Sharjah: Friends Of Cancer Patients (FOCP), a UAE-based non-profit organization, is organising the first ‘Gulf Survivors Forum 2021’ on Monday, June 28, under the slogan ‘Together We Thrive’, to highlight the powerful and inspiring stories of cancer survivors, and their personal journeys of strength and hope.

Held in collaboration with the Gulf Federation for Cancer Control (GFCC), the forum is designed to encourage communities across the Gulf region to make a lasting difference in the lives of cancer patients by forging a connection with the cancer community through monetary and moral support.

The two-hour virtual event, which brings together one survivor each from various cancer associations in the GCC, will be streamed live on FOCP’s YouTube channel at 11 am (UAE Timing). Attendees will hear from cancer survivors representing Bahrain Cancer Society, Kuwait Society for Preventing Smoking and Cancer, Oman Breast Cancer Society, Qatar Cancer Society, the National Cancer Control Foundation in Yemen, the Zahra Breast Cancer Association from Saudi Arabia, and Sharjah-based FOCP.

Eminent speakers at the ‘Gulf Survivors Forum 2021’ include Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, founding member and Vice-Chairperson of FOCP’s Board of Directors; Dr. Walid Abdullah Al Batati, Executive Director of the Hadramout Foundation for Cancer Control; and Yasmin Yousri, social media influencer and cancer survivor. The forum will be moderated by Alia Al Shamsi, Presenter at Sharjah Broadcasting Authority; and Dr. Saeed Alamodi, presenter at Cultural and Media Office at the Supreme Council of Family Affairs - Sharjah.

Highlighting the importance of the forum, HE Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, founding member and Vice-Chairperson of FOCP’s Board of Directors, said: “FOCP is organising this forum under the directives of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, and Founder and Patron of FOCP, to mobilise societal and institutional efforts to combat and raise awareness of the importance of prevention and early detection.”

HE added: “The ‘Gulf Survivors Forum 2021’ is a first-of-its-kind in the region as it focuses on inspiring stories of hope and courage of cancer surviviors, which also spotlights the role of various GCC entities in helping patients on their recovery journey through both moral and financial support. These stories of triumph over adversity, and we hope, will motivate more individuals and institutions in the Gulf region to make valuable contributions to save precious lives.”

For his part, Dr. Khalid Al​ Saleh, said: “This forum reflects our keenness and pride in bringing together cancer survivors and experts from across the Gulf region who are passionately driving forward the regional and national cancer prevention strategies. The forum, organised by FOCP, gives us every reason to be proud as its reflects the active role of civil society organisations in serving their communities.”

He pointed out that the continuous cooperation between civil societies, under the umbrella of GFCC, to address early detection of cancer, has created a positive impact and is a testament to the unity of the GCC region to ensure the wellbeing of their communities.

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