2 diabetes in humans.

Scientists from drug companies Eli Lilly and Amylin Pharmaceuticals worked together to develop Exenatide, an artificial version of exendin-4 that can be injected into patients and stimulates the pancreas to produce more insulin in response to raised blood sugar. It also influences digestion and appetite.

A significant effect of the drug is weight loss, which is a major benefit for Type 2 diabetes patients, who are often overweight.

It helps with glucose (blood sugar) management in several ways: It signals the pancreas to create additional insulin when glucose levels are too high; it regulates the liver so that it doesn’t produce unneeded glucose; and helps slow the rate of sugar entering the bloodstream.

According to Dr Eisa Al Mansouri, Director of the Drug Control Department, Ministry of Health, the combination of blood sugar regulation and weight loss give Byetta an additional punch in the battle against diabetes.

“Our aim is to make available the best treatments for patients in the UAE. We give high importance to all that relates to the diabetes field, as we know that diabetes is one of the major conditions threatening our community. Byetta is a new class of treatment for diabetes. We are one of the first countries in the Middle East to make Byetta available,” said Al Mansouri

Byetta has been available in the US since 2005. It is now offered in more than 23 countries and used by more than 700,000 diabetes patients worldwide.

Inspired by Diabetes contest ends…let the judging begin!

January 31st marked the end of the regional art competition in the Middle East. Hundreds of submissions have come141.jpg141.jpg in from the three main countries, Lebanon, Egypt and the UAE. Most of the submissions were from children. There were paintings, drawings and some poetry as well. Thanks to everyone who submitted something. Now comes the fun part… judging.

As you might have read, Dubai musicians ABRI are lending their talents to judging the competition in the UAE. Other UAE judges include Saeed Shalash, Editor of Zahrat Al Khaleej, Rachael Brown from the Jam Jar (who are also providing some of the prizes) as well as representatives from the Ministry of Health and the Emirates Diabetes Society.

In Lebanon, judges will include Ramze Khoury, local Lebanese rap artist, Lebanese painter, Bernard Renno who also owns the gallery Vestige d’Orient Atelier D’art and is the ‘Attachee Cultural of the General Consulate of Latvia/EU in Lebanon’. The Lebanese Endocrinolgy, Diabetes and Lipids Society and the Lebanese Diabetes Society will also judge the competition.

The Egypt entrants will be judged by Nahed Hamza, Deputy Chief Editor of Al Ahkbar and Nabil Shawky, a local artist. Other judges are currently being selected for Egypt.

While the regional comptition has closed, you can still enter the international competition, which has extended its deadline to March 31. Visit www.inspiredbydiabetes.com for more information.

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’.

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?

Nightline Podcast

Here is the link to the podcast from Dubai Eye’s Nightline with James Piecowye. If you missed the show, take a listen. This is important information that you need to know about managing and preventing diabetes.