One of the hardest things about working on a project about Breast Cancer in Lebanon is that people seldom want to talk about it. They don’t want anyone to know about it. They don’t want anyone to see them. It’s something one must suffer in silence and pray for the best. Women that went through it, want to forget they did with a fear that mentioning it might bring this vicious enemy back into their lives. This makes it even more difficult for the patient to recover normally due to all the stress of keeping it secret and isolation. This is not healthy both for the patient and society.
One Wig Stand will keep trying to lift the taboo about talking about cancer, gently but surely. How else will things begin to change here?
Check out this inspirational documentary “Healing and Hope” about Breast Cancer survivors in the UAE. This is a wonderful step in the right direction that reveals that more women in the Middle East are ready to open up about their very personal (and no doubt, very difficult) experiences. Watch both parts below (Arabic with English subtitles):
Hope the videos shed some much-needed insight on treatment options in the region, the importance of getting checked early and “give a spark of hope” as one of the women interviewed says at the end.
Two weeks ago, we were asked by OTV to do an interview about One Wig Stand as part of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Special thanks to Mazen for making this possible and John for helping upload the video on YouTube.
One of the most touching reactions we’ve received was actually from one of my mom’s aunts who has been skeptical about getting checked. As she always says when asked about getting a mammography “why wake up something that is dormant?”. The second the show aired, we received a call from her that the interview inspired her to finally get checked. Just knowing this made me more confident about the project and what we’re trying to achieve in Lebanon.
Hopefully other viewers felt the same way after.
Please share your feedback and thoughts on the interview.
++ If you know someone who’s gone through this who’d like to share her story, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. No names or photos of the person will get published, since we know it is still a sensitive issue. We’re planning to publish a book with all the stories collected in the near future. The more women who take part, the more women we can help with this. ++
Thank you for everyone’s amazing support and belief in the project. We have some big things in the works for One Wig Stand’s future :-)
“I am a girl, I live in Lebanon and I got my head shaved!” On April 10, 2010, Rita Kamel shaved her head for the following three reasons:
1- To break chemotherapy taboos.
2- To break the conventional beauty standards.
3- To raise awareness and funds for cancer.
I’d have to say, mission accomplished!
I came across an article about her (on Ivy’s blog: Would you date a bald chick?) and was blown-away by her courage and conviction. She’s a true inspiration! Doesn’t she look absolutely gorgeous too? :-)
Rita with her supportive boyfriend
I’m sure you’re all curious: How did she prepare for such a drastic step? What were the reactions of people around her? What did she discover through this? How could this help other women dealing with chemotherapy?
Read Rita’s inspirational story on her blog: Click here.
Also, be sure to read Rita’s friend’s post on the experience with more insight on why Rita did it: Click here.
More about Rita coming soon!